Odds & Ends
 Alibi V.17 No.47 • Nov 20-26, 2008 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Turkey—The mayor of a Turkish city called Batman is suing director Christopher Nolan and the Warner Bros. movie studio for royalties from this summer’s hit film The Dark Knight. Hüseyin Kalkan, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party mayor of Batman, has accused the Batman movie producers of unauthorized use of his city’s name. “There is only one Batman in the world,” Kalkan told movie trade publication Variety. “The American producers used the name of our city without informing us.” The mayor says the film’s success has had a negative psychological impact on the city’s inhabitants, blaming it for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate. The mayor is working on gathering evidence that he claims will prove the city of Batman predates the 1939 debut of Bob Kane’s superhero in DC Comics. “We are only aware of this claim via press reports and have not seen any actual legal action,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement.

Dateline: Brazil—A 67-year-old woman died after being struck in the back of the head by her husband’s coffin while on the way to the cemetery. Marciana Silva Barcelos and her family were driving to her husband’s funeral in the town of Alvorada in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The 76-year-old Josi Silveira Coimbra died of a heart attack after attending a dance the day before. While on route to the cemetery, the hearse was struck from behind by an Alfa Romeo car. As a result, the man’s coffin shifted and slammed into the widow, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the hearse. According to police, she died instantly at the scene. The driver of the hearse and the son of the dead man, who was also traveling in the vehicle, were treated for minor injuries. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.

Dateline: Canada—According to the Journal de Montreal, Canadian prison authorities were forced to release a drug gang member last week because he got too fat for his cell. Michel Lapointe—known as Big Mike—was arrested in September of 2006 and received a five-year sentence in May of this year. Since then, Lapointe has ballooned to more than 430 pounds. Defense lawyer Clemente Monterosso said the poor diet at Montreal’s Bordeaux Jail caused his client to gain more than 50 pounds while behind bars. A letter from the authorities to Lapointe said, “You have been detained for more than 25 months and your prison conditions are difficult because of your health.” The Montreal newspaper reported the 37-year-old Lapointe could no longer fit in the chair in his prison cell and when he went to bed, his body protruded six inches on either side. Authorities also cited the refusal of two other facilities to accept the jumbo-sized jailbird. As a result, the two-person Quebec Parole Board freed Lapointe last Tuesday.

“There is only one Batman in the world.”

Dateline: New Hampshire—Here’s a tip for would-be criminals: Don’t give police your ID before running away from officers. Police in Portsmouth told the Portsmouth Herald a man handed over his driver’s license and registration at a sobriety checkpoint—and then decided to speed off, nearly hitting an officer. Police eventually pulled over the 32-year-old man and found marijuana in his vehicle. He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of drugs, disobeying a police officer and reckless conduct.

Dateline: Pennsylvania—America’s economic crisis has claimed a new victim: bank robbers. Police say a central Pennsylvania man tried to rob a bank but was thwarted by a collection of empty cash drawers. Springettsbury Township Police Lt. Scott Laird said tellers were waiting for their cash drawers to be filled when a man entered a Susquehanna Bank branch last Thursday morning and demanded money. The first teller he talked to fainted, and the next two showed him their empty cash drawers. As he stomped out of the bank, the stymied robber threatened to file a complaint with bank management. A 48-year-old man was arrested about 10 blocks away in connection to the robbery and held in York County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Dateline: Indiana—Police had a difficult time finding a sober member of a northwestern Indiana family after they arrested a mother for drunk driving. A state trooper stopped a minivan for speeding early last Saturday on U.S. 30 near Schereville. He arrested the 24-year-old female driver on drunken driving charges. Police then tried to find someone to come pick up the woman’s 1-year-old son, who was in the van at the time of the arrest. The boy’s father arrived later to pick him up, but officers determined he was intoxicated and arrested him on a drunken driving charge as well. Police said the boy’s grandparents arrived next. Both of them had also been drinking, state police said, but the grandmother (who was driving) was not yet over the legal limit. Officers ended up escorting the grandparents and the child home.

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