Alibi V.29 No.5 • Jan 30-Feb 5, 2020 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Michigan

A black man is suing a bank for racial discrimination after it refused to cash his racial discrimination lawsuit settlement check. New York Post reports that Sauntore Thomas filed the suit against TCF Bank in Michigan, where he's had an account for nearly two years. Last week, Thomas attempted to cash a check that he'd been awarded in a previous discrimination case against his former employer, Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit. The check was reportedly flagged as fraudulent by the bank's computer system. Thomas contacted his lawyer, Deborah Gordon, who spoke to bank employees on the phone. “I sent them my federal court complaint to see that it matched,” she told reporters. “I did everything.” Nevertheless, bank employees called the police, and four officers were dispatched to the bank. “I feel very intimidated,” Thomas said, “because I knew that if I would have gotten loud, they would have had me on the ground for disturbance of the peace.” He was not arrested or charged during the incident, and the check cleared 12 hours later. But Gordon says the bank discriminated against Thomas. “Obviously, assumptions were made the minute he walked in based on his race,” said the lawyer. Thomas filed a discrimination suit against the bank the next day. TCF Bank publicly apologized for not being able to “meet his needs” and denounced racial discrimination. Thomas was able to open a new account with Chase bank once the check cleared and went on to buy a 2004 Dodge Durango with his new funds.

Dateline: Massachusetts

The city of Natick is breathing easier now that a serial defecator has finally been arrested. According to Fox News, police were told of the serial pooper's crimes in December. A local store owner reported discovering fresh feces in the parking lot on eight separate occasions, beginning in October. Officers initially believed the droppings were the work of an animal, but soon found soiled toilet paper and sanitary wipes that had been left in the area. Last week, an officer was patrolling the parking lot when he reportedly saw Andrea Grocer sitting in her car and waiting for the lot to clear before opening the driver's side door and defecating on the lot. The officer pulled her over and she told him that she was on her way to a nearby home where she worked as a nanny. She said she'd had to stop at the store because she suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. But her employer told police that Grocer had access to their restroom, and investigators noted the length of time she spent waiting in the lot. Grocer was arrested on eight counts of wanton destruction of property and released without bail following her arraignment. She is expected back in court in March. It is unclear why Grocer targeted the lot, as she has no apparent connection to the store or its owner.

Dateline: North Carolina

An animal shelter in North Carolina is desperately trying to find a home for the “world's worst cat.” Last week, Mitchell County Animal Rescue Inc. posted an adoption listing on Facebook for a cat named Perdita, whom it described as being “not for the faint of heart.” “We thought she was sick … turns out she was just a jerk,” the post says. According to the post, her likes include “staring into your soul until you feel as if you may never be cheerful again; the song Cat Scratch Fever, the movie Pet Cemetery (Church is her hero), jump scares (her specialty), lurking in dark corners, being queen of her domicile, fooling shelter staff into thinking she's sick (vet agrees … she's just a jerk).” Perdita reportedly dislikes “the color pink, kittens (yuk they are so chipper), dogs, children, the Dixie Chicks, Disney movies, Christmas and last but not least … hugs.” Amber Lowery, executive director of the shelter, told CTV News that the cat will often growl at people. “She likes her space,” said Lowery. According to the post, Perdita is “single and ready to be socially awkward with a socially awkward human who understands personal space.” Lowery says they don't actually know all of the cats in the world and admits that calling Perdita the worst one might be somewhat presumptuous.

Dateline: Canada

Employees at a pet shop in Canada say an Australian shepherd named Vango helped to alert them that he'd been dognapped. According to CBC News, staff at Au Royaume des Animaux in Gatineau, Quebec became suspicious of a couple who brought a dog into the pet store last week after they were unable to answer simple questions about the dog's history—like his age, where he'd been sterilized and how much they'd paid for him. Dog trainer Yves Jodoin told reporters that as the couple evaded the questions, “the dog was barking, the dog was poking, and he really wanted my attention.” As Jodoin kept the couple occupied, a colleague went to check social media for mentions of stolen pets and quickly found an image of Vango, who looked very similar to the dog in the store. According to the report, the dog had been stolen only two and a half hours earlier. Jodoin reportedly recognized the dog, realizing he'd trained Vango as a puppy. “At that point I said, 'Vango, come!' And the dog was reacting, he was jumping,” Jodoin said. “All along he was barking and poking, trying to say, 'Hello, I'm not the dog they say I am.'” The suspected dognappers claimed they'd found Vango in the woods, but his owner said he went missing from a fenced yard. Surrounded by witnesses, the couple surrendered Vango into the store employees' custody. The dog's rightful owner, Josée Francoeur, was immediately contacted. Francoeur says she has made an appointment to microchip Vango and has filed a police complaint.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.