Alibi V.21 No.35 • Aug 30-Sept 5, 2012 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: South Africa

A runaway hippopotamus took up residence in a rural resort’s swimming pool, leaving wildlife officials searching for a way to extract him. The 4-year-old hippo had been forced out of his herd earlier this month by more dominant males. He made his way to the Monate Conservation Lodge north of Johannesburg and dove into the facility’s pool. According to the nature lodge’s manager, Ruby Ferreira, the pool is eight feet deep and there are no steps leading out, so “there’s no way he can come out.” The staff at the hotel had been feeding the hippo, who was described as “relaxed,” for about a week. A game capture team was planning to sedate the animal and lift it out of the pool with a crane. Sadly, the pool-bound hippo passed away before verterinarians could see to it.

Dateline: Georgia

Authorities in Augusta have arrested a lab technician at Georgia Health Sciences University after he was found in the employee locker room drunk, partially nude and partying hearty with at least two monkeys. According to WJBF-TV, 32-year-old Coley Oneal Mitchell was arrested and charged with public drunkenness by GHSU police officers. The monkeys—described as “loose and unsupervised”—were rounded up without incident. “No animals were harmed during the incident, but the university takes the allegations very seriously,” said a school spokesperson. “GHSU does not condone behavior that conflicts with the research, education and clinical missions of the university, and employees are expected to conduct themselves, at all times, with integrity and respect.”

Dateline: Pennsylvania

When in doubt, blame your evil twin. When police confronted 31-year-old Jennifer Brown with allegations she stole more than $200 worth of items from a Holiday Inn in Big Beaver, she claimed her identical twin sister had taken them. According to the Beaver County Times, Brown used a check to rent a room on Aug. 5. When she left the next morning, several items—including two comforters, two blankets, four pillows, an alarm clock, a coffeepot, a basket and a hair dryer—were found to be missing. State Trooper Joshua Thomas was called to the scene and located Brown at the nearby Alpine Inn, but she denied taking the items. Instead, she said her twin sister, Lisa Brown, was responsible. When Thomas was unable to find a record of a Lisa Brown, he returned to Brown’s room with more questions. She informed him that her sister had just called and was bringing the items back. When the trooper searched Brown’s room, he located the missing items in a plastic bag behind the door. Brown said her sister must have returned the loot when she and Thomas were talking. The items were returned to the Holiday Inn and Brown was arrested on theft and making false report charges. The next day, Thomas confirmed with Brown’s aunt that Brown does not have a sister.

Dateline: Tennessee

A Knoxville man faces more than $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail after beating up a McDonald’s employee during an argument over a $1 hot fudge sundae. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports 43-year-old James Davis Wilson was found guilty of misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct by a jury in Knox County Criminal Court. The conviction stems from a Feb. 2010 incident in which Wilson went to a McDonald’s restaurant and ordered lunch. “The food appeared to be right, but the dessert, it had chocolate on the bottom,” Wilson argued in court. “The hot fudge should be on top. It freezes up when you get fudge on the bottom. I asked them to redo it.” Assistant Manager Brad Skelton refused, saying Wilson was trying to scam an extra shot of hot fudge sauce for his “plain” dollar menu sundae. Skelton eventually refunded Wilson’s dollar and then ducked out the side door to make sure Wilson left the premises. As he walked out the door, Wilson punched him in the face. Wilson’s lawyer tried to argue that the customer was acting in self-defense after the store manager “charged” him. The fact that Wilson was twice the size of Skelton obviously didn’t make the story particularly believable to the jury. Wilson will be sentenced on Sept. 27.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to