Weirdness  - 5Dec97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 97 19:27:47 -0800
Subject: Weirdness  - 5Dec97
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.513 (News of the Weird, December 5, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* In November, Paul Z. Singer, head of Singer Financial Corporation in
Philadelphia, was sentenced to nine months in prison for an extreme reaction
to what he called business pressures. One night in 1996, an extremely
depressed Singer decided to deal with his tension by loading a backpack full
of spray paint cans into his BMW. When he was arrested, said police, he
had written graffiti all over 31 walls, windows, and automobiles.
* In Springfield, Mo., in June, Vernon Wayne Richmond, 18, stood up in court
to give the details of his crime as part of a plea bargain to cocaine
possession. Richmond said he found cocaine, put it in his pocket, and then
was arrested by police after a Wal-Mart guard detained him. Unfortunately,
Richmond had misunderstood which of his cases the plea was for. Actually,
the district attorney was prosecuting him for an earlier arrest for having
cocaine in his car and was unaware of the Wal-Mart arrest.
* Army military policeman Daniel Christian Bowden, 20, was arrested in June
at the Fort Belvoir (Va.) Federal Credit Union as he attempted to deposit
almost $3,000 cash into his account. A teller had called police on Bowden
because she recognized him as the very man who had robbed the credit union
of nearly $5,000 two weeks earlier.
* Carlos Manuel Perez, 21, was jailed in Anniston, Ala., in October after
a series of missteps that almost begged for his arrest. He stopped in front
of a local government building in a stolen car, which had no license plate.
His intention, he told the first person he saw, was to inquire about getting
a non-photo identification card, since he was not carrying a driver's
license. That first person happened to be Sheriff Larry Amerson, in
uniform. When pressed for ID, Perez produced a social security card with
the name Matthew Nowaczewski (though Perez has a dark-skinned Hispanic
complexion). He also produced a birth certificate under that name but with
some information erased and rewritten in pen, including his birthplace of
"MiSSSissippi." Said Amerson later, "I know we're from Alabama, but we're
not that stupid."
* A 17-year-old motorist was cited for driving without a license in
Springfield, Ill., in September. When stopped, he gave the name "Johnny
Rice," but police got tough with him when he was unable to spell "Johnny"
in any of the conventional ways. His real name, he said then, is Dyvon D.
Stewart, and after an inquiry of the car's owner, police learned that
Stewart had legitimately borrowed it and that despite the false name, he
was not wanted by police on any other matter.
* In September elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, dictated by the 1995 Dayton
peace accords, a Muslim slate won control of the city council of Srebrenica,
a city which Serbs had ethnicly-cleansed of Muslims during the war in what
human rights agencies call the worst European atrocities since World War
II. However, still not a single Muslim resides in Srebrenica. Under the
Dayton agreement, Bosnians, wherever they reside, could elect governments
in their former municipalities.
* Winston Salem, N.C., mayoral candidate Rick Newton, who had recently
stopped taking his manic-depression medicine, was tossed out of court by
bailiffs in July after he walked in in a curly black wig and carrying a
guitar and a red pillow shaped like lips, claiming he was Jesus. He was
there to answer charges that he violated a court order by harassing his
estranged wife on the telephone.
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1997 Peter Langston