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News of the Weird



Lead Story

In July an Illinois appeals court ruled that attorney Albert B. Friedman could not collect the entire amount he had billed a female client for handling her divorce because some of the hours billed included time the two of them spent having sex. Friedman was also notified recently by the Illinois Supreme Court that he had been appointed to the court's Committee on Character and Fitness.

Police Blotter

Nancy Ann Estevez, 56, former bookkeeper for the Kansas City March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, admitted in court in February that she had stolen nearly $80,000 from the foundation in order to pay back money she had stolen in 1985 from a country club. She did herself in when she wrote one check directly from the foundation to the district court's restitution fund.

Police in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, arrested four people at the Windrift Vacation Resort who were loading TV sets they had stolen from the hotel into a getaway taxicab.

According to the police log of the Muskego (Wisconsin) Sun, Rhonda L. Stipe, 22, was injured in April when, driving down the road, she "ran into a 19-ton pile of gravel."

Seattle police arrested a man in April for defrauding a cabdriver out of $27.20 in fare, incurred while taking the man to several stores in order to find one that would cash two nonnegotiable checks clearly marked "void" and "sample."

Jason Ray William was sentenced to 90 days in jail in Houston after pleading guilty to stealing a $150 ferret from a pet store by putting the animal down his pants and trying to walk out. The arresting officer said he remembered frisking William just a few weeks before in response to a suspicious-person report and finding a four-foot python wrapped around William's leg.

Baylor University freshman Kyle Krebs was ticketed by campus police in April for breaking wind in violation of the campus ordinance prohibiting obnoxious odors (designed for such phenomena as smoke bombs). Krebs said he wasn't directing his act at officers: "They were so far away, and cars were driving by. I never thought the decibel level would be so high he would hear it." The ticket was eventually dismissed.

From the May 17 Fort Walton Beach (Florida) Daily News: Steven Parker of Fort Walton Beach said he'd confronted a man trying to open a screen door at his home at four in the morning. "When confronted, the man, who appeared confused, ran in circles, pulled a revolver from his pants, told Parker to leave him alone or he'd shoot, and then made noises as if the gun were firing. The man then fled."

Ivan Hillar, 61, owner of an antique store in Santa Monica, California, was arrested last November after he pulled a gun on a customer to enforce his store's "no browsing" rule. (The customer left.)

Wayne Lewis, 24, of Miami, who weighs 475 pounds, was arrested at the Tallahassee, Florida, airport for possession of cocaine when he was identified by drug-sniffing dogs. During a search police found nothing, and they began to suspect the dogs had defective noses, but on closer inspection they found nearly 11 pounds of crack cocaine hidden in the folds of Lewis's stomach.

Just Can't Stop Myself

Last August a 36-year-old man leapt to his death from a bridge over the Warrior River in Alabama. His sister told police, "He had a habit of jumping off bridges."

Last October Father Alexander Wangler of San Antonio's Our Lady of Sorrows Church sought an injunction against a parishioner, Elojia Macias, because during services the lady insisted on loudly singing songs that were not on the agenda. "We don't mind her coming to church," said Wangler. "We just want her to sing the same thing everyone else is."

Kimberly Calkins, 19, of Concord, California, was arrested in June on charges that she used 19 fake library cards to check out (and keep) 1,200 books, tapes, and records. Calkins said only that she is a book lover and got new library cards under new names because she wanted to keep the books she had already checked out.

In Los Angeles in May, Daniel Ramos, 18, was sentenced to a year in jail plus 1,500 hours of community service. Ramos is believed to be the nation's most prolific graffiti writer, having written his nickname, "Chaka," in about 10,000 public places, requiring $500,000 in cleanup costs.

Last August Robert Elliby, 32, awaiting arraignment in New York City on a larceny charge, wandered out of the courtroom and burglarized a judge's chambers.

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

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