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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.22 No.7 | February 14 - 20, 2013

Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary

Dateline: Israel

A motorist in Tel Aviv was livid after road workers painted a disabled parking space around her parked car and then towed the vehicle away. Hila Ben Baruch had parked, legally, near her apartment. She returned later to find a freshly painted handicapped space and no car. Ben Baruch was ordered to pay a fine of around $267, plus towing costs. Fortunately for her, Ben Baruch located some surveillance camera footage from a nearby building which clearly shows workers painting the handicapped stripes around her already-parked car. She posted the video to Facebook, saying, “You just see it and can’t believe it.” After the video was posted, the local city hall waived the fine and admitted the whole incident was a “serious error.” Despite the apology, Ben Baruch is now considering legal proceedings.

Dateline: Brazil

The southeastern Brazilian city of Belo Horizante is in the middle of a John Lennon crime wave. Police there say at least three people named John Lennon have been arrested in the last 30 days. According to the Brazil Dispatch, the most recent came when 18-year-old John Lennon Ribeiro Siqueria was arrested for attempting to rob a lottery office. In January, 22-year-old John Lennon Fonseca Ferreira was arrested during an attempted burglary at a local residence. Before that, police nabbed 22-year-old John Lenon Camargos Gomes, who allegedly committed five homicides in the city. Also in January, 18-year-old John Lennon Sabastiao da Silva was found dead in the back seat of a car. Police suspect it was a revenge killing. No word on whether Paul McCartney has an alibi.

Dateline: Spain

A suspected pickpocket was unable to use his latest victim’s credit card at an ATM machine. So he called up the victim and asked the man for his PIN number—and got it. Investigators say the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Sabadell resident Joan Carles M.M., tried multiple times to guess the PIN number after stealing the Solsona man’s wallet in December. The card eventually got blocked due to the incorrect PIN numbers. That’s when the thief used information contained in the victim’s wallet to call the card owner. The pickpocket posed as a Visa customer service representative and asked for the correct PIN number. The gullible customer gave it out, but the card would no longer work in ATMs due to the previous attempts. Police eventually located the persistent thief.

Dateline: Colorado

A second-grader was suspended for real for using an imaginary hand grenade on school grounds. Alex Evans, age 7, employed the nonexistent weapon during recess at Mary Blair Elementary School earlier this month. Evans told KDVR-TV in Denver he was playing a game called “Save the World,” which involved throwing an imaginary grenade at an imaginary box full of imaginary evil. “I pretended the box, there’s something shaking it, and I go pshhh, so nothing can get out and destroy the world,” Alex was quoted as saying. “I was just trying to save people, and I just can’t believe I got dispended.” Administrators, however didn’t appreciate Evans’ world-saving efforts, saying the game violated one of the schools “absolutes” against possession of weapons—real or imaginary. “Honestly, I don’t think the rule is very realistic for kids this age,” Evans’ mother, Mandie Watkins, told the television station. Contacted by the Huffington Post, Thompson School District public information officer Mike Hausmann declined to comment on the specific case, but did say the disciplinary incident was a “complicated issue.” No word on how long Evans will be “dispended” from school.

Dateline: Florida

Police in Brooksville say a man was arrested for drunk driving while inside a Walmart. Timothy Carr was spotted around 9 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, driving around inside the Walmart on a motorized shopping cart. Police say he had removed an alcoholic beverage from a shelf and was drinking it while running into the aisles with his vehicle and knocking other items onto the floor. When police arrived, Carr told officers he was a transient and had no money to pay for the alcohol. He was charged with disorderly intoxication and, because this was his third arrest on the charge, felony retail theft.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to devin@alibi.com.