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Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Feb. 23, 2012
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Holiday Spirit

Bill Robinson, 66, of Decatur, Ga., was arrested on a misdemeanor firearm charge in December for gathering holiday mistletoe in the "best way" he knew how—shooting it out of a tree with a 12-gauge shotgun. The fact that the tree was in the parking lot of the suburban North DeKalb Mall, which was filled with holiday shoppers, apparently escaped his attention. As Robinson told WGCL-TV, “Well, about the time I did it, I got to thinking about it. … I guess I assumed that everybody knew what I was doing."

Least Competent Criminals

  • Not Ready for Prime Time: Mostafa Hendi was charged with attempted robbery of the We Buy Gold store in Hendersonville, N.C., in December. Store clerk Derek Mothershead stopped him. As Hendi reached for the money, Mothershead punched him in the face, momentarily knocking him out cold. Reportedly, Mothershead held Hendi down with one hand and called 911 with the other, and as the two waited for police, Mothershead handed Hendi cleanser and paper towels and ordered him to clean his blood off of the floor.
  • Needed to Think It Through Better: At a car lot in Austin, Texas, in December, car salesman Frank Ready showed his inventory to Pedro Prieto and Yordan Llauger. They settled on a Nissan Maxima for around $9,000. "They asked if I took Visa cards," Ready told KVUE-TV. “I said, 'Yeah.'” The next day, Prieto and Llauger returned with 90 $100 Visa gift cards. Ready called police, who allegedly found at least 28 counterfeit credit cards on the pair.

Just Can't Stop Himself

Paul Rothschild, 40, was facing a Dec. 9 court date in Lake County, Ill., on a charge of indecent solicitation of a minor—a charge that could have sent him to prison for five years. Apparently oblivious of the imminent danger, Rothschild was arrested two days before that court date, on Dec. 7, after an allegedly months-long campaign to entice another minor girl to engage in sex.

The Force Is Not With You

In November, Rickie La Touche, 30, was convicted in England's Preston Crown Court of killing his wife in a rage after she allegedly destroyed the Star Wars memorabilia he had collected since childhood. And in January, a judge in Portland, Ore., ordered a 45-day jail sentence, plus mental evaluation, for David Canterbury, 33, after he attacked Toys “R” Us customers with a lightsaber in each hand. And in February in Brooklyn, N.Y., Flynn Michael expanded his search for a $400 custom-made lightsaber that reportedly was stolen from him. "I guess that's the joke," said Michael, self-pityingly. "Some Jedi I turned out to be."

The Way the World Works

A November Comtel airlines charter flight from India to Birmingham, England, stopped in Vienna, Austria, to refuel, where the pilots learned that Comtel's account was overdrawn. The airport required the equivalent of about $31,000 for refueling and take-off charges. Thus, if the passengers were in a hurry, they needed to come up with the cash. After a six-hour standoff, many of the 180 passengers were let off the plane to visit an ATM. An investigation was launched soon afterward.

Names in the News

Recent Newsmakers: In a Christmas Eve auto accident reportedly related to alcohol in Buffalo, N.Y., the injured victims included Chad Beers, and the man charged was Richard Booze Jr. In Burnett County, Wis., in October, Scott Martini, 51, was arrested for suspicion of DUI, which would be his fourth offense. In Madison, Wis., in January, police filed weapon and drug charges against a 30-year-old man who had legally changed his name to Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop. And charged with vandalism of a Rhode Island state troopers' barracks in November was the 27-year-old Mr. Wanker Rene.

© 2012 Chuck Shepherd


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