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June 2008


21 June 2008

The attention of Norwegian Customs officers was called to a 32-year-old British woman. In the agency's words, 'the agent thought she had a great deal of hair and suspected that she was wearing a wig. The wig was examined and the agents found a bag of cocaine.' A full kilo of the drug was glued to her head. Verdens Gang reported that the cocaine was coupled so tightly to the woman's real hair that police asked staff at the local hospital to remove it for them.

Approaching a toll booth on Brazil's Imigrantes Highway, 58-year-old Lidia Vitielo realised that she didn't have enough money to pay the fee. Therefore, she turned around, heading against the flow of holiday traffic. Highway police followed her as she passed about 350 vehicles and evaded a police roadblock. She stopped after about nine kilometres. A blood test showed that she had been drinking, and there were several tins of beer in the car, according to Highway Police corporal Gilberto Almeida.

An 18-year-old car thief being chased by the German police rammed a police car. While his accomplice jumped from a passenger seat in the stolen Opel and was caught, the thief continued on through a forested area near Schwerin. Reuters quotes a police spokesman as saying that officers lost track of the man but 'then he ran into the family of boars, and the head of the family squared up to him'. The thief held up his hands in surrender and cried for help. The police obliged and arrested him.

According to New Zealand's Dominion Post, a man from Carterton badly wanted to buy a packet of crisps and two packs of M&Ms at a petrol station. Why he was so desperate for a snack soon became clear to the clerk, when the man realised he had no money and offered to pay with marijuana instead. The person directly behind him in the queue was a police officer, whose marked patrol car remained parked outside. The officer promptly arrested him.

Mitsunori Yamada, a newspaper deliveryman from Suzuka, Japan, was arrested for willful destruction of property after taking down and then urinating on the underpants a woman had hung out to dry. The 38-year-old man was caught because the 51-year-old victim's family had become suspicious after the laundry remained mysteriously damp four times in the previous week. This time, they were watching the laundry from a car parked nearby.
Yamada explained to the police: 'I did it for my own satisfaction.'

Also in Japan, a 34-year-old farmer was admitted to hospital in Kumamoto after apparently swallowing the agricultural chemical chloropicrin in an ultimately successful suicide attempt. While being treated, he vomited. The toxic gas thus released caused 54 people in the hospital - patients and staff alike - to fall ill, 10 of them seriously. Firefighters wearing protective gear took three hours to neutralise the gas, known also for its role as a chemical weapon in World War I.

Late last month, two teenaged girls in Maine decided it would be a good idea to skip school and climb a railroad trestle to do some sunbathing there. They spread out their beach towels and were still relaxing when a train approached and blasted its horn. Lieutenant Gary Fecteau of the York County Sheriff's Department reports that, while the conductor and engineer never saw the girls move, the girls' injuries suggest that they did try to escape at the last second.
The girls were airlifted to Maine Medical Center. Destiny Phaneuf, 13, ended up with 1.5 legs, and 14-year-old Rachel Brown had one foot fewer. The police do not believe that drugs, alcohol, or headphones were involved.

A 57-year-old Japanese man wondered why food kept vanishing from his refrigerator. The man, from Fukuoka, installed a security camera, and the images showed a woman walking around his home while he was out. When police searched the home, they found the woman, 58-year-old Tatsuko Horikawa, tucked into a flat storage space in a closet. A police spokesman said: 'She told police that she had nowhere to live. She seems to have lived there for about a year, but not all the time.'

Also in Fukuoka, the owner of a cigarette vending machine had noticed sales fall by about 20% since the machines were made to require ID card scans for age verification. He therefore attached a family member's ID card to his vending machine, along with a note saying: 'This is a taspo ID card exclusively for this vending machine. Minors are not supposed to use the card.' The main claims that he was trying to win back customers who didn't like the hassle of using their own ID card to buy cigarettes.
Yame Police Station asked the man to remove the ID card from the vending machine. After initial refusal on grounds that 'it does not violate any law', he complied.

In Hong Kong, a 28-year-old woman was taking a shower in her 10th-floor flat when she noticed a camera-equipped mobile telephone being held outside her bathroom window. She screamed for help, whereupon her husband and other residents blocked the door into the usually vacant flat next door and rang the police. The peeping tom's only escape was back the way he had come - that is, climbing from the vacant flat's balcony back into his own flat, opposite the woman's. He didn't quite make it. He lost his footing and fell to the ground, with a tree branch partially breaking his fall. He was taken to a hospital, with a broken rib puncturing a lung.

Before major public holidays, the Russian Air Force often sends out a few cargo planes with silver iodide, liquid nitrogen, and cement powder to seed the clouds above Moscow. Not all went to plan in one such venture recently. Police in Naro-Fominsk explained that, in the lead-up to June 16's 'Russia Day', a 25-kilo sack of cement for creating 'good weather in the capital region [...] failed to pulverize completely at high altitude and fell on the roof of a house, making a hole about 80-100 cm'. The owner of the suburban Moscow home has refused a settlement equivalent to 3000 euros, explaining that she plans to sue for damages and compensation for moral suffering.

According to AP reports, the Utrecht police dealt with the aftermath of three men running down a local street with their trousers pulled down in back. The police report states that one of the men, age 21, decided to press his buttocks against the window of a restaurant to 'moon' those within. The window broke, leaving him with 'deep wounds'. Officers detained the three men, but the cafe owner declined to press charges, once the mooner agreed to pay for the broken window. The injured man was treated at a local hospital.

Shannon P. Hunter ended up stuck waist-deep in the holding tank of a portable toilet in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. About half an hour later, someone heard his cries for help. After emergency crews freed him - which required cutting the toilet from around him - and after he was decontaminated, he told investigators that he had fallen in while drunk. He shrugged his shoulders when asked why he was wearing no clothes.
Hunter was charged with public drunkenness and creating a health-code violation.

Australia's District Court Judge Peter Zahra was alerted that jurors in a drug conspiracy trial in Sydney were writing vertically rather than taking notes horizontally. Thus it was revealed, 66 days into the trial, that some of the jurors had been completing Sudoku during the testimony, for up to half of the trial. The foreman of the jury said: 'It helps me keep my mind busy paying more attention. Some of the evidence is rather drawn out and I find it difficult to maintain my attention the whole time, and that doesn't distract me too much.' A new trial is expected to begin in a few weeks.

Stephen Shoemaker was supposed to show up at 9:30am on Tuesday for sentencing for drunken driving. He was unable to get a ride to court, and he has no car or driving licence, so he decided to walk. He walked about 40 kilometres before being taken to hospital, where he was treated for dehydration. Shoemaker thus arrived in court several hours late, and his sentencing is to be deferred until July.
Deputy Public Defender Anthony Adams gave him a ride home.

Two 16-year-old boys burgled a home in Fort Bend County, Texas and left in a hurry when one of the neighbours saw them there. When they realised that they had left behind a backpack and mobile telephone, they contacted the police and explained that the items had been stolen by criminals who then left them inside a home they burgled. Police Chief Deputy Craig Brady said that, given that the teens couldn't have known where the backpack and telephone were left unless they were the burglars, the person with the idea of calling the police 'probably isn't the most intelligent juvenile in the area'.

Robert Beckett, the chief prosecutor of Nye County, Nevada, crashed his county-owned car while driving under the influence of alcohol. He was not cited after the crash. Less than six hours later, he crashed another car on the same California highway, again leaving it badly damaged and failing a blood-alcohol test. He was issued a summons for driving while intoxicated and at last report had not responded to calls for comment.

Police lieutenant Dave Caron of Springville, Utah, said that a 17-year-old teenager's pet gerbil escaped from its cage while she was driving on a state highway. While trying to recapture the gerbil, she lost control of the car and hit a woman's truck that was being jump-started at the side of the road. The impact pushed that truck into the truck that was providing the jump start, pinning the woman between the two trucks. She suffered a broken leg. Also ending up with a broken leg was a man helping her with her truck.
The teenager was not charged in connection with the incident, and both she and the gerbil were unharmed.


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