Fine Points of the Law | News of the Weird | Salt Lake City Weekly

Fine Points of the Law 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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Fine Points of the Law
Natalia Harrell, 24, was arrested last July in Miami for allegedly shooting and killing Gladys Yvette Borcela, 28, as they rode in an Uber. Since then, she's been in the custody of the Miami-Dade Corrections Department—along with her unborn child. Now, Michael O'Brien, the father of the child, has filed a petition claiming the baby has not been charged with a crime and is having its due process rights violated, NBC Miami reported. "I don't want the baby to be born prematurely or low birth weight," O'Brien said. "The conditions (in the jail) are terrible, and I feel she's not getting the prenatal care she should be getting." He seeks the baby's immediate release. Officials replied that they are reviewing the care Harrell has received "to ensure that all prenatal care being provided in our custody is appropriate."

Irony
Police in Glemgormley, Northern Ireland, pulled over a Mini Cooper on Feb. 27 and asked the driver for proof of insurance, the Irish Mirror reported. After cagily searching around for the document, the driver admitted they didn't have insurance—even though they were sporting a bumper sticker that cheekily asked, "My brakes are good!! Is your insurance?" The car was seized and the driver was issued a penalty for the lack of coverage.

New World Order
Tired of your John Hancock looking like a child's scribble? Priscilla Molina of Los Angeles can help with that. The Associated Press reported that Molina's business, Planet of Names, will make over anyone's signature for between $10 and $55. People seeking her service are "not happy with their signatures. They don't relate to who they are. They don't give the message they want to convey to the world," Molina said. She designs up to 300 custom signatures per month, and offers a range of styles, from elegant and artistic to ... illegible.

My Kindom for an Editor
First it was a misspelling of Georgia O'Keeffe's name in New York City's new Grand Central Terminal. But then on Feb. 26, according to the Associated Press, the state's Department of Transportation installed a new sign in Queens to identify the Jackie Robinson Parkway, established in 1997. Robinson was the first African American player to compete in major league baseball. But the DOT forgot the C, spelling the baseball great's first name Jakie. The sign was quickly replaced with the correct spelling.

Unconventional Weaponry
In a puzzling attempt to draw attention to the climate crisis, three people defaced a woolly mammoth at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria, Canada, on March 1, the Times Colonist reported. A woman allegedly used her hands to paint the mammoth's tusks pink. A group called On2Ottawa has claimed responsibility for the vandalism; the painter, "Laura," says in a video posted online, "If the government does not enact a citizens' assembly to tackle the climate and ecological crisis in the next one to two years, then we will be traveling to Ottawa to demand one." The water-based paint was cleaned off the tusks and three people were arrested.

Oops
More than 40 high school students from the Barr Beacon School in Walsall, England, were stranded in the U.S. for four extra days after a ski trip to New Hampshire, the New York Post reported. It wasn't weather that shut down their travel, but the fact that the Kancamagus Lodge in Lincoln, New Hampshire, "accidentally" shredded 42 of their passports. Fortunately, head teacher Katie Hobbs, who was not on the trip, was on top of the situation and had the group move to New York City, where the British embassy was preparing emergency documents. In the meantime, the kids toured the city and took in the sights. "The silver lining is that they can have an amazing experience," said one parent. The lodge had no explanation for the destruction of the passports other than it happened by mistake.

Perspective
Hicham Argani, a police officer in Boxtel, Netherlands, was patrolling his neighborhood when he spotted an unidentified object in the sky, the Daily Star reported on March 1. He posted on Instagram about the "suspected 'spy balloon'" hovering over the Selissen district and followed it in his car. Finally, he decided to pull over to get a closer look at it—which was when he realized the UFO was a blob of bird poo stuck to his windshield. Argani updated his post with his findings and an all-clear: "Boxtel is safe!"

Compelling Explanation
A Peruvian man, 26-year-old Julio Cesar Bermejo, is being detained in Puno after police discovered a mummified human in his possession, People reported. Officers approached three men drinking in a park on Feb. 25 and noticed the remains inside a cooler delivery bag. Bermejo told them that he had brought the mummy to the park to show his friends; it had been in his family for decades. He said he named the remains "Juanita" and it was his "spiritual girlfriend." However, officials say the mummy is actually that of a 45-year-old man, and they've turned it over to Peru's Ministry of Culture.

Repeat Offender
Rodolfo Santillan can't stop burglarizing cars. On Feb. 21, he broke into a van while wearing an ankle bracelet for two pending car burglary cases, CWB Chicago reported. A passing police officer stopped and charged him with misdemeanor criminal trespass, and he left the police station at about 4:40 p.m. Two hours later, police were called to another van, where workers said they had found Santillan inside. He was also caught on video taking tools from a nearby car. Santillan was held without bail for violating bond in the previous cases.

Cultural Diversity
According to the India Times, a wedding in Bhavnagar took an odd turn in late February when Hetal, the bride, fainted during the nuptials, then passed away at the hospital. Doctors said she suffered a heart attack. As the wedding festivities went on, the family came up with a novel idea: The bride's younger sister would marry the groom instead. City Councilman Laxmanbhai Rathore called the event extremely sad and said the family was trying to set an example by not abandoning the groom and his family without a bride. One woman commented on Twitter: "Families cannot afford to let their wedding investment go in vain. Behind all that love and sanskaar is a very practical and businesslike family model."

The Passing Parade
In Tsuruta, Japan, an annual sporting event was shuttered for three years during the COVID pandemic, but now it's back, Reuters reported. The Suction Cup Tug-of-War, in which pairs of bald men attach suction cups to their heads and pull in opposite directions, took place on Feb. 22, with the city's Bald Men's Club gamely competing. "My head still hurts," said Toshiyuki Ogasawara, 43. "I think I need to ice it!" The club welcomes people who "view baldness in a positive manner" and want to "brighten the world with our shiny heads," its website reads. This year's champion was Mr. Ota, who has won three consecutive times.

Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com

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