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News Quirks


Published March 21, 2012 at 5:52 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

David Kelly, 52, sat idling at a traffic light in Chicago shortly after midnight when, according to a sergeant in a police squad car next to him, Kelly rolled down his window and yelled, “Hey, you looking for me? You guys want me?” The sergeant pulled Kelly over to check. While approaching Kelly’s vehicle, the sergeant smelled pot and noticed the butt of a handgun. A search turned up a .357 Magnum handgun on the front seat, a loaded assault rifle with additional magazines in the back and about 30 grams of cannabis. Kelly also lacked a valid driver’s license. Before the resulting multiple weapons and drug charges, including driving while under the influence of cannabis, Kelly had no prior criminal history and outstanding warrants. (Chicago Tribune)

Lawmakers to the Rescue

Louisiana Sen. Dan Claitor introduced a bill making it illegal for drive-through daiquiri shops to use lids with a hole for straws. “The bill simply says it can’t be pre-perforated,” the lawmaker said, declaring that removing the straw hole would make it harder for drive-through daiquiri customers to drink and drive. (New Orleans’s WWL Radio)

Slightest Provocation

Sheriff’s deputies accused Alicia Martin, 28, and Kathryn Rayannic, 23, of attacking two bar employees in St. James City, Fla., because they were angry that none of the customers was willing to pay to see their breasts. Witnesses said the women had consumed “excessive quantities” of beer at the bar, and when they ran out of money “were offering to show their boobs for drinks,” waiter Shaun Bassett said. “Basically, when they were turned down, they kind of got a little rowdy.” The two victims escorted the women to the parking lot, where the women turned and punched one employee in the head and threatened the other with a knife. (Fort Myers’s WZVN-TV)

A clerk at a Detroit gas station shot a customer who complained that the price of condoms was too high. Police said the customer bought a box of condoms but told the clerk he could have gotten them cheaper elsewhere. After being denied a refund, the customer began tossing items off the shelves. The night clerk appeared with a gun and fired a warning shot that struck the customer in the shoulder. He died at the hospital. (Detroit’s WWJ-TV)

Philadelphia police accused Tyrirk Harris, 27, of fatally shooting his 47-year-old neighbor after the neighbor’s dogs pooped in his yard. “We believe this is not an isolated incident,” Chief Inspector Scott Small said. “There have been arguments over these dogs in the past.” (Philadelphia’s WCAU-TV)

Way to Go

While visiting a friend in Havelock, N.C., Gary Allen Banning, 43, took a gulp from a jar by the kitchen sink that he thought contained a beverage but was really gasoline. He spit it out, according to police investigators, but some got on his clothes. Then he lit a cigarette. He burst into flames. He died at the hospital. (Associated Press)

An explosion killed a 20-year-old man and injured two friends keeping warm in a garage in Taylor, Mich., after one of them poured gasoline on a wood-burning stove with a fire going. (Detroit Free Press)


Police arrested a carpenter in Zimbabwe, according to Lawyers for Human Rights, after loyalists of President Robert Mugabe reported overhearing the man question whether Mugabe still had the strength to blow up balloons at his 88th birthday celebration. (Associated Press)


Sharon Smiley, 48, was fired from her job as a reception and administrative assistant at a Chicago real estate company because she punched out of work for lunch but remained at her desk to finish a project a manager had assigned her. When another manager told her it was time to go to lunch, she refused. Company policy at Equity Lifestyle Properties, where she’d worked for 10 years, requires hourly workers to take a 30-minute lunch break. Smiley filed for unemployment benefits but was ruled ineligible because she had been discharged for misconduct connected with her work. An appeals court called the ruling “clearly erroneous.” After receiving benefits for nine months, Smiley found a similar job that allows her to work at her desk during lunch all she wants. (ABC News)

Fetishes of the Week

Investigators accused veteran third-grade teacher Mark Berndt, 61, of seeking sexual gratification by blindfolding pupils to play a “tasting game” and then spoon-feeding them his semen. (Los Angeles Times)

A judge sentenced Anthony Garcia, 32, to two years in federal prison for tricking four women at an Albuquerque, N.M., grocery store into sampling yogurt laced with his semen. (Albuquerque’s KOAT-TV)

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