<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usMon, 16 Oct 2017 22:37:38 -0400Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:37:38 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Paddington Bear Dances with the Duchess of Cambridge]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:28:34 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+PADDINGTON+DANCE+Thumb.jpg

Paddington Bear shared a dance with the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, at a charity event the Royals were hosting at the famous Paddington Station, where the iconic children's book character got his name.

<![CDATA[This Is What Happens When You Take a Fidget Spinner to Space]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:25:48 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+SPACE+FIDGET+SPINNER+THUMB.jpg

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station tested a fidget spinner in zero gravity. They had time to play with the popular toy in between three scheduled space walks this month.

<![CDATA[Cows Keep Traffic From Moo-ving on Nashville Parkway]]> Sat, 14 Oct 2017 19:32:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/cowshighway.png

A truck carrying cows overturned in Nashville, Tennessee, allowing the animals to roam free.

<![CDATA[13 Facts About Friday the 13th]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:29:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/edt-149816715.jpg Many people have araskavedekatriaphobia (also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia), or fear of Friday the 13th. Click to see 13 frightening facts about the special date.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr Open]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Wendy's 'Creepy' Mannequin Stolen]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:52:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Wendys_Creepy_Mannequin_Doll_Stolen.jpg

Some people called the mannequin doll that was stolen from the Wendy's on Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia "creepy." It was last seen last month after a large crowd came into the fast food restaurant. The store is working to find a replacement.

<![CDATA[New Jersey Home Stalked by 'The Watcher' Up for Sale Again]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 07:39:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/watcher+house.jpg

A New Jersey house whose current owners were scared off the property by a creepy letter writer known as "The Watcher" is up for sale again.

Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the Westfield home in 2014, but they didn't move in after receiving the first of four letters from the anonymous stalker. The family tells NJ.com that the letter writer requested information about their children.

The house, which went up for sale on Monday, was previously listed in March 2016.

The Broadduses say they can't live in the house because of the letters, which they say came from someone with a "mentally disturbed fixation" on the home. They say they received the last letter earlier this year. The family's attorneyLee Levitt said the letter contained specific threats and was "more derogatory and sinister than any of the previous letters."

In one of the earlier correspondences, the stalker asked whether the new family brought him the "young blood" that he requested.

Westfield police have previously said there's no suspect in the case.

Just recently, the house was listed on a new report as the top urban legend in New Jersey. 

Photo Credit: Realtor.com]]>
<![CDATA[Robbers Torture Man With Fish Hook & Blow Torch, Police Say]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:51:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Alicea-Hopewell.jpg

A blow torch, a large fish hook and fists. Those were the weapons three men allegedly used while torturing a man over two days at the Jersey shore.

A 36-year-old New York man stopped two Atlantic City police officers Monday afternoon in front of the city’s public safety building and told investigators of his harrowing experience while being robbed of $700.

The man told officers he was held against his will in an apartment along South Georgia Avenue – a short distance from Boardwalk Hall – and assaulted by three men. The victim told investigators his captors burned his feet with a blow torch, stuck a fish hook in his mouth and chin and repeatedly punched him over two days.

Doctors at a local hospital treated the victim for his injuries.

Officers rushed to the apartment to find Mark Hopewell, 32, in possession of a small blow torch, police said. Investigators found a large fish hook in the home, they said.

Officers also arrested Roberto Alicea, 28, of Mays Landing. Both men face robbery, aggravated assault, weapons and conspiracy charges and remained jailed Tuesday. It was unclear if they have an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Police actively are searching for the third suspect. Anyone with information can call police at 609-347-5766 or text "ACPD" and a message to 847411.

Police didn't reveal how all the men know each other.

Photo Credit: Atlantic County Department of Public Safety ]]>
<![CDATA[Therapy Donkeys Brighten Day for Students With Special Needs]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 10:50:52 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Therapy-Donkeys.jpg

A smile and a caress in a different way. That was part of what students wth special needs at Edison High School in Philadelphia received through donkey therapy on Monday.

It was the visit of two of the eight donkeys trained to deal with children with disabilities in the nation.

"They are trained in a rigorous process to work with kids. They have to be certified just like dogs in non-threatening matters," Jeff Gross, the school's special education teacher, said.

The teacher explained that as part of their education, the students are provided with different types of therapy, including the animals.

"The therapy animal is great with kids in the autistic spectrum," Gross said. "I work with special needs students that have severe none verbal skills. The animals are great to promote social skills and relaxation."

The students enjoyed petting the donkeys and being able to share the experience with their peers in a safe environment.

"Some are scared but these animals are trained," Gross said. "We don’t force them to do anything. It is a special moment as for a teacher when this kids pet the animals. It melts your heart." 

The therapy donkeys run through institutions around the United States and must be certified to be close to children and adolescents. This certification is rigorous and required by the authorities.

<![CDATA[Man Clings to Front of School Bus in Road Rage Case]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 10:40:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Man_Clings_to_Bus_in_Road_Rage_Incident-150755184653400002.jpg

Baltimore police arrested a man in a bizarre case of road rage last Thursday, after a video showed him clinging to the front of a moving school bus and banging on the hood while demanding the driver open the door. Baltimore County police said the man was trying to get into the bus after he said a bottle, thrown from the bus, hit his car.

<![CDATA[Parasite Burrows Under Del. Fisherman's Skin, Causing Rash]]> Tue, 03 Oct 2017 19:31:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Swimmers-Itch-Rash.jpg

A Delaware man hoping to catch fish caught something far worse while on the Delaware Bay.

Floyd Morton was fishing near Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware Friday. After casting his net in the water, he began feeling a strange gnawing sensation below his knees.

“My legs were on fire,” Morton said. “I was taking as much Benadryl as I could.”

Morton soon discovered the sensation he felt was a tiny parasite burrowing underneath his skin. An itchy and painful rash known as cercarial dermatitis, or “Swimmer’s Itch,” formed on his right leg and foot.

“You can still see it kind of oozes a little bit,” Morton said.

Swimmer’s Itch is caused by a waterfowl parasite that comes from small mud snails found in bays all over the Atlantic coast. If the parasite comes into contact with a host, it burrows into its skin, causing an allergic reaction.

“It’s more of a bay thing,” said Dr. Patrick Gaffney, a professor at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, & Environment. “The mud snails are not out on the ocean coast. This particular mud snail can carry up to ten or twelve different parasite species. Only one of those is a problem for humans. That’s the one that this guy presumably got.”

Morton has gotten Swimmer’s Itch before and experts say it gets worse every time you catch it. Fortunately for Morton, while the rash is painful and annoying, it’s not life-threatening.

Signs were put up at Cape Henlopen State Park warning swimmers about the parasite. That hasn’t kept them out of the water however.  Still, Dr. Gaffney says the parasite shouldn’t stop people from swimming in the Delaware Bay. While the parasite is a particularly nasty one, he believes Morton was just unlucky and that most people swimming in that area wouldn’t have gotten the rash.

Morton, who says it took him several days just to be able to put a boot on his foot, won’t go back to the bay anytime soon however.

“Just from experience when I see these snails in the snail beds and stuff like that I’m just gonna stay out of the water,” Morton said.

To learn more about Swimmer’s Itch, including symptoms and treatment, click here.

Photo Credit: Floyd Morton
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<![CDATA[NJ Man Attacks Another Over Stolen Taylor Ham, Beer: Police]]> Tue, 03 Oct 2017 11:42:23 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/taylor-ham-100217.jpg

A New Jersey man is facing charges after police say he punched a man several times over a stolen Taylor ham and beer.

Police in Hackettstown say they were called to an apartment on Main Street after getting a call about a fight spurred by the Garden State delicacy, and found one man with swelling on his face.

They later determined that the fight -- which may have additionally been started over beer -- ended with a 19-year-old man punching the victim, who he knew, several times. 

The 19-year-old was cuffed on assault charges afterward. It wasn't clear if a stolen Taylor ham was recovered at the scene.

The processed meat -- officially labeled "Taylor Pork Roll" -- has long been a contentious topic in New Jersey, where it is a popular breakfast diner sandwich. Those in the north have long called sandwiches with Taylor meat "Taylor Ham" sandwiches. But in the south, they're known as "pork rolls."

It got so heated in 2016 that Gov. Chris Christie said he was considering issuing an executive order making "Taylor ham" the sandwich's official name

<![CDATA[Woman Arrested in 27-Year-Old Florida Killer Clown Case]]> Thu, 28 Sep 2017 10:22:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sheila+Clown+Muder+Mug+Outside+Home.jpg

A Virginia woman arrested Tuesday in a 27-year-old "Clown Murder" cold case in Palm Beach County will be returning to Florida to face charges.

Sheila Keen Warren waived her right to extradition during a court hearing Wednesday morning, meaning she will be sent back to face a first degree murder charge after she was recently indicted by a grand jury.

On May 26, 1990, Marlene Warren was killed outside her Wellington home. According to witness reports from NBC affiliate WPTV, a person dressed as a clown carrying a flower arrangement and two balloons pulled into Warren's driveway in a white Chrysler Le Baron.

Witnesses said they heard a gunshot and Warren fell to the ground as the clown calmly walked back to the vehicle and drove away. Marlene Warren sustained a gunshot wound to the face and was transported to an area Hospital, where she died two days later, the report said.

The initial investigation led detectives to identify Keen as a suspect, but no arrest was made at the time. In 2014, police reopened the homicide investigation. Witnesses were recontacted, and additional DNA analysis was conducted.

Officials later learned that Keen had married Marlene Warren's former husband, Michael Warren, in 2002. According to the report, the couple was living in Tennessee, where they operated a restaurant together.

An arrest warrant was obtained for Keen after the Aug. 31 grand jury indictment. Keen was located in Washington County, Va., and arrested without incident on Tuesday.

Detectives haven't said whether Michael Warren was involved in his former wife's death.

<![CDATA[Farm Animals for Therapy? Wilmington Considers It]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:53:56 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Farm+Animal+Therapy+Chickens.jpg

A Wilmington city council member has proposed an ordinance that would allow farm animals, such as goats, donkeys, and chickens, to act as service animals for those community members in need.

Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha introduced the idea earlier this year to expand the types of animals allowed to be used as therapy companions for people with depression, anxiety, or other needs.

There are popular programs in hospitals and assisted living centers that bring dogs and cats in to visit with patients and residents.

The Lorelton Assisted Living Center in Wilmington invites dogs into their facility as part of their Paws for People program. Residents light up when spend time with their furry friends.

"She makes me feel on top of the world when she comes," said resident Dee Jubb, when talking about her puppy pal. "She gives me so much. She really does."

But goats, donkeys and chickens running wild in the city? Not everyone is sold on the idea.

Karen Ferrucci teaches agricultural science at William Penn High School. The New Castle school features a working farm that has been beneficial to students.

Still, Ferrucci is concerned about how the program would be implemented and the well-being of the animals in the crammed, urban environment.

“I don’t want necessarily to say it’s a bad idea because if it helps people, that’s great. I think there needs to be a close monitoring, maybe some sort of registration," she said.

There are limited studies that show caring for farm animals can help people with mental health disorders have better treatment outcomes.

A spokesperson for the Wilmington city councilman said nobody came to him and asked for farm animals to be allowed in the city.

Chukwuocha now recognizes that here are multiple unanswered questions about the animals and their health and has decided to temporarily put the bill on hold.

He hopes to revisit the issue in the future.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Dismantle NJ Boardwalk After Big Rig Gets Stuck]]> Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:15:18 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/200*120/Ventnor+Boardwalk+Big+Rig.JPG

A strange sight on the Ventnor, New Jersey boardwalk Wednesday morning as a wayward big rig wound up stuck on the wooden walkway. The incident prompted an hours-long operation with crews dismantling and reconstructing the boardwalk.

The tractor-trailer driver drove onto the boardwalk at Albany Avenue in Atlantic City around 5:30 a.m. then drove nearly 2.5 miles down the boardwalk – almost the entire length of Ventnor – before coming to a stop near Washington Avenue, police said.

"Never a dull day," said a passerby as Ventnor city employees worked to remove the 18,000-pound vehicle.

Public works crews took down railings, piled up sand and put down wooden planks to help the truck make its turn as part of the boardwalk remained closed for about three hours.

Crews first removed the truck cab then brought in a tow truck to remove the trailer, which was empty.

The driver didn’t answer any questions as he left the scene after daylight Wednesday. Police say he will face several moving violations.

There was no obvious damage done to the boardwalk, but a structural engineer would be brought in to check out the structural integrity of the elevated walkway.

The driver’s ultimate destination wasn’t clear.

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Ted Greenberg
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<![CDATA[300 Drones Light Up Night Sky Over Downtown LA]]> Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:54:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+WONDER+WOMAN+THUMB.jpg

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “Wonder Woman,” 300 drones flew over downtown Los Angeles in an illuminated, choreographed art show creating some stunning visuals. Patty Jenkins has signed on to direct the sequel, and the deal will make her the highest-paid female director of all time.

<![CDATA[Double Whopper: Babies Born Back-to-Back at NJ Burger King]]> Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:03:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/BATTLE+BABIES+BORN+BURGER+KING+NJ+MATERIAL+-+14482420_WNBC_0000.jpg

Two women have delivered healthy babies on back-to-back days in the parking lot of the same Burger King restaurant in New Jersey.

Denville police say they were called to the restaurant around 7:30 p.m. Friday for a woman going into labor. They say the parents were on the way to the hospital but had to pull over after getting stuck in traffic on Route 80.

From the parking lot of the Burger King, the dad called 911. 

Detective Scott Tobin told News 4 New York, "When we responded, he told us that this isn't their first child, it's their third, and that the first and second came pretty fast so they weren't going to have enough time to get there." 

Sure enough, 10 minutes later, officers and emergency responders then helped the woman deliver a healthy baby boy.

The same patrol officers, including Tobin, went back to the restaurant the next night for a report of another woman going into labor. Authorities say the couple was heading to the hospital when the woman started going through severe contractions.

"My partner and I were in the back doing the paperwork from the night before when the road sergeant called it in," Tobin said. "And I said it's not a joke, we're going again." 

Make that a double: same parking lot, same EMTs, same cops. This time, baby Braydon was already making his entrance in the couple's vehicle by the time they arrived. 

"I had to cut the umbilical cord because it was wrapped around his neck and his stomach, we had to make sure everything was OK," Tobin said. 

Burger King worker Pedro Cruz had arrived at work Saturday to the news that the first baby had been delivered there the night before.

"When I was taking out the trash I saw all the lights and I was joking and I said, 'It's another baby,' and then a customer came in and said, 'Yeah, it's another baby!'" he said. 

Both babies did eventually make it to St. Claire's Hospital, just a couple of minutes from the Burger King parking lot. The second baby was still at the hospital for observation Wednesday but both are expected to be fine. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Clown Protest Was Stunt to Promote 'It,' Organizer Says]]> Thu, 14 Sep 2017 22:15:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/movie+billboard+it+midtown.jpg

A man claiming to be a professional clown who planned to rally outside a New York City movie theater, complaining his business suffered because of marketing around the horror clown movie "It," admitted Thursday the protest was a sham -- a publicity stunt designed to promote the very movie he said cost him cash.

John Nelson conceded on WOR-710's that he had been hired, though he wouldn't say who had paid him. Neither New Line Cinema, the studio behind the film, nor its parent company, Warner Brothers, has returned calls for comment.

Nelson had told News 4 earlier this week that his alleged business, Clowns in Town, received six cancellations in the last few weeks. He claimed the supernatural horror movie was scaring the public away from clowns. 

"Last week, my partner and I had six cancellations of birthday parties," he said Tuesday. "I have heard reports from other clowns, in New York and other cities, that they have been canceled as well." 

He said billboards and TV ads promoting the movie have been showing scary clowns, and Google search of "clown" shows scary clowns, like from "It." 

Nelson claimed to have studied clowning upstate and that he had been working as a clown in the New York area for 10 years, doing mostly children's parties. He said most clowns get paid on site and no deposit is required, so the cancellations "result in a huge loss to our livelihoods." 

He said he, along with a group of other local clowns, planned to rally outside Union Square Regal Cinema Thursday evening.

"Our hope is to raise enough awareness so when people think of clowns they won't think of scary murderers but people who dedicate their lives to bringing joy," Nelson had said. 

WOR-710's "Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning" got a hold of Nelson Thursday morning with the help of News 4, and Nelson insisted at first his business was "100 percent real."

"I'm not the only clown who's been upset about this, that the movie 'It,' as well as the portrayal of clowns in pop culture over the last 20 years has really hurt business for us," Nelson said on air. "It's scary, it doesn't make you want to go out and book a clown for a children's birthday party." 

He said there were 10 clowns committed to the rally at the movie theater later Thursday. But when News 4 went to the theater, no one was there. 

But WOR-710 host Todd Schnitt kept prodding Nelson. Nelson stuttered a bit and ultimately admitted it was a stunt.

"You've exposed me," he said. "Look, this is gonna get me in a little bit of trouble. We were hired to do this for promotional purposes." 

He refused to disclose who hired him and hurried off the phone, saying, "We'll be there later today," promising the so-called clown rally would still go on at the theater. 

News 4 left a follow-up message with Nelson. A website for his purported business does exist, though the domain name appears to only have been registered two days ago. 

Despite the hoax, fear of clowns does exist -- as much as 2 percent of the adult population could have a real fear of clowns, called coulrophobia, Smithsonian magazine reported in 2013, citing the estimate of a veteran psychologist who runs a phobia and anxiety treatment center in San Diego.

There's a long historical and psychological run-up to the increasing association of clowns as sinister, and Smithsonian.com reports it's hard to tell where the future of the clown lies.

The movie "It," based on the 1986 Stephen King novel, tells the story of a group of bullied kids who band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children, according to its synopsis. 

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated based on new reporting that shows that the clown rally is in fact a promotional stunt.

Photo Credit: John Nelson
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<![CDATA[Pepsi Truck Hangs Off Montco Ramp]]> Wed, 13 Sep 2017 14:40:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/Pepsi+Truck+I+476.JPG

The cab of a soda truck dangled off the side of a Montgomery County interstate ramp Wednesday.

Pennsylvania State Police called the crash of the Pepsi truck on the off ramp from Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) to Interstate 476 (Blue Route) in Conshohocken around 12:30 p.m. weather-related. It appears the driver took the curve too quickly with rain falling at the time, police said.

No one was hurt and the driver was able to be rescued from the cab.

Police warned people to expect delays in the area as troopers intermittently close the roadway as crews work to remove the truck. It took until after 2 p.m. to get the truck entirely back on the roadway and a portion of the guardrail remained broken.

Police are hoping drivers heed their warnings to slow down when roads are slick.

No criminal charges are expected, police said.

Photo Credit: Traffic Camera]]>