Odds & Ends: Picnic Blow-Up, Luxury Prison, Cousin/Skunk Shooting, Gassy Scratch-And-Sniffs, Pipe Bomb Buyback

Odds & Ends: Picnic Blow-Up, Luxury Prison, Cousin/Skunk Shooting, Gassy Scratch-And-Sniffs, Pipe Bomb Buyback

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

A 69-year-old man blew up his own house when he realized that his wife and children had gone on a picnic without him. London’s
Daily Mail reports that Czeslaw Kaminski woke up from a nap and became very angry when he found a note from his wife saying she had gone for the day with the children. “He called me on the mobile phone and demanded that I go home, but when I refused he said he was going to get revenge,” the man’s wife, Grazyna told local media. Naturally, after missing out on the family picnic, Kaminski decided to destroy his house. The angry dad lit a fire in the basement and tossed two gas cylinders on top of the house in the village of Chechlo Drugie, near Lodz. Unfortunately, as Kaminski tried to leave the property, the house exploded and he was caught in the blast. “I did not take him seriously and then I returned home to find this,” said Mrs. Kaminski. Mr. Kaminski was taken to a hospital by helicopter where his condition was described as critical. Neighbors described the couple’s relationship was “excitable.”

Dateline: Spain

Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz addressed his country’s congress earlier this month, questioning plans to build a luxury-style prison in the Basque region. “It’s unreasonable,” Diaz was quoted as saying in the TheLocal.es. “The project must implement services that help to re-educate and reinsert interns into society.” The multimillion-dollar San Sebastian Penitentiary is slated to feature flat-screen plasma TVs in every cell and an indoor pool. Joseba Agirretxea, a member of parliament from the Basque National Party, criticized the government’s plan to slash the prison’s total budget from $148 million to a mere $92 million.

Dateline: Pennsylvania

A 24-year-old man who shot his 9-year-old cousin thinking she was a skunk has been given probation. Thomas Grant pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of assault and reckless endangerment earlier this month. Grant admitted to shooting the girl in the shoulder at a Halloween party on Oct. 20, 2012. The 9-year-old was dressed as a skunk at the time, and was engaged in a game of hide-and-seek at her home in New Sewickley. According to the
Beaver County Times, the girl was lying face down when Grant blasted her with a shotgun. Grant’s attorney called the incident a “tragic accident.” The girl, who was hit with 100 shotgun pellets, continues to be monitored for lead poisoning. Grant got two years probation, had his hunting license revoked and was ordered to pay restitution to the girl’s family.

Dateline: Montana

Numerous reports of a natural gas leak in downtown Great Falls were eventually traced back to stacks of scratch-and-sniff cards designed to teach people about natural gas leaks. On Wednesday, May 8, the Public Service Commission received several calls of a possible gas leak. The cause was traced back to boxes of scratch-and-sniff cards which were created to educate customers what a gas leak smells like. The cards had apparently been tossed out and hauled away in a garbage truck. “As the garbage truck drove around downtown, it left behind the smell of natural gas,” Fire/Rescue Marshal Dirk Johnson told the
Great Falls Tribune. Officials eventually stopped the truck and confirmed the presence of cards scented with mercaptan, the chemical added to natural gas to give it the smell of rotten eggs. “In a sense, it worked the way it was supposed to,” said Nick Bohr, general manager of Energy West.

Dateline: California

Police in Los Angeles have arrested a man who tried to sell a homemade pipe bomb during a city-sponsored gun buyback event. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said the man told officers he had planned to blow up the Hollywood sign. KCBS-LA quoted Beck as saying the unnamed man “told officers in the line that he had spoken to God that day, and God no longer wanted him to use that bomb to blow up the Hollywood sign. Now he wanted him to turn it in.” Unfortunately for the bombmaker, police did not give him a cash reward. “This is not a pipe bomb buyback, this is a gun buyback,” said Beck. “Pipe bombs are illegal to possess, illegal to manufacture.” Police were able to safely detonate the device. The man was arrested

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

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