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 V.15 No.11 | March 16 - 22, 2006 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: South Carolina—Mere weeks after a Florida man beat his roommate to death with a sledgehammer over an argument about toilet paper comes word that two motel maids in South Carolina got into an armed duel with a plunger and a mop over the selfsame substance. The women accused one another of taking toilet rolls from each other's cleaning carts at a motel in Charleston. Police were called after the fight left one of the women, 52, with a welt requiring hospital treatment, reports the Post and Courier. The other maid, 47-year-old mop-slinger Deloris Smith, told police she was only defending herself from her plunger-wielding opponent. She was charged with assault and taken to jail.

Dateline: North Dakota—A man wearing a ski mask walked into a Williston bank and demanded money. “He never showed a weapon, but the tellers got quite scared and concerned and thought the worst,” Sgt. Mark Hanson told reporters. After demanding the money, 20-year-old Ray Wright removed his mask and told tellers he was “just kidding.” Wright then went about his banking business, withdrawing some money from his checking account and leaving. Despite his sense of humor, Wright was arrested by Williston police last Monday. On Tuesday, Judge David Nelson set his bail at $1,000 and ordered Wright to stay away from alcohol and bars. If convicted, Wright faces up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. “You don't walk into a bank with a ski mask and say ’Give me all your money,'” Sgt. Hanson said. “It's just like going on an airplane and saying you have a bomb.”

Dateline: Tennessee—Mayor Danny Crosby of Coopertown has refused to accept the speeding ticket payment of a man he feels insulted his small town. Motorist T. Allen Morgan recently passed through the obscure town 20 miles northwest of Nashville and was nabbed for speeding. Morgan paid the fine, adding the words “for speed trap” to his check. Crosby told Morgan that he either had to write a new check or face the charges in traffic court. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now investigating whether or not Crosby acted illegally by refusing to accept Morgan's payment. “As mayor of this city, if I accept that check from that gentleman, I'm admitting we run a speed trap, and that's a bald-faced lie,” Crosby told The Tennesseean. According to the newspaper, Coopertown derives 30 percent of its income from traffic tickets.

Dateline: Texas—A 25-year-old woman decided she wanted to play with the elephant at Waco's Cameron Park Zoo. She climbed over a 3-foot-high wood-and-wire fence, scaled an 8-foot artificial rock structure and bypassed an electric wire before jumping into the exhibit last Thursday afternoon, Zoo Director Jim Fleshman told the Waco Tribune-Herald. Instead of “playing” with her, the 6,000-pound animal smacked her with its trunk. “That's how an elephant reacts to something they would perceive as a threat,” Fleshman told the newspaper. After the woman crawled out of the exhibit, fire and emergency crews took her to a hospital with minor injuries. Waco Fire Capt. Greg Kistler said the woman, whose name was not released, was visiting the zoo with a child and another woman.

Dateline: Rhode Island—A 25-year-old woman has been charged with prostitution after mistakenly propositioning the police chief of Central Falls. Chief Joseph Moran was driving his official vehicle, complete with police lights, when he pulled over to help a woman who flagged him down. Ignoring the light rack and police radio, the woman climbed in the car and offered to have sex with Moran for $20. A second officer arrested the woman, who admitted she had been using crack cocaine and could not remember the last time she slept or ate. Moran said police held the woman overnight in jail and are hoping to find a drug treatment program for her.

Dateline: Florida—A St. Augustine man, showing off the OnStar system in his new Cadillac Escalade, found out exactly how well it worked after he was arrested last Friday night on drug charges. Ralph A. Gomez, 38, was demonstrating the OnStar system to his girlfriend. Unfortunately, the volume was turned down and the OnStar operator could not be heard inside the vehicle. Receiving no response from the Escalade's occupants, the operator called St. Augustine police. When police located Gomez' car, they determined there was no problem. But they did notice the pile of cocaine clearly visible on the vehicle's center console. Gomez was arrested on charges of possession of illegal narcotics within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Cadillac, complete with OnStar system, was seized.

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

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