News Quirks | News Quirks | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published February 22, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

When police pulled over Walter Upshaw, 32, for failing to come to a complete stop before entering a roadway in Orlando, Fla., Upshaw apologized to Officer Shawn Overfield and explained, “My gun is digging in my hip.” Overfield found the loaded .380-caliber pistol, which Upshaw, as a convicted felon on probation, is prohibited from carrying. (Orlando Sentinel)

A gunman, identified as Mostafa Kamel Hendi, 25, demanded cash at the We Buy Gold store in Hendersonville, N.C., but when he stepped behind the counter to get the money, clerk Derek Mothershead knocked him unconscious with a left hook and grabbed the weapon, which turned out to be a pellet gun. Mothershead called the police and, when Hendi came to, handed him a roll of paper towels, sprayed the floor with cleaner and made him clean up his own blood. (Greenville, S.C.’s WYFF-TV)

Slightest Provocation

Police in Palm Bay, Fla., said Earl Persell, 56, attacked his live-in girlfriend during a heated argument over musical performers Ike and Tina Turner. (Melbourne’s Florida Today)

Authorities charged Marvin Potter, 60, with murdering a couple in Mountain City, Tenn., because they deleted his adult daughter as a friend on Facebook. (Associated Press)

Reasonable Explanation

Police who arrested Evelyn Marie Fuller, 49, for robbing a bank in Waynesburg, Pa., reported she confessed to the crime and “stated she wanted to use the money to pay for dentures she was unable to get through welfare until next year.” (Associated Press)


Accused of stabbing a bartender in LaCrosse, Wis., Anquin St. Junious, 32, later suffered a beating that hospitalized him. While St. Junious sat motionless in a wheelchair, his attorney asked Circuit Judge Scott Horne to release his client from jail because he can’t move his arms, can’t walk for more than 15 seconds and has a hole in his throat that is susceptible to infection if he remains in custody. Contradicting the claim was surveillance video showing St. Junious doing pushups in his jail cell. The judge refused to release St. Junious and promptly doubled his bond. (LaCrosse Tribune)

Police investigating a cross burning in the driveway of a mixed-race couple in Panama City, Fla., assumed it was a hate crime. Two days later, the wife, Donna Williams, who is white, said she found handwritten notes taped to the front and side doors, warning her “that I better not leave that nigger.” It was signed “KKK.” Wondering, “When did the KKK start supporting black and white interracial marriages,” she noticed the handwriting was similar to her husband’s. When police questioned LB Williams, 50, he admitted setting the fire and writing the note, hoping to frighten her so she wouldn’t divorce him. (Panama City’s News-Herald)

After prison psychologist Laurie Ann Martinez, 36, reported that a stranger beat, robbed and raped her at home in Sacramento, Calif., police investigators spent hundreds of hours on the case before concluding that Martinez faked the crime. Authorities said she split her own lip with a pin, scraped her knuckles with sandpaper, had a friend punch her in the face and even wet her pants to make it appear that she’d been knocked unconscious. Martinez, her friend and two coworkers eventually admitted the whole episode was a setup aimed at convincing Martinez’s husband that the couple needed to move to a safer neighborhood. Instead, they filed for divorce six weeks after the incident. “If all you wanted to do is move,” police Sgt. Andrew Pettit said, “there’s other ways than staging a burglary and rape.” (Associated Press)

Lawmakers of the Week

Oklahoma State Sen. Ralph Shortey introduced a bill that would prohibit the manufacture or sale of any food in which aborted fetuses were used to develop any of the ingredients. Shortey admitted that he knows of no company that uses human fetuses in food research but said he drafted his measure based on “suggestions” he read on the internet. (Associated Press)

Protesting a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell attached an amendment requiring men to have a rectal exam before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. The Republican-controlled senate passed the mandatory ultrasound measure but rejected Howell’s amendment by a vote of 21 to 19. (Huffington Post)