Curses, Foiled Again
Four men trying to steal a pickup truck in Jefferson County, Ark., didn’t get very far because it wouldn’t run. Undeterred, they were pushing the vehicle when a sheriff’s deputy spotted them near the county jail. Sheriff’s officials told the Pine Bluff Commercial that the vehicle wouldn’t start because it was being used for parts.
• Police released a surveillance video showing a man enter a gas station in Tacoma, Wash., carrying a stick spiked with nails and demanding money. The man hit the clerk in the hand with the stick, but the clerk punched the would-be robber in the face. The robber dropped the stick and fled with a bloody nose and no money.
Encouraging people to die at home rather than in a hospital could solve Canada’s impending shortage of hospital beds, according to University of Alberta researcher Donna Wilson. Sixty-one percent of Canadians now die in hospitals, down from 80 percent in 1994, but Wilson suggested the number drop to 40 percent because baby boomers could double the death rate in the next 20 years, tying up beds for those needing life-saving treatment or surgery.
Authorities said Henry Gasiorowski, 60, was shot in the arm and back while hunting in Forestburgh, N.Y., when he sat behind a turkey decoy and began making turkey calls. The Times Herald-Record reported that a hunting companion heard the calls, saw what he thought was a turkey and opened fire.
A judge sentenced William Wagner, 26, to serve one to four years in prison after he admitted he rode his bicycle 180 miles from Maryland to Scranton, Pa., to have sex with a 15-year-old girl he met through the social networking Website MySpace.
• A Seattle bar announced it had hired Mary Kay Letourneau to greet patrons at its third “Hot for Teacher” night. The former teacher served seven years in prison for having sex with a sixth-grader when she was a 34-year-old married mother of four. Now 47, she married the victim, Vili Fualaau, now 26, and they have two daughters together. Mike Morris, the owner of Fuel Sports Eats & Beats, said he hired Letourneau because she served her sentence, and it’s OK for the couple to have some fun.
• Federal authorities dropped its case against retired Air Force Maj. Reinaldo Canton, 45, even though he had agreed to a plea bargain to settle charges that he arranged over the Internet to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex. Canton’s attorney was granted a dismissal after citing his client’s heart condition and arguing that the stress of the case could kill him. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Canton denied intending to have sex with the girl, who was actually an adult undercover agent, but insisted he planned to ask her why she was sneaking around behind her parent’s back and warn her that the Internet is a “scary” place.
Authorities in Volusia County, Fla., charged Joseph Frank Strauch, 82, with beating his live-in girlfriend and strangling her unconscious after he got angry about the way she loaded dirty dishes in the dishwasher. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that Strauch previously pleaded no contest to punching a 68-year-old man after Strauch took the man’s grocery bag and the man objected.
• Authorities in Wayne County, Mich., accused Ava Maria Gordon, 42, of stabbing her father to death after an argument that started when he objected to her eating a dinner roll that he had marked with a note asking her not to eat it.
• Police charged Ryan D. Isabell, 22, with felony assault after a fight broke out during a conversation about the Ultimate Fighting Championship. “Apparently, the suspect was talking about UFC fighting when some woman that he didn’t know jumped into the conversation,” Phoenix, N.Y., police Chief Rod Carr told the Syracuse Post-Standard. Carr said the woman’s 42-year-old husband intervened and wound up with a fractured nose. A 43-year-old man suffered a fractured skull.
Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Submit items, citing date and source, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.