Watercooler Stories

July 23, 2012 at 6:30 AM   |   0 comments

Miami skateboarder crashed; wasn't mugged

MIAMI, July 21 (UPI) -- The parents of a Miami skateboarder said they were relieved to know their injured son had not been mugged but had actually crashed into a concrete column.

Police and the Miami community had been horrified at the initial report that Rene Betancourt had been jumped in a parking garage and beaten to a pulp by four assailants; however, surveillance video from the scene has revealed his injuries actually came from a head-on collision with a column.

"The way that my son looked, it seemed like an assault," Rene's mother, Rosie Betancourt, told The Miami Herald. "The family jumped for joy when detective told them it was an accident."

The July 6 crash itself wasn't particularly joyous occasion. The Herald said the video showed the 22-year-old rider lying apparently unconscious for 5 minutes before he hobbled to his car, where is parents found him slumped in the seat of his car.

Betancourt told police he had been been attacked, which set off a high-profile manhunt for the reputed assailants and raised outrage among fellow skaters.

Although the story abruptly changed, police told the Herald they were unlikely to charge Betancourt with any crimes due to the severity of his head injuries which landed him in a hospital for 10 days.


Monaco nudists fear losing beach

MONACO, July 21 (UPI) -- Nudists in Monaco fear the city-state plans to drive them away from a beach where unclothed bathing has been tolerated for many years.

Bathing-suit wearers have become more common on the section of Pradet Beach where the unclothed traditionally gather, The Local.fr reported. The city council has also refused to make the nude beach official.

"In the long term, we are afraid that the council will try and close the beach," said a member of Mer et Soleil du Monaco, the local nudist group, told the daily newspaper Var Matin.

The newspaper said the council is afraid of angering beach-front residents who do not like views that include unclothed human bodies.

Mer et Soleil has also been pushing for an end to parking charges for the beach. Deputy Mayor Nicole Vacca said the fees pay for security guards who, among other things, prevent "possible excesses," a term the official did not define.


Cuban bar creates world's biggest daiquiri

HAVANA, July 22 (UPI) -- Mixologists at the El Floridita bar in Havana say they made a record-breaking 71-gallon daiquiri as part of the celebrations of the bar's 195th anniversary.

It took two waiters about half an hour to fill a 6.5-foot-tall cocktail glass with the rum, lemon and sugar concoction, World Records Academy, Miami, reported.

El Floridita, which is located in an older part of Havana, claims to to be the birthplace of the drink. The bar was also frequented by author Ernest Hemingway.

During the record-breaking event at the bar, a crowd sang Cuba's version of "Happy Birthday" for the writer, whose 113th birthday was on Saturday.


Hundreds dance the wobble for scholarships

DETROIT, July 22 (UPI) -- About 200 people came together in Detroit in a flash mob dance to promote the United Negro College Fund's 5K Walk for Education.

The participants danced the wobble Saturday at the band shell on Belle Isle, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"I think it was good," Mike Simon, 54, who participated in the dance.

UNCF development director Angela Bingham said she was pleased with how the event turned out, even though she had hoped for more participants, and that the dance's creator, rapper V.I.C., would make an appearance. Bingham said V.I.C. was asked to come, but he could not make it due to scheduling conflicts.

Bingham said the flash mob event prompted 20 people to help out at the 24th annual walk and some people to donate money. Organizers of the August walk are hoping to raises $450,000 for scholarships.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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