Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

On the night of Friday, July 29, police in Toronto took to Twitter to warn citizens about a report of a man with a gun. “Person w/ a gun. Grange Ave. and Augusta Ave, man seen w/ a gun, no injuries, police on scene searching,” read the tweet from Toronto Police Operations. Eight minutes later, the tweet was updated, informing people that the gunman turned out to be a cardboard cutout of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger from
The Terminator. “Police on scene have located a Terminator cutout holding a gun,” read the follow-up tweet. Mr. Schwarzenegger was not arrested. Toronto Police ended the comical thread with the hashtag #IllBeBack.

Dateline: China

The BBC is reporting a Dutch man got stood up for 10 days at the airport after flying to China to hook up with a woman he met on an online dating app. Alexander Pieter Cirk, 41, flew some 5,000 miles from his home in Holland to Changsha Huanghua International Airport in Hunan province to meet a 26-year-old Chinese woman identified only as Zhang. When the woman failed to show up at the airport, Cirk refused to leave. Cirk spent 10 days sprawled out on a row of seats at the airport before being taken to a local hospital for exhaustion and malnutrition, which exacerbated his severe diabetes. Cirk told reporters he met Ms. Zhang online two months ago and the two fell in love. Ms. Zhang was eventually tracked down by Chinese media and was reportedly surprised to hear that Mr. Cirk was in China looking for her. “We had advanced our romantic relationship but later he seemed a little callous toward me,” Zhang told Hunan TV. “One day he sent me a photo of air tickets abruptly, and I thought it was a joke. He didn’t contact me later.” Zhang also added that by the time Mr. Cirk arrived at the airport, she was away having plastic surgery in another province. Cirk has since returned to Holland.

Dateline: Georgia

A man was arrested after he allegedly attacked his wife because she made his grilled cheese sandwich too cheesy. James De Paola, 55, reportedly flew into a rage after his spouse, Michele, made him a grilled cheese sandwich with three slices of cheese after he’d requested just two slices. According to Athens-Clarke County Police, the couple’s 12-year-old daughter called 911 from a cell phone claiming her father had hit her mother and pulled the house phone off the wall. De Paola later admitted destroying the phone because he did not want his wife calling 911 for a “stupid” reason. Athens-Clarke County Police told WSB-TV in Atlanta that De Paola was “screaming at his wife in such a fashion that spit was hitting her face.” De Paola has a history of violent behavior and has previously been served with a restraining order. Michele told police it had been a while since De Paola had been violent toward her—although she admitted he is frequently verbally abusive and aggressive. De Paola was charged with obstruction of a 911 call and criminal damage to a property while trespassing.

Dateline: Tennessee

The Leaf-Chronicle newspaper in Clarksville reports two people were arrested on Aug. 2 after they tried to sell some PlayStation video game systems to the pawn shop owner from whom they were stolen. According to Clarkesville Police, 30-year-old Jeremy Allen Watts and 24-year-old Jessica Faye Heady visited the Cash America Pawn Shop and tried to sell some items, including two PlayStation video game systems, controllers, video games and DVDs. Pawn shop owner Edward Dial recognized the items as his. Dial went home and found that someone had broken into his residence and taken several items. He called police, who arrested Watts and Heady on charges of aggravated burglary. Police said the stolen property was valued at more than $1,000.

Dateline: New York

It’s so hot in upstate New York local officials say horse poop is bursting into flames. The state Department of Environmental Conservation says one of its enforcement officers responded on July 5 to multiple calls complaining of smell and smoke coming from a burning pile of horse manure at a property in the town of Throop, some 30 miles west of Syracuse. DEC officials say the owner of a horse stable had been storing the manure in large piles. This summer’s hot and dry weather apparently caused the piles to spontaneously combust. The owners of the stables told an officer for the New York DEC that the manure heaps “ignite frequently.” According to the
Watertown Daily Times, it took three local fire departments two hours to douse the flaming horse poo. The DEC is reportedly advising local stable owners to deal with the combustion problem “immediately.”

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

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