<![CDATA[NBC New York - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:56:29 -0400 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:56:29 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Shows Up for Jail in T-Shirt With Picture of His Mug Shot]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:32:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/1200x675-Burt1.jpg

A Maine man showed up to serve a 48-hour jail sentence this month wearing an orange T-shirt with a picture of his mug shot from his arrest on it.

Robert Edward Burt of Pittsfield was arrested in Hartland in June for operating under the influence. He was booked but released after posting bail.

He was later sentenced to serve 48 hours behind bars and reported to serve them Aug. 8.

Burt was released on Aug. 10. It was not immediately clear whether Burt has an attorney. A phone number listed under his name was disconnected.



Photo Credit: Booking Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Sailboat Put on Auction Block for $25]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:57:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/navy+sailboat+auction.JPG

Got $25? You could just buy yourself a sailboat, thanks to the U.S. Navy.

As part of a government liquidation, the U.S. Department of Defense is auctioning off a 50-foot sailboat to the highest bidder.

But this vessel isn’t what you’d expect from a former Navy craft.

The three-hulled, high-performance Contour 50 boat, which is now in Harbor Island, was used for “experimental training and recreational purposes,” according to Liquidity Services, Inc.

Built in the mid 2000s, the craft has undergone some modifications but still has its wing sail, rigging and mast assembly, as well as an inboard 40-horsepower engine.

If that’s the kind of recreational services sailors are privy to, it’s safe to say the Navy has some decent perks. Now, the craft is going to a private owner who’s ready to hit the open ocean.

Bidding for the sailboat starts at $25 on Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. PT and closes Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. The auction will be held online on the Defense Department’s auction site, www.GovLiquidation.com.



Photo Credit: Government Liquidation]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gets Shot in Head, Walks to Hospital]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 07:17:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Hospital+generic+722.jpg

A man in a New York suburb with a gunshot wound to the head was apparently able to walk himself to the hospital, authorities in Westchester County said Saturday.

The 24-year-old was shot in the head at around 10 p.m. Friday evening, according to police in Mount Vernon. The man then crashed his car into a house on 10th Avenue, before apparently walking himself to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, police said. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Authorities were investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The victim has a criminal history and has served time in prison, police said.

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<![CDATA[Pot Plants Worth $5M Removed From SoCal Public Park]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:37:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/pot+bust+oc+august+15+copy.jpg

Thousands of marijuana plants worth about $5 million were removed, in what authorities called an all day-long operation, from rough terrain at a Southern California public park Friday. 

Between 2,500 and 4,000 plants were found in the Muddy Canyon area of the Laguna Wilderness Park, south of the 73 Freeway toll road, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The “eradication” operation required authorities to hike up the rugged area and manually tear out the plants. A sheriff’s airship “Duke” was being used to take the plants to a nearby area to be packaged for evidence, officials said.

"There is a complex irrigation here with this grow," said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "As far as where exactly it's coming from, and the source, that's still part of the investigation."

Authorities were looking into the possibility of the grow's irrigation system being connected to the one in the park.

The plants were discovered by a nature conseveration group who were flying above the parks searching for non-native habitats -- otherwise known as weeds.

Investigators said the operation began around 7 a.m. and was expected to take between five and six hours.

An investigation into the plants was underway but authorities had no suspect information and it was unclear how long the plants had been growing.

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<![CDATA[Uncanny: "Canstruction" Sculptures Made From Thousands of Cans ]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:31:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Canstruction_39%5B1%5D.jpg Sculptures made of cans are on display at Merchandise Mart in Chicago as part of the 8th annual Canstruction competition, during which teams create the large sculptures made of thousands of canned goods.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Walk-Morris]]>
<![CDATA["Ima Thief" Busted for Stealing: PD]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:07:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/imathiefbondcourt.jpg

A South Florida man who told police his name was Ima Thief was met by a judge's laughter when he appeared in bond court Thursday on charges he tried to steal two televisions from a store.

Police in Sunrise say Thief tried to walk out of the store with more than a thousand dollars worth of merchandise.

“You’re Ima Thief, sir,” Broward Judge John Fry asked the man while laughing.

“Yes, sir,” Thief responded.

“And you’re charged with grand theft,” Judge Fry said while shaking his head. “I’m going to call you Mr. Ima, okay? Alright.”

After exchanging good mornings, Judge Fry said, “I do sincerely wish you the best of luck. I just wasn’t really anticipating seeing this name.”

Police say the man tried to leave a store on the 3300 block of North University Drive in Sunrise with two television sets and three other items in his shopping cart. He was met by security at the door.

When he was told to go back in the store with the items, he refused, and when officers arrived and gave the same order, he tried to get past them and out of the area, police said.

The man refused to identify himself, other than to say his name was Ima Thief. He told police he was 34 years old.

In the arrest affidavit, Officer Andrew Hydes wrote, “the name and date of birth are fictitious and only provided in order for the subject to be processed at the Broward Sheriff’s Office jail.”

The man who identified himself as Thief faces charges of grand theft and resisting an officer. He’s also being held on a no-bond probation violation warrant related to a burglary.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Brooklyn Residents Set Up Dog Walker "Wall of Shame"]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:21:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Dog-Poop-Shaming.jpg

Dog walkers who don’t clean up after their pets on one Brooklyn street could find themselves in for a surprise nastier than the messes their pooches leave behind, thanks to a group of fed-up residents.

The South Oxford Street Block Association said on its Facebook page that it is setting up an online “wall of shame” of photos and videos of dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets on walks.

The group's president, Abby Weissman, already posted surveillance footage of a woman walking off after her dog stopped to do its business by a tree box on a sidewalk.

Weissman encouraged other members of the group to be on the lookout for more scofflaw dog walkers and to send in similar photos and videos.

“There is no excuse for this behavior,” Weissman said in a Facebook post. “If you can’t clean up after your dog you shouldn’t have one.”

Some residents in the neighborhood said they supported the idea.

“I am with y’all all the way (about) catching dog-walkers leaving their poop on the ground,” one longtime Fort Greene resident said in a post to the group’s Facebook page. “Oh does that drive me nuts.”

Under city law, dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets could face a $250 fine.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York

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<![CDATA[Number Goof Leads to Years of Alcatraz Misdials]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:12:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/edtAP7106130276.jpg

Thomas Renault can’t escape from Alcatraz.

At least once a day, the phone rings in his San Francisco office with someone hoping to book a hard-to-get tour of the infamous prison. It’s another wrong number.

Renault doesn't lose his cool despite years of misdials. He even got a call to his business early Monday morning, on the 80th anniversary of opening day at Alcatraz Island.

"The number is off by one," he said by phone. "A long time ago, the fonts for 7's and 1's looked the same, and I think my number got reprinted on all the Alcatraz literature."

That misprint was about five years ago. At its peak, every third call to his business would be about an Alcatraz tour. Renault called the National Park Service, which runs the Alcatraz tours of the former prison, to correct the mistake. He wanted to let them know that his was not the place to book tours for the now-shuttered prison that once housed Al Capone and other notorious inmates.

Renault runs his own organizational development company and doesn't know the first thing about steering a cruise ship to the island, he said. 

"They were really good about it," Renault said of the park service correcting the error.

Alcatraz Cruises, LLC, the official Alcatraz ticket source for the National Park Service, has not returned calls for comment on Renault’s experience.

The misdials keep coming, mainly because dialers sometimes transpose 7 with 1.

Renault isn't bitter about the early morning, mid-day and late-night calls that sometimes come from across the globe. He has warm feelings for the folks who work at Alcatraz.

Last year, a group of business associates from Canada who visited him wanted to see Alcatraz. Renault told them, "Let's see what I can do."

He called up the cruise lines and told them he was the "wrong number guy." They comped him and his out-of-town guests free tickets and tours to the island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

It was Renault's first and only trip there. He said he really enjoyed it. But more than the old prison cells, or the history of the occupation of American Indians on Alcatraz, Renault said he especially loved the gardens.

"They were really so old and beautiful," he said.

To call about reserving a tour on Alcatraz Island, the correct line is 415-981-7625. Tickets are sold out, however, until Aug. 27.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Woman Caught With Cash in Girdle at Airport]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:29:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cash-generic-722x406.jpg

A 78-year-old Florida woman tried to fly on an international trip from Detroit Metropolitan Airport with almost $41,000 in cash hidden inside her girdle, bra and carry-on bag, federal authorities said.

A complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit said the Clearwater woman was trying to board a flight April 2 to the Philippines with her daughter. She initially said she had $200 in cash but submitted a form declaring she had $1,200, prompting questions.

During a search, Customs and Border Protection officers found $8,000 in wallets in her carry-on bag, $4,000 sewn into a cloth pouch and nearly $1,000 in envelopes, according to the complaint. She then told them she had $3,000 in her blouse and $2,000 sewn into the strap of her bra.

Officers continued to search and said they found about $21,000 in her girdle. The woman told authorities that she had recently sold her home for $120,000, wired some money to the Philippines and had planned to carry a portion of the money with her.

"She stated that she did not wire the proceeds to the Philippines this time because she thought it was safer to carry the money," according to the complaint.

Federal law requires travelers to declare if they are carrying more than $10,000. The woman hasn't been charged, but the government in the forfeiture complaint said it wants to keep the money. The Detroit News reported details of the request Friday.

Federal court records don't list a lawyer for the woman. The Associated Press left a message Saturday seeking comment from her at a telephone listing in Florida.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Shoplifters Swipe Lobsters, Rogaine, Whitening Strips: Cops]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:42:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Suffolk-County-Shoplifters.jpg

Police are looking for a pair of shoplifters who swiped some unusual items in unrelated thefts at Long Island stores recently.

A man stole $2,500 worth of Rogaine, toothpaste, teeth whitening strips and allergy medicine from a Target in Central Islip on August 5, police say.

He allegedly loaded up a cart with the merchandise and walked out of the store, where he was picked up by someone in a getaway car.

Police say that a week before that theft, a woman snuck out of a Hauppauge grocery store with a canvas bag filled with $65 worth of live lobsters.

Anyone with information about either of the suspects is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.



Photo Credit: SCPD]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Bear Caught Walking on Hind Legs in New Jersey]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 08:55:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Bear-Generic.jpg

People in one New Jersey town were surprised when they saw a black bear taking a stroll down the street on its hind legs earlier this week.

A resident in Jefferson Township posted a video to YouTube showing the bear lumbering upright to the end of a cul-de-sac, peering inside a trash can and then venturing off into the woods.

The video has been viewed more than 250,000 times.

"It probably is a black bear," said Larry Ragonese, press director for New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. He said there's no way to fully authenticate the video.

Ragonese said bears can walk on two legs, although they usually don't for extended periods. 

A biologist who examined the video said the bear could have damaged a front paw, requiring it to walk on two legs, Ragonese said.

Neighbors left comments on the video saying that they too had seen the bear pull the stunt recently.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Boa Still on the Loose in South Jersey Town]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:43:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Boa-on-the-Loose-New-Pic.jpg

Police continue to search for a large snake that escaped its owner in a South Jersey town last month. However, they also say the reptile doesn’t pose much of a threat to humans.

Animal control officers received several reports of a snake in the Villas section of Lower Township. The reptile was spotted several times but still has not been captured.

One witness, Becky Clements, told NBC40 she took a picture of the snake eating a seagull in her backyard.

“I never thought I’d ever see a snake that big in the Villas,” Clements said.

Lower Township Police located the original owner, a resident of Villas. They also determined the species and identified the snake as a red-tailed boa, approximately six-feet long and eight-pounds.

Despite the panic from some residents, officials say the snake is relatively harmless to humans.

“No one should feel unsafe in their own backyard,” said Lower Township Manager Mike Voll. “This was an unfortunate case of a pet snake that wasn’t being watched properly and it caused concern when it got away. The bottom line is that people don’t have to be afraid.”

Officials still say however that residents should supervise their children and pets as they continue to search for the snake.

“The red-tailed boa is not aggressive and unlikely to be found wanting anything other than amphibians, rodents, rabbits and birds,” said a Township spokesperson.

Police say the owner is not facing any criminal charges since it’s not illegal to own a snake in New Jersey. The red-tailed boa can be found at pet stores nationwide. Officials say the owner is still accepting responsibility however for not watching the snake carefully after he took it out of its aquarium for cleaning and exercise.

Boas are normally shy and primarily nocturnal, doing most of their movement during dawn and dusk, according to Dr. Nick Holland of Shore Animal Control Services.

Boas are native to South America as well as some areas of Mexico and are a popular item at pet stores.

Officials hope to find the snake soon. According to Holland, the snake won’t survive in cool weather and could also die from eating wildlife that carries bacteria that it's not immune to.

The snake was last spotted eating a bird around the 200 block of Arbor Road earlier this week. According to experts, the reptile will likely retreat to a cool, dark place for three weeks to a month in order to digest its meal.

“Residents don’t have to be afraid,” said Lower Township Police Chief William Mastriana. “Even though this isn’t an aggressive snake, we want people to exercise caution and take the time to check their property, their sheds and crawl spaces. If you see something, give the police department a call.”

The snake has gained plenty of attention on social media since news of its escape surfaced. Two parody accounts @VillasSnake and @CapeMayPython were created on Twitter.

Lower Township Police are advising all residents who spot the snake to call the department at 609-886-2711 as well as animal control at 1-800-351-1822.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York



Photo Credit: Lower Township]]>
<![CDATA[Company Pays Settlement in Buckets of Loose Change]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 06:17:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Andres+Carrasco.jpg

An unexpected delivery of loose change has a 73-year-old man in California giving his own two cents.

Andres Carrasco filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Adriana’s Insurance Service, Inc. alleging he was physically assaulted by one of the company's employees.

After agreeing to a settlement with Andres Carrasco in June, Adriana’s Insurance decided to deliver the funds in the form of a check -- and buckets and buckets of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.

The coins amount to more than $21,000, said Carrasco’s attorney Antonio Gallo.

"Adriana's Insurance, is this the way you treat everyone?" Carrasco said in a statement. "Why don't you like your clients?"

When the time to pony up for the settlement came, Carrasco’s attorney said eight of Adriana's Insurance employees arrived in a van with five-gallon containers full of coins in hand.

The employees then went to Carrasco’s attorney’s office, dropped them off in waiting room and left.

Carrasco had just had a hernia operation and wouldn’t be able to lift one of buckets, let alone the scores left by the company, Gallo said.

"I am disappointed by the way Adriana's treats their customers and the elderly,” Carrasco said in the statement. "We might be poor, but we are people too."

Officials with the insurance company did not respond to requests for comment.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Tortoise Reunited With Human Family]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:14:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/209*120/dirk+the+turtle.JPG

A tortoise that was found strutting the streets of Alhambra by police was reunited with his human family Sunday, police said.

After an adventure that may have tired out a lesser reptile, Dirk was taken back to his home in Alhambra to spend his days munching on leafy greens. 

Police said they received a call about the tortoise on Saturday after he was found moseying at a leisurely pace near Sixth Street and Norwood Place.

Finding Dirk wasn’t too much of a problem, but bringing him into custody proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Officials said it took two officers to bring in the hefty 150-pound pet. The animal was later put into the care of animal control who released him into his family’s custody.

Police joked on Facebook that while possession of a dirk, which is a type of dagger, is a punishable offense, possession of a Dirk can only result in a lovable scaly slowpoke.



Photo Credit: Alhambra Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Police Take in 150-Pound Tortoise]]> Sun, 03 Aug 2014 15:36:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/alhambra-tortoise-found.jpg

It may have outsmarted a hare, but a tortoise found in Alhambra couldn't outrun the police on Saturday. 

It took two officers to take a 150-pound tortoise into custody, the Alhambra Police Department said in a Facebook post

"The tortoise did try to make a run for it; but, our officers are pretty fast. Almost had a pursuit!" the post said.

Officials said they received a call about the animal when someone found it at 6th Street and Norwood Place. 

The tortoise has distinct markings, police said, and was picked up by animal control. 

The animal's owner can contact the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control center in Downey at 562-940-6898. 



Photo Credit: Alhambra Police Department via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Cop Blames Sex Cream ]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:41:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/miami+beach+police.jpg

A Miami Beach homicide detective will get his job back and back pay after he successfully argued that he tested positive for cocaine last year because he had used a sexual aid cream a few days before the drug test.

Detective Reinaldo Casas won his case in front of an arbitrator this week, after filing a grievance over his firing by the Miami Beach Police Department following his positive drug test in January 2013.

Casas said in the case that he had never knowingly used cocaine. He said he was able to pinpoint the possible cause to a “sexual aid cream” a friend gave him. “My girlfriend had applied the substance to enhance our sexual intercourse in the days prior to my drug screening," he explained.

Casas testified at a hearing that he got the cream from Idilio Godinez, a close friend of his. Godinez testified that he got the Vaseline-like substance from an “old Cuban guy.” Casas said the cream would help with his erectile dysfunction.

Arbitration documents said the cream was tested and found to contain cocaine. The city argued that it still had just cause to fire Casas because his story was “unbelievable.”

“As a police officer, Casas should have been aware of what he was putting into his body," the city said.

The arbitrator called the story “highly suspect” but ultimately found that “there is no evidence in the record to show that the grievant was aware the cream contained a controlled substance” when Casas used it.

The arbitrator’s ruling said Casas could return to duty and receive back pay as well.



Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Zoo Gets Fruit From Flipped Truck]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:55:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/elephant8.jpg

Talk about not letting roadkill go to waste.

The elephants, giraffes and bears at the Oakland Zoo got to nosh on African jackfruit and bananas Wednesday thanks to a overturned big rig that dumped 60,000 pounds of fruit in Livermore near the Altamont Pass earlier in the week.

"The elephants loved it," Brian Deering, president of the nonprofit F.A.I.R. Foundation, told NBC Bay Area. He masterminded the transfer – taking the lightly squished fruit from the side of Interstate Highway 580 and getting about 15,000 pounds of it to the animals at the zoo.

About 35,000 pounds fed humans at the Alameda County Food Bank, and the rest was too badly bruised to be eaten.

The truck is owned by All Seasons Produce in Oakland, which grows fruit in Mexico. Deering knows the owners, who contacted him after the truck tipped early Monday morning to say they didn't want the food to go to waste. He also knows the owners of Save Tow, who schlepped the tropical fruit to the zoo.

Deering's agency, which has roots in Sunnyvale but now is headquarted in Elk Grove, is a nonprofit that connects families in custody battles with material goods, such as cars, dishwashers, computers and food.

Zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said there is enough donated fruit for the elephants and bears to dine on all week.



Photo Credit: Erin Harrison/Oakland Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Couple Answers Door, Finds Gator on Porch]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:16:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/073114+coral+springs+gator.jpg

A South Florida couple who heard a knocking on their door got the surprise of a lifetime when they found a 9-foot gator on their front porch.

"It was nuts, I couldn't believe it," Coral Springs resident Luann Alonso said. "I thought it was not real, I couldn't believe it."

Luann and husband George said they thought a raccoon was making racket outside the front of their home in the 12400 block of Southwest 1st Street until they realized it was something slightly bigger.

"I looked out the window, I couldn't see anything, as soon as I turned the light on, I saw that big gator right there right in front of the door, his body was against the door so we couldn't get out," George Alonso said.

"I was petrified," Luann Alonso said.

The couple, whose house backs up to a canal, called 911 and a trapper came and took the feisty gator away.

"I've lived in this house over 18 years and I've never ever, I've seen them on the bank in the back but never seen them in the front yard, definitely not against my front windows," Luann Alonso said.

"We usually walk the dog around 2, 3, 4 in the morning, and I couldn't imagine going out and seeing that thing while we're walking the dog," George Alonso said. "It's kind of dangerous I guess."



Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands of Blue Sea Creatures Wash Up on Calif. Beaches]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:33:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/velella.jpg

Social media is teeming with pictures of small bright blue sea creatures washing up all over California beaches, with sightings reported in Humboldt County, Monterey and Ocean Beach.

Despite being described as "strange," "bizarre," "mysterious," and even "aliens," it turns out these creatures have a name.

Marine researchers are calling it Velella velella, a name the Santa Cruz Sentinel wrote sounds "like a nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film."

"Some people call them jellyfish, but they are in fact only distantly related and only superficially similar," said Rich Mooi of the California Academy of Sciences.

The small delicate-looking marine invertibrates are commonly called "by-the-wind sailor." They are 40 to 80 millimeters long as adults and are characterized by a clear, chitinous semicircular sail sticking above water.

Velella can be found floating at the sea surface. They feed on zooplankton and fish and their predators are snails. They generally float offshore but can be blown onshore in large numbers.

Nobody knows for sure why so many are washing up this late in summer.

Although they are related to the Portugese man-o'-war -- notorious for its stinging ability -- Mooi said the creatures are completely harmless to humans, though he doesn't recommend eating them.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Wanted Man Taunts Police Online, Gets Arrested the Next Day]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:20:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/roger+ray+ireland.jpg

An Edgewater, Maryland, man was arrested for violating his probation one day after he taunted Anne Arundel County officers on Facebook.

Anne Arundel County Police posted a picture of Roger Ray Ireland on their Facebook page Wednesday as part of the "Wanted Wednesday" campaign.

Shortly after the post was published, police say Ireland commented on his own mugshot, writing, "Y'all will never catch me..."

Well, it looks like they did.

After getting a few tips from the public, officers say Ireland was taken into custody during a traffic stop in South Baltimore on Thursday. 

"Social Media is a great tool for law enforcement and we appreciate our Social Media Sleuths," Police Chief Kevin Davis said in a release.  

 

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<![CDATA[Alligator Bites Man Fishing Golf Balls From Florida Lake]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:03:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/alligator+caught+in+weston.jpg

A Florida man fishing golf balls out of a lake around the Bonaventure Country Club in Weston encountered an especially difficult water hazard when an alligator bit him.

The victim, 51-year-old Stephen Martinez, of Pompano Beach, said the gator bit his hand and then kept trying to attack him. Martinez then got in a golf cart and drove to the golf course and told two employees of the course. It was the second time in five years that Martinez, an independent contractor who sells balls back to golf clubs, has been attacked on the job.

“I knew exactly what it was because a turtle can only bite so hard and when it snapped, it’s 2,000 pounds per square inch and I felt like I lost my hand,” Martinez said.

Martinez drove to the clubhouse to get help for his injury. The wounds were said to be superficial and Martinez said his wetsuit helped to stop the biting of the skin.

Martinez said was also attacked at a different course about five years ago, when an eight-foot aligator "locked on to me," leading to 12 puncture wounds. 

The initial call about the latest incident came into the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program, SNAP. The center handles all of the call for alligator-related issues. A trapper came to the scene and was able to capture the 8-to-10-foot alligator.

As for Martinez, even as he clinched a blood-stained cast, he is ready to return to his job.

“I’m more likely to get cut by a shell, by glass, by turtle,” Martinez said. “Thank God the alligator let loose and I’m here today."



Photo Credit: Gilma Avalos/NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Worker Sold Crack During Shift: Police ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:24:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/McDonalds+Alleged+Crack+Dealing+Trammal.jpg

An undercover sting at a McDonald's on suburban Philadelphia's swanky Main Line has led to the arrest of a fast food employee who police say was selling crack at the restaurant.

Officers from Radnor Township Police went undercover four times over the past month at the burger joint located along the 500 block of West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne, Pennsylvania, right in the heart of the town's business district.

Each time, police say they bought the illegal drugs from 29-year-old Allen Trammell, of Philadelphia, in the restaurant's parking lot. A cook at the McDonald's for the past two years, Trammell would leave the kitchen line to deal, officials said.

“When not working as a crew and preparing food, he was out in the rear parking lot selling crack cocaine so in a sense it can give you a new definition of what may be considered a Happy Meal," Radnor Police Lt. Andy Block said.

Officers returned to the McDonald's on Tuesday to arrest Trammell. Police say they found cash and 157 dime bags of crack cocaine packets on him at the time. Block said Trammell could have been grossing $1,500 a week from the illicit sales.

Trammell has been arraigned on $100,000 bail, which he was unable to post. He remains in the Delaware County Prison. Pennsylvania court records show the man has plead guilty to drug possession offenses in 2005.

A spokesperson for the Wayne McDonald's said the franchisee is taking the police matter seriously, but would not comment beyond that.

Radnor Police say they learned about the alleged drug dealing after a confidential informant tipped off its Drug Task Force officers.

An attorney was not listed for Trammell.



Photo Credit: Radnor Township Police]]>
<![CDATA[Geico Insurance Banner Falls on Bay Area House ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:46:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/072314-banner-house.jpg

One Bay Area couple can now say for certain their house is covered by insurance.

A 4,000-square-foot Geico insurance banner being towed by a plane came loose and fell directly on their house Friday in Fremont.

"I heard a thump," says Sarah Clark, who was inside when banner landed on her home. "When I looked out the front gate I thought it was pouring rain because it kind of made it look that way. And it sounded like a windstorm, or maybe rain, but I knew it wasn't raining."

When Clark looked out her back door that's when she saw the massive sign.

"I saw a gigantic piece of fabric over the gazebo and I was thinking it's a parachute or hot air balloon," Clark says. 

Ameer Hassan was driving on Interstate 880 just a few miles away when he saw the sign fall.

"I saw the banner flying sideways and I've never seen anything like that before," Hassan says. "I didn't know if it was heavy enough to destroy anything."

The pilot of the plane says he was trying out a new rope that failed to hold the sign. The FAA is investigating the incident.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter Arrested in Conn.]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:38:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hartford+fire+lamont+freeman.jpg

A Connecticut firefighter showed up drunk at a multi-family apartment in Hartford while he was off duty Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The resident told police she didn’t recognize Lamont Freeman, 44, when he entered her apartment at 160 Barbour Street at about 2:30 p.m. She explained that he was in the wrong apartment, but Freeman refused to leave, so the resident pushed him out the door and locked it, police said.

According to the incident report, the woman told police Freeman was calling out a name she didn't recognize. Police said Freeman banged on the door and tried to get back in until officers arrived and detained him.

Freeman does not live in the apartment and was not visiting anyone he knows, police said. He was arrested and charged with breach of peace and second-degree trespassing.

The website for the city of Hartford lists Freeman as working out of Firehouse 7 on Clark Street, just around the corner from the location of the incident.

Bond was set at $100 and Freeman was released on a promise to appear in court Thursday.

The Hartford Fire Department declined to comment on Freeman's employment status.

Freeman's son also declined to comment when NBC Connecticut knocked on the door of the firefighter's Enfield apartment Tuesday evening.

Freeman is the second Hartford firefighter to be arrested in recent months.

Doug Caldwell is accused of threatening a convenience store employee and punching the store countertop in March. Police said Caldwell had also been drinking beforehand.

The Hartford Fire Department placed Caldwell on paid administrative leave and launched an internal investigation into the incident.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Hartford Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[ATM Stolen From NYC Store, Dumped Off Bridge: Police]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:47:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/215*120/stolen+atm+recovered+staten+island.JPG

A thief broke into a Staten Island convenience store overnight and hauled out an ATM, taking out $1,300 before dumping it off a bridge and into the Richmond Creek, police say. 

The 260-pound ATM was stolen from the business on Victory Boulevard in Travis sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 6 a.m., police say. It was recovered by emergency service unit officers from a ravine underneath a bridge on Chelsea Road. 

The burglar cut the lock on the store's front gate to get in, then boosted the ATM and left in a van, police told The Staten Island Advance

The store's owner told the newspaper that security footage showed a man spraying something on the store's security cameras before breaking in, but the suspect could still be seen wearing gloves on his hands and a scarf over his mouth to hide his face. 

The owner reported the burglary after arriving at the shop just before 7 a.m. Nothing else was taken from the store. 



Photo Credit: The Staten Island Advance]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Flees Topless After Being Caught Shoplifting]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:31:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Macys+Sign+112613.jpg

A suspected shoplifter fled topless after being busted at a Southern California mall. But police were easily able to identify her – she left her driver's license behind.

The 44-year-old woman, whose name was not released, was caught at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Mall on Sunday night. Police say she had just walked out of Macy's after stuffing merchandise inside her purse.

Police say the woman was hitting a security guard who tried to stop her and lost her top and bra during the struggle. She then took off running to her car, leaving behind her purse with her ID inside.

The thief drove off in a white Mercedes-Benz, police said, but a witness was able to record a license plate.

Police said they were holding off from releasing surveillance video as they conducted their investigation.

The woman remains at large.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Attention, Passengers: Please Stand at Your Seats]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:52:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/arilineseat.jpg

Frequent fliers may have new seating arrangements to look forward to — that is, if elevated, cramped bicycle-style seats are what they had in mind.

Airplane maker Airbus has invented a new minimalist seating device designed to pack more passengers onto flights, while preserving comfort, and has applied for a patent for it.

The proposed new seat, which Airbus says will help "reduce bulk" of traditional seating, has a retractable "motorcyle-type saddle" for optimal leg room, along with adjustable back rest, according to the patent application.

One airplane seating expert, Dr. Fairuz Romli, says standing areas and space-reducing seats on airplanes are not completely far-fetched.

“The standing cabin concept has been proposed where the passengers are transported in a cabin of an aircraft in an upright position, similar to standing on buses and trains,” Romli wrote in a report on vertical passenger airplane seats at the Universiti Putra Malaysia.
  
But flight attendant and author Heather Poole, who chronicled her experiences aloft in "Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet," feels these seats are only asking for trouble. 
"Looks like there are quite a few passengers seated in a row, which means a lot more middle seats, which equates to more battles for the armrest," she wrote in an email. "All I know is miserable passengers equate to bad flights. I wouldn't want to work it."
Poole doesn't think passengers will go for such space-reducing options. Comfort is still a priority for them, and someone would have to be pretty "desperate" to put up with such a seat, she said.
"I can't imagine being on a plane and sitting on a seat made for a bicycle without wearing a pair of those padded shorts — that I don't own — for more than 20 to 30 minutes," she wrote.
Pauline Frommer, editorial director for Frommer’s travel guides, can see consumers opting for cheaper flights but can’t see standing sections becoming a reality anytime soon.
“For short flights, it could drop the prices drastically. It would be more green, more fuel-efficient, so why not?" she said.
But she expressed doubts that such seats would pass muster with safety regulators. It could take upward of seven years for such an idea to be implemented, she suggested.
  
Airbus for its part said its seating device is not necessarily a priority, pointing out that it patents several hundred concepts and designs a year. “Not all of these ideas, new designs and technologies become final products. We do this to guard our team’s research efforts,” spokeswoman Marie Caujolle said. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Restaurant Burglar Arrested]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:21:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/el-pollo-loco-burglary-costa-mesa-burglar.jpg

A Southern California criminal’s craving to go back for seconds got him in hot water with authorities last week.

Daniel Lee Warn, 28, of was arrested by police Wednesday in a Costa Mesa El Pollo Loco restaurant after allegedly breaking into the location earlier in the day wearing the same outfit, officials said.

Police said a burglary was reported at an El Pollo Loco in the 1900 block of Harbor Blvd. Wednesday. No losses were reported from the incident.

Security footage showed a man dressed in a "distinctive" hat and green shirt entering the location through a drive-thru window and going through the registers looking for cash, officials said in a press release.

Later in the day, police received a call from employees of the chicken joint reporting a man—matching the description of the suspect—waiting in line to order food.

Police entered and arrested Warn. Authorities said he was still wearing the same clothing and hat as in the security video.

Costa Mesa Police said Warn is also connected to a string of recent commercial burglaries in the area which included break-ins at a local liquor store, DVD shop and chiropractic business.

Additional investigation is continuing to determine if Warn may be responsible for other recent commercial burglary incidents, police said.

Officials said Warn was sentenced to prison earlier this year, but was out as part of a post-release community supervision program.

Warn is currently being detained in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

It’s not immediately clear if Warn has an attorney.

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<![CDATA[Family Hatches Four-Legged Duckling]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:34:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/209*120/Four+Legged+Duckling+p1.jpg

Hatching animals is nothing new to one Sulphur, Louisiana, family, but they were surprised when one of their young ducklings was a little different.

The duckling has not two but four legs.

Claude Aucoin told KPLC that he has hatched more than 1,000 ducks in his lifetime, but he was shocked with this surprise.
The duckling grew a fan base when Aucoin's daughter, Kylie, quickly exposed the duck, who goes by Donald, on social media.
This little duck has shocked everyone who has encountered him, and when the family is asked how this happened, they said it must have been a birth defect.
Luckily, the duck is in no harm and gets around fine even with his extra legs.

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<![CDATA[Skull Intercepted at Airport]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:47:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/primate-skull.jpg

A primate skull and dead bats are among the "unique threats" that have been found in the past few months at Washington Dulles International Airport.

One of the tasks of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is to intercept agriculture products that pose potential threats to America's industries -- and while that typically includes meats and fruits, a few unusual items have been intercepted recently.

A traveler from Gabon, Africa, who claimed to be a voodoo priest, arrived in June with a necklace made of the teeth of mandrill -- a primate similar to a baboon.

The passenger said he used the necklace for spiritual rituals.

In another case, CBP officials found an uncleaned primate skull in a woman's luggage who was traveling from Russia. The passenger claimed the skull, which was topped with feathers, was a token of "good luck" from Togo.

Both the necklace and skull, upon the recommendation of CDC, were later destroyed because they had the potential to introduce Ebola, HIV, monkey pox or other viruses, officials said.

Another "unusual threat" was a bucket containing dead bats, shrews, dormice, rats, mice and mongoose.

CBP officials came across a traveler who arrived from South Sudan with the five gallon bucket in May. Although the small dead animals were to be used for scientific research, the man didn't have the appropriate documents with him at the time.



Photo Credit: Courtsey of U.S. Customs and Border Protection ]]>
<![CDATA[Puppies to Ping-Pong: How to Kill Time at Airports]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:17:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/airport_generic.jpg

Forget napping in uncomfortable airport furniture, feigning interest in duty-free goods and drinking one too many overpriced beers.

At last, airports are learning how to entertain their guests during layovers and delays, with everything from puppies to ping-pong, from pop-up gyms to pianos.

Check out the latest amenities being offered at airports nationwide.

Puppy therapy. Usually the only dogs you'll see at an airport are the bomb-sniffing dogs whose uniforms say “Please don't pet me.” That's not the case at the Miami airport, where Casey, a golden retriever trained in pet therapy, encourages passengers to stop and play. Passengers can also hug and take selfies with more than a dozen pups at Los Angeles International, as part of its Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program.
Exercise rooms. Passengers at Philadelphia's airport can get their heart rates up in between flights, and not just by racing to the gate. The airport has added exercise bikes and pop-up gyms throughout its terminals, as part of its summer-long customer appreciation program. The program has been so successful that the airport says it's already added 20 more bikes.
Ping-pong. Competitve table tennis players don't mind breaking a sweat, even while waiting to fly out of Milwaukee’s international airport. Keep an eye on the ball, lest it land in someone's carry-on.
Yoga and meditation rooms. A handful of airports are catering to passengers itching to downward dog. San Francisco kicked off the trend with its free yoga facilities so travelers can open their chakras before take-off (and before rinsing off in free public showers). Airports in Dallas-Fort Worth and Burlington, Vermont, have followed suit to give passengers a spot for a few sun salutations, while San Diego, Albuquerque and Raleigh-Durham have added meditation rooms.
Dinosaur skeleton replicas. Plenty of airports display aviation and history exhibits, but only two can boast life-size dinosaur skeleton replicas. Chicago's Field Museum donated a 75-foot-long brachiosaurus skeleton to the city's O'Hare airport, where it stands tall in United Terminal 1's Concourse B. And in Pittsburgh, a towering T-Rex in the Airside Terminal terrifies airport visitors.
Sleep pods. For all the yoga, bikes and puppies that airports have to offer, all some flyers want is some quality shut-eye. Passengers coming in and out of major hubs Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and Philadelphia can rent rooms by the hour from Minute Suites. Each room is equipped with a daybed, desk, television and noise machine to shut out the airport's commotion and let travelers relax.
Kids' play areas. Traveling alone can be exhausting, but traveling with kids can be soul-shattering. Enter the old-school arcade. The King of Kong Arcade makes Orlando's airport, which also offers a 3,000-gallon aquarium and two space centers, the only airport with such a feature. Other major airports — including Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago's O'Hare and Boston's Logan — allow kids to let loose on aviation-themed play areas where they can pretend to be pilots. Detroit's airport may be the most kid-friendly of all, with seven indoor playgrounds and two toy stores.

Live music. Nashville and Austin, two of America’s most music-obsessed cities, love live performances so much that even their airports put on shows. The airport in country music mecca Nashville puts on 80 to 100 shows a year on four stages scattered throughout its terminals, while that in Texas' music-obsessed capital provides two-hour sets five days a week at six different restaurants.

Piano. Nashville and Austin may put on proper shows for flyers, but San Jose International has set up a piano for musically inspired passengers to play at their own leisure, 24 hours a day. No word on how many renditions of "Heart and Soul" have been logged there — but at least one prodigy passing through has been known to bang out a certain Journey hit.

Bike resources. It makes sense that Portlanders, who commute by bike more than people in any other U.S. city, would have a center for cycling even at their airport. Portland International offers an area for cyclists to lock their bikes while they travel and a repair station where they can rent basic tools to fix flats, disassemble their bikes before flights and read up on local biking activities.
    
World's biggest lounge for service members. San Diego's airport now boasts the world's largest USO lounge, where U.S. military service members get special privileges. What was once a cramped center now provides service members and their families a 10,000-square-foot space to Skype with loved ones, watch DVDs and play pool, X-Box and air hockey.
Gardens. Chicago's O'Hare and Vermont's Burlington airport are ahead of the curve when it comes to greening airports. The only airport aeroponic garden graces a food court at O'Hare in Chicago, while nature-loving travelers in Burlington can wander and get some fresh air amid its walking garden's alpine plants, benches and picnic tables.



Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Owners Who Neglect Poop on Own Lawns May Be Fined]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:02:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/No-Poop-Dogs-Generic.jpg

One Long Island village is proposing fines for dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets – even on their own property – according to published reports.

Lawmakers in North Hills proposed the regulation, which would hit offenders with fines ranging from $50 to $200, after a homeowner complained that a neighbor wasn’t cleaning up dog droppings on their own lawn, Mayor Marvin Natiss told Newsday.

The unidentified homeowner was worried the droppings would spread into the homeowner's yard if it rained.

Many other areas on Long Island also levy fines against dog owners who don’t clean up after their pet, but North Hills’ would be the first town to specifically require people to pick up poop on their own property, Newsday reports.

Some other towns have sanitation codes that might fine homeowners in egregious cases, and Port Washington North sends out newsletters and posts signs encouraging residents to pick up.

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<![CDATA[Dozens of Giant African Snails Seized at LAX]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:36:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/giant-african-snails-lax.jpg

Los Angeles International Airport customs inspectors intercepted a pair of baskets containing dozens of live giant African snails, described by federal officials as one of the largest and most destructive land snail species in the world.

The 67 snails were found packed in an air cargo shipment that had arrived from Nigeria and was bound for San Dimas, California, Homeland Security officials said in a news release Monday. The paperwork that came with the shipment claimed the 35 pounds of mollusks were meant "for human consumption."

The invasive snails, which are native to Africa, can grow up to 8 inches long, about 5 inches wide and can live for a decade, officials said.

"These pests are a very serious threat to our agriculture, natural ecosystem, public health and economy. They can consume more than 500 types of plants and, if vegetables or fruits are not available, will even eat the paint and stucco off of houses," officials said. "They can be carriers of several parasites which are harmful to humans, one of which can lead to meningitis."

Officials said the mollusks were taken to the USDA's local inspection station.

"This significant interception of giant African snails is the first time this pest has been encountered in such large quantity and as a consumption entry by CBP in Los Angeles," officials said.



Photo Credit: USDA APHIS PPQ Los Angeles ]]>