<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Tue, 02 Sep 2014 07:47:39 -0400 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 07:47:39 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA['REVEL' Letters Bent, Broken & Removed]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:55:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/223*120/REVEL+Sign+Damaged.JPG

On the day that the once heralded Revel casino closed its hotel for good, the sign in front of the monstrous Atlantic City resort was damaged.

NBC10’s Matt DeLucia snapped a photo of the metal “R” in the “REVEL” sign partially torn off -- the screw exposed from the stone base. The “E” next to it also appeared to be bent and vandalized.

The casino -- a facility that cost about $2.4 billion to build -- is set to close for good Tuesday (the hotel closed Monday), and It wasn’t clear who was originally responsible for the damaged letters.

No one from the casino would comment on what caused the damage to the sign on the boardwalk side of the resort Monday morning. Spokeswoman Lisa Johnson said that security on site would prevent any looting.

And, Atlantic City Police said they weren’t aware of any theft reports at the resort.

Workers came out later in morning and removed the second “E” in “REVEL” but then left the other letter up. Tourists even began to line up to take photos with the ravaged remains of “REV-L.”

The casino will close at 5 a.m. Tuesday leaving hundreds of workers out of a job.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: NBC10.com - Matt DeLucia]]>
<![CDATA[Knitters "Yarn-Bomb" Smithsonian]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 18:56:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/2014-08-29_0722.jpg Knitters stayed up all night to cover the Smithsonian Castle gates and garden in knitted decorations, using more than six miles of red yarn. They're bringing attention to a new exhibit at the Sackler Gallery, featuring the work of an artist whose primary medium is yarn.]]> <![CDATA[Weird News Photos: Giant Deflated Duck]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:05:01 -0400 here.]]> here.]]> http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/deflated+rubber+duck.PNG Check out these weird news photos from around the world.

Photo Credit: NBC LA]]>
<![CDATA[Wildest Food Crazes: International Bacon Day]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:52:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/e5f14e57ae9d43c2ac1acf4455526ca6.jpg Cronuts, cupcakes and frozen s'mores are just some of the recent food trends that have swept the culinary world. ]]> <![CDATA[Giant Rubber Duck Forced to Deflate]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:10:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/deflated+rubber+duck.PNG

The giant rubber duck that had been on display in Southern California since last week was deflated Thursday because of damaging winds.

Thousands have flocked to the Port of Los Angeles to view and photograph the 11-ton rubber duck, an art project by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman that has traveled worldwide and made stops in Japan, Brazil, Hong Kong and New Zealand, among other places.

The “World’s Largest Rubber Duck” made it’s Port of Los Angeles debut on Aug. 20 as part of the Tall Ships Festival. It was supposed to be on display only until Aug. 24, but because of its popularity, plans were made to keep the rubber duck on display until Sept. 6 as part of the Duck Days of Summer.

The rubber duck was transported to Banning’s Landing off the Wilmington coast Thursday, where it was supposed to be on display Thursday and Friday. Because of windy conditions, the duck was deflated and towed back to San Pedro. A 10-foot "baby" duck will still be on display in Wilmington Friday.

According to the Port of Los Angeles website, the duck will not be on display over Labor Day Weekend because it is “on holiday.” The duck is expected to be inflated again Tuesday and put back on display at the Downtown Harbor through Saturday.

Upcoming daily events centered around the giant duck include “Dress Like a Duck Day” and “Duck Dance Day.”

<![CDATA[Philly Taco Makes 'Outrageous' Food List]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:46:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*160/fb6e20f82c7011e3b7ba22000aaa21618.jpg

Ever had a Philly taco? It's when you get a cheesesteak and then roll it up into a giant slice of pizza.

The creation is getting national attention from a CityPass list of outrageous foods around the country.

Now, there's not a place (that we know of) who will actually make the whole thing for you.

But this bizarre Frankenfood seems to be the brainchild of a few inebriated who patron South Street.



Philly.com's Michael Klein points out how it works. First, you go to Jim's Steaks and get a cheesesteak. Then you trudge a block down South to Lorenzo's pizza. Once there, order a jumbo plain slice.

Take the tapered end of the pizza, wrap it inside the steak, then roll and viola! you have the epitome of drunk food in your hands.


Photo Credit: level_13/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Human Skull Donated to Thrift Store]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:34:28 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/013012+human+skull+generic.jpg

Police asked for the public's help to locate whoever donated a human skull to an Austin, Texas, thrift store.

Homicide Detective Derek Israel said Wednesday that foul play was not suspected in the person's death. He said he just wants to know how the skull came to be in an unspecified container left at the store.

Goodwill staff discovered the skull while sifting through donations July 16. A spokeswoman said it could have been gifted up to a week prior to its discovery.

Israel said the skull is from an adult. No other details about it have been released.

This is at least the fourth skull to be donated to the international nonprofit this summer. Three were donated in July to a Goodwill store in Bellevue, Wash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Unbelievable Animals: Rare Blue Lobster Found]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:07:27 -0400 here.]]> here.]]> http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Blue+Lobster.jpg Check out some of the craziest animals and the stories behind them.

Photo Credit: NEWS CENTER]]>
<![CDATA[Shell Shocker: Rare Blue Lobster Found]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:57:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/rareblue-lobster.jpg A rare blue lobster has found a permanent home at the Maine State Aquarium. 14 year-old Meghan Laplante was out pulling traps with her dad on Saturday when they pulled up the rare blue lobster.]]> <![CDATA[Drunk Man Lets Boy Steer Moving Car: Police]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 23:00:26 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Clarence+Hairston+mug+shot.jpg

A Delaware County man is behind bars after police say he was drunk behind the wheel while his 8-year-old nephew was steering the car.

Clarence Hairston, 58, was stopped by police officers in Upper Darby around 3 p.m. Saturday after his vehicle was spotted in the middle of the street blocking traffic near Guilford and Copley Roads.

Police say his vehicle was making several “stop and go” movements and nearly struck a parked car.

When police officers approached the vehicle, they say they found Hairston in the driver’s seat drunk and with a beer in his hand. Hairston’s 8-year-old nephew was sitting in his lap holding onto the steering wheel while Hairston stepped on the gas and brake pedals, according to investigators. Police also say Hairston’s 9-year-old nephew was sitting in the backseat.

According to investigators, Hairston was supposed to be babysitting both boys at the time of the incident.

Hairston allegedly fell down twice as he tried to step out of his vehicle. Police also say he had blood shot eyes, slurred speech and smelled like alcohol.

None of the children were hurt in the incident. Hairston was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and other related offenses.

Photo Credit: Upper Darby Police]]>
<![CDATA[Wiggly Lines Fixed After Confusing Commute]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:20:34 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/219*120/restriping+wiggly+lines.jpg

Crews worked overnight to correct a striping project on I-66 eastbound in Centreville, Virginia, after wiggly lines left many drivers confused Monday morning.

Temporary tape striping was laid down just over a week ago, but peeled from the roadway during the morning rush, Virginia Department of Transportation officials say.

Drivers who experienced the wiggly lines described the traffic as "horrific" and said they took alternate roads to avoid accidents Monday. 

"I had to bail off 66 and take the back roads to be able to get to work on time," one driver said.

Crews began fixing the lines Monday around 7 p.m. and work into the early morning hours to complete the job.

The tape was installed as a part of a temporary lane shift while crews rehabilitate the I-66 bridges over Route 29. The lane shift will be in place for three more weeks, VDOT says.

VDOT is working to determine what caused the striping to peel.

<![CDATA[Naked "Messiah" Attacks Driver: Police]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 07:02:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Half-Naked-Man-Thrown-From-.jpg

A self-proclaimed Messiah is recovering after he attacked a driver while running nude in the Pennsport section of Philadelphia, according to investigators.

On Sunday around 4 a.m., police spotted a half-naked man who appeared to have been thrown from a black sedan on the 1500 block of South Christopher Columbus Boulevard. Investigators say the 57-year-old man was lying on the ground unconscious as the vehicle fled the scene eastbound on Reed Street.

The man was taken to Jefferson Hospital and treated for a cut lip. Investigators eventually tracked down five passengers inside the sedan and took them in for questioning.

After interviewing the passengers, police determined that the man, who they initially believed was the victim, was actually the aggressor. According to investigators, the unidentified man became delusional after taking his new medication while drinking alcohol. The man allegedly ran into the street while naked from the waist down. Police say the man was banging on vehicles passing by while claiming he was the Messiah.

The "Messiah" then struck a 24-year-old man who was inside the black sedan, according to investigators. Police say he then fell to the ground after the 24-year-old opened the car door. The "Messiah" allegedly tried to punch him again but the 24-year-old pushed him to the ground. The "Messiah" then chased after the other passengers inside the sedan as they returned to their vehicle and fled the scene.

Investigators say the 57-year-old man suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as depression. No one has been charged in the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Cops: Couple Had Fake Babies]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:48:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/fake-baby-th.jpg

Police in the San Joaquin Valley, California, arrested a woman on trespassing charges after they say she was trying to access a hospital maternity ward.

Merced police said 41-year-old Tonya Whitney and her husband carried dolls that looked like fake babies into Mercy Medical Center on two occasions in the past week. Whitney wore a nurses outfit, carried an old visitor’s pass and a fake baby in a carrier, authorities said. She is facing misdemeanor trespassing charges.

Whitney was turned away before she could get into the maternity ward, according to police, who said they found many life-like dolls inside the woman’s Merced apartment. Whitney said the whole thing is a misunderstanding. She said she sells the dolls and was only at the hospital to make a sales pitch.

Police said Whitney and her husband tried accessing the maternity ward at Mercy Medical twice, the first time on Saturday after visiting the emergency department. "They then returned Monday and they once again attempted,” Merced Police Capt. Tom Trinidad said. “Of course this prompted an immediate response from the hospital because they wanted to secure the safety of the children."

"If you look at it, could be suspicious,” Capt. Trinidad said. “Of course, the assumption could be made that she was there for the purpose of switching out a fake life-like baby with a real baby."

Authorities said hospital security staff noticed the couple's odd behavior, treating the dolls as if they were real, cuddling them and changing diapers.

Police said Whitney has at least one child. Her husband was not arrested.

Attempts to reach Mercy Medical staff for comment were not immediately successful.

NBC's Fresno affiliate KSEE-TV contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Calif. Bill: Dogs Can Eat Out]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:18:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/051213+Cupcake+dog.jpg

Sit. Stay. Dine.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday allowing dogs to dine with owners if seated in an outdoor section of a restaurant.

"It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner," Mariko Yamada, the assembly member who championed the bill, said in a statement. "I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’."

But those who aren’t as dog-friendly don’t have to worry – the law doesn’t force restaurant owners to allow dogs in establishments.

Owners have discretion on whether a dog is allowed to dine alfresco, according to the bill.

"Amidst all the horrific and depressing news around us, I hope this bill helps make people a little happier, and businesses who wish to accommodate diners with dogs safe from being unnecessarily cited," Yamada wrote on her Facebook page.

The restaurant also must have an outdoor entrance that doesn’t require the pet to walk through the restaurant to get to the outdoor area.

Dogs will have to be on a leash and well behaved, and they can’t sit on chairs or benches.

The bill also says that wait staff cannot have direct contact with a dog or pet them, and if they do, they must sanitize their hands.

Pets cannot be in the same area where food is being prepared.

Though the bill applies to restaurants statewide, cities can still pass local regulations that ban pooches from restaurant patios.

"We can't wait to legally come to dinner with our human friends," a Facebook group supporting AB 1965 wrote.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Sutter Brown, the first dog of California and Gov. Brown’s pooch, was not available for comment.

<![CDATA[No "Purge" Coming to Philly Tonight]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:30:24 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Purge+Philly+Flyer+Social.jpg

It's August 22. The day a roving band of crazies are set to take to the streets of Philadelphia and undertake a crime spree of monumental proportions.

But, never fear. It's all just a big fat hoax.

Rumors have been swirling on social networks for two weeks now about the state-sanctioned mass killing, dreamed up as the plot line for the Universal film "The Purge," coming to life in our town. They were quickly debunked (as we told you earlier this week): here, here and here.

Although, some of the more gullible among us worked themselves up into a hysteria-ridden froth warning people to stay at home.

And because they must always be prepared, local law enforcement agencies were warned to be on the look out for psychos tonight.

But just so you can hear it from the horse's mouth, a spokesperson for Philadelphia Police tells NBC10.com that the department has heard of no credible "purge" plans for tonight.

So feel free to live your life as normal. You shouldn't be any less safe tonight...than any other Friday in the summer.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Claims He's Ex-STP Singer]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:14:22 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/scottweiland+-+14.jpg

A shoplifting suspect who identified himself as former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland managed to mislead law enforcement for nearly four weeks and will likely face additional charges after police discovered he had lied about his identity.

Beverly Hills Police arrested a man at a Rite Aid drugstore on the 400 block of North Bedford Drive on July 26 after receiving a call about shoplifting. He identified himself as Weiland and was taken into custody on drug possession and burglary charges.

Police discovered Thursday that the man was not the former Stone Temple Pilot through an FBI fingerprint return. The man was then identified as 44-year-old Jason Michael Hurley. 

Weiland posted a video on his Facebook page Thursday in response to an article he read on TMZ that day that said he had been in jail for weeks.

"I just got done reading something interesting. A nice piece of fiction from TMZ saying I was in jail and have been. I’ve actually been touring, writing and recording my new album," Weiland said.

Weiland told his fans not to worry and that the report was a lie.

"TMZ, you’ll be hearing from my attorneys," Weiland said.

Police have requested that Hurley also be charged with furnishing false information to a peace officer.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[400 Chinchillas Rescued]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:01:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Chinchillas50820REAL.jpg

More than 400 chinchillas were rescued by the San Diego Humane Society during an eight-hour operation in Vista, the largest animal rescue operation ever by the humane society.

The chinchillas were rescued from a breeding farm on Tuesday, three weeks after the humane society received a request from PETA to step in.

A spokeswoman for the humane society said the owners were looking to retire. However, PETA said it closed the business because of "cruel practices." Sam Simon, co-creator of the TV show "The Simpsons" purchased the business in conjunction with PETA.

On its website, PETA claims the chinchillas were set to be slaughtered and that the business was known to electrocute the animals for fur -- a claim that the humane society said they "can't confirm or deny."

Kelli Schry, a spokeswoman of the humane society, said she was aware of the electrocution claim, but humane society officers visiting the farm did not find any evidence of mistreatment.

"All the animals were well cared for, so there's no need to pursue any neglect or cruelty charges on them," she said.

NBC 7 reached out to the owner. She admitted to electrocuting some of the chinchillas, but added that she grew up in the country, where animals were slaughtered for food.

While PETA offiicals said they did find evidence of chinchillas being electrocuted, these type of cases are seldom prosecuted because "some would consider it as part of agriculture," said Lisa Lange, vice president of PETA.

"This is pretty common in the U.S. -- electrocuting animals for fur," she said. "It's easy and it's fast."

Lange said instead of going after prosecution of chinchilla owners, PETA is working to eliminate the consumer demand for fur.

After the chinchillas were brought to the humane society, veterinarians and animal welfare officials examined them to ensure they were healthy before being adopted. Schry said a number of the chinchillas have already been examined and are ready for adoption.

The rest will be available for adoption once they've had a health exam, Schry said.

"All seemed to be in good health and good behavioral health," she said.

  Chinchillas, native to South America, are similar to guinea pigs and have become popular pets in recent years because of their sweet and social temperament.

Those wanting to adopt one of the chinchillas can visit any of the three humane society locations in San Diego, Oceanside or Escondido.

<![CDATA[Steve-O Behind SeaWorld Sign Prank]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:02:43 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sea-World-Sign-Steveo.jpg

A well-known reality television trickster is claiming responsibility for a prank that included changing the words on a SeaWorld exit sign along a San Diego freeway.

Back in late May, “Jackass” star Steve-O took it upon himself to scale a highway sign on southbound Interstate 5 and express his strong dislike for SeaWorld.

Using tape, white letters and some “Jackass” determination, he plastered the word “SUCKS” over the highway sign, which includes the SeaWorld Drive exit information. In the end, the sign read “SeaWorld SUCKS.”

Steve-O released a video of the prank on his YouTube channel Wednesday. As of 6 p.m., the clip had been viewed nearly 200,000 times.

The clips starts with Steve-O stating, "I'm putting my foot down for Shamu."

According to the video, Steve-O says it took him five attempts over a span of two days to pull the prank. He can be seen falling several times as he tries to get himself to the top of the sign. He’s accompanied by a group of friends, but seems to accomplish the final task on his own -- with the help of a ladder.

“If doing that was wrong, I don’t want to be right. Screw you, SeaWorld!” he says to the camera after completing his mission.

“SeaWorld sucks terribly,” he adds, asking fans to share the video on social media using the hashtag #SeaWorldSucks.

Steve-O’s stunt came just days after People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) unveiled an anti-SeaWorld sign that caused controversy at the San Diego International Airport.

Steve-O is a known animal rights activist who has posed for PETA public service campaigns in the past. Still, there was never any evidence to link PETA to the roadside prank.

It is unknown, at this time, if Steve-O will face any charges for the stunt. NBC 7 reached out to both the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans for comment on the matter.

Chief Steve Saville of the Caltrans District 11 Public Information Office had this to say Wednesday night:

“We consider defacing public property at a cost to state taxpayers an unlawful act and a dangerous distraction for motorists. We will refer all information to the California Highway Patrol.”

Meanwhile, CHP officials told NBC 7 investigators were reviewing the incident and Steve-O's video to determine whether or not charges will be filed.

NBC 7 also reached out to SeaWorld Wednesday, but the a spokesperson said the park would not be releasing a statement.

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA["Ninja" Tries to Kill Uncle With Hammer: Police]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:09:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Michael-Norley-Jr-Lead.jpg

A Montgomery County man is behind bars accused of attacking his uncle while dressed up as a ninja.

Michael Norley Jr., 29, was arrested Tuesday at his home on E. Lemon Street in Upper Providence, Pa. and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Investigators say Norley’s 57-year-old uncle and former boss was taking out the trash at his home on the 800 block of Sycamore Mills Road Tuesday around 8 a.m. when the incident occurred. Suddenly a man dressed in all black and wearing a helmet and face shield jumped from an area near the trash cans. The “ninja” took out a ball-peen hammer and struck the man in the head, according to investigators.

Officials say the victim fell backwards as the “ninja” continued to strike him with the hammer. The victim ran toward the front of his home but tripped and fell on the steps as the suspect chased after him. Officials say the victim then fought back and kicked the suspect’s helmet, causing it to fall off.

The victim told police he then realized his attacker was Norley, his nephew. Officials say the victim began to scream Norley’s name causing him to run into a wooded area near the home. The screams awoke the victim’s family who ran out of the home and found him bleeding heavily. They then called 911.

The victim was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he was treated for severe head trauma.
Norley was arrested at his home on Tuesday and arraigned on Wednesday. He was remanded to Delaware County prison in lieu of $500,000 cash bail.

Investigators have not yet revealed the motive behind the alleged attacks.

Photo Credit: Upper Providence Police]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Calls 911 for Botched Pot Deal]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:39:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Amanda-Twomey-Jackson-Crisler.jpg

A Virginia woman called 911 to claim a pot dealer robbed her at gunpoint, but detectives later discovered a different story, say Prince William County Police.

Authorities say 19-year-old Amanda Paige Twomey called police around 5:10 p.m. Sunday and told them she was robbed after making arrangements to buy pot in Woodbridge.

Twomey claimed that when she met with 20-year-old Jackson Crisler in the 13400 block of Longwood Manor Court, he pulled out a gun and demanded her money. She said that she complied, and he left without giving her the marijuana.

However, detectives say that during the investigation that followed, they discovered that Twomey voluntarily gave Crisler money to buy marijuana from another person. They say Crisler instead kept the money without giving Twomey the pot.

After not receiving the drugs, Twomey called police to report the robbery.

Following an investigation, both Twomey and Crisler were arrested.

Twomey, of Woodbridge, is charged with filing a false police report and attempted possession of marijuana.

Crisler, also of Woodbridge, is charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Both were ordered held without bond. They are due in court Oct. 28.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

<![CDATA[Man Shows Up for Jail in T-Shirt With Picture of His Mug Shot]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:32:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/1200x675-Burt1.jpg

A Maine man showed up to serve a 48-hour jail sentence this month wearing an orange T-shirt with a picture of his mug shot from his arrest on it.

Robert Edward Burt of Pittsfield was arrested in Hartland in June for operating under the influence. He was booked but released after posting bail.

He was later sentenced to serve 48 hours behind bars and reported to serve them Aug. 8.

Burt was released on Aug. 10. It was not immediately clear whether Burt has an attorney. A phone number listed under his name was disconnected.

Photo Credit: Booking Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Hiker Falls Just After Proposing]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:27:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/bradandjainee.jpg

An experienced hiker a friend called a "bad ass rock climber" fell to his death in Yosemite National Park, just hours after proposing to his girlfriend during an earlier climb.

Brad Parker's girlfriend, Jainee Dial, had accepted his marriage proposal Saturday after the couple reached the top of Cathedral Peak.

His father, Bill Parker, said his son told him that it was "the happiest day of his life,'' the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Tuesday.

Later in the day, the couple separated as Parker went on a solo climb of nearby Matthes Crest, a ridge of upturned rock about three miles from Cathedral Peak.

But Parker never returned to his new fiancee.

Other climbers witnessed Parker fall about 5:45 p.m., Yosemite Park Ranger Kari Cobb said. Parker, 36, had gone climbing alone and without ropes and fell on an established route, Cobb said.

Park rangers hiked in and located Parker's body. Parker's death was the second climbing death in Yosemite this year, which Cobb noted was the  typical annual average.

A resident of Sebastopol, California, Parker appeared on a cover of California Climber magazine in 2012. He also worked as a yoga instructor and was an avid surfer and mountain biker. He also enjoyed backpacking and fly fishing trips in the Sierra Nevada with his father and good friend that he considered a brother, Mat.

"He was the nucleus of a community of adventurous people out here," Parker's longtime friend Jerry Dodrill, 41, a photographer, told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday. He and Parker have climbed Matthes Crest – the spot where Parker asked Dial to be his wife –  on several occasions. The two also scaled a wall near the Moab desert in Utah last May. Dodrill snapped the camera from above, capturing Parker climbing in jeans and gloves. A huge smile was plastered on Parker's face.

"He was a bad ass rock climber and surfer," Dodrill added. "And he did it all with grace and dignity."

Dodrill said he and Parker were scheduled to climb on the High Sierra this weekend. Instead, Dodrill will attend one of several memorials for his friend Saturday.

He told NBC Bay Area that Parker had been dating Dial, a yoga instructor and digital media producer, for a little more than a year.

Dodrill took several pictures of Parker rock climbing, as well as a portrait of Parker and Dial on Dial's phone that she posted on her Facebook page late Monday. In the photo, a bare-chested Parker dangles his arm over Dial's shoulders, huge white smiles on both of their faces. Dodrill captured the two again last August walking arm in arm on Driftwood Beach in Jenner, California.

Friends were posting messages to Dial after her fiance's death, remembering Parker as one of the "best people" they had ever known.

Parker's father told the Press Democrat he thinks fatigue from the climb up Cathedral Peak and the run his son made to Matthes Crest may have been a factor in the fall.

"We're all so stunned," Bill Parker told the newspaper. "What happened is so unbelievable."

About 150 people attended an impromptu vigil for Parker Monday night in Sebastapol, Dodrill said. The climber's father said some family and friends planned to hike to the Cathedral Peak area Tuesday.

"It's the only closure we're able to get,'' Bill Parker told the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jerry Dodrill]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Will Not Be "Purged" on Friday]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:22:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Purge+Philly+Flyer+Social.jpg

Rumors swirling on social networks about a real-life purge -- where a band of psychopaths go around and commit mass murder -- coming to Philadelphia are as fake as the film on which they’re based.

Still, local law enforcement agencies are being warned to be prepared for any issues.

Fliers showing masked men and women holding a machete over Friday’s date, August 22, have been bouncing around online for the past few days.

The imagery comes from the Universal Pictures film “The Purge: Anarchy.” (Universal is a sister company of NBC10.) In the horror flick, the U.S. government sanctions one night out of the year where a “purge” can take place. People participating in the bloody event can commit almost any crime without prosecution.

The notion of a killing spree, obviously, unnerved some:

NBC10.com has learned that a bulletin has been circulating among local law enforcement agencies making them aware of the social chatter. The bulletin advised officers to be on heightened alert in light of the unrest and tensions in Ferguson, Missouri.

But the Philly "purge" is all simply a hoax.

The rumor-debunking website Snopes outlined the origins of the online hysteria, writing that it appears the first posts came out of Louisville, Kentucky, where a purge was set supposedly to take place last Friday.

The rumors reached such a fervor in that city that school events were canceled, attendance was down at the state fair and the city’s police fielded 20 percent more calls than normal, according to the town’s major newspaper. Officials believe that the hoax, which appears to have been started by a high school student, had a negative economic impact.

Friday night came and went without issue, all while the fake event spread to other cities across the country.

A spokesperson for Philadelphia Police says the department has heard of no credible "purge" plans for this Friday. Still, officials say personnel are being reminded to remain vigilant.

Regardless of whether police are on heightened alert or not, we can chalk this entire rumor up to a  “vortex of stupidity” that at times takes hold online.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Sailboat Put on Auction Block for $25]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:57:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/navy+sailboat+auction.JPG

Got $25? You could just buy yourself a sailboat, thanks to the U.S. Navy.

As part of a government liquidation, the U.S. Department of Defense is auctioning off a 50-foot sailboat to the highest bidder.

But this vessel isn’t what you’d expect from a former Navy craft.

The three-hulled, high-performance Contour 50 boat, which is now in Harbor Island, was used for “experimental training and recreational purposes,” according to Liquidity Services, Inc.

Built in the mid 2000s, the craft has undergone some modifications but still has its wing sail, rigging and mast assembly, as well as an inboard 40-horsepower engine.

If that’s the kind of recreational services sailors are privy to, it’s safe to say the Navy has some decent perks. Now, the craft is going to a private owner who’s ready to hit the open ocean.

Bidding for the sailboat starts at $25 on Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. PT and closes Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. The auction will be held online on the Defense Department’s auction site, www.GovLiquidation.com.

Photo Credit: Government Liquidation]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Steals, Crashes Police Car]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:42:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Felicitas-Flores-SDPD.jpg

A 22-year-old San Diego woman took a joy ride in a stolen police car Friday night, leading officers on a long, high-speed pursuit and ultimately crashing the vehicle.

According to the San Diego Police Department, the suspect – Felicitas Flores – stole an officer’s parked vehicle in the 300 block of 17th Street in downtown’s East Village area just before 11:30 p.m.

Flores took off in the patrol car, hopping onto northbound Interstate 5 and leading police on a pursuit all the way to the North County.

The tires of the vehicle were spiked in Carlsbad, but Flores continued driving through Oceanside until she pulled into a rest stop. As officers attempted to arrest her, she collided head-on into another police vehicle, the SDPD said. She also rammed into two California Highway Patrol cars.

The stolen police car stalled out and Flores was taken into custody.

“CHP did take over the negotiations to get her out of the car,” explained SDPD Lt. Steven Shaw. “She did not want to get out of the vehicle. Eventually, she opened up the driver side door. She started to get out of the car then she started to get back in. It afforded our officers the opportunity to go up to the car and physically take her out of the car.”

Flores was booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility on at least nine charges, including grand theft auto, driving under the influence of alcohol, being under the influence of a controlled substance and evading officers. She’s also facing counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident is under investigation, with officers trying to determine how Flores was able to steal the police vehicle in the first place. It is unknown if the vehicle was left unlocked.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Man in 'Hoagiefest' Shirt Robs Wawa]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:13:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/Mount+Laurel+HoagieFest+Wawa+Theft.JPG

A man tried to look the part of a Wawa worker during an alleged heist.

A thief wearing a tie-dyed “Hoagiefest” T-shirt pretended to be a Wawa employee as he swiped hundreds of dollars’ worth of cigarettes from a South Jersey convenience store, according to investigators.

Mount Laurel Police say surveillance video shows the man masquerading as an employee walking into the store along Route 73 on August 12 around 1:40 p.m.

A Wawa spokesperson said the company doesn't sell "Hoagiefest" shirts to the general public.

After going through the front door, the man played the part of an actual employee by heading behind the counter, according to police. He wound up swiping at least five cartons of cigarettes.

Police say a second suspect -- not dressed as an employee -- stood by the door as a lookout.

The pair fled the store with $380 worth of cigarettes in a gold, older model Nissan Maxima driven by a third suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Mount Laurel Police at 856-234-1414 extension 1599, the Detective Bureau at 856-234-1414, extension 1526 or send an email to facebook@mountlaurelpd.org.

Photo Credit: Surveillance Image]]>
<![CDATA[Mutilated Bodies of Cats Found in Philly Neighborhood]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:30:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Mayfair-Cats-Bodies.jpg

Gruesome discoveries in the city’s Mayfair section have led to concerns for the safety of stray kittens in the neighborhood.

“It’s gruesome,” said Raymond Boyce. “It’s sick.”

Boyce says he was at home with his fiancée last week when he heard a knock at his door.

“Some little girl knocked on the door and said there were kids trying to hurt the cats,” Boyce said.

The girl directed Boyce to a shed on Lardner Street.

“I walked in and I thought I was going to throw up,” Boyce said. “I went in and saw four dead cats. The only things left were skulls, fur and little bones here and there.”

Gina Albater, also of Mayfair, told NBC10 her neighbor made a similar discovery last week as well. According to Albater, two dead cats were found on her neighbor’s front lawn and across from her home on Harbison Avenue.

Boyce and Albater filed police reports and also contacted officials with animal welfare, who are now investigating. No arrests have been made and investigators have not released a description of any suspects.

“These are innocent little creatures,” Albater said. “They don’t know how to hate. They don’t know what hate is. All they know how to do is love, eat and purr. There’s no reason to hurt them.”

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>