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January 2021


24 January 2021

When airline staff at O'Hare International Airport recently asked 36-year-old Aditya Singh to produce his identification, he pointed to his badge. However, that badge belonged to an operations manager who reported it stolen in October. Asked to explain himself, Singh stated that he was 'scared to go home [Los Angeles] due to CoViD'; finding the staff badge provided a solution. He had been living in an area past security checkpoints for three months, living on handouts from passengers.
While he awaits trial for felony criminal trespass to a restricted airport area and misdemeanour theft, the Chicago Department of Aviation has stated that 'this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public'. Meanwhile, a judge has ruled that he is a danger to the community, 'based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel'.

Tony Wittman is an Australian man who lost his cat. When ringing Melbourne's Lost Dogs' Home shelter in the late afternoon to enquire about the feline, he was told that they had the cat and it could be collected the next morning. Wittman, 44, didn't like this answer, so he showed up at the facility at 10pm in camouflage fatigues and with his finger on the trigger of what the staffer described as the sort of gun used by 'a SWAT team in the movies', with his finger on the trigger. He tied her up and asked her whether the cats were kept.
He then told her to count to 100 before calling the police, and he left, burying his clothes and weapon near his home. He returned the next day to reclaim the animal. Wittman has been charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, armed robbery, firearms offences, and other crimes.

Work in the operating room can be trickier when one has been drinking. During an emergency Caesarean section at a French hospital, anaesthetist Helga Wauters, 51, may not have appreciated this fact. One of her wine-fuelled mistakes was to push a breathing tube into the patient's oesophagus. Witnesses report that she also claimed that the ventilator wasn't working, when the problem was that Wauters hadn't hooked it up - 28-year-old Xynthia Hawke was wearing only a stand-alone oxygen mask.
Hawke woke up during the operation, shouting 'It hurts!' and vomiting. She suffered a heart attack and died four days later.
When Wauters was taken into custody, her blood alcohol level was .38%. She has been handed a three-year jail term and forbidden from practising in France. Also, it emerged that she had been fired from her previous job, in her native Belgium, for being under the influence of alcohol at work.

In San Angelo, Texas, Dustin Wayne Smock and girlfriend Christin Chanelle Bradley rang the emergency services to report that the baby they were caring for had stopped breathing while they were brushing their teeth. After hospital staff declared the two-year-old girl, Brixlee Marie Lee, dead, they had some questions. First off, Bradley, 37, explained that 21-year-old daughter Destiney Harbour had given birth at the family home and not told anyone outside the family. Harbour may have feared that Brixlee would join an elder brother in foster care. Harbour, Bradley, and Smock didn't offer answers to the other questions, about the needle marks, of various ages, on the baby's extremities and head.
Tests revealed heroin in the baby's blood, and searches of the home revealed suspected heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and miscellaneous pills. All three people have been charged with knowingly causing serious bodily injury to a child, with other charges likely to follow.

Also in Texas, 27-year-old Taylor Parker left a bloodbath at the home of 21-year-old Reagan Simmons Hancock, whose wedding photos she had taken a year earlier. Parker murdered Hancock, who had been seven months pregnant, and slashed open her abdomen to remove the baby. Later the same morning, a state trooper pulled Parker over while she was attempting to perform CPR on the infant in her lap, whose umbilical cord was tucked into Parker's trousers. She told the trooper that she'd given birth by the side of the road and needed assistance.
A hospital visit followed. The baby, Braxlynn Sage, was declared dead, and doctors determined that Parker was not the mother. She then confessed to 'a physical altercation' with Simmons that had culminated in kidnapping. Parker faces charges of capital murder, and her partner now knows that she'd been only pretending to be pregnant.

Another fake is Kimberly Ragsdale, from the US state of Georgia. This 47-year-old woman demanded free food from servers at a Chick-fil-A outlet, explaining that she is an FBI agent - one who has only electronic credentials. This happened several times in the course of a week. Then, workers finally responded to her threats of arrest by summoning the Rockmart Police Department. While being arrested by real authorities, Ragsdale requested assistance from her non-existent FBI colleagues by speaking into a non-existent radio under her shirt.

A ranger at Yellowstone National Park spotted some visitors with pots and pans hiking toward Shoshone Geyser Basin. Following them to a hot spring in which two whole chickens were heating up, he asked these three tourists from Idaho what they were trying to do. The response 'Make dinner' earned Eric Roberts and a family member two days in jail and $540 in fines. The third member of the party was fined about twice as much but avoided jail time. All are banned from the park for two years, and park staff issued a reminder that the springs are dangerous, with some such hijinx having led to death.

In Chicago, other food-related risks were actualised after James Dixon, 29, irked the host of a holiday party by digging into the come-agains with his hands at about 3am. The host's boyfriend, Vincell Jackson, responded by asking Dixon to leave. Then, on the porch, Dixon stabbed Jackson at least nine times, in the forehead, nose, hand, leg, and arms. The wounds proved fatal.
Dixon fled the scene but showed up at an area hospital a few hours later for treatment of a small hand laceration, thought to be from his knife. The injury didn't require medical attention, so Dixon was arrested immediately. He was still carrying the bloody knife, along with several spares.
Dixon's defence attorney later argued that Dixon was 'properly defending himself'. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

Lashelle Jacobs woke up to the sound of banging on the door of her Ortega, Florida, home. Investigating while her five-year-old son remained asleep, she found a seated woman outside repeating 'they're following me, they're following me'. Jacobs says that, when she stepped out to see who was doing this following, the woman and a man started beating her and she blacked out. She recounted: 'When I woke back up, I remember them holding my hair, saying if I moved or screamed they were going to stab me and continue to cut my hair.'
She managed to ring 911, whereupon her attackers fled, leaving her with their pair of scissors, a concussion and a ruptured eardrum, and a botched haircut. Jacobs reports that nothing was stolen from the home.

A hunter in southern Bohemia rang the police to report his rifle missing, as required under the Czech Republic's Firearms and Ammunition Act. The chagrined man explained that he had been trying to bag some deer near Horni Planá when his dog startled a stag into charging. The animal's antlers ripped the hunter's jacket sleeve and hooked his (non-loaded) .22 Hornet rifle, liberating it from his left shoulder and carrying it into the forest.
Later, the police received a call from a second hunter, about two kilometres away, who wished to report the strange sight of a deer with a firearm dangling from its antlers. Police spokesman Jirí Matzner indicated that the weapon is still at large.

Michele Boudreau Deegan, a 55-year-old psychologist who works with the Washington state justice system, faced psychological pressure from a protracted battle for custody of her twin daughters. Four days after a judge granted her joint rather than sole custody of the seven-year-old girls, she resolved this pressure by feeding sedatives to them, shooting them dead, and finally shooting herself.
According to her tenant of a little over a year, Deegan had been suffering bouts of depression, sometimes lying in bed all day and subsisting on only ice cream. However, she had largely ceased visiting her own therapist shortly after filing for bankruptcy, since her health insurance didn't cover the sessions.

During preparations for takeoff, the pilot of an Alaska Airlines flight from Las Vegas noticed an unfamiliar man approaching the aircraft. The man proceeded to the area of one of the wings, where his movements for the next 45 minutes confused the passengers: he climbed onto the wing and sat down, then removed his socks and shoes and started walking around. Finally, when officers on the flight used the emergency exits to step out onto the wing and speak with the man, he walked to its tip and slid down onto the tarmac with a thud. At this point, officials collected him. They were able to identify him as Alejandro Carlson, 41, and surmised that he had jumped over the airport's fence, but little else is clear.

Nathan Larson, 40, has not led a quiet life. His history includes serving a 14-month prison term for threatening to kill either the outgoing or the incoming US President in 2008 and running for Congress as an 'anarcho-capitalist' and 'quasi-neoreactionary libertarian' who advocates benevolent white supremacy and has identified himself as a 'hebephilic rapist'.
Yet he hoped to keep a low profile when recently flying to his home state of Virginia with a 12-year-old California girl he had persuaded to run away with him. They were apprehended during their layover in Colorado, even though he'd told her to disguise her age by wearing a long-haired wig and to reduce suspicion by pretending to be mute.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims reported that the girl has been returned home, and she will go through therapy to address the 'sophisticated' grooming she received at Larson's hands.

Alabama's Kelvin Nicholas Coker, 32, shot two of the dogs he owned jointly with his father, Kelvin James Coker, 60. When the elder Coker found one of the canine corpses, he drove to his son's home with a pistol to confront him. According to two family members who witnessed what then transpired, the son's admission to dog-killing led the father to shoot the son in the thigh. The younger Coker responded with a fatal close-range shotgun blast before succumbing to his own injury. The Washington County Sheriff's Office reports that further investigation is under way.

Let's end with a perennial favourite, pocket-dialling. Two men from Stoke-on-Trent, ages 49 and 42, decided to commit a burglary in Middleport. During their crime, one of the two men accidentally sat on his mobile phone, which wasn't locked and proceeded to open a connection with the emergency number, 999. Chief Inspector John Owen reported that the station received 'a call detailing all of their antics up to the point of hearing our patrols arrive to arrest them'. Owen summed up: 'I think we have just arrested the world's unluckiest burglars.'


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