Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Kazakhstan

A lawyer is facing up to 10 years in jail after pulling out a fly swatter and smacking a judge. Evgeniy Tankov, 35, of Karaganda had been retained to work for a client on an inheritance case. Apparently the lawyer didn’t like how the case was playing out in court. CCTV footage shows Tankov approaching the bench and saying, “Let’s not hang about arguing the law here. Let’s decide this with fly swatters.” The lawyer then pulls out a fly swatter and uses it to slap the judge—not once, not twice, but three times. At that point, the lawyer for the other side stands up and punches Tankov. Moments later the judge comes around the bench and joins in the brawl. A court official confirmed the incident and said the lawyer has been barred from practicing and faces criminal charges that could land him in jail for up to 10 years.

Dateline: Kentucky

A jailhouse prank backfired after a prisoner ordered a pile of pizzas for delivery. Police in the southern Kentucky town of Corbin say 29-year-old Michael Harp was arrested on Tuesday, July 15, on charges of shoplifting and alcohol intoxication in public. While being booked, the suspect asked to make a call on his cellphone. A short time later, police say, a Domino’s pizza delivery driver arrived with five pies for “Officer Wilson”—the name of the officer who arrested Harp. Police were able to trace the prank back to Harp by tracking his cellphone number. “I was wrongfully accused on this here,” Harp told Lexington station WKYT-TV. “They’ve charged me with two felonies over this pizza deal because I had my phone inside this holding cell. There was about 10 people who probably used the phone, so it’s hard to say.” Harp faces a number of additional charges in the pizza incident, including theft of identity, theft by deception and impersonating a police officer.

Dateline: Connecticut

A Thomaston man has been charged with carving a watermelon in a “threatening” manner. On Monday, July 14, Carmine Cervellino, 49, was arraigned in Bantam Superior Court on charges of second-degree threatening and disorderly conduct for allegedly stabbing a watermelon. According to
The Register Citizen newspaper, Cervellino’s wife came to police headquarters on the morning of July 4 with a photograph of what she said was a plastic bag of marijuana and a pill container of Percocet. Carol Cervellino said she found the items hidden inside her husband’s tool box. She took pictures of them on her cell phone and then stashed the drugs away in her bedroom. She claims the drugs later went missing, but she did go down to police headquarters and show off the cell phone photos. The police declined to press drug charges on Mr. Cervellino. Mrs. Cervellino says she returned home that day and was greeted by the sight of a butcher knife sticking into a watermelon on the kitchen countertop. Carmine Cervellino then allegedly reentered the kitchen and began slicing the watermelon. Mrs. Cervellino took a picture of the knife in question and showed that to the police. Based on that compelling snapshot, police arrested Mr. Cervellino, saying he resorted to “passive aggressive” tactics on his wife to “intimidate her because he is angry.” Cervellino was released on a $500 bond earlier this month. He returned several days later bearing a fresh watermelon for the local police chief. An officer told Cervellino that the police department cannot accept “gifts.”

Dateline: Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Revenue, Taxpayer and Vehicle Services Division has rejected a PETA employee’s personalized license plate enthusiasm for coagulated soy milk. Whitney Calk, a PETA employee who recently relocated to Murfreesburo, Tenn., wanted her new license plate to “inspire conversation about the benefits of a vegan diet.” So she requested a plate bearing the letters “ILVTOFU.” The Department of Revenue, however, felt the message could be interpreted as something vulgar. “Tofu is wholesome,” responded PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “What’s vulgar is the way that animals used for food suffer on factory farm, in slaughterhouses and on the decks of fishing boats.” Calk’s request wasn’t even original. Back in 2009 Colorado vegetarian Kelley Coffman-Lee had her request for an “ILVTOFU” license plate rejected by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Dateline: Ohio

A bizarre attack of flatulence recently stopped traffic in northern Ohio. Police in Twinsburg, located halfway between Cleveland and Akron, got a call about a man driving on Darrow Road who stopped in the middle of the road, got out of his car and began running around screaming “I have to fart!” The man eventually got back in his car and drove off. Officers located the gassy driver parked at a nearby water tower. According to the
Twinsburg Patch, the man told officers he was busy looking for a job in nearby Solon. When asked why he had stopped his car in Twinsburg, the man said he had to pass gas but couldn’t because “it hurt too much.” The unnamed man, who apparently had a “psychiatric history,” was taken to University Hospital for observation.

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

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