Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Australia— Here’s a tip: If you’re huffing gas, try to avoid getting Tasered by the cops. An Aboriginal Australian who had been sniffing gasoline apparently burst into flames after a police officer zapped him with a Taser gun. Ronald Mitchell, who charged at police while brandishing a juice bottle full of fuel, is now recovering in a hospital in Perth. The incident happened in Warburton, an Aboriginal community 950 miles northeast of the city in the state of Western Australia. Cops said they were responding to a complaint at a house when Mitchell, 36, came out of the house and charged them. When he refused to stop, one officer hit him with his Taser. The man was immediately engulfed in flames. The officer threw Mitchell to the ground and extinguished the blaze with his hands. A police spokesperson said Mitchell appeared to have received third-degree burns over about 10 percent of his body.

Dateline: Romania— A constipated man, 48-year-old Viorel Firoiu of Orlea, decided he needed a little fiber in his diet and opted to do something about it—with the help of a couple hammers. “He was a bit drunk and said he had been eating cherries that had left him badly constipated,” hospital spokesperson Dr. Cristina Bontescu told reporters in southern Romania after Firoiu showed up complaining of abdominal pains. “He said he had a few drinks to dull the pain and then came up with the idea of poking a hammerhead up his backside in the hope of sorting out the constipation.” Unfortunately, the hammerhead got stuck and the now intoxicated Mr. Firoiu decided that the best remedy would be to employ a second hammerhead in order to get the first one out. “But then he lost the second one as well,” Dr. Bontescu summed up. Doctors had to perform surgery to remove the two hammerheads.

Dateline: England— Less than 48 hours after they were born, tennis champ Roger Federer’s twin daughters were getting 100 to 1 odds on winning Wimbledon. Famed British bookmaker Ladbrokes is offering 100:1 payouts if either Charlene Riva or Myla Rose win the grass court title before their 25 th birthdays. The girls are listed as 50:1 to win a grand slam as part of a doubles team and 200:1 to take the Wimbledon doubles crown. Daddy Federer, who is currently ranked as the world’s No. 1 tennis player, has captured a record 15 grand slam titles in his career. Six of them have been at Wimbledon.

Dateline: New York— According to the Times Union , an Albany man who was forcibly sedated and searched for drugs has reached a $125,000 out-of-court settlement with Albany County and Albany Medical Center Hospital. The settlement stems from a federal lawsuit filed two years ago by Tunde Clement, an ex-convict arrested by sheriff’s investigators on March 13, 2006, at the Albany bus terminal. Clement was carrying a backpack when he stepped off a bus from New York City and was confronted by investigators who suspected he might be carrying drugs. Clement, 35, was taken to a nearby police station and strip-searched. No contraband was found, so Clement was dragged to Albany Med, where doctors sedated him, forced him to vomit, collected blood and urine samples, performed X-ray scans of his digestive system, and inserted a colonoscopy camera into his rectum. Sheriff’s investigators did not obtain a search warrant for the procedures and hospital officials did not ask them to produce one. At the time, police and hospital officials called the matter a “medical emergency.” Despite the emergency, no drugs were found. After 10 hours in custody, Clement was released and given a ticket for resisting arrest—a charge that was later thrown out by an Albany City Court judge. A month later, Clement received a $6,792 bill from Albany Med for the procedures. Hospital records indicate Clement was treated for “hemorrhoids.” John F. Queenan, Clement’s attorney in the federal lawsuit, told the Times Union , “I think the settlement speaks for itself.”

Dateline: Colorado— The Denver Post reports that a Denver police officer is facing felony menacing and weapons charges based on the allegation that he whipped out his service pistol and pointed it at McDonald’s employees in an attempt to speed up his drive-through order. An employee at a McDonald’s restaurant in Aurora told investigators that two officers were waiting for their order at the drive-through window in the early morning hours last May when Derrick Curtis Saunders, 29, became impatient and pulled a weapon. In addition to the menacing and weapons charges, Saunders is also charged with prohibited use of a weapon, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct, the Aurora Police Department confirmed last Monday. Denver police spokesperson Sonny Jackson said Saunders has been suspended with pay during the investigation but would be put on unpaid leave once the department is formally notified of the charges.

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

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