Least Competent Criminals
First rule of being a criminal? Keep up with car maintenance. On Jan. 27, police in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, pulled over a Chevy Trax because its license plate light was burned out, TribLive reported. The driver, Ise Lamont Woods, 31, had an outstanding warrant from Jan. 5 for criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, among other charges. One of the passengers, Raphael Angel Geiger, 30, was wanted for a parole violation. And Don Lamont Carter, 26, allegedly tossed a bag with 29 grams of crack cocaine in it to a female passenger, asking her to "tuck it"; he was already wanted on a previous warrant. When police searched the vehicle, the bag of cocaine fell out of the woman's sweatshirt; she also had a crack pipe hidden in her bra. Geiger and Woods were taken into custody; Carter was released on his own recognizance.
A 23-year-old Thai man's harrowing ordeal was documented in late January in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, Gizmodo reported. Doctors at Chiang Mai University wrote that the young man, who had been a regular user of cannabis but had stopped for three months, had resumed his habit, with devastating effects. Two hours after hitting the bong, the man suffered a bout of psychosis and an "unwanted" erection, which prompted him to use scissors to "trim the penile skin several times." However, he went too far, eventually ending up with just an inch-long stump. At the hospital, doctors stopped his bleeding and created a new opening for his urethra, but his penis was too damaged to be reattached. He was diagnosed with substance-induced psychotic disorder; after two weeks of hospitalization and anti-psychotic drugs, he reported no more symptoms.
The Passing Parade
Maybe it was just the prospect of one more day of notoriety followed by 364 of boredom, but for Milltown Mel, it was curtains on Jan. 30, the New York Daily News reported. Mel, no relation to the better-known Punxsutawney Phil, was New Jersey's prognosticator of spring, and his untimely passing just three days before Groundhog Day left the Milltown Wranglers without a replacement for their event, which was strangely scheduled for Feb. 1 rather than Feb. 2. The Wranglers did not report a cause of death for Mel.
On Jan. 31, a Rhode Island Red hen was found wandering around a security checkpoint at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, the Associated Press reported. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington was summoned, and one of their employees took the bird into custody. Chelsea Jones, a spokesperson for the group, said the hen was "sweet" and "nervous." She has been adopted by a staff person who has a small farm in western Virginia.
Armed and Courteous
When a couple returned to their home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Jan. 30 after a few days away, they were shocked to find a messy kitchen and a young man with an assault weapon inside, The Washington Post reported. But even more stunning was the intruder's behavior: He explained that his family in east Texas had been killed and he was on the run from someone. He told the husband that his car had broken down about 100 miles away. "He was extremely embarrassed and apologetic about the situation," the husband told sheriff's officers. As he left, he dropped $200 on a table to help pay for the window he had broken to get in. None of the couple's items had been stolen, including jewelry that was left on a counter, but he had cooked some of their food, slept in a bed and bathed in the master bathroom. Investigators figured he owed the couple $15 for beers and shrimp he consumed.
People With Issues
-- Georgetown University's William Treanor, dean of the law school, met with a Black student group on Feb. 1 to hear their complaints about an incoming lecturer, Ilya Shapiro, after he made comments about President Joe Biden's plans to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. National Review reported that the students wanted to discuss a "reparations" package with Treanor, which included a designated place on campus to cry. "Is there an office they can go to?" one student asked. "I don't know what it would look like, but if they want to cry, if they need to break down, where can they go? Because we're at the point where students are coming out of class to go to the bathroom to cry."
-- "All I wanted was some steak," one customer was heard to say in a video of a brawl that broke out at a Golden Corral in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 28, CBS Philly reported. Reports were unclear about what started the brawl, but employee Gaven Lauletta gave his account of the incident: "There was a shortage of steak and two parties were involved and one family cut in front of another family, they were taking their time and they ran out of steak and it got into a heated exchange at the tables," he said. Police said more than 40 people may have been involved in the melee, although no serious injuries were reported.
Unclear on the Concept
As she waited to check out at Walmart in Crockett, Texas, on Jan. 13, an unnamed woman was approached by Rebecca Lanette Taylor, 49, who "began commenting on her son's blond hair and blue eyes. She asked how much she could purchase him for," police reported. The mom thought Taylor was making a weird joke, but Taylor said she had $250,000 cash in her car, according to Messenger News. When the mom said no amount of money would be enough, Taylor increased her voice volume and her bid to $500,000 and told her she'd been wanting to buy a baby for a long time. Taylor was arrested on Jan. 18 and charged with sale or purchase of a child, a third-degree felony.
When Mark, 38, and his wife left for work one morning in January, their back garden in Belfast, Northern Ireland, looked just like it does any other day. But when the wife returned that afternoon, there was a concrete slab painted with a creepy clown face propped against the wall, the Belfast Telegraph reported. "Someone would have had to come through our gate and down the steps to place it there -- and deliberately place it so it was facing the window so we would see it," Mark said. The clown was holding a lighted candle, and on the reverse, a Bible verse was inscribed: "Let your light shine. Matthew 5:16." Mark contacted friends, neighbors and family members to see if it was a prank, or if others had received a clown, but no one had experienced anything similar. He threw the clown away, but remains creeped out: "It's so unsettling."
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