A motorist in New Canaan, Conn., called police after spotting a woman stopped at an intersection in the driver’s seat of her car with her eyes closed. When officers arrived, they found Stefanie Warner-Grise, 50, “unable to answer basic questions,” according to the arrest report. They “detected an odor of vanilla coming from her breath (and) her speech was slurred. In addition, several bottles of pure vanilla extract were located inside the vehicle.” The Hour reported Warner-Grise failed field sobriety tests and she was charged with driving under the influence of vanilla extract. The Food and Drug Administration requires that pure vanilla extract must be at least 35 percent alcohol, which makes it 70 proof.
Hair Of The Dog
In a whole new twist on stomach pumping, doctors in Quang Tri, Vietnam, saved Nguyen Van Nhat’s life by transfusing 15 cans of beer into his stomach. As Dr. Le Van Lam explained, alcohol contains both methanol and ethanol, and the liver breaks down ethanol first. After a person stops drinking, the stomach and intestines continue to release alcohol into the bloodstream and levels continue to rise. In Nhat’s case, upon arrival at the hospital, his blood methanol level was 1,119 times higher than the appropriate limit. Doctors administered one can of beer every hour to slow down his metabolizing of methanol, which gave them time to perform dialysis. Nhat spent three weeks in the hospital.
Names In The News
During a program on ITV Westcountry in the United Kingdom about how police forces are suffering under budget cuts, an officer got more attention for his name than for his opinions about the budget. PC Rob Banks has undoubtedly heard clever remarks about his name all his life, reported Plymouth Live, but Twitter users found it newly hilarious.
Try The Decaf
Officers in Madison, Wis., were called to a home by a male resident who went on a spree of destruction when he thought his wife had destroyed his prized collection of action figures. Madison Police Chief Mike Koval wrote that officers arrived to find an ax buried in the windshield of a car. The man explained to them he had overreacted and used the log-splitting ax to chop up a TV, TV stand, laptop computer and other items in the house before going outside to attack his car, chopping off both side mirrors and breaking out the windshield. He admitted that he had also been drinking too much. He was charged with disorderly conduct and felony damage to property.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
A man from Nice, France, has received a four-month suspended sentence for a clever plot he hatched. The man, known only as Adel, removed a PlayStation 4 from a supermarket shelf and took it to the produce aisle, where he weighed it and printed out a price sticker for fruit. Then he used the self-checkout line to pay and left the store after paying only $10. The PlayStation retails for $389. Adel sold the gaming system for $114 to buy a train ticket. The next day, he tried the same scheme, but police caught him in the act. He will only have to serve his sentence if he re-offends.
Least Competent Criminals
— Alexander Goldinsky had a bright idea for collecting some cash. While working as an independent contractor at a Woodbridge, N.J., business, Goldinsky scattered some ice on the floor in the company’s kitchen area. Then he arranged himself on the floor as if he had slipped and fallen. He waited to be discovered, and, all the while, the security cameras were rolling. He was arrested on charges of insurance fraud and theft by deception, after the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said Goldinsky filed a false insurance claim for an ambulance ride and treatment at a local hospital.
— For David Rodriguez, it was his disguise of choice that tripped him up as he robbed a 7-Eleven store in Fort Myers, Fla. Rodriguez donned a gray hoodie and a wig before approaching the counter at the store, showing a gun and demanding cash. When officers arrived, they received a detailed description: “additional witness information” led them to a nearby apartment. Inside they found Rodriguez, and “in plain view, a gray hooded sweater, several wigs and a large amount of wadded up cash.” Rodriguez was charged with robbery with a firearm.
— For UNC-Greensboro student Maddie, there really was a monster in the closet. Or at least a guy named Drew. After returning to her apartment, Maddie heard strange noises coming from her closet. She put her hand on the door and said, “Who’s in there?” “My name’s Drew,” answered the intruder. Maddie continued talking with him, and when she opened the door, Drew was sitting on the floor, dressed in her clothing. He also had a bag full of her clothes, shoes and socks. Andrew Clyde Swofford begged her not to call police. She chatted with him for another 10 minutes, “everything about his life and basically how he got in my closet,” she said. Swofford left when Maddie’s boyfriend arrived. Police caught up with him at a nearby gas station, where he was arrested for breaking and entering. Maddie said she thinks Swofford had been in her apartment before: “We always joke that there’s a ghost in here because I’ve been missing clothes since I’ve been living here.” She signed a lease for a new apartment a few days later.
— Sharisha Morrison, of Albuquerque, N.M., and her neighbors have been the recipients of an odd gift: plastic grocery bags with slices of bread and bologna inside, delivered by an unknown man. At first, Morrison said she thought the food deliveries were acts of kindness, until she opened the bag and smelled the contents. “It smelled like urine,” she said. Morrison said she watches the man on her surveillance camera. “He’ll just walk up and drop it on the little doorknob and walk away,” she said. “I just want it to stop.” Police have told her they can’t do anything unless they catch him in the act.
The Way The World Works
Residents of Hilgermissen in northwestern Germany voted decisively against naming the community’s streets. Currently, addresses are a house number and the name of one of the former villages that combined to create Hilgermissen in the 1970s. Officials had hoped that street names would ease the jobs of emergency services and delivery drivers, but 60 percent of the 2,200 citizens rejected the council’s plan.
Thieving With Style
A BP gas station in Swansea, S.C., was the setting for a reprise of an iconic moment from 1984’s The Karate Kid. On Jan. 26, as surveillance cameras looked on, a man struck Mr. Miyagi’s signature Crane Technique pose — twice — before stealing a purse from a parked car nearby. The Swansea Police Department posted the video to its Facebook page, and with the public’s help, officers were able to identify the man and issue warrants for his arrest.
Vaev, a Los Angeles-based internet startup, is offering consumers the “luxury to choose” when to become sick with a cold. For $79.99, Vaev will send you a box containing a petri dish, which houses a facial tissue used by a sick person. Oliver Niessen, the company’s founder, explained that the recipient wipes their nose with the provided tissue and contracts a cold virus to get it out of the way before, say, leaving on a vacation. But Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, debunked Niessen’s theory. “There are more than 200 types of rhinoviruses … getting inoculated from one doesn’t protect you against all the others.” He adds that Vaev’s customers don’t know exactly what is on the provided tissues, which Niessen says are produced by a “stable” of 10 go-to sneezers. Neissen claims to have sold 1,000 used tissues.
Gift With Purchase
A shopper at a Primark store in Essex, England, was startled to discover a human bone in a sock. Essex police reassured the public that the bone “did not appear to be a result of recent trauma,” and it did not have any skin attached to it. A Primark spokesman said the company is checking with its supplier, and “No evidence of any kind exists to suggest that any incident has occurred in the factory, so it is highly probable that this object was placed in the sock by an individual for unknown reasons.”