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May 2007

24 May 2007

Someone reported that a worker was dangling 50 metres in the air from a Wyoming electricity tower, so two sheriff's vehicles, a fire rescue unit, and a medical evacuation helicopter were sent to the scene. Dave Neumayer, district manager for the power company, said that the fire and emergency medical services department should have remembered the previous week's training exercise, in which a dummy was suspended from the tower. The dummy's removal had been postponed due to thunderstorms.

McDonald's employees in Camden, Arkansas, were concerned about a driver after waiting 15 minutes for him to drive up from the drive-through order window to the second window to collect his food, so they called the emergency number. Police officer William Mahon said that he found the driver, 32-year-old Terrance Forte, simply asleep in his car. When Mahon woke him, Forte offered him $10 for the food order. Mahon said he then asked for identification. Forte couldn't find his wallet, which he was holding in his hand. Upon failing sobriety tests, Forte was arrested.

Tokyo's Yukio Sakai, 61, was arrested for making 667 prank calls to the city's police in the space of an afternoon. Sakai explained: 'I wanted to consult police over trouble involving my neighbourhood. I had no intention of obstructing police business.' However, in one of the calls he made clear: 'This is Sakai speaking. I'm not calling you over any crime or accident.'

Real-estate agent Linda Chabucos-Galow was showing a house to prospective buyers when she heard a scream from the bedroom. One of her clients had discovered the dead body of the home's owner, 55-year-old Linda O'Leary, lying on the bed. Chabucos-Galow said that the body, which looked like a 'Halloween prop', had been on the bed for the previous two weeks.

Dearborn, Michigan, city council member Doug Thomas said: 'If you're a cop and you're arresting people and you're confiscating the marijuana and keeping it yourself, that's bad.' The officer in question, Edward Sanchez, had his wife bake the drug into brownies. He remained under the radar until he rang 911 to report: 'I think we're dying. We made brownies and I think we're dead. I really do.'
After the emergency call, he initially claimed that his wife had obtained the dope from his car herself but later confessed. The police department decided to allow him to resign from his job and thus avoid prosecution.

Florida's Willie Tarpley, Jr, did not want his children to come in contact with his ex-wife's new boyfriend, convicted sex offender Lee Alexander. Therefore, the 46-year-old Tarpley drove to his former house, grabbed his katana from the garage, and threatened to decapitate Alexander. When Alexander tried to flee, he crashed into Tarpley's Corvette in the driveway, whereupon Tarpley plunged the sword through Alexander's open car window, mortally wounding him.
Both Tarpley and his wife are registered sex offenders themselves. The case involved a woman who worked for Tarpley as a nude dancer: the couple were accused of kidnapping her, beating her, gluing her eyes and genitalia shut, and tattooing a four-letter word on her forehead.

Jazrahel King, 29, brought a Jeep sport utility vehicle to a dealer in Norwalk, Connecticut, in hopes of a trade-in. 'I was left speechless' said sales manager Diego Coleman, who remembered King's visit to the dealership in early March: after failing a credit check, King drove off with a Jeep that had just been sold to someone else. It was that same Jeep that King hoped to trade in. In case there was any doubt, it still bore the dealership's temporary licence plates, and inside were the company's ownership documents.

A woman rang the police in Elk Grove, California, to report that her eight-year-old grandson had taken the keys to the family car and gone for a drive. Officer Chris Trim said that the boy ignored officers' emergency lights and sirens. Police followed him at 40 to 55 km/h for five to 10 minutes, in which time he caused a collision, injuring another driver.
The boy stopped the car at his house, where his mother, Heather Bollinger, greeted officers by hitting them in the chest. Neighbour Sue Wu said: 'The mom just ran out of the house and started fighting with police' and that she was spitting and scratching. Bollinger was arrested, and the boy is in his grandmother's care.

An armed and masked bandit stole $75 and two cartons of cigarettes from a petrol station in Florida. After the police arrived, someone noticed that the robber had left a case leaning against a display rack. Within was a receipt for an AK-47 purchase, bearing the name of Eric Cunningham. Officers arrested the 18-year-old man at his home a few kilometres from the petrol station.

Chicago's Joseph Kalady was good at forging documents, including papers documenting his own death. He, his brother, and a friend also allegedly faked Kalady's death after he lost a federal court appeal of charges of witness tampering in a forgery case. They didn't do a good job at forging the body found in his home: Kalady weighed 200 kilos, but the handyman allegedly killed in his stead was 85 kilos.

While on a costume-party-themed pub crawl with other medical professionals in Florida, Brevard County physician Raymond Adamcik, 54, chose to be Captain America. He also allegedly chose to place a burrito in his blue tights and ask women whether they wanted to touch it. One woman rang the police to report that he groped her when she refused. When officers arrived, an identity parade of the Captain Americas on the pub crawl was held. The woman pointed out Adamcik, whose burrito was found in his boot.
Officers reported that, while in a police holding cell, Captain America removed a marijuana cigarette from his tights and tried to flush it down the toilet. He now faces charges of battery, disorderly conduct, drug possession, and attempting to destroy evidence.

After her third-grade daughter's jacket was stolen at school, a Hillsboro, Oregon, woman decided to look for a replacement on eBay. She found an exact match. Deciding to purchase it, she then noticed that the seller listed a Hillsboro address - and had a name matching one of the teachers at the school. The police arrested 41-year-old first-grade teacher Elizabeth Logan.

Christopher Watts was wanted for violation of the terms of his parole. The 32-year-old Ohio man managed to evade the police and climb onto the roof of a bar. When he then tried to jump to the roof of the dry cleaning company next door, he didn't quite make it over the five-metre-deep gap between the two buildings. He was eventually rescued by the fire department and was listed as being in fair condition at a Dayton hospital.

Also in Ohio, Martin Williamson took Ira Sully's wallet and car keys and locked him in the boot of the car before driving off to withdraw cash with Sully's bank card. Not stolen was Sully's mobile telephone, which he used from inside the car boot to describe the car and Williamson to the police. Not long after, the police freed Sully and arrested the 20-year-old Williamson.

Next year, Paul Provencio will not be returning to his job as a music teacher at Missouri's Carman Trails Elementary School. This is because he insisted on teaching a seven-year-old student not to hit the drums too hard - Provencio, 36, twice had the boy hit himself in the head with drum mallets. In the wake of a state investigation, Provencio apologised.

Another punishable form of punishment took place in Connecticut, where 40-year-old Hector Polido is accused of biting his three-year-old nephew in the chest, stomach, shoulder, back, thigh, leg, and buttocks as a way of enforcing the point that biting people is wrong. The toddler told officers that his uncle had bitten him, whereupon Polido was arrested.

In what some critics suggest might be an attempt to win certain votes, Palerno's city hall hired 110 new bus drivers ahead of the 13-14 May local elections. None of the people hired have a licence to drive a bus. Corriere della Sera quotes a 'source close to the public transport president' as saying: 'At the moment, we can't do anything with them. As long as they have not earned their permits, they are paid but must wait to be assigned.'

Two years ago, Cornwall's John Bandrick was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Told that he would probably die within a year, he quit his job, spent his savings on holidays and restaurant meals, and gave away nearly all of his belongings. Bandrick, 62, is still alive - in part because his 'tumour' was in reality a non-life-threatening inflammation. Bandrick said: 'I'm really pleased that I've got a second chance in life ... but if you haven't got no money after all this, which is my fault - I spent it all - they should pay something back.'
The hospital said that a review of the case showed that the same diagnosis would have been made if the hospital were given a second chance.

Two men in their early 20s decided to vandalise a lift at Norway's Lillestrøm Train Station. Before the unblinking eye of a security camera on a night in late April, they kicked the lift doors until the doors jammed - trapping the two young men inside. Security guards tried to lower the lift, which made the problem worse, so the police and fire department were called in. The two men, of whom National Rail Administration representative Ellen Svendsvoll said 'They couldn't have been thinking much', face criminal charges and more than 12,500 euros in repair costs.

Tennessee's Robert Reid, 43, took his three children to school before driving to work. Several times during the day, the car's internal motion detector went off; seeing no-one near the car, Reid turned it off remotely from the office. After work, Reid returned to his car, to remember that he had forgotten to take one-year-old son Timothy to day care in the morning. Emergency workers reported that the temperature in the car was 142 degrees when the dead toddler was found.

A 50-year-old Milwaukee man told the police that he hadn't planned to rob North Shore Bank but his son had been asking about a bank robbery he'd carried out in 1995 in order to get some ideas on how to go about such a deed. The son told officers that he was a 'good Samaritan' so had planned to split the money with his father.
The father, who waited in the getaway car (in front of a security camera) during the robbery, initially told the police that he had dropped his son off at the bank to use the toilet and then driven off to buy snacks at a local petrol station, but he confessed when officers asked why the son couldn't have used the petrol station toilet.

Sex counsellor and former Japanese porn star Kyoko Teranishi, 49, became upset upon finding out that her boyfriend had chosen another woman, so she visited the home of the new girlfriend - her 14-year-old niece - and beat her for about four hours with a coat hanger. Teranishi apologised afterward, telling investigators that 'it went too far'.

Sergeant Graham McGurk said that someone broke into the police station of Matamata, New Zealand, and accidentally locked himself in a jail cell when a self-closing door self-locked. Officers responded to the station's intruder alarm to find that the miscreant had escaped by smashing the cell window with a wooden chair. Nothing appeared to have been taken in the short-term prisoner's visit.

An elderly driver offered Canadian hitch-hiker Mandy Deschambeault a ride. According to the police for the area near Hawkesbury, the driver stepped out of the car for a moment and Deschambeault, 20, jumped into the driver's seat and drove off. The police report continued: 'She proceeded to lose control of the ... car, crossing the other lane hitting trees.' She was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a story of Mother's Day in Toledo, Ohio, Christine Lewandowski became fed up with a loud one-year-old girl at the table next to her at a crowded buffet-style restaurant, repeatedly complaining and finally shouting 'Shut up!' Witnesses reported that the child's mother, Sylvia Harris, 24, hit the 56-year-old Lewandowski in response. A 10-minute melee erupted. Up to 15 of the 100 diners were involved, and five were arrested. Lewandowski's 90-year-old mother was still in hospital at last report.
Harris claims that she was defending herself and her daughter after the Lewandowski family threatened her with a steak knife. Henry Vernon said that he turned around when 'I heard [a woman at Ms Harris's table] say: "What are you going to do with that knife?"' but 'all [Lewandowski] was doing was buttering her bread.' Also angering Harris was that Lewandowski, who apparently had been offered a different table, said that Harris's children were acting like animals - a 'racial' remark.

Mainichi Shimbun tells us of Hiroshi Nishizaki, who was upset that someone built another house next door to his Osaka flat and thus ruined his view. Nishizaki retaliated by pouring bottles or pots of his urine on the new building on at least 169 occasions since late 2004. After being caught on film by his neighbour, the 46-year-old Nishizaki admitted to the allegations of causing damage to a structure (requiring replacement of part of the outer wall). On one day, he stained the house nine separate times.

The plan was that Duane Haffner would call in a bomb threat and describe Leotis Sylvester Allen, and that the police would be vigorous in taking down Allen, and that Allen could then sue them. What ended up happening is that detectives recognised Haffner's voice and traced the call to the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre where Haffner and Allen were staying. Haffner, who received $25 from Allen for placing the telephone call, also was given five years in prison for making a terroristic threat. Allen, 22, was given a four-year sentence.
County prosecutor Morley Swingle is quoted as saying of the case: 'My feeling is that 9-11 took all the humor out of bomb threats.'

After being arrested for manufacturing various foods that count marijuana among their ingredients, Kenneth Affolter was heard reporting by telephone that not all of his illegal gains had been found. But that money, too, could be in danger - the Hershey Co. are seeking $100,000 in damages in a trademark-related lawsuit because Affolter named his candies things like 'Stoney Rancher' and 'Rasta Reese's'. The suit accuses Affolter, 40, of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.

The Houston Chronicle reports on John Dominguez, 21, who fled his apartment when sheriff's officers arrived to investigate a disturbance. The officers entered through the open door and found a marijuana-growing operation in a closet. Dominguez's flat-mate was found hiding in the loo. Dominguez didn't make it far but, before being handcuffed, he did hide the joint he was smoking. Officers found it quickly: still burning, in his pocket.


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