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September 2007

18 September 2007

A Cincinnati police officer asked Bobby Stevenson for an explanation of the distinctive plant in front of his house. Stevenson's explanation was that marijuana plants require 12 hours of sunlight and darkness per day and that they should be watered every three days. The officer arrested Stevenson.

For 30 years, Roger Golden has been a familiar face to drugs enforcement officers in New York. He appeared on their radar again after he decided to store 16 kilos of marijuana at a hire-a-locker facility - one that had an entrance in the lobby of the Drug Enforcement Agency building. Agents walking past the business noticed a familiar smell, as did a drug-sniffing dog.

Matthew Dietrich, 21, wanted a pound of marijuana and figured that Christopher Kratz, 20, would be a good person to ask. The pair rendezvoused behind a pharmacy and Dietrich handed over $500 for a triple-wrapped bag of what he thought was dope. When Dietrich realised that the bag contained a head of broccoli, he rang the emergency services and reported that Kratz had robbed him.
After his arrest, Kratz explained what had happened, and Dietrich later admitted to filing a false report. Kratz was charged with selling a non-controlled substance and representing it as a controlled substance, while Dietrich faces charges of criminal contempt, unsworn falsification, and disorderly conduct.

Curtiss Randall Coleman, 53, wanted to ring Mississippi's WLOX-TV to complain about not getting a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina. Instead of ringing 411 for directory enquiries, he accidentally dialled 911 and reached the emergency services. When he hung up on the dispatcher, officers from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department were sent to the home to see whether anyone needed assistance. No-one answered the door, according to the officers, who therefore broke in. They found a methamphetamine lab. Coleman and four others were arrested.

Langston Robins entered a bank in Little Rock, Arkansas, and asked to use the loo. He walked past uniformed police officer Chad Herndon to do so. After using the toilet, the 21-year-old Robins passed Herndon again and allegedly then handed a clerk a holdup note and gym bag. Herndon, who was standing in front of Robins, tried to arrest him. When Robins fled, he made it two blocks before Herndon caught up with him.

Barbara S. Joyner of Nassau County, Florida, sent a note through a bank drive-through - she claimed that there were snipers in the area and someone in the lobby would set off an 'acid pack' if the teller didn't give her money. The teller turned over about $34,000. Witnesses identified the 59-year-old Joyner from a photo lineup, and the car matched her husband's. The officers who therefore paid her a visit found draft versions of the holdup note in her handbag and various rooms in her home. In a bureau drawer was $1,600 still in the bank wrapper.
Joyner insisted that she is innocent of the bank robbery and didn't elaborate on her explanation that the notes were for 'practising'.

Also in Florida we have a police report on someone who was driving his truck on the wrong side of the road and nearly hitting people. Police took off in pursuit of the man, who was driving on three tyres and a rim. When the truck stopped on the road, the driver headed off on foot. 'A 12-pack of Corona he was working on was left in the front seat, but he took one with him when he ran and we captured him with a beer in his hand,' said officer Jeff Stonebreaker.

Arizona's Paula Mosteller says that her 13-year-old son was just doodling in school when he drew a picture that included a laser gun and several smiley faces. However, by doing so he was judged to be breaching a rule forbidding 'threatening an educational institution by interference with or disruption of the school'. The boy was suspended from school for five days, but the principal reduced this to three days after speaking with the boy's father.

A 76-year-old Canadian woman reports that she had been happily eating strips of the Edmonton Sun newspaper every day for the last seven years. Then the woman, who wishes to be identified only as Maggie, started having trouble swallowing and visited an internist. Dr Robert J. Bailey at the Royal Alexandra Hospital found a ball of paper blocking her oesophagus. 'We were able to advance the ball out the oesophagus and into her stomach,' he said. He emphasised that Maggie is right in the head but 'just likes to eat newspaper'. She enjoys the taste but plans to give up the habit now.

Greenburgh, New York, police captain Joseph DeCarlo reports that an 18-year-old man bought an artificial flower. Leaving the shop, the young man was accosted by James Mitchell, who ordered 'Give me the rose' and then pulled out a knife. Mitchell, 48, asked for the youth's money as well. The teen replied that he had only $10, whereupon Mitchell said he wanted only $4. 'He tells the kid to go into the pizza parlour and get change,' DeCarlo said. The youth complied, and Mitchell took the $4 and ran off. He was captured a few blocks away.

Kendra Bull, a 20-year-old McDonald's burger-flipper in Georgia, accidentally spilled salt on burger meat. She said her supervisor and another co-worker 'tried to thump the salt off'. On her break, she ate a burger made with the salty meat, deeming it good enough to eat. Police officer Wendell Adams disagreed with that assessment. He received one of the salty burgers and returned to the McDonald's a short while later, reporting that it had made him sick. Adams took Bull aside for questioning, and she spent the night in jail. She was charged with misdemeanour reckless conduct and freed on $1,000 bail. Samples of the burger were sent to the state crime lab for tests.

A 23-year-old Oregon woman told a police officer that she broke into her neighbour's trailer home and started turning it upside down, as she was convinced that the neighbour had stolen her keys. Not finding the keys, she went home, fetched lighter fluid and cooking oil, and then sprayed the fluid on a hot hob. When that didn't start a fire, she placed the oil and a cuddly toy on the stove. She then rang emergency services and hid in a bush across the street to watch the firefighters at work. It was in the bush that her boyfriend found her. Sergeant Clint Riley of the Lane County Sheriff's Office said that the woman explained about her keys, at which point the boyfriend pointed to the keys hanging from her trouser pocket and 'she began to cry'.

About a year ago, Garry Lamar's 78-year-old mother kicked him out of her Rhode Island home, citing abuse. It was then that he began threatening to kidnap her cat. He did this about once a week, extorting money from her each time - for a total haul in excess of $20,000. He did actually kidnap the cat once. North Kingstown Police Sergeant Daniel Ormond said that Lamar has been arrested, released on $200 bail, and ordered to stay away from his mother.

A 22-year-old Cambodian man was disappointed that a local woman had rejected his advances, so he came up with a compromise: when the 21-year-old student was walking home, he attacked her with a syringe. Tan Sophal, a police officer in Cambodia's Battambang province, explained: 'He thought that if he could not marry her, at least his blood can stay inside her body. That's why he injected her with his blood.' She was taken to a hospital for examination, and the man remains in police custody.

Holly Schnobrich's neighbours contacted the Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Sheriff's Office to report that her five-year-old son was driving her car. An officer said: 'It was just bizarre. I asked: "Is this toddler driving your car?" She said: "He's a good driver." The child, however, reported that he was having problems because he couldn't reach the pedals. Schnobrich, 24, was intoxicated at the time. The boy and his three-year-old brother have been taken into state custody.

Chicago's Erasmo Palacios said he was driving his wife and daughter to breakfast when his wife saw a woman who appeared to be in distress. He stopped to help the woman and discovered that the woman was a female police officer pretending to be a prostitute. Officers put Palacios in handcuffs. The car was impounded, and he was in custody for eight hours. The charges were later dropped, but the city still wants more than $4700 in towing and storage fees for the car. Palacios, who is suing the city, said: 'I'm so lucky I was with my wife - imagine if I had to try to tell her and she wasn't with me. She'd never believe me. Never.'

Michigan's Carlos Hartmann, 41, who has lived in the Netherlands since 2002, said that he wanted to punish the country for supporting the war in Iraq. He looked for a Dutch soldier to attack. Unable to find one, Hartmann opted to kill a student who was waiting on a train platform in Roosendaal instead. He reportedly struck the victim in the back of the head with an axe. Hartmann remained at the scene and later confessed to the killing and explained his reasoning.

A would-be armed robber is in hospital in Santander province, Colombia, following his decision to enter a karate academy with a gun. Dozens of martial artists 'put their knowledge to use and disarmed him', said police commander Col. Julio Cesar Santoyo.

Reuters reports that a 57-year-old Iranian businessman reported his briefcase missing as he prepared for his flight from Düsseldorf airport. A policewoman later found the briefcase discarded. It had been pawed through but still contained two envelopes, containing 10,000 euros in cash. A spokesman for the police in Düsseldorf is quoted as saying: 'I think [the thief will] be annoyed when they find out.'

Leicester crown court recently sentenced Nicki Jex to five years behind bars in connection with events involving his girlfriend's Rampant Rabbit vibrator. Jex, 27, had borrowed the vibrator and hid it in a carrier bag. At the end of the work day, he entered a bookmaker's shop and pointed the bag at a member of staff, who handed over 613 GBP. The only customer in the shop followed Jex outside after the robbery. He, too, was threatened with the sex toy. Keeping a distance, the customer watched Jex enter a local pub to buy friends a drink. The cops collected him.

30 September 2007

A car smashed into the side of a Florida home, detaching the home's air-conditioning unit and destroying its fence. Although the car drove off, the homeowner was able to identify it well enough that the police could find the driver. The car was an Orlando patrol car in the use of police officer Sam Cunningham. He was cited for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Illinois teacher Dave Warwak was banned from the Fox River Grove Middle School campus after refusing to stop extolling the virtues of veganism in his classroom. Warwak remains on the school district's payroll but could be fired after a review of the case. The 44-year-old Warwak said that he hopes to keep his job but does insist that the school cafeteria stop serving meat and milk before he resumes teaching.

Since December, 46-year-old Leroy Carr has had several encounters with law enforcement authorities. The latest was by choice: he asked federal agents to issue a news release stating that federal agents had seized the 31 kilos of cocaine that he had smuggled over the Canadian border into Washington. According to US Immigration and Customs, he hoped that 'the drug-trafficking organization would believe his statements that he had not stolen the cocaine'. Carr explained that he'd left the cocaine in two blue backpacks near a Boy Scout camp and that they'd vanished.
About two weeks later, Jeremy Casados, repairing the camp area's fence, found the bags and contacted the police. Carr had simply forgotten where he'd left them.

Alejandro Valencio decided to visit former girlfriend Connie Deweese after she'd told him to stay away from her Evansville, Indiana, house. He became stuck in her chimney at 3:30am. When firefighters arrived in response to her house guests' calls, Deweese, who had blocked the fireplace, asked them to 'leave him in the chimney and let him die' so that the home wouldn't be damaged. The police were called in, rescuers tore out a wall to release the drunken Valencio, and Deweese was cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with firefighters. Valencio was not charged.
Valencio's version of the story was 'I live here; she's my girlfriend' and that he had been trying to surprise her like Santa Claus. Later in the night, Deweese woke up to find that Valencio had returned. She kicked him out, throwing beer bottles at him.

A Swedish physician was discharged from his job for using what authorities termed a controversial technique for curing pain: anal massage. After he was found to be doing the same thing on staff at a Copenhagen hospital's psychiatric ward, Danish welfare board spokeswoman Anne Mette Dons said: 'It is tricky to carry out background checks on foreign doctors because rules vary from country to country.' The doctor, who had been fired from a job in Norway as well, once the hospital discovered his background, explained his conduct thus: 'I have a personality disorder, or rather a syndrome, a form of Aspergers. I am different but cleverer.'

Matt Wilkenson of Portland, Oregon, had been drinking with friends and wanted to impress them with how tame his pet snakes were. He probably did impress them when he put his pet eastern diamondback rattlesnake in his mouth, head first. He also ended up with the snake attached to the back of his throat. As the venom took effect, his tongue began to swell and he found breathing difficult. After a little anti-venom, a breathing tube, and a three-day induced coma, Wilkenson admitted that 'it's actually kind of my own stupid fault', adding that 'they said I had enough venom in me to kill between 12 and 15 people'.

Police in Antioch, California, said that 26-year-old James Ayers and Frederick Guilliee, 38, broke into a large building to steal copper wires. When a police officer shouted that a dog was about to be released and that anyone in the building should therefore give up, Ayers surrendered immediately - to the surprise of the police. The canine unit had been holding a role-playing training session in the building and hadn't known that anyone else was in the area.

According to the Prince George Citizen, British Columbia's Nellie Lefebvre was chopping wood to heat her home when she chopped off her index finger with the hatchet. Doctors glued and bandaged the finger, and she returned to work in the afternoon. She then received a telephone call from her 32-year-old daughter, Corinna: 'Mom, I went out to cut some kindling to start the fire so you wouldn't have to, and I missed and chopped my finger.' All the medic who treated her at Prince George Regional Hospital - and who had helped her mother earlier in the day - could say was: 'Darn those hatchets anyhow.'

Wisconsin's Charles Lewitzke, 81, shaved at a campsite, then applied Brut aftershave and an aerosol deodorant. He reports that he then started a fire in a fire pit and noticed the body parts with Brut ignite. He suffered second- and third-degree burns over 30% of his body. Lewitzke is suing the manufacturer of Brut and the retailer where he bought the aftershave and deodorant. Legal adviser Jeanine Geske explains that the idea of the suit is that the labels warning about not using the products near a fire are insufficient, as they should have said: 'After you put it on you remain flammable for a period of time.'

Shannon Whisnant bought a cooker at the Maiden, North Carolina, auction of the contents of an unpaid-for storage unit. When Whisnant looked inside the cooker, he discovered a human foot. A police investigation determined that the man renting the storage unit had been in an aeroplane crash and had his foot amputated in 2004. He was keeping his foot in the cooker and said he had forgotten it was there. The police indicated that this is fine - it is legal to retain amputated body parts for religious purposes.

Mexican police officials reported that three Mexican boys had been driving on a remote California highway when stopped by a Border Patrol agent who suspected them of carrying marijuana. He handcuffed them and left them to wait in his patrol car while he searched their pickup truck. The keys were still in the police car's ignition, so one of the boys, still in handcuffs, took the wheel and drove the car back across the border near Mexicali. Mexican police used a helicopter to locate the patrol car.

When Pennsylvania neighbours Crystal Adams, 31, and boyfriend James Chandler, 33, fled their fire-engulfed mobile homes, they took their pet dogs with them. Over the next 20 minutes, they were asked numerous times by attending law enforcement officials whether anyone else was in the trailers, according to Center Township fire chief Bill Brucker. Finally they mentioned forgetting to rescue Chandler's four-year-old son. A firefighter retrieved the boy, who was treated for smoke inhalation. Adams had, however, remembered to rescue a small bag of marijuana, which she tried to hide in her trousers after an officer had seen her conceal it on a vehicle.
The couple could face charges of misdemeanour reckless endangerment.


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