Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "Living a legend," Aug. 19, 2006

British cover-up

As record heat waves incite men around the world to take their shirts off, lawmakers are considering or have passed ordinances making going topless as a man indecent exposure. "There is a problem," British lawmaker Nicholas Bennett told the Daily Mail. "In my part of the country, we are trying to revitalize the main shopping precinct. But one of the things that is depressing for anyone going shopping is the numbers of shaven-headed men, mainly in their 30s and 40s, who seem to think people want to see their torsos." Apparently, he thinks they don't.

Odd man out

Attorney Daniel Silverman had an inspired way of describing his client's jail experience: "I can finally use the expression 'Kafka-esque," he told the Philadelphia Daily News. His client, Korvel Odd, had been put in jail in November 2004 when prosecutors wanted to use new laws to persuade him to testify in a murder trial. But, apparently forgotten, Odd remained in jail for weeks after prosecutors dropped the murder case. With the help of a public defender, Odd finally won his release when his lawyer showed he'd been jailed for nearly two months without ever being charged with a crime. Silverman said he's helping Odd sue the prosecutor Silverman says forgot to release his client from jail.

Picture taker

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The photo probably looked familiar, and so did the name. Maria Bergan of Lakeland, Ohio, allegedly plunked down a stolen driver's license as ID late last month when she was ordering a drink. But the waitress taking the order wasn't about to fall for it, perhaps because she, the waitress, was the rightful owner of the license. The waitress, whom authorities did not identify, called police, who arrested Bergan for identity theft and receiving stolen property.

Returning to the scene of the crime

A speeding Montana driver took some time to help a stranded motorist-who turned out to be a police officer who had been chasing him. Police say a man, whom they did not identify, was driving 95 mph along Interstate 15 on Aug. 2. The man apparently didn't notice when patrolman Frank Nowakowski gave chase, but he did see a cloud of dust in his rearview mirror when one of Nowakowski's tires blew out, causing the patrol car to careen off the highway and into a barbed-wire fence. Returning to help, the speeding driver learned that he was the cause of the accident, and according to police, apologized profusely. "It was very heartfelt," said Nowakowski. "He felt bad because there could have been some lousy consequences."

Beer nut

Perhaps one Pennsylvania judge only drinks imported beer. Berks County Judge Jeffrey K. Sprecher threw out a case against a Pennsylvania man accused of buying beer for minors, saying the prosecution failed to prove Miller Genuine Draft is actually beer. A superior court quickly overturned the judge's decision.

Bee careful

An Indiana teen learned about one of the more obscure dangers of errant driving. Moments after 16-year-old Jacqueline Cossairt lost control of her vehicle and collided with a hollow tree, a dark swarming cloud enveloped her auto. When she hit the tree, Cossairt disturbed a hive of honeybees who moved in on the car with great speed and, apparently, great anger. The bees hindered paramedics and firefighters who tried to free the girl, who had suffered broken legs. A paramedic and seven firefighters accompanied Cossairt to the hospital where they were all treated for scores of bee stings.

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