Odds & Ends
A Swedish Court has found a 61-year-old man not guilty of rape because his intended victim turned out to be biologically male, rendering the crime “invalid.” The shocking incident took place in Örebro where the unidentified assailant stalked and attacked a transgender woman. The local newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda, reported that the attacker was “brutally violent” in his “attempted rape,” tearing off the victim’s pants and grabbing at the victim’s crotch. The attack happened to take place in front of the victim’s ex-boyfriend’s house. Upon hearing the attempted rape, he came running out and stopped the assault. Despite being caught red-handed, Judge Dan Sjöstedt let the criminal off the hook, telling Nerikes Allehanda that “the intended crime never had the possibility of being fulfilled.” Sjöstedt added, “We believe that he wanted to rape this woman in particular. But as she turned out to be a man, the crime never was actually committed.” Instead of the original attempted rape charge, the judge convicted the 61-year-old of simple assault. Prosecutors are now considering taking the case to the Court of Appeals.
Border guards stopped a major smuggling operation when they found three vans loaded to the brim with nine and a half tons of stolen garlic. The Austria Press Agency reports police stopped the vehicles just as they were about to cross over into Hungary. After questioning, five men were arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen goods. Police believe the burgled bulbs originated in Spain and were bound for Romania. The five suspects—unnamed because of Austrian privacy laws—were all Romanian nationals. APA quoted one Austrian police officer as saying the hidden cargo wasn’t very well hidden. “All three vehicles really stunk like garlic,” he said. Police estimate the vanloads of garlic are worth 30,000 euros ($37,500) on the open market.
A woman who allegedly fled the scene of a minor traffic accident told police she only did it because she didn’t want her ice cream to melt. Van Buren police say Derek Parker was stopped in the westbound turn lane of State Highway 59 North at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, when he was rear-ended. The driver of the vehicle that struck him failed to stop, so Parker phoned police and followed the vehicle to a nearby home. Police soon arrived at the residence of Flora Burkhart and quizzed her about the hit-and-run. According to Fort Smith television station KHBS, Burkhart told police, “I left because I didn’t want my ice cream to melt.” She was issued a citation for following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident.
An unidentified man claimed all of Long Beach as his own by driving into the Pacific in his Nissan Maxima while loudly exclaiming “This is my beach!” and providing his Social Security number to onlookers. According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, lifeguards and police officers were called to Cherry Beach near Junipero Avenue and Ocean Boulevard around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29. Witnesses told police the man—whose name has not been released—was driving erratically around the area, claiming ownership of the beach and shouting out his Social Security number. The man then drove his white Nissan about four feet into the water before getting stuck. “The beach was crowded,” Fire Capt. Rich Brandt told the Press-Telegram. “Fortunately, no one was hurt.” Witnesses say the driver and a passenger bailed out. Brandt said the passenger fled to the bluffs overlooking the beach, while the driver tried to swim deeper into the ocean. He was pulled out of the surf by lifeguards and held until police arrived. A backhoe and a tow truck were able to haul the vehicle out of the water by around 4:30 p.m. Needless to say, the driver is being held for psychological observation.