Dateline: China—An elderly man tried to smuggle his pet turtle onto an airplane flight by strapping the animal to his spine and pretending to be a hunchback. According to the New Express newspaper, the man--identified as Wu--was flying home to Chongqing after eight years in Guangzhou. The man knew he wasn't allowed to take live animals on board, but was too attached to his turtle. He managed to get through security, but was stopped by a guard who thought his hump looked suspicious. A quick search uncovered the eight-inch, 11-pound terrapin. Wu eventually changed planes and was allowed to check his pet in as baggage.
Dateline: Cambodia—In other turtle-related news, a fight between an elderly woman and a Buddhist monk over an allegedly magic turtle has landed the monk in court on charges of impersonating a god. The 26-year-old monk, Khong Chantha of Phnom Penh, sold a turtle with Buddhist inscriptions carved into its shell to the woman for the equivalent of $1.25. But when the monk heard the woman had begun a business with the turtle, claiming it invoked miracles, he tried to claim it by force. The woman reported the monk to police, who found a forged letter purportedly signed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in the monk's possession. The fake letter gave government backing to Chantha's claim that he was a reincarnation of Buddha. The monk was released with a warning.
Dateline: North Dakota—Pizza delivery man Asif Yasin was delivering pizzas early Saturday morning in Fargo when he ran across a customer who tried to pay for his pie with pot. The customer couldn't find his cash and offered to trade some marijuana for the pizza. Yasin says when he refused the offer, the hungry customer got angry and hit him. Yasin called the police, who arrived shortly after and arrested the customer. Officers who busted the young man say he was drunk. The trade-minded customer was arrested on suspicion of robbery.
Dateline: Rhode Island—The barter system, it seems, is the wave of the future. Police in Rhode Island say Wayne Glaude tried to trade meat for sex. Officers in Woonsocket say Glaude picked up an undercover police officer posing as a hooker. Since he didn't have the money to pay her, Glaude offered two large T-bone steaks in exchange for sex. Glaude works for a meat company. Detective Capt. Luke Gallant told reporters that this is the first he's ever heard of anyone trying to pay a hooker with raw meat. Glaude has pleaded innocent.
Dateline: New York—Police didn't have too much trouble identifying the stolen property in a recent case, considering the property was stolen from them. Troopers in Batavia say they received a report last week of what looked like stolen property. Upon investigation, they found a sign that read “State Police Troop A Headquarters” mounted on the side of a man's garage. Authorities say the sign had been removed from the grounds of the state police headquarters building in Batavia. The man was charged with criminal possession of stolen property.
Dateline: Missouri—A man whose body was pulled from the Mississippi River last Sunday had gone to great lengths to kill himself. According to police, Franklin E. Carver of St. Louis shot himself five times--three times in the head and twice in the chest--inside his home. Unfortunately, none of the bullets from the .22-caliber handgun proved to be fatal. Undeterred, Carver climbed into his custom van and drove 10 minutes to the Clark Bridge, where he parked in the bicycle lane and jumped off the south side of the bridge. A frantic motorist called 911 on his cell phone. “This is probably the most unusual suicide case I've ever seen in my career,” Lt. David Hayes of the Alton Police Department told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Madison County coroner said Monday that the preliminary autopsy result indicated Carver died of drowning. A .22-caliber handgun that matched the wounds on Carver's body was found inside Carver's home. Police quickly ruled out the possibility of homicide. “His son said that he had some issues in the past,” Hayes said. “He was despondent and indicated there were suicidal tendencies. It's a legitimate suicide case.”
Dateline: Illinois—This week's freak accident report comes from Lake Villa where a 14-year-old boy died from electrocution after crashing a car. Lake County Coroner Richard Keller said Carl Schultz, Jr., had borrowed a relative's car for a late-night ride. He apparently lost control of the vehicle near an intersection early last Saturday morning and crashed. Authorities say Schultz, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected through the car's sun roof, flew into the air and hit a series of power lines nearly 50 feet above the ground. He died at the scene. No other vehicles were involved.