Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

A lawyer in Quebec says police overreacted when they issued his 91-year-old client a $122 ticket because she was making too much noise with her rocking chair. Lawyer Charles Cantin said the Saguenay woman’s downstairs neighbor complained to police on April 17 about the noise from the woman’s rocking chair. Police investigated and issued a ticket. Cantin called it “embarrassing” and alleged the officers used unnecessary intimidation against the woman. “I don’t think it’s a good way to settle the matter,” the lawyer told CBC News. Cantin is trying to have the fine overturned. Saguenay police officials say they are looking into whether a warning should have been issued rather than a ticket.

Dateline: New York

A prominent graffiti artist has taken vandalism to new heights, using a remote-controlled drone to spray paint over a billboard in Manhattan. The artist known as KATSU posted a video online of himself using a flying drone to spay paint squiggles over the face of model/reality show star Kendall Jenner on a six-story high Calvin Klein billboard. “It turned out surprisingly well,” KATSU told
Wired magazine. “It’s exciting to see its first potential as a device for vandalism.” The street artist did admit that the device is difficult to control and promised to unveil a modified graffiti drone with better control “very soon.”

Dateline: California

Police say a would-be burglar broke into a house in Petaluma—but instead of stealing anything, he made some tater tots and took a nap. James Adams, 44, of Placerville, allegedly broke into the house on the afternoon of Thursday, April 23, cooked up a snack and fell asleep on the sofa while the homeowner was upstairs. Around 2pm, the homeowner came downstairs and spotted the man on her couch. She snuck back upstairs to a bedroom and called police, who advised the woman to flee for her safety. While she was racing out the front door, Adams woke up. According to the police report, he fled out the back door and tried to make an escape through a neighbor’s yard. But police were waiting the next block over and tried to arrest him. Adams allegedly fought with officers and had to be shocked twice with a Taser. Officials quoted in the
San Francisco Chronicle said Adams has a lengthy criminal history including arrests in California and Oregon for being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of weapons, battery on a peace officer, felony DUI, drug possession and resisting arrest. They speculate Adams came into the house to burgle it, but got distracted by the frozen tater tots.

Dateline: California

A California Division of Occupational Safety & Health investigation has revealed details of a 2012 incident in which a food processing worker was cooked alive alongside five tons of tuna fish. Jose Melena, 62, was performing routine maintenance on a 35-foot pressure cooker at a Bumble Bee Foods plant in Los Angeles when coworkers dumped 12,000 pounds of tuna on top of him. Staff at the plant apparently thought Melena was in the bathroom at the time, which is why they turned on the industrial pressure cooker and heated it to 130 degrees Celsius for two hours. Melena’s charred remains were only found when another worker opened the oven. Former safety manager Saul Florez and director of plant operations Angel Rodriguez have now been charged with willfully ignoring safety rules. Late last month the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office officially charged each man with three counts of “committing an occupational health and safety violation that caused a death.” The two men are due in court on May 27. They could face up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Bumble Bee Foods could also be fined up to $1.5 million. A spokesperson for Bumble Bee said, “We disagree with and are disappointed by the charges filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.”

Dateline: Virginia

A suspected drug dealer skipped out on the terms of his bail by strapping his court-ordered GPS monitor to his pet cat. WTVR in Richmond reports Diego Martinez-Espinoza was arrested in Chesterfield County for trying to manufacture, sell, give or distribute more than 10 kilograms of cocaine. He was ordered by a judge to go to trial on May 6 and was required to wear a GPS device until then. Espinoza quickly figured out that if the device stopped moving, police would be notified. So he strapped it to his cat and fled. The device had been in place since February, and local police had received several “strap tamper” alerts from the unit. Police followed up on those alerts, but the device finally went silent on March 1. When a landlord entered Espinoza’s apartment in Highland Springs, the tenant was gone. A cat was there, however, wearing the GPS bracelet. Police believe Espinoza, a Mexican national, has fled the country.

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

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