Take a bite out of crime

Erik Williams, 21, of the 3600 block of South Michigan Avenue, was arrested in Chicago on May 18 and charged with sexually assaulting (forced fellatio) a 42-year-old woman. The victim arrived at a police station in the early morning hours clutching, in her hand, testicles that she had just bitten off. At about the same time, Williams showed up at Michael Reese Hospital missing his testicles. Doctors confirmed that the testicles were Williams' but were unable to reattach them.

Ready for reality TV

The Mexican government announced that beginning June 15, it would distribute "survival" kits to its citizens crossing the border illegally into California and Arizona because they face such a rugged journey. Included in the kits are bandages, aspirin, drugs for snake and scorpion bites, dry meat, granola, 25 condoms (or birth-control pills), and anti-diarrhea medicine. Said a Mexican official, "Those who've gone to the U.S. have told us (what) they need."

Not just rolling over

According to a petition filed in Common Pleas Court in Dayton, Ohio, in May, Boomer, a golden retriever, is the plaintiff suing the Invisible Fence Co. because the electrical charge to his collar, triggered when he attempts to leave his guardians' yard, was too strong and, according to an Associated Press dispatch, caused him severe emotional distress, for which he asks $25,000. Boomer's guardians, Andrew and Alyce Pacher, who purchased the "invisible fence" and permitted the electrical charge, were not sued.

The benefit of the doubt

The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled in March that an unarmed man who had disguised his face and ordered a convenience store clerk to give him "the money" (and who then took $110 and ordered the clerk to lie on the floor) committed theft but not "robbery" because the clerk was never in "immediate, serious" danger. And a judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., ruled in April that police had no legal cause to stop a young man seen running from a building holding his hand to the side of his hip because there are other explanations than that the man had a gun (although he was, in fact, holding onto a gun). And a judge in Middlesex County, Mass., ruled in February that because of a loophole in state law, disseminating child pornography by computer is legal, but merely storing the same images on a computer is illegal.

Election finally decided!

Inmate Chad Gabriel DeKoven's lawsuit against the Standish prison in Bay City, Mich. (and several other defendants), was tossed out in April as frivolous, despite DeKoven's insistence that he is the "Messiah-God" and rightfully president of the United States (in that, since his name is "Chad," he figures that many thousands of punch-card votes last November were symbolically for him). However, Judge David M. Lawson did compliment DeKoven's typing, his "lengthy expositions" on his deity, and his "disciplined effort" in assembling his 125-page brief's exhibition of numerical analysis and secret codes that prove he is God.

Divine guidance

Rev. Richard C. Weaver, 55, the Sacramento preacher who penetrated the Secret Service detail to shake President Bush's hand on Inauguration Day, said it was God who had gotten him access to the restricted area; the Secret Service was embarrassed, especially since they were on the lookout for Weaver, who had told them at President Clinton's 1997 inaugural that he would be back in 2001. And passerby Ray Hutcherson, who happened upon a truck spill of processed chicken on a Houston freeway in March, and who stuffed his car with the birds, summed up his good fortune: "Anytime you get anything free, it's got to be the work of God."

Bowl you over

In a February German television stunt, Swiss citizen Roger Weisskopf, 32, won a lifetime supply of toilet paper when he correctly identified several brands blindfolded, by feel and taste. In December, Cambodian university lecturer (and Pol Pot opponent) Pak Leakreasy introduced a line of toilets with facial likenesses, on the side of the bowl, of several leaders of the evil Khmer Rouge regime. And in Febru-ary, Hong Kong jeweler Lam Sai-wing introduced a solid-gold bathroom (including wash basin and two toilets), constructed as homage to Vladimir Lenin's critique of capitalist waste, telling reporters that he had dreamed all his life to have enough money to build a gold toilet.

An eye for an eye

In May, a college student in Johnson, Vt., threw a pair of cow eyeballs at a writing professor who had undervalued her required-for-graduation essay, which was on the horrors of slaughterhouses. And Tye Thomas, 22, resigned as mayor of Gun Barrel City, Texas, a week after he telephoned police to insist that they come arrest him because he was intoxicated in public.

Accurate assessments

On March 24, two East Orange, N.J., police officers fired 38 shots at two unarmed black teen-agers sitting in a stolen car, connecting on eight and sending both, age 14 and 18, to the hospital. A subsequent investigation revealed, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger, that the shooting erupted when two officers approached the car and one accidentally shot himself in the thigh. When he uttered, "I'm hit," the second officer assumed the teen-agers had shot him, and he emptied his gun at them; another officer coming onto the scene subsequently fired 25 more shots. The boys survived.

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