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Feb. 10, 2011 at 6:01 AM
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Detroit mayor: No plans for RoboCop statue

DETROIT, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's refusal of a suggestion to erect a statue of RoboCop in the city set off a flurry of Twitter and Facebook support for the idea.

The controversy surrounding the cyborg protagonist of the "RoboCop" film franchise, which took place in a futuristic Detroit, began Monday with a statue suggestion directed to Bing's Twitter account, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

"There are not any plans to erect a statue of RoboCop," the response on Bing's Twitter account read. "Thank you for your suggestion."

The refusal set off a flood of Twitter posts supporting the idea of a RoboCop statue and sparked the creation of a Facebook group that has grown to more than 1,000 members, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

The Free Press said an online poll of readers found 55 percent of 643 voters supported erecting a RoboCop statue in Detroit.

Baggage handler locked in cargo hold

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Aviation authorities said passengers on a US Airways plane preparing to depart from Washington alerted the pilot to a baggage handler trapped in the cargo hold.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the handler, who was also assigned to operate the tug slated to push the plane away from the gate Monday at Reagan National Airport, became stuck in the forward cargo hold when another worker apparently shut the compartment door, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Passengers alerted a flight attendant to sounds coming from beneath the floor and the co-pilot informed baggage handlers, who were searching for the missing tug driver, of the "yelling and pounding" coming from the cargo hold, the FAA said.

The worker was unharmed and was able to operate the tug, allowing the plane to leave a few minutes ahead of schedule for Hartford, Conn.

Jurors offer pay to acquitted defendant

CLEVELAND, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Three jurors in the case of a Cleveland teenager acquitted of leading a gang in an assault on another teen have offered to give their jury pay to the defendant.

The jurors, Ana Boe, Jeanne Knotek and Richard Nagin, said they will each donate their $100 stipends to Demrick McCloud, 19, if he earns a high school equivalency degree, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Wednesday.

"He seemed like a decent kid who was falsely accused," Nagin said.

The jurors said the prosecution had a "sheer lack of evidence" in the Jan. 31 trial on charges of kidnapping and felonious assault.

Prosecutors accused McCloud of leading a group of teenagers in an attack on a Martin Luther King Jr. High School student shortly after 1 p.m. Oct. 31. The group was also accused of threatening the victim with a gun.

The jurors said the prosecution's case was largely based on the victim identifying McCloud as an attacker, but they said another boy fingered as a member of the gang was found to have been in school at the time of the attack.

McCloud was acquitted after less than 30 minutes of deliberations.

Live rocket found on Florida roadside

LAKE CITY, Fla., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a Navy team was called to dispose of a high-explosive rocket brought in by a man who found the object at the side of a road.

The Lake City Police Department said a man came into the police station just before noon Sunday and gave them the object, which he said he spotted in the grass while driving on Labonte Lane near Brady Circle, WTLV/WJXX-TV, Jacksonville, reported Wednesday.

An Alachua County team of explosive experts identified the object as a live M247 rocket containing 2.3 pounds of composition explosive. A Navy team called in from Mayport took the object to a nearby shooting range for disposal.

Investigators are working to determine how the rocket ended up at the side of the road.

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