The Trentonian's Strange But True Page

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fountain of Youth

At the time that Alan Patton, 56, of Columbus, Ohio, made News of the Weird in 2006, he had already been consuming boys’ urine for 40 years, he said, and a 2007 jail sentence has had no apparent deterrent effect. He was arrested in June 2008 (and twice since then), accused of turning off the water in a recreation center restroom and placing plastic wrap inside the bowl to catch the nectar that, he says, enables him to “become part of their youth.” While no Ohio law prohibits collecting or drinking others’ urine, Patton violates his almost-perpetual probation by visiting any public restroom.

LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINAL: In the course of burglarizing Yaakov Kanelsky’s apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y., in July, Victor Marin, 20, accidentally left his wallet (containing ID, credit cards and photos) on the bed. After Kanelsky arrived home and called 911, Marin returned and knocked on the front door. From the hallway, he begged for his billfold back and began shoving Kanelsky’s money under the door, hoping to persuade him to trade. Unfortunately for Marin, $92 of his $217 cash haul was in $1 bills, and the crack under the door was tiny. Marin was still busy stuffing money in by the time police arrived.

THINGS YOU THOUGHT DIDN’T HAPPEN: People would hardly expect a brawl at the Guilford (Maine) Historical Society, but in May, member Al Hunt, who was irate that rare photographs of the town had been loaned to a local restaurant, might have bumped against the society’s secretary, Zarvin Shaffer. According to witnesses, Shaffer then punched Hunt in the face, Hunt’s wife grabbed a chair, and Shaffer’s son yanked Mrs. Hunt away by her hair. In April, the Sycamore (Ill.) City Council voted to quadruple the fine for overstaying a parking meter (from 25 cents to $1). The city’s 360 meters themselves will remain at a penny for 12 minutes, a nickel for an hour and a dime for two hours.

IT’S GOOD TO BE A BRITISH PRISONER: In June, Abu Qatada, a cleric described as one of Europe’s most dangerous terror proselytizers, was released from jail, where he has been awaiting deportation (for three years) to Jordan and confined to his home in London. British courts refuse to deport him because, when Jordan tries him on serious terrorism charges, it might possibly use evidence obtained by torture of Abu Qatada’s colleagues. Thus, he will remain in Britain, under heavy guard (estimated to cost the equivalent of $1 million a year), in his tax-abated home with his wife and five children, who receive the equivalent of about $90,000 a year in welfare benefits. (Abu Qatada himself receives the equivalent of $16,000 a year from the government, for a previous back injury.)

LACKING CREDIBILITY: A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in July that officials at a junior high school in Safford, Ariz., should not have strip-searched a 13-year-old girl when all they wanted was to see if she was carrying ibuprofen. However, her “right” to privacy carried the day among the judges by only 6-5, as the dissenters pointed out that it was, after all, prescription-strength ibuprofen they were after and that officials proceeded based on information from an “informant.” (The majority apparently holds junior-high-age “informants” in lower regard.)
News of the Weird


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