Category: WTF

Reality TV – coppers kill “COPS” crew member

Omaha police say officers who opened fire while disrupting a robbery killed a crew member with the Cops television show and the suspect, who was carrying a pellet gun.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday that witnesses and officers thought the robbery suspect’s Airsoft handgun was real, but that it fires only plastic pellets.

Schmaderer said he believes the three officers involved acted properly during the attempted robbery Tuesday at a fast-food restaurant in midtown Omaha.

Schmaderer says 38-year-old Bryce Dion who worked for Langley Productions and the suspect, 32-year-old Cortez Washington, were killed…

Schmaderer said the incident will be investigated and all three officers are on leave.

Using a realistic pellet gun wouldn’t be any defense for the robbery – or the police response to what looked like an armed and dangerous robbery in progress.

What will be truly important to deal with is that now investigators know the thief was using a pellet gun – the bullet that killed a member of the film crew could only have come from one of the patrolmen.

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Latest gun nut / Darwin Award story

A 9-year-old girl at a shooting range outside Las Vegas accidentally killed an instructor on Monday morning when she lost control of the Uzi he was showing her how to use.

A partial video of the incident — which does not show the instructor being shot — shows a slender young girl in a ponytail and pink shorts beside a man clad in camouflage pants, a black T-shirt and sunglasses. “Allriiight!” he says, congratulating her after she fires the gun in single-shot mode. “All right, full auto!” he says. Then comes a spray of bullets and a child’s scream before the video cuts off.

The girl, whose name wasn’t released, visited the outdoor shooting range while vacationing with her parents. She’d fired the 9mm weapon, designed for use by the Israeli defense forces in the 1940s, several times in single-shot mode. But when it was set to fully automatic, the weapon recoiled and she lost control.

“The guy just dropped,” Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The instructor, Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, suffered at least one gunshot wound to the head. He was airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital where he died Monday night…

Sorry, folks – but, the only victim that concerns me in this episode of stupidity is the little girl. The incident will burn in her memory for the rest of her life.

The stupidity rests with her parents and especially with the instructor who thought arm muscle, reflexes, hand and eye coordination in a 9-year-old girl were adequate for a first-time experience firing a full automatic firearm.

The range owner, other instructors, all the NRA-types will take refuge in laws and regulations. Written and enforced by idjits.

Thanks, Mike

Realistic count of homicides by police = about 1100 per year

…The U.S. government doesn’t track how many people are killed by the police. The FBI tracks “justifiable” police homicides, which it reports to be about 400 per year, but that tally is an undercount.

Given this vacuum, attention has recently turned to some excellent nongovernmental attempts to compile this data, including the Fatal Encounters database, the recently created Gun Violence Archive and a new database created by Deadspin.

But one recent effort stood out for its apparent comprehensiveness: The Killed By Police Facebook page, which aggregates links to news articles on police-related killings and keeps a running tally on the number of victims. The creator of the page does not seek to determine whether police killings are justifiable; each post “merely documents the occurrence of a death.” He told FiveThirtyEight that he was an instructor on nonviolent physical-intervention techniques and that he prefers to remain anonymous.

Killed by Police had listed more than 1,450 deaths caused by law-enforcement officers since its launch, on May 1, 2013, through Sunday. That works out to about three per day, or 1,100 a year.

The page doesn’t claim that this is a comprehensive count, but it could be useful — like the count from the FBI’s annual Supplementary Homicide Report is useful — for setting a baseline number of police killings, as long as important caveats are acknowledged. For one, any database drawn from news sites relies on the assumption that the reports are accurate…

RTFA for an interesting examination of how the folks at fivethirtyeight.com went about their statistical task. They’re one of the most reliable, self-checking survey sources in the nation along with the Pew Foundation.

Giant crack in the Earth in Mexico

A giant crack has appeared in the ground in a rural part of Mexico, sparking concerns of seismic activity in the area.

Footage of the mile-long crack was captured by drones from the Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Emergency Management…It is over a mile long, three metres deep and five metres wide in some places. Locals from a rural area of Sonora, northern Mexico, discovered the crack running through a rural road connecting the area to a highway.

Rafael Pacheco Rodríguez, from the University of Sonora, said the crack could be the result of seismic activity or underground streams, but added geologists will have to investigate to determine the cause.

Martin Moreno Valencia, from the Institute of Geology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told Mexican news website Excelsior that there is no cause for alarm.

Uh-huh.

He said initial indications suggest the trench was caused by ditch flows from rainwater that had infiltrated the ground.

Our cities are starting to spawn gigantic spiders


They’re not as big, yet, as this spider pictured in Liverpool

File this one under: Oh HELL no. While we know that our ever-industrializing lifestyles make survival tough for animals like birds and mountain lions, in at least one case urbanization is helping a species to thrive. Thanks to the artificial conditions we create, our cities are growing ultrafertile megaspiders.

A study by University of Sydney that’s featured on CityLab today tracks a particular arachnid named Nephila plumipes, which is famous for spinning giant webs, hence its common name, the golden orb-weaver. The team measured both city and country spiders for a variety of biometric indicators including tibia length and ovary weight, and found that the urban spiders were larger in size, had more fat reserves, and indeed had heavier ovaries. Heavier ovaries = lots and lots of eggs…

Nephila plumipes is just one (terrifying-looking) type of orb-weaving spider, but Lowe thinks you’d see the same pattern in most cities. Now remember, spiders are good — we like them because they eat insects we consider to be pests. But too many extra-large spiders lounging around in their warm urban webs, chowing down on flies, and birthing thousands of giant spider babies is probably not healthy for the natural balance of our cities. And it’s also not something I want to start confronting on the sidewalk on a daily basis.

I’m more OK with big spiders – than some of the other critters liable to drop on your shoulder when you’re sitting in a darkened living room watching a sci-fi movie with headphones on so you don’t wake your wife. Either way I might scream loud enough to wake up her and the dog.

Thanks, Mike

So, there he was – landing the plane – when his arm came loose!

A pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached as he was coming in to land, an accident report has said.

The Flybe flight from Birmingham, with 47 passengers on board, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions on 12 February…It landed heavily but no-one was hurt and the plane was not damaged.

The pilot said he would be more cautious in future about checking his attachment, according to the report.

In a statement, Flybe said the senior captain was one of its “most experienced and trusted pilots”, and the safety of passengers and crew had not been compromised in any way…

While he had thought about getting his co-pilot to take control, the time available and the challenging conditions meant his best course of action was to move his right hand from the power levers on to the yoke to regain control.

“He did this, but with power still applied and possibly a gust affecting the aircraft, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce, from which the aircraft landed heavily,” the report found.

The AAIB reported that the captain had said that in future he would be more cautious about checking the attachment on his prosthesis as he may have dislodged the latching mechanism.

He also said he would brief his co-pilots about the possibility of a similar event and that they should be ready to take control at any time.

Could’ve been worse. Might have been a lumberjack operating a chainsaw.

Eeoough!

Thanks, Mike

Dumb crook of the day

Ryan Mullins

A North Carolina man was arrested after he allegedly stole a safe from a pharmacy and then dragged it behind his car. The suspect, Ryan Mullins, may have gotten away with it too, except he passed an officer while he was driving.

The 22-year-old allegedly swiped the safe from Family Care Pharmacy and dragged it for more than two miles before the officer saw him.

Individuals near the pharmacy reportedly saw Mullins’ vehicle parked outside with the safe nearby.

“You could just tell he was messing with something and having a struggle,” witness Carmen Fickling told WCTI12. “A lot of things crossed through my mind as to what could possibly be going on and none of them were good. But I never expected to see him pull a safe with the rope. It was strange.”

Mullins is charged with felony breaking and entering, larceny, possession of stolen goods, two felony counts of trafficking opium or heroin, one count of safe cracking and misdemeanor DWI.

The 100-pound safe reportedly contained prescription drugs.

Here in New Mexico we take a somewhat warped pride in being the home of some of the dumbest crooks in America. I think we should make Ryan Mullins an honorary New Mexican.

Masturbating drunk arrested after falling into river

ernest-michael-kirk

An Oregon man who is facing public indecency charges after allegedly falling into the Willamette River while masturbating may want to clean up his act.

Oregon City Police spotted the suspect, Ernest Kirk, on a cliff near a bridge and attempted to talk to him. Kirk, who allegedly was naked and touching himself at the time, seemed to be under the influence of drugs…

It was difficult for officers to communicate with the 31-year-old because he was about 75 feet below them, and Kirk “continued to masturbate in front of them for several minutes,” KPTV reported.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit was called in to assist with the situation. When a boat approached Kirk, he appeared to pass out and fell into the river.

Authorities were able to haul Kirk into the vessel, and he was taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation.

After he was released, Kirk was arrested and booked on charges of felony public indecency and harassment. He also was cited for a parole violation.

Maybe he was out of practice, eh?

Darwin Award candidate

A Mexican veterinarian accidentally shot himself dead as he posed for a Facebook selfie with a pistol, police said.

Oscar Otero Aguilar, 21, had reportedly been drinking with pals in Mexico City last weekend when he pointed the loaded gun at his face for the snap…But the 0.45 caliber weapon discharged – and he was hit in the temple by the bullet.

Neighbors heard the gunshot and called cops.

Officers arrived to find him still alive, but they lost a battle to save him – and he was declared dead at the scene soon after…

Abner Campos Vives, with whom Aguilar was drinking, was detained for questioning…Another friend, known only by his nickname “El Paco,” went on the run soon after the incident.

I’d worry about any kind of doctor who couldn’t tell his left hand from his right.

Texas attorney general: “ban on same-sex marriage promotes childbirth” – Really?

Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage allows the state to promote the birth and upbringing of children in “stable, lasting relationships”, the state’s attorney general argued Tuesday while asking a federal appeals court to reinstate the ban…

“Because same-sex relationships do not naturally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does,” the brief said.

Mark Pharriss, a longtime friend of Greg Abbott’s who along with his partner sued the state over the ban, argued that the real harm to children is done when their parents aren’t granted “the benefits and protections of a marriage”.

Our constitutional rights are not up for the vote of Texas citizens,” he said. “That point has been made unanimously by every district court and now two circuit courts who have looked at this issue.”

A federal judge declared Texas’ ban unconstitutional in February but allowed it to remain in effect during the appeal process.

Gay marriage proponents have won more than 20 legal decisions around the country since the US supreme court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, though most are under appeal. Lawsuits challenging such bans have been filed in all 31 states that prohibited same-sex marriage, while 19 states and the District of Columbia allow such marriages.

Abbott is the front-runner to replace Texas Governor Rick Perry, also an opponent of gay marriage. Abbott’s Democratic opponent, state Senator Wendy Davis, has applauded the ruling invalidating the gay marriage ban.

Since idjits tend to keep on electing idjits, Abbott is probably assured election to replace the current idjit, Rick Perry.