NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Apr 25 • FEATURE BOTTOM, News, NEWS & VIEWSNo Comments on NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Training Day

A June 2016 police raid on David Jessen’s Fresno County (California) farmhouse caused a $150,000 mess when sheriff’s deputies and Clovis Police Department officers “rescued” it from a trespassing homeless man — with the massive destruction leading to Jessen’s lawsuit announced in March. The misdemeanant helped himself to an ice cream bar, some milk and half a tomato, but was otherwise “unarmed”; however, by the time the police standoff ended, the “crime scene” included more than 50 cop cars, a SWAT team (and backups), two helicopters, standby ambulances, a police robot, and a crisis negotiation team. Windows, walls and wrought-iron doors were destroyed; tear gas and a “flash bomb” were employed. (Jessen suspects that the farmhouse’s isolation enticed police to decide that it presented an excellent training opportunity.)

Compelling Explanations

“Pro-choice” activist Jessica Farrar, a Texas state legislator, introduced a bill in March to create consistency between the state’s rigorous regulation of women’s reproductive functions and those of men (regulation which, by the way, in either case she calls “invasive” and “unnecessary”). Because Texas’s anti-abortion laws highlight “procreation” as a crucial government interest, she believes male use of erectile-dysfunction drugs should be regulated as abortion is. Under her bill, individual use of Viagra or similar drugs must be preceded by “counseling” similar to that required by abortion laws, and since male masturbation involves the “wasting” of precious sperm cells, it, too, would require “beforehand” counseling.

Jason Sexton told KFSM-TV in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in April that he alone had been digging the massive hole neighbors noticed, now 34 feet deep and with separate tunnels extending off of the main hole. Police had come to check it out, since it was on another person’s private property (and not the city’s, which Sexton had assumed). He said he had been digging off and on for three years to get an answer to whether “the Spanish” had been in Fort Smith centuries ago, mining iron, and, if so, the site should therefore be a lucrative tourist destination. Sexton said he felt he had to give his explanation: “Nobody in their right mind,” he said, “would dig a hole (this big) for no reason.”

Crime Report

At a time of growing awareness that some people seem almost addicted to their cellphones and instant 24/7 communication, police in Brookfield, Wisconsin, released surveillance photos of a woman in the act of robbing banks on March 25 and 27 — while standing at teller counters and talking on the phone during the entire episodes. Acting on a tip from the photos, police arrested Sarah Kraus, 33, on March 28.

College activist Pablo Gomez Jr., 22, was arrested in Berkeley, California, in March and charged with the brutal stabbing death of an elementary school teacher. Gomez, a senior at University of California, Berkeley, is well-known on campus for insisting on a gender identity for which (as an example) the pronoun “he” is an inappropriate reference. (Hence, “they” was charged with what is so far the only homicide in Berkeley this year.)

Paul Perry Jr., 39, sound asleep behind the wheel of his car, with motor running, at 6 a.m. on April 2, was in no position to talk his way out of a DUI ticket, but did offer a gentle challenge to the Youngstown, Ohio, police officer. Several times, according to the police report, Perry offered to “thumb wrestle” the officer to get out of the ticket. From the report: “Perry was advised officers would not thumb-wrestle him.”

Wait, What? A father, 43, and his son, 22, argued on April 9 about who would walk the dog at their home on Chicago’s South Side. They apparently thought to settle the issue with a gunfight, and police, who recovered the two weapons, said both men received multiple wounds. The son was killed, and the father was in critical condition.

Bright Ideas

In January, local government and sexual-assault critics unveiled a consciousness-raising exhibit on Mexico City’s trains: a plastic seat onto which is subtly molded contours of a male body, except with genitals sharply exposed. (Men supposedly have been spotted absentmindedly lowering themselves onto the seat only to leap up in shock.) A note on the floor by the body read (in Spanish): “It’s uncomfortable to sit here, but that’s nothing compared to the sexual violence suffered by women on their commute.”

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