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June 2007

18 June 2007

In Montrose, New York, 16 students at Hendrick Hudson High School decided to carry out a final-year prank in which they taped alarm clocks to the walls of the school on Sunday night, set to sound in unison at 9:15am. Late on Sunday night, however, motion sensors triggered a call to police, who called in the bomb-sniffing dogs. State police senior investigator Bruce Cuccia said that, while no explosives were found, 'you can't take anything for granted as far as a particular device'. The students who have admitted to their involvement are being charged with placing a fake bomb.

When two-year-old Adonis Ribott's birthday party ended, at about 2am, his mother Luz Marie Ramos bade him farewell and his father Danny Ribot started to drive him home - but then parked the car at an auto body shop, leaving the boy inside. He walked the rest of the way, then couldn't find his house keys so rang the doorbell to summon his mother. She says she asked: 'Where did you leave the car?' and 'Where's the baby?'. She continued: 'He smiled and just went upstairs. I figured maybe the baby's with his mama.' When Ribot woke in the morning to notice that his son was not asleep beside him, he rang Ramos, and his own mother rang the police. Ramos's parents saw the car at the car repair shop and rescued Adonis.

Verndell Warmack was installing cable television for Fransuah Mathews of Gary, Indiana, in repayment of a debt. While Warmack was still on the ladder working, Mathews realised that his television set wasn't cable-ready. Frustrated, he shot at Warmack, who got off the ladder and ran. Mathews kept shooting, and the fatal results earned him 20 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.

The South Wales Echo reports that a well-prepared burglar planned to steal a motorbike from a Cardiff man's conservatory. He dragged a wheelie bin of gas cannisters and a blowtorch into the housing estate concerned and had just melted the lock on the bike, and part of the frame of the conservatory, when the owner was awakened. He said: 'I chased the guy away but only about 10 yards down the road because I realised I was naked.' The would-be thief, whose tools remained at the scene of the crime, remains at large.

A security guard at a supermarket in Hilton Head, South Carolina, rang the police when he noticed two teenagers on the roof at about 2am. When a policeman approached the youths, one of them put a small bag in his trouser pocket. The green leafy substance within was oregano, which one of the boys said was given to him by 'a guy' he knew. They had been unsuccessful in their attempts to smoke the herb. The boys, aged 14 and 15, received a warning about trespassing and were allowed to keep the oregano.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez visited Martin Luther King Jr. Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles with a complaint of abdominal pain. She was given medicine and a doctor's appointment but returned later in the day. On her third visit to the facility, officers brought her inside when they found her in the car park yelling for help. A nurse told the 43-year-old Rodriguez: 'You have already been seen, and there is nothing we can do.' She was left in a wheelchair in the emergency room lobby and soon fell to the floor, where she writhed in pain for 45 minutes as staff worked at nearby desks and a custodian cleaned around her.
Her boyfriend arrived to find her on the floor. Failing to obtain help from staff, he rang emergency services. The dispatcher told him: 'We cannot send emergency equipment out there to take you to a hospital you're already at.' Police, alerted to the situation, then apprehended Rodriguez on an outstanding warrant. Reassured that she would receive medical care, her boyfriend kissed her goodbye and left. Rodriguez was wheeled to a police car. When officers asked her to get up, she did not respond. She had died of an infected perforated bowel.
The triage nurse on duty has resigned, and the emergency room supervisor was reassigned.

Joshua Kistler, 31, chatted online with several girls aged 12 to 14, telling them that he was a teenager with leukaemia. Gaining the girls' sympathy, he convinced them to send sexually explicit still and moving images of themselves. He passed off pictures of his 15-year-old stepson as depicting himself and in one case posed as his online persona's stepfather, when one of the girls and her mother visited during a family trip.
One girl attempted suicide after her mother tried to stop the relationship with Kistler; the girl later wrote: 'He taught me stuff a 12-year old should not know. My love of my life turned out to be a 30-year-old pedophile.' In court, Kistler said: 'I'm sorry for the harm I caused. I wasn't aware I was causing any harm'. Earlier, he had told agents that he knew his actions were wrong and that he'd always 'been a collector'.

Belgium's De Standaard reports that a Belgian businessman turned away a Nigerian applicant for work at his wrought-iron business before the man had reached the door. The businessman wrote on the man's labour office letter that he could not hire a black man, on account of his dog being likely to bite black people.
The local labour office removed the businessman from its list of potential employers, while the paper quotes the Belgian man as saying: 'My dog is racist. Not me.' The 53-year-old Nigerian man, a 32-year resident of Belgium, said that most people were more subtle in refusing him work.

According to AP reports, police have recovered more than 1,500 pairs of girls' shoes - mostly tennis shoes - from a 27-year-old Kenosha, Wisconsin, cable company employee who was arrested for burglary. The shoes were stolen from various schools where he had worked in Waukesha, according to Lieutenant William H. Graham of the state police, who explained: 'He liked to smell them.' He has a previous conviction for stealing shoes from a Wisconsin school.

On 31 May, German officials found a train stopped between stations in Berlin. An automatic signal from the dead man's switch reflected the fact that the train had no driver. A few hundred metres further back from the train was the driver's body, trousers open. Police believe that he fell from the locomotive, which would have been travelling at about 110 kilometres per hour at the time, after opening the door to urinate.

The Taipei District Court has sentenced Chiu Huang-po to three years and six months in prison for his conduct while a female passenger was riding in his taxi in Taipei. The woman said that she was speaking on her mobile telephone when Chiu asked her to pass him the tissues that were behind the cab's back seat. She then noticed that his trousers were down and that he had been masturbating. She asked to leave the taxi, and Chiu allegedly grabbed her breasts while she was paying. She reported the taxi's registration number to the authorities. The United Daily News reports that Chiu, 35, has done something similar to another female passenger.

According to AP reports, police officers in Wichita, Kansas, pulled over a driver who had something to hide. According to police spokesman Gordon Bassham, one of the officers noticed that the man soon appeared to be choking on a large plastic bag. As the 20-year-old man passed out, the officer reached into his throat and recovered the bag. The driver was arrested for possession of marijuana.

24 June 2007

Workers at a Wal-Mart in Bushnell, Florida, saw a man in the store bleeding and contacted emergency services. The man, Jonathan Lafever, had been bitten by at least one of the five poisonous snakes (of three different species) in the boot of his car. A sheriff's report states that Lafever admitted to stealing the reptiles from a shed labelled 'Poisonous Snakes'. At last report, Lafever hadn't been arrested, as he was still in hospital.

Also in Florida is Maurice Stuckey, who decided to ask a police officer at a convenience store in Port St. Lucie for directions. Stuckey, 20, apparently forgot that he had a marijuana 'blunt' tucked behind his ear. The officer, a former narcotics investigator, did notice, and Stuckey admitted that the cigar contained marijuana. Additional marijuana was found in Stuckey's car.

A taxi driver in Columbia, South Carolina, found the nude corpses of Brent Tyler and Chelsea Tumbleston, both 21, in the road. A short while earlier, witnesses had seen the pair, believed to be students, climb onto the roof of a nearby parking garage, where their clothes were found later. Police sergeant Florence McCants says that the pair apparently moved to the adjacent armoury building and fell from its sloping metal roof. There was no evidence of drug or alcohol use.

Reuters reports that Dutch woman Helene de Gier filed suit for compensation for mental distress after her seven neighbours in Heusden won a post-code-based lottery. Had she bought a ticket, she would have shared in the 14-million-euro prize. The court judgement is that lottery organisers cannot be held responsible for those who regret not having taken part in a lottery.

Reuters also reports on a 20-year-old would-be mugger in Aldenhoven, Germany. The young man took a taxi driver's wallet, but the cabbie managed to get it back - and to free his attacker of his own wallet - before locking himself in his taxi and ringing the police. According to a police spokesman, officers found the miscreant waiting calmly on the kerb, as 'he wanted his wallet back'. It has been returned, in exchange for a court date.

Kylie Louise Wilson says that Daniel Peter Blair is normally a 'tolerably decent' person but can become more annoying when he uses drugs. The latter is how the 28-year-old Australian woman accounts for what happened before she stabbed him last year. The Brisbane District Court has now heard the details of her defence.
She explains that Blair came to her home, took amphetamines, and then took a shower, during which he took the opportunity to masturbate. He continued this in Wilson's bedroom, then headed back to the bathroom, where Wilson had started to bathe her daughter. Wilson indicates that Blair, 32, repeatedly refused to stop masturbating, so she fetched a knife and stabbed him twice in the shoulder. He put on his shorts and ran outside, where he apparently 'continued to masturbate while in the garage', according to the prosecutor.
Senior Judge Gilbert Trafford Walker sentenced Wilson to nine months in jail but ordered that she be released immediately on parole.

Antti Kristian Waroma was fined the equivalent of 3435 euros by a court in Singapore for his actions upon returning early from a business trip and discovering that wife Fong Chee Kim had been with her lover and not, as she had claimed, with her sister's friend. Brandishing a pair of scissors, Waroma cut off his wife's hair. His lawyer explained that, as she was a trichologist and very proud of her hair, Waroma wished to hurt her 'emotionally as much as she had hurt him emotionally'.

Indiana's Richard Brown was sentenced to five years in jail for getting two men to come to his home and leave wearing only a t-shirt. He had told them that he was a WNOU Radio disc jockey and would give them $50,000 if they did as he asked. The Indiana Supreme Court now has overturned Brown's conviction for identity theft, on the grounds that he didn't impersonate a real, named employee of the radio station, as well as for 'fraud' and 'enticement', because these words in the law are too vague.

A burst sewage pipe in County Durham's Middleton-St-George and the collapse of the section of road above are expected to cost 15,000 UKP to repair, according to Northumbrian Water, who soon determined the cause of the problem: heavy rain and a blockage in the pipe. A spokeswoman explained: 'When we dug down to inspect the damage, we found a bra and knickers had snagged itself across the 23-centimetre diameter of the pipe [...]. These pipes are not designed to carry bras and knickers.' She reported that it is impossible to determine who flushed the underwear down the toilet.

A Wichita, Kansas, police officer pulled over a woman to give her a traffic ticket. When he told the flustered woman that she was free to leave, she accidentally backed into his squad car. Police Captain Joe Dessenberger, who said that she was not ticketed for doing so, added: 'Naturally, it was one of our new cars. We never damage the old ones.'


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