In the College Station neighborhood of Pulaski County, Ark., traditions run deep, especially when it comes to the Fourth of July. Beneques Christopher said that the holiday “fireworks war” has been going on for years, and even attracts people from other neighborhoods: “They know when Fourth of July comes, this is the spot to be at.” But this year, the ritual went awry, resulting in many injuries and several people facing charges. Christopher was one of the victims: “It popped right here,” he said, pointing to his groin area. “And it could have been dangerous because I almost lost everything.” Instead, he suffered a second-degree burn on his thigh. But he feels lucky that he didn’t lose any fingers, as five others did. When police officers arrived, people started pointing fireworks at them, leaving two deputies with injuries. While a local pastor hopes to shut the tradition down, Christopher vows to continue it: “We started the tradition, and now we have to keep it going.”
Government in Action
Health Canada has issued a warning to consumers of Venus Simply3 razors: they pose a potential cutting hazard. CTV News reported that the four-packs, sold at Walmart, have been recalled because “the blades … can become misaligned … and pose a higher risk of cuts during use.” No one in Canada has reported being cut.
Michael Wardian, 45, chose the hottest day of the year in Washington, D.C., to tackle a longstanding goal: to run all the way around the Beltway — 89 miles. Wardian, of Arlington, Va., started at 1:30 am on June 29 and ran for almost 18 hours. “You’re like, ‘I want to do this but it’s never a good time,’” Wardian said. “So we just did it when we had the time.” Temperatures on June 29 reached 96 degrees.
A woman pulled a stunt in a Wichita Falls, Texas, Walmart that got her banned from the store. A store employee reported that the woman had eaten half a cake from the bakery, then attempted to buy the other half (for half-price), saying she found the cake in that condition. While Walmart did not want to press charges, the store did prohibit her from shopping there in the future. After an incident at another Wichita Falls Walmart, a woman rode an electric cart around the store’s parking lot while guzzling wine from a Pringles can. She was also Walmart-shunned.
Least Competent Criminal
— A craving for cake batter ice cream brought New York City police officers to a Baskin-Robbins store in Coney Island. When Emmanuel Lovett walked into the shop and tugged on his denim shorts, a loaded pistol dropped to the floor. Officers swarmed Lovett, who, it turns out, had a robbery record that prohibited him from having a firearm. He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm.
— In Shawnee, Okla., Brandon Killian, 29, was already in trouble for brutally beating Jarric Carolina in a June brawl. But as he sat in custody, he told an officer that his face was injured from being “fist socked” during the fight. When the officer left the room to get a camera, Killian, who was being recorded, punched himself multiple times in the face (strangely using one hand to propel the other fist into his cheek). Now his charges include preparing false evidence. “Lying to the police and creating a false report will not be tolerated,” warned District Attorney Allan Grubb. Killian is currently serving time in the Oklahoma County Jail for a separate drug violation.
Telling It Like It Is
A diner in Little Rock, Ark., is getting attention for a clever menu item. Mama D’s offers a “My Girlfriend Is Not Hungry” option, which adds extra fries, chicken wings or cheese sticks to an order to share with a dinner partner who underestimates their hunger. On its Facebook page, Mama D’s said the option is “a solution for those who tend to dine with people that eat food off their plate.”
Okaloosa County, Fla., sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call after a 13-year-old boy stabbed his 15-year-old brother in the arm three times with a multi-tool. The boys, from Clarksville, Tenn., were sitting in a parked car in Crestview, Fla., when the incident occurred. Lt. Todd Watkins said the younger boy was “tired of his brother picking on him,” and told officers he’d “rather be in jail than eight hours in the car with him. I stabbed him and I don’t care about going back to jail.” While the 15-year-old was in the back of an ambulance being treated, he was overheard calling some of his friends to retaliate against his younger brother. The 13-year-old was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Dumb And Dumber
Two men were transported to the hospital after both were shot in the foot while they cleaned a loaded, homemade cannon in a basement in Epping, N.H. Friends drove Albert Dionne of Nottingham, N.H., and Christopher Krafton, of Amesbury, Mass., to the Epping Fire Station in the bed of a pickup truck. The cannon, made from the barrel of a muzzleloader rifle, had been loaded and failed to discharge. So they were cleaning it.
A homeowner in Crestview, Fla., allowed Matthew Morrison to bunk in a tent on the property as a favor. But things went south on July 6, when Morrison entered the home without permission and threw lighted firecrackers under a sleeping 9-year-old girl’s bed. The homeowner chased Morrison out of the house with a stick. Morrison told Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies it was a “prank gone wrong,” but the little girl was left terrified. When Morrison was arrested, officers found two grams of methamphetamine in his pocket. Morrison had a prior criminal history, including drug charges; he was charged with burglary and possession of methamphetamine.
What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been…
An Independence Day holiday in Bodega Harbor, Calif., went terribly wrong for a group of six friends who rented a house there. Betai Koffi of San Francisco indulged heavily in LSD, taking four doses over the course of the afternoon. He became delusional and violent with his friends, who were trying to prevent him from leaving the home. After assaulting several of his housemates and wrecking a rental car, he took off on foot and came upon a security guard.
Koffi plucked a landscape light out of the ground, and, police allege, stabbed the security guard with the metal end of it. Koffi then stole the guard’s pickup truck and ran down two different couples as they enjoyed an evening walk.
Finally, sheriff’s and highway patrol officers arrived, and Koffi aimed the truck at them and accelerated. A CHP officer fired his gun, striking Koffi three times. Eight people were injured, but all are expected to recover.
Serina Wolfe, 24, was mad at her boyfriend, Michael Crane, for his refusal to buy her a plane ticket for her return trip to New York. So she used his credit card to pay for an expensive breakfast at Clear Sky Beachside Cafe in Clearwater, Fla., on June 27. The breakfast was really expensive because Wolfe left her server a $5,000 tip. Initially, Wolfe told Crane the charge wasn’t hers, and he reported it as fraudulent. But the restaurant had already paid the server the $5,000. Wolfe, of Buffalo, N.Y., was charged with grand theft after admitting that she was the big tipper.
Clay County, Mo., Sheriff’s officers didn’t have to put their tracking skills to much use as they searched for a fugitive in early July near Liberty, Mo. The man, who was wanted for possession of a controlled substance, gave himself away by loudly passing gas in his hiding spot. Deputies noted on Facebook: “If you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a (poop emoji) day.”