Emily Mueller, 33, of Ohio, asked a photographer friend, Kendrah Damis, to take pictures of her when she was pregnant with her fourth child — and covered in 20,000 bees. Mueller, who is a beekeeper, checked with her doctor before the photo session and was stung three times during the shoot. She said she associates bees with life and death: “Bees came into my life in a time that we had just suffered a miscarriage,” Mueller said. “That’s where everything fell into place for me — when honeybees entered my life.” She hopes the maternity photos will highlight the importance of bees.
Spitting Is Always An Option
Lisa Faye Stout, 53, came up with an unusual scapegoat for the mess police officers found in her room at New Castle, Indiana’s Raintree Inn. Vampires had “destroyed everything,” Stout told the officers, who were responding to reports that she had shown up in the hotel bar wearing no pants or undergarments. The front desk clerk said Stout had spit on her and threatened to kill her. As she was taken into custody, Stout spit some more and threatened to “slice” officers’ throats. She was charged in Henry County court with two counts of battery by bodily waste, intimidation and criminal mischief.
Well, It Was Dark
Gabriel Bishop of Sellersville, Penn., put all his faith in his car’s GPS system, even as it directed him to follow a bike path running alongside the Lehigh River in Easton. According to Lehighvalleylive.com, when the path led under a low bridge, Bishop realized his mistake and tried to back up, but ended up rolling his car into the river. Easton police reported that Bishop was uninjured, but he did receive citations for multiple traffic offenses.
There’s A Starman Waiting In Gloucestershire
Jerry Sargeant, 39, of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England, who claims on his website to be able to cure cancer via Skype, has been convicted in Westminster Magistrate’s Court of violating the U.K.’s 1939 Cancer Act, which prohibits advertising services that “offer to treat any person for cancer.” The Daily Mail reports that Sargeant, who calls himself “The Facilitator,” says he discovered his talent for “Star Magic” when he saw a woman’s soul fly out of her body during a car accident in Romania. He also claims to have flown to Alpha Centauri on a spaceship and returned to Earth just minutes later. Sargeant’s healing sessions cost 90 pounds for 15 minutes, but he told police that appointments can go up to an hour because “you can’t put a time on magic.” He will be sentenced on Nov. 8.
How Do You Put A Homeless Guy Under House Arrest?
A Turkish homeless man who was sentenced to house arrest in June has had his sentence altered to better reflect his circumstances. Baris Alkan, 31, had been confined to a specific area — an empty spot enclosed by metal plates that was near a bus station — after being detained for using and selling drugs. “I don’t have a home address, so I have to stay here,” he said. “Even though I don’t have a house, I’m under house arrest.” The court subsequently lifted the house arrest order. It now requires Alkan to sign in at a nearby police station once a month.
The Hot Dog Vandal
Incumbent mayoral candidate Charles Pender erected his campaign signs in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and Labrador, Canada, on Aug. 30. But when he woke up on Aug. 31, he found that they had been vandalized — with hot dogs. CBC News reported that someone had cut round holes in the signs and inserted hot dogs to make it look as if Pender was smoking a cigar. Pender called it “minor mischief,” but noted that the signs are expensive. He called the police, but he feels it’s unlikely the frank bandit will be caught. He hopes to turn the incident into a good laugh with a “bun-raiser” later in the election season.
Cows On The Rampage
A swan on the grounds of Blarney Castle in Ireland suffered a harrowing experience on Aug. 31 when it landed in a field where cattle were grazing. At first, the cattle just looked the swan over. But when the bird hissed at them, they took off after it. The swan tried to fly away, but the cows butted it and stamped on it. Garden manager at the castle Adam Whitbourn was finally able to lean over a fence and drag the swan out of harm’s way. “It was an aggressive attack,” Whitbourn said. “I put (the swan) back in the lake and have checked on him twice. He’s sitting there looking bedraggled, so I’m hoping it’s a happy ending.” Rather than a swan song.
Running With Scissors. Literally.
Guests at Scotland’s Macdonald Loch Rannoch hotel were terrorized by Robert Fergus, 72, and his wife, Ruth, 69, when the couple rampaged through the lobby with scissors and threatened to shoot other guests. The incident apparently began when Ruth pounded on a hotel room door at 1:45 am, leading the guest inside to call the front desk staff. Mrs. Fergus told the staff her husband was treating her “with hostility.” That’s when Mr. Fergus “reacted disproportionately” by running naked into the lobby with scissors, cutting communications cables and shouting that he would “slit” and “kill” onlookers. Meanwhile, Mrs. Fergus told staff she was going to “get a gun and shoot [him],” according to prosecutor Michael Sweeney. Staff and guests ran out of the hotel, while Mr. and Mrs. Fergus returned to their room to pack. They then took off in their BMW. They were apprehended when they flagged down a police car to accuse the hotel staff of abusing them. Mr. Fergus could not pass a breath test. At their sentencing on Sept. 1, their attorneys blamed overconsumption of alcohol for their behavior, noting that Robert Fergus “had previously been of good character.” Nonetheless, they were fined 4,100 pounds and ordered to pay 800 pounds to cover the cost of damage to the hotel.
Utopia Undermined By Drunken Laziness
Archaeologists in Cambridgeshire, England, have discovered the remains of a nearly 200-year-old colony of utopians who espoused “free love and wife-swapping.” The Manea Fen community, established in 1838 by Methodist minister William Hodson, who championed a community free of marriage, money or monogamy, once numbered 150. But it lasted only 25 months before succumbing to “personality clashes and objections to the practice of free love.” Lead researcher Marcus Brittain believes “they got the wrong people; they had no labor skills and put in no time and effort; they were drunk; they went into local brothels; and [they] thought they could build a utopia without breaking a sweat.”
Life Imitates Cartoons
The Fremont, Calif., Police Dept. were summoned to a Safeway store where 39-year-old Adam Kowarsh, armed with a French baguette, was on a rampage. According to SFGate, workers told Kowarsh he needed to pay for his items and leave the store. But when one employee tried to calm him, Kowarsh responded by pushing him and then hitting him across the face with the baguette. The Safeway employee was unhurt, but Kowarsh was charged with suspicion of battery and a parole violation.
A Criminal’s Remorse
An anonymous Australian tourist mailed back a small stone he lifted from the Cwmhir Abbey in Wales, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1176. The thief included a note explaining his remorse: “I have been an avid follower of the Welsh kings and their history, and so I took this rock. Ever since, I have had the most awful luck, as if Llewellyn [sic] himself was angry with me.” Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last native prince of Wales, was beheaded and buried at the abbey in 1282, and legend says his ghost haunts the abbey. The trust that manages the abbey put the returned stone and the note on display, presumably to deter future sticky-fingered visitors.
As Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida in early September, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office announced that registered sex offenders, who would not be able to shelter with other citizens, “need someplace to go just like any other citizen.” The Tampa Bay Times reported that sex offenders were directed to Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel. Pasco County Sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Doll noted that offenders found in other shelters where children were present were subject to arrest, but the predator shelter would welcome offenders from other counties. In nearby Polk County, officials were not so generous, telling sex offenders, “if you are a predator, find somewhere else to go,” and announcing that they would be checking IDs at the door and arresting anyone with an outstanding warrant.
Andrew Shaw, 44, of Lancashire, England, appeared before the Blackpool Magistrates Court on Aug. 29, where he faced three counts of possessing obscene images of children on his computer. Shaw and his wife arrived at the court with their guide dogs, as both are legally blind. (Shaw has a small amount of sight in one eye.) His attorney explained, “It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult to put an age to images he downloads. He may think he is looking at 16-year-olds.” Shaw was granted bail.
Most news items about sinkholes highlight the large size of the hole. But a man in Brooklyn, NY., was trapped by a sinkhole in the middle of the street that was just big enough to swallow his leg. Steven Suarez, 33, was making a delivery with a hand truck on Myrtle Avenue on Aug. 29 when his foot disappeared into the pavement. “I was scared,” Suarez said. “It was my whole entire right leg, up until my tailbone basically.” Suarez was trapped for nearly an hour as bystanders directed traffic around him and rescue workers tried to free him. Co-worker Joe Grunbaum, 32, said Suarez seemed to be in a lot of pain. But the only casualty of the incident turned out to be Suarez’s right sneaker.
Kristi Lyn Goss, 44, former administrative assistant to the Garland County (Arkansas) judge, went all out when she racked up $200,000 worth of debt on the county credit card between 2011 and May, 2016. Among the many items Goss purchased on the county’s account were tickets to Arkansas Razorbacks games, sequined throw pillows and a tuxedo for her dog. Goss pleaded guilty on Sept. 11 to six felony fraud counts; her sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 22. Garland County Judge Rick Davis issued a statement at Goss’ arrest noting that he had “inherited” her from a former judge.
A movie stuntman in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, put his skills to work when a potential buyer of his Mercedes Benz tried to take off with the car on Sept. 13. The Telegraph reported that Matt Spooner met the “buyer” and gave a test drive in the car. But the thief wouldn’t get out and started to take off with the vehicle. So, Spooner told reporters, “I ran round to the front and asked him politely to step out. I then ended up on the front of the vehicle and it began to move.” The driver entered a highway, but when he finally slowed down, Spooner let go and “skidded off to the side of the curb,” suffering cuts and bruises to his face. While Spooner creates stunts for film crews, he advises, “It’s a bad plan to do them yourself.”
Least Competent Criminals
Steven Gomez-Maya, 20, handed tellers at the TD Bank North in Seymour, Conn., a note demanding money. He apparently failed to notice that his note was written on the back of his girlfriend’s pay stub. When he tried to return to the bank (presumably to retrieve the note), the doors were locked. Seymour police tracked down the owner of the pay stub. When they arrived at the girlfriend’s home, they caught Gomez-Maya as he was driving away. The hat he wore during the robbery and “a large amount of $10 bills” were found in the car, and he was charged with first-degree robbery.