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Curses, Foiled Again

Brazilian fire officials had to rescue a prisoner who tried to crawl through a hole in the wall of a prison in Ceres but became trapped because he was too fat to fit through the opening. “The other prisoners tried to push him, but he stayed stuck in the wall,” fire department Lt. Tiago Costa said. “He started screaming in pain, and that was when the prison guards were alerted.” (London’s UKMetro)

Police quickly identified Michael David Stoltenberg, 27, as the hit-and-run driver who fled on foot after rear-ending another vehicle in Salt Lake City because he left behind not only his wrecked car, registered in his name, but also his two children, ages 9 and 2. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

Maytag Repairman’s Nightmare

Authorities accused Jason DeJesus, 36, and Chanelle Troedson, 33, of luring a handyman to their northern California home, where they beat him and held him against his will for seven hours. They forced him to repair their dishwasher and other appliances, fix a broken door and perform other maintenance tasks at the couple's five-bedroom home, which includes a beach volleyball court, a pool and tennis courts.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza said next the couple forced the fix-it man to accompany them to another home to make more repairs. When they stopped for gas and snacks, leaving him alone in the vehicle, he ran to a neighboring home and called 911. (Associated Press)

Second-Amendment Follies

A 45-year-old man who was bow hunting alone in a Maryland wildlife management area shot himself in the calf with an unregistered .22-caliber pistol. He called 911, summoning police and a Maryland State Police helicopter to the heavily forested area. The hunter fired a couple of rounds to help rescuers locate him, barely missing the chopper. “The dispatcher told him, ‘Please stop,’” Montgomery County Police Officer Rebecca Innocenti said, noting the hunter was airlifted to the hospital. (The Washington Times)

Least Believable Excuse of the Week

When police found a 2-year-old child and 5-month-old infant locked inside a running vehicle outside a restaurant in Broken Arrow, Okla., they went inside to question their father, Jason Daniel Murray, 31, and located him in the bar. The arrest report said Murray denied leaving his children in the car and insisted “someone else must have put the kids in the car while he was inside.” (Tulsa’s KOTV-TV)

When Guns Are Outlawed

Police accused Keith Paro, 34, of battering his girlfriend with a 4-foot python during a domestic altercation in West Springfield, Mass. (Springfield’s The Republican)

When the clerk at a Seattle gas station tried to stop a man and a woman stealing a six-pack of beer, the man hit the clerk in the head with a ukulele. Detective Renee Witt said the couple fled. (Seattle’s KIRO-TV)

Hail Mary & Mohammad

Muslim enrollment is increasing at U.S. Catholic colleges and universities, according to both students and administrators, who indicate the Muslim population has doubled over the past decade, while the number of Muslim women has tripled. One reason given is that Muslims, whether from the United States or abroad, prefer a place where talk of religious beliefs and adherence to a religious code is accepted and even encouraged. “I like the fact that there’s faith, even if it’s not my faith, and I feel my faith is respected,” Maha Haroon, a pre-med undergraduate at Creighton University, said. (The New York Times)

A sheriff’s deputy who arrested David A. Kappheim, 60, in Lake Park, Fla., after his girlfriend reported he threatened to kill her, said Kappheim admitted trying to kill his girlfriend three other times because “he was very conservative and she was a liberal.” While inside the apartment they shared, the deputy found documents suggesting that Kappheim is obsessed with Fox News and the Republican Party, and may be a danger to others. (Palm Beach Post)

Diamond in the Sky

Scientists announced the discovery of a planet twice the size of Earth that’s made of at least one-third diamond. The U.S.-French research team said 55 Cancri e is about 230 trillion miles from Earth and orbits a sun-like star in the constellation Cancer. It moves so fast that a year there lasts only 18 hours, and surface temperatures reach 3,900 degrees. “This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a fundamentally different chemistry from Earth,” said Yale University’s Nikku Madhusudhan, adding that the carbon-rich planet means scientists could no longer assume distant rocky planets have similar chemical constituents, interiors, atmospheres or biologies to Earth’s. (Reuters)

Clichés Come to Life

Police officers arrived in time to stop an armed robbery at a doughnut shop in Rochester, N.Y. (Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle

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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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