Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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News of the Weird

Good ol’ boy


A miles-long traffic jam on Interstate 20 near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Jan. 25 and on into the next morning was caused by an 18-wheeler that jackknifed and overturned when the 57-year-old driver took his hands off the wheel to pull out a tooth with his fingers. Efforts to haul the truck from the roadside required an hours-long detour of traffic off of the interstate. (The driver’s mission was successful; he had the tooth in his pocket when rescued.)

Unclear on the concept

Luis Moreno Jr., 26, was pursued by police in Fort Lee, New Jersey, after he entered the carpool lane approaching the George Washington Bridge in January because he appeared to be alone in his SUV. After ignoring several signals to pull over, he finally stopped and, when informed of his offense, told the officer, “I have two passengers in the back” and rolled down a window to show them (in the vehicle’s third row), apparently satisfying the officer. However, as Moreno pulled away, one passenger began screaming and banging on the back door. Moreno sped off with his hostages, but was subsequently stopped again and charged with kidnapping and criminal restraint.

Compelling explanations

Briton Roberto Collins, 51, was sentenced to 13 months in jail by Manchester Crown Court in January after being caught standing on a ladies’ room toilet and peering into the next stall. He told police he stood up only to better scratch an itch and was in the ladies’ room only because, wearing faulty glasses, he thought it was the men’s room. …

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Scotsman Dean Gilmartin, 25, actually persuaded a judge at Perth Sheriff Court in January of his “innocence” — that he might not have been masturbating at the front window of his home. He admitted he was nude (changing clothes), but pointed out that he plays musical instruments and was probably just picking out tunes on his ukulele (rather than “holding” his genitals and moving “side to side,” as a neighbor had charged). …

Poet Les Merton, 70, denied in January that he had ever abused children, but had a more difficult time explaining why a child-porn website had his credit card information. Merton holds the appointed title of Cornish bard in Cornwall, England, and is the author of the Official Encyclopedia of the Cornish Pasty — and explained in Truro Crown Court that he must have mindlessly entered his credit card information while researching the 19th-century Russian figure Rasputin.

New world order

Montanan John Abarr told the Great Falls Tribune in November that his Rocky Mountain Knights of the Ku Klux Klan opposes the “new world order” pushing a “one government” system on the planet — but also stands against discrimination based on race, religion or sexual orientation. “White supremacy is the old Klan,” he said. “This is the new Klan” (except that, he said, robes and hoods will still be required, along with “secret rituals”).

Fine points of the law

The Supreme Court of Canada turned down Joel Ifergan’s appeal in January, leaving his winning-number lottery ticket from 2008 worthless. He had bought two tickets seconds before the 9 p.m. deadline on May 23 of that year, and the tickets had started to print on the store’s machine, but only the first one carried that day’s date. By the time the second one — with winning numbers for the $27 million jackpot — had gone through the lottery’s central computer system and back to the store’s printer, the program had already kicked over to the following day and to the next week’s drawing.

Ultra-expensive trysts

The ones reported previously in News of the Weird involved celebrities ultimately nailed for high-ticket child support payments based on a single encounter (e.g., tennis star Boris Becker, who admitted conceiving a child in a restaurant closet rendezvous). British tourist Peter Cousins, 55, is now dealing with a medical bill of $250,000 after deciding that the middle of a Nevada desert was a good place to have sex — which provoked a heart attack, leading to emergency rescue and a five-day hospital stay (and, eventually, breakup with his then-girlfriend).

Devil in the details

Mike Montemayor, until recently a county commissioner in Laredo, Texas, pleaded guilty to bribery charges in June and had argued in January 2015 that he should get a light sentence because, after all, he had subsequently helped FBI agents in a sting against three other officials accused of bribery. However, the prosecutor immediately countered that Montemayor had in fact tried to steal the recording devices and Apple computer the FBI had furnished him to do the undercover work. (He got six years in prison and a $109,000 fine.) CV


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