In this week's installment: costume drama, creative health care planning and a charity disaster guaranteed to provoke mass male leg-crossing.
Curses, Foiled Again
When Thomas Peno, 50, appeared at a courthouse in Vernon, Conn., to answer a larceny charge, he broke into several cars in front of the building, according to police, who arrested him after he tried to sell a GPS unit stolen from one of the vehicles to a man who turned out to be the vehicle’s owner.
Authorities in Snohomish County, Wash., charged Carlton Wopperer, 49, with insurance fraud after he claimed car thieves stole his collection of silk neckties, worth $33,000. His claim raised suspicion because it was the third time in nine years he reported his collection of 212 silk neckties had been stolen from his vehicle. Insurance investigators discovered that Wopperer had bought the ties but returned many of them within minutes of buying them and kept the receipts to back up his theft claims.
Nuts to Charity
When Joe Cooper, 24, agreed to undergo a bikini waxing at a charity fundraising event in Leicester, England, onlookers bid to pull off the strips. One strip stuck to his scrotum, and an over-energetic tug by one bidder tore off several layers of skin, causing Cooper to nearly lose a testicle. He was taken to the hospital, where, “They told me if any more skin had come off, that would have been it,” he said, adding, “I’d never do it again.”
Zachary A. Bowers, 22, fatally shot his father after the older man dared him to shoot, according to prosecutors in Jackson County, Mo. “Dad threw the gun in my hand and told me to pull the trigger,” Bowers told a police dispatcher. “I pulled the trigger and shot him.”
Kathy Myers, 41, shot herself at her home in Niles, Mich., because she needed medical treatment for a month-old shoulder injury but was out of work and had no health insurance. She said medical personnel told her the injury “would have to be life-threatening or imminent danger for them to do anything, so I was making it be imminent danger that something had to be done.” The gunshot barely wounded her, however, and she was released from the hospital a few hours later. “I really didn’t accomplish what I hoped it would accomplish,” Myers said. “I was really hoping it would hit an artery or bone so they would do the surgery and fix me.”
A Houston inventor whose medical device found a bigger market as a sex toy filed suit against a British company, claiming its cheap knockoff infringes on his patent and might be dangerous because it isn’t as carefully crafted as his original. Jiro Takashima developed the Pro-State prostate massager, which works with muscle contractions instead of electricity to relieve fluid congestion. His company, High Island Health, sells the Pro-State device for $78.50. When men praised it for also improving their orgasms, the company began marketing a version as Aneros, which sells for $49.95. “Our business took a major detour when men started using our prostate massager for recreational purposes,” said Amy Sung, High Island Health’s executive director and Takashima’s daughter. Sung said that another of her father’s medical inventions, a hemorrhoid massager, also enjoys brisk sales as a sex toy.
Irish authorities charged Sandra Talbot, 32, with assaulting her ex-girlfriend during a costume party at a Dublin pub after bumping into her while wearing an inflatable sumo wrestler suit. Victim Adrienne Martin objected and said Talbot hit her with a bottle she had hidden under her costume after Martin tried to wave at a man dressed as a Snickers bar.
Police in Largo, Fla., arrested brothers Kevin L. Lambert, 24, and Dustin J. Lambert, 19, after they used two guitars to beat their roommate because, according to arrest reports, Dustin Lambert thought the victim was “cooking his food.” One of the guitars was electric, the other acoustic.
A 21-year-old man called police in East Wenatchee, Wash., to say his 17-year-old sister attacked him with a serrated spatula. Officer Carrie Knouf said the incident occurred while the two argued whether to use butter or margarine while making macaroni and cheese.
Police charged Russell Willis Shepherd Jr., 40, with stabbing his 58-year-old roommate in the hand after the men argued at their apartment in Myrtle Beach, S.C., because the suspect was being loud while having sex with a 39-year-old homeless woman.
George Stein, 54, was arrested in Vernon, Conn., after he became angry at his girlfriend’s child for objecting to the noisy video game Stein was playing and grabbed some kind of weapon, prompting the boy to call police. Officers also arrested the girlfriend, April Devaux, 42, after she became combative with them, spat at one of them and refused to let go of a front porch post.
Michelle Perrino, 40, pleaded guilty after authorities accused her of setting a fire at her office in New Port Richey, Fla., so she could get off work early. Pasco County sheriff’s investigators said Perrino also tripped the main breaker for the office building so it would lose power and adjusted the phones so no calls would come in.
Games Aussies Play
Two Australian men in their 30s were treated at a hospital in Horsham, Victoria, after they decided to shoot each other with an air rifle “to see if it was painful or not,” according to police Sgt. Brendan Khan. They concluded it was severely painful, and after doctors removed pellets from their legs and buttocks, Khan said the men “admitted that it was just stupidity.”
Way to Go
Hours after Mexican singer Sergio Vega, 40, denied rumors circulating online that he had been murdered, he was murdered. El Debate newspaper reported that Vega, known as “El Shaka,” was shot dead while driving to a concert in Sinaloa state.
Richard Lowrie, 86, was in the drive-through line at a McDonald’s restaurant in Strongsville, Ohio, when he dropped either his glasses or some change from his vehicle. While leaning out to retrieve the item, Lowrie accidentally pressed down on the accelerator, causing the vehicle to lurch forward and smash into a wall, trapping him and causing his death.