NewsQuirks 423

Lawsuit Frenzy Dave Feuerstein sued the British supermarket chain Tesco because one of its promotions offered so many bargains that he hurt his back carrying off the discounted merchandise. "Offers like this are too good to refuse," said Feuerstein, who made several trips to the store over a three-day period to redeem more than 300 coupons. "Tesco should have been more considerate and make it impossible to do what I did. If Tesco hadn't had this offer I wouldn't have hurt my back." A Japanese woman, Misa Terasaka, 32, filed a lawsuit against Hong Kong's Discovery Bay Residents' Club and personal trainer Li Ching, charging that the fitness program designed specifically for her caused a back injury that prevents her from bowing according to her national custom. Terasaka is seeking HK $1 million (U.S. $130,000). Connecticut golfer Daniel Lima filed a $15,000 suit against the Minnichaug Golf Course, seeking damages after his shot struck a yardage marker 10 feet away and ricocheted back at him, hitting him in the nose. His wife is also a plaintiff, claiming that her husband's injury has forced the couple to curtail "unspecified family leisure time activities." Course manager Susan Phelps called the suit ridiculous, explaining, "We didn't hit the ball, he hit the ball." The parents of a teenager convicted of breaking into his high school in Ballston Spa, N.Y., said they want to sue the school district, claiming school officials learned that the boy and four other seniors were planning the burglary but did nothing to prevent the youths from breaking the law. Phil A. Rodriguez, the lawyer hired by the family of Jeremy McNamara, told Schenectady's Daily Gazette, "Our position is, if the school knew about this a month ahead of time, they had an obligation to bring in the students and their parents and put a stop to it."Tempting Fate A convicted criminal wanted for parole violations, was apprehended when he applied for a job as a police officer. Garry Harrison passed the written and physical examination for a law enforcement job with the Pine Bluff, Ark., police department, but a routine background check discovered that he was wanted in Illinois for violating his parole in 1995.Remedial Training Daniel Christian Bowden, 20, an Army military police officer at Fort Belvoir, Va., who had received FBI training on how to handle bank robberies, was arrested for robbing the post credit union after he returned 12 days later to deposit $2,900 of the stolen money in his account and a teller recognized him as the man who stole $4,759 at her window. After Bowden handed her the money, the teller took it into a back room and began comparing the serial numbers. When the first two bills matched, credit union officials called the authorities.It Is Written British Moslems proclaimed that a tomato contained a "miracle message" from God after schoolgirl Shaista Javed, 14, sliced the tomato in half and found its veins spelled out the message in Arabic. British newspapers reported that one side read, "There is only one God," while the other said, "Mohammed is the messenger." Shaista, a Moslem, told the Daily Mail, "God made me buy that tomato. These words are a message from God."Disorder in the Court As jurors in Van Nuys, Calif., prepared to deliberate the case against burglary suspect Steve Silvas, the defendant bolted from the courtroom and slugged a police officer. He was captured while waiting for a very slow courthouse elevator. Authorities returned him to the courtroom, where jurors, who witnessed the incident, quickly returned a guilty verdict. Roger Dale Maness, 44, was being arraigned in Lexington, Tenn., on a charge of failing to show up for an earlier court date, when he gave authorities the slip by posing as a juror and following the jury out of the courtroom. Maness then fled down a flight of stairs. Maness' shackles had been removed because presiding Judge Whit Lafon and other judges have requested that inmates not wear shackles when appearing before them. "They're all going to wear shackles from now on," Henderson County Sheriff Charles Woods said. "A man can't run with shackles on." West Virginia Judge Joseph Trosi is accused of biting the nose of defendant Bill Witten, 29, at a bond-reduction hearing in June after Witten reportedly made a derogatory remark against the judge. "Mr. Trosi stepped down from the bench, removed his robe, and there was a confrontation at that point," said state police Capt. Terry Snodgrass said. "During the confrontation, Mr. Witten's nose was injured."Foul Balls Baseball's minor-league Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs offered fans the chance to win a free vasectomy as a Father's Day promotion, only to withdraw the offer the next day after fans protested. Among those who complained was the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, led by season ticket holder Bishop David Thompson. "We found that clearly people didn't like the idea," General Manager Mark Schuster said, noting the team never meant to offend anyone. "We are sensitive to our fans' wants."Chutzpah After a bank robber in Metz, France, was let out of jail due to a clerical error, he asked police to return $100,000 he stole during several bank raids. "I simply want them to return money which was honestly stolen," said Philippe Thomas. "It's a scandal to have your savings robbed from you like that."Oops! Robert Shovestall, 37, shot himself while explaining gun safety to his wife in Glendale, Calif., when he placed a .45-caliber pistol he thought was unloaded under his chin and pulled the trigger. Shovestall's wife told police that the incident occurred after she her complaining about her husband's 70 guns prompted him to demonstrate to her they were safe.Strange Bedfellows Environmentalists acknowledged paying bands of destitute South Africans to roam some of the country's most beautiful landscapes, chopping down thousands of trees. The environmentalists explained the workers are targeting bad trees that are sucking dry pristine streams and rivers, driving out indigenous plants and encouraging soil erosion. They said the project has combined the aims of saving water and natural vegetation with that of creating jobs.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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