Alana Nicole Donahue, 27, of Springfield, Ore., just wanted to entertain her children and nephew with a joy ride around the neighborhood. But on July 12, as she pulled the kids (ages 2, 4 and 8) behind her Ford Taurus in a plastic red wagon, she was arrested for reckless endangerment. Donahue told police she was just “showing the kids a good time.” However, horrified witnesses saw the car going about 30 mph as the wagon went up on two wheels going around a busy traffic circle at rush hour.
Unclear on the concept
David Blackmon identified himself as a drug dealer when he called the Okaloosa (Fla.) County Sheriff’s Office on July 16 to report that $50 in cash and a quarter-ounce of cocaine had been stolen from his car. When officers investigated, they found a baggie with “suspected cocaine,” a crack pipe and a crack rock in the car. Blackmon was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
Technology run amok
A security robot named Steve suffered a soggy fatal error on July 17 when it tumbled down several steps and into a fountain in Washington, D.C. New to the job, the robot had been patrolling the Georgetown area, mapping out its features in an effort to prevent just such an accident. “He looked so happy and healthy,” an area mourner tweeted after the incident.
The animal kingdom
An African grey parrot named Bud may have been the key witness in convicting 49-year-old Glenna Duram of White Cloud, Mich., in the shooting death of her husband, Martin Duram, 46. The investigation of the 2015 shooting dragged on for a year before Martin’s first wife, who inherited the parrot, shared with a local TV station a videotape of Bud imitating two people having an argument, including the words “Don’t (expletive) shoot.” Three weeks later, Glenna Duram was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, and on July 19, she was found guilty.
Two AT&T utility workers apparently didn’t work fast enough on lines outside the home of Jorge Jove, 64, of Hialeah, Fla., on July 19. After confronting the workers, Jove went back into his house, came out carrying a gun and began shooting at the AT&T trucks, deflating the tires. Jove reloaded twice and shot at the trucks’ engines before aiming at a service worker who was up on a utility pole. Jove was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Government in action
• Adi Astl, 73, took it upon himself to solve a safety problem in Tom Riley Park in the Etobicoke area of Toronto. Accessing the park meant navigating a steep hill, and Astl felt it was dangerous. The city balked at building a staircase, citing a cost between $65,000 and $150,000. So Astl, a retired mechanic, built it himself, with the help of a homeless man — for $550. Responding to the resulting media storm, the city now plans to build a regulation staircase costing $10,000. “Bureaucrats, bureaucrats, bureaucrats,” Astl concluded.
• In New Westminster, British Columbia, the city has constructed, at a cost of $200,000, an unfinished stairway to nowhere. The structure was intended to replace a required fire escape on a building, but was left incomplete and unattached to the building when concerns arose about wires overhead. “I thought it was an artwork, but I don’t think it makes that much sense,” said passerby Lawrence Kong.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.