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Family Values

A weekly roundup of international news oddities.



Family Values
Laurence Mitchell, 53, gets this week's Most Helpful Dad award for graciously driving his 15-year-old son and the son's girlfriend, also 15, to a Port St. Lucie, Fla., park on Sept. 6 so they could "do their thang," as Mitchell described it. The Smoking Gun reported that when Port St. Lucie police officer Clayton Baldwin approached Mitchell's car around 11:30 p.m., after the park had closed, Mitchell told him the kids "aren't out there stealing, they are just having sex. They could be out there doing worse." When the teenagers returned from the nearby soccer field, Mitchell's son told the officer they were "just smokin' and fuckin'." Mitchell was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor.

Compelling Explanations
While shopping at a Peoria, Ill., Walmart on Sept. 20, an unnamed 30-year-old woman filled her cart but also added a few items to her backpack: leggings, pencils, a quart of oil and a "Jesus Calling" Bible. After she paid for only the items in her cart, a loss-prevention officer stopped her before she left the store. Peoria police were summoned, reported the Peoria Journal Star, and the woman explained to them she was hoping the Bible could help her spiritually: "(She) told me that it sounds strange, but she was trying to be more Christian," an officer reported. She was charged with misdemeanor theft.

• After trying repeatedly on Sept. 12 to pull over a Toyota Prius driving with expired tags on Interstate 5 near Marysville, Wash., a Washington State Patrol officer finally caught up to the car at an intersection and verbally instructed the unnamed 42-year-old woman driver to pull over, reported the Everett Daily Herald. "I will not. I drive a Prius," was the woman's reply. The officer then asked her to step out of the vehicle, which she also refused to do, so he forced her out. "I will own your bank account," she told him. "I will own your house." When he asked her name, she responded, "None of your business." Finally, she was arrested for failing to obey instructions, failing to identify herself and obstruction.

No Good Deed
Tammie Hedges of Goldsboro, N.C., founded the nonprofit Crazy's Claws N Paws in 2013 to help low-income families with vet bills and pet supplies, so it was natural for her to take in 27 animals displaced by Hurricane Florence in September. Hedges treated many of the animals, found in the streets or surrendered by fleeing residents, with antibiotics and painkillers for fleas, cuts and other ailments. For that, The Washington Post reported, she was arrested on Sept. 21 for practicing veterinary medicine without a license, after an official from Wayne County Animal Services visited the warehouse where the animals were housed. Kathie Davidson, a volunteer with Claws N Paws, said: "If she hadn't done what she did, then they'll be charging her with animal neglect and cruelty. What was she supposed to do?" Hedges was released on bond, and the charges were later dropped.

Bait and Switch
Ironman triathlete Jaroslav Bobrowski, 30, of Landshut, Bavaria, was banned Sept. 14 from Running Sushi, an all-you-can-eat restaurant, for eating too much sushi. The Local Germany reported Bobrowski, a former bodybuilder, ate close to 100 plates of sushi, which sent the restaurant into a panic and caused the owner and chef to tell him he was banished "because I'm eating too much." "He eats for five people," the owner complained. "That is not normal."

Wait, What?
An unnamed 26-year-old British woman appeared at Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Hospital emergency room in Mojon de Arona, Tenerife, in the Canary Islands on Sept. 15 with extreme pain in her groin area. El Pais reported the doctor who examined her was surprised to find a dead, immature Chinese pond turtle lodged in her vagina. The woman told police she had attended a beach party the night before but could not remember what happened. (Given that the freshwater species is sold in pet shops, it's not likely that it got there by accident.) Police suspect she might have been the victim of a sexual assault, but she chose not to file a complaint.

People With Issues
In what the Porter County (Indiana) coroner later called "a blatant disregard for human life," two men posted a video of themselves "horseplaying" with a third man, 21-year-old Kyle Kearby, who was slumped over, suffering from an apparent drug overdose, on Sept. 9. The video shows one man tying cords to Kearby's hands and manipulating his arms like a puppet, and the other pumping Kearby's chest and moving his mouth while singing "You've Got a Friend in Me." Kearby's father told The Times his son returned home about 5:30 a.m. and went to bed, but later discovered him not breathing and covered with vomit. He died at a hospital. Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds said he does not suspect foul play.

What Was Your First Clue?
Romance novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy, 68, was arrested on Sept. 5 on charges of murdering her husband, Daniel Brophy, 63, in Portland, Ore., after apparently following her own advice, written in a 2011 essay titled "How to Murder Your Husband." In the essay, Crampton Brophy suggests that hiring a hit man is "never a good idea" and poison is traceable. Instead, reported The Oregonian, she allegedly shot her husband on June 2 at the Oregon Culinary Institute where Daniel was a beloved chef. Police did not release a motive, and a neighbor said Crampton Brophy "never showed any signs of being upset or sad." On Sept. 17, she pleaded not guilty in Multnomah County Circuit Court, and her trial is set for Oct. 26.

People Different From Us
The Martin County (Florida) Sheriff's Office has received repeated calls about a man in a Stuart neighborhood who conducts chores around the outside of his house in the nude. "I came out Sunday night to put the trash out, and I look over and he is bent over, winding up his hose, and I'm like that is my view of the neighborhood," huffed Melissa Ny to WPBF TV on Sept. 19. Other neighbors are taking a more measured approach. "Literally they are the nicest people you'll ever meet; they would give you their clothes if they had them on to give them to you," neighbor Aimee Canterbury told WPTV. The sheriff's department says there is nothing they can do as long as the man is on his own property and not touching himself inappropriately. The nudist declined to be interviewed, saying he and his family are private people.

Weird Science
It's been a banner year for the spider population of Aitoliko, Greece, according to the Associated Press. Fueled by a huge increase in the numbers of lake flies, which the spiders eat, the spiders reproduced unusually fast and have covered coastal trees, bushes and low vegetation with blankets of thick, sticky webs. The webs run along a few hundred meters of the shoreline in the western Greek town and, according to residents, have the unexpected advantage of keeping mosquitoes away.

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