Alibi V.16 No.45 • Nov 8-14, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: Malaysia--Fearing he had too much to drink, a driver tried to play it safe by bribing a policeman to avoid a breath analyzer test. As it turned out, he passed the breathalyzer but was promptly arrested for corruption. Aw Cheng Fat offered a police officer 50 ringgit ($15) after his car was stopped at a police checkpoint for drunk driving three years ago, Kuala Lumpur’s The Star reported last Wednesday. On Tuesday, Aw was fined 1,000 ringgit ($300) by a local court for the ultimately pointless bribery attempt.

Dateline: Germany--A Halloween reveler caused a panic after he fell asleep on a train dressed as a zombie. Joerg Reichter, 24, had gone to a costume party in Hamburg dressed as a gory zombie, complete with blood on his hands and face. But he passed out on the train back home to Bad Segeberg after the boozy party and worried passengers called the police. The passengers apparently mistook Reichter for a murder victim after they failed to rouse him from his drunken sleep. A first aid team was called to the scene and soon cleared up the confusion. “Bad Segeberg is a rural area and Halloween isn’t very well-known there,” police spokesperson Silke Tobies said. Police advised the man to remove his makeup, after which he was allowed to continue his journey.

Dateline: New York--Two women suspected of shoplifting from a T.J. Maxx store in the Westchester County hamlet of Hartsdale ran away after being confronted by store employees. Unfortunately, one of the women left behind her cell phone. And her purse. And her baby stroller. And her baby. “The mother panicked ... and just took off,” Lt. Desmond Martin of the Greenburg police told The Journal News. “It’s sad.” The 9-month-old infant was left in his stroller as the women ran out of the discount department store just before 6 p.m. The stroller was stuffed with vases, teapots and knives valued at around $180. Thanks to the purse and the cell phone, police were able to contact the baby’s father, who came to the store around 7 p.m. to pick up the child. Police searched the immediate area for the women but did not locate them. Suzette Gruber, 39, eventually turned herself in to police. She pled not guilty to abandonment of a child, endangering the welfare of a child and petty larceny in court last Tuesday. Michael Braverman, Gruber’s attorney, said his client did not abandon her son, but rather “entrusted the child” with a friend during the episode--presumably the same friend who ended up fleeing the crime scene with her. The incident happened four days after Gruber was convicted of endangering the welfare of the same child in a similar case connected to a shoplifting incident at the Galleria in White Plains, N.Y., police said.

Dateline: Michigan--A Northville couple was arrested last weekend on separate but connected drunken driving charges. The incident began when Ypsilanti police stopped the husband and gave him a preliminary breath test after watching him run a red light. Police told The Ann Arbor News the test registered three points more than the legal .08 drunken driven limit. To make things worse, the drunk driver had his 12-year-old son in the car with him as well. After the father was arrested, police told the boy to call his mother to come pick him up. She arrived shortly thereafter with her 9-year-old daughter in the car. Unfortunately, police said the woman was also tested and found to be legally drunk. Both parents were arrested at the scene.

Dateline: Washington, D.C.--With great fanfare, the State Department announced a diplomatic agreement with the nation of Mongolia that would allow Mongolian ships to be boarded and searched if they are suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. government held up the agreement as yet another victory in the war against terror. Unfortunately, Mongolia is a landlocked country located several thousand miles from open water. The Asian nation is a land of windswept steppes populated largely by nomadic yak herders and is home to the vast Gobi Desert. It has no navy to speak of. Asked what Washington hoped to achieve with the agreement--the eighth signed between the United States and normally coastal or island nations--State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said, “I’ll have to check.”

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to