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News of the Weird

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Lead Story

In March Anthony Zeigler, 20, of Minneapolis, got into arguments at two different parties on consecutive nights in unrelated disputes and wound up being shot both times (in the leg at the first party and in the back and arm at the second party). He was treated and released at the same hospital after each incident.

Science Fair

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the Centers for Disease Control, recently contained safety warnings against the following behaviors: eating raw pork intestines, poking one's eye with mascara brushes, exposing oneself to llama rabies, and entering unventilated manure pits.

A physician in Daly City, California, writing in a medical journal in March, told of a patient who got relief from lower back pain by flying upside down in an open-cockpit biplane. The patient belts himself in tightly and says the only problem is that the engine stalls after about ten seconds, sending him into a dive during which he must restart it or crash.

Researchers in New York and Israel recently demonstrated a link between suicide tendencies and changes in the brain's "pleasure centers." The research is based on a study of 24 brains, which the doctors said took seven years to collect, because so few brains these days are sufficiently free of disease and drugs.

The British Medical Journal reported in January the case of an 82-year-old blind man who tried to block urinary incontinence by inserting a kidney bean into his urethra but whose blindness prevented him from removing it. Urologist Anup Patel wrote that the patient's original idea (taught to him by an Australian shepherd who says he changes beans every 24 hours) was "ingenious," but he said the blind man's bean had sprouted and had to be removed in three pieces.

Police Blotter

Patrick M. O'Connor, 21, was arrested in March for an attempted grocery-store robbery in Calgary, Canada. O'Connor was hampered by two problems: (1) his only weapon was a can opener, which did not scare the clerk, and (2) he had brought along his girlfriend's 16-month-old baby, who kept falling out of the carriage while O'Connor made his getaway.

Miryam Perez of LaVerne, California, testified in March that her ex-boyfriend, Rafael Avila, broke into her apartment late one night, put the barrel of his gun into her mouth, and, in a three-hour ordeal, forced her to clean the apartment and make the beds, saying, "This is the way I wanted [you to behave]."

In April Hong Kong police reported the rescue of a 32-year-old man who was washed ashore. He had taken a casino ship from the Hong Kong port, but had run up some gambling bills and jumped into shark-infested waters to avoid his creditors.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in Seattle in March for bank robbery after witnesses saw him run into a hotel a few blocks away. Police arrived at the hotel to find a trail of money leading through the hallway right up to the thief's door.

Police in two Tennessee counties were searching recently for a man who on three occasions had approached female counter clerks who were working alone in retail stores, tied them up with duct tape, then announced, "I can't do this," and walked away.

Buschco Inc., owner of three massage parlors in Austin, Texas, billed the city $2,800 for 27 nude massages given to 19 undercover police officers in 1988 and '89. The police chief said that since prostitution arrests were made each time the city does not owe the money. A Buschco lawyer said each massage was given in its entirety before any arrest was made and therefore the bill must be paid.

Michael McKenna, a 37-year-old bank teller in Norwalk, Connecticut, was charged with robbing a rival bank during his lunch hour one day in January. Said a police officer, "He punched out, robbed the bank, went home, left the money, punched back in."

Police in Superior, Wisconsin, arrested Richard E. Roehm, 54, in December for disorderly conduct after he annoyed patrons in the Casablanca Bar with excessive Santa Claus imitations. According to a bar employee, Roehm was calling people his elves, "ho-ho-ho-ing and so on." He said he couldn't leave the bar because he was waiting for his sleigh and reindeer. (As the police led him away, he stayed in character.)

Police in Durham, North Carolina, were called to an apartment in December by a resident who said that while he was entertaining guests an unidentified man walked in the door, went into the kitchen, fired a shot into his refrigerator, and left.

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

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