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 V.22 No.27 | July 4 - 10, 2013 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Germany

A trucker from North Rhine-Westphalia, who has been charged with more than 700 incidents of shooting at motorists on European highways over the past five years, is chalking it all up to a bad case of “road rage.” German police say they have arrested a 57-year-old truck driver believed to be behind 762 highway shootings. “We found the famous needle in a hay stack,” said Joerg Ziercke, chief commissioner of the German Federal Criminal Police. “A dangerous criminal who on several thousands of kilometers of highway in Germany, France, Belgium and Austria would reach for a gun whenever, wherever to shoot at other vehicles and endanger people’s lives. It’s unprecedented in Germany criminal history." The suspect, unidentified under German law, is said to have blamed road rage for his attacks. Fortunately, despite all the bullets, only one person was actually wounded over the years—a female motorist who was critically injured. Ziercke told reporters at a news conference in Wiesbaden that guns and ammunition matching the caliber of those used in many of the shootings were confiscated at the suspect’s home. Police say the highway attacks became more dangerous a year ago when the shooter began firing larger caliber ammunition. Although a 100,000-euro ($130,000) reward for information was offered, the suspect was caught by investigators who combed through forensic evidence, highway camera footage, cell tower information and toll booth receipts.

Dateline: Pennsylvania

A horny couple picked a bad time to (allegedly) get down and dirty in a public park. Not only was the overly amorous duo getting busy at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, but a large group of police officers from Haverford, Narberth, Clifton Heights and other Philadelphia-area departments had gathered in the park to participate in an annual bike training school. Some 25 policemen on bicycles were riding through Naylor’s Run Park in Upper Darby, located in West Philadelphia, when they came upon a man and a woman having sex near the park’s baseball diamond. “There they are, on the first base line,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told Philly.com. “There’s a bench. She is bent over the bench, and our friend is behind her with his pants down to his ankle banging away.” The two were identified as 41-year-old Jennifer Harvey and 37-year-old Richard McBride. “Imagine being arrested by 25 cops,” said Chitwood. “They were as shocked as the police were.” Harvey, of Clifton Heights, and McBride, of North Philadelphia, were charged with open lewdness and disorderly conduct.

Dateline: California

A wanted man eluded police in San Diego by jumping into the ocean and going for an all-night swim. The incident began around 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, when a Coronado police officer tried to approach 46-year-old John Michael White regarding a drug felony warrant. White fled from law enforcement, stripped off his clothes on the beach near the Hotel del Coronado and began his marathon dip. The suspect spent seven hours in the water and ended up nearly two and a half miles away at Silver Strand Beach. Throughout the night police, K-9 units, divers and a helicopter patrol tried to coax the man out of the water. “He was actually in and out of the water trying to play a cat and mouse game with officers on shore,” Chief John Bolduc of the San Diego Harbor Police told FOX-5 News. Eventually, around 5:30 a.m., the exhausted and pruney suspect gave up and was booked into jail. Police believe he may have been under the influence.

Dateline: Texas

A summary judgment for nearly $7 million has been levied against a self-described psychic for telling police that a Southeast Texas couple had mass graves on their land. The Houston Chronicle reports that a judge ruled against Presley “Rhonda” Gridley after she failed to show up in court to respond to the defamation lawsuit filed by Joe Bankston and Gena Charlton of Liberty County. The judge ruled that Gridley gave false information to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department and stirred up a media frenzy in 2011 when she called in a “psychic tip” claiming dozens of dismembered bodies were buried at a rural farmhouse outside Houston. Nothing was found in an extensive search. The lawyer for Bankston and Charlton said it remained to be seen whether his clients could actually recover the $6.8 million judgment from Gridley.

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

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