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Weird National Briefs (01/27/2021)

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Sasquatch season

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of a state lawmaker in Oklahoma.

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season. Rep. Justin Humphrey’s district includes the heavily forested Ouachita Mountains in southeast Oklahoma, where a Bigfoot festival is held each year near the Arkansas border. He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism.

“Establishing an actual hunting season and issuing licenses for people who want to hunt Bigfoot will just draw more people to our already beautiful part of the state,” Humphrey said in a statement.

Humphrey says his bill would only allow trapping and that he also hopes to secure $25,000 to be offered as a bounty.

Micah Holmes, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, which oversees hunting in Oklahoma, told television station KOCO that the agency uses science-driven research and doesn’t recognize Bigfoot.

TME – To hell with that – what if Bigfoot starts hunting us back?

Meanwhile, in Jacksonville …

JACKSONVILLE (AP) – A naked Florida man stole what news footage showed to be a marked police vehicle and crashed it in a wooded area, officials said.

Joshua Shenker, 22, was arrested after Thursday’s crash on charges including theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer of means of communication or protection and resisting an officer without violence, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report.

Officers responded to reports of a naked man running along Interstate 10 in western Jacksonville shortly before noon Thursday. Shenker was lying in the the roadway when an officer stopped on the opposite side of the route, the report said. Shenker then ran across the highway lanes toward the officer, officials said.

The redacted report didn’t say how Shenker stole the vehicle. Authorities confirmed only that a vehicle belonging to the City of Jacksonville was stolen. First Coast News footage of the scene showed the crashed vehicle to be a marked patrol car.

According to the police report, about $10,000 worth of damage was done to the vehicle.

Officers noticed Shenker had road rash after the crash and he was taken to a hospital to be checked out, authorities said.

Shenker was being held on $4,011 bail. Jail records didn’t list an attorney for him.

TME – Never change, Florida.

Baby on board

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — A car thief who found a toddler in the backseat of a stolen vehicle drove back and chastised the mother for leaving the child unattended before taking off again, police in Oregon said.

The woman went into a grocery store about 15 feet (5 yards) from the car Saturday, leaving her 4-year-old child inside with the engine running and the vehicle unlocked, said Beaverton police spokesman Officer Matt Henderson.

A store employee told authorities the woman was in the market for a few minutes before someone began driving away with the SUV.

Once the thief realized the toddler was in the backseat, he drove back, berated the woman for leaving her child unattended, told the woman to take the child and drove away in the stolen vehicle.

“He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police on her,” Henderson said.

Henderson said the woman did nothing wrong and was within sight and sound of the child. He said the incident served as a “good reminder to take extra precaution” with children.

“Obviously, we’re thankful he brought the little one back and had the decency to do that,” Henderson said.

The vehicle was found a few hours later in Portland but police are still searching for the thief. The suspect was said to be in his 20s or 30s with dark brown or black braided hair and a multi-colored face mask.

Police said anyone with information on the theft should contact the department.

TME – Didn’t the Rock already make this movie?

King’s court

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Supreme court has overturned a man’s bank robbery conviction because of a prosecutor’s reference to a classic horror movie.

During closing arguments in the case against Damon Williams, the prosecutor showed jurors a photo from the movie “The Shining” depicting a character played by Jack Nicholson telling his terrified wife and son, “Here’s Johnny!” moments after breaking through a door with an axe.

The reference was meant to illustrate that actions can speak louder than words, and to support the prosecutor’s contention that Williams should be convicted of a more serious offense even though no threatening words were spoken to the bank teller in Camden County in 2014.

The jury convicted Williams of second-degree robbery, which requires the use of force or the threat of force, rather than the less serious crime of third-degree theft. Prosecutors argued that Williams’ conduct before and after passing a note to the teller supported the more serious charge. Williams is currently serving a 14-year term.

A unanimous Supreme Court disagreed Tuesday, writing that prosecutors “must walk a fine line” when comparing a defendant with “an individual whom the jury associates with violence or guilt.”

“The use of a sensational and provocative image in service of such a comparison, even when purportedly metaphorical, heightens the risk of an improper prejudicial effect on the jury,” Justice Lee Solomon wrote. “Such a risk was borne out here.”

The Camden County prosecutor’s office, which tried the case, declined to comment on the ruling Tuesday.

TME – *insert Nicholson’s “You can’t handle the truth” here*

Man’s best friend

ISTANBUL (AP) — A devoted dog has spent days waiting outside a hospital in northern Turkey where her sick owner was receiving treatment.

The pet, Boncuk (Bon-DJUK), which means bead, followed the ambulance that transported her owner, Cemal Senturk, to hospital in the Black Sea city of Trabzon on Jan. 14. She then made daily visits to the facility, private news agency DHA reported on Wednesday.

Senturk’s daughter, Aynur Egeli, said she would take Boncuk home but the dog would repeatedly run off and return to the hospital.

Hospital security guard Muhammet Akdeniz told DHA: “She comes every day around 9 a.m. and waits until nightfall. She doesn’t go in.”

“When the door opens she pokes her head inside,” he said.

On Wednesday, Boncuk was finally reunited with Senturk when he was pushed outside in a wheelchair for a brief meeting with his dog.

“She’s very used to me. And I miss her, too, constantly,” he told DHA.

Senturk was discharged from the hospital later on Wednesday and returned home with Boncuk.

TME – No snark – this is heartwarming.

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:35

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