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News Quirks


Published October 10, 2007 at 5:42 p.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

After robbing a bank in Marietta, Ga., Garrett Lee Ledbetter, 27, stuffed the money under his T-shirt and dashed across the street to the Mount Zion Baptist Church, hoping, police Officer Gwen Lewis said, to blend into a crowd of volunteers unloading food for distribution to area churches. As he walked among them, $20 and $50 bills fell from his shirt. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that when a woman shouted, "Sir, you're dropping your money," Ledbetter kept on walking, arousing the suspicion of two church members, who happened to be retired law-enforcement officers. They grabbed him and, despite his insistence that he got the money from his parents, held him until police arrived.

* A man who wrapped his head in duct tape to conceal his identity tried to rob a liquor store in Ashland, Ky., police reported, but store owner Bill Steele responded with duct tape of his own, wrapped around a wooden club. The robber fled, but store employee Craig Miller tackled him and held him in a choke hold until police arrived.

After his arrest, Kasey G. Kazee, 24, denied being the duct-tape bandit, even though police photos showed him with the duct tape on and then a photo where his face is revealed. Kazee looked straight at the camera and asked, "Do I look like the duct-tape bandit to you?"

Silver Lining

Steven Earp, 48, was eating a breakfast sandwich while driving in Eugene, Ore., when he choked and passed out. He hit a parked car and regained consciousness, police Sgt. Doug Mozan said, calling Earp's revival a "seatbelt-induced Heimlich maneuver."

All in One

German authorities accused psychotherapist Peter Blaeker, 43, of taking advantage of a patient with multiple-personality disorder. The London Evening Standard reported that Monika Mirte, 44, who also has personalities named Kathrin, Finja and Leonie, went to see Blaeker, who, she said, used "Kathrin for sex and Finja to do the shopping and pay for it, while Leonie gave him money to travel on holidays to Mallorca and Sylt." When Mirte realized what was going on she confronted Blaeker, but he said he couldn't discuss her accusations because he had a "duty of confidentiality" to her other personalities.

Love Hurts

A Hong Kong woman who blinded her boyfriend in one eye in a fight six years ago was jailed for jabbing a chopstick into both his eyes. The South China Morning Post reported that Po Shiu-fong, 58, accused long-time boyfriend Kwok Wai-ming, 49, of having an affair and stabbed a plastic chopstick into his left eye, which she had previously poked with her finger. "Po became hysterical when she saw the wound and mopped it with a towel. The pair then went to bed," the paper said. "The next morning, they had another argument in which she grabbed a chopstick and stabbed Kwok's right eye."

* Scottish police arrested Teresa Brown, 33, on her wedding day after the groom staggered to the front desk of an Aberdeen hotel clutching a bloody towel to his head. "He indicated that his wife had struck him over the head with a stiletto heel," the prosecutor said. Police found Brown in her room while the wedding reception continued downstairs. She told police she and Mark Allerton, 40, had "been accusing each other of different things," the prosecutor said. Brown's lawyer, Stuart Beveridge, said the newlyweds began throwing things at each other after an argument in their room turned physical. "She and her husband are still together," he said, "although this incident has not helped."

Double Trouble

An off-duty sheriff's deputy in Elko County, Nev., was pulled over and charged with driving under the influence by a fellow deputy who also happened to be her husband. The Elko Daily Press reported that Charlotte Moore, 36, left the scene before Mike Moore could administer a portable breathalyzer test, but he pursued her and pulled her over again. This time, he called Elko police officers for assistance.

Thanks for the Mammaries

Fat from the tummy or buttocks could be used to grow new breasts, according to scientists at San Diego-based Cytori Therapeutics, who explained they can create a fat mixture with concentrated stem cells, which, when injected into the breast, apparently encourages tissue to grow. Chemistry and Industry Magazine reported the treatment, which takes only an hour, might eventually rival silicone for those seeking bigger breasts.

Hooked on Rubber

An Indian firm introduced a paan-flavored condom designed to evoke the pungent taste of the betel nut and tobacco concoction chewed by millions of South Asians. Hindustan Latex is targeting the new condom line at prostitutes, the Hindustan Times reported. The company ran taste tests with sex workers using chocolate, banana and strawberry flavors, but the paan flavor came out tops.

Wrong Arm of the Law

Thai authorities will require police officers who break the rules to wear pink armbands featuring "Hello Kitty," the Japanese symbol of cuteness. "Simple warnings no longer work," Pongpat Chayaphan, acting chief of Bangkok's Crime Suppression Division, explained. "This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor. Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It's not something macho police officers want covering their biceps."

Aide Major Weeraprach Wonrat said Pongpat turned to the pink armbands after first trying tartan ones. Instead of feeling shame, however, the officers took the bands home as souvenirs. He said the department has no fallback plan if officers make off with the pink armbands as well.

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