Police didn’t take long to identify Gary Belote, 30, as their bank robbery suspect in Colorado Springs, Colo. “He robbed a bank where people knew him,” Sgt. Scott Whittington said. “Everybody was like, ?Oh, that’s Gary.’” The Gazette newspaper reported that while fleeing, Belote almost ran into Officer Eric Apodaca and Sgt. Angelo Butierres, who found the stolen money in Belote’s sock and declared, “It doesn’t really get any easier than that.?
• Sheriff’s deputies arrested Adam Ruiz, 29, on his first day working at a Burger King in Grand Island, N.Y., after a cashier told them she recognized him as the man who robbed the restaurant the week before.
Spot the Irony
Authorities charged two federal bureaucrats in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with taking kickbacks on the purchase of 100,000 rolls of red tape. The tape, stamped with the word “security,” is affixed to prescription medicines mailed to veterans to deter tampering. U.S. Attorney Jim Vines said that Veterans Affairs workers Joseph Haymond and Natalie Coker bought the tape for $6.95 per roll, instead of the normal price of $2.50 and received kickbacks of $1 per roll.
• A federal jury awarded $3.4 million to Christine L. Boone, 44, ruling that she was fired as the head of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services because she is blind.
After a federal grand jury indicted Sarasota, Fla., dermatologist Dr. Michael Rosin on charges that he defrauded Medicare by performing unnecessary skin-cancer surgeries, former employees said that he once performed skin-cancer surgery after reviewing a biopsy slide that contained a piece of chewing gum, which an employee placed there after losing the skin specimen.
Police in Chillicothe, Ohio, reported that when Victoria Lundy, 41, was arrested and taken to the Ross County Jail, she apparently managed to smuggle a pistol into her holding cell by hiding it in her vagina. The weapon was discovered when she sat down to remove it, and it accidentally discharged. No one was injured.
• A 29-year-old man in Columbia City, Ind., accidentally shot himself in the leg while taking out the trash. Police Capt. Brian Anspach said that a semi-automatic pistol in the waistband of the man’s pants misfired.
Secondary school students won’t be permitted to wear denim in Western Australia state, starting in 2007, because it is associated with having a good time. “It’s just unacceptable at schools,” a representative of state Education Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich said, “and we are trying to lift the standards.?
• Sales of adult diapers in China rose as high as 50 percent in the two weeks leading up to the celebration of the lunar new year on Jan. 29. The newspaper China Daily explained that the increase was caused by holiday travelers taking long journeys on overcrowded trains. Trains typically sell twice as many tickets as there are seats, meaning that passengers without seats squeeze into overhead luggage racks, between cars and in the toilets. Just purchasing a ticket can mean standing in line for hours.
Hang Up and Drive
After an automobile accident in Clark County, Ky., in which Jacqueline Dotson veered into the median and over-corrected, rolling her truck over the guardrail and flipping several times before landing upside down, rescuers found her severed arm nearby, still clutching a cell phone.When Guns Are Outlawed
Jeffrey B. Goehring, 27, pleaded guilty in Ottawa County, Ohio, to attacking his 22-year-old girlfriend with a sack of potatoes.
• Police in Blue Springs, Mo., charged Marlon Brando Gill, 23, with assaulting his girlfriend, Melinda Abell, 24, by shoving a cell phone down her throat during an argument. Police initially reported that the woman was hospitalized after she swallowed the phone on purpose to keep her boyfriend from getting it. “Subsequent investigation,” police Sgt. Allen Kintz told The Associated Press, “found that she didn’t swallow the cell phone voluntarily.?
Mensa Reject of the Week (Tie)
Daniel Harper, 51, was snowmobiling on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee when he tried to power the craft over 350 feet of open water. He didn’t make it and drowned, according to Lt. Jim Goss of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, who pointed out that the practice, called skimming, is illegal.
• Sheriff’s deputies in Calhoun County, Mich., reported that a driver who became lost tried to turn around but got stuck backing into a muddy field. “After several attempts to free the car, the man placed his toolbox on the vehicle accelerator, exited the vehicle and attempted to push the vehicle free,” Lt. James McDonagh told the Battle Creek Enquirer. “The man was successful in freeing the vehicle, although unsuccessful regaining control of the vehicle.” The full-size Mercury sedan accelerated across a field, reaching an estimated speed of 100 mph, sometimes becoming airborne, before hitting a tree.
Al Qaeda Meets Its Match
The New York City Transit Authority announced that its latest measure to combat terrorism is switching to see-through trashcans at subway stops.
After two men entered an apartment in Nashua, N.H., punched Valente Ortiz, 28, in the head and took more than $2,500 in cash, police concluded that the men acted at the suggestion of the victim’s wife, Beth Ortiz, 35. She admitted hatching the plot with the men after her husband refused to give her any money.
Bad Samaritan of the Week
Rosetta Heffner, of Gary, Ind., reported that she was robbed at knifepoint while pumping gas into her church’s van, but when she asked the station attendant to call police for help, he refused. “He told me to use my cell phone,” Heffner told the Merrillville Post-Tribune. The station’s manager said that he regretted the robbery but explained that clerks do not make emergency calls for fear of retaliation by criminals. “We are always helpful to the customer,” the manager said, “but we have to protect ourselves.?