Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Canada– A Swiss tourist caught for speeding through the Canadian countryside has blamed his crime on Canada’s distinct lack of goats. The driver was caught traveling 161 km/h (100 mph) on Canada’s busiest highway between Montreal and Toronto last Sunday. The posted speed limit is 100 km/h (60 mph). “An officer stopped the car for speeding along a straight stretch of road, and the driver told him he thought it would be all right to go fast because he wasn’t likely to hit a goat,” said Constable Joel Doiron. “I’ve never been to Switzerland, but I guess there must be a lot of goats there,” he said. Constable Doiron noted that in his 20 years as a police officer, “nobody’s ever used the lack of goats here as an excuse for speeding.” The Swiss speeder was issued a ticket for $C360 ($430).

Dateline: Spain– A Basque separatist prisoner on trial for threatening to kill a judge didn’t do his case much good last Thursday in court when he threatened to kill the presiding judge, promising to shoot him and “skin him alive.” Ignacio Javier Bilbao Goikoetxea, a convicted murderer and member of armed separatist group ETA, kicked the dock’s bulletproof screen and launched a torrent of abuse at Judge Alfonso Guevara and Baltasar Garzon, the judge he had threatened at a previous trial, who was appearing as a witness. “If you’re a man, come here … I’m going to skin you alive. Come here if you’ve got the balls … I look forward to shooting you seven times when I get my hands on you,” the shaven-headed Goikoetxea told Guevara in the Madrid courtroom. It is the second time he has been tried for threatening Garzon after being jailed for two years at a previous trial.

Dateline: England– A motorist who blew up a traffic safety camera that had caught him speeding was jailed for four months last Wednesday, Greater Manchester Police said. In August of 2005, 28-year-old Craig Moore took his revenge on the camera, which had snapped an incriminating picture of him in the Hyde area of Manchester. Although the camera itself was badly damaged, images of Moore speeding and later returning to destroy the evidence were stored in recording equipment in its unscathed base.

Dateline: Florida– Officers knew Kenneth Ray Brooks was lying about the recent bank robbery because his pants were on fire. Brooks had just left a Centura Bank in Orlando last Friday afternoon when a burst of flame caught the attention of passersby. “Witnesses said they could see smoke coming out of his pants,” said Sgt. Barbara Jones. According to police reports, a man matching Brooks’ description had just demanded cash from tellers at the nearby Centura Bank and then stuffed the cash into the waistband of his pants. Police believe Brooks made it several blocks from the bank before the dye packet tucked into the bills exploded in his underwear. Officers responding to the robbery questioned Brooks, 42. It didn’t take them long to notice his “discomfort” as well as the bright red dye on both his hands. Brooks was arrested and charged with robbery.

Dateline: Louisana– A police officer working at a West Monroe pound took a pounding last Tuesday when a female customer attacked him. According to Monroe’s News Star newspaper, Tammy R. McCarty, 37, was arrested on three counts of simple battery on a police officer, resisting an officer, aggravated assault of a police officer and vehicular trespassing. Arrest reports say McCarty went to the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter and asked for a dog. When a Monroe police officer working security told her she merely had to pay the adoption fees, McCarty allegedly punched him in the face and head. McCarty then ran from the shelter and refused to stop despite police orders. After a brief chase by officers and Ouachita Parish sheriff’s deputies, McCarty was caught. While deputies tried to handcuff her, McCarty struck a deputy in the ribs. Deputies then took McCarty to Ouachita Correctional Center for booking, at which point she tried to hit another deputy, the report states. She was tased twice but pulled out the prongs both times and grabbed another deputy before being secured in a cell. McCarty is being held on an $11,000 bond and did not get a dog.

Dateline: Wisconsin– Groundskeepers at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire believe that prankster kids were behind the theft of dozens of tiny American flags–that is, until one of them discovered the lair of a surprisingly patriotic squirrel. “I was mowing, looking up out into the distance and something caught my eye,” Dave Ender, a groundskeeper employed by the Eau Claire Parks and Recreation Department, told the Northwest Indiana Times . He drove his riding lawnmower to a nearby street intersection and looked up a tree. “Low and behold, I found the missing flags.” The now-shredded flags were serving as the foundation for a giant squirrel nest. “They must have done it at night, or very early in the morning,” Ender said. “Those little rascals, they’re just amazing.”

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

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