Odds & Ends
Dateline: New York
Authorities in Long Island’s Nassau County are investigating how confidential police documents ended up shredded as confetti and used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Manhattan attorney Saul Finkelstein told reporters he and his college-age son, Ethan, noticed the confetti raining down on them while watching the famous parade at 65th and Central Park West. According to a report on New York’s WPIX TV, the papers contain perfectly legible “social security numbers and banking information for police employees, some of whom are undercover officers.” There were also shreds of police reports and references to presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s motorcade—most likely from his visit to Long Island’s Hofstra University in October. Finkelstein took home about 30 pieces of the confetti and turned it over to Long Island detectives. According to reports, the documents were sliced horizontally instead of vertically, making the rows of type easy to read. Sources told WPIX on Nov. 26 that a police investigation led to an employee who’d taken the shreds to throw during the parade. That employee may face disciplinary action. Meanwhile, the department is reconsidering its document destruction protocol.
Dateline: New York
A student at New York University accidentally set off what is being described as the “Reply-Allpocalyspe” after accidentally discovering that hitting “Reply All” to the university’s listserv emails does exactly as advertised. As reported in the NYU Local campus newspaper, sophomore Max Wiseltier got an email on Monday, Nov. 26, about filing paperless forms with the school’s bursar. He tried to forward it to his mother, but clicked on the Reply All button by mistake. That’s how Wiseltier ended up CC’ing nearly 40,000 of his classmates. Once students realized that they could send emails to every one of their classmates at once, Wiseltier’s message set off a chain reaction of Reply Alls. Some students sent jokes. Some sent greetings. Others sent quotes. One mass-emailed a photograph of Nicolas Cage. According to NYU Local’s Ben Zweig, the Reply-Allpocalyse happened because several NYU departments still rely on an “older, discussion-based ListManager program.” Mailboxes around campus were swamped with the tidal wave of emails until Tuesday, when the school realized the error and deleted the account.
An alleged drug dealer in Lakeland confessed to trafficking methamphetamine—then flushed his confession down the toilet. According to The Ledger, 30-year-old Patrick Townsend was pulled over on Saturday, Nov. 23, by Polk county deputies and was found to have 32.4 grams of methamphetamine in his underwear. Deputies say Townsend was taken back to the Sheriff’s Department where he confessed to being a drug dealer and told a detective that he usually trafficks in “much larger” quantities. The detective taped the conversation on a recording device, which he left on his desk. At some point, authorities say Townsend snatched the recorder and hid it in his armpit. He then asked to go to the bathroom, where he flushed the recorder—and his confession—down the toilet. An arrest affidavit says when the detective looked for his recorder, Townsend told the officer, “Tighten up on your job, homie.” Not that his actions did him much good. He’s now charged with destruction of evidence in addition to meth trafficking.
The Florida Sun-Sentinel reports a man who was pulled over for an alleged window-tint violation was going to be let go—until he pissed off the officer who pulled him over. Roger Alvin Henderson was stopped by an Alachua County Sheriff’s deputy because his window tint looked too dark. After stepping out of his vehicle, Henderson told the deputy he had to urinate, but according to police, the deputy didn’t hear him. Instead, the officer walked over to speak to Henderson’s mother, who was in the passenger seat. Henderson, apparently unwilling to wait, wandered over to the officer’s patrol car. As captured squarely on the dash cam of the officer’s vehicle, Henderson undid his pants and took a whiz on the hood. The officer told Henderson’s mother that the window tint was actually in compliance with the law and then turned around to inform Henderson. That’s when he noticed the fresh puddle under his front bumper and arrested the man for indecent exposure.
A heating, ventilation and air conditioning company in Sacramento says employees found real buried treasure hidden in the floor of an old house during a routine installation. Steve Ottley of Clarke & Rush says he and his partner were conducting an HVAC installation in September when they came across 12 baby food jars filled with $300,000 worth of gold dust. The jars were found beneath a floor grill. “I looked at it and said, I think that’s gold,” Ottley told CBS-13 Sacramento. The gold was handed over to the home’s owners, who prefer to remain anonymous. The total cost of the HVAC installation was $6,500.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.