Odds & Ends
Dateline: Pennsylvania—A teenager who had just passed his driving test celebrated by crashing a car into a state driver’s license center. Bridgeville police Sgt. Brian Halbleib told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the accident happened when the unnamed teen pulled into the parking lot of the center to drop off the man who had administered the test. At least three people were injured, but officials said the injuries were not serious. The teen told officers he thought the car was in park, but it was not.
Dateline: Florida—An 8-year-old who donated his pet turtle to a local aquarium got a quick lesson in the circle of life as the animal was devoured by an alligator mere moments after being dropped into a tank. Colton Guthrie donated the pet red-eared slider, named Tomalina, to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach after the animal outgrew its home aquarium. Colton’s family chose the Gulfarium so the boy could come and visit his turtle whenever he liked. Brenda Guthrie, Colton’s mother, told the Northwest Florida Daily News that the family watched workers place Tomalina in an exhibit with other red-eared sliders and an alligator. Seconds later, the alligator snapped the new turtle up in its jaws. Young Mr. Guthrie begged the alligator to stop. “He was shouting, ‘Oh no, alligator, let it go!’ ” Ms. Guthrie told the paper. Crunches from the turtle’s shell could reportedly be heard as the alligator downed the former pet. Officials at the water park said it was uncommon for the gators there to be interested in turtles. The Gulfarium apologized to the Guthries and gave them a special meet-and-greet with the dolphins to make up for it.
Dateline: Wisconsin—A seriously conflicted criminal was arrested near the grounds of Viterbo University in La Crosse after a night-long semi-crime spree. According to the La Crosse Tribune, it started around 10 p.m. on Oct. 6 when a VU student was walking toward the campus fine arts center and noticed a strange man following him. After about a block, the stranger started punching him and tried jumping on the student’s back. He paused mid-assault, though, to ask his victim, “Is this a bad idea?” The student told the man to make his own decisions and then asked him his name. The attacker replied “Mason.” The student advised Mason to go home and get some sleep, at which point the attacker nodded and wandered off. It doesn’t seem he heeded the advice, however. Shortly after the first attack, a 25-year-old told police that a man matching Mason’s description attacked him. The suspect demanded cash from his victim, then an iPod. When the victim refused to give up his music device, the attacker punched him and pinned him to the ground before stealing the iPod. Still conflicted as to his role in all this, the attacker then stuck around to help his victim find a pair of eyeglasses knocked off during the struggle. He then apologized before running off with the iPod. About an hour after that incident, police arrested 21-year-old Mason Audetat, who was found wandering around nearby. Several days later, Audetat was identified in a police lineup by a 63-year-old man who says Audetat punched him in the face and took his bicycle outside a YMCA on the night in question. He has been charged with robbery and disorderly conduct in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
Dateline: Oklahoma—According to a police report posted on TheSmokingGun.com, a 41-year-old Tulsa man tried to avoid arrest on drug charges by eating his glass crack pipe. Unfortunately for him, all that effort was for naught. Eljuan Heath was suspected of selling marijuana outside a QuikTrip convenience store when police were called to the scene. Witnesses say Heath then stole a beer from the store and refused to obey officers. While struggling with officers who were trying to arrest him, Health reached into his khaki shorts and pulled out a crack pipe. According to the police report, officers reported seeing Health “putting the crack pipe in his mouth and chewing it up in an attempt to destroy the evidence.” The police report did not make clear how large the pipe was or how much Heath was able to ingest. He was charged with larceny, destroying evidence and resisting arrest. Oklahoma Department of Corrections records show Heath was freed from prison in March after serving nearly two years in custody for cocaine distribution. Heath was still wearing a court-ordered ankle monitoring bracelet at the time of this arrest.