Recent Alarming Headlines
Shannon Stevens, along with her brother Erik and his girlfriend, snowmobiled to Erik's yurt in the backcountry near Haines, Alaska, on Feb. 13 and got the scare of a lifetime when she was attacked from below by a bear in an outhouse, the Associated Press reported. Erik heard his sister's screams and went out to investigate, opening the toilet seat to find "a bear face ... just looking right back up through the hole, right at me," he said. He shut the lid and ran back to the yurt, where they treated Shannon's wound with a first aid kit and determined is wasn't serious. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Management biologist Carl Koch said the bear probably swiped at her with its paw, rather than biting her. "She could be the only person on Earth that this has ever happened to," Koch speculated.
Reuters reported on Feb. 24 that a wayward sheep found in a forest in Australia, has been shorn of the more than 77 pounds of fleece he was carrying and is now recovering at Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary near Lancefield, Victoria. Named Baarack by his rescuers, the sheep was "in a bit of a bad way," said the sanctuary's Kyle Behrend. "Sheep need to be shorn at least annually, otherwise the fleece continues to grow and grow ... He was underweight and due to all the wool around his face he could barely see."
On Feb. 10, prosecutors in Indianapolis charged Jeremy Farmer, 36, with murdering his father, Fred Farmer, 58, who disappeared in November of 2019. Without a body, a weapon or a murder scene, detectives based their case instead on evidence that Jeremy cleaned out his dad's bank account, used his truck and credit cards, and likely sent fake texts full of emojis that Fred never used from his father's cellphone to family and friends for two months after the disappearance, WXIN-TV reported. Police hope someone will come forward with information about the fate of Fred Farmer.
Government in Action
Leslie Pilgrim of Huntington Beach, California, waited more than two hours at the DMV in Laguna Hills in early February to get a REAL ID, an upgraded driver's license that will be required for airline travel starting in October. Staying compliant with COVID-19 safety rules, Pilgrim left her mask on throughout the process and was startled when officials took her photo while still wearing her mask, she told Fox 11. The clerk realized the error and took another photo, but when the new ID arrived in the mail, Pilgrim's masked-up face was on the license. The DMV advised her the license is valid, even with the mask, but Pilgrim is not taking any chances: She's getting a new one made. "(A)t the end of the day, this is funny," she said. "With all the things happening in the world right now, this is an incredibly minor inconvenience," she said.
Lost and Found
Phoenix police were called to a home on Feb. 21 by homeowners who unearthed a duffel bag filled with rusted handguns and assault rifles while digging hole in their backyard to plant a tree, Fox News reported. Officers said the guns will be examined to determine if they were used in any crimes. The residents have lived in the house for four years; before that, it was a rental property.
Brandon Soules, 19, was arrested by police in Coolidge, Arizona, on Feb. 17, for falsely reporting to police that he had been kidnapped in an apparent scheme to get out of work. On Feb. 10, police found Soules lying near a water tower with his hands bound behind his back and a bandana in his mouth, the Associated Press reported. Soules told officers two men had kidnapped him from his home, knocked him unconscious and driven him around in his car looking for money his father had hidden around town, but detectives could find no evidence of a kidnapping or assault, and when pressed, Soules confessed he made the story up to avoid work at The Tire Factory, which subsequently fired him.
The Passing Parade
Mr. Friendly Auto Service in Warren, Michigan, is one of two auto repair businesses in the area targeted by a serial pooper, police say. The man, seen on surveillance video, entered parked, unlocked vehicles to do his business, leaving his deposit behind for workers to find the next day, Fox 2 reported. The man first struck in November and returned in January, said Chris Phillips, manager of Mr. Friendly. In February, police said, the man struck at nearby Twin Tire, going from car to car until he found one left unlocked because of an electrical problem. "Now we've got double padlocks on the gate," said Phillips. "The guy needs to be caught. There is something wrong with him."
Vidam Perevertilov, 52, chief engineer on a supply ship sailing in the South Pacific from New Zealand to Pitcairn Island, fell overboard after finishing his shift at 4 a.m. on Feb. 16. Alone in the dark and without a life jacket, Perevertilov nevertheless started swimming toward a spot that appeared on the horizon at dawn, The Guardian reported. The spot turned out to be an abandoned fishing buoy and Perevertilov spent the next 14 hours clinging to it before being rescued by his crew, who noticed his absence six hours after he fell and were able to determine where he left the ship. Perevertilov's son, Marat, said his father was unhurt, but exhausted, and he left the buoy in the ocean "so it could save another person's life."
The famed Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn, New York, is celebrating the easing of local COVID-19 restrictions with a hand from Madame Tussauds wax museum, whose celebrity wax figures will be mingling with restaurant patrons. On Feb. 26 and through the weekend following, "Mad Men's" suave Don Draper could be seen relaxing at the bar with a cocktail, joined by others, including Jimmy Fallon, Al Roker and Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly, the Associated Press reported. Restaurant vice president Daniel Turtel said it was a "fun, safe way to fill some of the seats that need to remain empty as we continue to fight the pandemic."
Math Is Hard
An unidentified Dunkin' Donuts customer was captured on video berating store employees on Feb. 15 and demanding she get 50 Munchkin doughnuts after ordering a dozen. "I need more," she forcefully told the clerk. "Fifty. Five, zero. That's what a dozen is." Upworthy reported that another customer tried to correct her, saying "Twelve is a dozen," to which the woman replied, "I want more than 12! I want 50!" and later continued, "You understand nothing! ... You're not understanding the English!" Or the math.
Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.