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News Quirks (6/3/15) 

Curses, Foiled Again

Investigators said David Menzies, 30, tried to steal bicycles and apparel from a bike shop in Wesley Chapel, Fla., that is located next to a self-defense and jujitsu studio — "definitely a bad environment to come and try to break the law," Hammerfist Krav Maga co-owner Jason Carrio said. Hammerfist instructors confronted the suspect, who finished loading his vehicle, a jeep that he was taking for a test drive, then said he'd wait in the vehicle. Carrio pulled the suspect out of the jeep and held onto him until police arrived. (Tampa's Bay 9 News)

Michael Kevin Meadows, 43, entered a drug store in Beaver, W.Va., wearing full camouflage and a paintball mask, and started spraying pepper spray to take down employees. According to a criminal complaint, he then walked forward and stepped into the cloud of pepper spray. He staggered out of the store empty-handed, but surveillance video led police to him. (Beckley's Register-Herald

Golden Oldies

A man in an assisted-living facility in Norristown, Pa., lost his housing subsidy after officials discovered a prostitute under his bed. Uri Z. Monson, the facility's financial director, said the man, believed to be in his seventies, was a "more mobile gentleman" than other residents and bought alcohol for them, using his profits to pay for prostitutes. (Associated Press)

Drone On

Four months after a U.S. intelligence employee landed a personal quadcopter drone on the roof of the White House, the Secret Service apprehended Ryan MacDonald, 39, for flying a drone across the street from the White House. MacDonald was asked to land the device, about the size of an iPad, and complied. The White House was locked down for more than an hour. (Associated Press)

Police in Lake Huvasa City, Ariz., reported that Nolan Pollard threw a T-shirt at a low-flying drone, causing it to fall to the ground and break. Pollard explained that he reacted because he was scared when he saw the drone flying toward his face. Police cited him for criminal damage. (Lake Huvasa City's News-Herald)


After Christopher Panayiotou, a suspect in the murder of his wife, delivered the eulogy at her funeral in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, local media reported that he plagiarized her eulogy by cutting and pasting from a 2010 online tribute by another man to his wife. (Associated Press)

Problem Solved

Hoping to reduce road accidents involving animals, police in the United Arab Emirates unveiled a plan to fit stray animals with glow-in-the-dark vests. The initiative, launched by Umm Al Quwain Municipality with the slogan "protecting road users from stray animals" (not "protecting stray animals from road users"), will rely on Animal Welfare to figure out which animals will wear the fluorescent vests and how to get the vests on them. (UAE's National)

Walking faster could save 5,592 lives if a major tsunami hit the Pacific Northwest, according to geographers reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They estimated that 21,562 residents of coastal communities in Oregon, Washington and Northern California would not make it to safety walking at 2.5 mph. But walking at 3.5 mph would drop the death toll to 15,970. The report noted that people in vulnerable coastal areas who feel the quake have about 15 minutes to reach higher ground before a wall of water 30 to 40 feet high washes ashore. (Associated Press)

Iran's religious authorities banned spiky hairstyles, declaring that they encourage homosexuality and Satanism. "Any shop that cuts hair in the devil-worshipping style will be harshly dealt with and their license revoked," said Mostafa Govahi, the head of Iran's barbers' union. "Tattoos, solarium treatments and plucking eyebrows are also forbidden." (Britain's Local)

Frack Attack

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm, the founder of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources, told a University of Oklahoma dean that he wanted certain scientists there dismissed because they were studying links between oil and gas activity in the state and the nearly 400-fold increase in earthquakes. "Mr. Hamm is very upset at some of the earthquake reporting to the point that he would like to see select OGS (Oklahoma Geological Survey, part of the university) staff dismissed," Larry Grillot, dean of the school's Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, who emailed colleagues after a meeting with Hamm. Grillot confirmed the request but said no action resulted. (Bloomberg News)

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Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet is the author of the syndicated column "News Quirks," which appears weekly in Seven Days.

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