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 V.14 No.50 | December 15 - 21, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: Germany—A soccer coach has been suspended for helping his team--by head-butting a player on the opposing team. The German Soccer Federation announced last week that Duisburg coach Norbert Meier could face a three-month ban and a fine. Late in a 1-1 tie match with Cologne last Tuesday, Meier and Cologne's Albert Streit got into a face-to-face argument on the sideline. The argument came to a head when Meier smashed his forehead into Streit's nose. Both men fell to the ground and were ejected from the game. “I blacked out and I apologize,” Meier later told reporters.

Dateline: Russia—Perhaps it's a bad idea to steal a car from a repair shop. A 24-year-old thief is accused of trying to steal a broken Nissan Primera from a garage in southern Moscow. “He told us he had watched mechanics doing a paint job on the car and had seen them leave the keys in the ignition, so he decided to take his chance,” a Moscow police spokesperson said. Unfortunately, after a few blocks, the would-be thief found out the real reason the car was in the repair shop. “What he didn't know was the car also needed to have new brakes fitted,” the police spokesperson added. Witnesses to the crime watched as the car thief sailed through a set of traffic lights and then smashed head-on into another car just a few yards from the garage. The man was immediately arrested and charged with theft.

Dateline: Tennessee—An escaped prisoner was nabbed trying to break back into jail with several McDonald's hamburgers in tow. The suspected armed robber was caught by a police officer outside Roane County Jail, reported WVLT-TV news. Sergeant Wes Stooksbury arrested the man and says he was carrying a package containing clothes, liquor, prescription pills, crack cocaine and four McDonald's hamburgers. It is unclear whether the man was planning on keeping the care package for himself or if he was trying to smuggle it in to sell to other prisoners. It is believed the man was only gone for a short time. The Roane Sheriff's Department is still investigating the case.

Dateline: Tennessee—A Memphis teenager is in jail, accused of hiring a hitman to bump off several people over a hunk of cheese. The Commercial Appeal newspaper reported that, Jessica Booth, 18, was arrested last weekend on four charges of attempted murder and four charges of soliciting a murder. According to police, Booth was in the Memphis home of the four intended victims earlier this month when she mistook a large block of queso fresco cheese for cocaine. Booth then came up with the brilliant idea of hiring someone to break into the home, steal the cheesy treasure and kill the men. An informant apparently tipped off police, who arranged a meeting with Booth. Unable to tell the difference between cheese and cocaine, Booth was--unsurprisingly--unable to tell the difference between a hitman and an undercover police officer. The undercover police officer gave Booth some nonfunctioning handguns, purchased ammunition for her because she was too young, and the two proceeded to the home under police surveillance. Booth told the officer that any children inside the house old enough to testify would have to be killed. A later search of the home with the permission of the occupants revealed no drugs--only a large block of the crumbly white cheese common in Mexican cuisine. “Four men were going to lose their lives over some cheese,” Lt. Jeff Clark told the Commercial Appeal. Booth remains in jail on a $1 million bond.

Dateline: West Virginia—A Greenbrier County man, who credits his recent run of good luck to divine intervention, is now willing to part with the source of his favorable fortune--a mangled Funyun snack ring. John Mize, a law clerk from Crawley, says he found the Funyun under his car seat and thought immediately that it was shaped like the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. An anonymous online bidder has committed to pay $609 for the onion-flavored holy relic. Mize, who put the snack treat up for sale on eBay last month, credits the item with helping him graduate law school, pass the bar exam and land his dream job.

Dateline: Michigan—Hot on the heels of several reports of cops tasering unruly senior citizens comes word that a police officer used his taser to settle an argument with his partner over whether or not the pair should stop for soft drinks. Ronald Dupuis, 32, was charged last Wednesday with assault and could face up to three months in jail if convicted. The six-year veteran of the Hamtramck police department was fired after the Nov. 3 incident. Dupuis and his partner Prema Graham began arguing after Dupuis demanded she stop their police cruiser at a store so he could buy a soda, according to a police report. The two struggled over the steering wheel. Dupuis then pulled out his department-issue taser and struck Graham in the leg. She was not seriously injured.

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


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