Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Florida man accused of coughing on officers faces 5-year federal prison sentence

A man in St. Petersburg, Florida is accused of perpetrating a biological weapon hoax could face up to five years in federal prison. According to court records, officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department responded to a domestic violence call involving a 31-year-old man on March 27. When officers were arresting the man, he turned to an officer, said he tested positive for COVID-19 and coughed on the officer’s arm, according to court documents. The next day, he bonded out of jail. On March 28, the police responded to the same residence and arrested the man for the second time. During his arrest, he spat on an officer’s face, nose, and mouth with bloody saliva, according to court records. The man again claimed that he had COVID-19 and laughed. A search warrant to test him for the virus was obtained and he tested negative. If charged, he could spend up to 5-years in federal prison for perpetrating a biological weapon hoax. (NBC 2)


World’s Largest Owl Hatches Giant Babies Outside Man’s Window and Now They Watch TV With Him

One of the world’s largest owls hatched its three chicks in the window planter box outside a third-floor apartment in a city in Belgium. The three downy hatchlings have spent some of their first days of life standing at attention like bowling pins, watching TV from over the shoulder of the apartment’s resident. They particularly seem to like when he watches TV, lining up for the best vantage point against the glass. The mother is more wary, often watching over its young from behind a shrub, on the far outside of the planter box. With a wide range and diverse population, Eurasian eagle-owls will nest just about anywhere, with the male typically presents several different locations for the mother-to-be to choose from, with a preference for high cliff ledges or atop boulders. But in dense forests, eagle-owls are just as comfortable nesting on the ground, or taking over abandoned eagle, stork and buzzard nests. (News Week)


German shepherd beelined toward the fence, the owner knew something was back there again

Last time it was a small alligator. This time the dog came snout to snout with a 3-foot-long Argentine black and white Tegu. Residents of southeastern Hillsborough County, Florida say the invasive reptiles, now well established in the area, visit their yards and driveways often. They’ve been spotted crossing streets in Balm and jumping into a man-made pond in Wimauma. One woman said her husband was chased by one while working for a cable company, and retreated into his van. The lizards can reach five feet from nose to tail tip. Though they can deliver a mean bite if aggravated or cornered, tegus are not venomous. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson said local populations of breeding tegus are known to exist in three Florida counties: Charlotte, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough. The agency does not currently have an estimate on how many are in Florida. The reptiles were likely first released by irresponsible pet owners or dealers, but are now multiplying on their own. (Tampa Bay Times)


Woman claiming to be kidnapped jailed after burglary report

A distraught 33-year-old woman who showed up on a man’s back porch was jailed after a vehicle and two sheds were burglarized. Marion County, Florida sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence where a man claimed that a woman later had broken into his unlocked 2015 Dodge pickup truck and two unlocked sheds on his property. The man at the home where she was located said said she woke him up when she knocked on his back door and asked him for a cup of coffee. He said she wanted to come inside “because she had been kidnapped,” adding that he then called 911 for help. He said the woman then fled the scene on foot, a report states. Deputies then received another call from a resident on the same street who reported that an upset woman was on his back porch. While she was being escorted to a patrol vehicle, the victim identified her as the person who had broken into his pickup and sheds, the report says. During the investigation, a sheriff’s sergeant located a black mesh bag containing various items and a black tire iron near the back porch of the residence where she was located. Upon searching through the bag, deputies located the victim’s wallet, which contained his driver’s license, Social Security card and several debit/credit cards with his name on them, the report says. The victim identified all of the items in the bag, including the tire iron, all with the approximate value was $147. A computer check showed that she had two prior theft convictions. She was found guilty of petit theft twice back in 2013. She was placed under arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail, the report says. She was charged with two counts of unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure, larceny/petit theft (third or subsequent offense) and trespassing. She was being held on $5,500 bond and is due in court June 23rd. (Villages News)


Man who tried to bribe cop with corned beef and chicken

A Tongan man has pleaded guilty to trying to bribe a police officer with chicken and corned beef. The 56-year-old man was arrested on drugs charges last July. While in custody, he offered a police officer a box of chicken, nearly 7 pounds of corned beef, and three plastic bags of sweet potatoes for his release. The officer immediately reported the bribery attempt to his superiors, resulting in a charge. The man will be sentenced on the 25th of June. (RNZ)


Recycling center evacuated after someone tries to recycle live cannonball

Someone in Kent County, Michigan tried to recycle a Civil War cannonball. Grand Rapids police officers were dispatched to the Kent County recycling center when workers came across what was described as a 6-inch, 6-pound shot-put ball on the processing line, according to the police report. Officers on site found the cannonball was live and likely a percussion-cap style detonator and subsequently evacuated the center. “Thanks to all the public safety officers who helped and to the brave men and women at the ReimagineTrash Kent County Michigan Department Public Works Recycling & Education Center,” Kent County Commissioner Phil Skaggs said in a Facebook post. “And a reminder, everyone, please follow the instructions on how to recycle. Just to be clear: DO NOT RECYCLE CANNONBALLS FROM ANY WAR!” (Detroit Free Press)


Man charged with killing 3 bald eagles, 18 wolves & other animals

A 56-year-old man in Upper Peninsula, Michigan is accused of illegally killing wolves, eagles and other animals after a months long investigation. He is facing 125 wildlife misdemeanor charges in Chippewa County, the Department of Natural Resources said. He’s accused of killing 18 wolves over an 18-month period and killing three bald eagles. Both are protected under state and federal laws. The allegations also include deer, turkey, bear and bobcat. The man was using the animals for a variety of reasons, including crafts, selling or disposing of them, and stated that he was catching the animals because he could and “likes to do it”, according to authorities. He faces up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for each wolf killed, along with other possible penalties, the state said. Charges against other people are expected, the Department of Natural Resources said. (WXYZ)


U.S. plans to sell $180 million in torpedoes to Taiwan, riling China

The Trump administration told Congress recently that it is planning to sell an estimated $180 million worth of torpedoes to Taiwan. It’s a move likely to further escalate tensions between the U.S. and China, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the State Department had approved a possible sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. The sale will also include equipment, training, logistics support and U.S. government and contractor engineering. The agency said the proposed sale “is consistent with U.S. law and policy” according to the Taiwan Relations Act, which defines the terms of U.S. relations with Taiwan. It said the sale serves U.S. interests by helping Taiwan “to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.” The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the sale, calling for the U.S. to stop any further arms sales and military ties with Taiwan to “avoid further damage” in relations. (CBS News)


Coronavirus pandemic claims another victim: Robocalls’

Industry experts say robocalls are way down, including scam calls as well as nagging from your credit-card company to pay your bill. The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted millions of job losses, and scammers have not been immune. Experts believe the main reason is that many global call centers have closed or are operating with fewer workers. While it may be odd to think of scams being run out of call centers rather than a dark, creepy basement or a garage, that’s often the case, particularly in countries such as India and the Philippines, experts said. That means scammers will probably be back in force once the call centers come back online. Stepped-up enforcement from industry groups and the U.S. government could nibble around the edges of those call volumes when the scammers are back, however. In recent months, federal agencies have focused on going after the small telecom providers that were allowing calls from COVID-19 scammers, citing the urgency of the pandemic. (Associated Press)


US Navy tests laser weapon it says can destroy aircraft mid-flight

A US Navy warship has successfully tested a new high-energy laser weapon that can destroy aircraft and drones mid-flight, the US Navy says. A statement released by US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs included footage of the moment USS Portland “successfully disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle … with a Solid State Laser”. The Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) was developed by the Office of Naval Research. The laser test was carried out on May 16 in the Pacific, the Navy said, without giving a specific location. The post on Twitter shows the laser emanating from the deck of the warship, while a second clip shows what appears to be the drone burning. This was the first “system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid-state laser”, the statement said. The US Navy has been developing directed-energy weapons, which convert chemical or electrical energy to radiated energy focused onto a specific target, since the 1960s. (ABC News)


Certain areas in the U.S. are seeing an increase in rodent activity, the CDC warns

As COVID-19 closed many restaurants, and typically-full dumpsters are empty, rats and other pests are looking elsewhere for food. Some of these vermin are moving from dense, commercial areas to residential neighborhoods and may exhibit “unusual or aggressive” behaviors. The CDC recommends sealing access into homes and businesses and removing debris, along with other measures, to detract rodents. (CNN)


Woman charged with manslaughter after claiming man fell on knife

A 19-year-old woman in Marion County, Florida was arrested after claiming a 19-year-old man fell on a knife at a home, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. Firefighters said they were called to the home after it was reported that someone was under cardiac arrest. Firefighters said they discovered the woman, several small children and the body of another man. Firefighters said the woman told them the man stumbled out of the bedroom, collapsed and was unresponsive. Investigators said the woman then said he had fallen onto a knife held by one of the children. They said she then said she and a small child were both holding knives when he fell onto one of the knives. Detectives said they took the woman to the Sheriff’s Office, where she told them that earlier in the night, she was approached by a 2‐year‐old child who was holding a steak knife, and she took the knife from the child. She then told police that while she was still holding the knife, she and the man began wrestling. Detectives say she told them “she pushed the man off her with her left hand, causing the victim to fall onto the knife she was holding in her right hand”. ” Detectives say the woman changed her statement multiple times regarding where she was holding the knife.” She was booked into the Marion County Jail on charges of manslaughter. (Fox 23)


Man stopped for driving with no headlights (It’s his 8th DUI)

Officers who pulled over a 65-year-old man in St. Petersburg, Florida for driving with no headlights noticed that he showed signs of being intoxicated. They arrested him on a drunken driving charge, making it the eighth time in the man’s life that he has been arrested on that charge. He now faces a felony DUI charge in connection with his latest arrest. He also was arrested on a charge of driving with a suspended license making it the ninth time he has been arrested on that particular charge. Officers noted that he showed signs of impairment: His eyes were bloodshot, he smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred, and he stumbled and staggered when he got out of the Jeep, reports state. He declined to participate in field sobriety tests or provide a breath sample, which resulted in an added misdemeanor charge of failing to submit to testing. It’s the fourth time he’s faced that charge, police said in arrest reports. The drunk driver was booked at the Pinellas County Jail. Bail was set at $30,150. Records show his three most recent DUI arrests have resulted in convictions that sent him to prison for three years on a 2014 arrest, and to two-year terms for arrests in 2008 and 2005. He also has served time in prison for burglary and has a long arrest record in Pinellas County that includes charges of battery. (Tampa Bay Times)


Wednesday Slams Down With:

  • Cellophane Tape Day
  • Joe Cool Day
  • National Senior Health & Fitness Day (Last Wednesday)
  • World Orienteering Day (4th Wednesday)
  • World Otter Day: 27 (Last Wednesday)

Add a Comment