Thursday, June 30, 2016

Delighted to make your acquaintance

Little puppy is excited to meet her new friends

Lila the Golden Retriever puppy was delighted to meet her three new virtual friends.

YouTube link. Original Instagram video.

Street magician arrested after allegedly trying to make woman's bikini bottoms disappear

A street magician in Clearwater, Florida, is accused of trying to pull down a woman’s bikini bottoms. Clearwater police said Richard Cook, 51, performed his dirty trick at Pier 60 on Sunday evening. According to the Pinellas County arrest report, Cook was performing at around 8pm when the incident occurred.

The report states Cook was doing a trick in which he was trying to make a scarf disappear from his hand when he asked for a volunteer and the victim came forward. That is when, officials say, he told the victim to keep both hands out in front of her, as he reached down and pulled her bikini bottoms out from her side. The woman was able to grab her bottoms to not expose herself and told Cook she did not feel comfortable doing the trick.

According to the arrest report, Cook responded “you will feel comfortable” and immediately did it again. Sunset festival officials said Cook is not part of their nightly show “The guy wasn’t part of us,” said Dallas Saupe, street performer coordinator. “He wasn’t vetted at all. It would be like stopping this guy right here and saying hey, let me show you a trick to these people that just walked by and something happening, you know.” He said all performers are screened.

YouTube link.

“So they’re all vetted. The city requires us to do back ground checks on all the participants, not just the performers, all the vendors. Everybody that works out here for the festival,” he said. “We can be as vigilant as we can. I will step up probably my walking around my perimeter and I already do it several times a night.” Cook has an extensive criminal history and has served six stints in the state prison system for convictions out of Alachua, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. This time, he’s been charged with felony battery and is being held at the Pinellas County Jail on a $2,500 bond.

Motorist accused of crashing into marijuana dispensary while high on marijuana

An 18-year-old man was arrested early on Sunday on suspicion of driving while high on marijuana after he crashed into a marijuana dispensary in Happy Valley, Oregon.

Alan Alcantara hit an empty parked car near Stumptown Cannabis at around 1:05am and then crashed into the back wall of the business, according to a probable cause affidavit.

He caused more than $1,000 in damage to the other car and the building, court papers said. Alcantara's passenger was taken to a hospital with a concussion, and Alcantara admitted to a Clackamas County sheriff's deputy to using marijuana before the crash, the affidavit said.

He was booked into the Clackamas County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, reckless endangering, criminal mischief and fourth-degree assault. A worker at Stumptown Cannabis said that the business was closed at the time of the crash.

Man accused of breaking into his grandmother’s house in attempt to steal her frozen dinners

A grandson caught raiding his grandmother’s freezer is accused of hurting a deputy while trying to get away.

According to a criminal complaint, Jonathan Saiz, 34, broke into his grandmother’s house near Carnuel, New Mexico.

He was reportedly attempting to steal her frozen TV dinners. While a deputy tried to arrest him, investigators say Saiz stuck his thumb in his eye.

YouTube link.

That deputy says he later found a gun in Saiz’s pocket and several glass pipes with drug residue. In court on Sunday, a judge increased his bond because of his past. Saiz remains in jail.

Woman allegedly wielded a hatchet after man repeatedly refused to have sex with her

After her repeated demands to have sex were rebuffed, a Florida woman grabbed a hatchet and began beating on the locked door of the bathroom where her intended beau had sought refuge, police report. According to police, Leslie Mills, 26, returned home early Thursday after a drinking binge and began badgering the victim to “engage in sexual activity with her.”

The man, who said he was awoken by the persistent Mills, told officers that he moved from the Ocala home’s bedroom to the couch in a bid to escape her. However, Mills followed him to the living room, where she climbed on top of the victim, “still asking for him to have sex with her,” according to an Ocala Police Department report.

After again declining to have sex, the man went into the bathroom and locked the door. Mills responded, police report, by pounding on the door, which she then successfully pushed open. Upon Mills entering the bathroom, the victim noticed that she was carrying a hatchet that had been removed from a living room wall. The man said that he wrestled the hatchet from Mills’s hands after she raised the weapon and "appeared to be preparing to strike him."

The victim, whose relationship with Mills is unknown, then fled the residence and called 911. Responding officers noted that Mills, who appeared drunk, was “dressed in just a bathrobe” when they encountered her outside the home. Mills was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, and misdemeanor domestic battery. Free on $5500 bond, Mills is scheduled for a July 26 court hearing.

Man claiming to be a shapeshifter entered home to ‘find a lady to heal’

A resident of Belfield, North Dakota, called Stark County Sheriff’s deputies on Sunday afternoon.

She reported that a tall, 250-pound Native American man had knocked on her door. He then entered her home and began speaking to her children.

The man told the children he was a shapeshifter and a healer from Mandaree who was looking for a lady to heal.

The man then left in a white Pontiac sedan and then called at the house again 30 minutes after leaving. His whereabouts are unknown.

Missing Viking axe row ended with bloodshed

The mystery of a missing Viking axe ended in bloodshed on the streets of Lampeter, south west Wales, a court has heard. Aidan Paul Devlin, aged 21, a student living at John Richards Hall, Lampeter University, appeared before magistrates. He pleaded guilty to assaulting Alexander Childs by beating, and herbal cannabis possession. Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, told the court Mr Childs was approached while walking to the town square at 10.30pm on May 27.

The defendant asked Mr Childs if he knew who he was before stating: "I'm Aidan Devlin, and I'm a member of the Viking Society. I have it on good authority that you know where Scott Jackson's axe is." The court heard that the Viking Society took part in reenactments, and the axe in question had been left to the college armoury. Miss Morgan added that Mr Childs was exasperated at being asked about the axe's whereabouts, and turned to walk away. Devlin said if he found that Mr Childs knew where the axe was he would break his nose.

Miss Morgan said: "There was a brief pause and the defendant head butted him on the nose. He was in a lot of pain." Mr Childs suffered bleeding and a scratch during the assault, and was left in shock. Miss Morgan added: "He is still very shaken, and says he will be very wary about going out on his own for some time." Police noticed a smell of cannabis when they went to Devlin's room to arrest him, and he handed over cannabis with an estimated street value of £2.60. Devlin told officers that Mr Childs had 'smirked' at him when confronted about the axe, causing him to lose his temper.

Janan Jones, defending, told the bench her client was previously of 'absolutely clean character' and was in the second year of studying anthropology and archaeology. She added that he was 'mortified' to tell his parents about the incident. Miss Jones said: "This axe that was the bone of contention was from a well respected society in Lampeter. He is extremely sorry for what happened and has got himself some counselling for anger management, to keep calm if he finds himself in this situation again. This is something he will never, ever do again." Magistrates fined Devlin £120 and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to Mr Childs, plus £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Man and his aptly-named yacht rescued by lifeboat

The skipper of a small yacht that lacked vital equipment had to be rescued off the Yorkshire coast early on Tuesday morning. The vessel, named Don't Panic, had no lights, no VHF radio, no GPS, no flares and a broken-down engine, said Scarborough RNLI.

Spokesman Dave Barry said the skipper of Don't Panic managed to get a signal on his mobile phone and rang the coastguard on 999, then used the light on his mobile phone to attract the attention of the lifeboat crew. Mr Barry said that had the skipper not got a phone signal, he could have been blown him into the shipping lane, putting himself in grave danger.

He told the 999 operator he thought he was a quarter of a mile offshore when he got into difficulties, and the boat’s engine had a mechanical failure. The lifeboat launched at 1.02am, found the yacht by radar a mile and a half east of the harbour, and homed in on it with the help of the light on the skipper’s phone. The yacht was towed back to Scarborough.

John Senior, lifeboat operations manager, said: “It is imperative that any leisure craft putting out to sea should have a fully functional VHF marine radio and flares as a bare minimum. There is no legal requirement for leisure craft but we would strongly advise that such vessels always have a means of sending out a distress call other than a mobile phone, which should be used only as a back-up. We also recommend that if you are going at night or dusk, you have lights and have informed someone ashore of your intentions.”

Kite surfer rescued by Batman and Robin

A kite surfer who got into trouble in the sea off a Sussex beach had two superheroes come to his rescue. Two friends dressed as Batman and Robin paddled out to rescue the man on Sunday.

David Schneider, 40, from Lancing and Derren Guile, 40, from Worthing, were in kayaks taking part in the Superhero Paddle at Shoreham Beach at the time. David, aka Robin, said: “We were out in the water having a bit of fun and I noticed this kite surfer had got into a bit of trouble. His kite was in the water and he was being dragged across the beach.

“I probably watched him for about ten minutes and thought ‘he’s not getting that back up’. So I paddled over, obviously dressed as Robin and called my comrade to help me. He was gobsmacked when we turned up. He just looked round and said ‘oh no’. “I said ‘it’s not every day Batman and Robin come to save you is it?’.” The superhero friends then helped the relieved man back to shore, before returning to collect his surfboard.

“He wasn’t drowning but he was in trouble,” David said. “Unless he got his kite back up he was going to struggle, and the southwesterly wind was dragging him across. I would have thought another kite surfer might have helped him because they normally do, but it became obvious no one was coming.” David added: “After we returned his board to him he very quickly disappeared, I think he was a bit embarrassed.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Polar warrior

Kepler the picky parrot doesn't like apple slices

Congo African Grey parrot Kelpin, a resident at Zazu's House Parrot Sanctuary in Woodinville, Washington, apparently isn't a big fan of apple slices.

YouTube link.

Mystery surrounds apparent theft of roof from house

What someone took from an home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a neighbourhood baffled. It couldn’t have been easy, but someone swiped an entire roof right off a house. Now the homeowner wants to know who these mystery men are. From the front, the home in northwest Albuquerque looks normal. However, when Cory Archuleta went to check the mail on Saturday, he noticed something major was missing. All of the shingles from his roof were gone. “Even the police officer couldn’t believe it,” Archuleta said.

He said his insurance adjuster also had to laugh about it at one point. “She said that they’ll have to claim it as ‘stolen,'” he chuckled, still baffled by the strange theft. He learned from neighbours that before the weekend, someone had stripped the entire roof off of the house. “That’s all they left,” said Archuleta, pointing to a few shingles on the ground. He’s been in the process of selling the house, and the future resident hasn’t moved in yet. “My first thought was to call the realtor to see if maybe the new owners were doing anything yet,” Archuleta recalled. “But we haven’t closed on the house so I don’t know why they’d be working on it.”

He called his realtor, Alex Morgan. “He said, ‘well, my roof is gone. The original roof is gone,'” Morgan recalled. “And I was like, ‘what? How the hell is that possible? How does somebody steal a roof?'” Neighbours tell Archuleta they saw a crew there on Thursday and Friday tearing the roof off, but they didn’t think it was suspicious at the time. “They just figured it was part of the sale of the house,” said Archuleta. “They were in a truck with no sign, no business signs on it, so nobody knows who they are.” The home didn’t need a new roof. Archuleta said the houses in the neighbourhood are fairly new. Whoever did all that work mostly cleaned up after themselves.

YouTube link.

“They put the tar paper back,” Archuleta pointed out. His best guess is that someone ordered a new roof, just not this address. “It’s just surprising that they did do all that work and then you know, must have found out they were at the wrong residence and decided to stop where they were at,” Archuleta said. He hopes the mystery men might return to finish the job. Archuleta is now working to get the roof replaced before it rains. So far no one has come forward to claim a mistaken job location. Neighbours said the mystery men were in a silver extended cab pick-up truck with a white flat-bed trailer. On the bright side, Archuleta said the new owner will be getting a new roof. In the meantime, Archuleta has to fork out $1,000 up-front for his insurance deductible.

Man accused of trying to shoot his ex-girlfriend and her friends with a bow and arrow

A man from Salisbury, North Carolina, was arrested on Sunday night after trying to shoot his ex-girlfriend and her friends with a bow and arrow through the window of her home, according to deputies. The incident began just after 10:30pm in Rockwell when, deputies said, 46-year-old Jody Edgar Hall showed up with the bow and arrow and began threatening his ex-girlfriend and two of her friends.

The victim told authorities that she and her friends heard yelling outside. When she opened the door, she saw Hall with a bow and arrow, which he drew back to release just as she closed the door. She said he then tried to force his way into the front door, but couldn't get in. The victim said she then went to a bedroom where her friend was lying on a bed.

That's when officials said Hall fired an arrow through the bedroom window. It reportedly stuck into the wall over the friend's head. When Hall told the victims he would burn down the house if they didn't come outside, the ex-girlfriend called 911. When deputies got to the scene, they found Hall's moped, but could not find him. It was later discovered he had climbed to the top of a tree to hide.

While one deputy went to the Rowan County Magistrate's Office to get an arrest warrant, other deputies continued searching the area. That's when Hall reportedly returned to the home and tried to kick in the door. The victim called 911 again and Hall was arrested. Hall was taken to the county jail and charged with three counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and three counts of first-degree burglary. He was given bond of $250,000 on the assault and $250,000 bond on the burglary charges.

Man sneaked into closed restaurant before sprinkling himself with sugar

Surveillance video caught a man sneaking into the Mother restaurant in midtown Sacramento, California, when it was closed over the weekend and pouring sugar over himself for several seconds in the eatery’s empty kitchen.

Ryan Donahue, a partner in the Mother and Empress restaurants in Sacramento, said he was walking by Mother at about 1pm on Saturday when he saw the man and followed him out. Donahue said he then called the Downtown Partnership, a property improvement organisation, which he presumes called police.

On Monday, Sacramento police said officers detained 38-year-old Sacramento resident Shannon Berry near the location shortly after the incident. Berry was arrested on suspicion of burglary and was served with a notice of trespass, police said. Donahue said the man went into six or seven businesses in a span of 10 minutes. He appeared to have got into Mother when an employee left the door partially open, Donahue said.

The surveillance video shows Mr Berry hiding behind a counter, then grabbing a beer and some other items, and sprinkling himself with sugar. “He was on another plane,” Donahue said. “He didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. It was the closest thing I’ve seen to Daffy Duck and the Tasmanian Devil ... It was unique even for K Street ... It wasn’t malicious. It was just weird.”

You can watch the surveillance video here.

Pony, donkey and cow headed to local pub after escaping from their paddock

A pony, donkey and a cow headed to a pub in Australia's Northern Territory after escaping from their paddock on Monday night. The unusual trio trotted about a kilometre from their home to the Humpty Doo Hotel, about 40km north of Darwin. Mary Walshe, who lives next door to the hotel said she woke at 2:30am after her dog began barking. "Our little Jack Russell security alarm was a bit persistent, and of course I listen to my animals and I jumped up," Ms Walshe said.

"I had a look out the window and a bit of a white flash went across the back of the pub, then another little white flash, which got my attention. There was a tiny pony, and a tiny donkey and a cow." Ms Walshe began to get worried about the animals' safety. The pub is located on the Arnhem Highway, a road frequented by large trucks during the night.

"I went in and woke up my long-suffering dear husband ... which didn't go down really well, I might add," she said. Ms Walshe said she was also worried someone who was hungry enough could have tried to capture the heifer. "She was exceptionally good, the cow. She could have been eaten by anyone quite easily, which is what I was worried about," she said. That was when Ms Walshe called the police. "I had to convince them that I wasn't on any sort of substances that might be causing this story."

Officers took the situation seriously and helped Ms Walsh lead the animals into her backyard using a bag of bread. The blame for the escapade was later laid solely on the pony. "The little stallion [was] definitely the leader of the pack and had the other two following," added Ms Walshe. Following a public appeal for information, the owners of the animals came and collected them on Tuesday morning before returning them to their paddock.

There's a news video on this page.

Row over the angle of hotel's flags

The position of two Welsh flags outside a hotel in Conwy, Wales, has led to an argument over whether the owner needs planning permission. The flags are flying at an angle at the Glan Aber Hotel in Betws-y-Coed.

A complaint was made to the Snowdonia National Park Authority that only vertical flags are exempt from planning permission. Owner Frank Wilson called a letter from the authority "petty". However, no action will be taken.

A spokesman for the national park said that following a complaint, its officers had noted the angle of the flagpoles. "According to town and country planning regulations, the display of a national flag is normally exempt from advertisement control, provided the flag is being displayed on a vertical flagstaff," he said.

"However, this was not the case here." While the authority wrote a letter to Mr Wilson pointing this out, it said no action would be taken. However, the spokesman said the fact he has not applied for advertising consent means there could be "consequences" if the owner tries to sell the hotel in the future. Mr Wilson said he would not apply for permission and vowed to ignore the letter.

Firefighters called out to rescue eight-foot long boa constrictor that got stuck in gas fire

Firefighters in Lincolnshire found themselves grappling with a potentially deadly, 8-foot long reptile in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The crew were called out to an address in Gainsborough, where a boa constrictor had managed to get itself stuck inside a gas fire. Initially the crew were told the snake, called Billy, was under the fire

But when they arrived they found it had somehow managed to slither into a tight spot. The crew then set about carefully yanking Billy free. A spokesperson from the Gainsborough crew said: "Just before 3am this morning we were called to rescue Billy, an 8ft Boa Constrictor that had got trapped under the owner's gas fire in the living room.

"Upon arrival it turned out Billy was actually in the gas fire. We had to isolate the gas and remove the fire before carefully dismantling it to free Billy. The lady owner was extremely pleased to have him rescued!" The spokesperson added: "Nobody on the crew would admit they were scared but there weren't many volunteers to free his head or hold him!"

Sign warns of middle-aged dumpy woman inviting people on midnight walks with dog

A sign has appeared near Barnehurst Golf Course in south east London to warn residents about a "dumpy pervert" who "must be avoided".

The sign, attached to a tree close to the club brands the woman as a "disgusting pervert" who attempts to tempt dog walkers to take part in dogging and is looking to arrange a "seedy get together" in a nearby field.

The sign warns that: "[She is] friendly at first but be warned, she has an agenda. She and her partner are doggers, trying to test the waters to see if you want to join in their dirty antics."

The author goes on to claim that the "5ft 4" woman" tried to "touch them in [their] special place" and warns readers: "If she offers you a 10 man train or asks if you like pearly rain you know its time to walk away. We have all seen the stockings on the bushes. Give her a wide berth."

Horrified passer-by reported severed hand in canal to police before realising it was a glove

A concerned passer-by called police to report a severed hand was seen floating in a canal in Manchester city centre .

But when the caller took a second look they realised the hand, seen in a stretch of the Rochdale Canal near Ducie Street, was in actual fact a glove.

The mortified caller quickly spoke to Greater Manchester Police again to inform them of their mistake. A message from the GMP City Centre Twitter account said: “Thankfully, person who reported severed hand in canal Ducie St, quickly rang back to say it’s OK.

“It’s just a glove. No arm done then...” The embarrassed caller later revealed herself and posted an image of the glove with the message: “In our defence the glove did look particularly hand like. Thanks GMP for being so cool about it!”