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 V.18 No.29 | July 16 - 22, 2009 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Poland—According to England’s The Sun newspaper, a Polish woman has filed a lawsuit against an Egyptian hotel claiming that her teenage daughter got mysteriously pregnant after using the facility’s swimming pool. Magdalena Kwiatkowska claims her 13-year-old daughter became inseminated thanks to a stray sperm swimming around the hotel’s mixed-sex pool. The teen allegedly returned from a vacation in Egypt pregnant, and Kwiatkowska says her daughter certainly did not meet or fraternize with any boys while in Egypt. Tourist authorities in Warsaw confirmed the complaint. The knocked-up teen’s mother is seeking unspecified compensation from the hotel.

Dateline: Germany—Police in the central city of Braunschweig are hunting a gang of British con men who passed off a bag of potatoes as a case of Apple iPods. The con men allegedly convinced some gullible bargain hunters to fork over nearly $1,000 for what they believed to be a bag full of high-tech MP3 players. The swindlers had shown the customers samples of their electronic merchandise, including laptops and mobile phones, before setting the price for a bag of secondhand iPods. After the deal was done, the customers opened the bag to find it loaded with about three pounds of potatoes. Police say they are hunting for three British men, since witnesses said they spoke perfect English and drove away in a British-registered car.

Dateline: Switzerland—An elderly woman called emergency services in Zurich to report that her television was on fire; but when firefighters arrived, they discovered the “fire” was just an image of a fireplace on the screen. Zurich authorities said the woman, who was not named, called to complain about flames burning inside her television. Turns out the television was tuned to a German station that was filling early morning, off-air hours by broadcasting the looped image of a cozy fireplace. The firefighters extinguished the blaze by pressing the “Off” button on the television's remote.

Smith told officers he had ingested marijuana and LSD and was running around naked because he thought he was “The Terminator.”

Dateline: Mexico—Some clueless thieves broke into the Telefonica Movistar cell phone store in Morelia late last Monday night and got much less than they bargained for. When employees arrived at work early Tuesday morning, they realized their store had been burglarized. A quick examination of the store’s inventory revealed, however, that the only things missing were hollow plastic replica phones used in store display windows. Employees say the clueless thieves overlooked dozens of real cell phones and cash in another part of the shop. Store owners nonetheless reported the theft to local police, who are investigating.

Dateline: Florida—A family of tourists who trashed their hotel room on the advice of a prank caller will not be charged with any crime. While staying at the Hilton Garden Inn near Orlando International Airport, Lisa Kantorski got a phone call from a person who claimed to be a front desk clerk. The self-proclaimed hotel employee told Mrs. Kantorski there was a gas leak in her room and gave her some instructions on how to deal with it. Kantorski frantically relayed the information to her husband, Mark, who works as an Indian River County deputy. Mr. Kantorski did as he was told, first tossing the bathroom toilet tank out the window. “When I broke the window, I got suspicious,” Mr. Kantorski told the Orlando Sentinel. “It didn’t seem right, but she [Lisa] was panicking, so I continued.” The caller barked out more instructions to Mrs. Kantorski and Mr. Kantorski dutifully obeyed them, smashing a mirror, using a desk lamp to bash a hole in the wall to rescue a “trapped” man on the other side and heaving a mattress out the window in order to jump to safety. Fortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Kantorski and their three terrified children were stopped before they could leap from the second floor. According to an Orlando police report, the hotel’s manager Samir Patel appeared at the door to address a noise complaint. He told the Kantorskis there was no gas leak and asked them to stop destroying their room. When police arrived, Patel said he recently received a memo from his corporate office warning about “dangerous” phone pranks at other hotels. Police spokesperson Sgt. Barbara Jones said police did not arrest Mr. Kantorski “because he was responding to what he believed to be an emergency.” Mr. Kantorski admitted to the Sentinel that, “When you slow everything down, it was kind of odd.”

Dateline: California—A man who ran naked through downtown Lake Tahoe last Tuesday was eventually Tasered by police before a group of “startled” children in the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe casino arcade. A deputy patrolling the casino core, which straddles the California/Nevada state line, was flagged down by a motorist who reported a naked man in front of the Marriott. The deputy grabbed his Taser and chased 19-year-old Sean Stanley Smith into nearby Harrah’s. Smith reportedly ran into the arcade, startling the children who were playing video games. After being subdued, Smith told officers he had ingested marijuana and LSD and was running around naked because he thought he was “The Terminator.”

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

 
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