Kayaker Sue Spector, 77, was out for a leisurely paddle on the Braden River in Florida with her husband and friends on March 4 when someone remarked, “Oh, look, there’s an otter.” No sooner had the words been spoken than the mammal with a playful reputation jumped onto Spector in her kayak and began clawing and scratching her arms, nose and ear. “He wouldn’t let go and I kept screaming. I kept beating him with a paddle,” Spector told Fox 13 News. She later required stitches, antibiotics and rabies treatment. It was the second otter attack in two days, and Florida Fish and Wildlife has now posted signs about the “aggressive otter” near the area.
An escalating situation
Things went from bad to worse for 30-year-old Isaac Bonsu on March 6 when he was charged in Alexandria, Va., with felony hit-and-run involving an unlikely victim. Fairfax County police pulled Bonsu over for an equipment violation, but he apparently forgot to put it in “park” before exiting the vehicle. Bonsu can be seen on police dashcam video running in front of the car and then being struck by it. Unhurt, Bonsu jumped up and kept running, but police were able to catch him. The Associated Press reported that Bonsu was charged with driving while intoxicated (his third) and possessing marijuana along with the hit-and-run.
Check the label
The Carelse family of Lakewood, Colo., picked up some groceries at the Walmart in Littleton on March 5, including a box of Quaker 100 Percent Natural Granola with oats, honey and raisins. When they sat down for breakfast the next morning, they told KMGH-TV, Anthea Carelse noticed that the “best by” date on the box was Feb. 22, 1997 — more than 21 years ago. Her husband, Josiah, ate his full bowl and didn’t suffer any unpleasant consequences, but Anthea stopped after two bites. Josiah planned to return the box to Walmart.
Toot your own horn
March 3 was a big day in Key West, Fla., as competitors sounded off in the 56th annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest. For 70-year-old Mary Lou Smith of Panama City Beach, winning the women’s division was topped only by a marriage proposal (which she accepted with a hearty honk from her shell) from fellow competitor Rick Race, 73, also of Panama City Beach. The Guardian reports that the large shells were used in the 19th century by seafarers as signaling devices, and dozens of entrants show off their skills each year at Key West’s Oldest House Museum.
Least competent criminal
On March 12 in Northumberland, England, a car thief making a getaway in a Mini Cooper S discovered the small car was not small enough to navigate a narrow stone staircase in Carlisle Park. Northumbria police were called to the park around 11:30 p.m. where they found the car and its unnamed 31-year-old driver both wedged tightly between the staircase walls. Area residents speculated to Metro News that the driver might have been trying to re-enact a scene from “The Italian Job,” a 1969 movie. “I’m sure the older Minis would have got down no problem,” said Chris Stoker.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.