Odds & Ends
Eric J. Garcia
DATELINE: DENMARK—A note to impassioned animal activists: Eating household pets may not be the best way to further your cause. A group of journalism students in Arhus had their Facebook accounts closed after they uploaded 30 pictures of themselves cooking and eating a cat (their group profile also included a recipe for a dish called "litter box"). The cat was feral and had been shot by a farmer attempting to slim the number of felines on his property; it was then prepared by a professional chef before the group sat down to dinner. The purpose of the experiment was to draw attention to the abuse of food animals. "We wanted people to think about what it was they were putting in their mouths," said group member Laura Bøge Mortensen, according to the Copenhagen Post. "It's hypocritical for us to spend thousands of kroner on our pets, yet buy the cheapest pork from Netto that comes from pigs that have lived a horrid life. And just why is it that it's worse to eat a cat than a pig?" Still, the meal wasn't without squeamishness. "We had to count to three before we sat down to eat, and I wouldn't really say that we stuffed our face," Mortensen said. "Everyone did take a bite though."
DATELINE: NEW YORK—A Whitehall man was charged with DWI after being caught riding his beer cooler. Leslie J. "Bomber" Marr, 57, was spotted swerving on the sidewalk on his "Cruzin Cooler," a four-wheeled, motorized container with a seat and handlebars. Comparable to a scooter, the cooler counts as a motor vehicle under state law. Marr had just left the American Legion post, where he had been working, although it's unknown where he was headed. "They tell us he's been riding around town on that cooler for years," Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright told the Post Star. "You can't cruise around on your cooler if you're intoxicated." The Cruzin Cooler was confiscated by police, and Marr was charged with misdemeanor counts of DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, as well as cited for operating an uninsured motor vehicle. He was released pending prosecution. Whitehall Police Chief Richard LaChapelle said Marr could face felony charges due to prior arrests and DWI convictions. The chief said the Cruzin Cooler had about 14 beers in it at the time of Marr's arrest, adding, "We were told it can do up to 12 mph."
DATELINE: CONNECTICUT—An Enfield man stole a school bus because he needed a ride home. Peter Smario, 28, was caught by state police around 10:45 p.m. on Thursday night after several calls from motorists reported a yellow school bus driving erratically, according to the Norwich Bulletin. The bus hit several cones in a construction zone before it was stopped by troopers near exit 13, where the bus rolled backwards onto a police cruiser. The officer wasn't hurt. As an excuse for the large auto theft, Smario said he took the bus because he needed a ride home since his friend was arrested earlier in the evening. Smario also faces drug and weapons charges on account of a knife, 11 bags of heroin and a large amount of cash in his possession at the time of his arrest.
DATELINE: PENNSYLVANIA— A 71-year-old caught a robber by getting her in a headlock and wrestling her to the ground with the help of his friend ... who’s in a wheelchair. Harry Kopenis was getting money out of his bank's ATM when 22-year-old Erin VanMatre ran up to him and snatched his $100. Kopenis' neighbor, Kevin Lamb, witnessed the event and decided to do something. "She started running and Harry started running and I started running in my wheelchair screaming, 'Stop, stop, stop!' ” Lamb told WNEP-16. "She turned and I don't know if she was going to push him or what but he snatched her in a headlock. As he struggled with her I managed to get over and we wrestled her to the ground. She wasn't getting up." Neither men were seriously injured, and VanMatre is locked up, charged with theft, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief charges on a $10,000 bail. Kopenis said she got what she deserved. "That's not nice," he said. "If she wanted money I would have given her $10, $15."
DATELINE: CALIFORNIA—After four months of baiting and stalking on the part of employees and customers, a chicken that had taken residence outside a Temecula McDonald's has been caught. The fowl, which inexplicably arrived at the fast-food restaurant a few months ago, lived off French fries and other scraps dropped by customers and made a habit of parading around the drive-thru lane during the lunch hour. Employees and customers had tried chasing and setting traps for the chicken but were always foiled. The hen was finally caught last Thursday when a group of employees distracted her with bits of hamburger buns and netted her. Why the sudden luck? "Normally, the chicken sleeps in the bushes," said Restaurant Manager Chona Cauley. But last Thursday, it decided to settle in on top of the drive-thru box. Now that it's caught, the hen won't be added to the menu. Instead, it's living at one of the employee's homes where it's being kept as a pet.
Compiled by Christie Chisholm.