Alibi V.16 No.39 • Sept 27-Oct 3, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

DATELINE: NEW JERSEY—A car crash may have saved the life of Vineland resident Bryan Rocco. “I was on my way back to the office and stopped at Burger King and bought a chicken sandwich and onion rings,” the 43-year-old foreman for DJ’s Painting told the Daily Journal. “I started to choke on one of the onion rings and then I guess I just blacked out.” Rocco’s company-owned Scion swerved across the road, hit a curb and then struck a tree. “Next thing I knew, when I came back to,” said Rocco. “I was on my side, facing the opposite direction.” Police speculate the vehicle’s air bag struck Rocco in the chest, dislodging the bite of onion ring stuck in his throat. Aside from a cut on his head, a few bumps and bruises and a swollen chin, Rocco was fine.

DATELINE: GEORGIA—A resident of the Atlanta suburb of Snellville dropped dead after an armless neighbor head-butted him in the chest. “The whole thing is just bizarre,” Chief Roy Whitehead of the Snellville Police Department told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The only way it could get any more bizarre is if it was on ‘Jerry Springer.’” The incident began last Monday when William “Rusty” Redfern—a disabled artist known for painting with his feet—got a call from neighbor Charles “Keith” Teer. According to the Journal-Constitution, Teer is the ex-boyfriend of Cindy Eaton, who is dating Redfern. On Monday, Teer telephoned Eaton to talk about retrieving some furniture he had purchased with her. This apparently set off a fight between the two men. According to witnesses, Redfern stormed across the street, cursing and yelling, and kicked Teer. The pair scuffled until an acquaintance separated them—at which point Redfern allegedly charged at Teer and head-butted him. Teer collapsed and died moments later. A coroner's report issued the next day ruled Teer, 49, actually died from a heart attack caused by a previously undiagnosed case of coronary artery disease. Even if the death was unintentional, Teer’s relatives say they want Redfern charged with a crime—involuntary manslaughter or at least battery. “It’s a tragedy because someone died,” Chief Whitehead told the local press. “But at this point we don’t have enough to charge anybody.”

DATELINE: OHIO—Police in Madison Township accused 26-year-old Paul D. Brunelle-Apley of having sex with two minor girls after he was arrested earlier this month delivering flowers and a teddy bear to a 14-year-old girl at Madison High School to apologize for cheating on her with a 15-year-old girl. The Star Beacon reports that the mother of one victim is upset with the high school office staff who accepted the gifts from Brunelle-Apley. School officials insist—in accordance with school policy—the misguided Romeo was not allowed past the front office desk.

DATELINE: FLORIDA—When 7-year-old Finley Collins and her mother noticed an unusual protrusion beneath the tail of their pet bearded dragon Mushu, they thought maybe the pet was giving birth. Unfortunately, their veterinarian was forced to disagree. “This species doesn’t have babies,” Jacksonville veterinarian John Rossi told the owners. “It has eggs.” Turns out the 12-inch bearded dragon had swallowed a 7-inch rubber lizard placed in its pen as a companion. After sedating Mushu, Rossi began to pull on the protrusion. “The next thing I knew, I was seeing legs and a body and a head,” said the vet. “It was very strange to be tugging on this thing.” Rossi told The Times-Union he had seen bearded dragons, a popular variety of Australian lizard, swallow suction cups, screws and dimes. “I have never extracted a lizard from another lizard before,” admitted the vet.

DATELINE: PENNSYLVANIA—A man who went to a Korean spa for a massage in the Allentown suburb of North Whitehall Township was so upset a woman there offered him sex for money that he reported it to state police. He was so upset that he volunteered to help police get evidence against the business. And he was so upset that he had sex with two of the massage parlor’s employees on four different occasions. Police, who were listening in on the sexual sessions on a microphone hidden down the informant’s pants, allegedly laughed about it afterward. Each time, state police paid the informant $40 for his “time and effort,” according to testimony at a Lehigh County Court hearing last week. Now, the lawyer for one of the women charged with prostitution is asking a judge to dismiss the case, arguing the conduct of the police and the informant was so outrageous that her client, Sun Cha Chon, was denied due process. According to Allentown’s Morning Call, defense lawyer Maureen Coggins claims police went too far when they allowed the unnamed informant to complete sex acts not once, but four times. Coggins contends police had enough evidence for an arrest when sex was offered and money changed hands.

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