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May 2019

13 May 2019

In preparation for a fishing competition involving 300 children, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks hired a contractor to stock a lake in the town of Tupelo with 1,700 catfish. Most children went home empty-handed and with memories of dead fish floating to the surface of Veterans Park Lake. After the competition, city workers skimmed out 1,000 dead fish, which had developed a bacterial infection from having been packed too tightly in the delivery truck. Referring also to oxygen deprivation and mutually inflicted injuries among the fish, Tupelo parks and recreation director Alex Farned said: 'Sometimes the lowest bid is not the best bid.' The state's fisheries staff have agreed to restore the lake's catfish population once the situation has stabilised.

Italian plain-clothes officers followed a man they had seen drive to Verano Monumental Cemetery at breakneck speed. They watched him enter a chapel and remove the slab from a burial recess, then rummage around and leave. After he left the scene, officers checked the chamber and found weighing scales, cocaine, and drugs paraphernalia within. A handgun and ammunition were tucked behind another loose gravestone.
The man paying his respects to a kilo of cocaine was later identified as a 42-year-old marble worker who makes gravestones. He has been arrested.

Long-time reader Dave alerts us to the case of Missouri teaching assistant Deonte Taylor, one of whose charges reported having been removed from class thrice in 2015 in order to fellate Taylor. Though the seven-year-old boy made his accusations promptly, the case languished after the assigned detective was reassigned. On the strength of DNA evidence, the 36-year-old Taylor was jailed in November, after having received his teaching certificate and passed the associated background checks.
In February, an inmate soon due for release reported that Taylor had asked him to kill the boy and his mother. Taylor's boyfriend, 66-year-old Michael Johnson, allegedly made a payment for the hit, so he too faces charges.

Settlement arrangements are in progress in the case of a 33-year-old former Oklahoma inmate who suffered a 91-hour erection while in the Pittsburg County jail. Dustin Lance, who sued the current sheriff, the previous sheriff, the county, and various others for $5 million, contends that jailors' failure to procure prompt medical attention for his painful erection has permanently harmed him. The defendants counter that treatment was timely but that multiple facilities had to be consulted before medics could alleviate the erection, which had been caused by a pill provided by another inmate.

A 40-year-old man lived with his parents in Michigan for 10 months after his divorce, then moved out and asked them to deliver his property to his new home back in Indiana. They sent everything except his 12 boxes of pornographic videos and magazines. An e-mail exchange followed in which his comment 'If you had a problem with my belongings, you should have stated that at the time and I would have gone elsewhere' allegedly received the response that 'I would have done the same if I had found a kilo of crack cocaine. Someday, I hope you will understand.' He has sued his parents for a little over $86,000, three times the estimated worth he cited for the porn collection.

Wyoming's Gillette News Record reports on a 36-year-old man's visits to Sportsman's Warehouse. On his first visit, the man bought some items, using a customer-loyalty card, but apparently walked out with others - sunglasses and ammunition - without paying for them. According to police reports, he returned a few hours later and asked to fill out a job application. He also took the opportunity to walk out of the sporting goods shop with two more pairs of sunglasses. His decisions on those visits led to him being identified without difficulty, and the items were recovered.

Virginia's News & Advance reports on an argument at a family dinner between 56-year-old Mark Edwin Turner and his girlfriend's adult son. The raised words, about whether Ford or Chevrolet vehicles are better, led to a raised knife, held by Turner. He ended up shooting the other man, in addition to which Turner's girlfriend received five gunshot wounds, none of them serious, for trying to de-escalate matters. Also present was the son's own girlfriend, who was hit in the back and cheek by Turner's ricocheting bullets.
Turner barricaded himself in the Bedford home for hours before the police were able to shoot him with a bean bag, extract him, determine him to be a 'heavily intoxicated' felon in possession of a firearm, and place him under arrest.

Not to be outdone, Florida offers the next item, passed along by regular contributor Aimee. Michael Johnson, 29, who lived in his vehicle in his father's driveway, was about to take a post-yard-work shower in the home when his uncle, 72-year-old Dan Johnson, started banging on the bathroom door, insisting that 'you've been in there too long'. Continued banging led to a towel-wrapped Michael opening the door, at which point Dan began punching him in the chest and back - while holding a fillet knife. After some stabbing, Dan returned the knife to his collection.
First responders honoured Michael's request to be airlifted for medical assistance, and he is expected to survive. They also arrested Dan, who is being held without bail on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. In his defence, the elder Johnson explained that his nephew had spent at least 15 minutes in the bathroom and had 'buffed up' at him when opening the door, such that he felt disrespected.

For another Florida man, disrespect alone was sufficient cause for violence. According to a police report, 73-year-old Broward County resident Fernando De Baere did not like wife Marisa Sherman's tone during an argument about a former co-worker. A few minutes later, he called on a neighbour and confessed to having responded by shooting her in the face 'one or two times' while she was sitting on the sofa. Sherman, 47, died later, and De Baere is being held without bail.

When Charlotte County sheriff's officers pulled over a pickup truck for sailing through a stop sign in Florida, the 22-year-old driver mentioned that he and the woman with him had been collecting frogs and snakes. An officer issued a warning for the stop-sign violation and asked to see the wildlife in question. The passenger, 25, presented the 43 turtles in her rucksack, then answered the standard follow-up question 'Do you have anything else?' by pulling a baby alligator from her workout tights. This earned her the moniker 'FloridaWoman' from the sheriff's office, and the turtles earned the pair a citation for collecting regulated species in excess of legal limits. All of the turtles were released. It is unknown whether the 30 cm alligator was returned to its yoga-pants home.

Police in Painesville, Ohio, report that an upset customer at a restaurant reclined in a booth and threw a menu at a waitress. When the manager approached the man, later identified as Madison's Arnold Teeter, he escalated his throwing activities: he pulled an iguana from under his shirt, swung it around a few times, and then flung it at the manager. Officers caught up with Teeter, 49, a few blocks from the restaurant. The police rescued the iguana, which suffered a fractured leg,

Ohio was the setting also for an early-morning home invasion that racked up rather low damage costs. Apparently, a woman walked through the back door of a home in the village of Hamden and sat on the sofa, where she proceeded to pet the family dog. She then rose and entered the kitchen, where she washed the dishes. She then left.
While the police were taking notes on this 'burglary', dispatchers were alerted to a woman of the same physical description knocking on doors in the neighbourhood in a seemingly narcotics-induced haze. When a sheriff's officer approached her, the woman, later identified as Cheyenne Ewing, gave a false name and mentioned having been awake for two days. She was then arrested for burglary.

Helen Dryden summoned an Uber vehicle to drive her the 50 km home to Guildford from London, having missed the last train after a night of drinking. She was somewhat surprised when the driver woke her up near Milton Keynes. Dryden, 25, later recounted that 'I thought I said I wanted to go to Guildford when I got in, but I can't remember what his reply was. He woke me up and said "are you sure you want to go to Newcastle?" I said "What? No! Why would I want to go to Newcastle?"' The answer is that she had attended university there and neglected to change the location of 'Home' used by her smartphone's Uber application.
The driver conveyed her the further 120 km to her intended destination. Later, Dryden mused that 'I'm supposed to be getting more responsible as I get older, but it's not happening so far.' She reached her bed at about 4am, and the matter will be put to bed when pay day arrives and Dryden's card account hence has sufficient funds.

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