Curses, Foiled Again
A security officer called police after noticing blood and two trays of empty razor blade packages at a Wal-Mart store in Venango County, Pa. Deducing that a shoplifter had cut himself while removing the blades, state troopers followed the trail of blood to Michael Barton, 29. (Erie Times-News)
• Zannish Frazier, 28, called police in West Linn, Ore., to say she was stranded in a park and needed a ride to the transit station. Officers who showed up found the woman toting six duffel bags, two of which turned out to be filled with stolen laptops, clothes and jewelry. “It was almost like she went Christmas shopping,” police Sgt. Neil Hennelly said after arresting Frazier for burglary and theft. (Portland’s The Oregonian)
Another Nail in the Post Office’s Coffin
As more Netflix customers switch from mail-order DVDs to Internet downloads, its streaming movie service is hogging North America’s bandwidth, threatening the Internet’s capacity to handle other uses, according to the network management company Sandvine. Its annual report on broadband usage said that just under 2 percent of Netflix subscribers account for 20 percent of all Internet traffic during peak home Internet usage hours in the United States and Canada. Sandvine forecasts Netflix will strain broadband capacity as more and more customers abandon the mail. (Slate)
Executions in the United States declined 12 percent in 2010, in part because of “the high costs of the death penalty at a time when budgets are being slashed,” according to the Death Penalty Information Center’s annual report. Texas led the nation, carrying out 17 of the 46 U.S. executions. (Reuters)
Michael Eck, 50, was loading a cannon outside Trafalgar, Ind., when it accidentally went off and fired a 2-inch cannon ball through his right hand. Police said Eck and two other men had fired the cannon at least three times already before the accidental shooting. (Franklin’s Daily Journal)
• When Johnathan W. Hartman, 27, got into an argument with a woman while sitting in a car in a parking lot in Billings, Mont., police said he pulled out a gun, threatened to kill the woman and then fired two shots, one of which went through the car’s roof. A delayed third shot fired when Hartman tried to tuck the gun into his waistband but accidentally wounded himself in the buttocks. (Billings Gazette)
Dupe of the Week
Joseph Jones, 73, told sheriff’s investigators he was awakened by a phone call to his motel room in Spartanburg, S.C., from someone claiming to be the manager. The caller explained that a prior guest had left behind some “highly sophisticated cameras” that were hidden and needed to be gotten rid of. Following the caller’s instructions, Jones smashed the television with the ceramic toilet tank cover, then threw the set outside and shattered all the mirrors in the room. Next, the caller said that a midget was trapped in an adjoining room, and Jones “needed to help police get to him.” Jones dutifully broke through the wallboard. By then, the real motel manager had received noise complaints from nearby guests and called the authorities, who concluded that Jones was the victim of an elaborate prank, which had targeted guests at other motels. No charges were filed, but the manager asked Jones to leave. (Spartanburg’s WXII-TV)
Overreaction of the Week
When his girlfriend turned down his marriage proposal at a Burger King in Pico Rivera, Calif., Francisco Hernandez, 22, went to his car, which still had “Stacy Will You Marry Me?” written on the back window. He drove onto the sidewalk, through some bushes and into the restaurant parking lot, where he reportedly tried to run the ex-girlfriend down. He narrowly missed, then tried to drive away with two flat tires. He abandoned the car and ran, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andrew, Hernandez, but “then our helicopter guys spotted him walking down the street carrying a bouquet of flowers.” (Los Angeles Times)
Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.
Fri., April 24, 2-4:30 p.m.