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March 2009

11 March 2009

The Miami Herald reports that Mark Rimkufski was running late for his flight from Florida to Los Angeles. When told that the gate had closed, he flashed his 'Fisher Island Chief of Police' badge and explained that he was an air marshal. Employees therefore stopped the plane and let him on the plane. However, the air marshals on board recognised his badge as a fake (whether they knew there is no Fisher Island police department is unknown) and kicked him off the flight.
Not wishing this to be the end of it, the man visited an airport bar, where he began making a fuss about missing his flight. Airport police then arrested him, and he has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer.

A 42-year-old Japanese man has been arrested in connection with about 290 thefts. Tokyo police report that Yasuhiro Niwa was caught unscrewing the nameplate from the entrance of a 75-year-old man's house. Subsequently, hundreds more nameplates were found in Niwa's home. He explained to the police that he 'loved to collect nameplates of rare names' and would find interesting names in the telephone book. He would then simply pay a visit to the relevant addresses, in at least three prefectures.

Philadelphia's Mark Arabia had ordered tropical fish and salt water to be sent to his Pets Plus store by air cargo. Instead he received a human corpse. After some investigation, it emerged that the body, of a man with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, had been destined for a laboratory in a nearby town. US Airways apologised and blamed the problem on verbal miscommunication between a delivery driver and the cargo representative. Thanks to the mixup, the fish now are dead as well.

In 2003, Muzzammil Hassan and wife Aasiya Zubair Hassan heard a radio talk show that featured negative comments about American Muslims. This inspired them to found Bridges TV, a satellite-based channel aimed at portraying Muslims in a more positive light. Last month, the 44-year-old Muzzammil generated media attention that undid some of that work, when his wife filed for divorce on account of a history of domestic violence. In one incident that she didn't report at the time, her husband had tried to run her off the road while their two children were passengers in her car.
When filing for divorce, she obtained a protection order barring him from the family home. The couple still worked together at Bridges TV, however, and this is where he led police to her decapitated body a few days later. He is on trial for second-degree murder and other charges.

When a woman told Troy Brisport that she had nowhere to stay, he brought her to his Toledo, Ohio, home. After she fell asleep, he undressed her, fitted her with a gag and adult diaper, and handcuffed her wrists and ankles. For the next three days, he read Bible passages to her and on occasion tried to suffocate her with a pillow and blanket. She managed to escape while Brisport was sleeping, and he was arrested and charged with kidnapping and felonious assault.

In Japan, nightclub host Toshiaki Fujimoto, 31, has been convicted in connection with the death of another nightclub host, 25-year-old Jin Yanagida. On the fateful night, Fujimoto visited Yanagida's competing nightclub as a customer. Presiding Judge Wataru Kitamura summarised the events there as follows: 'The defendant intimidated the victim to drink alcohol by yelling at him, and the victim, as a host, could not refuse drinking with a customer.' After drinking more than a litre of shochu distilled liquor in less than half an hour, Yanagida suffered cardiac arrest. He died a week later. Fujimoto has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Also in Japan, a television station in search of a feel-good story asked officials in Uruma, Okinawa, to help them locate a woman who was born in March 1894. When a city official rang the woman's home and asked to speak to her, her grandson Shigemori Isa replied that 'she's not here now'. The city decided to investigate further, and the police discovered that the woman had died in 1975. In the 29 years since then, Isa and his wife have collected the equivalent of 75,000 euros in welfare payments for her. They have been arrested for fraud.

Shanghai Daily reports on an entrepreneur from Qingdao who supported five mistresses. When business became more difficult, the man, identified by the surname Fan, decided to keep only one mistress, so he staged a competition among the five women. At a hotel, they were judged on their looks, singing and speaking, and ability to drink alcohol, with Fan and a modelling instructor as the judges.
One of the jilted women, 29-year-old Yu, offered to take the others and Fan on a tour of scenic Laoshan Mountain before returning to her home province in December. It was here that she drove Fan and her four former co-mistresses off a cliff. She alone died, and no foul play was suspected. The case became public when Yu's parents found her letter of explanation.
All of the mistresses, and Yu's wife, have now left him, and he has paid Yu's parents a cash settlement.

Some people sell scrap metal to support a drugs habit. One of them is 38-year-old plumber Daniel Rushton. In several Pennsylvania counties, Rushton liberated chrome-plated and brass pipes from urinals and commodes in suburban restaurants, to sell as scrap. Surveillance camera footage shows that it takes Rushton about four minutes to shut off the water and remove the pipes before he somehow makes his way out of a restaurant with them.

According to officials in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the pastor of Harmony Baptist Church noticed that a visiting gospel singer and his female companion weren't wearing wedding rings, so he asked whether they are married. This angered the woman, who is the singer's wife and agent.
Shortly after the singer performed at a service there, a fire alarm went off at the church. Firefighters discovered that 10 propane burners on a commercial stove in the church hall had been turned to their maximum setting and a roll of kitchen towel left nearby. The woman has been charged with attempted arson.

A nine-year-old boy in the town of Oregon, Wisconsin, wrote a school essay on the 'painful afternoon my Dad shot me with a BB gun'. After the teacher handed the essay in to the police, the boy's 36-year-old father explained that he had indeed shot the boy, because the boy had been blocking his view of the television set and wasn't moving out of the way quickly enough. The father, who acknowledged that 'it was a very stupid decision', explained that he did aim for his son's rear pocket, which he figured would have more padding. He is still being charged with felonious child abuse, however.

An 18-year-old man entered a bank in Camden, Arkansas, with plans to exchange $88 in five-cent coins for paper money. This clever plot would have had a better chance of success if he had remembered to remove the unloaded pistol and its ammunition from the bag of nickels first.
The police officers called in by the bank obtained a search warrant for the man's home, where they found several items from a recent burglary, including eight firearms. Also, many of the nickels were from a stolen coin collection. According to police captain Scott Rosson, the man had planned to sell the gun at a pawn shop.

Some readers may recall Vassilis Palaiokostas, who escaped from a Greek maximum-security prison in 2006 with the aid of helicopters. He was arrested again last summer in connection with the kidnapping of an industrialist, thanks to the ransom money being marked, and was placed in the same Athens jail to await trial.
History has repeated itself. A police official has told Reuters: 'Palaiokostas and his Albanian accomplice escaped from Korydallos prison by helicopter. The helicopter was then found in the northern Athens suburb of Kapandriti but there was no trace of the fugitives.' Police think there's a point in looking for him again.

According to Germany's Südwest Presse, a dentist is in trouble for his debt collection procedures. When a woman didn't pay her share of the 700-euro bill for her top and bottom dentures, the 57-year-old dentist visited her home in Ludwigsfeld and forcibly removed the false teeth from her mouth. The dentist has been found guilty of assault and fined 6,000 euros. The 35-year-old woman has stated that she does not plan to wear dentures ever again.

Police in the Czech town of Frýdek-Místek stopped a car because the 50-year-old driver showed signs of intoxication. The man surrendered his driving licence to the police, locked the car, and left with his wife. About two hours later, however, he was back, so that his wife could drive them both home. According to a police spokesman, 'officers then incidentally stopped them on the other side of town', where a breath test showed the woman to be even more drunk than her husband had been.

Brandy and Paul Romero posted adverts in an attempt to sell their cockatoo for $1500. One person who responded is trucker Donna Greenwell. She explained that, while she didn't have enough money for the bird, she would offer her two children and $175.
When the Romeros contacted the police, it emerged also that the children aren't even Greenwell's. The offspring of a woman who is on the run from the law, they have stayed with various families in the last few years. Investigator Keith Dupre says that the children are now living with a temporary foster family rather than the 51-year-old Greenwell, who is a convicted paedophile.

Lieutenant Roger Cadrin of the Hyannis, Massachusetts, fire department reports on a man who sought help for his burns at 4:40am. Patrick Larue, 24, walked into the fire station and explained that he burned himself after starting a fire in his rental car to keep warm. He explained that, when he began to feel dizzy, he had put out the fire and noticed the burns. Firefighters reported that the car was 'heavily damaged'.

12 March 2009

A school-bus driver in Virginia has been placed on paid leave and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, all because of an announcement she made over the bus's PA system. When two students on her bus started arguing loudly, the 34-year-old driver offered to give varying amounts of cash to the other passengers if they would throw snowballs at one of the boys, age 13, or stuff snow down his shirt. Several students threw snowballs, but there is no word as to whether she gave them the money.

Minutes after handling a domestic disturbance call, police in Omaha, Nebraska, returned to the home when they realised there was a drugs-related warrant out for one of the residents. They found this resident, Acea Schomaker, smoking marijuana from a box-like homemade bong. In the 30-by-15-centimetre clear box that formed the bong's base was a six-month-old cat.
The 20-year-old Schomaker explained that he had simply wanted to use a tried-and-true procedure to calm down the cat. He said that his girlfriend had taken in the animal from abusive friends and that he didn't want to hit it or take it to the humane society when it began to bite and scratch. Both he and his girlfriend are being charged with cruelty to animals, and the cat has been removed from their home.

Reuters reports on a wheelchair-bound man who was stopped by customs officials after his flight from Chile to Spain. Officers determined that the cast on the 66-year-old man's broken leg was made entirely of cocaine. Also, his luggage contained two folding stools and six cans of beer, all of which had cocaine within. In total, police confiscated about five kilos of the drug. They believe that the man or his accomplices may have broken the leg on purpose for his journey.

In Ohio, a motorist reported 39-year-old mother Genine Compton for dangerous driving. Police used the licence plate number to track her down and arrested her for talking on the telephone and breast-feeding an infant while driving. Compton has pleaded not guilty to charges of child endangering and unlawful child restraint. She explained that she simply wouldn't let her child go hungry.

Canadian motorist Desiderio Fortunato explained his recent standoff with a US border inspection official as a matter of politeness. The 54-year-old British Colombia resident explains that, when a border officer in Washington told him to turn off his engine, Fortunato asked him to say 'please' first. The officer repeated himself, and so did Fortunato. When this sequence had repeated itself a few times, the officer kept his promise that he would pepper-spray Fortunato if he wouldn't turn his car off. Fortunato was detained for about three hours. The use of force is under review.

A group of pole vaulters headed to Melbourne for the IAAF World Athletics Tour meet were refused permission to send their 5.2-metre poles via Sydney Airport's oversized-luggage area. Paul Burgess said that, as a result, he 'broke the airport'.
Burgess explained: 'We were taking the poles down the escalator and Steve [Hooker] was behind me and I saw this overhanging glass sign ahead. I put my poles down to miss it and then turned and said to Steve: "Don't hit the pane of glass", and as I said that my poles hit this plaster wall and went into the ceiling.' Plaster poured down. Someone on the escalator pressed the emergency stop button to avoid snapping of the poles, which were wedged into the step of the escalator. The men were on their way 45 minutes later after a technician reversed the escalator.

Florida McDonald's customer Latreasa L. Goodman was told that there were no Chicken McNuggets left, so she rang the emergency services. She explained to the police: 'This is an emergency. If I would have known they didn't have McNuggets, I wouldn't have given my money, and now she wants to give me a McDouble, but I don't want one.' Apparently not satisfied with the dispatcher's response, she rang twice more with regard to the same emergency.
Goodman must appear in court on a charge of misuse of the 911 emergency number, and McDonald's have issued a refund of her money and apologised for the inconvenience.

In 1987, Richard Wiley of Illinois was sentenced to 30 years in prison for stabbing his wife to death, despite his claims to have 'intermittent explosive disorder'. He was released in 2000 for good behaviour and later that year married church secretary Kathryn Motes, who accepted him as a changed man. The minister at the wedding, Rev. Cynthia Zolk, says that she had expressed concerns to Motes 'because of the speed in which they got married following his release from prison' but Motes reassured her that 'I have played out every scenario that I can possibly think of, and I think I can deal with it'.
In the scenario that played out recently, Wiley sawed off the barrel of her son Christopher's muzzle-loading Civil War long gun, then fatally shot her with it, and Christopher as well. A day later, Wiley killed himself, leaving behind a 40-page suicide note that contained what police described as 'hints of remorse'.

Authorities in Georgia say that they caught 25-year-old Harry Jackson trying to sneak into the Camden County jail. Jackson had just popped out of jail for a while - he'd opened a door to the exercise yard and climbed the outer fence - to steal a few packs of cigarettes from a nearby convenience store. He has been arrested and returned to jail.

China's Xinhua News Agency reports that a 13-year-old boy jumped into the driver's seat of a bus in downtown Beijing while the driver was using the toilet at a terminal. The boy hurtled through traffic until hitting a car and minibus. When the driver of that car approached to talk to him, the teenager reversed the bus, crashing into 10 parked vehicles, one of which was sent through the front of a clinic. Two power poles were annihilated also. Police are trying to locate the boy's guardians.

Shawn Thomas Lester, 33, decided to rob a store in Charleston, West Virginia. He told the clerk that he had a gun and wanted the contents of the till. When someone else entered the store, the clerk asked him to pay for his soft drink, so Lester handed over his debit card. He apparently figured that signing the receipt 'John Doe' would suffice for maintaining his anonymity. It didn't. Lester left without any cash and later told the police that he had been joking when he demanded the money.

Jennifer Morris gave birth at a Massachusetts hospital and wanted something more than a newborn baby to take home with her. Therefore, the 36-year-old Morris snatched another new mother's handbag on her way out of the maternity ward and fled. She was arrested the next day, after she'd sold the other woman's mobile telephone and camera in order to be able to buy some crack cocaine.

If you are going to buy fake OxyContin pills from an undercover police officer, what better to pay with than fake money? Unicoi County, Tennessee, police investigator Frank Rogers said that the undercover officer met with the 21-year-old suspect and another man at a trailer park for the deal, which was to involve $4,875 and 76 pills. Officers said that the money was 'obviously bad money' - some of the notes were printed on only one side.

According to the Baltimore police blotter, a 58-year-old was upset at his teenaged son for refusing to remove his hat when the two were at church. After the church service, the father collected a knife from a car, stabbed his 19-year-old son in the left buttock, and fled. The son was taken to hospital for treatment, and a warrant is out for the father's arrest.

Police in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, were able to catch a theft suspect because he'd left behind a burglary tool. Specifically, 34-year-old Kristopher G. Lehnhardt apparently had tried to use his library card to unlock a tavern door. The attempt failed, but the library card remained. Police believe Lehnhardt ended up slashing a window screen to enter the bar and steal a little over four cases of beer. He faces charges of theft and property damage.

22 March 2009

Police in Rhode Island report that Aleyda Uceta was upset to hear that her 11-year-old son was to be suspended from school for three days. Her reaction to the news was to punch Principal Rudolph Moseley, Jr, in the face and bite his left arm. The 30-year-old Uceta was upset also to learn that she was to be arrested for the attack, so she bit the arresting officer. She faces a range of charges.

According to Wisconsin's Journal Sentinel, two robbers successfully liberated cash and gems from a Milwaukee jewellery shop. They didn't get far, however. According to police lieutenant Thomas Welch, a group of at least four street thieves accosted the robbers and, after a fight, took the loot and drove off. The robbers gave chase. Both carloads of people were arrested, but the cash and jewellery items have not yet been recovered.

Vermont's Marcel Fournier posed for photos with the deer he had shot, and then he headed to a local market to check in the kill. He made the mistake of doing this at night, when deer-hunting is illegal. Also, game warden David LeCours said, the antlers weren't the right size for the deer. That was probably because, to avoid getting in trouble for shooting a doe, Fournier had used bolts and epoxy to attach a large set of antlers to the dead deer's head.
The 19-year-old Fournier, who later said he'd had 'quite a time' drilling and attaching the antlers, was sentenced to 10 days in jail, fined $400, and forbidden from licensed hunting for three years.

Citing the Chongqing Evening News, Reuters reports that police officers in south-west China have begun serving raw chili peppers at service stops on regional motorways, to counteract the sleepiness that they believe occurs more often in springtime. Among the supporters of the policy is lorry driver Chen Jun, who explained: 'It's really good to have some hot peppers when you are tired from driving. They make you alert.'

A Washington state trooper stopped a commuter in a Bellevue car-pool lane because the passenger wasn't wearing a seat belt. Patrol spokeswoman Christina Martin said it was only then that the trooper had a good look at the passenger - who consisted of a rain jacket draped over plastic piping, with a Gandalf Halloween mask for a face and sporting a baseball cap. The trooper confiscated the dummy and fined the driver $124.

Less than an hour after being placed in a cell at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Paul Duran was found beaten to death. Apparently at fault was the other occupant of the cell, James Dalton - in whose trial for murder Duran had turned state's evidence. Prison officials said that all co-defendants should be listed as 'separatees' and not placed in the same cell. There will be an investigation.

Coming in for a landing in the Philippines, a Cebu Pacific aeroplane carrying 80 passengers nearly collided with unexpected traffic on the runway. Seconds from touchdown, the pilot took off again, to avoid running into a van driven by Frisco Santo Domingo, Jr, who later explained that he had been teaching his girlfriend how to drive.
Albay governor Joey Salceda said he has advised the airport manager, Frisco Santo Domingo, Sr, to retire.
Tower supervisor George Raquion said Domingo and his girlfriend had probably not heard the landing-warning siren because they were listening to music.

Two men in Rocklin, California, approached a bowling lane at the same time and couldn't see eye to eye about who should take his turn first. The police report that the result was a brawl involving the men and their friends. The climax of the fight was a 24-year-old man being hit in the face with a full-weight bowling ball. He was treated in hospital, and his tooth was reinserted. The man responsible for his injuries was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Police were called in to resolve a domestic disturbance that erupted in Overland Park, Kansas, when a woman found out that her husband was married to the resident of another flat in the building. Charles L. Clemens, Jr, was splitting his time between the woman he'd married 22 years ago and a woman he wedded in 2006 with the aid of his father's identity. In addition to the bigamy, Clemens is accused of stealing jewellery and money from his second wife.

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