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November 2006


20 November 2006

New York detective Anthony Chiofalo was suspended from duty after a random drug test result came back positive. He denied ever using drugs and demanded a hearing. In the investigation that followed, his wife said that she had replaced oregano with marijuana when making meatballs for him, in an attempt to force him into retirement so that his life would be less dangerous. An administrative judge accepted this explanation, while Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has not yet decided what to do.

Kimberly A. Baker, 22, took the father of her child to family court in New York for child support. The result was not what she had envisioned. The court performed some basic subtraction and determined that the two-year-old child's father was 13 years old at the time of conception. According to state law, the age of consent is 17. Baker is in jail and could spend up to seven years in prison for statutory rape.

Australia's Michelle Sava had two visitors: a mother and her six-month-old baby. When they arrived, the boy was floppy and his tongue was lolling out between bluish lips, so she rang emergency services. Sava relayed instructions to the 26-year-old mother, who performed CPR on the child - except when she walked off 'to have a smoke'. An ambulance arrived and took the boy to Londonderry's Nepean Hospital, where he was declared dead.
The baby, born opiate-dependent, was found to have traces of methadone, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and various central nervous system depressants in his bodily fluids, a jury has heard.

Police in Albertville, Alabama, say that 19-year-old Jerry Helms, Jr., was arguing with his brother over a girlfriend when he thought of a way of getting back at his brother: by raping his own mother, who apparently was passed out drunk on the couch in her trailer home. 'During the attack, she did come to and recognize her attacker' but was unable to get away, according to police sergeant Jamie Smith.

Agla Nadia Vincent's method of keeping her two- and three-year-old children out of trouble has caused trouble of its own. According to the local sheriff's office, the 25-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, woman has been arrested for duct-taping her two sons together before leaving for her job as a naval officer. The duct-taping was discovered after someone heard crying and rang the police, who found the children taped together in the immediate vicinity of faeces and scattered breakfast cereal. They are now in state custody.

A corrections officer spotted a man in an orange prison jumpsuit taking his son 'trick-or-treating' on Halloween in Peekskill, New York. The officer contacted the jail, which was promptly locked down. All inmates were accounted for, however, and the situation became clear when the orange-clad man, 32-year-old Oscar Aponte, was apprehended. He apparently had smuggled the jumpsuit out of the prison after serving a four-month sentence for probation violation. He is now being charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

Texas's Antonio Perez III wanted to get back at a former live-in girlfriend for leaving him. His ammunition was a video file that the California woman had sent to him, in which she performs sex acts on her two-year-old son. Perez forwarded the video to a 15-year-old relative of the woman, so that the woman would end up in trouble with the law. The relative did pass the message on to authorities, but it was Perez who was arrested, on a charge of transporting child pornography over the Internet. He has pleaded guilty and faces five to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to five years of probation.

A 20-year-old Australian man held up a petrol station in Perth with an ornamental sword, had an attendant place money from the till and cigarettes into a bag for him, and then fled the scene on foot. He returned upon realising that he had left behind his bag of loot. Police say the door was locked when he returned. The attendant refused to let him back in to collect the bag, so he left again. This time, officers were on his tail and apprehended him.

Wisconsin's La Crosse Tribune reports that a 21-year-old Winona, Minnesota, woman and a 25-year-old Buffalo City man went to a local carwash and, in front of a security camera, tied a string through a hole in their $10 banknote before placing it in the change machine. The string broke, leaving them unable to pull the money back out of the machine as planned. Also, the machine gave them no change for their money.
The next day, they rang the manager to get a refund. He retrieved the $10 with its hole and tape, watched the camera footage, and took down the woman's licence number when she came to collect the refund. The police said the couple are likely to be charged with possessing a theft tool.

According to the Polish news agency PAP, a polling official in Lysowice demanded closure of the polling station amid alleged irregularities. Her colleagues disagreed with her view, and the argument culminated in the woman ringing the local police and then locking herself in a toilet cubicle with a pile of blank ballots. Police spokesman Slawomir Masojc said that she was detained. Alcohol was believed to have been involved.

Ohio's Toledo Blade reported that Robert and Angela Stokes were driving home with their three children when a Greyhound bus emptied its waste tank in the middle of the highway in front of them. They and their vehicle were covered in faeces, urine, and bog roll but were still able to follow the bus in order to take down its licence number. The family are demanding $287,000 in damages to cover tests for infectious diseases, a new Ford Explorer since multiple steam-cleanings couldn't remove the smell from the old one, and replacement of the clothing they were wearing at the time.

When prisoners were allowed back into Missouri's Dallas County Detention Center after having set the facility on fire in an escape attempt, they were in for a surprise. Sheriff Mike Rackley had ordered the walls to be painted pink - a colour that several studies report as having a soothing effect in institutional settings. Also, the paint job features blue teddy bears. Rackley summed up: '[W]e made it like a day care, and that's kind of like what it is, a day care for adults who can't control their behavior in public.'

Over a dozen people were on a fairground ride in Strathclyde, Scotland, when a technical failure left them up in the air, upside down. About an hour later, engineers were able to fix the mechanism to right the seats, and firefighters climbed ladders and rescued the passengers. One man was taken to hospital with suspected hypothermia, and some children were left bruised by the safety harnesses. Most were dizzy.

Joe Randolph, 44, received custody of his three children when his ex-wife died in April. The added financial burden of caring for them is making it hard for this Ohio man to pay child support for them... He was instructed by the Child Support Enforcement Agency that he must pay until a court tells him to stop. The money, which Randolph is borrowing from relatives or via home equity loans, is being placed into an escrow account.

A 57-year-old man with chest pains was admitted to Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm, where doctors decided to have him stay overnight while he awaited test results. In the morning, the nurse with the test results discovered that his bed was empty. He wasn't in the immediate area either.
Almost two days later, he was found dead in a toilet cubicle in the nearby x-ray department. Hospital spokeswoman Ulrica Franzén said: 'We are a very big hospital, and it's not unusual for people to just leave. We didn't look for him because he was not confused.'

Noel Methot was allegedly arguing with her boyfriend on her mobile telephone while driving in Orlando, Florida. The 24-year-old woman failed to notice that the road had ended and that dog walkers in the park were scattering before her oncoming car with their pets. Nor did she see the sign for Lake Haven, or the actual lake. The car was airborne for a little under 10 metres, hit the bank, and then entered the lake, according to police officer Joe Barrett. Methot tried to run away, telling at least one witness that she feared that her baby would be taken away. Charges against her have not been finalised.

Elsewhere in Florida, authorities stopped 42-year-old Alvin Dean for speeding as he entered the Monroe County Jail car park. They discovered that his licence to drive had been suspended. He was booked into the nearby jail on associated charges, as well as for carrying marijuana, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia.

On trial for having his way with a roadkill deer, Minnesota's Bryan James Hathaway is arguing that the relevant state statute forbids sex with animals but not with carcasses. Hathaway, who has a prior conviction for a similar offence, points out that Merriam-Webster defines an animal as 'any of a kingdom ... of living things...'. As to whether an animal must be animate to be protected by the anti-bestiality law, the judge hearing the case, Michael Lucci, said: 'I'm a little surprised this issue hasn't been tackled before in another case.'

The Federal Court in Germany has ruled that a gynaecologist from Suedbaden is responsible for the failure of a contraceptive implant he inserted into a patient's arm in 2002. Accordingly, the doctor must make child support payments of about 900 euros a month for a child conceived by the woman. The 25-year-old woman claimed in her lawsuit that having a child left her unable to continue her career as a kindergarten teacher and that she could not support herself and the child. The court did not consider it relevant that the woman conceived a second child after filing the complaint.
Justice Gerda Mueller said: 'The existence of the child is not a damage in itself, but the need to support it financially is.'

The council of the Ujpest district of Budapest suspended the local newspaper and television station on account of their ostensible bias. Independent mayor Tamas Derce responded to this silencing of the local media by deciding to revive the tradition of town criers. He said that someone will stand on each of various street corners with a drum, alongside someone shouting out the local news with the aid of amplification, until the council reverses its decision.

Itomor Khaimov, 28, visits his grandmother's grave in New York every Sunday. While walking his dog at the cemetery, he saw someone approach his grandmother's grave: 80-year-old cemetery worker James Scott. Scott began to empty his bladder into a vase on the grave. Khaimov said he asked what Scott was doing and received the explanation: 'I'm urinating. I'm an old man. I can't hold it.' Words were had, and Scott hit Khaimov in the head with the rake he had been carrying, causing a mild concussion. Scott is due to appear in court in January.

According to the New Zealand Herald, a constable sent to deal with a domestic dispute in central Auckland decided that his Taser would be the best tool for subduing the man at the centre of the incident. However, the shot hit the man's teenaged son. Detective Inspector Bernie Hollewand of the Auckland City police confirmed reports that the officer, who had received Taser training, then reloaded the weapon while trying to stun the man and ended up zapping himself instead. Reportedly, after five failed attempts with the stun gun, the officer pulled out his trusty pepper spray. The irritant hit the man's 21-year-old daughter primarily.
The man eventually gave himself up.

Knoxville, Tennessee, car dealer Greg Lambert said that he was suspicious when a man took a 2005 Ford Focus for a test drive and agreed to buy it without haggling or asking the usual questions. When the paperwork was placed before him, the man pulled a handgun from his pocket. Lambert, who was wearing his 'Friends of the NRA' cap, produced a higher-calibre pistol in response. He said: 'I think we probably leveled our sights close to the same time.' The man fled but left behind his driver's licence, which identified him as Kane Stackhouse, 19.

Vermont's Rutland Herald reports that Steven J. Lapre has pleaded guilty to deliberately hitting a wild turkey with his car. While on his way to an anger management class in September, the 27-year-old Lapre encountered a flock of wild turkeys. Witnesses report that he accelerated and hit one of them, then got out of his car and scooped up the dead bird. When a witness told him to drop the turkey, Lapre left the scene. He later claimed that a faulty silencer had made it seem that his car had sped up. He is going to trial.

The Boston Herald reports that 38-year-old Cynthia Lea allegedly mixed herself a rum and coke while driving and when stopped by police told them she was too drunk to take a field sobriety test. Ultimately, she told arresting officer Craig Pomeroy: 'Just arrest me' and started laughing.
Officers were on the lookout for Lea's vehicle, a school bus, because she had yelled at a mother whose child she dropped off late, then backed into a fence at the family's home and was seen driving on the wrong side of the road.

Wisconsin's Leah R. Jarolimek, 21, tried, and failed, to buy crisps and cigarettes at a petrol station. The problem wasn't that she had no proof of her age. She did and showed it to the clerk. The problem was with the $20 note she set on the counter as payment. The back of it was blank. Jarolimek, who said she didn't know that the banknote was fake, was charged with felonious forgery.


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© 2006 Anna Shefl