NewsQuirks 675

Second-Amendment Follies

While trying to arrest a man suspected of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in Tampa, Fla., Officer William Jordan yelled to suspect Christopher Jackson, 30, to put his hands on the steering wheel of his car. Jackson rolled up the car’s window instead. Holding his 9mm Glock with both hands, Jordan used it to tap the window. The gun accidentally fired, according to police representative Katie Hughes, wounding Jackson in the arm and upper torso. Resisting arrest was added to the charge of solicitation because Jackson had rolled up his window.

Linnell Booker, 21, told Philadelphia police that another man shot him in the foot while trying to rob him. Investigators found a handgun but determined from the direction of the wound and the lack of shell casings that Booker was the shooter. Booker later admitted that the gun had been in his boot and accidentally fired when he began playing with it.

Kimberly Fennessey saw her friend Anthony Milazzo cleaning his .22-caliber pistol at his home in Bryan, Texas, and asked to see if it worked. Milazzo suggested she test it by firing at a Teflon-coated frying pan. The bullet ricocheted off the pan and struck her in the head. She was treated at the hospital and released.

Police in Great Falls, Mont., reported that a 22-year-old man was helping look for some men who cut his friend in a bar fight but decided to quit, so he stuffed his .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun in his waistband. According to Officer Keith Perkins, the gun inadvertently fired, shooting off the man’s right testicle, injuring his penis and putting a hole in his right thigh. A friend took him to the hospital.

At Least Nobody’s Doing Drugs

Officials at a middle school in Jacksonville, Fla., suspended 11 students for passing out on purpose. The technique apparently involves exhaling until oxygen deprivation renders the kids unconscious. The result is a pleasurable sensation, according to school security officials, who noted the fad is called "knocking you out." Joy Recla, principal at Mandarin Middle School, where the students were suspended, said teachers and administrators are looking for others who have done or demonstrated it. "It is more a ‘this is cool. Do you want to try this?’ situation," Recla said, "and that is why we try to tell them right away this isn’t cool."

Authorities in Littleton, Colo., said 15 firefighters were investigated and two suspended for playing "butt ball." Photographs obtained by a local news station showed several firefighters washing dishes with their pants around their ankles and a small rubber ball wedged between their buttocks. To keep the ball sanitary, it was covered in a latex glove. Firefighters who refused to play the game weren’t allowed to eat with their colleagues. "We have tremendous confidence and support for our Fire Department," Littleton City Manager Jim Woods said. "But even good people do stupid things sometimes."

Bad Luck to Worse

Robert Arnold Jr., 37, overturned his logging truck on a bridge in Clearfield, Pa. Other drivers helped him to safety, but minutes later a coal truck plowed into vehicles stopped at the accident site, killing Arnold.

Candid Camera

Police in Brighton Township, Pa., arrested Donald W. Barto, 53, for secretly videotaping his wife and children for nearly eight years. Investigators said Barto moved a video camera from room to room in his house, hiding it in air ducts or underneath clothing so it couldn’t be seen while he taped his family at crotch level climbing in and out of cars, undressing, using the toilet and performing sexual acts. Police said the tapes showed Barto’s three children engaged in sex acts with each other while Barto’s voice is heard on the tapes luring the youngsters into camera view. Barto was charged with invasion of privacy after his wife found the videotapes in their basement and took them to police.

When Philadelphia police captured Joseph Rios, 19, and two accomplices trying to burglarize a city home, they confiscated a videotape showing the trio celebrating an earlier burglary. On the 10-minute tape, the crooks flash the money and items they stole, then brag about their deed. The video camera they used also was stolen. "It’s ‘Stupid Criminal Tricks,’" Montgomery County prosecutor Ted Barry said after Rios received a two-to-four-year sentence.

Citizens to the Rescue

Argentina’s economic crisis has gotten so bad that the residents of the city of Junin started lending their cars to police, who cannot afford to run their own vehicles, which are mostly old and broken down. A community fund also has been started to pay for the makeshift patrol cars’ fuel. "We had this crime wave, and when we talked with police they said they didn’t have enough cars. So I said I’d loan them my car," resident Oscar Pinto said. He added that Junin’s tactics seem to have paid off, declaring, "Crime is no nexistent now."

Leap of Faith
Michael Marcum, 21, was convicted of stealing six 350-pound electrical transformers from a power company in Stanberry, Mo. Marcum explained that he wanted them to power a time machine so he could travel a few days into the future, learn the winning lottery numbers and return to buy the right ticket.

Chicken Little Was Right

When Lee Chen-fan tried to commit suicide by jumping out of a building in Hong Kong, she landed on a parked car and survived. The car’s owner, Chung Kai-Chiu, promptly sued the woman for $25,700 in damages. Chen-fan objected, claiming the car was parked illegally. "I know very well that there was no parking on that street," she told a tribunal.

Close the Barn Door

The Missouri House passed a measure making it a crime to take pictures of animals in barns without an owner’s permission. Rep. Ken Legan, who sponsored the House amendment to a larger agriculture bill, said it is aimed at animal rights activists and undercover reporters. "They’d like to come in and take pictures and say how bad it is," Legan said, "when in actuality (the animals) have never had it so good."


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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