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October 2009

5 October 2009

Brandishing a wooden stick, Takashi Owada, 54, demanded money from a shopkeeper at a convenience store in Fukushima, Japan. When she admonished him 'Don't be silly!', Owada said 'I'm sorry' and then rang the police from his mobile phone to turn himself in.

According to the Athens News Agency, a 35-year-old man was arrested when he pulled over to do some horticultural work on the central reservation of the six-lane highway connecting Athens to Thessaloniki. His chosen spot was near the Ephesus off-ramp, where the police caught him harvesting his 42 marijuana plants, some as much as 1.8 metres tall. The plants were confiscated, as was the small amount of dried marijuana in the man's home.

According to AFP reports, a 56-year-old man drove to the police station in Neuf-Brisach, France, to distribute Alcoholics Anonymous leaflets there. Officers noticed a telltale odour to his breath, and a short while later the man had failed a blood alcohol test. The police confiscated his driving licence, and he is due to appear in court in December.

Another AFP report quotes the Beijing News as reporting that a man identified as Xu lined up four cars for new licence plates and paid four men to ensure, with the aid of knives and clubs, that no-one else would approach the machine that was issuing new licence plate numbers. The idea was that he would then snag at least one of the numbers with the lucky '8888' ending, about to be issued. All five men were fined and given a 16-month jail sentence.

Robert Futch, accompanied by Marta Marquez, went to the police station in Merrimack, New Hampshire, to deal with his 12-year-old traffic citation. While there, Futch asked to use the loo but was informed that there were no public facilities available for this. According to Police Captain Michael Dudash as quoted by the Nashua Telegraph, shortly after the pair left, an officer looked out the window and saw the 28-year-old Marquez urinating on the pavement and against the station building. In part because she was doing this in plain view of a day-care centre, she faces a fine of up to $1,000.

In January, a man in Girona, Spain, was denied a claim for monthly expenses, so he called his boss crazy and - the ultimate insult - a son of a whore. The man was fired and claimed unfair dismissal. An employment tribunal, led by Judge Sara Maria Pose Vidal, has agreed with him, saying that both phrases are now 'common usage in conversation'. The man's ex-employer must re-hire him or pay compensation.

The Nebraska State Patrol pulled over 19-year-old Trevor Brown for drunken driving and took him to the county jail. He rang his father to post bail for him. When 53-year-old Anthony Brown showed up to do so, the patrol noted that he too seemed the worse for drink, so they warned him that he should not drive either. The Browns nonetheless got into his pickup truck, with the elder Brown behind the wheel. It is unknown whether he was surprised by his prompt arrest.

After a drug dealer was taken into custody, officers with a Florida anti-drug task force raided his home to catalogue evidence. They reported finding 98 items in the nine-hour raid. They did not report on the Nintendo Wii bowling scores they racked up in that time. They didn't need to, since, unbeknownst to them, a video camera had been set up in the home prior to the raid. Some of the officers may be disciplined now that the matter has become public.

Matthew Don Reed of Hinton, West Virginia, persuaded people online that he worked with the state's Division of Natural Resources and should apply for a state job through him. Accordingly, they sent him copies of their birth certificates and various other personal information. He then decided to expand this operation, so he hired a man in Chicago to send letters to people interested in jobs with the State of West Virginia.
The 32-year-old Reed was arrested after the Chicago man became suspicious. Reed had asked him to post a letter, purportedly from the Governor Joe Machine, that read: 'Its nice to have you as an employee of West Virginia. Your super (boss) Matt talk a lot of thangs about you. I hope you stay with us a long time. If you got ? please ask Matt.'

Michigan's Aimee Louise Sword gave up her five-year-old son for adoption about a decade ago. The 35-year-old Sword recently got back in touch with him over the Internet. She is accused of seducing him and successfully cultivating a sexual relationship with him. Others, defending Sword, claim that he was the one doing the seducing and that she was taken advantage of.

In New York, Ronald Tackman was due to appear in court on robbery charges. He showed up from jail in a suit and tie. For some reason, he was able to wander into another courtroom, where a court officer asked: 'Counselor, what are you doing here?' Tackman simply said he needed help finding the way out, so the guard showed him out.
Perhaps the officers charged with guarding him should have been more aware of Tackman's history. For example, he has evaded capture with the aid of a plastic nose and taken a guard hostage with a fake gun carved from soap.

Ohio's Ralph Needs felt vulnerable after several intruders broke into his Groveport home, tied him up, broke his nose, and stole his pickup truck and other possessions. The 80-year-old Needs decided to learn how to defend himself. Four days later, he was shot in the hand during a self-defence lesson - a pistol went off as one of his sons was loading it. Reflecting on his week, Needs said that he wouldn't want anyone to have the same experience.

Five Star Snacks and More, in Waterloo, Iowa, had been robbed twice in the last few months when a rambling Tory Bradford recently entered and began to rant at the clerks, rambling on about the recent robberies and keeping his hand in his pocket. The frightened clerks therefore placed money in a bag and threw it at him. Bradford, who was simply intoxicated and confused, just walked out of the store, without the bag. According to the Waterloo - Cedar Falls Courier, he was later arrested for public drunkenness.

26 October 2009

Cesar Lopez entered a convenience store in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He removed his baseball cap, and a police officer in the shop noticed him peering within quizzically. When Lopez looked up, the officer observed a small plastic bag stuck to his forehead. The officer peeled the bag from Lopez's forehead and arrested him for possession of marijuana.

Responding to a report of a child riding atop a minivan, police in Albertville, Alabama, stopped driver Jackie Denise Knott, after which Knott's 13-year-old daughter exited a large cardboard box on the van. Knott explained that the box was too big to fit inside the vehicle and that the girl was inside it to hold it down. The 37-year-old Knott said that this was safe because of the coat hanger with which she'd attached the box to the vehicle. Knott was arrested, and the girl was turned over to a relative.

Reuters reports on what happened when a 22-year-old journalism student was ejected from a train in Lauenbrück, Germany, for not having a valid ticket. He decided to retaliate by mooning the railway staff inside the train. He did not get the last laugh. His trousers became caught in the carriage door, and his mostly-clothed person was dragged along the platform and onto the tracks. After about 200 metres, a passenger pulled the emergency brake. The man faces charges of dangerous interference in rail transport and insulting the train staff, and he may also have to pay compensation for the delay caused to 23 trains.

Also in Germany, police in Bremen are trying to determine whether a kebab vendor at the city's central train station is guilty of standard bodily harm or grievous bodily harm for throwing a ladleful of chilli sauce into the eyes of a serviette-denied customer who had chosen to wipe his hands on the side of the stand. The police took a sample of the sauce and are working to determine whether it is grievously spicy.

A Vancouver-area man has been convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm after botching the circumcision of his four-year-old son. The court heard that the man had put his son on the floor, tried to drug the child with wine, and then set to work with special instruments he had ordered online. The boy apparently jerked during the procedure, and his father's hand slipped. The boy required surgery to repair the damage and to remove hardened layers of veterinary blood-stopping material from his penis. Some time earlier, medical attention had been required as a result of the man's attempt to circumcise himself.
His lawyer, Doug Christie, hopes to have the case thrown out because religious motives negated any criminal intent.

A 50-year-old man in San Antonio, Texas, refused his father's request that he stop drumming at 1am. Therefore, the father, aged 83, shot his son, hitting him in the forehead. The drummer ran down the block to summon help. His father was helped into a patrol car and detained on a charge of aggravated assault.

A Canada Jazz flight was diverted so that police could arrest a 23-year-old man who had committed theft on board. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Steve Holmes reported that the man stole beer from the beverage cart, to continue the drinking that he had begun prior to take-off, and later attracted attention when he tried to flush empty cans down the aeroplane's toilet. The man is being charged with causing a disturbance on an aircraft, Holmes said.

According to AFP reports, an eight-year-old boy visited a kiosk near his home in Viersen, Germany, and asked for 15 euros' worth of sweets. The owner of the kiosk questioned whether he could pay for that extravagance, whereupon the boy pulled out 1680 euros. The police were summoned, and the boy's parents collected him and the money they had been saving for home repairs.

North Carolina Baptist pastor Marc Grizzard announced that his church plans to burn Bibles on Halloween. He explained that all versions except the King James version are 'satanic' 'perversions' of God's word. He and the 14 members of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church also plan to burn music and religious texts by various Christian authors.

On the day before his wedding, John Tabutt heard someone in his home and fired his gun at the figure in the hallway. Naturally, he had thought his live-in wife-to-be, 62-year-old Nancy Dinsmore, was in bed. If she had been, you would not be reading this clipping. She was pronounced dead while a sobbing Tabutt looked on.

Courvoisier Mareze Riley dropped his wallet and then rang the place where he had done so, hoping to get it returned. That place was the home he had just tried to rob, and the victim answered the telephone while being interviewed by the police. The 23-year-old Riley told the victim to bring the wallet to a petrol station, and, sure enough, that is where officers found him.

Sicily's Santo Gambino was in prison for illegal dumping of hazardous waste. After a while, the 30-year-old builder was transferred to house arrest at his home in Villabate. He showed up at the police station a while later, asking to be placed in prison again so that he wouldn't have to listen to his wife accuse him of failing to pay for raising his two children. The police denied Gambino's request, charged him with violating the conditions of his sentence, and ordered him to go home and make up with his wife.

A man in Blomberg, Germany, was arrested for shoplifting and was assigned an appointment for questioning at the local police station. Shortly before his scheduled interview, officers received a report of two men robbing a supermarket. When the investigating officers returned to the station, they noticed that the description of one of the robbers closely matched the man waiting in their reception area.
According to a police spokesman, 'it was a case of "just nipping out to do a bit of thieving"'. The other robber was found in a car outside, sitting with the stolen goods and waiting for his friend to return from his interview.

Last month in Osaka, Japan, a man snatched a 78-year-old woman's bag from the basket of her bicycle. She attempted to snatch it back but accidentally grabbed the man's own bag from his shoulder. The would-be purse-snatcher dropped her bag as well and fled. Although his cash card bore his name, Cho Sin-jung, the 35-year-old South Korean bag-grabber has only recently been arrested: he cycled up to an 86-year-old woman with a tempting handbag but failed to escape. Perhaps he should find a different way of earning a living.

Iowa's The Gazette reports that a man was ordering food in an Iowa City restaurant when another man walked up to him and accused him of being a zombie, then punched him in the eye. The victim produced a mobile phone in order to call the police, so the other man broke his nose and then ran out a back door. The victim was taken to hospital, where he was proved not to be dead. His assailant remains at large.

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© 2009 Anna Shefl