anna's archive anna's archive anna's archive

June 2014

11 June 2014

According to UPI reports, a care home in Hove contacted the Sussex police to report an 89-year-old man missing. Trying to work out where he might be, staff recalled having denied him permission to attend the 70th-anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings. Their suspicions were confirmed when one of the man's fellow veterans rang the care home to report him safe in Normandy. The police promised to chat with him upon his return, to make sure that he is well.

[IMG: Downed drone] Russian border guards captured a low-flying unmanned aircraft in the Kaliningrad region, headed for the border with Lithuania. The aeroplane, which had a four-metre wingspan, was flying between GPS waypoints and had been programmed to release cartons of contraband cigarettes at designated locations. While the body of the aircraft, estimated to have cost about eight euros to build, was not 'some kind of supermodel', it could have brought a thousand euros of profit per flight, according to FSB press-service chief Oleg Dzhurayev. It was carrying 10 kilos of Russian smokes.

Danielle Shea was nervous before graduation. After her mother arrived at Connecticut's Quinnipiac University for the ceremony, this cap-and-gown-clad 22-year-old took a moment apart from them to use her phone: she called in two bomb threats so that the ceremony would be cancelled. Shea later explained that she had 'panicked' when relatives noticed that her name wasn't on the list of graduating seniors. She had actually dropped out of her university studies but not wanted to admit it.
The ceremony went ahead after a 90-minute delay.

Alexander Selvik Wengshoel, 25, is a Norwegian artist whose deformed hip was recently replaced with a metal one. He decided to use the bone and a video of its removal in his final project at the Tromsø Academy of Art. Boiling off the remnants of flesh first, he says, he decided that, since 'it's not every day I will have a piece of human flesh which is mine and which it is possible to eat, [...] I had a little taste and then I thought that's really nice'. He reported eating the meat, which he described as akin to wild sheep, with potatoes and wine.
He said: 'It had been so hard to have it in my body, and when I took it out, it turned into something else, something romantic.'

Charity Johnson faked her ID documents when enrolling as a sophomore at a Christian high school in Longview, Texas. She told school officials that she'd been home-schooled so had no records from previous educational institutions. As abused orphan 'Charite Stevens', she was given food, housing, and a haircut by local woman Tamica Lincoln, who soon changed her mind for unknown reasons and reported that she no longer wanted the girl living with her.
It emerged in the ensuing investigation that Stevens was Johnson and that Johnson is 31 years old, not 15. As for the reason she was posing as a studious teenager, the principal said: "Nobody seems to know why."

When a man stormed into Miyo Koba's shop in Moses Lake, Washington, and ordered her to open the till, her response was: 'If you don't get your hands off the till, I'm going to stab you with my scissors.' He replied by getting out a metre-long-sword and knocking Koba to the floor. From there, the 89-year-old Koba was able to hit him in the legs with a golf club. The man beat a hasty retreat, dropping the till and taking off on his BMX bike. He also took off all of his clothes. He has not yet been found.

In New York, David Bastar made off with a bakery's delivery truck while its driver was dropping off bread at a pizzeria. According to AP reports, Bastar, wearing only his underwear, then began making his own deliveries, stopping at random businesses to drop off, in total, about 3,500 euros' worth of baguettes and other products. Bastar was later arrested at LaGuardia Airport, after another motorist reported that someone was tailgating him. He has been charged with criminal possession of stolen goods and driving without a licence.
The owner of Grimaldi's Home of Bread, Joe Grimaldi, said: 'It's a bizarre incident, but nothing happened to the truck. No one was hurt. There was no damage. I got my truck back.'

A man from France entered a London-area jewellery shop to look at engagement rings with the woman and baby accompanying him. Half an hour later, he returned to steal the rings, a pattern he is suspected to have followed with other London-area jewellers. He got away with about 23,000 euros' worth of jewellery but was kind enough to give rather than merely take: he left behind his mobile phone, which even had a photograph of him as the screensaver. He is Germain Ibrahim Fofana, 27, and is in trouble.

Valeria Aguirre is a sanitary control inspector in Argentina who made the mistake of discovering, during a routine inspection, that a truck driver wasn't storing his cargo at an acceptable temperature. When she and a colleague told the driver that they would be retaining his desserts, he decided to retain the inspectors instead. He locked them in the back of the truck and drove off. The two inspectors rang co-workers, who, in turn, contacted the police. The truck was stopped after three kilometres or so, and the shivering inspectors were released while the driver was arrested.

[IMG: Ming Shao at station] Eye on Taiwan reports that Ming Shao, 29, decided to change into his live-action role-playing garb before getting on a Taipei metro train, rather than carry it and change after meeting up with his friends, other wargamers. He entered the metro station with a fake weapon and wearing a military-style survivalist uniform and night-vision helmet. This comes a week after a stabbing spree on the same metro line, in which three people were killed and 25 others wounded.
Authorities, who reported that 'if he had twitched or looked the wrong way, he would have been dead because our priority was to protect the innocent civilians on that train', had him go home and change his clothes.

Randy Eno Mase, a 19-year-old from Wilmington, Delaware, was pulled over for speeding, but he didn't want to stay stopped for long. While officers were speaking with him, he tried to drive off, but a police officer opened the passenger-side door and sat down. In the end, Mase decided to drive off anyway. In the end, the officer was able to stop the car, and Mase now faces quite a few more charges than just speeding.

Before a Massachusetts court, former US football player Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty of killing two strangers. In the 2012 incident, two men were dancing at a nightclub when one bumped into Hernandez, thereby spilling the ex-tight-end's drink. Hernandez and a friend then left for another club. Allegedly, however, Hernandez couldn't let the matter go and got into his car again, driving around until he saw the drink-spiller's party in a car at a red light. He opened fire, shooting his target and another man dead while wounding a third person in the vehicle.
Hernandez, 24, also faces charges for the 2013 fatal shooting of a semi-professional American football player who was dating Herndandez's fiancée's sister.

[IMG: Pylon in road] A developer planned a road for China's Henan Province without being aware of an electricity pylon that had been standing in the area since 2007. The route for the road had it intersect with the transmission tower, and those paid to lay the road asked no questions. The electricity company and road-developers are currently in talks to work out what should be done.

For a couple of months, Alabama's Marissa Williams, 19, had been living at her aunt's home, to which she has invited people she met on Facebook. When her aunt forbade such behaviour, Williams blocked her on Facebook, so the aunt created a new Facebook persona to keep tabs on her and perhaps teach her the dangers of interacting with strangers online.
On the first day Williams and Tre 'Topdog' Ellis chatted, she invited 'him' over to get drunk with her and offered sex in exchange for payment of her phone bill. Then she began describing a plan to leave the state: Ellis would pretend to kidnap her, and, if her aunt or other family members tried to stop him, he would shoot them. Her plan grew more elaborate, and she was soon telling 'Ellis' how to get into her aunt's bedroom, to kill her first and shoot the family dog on the way out, etc.
Her aunt contacted the police, and Williams was booked into the Tuscaloosa County Jail, charged with soliciting murder. She might now know some of the dangers of interacting with strangers online.

Anthony James Wittner, a 17-year-old from Minnesota, has admitted to starting a forest fire that burned 30 hectares of land. After initially blaming someone else for the wildfire, the Cass Lake youth explained to investigators that he had been harassed by mosquitoes, which had laid eggs in the woods after heavy rains and a heat wave. Residents of 10 dwellings were evacuated while firefighters dealt with the flames. It is believed that at least some of the mosquitoes escaped unharmed.

Malcolm Fox was cycling along a trail in Cape Town when a gun-toting man accosted him and told him to dismount his mountain bike. Two other men soon appeared and helped the first to relieve Fox of his mobile phone and bicycle. Fox was left alone apart from his helmet. And the attached GoPro camera. After reviewing the footage of the mugging, Western Cape police spokesman Andre Traut said, the police were able to arrest three suspects in the days that followed and recovered Fox's belongings.

John Murphy told Andrew Weinstock: 'If you want to fight, let's go out back and I'll just beat your ass.' When public defender Weinstock took Brevard County Judge Murphy up on the offer, going out into the courtroom hallway, the judge began punching him in the head. Deputies separated the two men.
The altercation stemmed from the judge's frustration at Weinstock's refusal to waive his client's right to a speedy trial in view of a busy schedule. Murphy had asked Weinstock to 'stop pissing me off'.
Murphy has agreed to seek anger-management counselling and take a temporary leave of absence.

West Midlands Police report on a woman who rang the emergency number for what, she explained, 'doesn't seem like much of an emergency but it is a little bit'. The owner of an ice-cream van didn't distribute sprinkles evenly around her ice cream, she explained, and 'he's refusing to give me my money back and saying I've got to take it like that'. Although the call was brief, Chief Superintendent Jim Andronov said: 'If someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life-or-death emergency, then a minute is a very long time to wait.'

Mechanic Dan Thompson saw a Google Street View car doing the rounds near his garage in Edinburgh. That gave him enough time to stage a scene of him lying on the road while a colleague held the handle of a pickaxe over him. He explains: 'There are pictures of men on Google flashing their bums, but we thought we would be more classy.'
About a year later, he said, 'two uniformed officers came down to the garage to interview us [in response to a report from a member of the public]. They were treating it seriously at first - I was mortified because we didn't want to waste police time.' The 56-year-old Thompson said that, in the end, the police 'thought it was hilarious'.

Darin Simak, a seven-year-old at Pennsylvania's Martin Elementary School, left his school backpack in a friend's car, so his mother packed a spare bag for him. When he arrived at school, he noticed that she had left a toy gun in the outside pocket, so he took it to a teacher, explaining: 'I'm not supposed to have this.' Following protocol, the teacher informed the principal, who responded by suspending the boy. Simak's mother sent him to school anyway, since 'he is entitled to be in school and be educated', and he was kept in the office.
School policy states that 'the school district shall expel for a period of not less than one (1) year' any student who brings a weapon or replica thereof onto school property, though it allows case-specific exceptions.
The boy's father, Chris Simak, said: 'What was he supposed to do? [...]. Just hide it and keep it in his bag so he doesn't get in trouble? We're trying to teach him the right way, and now they're teaching him the wrong way.'

A woman was sitting at the ferry terminal in Bremerton, Washington, when someone hit her on the back of the head and snatched her handbag and iPod. She didn't get a good look at the man but did notice a triangular tattoo on his neck. The next day, she received a Facebook friend notification from Riley Allen Mullins, whose profile photo displayed a familiar triangle-shaped tattoo. She contacted the authorities, and Mullins, 28, has been charged with second-degree robbery.

The BBC reports on a pair of thieves from the Swiss canton of Lucerne: the husband kept watch while the wife went into churches to empty their collection boxes. The two, ages 70 and 73, thus amassed hundreds of euros' worth of ill-gotten gains over several months. Reportedly relatively well off financially, they explained that a sense of boredom and the adrenaline rush from 'the pleasure of the forbidden' were a strong motivating factor in their crimes.

In March, three State University of New York at New Paltz students went to a Salvation Army shop to buy a second-hand sofa and chair for their flat. Several weeks later, one of them, Reese Werkhoven, decided to sort out the problem with the sofa's lumpy arms once and for all. He unzipped the upholstery on one of the arms and found a bubble-wrapped package inside, containing the equivalent of 3,000 euros in cash. Flat-mate Cally Guasti recalls: 'We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes', and the cash total was about 10 times that. Later, Guasti found that the sofa also contained a bank deposit slip with a woman's name on it. The sofa's former owner was a 91-year-old widow, who told them: 'I have a lot of money in that couch and I really need it.' Her family had donated the sofa to the Salvation Army while she'd been experiencing health problems.

After attending a concert in Florida, Matthew Heller noticed that someone had 'torn apart' his truck, which he uses for his air-horn business. He said that 'the horns weren't working; all the electronics were ripped out', the panelling was scratched, etc., but a tiny piece of paper revealed that he didn't have a burglar to thank. The note explained: 'The vehicle was searched For marijuana due to a strong odor coming from the passenger side of the vehicle. Any questions call [phone number].' No drugs were found. The Tampa Police Department responded: 'While the search is legal, it is not typical.'

Several people in Santa Fe, New Mexico, rang the emergency services to report that vandals had shot at their cars. One of the victims went further and began a car chase with the BB-gun-carrying teenaged miscreants as they drove away. This prompted another 911 call, reporting that a vehicle 'has been following us and we're scared it's armed or something'. Another of the youths told the dispatcher: 'Every time we speed up, that car speeds up and tries to keep up with us.' These reports made it rather easy for officers to locate and arrest the teenagers: 18-year-old Luciano Romero, 18, and three friends who are minors.

In the Florida flat they share, Lorenzo Ramirez and girlfriend Marisol Morales, both 19, began to argue. Morales announced that she was going to sleep separately from Ramirez, then became more irate when he refused to help her drag the bed into the kitchen. She grabbed a bottle of maple syrup and attempted to empty it onto the bed; however, he poured it over her head. She retaliated by squirting ketchup at Morales. After both punished the flat a bit, Marisol contacted law enforcement officers.
Arriving on the scene, a Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputy concluded that Ramirez 'had initiated the battery by pouring syrup on Morales' and arrested him.

Because his dog was acting agitated at 4am, a man in Jõhvi, Estonia, went out to figure out why. He came across two would-be burglars at his window with a crowbar. Spotting that they had been spotted, they took off running. However, the man had handled similar situations before, and so had his dog - both work for the Border Guard. The dog, Quasy, quickly tracked down one of the men, who was later arrested, while the second remained at large.

Philadelphia's Ronald Galati, Sr, gave customers at his car-repair shop some additional service. He suggested that they tell their insurance company that they had struck a deer rather than another vehicle; that way, the customer's premium wouldn't rise. Galati's help went further: in the back of his garage, he kept blood, fur, and dead deer.
He needed a bit of help with his scheme, it seems: facing related charges are 40 other people, from members of Galati's family to tow-truck drivers, insurance adjusters, and a police officer.

Want more?

Follow the link for earlier clippings.
Want later clippings? Take a look at the July pile.

Go to the Clippings index page

Go to Anna's main index page

© 2014 Anna Shefl