Curses, Foiled Again
Pennsylvania state police accused Randy R. Clinkscales, 27, of stealing a man’s identity after he applied for a credit card in the victim’s name and used it for a nose job. When the victim reported an unauthorized charge of $6,000, investigators contacted the medical practice that performed the procedure and learned the patient had identified himself as the victim. He also posed for photos before the surgery. Police used a facial-recognition program to match the images with Pennsylvania driver’s license photos and identified Clinkscales, who pleaded guilty. (Doyleston Intelligencer)
• When a homeowner confronted a burglar who kicked in the door of his home in Arleta, Calif., around noon, the thief begged the resident not to call police and dashed to his car, which he’d parked in the driveway. It wouldn’t start. Police records stated the burglar returned to the house to repeat his request not to call the police, but when he turned his back, the homeowner knocked him unconscious with a hoe. The suspect recovered and ran off before police arrived, but detectives found fingerprints, a clear footprint where he’d kicked open the door, blood on the hoe and the car, which contained other stolen goods, as well as a traffic citation with the name and address of suspect Miguel Luna, 25. “The crime scene was really a study in how to get caught,” Lt. Paul Vernon observed. (Los Angeles Daily News)
Candice Lee, 37, and her husband had an open marriage and invited her former lover, Shakir Muilam, 45, to live with them at their home in Monroe County, Fla. after he was diagnosed with cancer. Sheriff’s deputies said that when she began having a relationship with a new boyfriend, Muilam objected. She explained to the deputies that she grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and shot him in the thigh. (Miami Herald)
• When Nashville police pulled Michael McCarrell over for failing to use his turn signal, they found a 17-year-old girl sandwiched between him and his wife in the front seat. The couple explained they met the girl on a dating website and picked her up in Kentucky so Amanda McCarrell, 27, could have sex with her. Although the couple insisted they didn’t realize the girl was under 18, police charged them with sexual exploitation of a minor. (Nashville’s The Tennessean)
What Could Go Wrong?
Among the attractions that Randy Stears, president and head trainer of Florida’s Dade City Wild Things, announced he’s planning for his 22-acre zoo is a zip line over the tiger habitat. (The Tampa Tribune)
A New Zealand court sentenced Phillip Russell, 46, to six months in jail for striking his wife in the chest with an ostrich egg because her pet pig ran amok and damaged his power saw. (Agence France-Presse)
• When Randall White, 49, complained about the slow service while waiting for his pizza at a Little Caesars outlet in St. Petersburg, Fla., another customer in line, Michael Jock, 52, admonished him. That “prompted them to exchange words,” police official Mike Puetz said, “and it became a shoving match.” White raised a fist, and Jock pulled out a .38 Taurus Ultralight Special Revolver and shot White in the lower torso twice. Puetz said that when police arrived, Jock insisted the shooting was justified under Florida’s “stand your ground” law because he feared for his life. (Tampa Bay Times)
Feats of Science
Among the winners of the 2012 Ig Nobel awards, sponsored by the journal Annals of Improbable Research:
• Dutch researchers Anita Eerland, Rolf Zwaan and Tulio Guadalupe were awarded the psychology prize for their study “Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller.”
• The acoustics prize went to Japanese scientists Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada for creating the SpeechJammer, a machine that repeats public speakers’ words with a slight delay to alert them if they are speaking too quickly or have taken more than their allotted time.
• Frans de Waal and Jennifer Pokorny won the anatomy prize for discovering that chimpanzees can identify each other by looking at pictures of their rear ends. (BBC News)
A New York boutique that specializes in breast pumps and accessories: Yummy Mummy. (The Washington Post)
• Co-founders of Generation Investment Management, who stand to reap a sizable share of the $500 million that al-Jazeera agreed to pay for Current TV: David Blood and Al Gore. (Bloomberg News)
Contractors to Avoid
Hoping to restore an 18th-century French chateau in Yvrac to its former glory, Russian businessman Dmitry Stroskin hired a construction company to renovate the baroque manor and raze a small building nearby while he was out of town. He returned to find the outbuilding still standing but the 140,000-square-foot manor reduced to rubble. “The Chateau de Bellevue was Yvrac’s pride and joy,” former owner Juliette Marmie said. “The whole village is in shock. How can this construction firm make such a mistake?” Explaining that he was “in shock,” Stroskin said he plans to build an exact replica of the chateau. (Associated Press)
• After Wells Fargo Home Mortgage foreclosed on a property in Woodland Hills, Calif., it hired a contractor to clear it out. Instead, the contractor emptied a nearby house belonging to retired bricklayer Alvin Tjosaas, 77, who was out of town at his granddaughter’s wedding. Alerted that their contractor had gone to the wrong house, Wells Fargo hired a different contractor, who also showed up at Tjosaas’s house. “Alvin was left to sit among the ruins of the house,” Pat Tjosaas said of her husband, noting that the contractors had used a satellite photo and an address that Wells Fargo gave them. Wells Fargo issued a statement that it was “deeply sorry” for the home “being mistakenly secured and entered.” (ABC News)
When Nigerian businessman Uroko Onoja returned from drinking at a bar in Ogbadibo, he had sex with the youngest of his six wives, Odachi Onoja. The other five wives entered the bedroom armed with knives and sticks, and demanded he have sex with them, too. He had sex with four of them before he stopped breathing. “I tried to resuscitate him,” Odachi Onoja said, “but when the other wives saw what had happened, they all ran off laughing into the forest, leaving me with the corpse.” Okpe Odoh, the village head, confirmed the incident had been reported to police. (New York’s Daily News)
Compiled from the press reports by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.