Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: England— A man arrested in Central London’s Trafalgar Square last Tuesday on suspicion of taking lewd pictures with a hidden camera informed police he was actually an antiterrorist detective working undercover to videotape al-Qaeda suspects. Turns out the man, nabbed by a plainclothes team watching out for perverts and pedophiles, was actually a married Scotland Yard surveillance expert with more than 20 years’ experience. Unfortunately, when the officers went back to their station and looked at the detective’s “surveillance” tape, captured on a camera hidden inside a sports bag, they found “the pictures were not of terrorist suspects planning a bombing, they were of knickers.” A police spokesperson told London’s Daily Mirror , “the officer used surveillance techniques for his own perverted hobby–taking pictures up women’s skirts.” The spokesperson went on to say , “It was one of the hottest days and Trafalgar Square was packed with young women in skimpy clothes. When officers moved in, he told them he was a cop on an anti-terror operation.” The officer was arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance. He has been suspended from Scotland Yard.

Dateline: Lebanon– A musician has recorded a duet with the Israeli Air Force by performing on the balcony of his Beirut apartment during a bombing raid. In his self-described “sound art piece,” trumpeter Marzen Kerbaj intermingles his music with the sounds of bombardment. Explaining how he put together his unique composition, Kerbaj told BBC Radio, “I was maybe three kilometers [two miles] away. I could see them explode and hear them but somehow I was safe. … It is freaky for the nerves but I quickly understood that if I play music while it is happening, it is much better than just hearing it happening.”

Dateline: Australia– Multinational candy manufacturer Cadbury Schweppes is not giving up on its claim to own the color purple. Last week, a federal court in Australia ruled that the company did not have sole marketing rights to a dark shade of the color. Cadbury had attempted to sue Australian confectioner Darrell Lea over a similar shade of purple used in its packaging. Cadbury had already lost an earlier, lower court case against the Aussie candymaker. Nonetheless, Cadbury told the Daily Telegraph it remained “committed to defending our intellectual property” and would continue to pursue companies who use purple in their packaging and/or advertising.

Dateline: Minnesota– Six zombies were arrested in downtown Minneapolis on suspicion of carrying “simulated weapons of mass destruction.” The six undead friends were decked out in fake blood and tattered clothing and were allegedly taking part in a “zombie dance party.” Although the six “ghoulish” people were seen meandering and dancing around downtown, police stopped them for “behavior that was suspicious and disturbing,” according to Lt. Gregory Reinhardt, a police spokesperson. Police said the group was carrying bags with wires sticking out, making it look like a bomb. “Why would you have those [bags] if not to intimidate people?” said Inspector Janee Harteau. One group member said the “simulated weapons of mass destruction” were actually backpacks modified to carry homemade stereos. Kate Kibby, one of the people arrested, told the Star Tribune that previous zombie dance parties at the Mall of America and on light-rail trains have occurred without incident. Last fall, nearly 200 people took part in a “zombie pub crawl” in northeast Minneapolis. Those involved in last weekend’s dancing zombie outbreak were questioned and eventually booked into jail for the weekend, although none was charged with any crimes. Police are still considering lesser charges like disorderly conduct.

Dateline: Connecticut– Apparently, carrots aren’t always good for your eyesight. A 46-year-old Monroe man is accused of assaulting his wife with a potentially deadly carrot, causing her to lose sight in one eye. Roderick Vecsey was arguing with his wife, Pamela Vecsey, 46, when he tossed a carrot at her, hitting her in the left eye. Pamela Vecsey underwent six hours of surgery, but doctors were unable to restore her vision. Roderick Vecsey told Judge Patrick Carroll that it was a terrible accident and was advised to remain silent. Vecsey is currently free after posting a $500 bond.

Dateline: Pennsylvania— A criminal who tried to rob a Philadelphia grocery store at gunpoint found himself subdued by a senior citizen with a can of applesauce. About 15 customers were inside Gomez Grocery in the city’s East Germantown section when the suspected gunman, 23-year-old Thomas Reyes, walked in last Sunday afternoon. The gunman jumped atop a small freezer and pointed his weapon at store owner Eddie Gomez. One of the customers, 66-year-old Thomas Santana, grabbed the gunman from behind and, with the help of Gomez, knocked him to the floor of the grocery store. When the 6-foot-1 Reyes refused to drop his gun, 5-foot-4 Santana started beating him with a can of Mott’s applesauce. The suspect shot himself in the head during the struggle and passed out. According to police, Reyes was later listed in stable condition at an area hospital and is expected to be charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery and other charges.

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

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