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Angry mourners sack purse-snatcher 

Stranger Than Fiction

Curses, foiled again

A funeral procession thwarted a man's attempt to rob a 79-year-old woman in San Antonio, Texas. "We were going really, really slow, so as we passed this bus stop, there was this elderly lady, [and] a gentleman was knocking her around and was pulling on her purse," witness Robert Garcia said. "Before I turned around, about eight of the mourners were all around him, getting him down, and then we flagged the police officer that was guiding the procession." Joe Carpenter, 41, was charged with aggravated robbery. (San Antonio's KSAT-TV)

Tony Jerome Torbert Jr., 20, attracted the attention of authorities in Brevard County, Florida, after he posted an ad on Craigslist offering "Legit Counterfeit $$." Sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant and seized a printer, a computer and counterfeit currency. (Florida Today)

Faux firearms

Authorities accused Carl Grace, 48, of breaking into a house in Hill, New Hampshire, and attacking his ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend with a fire extinguisher, striking the woman in the head and on her arm and leg. (Manchester's WMUR-TV)

German police were summoned at 9:40 a.m. after a woman reported that an intoxicated 37-year-old man attacked her and other passersby, throwing a live white mouse at them at a Munich market. Police confiscated the mouse but returned two hours later after a complaint that the same man was throwing a different white mouse at pedestrians. (Germany's The Local)

Pain of progress

A 29-year-old California man was diagnosed with a torn tendon in his thumb caused by playing "Candy Crush Saga" on his smartphone "all day for 6 to 8 weeks" with his left hand, according to a study reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. One of the authors, San Diego orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dori Cage, cautioned that the rise in the number of people with smartphones who spend lots of time texting or tapping on their cellphones or tablets has the potential to lead to "texting thumb," a repetitive stress injury that affects the thumb and wrist. She said that people experiencing pain from texting might instead use voice control, such as Siri on an iPhone, or "actually pick up the phone and call somebody" to communicate. (U-T San Diego)

Firearms follies

Larry McElroy, 54, fired his 9 mm pistol at an armadillo outside his home but wound up shooting his mother-in-law. Sheriff's investigators in Lee County, Georgia, determined the bullet ricocheted off the animal, hit a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law's mobile home, through a recliner she was sitting in and into her back. The 74-year-old victim wasn't seriously hurt. Authorities do recommend shooting armadillos as an effective way of getting rid of them but suggest using a shotgun, which, investigator Bill Smith said, has "a spread pattern with a lot less range." (Albany's WALB-TV)

Numbers racket

As mobile devices hog telephone numbers, new area codes created to meet mathematical demand are causing old ones to become status symbols, for which some people are willing to pay. And others are selling. Ed Mance, who operates PhoneNumberGuy.com, buys numbers in bulk from companies that no longer need them. He sells them for between $299 and $799, although his biggest sale was a "nine-of-a-kind" number — (XYX) XXX-XXXX — for $95,000. Mance notes that the area code most in demand is Los Angeles' 310, whose numbers are the hardest to secure. Many of Mance's customers are less interested in the area code than the numbers around them, including ones that spell out words. "HURT and PAIN are the two most in-demand numbers," Mance said, because they're coveted by personal-injury lawyers. (The Washington Post)

But in hindsight ...

Just months after the Sandy Hook massacre, the school district in Halfway, Oregon, decided to stage a surprise "active shooter drill" at its elementary school on a day when only teachers were there. Linda McLean, 56, said a man dressed in a black hoodie and goggles burst into her classroom, aimed a pistol at her face and fired. "You're dead," he said and left. Panic ensued as the gunman went from room to room, firing what turned out to be blanks. One teacher wet her pants. Teachers later learned the gunman was the district's safety officer and that officials had alerted law enforcement so they wouldn't respond to emergency calls from distressed teachers. Insisting that the incident caused her to suffer post traumatic stress disorder, McLean in April filed suit against Pine Eagle School District, the safety officer et al. (Portland's The Oregonian)

All hands on deck

Hoping to relieve traffic congestion in Washington's Puget Sound area, state Rep. Jesse Young proposed using decommissioned Navy aircraft carriers to form a 3,700-foot-long bridge linking Bremerton and Port Orchard. "I know that people from around the world would come to drive across the deck of an aircraft carrier bridge, number one," Young explained. "Number two, it's the right thing to do from my standpoint because this is giving testimony and a legacy memorial to our greatest generation." (Britain's Daily Mail)

Storage compartment

After Jesse Roepcke, 27, was arrested for aiming a laser pointer at motorists in Ormond Beach, Florida, officers conducting a strip search at the Volusia County jail said a bag of leafy green substance fell out of his rectum. They noted the contents smelled like marijuana. (United Press International)

Checks and balances

As Americans write fewer checks (down 50 percent since 2000, according to the Federal Reserve), Google reported that searches for "how to write a check" are five times more prevalent than 10 years ago. Pennsylvania leads the nation in such searches, followed by Delaware, New York and Hawaii. Even with the decline of checks in favor of electronic and card payments, which have tripled since 2000, the Federal Reserve said Americans are writing 18.3 billion checks per year. (The Washington Post)

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