Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

Police in Düsseldorf say a man was removed from a high-speed ICE train after he was spotted in the bathroom using a kitchen knife to perform an “intimate shave.” Spiegel Online reported that a female train conductor found the man naked “as God had created him.” Police intervened at Düsseldorf’s main train station where they entered the bathroom and found the man “stark naked” shaving his pubic hair with the knife. A police spokesperson told German reporters that the man was “quite indignant, felt disturbed and reluctantly got dressed.” Although shaving in train restrooms isn’t technically illegal, the man did not have a ticket and was removed from the train. The man reportedly told officers he elected to groom himself on the moving train because he wasn’t welcome at home.

Dateline: England

A man wanted by police allegedly taunted local law enforcement by posting a series of Facebook posts depicting himself dressed as the elusive main character from
Where’s Waldo? According to BBC News, officers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, went looking for 30-year-old JJ McMenamin after he failed to appear in Northallerton Magistrates Court on Dec. 19 on charges of driving while disqualified and driving without insurance. Officers said they engaged in “extensive police searches over the weekend” and even resorted to a helicopter and sniffer dogs trying to find him. McMenamin responded by posting a series of pictures and videos online of the children’s book character Waldo—known in England as Wally. McMenamin eventually posted a Facebook Live video of himself, dressed in Waldo’s famous red-and-white striped shirt and cap, getting a ride to the Harrogate police station. Another video showed McMenamin waiting outside the station for police to come find him. A police spokesperson responded to the comic chain of events, saying simply, “A 30-year-old man from Middleham has been arrested after he handed himself in to officers at Harrogate police station.”

Dateline: Switzerland

The residents of a small Swiss village have rejected the passport application of a Dutch vegan because they feel she is “too annoying.” Nancy Holten, 42, moved to Switzerland from the Netherlands when she was 8 years old and now has children who are Swiss nationals. Recently, Holten applied for a Swiss passport. Unfortunately for her, residents of Gipf-Oberfrick in the canton of Aargau rejected her application. Ms. Holten, a vegan and outspoken animal rights activist, has campaigned against the use of cowbells in the village. “The bells, which the cows have to wear when they walk to and from the pasture, are especially heavy,” Holten told
The Local news network. Tanja Suter, the president of the local Swiss People’s Party, called Ms. Holten a “big mouth” and said residents don’t want to grant her citizenship “if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions.” Holten, who describes herself as a freelance journalist, model and drama student, has campaigned against a number of other local traditions including hunting, pig races and noisy church bells. “I think I spoke my mind too often, and I say it out too loud,” she told the media. Holten was previously rejected for citizenship in 2015 when locals voted to block her application. Local residents in Switzerland often have a say in citizenship applications, which are decided by the cantons and towns where the applicants live rather than the federal government. The case has now been transferred to the cantonal government in Aargau, which could overrule the decision and grant Holten a passport.

Dateline: Maryland

Police in the unincorporated Baltimore suburb of Dundalk arrested a man after he opened fire on his wife for taking a bite out of his grilled cheese sandwich. Daniel Brian Blackwell, 55, has been charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and various firearms violations. According to the Baltimore County Police and Fire Department website, the incident began around 4:30pm on Jan. 8, when the suspect’s wife says she was in the kitchen cooking dinner and her husband shot at her through the basement floor. The bullet was allegedly in response to a bite the wife took out of her husband’s grilled cheese sandwich. The wife told officers she went into the basement to check on her husband and found him surrounded by guns and ammunition. She went back upstairs. Soon after, three more bullets came up through the kitchen floor where Mrs. Blackwell was standing. She and three teenagers fled the house and met waiting police officers outside. Tactical, K-9 and Hostage Negotiation teams responded and engaged in a three-hour standoff with Blackwell. He was eventually subdued using non-lethal force and taken into custody. Inside the home, police confiscated three handguns, four shotguns and eight rifles. Blackwell is not legally allowed to own guns because of prior assault convictions.

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

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