In this week's installment: a bear behind the wheel of a Prius, violating hot dog etiquette, and the agony of watching archived PBS pledge drives.
Curses, Foiled Again
Stephen Frankie Daniel, 21, was caught robbing a gas station convenience store in Snellville, Ga., by police Lt. B.W. Brown, who happened to be waiting in line behind him. “The manager was laughing at the time he was putting the money in the bag because he was looking at me over the guy who was robbing him,” Brown said, noting that Daniel apparently didn’t notice Brown’s uniform or the plainly marked Snellville Police Department pick-up truck parked outside the store. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Michael Wayne Aurillo, 27, stole a charity collection jar containing $35.78 from the counter of a convenience store in Williston, Fla., only to be arrested before he could make off with the loot because off-duty Marion County sheriff’s Sgt. William Dietrich was standing behind him. (The Gainesville Sun)
Brandon Kelly, 31, admitted throwing a hot dog at golfer Tiger Woods during a tournament in Santa Clara County, Calif., and explained he was inspired by the movie “Drive,” about a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver. “As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, ‘I have to do something courageous and epic. I have to throw a hot dog on the green in front of Tiger,’” Kelly said. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council promptly condemned Kelly for “a violation of hot dog etiquette.” “Hot dogs are meant to be enjoyed,” council President Janet Riley pointed out, “not weaponized.” (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)
Where Doo-Wop Lives Forever
Pittsburgh public television station WQED announced it’s devoting a new channel to airing pledge drives from its archives of “several hundred hours,” dating back to 1993. Besides its own pledge shows, WQED Showcase intends broadcasting ones from other public stations. “A lot of people really like pledge programming,” station president Deborah Acklin insisted. (Current)
Chaz Ursomanno, 22, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after he accidentally shot himself in the head while showing his girlfriend a handgun. Naomi Ensell, 24, told Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies she asked Ursomanno to put the gun away, but he insisted the weapon was safe. To prove it, he held the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The gun didn’t fire. He then pointed the gun at his head a second time and fired. This time, it went off. (Associated Press)
Do Bears Drive in the Woods?
Authorities said a bear broke into a 2002 Toyota Prius parked at a cabin in Lake Tahoe, Calif., then went on a rampage when it couldn’t figure out how to exit the vehicle. “You could look down and see the bear in the car, and its arms were just flailing all over the place, through the windows and everything,” said Brian McCarthy, 61, who watched with his family as the bear kicked, scratched, bit and tore at the car’s interior, ripped open the seats and bit a chunk out of the steering wheel. Then the bear shifted the Prius into neutral. It rolled backward out of the driveway, picked up speed, hopped a small rock wall and stopped on a neighbor’s porch steps. After the bear finally escaped, McCarthy reported the incident. “It’s definitely not a normal thing to hear about,” South Lake Tahoe police Lt. David Stevenson said. (Contra Costa Times)
Brett Cummins, 33, a TV weatherman in Little Rock, Ark., was found in an unfilled hot tub with a naked dead man. The victim, Dexter Paul Williams, 24, was wearing a chain around his neck that Maumelle police Officer Gregory Roussie described as “silver in color and consistent with what I believed to be a dog collar.” Although a witness said the two had been drinking and snorting drugs when they climbed into the hot tub, police filed no charges, saying foul play isn’t suspected. Cummins resigned his job with KARK-TV anyway. (New York’s Daily News)
Italian authorities charged seven scientists with manslaughter for failing to warn residents of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that killed 308 people in and around L’Aquila in 2009. The seven defendants are accused of giving “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” after smaller tremors occurred in the six months leading up to the quake. (Associated Press)
Almost As Annoying As Robo-Calls
Authorities trying to collect delinquent property taxes in the Indian city of Bangalore dispatched workers to beat drums outside the homes and offices of people who owe money. “The more the noise, the more the embarrassment,” city corporation Commissioner Siddaiah said, explaining the city is owed nearly $40 million in unpaid taxes. “In a way, this is shock treatment.” (BBC News)
Although antidepressants are the second-most-prescribed drug in the United States, nearly half the people who responded to a California survey said they wouldn’t tell their doctor about symptoms of depression. Twenty-three percent said they feared that if they did, they would be prescribed antidepressants, which they avoid, according to University of California-Davis professor Robert Bell, the study’s lead author, because they worry about the drugs’ side effects. (National Public Radio)
Too Tempting to Ignore
While Arizona state prison inmate Dyan Castorena, 40, was assigned to an off-site job detailing cars at an auto auction in Tolleson, she stole a Toyota Camry from the auction and drove away. Authorities searched for six days before Salt River Pima Tribal Police nabbed her at a Scottsdale casino. (Phoenix’s KTVK-TV)
Stalker of the Year
Dutch authorities arrested a 42-year-old Rotterdam woman for calling a 62-year-old man 65,000 times in the past year. The man complained he’d been bombarded with calls, texts and emails from the woman, who claimed to be in a relationship with him and denied that her 178 calls a day were excessive. At a preliminary hearing in The Hague, a judge granted the woman bail on condition that she leave the man alone. Within hours of her release, however, she began calling him again and was taken into custody until her trial. (BBC News)
A 21-year-old man walked into what he believed to be a casino and asked for some blackjack chips. It was actually the University of Nebraska-Lincoln police station. Sgt. John Backer said the desk clerk turned the man away, but he returned a few minutes later. This time, officers administered a Breathalyzer test. The unidentified man blew .273—more than four times the legal limit—and was placed in protective custody. (Hasting’s KHAS-TV)
Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet.