Aug 18 - 24, 2005 
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Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary
Scott Rickson

Dateline: England—When 59-year-old Melvyn Reed woke up from a triple-bypass heart operation earlier this summer, he was greeted by his loving wife and his loving wife and his loving wife. Obviously, the British bigamist didn't count on all three of his spouses turning up at his bedside at the same time. Reed had apparently tried to stagger the hospital visits of his wives, but a scheduling conflict ended with all three of them in the hospital at once. British media reports say that, upon realizing something was amiss, the wives held a meeting in the parking lot and learned they were all married to the same man. A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Reed, a company director from Kettering in central England, turned himself in to Wimbledon police on May 12 and confessed to being a double bigamist. He pleaded guilty to two charges of bigamy on July 19 and was given a suspended sentence of four months in prison and ordered to pay 70 pounds ($126). According to Metropolitan Police, Reed married his first wife, Jean Grafton, in 1966, then left without divorcing her. He went on to marry Denise Harrington in 1998, then married Lyndsey Hutchinson in 2003. British media have widely reported that Reed recently moved back in with his first wife. Harrington and Hutchinson had sought advice on getting their marriages annulled, but lawyers have advised the women that their marriages were never valid.

Dateline: Utah—An unskilled criminal was arrested last Sunday in South Salt Lake after a spectacularly unsuccessful one-day crime spree which included failed attempts at robbery, breaking and entering, carjacking and kidnapping. Joe Lucero, 30, was taken to a hospital and was expected to remain there for several days for observation before being booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of multiple felonies, South Salt Lake Police Capt. Tracy Tingey said. The unproductive crime spree began around 5:45 a.m last Sunday when the man attempted to rob two women at knifepoint in the parking lot of a convenience store. The women refused to hand over any money, so the man walked to a nearby apartment complex and tried breaking into an apartment. When that failed, the man crossed the street and forced two people out of a Jeep at knifepoint. He took off in the vehicle, but very quickly rolled it, suffering multiple cuts and bruises. The man then entered an apartment complex and tried breaking into a several apartments. He left bloody handprints on the doors, but failed to get in. Eventually, the assailant kicked down the front door of the Hernandez family. When the man barricaded himself into the apartment and started screaming, “Police! I have a gun,” Melva Hernandez grabbed her 18-month-old daughter, Esperanza, and hid her in the bedroom closet. The assailant broke a coffee table in the living room and then went into the bedroom and began tearing sheets off the bed. Melva Hernandez told police she offered him money but he refused and demanded the toddler. “He looked at me and said, ’The baby,'” Hernandez told reporters. “That freaked me out. I said, ’Uh-uh. You got to get through me.'” When the man heard police cruisers approaching, he jumped out the bedroom window. Police spotted Lucero shortly afterward, arrested him and transported him to a nearby hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

Dateline: Florida—Marvin Williams thought it would be funny to put a blue-and-red-flashing light on the dashboard of his friend's car and pretend to pull over another driver. Unfortunately, Williams tried out the joke on a couple of undercover Tampa police officers in an unmarked car. After flashing his lights, Williams sped past the duo laughing. When the officers gave chase, Williams ditched the vehicle, leaving behind two female friends who were riding with him. He also forgot the seven grams of cocaine that were sitting on the vehicle's center console. The police caught up with Williams and charged him with cocaine possession, impersonating a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

Dateline: New Hampshire—The once-hyped Segway scooter is, apparently, not even worth stealing these days. Police in Concord recently discovered 10 brand new Segways, stolen from a Concord truck dealership in April, sitting in a garage last week collecting dust. “Right from the beginning, we questioned how they would move these things around,” Detective Todd Flanagan told the Concord Monitor. “It seemed like it would be difficult for them to get rid of them. And that seems to be what happened.” An anonymous tip led police to a rented garage in Manchester last Friday. There, along with the array of two-wheeled electric scooters, police found piles of Segway accessories, all stolen from Segway of Northern New England on the night of April 24. The police have been investigating the theft ever since, but were unable to zero in on a lead until last week when a Crimeline tip led them to the rented garage. Police expect to arrest several people soon. “I think the burglary was very well thought-out,” Flanagan said. “I think what wasn't thought-out was how they were going to profit from this. It's sort of comical, actually.”

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

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