Los Angeles Police Department cruisers were dispatched in pursuit of a fleeing suspect wanted for assault with a deadly weapon on the evening of Sept. 24, but rather than the typical high-speed chase through bustling L.A. streets, officers found themselves following a shirtless and shoeless man in a stolen golf cart, with a dog on his lap. KCAL News reported that the low-speed chase began around 9:10 p.m. and went on for much longer than expected, due to the ineffectiveness of spike strips the police laid out in several failed attempts to slow the suspect down. The chase topped out around 19 mph before the suspect pulled into a parking lot around 9:45 p.m. and abandoned the cart, though he continued to carry the pooch. In short order, the barefoot suspect dropped the dog and was detained by police. The man was treated for unknown injuries; his unwitting canine accomplice was returned unharmed to the suspect's family. [KCAL News, 9/24/2023]
Everyone knows the dangers associated with texting while driving, but a man in Henderson, Kentucky, recently served as a reminder that eating while driving can be hazardous as well. WLKY News in Louisville reported that the unnamed driver pulled out of a McDonald's drive-thru after receiving his order and almost immediately began choking on a french fry. The passenger in the car attempted to offer assistance, but the driver lost consciousness and the car crashed into an Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The passenger and driver were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. As for the risks of eating on the run, witness Patricia Grossman told WLKY, "I do it, and I'm sure a lot of people do. It's not something I've ever thought about, but now will definitely think about it more." [WLKY News, 9/26/2023]
Sign of the Times
An electronic construction sign in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, Texas, offered the opposite of helpful advice to passersby when it was hacked on Sept. 25, reported KTRK-TV. "Due to weather," the first message, was harmless enough, but it was followed immediately by "Go ---- yourself." A city inspector was able to turn the sign off; representatives for Houston Public Works said their department does not operate the sign, and city officials have been unable to find the sign's owner. [KTRK-TV, 9/12/2023]
Let It Go
If you're dealing in illegal drugs, it seems likely that cops are the last people you would want to see. But Eric Thomas, 33, actually called for police assistance on Sept. 22 in Largo, Florida -- where, mind you, it is illegal to possess marijuana with intent to sell. When officers arrived, Thomas "stated he was selling marijuana, and someone stole $10 from him while (he was) attempting to sell it." The Smoking Gun reported that the cops were inclined to believe Thomas' story, because he was holding 11 baggies of marijuana, totaling 40 grams, as he told it. Thomas, who has been convicted of marijuana, cocaine and battery counts in the last year, was charged with two drug felonies and booked to the county jail. The thief who stole Thomas' $10 apparently remains at large. [Smoking Gun, 9/25/2023]
Next Time, Borrow a Dollar
Tacos are arguably the most delicious and convenient fast-food item in existence, but stealing one at gunpoint is, and always will be, a crime. On Sept. 8, Antonio Murray Jr., 19, approached an employee at Lilly's Panaderia in St. Louis, Missouri, pointed a gun and demanded the taco the employee was in the process of making. The employee handed over the taco, and Murray left without paying. KSDK-5 reported that police located Murray nearby, and that when confronted, he informed them he was carrying a BB gun in his waistband. Murray admitted to the incident and has been charged with one count of first-degree robbery. [KSDK-5, 9/19/2023]
Take me out to the ballgame, but leave your alligator at home. The AP reported that Philadelphia Phillies fan Joie Henney of Jonestown, Pennsylvania, was turned away from Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 27 when he tried to enter with WallyGator, his emotional support alligator. Henney has owned WallyGator for several years -- legally, it should be noted -- and the reptile really is certified as a support animal. Henney has taken his leathery friend to schools and camps for educational presentations, according to a 2022 Washington Post story about the gator. He even visits a local nursing home in his red "support animal" vest. But the Phillies game seems to have been a bridge too far. The stadium's policy on support animals states, "Guide dogs, service animals, or service animals in training are welcome. All other animals are prohibited." Sorry, Wally. We'll save you some peanuts and Cracker Jack. [CBC, 9/12/2023]
99 Bottles of Rum in the Wall ...
Calling Capt. Jack Sparrow, and all other rum-loving scallywags: If you ever give up on a life at sea, this might be the place for you. MSN reported that Cathy and Roy Aukamp were still settling into their newly purchased New Jersey house when a massive rainstorm hit, flooding the finished basement. When the couple began removing the damaged sheetrock, another flood began: this time, of empty Captain Morgan rum bottles. In a viral video of the discovery, Roy scoops up dozens of the bottles while Cathy is heard laughing and saying, "Thirsty? It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" Interestingly, the previous homeowner saw the clip and got in touch with the Aukamps. "The person who did it ... said there are hundreds more" bottles in the walls, Cathy said. "But also that he is now three years sober." [MSN, 9/10/2023]
Flamingos have landed in Wisconsin -- the first recorded sighting in state history, according to WISN-ABC. Five of the tropical birds were recently spotted on Lake Michigan, understandably drawing the attention of hundreds of people in the decidedly untropical region. Jerry Lorenz, Ph.D., an expert with Audubon Florida, speculated that the flamingos were flying between Cuba and the Yucatan, but were diverted by Hurricane Idalia in late August. (Another theory: They're Packers fans.) Lorenz encouraged the locals to "enjoy their presence" but give the flamingos plenty of space: "These birds are stressed right now. They just went through a terrible ordeal, no matter how you look at it." Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources said there are currently no rescue plans in the works, and that the flamingos' instincts would prompt them to head south again when temperatures drop. [WISN-ABC, 9/22/2023]
Dude, Where's My Cud?
Sometimes humans consume special brownies. And apparently, sometimes sheep consume special grass. NPR reported that a herd of sheep seeking refuge from recent storms in Magnesia, Greece, found shelter in a greenhouse and, naturally, began munching on the grass they encountered there. Unfortunately, the "grass" turned out to be almost 600 pounds' worth of medical marijuana. Farm owner Yannis Bourounis told a local radio producer that the sheep were "jumping higher than goats," which apparently "never happens." [NPR, 9/26/23]
Roll Up Your Sleeves
What would you do if you tried to check in at a hotel and no employees were to be found? A trio of friends found themselves in such a predicament at a Nashville La Quinta Inn & Suites after a night out, so they just ... managed the hotel for several hours on their own. They greeted customers, took phone calls and even served breakfast to guests. "So, instantly we're like manager mode. We run businesses back home," one of the friends explained. "Manager mode kicks in, alright, let's see what we can do." A manager eventually arrived and gave the trio a room key so they could finally check in, but upon entering the room, they found it occupied by a woman in the buff. Exasperated, they reached out to a different hotel and were awarded three suites and a free breakfast. [USA Today, 9/15/23]
Made You Look
Attention, ghost hunters! WCVB-5 in Boston reports that a Millsbury, Massachusetts, funeral home recently went up for sale, with a yard sign reading "Probably Haunted." Real estate agent Erika Kristal Eucker added the warning (or is it a selling point?) to the property's "For Sale" sign and pointed to the building's age -- it was built sometime around 1850, or nearly 175 years ago -- as justification. "Not sure if it truly is haunted, but given the age, I suppose it's a possibility," Eucker said. Built in the Greek Revival style, the funeral home was originally a residence before being converted to its more morbid purpose. Last sold in 2001 for a mere $100, the property's value stands at $514,000 today. [WCVB-5, 9/12/23]
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