But He Started It!
Tennis instructor Osmailer Torres, 30, of Miami, was arrested in July 2016 after hitting a 5-year-old with the child's pint-sized tennis racket and causing a bruise on the boy's arm and a lump on his eyebrow, reports the Miami Herald. But now, Torres believes he has a grand-slam defense: Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense law. Defense lawyer Eduardo Pereira told the Herald the child was the "initial aggressor" who had participated in "various violent altercations" against other children, and Torres had acted "reasonably in trying to prevent harm" to others. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts will consider the claim in an upcoming hearing.
Mazen Dayem, 36, of Staten Island, N.Y., obtained a restraining order against his father-in-law, Yunes Doleh, 62, in September after Doleh repeatedly tormented him by waving his hairpiece at Dayem, provoking Dayem's greatest phobia—the Tasmanian Devil of Loony Tunes fame. Not easily detered, Doleh was arrested on Nov. 5 for violating the order after he "removed his wig (and) made hand gestures" at a funeral the two attended, Dayem explained to the New York Post. "It's just a very large fear of mine, his damn wig. ... I have nightmares." Court papers say Doleh "proceeded to grimace, snarl, gurn and gesticulate." He was charged with criminal mischief in Staten Island County court, and then sued his son-in-law for defamation after photos from the arrest appeared on social media.
Least Competent Criminals
Teller County (Colo.) Sheriff Jason Mikesell listed his SUV for sale on Craigslist in November, and he was a little perplexed when he received a response from Shawn Langley, 39, of Vail, offering to trade the SUV for four pounds of marijuana. Langley even provided photos of his black market booty and boasted about its quality, reported The Colorado Springs Gazette. "I saw that text, and I started giggling," Mikesell said. Detectives set up a meeting and arrested both Langley and Jane Cravens, 41, after finding the promised four pounds of marijuana in their car. Sheriff Mikesell has removed his SUV from Craigslist.
Hiding in Plain Sight
On Nov. 27, 27-year-old Corey Hughes, who was due to be released from prison in February after serving most of a weapons charge, walked away from a San Joaquin County sheriff's work crew in Stockton, Calif., according to The Fresno Bee. It took police almost a month to track him to a home in Stockton, where they surrounded the dwelling and apprehended him without incident—which might not be so remarkable were it not for the distinctive, whole-face tattoo Hughes sports, which makes his face look like a human skull. He was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail.
Good Deed, Punished
Malcolm Whitfield of Rochester, N.Y., was only trying to help when he ordered a Lyft car to deliver a drunk woman home from a bar in November. But when the woman vomited in the car, Whitfield was hit with a $150 fine to cover the damage. "For a second, I was like, 'Never do anything nice again!'" Whitfield told 13WHAM. Lyft's terms and conditions include damage fees, which most people don't see in the fine print. Update: Lyft later refunded Whitfield's fine and added $100 to his Lyft account for future rides. "Mr. Whitfield absolutely did the right thing by helping someone get home safely," said Scott Coriell, a Lyft spokesperson.
It was just another early December day at the Horsetooth Store, Gas and RV Park outside Fort Collins, Colo., as employee Lori Jones conducted inventory and restocked shelves. Suddenly, she looked up to see "Mama," a doe deer, inside the store, "looking at the sunglasses. Then she looked at the ice cream and over at the chips," Jones told CBS Denver. "I kind of did a double take." When shooing the deer away didn't work, she broke out a peanut bar and lured the doe into a nearby field. Jones then returned to work, but soon looked up to find Mama was back, this time with her three fawns in tow. It took another peanut bar to draw the family away from the store, and Jones said she has learned her lesson. "You should never feed the deer because they're going to keep coming back."
A mom in Hillsboro, Ore., came up with the perfect retaliation for a porch pirate who nabbed her baby son's Christmas pajamas package off the front porch. Angie Boliek told KATU she wanted to get her own "passive-aggressive revenge," so she taped up a box full of 10 to 15 dirty diapers with a note reading "Enjoy this you thief!" Boliek left the box on her porch on Dec. 3, and by the evening of Dec. 4 it was gone. Boliek alerted Hillsboro police, but they don't have any leads in the investigation. "It was fun to come home and see that it was gone," Boliek said.
New World Order
Taisei Corp., a construction company based in Tokyo, announced in December that it will use autonomous drones, taking flight in April, to combat karoshi, or overwork death, reported The Independent. The drones will hover over desks of employees who have stayed at work too long and blast "Auld Lang Syne," a tune commonly used in Japanese shops getting ready to close. A company statement said: "It will encourage employees who are present at the drone patrol time to leave, not only to promote employee health but also to conduct internal security management." Experts are skeptical: Scott North, professor of sociology at Osaka University, told the BBC that "to cut overtime hours, it is necessary to reduce workloads."
Paul Jacobs, 42, of South Hampshire, England, ordered a roll of bubble wrap from Amazon in November to protect his plants during a coming cold snap. Soon the box of bubble wrap arrived, protected by 100 feet of brown packing paper—enough to cover his whole backyard, he told the Daily Mail. "At first I thought they'd sent me the wrong order because the box was so heavy," Jacobs said. He expects it will take two recycling collections to get rid of all the paper packaging.
At the courthouse in the Belgian port city of Ostend, performance artist Mikes Poppe, 34, was hoping to make a statement on the weight of history when he chained his leg to a 3-ton block of Carrara marble on Nov. 10 and began slowly chipping himself free. The Straits Times reports that for 19 days, Poppe ate, slept and worked on the marble until curator Joanna De Vos ordered the chain cut "for practical reasons." "I don't see the fact that I was freed as a failure," Poppe told the Flemish-language Het Laatste Nieuws. "The act of getting free in itself was not the main goal," he added, although he admitted that doing so had been more difficult than he thought. "I really underestimated that block of marble."
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