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 V.17 No.38 | September 18 - 24, 2008 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Congo—A herd of “wrongfully imprisoned” goats have been freed from jail thanks to the intervention of a Congolese minister. According to the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Deputy Justice Minister Claude Nyamugabo spotted the herd of goats crammed into a cell during a routine prison visit. The animals were apparently charged with being sold illegally by the roadside. The goats were scheduled to appear in court, alongside their owner, in the capital city of Kinshasa. Nyamugabo said the mistake had arisen because police officers had gaps in their knowledge of the law and would be sent for retraining.

Dateline: Lebanon—A woman working in her son’s restaurant was shocked to discover 26 pearls in a single oyster she was preparing. Amal Salha, 50, said she was helping her son in his waterfront restaurant in the southern port city of Tyre when she made the incredible, inedible find. “I was in the process of opening the shells when I found a number of shining pearls inside one of them,” she said. “I was so startled, I screamed. It was so beautiful. It looked like a bunch of grapes.” Salha is hoping her find will land her in the book of Guinness World Records.

Dateline: New Jersey—Persistent cries of “Help me! Help me!” prompted police officers to kick down the front door of a South Trenton residence last Wednesday morning. Instead of finding what they believed to be a damsel in distress, officers were confronted with a chatty cockatoo. Neighbors had alerted police after hearing the high-pitched cries for help. Armed officers searched the residence before finding the talkative bird caged up in a first-floor bedroom. This isn’t the first time the 10-year-old blue-eyed umbrella cockatoo named Luna has had a brush with the law, either. Seven years ago, the bird cried like a baby for several hours, prompting neighbors to call police. Suspecting someone had abandoned a baby, police arrived with the Division of Youth and Family Services in tow, only to find Luna showing off her language skills. The bird’s owner, Evelyn DeLeon, says the bird learns much of her ever-expanding vocabulary by watching television in both English and Spanish.

Dateline: California—The Sacramento Bee reports a suspected burglar broke into a house just east of Fresno, rubbed food seasoning over the body of one of two men as they slept in their rooms and then used an 8-inch sausage to beat the other man about the face and head before running from the residence. Lt. Ian Burrimond said Fresno County sheriff’s deputies located 21-year-old Antonio Vasquez Jr. a few minutes later hiding in a nearby field in his underwear. The suspect was taken into custody on suspicion of residential robbery. Deputies said they had no problem linking Vasquez to the crime. “It seems the guy ran out of the house wearing only a T-shirt, boxer shorts and socks, leaving behind his wallet and his ID,” Burrimond told reporters. The victims, both farmworkers, told law enforcement officers they were awakened shortly after 8 a.m. by a stranger applying “Pappy’s Seasoning” to one of them and striking the other with a sausage. Both the spices and the sausage, Burrimond said, were obtained from the victims’ kitchen. After the attacker fled, the victims discovered their home had been ransacked and that some money was missing. Burrimond said the money was recovered, but that the piece of sausage employed in the assault was discarded by the suspect and scarfed by a dog. “That’s right, the dog ate the weapon,” Burrimond admitted. “I tell you, this is one weird case.”

Dateline: Texas—Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse, spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department, told the Dallas Morning News a wheelchair-bound man rolled into a local 7-Eleven store early last Wednesday morning and threatened the clerk with a baseball bat and a pocket knife. The unidentified African-American man allegedly yelled, “I’m gonna fuck you up!” at the clerk. The thirtysomething gentleman then headed for the cash register and beat it with the baseball bat until it opened. Instead of taking the money, however, the rolling robber went shopping. According to the police report, “The suspect then went down an aisle of the store, taking several packages of condoms and placing them in his lap. The suspect then opened the door of the refrigerator and took out a case of energy drinks. Suspect then wheeled out the front door of the store.” The suspect got away with $35 worth of condoms and $5 worth of Monster energy drink. Police believe the suspect may have been homeless and was likely intoxicated at the time of the robbery.

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

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