Police Report | News of the Weird | Salt Lake City Weekly

Police Report 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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Police Report
Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman accompanied the mayor on Nov. 6 at a news conference where they presented a resolution to help curb reckless driving in the city, The Washington Post reported, saying the city needs to "change the daily behavior" of dangerous drivers. But after the event, as soon as Norman hit the road in his SUV, a dump truck rear-ended him, injuring both Norman and another officer. "We did not need this type of reminder that all drivers need to slow down and increase caution on our roadways," Mayor Cavalier Johnson said.

Surprise, Surprise!
When antique dealer Beth Meyer bought the contents of a storage unit in September 2022, she was disappointed that there were no rocks inside; rocks are her specialty. However, The Washington Post reported, she did find a human skull among the items. This October, she put a $4,000 price tag on the skull and used it in a Halloween display in the store she helps run in North Fort Myers, Florida—until an anthropologist walked through and saw it. While Meyer already knew the skull was real, the scientist thought it was very old and possibly from a Native American person, making it subject to certain federal laws. So they contacted the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Deputies deposited the skull with the medical examiner's office, and while Florida law prohibits selling human remains, they don't believe Meyer did anything wrong. She said she was "unaware of the skull being a Native American. I put such a high price on it that I figured no one would buy it."

The Entrepreneurial Spirit
In the Chinese province of Hunan, the Shiniuzhai Scenic Area offers stunning landscapes of sheer cliffs—perfect for climbers. And who doesn't get a little thirsty on the way up a grueling vertical mountain face? CNN reported that perched at 394 feet above the ground, a 2-square-meter "convenience store" offers free water bottles and other sustenance to hungry and parched climbers. The general manager of Shiniuzhai, Song Huizhou, said staff members are tasked with hauling goods up to the store every day in their backpacks. And you thought your commute was brutal.

The Tech Revolution
The BBC reported on Nov. 8 that a man in South Korea lost his life after a robot he was working on in a factory grabbed him and crushed his face and chest onto a conveyor belt. The employee of the robotics company, in his 40s, was working late on the robotic arm when it mistook him for a box of vegetables, which it was supposed to lift and transfer onto a pallet. The man was taken to the hospital but later died of his injuries.

Meanwhile, at the Mall ...
A man who had been living in a Shanghai shopping center stairwell for about six months was finally evicted on Oct. 30, the Daily Star reported. One security guard discovered his cozy setup, which included a tent, an ergonomic chair, a desk and a computer, but allowed him to stay while he studied for exams—until a second guard found the makeshift home. The unnamed man used the mall's electrical outlets to charge his devices.

Recent Alarming Headlines
On Nov. 7, David Lassiter, 74, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, left his wallet behind when he voted, PennLive.com reported. Lassiter returned to the polling place and found his wallet, but $100 was missing. Police said he "made a scene inside ... (and) made threats to come back with a firearm." At home, he called police to report the alleged theft, but then said he would get a gun and handle it on his own. Officers arrived at the polling station before Lassiter arrived; in his car, they found seven firearms with ammunition. "Mr. Lassiter became aggressive and hostile toward the officers on scene," police said. "He was detained for his safety as well as that of everyone on the scene."

• Well, this escalated quickly. A man in Malaga, Spain, called a plumber on Nov. 4 to fix a broken pipe in his home, Oddity Central reported. After assessing the project, the plumber gave the homeowner an estimate, which sent the homeowner into a rage. He produced a firearm and threatened to kill the plumber; neighbors heard the disturbance and called police, but when they arrived, the homeowner would not release his hostage. Police got a glimpse of him and the plumber/hostage through a window and began negotiations; they asked the man to slightly open the front door so they could see that the plumber was all right. That's when special forces stormed in and rescued the hostage. The homeowner is in police custody.

Great Art
Washington native Ben Miller is a painter of landscapes, focusing on river scenes to raise awareness about conservation. Oddity Central reported that it's his painting method that makes him stand alone: He applies paint to fishing flies that he makes himself, then flings them at a piece of plexiglass positioned several feet away. Having learned fly fishing from his dad, Miller hits the precise mark he's aiming for every time. He said he sometimes gets approached by police because people assume he's fishing out of season, but they've always been understanding.

It Doesn't Work That Way
On Nov. 1, at Canberra Airport in Australia, a woman who seemingly missed her flight ran past security and onto the tarmac, trying to attract the attention of the pilot, 9News reported. The QantasLink flight was headed to Adelaide. Witness Dennis Bilic said it was "weird" that no one stopped her: "People were a bit flat-footed ... that was the weird part." Another witness said the pilot was "warned or spotted her and killed the engine." Flights were delayed for about 10 minutes after the incident.

Wait, What?
Fashion icon Dior has launched a new scent made for babies, the Mirror reported. Bonne Etoile, priced at 230 British pounds (about $281), will provide a "gentle reminder of sweet memories of early childhood," the brand gushed, with its "light notes of fruit, pillowy cotton and velvety petals." (Do I detect a hint of spit-up?) It contains 98% natural-original ingredients. Parents can also indulge in hydrating body milks and bath cleansing foams. But everybody knows that babies smell amazing without the pricey perfumes!

Bright Idea
Workers at Arlington Auto Wrecking in Akron, Ohio, had had enough of 26-year-old Alexander Funk, who had broken into the facility three times, Fox News reported on Nov. 5. In the most recent incident in October, Funk broke into an SUV on the lot, but before he could drive away, a forklift driver hoisted the car about 20 feet off the ground with Funk inside. When they explained the situation to the 911 operator, they said, "Wonderful, that is the greatest thing I've ever heard." Officers arrived and Funk was lowered to the ground and handcuffed. He was charged with criminal trespassing and possessing criminal tools.

Crime Report
Officials in Melbourne, Australia, raided a home on Oct. 31, where they found a meth lab, boxes of gemstones and so many Legos that they'll need a truck to haul them away, The Guardian reported. Police found 1,130 boxes of the plastic blocks valued at more than $200,000 and arrested a 36-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman. "This is the first time our detectives have seized a Lego collection," said Detective Inspector Anthony Vella.

Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com

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