NewsQuirks 415

YOU'VE COME THE WRONG WAY, BABYA Sri Lankan who won a government award after being selected as the country's 1995 female entrepreneur of the year was arrested -- for being a man. Police said Sattambige Sriyaratne, 36, impersonated a woman for about three years, received bank loans amounting to $500,000 and ran a successful business exporting prawns. "He had posed as a wealthy woman, well connected to some leading government personalities," said police inspector Mohamed Nizam. "That and his forced female charm are probably what made him a successful businesswoman." The female impersonator was also legally married to a 29-year-old man.WRONG ARM OF THE LAWBaltimore authorities charged police officer William Scott Kern with burglary after finding his thumb print at the crime scene. They dropped the charge four months later when they finally concluded that Kern wasn't the perpetrator but had left the incriminating thumb print on a door frame at the residence while he was there investigating the crime.Dallas police officer Raymond Dethloff Jr. responded to a traffic accident just as a 16-year-old girl was taken away by ambulance. Noticing a still-warm McDonald's grilled chicken sandwich that the victim had just bought, Dethloff ate it. He was suspended for 15 days.MENSA REJECT OF THE WEEKPolice in Indianola, Miss., charged Roger Townsend, 23, with stealing more than 3,000 condoms from the local health office after finding his pockets stuffed full of condoms when he was searched in connection with another case. Noting that the theft was unnecessary since the health office distributes the condoms free, Indianola police chief Ken Winter said, "This case has to rank up there with the strangest we've ever handled. I just don't know what he was planning or what."DIVINE JUSTICEAuthorities investigating a fire that destroyed the luxury vacation home of the president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and caused $1 million in damages concluded that the blaze was started by a discarded cigarette. The three-floor vacation home of Reynolds President Andrew Schindler on upscale Figure Eight Island, N.C., was reduced to a row of charred pilings after it caught fire while workers installing ceiling tile were at lunch.PENALTIES OF CITIZENSHIPPatrick Wayne Manning II, 32, reported for jury duty in Tulsa, Okla., only to be arrested himself when a routine check showed he was wanted on a 1988 murder charge.WEAR A HELMET TO HEAD THE BALLSoccer may cause even more brain damage than high-contact American football, according to Finnish researchers from the University of Helsinki. Using magnetic resonance imagining, they found that 11 out of 15 amateur soccer players showed potential signs of brain damage, compared to seven out of 17 American football players.SEX AND THE LAWA Thai woman, who was arrested on drug charges when police found amphetamines hidden in her underwear, escaped when her interrogator passed out after consuming some 10 beers during a closed-door session. "It was not only beer that made the investigator exhausted," a police spokesperson said, "but they also had wild sex during the investigation."Nevada lawmakers canceled a trip to tour the Mustang Ranch, a legal brothel near Reno, after a newspaper column ridiculed the plan. Assemblyman Bob Price, a Democrat from North Las Vegas, had called the trip a "fact-finding" mission to teach legislators about an industry that he says generates at least 30 percent of the tax revenue in some counties. But Nevada Appeal publisher and editor Jeff Ackerman lampooned the tour, saying some taxpayers might suggest that "except for the degree of pleasure they provide, lawmakers and prostitutes might actually have lots in common."STUCK AND FORGOTTENDutch authorities in Amsterdam were called when a 49-year-old pierced acupuncture patient realized his doctor forgot to return and remove the needles. The acupuncturist, who left the office to attend a personal matter, forgot about his patient and went home. "The man had been lying there for more than an hour," a police spokesperson said, "before he realized everyone had gone home."WHY THEY CALL IT DOPEBrandon B. Hughes, 18, appeared in court in Memphis, Tenn., to answer a charge of driving with a suspended license. When he raised his hand to be sworn, a packet containing just over a gram of cocaine fell from his jacket onto the floor. Instead of the traffic fine he had faced, Hughes received 10 days for contempt of court and faces up to 12 years for drug possession.Terrick LeGrande, 18, walked into the Winchester, Va., public safety building to file a complaint because he objected to being questioned by a police officer while leaving a home where a search warrant was about to be executed. At the station, he began yelling at police officers and made what they termed "aggressive movements." LeGrande's actions prompted police to arrest him. During a routine search, they found a small quantity of marijuana in his pocket.BREATH TESTAustralian Jeff Pearce was convicted of assault in a Perth court after admitting he had deliberately chewed a clove of garlic and then breathed in the face of a police officer who pulled him over for drunk-driving. Pearce testified in court that a friend told him the best way to repel police was to chew garlic and breathe on them.EVER READYJohn Bell, who is 115 years old, received a new pacemaker at Johns Hopkins University after he outlasted the batteries on one installed when he was 104.MAKING THEIR POINTIsraeli undertakers in the town of Rosh Ha'ayinin, bitter over not being paid for three months, punctuated their wage demands at a municipal council meeting in Rosh Ha'ayinin by bringing a woman's corpse with them. The body was placed on a stretcher and covered with a shroud bearing the Star of David.GIVE AND TAKEWhen the French government proposed taking over land that surrounds prehistoric cave drawings in Pont d'Arc in the Ardeche, landowner Pierre Coulange suggested that a fair price would be $12.2 million. Instead, the government said it would pay $1,747.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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