Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday December 12th 2018

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News Of The Weird 1/2/15

By Chuck Shepherd

Weird Scenes (1) Richard Shear, 28, was arrested in Muskegon County, Michigan, in October after an apparent violent episode with his mother and girlfriend. Shear had allegedly threatened the two, slashed an SUV tire, and tried to burn down their home with gasoline and a lit candle—but when it was time to flee the premises, hopped on his moped, ensuring his flight from police would be a short one. (2) A woman (described only as “robust”) in Darmstadt, Germany, fled with the equivalent of about $125 from a pharmacy in October and is still at large. According to the police report, she swiped money from two cash registers by twice lifting her shirt and squirting breast milk at a clerk as a diversion.

The District of Calamity The Washington, D.C., school system last year declared Avery Gagliano, 13, a habitual truant whose parents somehow require special training to ensure her attendance. The eighth-grader was a straight-A student at Alice Deal Middle School, but also a piano prodigy selected for prestigious world exhibitions—which caused her to exceed the maximum 10 “unexcused” absences that trigger the assignment of a truancy officer and a series of relentless threats against the parents (which ultimately provoked them to withdraw Avery and this season to home-school her). (In October, following a Washington Post account, D.C.’s governing council honored Avery in a public ceremony, and the D.C. schools chancellor overnight began begging the Gaglianos to bring Avery and her suddenly “excused” absences back to school.)

The Aristocrats! (1) Sean Johnson, 19, was arrested in Brooksville, Florida, in October at the Wal-Mart after he was spotted at about 3 p.m. taking a toy stuffed horse into the bedding department and masturbating with it. (2) Paul Mountain, 38, pleaded guilty to burglary in Darwen, England, in October—accused by a homeowner whose shed was vandalized. Among the damaged items was a teddy bear streaked with semen. Mountain told officers that he was coming down off of an amphetamine high and felt an “overwhelming need for sexual relief.”

Least Competent Criminals Daniel Rice, 21, on the lam from jailers in Muscatine, Iowa, found himself in nearby Rock Island, Illinois, according to his 911 call to emergency personnel there. Rice had made his way to the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, where he thought he could safely hole up, but reported that he was being chased by a pack of wild coyotes and begged for help.

• Jamie Brown, 29, stole a fish tank from a hardware store in Leeds, England, in August (thus violating a previous hardware-store stayaway order) and made a run for it, but had to be rescued by police and emergency personnel after he stopped to urinate in a bush—and, inadvertently, directly onto a wasps’ nest. Police said he later spent six very unpleasant hours at Leeds General Infirmary.

Lack of Foresight: (1) Jonathan Warrenfeltz, 24, and a buddy were charged with robbing five sunbathers in Dania Beach, Florida, at gunpoint in October. Police quickly picked up the two based on a lookout for the only man around with the word “Misunderstood” tattooed in large letters across his forehead (as Warrenfeltz had). (2) Brandon Aaron, 27, charged with statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl in Panama, Oklahoma, in October, initially denied having sex, but changed his story when the girl remembered that her attacker had the name of an ex-girlfriend tattooed on his penis (as Aaron had).

Update News of the Weird first mentioned the breakthrough treatment of “fecal transplants” in 2000 (to remedy the brutal diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile infections)—in which large-intestine bacteria of a healthier relative is delivered to the patient’s gut—so that healthy bacteria kill off the germs causing the diarrhea. However, the procedure is awkward and inconvenient and requires a colonoscopy to deliver. Recently, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital tried an alternative: placing healthy transplant poop into 30 large, stomach-acid-resistant capsules, to be ingested by mouth over two days. The regimen worked remarkably well for 14 of 20 patients, and for four of the remaining six on a second try.

• Sisters Martine and Louise Fokkens, 71, have finally retired as prostitutes in Amsterdam after 50-year careers. (“Fokkens” is their “stage” name, supposedly translated as “old whores” in Dutch.) Louise has not worked since 2010 because of arthritis, but appeared with Martine in a 2012 documentary and in October 2014 reminisced for the Jewish news agency JTA. The industry changed, anyway, Louise said. Amsterdam’s “working girls” are now all foreign and young, and the clients are tourists instead of locals. Back then, she said, “Our life in the business (was) a source of pride.”

Readers’ Choice (1) Ashley Tull, 30, was arrested in Selbyville, Delaware, in October after her 4-year-old daughter showed up at Hickory Tree Child Care Center with more than 200 baggies of heroin in her backpack, innocently sharing them with classmates. (2) Chula Vista, California, police officers in August rescued a woman and her adult daughter, who had screamed to 911 that they were trapped in the mother’s bedroom, unable to leave because her house cat had turned bad and was “guarding” the door. (Officers repeatedly called “Cuppy” by name, softly, until he finally walked away.)