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Jan. 16, 2013 at 6:30 AM
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Lawsuit claims finger-related harassment

NEW YORK, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A New York man is suing police for $2.1 million, alleging false arrest stemming from an incident when he flashed his middle finger at a detective.

The lawsuit filed by Aneury Peralta, 22, against the New York Police Department said he flashed his middle finger to another motorist during an October 2011 traffic incident and soon discovered the other man was a plainclothes police detective, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

Peralta said the detective reached into his car, shoved him and grabbed the keys from his ignition before flashing an ID card to reveal he was a police officer.

The detective issued Peralta a ticket for disorderly conduct, which was dismissed in December.

However, Peralta's lawsuit said three police officers and a sergeant arrived at his family's bodega three weeks later and told him there was a warrant for his arrest. He was busted on a charge of resisting arrest when he attempted to call his brother, the lawsuit says.

The resisting arrest charge was dropped by prosecutors.

The civil rights lawsuit is seeking $2.1 million.

The New York Police Department declined to comment on the suit.

Stolen church relics returned with apology

STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The pastor of a Missouri church said nine stolen relics, including the material remains of Catholic saints, were returned with an apology note.

The Rev. Dennis Schmidt of the Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church in Ste. Genevieve said the relics were found in a zip-locked baggie after the 6 a.m. mass Monday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Schmidt said the items, which were taken around Christmas, were returned with a note apologizing for the thefts and asking forgiveness.

The pastor said the thief has been forgiven, but the culprit's identity and motive for the theft remain a mystery.

Lt. Jasen Crump of the Ste. Genevieve Police Department said the case is not being investigated at Schmidt's request.

Lengthy sentences for 68-cent robbers

CONVERSE, Texas, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A pair of armed robbers in Texas who received just 68 cents from their three victims were sentenced to lengthy stays in prison.

State District Judge Raymond Angelini sentenced Ryan Huerta, 19, to 18 years in prison last week and Arnulfo Hernandez was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for their string of three incidents in Converse, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.

Hernandez had originally obtained a plea agreement calling for a maximum eight-year sentence, but the agreement was voided when he failed to show up for sentencing in September. He told the court he skipped the appearance because he was trying to support his pregnant girlfriend.

Police said the men were armed with a .22-caliber rifle when they robbed a Converse Walmart employee of his pocket change in January 2011 and attempted to rob a woman nearby, firing a round into her windshield before she drove off.

The third victim was able to disarm Huerta and the teens fled, but returned after circling the block and rammed the man's car.

Police said the shot fired into the woman's car did not penetrate the windshield.

"But for the grace of God and the small caliber of the weapon, we could have something else entirely," prosecutor Daryl Harris said.

Hot dog injury lawsuit decision reversed

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A fan whose lawsuit said he was injured by a flying hot dog at a Kansas City Royals game will get a second chance in court, an appeals court ruled.

John Coomer's lawsuit said he suffered a detached retina and other injuries when he was struck in the eye by a foil-wrapped hot dog thrown by Royals mascot Sluggerrr at a 2009 game, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported Tuesday.

A jury ruled for the team in March 2011, saying Coomer assumed the risk of a hot dog-related injury when he purchased his ticket to the game.

However, the appellate court threw out the lower court's decision.

"The risk of being hit in the face by a hot dog is not a well-known incidental risk of attending a baseball game," the court ruled. "Consequently, a plaintiff may not be said to have consented to, and voluntarily assumed, the risk by attending the game."

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