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November 2014


17 November 2014

According to Michigan's Van Buren County sheriff's department, officers watched 39-year-old motorist April Dawn Loomis back into a parking place while apparently talking on her phone. She was trying to convince her boyfriend to leave the bar so that she could drive him home. However, she wasn't where she thought she was - she had pulled in at the county jail, not a bar. She was promptly arrested for drink-driving.

While police officers in Houston were responding to a burglary false alarm at a shopping centre, they noticed that they had caused alarm themselves, with several panicked people dashing into a nearby shop, the Action Smoke Shop and Studio. Checking what was going on, the police found people flushing drugs down the toilet and crawling around in the ceiling. They found a handgun, a small amount of cocaine, and a 'marijuana packaging operation'. Six people, including the owner of the shop, were arrested.

Heavily intoxicated, 21-year-old Brock Quinn Johnson was looking for a place to sleep after a pub crawl in St. Paul, Minnesota, when he entered a home a few blocks from his university. A 16-year-old girl took one look at him and locked herself in a bathroom to ring for help. Meanwhile, her 14-year-old brother ran from the house, screaming.
When police arrived, they found Johnson asleep near some vomit. He was still in costume from the pub crawl, wearing zombie make-up and a Santa Claus suit. The teenagers' father said that nobody in his family 'will ever think of Santa the same way'.

In Florida, an argument over pork chops turned violent: Billy Wall, 61, told police officers that he'd been able to eat only one chop while nephew Charles Williams ate three, leaving none for Wall's girlfriend. Wall claims that he was forced to stab Williams in the stomach with a butcher's knife during the argument after the latter fetched a machete. Williams was treated for liver injuries, and Wall has been charged with aggravated domestic battery of Williams, who has been described by neighbours as a harmless mentally challenged man.

According to AP reports, a 68-year-old man camping with his 17-year-old biological daughter in Utah County became upset over a game of Battleship they were playing in his trailer. He accused her of cheating and broke the board game. When she tried to leave the trailer, paragon of paternal virtue John Valenzuela grabbed her hair, dragged her back inside, and pointed a loaded rifle at her head. Police officers meanwhile traced her silent 911 calls. They arrested Valenzuela while he was still yelling at the girl and returned her to her foster family.
Police sergeant Spencer Cannon said that 'alcohol played a role here'.

A teacher at Washington's Stevenson High School devised an alternative to lunchtime detention for punishing 'low-level misconduct': a punishment selector via which students determined their own fate. Zoey Zapfe, 15, a gum-chewing student for whom the spinner landed on being pelted by fellow students with rubber balls, said: 'I'm hoping she gets fired because it was beyond humiliating,' However, a third-party investigation has found that the Wheel of Misfortune was 'inappropriate but well-intentioned'. It, not the teacher, is to be retired.

In a category of story that is growing more commonplace, Alvin Cross, Jr., sent his probation officer a simple text message: 'You have some weed?', a question intended for someone else. It is unclear whether the probation officer responded to the message, but authorities did respond, by paying Cross's home a visit. They found a bag of cocaine. Cross was sentence to a year in jail on account of that, and a year was added to this for violation of his probation.

Sherita Harrison, manager of a Popeyes fried-chicken restaurant in Illinois, felt threatened when four teenaged boys entered the establishment and began throwing signs down and cursing. One grabbed her co-worker's iPhone, and others threatened to jump over the desk and kill the 30-year-old Harrison. So she threw a bread knife at them. Shortly after that, she had to close the restaurant in order to get stitches, since one of the youths threw the knife back at her.
Harrison was fired. 'I don't care what they said to her - you can't throw knives at customers!' explained franchise owner Ed Obiala. Harrison has brought a federal lawsuit against the restaurant chain for $200,000, though she later said that all she really wants is her hospital bill and worker's compensation paid.

Colin Lambert, 1.5, started climbing inside a toy claw machine at a laundromat while his distracted grandmother checked a text message. She looked up and grabbed his retreating feet, whereupon 'he kicked my hand and got in, climbed up over the glass partition and sat down in the toys'. Firefighters were called in to rescue Lambert from the machine. After freeing him, they let him pick a toy to keep.

Zak Hardy, 18, told Exeter Magistrates' Court that he was holding his mobile phone under the shower at a swimming pool to test whether it was waterproof. He said that he must have activated the camera accidentally in the process. That story was disputed by the woman who'd been under the neighbouring shower and seen a telltale blue light above the cubicle wall.
Hardy's defence attorney later reported that the young man has acknowledged filming the woman on purpose and lying to the police. Hardy's phone has been destroyed, and he's been ordered to pay the equivalent of about 200 euros in compensation for what his solicitor termed 'not the most serious offence'.

The next story is best introduced by Megan Lawrence, director of rehabilitation at a Saskatchewan wildlife centre: 'We got a call from a family that found some garter snakes in their basement, and as they investigated further they found a lot more. And then they started finding them in other areas of the house, like kitchens and bedrooms. So they decided then it wasn't a good idea to have them there anymore.' Lawrence and her partner removed 56 snakes, and the family have since brought in 46 more.
Collecting the snakes wasn't so difficult, she says. They were starting to enter hibernation so were easy to catch by hand and then transport away in buckets and pillowcases.

Authorities in Sweden report on a 47-year-old man who was upset that his parents had given their vacation home in Lidkoping to his elder brother instead of him. He therefore visited the house with a chainsaw, turning his attention to the façla;ade, interior, and appliances, along with 20 trees in the garden. Brought before Skarabrog District Court and charged with causing what comes to around 75,000 euros in damage, he told investigators that no crime was committed: he had helped pay for the building to be restored in the 1990s and was the one who had planted those 20 trees in the first place.

The New York City Civil Service Commission has upheld the 20-day suspension of a Health Department worker for answering calls to an IT help line 'in a robotic voice'. Some callers had complained or hung up after hearing what bosses described as his 'over-enunciated monotone', with one saying that she needed 'to speak to a human'. The worker himself says that he was following a script and speaking carefully because he has a Brooklyn accent that can otherwise be difficult to understand. A judge says that this was just a 'disgruntled employee' acting out.

Anthony Brian Ballard was arrested in Port St. Lucia, Florida, for stealing a chainsaw. The homeless 28-year-old entered a lawn maintenance store and requested change for a dollar. He then stuffed the chainsaw into his trousers and walked out. Fleeing on a bicycle, he noticed that workers were following him, so he ditched the chainsaw in a nearby wooded lot. He was arrested after employees noticed him come back later to look for it. Ballard told the police that he'd had a change of heart and wanted to collect and return the chainsaw.

Police say that 33-year-old Ramon Herrera stole thousands of dollars' worth of jewellery from a home in Tanoan, New Mexico. He also drank a can of Coca-Cola from the home's fridge, leaning up a note saying 'Sorry' against the empty can and leaving it on the kitchen table. While the unflushed toilet didn't leave any usable DNA evidence behind, the cola can did. The DNA pointed to Herrera, who had sold jewellery to area pawn shops nine times in the days following the burglary. He has been thrown in jail.

The Indian Express reports that the father of a 14-year-old rape victim in Khajuri Khas extended a dinner invitation to the 45-year-old married man who had allegedly left his daughter pregnant. After the alleged rapist sat down, he was tied to the chair and the father burned his genitals with tongs. The father, 36, recounted: 'He screamed. I did it again. He shuddered. When I did it the third time, he did not move.' The vigilante turned himself in, reporting that he hadn't wanted to kill the older man, just to punish him without involving his daughter.

The New York State Police stopped Connecticut's Kenneth Desormes for speeding. He seemed to be intoxicated, so they took him to a station for a breath test. When officers printed out his results, the 40-year-old Desormes grabbed the incriminating printout and tried to eat it, according to the police. Desormes has been charged with driving while intoxicated, obstructing governmental administration, and criminal tampering.

According to Carlsbad, California, police lieutenant Greg Koran, a postal worker recently reported a ticking package, which prompted the evacuation of several homes. After a three-hour investigation, a bomb squad placed the package in a grassy area and blasted it open with a bomb-disposal robot's water cannon. The ticking sound was from the lively activity of Mexican jumping beans.

Arkansas's Damontay Wright, 19, wanted a driving licence. Officers noticed that he'd driven to the test site himself, so a state trooper began preparing a citation for driving without a licence. Seeing the officer, Wright fled the scene, leaving a dented squad car in his wake. With several officers following him at speed, he failed to navigate a junction and ended up smashing into a house. Wright was taken to jail for crimes such as 'felony fleeing'. Officers also report that the number plate on Wright's car had been reported stolen.
The young man will be able to take his driving test only after he is released from jail and has paid any fines due.

Emerald White, whose four pit bulls killed her neighbours' beagle, Bailey, is suing those neighbours for a million dollars. The Texas City woman explains that she was 'seriously injured' when trying to retrieve her dogs after they'd made their way through a hole in the fence. She contends that her injuries, believed to have been inflicted by her own dogs, would not have occurred if Bailey had been in a secure enclosure within the neighbours' yard.
Bailey's owner, Steve Baker, says that he had decided not to sue White because that wouldn't resurrect Bailey and 'the police took the action I wanted and declared those dogs dangerous and awareness was raised'.

In Longmont, Colorado, Paul Felyk, 35, fell through a vent on the roof of a department store at the weekend, landing within the walls six feet below. On Monday, employees heard someone yelling but couldn't word out where the sound was coming from. On Tuesday, they found Felyk yelling through a hole in the wall, so they contacted the authorities. Firefighters sawed into the side of the building to free him, according to local media. After being taken to hospital for leg injuries, Felyk explained that he'd fallen while trying to cut the power to the building and thereby prevent intruder alarms from going off.


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