Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: Australia

Pizza Hut is facing some backlash for a misguided “buy a pizza, get a free hamster” promotion. A Pizza Hut franchise in the suburb of Mount Waverly, southeast of Melbourne, placed a banner in its window advertising, “Buy any 10 large pizzas and get one free small animal from Pets Story.” The free pet promotion quickly blew up on social media. Commenters inundated Pizza Hut’s Facebook page with negative comments, calling it “awful” and “the most irresponsible promotion ever.” A local animal rights organization, Oscar’s Law, soon got involved and convinced the franchise to discontinue the promotion. Pizza Hut Australia says it did not condone the promotion and insists that no animals were actually given away by the store. “On behalf of Pizza Hut Australia, we once again apologize for this thoughtless promotion ever occurring and would like to reassure you all that this matter is being seriously dealt with,” the company said in a statement.

Dateline: Pennsylvania

A man in Penn Township is accused of repeatedly abusing the 911 system because he was “lonely.” According to the
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 52-year-old Gregory L. Shaffer is charged by township police with telephoning Westmoreland County Emergency Management dispatchers three times on July 30 seeking help at his home. Shaffer told dispatchers he had fallen down the stairs and injured his neck. When emergency medical technicians arrived, they found an “intoxicated” Shaffer waiting calmly inside his home. Officer Joseph Lewis said in his report, “After Shaffer was speaking with the Rescue 6 medics, he admitted that he lied and only called 911 because he was lonely and needed someone to talk to.” Emergency personnel gave Shaffer the number for a local crisis hotline and warned him that 911 is only to be used for emergencies. About two hours after his first call, however, Shaffer called 911 again and said he was still lonely. He was warned for a second time that 911 is for emergencies only. Two hours later, Shaffer called 911 for a third time, saying he needed to be taken to a hospital emergency room. Officer Lewis went to Shaffer’s home and, according to his report, “asked Mr. Shaffer if he wanted to harm himself or others, and he informed me that he did not. … He said he just wants someone to talk to because he is lonely. [Shaffer] informed me that he lied to 911 so the paramedics would show up.” Shaffer was finally arrested and ordered to the county prison after failing to post a $75,000 bond.

Dateline: Pennsylvania

Police in Philadelphia are looking to identify a resourceful robber who knocked over a grocery store with a banana. According to a press release by Philadelphia’s Southwest Detective Division, an unknown black male in a hoody sweatshirt entered Tejada Grocery on the evening of Sept. 16. The subject “picked up a banana from the counter and placed it inside his sweatshirt simulating it was a weapon.” He pointed the fruit at a 24-year-old female clerk, demanded money and cigarettes, and made off with “an undetermined amount of money.” Video of the incident shows the man riding off on a bicycle. The police description fails to mention whether he stole the banana as well.

Dateline: Tennessee

A Nashville man arrested for drunk driving has vowed to get revenge on the officers who arrested him by joining the Islamic State. According to a prosecution affidavit, 24-year-old Marco Antonio Dominguez was cuffed up in the back seat of a police car when he told officers, “I am going to join ISIS. When I do, you will be the first person I will kill.” Dominguez was first questioned by officers after he pulled into a gas station with his car smoking and the windshield smashed in. The officers who spoke to him reported that Dominguez “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” on his breath. Police said he continued to make threats even after he had been taken to jail. He faces charges of driving under the influence, assault and leaving the scene of an accident. Interested ISIS recruiters can find Dominguez in the Davidson County Jail.

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

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