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 V.21 No.50 | December 13 - 19, 2012 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New Zealand

A 65-year-old man who went blind drinking vodka had his sight miraculously restored by drinking whisky. The New Zealand Herald reports Denis Duthie, a catering tutor at New Plymouth’s Western Institute of Technology, had been celebrating his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in June by knocking back a few slugs of vodka from a bottle his students gave him as a present. Soon after, everything went black. “I thought it had gone dark and I’d missed out on a bit of time, but it was only half-past-three in the afternoon. I was fumbling around the bedroom for the light switch, but ... I’d just gone completely blind,” he told the paper. Duthie was taken to Taranaki Base hospital where doctors concluded he was suffering from formaldehyde poisoning. This comes from accidentally drinking methanol and can be treated by ingesting ethanol, the alcohol properly found in booze. The hospital happened to be out of medical ethanol, so the registrar was sent to a nearby liquor store to pick up a bottle of whisky. “Johnnie Walker Black Label. It was good whisky, yeah,” Duthie was quoted as saying in the newspaper. The alcohol was introduced into Duthie’s system via a stomach tube. “I woke up five days later, and I could see as soon as I opened by eyes,” Duthie said. According to the Herald, Duthie has not touched alcohol since being released from the hospital.

Dateline: California

According to CBS-5 News, A San Francisco Bay-area couple found a quick and easy solution to their home repair problems—they allegedly kidnapped a handyman at gunpoint, beat him and forced him to fix things at their sprawling mansion in Morgan Hill. Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said the handyman “was assaulted, he was threatened with his life, and he was forced to do some work at the house.” Jason DeJesus, 36, and Chanelle Troedson, 33, were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and conspiracy. According to police reports, the handyman spent up to seven hours fixing the couple’s dishwasher, repairing a broken door and performing other menial tasks at the couple’s five-bedroom home—which includes a beach volleyball court, a pool and tennis courts. Once he was done with his repairs, the couple allegedly forced the handyman back into his truck and said they would take him to a relative’s house to perform additional work. The handyman escaped when the suspects pulled over at a Chevron gas station in South San Jose to buy gas and snacks. He left the vehicle and ran to the front door of a nearby homeowner. “A blond-haired gentleman came to my door, knocking on the door frantically, asking if he could use my phone,” the homeowner told KGO-TV News. “He said that he had been kidnapped and beaten, and I could visibly see that he had some injuries.” Police arrived and arrested DeJesus and Troedson as they left the Chevron station.

Dateline: Maine

Police in Old Orchard Beach say a 34-year-old man called them up to complain that a local prostitute still owed him 10 minutes’ worth of sex. New Hampshire resident Scott Pipher allegedly phoned Old Orchard Beach Police on March 25 to complain a woman he’d hired for sexual services shorted him by 10 minutes. A police investigation led to the arrests of two women believed to be prostitutes contacted by Pipher through a website. Pipher himself was arrested earlier this month on charges of engaging a prostitute and is scheduled to be arraigned in Maine District Court in Biddeford sometime in December.

Dateline: Nebraska

A teenager made it easy for police to figure out who robbed a bank in Waco, Neb., after she posted a video on YouTube titled “Chick Bank Robber,” in which she brags about the crime. Hannah Sabata, 19, holds up fistfuls of money in the video and tells viewers she stole a Pontiac Grand Am and got away with more than $6,000 from a bank robbery “using a gun, a pillow case and a note.” She goes on to say she plans to pay off student loans with the money and “go on a shopping spree.” According to the York News-Times, Sabata was arrested on Nov. 28, charged with stealing a car in York and robbing the Cornerstone Bank in nearby Waco. The York County Sheriff’s office recovered the stolen Grand Am in Buckley Park near Sabata’s home. Deputies found a bracelet inside the vehicle adorned with the words “I Love Hannah.” York County Sheriff Dale Radcliff told the News-Times a copy of Sabata’s YouTube posting has also been turned over as evidence in the case. York County Judge Curtis Evans set a preliminary hearing for Dec. 26

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