Former Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista has another honor to add to his resume, thanks to entomologist Bob Anderson of the Canadian Museum of Nature. Anderson named a newly discovered species of beetle after the star third baseman and right fielder. Sicoderus bautistai is a small black weevil found in the Dominican Republic, where Bautista hails from. “I thought what a great way to kind of recognize (Bautista’s) contributions to Blue Jays baseball and to Canadian baseball, really, as a whole,” said Anderson. The scientist has named 120 weevils over his career.
It happens all the time: A vehicle crashes into a building, causing damage and sometimes injury, because brakes don’t function or a driver steps on the wrong pedal. In the case of Keith Rio Cavalier, however, there was more to the story. Cavalier drove his 1997 Toyota Tacoma into a glass wall at the Harrison County courthouse in Gulfport, Miss., at around 6 am. The building was empty, so there were no injuries. Cavalier can be seen on surveillance video climbing out of the truck and leaving the scene. When police caught up to him, Cavalier told them he intentionally struck the building in order to report drug paraphernalia had been stolen from him. It will come as no surprise that Cavalier was found to have been driving under the influence and arrested; he was held at the county jail on $25,000 bond.
Of His Own Accord
Suspected car prowler Isaiah John Gellatly, of Vancouver, Wash., was going about his business when Happy Valley police were called one night. Responding officers found Gellatly lying fully reclined in the driver’s seat of a Honda Accord matching the suspect vehicle’s description. Suddenly Gellatly sat up and sped away, leading to a pursuit and the use of spike strips. As his ability to control the car decreased, Gellatly opened his door to flee, but forgot to put the Honda in park, so it rolled alongside him as he ran. Eventually he tried to run in front of it. The car hit a tree, a building and eventually Gellatly, breaking one of his legs. Suspected stolen items found in the car included a tennis racket, a Ping-Pong paddle and a Texas Instruments calculator.
High-Tech Triumph For Homeland Security
John Stevenson of Inverclyde, Scotland, had to cancel his plans to vacation in the United States when his visa was denied after he declared himself a terrorist while filling out a Department of Homeland Security form online. One of the questions on the form asks, “Are you a terrorist?” Stevenson, 70, said the website “must have jumped from No to Yes without me knowing,” adding that the site kept timing out and crashing as he and his wife, Marion, tried to answer the questions. “I even called the border control in the U.S. and gave them my passport details,” he said. “They looked up my ESTA number and said, ‘You’re a terrorist.’ The only time I’ve been in court was for jury service. Marion is sick about it. I don’t know why that question is on the form in the first place.” (United Airlines refunded the Stevensons’ airline tickets and gave them two free flights to New York once their visa troubles are all worked out.)
Least Competent Criminals
— Three men with semi-automatic weapons entered a store in North Raleigh, N.C., and ordered workers into the stockroom. One of the men was carrying a cardboard box which he loaded with mobile phones and smart watches. The men also filled two crates with merchandise priced at more than $26,000. When the robbers left through the back door, they took the crates with them, but forgot the cardboard box, which sported a shipping label with an address on it. Police used the address, along with an image in the store’s surveillance video, to track down Brian Lamonte Clark, 22, and arrest him for robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery.
— The Lucardo Escape Rooms in Manchester, England, were the site of a misguided break-in when two thieves ransacked a fake bank vault as if it were the real thing. More than 50 surveillance cameras captured the duo’s antics as they broke into fake safes and opened drawers that held only puzzles. “They must be Manchester’s stupidest burglars,” said Lucardo director Ian Pownall. The business lost 100 pounds in cash, but damage amounted to 1,000 pounds — not to mention lost revenue while the business cleaned up. “We’re a small, family-owned business, so even a couple of thousand pounds will have an effect on us, particularly before Christmas,” Pownall said.
Government in Literacy
Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, a 22-year member of Japan’s parliament, was named by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to two new posts: cybersecurity and Olympics minister. But at a committee meeting, when a member of the opposition asked Sakurada a question about his computer literacy, he admitted: “I’ve never used a computer! … I’ve always directed my staff and secretaries to do that kind of thing.” He assured the lawmaker there would be no problems.
You’re Not As Old As You Feel
In The Hague, Netherlands, motivational speaker Emile Ratelband, 69, will not turn 50 on his next birthday, as he had hoped. As reported earlier, Ratelband petitioned the court for an age change, saying he feels discriminated against both in the career realm and on Tinder. But a Dutch court rejected his plea to become 49, saying he did not convince judges that he had been discriminated against, and that “Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly.” The court also noted that changing his age would nullify any number of records from public registers. Ratelband hopes to appeal.
A referee in a Women’s Super League soccer match in Manchester City, England, stayed cool at the start of the televised game when he realized he’d forgotten his coin for the kickoff coin toss. Thinking quickly, David McNamara had the captains of the Manchester City and Reading teams play Rock, Paper, Scissors instead. But the Football Association, soccer’s governing body in England, was unamused, and McNamara began a 21-day suspension after accepting a charge of “not acting in the best interests of the game.” An FA refereeing manager said: “He should have been more prepared. It’s very unprofessional.”
— Katherine Leigh Mehta, of Arlington, Texas, accepted a gig to photograph a wedding at The Springs Event Venue in Weatherford. But she became the star of the show when a security guard summoned Parker County Sheriff’s deputies, who found Mehta yelling by a fountain on the property. She then walked to a tree and urinated. While she waited in the back of the patrol car, Mehta screamed: “Y’all’s families will be dead by Christmas. Y’all’s daughters are dead. My dad is going to find out about this, and y’all are … dead. DEAD.” At the jail, officers found a bottle of anxiety pills, which they believe she mixed with alcohol, causing her erratic behavior. She faces charges of public intoxication and obstruction.
— All good things must come to an end, and so it seems for Robert Craig Davis of Key Largo, Fla. Drivers in South Florida had reported seeing a Chrysler Pacifica minivan rigged with a device that lowered a black cloth over its license plate each time it drove through an automated toll plaza. An off-duty Florida highway patrolman spotted the vehicle as it passed through the Bird Road toll plaza, and he alerted his fellow troopers. Sgt. Carlos Vanegas soon stopped Davis and found a remote control device used to operate the license plate cover. “The actions of the defendant showed an ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud the SunPass toll system,” trooper Dennis Gallo wrote. Davis was charged with organized fraud and petty theft.
A substitute teacher in Montville, N.J., won’t be returning to Cedar Hill School after she revealed a secret to first-grade students. Superintendent Rene Rovtar said that the sub got into a debate with a student about whether Santa is real. That’s when the six-year-olds started quizzing her about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Elf on a Shelf, and the teacher “proceeded to debunk all of it,” Rovtar said. Parents reported doing “damage control” after the kids returned home from school. The sub is no longer welcome in the district.
Worth Fighting For
Things got hectic in Clarendon, Va., when an unexpectedly large number of delivery drivers convened at the Cheesecake Factory in response to a 40th anniversary promotion offering free cheesecake slices. The sweet treats were available only to those who ordered on DoorDash. A crowd of delivery drivers double-parked outside and jostled for position inside the restaurant as they picked up orders. Arlington County police and medics responded to reports of fights and disorderly conduct; all this resulted in one arrest but no apparent injuries.