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 V.19 No.12 | March 25 - 31, 2010 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New York—After cops came pounding on their door again last week, an elderly Brooklyn couple told the New York Daily News they’re tired of having their house raided by the NYPD. Walter Martin, an 83-year-old World War II veteran, and his 82-year-old wife Rose haven’t broken the law, and yet cops have mistakenly shown up at their house at least 50 times in the last eight years. The Daily News reported its computer search showed 15 other people living at the Martins’ Marine Park address. The Martins don’t know any of them. As a result, police from all over New York’s boroughs have banged on the Martins’ door searching for murderers, robbers and even rogue cops. “I’m really worried,” Rose Martin told the newspaper. “How could so many people get my address and how could cops be coming from so many different precincts?” Police are at a loss to explain why the couple’s home continues to be a target. “Our identity theft squad is investigating the matter,” Inspector Ed Mullen, an NYPD spokesperson, told the Daily News.

Dateline: Florida—Police in suburban Tampa have arrested three men who vandalized more than 100 homes in an attempt to make it onto the local news. Aaron Dennis Green, 21, and two 17-year-old accomplices were arrested for spray-painting swastikas and racial slurs on the garages of more than 100 houses throughout Hillsborough County. When asked why they did it, Tampa Bay Online reported the trio told police they “wanted to get on the news.” Mission accomplished.

Dateline: Florida—An ex-con on probation decided to celebrate his clean drug test by overdosing on liquid morphine and dying. The St. Petersburg Times reports that 23-year-old Michael Edwin Berg passed a court-ordered drug test on Sept. 4 of last year and opted to celebrate with a few friends by drinking vodka and beer at a local bar. Later that evening, the group started sampling a bottle of liquid morphine. Witnesses told the Polk County Sheriff’s office that Berg downed a shot glass full of the drug. Thirteen hours later, friends found him dead. The Medical Examiner’s Office recently determined the “toxic” level of morphine in his bloodstream killed him. Last Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office charged Berg’s friend, 23-year-old Daniel Aleman, with third-degree murder in Berg’s death. Deputies said Aleman admitted giving Berg the morphine. Berg, a known abuser of the drug Xanax, had a sizable arrest record. In 2007, he was sentenced to a year in prison for driving with a suspended license. In January of 2009, he was found guilty of battery and criminal mischief and given six months’ probation. Last May, he was charged with driving under the influence and ordered to undergo regular drug screening tests.

Dateline: Ohio—A 68-year-old grandfather has admitted to punching random children in a Columbus Wal-Mart. In a court appearance last week, Ralph Conone was placed on $150,000 bond and ordered to stay away from Wal-Mart while the case proceeds. Columbus police have charged Conone with two misdemeanor counts of assault but expect to add more as additional accusers come forward. The Columbus Dispatch reports Conone was detained Wednesday, March 17, at a Wal-Mart on Bethel Road after a 6-year-old complained to his mother that Conone punched him in the back of the head. The woman followed the senior out into the parking lot, grabbed his arm and escorted him back to security. A police review of the store’s surveillance video confirmed that Conone not only punched the boy but his 7-year-old brother and two other unidentified children, as well. Conone admitted to police he would put his keys between his fingers and hit the children when their parents weren’t looking. He said he’d been doing it since January because he liked the excitement of getting away with it.

Dateline: New Mexico—An injured dog wandered into the emergency room at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington last week. According to the Daily Times, a dog with blood on its nose and paw and a puncture wound in its rear leg walked through the hopital’s automatic doors, surprising hospital staff and patients. “The irony of the situation is the dog wasn’t doing well,” Robin Loev, animal control officer and park ranger, told the newspaper. Loev responded to a call at the emergency room at about 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 13. The patients were giving the injured animal a cup of water when Loev arrived. The dog was taken to the Farmington Animal Shelter. His injuries, most likely acquired while fighting with another dog, did not require veterinary care. The following day, the dog’s picture appeared in the paper. The dog’s owner, Farmington resident Randy Jukes, recognized his pet, who had disappeared from his back yard on March 7. The dog, named Scottie it turns out, is now safely back at home. “He seems very intelligent, very smart and calm and looking like he needed help,” Loev said of Scottie. “I guess he went to the right place.”

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