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Weird National Briefs (02/26/2020)

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Wrong place, right crime

CLEVELAND - A pair of robbers apologized profusely after saying they broke into the wrong Cleveland apartment but robbed the man inside anyway, according to police reports.

The robbers repeatedly told the male resident they wouldn’t hurt him but had to “get something out of it” since they were already there, the reports said.

No arrests have been made in the Wednesday robbery and the 32-year-old victim wasn’t injured, cleveland.com reported.

Police reports say the man heard noises on his fire escape about 2 a.m., opened a window and found two men pointing guns at him.

Despite their mistake, the robbers took the man’s video game player, shoes, clothes, $800 in cash, iPhone and car keys. They escaped through the window and out the fire escape, the reports said.

TME – At least they were sorry.

Candid camera

PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Two suspected burglars have been arrested after a man who said he was a soldier deployed to Iraq called police to say he’d just watched two men on his smart phone he’d hooked up to his doorbell camera walk out of his garage carrying his power tools, authorities said.

According to Park Ridge Police, the department got a call early Friday from a man who identified himself as a soldier. The man, who said he was in Iraq, told police he saw two men enter his garage empty handed and leave it loaded down with power tools.

Officers responded to the area at about 2:30 a.m. Friday and spotted two men walking along a road not far from the address where the caller said he lived. Police said the men were carrying items they determined had been taken from the garage, as well as other items they believe had been stolen from cars in the area.

The Park Ridge Herald-Advocate reported that officers arrested 23-year-old Andres Gutierrez of Chicago and 24-year-old Brandon Shaw of Arcola. Both men were charged with three counts of burglary and were scheduled to appear Saturday in bond court at the Cook County criminal court building.

TME – Truly, we live in the world of tomorrow.

Phone fracas

CANTON, Ohio - An Ohio woman was arrested for calling 911 when her parents cut off her cellphone service, authorities said.

Seloni Khetarpal was arrested Feb. 13 by Massillon police and charged with disrupting police services, a fourth-degree felony, The Canton Repository reported.

Jail records show that Khetarpal, 36, repeatedly called emergency dispatchers because her parents had terminated her cellphone service, which they paid for.

An officer contacted her and advised she call emergency services only for emergencies.

Two hours later, she called again and “was belligerent and stated she believed it to be a legitimate issue,” according to jail records.

Court records do not list an attorney who could speak on Khetarpal’s behalf.

TME – Maybe she just needed to talk – without service, 911 is all she’s got.

Man punches cat

CUPERTINO, Calif. - A state park in Northern California remained closed Tuesday after a mountain lion attacked a 6-year-old girl while she walked on a trail, officials said.

The girl was at the Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve in Cupertino when a mountain lion attacked her Sunday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement.

The child was about two miles from the main parking lot when a mountain lion attacked her. Adults who were with her scared the big cat away, the department said. Rangers with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District treated the girl for minor injuries.

The 6-year-old was with her parents in a group of six adults and four children. An adult who was with them rescued her by punching the animal in the ribs.

“Right about when it grabbed ahold of the girl, there was an adult there that pushed the lion away into the bushes, and it ran off,” Brad Pennington, a ranger with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, told KGO. “She has minor injuries, a couple puncture wounds on her calf, and she was treated for minor first aid. Then, her parents took her to the hospital.”

Rangers are trying to find and positively identify the mountain lion and that the park will remain closed until they determined it is safe, officials said.

Mountain lions live throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains region and generally are not a threat to people. Most avoid areas of human activity and are easily scared off by loud noises, the department said.

“Seeing a mountain lion is rare and an encounter like this is very unusual. Visitors to parks and open space should remain vigilant when outdoors in mountain lion territory,” it said.

TME – But really, haven’t we all wanted to punch a mountain lion?

Rules are rules

CROYDON, N.H. - The police chief in a New Hampshire town took it literally when he was stripped of his duties at a local board meeting, disrobing to his underwear and walking out into a snowstorm.

Richard Lee has been chief in the small town of Croydon for 20 years. On Tuesday night, the three-member selectboard voted to eliminate the one-man department and move to 100% coverage by the New Hampshire State Police.

Lee, who was at the meeting, was told to turn in the key to his cruiser, his guns and his uniform - immediately. He went into an office he shared with town officials and took off his clothes before the board chairman.

“I gave them my uniform shirt. I gave them my turtleneck, I gave them my ballistic vest. ... I sat down in the chair, took off my boots, took off my pants, put those in the chair, and put my boots back on, and walked out the door,” Lee said. He didn’t have spare clothes or a ride home. He walked nearly a mile before his wife picked him up.

Lee said that if he had left with his gear, he didn’t want to face the possibility of being arrested. As he took off his clothes, he said, the chairman said he didn’t have to do that, but Lee said those were the orders.

Lee said he is discussing what happened with his attorney.

Phone messages were left seeking comment from Chairman Russell Edwards and the two other selectmen, Ian Underwood and Joseph Marko.

TME – What a totally normal, non-passive-aggressive way to handle things.

Durian drama

HONOLULU - Police in Hawaii are investigating the theft of fruit valued at about $1,000 including durian, which is known for its powerful odor.

Two men entered a property in Hilo on the Big Island and removed 18 durian and other types of fruit on the night of Feb. 1, the Hawaii Police Department said.

Authorities released a surveillance camera image of two suspects and asked the public for additional information that could lead to the capture of the fruit bandits.

The tropical, spiky durian fruit resembles a small porcupine and typically weighs from 2 to 7 pounds (1 to 3 kilograms).

Durian is known for a pale yellow flesh with a sweet taste but a smell that has been compared to moldy cheese, rotten onions, dead fish and far worse.

Durian is popular across Southeast Asia but also is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transportation there.

The smell of rotting durian in a cupboard was mistaken for a gas leak and prompted an evacuation of a library at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia in April 2018.

TME – Truly, a loss of inno-scents.

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 07:36

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