Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
(Eric J. Garcia)
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Dateline: Greece– Three residents of the Aegean Sea island of Lesbos are suing a gay rights group for using the word “lesbian.” One of the plaintiffs told the Associated Press last week that the Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece “insults the identity” of the people of Lesbos. “Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos,” said Dimitris Lambrou. The plaintiffs’ lawsuit, filed on April 10, asks the Greek court to bar the same-sex association from using “lesbian” in its name. Lesbos is famed as the birthplace of Sappho, a late-seventh century poet who famously praised love between women. According to the plaintiffs, their Lesbian lawsuit singled out the one group because it is the only officially registered gay organization in Greece to use the word “lesbian” in its name. The case will be heard in an Athens court on June 10.

Dateline: England– Soldier Kerry Hylton is suing the army because he doesn’t like the nickname given to him by fellow troops. Hylton, 33, claims he has been “demeaned” by the nickname “Paris”–a reference to notorious American socialite and hotel empire heiress Paris Hilton. London’s Daily Express newspaper reported that Hylton, a chef with the Welsh Guards, finds the nickname offensive because he considers Paris Hilton “a white woman with a low reputation.” Though it could be argued Hylton landed the “Paris” monicker simply because of his last name, the Jamaican-born soldier has filed a 50,000 pound ($100,000) lawsuit against the Ministry of Defence, alleging race discrimination, harassment and victimization.

Dateline: Wisconsin– A man was riding his bicycle on Madison’s east side last Friday afternoon when three young men in a small SUV began yelling at him. One of the men jumped out of the SUV and, as the bicyclist rode by, smacked him on the back of the head with a 32-inch ice scraper, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. The victim said he “saw stars” when he was hit and asked in not-very-polite language what the assailant’s problem was. “I just got out of jail. I’m trying to have fun and whoop some ass,” responded the assailant, 19-year-old Kevin J. Diaz. According to the complaint, Jared Lutz, 18, and Travis Simniok, 19, eventually got out of the vehicle and started chasing the victim down the road yelling death threats. The three teenagers continued to follow the victim all the way to his home, where he called police. According to Madison’s Capital Times, police were able to track the vehicle’s license plate and arrest the three assailants. Diaz is back in jail now facing charges of disorderly conduct while armed, battery and two counts of bail jumping. The other two men are facing disorderly conduct charges as well. The victim told police he had no previous contact with the trio.

Dateline: Arkansas– An obese inmate awaiting murder charges at the Benton County Jail has filed suit against the county, claiming he has lost more than 100 pounds dining on jailhouse food. Broderick Lloyd Laswell says he isn’t happy he’s down to a mere 308 pounds after eight months in jail. He has filed a federal lawsuit complaining the jail isn’t providing him with enough food. According to the lawsuit, Laswell weighed 413 pounds when he was jailed last September. The jailhouse meals, provided by Aramark Correctional Institution Services, average 3,000 calories a day, jail Capt. Hunter Petray told The Morning News of northwest Arkansas. The typical Western diet consists of 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day. Laswell, who filed the lawsuit himself in U.S. District Court, is awaiting trial for beating and stabbing a man to death and then setting his house on fire.

Dateline: Texas– A greedy would-be music mogul tried, unsuccessfully, to cash a $360 billion check at a Fort Worth bank last week. Employees at Chase Bank grew suspicious after Charles Ray Fuller, 21, attempted to cash a check made out to him with 10 zeros on it. They called the check’s owner to confirm the amount. The woman said the suspect was her daughter’s boyfriend and that he did not have permission to take the check or to cash it. Fuller was arrested on suspicion of fraud, along with unlawfully carrying a weapon and possession of marijuana after officers uncovered less than two ounces of the drug and a .25-caliber handgun in his pockets. While inside a patrol car, police say Fuller told them he is starting his own record label and had been given the $360 billion by his girlfriend’s mother to help start it.

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

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