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 V.16 No.26 | June 28 - July 4, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton crashed his go-kart mere minutes after selling the vehicle on eBay for nearly $84,000. The World Championship leader was selling the miniature racer at auction to raise money for charity. England’s The Sun tabloid reports Hamilton decided to take the McLaren Mercedes kart out for one last spin after selling it for 42,000 pounds ($83,950). Lewis, 22, took a brief 40 mph drive around a custom-built track and ended up crashing. The vehicle’s rear axle was damaged in the wipeout. McLaren will now have to pay to repair the damage before the kart is sent on to its new owner.

Dateline: Germany—Police in the southern town of Landshut are questioning a teenager in intensive care who unplugged his roommate’s life support machine because the noise was keeping him awake. Frederik Moelner, 17, said he had been trying to sleep as he recovered from a car crash, but the noise of the life support machine as it helped 76-year-old Hermann Berghof breathe kept waking him up. “He told us the noise was getting on his nerves and he thought this was the best way to make sure he got peace and quiet,” a police spokesperson said. “Luckily, the medical staff acted promptly and reconnected the life support machine. If there had been any delay, the old man could have died.” Police are considering what charges, if any, will be filed against Moelner.

Dateline: Florida—A robber in a wheelchair attacked a man in Orlando last Monday, using his fake leg to commit armed robbery. Antonio Jennings, 21, told Orlando police he was walking behind the Mobil gas station on West Colonial Drive at about 11:30 p.m. when a couple of men approached him. Jennings recognized one man as “Walter” and the other as “Woody.” Woody, who was in a wheelchair, removed his prosthetic leg and struck Jennings in the face with it. Jennings was then robbed of $30 cash, an assortment of ID cards and his bottle of beer. If caught, the one-legged bandit could face armed robbery charges. “When an object is used as a threat of force in a robbery, it is considered an armed robbery, and the [fake] leg is considered a weapon in this case,” Police spokesperson Sgt. Barbara Jones told the Orlando Sentinel.

Dateline: Minnesota—A drug store in Marshall was robbed at gunpoint last Thursday, but it didn’t take long for the law to catch up with the armed addict. Police said a man entered the Thrifty White Pharmacy just before 12:30 p.m., brandished a shotgun and demanded the painkiller OxyContin. According to witnesses, he fled in a gold or tan car. Just before 1:30 p.m., police received a call about a man having an apparent drug overdose in a car that just happened to match the description of the one used in the robbery. Police said officers found evidence that led them to conclude he was the robber, including clothes found in the backseat and a gun. The 23-year-old suspect was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for the apparent overdose and remains in custody.

Dateline: South Carolina—Two naked people died last week after they apparently fell off the roof of a four-story building across the street from Columbia’s Finlay Park. Shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, a taxi driver found a man and a woman in their early 20s, both naked, lying in the street in front of the building in the 900 block of Laurel Street. The victims were alive when rescue workers arrived at the scene, said police spokesperson Sgt. Florence McCants. Both were taken to Palmetto Richland hospital, where they were pronounced dead a short time later. “It appears as if the two individuals were on the roof and could have accidentally fallen off the roof onto the street,” McCants said. Police found no evidence of foul play, but did locate the couples’ clothes on the roof of the building at 900 Laurel Street. McCants said police “can only speculate” at this point what they might have been doing on the roof.

Dateline: California—The founder of an antiviolence group called No Guns pleaded not guilty last Thursday to federal weapons charges. Hector “Big Weasel” Marroquin is accused of selling three assault rifles, a machine gun, two pistols and two silencers to undercover federal agents last fall. Marroquin, 50, is a onetime member of the 18th Street Gang. He became an anti-gang activist and founded No Guns in 1996. His group has received more than $1.5 million from the city of Los Angeles as a subcontractor on anti-gang efforts. Marroquin is charged with three counts of manufacture, distribution and transport for sale of an unlawful assault weapon, along with one count each of machine gun conversion and possession of a silencer. He could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

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

 

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