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 V.20 No.39 | September 29 - October 5, 2011 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Georgia—Fire investigators in Fulton County have concluded a man who died in an explosion last month was killed trying to set his ex-girlfriend’s body on fire. Sarone Bridges perished in a single-story house in Fairburn’s Milam Manor subdivision. Investigators from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said Bridges, 35, died from burns and smoke inhalation. Also found at the scene was the body of Bridges’ former girlfriend, 34-year-old Beverly Bland. According to the investigation, Bland had been strangled to death before the fire was started. Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Bridges doused a sleeping bag with gasoline and laid Bland’s body on top of it. In an instant act of karmic justice, Few noted that, “When he threw the match, the vapors of gasoline are what ignited. There was an immediate fireball that blew the windows out.” Few also told the newspaper that Bridges was not immediately killed in the gasoline explosion. “Based on how his body was positioned, I think [the] explosion took its toll on him. The concussion from the blast could have made him disoriented where he fell, and he received the thermal burns afterwards.” According to records obtained by Channel 2 Action News from the Fulton County emergency call system, Bland and Bridges worked together at a PetSmart distribution center in Newnan. The two had broken off a relationship in May, but a supervisor accused Bridges of “stalking” Bland throughout the summer. The day before the deadly incident in Fairburn, a supervisor called emergency services and told operators that, following a dispute at work, Bridges would not let Bland out of his car. Fortunately, two children who lived with Bland weren’t home at the time of the fire.

Dateline: Florida—Paraplegic hunter John C. Champion was injured on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 18, when he shot himself in the foot with a crossbow, nailing himself to his ATV. According to a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Champion was hunting alone in the Fiber Factory Hunt Club, a private game reserve. While perched atop his Polaris Ranger, Champion tried to cock his crossbow. He slipped and accidentally shot himself through the foot, pinning his left foot to the floor of the vehicle. Champion tried to dislodge the bolt, but was unable due to his physical condition. Fortunately, he was attached to a vehicle and attempted to drive his way out of the bush. Unfortunately, he soon became stuck on some brush and was no longer able to move. Some other hunters eventually found Champion and he was treated by Levy County paramedics. According to investigators, the handicapped hunter suffered a puncture wound and several broken bones.

Dateline: Missouri—Jeremy Combs, 30, was arrested after he allegedly returned to a Taco Bell in Lee’s Summit and threatened employees with a shotgun. The reason? They neglected to give him hot sauce. According to Lee’s Summit Police, officers were called to a Taco Bell at around 11:30 p.m. after a store employee reported an irate man with a shotgun at the drive-thru window. The employee told police that the well-armed taco lover had placed an order earlier in the evening. The man, later identified as Combs, apparently made it home only to find a shortage of hot sauce packets in his order. Naturally, he armed himself with a shotgun and returned to the fast food restaurant. After threatening the employee with his loaded shotgun, Combs fled the scene in a blue and silver Ford F-150. About two hours after the incident, officers located the vehicle and Combs at his aunt’s house. Combs denied threatening police store employees with a shotgun and insisted he’d only used a tire iron. When police informed Combs that the incident had been recorded on the restaurant’s surveillance camera, Combs reportedly changed his story and admitted to brandishing the shotgun. Combs was booked into jail and charged with armed assault. According to the police report, Combs was “highly intoxicated” at the time of his arrest.

Dateline: Missouri—A Sweet Springs mother has been arrested after her son brought a crack pipe and several baggies of meth to school for show-and-tell. According to a report in the Marshall Democrat-News, a search warrant was issued for the home of Michelle Marie Cheatum, 32, after a kindergarten student showed off his mom’s drug paraphernalia. “He was very excited when he got to school,” Superintendent Donna Wright said regarding the Sept. 6 incident. “But I don't think he knew what he had.” An additional crack pipe was recovered by a drug-sniffing dog at the boy’s home. Cheatum was booked into jail and charged with possession of a controlled substance and first-degree child endangerment. The child is now in the custody of family friends. “It was shocking,” police Chief Richard Downing told reporters. “We’re not experienced with dealing with this.” Sweet Springs, a town of 1,500 residents, is located 66 miles east of Kansas City.

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