Odds & Ends: Gold Rain, Gingerbread Explosion, Police Ride, Triple Bypass Burger, V Day Kidnapping

Odds & Ends: Gold Rain, Gingerbread Explosion, Police Ride, Triple Bypass Burger, V Day Kidnapping

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: France

A worker renovating a grape-drying shed at a historic winery struck gold, reports Agence France-Presse. “One of the workers were attacking the building’s ceiling with a crowbar when gold coins started to rain down on him, followed by sacks of gold,” Francois Lange, who heads the Champagne-producing company Alexandre Bonnet, told AFP. In all, the renovation turned up 497 gold coins minted between 1851 and 1928. Collectively, the stash is estimated at $980,000 on today’s market. According to Lange, the owner of the building will keep half of the hoard and workers will split the other half. It is believed the building once belonged to a wine producer who traded with the U.S. and U.K. in the ’30s, which could be the source of the treasure.

Dateline: Maryland

Jerry Lee Heinefield, 36, of Rock Hall was charged with reckless endangerment, possession of illegal fireworks and discharge of fireworks for attempting to blow up a gingerbread house. According to the
Star Democrat , Heinefield tried to dispose of the leftover Christmas confection by loading it with fireworks on his front porch. Police say when he lit the fireworks, the cookie structure exploded and a small piece hit his wife’s wrist. The woman suffered a puncture and a small burn that required treatment at a local hospital. State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard took the opportunity to lecture Maryland residents on the dangers of gingerbread demolition. “Incidents of this type are a reminder of the potential hazards when using fireworks. These devices can be far too dangerous to use or experiment with,” Barnard told the daily paper. “Lacerations, finger amputations, burns and eye injuries are a painful price to pay for a few minutes’ worth of excitement and pleasure.”

Dateline: Florida

Police in Port St. Lucie responded to a call about a carjacking, but some swift detective work soon determined that the victim had not had his car stolen—he just needed a ride home. Hector Felix Jr. called police on Feb. 9 to report a carjacking. According to the police report, soon after officers arrived, “Hector advised that he was not carjacked and that he just needed a ride to Hollywood, Fla.” Felix was arrested and charged with false reports of commission of crimes. He did get a free ride in a police car, but only made it as far as the St. Lucie County Jail.

Dateline: Nevada

In a story lacking any sort of irony whatsoever, an overweight man eating a “triple bypass burger” at Las Vegas’ infamous Heart Attack Grill startled workers and customers by having an actual heart attack inside the restaurant. Jon Basso, owner of eatery where servers dress as doctors and nurses, told KVVU-TV, “A nurse came to me and said, ‘Doctor Jon, we’ve got a patient who’s in trouble.’ The gentleman could barely talk. He was sweating, suffering.” Signs at the restaurant—which also sells beer, cigarettes, “flatliner fries” deep-fried in lard and shakes with “the world’s highest butterfat content”—warn customers that the food could be hazardous to their health. The fat-flaunting restaurant is also famous for offering free meals to customers who weigh more than 350 pounds. The customer, whose name was not released, was wheeled out of the restaurant on a gurney by paramedics. “I actually felt horrible for the gentleman because the tourists were taking photos of him as if it were some type of a stunt,” said Basso. “Even with our morbid sense of humor, we would never pull a stunt like that.” The man’s current condition is unknown.

Dateline: Oregon

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, nine police cars were dispatched to the New Seasons Market in Portland after witnesses reported seeing a naked woman tied up in the backseat of a car with duct tape covering her mouth. The car’s driver, described as a white male with sunglasses and a goatee, told onlookers that he was “just having some fun.” Nevertheless, several witnesses wrote down the vehicle’s license plate number and called police. After about an hour, officers traced the vehicle to a nearby home where they found the woman still tied up and naked in the back seat. According to the police report, driver Nikolas Harbar, 31, and passenger Stephanie Pelzner, 26, explained to officers they were just “role playing for Valentine’s Day.” The imaginative lovers were booked into the Multnomah County Jail and charged with disorderly conduct. A judge sentenced the pair to 16 hours of community service.

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

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