Sunday, July 24, 2016


Here's a capybara enjoying a stick of celery

YouTube link.

Reward offered for return of giant inflatable duck

Crime Stoppers of Hunterdon County in New Jersey is offering a $250 reward for information about the disappearance of a giant inflatable duck that went missing after the annual rubber ducky race in Clinton last Sunday. The 5-foot 4-inch tall duck, donated to the Clinton Guild by several of its members, had been sitting on the patio of the Hunterdon Art Museum the week before the race, and members of the Clinton First Aid and Rescue Squad anchored it in the river on race day.

 "We thought people would be excited to take pictures of the duck," said Clinton Guild President Diane Crisman-Race. The duck was last seen in the water at around 10pm on Sunday, Crisman-Race said. "We've pinned it down to after 10pm and before 8:20.m on Monday," she said. "Sometime during that time period the duck went missing." She asked the rescue squad members if it was possible the duck got loose and floated away.

"They're insisting they secured it tightly with lots of knots," she said. "They haven't been back in the water yet to retrieve the anchor and buoy, so we don't know if they can tell it's been cut," she added. It also seems unlikely the duck deflated in place, she said. "We went to the top of the art museum and looked into the river," Crisman-Race said. "The water's clear enough to see through, and it's not there." Guild members fear someone snatched the duck.

"There's a good section of that river you can get to pretty easily," Crisman-Race said. "It's pretty walkable." CrimeStoppers of Hunterdon County is working with Clinton Police to offer the reward, she said. A post on CrimeStoppers' Facebook page says it is "seeking your help in locating or information concerning the disappearance and safe return of the giant Rubber Duck used in last weekend's rubber duck race." Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers.

Tall man pulled over for standing while driving arrested on another charge

A tall man from Hingham, Massachusetts, wasn't arrested for driving while standing out of his car’s sun roof on Thursday afternoon, but that’s what got the attention of police. Sgt. Steven Dearth said that Ryan Delaney, 20, who's 6 feet 7 inches tall, was charged for driving with a suspended licence, after police got a call from a motorist who reported Delaney’s behaviour.

Dearth said the arrest began when a motorist called shortly before 3:30pm to report “a man standing up in the sun roof” of a Mercury Sable. The caller first noticed the driver and the Mercury less than a mile away, near Rockland, as the car headed north towards Hingham. The caller followed the Mercury into Hingham and stayed on the phone with police until a patrol officer pulled Delaney over into a school parking lot. Dearth said

Delaney denied standing up while driving. But a licence check showed that his licence had been suspended for seven “surchargeable offenses,” which include traffic accidents and speeding. The state Registry of Motor Vehicles suspends a licence if a driver accumulates seven such offences within three years. Dearth said Delaney’s female passenger had a valid licence, so she drove the 2005 Mercury from the scene.

He said it’s not clear how Delaney would have steered the car if he had been standing up. Dearth said police couldn’t charge Delaney with driving to endanger since he was reported standing while driving in Rockland, not Hingham. Delaney was released on bail on Thursday but didn’t show up for a Friday arraignment at Hingham District Court - so he now also faces a bench warrant for failure to appear.

Tiny puppy rescued by firefighters after two-storey tumble down air conditioning duct

Firefighters from Merced, Caliofornia, saved a little girl’s puppy that had taken a two-storey tumble down an air conditioning duct on Wednesday. Firefighters received a call at about 6:15pm for an animal rescue. When they arrived, 6-year-old Aubree Faust told them her new puppy, Lily, a 7-week-old Chihuahua, had fallen into an air conditioning vent on the second floor and slid down the ducting to the basement, said fire Capt. Dewayne Young.

Sue Doane and her family had planned a day trip to Sacramento on Wednesday and were worried about leaving Lily alone. They put her in an upstairs bedroom with food, water and plenty of toys and created barriers out of large cardboard boxes. “When we came home, we couldn’t find her,” Doane said. “All the doors were locked, so we thought, ‘Who could’ve stolen our puppy?’ ” Aubree, Doane’s granddaughter, heard a faint cry coming from the vent.

They worked for hours trying to get to Lily, but she’d fallen too far into the ducting. Lily could’ve been in the ducting for up to five hours, and the family worried about her having broken bones and suffering from heat exhaustion. “We were heartbroken,” Doane said. “We thought something terrible had happened.” The firefighters tracked the ducting from the second floor to the basement and followed Lily’s cries.

“The little guy was stuck in there and ready to come out,” Young said. “That’s the fun part of our job - you never know what you’ll encounter.” Firefighters crawled into the space and fished the puppy from the ducting. “They were absolutely amazing,” Doane said. “I think the young lady was very happy to have her dog back,” Young said about Aubree. And Lily was glad to be reunited with her family. Doane added: “She was so happy. She didn’t want to be left behind.”

You can watch the video of the rescue here.

Tennis players ordered off practice court by police officer in impending bad weather warning

Two professional tennis players were ordered off a practice court by a police officer in a bizarre incident at the Washington Open last week.

Footage has emerged of a police officer approaching Australia's Bernard Tomic and his hitting partner, Serbian Viktor Troicki, who told the players to vacate the court due to severe weather in the area. The policeman walked into the middle of the playing area and told the players to "get off the court".

Troicki waved his arms towards the sky complaining about the apparent lack of rain, before the policeman responded "Do you want to knock it off now? Knock it off. Leave, come on. Let's go. I didn't ask for your permission [to get off the court], I'm telling you." At this point, Tomic approached from the opposite side of the court with a cutting observation.

YouTube link.

"Excuse me, sir, but it's not raining." The argument continued for about a minute, with an irritated Tomic told that it did not matter if it was not raining at the time. Tomic asked the policeman "Why are you getting so close to me?" as Troicki headed off to get his equipment. The players eventually cleared the court, shuffling off in bemused fashion.

Man stealing security cameras caught on camera

A man slid a security camera down his trousers to smuggle it out of an electronics shop last week. But his actions were captured on another security camera and now police are asking for help to find out who he is.

The man wandered into 100% Electrical in Otorohanga, New Zealand, and started talking to the shop assistant. When she turned away he seized the chance to put a security camera down his trousers, Waikato District Police said.

The assistant came back and spoke to the man before going away, at which point he picked up a pack of four security camera systems "and simply walked out". The man got into a waiting silver or grey car and was driven away.

And this wasn't the first time he had helped himself to a camera without paying. The same man, wearing the same clothes, walked in on July 11, picked up a security camera in box and walked out. Anyone who recognises the man is asked to contact police.

The moment a deaf three-month-old baby hears for the first time

The sound of her baby son laughing could be one of the best noises Taryn Blair has heard. Three-month-old Jordan, who was born deaf, had hearing aids fitted on Thursday at Australian Hearing in the Padbury suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Mrs Blair, from Banskia Grove, told of the heartwarming moment baby Jordan heard her voice and that of her husband Damien for the first time. “He loved his rattle sounds. Put a smile on mummy and daddy’s face!” she said.

Mrs Blair held Jordan, whose face lit up with a smile when he heard her say hello. Mrs Blair said she wasn’t surprised when she found out Jordan couldn’t hear because hearing loss runs on her side of the family. “He had the newborn hearing screening and failed the first assessment. He had another one a couple of days later and failed again,” she said. “He wouldn’t react to our dog barking or making noises. We have a two-year-old who flinches or cries when he hears those loud noises, so we knew something wasn’t right.”

They were referred to a specialist, but Jordan has also had bronchiolitis and the Rotavirus, as well as being diagnosed with laryngomalacia, or a soft larynx, which have added to the complications of testing and diagnosing him. After a rough start to Jordan’s life, Mrs Blair said seeing his reaction was a huge positive for the family. “We went in there not knowing what to expect. When we had that reaction, we were so happy,” she said.

YouTube link.

“We still don’t know how deaf he is, and we won’t know until he has a sedation test in the next couple of weeks. But right now, the volume on the hearing aids is set at moderate to severe. While it has only been just over 24 hours since he got his hearing aids, she’s already seen a change in Jordan’s behaviour. “Normally, he’s hard to put down, I don’t know if it had anything to do with him not being able to see or hear us. But now, when I put him down in the bouncer or in bed, he’s fine and looking around and making noises,” Mrs Blair added.

Hungry and dehydrated stork wandered into pharmacy

A ravenous and dehydrated stork wandered into a pharmacy in the town of Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. on Monday. It is now being nursed back to health in a zoo in Nuremberg. Pharmacists at the Beyschlagsche Apotheke were surprised when the unusual customer walked through the door at about midday.

After leaving its nest on the roof of the pharmacy, the hungry young bird had been traipsing up and down the high street for a few hours. Bypassing all the other shops, it finally entered the pharmacy, to the astonishment of owner Gabriele Sehring-Castelli and colleague Heike Wenisch. The famished and dehydrated stork was probably seeking “refuge”, as well as food and drink, Gabriele Sehring-Castelli said.

After giving it a watering can full of water, the pharmacists “left it in peace”, the owner went on to say. However, it subsequently became apparent that the stork “couldn’t fly and needed help”, Sehring-Castelli added. A stork expert was then notified about the wandering bird, which was missing several feathers. The most likely reason for the stunted growth of the stork’s feathers is that a few weeks after the bird had hatched, the weather was too cold and wet.

In these conditions, the feathers wouldn't have been able to form properly, ornithologist Michael Zimmermann said. “We have already had this problem a dozen times this year.” It appears the unfortunate bird had not been fed by its parents because it was incapable of flying. But things are now looking up for the meandering stork. The specialist took it to the Nuremberg Zoo on Tuesday, where it is currently being looked after. Its missing feathers should grow naturally within the next year or so.

Part-time stripper barricaded himself in elderly couple’s porch fearing abduction by aliens

A man claiming to be a part-time stripper barricaded himself in an elderly couple’s porch for fear of being abducted by aliens, a court heard. Craig Patrick Tyrone Moroney, was heavily intoxicated by alcohol when he appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, on Thursday and was almost sent to the cells for refusing to stop talking. The 26-year-old, of Shildon, repeatedly interrupted court proceedings to try to persuade magistrates that UFOs and aliens had been out to get him on the night of the offence, June 19.

Joanne Hesse, prosecuting, described how a Shildon resident had heard noises coming from a neighbour’s garden at about midnight and had alerted the homeowner. The victim, an elderly man who lives with his wife who is disabled, went to investigate. He discovered a panel of glass in the rear porch had been smashed and found Moroney hiding inside. Ms Hesse said: “The police were called immediately, attended the address and subsequently arrested the defendant.

“He was scared, shouting for help and it was noted he had blood on his hand. In interview, he said he had put his hand through the glass and barricaded himself inside because ‘they were coming for him’. He said he was seeking help because he was frightened.” In a statement read out in court, the victim said it had been a shock to find Moroney on his property and expressed his relief that the intruder had been unable to get into the house. Moroney pleaded guilty to criminal damage and told magistrates he drank alcohol every day or he got the shakes.

When the issue of compensation was mentioned, Mr Moroney spoke out again to say he would be unable to pay for the £150-worth of damage caused. He claimed his only source of income came from occasional work as a mobile stripper. Callum Terry, mitigating, highlighted how his client had entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity. He said: “It is clear he was fearing for his safety that night and whatever it was that caused him to be scared contributed to him breaking the window.” Moroney received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £150 compensation to the victim. After passing sentence, the chairwoman of the bench, Marian Hogarth urged Moroney to go to see his GP for help.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

It's the weekend

Winston the English Bulldog rides his dinosaur

Giddy up.

YouTube link.

Children used CPR dummy in failed burglary attempt

Children used a CPR dummy in a late-night bid to break into an Illinois convenience store on Monday, police report. The attempted 11:30pm burglary of the Jackpot Supermarket failed since the Peoria business’s front door was protected by a series of metal bars.

According to officers, the suspects, three girls and two boys, are all around 10 years old. The CPR dummy, a Peoria Police Department report notes, “was used to break the glass out.” The children fled before police arrived. Officers noted that the glass on the market’s door had been shattered.

The young suspects had left the child-size CPR dummy behind at the scene. Market owner Moe Abdul said that he was familiar with the minor suspects, saying that they had been previously thrown out of the store for stealing merchandise. The businessman, paid $500 to replace the broken glass.

He estimated that the youngest suspect was eight and the oldest was around 15. Abdul said that after the youths failed to break into his store, they proceeded to burgle a neighbouring market that did not have bars on its windows. The CPR dummy was abandoned on the pavement outside the supermarket. The dummy was subsequently collected by a police evidence technician.

Couple accused of stealing pots, pans, steaks, booze and guns

A couple broke into a residence near DeLand, Florida, and stole steaks, liquor, pots, pans and more than $8,000 in guns and ammunition, Volusia sheriff's investigators said. Kimberly Offutt, 42, and her boyfriend , Michael Stites, 29, who both live at a home near DeLand, were arrested on Tuesday. Offutt was charged with grand theft of firearm, dealing in stolen property, armed burglary, grand theft and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony. She is being held in jail on $50,000 bail.

Stites was charged with driving without a licence, armed burglary, dealing in stolen property, grand theft of firearm, grand theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He is being held on $70,000 bail. According to Volusia County sheriff's investigators, the couple broke into the home of a resident who was on vacation the weekend of July 15 to 17. Offutt used to do yard work for the victim, deputies said.

Investigations revealed that the couple forced their way into the home though a back door and took rifles, handguns and shotguns valued at $7,970. The pair also stole about a dozen military ammunition boxes loaded with different types of ammo, a report details. In addition to the weapons and ammunition, Offutt and Stities also stole the homeowner's steaks, liquor and pots and pans. Not satisfied with the meat, liquor and guns, the couple also cleaned out the home of fans, television sets, mechanical tools, tool sets, pool table equipment and even a metal can and ice tea bottle filled with coins, sheriff's investigators said.

All the other stolen items had an estimated value of $2,220. Deputies got their first lead on the pair after they tried to sell some of the stolen merchandise to a friend of the victim's. Deputies were informed that Stites was Offutt's Facebook friend and investigators searched Facebook and found Stites. On Tuesday, a deputy spotted Offutt's van at a gas station in Deltona and detained the woman with her boyfriend. In the van, deputies found the stolen property, including the homeowner's spiced rum. Offutt was found with $400 investigators said she got for selling the guns that were not recovered.

Possible chemical scare that led to apartment complex evacuation caused by cooking urine

Urine forced the evacuation of a dozen units at the Brandywine apartment complex in North Amherst, Massachusetts, on Wednesday night.

Apartment officials called police about an odour coming from one of the 12 units on Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Fire Chief Lindsey Stromgren said.

When firefighters entered the apartment, they saw what appeared to be chemicals being mixed or cooked on the stove. The state Hazardous Materials Response team and bomb squad investigated after clearing the building.

But police said on Thursday morning the "chemical" was actually distilled urine the tenant was using for medical reasons. No charges are being brought, police said. All of the tenants from other apartments were allowed back in at around 9:30pm. The apartment where the incident was reported has been secured and no one will be allowed in until the town's health inspector approves it, Stromgren added.

Man lassoed bear to assist removal of cheese balls jar that was stuck on its head

Heroic action by a resident of the Four Mile area outside Glenwood Springs, Colorado, probably saved a black bear from a death sentence. A two-year-old black bear was spotted for at least the last week in Four Mile with a clear plastic Cheese Balls container stuck over its entire head. “Man, we’ve been getting reports of that bear forever,” said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will. Concerned residents would call in with pleas to help the jugheaded bear but by the time a wildlife officer could get to the area the bear would be gone, Will said. Jim Hawkins, owner of Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, said on Wednesday his wife spotted the troubled bruin five days prior out by a pond on their property. It didn’t appear the bear could drink and he definitely couldn’t eat, Hawkins said.

YouTube link.

“He was just a little bear with a big problem,” Hawkins said. “He was a 2-year-old with a space helmet on.” Hawkins spotted the bear again three days ago. Again it ran off before a wildlife officer could arrive. Hawkins decided he needed to act if he got another chance. He figured he might be able to lasso the bear, but only because it was in a weakened state. “I’m not completely crazy,” he said. He put rope and gloves in a convenient place and kept his eyes peeled. A passer-by on the road stopped at about 9:30am on Wednesday and reported seeing the bear with a jug on his head. Hawkins grabbed his gear and was prepared when the bear came across his backyard. He downplayed his cowboy skills but acknowledged, “I know how to throw a rope.”

He threw a loop around the bear but it slipped down to the bruin’s midsection. After that, Hawkins said, “it was like a rodeo.” Both Hawkins and bear were pulling. Eventually “the bear figured out his problem was at the end of that rope,” Hawkins said. The bear came after him and they had “a couple of good rolls in the grass.” Although the bear couldn’t use its mouth, it had sharp claws. The bear gave up the fight with the larger man and scooted up a tree. Hawkins tied him off so that even if he came down, he couldn’t get away. Carbondale District Wildlife Officer John Groves rushed to the bed and breakfast after getting the call and tranquilised the bear. They used a tin shears to cut the heavy plastic off the animal’s head. Groves applied a reversal drug and the bear snapped out of its slumber in a few minutes.

YouTube link.

He took a drink then ambled off, Groves said. He estimated its chances for survival were high. Hawkins estimated the bear’s weight at 100 pounds, but the bear will likely get bigger and its demeanor nastier as he recounts the story in the future, he said with a laugh. Hawkins’ arms got cut up and one gash required stitches. Nevertheless, he downplayed his actions and said his friends will be ribbing him over it. Groves said Colorado Parks and Wildlife “highly recommends” people not to interact with wildlife themselves and to call wildlife officers instead. “His heart was in the right place,” Groves added. Hawkins said the lesson to be learned is not to leave food containers in a place where bears can access them. It can mean a death sentence for wildlife. “None of us wanted to see him die the bushes someplace,” Hawkins said.

Police hunt teenager who wore a monkey onesie during crime spree

A teenager who broke into six businesses in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, while wearing a monkey onesie is on the run with at least two other accomplices. The teen was captured on CCTV footage running through the Subway restaurant at North Lakes Shopping Centre wearing the distinctive monkey onesie featuring a tail and eyes on Wednesday night.

The teenager’s crime-spree began at the Subway and continued to Palmerston. Strike Force Trident Detective Senior Sergeant Robert Jordan said the monkey onesie could be a vital clue. “We are calling on the public for anyone who may have information, especially in relation to wearing a monkey onesie.

“Somebody out there has got to know who has a monkey onesie,” he said. Sen-Sgt Jordan said the teens stole small amounts of cash and alcohol. “Firstly we had an unlawful entry at the North Lakes Subway where offenders wearing a onesie of all things have broken in and stolen a small amount of money,” he said.

“From there we’ve had another five unlawful entries. One at Dominoes in Millner, one at the DBA basketball courts in Marrara. We’ve also had one at the Repco in Palmerston and the massage centre in Palmerston all within a short period of time.” He said police believe the six break-ins were linked and the suspects used a stolen blue Hyundai X35 during the crime spree.

With CCTV video.

Bungling robber pepper sprayed himself in face while accomplice cut his hand with knife

A search is underway for two men after a botched armed robbery in the Shoalwater suburb of Perth, Australia, during which one of the men pepper sprayed his own face and the other cut himself.

It is alleged one of the men stole several items, including expensive sleep apnoea gear, from a pharmacy early on Thursday night. He was chased by the pharmacist and caught in the car park where he was joined by a second man.

One of them produced a knife and threatened the pharmacist; however, pharmacy staff said the man accidentally cut himself. The other man then attempted to spray the pharmacist with pepper spray.

YouTube link.

But the canister was facing the wrong way and he ended up spraying himself in the face. The men fled on foot. They are described as being aged between 18 and 21, fair skinned and of medium build. The men were wearing black pants and black-hooded jumpers with dark grey sleeves.

Man jumped over pub fence before picking fight with car

A man was caught on CCTV outside McGuire's CBD Hotel in Mackay, Queensland, Australia, engaging in a bizarre attack on the pub owner's car on Thursday afternoon.

The apparently unprovoked, random incident happened at about 3.25pm, Paul Baxter said, when the unknown man ran into the pub, exited out the back into the beer garden, leapt a fence and more or less crash tackled the Ford sedan. He proceeded to repeatedly throw himself onto the car's roof and made several attempts to kick in the windows, before dashing off in an apparently dazed state.

Mr Baxter, 65, who's owned the pub for about three years, said he's never seen such frenzied behaviour. "Whether he hurt himself jumping over the fence and took it out on the car or whatever, I'm just not sure," he said. "I just had a look at the CCTV footage and I've never seen him before. But I'm sure someone in town will recognise him.

"He done a fair bit of damage to himself. I thought he would take his own life the way he was going. Hopefully they can catch him. But my car's a write-off I'd say...," he said. Thankfully, no bystanders were injured in the strange incident. But Mr Baxter was concerned someone may be hurt by the man's dangerous behaviour if police don't catch up with him soon. Mackay Police are investigating.

With CCTV video of the incident.

Toad in a hole rescued by the RSPCA

The RSPCA were called to rescue a toad when he misjudged his girth and became stuck head-first in some garden decking. The chubby amphibian had become stuck when trying to squeeze between two decking panels in a garden on Wednesday.

Jason Finch, an inspector for the RSPCA, arrived at the home in Old Lakenham, Norwich. He said: “I was shown to the garden by the homeowners, and it didn’t take me long to spot the little legs sticking out of a gap in the wooden decking, waving around in the air. I knew I had to get the little guy out as soon as possible, he must have been very uncomfortable.”

Due to the toad being wedged tightly between the wooden decking, Mr Finch was unable to remove it with his hands. Just then the toad wriggled free and trapped itself underneath the boards. To free it, the homeowners and Mr Finch agreed he needed to saw through the decking and lever it up to ensure the amphibian was safe.

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Mr Finch said: ““He was the biggest, fattest toad I have ever seen - I can only think he was after a nice fly or a juicy bug when he decided to stick his head down the gap. I released him near the garden pond, I’d like to say a big thank-you to the homeowner for calling us and letting us do what we needed to in order to rescue the toad, it’s really heart-warming that people are prepared to go the extra mile to help our wildlife.”