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Officer accidentally shoots self at police firing range

A West Carrollton police officer accidentally shot himself in the leg Friday morning at the Franklin police firing range, authorities said.

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The officer, only identified as a veteran of at least 10 years, was at the range for an annual qualification when he shot himself while holstering his weapon, according to West Carrollton Deputy Police Chief David Wessling and Franklin police.

“He’s proficient, but sometimes incidents happen,” Wessling said. “This is an unfortunate event.”

Medics were dispatched to the range in the 200 block of Baxter Drive around 10:50 a.m. The officer was transported to Kettering Medical Center in stable condition and is expected to be OK, officials said.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Man’s body found in wall of women’s restroom after toilet wouldn’t flush

Canadian law enforcement officials have ruled out foul play in the death of a man whose body was found Monday inside the wall of a restroom at a mall in Calgary.

The Calgary Herald reported that the man was found after a worker was called to fix a toilet that wouldn’t flush in a fourth-floor women’s restroom in the Core Shopping Centre food court. The worker removed a panel of the wall and found the body. 

Officials with the Calgary Police Service said that the unnamed man, who was in his 20s, entered the restroom the Friday before he was found. 

“Once inside the washroom, it is believed that he climbed on top of a pony wall which was directly behind the toilets and removed a vent cover, which was located on top of the wall,” police officials said on Facebook. “The pony wall, used to hide utilities, is approximately 7 (feet) tall and is not connected to the ceiling and has no other access points. 

“Based on evidence at the scene, officers believe the victim then climbed inside the pony wall through the vent opening where he became stuck and later died.”

His reason for climbing inside the wall was not known. 

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Firefighters helped extricate the man from the wall. An autopsy ruled the man’s death accidental, police officials said. 

The Herald reported that the body was found around 9:30 a.m. Monday. The restroom remained closed until the man was wheeled out, in a body bag, on a gurney.

The food court remained open for most of the day.  

 

Giant inflatable duck named Quacky bounces down street in Iowa

High winds set loose a giant inflatable duck which surprised motorists in Iowa Thursday evening.

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The duck, named Quacky, belongs to the Youth Emergency Shelter and Services in Des Moines, The Associated Press reported. Windy conditions set the inflatable loose, and the duck proceeded to bounce down a 2-block stretch in a Des Moines neighborhood. 

Video captured the unusual scene.

The inflatable duck has been returned to its owners, and is receiving repairs so it will be ready for its appearance at a May 5 fundraiser, the AP reported.

Florida man arrested after shooting over cat hair, police say

A Florida man told his roommate, "The next one's going in you!" after shooting at him following an altercation over cat hair, according to a police report obtained by WFTV

The incident occurred April 26 at a home in Casselberry.

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Craig Allen Tull told the responding officer his roommate, Christopher D. Schaffner, did not clean up after his cat when it left hair all over the couch. He said he ordered Schaffner to leave the house, but he refused, at which point he shoved Schaffner. 

Schaffner told police he was sitting at his computer in the living room when Tull got his gun from his bedroom and pointed it at him, firing a round in his direction but not hitting him. Schaffer also told the officer Tull grabbed his car keys from his belt before jabbing the gun into his rib cage, causing minor bruising.

Crime scene investigators found bullet holes in a wood cabinet that were consistent with the silver Taurus Judge revolver in the home, WFTV reported.

Police arrested Tull, but had to use four sets of handcuffs because he was unable to put his hands behind his back. He faces multiple charges, included aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

Schaffner told the officer he and Tull have been roommates for two years since Schaffner's girlfriend died. 

20-year-old bear attack survivor bitten by shark while surfing

Dylan McWilliams loves nature, but nature doesn’t always love him back.

The 20-year-old Grand Junction, Colorado, resident was surfing off the Kauai coastline in Hawaii Thursday morning when he suddenly felt searing pain in his calf. He told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he looked down to see what appeared to be a tiger shark between 6 and 8 feet long.

“At first, I panicked,” McWilliams told the newspaper. “I didn’t know if I lost half my leg or what.”

The panic gave way to his survival instinct, and he kicked the shark away as hard as he could. He began desperately swimming for shore, which he said was the scariest part of the ordeal.

“I didn’t know where the shark was, and I didn’t know if he would come after me again,” McWilliams said

A woman who heard his cries for help called 911 once he reached shore and took him to an urgent care facility, where seven stitches were used to close the deep gashes in his leg. 

McWilliams, who has worked as a tree trimmer, ranch hand and survival training instructor, shared the gory images on Facebook. Click here to see his post

“First time in the water in Kauai and get tagged by a shark,” he said. 

McWilliams’ friends were shocked by the encounter, in part because it is not the first time in the past year he has been attacked by a wild animal. CBS Denver reported that McWilliams, then 19, was camping at Glacier View Ranch near Boulder in July when he was attacked by a 300-pound black bear. 

“Are you kidding me?” one Facebook friend asked. “Dude, why do you always have animals wanting to eat you?”

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McWilliams relived his summer ordeal, which began when the bear grabbed him as he slept, following Thursday’s shark attack. 

“The bear grabbed the back of my head and started pulling me and I was fighting back as best as I could,” McWilliams told Hawaii News Now. “It dropped me and stomped on me a little bit, and I was able to get back to the group and they scared it away.”

McWilliams said he was lucky to have survived not only the bear and the shark, but also to have survived a rattlesnake bite during a 2015 hike in Utah, the Star-Advertiser reported. The bite was a “dry bite,” which only delivered enough venom to make him ill for a couple of days. 

National Geographic reported that the odds of one person being bitten by a shark, a bear and a rattlesnake are 893.35 quadrillion to one. An average American has a one in 11.5 million chance of being bitten by a shark.

A person is more likely to be attacked by a bear, with odds of one in 2.1 million, the magazine reported. 

The odds of being bitten by a poisonous snake in the U.S. are one in 37,500. 

Some commenters on Facebook called McWilliams a “legend” for all he’s survived, while others chastised him for getting in the water when much of the island was under a “brown water advisory,” meaning that bad storms had turned much of the coastal waters brown.

Murky water is known to bring in sharks, who prowl the coastline looking for an easy meal. 

“Can tell he’s not from around here or he would have known that,” one person wrote. 

“I guess no one told you that murky water attracts sharks, huh?” another man wrote. 

“It was actually mostly clear where I was,” McWilliams responded.

“‘Mostly’ is a key word in this situation,” the man wrote back. “But it looks like the island gods were ‘mostly’ looking out for you. Speedy recovery, broheem.”

McWilliams told Hawaii News Now that he does not plan on letting his encounter with the tiger shark keep him down.

“I’m just mad that I can’t get back in the water for a couple days,” he said. 

'U SUCK' appears on I-5 traffic sign in Washington

A training error caused an unusual message to appear Tuesday on a traffic sign on Interstate 5 in Washington, officials with the state Department of Transportation said.

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Reddit user Bruceinc posted a photo of the sign, which said "U SUCK," on the social media site Tuesday.

“If I had to take a guess it’s probably a worker messing around while doing maintenance on the sign,” he wrote. “You can see the work trucks to the right of the sign in the photo.”

The message appeared on a traffic sign on I-5 approaching Washington State Route 518 near SeaTac.

After the post caused a flurry of comments on Reddit, WSDOT responded, apologizing for the "inappropriate message." Officials said it was “clearly a mistake” and that they are taking steps to ensure the situation doesn’t happen again.

Man accused of spreading nails on road to punish speeding drivers

A Minnesota man is facing a felony charge, accused of tampering with the road outside of his home as a way to punish speeding drivers, authorities said.

Joseph Kurimay, 75, has been charged with one felony count of damage to property, WCCO reported. 

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Kurimay has been under investigation since October, according to the criminal complaint. He is accused of scattering mason nails on the road outside of his home. The criminal complaint says more than 100 vehicles have been damaged due to Kurimay's actions.

Police gathered evidence from employees at a car repair shop and from surveillance video at a hardware store, the criminal complaint said. Police said they linked a credit card used to purchase mason nails to Kurimay, and found a nearly empty box of mason nails during a search of Kurimay's garage.

Kurimay initially denied involvement, but then expressed frustration that authorities had not responded to his complaints about speeding in the neighborhood, so he took matters into his own hands, according the criminal complaint.

Police told WCCO that 115 victims have been identified, and over $22,000 has been reported in damages.

Kurimay could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted, WCCO reported.

A review of Kurimay's criminal record found several speeding tickets, WCCO reported.

‘Tiger’ running amok in Manhattan was actually raccoon, police say

Reports of a tiger running around loose in Manhattan on Thursday had police sending out alerts to residents and local media scrambling for photos of the wayward creature.

People were left scratching their heads in wonder a short time later when police found the animal -- which was not a tiger. It was not even a lion, or a bear. 

It was a raccoon. 

NBC New York reported that New York police officers got a call around 8:30 a.m. about a tiger being spotted near 166th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. Residents near the area were awoken by a Citizen App notification. 

“Police are responding to unconfirmed reports of a loose tiger running around on the street,” the alert read. 

The raccoon was taken into custody a short time later and turned over to Animal Care Centers of New York City, where it was euthanized. 

“The raccoon was brought into our facility and was euthanized as required by law for all vector species animals brought into the shelter,” ACC officials said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “Raccoons, bats and skunks are classified as a rabies vector species, which means it's an animal that can carry and transmit rabies.”

ABC News also reported that multiple calls were made to police from people claiming to have seen the tiger.

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The hubbub over the less-dangerous-than-suspected animal was enough to get some residents riled. 

“You’re gonna tell me my roommates and I (in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) were all rudely awakened by a helicopter overhead because some idiot in Washington Heights (Manhattan) MISTOOK A RACCOON FOR A (expletive) TIGER?!?!” a user who calls himself Shwax tweeted

Reporters on Twitter seemed more amused than upset. 

“Not my typical Thursday morning,” tweeted Christine Hauser, of The New York Times. “When trying to confirm a report that there was a tiger on the loose in Upper Manhattan, an inundated @NYPDnews spokesman answers the phone with this line: ‘It’s not a tiger, it’s a racoon.’”

Sarah Kaplan, of The Washington Post, also joked about the situation.

“Who among us has not made the same mistake?” Kaplan tweeted

Another Twitter user summed up the humor of the incident succinctly. 

“What I am getting from this is that there’s still a tiger on the loose in Manhattan and a raccoon who needs a good lawyer,” Sara Kaplow joked

Fugitive nabbed after 37 years when mom’s obituary lists his alias

An Oklahoma fugitive was caught in Texas Thursday morning after 37 years on the run, and law enforcement officials are crediting an obituary with leading them to him. 

Stephen Michael Paris was 22 years old in 1981 -- and 19 months into a nine-year sentence on a drug conviction -- when he escaped from the Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Muskogee. According to the U.S. Marshals Service, the case was adopted by agents there about six weeks ago.

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Agents discovered an obituary for Paris’ mother, Joann Rahimi, who lived in Houston before her death on Easter Sunday. The obituary lists Rahimi’s family, including a son, Steve Chavez.

They tracked down the name and found that Paris, now 58, was living and working under that alias in Houston, the Marshals Service reported. He was taken into custody without incident Thursday at his office.

A fingerprint match confirmed his identity. 

‘Tell my mom that I love her if I die,’ teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him 

Two 911 calls show that a Cincinnati teenager pleaded for help as he was crushed to death by the seat in his van Tuesday afternoon in a parking lot near his school. 

Kyle Jacob Plush, 16, was found dead by his father about six hours after he made the first 911 call, according to WCPO in Cincinnati. A preliminary autopsy report indicated that he died of asphyxia due to compression of his chest. 

His death was ruled accidental.

“At this time, there is no indication of foul play or evidence of a drug overdose,” Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said in a written statement. “Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Kyle.”

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Sammarco’s statement did not offer details of how Plush was crushed, but Honda in November recalled 800,000 Odyssey minivans because the vehicle’s second row seats can tip forward if not properly latched. The recall was for vans from 2011 to 2017.

Plush’s van was a Honda Odyssey, though the year was not immediately known. 

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters confirmed to WCPO in Cincinnati that Plush died of positional asphyxiation when he became trapped in a seat, but Deters said it was the van’s third-row bench seat. 

His office is investigating the incident to determine exactly how Plush’s death occurred.

“We are actively trying to identify experts to assist us in this investigation,” Deters told the news station

Officials with the city of Cincinnati and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating why dispatchers, police officers and deputies were unable to find Plush in time to save his life.  

Audio of Plush’s 911 calls, which have not been released by the media due to their graphic nature, indicated that he became increasingly desperate as his condition deteriorated. In the first call, placed shortly after 3 p.m., the teen was gasping for air as he screamed repeatedly for help, saying he was stuck inside his van “at Seven Hills.”

Plush was a sophomore at Seven Hills School, a private academy for grades pre-K through 12. He died in a parking lot near the school’s Hillsdale campus. 

“I can’t hear you,” Plush told the dispatcher, according to WCPO. “I need help. I’m gonna die here.”

The dispatcher either could not hear him clearly or did not understand what he was trying to say. She asked, over and over, “Where are you? What is the address?”

“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die,” the teen said.

A timeline established by the news station indicates that Plush got disconnected about six or seven minutes after he placed his first call. Officers who were dispatched when that call ended tried calling him back, but the call went to voicemail. 

When they did not get a response, the officers marked their assignment complete, the WCPO timeline said. 

In his second call, Plush again made it clear that he knew he was dying. 

“This is not a joke. I’m trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills Hillsdale.”

“Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.” 

As the second call ended, Plush appeared to struggle to breathe. 

Throughout the second call, Plush could be asking, “Hey, Siri?” It appeared that he used the iPhone voice command to call 911. 

Investigators did not say where in the van they found the teen’s phone. 

It was also unclear when Plush’s second call, which lasted about three minutes, was placed. 

A Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy working a traffic detail at Seven Hills responded to the calls about 10 minutes after city officers marked their assignment complete and 32 minutes after Plush’s first call for help, WCPO reported

The deputy was also unable to find Plush’s van, and though he continued searching, he questioned whether the calls had been a prank. 

The dispatcher pointed out that she put in the 911 system that the caller could be in a thrift store parking lot across the street from the school, Fox19 in Cincinnati reported.  

“I was in there. I just looked in a van over there. I didn’t see anybody in it,” the deputy said, according to the news station

It was not clear if the van the deputy found was Plush’s minivan. 

Plush’s mother, identified by his elementary school as Jill Plush, also called 911 Tuesday evening after she and his father, Ron, determined he was missing.

“My son never came home from school,” Jill Plush said, according to Fox19. “We thought he was at a tennis match, and he never came home from school.”

The parent of one of Kyle Plush’s friends wrote in a Facebook post that the match was to be the teen’s first.

“He had been on the practice squad of the tennis team and was due to play in his first match yesterday,” Jackie Taggart-Boyd wrote. “He didn’t show up. Hours later, they discovered him.” 

Taggart-Boyd indicated that Plush had a physical disability, but did not specify what that disability was. She said it never stopped the teen from trying everything. 

She said her son, Spencer, described his friend as the “most positive person he ever met.”

“I can tell you that Spencer spoke of Kyle often,” the distraught parent wrote. “I only met him a couple of times, but every time Spencer told me a Kyle story, he ended it with, ‘I LOVE Kyle!’”

A Seven Hills School spokesperson said in a statement that Plush started attending the school in the sixth grade. 

“He was a young man of keen intelligence, good humor and great courage, and this whole community feels this loss very deeply,” the statement read. 

A classmate, Preston Luniewski, told WLWT-TV that Plush was a “spectacular” person. 

“He just lit up the classroom,” Luniewski said. “He would always be in class, paying attention, really productive in that environment.”

Counselors were called in to help students and staff cope with the loss.

The teen’s elementary school, Mercy Montessori, is hosting a community prayer gathering in his memory Thursday night. 

“Some of our older children have siblings who are currently in high school and have been contacting me throughout the day looking for a place to gather,” Patty Normile, principal of the school, wrote on the school website. “We will use the strength of prayer, compassion and empathy to help our Mercy students, alumni family and friends.”

Normile wrote that besides his parents, Plush also has a sister in the seventh grade. 

 

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