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News of the Weird

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According to the annual Firearms Discharge Assault Report of the New York Police Department, disclosed by Newsday in June, city officers fired 155 shots at dogs in 1993 (mostly pit bulls), scoring hits 72 percent of the time. However, of the 1,195 shots fired at human perpetrators, only 19 percent were hits; even in gunfights where the targets were less than three feet away the officers hit them only 29 percent of the time.

Well Put

Jose Chavez, 24, on how he ascertained that a skull he found in a garbage can in Lennox, California, in May was human: "I bit it on the neck to make sure it was real. That's how you test things."

Ten-year-old college graduate Michael Kearney (the youngest graduate ever, according to the Guinness book), upon acquiring a job as "special correspondent" for the ABC TV afternoon show Mike & Maty: "This is my big break."

Five southern California graffiti vandals, who call themselves "artists," were arrested in San Francisco over the July 4 weekend. Said one: "We came here to contribute something to this town, and we end up in jail." Said a police spokesman, "They drove [more than 300 miles] to spray paint the city. That's a long drive just to be a jerk."

Drag-racing legend Big Daddy Don Garlits, a Republican candidate for a Florida congressional seat, alleged in a June interview with the Palm Beach Post that there's a government conspiracy to prepare the nation for an inevitable currency devaluation. "The government fears this is going to happen," he said. "They're smarter than we are. They have access to the big computers."

Gregory N. White, arrested in February for robbing a retail store in Belton, Missouri, lost most of the money during his getaway. "I'm just a novice robber," he said. And said Antony Van Zyl, confessed burglar of $10,000 worth of equipment from a Rolling Meadows, Illinois, museum and theater: "I'm not a very good burglar. I'm still trying to come to terms with my own stupidity."

Judy Pruitt, 23, mother of six children by six different men, has seen four of those children taken away by Children's Protective Services in her hometown of Houston. When asked why she continues to have children she said, "I have to keep replacing the ones they take."

A man who robbed a 25-year-old woman at knifepoint of cash and jewelry in Sandy Springs, Georgia, in May, told her: "My life sucks. I'll return this stuff back to you."

James Kimball, 71, robbed a bank in Hutchinson, Kansas, in June 1993 and lived a life of luxury for three months before being captured. Upon receiving a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence in May he said, "No matter what they do to me, no matter how long they keep me in jail--or even if I die here--they can't take away those [three months of luxury]."

High Point, North Carolina, police officer Gordon Snaden answered a patrol call in July concerning a man who'd taken LSD and fled naked up a tree. Said Snaden, "He was able to actualize himself up the tree, but was not able to actualize himself down the tree."

Names in the News

Arrested on child-molestation charges in January in San Mateo, California, was Kenneth Barbee Daul. Sentenced to four and a half years in prison in connection with the death of his wife in Towanda, Pennsylvania, was Charles God.

In the June Iowa Democratic primary Anne Pedersen whipped challenger Marilyn Monroe by 57 percent to 43 percent. In a Tennessee election for road superintendent of Grundy County incumbent Norman (June Bug) Meeks whipped former superintendent Gene (Eyeballs) Rogers.

In June advocates for optional chemical castration as therapy for sex offenders in Texas squared off against those pushing for it as mandatory punishment. The therapy forces are led by Houston minister Reverend Jew Don Boney.

In April, according to Agence France-Presse, McDonald's Corporation threatened to take legal action against a Melbourne, Australia, take-out food shop that features topless female employees and calls itself "McTits."

Born in April in Little Rock was Ms. Lexus Camry Peterson. Finishing 35th in the Club North Shore Half Marathon near Chicago in April was Mr. Farm Vehicle, 38. Quoted in the University of Minnesota daily newspaper in April on the theft of a huge plastic chicken from her family's Chinese restaurant was daughter Oy Moy.

In a June accident in the Connecticut River near Bath, New Hampshire, Donald Drown, 34, drowned.

Least Competent Person

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, police charged William A. Stewart, 27, with robbing a convenience store in June. They had tracked him down after the store's video camera showed the perpetrator wearing a basketball jersey with the name of his local recreation team, "Public Enemy," on the front and "6" and "Stewart" on the back.

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

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