Watercooler Stories

Aug. 20, 2008 at 6:30 AM
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Gun-toting woman, 85, nabs burglar

POINT MARION, Pa., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Police in western Pennsylvania say an 85-year-old woman caught an alleged teenage burglar, held him at gunpoint and made him dial 911.

When police arrived at Leda Smith's house in Lake Lynn, the 17-year-old was lying face down on the floor while Smith kept her .22-caliber handgun pointed at him, the Uniontown Herald Standard reported.

Smith, in an interview with WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh, said she realized something was wrong Sunday when she came home from church and found the front door open. She tiptoed into the house and retrieved her gun from her bedroom.

She had been keeping her gun next to her bed since burglars hit a neighbor's house recently.

After she forced the teen to dial 911, she had him hand her the phone and explained what was going on.

"It was exciting," Smith said. "I just hope I broke up the ring because they have been hitting a lot of places around here."

State Trooper Christian Lieberum said the teen is expected to be charged with attempted burglary in juvenile court.

Man alleged to have at least 3 wives

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A man accused of bigamy in Florida now is alleged to have been at least a trigamist who was trying to find a fourth wife, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Three women got in touch with the newspaper after reading a story Saturday about the arrest of Leonard Hare to say that he had dated them.

Janet Quartermous said that she met Hare online the same month that he married Penny Marie Milman.

"I can't help but wonder how many other women like me are going to come crawling out of the woodwork," she told the Sentinel.

Tammy Hare, who lives in Colorado, said she learned of her husband's alleged new wife when she found photos on the Web site of the Chapel of Love in Eustis, Fla., the report said.

Stephanie Mahaney, the assistant state's attorney in charge of the investigation, said she has discovered that Tammy was the second wife. Candy Winks of New York told Mahaney that she tried to divorce her husband but he refused to sign the papers.

Hare, now held without bail in Orange County, reportedly told Tammy he was in prison to explain his absence. He is also reported to have claimed to be an undercover drug agent.

Farmer found guilty of sabotaging brother

LONDON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A rural Stoke Wake, England, farmer has been found guilty of causing $14,000 worth of damage to his brother's property during a six-year intimidation campaign.

Jonathon Griffin, 42, was given a 15-month suspended jail sentence by Dorset County Judge Christopher Makey and ordered to complete 280 hours community service and pay a $3,000 fine after he was convicted of donning camouflage gear, face paint and night-vision goggles on several occasions to sneak onto land owned by his older brother David, 52, and damage property, The Telegraph reported Tuesday.

The court heard Griffin slashed the tires of seven tractors and damaged radiators and fuel pipes during his six year crusade against his brother.

Prosecutors and authorities said Griffin began committing the crimes after his father left the family farm to the elder son.

"There was a longstanding feud between the two brothers which stemmed from their late father's will," said Dorset Police Constable Peter Moore, who investigated the case. "David Griffin inherited a part of the farm and that led to jealousy issues on Jonathon's part which culminated in this vendetta of criminal damage."

Suit: 9-foot tapeworm came from salmon

CHICAGO, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A lawsuit against a Chicago restaurant claims a man became violently ill after eating a salmon salad at the establishment and later passing a 9-foot tapeworm.

Anthony Franz claims in his suit against Shaw's Crab House and its parent company, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, that staff at the restaurant negligently served him undercooked fish in August 2006 that led to him becoming seriously ill for several days after his meal, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

The suit says the illness culminated in Shaw passing a 9-foot tapeworm that his pathologist said could only have come from "undercooked fish, such as salmon."

Franz's suit is seeking $100,000 for his pain, suffering, lost wages and "lost enjoyment of life."

However, Carrol Symank, vice president of food safety for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, said the company has conducted an inquiry that concluded the restaurant was not to blame for Franz's condition.

"We have done a thorough investigation and we're confident the restaurant is not the source," he said.

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