Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's the weekend

Dog gets comfy in front of fireplace

This Weimaraner knows how to keep warm and comfortable on a cold winter's day.

YouTube link.

Angry kangaroo deals with intrusive drone

A drone hovering over a kangaroo and his mates in the Hunter Valley, Australia, was dealt a knock-out blow.

The footage was rescued, but the drone is apparently beyond repair.

YouTube link.

Santa knocked out by bear

A Californian photographer has captured a serious animal attack in the Angeles National Forest.

Glendora native Robert Martinez has 10 cameras set up to watch wildlife, and put a Father Christmas doll in front of one of them in the hope of attracting the attention of a mountain lion.

While one did stop to stare at the doll before padding away, it was a carnivore of a different kind that made his efforts worthwhile.

YouTube link. Original YouTube link. (Now private).

The bear decided to have some fun with the Santa doll on Monday, knocking it over and smacking it around until he got bored.

Man shot by dog

Police in northern Wyoming say a rifle discharged after a dog apparently stepped on it, injuring a 46-year-old man. Johnson County Sheriff Steve Kozisek says Richard L. Fipps, of Sheridan, suffered a gun shot wound to the arm on Monday.

Mr Fipps was accompanied by two employees when they stepped out of their truck to remove the snow chains from the vehicle. Fipps had a dog in the vehicle which he had ordered to move from the front seat into the back.

While the dog was roaming around the back seat of the truck, it stepped on a loaded 300 Winchester Magnum which caused the gun to discharge. According to Kozisek, Fipps was outside the truck when the bullet shot through the cab of the truck into his left arm.

Fipps was transported by ambulance to Sheridan Memorial Hospital. Due to the severity of the injury, Fipps was later moved to a hospital in Billings. Although his life was saved, Fipps arm may be amputated. Kosizek says the evidence and testimonies from witnesses point to an accident and not an intent to harm.

Police hunt couple who sucked coins from car wash using a vacuum cleaner

Police in Melbourne, Australia, are searching for two thieves who used a vacuum cleaner to suck coins out of a car wash machine.

A man and a woman twice used their own vacuum cleaner to steal coins from deposit boxes at the car wash in Chirnside Park, the first time on September 9, at about 1am.

The pair were travelling in a light-coloured Isuzu pick-up, police said. "It is believed the pair used a vacuum cleaner to suck coins out of the storage boxes," Senior Constable Melissa Seach said.

The duo robbed the same car wash a second time, on September 16, in a blue station wagon, stealing a small amount of cash. Police have now released CCTV footage in the hope that someone can identify them.

With video.

Grief-stricken man wears late wife's apple-stuffed bra and high-heeled shoes

A high-heeled shoe-wearing man seen on a bus putting on a bra with two apples stuffed inside, is said to be a widower wearing clothes belonging to his late wife.

The man, who was also sporting a tight pair of leggings, is a regular on public transport in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Friends of the man said that he was depressed after his wife died two years ago, and had started wearing her clothing until his relatives had argued with him about it. He had then stopped, or so they thought.

But instead it seems he has taken to sneaking out of the house with items of clothing, and then trying them on while travelling on public transport. A spokesman for the bus company in the city said they were aware of the man and that he was regularly wearing seen women's clothing, and never caused any harm although it was regarded as strange.

YouTube link.

They said they did not know anything about whether he was a widower, but pointed out that it would be surprising if the shoes he was wearing had belonged to his wife. The spokesman said: "I can't imagine she had the same size feet as he did, I reckon he must have bought those at some stage."

Shattered fish tank stopped house fire

A shattered fish tank stopped a fire from spreading through a house in Warrington, Cheshire. About 22 gallons (100 litres) poured out of the tank after part of it smashed during the blaze, which was sparked by a candle.

Firefighters used more water to put out the flames in the lounge after being called at 6:55am on Thursday. Steve Whitehall, who lives in the property, said 13 fish died but two survived in the water left in the tank.

"We often have candles burning around the house, and are usually very careful about making sure they are all out before we go to bed or go out," he said.

"Unfortunately, we missed one and I cannot believe the damage that has been caused from just that one candle." Tony Taylor, crew manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The Whitehalls have had a very lucky escape from what could have been a much more serious incident."

World Pie Eating Championships declared null and void after wrong size pies delivered to event

The World Pie Eating Championships were thrown into turmoil when it emerged that a work experience chef sent the wrong pies to the event. Organisers said the snacks - double the correct size for the contest - should have gone to a divorce party but were sent to Harry's Bar in Wigan in error.

Ex-champion Barry Rigby, 37, of Wigan, a fitness instructor, set the best time of 42.6 seconds for eating half a pie. But umpires declared the results null and void because of safety concerns. They said eating the 24cm (10in) pies could result in a dangerous "swallow stall".

Tony Callaghan, owner of Harry's Bar, said: "The work experience lad was tasked with providing 24 competition pies but mixed up the order and sent them to a divorce party up the road. By the time we realised, it was too late." Mr Callaghan said: "We had to go ahead. But everyone took it in their stride and demonstrated the professionalism of pie eating at this level.

"It was a shame because these lads practise long and often: you can see how seriously they take it, practising pie-eating late into the night on every street corner in Wigan town centre." The cooked dimensions of the official competition pie should be a diameter of 12cm (5in) and a depth of 3.5cm (1.5in). The competition regulations also state the content of the meat and potato mix have to be 1cm (0.4in) and they must have 66% meat content not including pastry.

​Defendant’s last fart of freedom caused ripple of amusement in courtroom

A quiet courtroom break was interrupted as a man waiting to be sent to prison broke wind.

Magistrates had retired to consider their sentence of a Lincoln man appearing on shop theft charges when the trump rippled through the air.

The courtroom began to resemble a scene from the school playground as giggles broke out among solicitors and other legal representatives. An apology from the defendant seemed to do little to stifle the laughter from the onlookers.

However, order was restored as magistrates returned. Aaron Scott Morris, 31, of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, was jailed for 12 weeks after admitting breaching a suspended sentence order and two charges of theft from a shop.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Maymo fails to remove stuffing from giant teddy bear

YouTube link.

Man arrested for setting his sock on fire during argument over communal dryer

William Hoglund, a 59-year-old resident of St. Cloud, Minnesota, faces possible felony arson charges for allegedly setting his sock on fire during an argument over a communal dryer.

According to information provided by the St. Cloud police, at around 9pm on Tuesday night, officers responded to a report of a fire in an apartment building.

"Investigation revealed that [Hoglund]... intentionally started his sock on fire in the hallway outside of an apartment, due to an argument with another tenant over the use of the communal dryer," a St. Cloud police news release says.

"The fire caused minor damage to the carpet in the hallway." Nobody was injured. Hoglund remains in custody at Stearns County Jail. Charges are pending.

Man faked heart attack so his friend could steal toys

Authorities say a man faked a heart attack inside a Wal-Mart store in Lake Wales, Florida, so his friend could steal toys, including a motorised Barbie car.

While the diversion proved initially successful, the pair were arrested on Tuesday on grand theft charges when they were linked to the crime via surveillance footage. The Polk County, Florida Sheriff's office say Tarus Scott, 30, and Genard Dupree, 27, walked through the store together.

Deputies say Scott then filled a shopping cart with a motorised power wheel Barbie car, Leap Frog tablet and a Barbie Glam vacation house, worth $369.94. Video surveillance shows Dupree make his way to the exit where he then faked a heart attack, clutching his chest and falling to the floor. As concerned citizens checked on him, Scott is seen walking out of the store with the cart filled with stolen goods.

Full surveillance video.

Dupree’s heart trouble lasted 44 seconds before he was able to get to his feet and amble out. He then met up with Scott in the parking lot and the pair drove away, although it didn't take long for deputies to catch up with them. The men have long arrest records, and Scott had recently been released from prison after serving 10 years for armed robbery. Both men now face new charges.

Student accused of paying man to impersonate her at exam

A 20-year-old woman and 21-year-old man face charges in connection with an alleged unusual bout of cheating at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. The woman, Kaiwen Qian, is a student at the school. She appeared on Wednesday in a Kitchener court on charges of personation and uttering a forged document, and was released on $3,000 bail.

She is accused of getting the man, Longhua Wang, a student at York University, to take an exam for her. Nick Manning, a spokesperson for the school, says staff were alerted to the possibility one or more students would be cheating during a specific math exam.

“(We) put measures in place to detect that cheating, and we discovered that a male student from a different university had been paid to come and take an exam for one of our students,” he said. Wang, Manning said, somehow came into possession of a fake Waterloo student ID containing his picture and Qian’s name. It’s alleged that Wang was paid more than $900 to write the exam.

Qian returns to court in January. School officials say they continue to investigate the fake student ID, and whether any others were issued. “We know that students are under immense pressure to pass exams … and inevitably some will find ways to cheat, which is a great shame,” Manning said. “We … expect them to uphold very high standards of integrity, which means not cheating.”

With news video.

Police seek thief who shut off water to 29 homes before stealing garden taps

Police are hunting a thief who has been stealing garden taps (faucets) and turning off water mains at houses across the north of Melbourne in Australia.

The man targeted 29 homes in Epping and Lalor between midnight and 5:30am on December 9.

Investigators have released security footage that shows the man venturing into people's gardens, turning off the water mains before unscrewing taps from the pipe.

YouTube link.

In a statement police said they were "hoping to tap into public information to track down the water-saving thief". The man is described as thin and around 175 centimetres tall.

Taser used to pacify chocolate-fed monkey that had been terrorising French city

An aggressive monkey, fed on a diet on Kinder chocolate, had been terrorising a neighbourhood in the southern French city of Marseille in recent weeks until it was finally tamed by police, with the help of a Taser. For several weeks the monkey had been provoking panic in Castellanne, a northern suburb of Marseille.

At one point it entered a primary school where “it caused bedlam and scratched some of the children” before heading to a senior school where it also left students frightened. Worried residents have been bombarding police with calls to alert them to the presence of the monkey, that reportedly measured 80cm in height. “We were given the location but by the time we turned up, it had disappeared. It happened every time,” a policeman said.

According to reports the monkey was abandoned among local youths, with whom it spent most of its time. It was abused by some of the youths and rather than being fed appropriate food, it was kept on a diet of Kinder chocolate. All of which could explain its aggressive attitude and why locals were making so many panicked phone calls to police. Traps were set to try and catch the animal but to no avail.

Finally, police located the monkey, but as they tried to detain it, the animal bit one of the officers. So a Taser was brought out to neutralise it. “This is the lesser evil, as we didn’t want to kill it,” an officer said. A criminal investigation has been opened up over the “illegal possession of a wild animal”. But this may not be the end of the story of monkeys terrorising Marseille. Police say there are rumours that there is more than one of the animals on the loose.

Man breached curfew by collecting shopping delivery from his front door

A man was arrested after breaching his curfew by going to his front door to collect his shopping.

The curfew imposed on 59-year-old Michael Jones meant that he was confined to his first-floor flat between 5pm and 7am. When he went downstairs to answer the doorbell when his shopping was delivered his electronic tag recorded him as “absent” for 15 minutes.

On Tuesday at Prestatyn magistrates’ court, Jones, of Rhyl in north east Wales, pleaded guilty to breaching the condition, imposed as a bail condition while he awaits trial on other charges in January.

The Bench allowed the bail to continue, with the area extended to cover the whole of the property, which is divided into four flats. But chairman Alun Williams told Jones: “If you step outside the door you are in trouble.”

Mystery over square-shaped fire that started on sofa inside closed shop

A passer-by helped save a closed shop and flats in Fulham, south east London, from going up in flames after spotting a sofa which had mysteriously caught fire in a square shape.

Ragini Patel was on her way to a supermarket just before 9am last Sunday when the young son of a neighbour told her he could see a sofa on fire in the Lettings Company shop in Fulham Road which has two floors of flats above. She instantly called the fire brigade who had to smash down the estate agent’s door to put the fire out which started in a square shape and slowly spread out to burn the entire sofa.

She said: “I was just going to Sainsbury’s in the morning when my neighbour’s son told me there was a fire in the shop. I looked in and a square-shaped fire was burning into the sofa. It was very odd. I called the fire brigade straight away then started filming because it was very bizarre, I couldn’t figure out how it had started.” Colleagues from the Lettings Company are very grateful to Mrs Patel and her neighbour’s son but are still mystified as to how the fire started in their shop.

Clyde Johnson, from the shop, said: “We’re very thankful to Mrs Patel for phoning the fire brigade but we still have no idea how it started. It’s a fire resistant sofa luckily so it minimised the fire but we don’t know if it was caused by a laser pointer or maybe a magnifying glass or just the sun shining in oddly. The police can’t figure it out either.” A London Fire Brigade spokesman added: “The member of the public who called us did the right thing. We would advise anybody to do the same thing - call straight away.”

With video.

Misplaced act of kindness led to seal pup being delivered to sealife centre in back of a taxi

Staff at Scarborough Sealife Centre staff have issued an urgent appeal after a healthy seal pup was delivered to their door in a taxi. The anonymous beachcomber who delivered the grey seal wrapped in a coat could inadvertently have separated it from its mother, the sanctuary in North Yorkshire has warned.

“I was a bit stunned to be summoned to the car park to retrieve this pup from the back of a cab, and in my eagerness to get it wrapped in towels and safely indoors I didn’t have time to take any details of the lady’s name or number,” said the centre’s displays supervisor Lyndsey Crawford.


“She was clearly an animal lover and had the best of intentions, but we soon realised the pup was fit and healthy. Pups will quite often haul out on the shore while their mums are searching for food, but they are rarely left on their own for more than an hour or so.” Lyndsey and a colleague immediately raced the pup back to the local beach where it was found, and are confident they were quick enough to ensure it was safely reunited with its mother.

They are now issuing an appeal for anyone who sees a lone pup on the shore to watch from a distance and to call either the sanctuary or the RSPCA if they become concerned. “Apart from the danger of inadvertently scaring off mum if they get too close, these are wild animals with very sharp teeth. It’s a miracle this lady wasn’t badly bitten,” said Lyndsey.