June 4, 2015
Police Alerted To Armed Mob, Find Asparagus Pickers
Berlin (AP) Police in rural northeastern Germany rushed out to track down a reported mob of up to 15 people armed with knives and sticks. Instead, they found a group of asparagus harvesters.
Police in the town of Ludwigslust said a man called their emergency number Saturday to report having seen “10 to 15 people armed with knives and sticks” on a local road.
Within minutes, six police cars were on their way to the scene. Officers quickly discovered, however, that the group was asparagus harvesters walking along the road with their work tools as they went to take a lunch break.
White asparagus is a popular delicacy in Germany and a ubiquitous sight on restaurant menus in late spring.
Man Says The Holy Spirit Guided Him To Run Ponzi Scheme
Boston (AP) The Massachusetts secretary of state’s office says a man who told investors that the Holy Spirit guided his trading system has been charged with running a Ponzi scheme.
Secretary of State William Galvin said in a complaint filed Tuesday that Uxbridge resident Charles Erickson defrauded at least 25 investors out of about $3.5 million.
Authorities say about a third of those recruited for the program attended the same church as Erickson, who claimed the Holy Spirit had given him a proprietary day-trading system for a volatile type of futures contract. Authorities say he guaranteed returns of 96 percent over two years.
Galvin says Erickson was paying monthly returns using capital reserves deposited by later investors.
A woman who answered the phone at Erickson’s home said they had no comment.
Police Take Pig Who Chased Woman Into Custody
Shelby Township, MI (AP) Officers in suburban Detroit took a stray pig into custody, holding the animal in the back of a police vehicle before reuniting it with its owner.
Debbie DeRiemaecker told WXYZ-TV that she was doing yard work last Thursday evening at her home in Macomb County’s Shelby Township when the pig came barreling toward her. It chased her into the front yard before apparently getting distracted by a decorative ball.
DeRiemaecker called 911 and explained the situation.
She says police officers soon pulled up at her home and got the pig off the streets, though it left a mess inside the police vehicle.
Birkin Sets Auction Record For Handbag, Sold For $222,000
Hong Kong (AP) Christie’s said Monday that a Hermes designer handbag smashed a world auction record in Hong Kong. The auction house did not identify the buyer of the crocodile skin Birkin Bag in fuschia with 18 karat gold and diamond hardware. It sold for 1.72 million Hong Kong dollars ($222,219).
The previous record was set at a U.S. auction in 2011 for another Birkin Bag, in red crocodile skin, that sold for $203,150.
The Birkin Bag was designed for and named after British actress Jane Birkin. It’s famous for having a price tag in the thousands of dollars and a years-long waiting list.
The bag was one of more than 300 that Christie’s put on the block in Hong Kong, which has emerged as a global auction center thanks to wealthy mainland Chinese.
A similar black Birkin Bag was offered for auction but didn’t sell after failing to attract the minimum bid of 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($130,000).
Pennsylvania Man Ran Fake DUI Checkpoint While Drunk
Somerset, PA (AP) Police say a man who set up a drunken-driving checkpoint complete with road flares while pretending to be a Pennsylvania state trooper was drunk.
Troopers say 19-year-old Logan Shaulis, of Somerset, parked his vehicle diagonally across state Route 601 and set up road flares at about 4 a.m. Saturday.
A motorist who stopped says Shaulis claimed he was a trooper and demanded to see a driver’s license, registration and insurance papers.
When real troopers arrived, police say Shaulis tried to hand a BB pistol to the car’s passenger and said, “I can’t get caught with this.”
He faces charges including drunken driving, impersonating a public servant and unlawful restraint. He remained jailed Tuesday. Online court records don’t list an attorney for him.
A preliminary hearing is set for June 9.
Man With 1st Name ‘God’ Settles With Credit Rating Agency
New York (AP) A New York City man whose first name is God has settled a lawsuit with a credit reporting agency that had refused to recognize his name as legitimate.
Under the agreement reached in Brooklyn federal court this week, Equifax will enter God Gazarov’s name into its database. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Gazarov now has a robust 820 credit score.
He says he was shocked by Equifax’s refusal to acknowledge his moniker.
The Russian native is a Brooklyn jewelry store owner who is named after his grandfather. He says it’s a relatively common name in his native country.
He told the New York Post he’s relieved the matter has been settled and plans to buy a new BMW.
Lawyers for Equifax declined to comment.
Animal Control Mistakes Life Sized Toy For Tiger
Grand Rapids, MI (AP) An animal control worker in Michigan was convinced he was looking at a young tiger lying in a driveway, so he approached with care. He grabbed a pole and a shield, and called police.
Turns out, it was a stuffed animal.
The Grand Rapids Press reports that Kent County Animal Control received a call Thursday about a tiger in the driveway of a vacant Grand Rapids home.
Supervisor Joe Dainelis (dan-EHL’-iss) responded to the call, and when he spotted the animal, he grabbed his safety gear.
Neighbors also thought the life-sized, furry toy was real.
But when co-worker Rachel Jensen approached from another direction, she realized there was nothing ferocious about the toy feline.
Dainelis says expects to be teased for a few days.