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July 2012

28 July 2012

Fleeing the wildfires in Colorado, 19-year-old Kristan McCann placed her valued possessions in her car and headed for her father's home in Oregon. On the way through Idaho, she clipped another car, causing her vehicle to fly off the highway and burst into flames. Before firefighters arrived, the blaze destroyed her car, her mother's wedding dress and the other possessions within, and about 8 km2 of surrounding land. McCann later said: 'I was pretty devastated. I didn't want to do anything like that.'

In Canada, police officer Jim Brown is the subject of an investigation into possible misconduct in connection with images on a sexual-fetish social-networking Web site. Brown, who goes by the name 'Kilted Knight' on the bondage and discipline site, is featured naked in RCMP riding boots as he pretends to carry out violent crimes of the sort he is charged with investigating, such as a knife attack on a bound, naked woman. Brown has been assigned administrative duties while an internal and external investigation are conducted.

Catherine Venusto used to work as a secretary for the school district that her two children attended in Pennsylvania. While there, she used a boss's computer password to change her daughter's failing mark in one of her classes to an 'M' (for 'medical exception'). Her son wasn't left out: his 98% was changed to a 99%.
The 45-year-old Venusto, who is accused of using the login credentials more than 100 times to access the school district's online grading system, claims that she knew her actions weren't ethical but that she thought they were legal.

In Anchorage, Alaska, four men posted bail for Jonathan Hill, who was awaiting trial for felonious possession of drugs. The men loaded him into a car, which soon became the scene of a fight: when the men stopped for petrol, Hill tried to exit the vehicle and was prevented from doing so. Police were summoned, and the four men were arrested; they are charged with kidnapping. One of the men, Jonathan Walls, explained that Hill had stolen some marijuana from him. Walls wanted it back.
An investigation did not uncover any marijuana, according to officers. Hill was released.

Dan Rivet is the owner of a New York motel. He is also a paramedic. Rivet recently responded to an emergency call at his own motel. The occasion was a group trip by a police motorcycle club, during which a 37-year-old man sharing a room with two officers was shot. One of the officers, the victim's father, had been sleeping in the room when he heard a noise. It is unclear whether he thought his son, Matthew Leach, was an intruder or simply suffered a flashback. Either way, Leach was fatally shot in the back.

In other fun with guns, Canadian hunter Dale Whitmell was camping near a lake when he encountered a mouse. Whitmell, 40, decided to kill it with the butt of his rifle. He managed to discharge the weapon in so doing. The bullet grazed his forehead. Whitmell, who is being charged with careless use of a firearm. later said that he didn't know the weapon was loaded.

In the US state of Georgia, 36-year-old William Bonner rang the police to report that attackers had set his head on fire. He changed his story after surveillance-camera footage emerged. According to police lieutenant Blaise Dresser, the man had bet his friends that his face could be set on fire. He'd encouraged them to douse his head with Bacardi 151 and set it alight, and it worked on the second try. Bonner, having won the bet, had companions at one of the tables put out the flames with other liquids.
After his release from hospital, where he was in critical condition, he was let off the hook by police, who said that he won't be charged with a crime, since he has suffered enough.

A couple arriving in the United Arab Emirates by air from Egypt were held at Immigration on Friday, 6 July, because they didn't have a visa for their five-month-old child. They were told they would have to wait for the visa office to re-open, on Sunday. Therefore, after the Saturday-morning shift change, they placed the baby in their luggage and rejoined the queue. According to The National, an inspector noticed the outline of a baby on the baggage-scanner, whereupon the couple were pulled aside for interrogation.

At his home, Florida's John Pardus, 30, accidentally shot himself in the hand. At hospital, he and his wife asked police officers to accompany them home and help to unload his guns as well as show the couple how to store guns safely.
Officers couldn't help but notice the scent of marijuana in the home, and they followed it upstairs, where there were 46 plants growing. Mr Pardus later claimed that only his wife uses the second floor of the home, but both Parduses have been charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana.

[IMG: 'Darth Vader' about to disconnect cables in the morning]Polish media report on a 44-year-old building manager in Krakow who didn't like certain of his tenants, such as a travel agency and advertising agency (who had been tenants longer than he had been building manager). When they started finding their electricity and telecommunications cables cut, tenants installed CCTV cameras, which soon captured a man in mask and black cape cutting cables from the rooftops, armed with a pair of garden shears taped to a pole.
It was not long before this footage of 'Darth Vader' was linked to the building manager, who had previously tried to get the tenants evicted via the court system. He is charged with performing six illegal disconnections over the last year and a half.

In 2009, Scotland's Gavin Bradford was accused of making food-fetish-related improper suggestions to more than 20 female students, as young as 12, at a college where he taught in Canada. These included asking them to smear ketchup and eggs over their bodies and pour sour milk into their knickers. Allegedly, one girl was asked to stuff a pie down Bradford's pants.
The 37-year-old Bradford returned to Glasgow, where he took on a job as a performing-arts lecturer at a college. Ontario authorities recently discovered this, so they reported his past conduct to Scottish authorities. Bradford did not attend his hearing, and the General Teaching Council Scotland have judged him unfit to teach.

Krystle Marie Reyes filed for a $2.1 million tax refund on Oregon state income taxes. The system flagged this as a case of possible fraud, necessitating three people's review before a refund could be issued. The case was reviewed, after a fashion - those involved didn't open her file, which included her employer's reports of her approx. $15,000 annual income - and the refund was approved.
Reyes, 25, was caught only because she received the refund on a debit card and then reported the card lost or stolen. Twice. The state has recovered all but $200,000, and Reyes has been sentenced to 5.5 years of jail time.

Rodney Dwayne Valentine, a 37-year-old man with no fixed address, served two months in a North Carolina jail for injury to personal property. At the end of that time, he didn't want to leave jail, and he insisted that officers at least drive him to a motel. Policy is that officers do not transport people once they are released from jail.
The ensuing argument lasted five hours and ended with Valentine being arrested for trespassing on jail premises. He faces 75 more days behind bars.

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