Donna Byrne, 53, of Polk County, Fla., was charged with driving under the influence. But it was her mode of transportation that earned her an animal neglect charge. Byrne was riding her horse, Boduke, down a busy road in Lakeland in the middle of the afternoon. When officers reached Byrne, she was staggering and had red, watery eyes, which were explained by her breath alcohol level — more than twice the legal limit, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brian Bruchey. Boduke got a ride to the sheriff’s Animal Control livestock facility, but Bruchey said he’d most likely be returned to Byrne, whose rap sheet includes cruelty to animals and drug possession.
The Children Go Inside The Vehicle
Amber L. Schmunk, 28, of Fredonia, Wisc., concocted a way to get a plastic kiddie pool from one house to another on Sept. 9. She had her 9-year-old son climb on top of her minivan and hold down the pool as she drove through Saukville. She told police the boy was up there for only 30 seconds before she pulled over and wedged the pool into the back of the minivan. Schmunk said she thought it would be OK for her son to ride atop the car because her father had allowed her to do similar things when she was a child. But officers disagreed, charging her with second-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Maybe Not Appropriate
The De Mata Trick Eye Museum in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, has been forced to remove an exhibit that encouraged visitors to take a selfie with a waxwork of Adolf Hitler. The figure, which stood in front of a giant image of the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp, had been on display since 2014, and the museum said it was one of the most popular displays. Metro News reported that the museum originally defended the exhibit as “fun.” But when the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles demanded its removal, the museum complied, taking it down on Nov. 10.
Thinning the Herd
In Paris, a 21-year-old “train surfer” was killed when he fell to the train tracks after hitting an overhead obstacle. His two friends, who were riding atop a train on Metro Line 6 with him, ran away from the scene. The three had been attempting the stunt at the Bir-Hakeim Bridge during rush hour. The unnamed victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
When Katarian Marshall, 24, of New Orleans was at a Chuck E. Cheese in Metairie on Oct. 29, he began “indiscriminately” spraying pepper spray on nearby patrons during an altercation that got out of hand. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office told The Times-Picayune that five adults and two children were treated for exposure to the spray at the scene. Marshall was charged with disturbing the peace.
Be Kind to Animals
— In Darmstadt, Germany, police detained a 19-year-old man on Nov. 7 after they noticed “a significant bulge in his trousers” and discovered he was carrying a baby python in his pants. The unnamed man was carrying on a loud, drunken argument with another man when police were called. Officers took the man and the snake to the police station, where the snake was put in a box. Authorities having been considering whether the “non-species-appropriate transport” could be a violation of animal protection laws.
Weird And Naked
A family of three were taken from their home and forced into a car on Nov. 7 in Leduc County, Alberta, Canada, by five naked people. The man, who was placed in the trunk, quickly escaped, and his wife and baby also managed to get away. A passing truck driver picked up the three victims. But then the naked kidnappers’ car rammed his truck from behind, sending it into a ditch. Royal Canadian Mounted Police caught up with the criminals. Of the five, two were minors and were not charged. The adults faced charges of kidnapping and resisting arrest. The RCMP gave no explanation as to why the five kidnappers were naked, but posited that drugs or alcohol may have been involved.
— Joseph Vaglica, 40, of Edgewater, Fla., surprised a woman at her New Smyrna Beach home on Nov. 7 when he burst in naked through the garage door and ran through her kitchen acting irrationally. The homeowner dashed next door to her stepson’s house and called 911. Meanwhile, Vaglica helped himself to some of the woman’s clothes, then ran outside and started banging on the windows at the stepson’s home. When New Smyrna Beach police officers arrived, Vaglica was rolling around in the grass. Police said he was intoxicated; he was later charged with burglary with assault.
— Sullivan, Mo., police department Lt. Patrick Johnson joined the town’s residents in witnessing a barrage of weird behavior on Nov. 3 and 4. Johnson thinks the people who were “barking like dogs or other farm animals, running up and down the street, entering people’s homes, breaking into a business” were high on flakka, a synthetic drug, mixed with methamphetamine. Some of the people broke into a nightclub, stripped down to their birthday suits and showered in fountain water or soda. Two people were arrested, and others were treated at a hospital.
Ow Ow Ow!
The Chicago Tribune reported police were called to the Original Maxwell Street Polish at about 6 am, after a hooded man named Terrion Pouncy threatened employees with a small-caliber pistol. One of the employees gave him money from the cash register, according to the complaint against Pouncy, after which the robber stole the man’s cellphone and wallet, and ran outside, stuffing the gun in his pants. But it went off twice, striking his groin and thigh. Pouncy kept running and eventually called 911 to report that he’d been shot. He was charged with two counts of armed robbery with a firearm, but couldn’t appear for his bond hearing, as he was recovering at a local hospital.
Be Like The Rabbit
Since Poland has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe, the Polish Health Ministry is using the example of rabbits to encourage its citizens to multiply. The ministry produced a short video with a rabbit “narrator” who explains that members of the Leporidae family enjoy exercise, a healthy diet and low stress rate. “If you ever want to be a parent, follow the example of rabbits,” the video suggests. The ministry said in a statement to the Associated Press that it was looking for a way to increase public awareness about the low birth rate that “did not offend anyone and was not vulgar.”
Becky Reilly of Omaha, Neb., was forced to call in a roofing company after discovering thousands of honeybees had invaded her home’s attic, producing so much honey that it was dripping down the side of the house. “We heard a loud and rhythmic buzzing, and it was somewhat terrifying because we knew what it meant,” Reilly told KETV. Jason Starkey of Takoda Green Roofing said he removed 40 pounds of honey before moving the bees and tackling the damage, which he called “horrible.” Local beekeeper John Gebuhr moved the bees to his garage, but he is pessimistic about their chances of survival through the winter. But Reilly’s friends and neighbors were thrilled because they were getting honey for Christmas.
Members of the Spann family of Comanche County, Okla., keep running afoul of that state’s incest law, with the latest dust-up over the marriage of 26-year-old Misty Spann and her 43-year-old mother, Patricia, in March, 2016. The two had been separated after Patricia lost custody of her young kids, but when they resumed contact a few years ago, Patricia told investigators, “they hit it off.” KFOR reported that Patricia also married one of her sons in 2008, but two years later that marriage was annulled. Another son reported to KSWO-TV that Patricia tried to start an inappropriate relationship with him, but he shut her down. In early November, Misty received a 10-year deferred sentence and will serve two years of probation. Her mother and ex-wife (their union was annulled in October) will be sentenced in January.
Least Competent Criminals
A loss prevention officer at a Vero Beach, Fla., Walmart caught 25-year-old Cheyenne Amber West and another woman behaving suspiciously in the electronics aisle. The officer told the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office that West and her friend chose a computer, video game controllers and other items worth a total of $2,000, then covered the bar codes with stickers taken from clearance items. They then moved to the self-checkout lane, where their loot wound up totaling just $3.70. “I am just trying to get gifts for my son that I cannot afford,” West told officers. “The computer is for my husband. Since he just got me a Coach purse, I figured he deserved something nice as well.” Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that West was charged with felony grand theft and felony shoplifting and was released on a $3,000 bail.