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September 2017

30 September 2017

If you're going to snort cocaine off a smooth, glassy surface, it might be best if that surface isn't the iPhone you're holding while in a public place. Christina Hester, of Fort Myers, Florida, now knows this. This is because of her decision to use some of the drugs in her handbag while in the queue of parents waiting to collect their children at the end of the school day. The school's police resource officer saw this, and Hester, 39, was arrested.

The Youngstown, Ohio, police report on a girl who leapt into a stranger's car, screaming that a scary clown was chasing her. Moments later, a man in a clown mask pulled the six-year-old girl from the car. While the driver summoned the emergency services, the girl freed herself and bolted for Dion Santiago's nearby flat, asking to stay there to escape her pursuer. Santiago, 48, saw the clown outside, so he fired a warning shot into the ground from his window. When police officers arrived, he was arguing with the clown while the girl cowered indoors. Unmasking him revealed Santiago's neighbour Vernon Barrett, Jr, who is the girl's father. Barrett, 25, explained that he had been trying to scare her into behaving, because he didn't want to spank her.
Barrett was arrested for child endangerment and causing panic, while Santiago is charged with using a weapon while intoxicated. Since, according to Barrett, the girl's mother is in jail - for breaking several of her ribs by stepping on her - the child has been placed in the custody of Barrett's girlfriend for now.

Sean Haller is a 39-year-old man who had probably been told many times that it isn't healthy to drink alone, or perhaps he just wanted company. Either way, this Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, man dragged two 12-packs of beer into a woman's home and sat down. He refused to leave, doing so only unwillingly when the woman had the police come calling. The intoxicated Hall was thrown in the county jail to await charges such as criminal trespass. Officers reported that he had paid a similar visit to another woman's home earlier in the day.

According to Switzerland's Tribune de Geneve, a blocked toilet next to the vault of the UBS bank in Geneva's financial district led to the discovery of a mass of high-denomination banknotes clogging the pipes. Shortly after this, three restaurants near the bank encountered similar blockages caused by 500-euro banknotes. The total amount of clogging came to about 100,000 euros.
Two people have come forward to compensate the restaurants for the expenses incurred. Speaking for the local prosecutor's office, Vincent Derouand pointed out that it isn't a crime to block a toilet or to throw away money and that there is no reason to think this is 'dirty money'. He added that efforts to determine the origin of the cash are continuing and that there might be a connection to the European Central Bank's decision to discontinue use of 500-euro notes because they are so often used by criminals.

Sean Harris held up a petrol station in Indiana, making off with food, cigarettes, and drinks. The 33-year-old Harris was in a hurry and apparently forgot something on this illicit shopping trip. A state trooper found him not far off, beside the road with his vehicle, which had run out of fuel. Harris's blood-alcohol level was above legal limits for operating a motor vehicle, adding to the items on his charge sheet.

In other news of drunken cleverness, Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten reported on a 46-year-old German man who visited a polling station in Guben to cast his vote last Sunday while intoxicated. The man didn't have the necessary documents, so officials turned him away. This didn't sit well with the man, so he raised a scene that led to the police being summoned. He was taken to jail, because he had been sentenced to seven months' imprisonment and there was a warrant out for his arrest.

In Manchester, Connecticut, doctors detected unusually high lead levels in a nine-month-old baby's blood, which prompted local public-health authorities to investigate the cause. The girl had not eaten flakes of lead-based paint from windows in her home; the source was much more accessible to her. She had been using a homeopathic 'healing bracelet' as designed, chewing on it to ease teething pain. Spacer beads in the bracelet, which her parents had bought at a local fair, were found to have a lead content of 17,000 parts per million, somewhat above the legal limit of 100 ppm. Efforts to locate the maker of the bracelet were unsuccessful.

Shane Zoller said that his four-year-old daughter, Yanelly, had 'just wanted some damn candy' when reaching into her grandmother's handbag. The grandparents soon found themselves explaining to police officers that Yanelly found a handgun instead and somehow accidentally fired it, shooting herself in the chest. The girl, who enjoyed candy and doing her make-up, will be replaced by a child already on the way.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Matthew Phelps told a 911 dispatcher that, after taking too much cold medicine, 'I had a dream and then I turned on the lights and [my wife is] dead on the floor'. He was initially uncomfortable with trying to verify her status for the dispatcher, explaining 'I don't know. I'm too scared to get too close to her', but it was soon clear that she wasn't breathing. Musing on clues in the room, Phelps, 28, added: 'I have blood all over me and there's a bloody knife on the bed. I think I did it.'
Not long after 29-year-old Lauren Phelps was taken to hospital, she died of her stab wounds. The authorities seemed to agree with Phelps's statement that she 'didn't deserve this', and he has been charged with murder. Meanwhile, the manufacturer of the cold medicine have commented that 'Bayer extends our deepest sympathies to this family'.

A Danville, Kentucky, man visited Cincinatti's JACK Casino, heading for the $1,000 'free money giveaway' in the poker room. After winning $2,000, he was asked to leave. The man, identified by only his first name, Tyler, claims that the casino didn't want him to win any more money, though personnel had cited a stain on his trousers as the reason for asking him to leave. A spokesman for the casino later explained that when the man headed to the toilets, three customers detected unpleasant odours from him and saw him throwing out his underpants.
Tyler says that he is considering all his options since 'they have to have some type of humiliation themselves if they falsely accuse someone of pooping their pants that did not'. The casino representative stated that there is visual evidence that they aren't allowed to release without a court order.

Someone rang the authorities to report having been subjected to gunfire while driving past Jimmy Carson Messer's North Carolina home. When the police arrived to investigate, Messer, 62, and his nephew Bobby Lee Messer, Jr, 30, were drinking beer in the front garden while having a barbecue. Well, almost. They had set a vehicle and lawnmower on fire and were watching the flames.
After talking with the two, officers arrested both of them, though the older man slipped out of his handcuffs and had to be subdued with a stun gun. As soon as Jimmy was released on bail, he returned to his house and set it ablaze. Emergency workers responding to the fire call transported him to an area hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained in the second fire.

Reuters reports on a family in Coventry who rang the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to report an animal hiding under the daughter's bed. Sent to subdue this possibly dangerous lizard, Animal Collection Officer Vic Hurr used her torch to get a look at the unmoving animal, at which point it became clear that the stripey creature was an 18 cm dirty sock. Before leaving the scene, Hurr advised the girl to clean her room.

Chris Mendiola wrote on Facebook about his pet Bear, a rescue dog who 'has a tattoo given to him from some previous owners'. Mendiola posted: 'It sickens me to know that people actually tattoo their pets. So tonight I got his tattoo' in solidarity. He soon was made aware that the tattoo on the dog's underside and now also on Mendiola's arm is a symbol used by veterinarians under Association of Shelter Veterinarians standards to inform other vets that an animal has been neutered.
Later, Mendiola said that he had been aware of the symbol's meaning when getting his arm tattooed. He also has said that he may get a tattoo of Bear's paw print to cover up the symbol on his arm.

Responding to a complaint about an unresponsive person in a vehicle parked near a pond, police officers in Mahwah, New Jersey, found 74-year-old Richard B. Haskell sleeping in his car with a clear bottle of alcohol between his legs. He was awakened, failed a field sobriety test, and then was released to await a visit to court. When Haskell drove to the station a few hours later (just after noon) to see when his car would be released to him, he was greeted with a second sobriety test. He now faces two charges of driving while intoxicated.

Our next item is another of those stories about losing a mobile phone that contains evidence of illegal activity. The setting is Krasnodar, Russia, where a road worker found a phone containing several images of locals Dmitry Baksheyev and Natalya Baksheyeva posing with the dismembered body of a woman they'd started arguing with during a drinking session. One picture showed a cooked human head on a platter with mandarin oranges.
The images prompted a raid on the couple's accommodation at the military academy where they worked. According to state news agency RIA Novosti, authorities found a bag of remains, 19 samples of human skin, video lessons on cooking human meat, and jars of pickled human body parts. Baksheyeva told the authorities that there have been at least 30 victims over the past 18 years.
The couple, who are thought to have attracted at least a few of their victims via online dating sites, may have sold some of the meat to others, such as those providing food for student pilots at the military academy. Restauranteur Vitaly Yakubenko told Komsomolskaya Pravda that Baksheyeva 'kept asking everything about meat, whether I wanted to buy it cheaper'.

Singapore's Straits Times reports on Lim Lye Seng, 60, who is accused of sabotaging seats on public buses on at least four occasions over the summer. He is accused of sticking toothpicks in seats, three toothpicks each, with the pointier end up, so that commuters would prick themselves. Charged with four counts of mischief, he recently told the court that he plans to plead guilty and hire a lawyer. He could face a year or more in jail.

Rail officials in Germany alerted the driver of a high-speed train that someone was clinging to the plastic bellows connecting two carriages. The driver slowed from 160 km/hour and stopped at the next station, where the 59-year-old man was retrieved from the small ledge where, he explained, he had opted to stand after realising that the train was starting to pull away with his luggage inside. The man, believed to be from Romania, spent the rest of the journey to Hannover inside the carriage.

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