Alibi V.24 No.2 • Jan 8-14, 2015 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Russia

According to London’s Daily Mail, a 12-year-old schoolboy in St. Petersburg told his parents he had been asked to play Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a school play. The proud parents of Ilya Gavrichenko made a costume for the boy, including a military jacket, army boots and a thick mustache. Unfortunately, when the boy showed up at school for the play, his parents realized it was the wrong Joseph. The school was actually putting on a version of the Nativity, and young Mr. Gavrichenko was supposed to play Joseph of Nazareth. With no time to change costumes, Gavrichenko was forced to accompany the Virgin Mary onto stage dressed as the infamous Soviet ruler who executed at least 800,00 people. “Each time he went out on stage, the mothers were in hysterics, crying and yowling from somewhere under their chairs,” said Gavrichenko’s father, Fedor.

Dateline: Florida

A pair of alleged trespassers and suspected drug users spent two days trapped in a janitor’s closet—even though the door did not lock. The Orlando Sentinel reports 31-year-old John Arwood and 25-year-old Amber Campbell told police they were chased into the closet at Daytona State College on Sunday, Dec. 28. After two days of being stuck in the closet, Arwood called 911 from his cell phone. No word on why he waited so long. Police tracked the phone’s location to the college’s Marine and Environmental Science Center and let the couple out of the closet. A police officer, trying to figure out how the two could have gotten locked in, went inside the closet and discovered that it did not lock. Police found human feces and drug paraphernalia inside the closet, but did not locate any drugs. Arwood and Campbell were charged with trespassing. Campbell was also charged with violating her probation, which she was given in 2013 for escaping a mental health treatment facility, crashing a car and escaping from the back of a police cruiser. Arwood’s criminal record includes fiver prior jail sentences in Florida for armed burglary, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana and fleeing law enforcement.

Dateline: New York

The operator of a street sweeper spotted driving erratically on a highway in Long Island on New Year’s Day was arrested for drunk driving. Police say 48-year-old Jerry Mitchell, of Brooklyn, was traveling eastbound on the Southern State Parkway when a state trooper tried to pull him over. The driver failed to stop and led police on a 35mph chase. After about 5 minutes on the run, Mitchell stopped and surrendered. He was charged with aggravated DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation. According to police his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. According to New York’s Newsday, Mitchell was cleaning parking lots in Brooklyn when he decided to go get some candy and ended up getting lost in Long Island.

Dateline: Pennsylvania

A would-be robber was ratted out by a roll of toilet paper. Police in Uniontown say 29-year-old Eric Frey tried to rob Michael Maria’s Pizza by handing employees a note written on toilet paper. The note read, “I have a gun. Give me $300.” An employee at the restaurant hit a panic button and police arrived before Frey could escape. Frey tried to tell officers he was forced to commit the robbery by a large, bearded man with a gun who accosted him in a nearby alley. Unfortunately for Frey, police searched his apartment. They found a newly opened roll of toilet paper with the pen impressions of Frey’s robbery note on the outer sheet.

Dateline: Illinois

The outer wall of a Morton Salt storage facility in Chicago collapsed on the afternoon of Tuesday, Dec. 30, burying a next-door auto dealership in several tons of the white stuff. The accident took place at the 100-year-old company’s warehouse on the city’s northwest side. No injuries were reported, but at least 11 cars at the Acura dealership were damaged by the deluge of road salt. Investigators aren’t sure yet what caused the wall to collapse, but one theory is that workers had piled the salt too high. A Chicago Fire Department spokesperson said city engineers would look into the building’s structural integrity.

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