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November 2016

30 November 2016

Two men got a taxi to a house in Deal Township, New Jersey, and asked the cabbie to wait a short while. They collected some items and then asked the driver to take them to a flat in Asbury Park, where they refused to pay the fare. So the driver complained to the police. This led to officers determining that the Deal Township house had just been burgled. Several stolen bottles of liquor and a television set were soon retrieved from the Asbury Park flat, and Kenneth Burke, 46, and Timothy Foote, 38, now face various charges. It is unclear whether stiffing the cabbie numbers among them.

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, we now know more about Colin Nathaniel Scott's college-graduation trip. While his sister Sable filmed him with her mobile phone, the 23-year-old Portland, Oregon, man tested the temperature of a thermal spring at Yellowstone National Park to determine whether it would make a good place for them to bathe (signs assure visitors that it would not). He tripped and soon had his bath, in the boiling water of a highly acidic geyser. In the words of ranger Lorant Veress, 'In very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving'. No remains remained on the following day.

Officials for New York's Canandaigua school district report that the driver of one school bus held a mock Presidential election two days after the real thing, asking his primary-school passengers to raise their hands to indicate which of the two main candidates would have won their vote. He let the students who had raised their hands for Donald Trump exit the bus first, while the others waited.
In the wake of parents' complaints, officials with the school district stated that the driver will write a letter of apology to all involved.

Our feel-good story comes from the skies between Boston and San Francisco, where a flight delay prevented a three-year-old girl from going trick-or-treating for Halloween. To lift her spirits and take advantage of the fact that young Molly was already wearing her doughnut costume, her father passed out candies and notes to other people on the plane, asking them to help her go from seat to seat for treats or to return the sweeties. Fellow passenger Stephanie Kahan shared pictures of the girl's journey with her basket.

Ireland's Ballyglass Coast Guard came upon an item drifting near a County Mayo beach. They initially thought it was a caravan, on account of the shape, but a closer look revealed that it was a solar-powered houseboat, which probably had started its journey in Canada. When boarding it, they found a note explaining that 'I, Rick Small, donate this structure to a homeless youth to give them a better life that Newfoundlanders choose not to do! No rent, no mortgage, no hydro.'

According to The Portugal News, a Brazilian tourist was trying to take a selfie with an exhibit at Lisbon's National Museum of Ancient Art when he knocked over another item, a 300-year-old statue of Archangel Michael. Museum mangers report that its injuries are terminal. The tourist responsible for them posted a photo of the shattered sculpture online with the comment that this is the price to be paid for allowing free entrance to the museum on the first Sunday of every month. It is unclear whether he will face any charges over the incident.

According to AP reports, police in Austria have arrested a man who was unsuccessful in his attempt to rob a Vienna bank. Police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer is quoted as explaining that this gas-pistol-toting 45-year-old man entered the foyer of the bank on Tuesday morning with a hood over his head. He then hid his weapon under newspapers and began pacing while waiting with customers for the bank to open. He had arrived about 15 minutes early.
Passers-by alerted the police, who collected him before the bank opened and before he could reach his getaway vehicle, a stolen scooter.

Japan's Space World theme park came under fire recently for acting on its idea of freezing 5,000 shellfish and other aquatic animals into the floor of an ice-skating rink, which managers explain was intended to teach youngsters about marine life. Some complained also about how the sea creatures, obtained from a local fish market, were portrayed in advertisements; for instance, captions included 'I am d... d... drowning, s ... s... suffocating'. Melting added to the outrage as blood began seeping into the ice and some fish started protruding from the surface.
Space World manager Toshimi Tekeda responded that the park has been closed for the moment and that the skating rink will be unfrozen for removal of the fish, which are to be given an 'appropriate religious service' and then used as fertiliser.

When Erin Hatzi's car was stolen, she checked footage from her surveillance camera. It had captured images of a woman getting into the car, in Hatzi's Portland, Oregon, driveway, then letting it idle for 2-3 minutes before driving off. Hatzi promptly filed a police report. The next morning, officers stopped a woman - not the car thief - at the scene, where she was getting out of Hatzi's Red Subaru. In a note left inside the car alongside some petrol money, this woman explained what had happened: 'I sent my friend with my key to pick up my red Subaru [and] did not see the car until this morning.' The cars, about a block away from each other, were both operated by the same key.

A clerk at a Family Dollar store in Deltona, Florida, told the police that a man with 'Loyalty' tattooed across his belly had tried to rob the store. Officers who mounted a search with helicopters and dogs soon spotted a man wading into a nearby pond until waist-deep in the water. When ordered to put his hands in the air, the man, 29-year-old Sean Torres, replied that he had been 'just fishing' and dropped his pole in the water. What about the would-be robber? Torres, who has 'Loyalty' on his belly, helpfully told the police that 'The guy who did it went that way'. He has been charged with robbery and criminal mischief anyway.

Elsewhere in Florida, William Edwards left an Orlando strip club in the wee hours and got into his pickup truck. Bouncers said that they then tried to stop him from driving on account of his heavy drinking. The vehicle itself was more successful in this regard: when Edwards tried to drive away without fully closing the door, he fell out and it ran over his leg. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that 28-year-old Edwards fled the scene on foot while his pickup truck rolled off toward a ditch and then crashed into a nearby home, causing minor injuries to a woman who had been sleeping.
Investigators said that they later contacted Edwards, who had left his driving licence at Dancers Royale, and he turned himself in.

When his employer dumped him by SMS, Pennsylvania truck driver Darren Walp decided to dump his cargo. Fired via a text message reading 'Pack your stuff ASAP and you can leave', the 36-year-old Walp allegedly opened the back of the lorry and left his entire load of corn (about 1,000 bushels) on the highway in Gage County, Nebraska. The cost of cleaning up the kilometre-long trail of maize was estimated at about $500, about a sixth the value of the grain.

Finally, 30-year-old Brandi Worley is an Indiana woman whose husband told her that he wanted a divorce. She didn't like the idea that he might end up with custody of her seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter. She later summarised the resulting decision thus: 'I did not want him taking them, so I stabbed them.' As she told a 911 operator, she stabbed herself too, because she wanted to die with them. She survived; they did not.

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