This week in odd news: ‘Stooges’ hairdo and a $284B bill
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A suspect wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Trust Me” allegedly stole a car with an accomplice in Fairfax County, Virginia.
The Washington Post reports that the two suspects from Falls Church were arrested by police in the stolen car not long after the unlocked Honda Civic was taken as it warmed up.
Police say they also found several forged checks during the arrests.
The newspaper says Wilmer Lara Garcia has been charged with auto theft and two counts of forgery. Police say he was wearing the shirt that read “Trust Me.”
His accomplice was charged with auto theft.
COCOA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man told investigators he punched an automatic teller machine because it gave him too much cash.
An arrest report says 23-year-old Michael Joseph Oleksik man caused about $5,000 in damage to an ATM at a Wells Fargo bank branch in Cocoa on Nov. 29. He was arrested Dec. 22 on a criminal mischief charge after bank officials decided to press charges.
Florida Today reports surveillance video captured Oleksik pummeling the touch screen.
An arrest report says that Oleksik told a bank manager he was angry that the machine was giving him too much money and he didn’t know what to do because he was in a hurry for work. He apologized for causing damage.
Jail records don’t list a lawyer for Oleksik.
One man’s joke has become his mission: to give each word a rhyming definition.
Chris Strolin was teasing English buffs in an online forum years ago when he said the dictionary would be greatly improved if definitions were written as five-line limericks. Then he decided to try it for real.
The Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form — or OEDILF (OH-dilf) for short — has published more than 97,000 rhyming definitions since Strolin started the online dictionary in 2004. He expects to reach limerick No. 100,000 sometime in 2018.
Even with help from roughly 1,000 contributing writers, Strolin’s limerick dictionary is nowhere near finished. It currently ends in the Gs at the word “gizzard.”
Strolin hopes his grandchildren — or perhaps their kids — will finish the Zs.
ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman says she went online to check her electric bill and was stunned at the amount — more than $284 billion.
The Erie Times-News reports that Mary Horomanski said her eyes “just about popped out” of her head when she saw the amount. She suspected that her family had put up their Christmas lights wrong.
The silver lining was that she didn’t have to pay the full amount until November 2018 — only a $28,156 minimum payment was due for December.
Horomanski’s son contacted Penelac, her electric provider, who confirmed the error. Parent company First Energy said a decimal point was accidentally moved. Her new amount was quickly corrected to $284.46.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Police in Madison, Wisconsin, arrested a hairstylist after he gave a customer a very unwanted Larry Fine hairdo.
Police spokesman Joel DeSpain says the 22-year-old victim told officers the stylist asked him to stop fidgeting and moving his head during the Friday haircut. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that DeSpain says the stylist then nicked the customer’s ear with his clippers before running them down the middle of the man’s head on their shortest attachment, “leaving him looking a bit like Larry from ‘The Three Stooges.’”
DeSpain says officers arrested the 46-year-old hairstylist, Khaled A. Shabani, who pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct Wednesday. DeSpain says Shabani told officers it was an accident.
LEDYARD, Conn. (AP) — A woman has been accused of trying to snort cocaine inside a Connecticut police station while waiting to be booked on unrelated charges.
Police say Nicole Hunter was charged on Christmas Day with possession of narcotics, interfering with an officer and disorderly conduct.
Police had arrested Hunter after a confrontation at her home in Ledyard while investigating a report of an erratic driver. They say the vehicle involved matched the one in Hunter’s driveway.
Police say Hunter was in a waiting area of the police station when she pulled cocaine wrapped in paper from inside her clothing and tried to snort it.
Hunter doesn’t have a listed phone number and can’t be reached for comment. She’s due in court Jan. 8.
CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman who has crusaded against gambling for decades has won $25,000 by playing a sweepstakes game at a gambling cafe.
Kathy Gilroy tells the Chicago Tribune that while it’s ironic she won the sweepstakes, the distinction is that she didn’t spend her own money to gamble.
Gilroy has said gambling can lead to addiction, bankruptcy, crime and suicide. She helped shut down a $1.6 million Queen of Hearts raffle put on by the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in rural Morris this year until the raffle was properly licensed.
Gilroy says she’s participated in other sweepstakes and won prizes, including electronics and trips to the Bahamas and California. She says she enters sweepstakes because they’re made available free of charge under state law.
HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say an intoxicated Dallas woman on a first date with a prominent Houston trial lawyer caused at least $300,000 in damage to his art collection, including two Andy Warhol paintings.
Lindy Lou Layman was arrested Saturday on criminal mischief charges after her date with Anthony Buzbee. She was released on $30,000 bond. Online court records don’t list an attorney for her.
Prosecutors say Buzbee told investigators that the 29-year-old Layman got too intoxicated on their date, so he called her an Uber after they returned to his home. She allegedly refused to leave and hid inside the home, and that when Buzbee found her and called a second Uber, she got aggressive.
Authorities say she tore down several paintings and poured red wine on some, and she threw two $20,000 sculptures.
The damaged Warhol paintings were each valued at $500,000.
SARGENT’S PURCHASE, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man hasn’t let extreme cold get in the way of a heartwarming proposal.
WMUR-TV reports that 31-year-old Josh Darnell, of Londonderry, dropped to his knee and popped the question after climbing Tuckerman’s Ravine on Thursday, the same day it hit minus 34 (-37 Celsius) on Mount Washington.
There’s a happy ending: twenty-seven-year-old Rachel Raske (RASS’-kee), of Lowell, Massachusetts, said yes.
Raske tells WMUR that Darnell had hiked Tuckerman’s Ravine last summer with his dad and had been planning to pop the question there ever since.
WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) — Police say an eastern Missouri man told officers he has an “underwear fetish” and admitted to sneaking into a home to try to steal a pair.
The St. Louis Post- Dispatch reports that 34-year-old Cody Hassler, of Washington, Missouri, was charged Wednesday with first-degree burglary, first-degree stalking and stealing. No attorney is listed in online court records. Bond is set at $75,000.
Police say Hassler admitted to sneaking into the house through an unlocked basement door in October while a mother and her teenage daughter were sleeping and taking a pair of underwear from the laundry room.
The teenager awoke when she heard footsteps and police were called. Officers found a pair of underwear that apparently had been dropped when the suspect fled. Hassler also admitted to looking through bedroom windows.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A burnt bagel is being blamed for the evacuation of a terminal at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.
Airport officials say a bagel burned in a restaurant in Terminal 2 around 6 p.m. Tuesday, setting off smoke detectors and prompting a full evacuation. An estimated 300 to 400 people were required to go outside, where the temperature was 11 degrees.
The airport says the evacuation lasted only about five minutes, but passengers had to go back through security checks once they re-entered the building. No flight delays were reported.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police say a hunter’s trip home hit a snag in Las Vegas after security screeners found a dead cougar in his luggage.
No crime was committed because the man had a hunting tag. But police Lt. David Gordon told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Transportation Security Administration agents held the man at McCarran International Airport late Tuesday to confirm the validity of the Utah hunting tag.
His name and where he was headed weren’t released.
Airport spokeswoman Melissa Nunnery says the man ended up shipping the cougar carcass home, not on the airplane.
Gordon says it’s not a crime to transport legally possessed game on an airline flight. But he says airlines can refuse to transport certain items.
HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii men who grew up as best friends have recently learned that they’re actually brothers.
Alan Robinson and Walter Macfarlane have been friends for 60 years. Born in Hawaii 15 months apart, they met in the sixth grade and played football together at a Honolulu prep school.
Macfarlane never knew his father. Robinson was adopted.
Honolulu news station KHON-TV reports that the men learned they’re related through a family history and DNA website. They revealed the discovery Saturday.
Macfarlane’s daughter, Cindy Macfarlane-Flores, says when they started digging into answers about his family history, a top DNA match was someone with the username Robi737.
Robinson’s nickname was “Robi” and he flew 737s for Aloha Airlines.
They plan to travel and enjoy retirement together.
Robinson says it’s the best Christmas present.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Police say a man who tried and failed to rob an Ohio convenience store with a fake gun made from pieces of furniture has been charged with robbery.
Akron police say the man walked into a local Circle K store Monday afternoon waving what appeared to be a rifle and demanding cash. An employee realized the rifle was a fake and confronted the man with the help of three customers.
The man tried to flee but was subdued and detained by the people in the store until police arrived. He has been charged with aggravated robbery and is scheduled to appear in municipal court Wednesday.
Police say the man had a pole, a fake scope, a spring and two table legs fastened together to look like a rifle.
SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities say a wrapped present that turned out to be a fruitcake temporarily halted service at a Seattle ferry terminal while police investigated.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Kevin Fortino says troopers were notified Tuesday that a suspicious package was found beneath a Christmas tree in the pedestrian waiting area.
Fortino says the package was deemed suspicious because it was unmarked and was the only gift under the tree.
Officials evacuated the terminal and kept all inbound ferries away for about a half-hour while the police bomb squad investigated.
Fortino says the gift was found to be a fruitcake.
He says it wasn’t clear why it was left at the terminal.
WAREHAM, Mass. (AP) — Police in Massachusetts have arrested a Rhode Island man they say showed up at a shipping company in a brand-new pickup truck he had paid cash for to claim two crates that contained 112 pounds of marijuana.
Wareham police say they were tipped off by employees of Cape Cod Express, who were suspicious of the two wooden crates.
When 40-year-old Michael Chen, of Providence, Rhode Island, showed up at the facility on Wednesday to claim them, he was confronted by police and consented to a search of the crates.
Police say they contained 112 pounds of pot combined.
Chen was charged with trafficking in marijuana over 100 pounds. Police also seized his 2017 pickup.
He was freed on $7,500 bail. It was not clear if he had a lawyer.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Police say they found thousands of doses of heroin, a gun and human teeth on a man detained during a suspected shoplifting investigation at a South Carolina Walmart on Christmas Eve.
Officers tell the Sun News of Myrtle Beach they charged 21-year-old Tavon Malik Stanley of Calabash, North Carolina, with crimes including heroin trafficking and drug possession.
Officials at a North Myrtle Beach Walmart detained Stanley after they saw a person with him allegedly take around $25 worth of items without paying for them. Stanley had a Ruger 9 mm handgun and more than $2,500 in cash, and officers found dozens of pills, thousands of doses of heroin and two human teeth in his backpack.
Stanley was released from jail on bond. It wasn’t known if he had an attorney.
EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey surgeon’s medical license has been temporarily suspended for allegedly reusing disposable anal catheters on multiple patients.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino says East Brunswick-based colon and rectal surgeon Sanjiv Patankar allegedly washed and reused the one-use catheters that are inserted into patients during medical procedures.
State officials say they have evidence that Patankar ordered only five catheters during time when he performed 82 procedures requiring them.
The state Board of Medical Examiners unanimously voted to suspend the doctor’s license last week, saying he “placed patients in clear and imminent danger.”
Patankar’s license will remain temporarily suspended pending a full hearing in the state Office of Administrative Law and until the Board of Medical Examiners takes final action based on further findings.