David Ostrom, 40, and his ex-wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, have been tussling over custody and visitation issues and property taxes for some time, but a frustrated David, of Paola, Kan., has come up with a unique way of settling their differences. He has challenged his ex, of Harlan, Iowa, and her attorney, Matthew Hudson, to a trial by combat and asked the Iowa District Court in Shelby County to let them "resolve our disputes on the field of battle, legally," the Des Moines Register reported. In court documents, Ostrom claims such a trial "has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States." Ostrom also asked for 12 weeks to secure some Japanese samurai swords. Hudson, for his part, argued that the fight could end in a death, and "such ramifications likely outweigh those of property tax and custody issues."

Least competent criminal

Storm Corral, 40, and a possible accomplice went to a lot of trouble to enter the Cigarettes Cheaper store in Sonora, Calif., on Dec. 22, according to police. They bored a hole in the ceiling, gaining access from a vacant building above the business, which probably took a couple of hours, Sonora Police Chief Turu VanderWiel told Fox40. When Corral tripped an alarm inside the store, he tried to escape back up through the hole but ended up falling through the ceiling into a storage room, all of which was caught on surveillance video. For all his effort, Corral came away with just a bag of rolling tobacco and two energy drinks, said an employee of the business, but he caused thousands of dollars worth of damage. Corral, who was already on probation, was charged with burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime. Police are still looking for his suspected accomplice.

The passing parade

KTVX reported a man in Sandy, Utah, mistakenly assumed his local 24 Hour Fitness was open ... 24 hours. Dan Hill went to the gym late on Jan. 11 and finished his session with laps in the pool after midnight. When he emerged, he realized everyone was gone and the doors were locked. "Doesn't the name suggest that they stay open 24 hours?" Hill complained on Facebook. He called his wife, who suggested he "find a comfortable place to sleep." Instead, he called police dispatch "and the guy pauses for like 10 seconds and says, 'You're where?' " Hill said. He explained that he didn't want to risk tripping the alarm system and "get busted for breaking and entering," so police responded and freed Hill from his unexpected prison. A manager from the gym apologized in a statement and said, "We made the decision recently to close select clubs in the overnight hours. We clearly did not do a good job of our closing procedures for this club on Saturday night."


Journalist Vladimir Mkrtchyan, 41, of Moscow, came across a painting he made when he was just 6 years old and decided he ought to sell it, Oddity Central reported. It soon got a lot of attention after he posted it Jan. 13 on the Russian classifieds site Avito with an asking a price of 140 million rubles ($2.3 million). Mkrtchyan defended the price, telling Russian media the painting, titled "Red Army Man on Horse," reflects the realities of the Soviet era through the eyes of a child. "I put all my soul and all my childhood delight into it. As you know, the artist's hand is guided by God, which means He liked it so much. The price ... is extremely low for such an artwork," he gushed.

News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.