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Weird National Briefs (01/31/2018)

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A herd deferred

WEST COVINA, Calif. - It was less an arrest than a roundup.

Police say a donkey led more than a dozen sheep and goats on a stroll through a suburban West Covina neighborhood east of Los Angeles.

Police were called around 12:30 a.m. Thursday by reports of a herd of animals walking the streets.

The animals were finally corralled with the help of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities say the animals escaped their owners’ property in neighboring Valinda through an unsecured gate.

The owner was contacted and took the herd back home.

No injuries were reported but police say it raised a few eyebrows among officers who thought they’d seen it all.

TME – They were just making their way to Bremen Town.


MACON, Ga. - Lack of a condiment at a Georgia restaurant has led to the arrest of a customer.

The Telegraph reports early Tuesday, 43-year-old Willie Drake, of Columbus, sat down at the counter of a Waffle House in Macon and placed an order. Three employees told police Drake asked for barbecue sauce, but was told they didn’t have any.

A Bibb County sheriff’s report notes the man then “began screaming obscenities and insulting” the workers, trying “to create conflict, saying things such as, `I wouldn’t (expletive) ask you if I didn’t know you had it!”

He then reportedly added: “I’ll go to (expletive) jail over some barbecue sauce!”

And he did.

Drake faces a charge of disorderly conduct. He’s currently free after posting $390 bond.

It’s unknown if he has an attorney.

TME – They’re lucky they had ranch – he’d have burned the place to the ground.

Exceeded beads

NEW ORLEANS - Let the good times roll - just not into New Orleans’ storm drains.

That’s the plea from city officials.

Local news outlets report cleaning crews have sucked out more than 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from catch basins on along a five-block stretch of St. Charles Avenue downtown, a popular parade route.

Department of Public Works Interim Director Dani Galloway said Thursday that the four-month emergency program had cleaned 15,000 catch basins altogether as of Wednesday, removing roughly 7.2 million pounds of debris.

It’s part of a $22 million contract to tackle city’s drainage system in response to heavy August flooding.

Galloway asked residents to step up and clear neighborhood catch basins, and said the city is looking at installing temporary “gutter buddies.”

TME – How many times did those storm drains lift their shirts?

Makeup fake-up

BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana man hired a professional makeup artist and disguised himself as an Orthodox Jewish businessman during a long-running scheme to scam investors and banks out of more than $96 million, according to a federal indictment issued Thursday.

David D. deBerardinis, 56, of Shreveport, represented himself as a businessman in the petroleum industry and used false identities, phony bank statements and bogus news articles to perpetuate a fraud scheme that began in 2008 and lasted until at least July 2016, the indictment says.

The 10-page document doesn’t elaborate on how deBerardinis allegedly used a makeup artist and disguise in 2013 to get more investor funds from an unidentified equity group based in New York.

He is charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of attempted bank fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud counts and 30 years for the attempted bank fraud count. He also faces a $1 million fine, plus restitution and forfeiture, prosecutors said in a statement.

A Baton Rouge-based attorney for deBerardinis didn’t immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

TME – Oy vey.

Burrito blast

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Police say a fast-food worker upset at having to work a morning shift has given new meaning to a burrito to go, slinging a hot one at his Taco Bell supervisor.

Police in South Carolina say officers were called to the Spartanburg eatery Monday, where a supervisor reported telling the worker to “stop being a crybaby” - just before being beaned with the food-filled projectile.

A police report says the supervisor had turned away when melted cheese from the airborne burrito splattered her left arm, side and leg. Gooey stuff also “made a mess of the entire kitchen,” police say.

Police say the worker didn’t stop there, adding they were told he took off his headset, broke it on his knee and “stormed out.”

No arrests have been made.

TME – At least it wasn’t a Crunchwrap Supreme – someone could have gotten hurt.

Got a light?

AMARILLO, Texas - Amarillo police are investigating a burglary in which thieves lifted about 4,000 antique lighters.

An Amarillo police statement Tuesday said officers on Jan. 18 responded to a burglary at a house. Investigators say the owner reported the theft of his flint butane lighter collection.

Cpl. Jeb Hilton on Wednesday said no one has been arrested in the theft of what the officer calls a “valuable” and “very expensive” collection. Hilton declined to say how much the lighters are worth amid the investigation.

Hilton says police believe the thieves got in through a back door, which was found damaged.

TME – Those 4,000 candles weren’t going to light themselves.


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