News Quirks (9/03/14) | News Quirks | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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News Quirks (9/03/14) 

Curses, Foiled Again

Police charged Arthur Avery, 30, with setting fire to an apartment building in South Daytona, Fla., after they located the arson suspect at a hospital where he was being treated for burns. Witnesses said the suspect became angry when he couldn't locate a resident and began pouring gasoline onto a discarded mattress in a stairwell. When he knelt down to light the fire, he also ignited himself. While he rolled around on the ground to snuff his burning clothing, a set of keys and his wallet fell out before he fled. (Orlando's News 13)

A tornado that damaged buildings in Kingsport, Tenn., dumped the contents of Jerrod Christian's home on his yard. When neighbors emerged to check on the destruction and spotted the items, one of them noticed that several had been stolen from him. Police charged Christian, 20, with burglary and theft. (ABC News)

Pants on Fire

White bus driver Rickey Wagoner, 49, reported that three black men attacked and shot him in Dayton, Ohio, but he was miraculously spared when an inch-thick book of Bible verses in his pocket deflected the bullets. He said he grabbed the gun and fired at the fleeing men, one of whom had announced he needed to "shoot a polar bear," which is a term for a white person. Police investigated the incident as a hate crime but quickly dismissed it, according to Police Chief Richard Biehl, who said the evidence and testing didn't support Wagoner's version but wouldn't state whether Wagoner shot himself. (Associated Press)

Mistakes Were Made

Adam Kwasman, an Arizona state representative who favors stronger border controls, joined a group of people protesting the arrival of undocumented immigrant children in Oracle. When a yellow school bus approached, Kwasman tweeted, "Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law." He also claimed to see fear on children's faces. Informed that the children on the bus were actually YMCA campers, Kwasman deleted his tweet and apologized. (Reuters)

Unclear on the Concept

Police conducting a reverse prostitution sting in Daytona Beach, Fla., reported that Alonzo Liverman, 29, told the undercover police officer posing as a prostitute that he didn't have any money but offered a salad as payment for sex instead. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Social Media Follies

More than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys surveyed indicated that social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. And social media clauses are popping up in prenuptial agreements. "This is something new," New York attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza said, adding about a third of her clients have expressed interest in adding social media clauses to prenups since she started offering them in April. A typical clause forbids couples from posting nude photos of each other or photos or posts that might harm each other's professional reputation. Even though the damage is embarrassing, the penalty is monetary, Carrozza said, amounting to "$50,000 per episode." (ABC News)

Ironies of the Week

While award-winning filmmaker Kristian Hill was shooting a documentary in Detroit intending to promote a positive image of his hometown, thieves broke into his car and stole all of his camera and audio equipment. "I'm trying to keep a happy face on," Hill said, insisting he still loves Detroit, although he admitted the incident is "just going to make things a bit more difficult for this project." (Detroit Free Press)

A 20-year-old Philadelphia man was shot and killed outside a concert promoting "Peace on the Streets." Police commissioner Charles Ramsey blamed the shooting on street thugs. "This is what they do," he declared, "and they don't care if it's at a peace rally, in church. They could care less." (Philadelphia's KYM-TV)

Love Seat

Police arrested a 33-year-old woman they said "hiked up her dress and engaged in an intimate act with several lawn chairs" in Seattle. She then began urinating on the lawn before "quite purposefully exposing her genitalia, and then posterior, to the family inside the home," according to the report. The family called 911. Officers who arrested the "extremely intoxicated" woman for indecent exposure explained that public nudity is not illegal but it becomes criminal if it "causes a person to reasonably experience fear, alarm or concern." (Seattle's KOMO-TV)

Crime Doesn't Pay

Police said Dorren Singh, 26, stole $32,000 from 14 New York City banks then took a bus to Atlantic City "to meet girls and have fun." Instead, he lost his ill-gotten gains playing roulette. (New York Post)

Joshua James Pawlak, 27, demanded money from four businesses in Woodbridge, N.J., but police said all he got was $2, which he grabbed from the tip jar at a bakery. (

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About The Author

Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet was the author of a syndicated column called "News Quirks," which appeared weekly in Seven Days.

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