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News of the Weird

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Lead Story

A 31-year-old man turned himself in to police in Anchorage, Alaska, in January claiming to be the fugitive "Dr. Diaper," who had been appearing at local day-care centers in diapers and trying to get them to take him in. In an incident two years earlier, Dr. Diaper had hired a baby-sitter over the phone, claiming to be the parent of an 18-year-old boy who had the mentality of a toddler and needed to be changed and fed and whose bad habits (masturbating in public) should be ignored. When the baby-sitter arrived, she found that the giant baby was Dr. Diaper himself. On a similar occasion, the prospective sitter said Dr. Diaper came to her door carrying his own three-year-old son because he could not find a baby-sitter for the boy while he went out on his escapade.

Just Can't Stop Myself

Richard Smith, 31, celebrated his release from jail in March with a dinner at the Tara Hyannis Hotel in Massachusetts. He had served 90 days for running out on nine restaurant tabs last summer. He was promptly arrested again after running out on the $28 check at the Tara.

John Fogleman, 30, serving time for rape in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was arrested in November for making obscene telephone calls from inside the jail.

Mahad Omar, 22, in prison for robbery and assault in Kingston, Ontario, and given a one-day pass in December to attend a religious ceremony, was returned to jail before the day was over for robbing a woman at knifepoint in Saint Michael's Cathedral in Toronto.

Smooth Reactions

James L. Ramey, 53, of Clyde, North Carolina, was charged with assault in November after a 15-minute brawl at the rural Full Gospel Holiness Church in which the minister's son suffered a bite to the neck that required 31 stitches. The brawl began when one person wanted to occupy the back pew, which was occupied by a church regular who always sat there.

Aerospace engineer Dean Harvey Hicks of Costa Mesa, California, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in February for launching aerial bombs at one Internal Revenue Service building and trying to blow up three others in 1991. Hicks had become distraught when the IRS refused to allow him a tax deduction for an $8,000 donation to a mail-order "church."

In February in Quebec City, Serge Pouliot was sentenced to 18 months in prison for assaulting his supervisor, who had threatened to turn Pouliot in for sleeping at work. Both men operate an X-ray machine at a shipyard, and Pouliot committed the assault by severely x-raying his supervisor, subjecting him to the equivalent of 20 years' on-the-job exposure.

Sports News

Among the rituals of Cubs minor-league pitcher Turk Wendell: he always crosses the foul line with a kangaroo jump; he demands that the umpire roll the ball to him to start the game; and he chews licorice on the mound and then brushes his teeth every inning. He also occasionally makes a pickoff throw to first base with no runners on, and once he took a camera to the mound in his pocket, took it out, and snapped a photo of the batter before pitching to him.

Jeremy Edge, a high school basketball player in Owensboro, Kentucky, scored seven points in one second in a January game against Hancock County. He was fouled with one second left in the first half and made both free throws. With the clock still stopped, a technical foul was called against Hancock County and again Edge made both shots. When the ball was finally inbounded, he got off a three-point shot before the buzzer sounded.

Least Competent Person

Earl H. Brockington was convicted in February for a robbery in Kansas City, Missouri, that took place a year ago. He had taken a woman's purse (containing only $5) in a parking garage, then accidentally nicked the woman with his knife, provoking her to scream, whereupon four men chased him, forcing him to leap from a parking deck 25 feet to the ground, injuring his leg. He managed to hobble to and climb underneath a parked car, but the owner of the car got in a few minutes later, started it up, and ran over Brockington's feet, breaking several bones.

Creme de la Weird

Gregory Putman, 42, a veteran sheriff's deputy who had been on inactive status since a heart transplant in 1984, was disciplined in November by a judge in Oregon City, Oregon. Putman, apparently frustrated at being off active status, had modified his car so that it would resemble a state patrol car and had allegedly stopped at least three motorists on his own to lecture them on lawful behavior. Putman said later that he had "let the old days get the best of me." The judge lifted Putman's license to carry a concealed weapon.

The Diminishing Value of Life

Richard Paul Joseph, 51, was charged with the murder of his adopted 17-year-old daughter in San Bernardino, California, in December. He had become upset that she was abandoning the name he and his wife had given her, Dee Dee, in favor of Desiree.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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