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  |   Feb. 23, 2010 at 6:30 AM
Couriers chase down stolen bicycle

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Two bicycle couriers chased and caught up with a bicycle thief in a wild ride through the streets of Los Angeles, police said.

The bike messengers were watching as a man stole the Iron Horse Desperado Mountain Bike outside a downtown gym where its owner was working out. By the time the owner, Jesus Tobar, came outside and noticed his $500 bike was gone, the two couriers were already chasing the thief, the Los Angeles Times reported.

After a chase of about five blocks, one of the riders was able to grab the thief's shirt and pull him to ground. The thief escaped on foot but Los Angeles Police Department Commander Andrew Smith said he didn't get away unscathed.

"We are now looking for a 30-year-old man with a torn shirt, a possibly sprained ankle, as well as road rash," Smith said.


Police: 'Pantsing' sets off dual crimes

DELAND, Fla., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Florida authorities said they were looking for a suspect accused of trashing his roommate's belongings after the roommate allegedly assaulted him after a prank.

Volusia County sheriff's deputies said Kester Andy Narine, 37, was climbing a ladder at the DeLand, Fla. Home he shares with David Dibella, 47, when Dibella pulled down Narine's pants Thursday. Narine didn't find the prank funny and allegedly attacked Dibella with a gun and a knife, the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal reported.

Narine was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery, obstructing an officer without violence and false imprisonment. He was being held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Dibella was treated at a hospital for a knife wound to his hand. Deputies said he then returned home and vandalized the inside of the house with food condiments and gasoline before disappearing.

Deputies said they were searching for Dibella on a warrant for criminal mischief.


Mennonite schools struggle with anthem

GOSHEN, Ind., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A Mennonite university in Indiana is defending its decision to play the national anthem at some sports events and another school is considering a similar move.

Goshen College, which previously did not play "The Star-Spangled Banner" at sporting events because the lyrics are seemingly at odds with the peaceful ideals of the Mennonites, said the college's Board of Directors approved a change during the weekend to allow the song to be played in instrumental form at selected games, The Goshen (Ind.) News reported.

"Many wonderful and challenging things are going on at Goshen College right now, but I want you to know that we will continue to take this issue -- and what you think about it -- seriously," college President Jim Brenneman said in a letter to alumni.

Meanwhile, officials at grade 6-12 Bethany Christian Schools, which was barred from hosting sectional championships three years ago for refusing to play the anthem, said they are considering an amendment to a policy similar to that implemented at Goshen.

"Clearly, I think that the coaches and parents whose students participate in these sports, we all recognize that a home field advantage is an advantage," said Allan Dueck, principal of Bethany Christian Schools. "There's a feeling out there right now that if there are 10 schools in our division, it feels like we should be able to spread around the benefits of hosting."


Croc spotted on Aussie golf course

TOWNSVILLE, Australia, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Authorities in the North Queensland region of Australia are warning residents to keep an eye out for crocodiles following a recent golf course sighting.

Animal authorities said a 5-foot freshwater croc was spotted walking across a green last week at a Townsville golf course, while an 8-foot saltwater crocodile was spotted swimming near the city's main beach, which was subsequently evacuated, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Adrian Lawson, a manager at the golf course, said it was the first time a crocodile had become a problem on the property.

"This is North Queensland we're talking about here, where the men are tough and the crocodiles are scared," he said. "The croc's just been easing itself around in the lake, maybe looking for a fish or two and sunning itself in the beautiful, sunny weather that's finally come back after the rains, but that's all it does."

Peter Roulston, who manages Townsville's beaches, said the beach was temporarily shut down after the croc sighting due to fears that it could bypass the stinger nets provided for swimmers. He said the beach was reopened after inspectors found no sign of the animal.

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