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I guess it depends on what you mean by “helping.” If you mean helping the possible jumper – who had been standing on the bridge for hours – make up his mind, then yes, Lai Jiansheng provided a helping hand to Chen Fuchao. Lai approached Chen and shook his hand, then pushed him off the bridge! Luckily for Chen, as reported by The China Post,

[he] fell 26 feet (8 meters) onto a partially inflated emergency air cushion laid out by authorities and survived, suffering spine and elbow injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.

Really? Only 26 feet? Why was Chen on the bridge?

According to Xinhua, Chen wanted to kill himself because he had accrued 2 million yuan (US$290,000) in debt from a failed construction project.

Okay, but the burning question is, why did Lai push him?

… Lai Jiansheng had been fed up with what he called Chen’s “selfish activity,” Xinhua said. Traffic around the Haizhu bridge in the city of Guangzhou had been backed up for five hours and police had cordoned off the area.

“I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish. Their action violates a lot of public interest,” Lai was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities’ attention to their appeals.”

Photos in the Beijing Morning Post showed Lai, shoeless and in a T-shirt, saluting after Chen fell.

Cold. But, here’s one more thing about Lai: it has been reported that “he had been on medication for “a mental illness” for decades and had been on his way to a hospital for his pills.” So what happened to Lai?

A police officer who answered the telephone Saturday at a station close to the bridge confirmed the incident and said it was under investigation. He refused to give any other details and hung up.

You can read more here.

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It should go without saying that every kid ought to hear “the talk” from his parents. But a 42-year-old British dad apparently wanted to go the extra mile for his 14-year-old son – by hooking him up (sorry) with a prostitute! Alas, the woman dad approached was … a cop! And, of course, now dad is ashamed.

The father’s barrister Matthew Smith said: “There is a thorough sense of shame the defendant feels.

Said the Judge, per the BBC News:

What you were doing that night was to expose your 14-year-old son to a prostitute because you didn’t know she was a police officer.

You have a duty of care to your son and that is to look after his moral welfare not, as you might think, to break him into the ways of sex through a prostitute.

So dad pleaded guilty to attempting to solicit a woman to have sex with a minor. Jail time?

Judge Jonathan Teare said he was not sending the father to prison because of his previous excellent character and that he believed he did not mean any harm to his son.

Mr. Smith added that the boy would be allowed to continue to live with his father.

But …

[dad] will be placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

Go figure. A man of “previous excellent character” who retains custody of his son is put on the sex offenders registry? Huh? Here’s the source.

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Here’s a very good example, per WTHR.com:

It was a day that kept getting worse for a Terre Haute man who put his car in a ditch and then tried to get it out with a “borrowed” tractor.

When officers arrived, they discovered a large farm tractor and car in a ditch, apparently after falling from the bridge. The driver of the tractor had fled the scene.

Yeah, no chance the police would figure out it was him, what with his car being in the ditch …

Troopers got a tip that the driver was hiding at a nearby farm house on Rio Grande Road. Officers went to the residence and took the driver into custody without incident.

Damn you tipster!

The driver was identified as Kevin Michael Whitesell, age 31, of Terre Haute, IN. Whitesell was taken to the Vigo County Jail. He faces charges of Driving While Intoxicated, Class A misdemeanor; and Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Crash, Class C misdemeanor. Additional charges may be filed.

The blow-by-blow:

Police say at around 5:00 am, Whitesell crashed his 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier on Bluejay Road just west of Eppert Road. He then walked to a farm house on Rio Grande Road, approximately two miles from the scene, and obtained a 1998 John Deere 9100 Series four-wheel driver tractor.

So after walking 2 miles, it still didn’t dawn on him that this was a bad idea.

Whitesell then drove back to his car on Bluejay, hooked the overturned car to the tractor and began dragging the car (on its top) eastbound on Bluejay.

As Whitesell attempted to make a right turn onto Eppert, he lost control and drove the tractor over the west side of the bridge, dragging the car with it. The tractor was owned by Plant Farms and the owner of the car was Whitesell. Police say Whitesell was an employee of Plant Farms, but he took the tractor without his employer knowing about it.

Damn you Eppert Road!

Damage to the bridge was estimated at $10,000 to $20,000 and the tractor was valued at $150,000.

Zoinks! Here’s the source, with multiple photographs of the scene.

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Warning: Do not read this right before, or after, eating, because it’s really, really gross. Okay, here it goes, per The Standard, “China’s Business Newspaper”

A domestic helper has appeared in court accused of trying to injure her employer by mixing her menstrual blood in a pot of vegetables she was cooking.

I warned you …

In some Southeast Asian cultures menstrual blood is thought to have special magical powers.

Prosecutor Vincent Lee gave a statement to the court in which the Indonesian maid admitted under caution to mixing the blood with the vegetables in the belief that it would make her employer, surnamed Mok, “more amicable and less picky.”

Perhaps this is TMI, but here it is:

Mok [the employer] peered through the kitchen door and saw the helper acting suspiciously. She entered the kitchen and found the accused throwing something into the trash bin.

When Mok checked, she allegedly found blood clot-like substances mixed with the vegetables and water in the cooking pan.

She later discovered a used sanitary napkin in the bin and called the police.

I won’t be eating for a few days. And just in case your appetite is not totally gone, The Standard also reports that:

Last year, a court in Saudi Arabia sentenced two Asian domestic helpers to four months in prison and 250 lashes each for contaminating the tea of their employer with urine and menstrual blood.

And …

In December 2007, another Indonesian domestic helper in Hong Kong added urine to the drinking water of her employer and his family.

She believed it would make the family treat her better. It was discovered after the family noticed a difference in the taste of the water. The maid was jailed for three months on a charge of “administering poison or other destructive or noxious things with intent to injure.”

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A 1-year-old boy was waiting for a relative to pick him up at the police station in Schererville, Indiana because his mom was busted for drunk driving. So his dad drove to the station to get him, only he was drunk too, and was also busted for drunk driving. So his grandparents came to get him and … yup, they had been drinking too! But, per the AP, grandma, who had been driving, wasn’t legally drunk, “so officers escorted them home with the child.” On the drinking front anyway, hopefully the apple didn’t fall anywhere near the tree…

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potavatar50087_2.gif Dr. Alfredo Gonzalez, of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, learned this the hard way. While the doc was out, his burglar alarm went off. The police responded and, while searching for a burglar, instead found a $4,000 “BloomBox,” and seven marijuana plants. Doh! And guess where doctor Gonzales works? He directs a drug treatment facility! Word is, per court documents, that Dr. Gonzalez was tired of getting hosed, so he decided to cut out the grower and the dealer. Having been charged not just with possession, but with distribution and possession with intent to distribute, perhaps he now understands the reason for the mark-up. Those folks have a little more at risk than a guy caught with a little Mighty Mezz. You can read more here.

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It’s 4:30 a.m. in Lincoln, Nebraska, and this guy needed some cigarettes. He was probably drunk (from drinking Bud Light.) Why would I guess that he was drinking Bud Light? Well sir, as reported by the Lincoln Journal Star:

A man who robbed a north Lincoln Kwik Shop on Monday morning brought a disguise — he was wearing a Bud Light box on his head.

The man had a green rag wrapped around his hand, implying he had a weapon, when he entered the store at 4400 Cornhusker Highway around 4:30 a.m. He made off with nine packs of Newport cigarettes, valued at nearly $50, police Capt. Bob Kawamoto said.

A truly wacky – and at least for now unsolved – crime. Here’s the source.

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You take your car in to be repaired. Clearly you’re not going to leave anything valuable inside of it. But what about leaving the tires and wheels on it? I am not joking. Apparently, you need to take them with you. As reported in The Charlotte Observer:

Mickey Coffino dropped off her Audi at the dealer on a Friday afternoon to get her trunk and window fixed. On Monday, the dealership called to say her tires and wheels had been stolen.

And the dealership won’t pay for replacements!

The reason Audi of Charlotte on Independence Boulevard wouldn’t help out boils down to one thing: insurance.

Each Audi dealership is an independent business and carries insurance to protect from liability. Though General Manager Bill Taylor said he wished he could do more, he said making an exception to his written policy for customers’ property would open him to claims of unfairness from past customers.

“The dealership goes to great lengths to protect the customer’s property,” Taylor said.

“Great lengths?” Hmmm. Check out his analogy:

He described the situation as one in which a person goes to a shopping mall and buys something at Target. The customer puts the item in the car and goes shopping at Old Navy. While in the second store, the customer’s car is vandalized. Should Target or Old Navy be held responsible?

Um – NO! She left her car in your care. Do you not see the difference? The customer didn’t take her car to Old Navy or Target to be repaired. And though it appears that, contractually, the dealer is on solid ground, I DON’T CARE. Do the right thing by the customer. Is this really the kind of PR a car dealership wants in these brutal times for the auto industry? We’re talking about $1,000! Sheesh.

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Okay, how do you feel about strip “throw rocks at cars on the highway from an overpass” poker? Yes, that’s what two dipshits in Washington have been charged with. As reported by KOMO News:

State troopers have arrested two people suspected of damaging at least 14 vehicles by throwing baseball-sized rocks onto them from a railroad trestle over Interstate 5 as a part of a stripping game.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill said 23-year-old Joshua N. Sizemore and 18-year-old Amanda L. Madison were tossing large rocks from the trestle near Bridgeport way about midnight.

The rules of this “game?”

Investigators said the couple was playing a stripping game, the rules … involved Madison shedding a layer of clothes for every left headlight the two managed to bust. The same rule applied to Sizemore and right headlights.

The Juice’s blood is boiling. How were they caught?

Sizemore and Madison were tracked down by troopers on the ground with assistance from a State Patrol airplane which captured video of the couple throwing rocks. Investigators said Madison was in her underwear when police caught up with the couple.

Oh, and one of the cars that was hit was a police car!

“I think we very possibly could have saved a life,” said Trooper Eric Hatteberg.

Double true.

Both Madison and Sizemore were booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of malicious mischief and assault.

Here’s the source.

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I’ll give you a hint. Tony Van, of San Francisco, California, went to court to find out what the jury decided in his auto theft case. Here’s another hint, he didn’t take the streetcar to court. His transportation to court: a stolen Lexus SUV! Here’s how the police discovered this, per the Marin Independent Journal:

While Van was in the courthouse awaiting the verdict, two Civic Center employees on a break noticed some loose Yorkies around a Lexus in the parking lot. As they gathered up the dogs, several puppies were found unattended inside the Lexus on the sweltering day. Authorities suspect some of the dogs jumped out a window.

Sheriff’s deputies were summoned and discovered that the 2005 Lexus had been reported stolen. Then Van came out to the vehicle, with the keys in his possession, authorities said.

Van was arrested, again. And the trial he was there for didn’t turn out so well either.

Van’s jury returned and convicted him in the case of the stolen [$125,000] Porsche [Carrera]. Sentencing is pending.

Doh!