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Entrepreneurial Spirit

Perplexing people, kooky crimes and odd headlines from around the globe.



Entrepreneurial Spirit
Scientists are aghast at an eBay listing offering a rare baby T-rex fossil for a $2.95 million buy-it-now price. Fossil hunter Alan Detrich, who discovered the fossil in 2013, is believed to have created the listing in February for the 68-million-year-old artifact, which until recently had been on loan to the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas. CNBC reported the specimen has a 15-foot-long body, 21-inch skull and serrated teeth, and Detrich estimates its age at death to be about 4 years. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology issued a statement expressing concerns that "the fossil, which represents a unique part of life's past, may be lost from the public trust. ... Only casts and other replicas of vertebrate fossils should be traded, not the fossils themselves."

Another Day at Walmart
At around 8:30 p.m. on April 10, things got interesting at an Eau Claire, Wis., Walmart store. Lisa Smith, 46, entered the store with her unleashed dog, Bo, according to police, and as Bo distracted shoppers and store staff, Smith pulled apart store displays, putting them in her cart. After being asked by workers to leave the store, Smith went out to the parking lot and started practicing karate moves. Bo grabbed a box of Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix and also attempted to leave the store. Meanwhile, Smith's son, Benny Vann, 25, had made his way to the back of the store, where he completely undressed, exposing himself to other shoppers, and grabbed new clothes from store racks before attempting to run over police officers with his scooter. WHO TV reported Smith was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and misdemeanor bail jumping. Vann racked up charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, disorderly conduct and retail theft. Bo, police said, received only a warning for his theft of the muffin mix.

• Crossville, Tenn., police officers pulled over Sally Selby, 45, at 5 a.m. on April 5 as she motored down Highway 127—in the slow lane—driving a Walmart mobility scooter. She was on her way to the Waffle House, she said, to buy a cup of coffee. WTVF reported that Selby initially told officers she had built the scooter, but Walmart confirmed it was one of theirs and had surveillance video of Selby driving the scooter out of the store to back up their story. She was arrested for theft.

The Continuing Crisis
In Cary, N.C., Wake County Deputy J. Rattelade, responding to a report of a car crash on the evening of April 5, found one of the drivers, Derwood Johnson, 36, of Fort Worth, Texas, had gotten out of his car and removed all his clothes before starting to walk across the street. As Deputy Rattelade tried to arrest him, Johnson hit her on the head, reported WTVD. With the help of other first responders and some pepper spray, Rattelade was able to subdue Johnson, who was charged with assault on a government official. Rattelade was unhurt; Johnson was taken to an area hospital for further evaluation.

• On April 13, a family in Newtown, Conn., returned home from a morning shopping trip to find Joseph Achenbach, 35, wandering around inside their home naked. The Watertown man had crashed his SUV in the homeowners' backyard and moseyed inside through an unlocked glass door. Achenbach's clothes could not be found at the scene, leading police to believe he had been naked when he crashed. FOX61 reported that he was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing and driving while intoxicated.

Stay in School
When the Wilkinson School in El Granada, Calif., received a bomb threat on the morning of April 11, it didn't take long for administrators to empty the building of staff and students. But law officers searching the grounds found nothing—because the threatening phone call actually came from 2,100 miles away, in Woodville, Miss. That's where a 15-year-old student intended to threaten her own Wilkinson County High School, reported the San Jose Mercury News, but apparently didn't check her Google search thoroughly enough before dialing.

We've all swatted at pesky sweat bees buzzing around our heads, but a Taiwanese woman suffered a more invasive form of irritation after participating in the Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, when Taiwanese people visit their families' graves to spruce them up. The 29-year-old woman, identified by her surname, He, thought she had gotten dirt in her eye, but when the eye later swelled shut, she went to Fooyin University Hospital for help, The Washington Post reported. Hung Chi-ting, the hospital's head of ophthalmology, looked in her eye through a microscope and was startled to see insect legs wiggling in her eye socket. The doctor eventually extracted four sweat bees from her eyelid. The bees, which crave salt, were feeding off of He's tears, he explained. She is expected to fully recover, and the bees, still alive, were kept for further study.

Suspicions Confirmed
A concerned animal lover in Devon, England, contacted authorities on April 8 to report that a fox she had been watching hadn't moved for several days, reported Fox News. In response, Ellie Burt, an officer with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, suggested trying the "broom test," which didn't make the fox stir, but Burt was told it "tracked them with its eyes and seemed to be breathing well." When Burt arrived on the scene, she quickly diagnosed the problem: The fox was a fake, "stuffed by a taxidermist. He'd clearly been placed under a bush outside of the houses as a prank," Burt said. "Someone had been moving it around the neighborhood." Burt discarded the fox "to avoid any further calls."

The Litigious Society
An unnamed 40-year-old man in Muncie, Ind., is suing his parents for trashing his collection of porn videos and magazines, which he estimates was worth $29,000. According to the Associated Press, the man had been living with his parents for 10 months following a divorce, and after he bought a new house, his parents delivered his possessions—minus the 12 boxes of porn. His parents admitted dumping the collection; in an email quoted by the lawsuit, the father told his son, "I did you a big favor by getting rid of all this stuff." The son is seeking $87,000 in financial damages.

Cautionary Tale
Paramedic Natalie Kuniciki, 23, was lying in bed watching a movie in her London flat when she stretched her neck and heard a loud crack. Thinking nothing of it, she went to sleep, but soon reawakened to realize she couldn't move her left leg. "I got up and tried to walk to the bathroom and I was swaying everywhere. I looked down and realized I wasn't moving my left leg at all, then I fell to the floor," Kuniciki told The Sun. She called an ambulance, and a CT scan confirmed that she'd had a stroke. When her neck cracked, it had caused her vertebral artery to burst, sending a clot to her brain and triggering the stroke. Kuniciki spent a month in the hospital while she regained mobility on her left side. Doctors hope she can return to work in six to 12 months.

Least Competent Criminal
Brandon Cory Lecroy, 26, of Greenwood, S.C., really wanted to get rid of his neighbor. In March 2018, The New York Times reported, the FBI was tipped off that Lecroy had contacted an unidentified white supremacist group and asked them to kill his African American neighbor, hang him from a tree and leave a cross burning in his yard. An FBI agent posing as a hit man got in touch with Lecroy, who offered $500 for the killing and told the agent he was planning to take over the neighbor's property. As soon as Lecroy made a $100 down payment, he was taken into custody. On April 12, Lecroy pleaded guilty to a murder-for-hire charge and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervision.

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