Odds & Ends
A police department in Cologne says a SWAT unit, dissolved for alleged misconduct, destroyed its offices with a chainsaw during a drunken goodbye party. According to Bild newspaper, Police Chief Wolfgang Albers announced earlier this month he was disbanding a Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) unit accused of hazing new recruits. Four of the officers involved in the humiliating torture and harassment of young colleagues were banned from ever serving again in SEK. The officers from the unit in question held a farewell barbecue on Tuesday, Sept. 15, during which they allegedly got drunk, drove a motorbike though the hallways of the police station and destroyed their old common room with a chainsaw. A police spokesperson told Bild, “They said they were taking back what belonged to them.” The department is “investigating further.”
Guards at a courthouse in Lima had to break up a fight after a man on trial for murder was mistakenly put into a holding cell with a witness scheduled to testify against him. Markelus Carter, 46, is standing trial for the 2009 murder of Kenneth Warrington. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, he was placed in a cell at the Allen County Common Pleas Court with 27-year-old Steve Upham during a recess in the trial. Neither man was handcuffed. According to Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish, Upham is serving a prison term for attempted murder but is a witness for the prosecution in Carter’s trial. “The two had words and a little scuffle broke out,” Crish told reporters. “It lasted less than two minutes.” Lima News reports the fight was recorded on video and shows Carter punching Crish, who then puts Carter in a headlock and throws several punches of his own before being bitten on the arm and poked in the eye by Carter. Guards arrived at that point and broke up the fight. In the wake of the scuffle, the judge denied a defense request for a mistrial and allowed the jury to see video of the jail cell fight.
Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies paid a visit to the Brooksville home of Nickole Dykema after a neighbor complained the woman slashed her window screens and air conditioner with a large knife. It’s hard to tell which knife she used, however, as police turned up more than 3,500 bladed weapons inside Dykema’s home. Investigators told WTSP that Dykem, 47, refused to let the deputies insider her home, so they forced their way in. That’s when Dykema picked up a machete and slashed at a deputy with it, narrowly missing his head. She then ran and hid under a blanket in another room, waving a “long, shiny sword” in front of her. A Taser was eventually deployed, and Dykema was arrested by Sheriff’s deputies, as well as probation and parole officers. Dykema is on probation after she was caught shoplifting—you guessed it—knives from a Dollar Tree store in December. According to the terms of her probation, she is not allowed to own weapons. But police found a total of 3,714 knives, swords, machetes and other bladed weapons covering the walls of her mobile home. Deputies spent the entire day removing the weapons. They believe Dykema “booby trapped” many of the blades, blankets and floors, resulting in some minor injuries to the deputies on scene. Dykema has been charged with several counts of probation violation, property damage/criminal mischief, resisting an officer without violence and assault.
Police in Twin Falls say catching a burglary suspect took no effort at all after the man returned to the scene of the crime looking for his keys and a cell phone he dropped during the heist. Caleb Shay Funke, 22, appeared in Twin Falls County Magistrate Court on Monday, Sept. 14, on two charges of burglary and one charge of grand theft. The case started when a woman called police saying her back door was open and her house was ransacked. According to the Times-News, cupboards were open, books and paper were scattered and a file cabinet was pried open. Also, someone had left an unfamiliar cell phone on the bed. Police soon located a silver 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt parked behind the house, its passenger seat loaded with cash and jewelry. While officers were sill inside the house investigating, a woman pulled up and dropped Funke off. Funke told officers he let a friend borrow the car and the keys ended up locked inside. As Funke spoke to police, a resident of the burglarized home came out with a set of keys found inside the home. An officer unlocked and started the car with the keys. Funke told police he had nothing to do with the burglary, but when police patted him down they found a piece of jewelry belonging to the homeowner. Funke later admitted to being involved in the burglary, as well as two others. Funke’s bond was set at $5,000.