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News Quirks


Published May 18, 2011 at 9:19 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department solved a 2004 murder case after homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd recognized the crime depicted in a tattoo on the chest of Anthony Garcia, 25. The 30-year department veteran had been at the scene of the liquor store slaying and remembered the details when he spotted Garcia’s elaborate tattoo while reviewing snapshots of gang members’ markings. Deputies arrested Garcia and put him in a cell with an undercover detective posing as suspect. Garcia soon began bragging about the liquor store killing, which the undercover detective dutifully recorded and played at Garcia’s trial. “Think about it,” Capt. Mike Parker said after Garcia’s conviction. “He tattooed his confession on his chest.” (Los Angeles Times)

Atlanta police responding to a 3 a.m. break-in at a middle school quickly nabbed one suspect, but the other ran away. As an officer gave chase, the man grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to discharge it at the officer but ran smack into a wall. He was treated for a head injury, and police took both suspects into custody. (Atlanta’s WSB-TV)

Off the Record

Requests seeking public documents from Mike Huckabee’s 12 years as governor of Arkansas brought a response from current Gov. Mike Beebe’s chief legal counsel, Tim Gauger, that “former Governor Huckabee did not leave behind any hard-copies of the types of documents you seek. Moreover, at that time, all of the computers used by former Governor Huckabee and his staff had already been removed from the office and, as we understand it, the hard-drives in those computers had already been ‘cleaned’ and physically destroyed.” Huckabee and his aides have also blocked access to videotapes of his sermons as a Southern Baptist minister. An official at one of the churches he led said that much of the archival material pertaining to Huckabee’s tenure had been destroyed. Some of Huckabee’s gubernatorial papers do exist and are in the hands of Ouachita Baptist University, which indicated the records wouldn’t be accessible until after the 2012 presidential campaign. (Mother Jones)

Ready to Rumble

When a 73-year-old school crossing guard in Lansing, Mich., tried to break up a fight between a 6-year-old boy and his 7-year-old classmate, the parents of the 6-year-old attacked him. James Thompson wound up with a broken tooth, and police charged Shareka McKinney, 29, and Darell Livingston, 26, with assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Before Thompson stepped in, the 6-year-old threw a punch that knocked the other boy to the ground. (Lansing State Journal)

Friends Indeed

After driving a friend to a pharmacy in Mountain View, Calif., to pick up her prescription for painkillers, a husband and wife demanded the 50-year-old woman hand over the drugs. When she refused, according to police official Liz Wylie, the wife, who was riding in the front seat with her husband driving, reached back, stole $160 from the victim’s purse, took the bottle containing about 90 oxycodone pills and punched her three times in the face. When the victim tried to phone for help, the husband took her cellphone. The wife then threw the victim’s dog out the window, and the husband shoved the victim out of the moving car. “We know who the suspects are,” Wylie said. “I think they’ve been friends for years.” (Palo Alto Daily News)

Occupational Hazard

Human cannonball Matt Cranch, 23, was shot 50 feet into the air as part of Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show, which was performing at England’s Kent County Showground, but the cannon’s recoil caused the safety net to collapse. Cranch hit the ground headfirst, according to witnesses, and died at the hospital. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

End of an Era

The Florida House voted to repeal the state’s “potty parity” law, which was enacted in 1992 after women complained of long lines at restrooms at football games. The law mandated a male-to-female toilet ratio in public buildings. A staff analysis leading to the provision’s repeal found that including the International Plumbing Code into Florida’s Building Code provides a better standard based on overall building occupancy. (Associated Press)

Don’t Have a Cow, Man

A man wearing a cow costume stole 26 gallons of milk, retail value $92, from a Walmart store in Stafford County, Va. He was observed crawling out of the store, imitating a cow. Witnesses said the man handed the milk to passersby, then rose up on two feet and was last seen “skipping down the sidewalk,” according to sheriff’s official Bill Kennedy. A deputy responding to a call of a disturbance at a nearby McDonald’s spotted a man, not wearing a cow suit, who seemed to match the thief’s description. The deputy found a cow suit in the man’s car and charged Jonathan Payton, 18, with a misdemeanor. “I suspect it was a prank that went too far,” Kennedy said. “It would have been funny if he hadn’t taken the milk.” (Manassas News & Messenger)

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