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

Published June 19, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Authorities charged Scott Simon, 24, with first-degree murder after he “pocket dialed” 911 and was overheard telling someone he was going to follow a 33-year-old man home from a Waffle House in Broward County, Fla., and kill him. Minutes later, the victim was shot and killed while driving on Interstate 95. “He had no idea he called 911,” sheriff’s official Dani Moschella said of Simon. “He basically told on himself.” (The Miami Herald)

Authorities charged Natasha Myers, 23, with criminal mischief after they said she used a key to scratch a crude sketch of male genitalia on the hood of a stranger’s SUV in a supermarket parking lot in Wesley Chapel, Fla. She then went to the supermarket’s customer service desk, asked for a Post-it note, scribbled a message scolding the driver for not stopping for pedestrians — saying “Don’t be a dick” — and left the note on the SUV’s windshield. The vehicle’s owner saw the damage and the note, then went into the store and called 911. Security camera footage showed Myers writing the note, and sheriff’s deputies traced her to her home. (Tampa Bay Times)

Howdy, Neighbor

Barry Alan Swegle, 51, escalated a long-standing property-line dispute with his neighbor in Port Angeles, Wash., by going on a rampage with a bulldozer-like logging machine that damaged four houses, numerous outbuildings, a pickup truck and a power pole. One of the homes was knocked off its foundation. “It was like a war zone,” said former law enforcement officer Keith Haynes, who lives nearby. (Port Angeles’ Peninsula Daily News)

Reverse Gouging

Husein Sarameh, 51, sold his Super America gas station in Waconia, Minn., for $945,000 and received a down payment of $203,000, but the check bounced. Meanwhile, the new owner had begun selling gas at a discount and tobacco and grocery products for half price. After collecting nearly $50,000 in cash, the new owner fled. Carver County sheriff’s officials said the investigation includes selling gas at a discount, which is illegal under state law because gas prices are regulated. (St. Paul’s KSTP-TV)

Wisconsin authorities launched an investigation after receiving reports that four gas stations in Oconto were selling gas for nearly 50 cents cheaper than other stations in northeast Wisconsin. State law sets a minimum markup on gasoline to protect smaller stations from larger companies that may be able to sell gas at or below cost. (Green Bay’s WBAY-TV)

Pooper Troopers

New York City’s latest parenting trend is diaper-free child rearing, known as “elimination communication.” The idea is that parents listen to the noises or observe the expressions that their babies make when they go or need to go to the bathroom, then make the same noises or expressions while holding them over the toilet, a sink or even a bowl to encourage them to go on cue. Caribou Baby, which describes itself as an “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store,” has been drawing capacity crowds for its diaper-free “Meetups,” where parents exchange tips on such matters as how to get babies to urinate on the street between parked cars. “I think for a lot of parents, the motivation is just to be more in tune with what their kids’ needs are,” Caribou Baby’s owner, Adriane Stare, said. The diaper-free parents said they do put diapers on their babies at nighttime and for trips to stores and restaurants, but not necessarily for naps or visits to the park, where they can go on the ground or behind a tree. (New York Times)

More people on Earth have access to cellphones than to toilets, according to the United Nations. Of the 2.5 billion people lacking access to proper sanitation, 60 percent of whom live in India, the U.N. study reported that 1.1 billion defecate in the open. (Time)

Second-Amendment Follies

After a woman with her grandson at Florida’s Walt Disney World reported finding a loaded gun on a ride, the owner of the weapon, Angelo Lista, told authorities he discovered it was missing minutes after leaving the ride. Noting he has a concealed-carry permit, he explained he didn’t know the park banned weapons and thought the security checkpoint at the park entrance was only so guards could check bags for bombs or explosives. (Associated Press)

Things That Go Kaboom

German police warned rail travelers that automatic ticket machines might explode. Hesse state police official Udo Buehler explained that criminals have successfully blown open 10 of the Deutsche Bhan’s ticket machines by taping over all the holes, filling the machines with gas and igniting them. They then steal any money and blank train tickets inside. In six cases, however, the attempts have failed, leaving the explosive gas inside, where an unsuspecting customer could ignite it. (Associated Press)