Stranger than fiction 

Curses, foiled again

Luis Lora-Martinez, 29, was charged with using counterfeit money to tip dancers and pay for drinks at a go-go bar in Secaucus, N.J. U.S. Secret Service agent Cindy Wofford said workers at the club quickly realized the five $20 bills that Lora-Martinez passed were bogus because they were produced on a computer printer using regular quality paper and were of poor quality.

Police who ran a routine identification check after stopping a car with a loud muffler in Stony Point, N.Y., learned that passenger Jean Etienne, 20, was wanted for skipping a court hearing on misdemeanor charges. After he was arraigned, bail was set at $200. Etienne paid with two $100 bills. The officer who took the bills observed they had no watermark or security fibers and that the serial numbers were identical. Etienne was returned to the lockup on felony forgery charges. "The moral of the story," Sgt. Bernard Cummings said, "is whenever you are posting bail, use legitimate currency."

Limp offer

Swedish health officials will provide free penises to transsexual men, but the prosthetic organs won't be able to become erect. The decision to fund fake penises for cosmetic rather than functional purposes was necessary, officials explained, because regulations prohibit the use of taxpayer money for products, like Viagra, that aid sexual performance. Transsexual women are eligible for publicly funded wigs, breast implants and hair-removal operations. "It's easy to think that it's pretty strange to approve prosthetics that can't get erect," sexologist Cecilia Dhejne told Ottar magazine, "because that is, after all, what penises do get erections."

Wild rides

A sheriff's deputy on his way to the St. Louis Jail spotted a stolen vehicle, but when he tried to pull it over, the driver rammed the patrol car and fired several shots. The deputy wasn't hit but suffered minor injuries and radioed for help. KSDK News reported the two suspects tried to escape by driving the wrong way on Interstate 70. They collided head-on with another car, which also turned out to be stolen. Its four occupants, ages 15 to 18, suffered serious to critical injuries, and the two men in the first stolen car, brothers Anthony Thomas, 23, and Darrell Thomas, 22, died at the scene.

A man who rammed his pickup truck into a woman's vehicle while going more than 100 mph explained to authorities in San Antonio, Texas, that God told him "she needed to be taken off the road." The Bexar County Sheriff's Office said Michael E. Schwab, 52, told first responders at the scene that "the other vehicle was not driving like a Christian, and it was Jesus' will for him to punish the car." Investigators determined the female driver "had done nothing wrong," and Lt. Kyle Coleman told the San Antonio Express-News that God must have been on both drivers' sides "'cause any other time, the severity of this crash, it would have been a fatal."

Mensa reject

Police arrested two men in Chipley, Fla., after one tossed a Molotov cocktail at the other, and when it failed to explode, the second man threw it back at the first man's house. A police officer explained the device didn't work properly because Hayes Terrell Robinson III made it out of a plastic bottle instead of glass, so it didn't break when it was thrown.

Cold feet

Tatsuhiko Kawata, 39, set fire to the hotel where he was scheduled to get married later the same day. "I thought if I set a fire, I wouldn't have to go through with the wedding," the Yomirui newspaper quoted him as telling police in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Billable hours

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission suspended DeKalb lawyer Scott Robert Erwin for 15 months because he arranged for a female client to perform nude dances as partial payment for her legal fees. The Chicago Tribune reported that the client, an exotic dancer at a strip club, said she would go to Erwin's office, remove her clothes and dance for half-hour sessions. She also stated that Erwin came to the club where she worked and paid the admission charge but wouldn't pay her for performing nude dances.


U.S. customs officials in Hidalgo, Texas, discovered a 21-year-old woman trying to smuggle nearly 5.5 pounds of chorizo sausage concealed in diapers she said her baby had soiled.

After smelling smoke coming from a cell at the Pasco County, Fla., jail, a deputy patted down new inmate Majin Alberto Camareno, 35, and found 20 cigarettes, rolling papers, matches and eight Loritab and Xanax pills in the front of his underpants. An investigation revealed that Camareno had filled two "Happy Birthday!" balloons with the contraband and then hid them inside his rectum to smuggle inside the jail.

Out of control

Heather D. Kelly filed a lawsuit charging a company in Morgantown, W.Va., with negligence because one of its employees masturbated in front of her during a job interview. The suit claims Richard See offered Kelly the job on condition that he could take a picture of her breasts. As she quickly gathered her things to leave, See repeated the request and then asked if he could at least touch one of them. After leaving the building, Kelly said she called See, a former neighbor, to say she was going to report him. He apologized and told her the job was hers if she would return to the office to complete paperwork. She agreed, but, according to the complaint, while filling out the forms, "Plaintiff Kelly realized that he had his penis out of his pants" and "began to masturbate in front of Plaintiff Kelly."

Police arrested a man who they said shoplifted a tube of male-enhancement cream from a store in Denton, Texas. A security officer who spotted the theft followed the suspect to the restroom, where he walked into a stall and apparently applied the product. Then, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported, the security officer observed the suspect walk to the store's toy department and expose himself twice in the Barbie doll aisle. The security officer called police after the man returned to the restroom to use the cream again.

It's a dog's life

Police in Manitowoc, Wis., arrested Torey L. Devaux, 36, after his roommate reported that he urinated on her dog because she refused to have sex with him.


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