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 V.21 No.17 | April 26 - May 2, 2012 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Kentucky

Michael Baker posted a photograph of himself siphoning gas from a police cruiser in eastern Kentucky on his Facebook page. The picture, allegedly taken by his girlfriend, shows him using a rubber hose and a red gas can while flipping off the camera. Shortly after the picture’s weekend posting—in a surprise to no one but Mr. Baker—the 20-year-old coal miner was arrested by Jenkins police and charged with theft by unlawful taking. Baker told WYMT-TV in Hazard, “We was just standing there and thought it would be funny.” Baker’s girlfriend Joann Sandelin told the television station the picture “was just a joke,” adding, “I mean, if we was going to steal gas, we wouldn’t put it nationwide on Facebook. We don’t steal, but we’re sorry.” Baker remained unapologetic, telling reporters, “I got a little bit of gas. I ain’t gonna lie, but not that much. I couldn’t get much. I tried, but there wasn’t much in it.” Jenkins Police Chief Allan Bormes said that if Baker would steal from police, he’d steal from “just about anybody.” After spending a night in jail, Baker was released. He removed the incriminating photo from his Facebook page, but continued to comment on it. “Yea lol I just went too jail over Facebook,” said Baker in one comment. “It was funny as hell.” Asked why the photo was removed, Baker replied, “Idk lol. Ppl just got a lil mad.”

Dateline: Florida

Police in North Port located a robbery suspect by looking him up on Facebook and collecting all the evidence they needed from his most recent photographs and videos. Police told Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune a man and a woman committed a violent robbery at a Dollar General store on March 23. The male robber struck one employee three times on the head with a handgun while the knife-wielding female accomplice tied the victim up with duct tape. The robbers got away with $3,000. While checking the store’s surveillance video, detective Michael Laden believed he recognized the male as 24-year-old Jovan Cummings, having had “several encounters” with him “as both a violent crimes detective and a road patrol officer.” Laden also suspected the girl in the video to be 22-year-old Nichole Catherine Eaton, Cummings’ girlfriend. To follow up on his suspicions, Laden visited Cummings’ Facebook page. There, he found a photo of Cummings wearing “the exact same hat” as the male robber in the Dollar General video. Another picture—posted four days after the robbery—showed Cummings brandishing “a thick stack of cash,” Laden reported. Furthermore, a video on Cummings’ Facebook page captured him waving a black, semiautomatic pistol, identical to the one used in the robbery. Cummings and Eaton were arrested on March 29 on charges including robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping. Police say Eaton has confessed to the robbery. The two remain in Sarasota County Jail in lieu of bail.

Dateline: California

It’s not unusual for gun owners to shoot themselves with their own firearm—but it’s considerably harder to do without a weapon. A 56-year-old man told police in Modesto he managed to shoot himself in the shoulder without the benefit of a gun. According to the Modesto Bee, the unnamed man was lifting dumbbells at his home when he accidentally dropped one on a .22 caliber bullet. The gunpowder in the casing ignited, sending the bullet into his shoulder. Officer Chris Adams said police were suspicious of the story, but that it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility. An impact on the rim of the bullet shell could have caused it to fire. Officers did not find a gun at the home, but they did locate the spent shell casing of a .22 caliber bullet.

Dateline: Colorado

U.S. Forest Service officials are considering using explosives to remove the carcasses of several cows frozen to death inside a remote mountaintop cabin. The carcasses were discovered by two Air Force Academy cadets who snowshoed up to an old ranger cabin in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area outside Aspen in late March. Rangers believe the animals wandered into the cabin during a heavy snowstorm and couldn’t figure out how to leave. Forest Service spokesperson Brian Porter said about six of the animals were found inside the building and several others lying dead outside. “There is a lot of snow, and it’s hard to determine how many cows are there.” Officials are worried that if the frozen milkshakes start to defrost, they could contaminate water in the nearby Conundrum Hot Springs. Currently, the best options seem to be burning down the cabin or clearing it out with explosives.

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

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