Beagle Brigade K-9 officer Hardy probably thought he’d hit the jackpot when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered an unusual item in a passenger’s luggage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport on Oct. 11. Something smelled suspicious to Hardy, so agents opened the bag of a traveler from Ecuador to find a cooked pig’s head. “This seizure at ATL illustrates the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States,” gushed Carey Davis, CBP area port director of the Port of Atlanta. The pig’s head was removed and destroyed.
A Butterfly Is An Animal
Krissa White of Pensacola, Fla., planted a butterfly garden in her front yard six years ago. Since then, she’s nurtured monarchs through their life cycles, offering them a safe refuge from mosquito-targeting chemicals. But her yard has been the source of much discussion among neighbors.
In early October, the Crown Pointe Property Owners Assoc. charged that White’s butterflies violate the community’s covenants against breeding or raising animals, such as livestock or poultry, on the property. Dogs, cats or other household pets are exempted from the rule. White may be charged $25 every day for harboring the butterflies.
That One Raccoon Who Just Won’t Leave
Three raccoons jolted a Toronto, Ontario, Canada, woman awake late one night when they broke into her kitchen. Jenny Serwylo approached the critters with a broom, which scared away two out of the three. But a third wouldn’t budge; it barricaded itself behind her toaster oven and munched on a package of English muffins. “He was like, ‘I’m eating, get out of here,’” Serwylo told the Toronto Star. She tried calling authorities, but couldn’t get any help.
Her contest of wills with the raccoon lasted for more than a half-hour. “I was growling at him and hissing at him,” she said. As she pointed the broom handle at the animal, it would grab the end and “yank it really hard.” Finally, after it had consumed all the bread in the kitchen, the raccoon calmly went out the window, which Serwylo locked behind it. Toronto Animal Services spokesperson Bruce Hawkins told the Star that such encounters are unusual. However, the city has created a guide for residents about how to deal with raccoon intrusions.
The O.G. Clown
In Nottinghamshire, England, a “killer clown” has been apprehended and sentenced to 11 weeks behind bars. Damien Hammond, 29, is a homeless and jobless man who has taken on the persona of Heath Ledger’s The Joker from The Dark Knight Rises. He admitted to what police called a “crime wave” of offenses, including terrorizing staff in retail stores, waving a gun-shaped cigarette lighter while standing in traffic and striking a police officer.
Hammond arrived at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court with bright green hair. As he was led to jail, he said, “See what you have done. I will kill today!” adding that he would stab police officers and fellow inmates. He has been banned from central Nottingham for three years.
Change One Letter; Make $700,000
The District of Columbia’s Dept. of General Services fell victim to a scam when officials there wired almost $700,000 to a hacker posing as a city vendor. The hackers gained information from a vendor’s computer system, then created a fake email address by changing just one letter. From this fake email address, they requested electronic transfers from the D.C. government.
David Umansky, a spokesman for the district’s chief financial officer, told the Post that since then, the city’s protocols for making vendor payments have “been modified to require additional confirmation before changing bank information.” None of D.C.’s money has been recovered.
When Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly wandered into a suburban house in Englewood, Colo., he sat down on the couch next to the female resident, who was holding her young child, and began “mumbling incoherently,” police records showed. The man of the house, thinking quickly, shooed the 24-year-old Kelly out with nothing more than a vacuum hose. Kelly, who had been at a Halloween party with teammates, was later found sitting in his car about a block away. He was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass. On Oct. 24, the Broncos released him.
I’m Makin’ It The Bathroom
Things got tense for passengers on a GoAir flight from New Delhi to Patna, India, when a first-time flyer mistook an emergency exit door for the restroom. Fellow passengers asked the man what he was doing; he replied that he “needed to use the washroom urgently” and continued tugging at the door. Airport official Mohammad Sanowar Khan explained: “Pandemonium prevailed … and he was restrained. … He said that the confusion happened because he had boarded a flight for the first time in his life.” The unnamed traveler was questioned at the Patna airport.
But The Chickens Are Looking Forward To It
In Ouachita Parish, La., chicken owner Stephanie Morse was not going to be deterred from dressing up her chickens for Halloween, even in light of the warning from the Centers for Disease Control about exposure to salmonella.
More than 90 people in 29 states have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacteria after coming into contact with raw chicken products. Dressing up live chickens might also cause people to be exposed to the germ. “Don’t kiss your birds or snuggle them,” the CDC warns. But Morse clucks back: “I just like to put a sweater on them to keep them warm and comfortable.”
Complicating Waste Disposal
When he was apprehended, William Friedman, 68, of Franklin Township, N.J., told police officers that his weird practice of dumping his grandson’s used diapers around town “almost became a game.”
Friedman had been disposing of the soiled nappies along several roadways over the past year. An officer spotted him at 3:15 am on Oct. 21 making another deposit. Officials told the Associated Press that a motorcyclist crashed in June after running over a diaper Friedman had allegedly thrown out. He was charged with interference with transportation and faces up to $1,000 in fines.
Well, This Is More Important Than Football, Here Comes The Judge
After inmates Tanner Jacobson, 22, and Kodey Howard, 28, of Winlock, appeared in Judge R.W. Buzzard’s courtroom at the Lewis County Courthouse in Chehalis, Wash., they made a break for it. The judge stripped off his black robe and set off in hot pursuit.
The two prisoners were being escorted out of the courtroom by a deputy when they turned and ran out the public door of the chamber. Buzzard grabbed Howard as he followed Jacobson down the steps. Jacobson was caught a few blocks away. Both inmates were charged with felony second-degree escape.
Major Risks For Applesauce
The Wagner Funeral Home in Jordan, Minn., made news when a judge released the details of a ruling against the mortuary for storing jarred applesauce in the same room where embalming took place.
Joseph Wagner, who runs the funeral home, was just helping out his brother, who owns nearby Wagner Bros. Orchard and needed some extra storage space. But the Minnesota Dept. of Health took issue with the jars being stored adjacent to a hazardous waste container, where blood and other waste from the embalming process are disposed of, and under an emergency shower and blocking an emergency eyewash station. Wagner was ordered to correct the violations and pay a $5,000 penalty.
In Search Of The Bargain Child
At a Port Orange, Fla., Walmart, Tracy Nigh and her 8-year-old daughter were taking a break on a bench inside the store when 81-year-old Hellmuth Kolb approached them and asked if Nigh was married.
“He didn’t seem like a threat at first,” Nigh told WKMG-TV. But then Kolb started offering to buy the little girl. “The first amount was $100,000, the second amount was $150,000 and then the final amount was $200,000,” Nigh said. “I then said, ‘No, we have to go.’” They rose to leave, but Kolb grabbed the girl’s wrist and kissed it. Nigh alerted store security, and the encounter was recorded on surveillance video.
Another woman reported a similar incident. Kolb was arrested and charged with simple battery and false imprisonment.