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November 2018

30 November 2018

A baggage handler employed by Piedmont Airlines was still in the cargo hold of a Boeing 737 when it took off from Kansas City, Missouri. Since the cargo hold was heated and pressurised, he remained safe - safely asleep for the duration of the journey. When discovered upon arrival in Chicago, the hapless luggage-lifter stated that he was simply intoxicated. According to Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, he was sent back to the airport of origin, and no charges have been filed.

North Carolina's Donna Sue Hudgins visited an undertaker's office, explaining that she wanted to make funeral arrangements for her mother, who had died that morning and been taken away by emergency medical workers. Facing dead ends in their efforts to locate the deceased Nellie Hudgins, staff there called in the Enfield police, who paid a visit to 69-year-old Donna's home. The corpse had been quietly decomposing there for several months. This helps to explain why Nellie Hudgins had been 'sleeping' or 'busy' whenever family members had expressed an interest in seeing her. Another piece of explanation comes from a police report stating that Donna had been 'curious and wanted to see the stages of death'. She has been charged with felonious concealment of death.

Florida's Justin Foster decided to express his feelings to his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend. Allegedly, this involved Foster, 28, flying to Chicago, driving a rental car to the boyfriend's town, accosting him in the street, and hitting him in the head with a tyre iron. A short while later, the victim's severed penis had been thrown over a fence and he had been dragged out of view behind a parked car.
After a passer-by found the victim, who was left with permanent brain damage, Foster was arrested back in Florida. Among the evidence linking him to the crime was a set of threatening text messages from him to the victim and the ex-girlfriend and the fact that Foster's initials had been carved into the man's leg. Foster has been extradited to Chicago, where a judge has granted him a $1 million bond.

Other maiming news from the South comes from Bristol, Tennessee. The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office reports that a local man was mowing his front garden when his 76-year-old father, identified as Douglas Ferguson, ran at him with a running chainsaw. This is why the older man soon ended up run over by a lawnmower and with one fewer leg. After his release from hospital, he was jailed for attempted second-degree murder and for violating parole in relation to an earlier aggravated assault. The two men are engaged in a long-running feud.

A 69-year old Dutch man doesn't like being 69, and he wants to do something about it: change his birth date. Pointing out the parallels to legally changing one's name or gender, Emile Ratelband explains that he is already a 'young god' but that if officially 49 years old he could be readily approved for loans and find more work as 'the best European speaker'. Along with side-stepping age-based discrimination, he cited potential advantages on the dating scene (where, according to his Web site, he is 'in a steady relationship with the woman of his dreams').
Ratelband has agreed to forgo his old-age pension once officials amend his age on official documents. He is suing his local authority for refusing to do so despite assurance from his physician that he has the body of a 45-year-old.
His lawyer, Jan-Hein Kuijpers, looks forward to the ruling, stating that it's high time for the reversal of age, adding in his comments in court: 'There is also something like common sense, of course.'

In France, meanwhile, Rosa-Maria Da Cruz's partner and three children had no idea that she was pregnant. She later concealed giving birth and the existence of the resulting child, Serena, whom she clandestinely moved between her home and her car in the course of the day. The child's existence came to light when Da Cruz took that car for repairs at a shop in Terrasson-Lavilledieu, where a mechanic heard strange sounds emanating from the boot. Investigating, he discovered the faeces-encrusted Serena, by now a malnourished two-year-old, within.
Although Da Cruz saw the girl as 'not a baby but a thing', she told the police that she had at least started talking to Serena, once the child had smiled at her at age 18 months.
Serena is in foster care, and Da Cruz's eldest three children have been returned to her while she awaits trial for repeated violence leading to a minor's permanent disability.

Tuscumbia, Alabama, police chief Tony Logan describes an incident in which a 27-year-old man entered the washroom at a local Waffle House, tied the door closed with his trousers, and climbed into the ceiling, breaking a toilet and a sink on his way. His plan, which may have been influenced by drugs, included making his way into the office area to steal things. Instead, the underwear-clad would-be burglar fell into the dining area, where patrons attempted to detain him. Although he escaped, his trouser pockets remained. Their contents included a driving licence. Warrants were swiftly put out for the arrest of one 27-year-old Wesley Glenn Bost.

Gender balance is provided by the next story, in which a woman fell through a restaurant ceiling in Kingsport, Tennessee, apparently after having removed a roof grate and the clothes on the lower half of her body. She pulled herself back into the ceiling but fell again, just in time for the police to catch her. A wallet was found on the roof, and we now know that she is Harley C. Morton, 26.

Scotland's Edinburgh Evening News chronicles the hijinx that led to Musselburgh's 29-year-old Ryan Dolan pleading guilty to committing acts of public indecency at a McDonald's. Nicole Lavelle, an officer with Scotland's independent public prosecution service, explained in court that Dolan shed his trousers and treated 5am customers to a dance that featured his freely swinging genitalia. He pulled his trousers back on but soon changed his mind and entered the staff area, where he 'pretend[ed] to serve customers and started dancing again, carrying out helicopter-like moves with his penis'. He completed his dance moves atop the service counter, then donned his trousers yet again and left.
Reviewing CCTV footage, a police officer recognised Dolan, who had been convicted twice for 'similar offences'. The sheriff fined him the equivalent of 550 euros for the offence, of which alcohol had left him with little to no recollection.

Our next Clippings subject, also from Scotland, was fully clothed at the time of his misadventures, which left him unconscious and without a penis or testicles. Authorities in Haddington initially believed that a friend had held the 22-year-old victim down while his peanut-butter-smeared genitalia were gnawed at by bulldog Biggie Smalls. However, when the man regained consciousness, he reported that he had smeared the food spread on his crotch himself while alone in the room with the dog.

A patient receiving heart-valve surgery at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital died at the hands of a flailing surgical robot and surgeon Sukumaran Nair, who had turned down opportunities for hands-on training with the robot. His boss Simon Haynes later told a coroner's inquest of having granted Nair's request to perform the state-of-the-art procedure despite reservations - for instance, Nair was 'slow' at standard surgeries. Haynes stated that he'd been reassured by the knowledge that 'proctors' would be present to advise, though not authorised to intervene. These were two representatives of Edwards Lifesciences, whose devices were used in the surgery. Quietly leaving the operating theatre once those devices were implanted, they did not witness most of the panic, in which the suturing went awry and the robot arm hit a nurse.
In the wake of an official report characterising him as 'running before you could walk', Nair has moved to another hospital.

When Adrian Dreshuan Middleton returned to his car after 1.5 hours of shopping for clothes at a second-hand shop in Houston, Texas, he didn't know why his six-year-old daughter was crying. After all, he had left her and her one-year-old brother with plenty of food and water and left a film playing for them in the air-conditioned vehicle. Stating that she had 'done something bad', the girl soon clarified that she had become angry at her sibling for crying ceaselessly. He stopped crying, apparently falling asleep, once she'd wrapped a seat belt around him.
Middleton, 26, has been charged with child abandonment in connection with the boy's death by strangling.

Alyssa Noceda, an 18-year-old Washington resident, passed out when getting high with 20-year-old boyfriend Brian Varela. His friends soon received a group text message with a photo of the unconscious Noceda and Varela's comments that he was having sex with her to 'pass the time' while she overdosed. He would later tell a friend that 'she died having sex with me'.
In the following days, Varela kept the corpse in his mobile home, using Noceda's thumb print to unlock her mobile phone so that he could fake social-media posts from her about a plan to run away from home. A co-worker at Dairy Queen contacted the police after hearing Varela explain all this.
After being sentenced to a little under three years in jail, Varela said: 'What I get is what I deserve.' Judge Linda Kerse disagreed, expressing regret that sentencing guidelines limited the punishment she could dish out to him.

In Hollywood, Florida, two teenagers decided to engage in horseplay in an abandoned bank building. This led to one of the youths, a 17-year-old boy, ending up in the vault with the door closed behind him. The other teenager summoned the emergency services, who enlisted the aid of the fire department, a technical rescue crew, and at least two vault technicians from a private firm in attempts to free the boy by drilling through the wall of the former Bank of America branch.
About three hours after becoming trapped, the boy was released but not because of any of those efforts. An employee at the branch's new location, across the street, walked over and supplied the vault combination. According to Officer Christian Lata, the teenagers were released into their parents' custody.

We end with another item from Florida, about what transpired after 37-year-old Shanetta Yvette Wilson broke wind while in the payment queue at a Dollar General shop. According to a Broward County Sheriff's Office report, a customer near her in the queue complained about the loud fart, whereupon an argument ensued, which escalated to Wilson producing a small folding knife from her handbag and telling the fart-averse man that she would gut him. Wilson has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

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