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January 2008

5 January 2008

Misty Johnson, 34, wanted her husband of three months, Shawn Fay Johnson, to wait until Christmas to open her gift to him. The two began to argue about it, which escalated into Misty accusing Shawn of having an extramarital affair. She ended up stabbing him in the chest with a kitchen knife. He rang emergency services for care, and she was arrested and treated for a cut to her leg.

According to a Bremerton, Washington, police report, a 26-year-old man wanted his dog to join him and his 25-year-old girlfriend in the bathroom while the couple took a shower together. The girlfriend indicated that she didn't want to be his girlfriend in that case, to which he replied that a new girlfriend might appreciate the dog more. Words soon gave way to fists, as the naked couple grappled. The woman was arrested after she threw a picture frame at her boyfriend, who ended up cut by its broken glass.

Pennsylvania's Justin Fowler, 18, wanted to take down the family Christmas tree on 27 December. His father, Patrick, wanted it to stay up for another two days. An argument ensued, and then the younger Fowler slashed his father's hands and legs with a knife to underscore his reasoning. Monongahela police were called to the Fowler home after midnight, and Justin Fowler is in jail.

In New Mexico we have a tattoo-related injury. Two men were tracing the pattern for a tattoo - a .357-calibre Magnum - when the loaded weapon discharged. Robert Glasser was hit in the hand, and Joey Acosta was hit in the arm. Both 22-year-old men were treated in hospital, according to the Otero County Sheriff's Department.

Ernesto Ponce, 19, stole a pickup truck from a dealership in Roseburg, Oregon, but abandoned the vehicle when a tyre blew. He then swiped a car from a nearby driveway. The engine overheated about 15 minutes later, and the car caught fire at a junction. Jeff Herbert, who pulled over to help with a fire extinguisher, found his pickup truck next on the list. According to Herbert, 'he jumped in when I had my back to him.' Ponce again didn't get far: an encounter with a police spike strip left him with two punctured tyres and an appointment with a ditch. He was arrested.

The Pritchard, Alabama, police arrested Chavis Sanders about two months ago on a drug distribution charge and confiscated $1200 from him. He recently returned to police headquarters to try to get the money back and to check on the status of a domestic violence case against him. When Sanders pulled in, with David Bailey in the passenger seat, and stepped out of the car, with him came the potent odour of marijuana. Officers could see a small bag of the drug was plainly visible on the car's centre console. Of the other discoveries that rapidly ensued, police major Marvin Whitfield said: 'I've been doing police work for about 20 years, and I never knew of anybody bringing a half-pound of marijuana and a gun to a police station in a stolen car.' Both men were taken to jail - and another $1000 was confiscated from Sanders.

According to Chicago police, restaurant-owner Dimitrios Arvanitis had been trying to discourage diners at another restaurant from using his parking spaces. Frustrated at his lack of success, he apparently poured cooking grease over four of the unwanted cars. When the owner of one of these confronted him, he allegedly said: 'I dump grease on your car so next time you don't park there.' The 61-year-old Arvanitis was intoxicated when the police first attempted to question him. Later, he claimed that a motorist threw motor oil at the four cars after becoming annoyed with traffic in the area.

In Columbus, Ohio, Keith Allen Sturgill decided to hold up a Wendy's restaurant, taking hostages. When told that the safe was on a timer and that he would have to wait a while for it to open, he sat down. An employee's Bluetooth telephone then rang. The sound of Sturgill yelling at her not to answer it sufficed to activate the voice-commanded headset and pick up the call. On the other end of the line was a worker at a nearby bank, who heard the yelling and contacted the police. When officers arrived, he hit himself in the forehead with the gun until he bled, threatening to shoot himself, but he was eventually arrested and his hostages released.

21 January 2008

When Stephen West stepped through the security checkpoint at Wigan Magistrates Court, he produced a lump of cannabis resin and asked the security staff what he should do with it for the duration of his hearing. Guards told the 20-year-old West that he couldn't take the cannabis into court and that he would have to leave it in their custody. He signed his name on a receipt indicating that the drug was his. He was later fined 50 pounds for possession of the cannabis and ordered to pay almost the same amount in court costs.

Before Florida's Odyssey Middle School was built - on a former bombing range - engineers performed a site survey, assuring officials that no bombs had been dropped on or fired from the property. They did not mention the pits dug there, with bombs still inside. One of the pits is also occupied by a World War II tank. Mike Fulford of the Army Corps of Engineers said: 'We were able to explode and render safe 49 23-pound bombs.' Students and parents have been assured that the school grounds are now safe. The Army Corps of Engineers expect to be working on the site for at least a year more.

A police officer performing a welfare check on a home in Cypress, Texas, found several children, aged one to nine, with parents nowhere to be found. Sheriff's lieutenant John Martin said: 'There was trash everywhere, roaches everywhere. [...] [E]very item of clothing in the house was dirty and there was very little food.' A 15-year-old girl arriving in the evening explained that her mother had flown to Nigeria a few days earlier to marry a man she'd met on the Internet. The girl, who had been stealing food for her charges, was also trying to care for a neighbour's two toddlers, who stayed at the home while his father was at work. The neighbour, who had driven the mother to the airport, said he was unaware that conditions were so bad in the home.
The children have been placed in foster care, and the missing mother's two oldest children were already serving custodial sentences.

A man stole video games, camera equipment, and other items from an Idaho woman's car. The next day, she found one of her missing videotapes in her mailbox. She reported this to the police but only recently watched the tape in full, discovering that part of the birth of her child had been recorded over with a demand for $3000 as a ransom for the missing games. However, police lieutenant Joe Cawley said, the handkerchief-wearing thief left no instructions on how to deliver the money. He said: 'We're not dealing with brain surgeons here.'

Officials in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, charged Jeremiah McGee with sexual assault of a five-year-old girl who was in his care for the weekend. According to police, the 25-year-old McGee explained when arrested that the assault must have been an accident: he was sleeping next to her when he heard a noise - which might have been her screaming for help - and woke up. He has been charged with a range of felonies.

Eugene Opperman, a spokesman for police in Pretoria, South Africa, said that a man walked into a police station to report that a gang had stolen his mobile telephone at gunpoint. At the end of the interview, the detective rang the number of the phone. The ring tone could be heard from the complainant's pocket. Opperman said that the 25-year-old man, who was 'left speechless for a few minutes', then said that he'd given him the wrong number. However, the telephone in his pocket matched the description of the 'stolen' one, down to the serial number. The man was arrested for perjury.

On Christmas, Jimmie Walker smashed a car-wash window in Clearwater, Florida, making off with money from the till. Later in the month, he broke in again, taking a tip box containing $9. A manager recognised him as someone who had recently dropped off an application for a job at the car wash. Officers visited his home, and he is now making his home behind bars.

In reports from Austria, 19-year-olds Peter Hochstacher and Thomas Möbel decided to decapitate a roadside speed camera installation in Lustenau that had caught them speeding. They chopped it off with a pair of axes and a saw, then buried it in a nearby field, where a farmer found it while ploughing. The two young men confessed to the crime after the police examined data from the speed camera. They were fined about 100,000 euros, enough to replace the camera.

A 32-year-old Arlington, Texas, man was protective of his eight-year-old daughter. Therefore, he was upset when he caught his 18-year-old stepson sodomising the girl, and he later asked his wife not to bail the teenager out of jail. She posted bond for him anyway. When the youth rang home upon his release, his stepfather picked him up at the jail but, instead of driving him home, took him to an abandoned house, where he beat him with a baseball bat and sodomised him with a metal tool. He left the teenager behind and turned himself in to the police.

In Oregon, two transients in cowboy clothes approached two officers at the Roseburg sheriff's office, chatted about their planned trip to Baker City for a court date, and offered the officers doughnuts. The officers declined, but they remembered the incident an hour later when they were investigating a shop burglary in which, among other things, doughnuts had been taken. Then they saw cowboy boot footprints in the mud outside.
Officers found the two men - 21-year-old Adam Brett Hancock and 19-year-old Vincent Jonathan, waiting for the bus to Baker City. The stolen property was removed from their backpacks, and both men were removed to jail.

When a plank hit Brooklyn, New York, construction worker Brian Persaud on the head, he was taken to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell emergency room. He was given eight stitches. When a resident told him that he needed a rectal examination as well, he objected. A struggle ensued, in which the 38-year-old Persaud hit a doctor and shouted: 'Where I came from, you don't put anything in someone's ass!' Persaud was sedated, given the rectal exam, and later arrested. He was released without charges and is now suing the hospital for malpractice.

Ingjerd Eriksen, principal of the Marienlyst school near Oslo, said that school officials noted that new student Adam behaved oddly but children vary a great deal. Then, in December, the 13-year-old boy disappeared from the Oslo children's home where he lived, prompting a nationwide search. When police found Adam in Tromsø, it became apparent that he was actually a 33-year-old woman, Barbora Skrlova. Police in Oslo said that the Czech parents of the real Adam are believed to have helped Skrlova to trick child-care authorities.
Skrlova, who has now been deported from Norway, was hiding from Czech authorities to avoid testifying in a case against Brno's Klara Mauerova, who is accused of abusing her two sons. Skrlova had posed as a 13-year-old girl adopted by Mauerova.

Before watching an American football match on television, Wisconsin's Mathew Kowald, 36, wanted his son to get into the spirit of things. When the seven-year-old boy refused to put on a Green Bay Packers shirt, Kowald tied him into a chair and taped the shirt to him. Kuwald's wife rang the police, who provided them with proof in the form of several photos she had taken of the incident. Mathew Kowald was cited for disorderly conduct, and other domestic issues are being investigated, according to the police.

Authorities in Olathe, Kansas, report that Austin Jones and Henry Lamping, both 18, along with a minor, decided to set light to a neighbour's sport utility vehicle because the neighbour had broken up a fight. The SUV owner's security camera shows Jones accidentally setting his trousers on fire. He removed the burning trousers and boxer shorts, then jumped into a getaway car. Jones was arrested after showing up at a local hospital.

A North Huntingdon Township, Pennsylvania, woman was bleeding from her head when emergency crews found her. They discovered that the woman, Sherry Lynn Gibson, had been beaten with her own prosthetic leg. According to the police, the attacker was her younger sister, Donna Sturkie-Anthony, who has been charged with assault and harassment.

An Australian judge is hearing the case against Benjamin Jorgensen and Donna Hayes, who tried to make off with the day's takings from a restaurant in Melbourne last year but ended up leaving with a bag of bread rolls instead. After the theft, the 38-year-old Jorgensen headed for the wrong car to make his getaway, then accidentally shot Hayes, 36, in the hip. She was in hospital for a month. Both pleaded guilty to armed robbery.
Judge Roland Williams summarised the case by saying: 'I've heard of the Keystone Cops - this is Keystone Robbers.'

Grace Saenz-Lopez, the mayor of Alice, Texas, agreed to care for Rudy Gutierrez and Shelly Cavazos's dog, Puddles, during their holiday. The day after they left, she broke the news to them that Puddles had died. Three months later, the dog had apparently risen from the grave: a relative of the Cavazoses saw Puddles at a dog groomer's. The Cavazos family sued Saenz-Lopez, who then filed a police report claiming that the dog was missing.
Reporters found Puddles in a nearby town, at the home of the mayor's twin sister, who said a 'mysterious lady' had dropped off the animal.
Saenz-Lopez has been charged with two felony counts of tampering with physical evidence, and her sister has been indicted on a count of feloniously concealing evidence. The dog is with the mayor's lawyer, Homero Canales, who contends that 'the taking of the dog was to save it from certain death'.

The police chief in Wilson, Kansas, is out of a job. Surveillance tapes show the chief, Brian Hill, stealing beer from the fire department's refrigerator, in the same building. It was unclear exactly how much beer was stolen or why it was in the fire department's fridge.


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