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News » News Quirks

Look Ma, No Eyes



Curses, Foiled Again
Albert Bailey, 27, and a 16-yearold accomplice phoned a bank in Fairfield, Conn., and said they’d be by in 10 minutes to pick up $100,000 in large bills. Their call warned no dye packs and threatened “a blood bath” if the money wasn’t ready. Bank officials immediately notified police, who showed up in time to stop the suspects after they picked up the money but before they could make their getaway. The robbers got what they wanted but “didn’t expect police to be in the take-out line,” police Sgt. James Perez noted, adding, “You can’t make this stuff up.” (Connecticut Post)

Reasonable Explanations
After police arrested Anthony Coffman, 28, for using a hunting knife to cut open meat packages in a supermarket in Edinburgh, Ind., and then throwing the raw meat on the floor, Coffman explained he’s a vegetarian and gets upset when others eat beef. He insisted God sent him to ruin the meat, adding he was trying to save little girls from food he believes would make them “chubby.” “He thought if he could save one chubby girl, he’s done his job,” police Deputy Chief David Lutz said. (WRTV News)

After a late-night argument with his wife, Gerald Lancaster, 84, fired a gunshot as she left their home in Houston, Texas, then went back inside. He didn’t come out when police arrived and remained inside for nearly six hours, even after a SWAT team arrived on the scene and tried to coax him out with phone calls and pleas from a bullhorn. At one point, they even fired tear gas into the home, but he still didn’t come out. Finally, officers broke through the door and arrested Lancaster peacefully. He explained to authorities that he hadn’t responded to their efforts because he was asleep during much of the standoff and didn’t realize police officers had surrounded his home. (Houston Chronicle)

Look Ma, No Eyes
Turkish pop singer Metin Senturk, who has been blind since he was 3, wept for joy after learning that he had become the world’s fastest unaccompanied blind driver. His average speed of 292.89 kph broke the previous record of 284 kph, held by a British bank manager. Former rally driver Volkan Isik followed Senturk in a separate vehicle and guided him by radio. (Reuters)

• Collier Sims, 24, won the first known blindfencing competition, held at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass. “A lot of the fencing actions that we do, we can apply them to everyday life,” said the competition’s organizer, Cesar Morales, fencing coach at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., explaining that learning to use a fencing foil is similar to learning to use a white cane to navigate. (The Boston Globe)

Well-Heeled Thief
South Korean police arrested a 59-year-old man suspected of stealing shoes, which Koreans customarily remove before entering homes, restaurants and funeral parlors. A subsequent search found 170 boxes packed with 1,700 pairs of expensive designer shoes, sorted by size and brand. “Shoe theft is not unusual here,” Detective Kim Jeong-gu said. “But we gasped at this one.”

The suspect, identified only by his last name, Park, is a former used-shoe vendor, convicted twice in the past five years of pilfering shoes. He was on parole when police spotted him outside the Samsung Medical Center funeral parlor. They observed him return several times pretending to be a mourner and swapping cheap shoes for expensive ones. (The New York Times)

Green Acres
Detroit officials plan turning a quarter of the 139-squaremile city into fields and farms. Mayor Dave Bing said the city faces a $300 million budget deficit and dwindling tax base, and can’t continue to provide police and fire protection and other city services to all areas. The plan to “downsize” the heavily industrial city calls for large demolition swaths to cut through 91,000 vacant residential lots and 33,000 empty houses in blighted neighborhoods, creating pockets of green, semi-rural surrounding surviving neighborhoods. The biggest obstacle to implementation is getting hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government to buy land, raze buildings and relocate residents, since the city has no money. (Associated Press)

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