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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: news of the weird

Cops: Pa. inmate hails cab from hospital

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies say a western Pennsylvania county jail inmate wearing an orange-and-white striped uniform tried to hail a taxi to escape from a hospital where he was taken for medical treatment.

The Beaver County Times (http://bit.ly/OipJ1g ) reports Tuesday that 23-year-old Holden Wooley was taken to Heritage Valley Beaver Hospital on Saturday night after a reported seizure. Deputies say at one point during his four-hour hospital visit, Wooley went outside to hail a cab — but the driver refused to pick him up.

When hospital security officers tried to grab him, Wooley ran into the woods. Police say he was arrested a couple hours later when officers used a dog and a stun gun to subdue him. He was treated for a dog bite at the hospital and returned to jail.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Wooley.

9.5 tons of garlic stolen in Austria

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian police did not need sniffing dogs to locate this suspected heist — 9.5 tons of garlic.

The Austria Press Agency says police stopped three overloaded and sagging vans about to cross into Hungary from Austria on Wednesday and found them packed to the roof with the pungent cargo. After questioning the five men in the vehicles they charged them on suspicion of receiving stolen goods.

Police say the garlic apparently came from Spain and estimate its value at €30,000 ($37,500). The men — all Romanian nationals — were not named, in line with Austrian privacy laws.

APA cites one officer as saying it was clear what the vans were carrying even before their doors were opened.

“All three vehicles really stunk like garlic,” he says.

Ohio woman broke into house to clean

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Police in suburban Cleveland say a woman who owns a cleaning service broke into a house and washed the dishes, took out the trash, and vacuumed before leaving a handwritten bill with her name on it.

And police say it might not be the first time.

The woman, Sue Warren of Elyria, is in jail on a burglary charge.

Police in Westlake say Warren broke into a home last week and began tidying up, but she didn't take anything. They say she then wrote out a bill for $75 on a napkin and included her name and address.

One officer says Warren told him she does it all the time.

A call to Warren's cleaning business was not answered Thursday. It's not immediately known if she has an attorney.

Naked unicyclist arrested in Texas

KEMAH, Texas (AP) — Police say a man arrested in a Southeast Texas city for riding his unicycle in the nude was distracting drivers and creating a hazard.

Kemah police Chief Greg Rikard says 45-year-old Joseph Glynn Farley was not intoxicated or impaired when he was arrested Wednesday on a bridge in the city 20 miles southeast of Houston.

Rikard says Farley had been falling off the unicycle and into traffic.

Farley told officers that he liked the feeling of riding without his clothes, which were found at the base of the bridge.

Police charged Farley, of Clear Lake, with misdemeanor indecent exposure. Bond is set at $1,500.

Online jail records did not list an attorney for Farley.

Judge: Buy wife flowers, then dinner

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A spat over forgetting to wish his wife a happy birthday landed a South Florida man in jail on domestic violence charges.

When Judge Jay Hurley heard the circumstances that brought 47-year-old Joseph Bray to bond court Tuesday, he issued a unique ruling.

Hurley ordered Bray to buy a birthday card and flowers for his wife before taking her to dinner at Red Lobster and bowling afterward. Hurley ruled the couple should begin seeing a marriage counselor immediately.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports Hurley felt this was a “better resolution” since the incident was minor and Bray had no prior arrests. Bray's wife told the judge she's not afraid of her husband.

A police report indicates Bray pushed his wife during an argument but never hit her.

Fleeing Ore. men hurl marijuana from car

This Dec. 13  photo released by the Oregon State Police shows the interior of a car driven by two men arrested Monday night after throwing marijuana out the window during a high-speed police chase.

EUGENE Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state trooper says he was giving chase at more than 100 mph when men in the car ahead ripped open half-pound bags of marijuana and began flinging it out of the window. 

Trooper Clay Core tells the Eugene Register-Guard that the pot was “pelting my car” as the chase continued north Monday night along Interstate 5 toward Eugene. 

Eventually, the car stopped, and officers detained Nathan Garza, 32, (left) and Joshua Edward Lutz, 33, (right) on several charges, including tampering with evidence.

Core says jettisoning the pot was an unsuccessful attempt to get rid of evidence.

Between the car and what officers found along the interstate, Core says, five pounds of pot was retrieved. And, Core says, officers worked Monday night and Tuesday morning to make sure they picked up all of it.

Meghann's disclaimer: When I was in high school, I worked with Lutz's ex-girlfriend and his sister at McDonald's in Corvallis, Ore.

Nigeria dismisses ‘killer’ phone number

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's government is assuring people in Africa's most populous nation: a phone call can't kill you.

A text message has spread across the oil-rich country in recent days, warning that people will die if they answer mobile phone calls from 09141. The widespread fear forced the Nigerian Communications Commission to issue a statement Wednesday saying it is “unimaginable that somebody will die while receiving a call.”

Commission spokesman Reuben Muoka says: “It is only very gullible people that will believe such a rumor.”

Text message panics in Nigeria have included rumors of bombings and rumors that acid rain from seasonal dust storms can burn people alive. The campaigns are aided by poor education and lack of faith in the government.

A call to the number Thursday resulted in no fatalities.

SAfrican man wakes in morgue fridge

By NASTASYA TAY,Associated Press
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African man awoke to find himself in a morgue fridge — nearly a day after his family thought he had died, a health official said Monday.

Health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the man awoke Sunday afternoon, 21 hours after his family called in an undertaker who sent him to the morgue after an asthma attack.

Morgue owner Ayanda Maqolo said he sent his driver to collect the body shortly after the family reported the death. Maqolo said he thought the man was around 80 years old.

“When he got there, the driver examined the body, checked his pulse, looked for a heartbeat, but there was nothing,” Maqolo told the Associated Press.

But a day after staff put the body into a locked refrigerated compartment, morgue workers heard someone shouting for help. They thought it was a ghost, the morgue owner said.

“I couldn't believe it!” Maqolo said. “I was also scared. But they are my employees and I had to show them I wasn't scared, so I called the police.”

After police arrived, the group entered the morgue together.

“I was glad they had their firearms, in case something wanted to fight with us,” Maqolo said.

He said the man was pale when they pulled him out.

“He asked, 'How did I get here?'” Maqolo said.

The health department said the man was then taken to a nearby hospital for observation and later discharged by doctors who deemed him stable.

Kupelo, the health department spokesman, urged South Africans to call on health officials to confirm that their relatives are really dead.

The man's family was informed that he was alive during a family meeting convened to make funeral arrangements. They're very happy to have him home, Maqolo said.

But Maqolo said he is still trying to recover from the traumatic experience.

“I couldn't sleep last night, I had nightmares,” he said. “But today I'm much better.”

Spain: Contortionist thief hid in suitcase

By DANIEL WOOLLS,Associated Press
MADRID (AP) — A man was arrested in Spain after curling himself up inside a large suitcase that was placed in an airport bus cargo bay and sneaking out to steal from other people's luggage, police said Thursday.

The man arrested last week was 5-foot-10 and very thin, a police official in the northeastern Catalonia region said. An accomplice was also arrested.

The suspects were successful on several occasions before being caught, the police official said on condition of anonymity because of department rules. The accomplice would place the contortionist thief inside the cargo bay of a bus running from the airport in the city of Girona south to Barcelona, board the bus and then retrieve him at the end of the line.

During the 60-mile ride, the man would slip out of the suitcase and use a sharp object to pick locks or open zippers to get into other people's luggage, police said. He stole objects including cell phones, laptops and GPS devices and would place them in a smaller bag that he brought with him. The thief would then get back into the larger suitcase and when the bus reached its destination, the accomplice would retrieve both pieces of luggage.

Police were alerted by bus riders who reported items stolen from their baggage.

Pair serves pool time for rafting offense

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A northeast Ohio couple found themselves up to their ankles in trouble for rafting on a flood-swollen river without life preservers and lying about it afterward.

 A judge sentenced them to stand in a tiny swimming pool while wearing life jackets and handing out water safety brochures Saturday at a festival in Painesville, 30 miles northeast of Cleveland.

Twenty-year-old Grace Nash and 22-year-old Bruce Crawford pleaded guilty to misdemeanor misconduct during an emergency. Searchers spent hours looking for them last month after they were spotted on the Grand River. They made it to land but lied to an official about being in the water.

They chose the pool punishment and community service over 60 days in jail.

Nash tells The News-Herald in Willoughby they've learned their lesson.

‘Batman’ charged w/ trespassing in Mich.

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — Holy trespassing, Batman!

A 31-year-old man dressed as the comic book Caped Crusader was arrested Wednesday in Petoskey after he was seen hanging from the top wall of a downtown business. 

The Petoskey News-Review reports officers went up on the roof about 12:40 a.m. and pulled the 31-year-old man back onto the building.

Public Safety Director John Calabrese says he believes the man “enjoys doing this.”

Officers confiscated a baton-like weapon, a can of chemical irritant spray and lead-lined gloves.

The Harbor Springs man, pictured after his arrest, is awaiting arraignment on charges of trespassing and possession of a dangerous weapon.

He's being held in the Emmet County jail.

Petoskey is in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula, about 225 miles northwest of Detroit. ;

DUI suspect stops for food before arrest

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say a woman insisted on picking up some fast food before she allowed an officer to charge her with drunken driving.

The Plain Dealer newspaper of Cleveland reports police in suburban North Royalton got a call about a car weaving and going off a road at a little after 1 a.m. earlier this month.

A patrolman tracked the vehicle to the drive-thru of a Taco Bell restaurant and pulled up alongside. The police report says the driver had sunglasses on and her speech was slurred. She was ordered to get out of the line, but first she proceeded to the second window to grab her order.

Police say the woman's blood-alcohol level tested at nearly twice the legal limit.

Meghann's note: This reminds me of an article I wrote back in 2008 about DUI arrests at drive throughs. Check it out here.

Ohio man charged after barking at K-9

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog.

A police report says 25-year-old Ryan James Stephens was charged with teasing a police dog in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason.

Officer Bradley Walker wrote that he heard the K9 dog barking uncontrollably inside his patrol car while he was investigating a car crash at a pub early Sunday morning. Walker says Stephens was making barking noises and hissing at the animal.

Walker reported that Stephens said “the dog started it” when asked why he was harassing the animal. The officer said Stephens appeared highly intoxicated.

There was no answer to calls to Stephens' home in Mason. He is to appear April 21 in municipal court.

Dumpster hideout prompts mental exam

A man hid in the back of a garbage truck near East Wenatchee on Tuesday, prompting authorities to take him to receive mental health treatment.

The site manager of the Waste Management Land Fill, 191 S. Webb Ave.,saw the man crawl out of the back of a garbage tuck as employees were dumping it into the land fill.

The man was not injured. He told Douglas County sheriff's deputies he was ridding in the dumpster “to escape people who were chasing him,” accoridng to a news release.

A deputy drove the man to a hosptial for a mental health evaluation. He does not face criminal charges.

Colo. woman busted for DUI after griping

DENVER (AP) — Police in a Denver suburb say a woman was arrested for drunken driving after she complained to officers about how they parked their patrol cars as they were investigating a DUI-related crash.

Trevor Materasso of Westminster police told KMGH-TV that 49-year-old Katherine Morse was taken into custody after she walked up to police trying to move a car in the crash Sunday.

Materasso says police had parked their cars to prevent a suspected drunk driver in the crash from leaving the scene. He says officers told Morse to return to her car and she became “belligerent with them, telling them it was a stupid place” for a traffic stop.

Materasso says that's when officers realized “she too was drunk.”

Morse also faces obstructing police charges.

Intruder, victim call police on each other

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon police say both an intruder and a Portland homeowner phoned 911 to report the same thing: a strange man in a home.

Lt. Kelli Sheffer says the intruder told police he had just broken into a home Monday evening when the owner arrived — and the caller was worried the homeowner might have a gun.

Accompanied by his two German Shepherds, the homeowner found the intruder and asked what he was doing in the house. That's when the stranger locked himself in a bathroom and phoned police.

The homeowner called police with his account.

Sheffer says 24-year-old Timothy James Chapek, of Portland, was booked into jail for investigation of first-degree criminal trespass.

Ohio DUI suspect drinks in front of cop

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Police in northern Ohio say a man who was asked during a traffic stop whether he'd been drinking took a swig from an open can of beer and told the officer, “Yes.”

 According to Cleveland's WJW-TV, the Elyria police report says 25-year-old Stephen Supers was pulled over early Wednesday because the officer had observed him speeding.

The report says that after Supers took the drink in front of the officer he failed a series of field sobriety tests.

Supers is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on charges including driving under the influence, driving under suspension and possession of marijuana.

A message was left at his home phone number in Elyria on Thursday. Court records do not list his attorney

Police: Ohio DUI suspect pulled self over

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio can't take too much credit for stopping a woman they say was drinking and driving — they say she pulled herself over.

Officers in the Lake Erie town of Sandusky say the woman stopped because she thought she saw police lights, but it turns out the flashing lights were from a skating rink sign.

The Sandusky Register reports that the woman's car got stuck in a snowbank near the sign when she stopped early Monday and another motorist called police.

Officers say they took 27-year-old Nicole Scott to jail on charges of operating a vehicle under the influence. Police say Scott denied she had been driving. There is no telephone listing for Scott and it isn't clear whether she has an attorney.

Giant spoon stolen in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Hey, diddle, diddle! The cat and the fiddle … the thief ran off with the spoon?

The owner of Bellingham's Fountain Bistro is hoping someone will spot a 4-foot-tall silver spoon that vanished from the restaurant over the weekend.

Jill Holmes says the spoon was screwed onto the north side of the building along with a giant fork. She noticed it was missing Sunday morning so figures it must have been taken late Saturday night.

In the nursery rhyme, “the dish ran away with the spoon.” Holmes suspects a thief with a screwdriver.

Holmes tells the Bellingham Herald she has a sense of humor about the theft now, but she still wants her spoon back. She says the fork is lonely.

Woman accused in child support scam

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Police say a Georgia woman used a friend's baby to collect more than $1,600 in child support from an ex-boyfriend after she convinced him the child was his.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Capt. Craig Dodd says Regina Thompson's ex-boyfriend paid the money over two years. Dodd says the ex-boyfriend even had pictures made at the girl's birthday party.

The 38-year-old Thompson has been charged with five counts of theft. Police say she was keeping her friend's child when she concocted the scheme.

The girl's mother, Lastraga McCloud, didn't know anything about the plot. Police say it began to unravel when the girl, now five, began to talk more and told Thompson's ex-boyfriend, Joseph Golden, that he wasn't her father.

Thompson did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

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