Columns News of the Weird

News of the Weird

Recurring Theme

In April, News of the Weird reported that sweat bees were found to be living in the eye of a woman in Taiwan. Now, United Press International reports doctors at a hospital in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China, found a small spider building a nest inside a man’s ear. The man, identified only as Li, arrived at the hospital complaining of discomfort in his ear. Doctors said the spider was too small and fast to be caught with tools, but they were able to flush it out using water. [United Press International, 5/8/2019]

Rules Are Rules

Keith Cutler, senior circuit judge of Winchester and Salisbury in England, had what would seem to be an airtight reason for avoiding jury duty in April: He was scheduled to be the presiding judge for the case. Even so, when Cutler contacted the jury summoning bureau to say, “I would be inappropriate, seeing I happened to be the judge and knew all the papers,” the bureau refused to excuse him, suggesting he could “apply to the resident judge.” Cutler eventually had to call to explain that he is the resident judge, reported The Guardian. He noted that he would have been happy to serve under other circumstances: “I would have liked to have done the jury service to see what it was like and whether I would have liked the judge,” he said. [The Guardian, 4/16/2019]

Chutzpah!

Ricci Barnett, 41, refused to stop when a police officer tried to pull her over for driving the wrong way down a one-way street in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on April 21. The Associated Press reported that when she paused at a red light, the officer showed her his badge, to which she replied, “I don’t think so” and drove away. Barnett was eventually apprehended and charged with aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer and reckless driving. [Associated Press, 5/12/2019]

Crime Report

— A 25-year-old man from Kapaa, Hawaii, will likely spend seven years in prison after going on a drug-fueled rampage in his former boss’s home in December. Forrest Broyles pleaded no contest on May 7 to charges that he broke into the home to claim his fair share of fish the two men had caught together. Broyles told Kauai police he was using the hallucinogenic concoction ayahuasca when he used a machete to break the glass front door of the home, reported The Garden Island. He threatened the boss and his wife, saying he “was going to kill him and chop him up,” then attacked the house instead, hitting a television, breaking windows, a sliding glass door, kitchen cabinets, the stove and microwave and a canoe paddle, among other items, amounting to about $3,000 in damages. “That is what the whole incident was about,” Broyles told a detective at the scene. “He owes me choke ahi.” Broyles was on probation at the time (for allegedly threatening two people with scissors); he is scheduled for sentencing in August. [The Garden Island, 5/8/2019]

— The Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Argus Leader reported that Brody Fuchs, 25, of Tyndall was arrested on April 23 and charged with second-degree burglary after a local man contacted police about items disappearing from his home over the course of a couple of years — about $500 worth of sex toys. The man had installed security cameras in the house, which caught Fuchs entering the home, staying for about 40 seconds, then leaving, according to the affidavit. Bon Homme County Sheriff’s officers searched Fuchs’ residence and found a number of toys the victim said belonged to him. It was unclear whether the homeowner and Fuchs were acquainted. [Argus Leader, 5/10/2019]

Cuteness Alert

— Hugo the dog is a frequent boarder at Happy Tails Pet Hotel and Playland in St. Ann, Missouri. In early May, according to KTVI, Hugo proved how much he loves his pals at the doggy day care: He ran away from home, navigated a busy street and covered more than a mile to get to Happy Tails, where he ran inside to greet his canine friends. [KTVI, 5/9/2019]

— Baby’s First Shoes: When Olivia the giraffe gave birth to her son on May 2 at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, zookeepers noticed his rear feet were not in normal alignment, a condition called hyperextended fetlocks. So the 170-pound baby, as yet unnamed, was fitted with casts to correct the problem, and along with them, his own custom-made pair of therapeutic shoes made of plywood and polyethylene. “I’m hopeful they will help him walk better,” zoo veterinarian Dr. Tim Storms told KIRO. He expects the treatment will continue over several months. [KIRO, 5/9/2019]

Government in Action

New Zealand’s House Speaker, Trevor Mallard, ejected National Leader Simon Bridges from the chamber on May 7, claiming that Bridges’ conduct was inappropriate during Question Time. “The member earlier made a barnyard noise of the sort that would not be accepted in a junior classroom,” Mallard said. But Bridges objected, saying, “I made no such noise and it is entirely unfair for you as a speaker to say that sort of unprofessional comment.” The New Zealand Herald reported that Bridges later said Mallard’s comments made him feel like a “naughty boy”; later inspection of video from the session revealed that Bridges had made a loud sound of disapproval after an answer given by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. [New Zealand Herald, 5/7/2019]

Florida

A police officer in Haines City, Florida, was inside a local business on May 4 when he heard “a loud noise” outside. In the parking lot, he found Gary Wayne Anderson, 68, had just crashed his riding lawnmower (with trailer carrying a red cooler) into the officer’s cruiser, reported the Miami Herald. “F— it, I’m drunk,” Anderson told officers, according to an arrest affidavit. “Take me to jail.” He was so intoxicated, police said, that he failed a field sobriety test and “almost fell to the ground multiple times.” At the police station, Anderson accused police of poisoning him and requested that he be taken to a hospital, where test results found his blood-alcohol content to be three times Florida’s legal limit. Anderson has two prior DUI convictions and has not had a valid driver’s license since 1978. “It’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel drunk,” noted police Chief Jim Elensky, “even if that wheel is to a Craftsman, Massey Ferguson or John Deere.” [Miami Herald, 5/6/2019]

Awesome!

Cinema’s Freddy Krueger has nothing on a winged resident of the Cascavel city zoo in Brazil. The Amazonian parrot started his life at the zoo about four years ago, after being shot in the upper beak during a raid at a drug den, which disfigured his face and earned him the name Freddy Krueger, reported The Guardian. In April, Freddy survived being bitten on the leg by a (nonvenomous) snake, which resulted in profuse bleeding. Just days later, armed thieves broke into the zoo and stole Freddy, along with another parrot and a cylinder of gas. But true to Freddy form, the parrot made his way back to the zoo, where veterinarian Ilair Dettoni speculated that Freddy’s deformities may have made him less desirable to the thieves. “I don’t know if Freddy is really unlucky or really lucky,” he said. The other parrot and the gas cylinder have not been located. [The Guardian, 4/29/2019]

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