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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.17 No.3 | January 17 - 23, 2008

Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary
Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: New York--In what was either an ugly case of check fraud or an attempt to remake Weekend at Bernie’s, two 65-year-old friends wheeled the dead body of their roommate to a store in Midtown Manhattan to cash his Social Security check. The trouble began last Tuesday when David Dalaia and James O’Hare allegedly tried to cash Virgilio Cintron’s $355 Social Security check at a store in Hell’s Kitchen on their own, police said. The man at the counter told them Cintron had to be present to cash the check, so they went back to his apartment, which at least one of the suspects shared with the recently deceased man. Cintron was apparently undressed when he passed away, sometime within the previous 24 hours. Police said Dalaia and O’Hare proceeded to dress him in a faded T-shirt, pants they could only get up part way and a pair of Velcro sneakers. They threw a coat over his waist to conceal what the pants couldn’t cover. “He was sitting in the chair with his head in the back of the chair,” witness Victor Rodriguez told New York’s KDKA-2 News. “From where I was looking, he appeared to be dead.” As Dalaia and O’Hare were pulling Cintron’s partially dressed, wheelchair-bound corpse into Pay-O-Matic, a check cashing store in midtown Manhattan, they caught the attention of a plainclothes police officer who was eating lunch next door. The officer phoned police, who arrived and took O’Hare and Dalaia into custody. Cintron, 66, was taken to a nearby hospital and declared dead, most likely from natural causes.

Dateline: Michigan--A shoplifting suspect reaped what he sowed after falling and stabbing himself multiple times in the stomach with a collection of knives he was trying to steal. Last Monday, the 26-year-old Comstock Park man allegedly stashed $300 worth of hunting knives in the waistband of his pants at the Knapp’s Corner Meijer store, police said. He suffered puncture wounds to his abdomen about 5:40 p.m. when he tried to flee and ended up on the ground scuffling with security workers. During the struggle, the suspect apparently fell on several of the knives. “I saw a man laying down on the mat by the carts, a knife by him with blood on the full blade of the knife,” shopper Heather Dodd told the Grand Rapids Press. “Someone was holding him down, so I just walked around him, grabbed my cart, made sure everything was OK and got out of the way.” The suspect was hospitalized with wounds that were not life-threatening and is expected to face a misdemeanor shoplifting charge. Police said the suspect has a record of retail fraud.

Dateline: Wisconsin--A misdemeanor sentencing hearing in Milwaukee County Circuit Court was delayed for three hours last Tuesday after Judge William Sosnay took issue with prosecutor Warren Zier’s ascot. A courthouse rule requires all lawyers to wear neckties, but Sosnay complained Zier’s red cravat--which matched the handkerchief in the breast pocket of his pinstriped gray suit--“borders on contemptuous” and is not technically a tie. “This not about the definition of an ascot or a necktie,” Sosnay said in court, addressing a reporter in the gallery directly while the case waited to be heard. “This is an issue which I believe deals with the integrity of the court.” Zier told the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal he frequently alters his haberdashery, switching between long ties, bowties and silk neck loops. The beefy, baldheaded prosecutor admitted to dabbling in ascots, “since the ’70s--1975 or ’76.” Zier told the newspaper he will not change his neckwear, even in the face of Sosnay’s threatened contempt charges.

Dateline: Mexico--A 10-year-old boy glued himself to his bed in a desperate attempt to avoid going back to school after the Christmas holiday. “I thought if I was glued to the bed, they couldn’t make me go to school,” the boy, Diego, told Agence France-Presse. “I didn’t want to go, the holidays were so much fun.” The boy located a tube of industrial-strength glue his mother bought and used it to adhere his hand to the bed’s metal headboard. His mother, Sandra Palacios, was unable to free him and called paramedics and police for help. Diego watched cartoons while they worked to unstick him. After two hours, the boy was freed using a chemical spray to dissolve the adhesive. Diego was eventually sent to school a few hours late.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.