SOME PUBLICITY REALLY IS BAD 


Wailing loudly and apparently incredulous at being ordered to jail, a scantily dressed Natalia McLennan, 25, was taken directly to lockup from a New York City courtroom in September, after being charged with prostitution; McLennan had recently posed for the cover of New York magazine, proclaiming herself to be the city's top-grossing "escort" and acknowledging that she provided sex for clients.

WINK, WINK

London's Sunday Telegraph reported in July that, because of the shortage of military supplies caused by troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, British Army soldiers on training exercises were ordered simply to shout "bang, bang" rather than fire practice rounds.

FACES OF DEATH

In August, in Albuquerque, N.M., a filthy and disheveled John Hyde, 48, being arraigned in the murders of four people, including two policemen, complained to the judge, "Your honor … I have been put in a red jumpsuit like Elvis Presley … My hair looks ridiculous … I was not allowed to groom myself." Also in August, convicted child murderer Mark Allen Harris was awarded $50,000 by a jury in his lawsuit against Kanawha County, W.Va., jail officials after he fell out of the back of a van transporting prisoners, breaking bones in his face and knocking out some teeth.

14-KARAT FERRETS

Student Sarah Sevick filed a formal complaint in September with the U.S. Department of Justice, accusing Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by not letting her keep her "assistance animal," which is Lilly, her ferret. Sevick says that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, including panic attacks, and that Lilly "soothes" her, but the school said it was concerned with other students' safety. (In other ferret news, the upscale British clothing firm Burberry threatened to sue a pet-accessories shop in Dudley, England, in October, for selling outfits in the familiar Burberry "check" pattern, including a cap and cape designed for ferrets.)

I'LL JUST HAVE THE USUAL

Maria Julia Mantilla, recently crowned Miss World, denied a plastic surgeon's boast that he had given her buttock implants and trimmed her ears, protesting that "I'm not the creation of a surgeon. He just did my bust and my nose."

POLICE BEAT POETS

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "(Carver County) Aug. 24: Hostility. A door-to-door salesman complained about the attitude of the people in the neighborhood in the 100 block of W. Shasta Circle." And from the Union Democrat (Sonora, Calif.): "(Tuolumne County, Oct. 13) 1:13 p.m., Sonora, A man came to the Sheriff's Department to 'find out how to legally kill' a person who was harassing him." From the University of Utah Department of Public Safety report for October 2005: "Unwanted Guest. A security officer from Primary Children's Medical Center called to report a man in that hospital who had no legitimate business there and wouldn't leave. University Police responded and were told by the man that he comes to Primary because he can find longer cigarette butts there because the doctors and nurses at Primary don't smoke their cigarettes all the way down like everyone else does. The man left when ordered to do so by the police."

BOTH SIDES NOW

Transsexual convicted prostitute Monica Renee Champion, 37, was finally picked up by police in Richmond, Va., in August; there had been arrest warrants for indecent exposure against her in the city's South Side as a male and in the city's North Side as a female.

A MATTER OF PUBIC RECORD

Tyler Ing, 20, told the London (Ontario) Free Press in October that his parents "looked at me real weird for a few minutes" but that now "they're proud. My mom shows the `Guinness Book of World Records` to all her friends." The entry that she shows is her son's honor, recently achieved, for having the world's longest nipple hair, certified at 8.89 cm (3.5 inches).

TWELVE GIGGLY MEN

In a September rape trial in New York City, witness Roberto Suarez testified that he saw two men in the room with a waitress just before she told him that she had been raped, and then when asked by the prosecutor to identify the two men, Suarez looked past the defendants and pointed to, respectively, Juror No. 8 and Alternate Juror No. 3. The New York Daily News reported that some jurors laughed so hard that they cried.

MY LEFT FOOT … PLUS

In July, police in Lawrence, Kan., gave Ezekiel Rubottom's foot back to him, convinced that, contrary to a neighbor's inquiry, it wasn't evidence of a crime. Rubottom, 21, had tried to explain that he'd had his clubbed left foot amputated and merely wanted to keep it as a memento in a bucket of formaldehyde. A spokesman for Lawrence Memorial Hospital told the Journal-World newspaper that "people take (home) tonsils … they take (home) appendixes." Rubottom added a porcelain horse and a can of beer to his bucket to make it what he called "a collage of myself."

HIGH SELF-ESTEEM

Tyrone D. McMillian, 33, who was arrested after a high-speed chase through three New York towns in August, told the arresting officers: "I've been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto and NASCAR on PlayStation. I thought I could get away."

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