Dispatches > Quick Takes
Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Quick Takes


Issue: "Surviving Syria," June 1, 2013

Pocket pet

It’s not what police say John Jacobson stole that surprised investigators. It’s what they found in his pocket. According to Washington County, Ore., sheriff’s deputies, Jacobson stole a case of beer as it was being unloaded outside a store on May 2. The delivery driver then chased the Portland native, and eventually a sheriff’s K-9 unit flushed him out of the woods. When deputies searched him at the county jail, they found a live mouse in his pocket. After Jacobson’s booking, his father arrived at the jail to claim the mouse. No word on whether the father posted bail. 

Fork it over

The crew of the Battleship New Jersey has a message for the namesake’s governor: Please return the captain’s silverware. Donated to the first U.S.S. New Jersey by then-Gov. Edward H. Stokes in 1907, the 59-piece silver service in question was transferred to the most recent U.S.S. New Jersey battleship when it was commissioned in 1943. Though it’s unclear how the silverware ended up at the New Jersey Governor’s Mansion in Princeton after the ship’s decommissioning in 1991, ship museum CEO Philip Rowan sent New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a letter recently asking that the governor’s staff return the priceless set back to the ship in preparation for a May 23 celebration aboard the converted museum ship.

Soda surprise

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Have a taste for French fries smothered in brown gravy and cheese curds? The Canadians call it poutine. Jones Soda calls it their newest flavor. Following up on flavors such as turkey and gravy soda and bacon soda, the specialty soda maker says it will soon release a poutine-flavored Jones Soda. “With a nice balance of rich, savory gravy over a starchy potato base, and accented with those fatty, cheesy notes you expect in a plate of poutine, we believe we’ve developed the perfect liquid version of this undisputedly Canadian delicacy,” Jones Soda marketing manager Andrew Baumann said. The company said the poutine drink will be available only in Canada. 

Fighting blind

He may be past his prime and he may be blind, but no one punches Gordon Besaw and gets away with it. The 51-year-old blind veteran was attacked as he walked to an appointment at a VA hospital in Oklahoma City on April 30. According to the former Army Special Forces soldier, 27-year-old Christopher Andrew approached and asked him if he was blind. “I said yes. He said, ‘I can make you see before you see God.’” Then Andrew punched him in the face. “He said, ‘I can make you see again’ and he punched me in the head again,” Besaw said. “I’m like, ‘Man, you’re not going to like the way this is going to go.’” Besaw instructed his guide dog to sit still, then groped for his attacker. Once in his grasp, Besaw used his training to hip toss his attacker, fling him to the ground, and put him in a chokehold until police arrived. They arrested Andrew and charged him with aggravated assault.

Bad calls

Apparently Jarvis Sutton wanted only three things out of life. Unfortunately for him, he asked the wrong people. Sutton, a 34-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla., resident, was arrested April 28 after calling 911 approximately 80 times asking the dispatcher to bring him some goodies. “The defendant admitted to calling 911 because he wanted Kool-Aid, burgers and weed to be delivered to him,” the arresting officer wrote in an official report. The requests landed Sutton in the Pinellas County jail.

Bear watcher

Just in time for summer, Norway has a job that should allow the worker to be outdoors while simultaneously staying cool. That’s because the governor’s office of Norway’s Svalbard islands has indicated the need this summer for a polar bear watcher. Located between mainland Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is home to the most northern city of more than 1,000 people in the entire world and has more polar bears living on the island (3,000) than humans (2,000). The person hired for the position will keep watch for polar bears that get too close to research scientists working on the island. According to the governor’s office, applicants need to have a loud voice to scare off bears and know how to use a rifle.

Spear catcher

Elisangela Borborema Rosa of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil, now knows how a hunted whale feels. Rosa’s husband was reportedly cleaning his spear gun on May 6 when he accidentally fired a harpoon. The harpoon then entered Rosa’s mouth and hit her spine, coming within less than half an inch of killing her, according to doctors. Doctors predict a full recovery for Rosa, 28, and a police officer in Arraial do Cabo told the Associated Press that authorities will investigate the incident: “Everything indicates it was an accident, but we are investigating. We don’t think the husband tried to kill her.” 


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