Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Issue: "John Bolton: Take cover!," May 7, 2005

Cry for help

Two hours after allegedly trying to break into a Lake Tahoe home on April 20, Jose Francisco Martinez was ready to face justice. That's because Mr. Martinez had been stuck for that long after trying to enter the home through the chimney. His yells for help attracted the attention of neighbors, who called police. "We've had bears stuck in chimneys before but we haven't had people," said Placer County Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Whigam. "It's crazy. The video we took is funny."

Four-legged race

Traffic in the Baltimore suburb of Pikesville, Md., was worse than usual on April 26. The reason: Nine buffalo escaped from a nearby farm and decided to go to town. Pikesville authorities, concerned about the roaming buffalo, at first shut down several major roads and part of the Baltimore Beltway. But then, with a police helicopter and more than a dozen cars, they managed to herd the herd into a fenced tennis court. "Somehow they figured it out," said police spokesman Shawn Vinson. "I've got to give a lot of credit to the creativity of our officers."

Suspect fingered

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More than a month after claiming she found a finger in a bowl of chili at a San Jose, Calif., Wendy's restaurant (Quick Takes, April 9), Anna Ayala now finds herself under arrest. Police say she planted the finger herself in an attempt to extract a settlement from Wendy's and then bragged to friends about the incident. Ms. Ayala has brought numerous lawsuits in the past, including suits against a fast-food chain for food poisoning and an employer for sexual harassment. Police say they still do not know whose finger was in the chili.

Lost and found

Christopher and Cheryl Dondlinger of Two Rivers, Wis., were out driving on April 21 when they stopped to pick up a folder they saw on the road. "I thought maybe some child dropped it in the street and maybe we would find some children's drawings," said Mr. Dondlinger. Instead they found $42,240 in cash and checks. It turns out that an accountant for a local fast-food company had lost the folder. She called police at about the same time that the Dondlingers were turning the money in.

Bad cover letter

The good news for recent Dutch law school graduate Reinder Eekhof: Every law firm in the Netherlands knows his name. The bad news: They know exactly what he thinks of them. Mr. Eekhof's problems started when he sent an e-mail to a friend at an Amsterdam law firm saying that he had "finally finished this stupid education" and now needed to find "someone crazy enough to dump a suitcase full of money in my lap every month."

That last part became less likely, though, when the e-mail ended up in the mailboxes of law firms across the country. Mr. Eekhof had mistyped the e-mail address, sending it to someone in the firm's communication department. From there it was forwarded on until Mr. Eekhof became the country's most famous law graduate.

Ron stoned

Ron Stone's request seemed reasonable to police officer Jason Kearney. The Bulloch County, Ga., deputy was sitting in his marked patrol car on April 21, waiting for a colleague, when Mr. Stone asked him for a ride to his car. Mr. Kearney insisted on searching Mr. Stone first for weapons, and Mr. Stone agreed. Mr. Kearney didn't find any weapons, but he did allegedly find two bags of marijuana. Police later discovered that Mr. Stone was wanted for marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

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