Vain Facebook user takes the bait 

Stranger than fiction

Curses, foiled again

After police seeking Monica Hargrove, 34, for aggravated robbery in Columbus, Ohio, posted her photo on the department's Facebook page, the suspect called and demanded the photo be removed because she considered it unflattering. "Come on in and we'll talk about it," the detective she spoke with told her. She did, public information officer Denise Alex-Bouzounis said, and was arrested. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Authorities in Northern Ireland charged Kevin Clarence, 20, with attempted robbery after he waited in line at a supermarket with a black trash bag over his head and then demanded money. An employee who heard the demand approached the suspect, who said, "I'll be back," and fled. Two witnesses identified Clarence as the would-be robber, and a police officer at his subsequent trial in County Londonderry pointed out that Clarence had just been released from prison for a similar offense. (BBC News)


After finding a Nigerian traveler shivering on the floor of Spain's Madrid-Barajas airport, officials activated an emergency Ebola alert and declined to help him. An hour later, they summoned a team of infectious disease specialists, who examined the now-unconscious man and concluded he was a drug mule suffering from a cocaine overdose after several bags of the drug in his stomach burst. He was finally taken to a hospital but died. The man's wife said he hadn't visited Nigeria in at least four years. (Spain's The Local)

The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission reported actively monitoring fraudulent claims that products, especially ones from unconventional sources, prevent or treat Ebola. "The concern is that if the pubic anxiety over Ebola continues to grow, we're going to see more and more," the FTC's Richard Cleland said. "Consumers have to assess for themselves what the need for those type of products are." Thomas Bollyky of the Council on Foreign Relations explained, "The necessary ingredients to this type of profiteering are twofold: panic and novelty." (National Journal)

Only human

New York City's Civil Service Commission upheld the 20-day suspension of a Health Department worker for answering an information-technology helpline "in a robotic voice." Callers complained about the over-enunciated monotone, including one who demanded "to speak to a human." The worker said he was articulating carefully because his Brooklyn accent can be difficult to understand, but the administrative law judge who heard his appeal called him a "disgruntled employee" acting out. (Associated Press)

Vehicular follies

While Megan Campbell was driving a city supply van in St. Paul, Minn., she hit a parked Nissan Pathfinder, seriously damaging its bumper. It happened to be her personal vehicle, and Campbell filed a claim against the city seeking $1,600 to $1,900. "Because I was working for the city and driving the city vehicle, I feel they are responsible for paying for the damage done to my car," she explained in her claim form. (St. Paul's Pioneer Press)

A man backing out of his driveway in Aurora, Colo., jumped out of his van to avoid being burned by a cigarette he dropped on himself. The vehicle kept moving, knocked him down and ran over his head. He was hospitalized in critical condition. (Denver's KUSA-TV)

Drinking-class heroes

After grateful members of Canada's House of Commons applauded Alain Gervais, the guard who shielded them from gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, New Democrat Party caucus chair Glenn Thibault declared, "We just need to constantly make sure that that person never has to pay for a beer at any pub in the country for the rest of his life." After learning that Gervais' favorite beer is Molson, Gavin Thompson of Molson Coors Canada announced, "We will take good care of Alain." Molson promptly delivered several hundred bottles of beer to his Ottawa home. (CBC News)

After complying with a municipal liquor ban dating back to the 19th century, residents of Hanover, Manitoba, learned that no such ban exists. Said Stan Toews, 63, the rural community's reeve: "We went back to 1880, and we could not find a bylaw that said Hanover is dry." Toews invited local establishments interested in selling alcohol to apply for a provincial liquor license. (Canadian Press)

Minneapolis ad agency Colle & McVoy reported that since it began offering workers a free glass of beer for filling out their timecards properly, time-sheet completion has improved by 90 percent. (United Press International)

Things that go boom

Television maker Philips received complaints that the base of some sets had spontaneously blown up. "It was a big explosion," Denise Young said after the tempered-glass base shattered into hundreds of pieces all over her Boston living room. Philips replaced Young's TV and said it's now making TV bases of acrylic and plastic. (Boston's WBZ-TV)

Reasonable explanation

Sheriff's deputies who arrested Lisa Carol Roche, 41, after they caught her taking items from cars parked at a high school in Jackson County, Miss., said she claimed she was looking for members of ISIS. (Gulfport's Sun Herald)

Slightest provocation

Tammy Hiser, 34, attacked her boyfriend with an ax in Daytona Beach, Fla., because he wouldn't talk to her. Andrew Whitaker, 28, told police he ignored her because he was mad that she was drunk. He said she punched him repeatedly and then got the ax and swung it at him, but he was able to take it away from her because "her coordination was terrible." After her arrest, Whitaker said he'd try to get the felony charge dropped, explaining, "I see spending the rest of my life with her." (The Huffington Post)

William Rogers, the mayor of Hawkins, Texas, was charged with official oppression for threatening a homeowner because her grass was too tall. The woman told police Rogers blocked her in with his car and threatened her with a ticket and a $500-a-day fine because her grass was higher than 18 inches. Hawkins code enforcement officer Eileen Frazier measured the woman's grass and found it wasn't over 18 inches and said Rogers illegally mistreated the woman. (Tyler's KLTV-TV)

Flames of love

Dim Xiong Chien, 22, planned to propose to his girlfriend at China's Liaoning Advertisement Vocational College in Shenyang by setting off fireworks as he kneeled, but she forgot their meeting. He set off the fireworks anyway, hoping to attract her attention, and went to look for her. While he was gone, the fireworks sparked a grass fire that burned down the college's sports hall. (New York Post)


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