Alibi V.26 No.11 • March 16-22, 2017 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: England

A family in Colchester told the Daily Gazette they were shocked and emotionally distraught after an elderly man in a wedding dress emerged from the bushes and informed them the park they were strolling through was an “outdoor sex hotspot.” The mother, who asked to remain anonymous, was with her four children, aged between 4 and 18, in Hilly Fields, Colchester, when “an elderly man of about 70 or 80” came out from the underbrush “wearing a huge white wedding dress.” According to the woman, “He told us he was there seeking sexual encounters in the woodlands. I am absolutely shocked by this blatant and disgusting behavior. We would never have expected such lewd sexual behavior in a park in Colchester.” The man allegedly informed the woman that the 80-acre nature reserve was listed online as the “best cruising area in East Anglia and the Essex area for safety and the availability of talents.” The woman told the newspaper she and her children were “so upset we headed home.”

Dateline: Florida

A defense lawyer was arguing a case in court earlier this month when his pants literally caught on fire. Although it cannot be determined whether Miami attorney Stephen Gutierrez was lying at the time, it is ironic that he was arguing the defense in an arson case. According to the Miami Herald, the 28-year-old Gutierrez had begun closing arguments in the case, insisting that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and was not intentionally set on fire, when witnesses say smoke began billowing out of the lawyer’s right pocket. Gutierrez rushed out of the courtroom, leaving spectators stunned. Jurors were ushered out of the room, and Gutierrez later returned with a singed pocket. The lawyer insists it was not a stunt to distract jurors and blamed the incident on a faulty battery for an e-cigarette. “Shortly after beginning my argument, I noticed that my pocket began to feel hot,” Gutierrez told The Huffington Post. “When I checked my pocket, I noticed that the heat was coming from a small e-cigarette battery I had in my pocket. There were two or three in my pocket at the time.” Despite—or perhaps because of the symbolic interruption—Gutierrez’ client, 48-year-old Claudy Charles, was found guilty of second-degree arson.

Dateline: New York

According to dnainfo.com, a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on New York’s Upper East Side had a bottle smashed over his head by a patron who was upset about a crooked painting. The suspect approached the guard inside the Met at 6:15pm on March 3 and told him a painting on the wall was hanging crooked. “The response [from the security guard] wasn’t to his liking,” a police spokesman said, so the suspect hit him over the head with a bottle. The victim was taken to the New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center in stable condition with a cut to his head. The suspect, a 20-to-25-year-old male with a long beard, was captured on surveillance video fleeing the scene. He has not been identified or arrested.

Dateline: Iowa

An Iowa state senator was forced to change his resume on a political website after it was revealed that his business degree was actually a training certificate from the chain restaurant Sizzler. Mark Chelgren, a Republican representing the Iowa Senate’s 41st District, told the Associated Press he didn’t mean to mislead anyone. “I know they’ve changed that, because apparently a degree and a certificate are different,” Chelgren was quoted as saying. NBC News had reported earlier this month that Chelgren’s biography on iowasenaterepublicans.com had changed, removing information about the degree. According to an image posted by the network, the website previously indicated that Chelgren had a degree in business management from “Forbco Management School.” After failing to find the school listed among accredited institutions at the National Center for Education Statistics, NBC reported that the only Forbco Management “is a company that used to operate a Sizzler Steakhouse in Torrance, California.” After the NBC expose, Chelgren admitted to the Associated Press that he worked at the Southern California Sizzler in the 1980s, when he was about 19, and “didn’t see a difference” between a management degree and a training certificate. Chelgren told the Des Moines Register that NBC’s report was just arguing “semantics.”

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