NewsQuirks 315

Don't Look Now The attorney for Howard "Wing Ding" Jones, accused of selling drugs, sought to lower his client's bail from $150,000, insisting in a Norristown, Pa., courtroom that Jones was not a risk to flee. At that very moment, Jones bolted from the courtroom and sprinted out the front door. Police captured him 50 minutes later and returned him to the courtroom, where his bail was raised to $500,000. Leave Well Enough Alone Reinaldo de Carvalho, who for the past nine years reigned as Rei Momo, or Fat King, of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival festivities, died trying to lose weight. He entered a clinic weighing 572 pounds and suffering circulatory problems. He died 30 days later after losing 66 pounds. Memories Are Made of This At Susan and William Parkinson's wedding reception in Washington, Pa., the bride fell and broke her ankle. While she was on her way to the hospital in an ambulance, at least two rowdy guests began fighting as the groom and 15 other guests tried to restore order. The Washington Observer-Reporter reported that police arrived to find a crowd of guests and onlookers lining the sidewalks. They called for crowd control, and eventually officers from five area police departments and state troopers were called to the scene. Police arrested the groom and another man, then dispersed the crowd, leaving the mother of the bride and only two other guests to clean up the reception hall. Robbery in Progress David Gallagher, 40, and four accomplices used a stolen bank card to rob 48 automated teller machines in the Portland, Ore., area last Nov. 18, making off with $346,770. By April, Gallagher had been arrested, pleaded guilty and was on weekend release from jail. While heading to meet his lawyer and hand over $60,000 of the cash to the Secret Service as part of his plea bargain, Gallagher was robbed. Police spokesperson C.W. Jensen said that police caught the robber who robbed the robber and recovered the money. U-Store, U-Scream Last October, authorities discovered nine rotting corpses, some dressed in their Sunday best for burial, in a storage shed in Fort Myers, Fla. The insect-infested shed was rented to former funeral home director Finley Carter Jr., 44, who lost his funeral home license two months earlier. Investigators found the bodies of four babies and 15 boxes of cremated remains in Carter's boarded-up funeral home. Friends said Carter was holding the remains for people who were trying to raise money for burial when he himself when bankrupt. The previous year, authorities in Orangeburg, S.C., arrested Kathy Russell after finding her 17-year-old daughter locked in a rented storage unit with little more than a blanket and some peanut butter. The mother told investigators she had taken the girl out of school because she was a slow learner but didn't want her husband to know the girl wasn't in school, so she put her in the rented unit weekday mornings and retrieved her in the afternoon. Mensa Rejects of the Week New Jersey Trooper Glenn Lubertazzi stopped a car for speeding and was asking the three occupants routine questions when one of them, Tina Stigger, 30, asked if she could have a cigarette from a pack in the car's glove compartment. While handing the pack to the woman, he noticed it contained a marijuana joint. Authorities reported that a search of the vehicle turned up $32,000 in suspected drug-buy money, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In St. Paul, Minn., two masked gunmen claiming to be police officers burst into a home and tied up a 39-year-old woman and her two teenagers with duct tape. The men wore black pants, black T-shirts with the word "POLICE" and pantyhose over their faces, according to the woman, who said they asked for a man and, when told he didn't live there, said, "Damn, we got the wrong house." Another daughter elsewhere in the house had already called police, but the men fled before squad cars arrived. Kids Do the Darndest Things Fire officials in Las Cruces, N.M., reported in March that a 5-year-old boy who became angry at his mother, Alvina Barela, for not fixing his breakfast set his dresser on fire, and in the process burned down the house. Skool Daze Three seniors at a high school in Palo Alto, Calif., apparently intent on a year-end prank, set off a smoke bomb, which exploded, shooting flames 30 feet across a main quad and injuring 18 people. Two students at Romania's Cluj University were charged with opening a grave, severing a woman's head from her embalmed torso, then taking the headless corpse with them to a pasta bar as a prank. Scam-a-Rama In Sacramento, Calif., Raymond Steagall, 61, was accused of mail fraud for posing in advertisements as an attractive 27-year-old woman in order to swindle lonely old men by offering to visit them in return for cash for travel expenses. In Morgantown, W.Va., Melissa Rogers, 19, was charged with obtaining money under false pretenses by publicly appealing for $80,000 for a heart transplant for her 1-1/2-year-old son, even though court records showed state welfare would pay for the operation. When the money began coming in, prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said, Rogers spent $8,000 of it on vehicles, furniture and stereo equipment. No Bundle of Joy Instead of paying several hundred dollars for an ambulance or funeral company to transport a stillborn baby's body to another hospital, 180 miles away, for an autopsy, officials at Wrexham Maelor Hospital in Wales hired a private courier firm for $78.43 and sent the body in a cardboard box, which broke open upon delivery. Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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