Stranger than Fiction 

Curses, foiled again

When long-distance runner Sarah Tatterson, 37, saw a man ride off after stealing her husband's bicycle from her garage in West Seattle, Wash., she gave chase on foot. The thief saw her gaining on him, so he jumped off the bike and fled while she continued running alongside him, yelling for neighbors to call the police. The half-marathoner said the man asked her to back off, but she refused, telling him, "Look, I was going to run six miles today, but I could probably do 12." Police who intercepted the pair arrested the unidentified suspect. (Seattle's KING-TV)

A man with a knife tried to rob Dorothy Baker in Baytown, Texas, by hiding in her minivan and threatening her and her young sons as she drove off. When she ignored his instructions to make a turn, he moved to the front seat. Having secretly dialed 911 on her cell phone, she then grabbed the knife from his hand and began punching him in the face, all while continuing to drive. She said she ordered him out of the vehicle, and he complied, but she realized "if he gets away, he can do this to somebody else." She began pursuing and ended up running over him. Police identified the suspect as Ismael Martinez, 53, after he was airlifted to the hospital. (Houston's KHOU-TV)

Firearm follies

Police investigating the shooting of a man riding a bicycle in Herndon, Va., said that John E. Albers, 49, was loading his gun inside his home when it accidentally discharged, striking the passing cyclist in the stomach. (Associated Press)

Police accused Thomas Ancrum, 17, of accidentally shooting himself in the leg at his ex-girlfriend's home in Charleston, S.C., after family members asked him to leave. Police official Charles Francis said the semi-automatic pistol had been in Ancrum's waistband when it discharged. (Charleston's The Post and Courier)

Mind your manners

Larry R. Garner, 49, was using a public restroom at Nebraska's Branched Oak Lake when Christopher Wilson, 30, opened the unlocked door. He closed it after Garner told him the restroom was occupied but chided Garner afterwards about his poor restroom etiquette. According to Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner, the confrontation escalated when Wilson pushed Garner, prompting Garner's 19-year-old son, Jamie Lee Huber, to punch Wilson in the face. Three women with Garner then attacked Wilson's roommate, Rachelle Friesen, 27. Deputies cited Wilson, Huber and the three women for assault. Garner wasn't cited, Wagner said, because "he's the poor guy who's just using the restroom, minding his own business." (Lincoln Journal Star)

Nude behavior

Homeowners called police after Thomas Edwards, 22, showed up at their residence in Casselberry, Fla., and started taking off his clothes on the patio. Edwards explained he had come to the address his girlfriend had given him to propose to her, but the homeowners said she wasn't in their house, that they had never heard of her and didn't know Edwards. When officers arrived and asked Edwards to put his clothes on, he spit on them, prompting them to shock him with a stun gun and arrest him. (Orlando's WKMG-TV)

After a British court imposed an anti-social behavior order on naked rights activist Stephen Gough, 54, stating that he must cover his buttocks and genitalia in public, he was arrested leaving the courtroom wearing only boots and socks. He refused to take clothes offered to him by police and was charged with flouting the order. Gough, who has been convicted 28 times for public nudity, received an 11-month sentence this time. (BBC News)

Reasonable explanation

When Chicago police arrested Xavier Guzman, 25, for a drive-by shooting that wounded a 21-year-old man in the arm, Guzman explained that he became "enraged" after his child's mother refused to let him see the child on Father's Day and "someone had to pay." (Chicago Tribune)

Wrong arm of the law

Nebraska authorities fined Sutton Police Chief Tracey Landenberger $750 for buying too much snack food. Many of the snacks were consumed during training exercises by police officers working late hours, and some was candy thrown to a crowd during a parade in the town of around 1,500 people, according to State Auditor Mike Foley, who also found that Landenberger had used the police department to store campaign signs. "This is my fault," Landenberger acknowledged but added, "A lot of the things we were doing wrong were going on long before I was here." (Omaha World-Herald)

After police Officer Jonathon Bond lost control of his car while chasing a suspect in Memphis, Tenn., and crashed his car halfway up a utility pole, officers on the scene handed out tickets to passing motorists who slowed to take a closer look. (Memphis' WREG-TV)

Death and life

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford to join leading restaurants and Whole Foods Market in treating lobsters to death with dignity. "There is a new device available called the Crustastun that eliminates the questionable practice of boiling lobsters alive, thereby preventing their suffering," David Byer, PETA's manager of corporate affairs, wrote in a letter to the chef. "We hope that the White House will start using it immediately. The device is essentially a stun gun that kills lobsters instantly. (The Washington Times)

Vegetables continue responding to their environment long after they've been picked, according to researchers, who exposed supermarket cabbages to periods of light and dark. Cabbages kept on a regular day-night cycle produced three times as many glucosinolates as cabbages kept in all dark or all light. These organic compounds help fend off pests and are anticarcinogenic. (Science)

Drinking-class hero

After police stopped Erin James, 58, for speeding and driving under the influence in Riverside, Ill., she explained that she had been out celebrating the imminent return of her driver's license from an earlier drunk-driving conviction. (Chicago Tribune)

Carried away

Police detained Kenneth Frank after an employee at a Hampton Inn in Evansville, Ind., reported seeing a man trying to remove a woman's body on a luggage cart. The woman, Frank's 47-year-old wife, was pronounced dead at the scene. "That's not something you're going to see very often," police Sgt. Jason Cullum said. Steve Lockyear, chief deputy of the Vanderburgh County Coroner's Office, said there was no evidence of foul play, but he labeled the death as suspicious anyway because "the circumstances are so unusual." (The Evansville Courier & Press)


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