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News » News Quirks

Pre-Sinner Winner



Curses, Foiled Again
An armed carjacker, whom police described as having “leathery skin,” failed to rob three women in the same shopping center parking lot in Oceanside, Calif. The first drove away. The other ignored him and proceeded to a store, where she called police. The third victim obeyed his order to remove the steering wheel lock and get out of the car, but then she activated a kill-switch that disabled the ignition and locked him inside. He smashed through a window and fled on foot. (San Diego’s KNSD-TV)

Security researchers exposed plans for a Russian cyberheist using fake wire transfers to steal millions of dollars from 30 big U.S. financial institutions when the purported brain behind the operation, known as “VorVzakone” (“thief in law”), posted notices in a criminal online forum advertising for accomplices. Cybersecurity experts at Massachusetts-based RSA blogged that VorVzakone’s notice said “accomplice botmasters” would be trained “boot camp style” and receive “a percentage of the funds they will siphon from victims’ accounts into mule accounts controlled by the gang.” (The Christian Science Monitor)

Pre-Sinner Winner
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that bosses could fire workers they see as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employees haven’t engaged in flirtatious behavior or made other advances. The case involved a dentist who fired an assistant that he and his wife decided was a threat to their marriage. (Associated Press)

Too Much of a Bad Thing
Doctors at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, Scotland, saved a man who overdosed on Brussels sprouts on Christmas. They said the traditional holiday vegetable contains plenty of vitamin K, which counteracted the effect of anticoagulants the man was taking because he had a mechanical heart. “We think this is possibly the first-ever admission to hospital caused by the consumption of Brussels sprouts,” hospital chief executive Jill Young said. (BBC News)

Second-Amendment Follies
Police revoked the concealed-carry permit of Gary Quackenbush, 61, after he wiggled in his seat while watching a movie in Tillamook, Ore., and shook loose a loaded weapon. A seventh-grade student found the weapon the next day with a round in the chamber and the safety off. “In a time of crisis, like somebody barging into a mall or a theater, you don’t have time to do a two-handed cocking of the weapon,” Quackenbush explained in a brief letter to the local news media after the incident. “It is my mindset everywhere I go.” His letter noted that the movie, The Hobbit, was “overly long and fairly boring.” (Associated Press)

While being chased by police officers in Binghamton, N.Y., Robert Garcia, 20, fired wildly over his shoulder at them and accidentally shot himself in the head. (Associated Press)

Hazards of Modern Living
The number of people seeking hospital treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled in the past four years, according to a government survey, jumping to an estimated 20,000 cases. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said most cases involved teens and young adults. “A lot of people don’t realize the strength of these things,” Howard Mell, an emergency physician in suburban Cleveland, said. “I had someone come in recently who had drunk three energy drinks in an hour, which is the equivalent of 15 cups of coffee,” (Associated Press)

Falling furniture killed 349 Americans between 2000 and 2011, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It estimated that tipped-over items, mostly television sets, injure about 43,000 people a year, 59 percent of whom are children climbing, hitting or kicking them or playing nearby. “Small children are no match for a falling dresser, wall unit or 50- to 100-pound television,” the CPSC said. (CBS News)

Can’t Get No Satisfaction
After Lynette Lee told police in Clarksville, Tenn., that a man she met online raped her, she admitted lying. The investigating detective reported she said they’d been on a date and had consensual sex, but she claimed rape because “she did not enjoy it, and it was bad.” (Nashville’s WTVF-TV)

Sheriff’s deputies who arrested Jennie Scott, 50, for battering her 32-year-old boyfriend explained she attacked him because the two “were giving each other pleasure in the bedroom” and he “finished first and stopped pleasuring her.” (The Smoking Gun)

Digital Addiction
A 15-year-old girl and her 16-year-old friend in Rocklin, Calif., drugged the younger girl’s parents with prescription sleeping drugs so they could use the Internet after their 10 p.m. curfew. The suspicious parents tested themselves with a drug kit the next day and called police. (The Sacramento Bee)

Wrong Arm of the Law
A judge acquitted Dalton, N.H., Town Clerk Sandy York of taking $100 from town funds after Police Chief Mario Audit admitted he never checked to see if any money was actually missing. Although a security video showed York putting cash in her pocketbook, Audit never asked her for an explanation, but witnesses testified that York often took large bills to the bank after closing the office to get smaller bills to make change. An accounting showed no shortage. (Manchester’s New Hampshire Union Leader)

Drinking-Class Hero
Police at the scene of a fatal accident in Oklahoma City arrested Thomasine Harjo, 25, after she drove past officers and crime scene tape. Several officers tried to get her to stop, but she ignored them and nearly hit one of them. When she finally stopped, officers smelled alcohol, but she denied drinking. When they asked her why she didn’t stop when she saw the barricade, she told them she was following the car in front of her, although no other vehicle was in the area. When they arrested Harjo, she said she couldn’t go to jail because she had to appear in court the next morning for driving under the influence. (Oklahoma City’s KOTV-TV)

Better Safe Than Sorry
After a third-grade student at a school outside Calgary was found unconscious and stuck in the door of a washroom stall with a lanyard around his neck, Alberta authorities banned lanyards in all its 2,000 schools. The lanyards were used for hall passes, washroom passes and identification. (The Calgary Herald)

After a girl at an elementary school in Okaloosa County, Fla., claimed a boy in her class had a gun in his hoodie, officials locked down the school. Sheriff’s deputies quickly responded, only to discover the alleged weapon was a marker pen inside the boy’s cap. (Florida’s Crestview News Bulletin)

Compiled from the press reports by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

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