Odds & Ends
Dateline: Switzerland—A motorist has been slapped with the largest speeding ticket in his country’s history after being clocked going two-and-a-half times the posted speed limit. The 37-year-old man was driving a $200,000 Mercedes SLS when he was pulled over by traffic police. The driver apparently evaded a number of stationary radar detectors located along the A12 highway between Bern and Lausanne because he was going too fast. The stationary detectors are only capable of clocking speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph). Eventually, he was snapped by a speed camera hitting 300 km/h (186 mph). “We have no record of anyone being caught traveling faster in the country,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying in the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. The driver was traveling so fast, in fact, that it took him more than half a mile to come to a stop when police tried to pull him over. He told officers his speedometer was faulty. Speeding fines in Switzerland are calculated by taking into consideration both the severity of the infraction and the income of the motorist. As a result, the unnamed speed demon will be forking over $1 million in fines.
Dateline: Pennsylvania—An Allegheny County judge has rejected a man’s request to legally change his name to “Boomer the Dog.” Judge Ronald W. Folino said Gary Guy Matthews’ name change could cause “confusion in the marketplace,” tripping up emergency medical responders and making it difficult to file business records and public documents. Matthews, a 44-year-old single, unemployed computer technician is a self-described “furry”—someone who derives sexual satisfaction from dressing like an animal. Matthews says he was inspired to change his name by the short-lived ’80s TV series “Here’s Boomer,” about a heroic pooch. In his ruling, Judge Folino wrote, “Although Petitioner apparently wishes it were otherwise, the simple fact remains that Petitioner is not a dog.” Matthews does have his supporters—within the furry community, of course. Dr. Samuel Conway, CEO of Anthrocon, the largest yearly gathering of furry enthusiasts, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “I wish Mr. the Dog luck in his pursuit, with the earnest hope that he has chosen a career path for with such a moniker would be of benefit.”
Dateline: Illinois—According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, a deadbeat dad was so adamant about not paying his child support that he leaped out of a third-story apartment window when police showed up. Unfortunately, the nice grassy lawn 35-year-old Ronald “Boobie” McIntyre jumped onto turned out to be concrete covered in artificial turf. McIntyre broke both his legs and suffered other injuries landing on the rock-hard fake grass. Nonetheless, he still attempted to crawl away from deputies who had arrived at the apartment with a warrant for failure to pay about $6,000 in court-ordered support. According to the sheriff’s office, McIntyre continued to curse out deputies as he attempted to crawl from the scene. The froggy felon is currently hospitalized, awaiting his Oct. 19 court date. According to the Sun-Times, McIntyre has been arrested 14 times and has more than 80 criminal convictions not related to the warrant, including 39 incidences of obstructing justice, 21 assaults and 20 convictions for invasion of privacy.
Dateline: California—A motorist apparently got so lost she drove off a boat ramp into the Sacramento River and drowned while talking to her daughter on a cell phone. A police dive team located the vehicle 175 to 200 feet downstream. The driver’s body was still inside. The woman, identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office as 47-year-old Kathleen Gomez Collier, was apparently lost on Highway 160 around midnight on the night of Saturday, Aug. 14. According to witnesses, she stopped at Vieira's Resort between Rio Vista and Isleton and asked directions, but was obviously still confused. Collier called and talked to her daughter, trying to find her way back home to Antioch. Collier was reportedly on the phone with her daughter when she pulled onto a boat ramp at the resort. California Highway Patrol Officer Michael Bradley told CBS-5 in San Francisco that Collier paused for about 15 seconds on the ramp before driving off into the water. As she was sinking into the river, she told her daughter to call the insurance company because the car was filling up with water. Instead, the daughter contacted the California Highway Patrol at about 11:45 p.m. CHP is investigating the circumstances of the death and are running toxicology tests to see if drugs or alcohol might have been involved. Police are also reviewing video from a surveillance camera aimed at the boat ramp, hoping it will shed some light on Collier’s actions.