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 V.22 No.33 | August 15 - 21, 2013 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Sweden

Law enforcement officials in Stockholm are warning tourists to beware of ghosts. Police say tourists have reported having their pockets picked while they were distracted by people wearing white sheets and sporting white face paint. “Thieves are always finding new methods,” Stockholm police spokesperson Gunnar Thun told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. “Often the thievery is carried out using some kind of distraction. These people in particular are very blunt and pushy, which perplexes people.” Thun assured visitors that Stockholm is a safe city but warned them to be on the lookout for people dressed as ghosts. “I would keep them at an arm’s length,” he said.

Dateline: England

Utility workers in London have removed a 15-ton grease glob detected in a sewer pipe under the streets of the city’s busy Kingston upon Thames neighborhood. The so-called “fatberg” is composed of festering food fat mixed with traditional toilet waste and is roughly the size of a double-decker bus. “We’ve never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before,” Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor for Thames Water, told London’s Daily Mail. The blockage was discovered after residents of nearby apartments complained they could not flush their toilets. Investigators discovered the neighborhood sewer had been reduced to just 5 percent of its capacity thanks to the gigantic grease ball. “If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kinsgston,” said Hailwood. Workers with high-pressure hoses spent 10 nights removing the oily obstruction. “Given we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we've encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history,” Hailwood said of the historic find.

Dateline: Pennsylvania

Even criminals have to start somewhere. A 12-year-old boy from Johnstown, Pa., was arrested on the evening of Monday, Aug. 1, for allegedly robbing a lemonade stand with a BB gun. “The lemonade stand was being run by a 10-year-old, and a 12-year-old boy approached him with a BB gun and basically robbed him,” Johnstown Police Captain Andrew Frear told reporters. The two boys “got into a wrestling match,” after which the older boy made off with a box containing about $30. Several friends joined the victim in chasing the robber home. “The boys were familiar with each other, so it wasn’t difficult to spot the suspect,” Frear said. The names of the boys were withheld as both are minors. Police said the 12-year-old will face charges of robbery and recklessly endangering another person.

Dateline: Wyoming

Self-proclaimed “cat man” L.J. Faith has filed suit in U.S. District Court after the Shoshoni, Wyo., police chief tased him over an ongoing complaint about animals. Of course the chief also tased himself in the incident. As well as his deputy. The slapstick chain of events began in August of 2012 when Shoshoni police received a complaint that “several cats belonging to Faith were running around and defecating” in a neighbor’s yard. According to a lawsuit filed on July 26, acting Police Chief Andy Rodriguez and officer G. Cruche responded to the complaint and ended up using excessive force. The police say Faith became irate when officers began questioning him. “Write me a ticket or get the fuck out,” Faith allegedly told Cruche. When Faith wrapped his arms around a wooden post near his trailer home, officers struggled to remove him. Rodriguez, who had received Taser training earlier that day, decided to put his newly acquired skills to the test. As Rodriguez wrote in his report, “I deployed the Taser to Faith’s left side arm. During the attempt to control Faith’s arm, I realized the Taser was not having a meaningful affect [sic].” Undeterred, the police chief tried again. “As I was attaching [another] probe cartridge to the Taser, I had the sensation of falling backwards ... I recall the Taser discharging ... a probe had penetrated by right index finger ... I pulled the probe out of my finger and was going to reload with a second probe when officer Cruche told me he had been hit as well. I looked over and [he] was bleeding from the top of his head near the hair line.” Mr. Faith more or less confirmed Rodriguez’ recollection of events the next day in a posting on his Facebook page: “the police were going to give me a ticket for having to many cats I said fine I will pay it when I get paid the police changed their mind and told me that I was going to jail the 1 left and behind me went t a zze me and shot his partner right in the middle of the forehead then shot himself in the left hand.” Faith was taken into custody and given a summons for breach of peace and “interference with a peace officer causing injury.” According to Wyoming Public Media, all charges were eventually dropped against him.

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

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