Stranger than fiction 

Curses, foiled again

Police identified Anthony Brandon Gonzalez, 20, as their suspect in a home invasion after the victim, an Elvis impersonator in Pueblo County, said that one of the invaders had "East Side" tattooed on his upper lip. Gonzalez also has a "13" tattooed on his chin. According to an affidavit, the tattoos were visible even though Gonzalez was wearing a mask. "It's hard to miss him," Sgt. Eric Bravo said. (The Pueblo Chieftain)

Three Australian men who attacked a 27-year-old German exchange student in a Sydney alley found out they were next to the Ninja Senshi Ryu warrior school when four students and their teacher came to the victim's rescue. "We just ran outside and started running at them, yelling and everything," said ninja master Kaylan Soto, who instructed his students to take action. "These guys have turned around and seen five ninjas in black ninja uniforms running towards them. They just bolted." Police arrested two of the attackers and were looking for the third. (ABC & BBC News)

DIY neutering

A 41-year-old man shot himself in the testicles while shopping at a Lowe's Home Improvement store in Lynnwood, Wash. Paramedic Jim Fischer said the victim, who was wearing sweatpants, told him the gun "was in my waistband, and I felt it starting to slip, reached for it, and I must have positioned my finger so the trigger went off." (Seattle Times)

Revenge served hot

After her car was repossessed, Haleigh Boland, 26, tracked down the repo woman and tried to set the woman's car on fire. According to Etowah County, Ala., Sheriff Todd Entrekin, Boland poured gasoline on the vehicle but had trouble starting the fire. When it finally did ignite, the flash set her clothes on fire. The repo woman's surveillance video shows Boland tearing off her clothes and running to a waiting getaway car driven by her father. She suffered first and second degree burns to her upper body. (Huntsville's WAAY-TV)

Spy games

Indian police reported they were holding a pigeon under armed guard after it was caught on a "special mission of spying" for archenemy Pakistan. The pigeon had a ring around its foot and a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on its body in red ink. Police officer Ramdas Jagjit Singh Chahal said the bird was being held in an air-conditioned room under police guard, and senior officers asked for updates on the situation three times a day. Chahal added that Pakistani pigeons are easy to spot because they look different from Indian ones. (Agence France-Presse)

Carnivore's digest

A man was hospitalized after being sucked into a sausage-making machine in Danver, Mass. Police Lt. Carole Germano said the worker at DiLuigi Sausage Co. was cleaning inside "a vacuum-type cylinder" that draws marinade into the meat when it somehow was activated, and his head and shoulders got stuck in the machine. The man was helped out of the machine with no obvious injuries but taken to the hospital as a precaution. (The Salem News)

Scientists in mostly Muslim Kazakhstan have come up with a simple test to detect pork in food. "It's no secret that some chefs cheat and put pork to beef to make the dish cheaper," the newspaper Megapolis observed in announcing the test, which uses a plastic stick to detect pork molecules. "When you get your beef patty, cut off a couple of small pieces and drop them in a glass of water. Stir, shake, put the test stick in. In a minute or two you will see the result." (Reuters)

The Spanish butcher shop Izarzugaza has installed a meat vending machine outside its Mundaka location so customers can buy meat, sausages and sandwiches 24 hours a day. "We had to provide a service when the shop closes," fourth-generation butcher Izarzugaza Mikel, 31, explained. (Fox News)

BP struck out

Minor league baseball's Brevard County Manatees announced they are protesting British Petroleum's Gulf of Mexico oil spill by changing the name of batting practice, commonly referred to as "B.P.," to "hitting rehearsal." The Manatees, an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, play home games near Florida's Atlantic coast. (Associated Press)

Potato Head blues

Hasbro and PPW Toys announced they've signed a deal with the Elvis Presley estate to release an Elvis version of Mr. Potato Head. The first model, wearing a jumpsuit, will be introduced for Elvis Tribute Week in August. A second model, dressed in black leather, will be out in time for Christmas. (Memphis' The Commercial Appeal)

Bad Samaritan

A man whose car overheated in Naples, Fla., called his friend, Robert Matthew Garland, 20, to give him a ride. Instead, according to a Collier County Sheriff's Office report, Garland robbed him at gunpoint of his wallet and shoes and then kicked him out of the car. (Naples Daily News)

Not guilty? Really?

After Chicago police charged Lapolean Colbert, 19, with beating a high school student to death, prosecutors told the judge that the assault was captured on videotape and that Colbert identified himself in the video and admitted to beating the victim. Despite the evidence against him, Colbert's lawyer, Michael Clancy, declared he would fight the charges tooth and nail, explaining his client has no criminal background, is a good student and was planning to go to college. (Fox News)

One tough breakup

While arguing at a tavern in Winneconne, Wis., a 30-year-old man asked his 24-year-old fiancée to return her engagement ring. When she refused, he tried to pull it off her finger, according to the police report, which said she punched him in the face four times, bloodying his nose. (Oshkosh's The Northwestern)


After fleecing an American woman of $60,000 in a 419 scam, the scammers notified her that she had won $1.06 million and had to come to South Africa and bring $2,000 with her to claim her prize in person. "She duly came, and on arrival on April 15 they took her hostage from the airport and kept her in a house in Albertsdal, Alberton, for well over a month," said Musa Zondi of South Africa's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation. "She was fed once a day while in captivity." She managed to escape on May 22 by breaking a window and notified police, who arrested three Nigerians and a South African woman. (South African Press Association)


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