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News » News Quirks

Just Can’t Get Enough



Curses, Foiled Again
After stealing handcuffs, a Taser and other items from an unmarked police car in Ocoee, Fla., Shane Thomas Williams-Allen, 19, was apprehended when he “locked the handcuffs on himself and had to call the Clermont Police Department to respond to release him,” according to an arrest affidavit. Lake County authorities who took Williams-Allen into custody said he told them that while removing the Taser from the police car, “it discharged, hitting the floor and causing his foot to get shocked.” (Orlando Sentinel)

Spare the Rod
Authorities in Meriwether County, Ga., arrested Lynn Middlebrooks Geter, 38, for forcing her 12-year-old son to kill his pet hamster with a hammer to punish the boy for getting bad grades. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Just Can’t Get Enough
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma confirmed that he fathered the daughter of a woman who isn’t one of his three wives. Zuma has 19 other children. Brian Sokutu, a representative of Zuma’s African National Congress Party, said that the president’s relationship with the woman didn’t count as adulterous because the 67-year-old Zuma is a polygamist and may have been intending to marry the 39-year-old woman. “There is something called courtship,” Sokutu explained. “What that means is that before you do officially get married there is the courting period. And during that period anything can happen.” Sokutu wouldn’t confirm whether Zuma was actually planning a wedding. (Britain’s Daily Telegraph)

When Guns Are Outlawed
Police in Okaloosa County, Fla., accused a 50-year-old woman of battering her daughter in the face with her reading glasses. The arrest report said the attack occurred while the two women were arguing over a cigarette. (Northwest Florida’s Daily News)

Ten Times Fast
Two 47-year-old men accused of stealing a $950 postal check in Hellertown, Pa., are named Richard A. Fluck and Bryan Flok. Police said Fluck and Flok took the check from the post office, co-signed it and cashed it. (Allentown’s The Morning Call)

Irony Illustrated
A single-engine airplane used for rush-hour traffic reports in metropolitan Philadelphia caused a mile-and-a-half backup in both directions of the New Jersey Turnpike when it made an emergency landing in the northbound lanes near Cherry Hill. Noting no one was injured, New Jersey Turnpike Authority said the backups were due mostly to rubbernecking, adding, “For the first time in eight years, I can probably say you had a good reason to stop and look.” (Associated Press)

Not-So-Great Escapes
Police pursuing a gang of home invaders in Oakland, Calif., found four of the suspects wedged in a 6-by-12-inch space between buildings. “I heard someone come through my gate and run past, and they came to this cubby way,” local resident Dave Moore said. “It turns into a funnel at the end, so they tried to come back through and got stuck.” (KTVU-TV News)

• Travis Copeland, 19, bolted from a courtroom during his bond hearing in Waukegan, Ill., and headed for a skyway that connects courtrooms in two buildings. As Lake County sheriff’s deputies closed in, Copeland, ignoring that he was two stories above a busy street, tried to shoulder-block his way through a skyway window to make his escape. The bulletproof glass didn’t break when Copeland hit it with his head and shoulder, however. Instead, he bounced off the window and staggered to the floor, while nine deputies with guns drawn surrounded him. When Copeland was returned to the courtroom, his bail was raised from $50,000 to $1.5 million. (Arlington Heights’ Daily Herald)

Second-Amendment Follies
Lazaro Flores, 50, was practicing quick draws with an antique .32-caliber revolver at his girlfriend’s house in Alva, Fla., when he forgot to take his finger off the trigger while holstering the weapon and accidentally shot himself in the leg. (Fort Myers’ News-Press)

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.