Curses, Foiled Again
Federal authorities said two masked gunmen greeted the owners of a New York City pizzeria arriving home after closing the store and ordered one of the owners to hand over a bag they believed held the day’s earnings. Instead, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Kristie Osswald reported, it “contained pizza dough.” Even so, the pizzeria owner resisted handing over the bag. Taking that reaction as proof the bag had value, the robbers shot the owner twice in the legs and fled with the bread. Suspect Salvatore LaRosa, 25, later turned himself in. (New York’s Daily Times) Police responding to a break-in at a home in Campbell, Ohio, found Todd J. Moffie, 34, stuck between two steps on the basement stairs. Detective Sgt. John Rusnak said he doesn’t know why Moffie tried to crawl through the narrow opening since there was plenty of room to walk around the stairs. (Youngstown’s The Vindicator) A British court convicted Amir Ali, 28, of throwing two bricks through the window of a West Sussex pub while his unidentified accomplice followed with a Molotov cocktail. Security cameras showed the firebomb bounce back and accidentally hit Ali, engulfing him in flames. The fire went out immediately, but panic-stricken Ali fled and ran headfirst into a lamppost. (Britain’s The Telegraph)
Japanese scientists started breeding mice that sing like birds. The researchers at the University of Osaka genetically engineered the mice as part of their “Evolved Mouse Project,” which accelerates mutations to see what develops. “We checked the newly born mice one by one,” lead researcher Arikuni Uchimura said. “One day we found a mouse that was singing like a bird.” He explained the “singing mouse” was a random mutation but that the trait has been used to breed 100 of them so far and will be used to breed more like it. “I was surprised because I had been expecting mice that are different in physical shape,” Uchimura said, adding that the project had also produced “a mouse with short limbs and a tail like a dachshund.” (Agence France-Presse)
Video Games in Real Life
A 23-year-old man was hospitalized in Anderson, S.C., after an SUV hit him while playing a real-life version of the arcade game “Frogger,” where players move frogs through traffic. The victim had been discussing the game with his friends, said Chief Jimmy Dixon, who said the man suddenly yelled “go” and darted into oncoming traffic in the four-lane highway. (Associated Press)
Defense attorney Tom Hudson helped his client beat DUI charges after the prosecution presented law enforcement video of Ronald Deveau at a DUI stop in Sarasota, Fla. Hudson hired a private investigator to videotape on-duty law enforcement officers making the same driving mistakes that officers cite as reasons for suspicion: wide turns, crossing double yellow lines and riding on lane markers. After comparing videos, Judge David Denkin declared that Deveau’s drifting was insufficient evidence of impaired driving and dismissed the charges. (Sarasota’s Herald- Tribune)
A Ukrainian entertainment firm in Dneprodzerzhinsk now offers drinking buddies for hire. “It is a pleasant companion who can enliven a boring evening,” Yulia Peyeva, head of Kind Fairy, which also organizes weddings and birthdays. “Virtually all of our people are talented. They can play guitar, sing or recite poetry. Today you may want to talk about art and tomorrow to read Faust.” (Agence France-Presse)
After two men shot each other in a bar in New Kensington, Pa., one of them, Thomas Galloway, 42, sued the bar and its owner, claiming negligence because patrons weren’t searched for weapons before entering. Both men were armed, and Galloway was convicted of illegally possessing a weapon. A federal judge dismissed the suit. (Associated Press)
When Jermaine Grosse, 26, was released from an involuntary psychiatric hold in Contra Costa County, Calif., he agreed to share a cab with a woman who’d also been released.
When the taxi delivered them to the woman’s destination, Grosse asked the driver to help her with her luggage, then got behind the wheel and drove off. Police arrested Grosse the next day when they got a call from the Department of Motor Vehicles that he was trying to register the cab in his name. (Contra Costa Times)
When police accused Michael Elias, 28, of a half-dozen home burglaries in San Antonio, Texas, he explained he had to keep committing the burglaries so he could afford to pay his attorney $150 a week to keep him out of jail. (San Antonio’s KSAT-TV) Police who arrested William Liston, 33, in suburban Cleveland on suspicion of driving drunk said he explained, “Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it.” (Cleveland’s WJW-TV)
News and Blues is compiled from the nation’s press. To contribute, submit original clippings, citing date and source, to Roland Sweet in care of The New Times.