Odds & Ends
A pair of pranksters got the shock of their lives when they climbed into a memorial of a World War II tank—and started it right up. The rusting tank was perched atop a concrete memorial in Kostiantynivka, an industrial city in eastern Ukraine. The war machine was built in 1943, retired in 1945 and placed on the pedestal in 1994. Dimitry Koskalovin, 23, and Mikhail Stakavan, 22, were poking around the vehicle and decided to play around with the ancient ignition. Both men were described as mechanics by London’s Daily Mail, but apparently did not expect their hot-wiring job to be so successful. “No one was more surprised than me when she kicked into life,” said Koskalovin. “We let it rip for a few minutes, then we did a runner. We never meant to pinch it or anything.” Video of the two men starting up the tank was posted online. Local authorities are investigating how the tank was left in a functional state and whether or not the tank pranksters will face legal action. “In theory it could have been dangerous because the tank could have driven off,” a police spokesperson told the press. “But other than that, it’s not clear what else we might charge them with.”
A woman called 999—the British equivalent of emergency services—to complain about the amount of sprinkles on her ice cream cone. The caller, who was not named by West Midlands Police, contacted emergency operators to let them know her neighborhood ice cream truck was remiss in its use of sprinkles. “It doesn’t seem like much of an emergency,” the woman seems to concede. “But it is a little bit.” The woman went on to explain, “I’ve ordered an ice cream and he’s put bits on one side and none on the other.” Police released the recording to let people know about recent abuses in England’s emergency services number. “I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only,” Chief Superintendent Jim Andronov of the West Midlands Police’s Force Contact team told the UK’s Mirror.
A woman “catfishing” her niece to teach her the dangers of social media may have saved her own life. Marissa Williams, 19, is in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on charges of solicitation of murder after she asked Facebook friend Tre “Topdog” Ellis to kill her family. She got caught because Ellis was actually a fake account set up by her aunt. The unnamed aunt, who had allowed Williams to live at her home since April, set up the bogus account in May. She did it because Williams allegedly kept inviting strangers she met on Facebook over to the house. On May 24, the very first day Williams and Ellis spoke online, the teenager gave the fictional boy her phone number and address, and asked him to come over and get drunk with her. Al.com reports she also offered to have sex with him if he’d pay her $50 phone bill. The two stayed in contact for two more days, at which point the suspect allegedly asked her Facebook friend to kidnap her and take her away from her family. At first the aunt did not call police, but changed her mind when Williams upped the ante, suggesting Topdog shoot and kill her entire family—including their pet dog. Authorities spoke to Williams on May 26. They say she apologized for her murderous threats. Nonetheless, she was arrested and remains in jail on $30,000 bond.
Dennis Kneier, the mayor of the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of San Marino, has apologized after he was caught on tape tossing dog poop on his neighbor’s front yard. Kneier told the Whittier Daily News he and his wife were walking home from a park on Saturday night when they came across a bag of excrement on the sidewalk. “I made a mistake of putting it in his walkway,” the mayor told the newspaper. “Rather than leaving it, I should have walked on by or disposed of it properly.” The home’s owner, Philip Lao, said he recognized Mayor Kneier from the home video surveillance footage and called police. Lao believes the poo flinging was payback for his opposition to the mayor’s plans for a neighborhood dog park. San Marino Police say they are investigating the matter.