NewsQuirks 612

Curses, Foiled Again

Police in Albuquerque, N.M., accused Jeffrey Anaya, 35, of using a screwdriver to rob a gas station. He fled with cash and cigarettes, but when he got to his car he couldn't find his keys. The clerk was calling the police when he went back inside to look for them. He still hadn't found them when officers arrived, so he threw up his hands and told them he did it.

Tyrone Williams robbed Sayvan Hayes by holding a gun to the victim's head, but when Williams squeezed the gun too hard and it began to crack, Hayes realized it was plastic and grappled with the smaller Williams. According to Philadelphia police, the suspect fled, but Hayes chased him down and began jabbing him with a pair of scissors. Police who spotted the pair said their first thought was that Williams was the victim, especially when he started yelling, "Thief! Thief!" They discovered the truth when they found the victim's wallet in Williams's pocket.

The Spirits Made Me Do It

Police in Minco, Okla., charged Carol Sue Elvaker, 53, with fatally stabbing her son-in-law, former mayor Brian Roach, 34, because a Ouija board told her to do it. Investigators said she also tried to kill her 10-year-old granddaughter. "This is basically the grandmother saying that Brian Roach needed to die," Grady County assistant district attorney Brett Burns said. "She thought the 10-year-old was evil and thought the father was evil."

After the stabbing, Elvaker drove her daughter and two grandchildren toward Tulsa and crashed the car into a road sign trying to kill them all, Burns said. Despite suffering two broken ankles, Elvaker tried to push her 15-year-old granddaughter into oncoming traffic, then took off all her clothes, jumped over the highway median barrier and ran into the woods, where police found her hiding. "It's amazing how the grandmother was able to let this Ouija board consume her life," Burns said.

Trade-in Policy

Authorities in Everett, Wash., charged Indle King Jr., 39, with murdering his mail-order bride of two years because he wanted a new wife. Anastasia Soloveva King, 20, was the man's second mail-order bride, and authorities said evidence indicates he had started looking for a third wife last July. The woman was reported missing in October and her body discovered in a shallow grave in late December.

Investigators found a diary Anastasia King left in a safe-deposit box that describes her husband's abuse and death threats. According to court records, the box also contained a list of "48 traits the writer/husband detests about his wife."

Slightest Provocation

Police in Fort Payne, Ala., charged Cecil Benjamin Hicks, 64, with offering a hit man $300 and four cows to kill his friend's wife, even though he hadn't seen her in 10 years, because "he didn't like the way she was treating his friend."

Police investigating a shooting outside a karaoke bar in Yokohama, Japan, reported friends Shigeru Yoshida, 51, and Genshou Shimajiri, 53, started arguing over which one would sing next. Shimajiri hit Yoshida over the head with a beer bottle. Yoshida asked him to step outside, then shot Shimajiri several times in the stomach.

Police charged Albert M. Lerner, 62, with the shooting death of Gleb Dobromyslov, 56, who lived two floors above him in a Miami Beach apartment building, after a long feud involving an overflowing bathtub. Lerner lived in 512, Dobromyslov in 712. "It's been overflowing for several months," detective Sgt. Angel Vazquez said. "The victim did his laundry in the bathtub, and it would overflow and drip down. He would do it constantly. Lerner would go up there, and they'd argue. The guy in between, in 612, tried to mediate the arguments, but he got tired of it."

Litigation Nation

After John Remley, 67, won a competition entitling him to drink all the free alcohol he wanted at Lieb's Cafe in Norwood, Ohio, he became so drunk he fell down some steps and was knocked unconscious. He filed a lawsuit against owner Ron Janus, seeking $1 million in punitive damages and an additional, undetermined amount for medical bills, pain and suffering, charging Janus shouldn't have continued supplying him with free drinks.

After Mark Cooper, 28, struck and badly injured a 4-year-old deaf mute who ran out in front of his car, he sought damages from the taxi driver who had taken her home and the firm the taxi driver worked for, claiming the accident caused him to suffer from post-traumatic stress. A London court awarded him $700,000 in damages.

Saul Shechter, 76, was sitting in the upper deck at Miami's Pro Player Stadium during a Florida Marlins baseball game when he claimed he was struck unconscious by a rolled-up T-shirt shot into the stands by the team's mascot, Billy the Marlin. Insisting he sustained permanent eye damage, Shechter filed a suit against the Marlins for $15,000 in damages. Shechter's lawyer, Peter Bober, said the fact that his client was injured is indisputable, noting "Billy the Marlin sent him a get-well card."

Mensa Reject of the Week

New Zealand university students Ana Louise North, 19, and Lindsay Peter Roxburgh, 19, met in a Dunedin bar and decided to ride together down the world's steepest street (38 degrees) in a trash can. They pushed the two-wheeled container up the Baldwin Street hill, turned it on its side, climbed in and road it 165 feet down the hill. At the bottom, the trash can crashed into a parked trailer, killing North and sending Roxburgh to the hospital with a serious head injury.

Unexpected Drop-in Sherri Lee, 37, was serving beer at a large makeshift arena being used for a coleslaw wrestling event at the annual Bike Week celebration in Samsula, Fla., when a sky diver landed on top of her. "We yelled, Å’move, dummy,' but she never looked up because it happened so quick," spectator Dave "D.R." Paul told the Orlando Sentinel. After Lee was airlifted to the hospital, the sky diver, Clarence Swimm, 56, who had been hired by the club sponsoring the wrestling event, insisted, "I didn't even see her. It wasn't my fault." The incident delayed the start of the wrestling match 15 minutes.

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