Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
(Scott Rickson)
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Dateline: New Jersey — A terrified black bear who wandered into a West Milford neighborhood found himself stuck up a tree after he was chased by an angry neighborhood cat. The bear was first spotted in the tree by neighbors who thought the 15-pound cat was just looking up at it. Then they realized the bear was afraid of the orange tabby named Jack. After some 15 minutes, the bear descended, only to be chased up another tree by the ferocious feline. Eventually, Jack’s owner, Donna Dickey, called the hissing cat back into her house. It was then that the bear was finally able to make its escape. Ms. Dickey said Jack has often chased off small animals. “He doesn’t like anybody in his yard,” Dickey told reporters.

Dateline: Germany — Police have arrested a 50-year-old man in Eastern Germany on suspicion of murdering a woman with a sausage. Prosecutors and police said the unnamed man was arrested after the woman’s body was discovered in an apartment in the town of Zwickau. According to reports, the woman choked to death on a Bockwurst, a type of large German sausage. Prosecutors said the man had given a patchy account of events and eventually acknowledged that he may have “administered” a Bockwurst to the woman. Police are investigating the case, trying to determine what led up to the woman’s meat-based demise.

Dateline: California — A 63-year-old Montclair man ended up with a 60-foot-deep hole in his front yard after spending the last week and a half digging for gold. Enrique Mora says his metal detector reported a positive hit for gold near his front patio. Naturally, he started digging. He says he only planned to go down three or four feet but got “carried away.” Fire officials called to the southern California home last Tuesday found two men that Mora had hired inside the unreinforced hole, using a bucket and rope to remove dirt. Montclair Fire Captain Rich Baldwin told NBC11 that officials made Mora stop with the excavation and fenced off his property. Mora will be required to hire and pay for a licensed engineer to secure the hole. Apparently, the elderly excavator did not find any gold.

Dateline: Minnesota — Cameron Evans, who delivers pizza under his heroic alter ego of “Luke Pie-Rocker,” became a real hero last Tuesday evening when he chased down a mugger. Evans–who wears orange tights, black boots and a cape when he delivers pizza for eco-friendly Galactic Pizza in Minneapolis–had just dropped off a pie on the 2000 block of Garfield Avenue South when he heard 55-year-old Teresa Skarman screaming, “Stop him! Stop him!” Skarman had just gotten her purse snatched by a wild-eyed man, who took off down Garfield. Luke Pie-Rocker sprang into action, chasing the man down and enlisting the aid of two more bystanders who helped trap the purse-snatcher in an alleyway. They let him go without a fight after he handed over Skarman’s red-leather purse. Evans, 26, a student at Minneapolis Community Technical College, said he didn’t worry about his safety. “I’m so thankful,” Skarman told the Star Tribune . “He’s my hero.”

Dateline: New York — A man who tried to rob an auto parts store is suing his victims, who he says attacked him when he pulled a semiautomatic pistol on them. Dana Buckman, 46, walked into an AutoZone in Rochester last summer and demanded money. Instead of handing over the cash, two employees took the gun away and beat him with a metal pipe. The employees attempted to hold Buckman with his own gun, but he escaped and was arrested a week later. He pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 18 years in prison as a repeat violent felon. Now, Buckman is suing the auto shop and the men for injuries he suffered and for “emotional distress.” “In some respects, you wonder if a case like this even needs a defense,” said lawyer Patrick B. Naylon, who represents AutoZone and the employees.

Dateline: Michigan — It started with a discussion on marriage and ended with shots being fired. According to the Ann Arbor News , a couple were inside their apartment in the 1500 block of Pauline Boulevard discussing marriage just after midnight last Tuesday. The woman said she wasn’t sure she was ready, and her boyfriend responded that taking risks is an important part of life. To prove his theory, the man stripped naked and ran across the street, police reports said. Before he could cross back, however, the man noticed a couple approaching. He ducked into the bushes to hide, but the 28-year-old Ann Arbor man who was escorting his friend home noticed a rustling in the bushes. He pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and ordered the naked man out. The streaker took off, with the armed man in pursuit. At least one round was fired and the naked man hit the pavement, causing minor injuries. Police arrived and arrested the gunman, who didn’t not have a permit to carry the weapon.

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

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