<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Sat, 31 Jan 2015 02:13:54 -0500 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 02:13:54 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Hot Air Ballon Lands in the Street]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:07:28 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Hot+air+balloon+landing+0129.jpg

A pilot who landed a hot air balloon carrying a wedding party in the middle of a residential San Diego street Thursday says the emergency maneuver was the safest option for getting him and his eight passengers on the ground. 

Magical Adventures Pilot Phil Brandt said he knew about 20 minutes into the flight that he would not make the trip's Rancho Penisquitos destination because of changing wind conditions. After earlier attempts in open field and a number of rooftop near misses, Brandt chose Sorrento Valley's Lusk Boulevard to set down the balloon

“I chose the safest option I had with the conditions I had,” Brandt said.

Despite the risks caused by buildings and power lines near by, Brandt says there was no traffic below. He steered the basket into tree tops to slow it down and limit skidding on the street.

It's just that kind of unpredictability that frightens and frustrates nearby Sorrento Valley resident Sandra Williams. Williams says in the last 10 years she has had one hot air balloon collision with her home and several near misses.

“They can't control them they float out of an area that makes any sense,” Williams said.

Brandt says in 25 years and 7,000 flights, he's made emergency landings on roadways several hundred times. He considers this a a safe alternative with no injuries nor property damage.

“It was a controlled landing but at an unusual location,” Brandt said.

The pilot says he is required to contact the Federal Aviation Administration Friday to report details of the landing. He could be sanctioned or cited, but said he doesn't expect to be based on the circumstances.

<![CDATA[Pharmacy Robbed of Pills]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:43:50 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Generic-police-tape.jpg

A Southern California pharmacy was robbed Thursday when a thief hopped the counter and stole prescription drugs, San Diego Police confirm.

Officers responded to the CVS on Westview Parkway in Mira Mesa just after 7 p.m. following a robbery of the pharmacy counter involving one or more suspects.

Police were investigating the incident as grand theft but have not said whether it is connected to a recent string of robberies targeting pharmacies.

San Diego Crime Stoppers has offered $1,000 reward to information leading to an arrest in a recent robbery at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Navajo Road.

In that incident, someone walked into the Walgreens just before noon on Jan. 21 and handed a demand note to the pharmacist. 

The note said the man had a gun and wanted oxycodone. The employee handed the man the pills and the male left the store in an unknown direction.

Officials believe the man also robbed a San Diego CVS Pharmacy on Eads Avenue in La Jolla on January 13 with a demand note asking for Roxicodone, a generic name for oxycodone.

Officials are asking anyone with information to call the San Diego Police Department’s Robbery Unit at (619) 531-2299 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 News]]>
<![CDATA[Body Parts Found in Suitcase: SFPD]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:58:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

San Francisco police say a suitcase found in the South of Market neighborhood Wednesday afternoon contained dismembered body parts.

The suitcase was found after a caller reported a suspicious package near 11th and Mission streets at 4:14 p.m., according to police.

A medical examiner confirmed the remains are human, but police said it was unclear late Wednesday if all the remains belong to one victim.

Police said the incident brings San Francisco's homicide rate to 10 for the year.

Bay City New contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Pizza Order Leads to Standoff]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:21:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/pizza-assault-arrest-gurney.jpg

Police in Irving, Texas, said a man ordered a second pizza during a four-hour standoff that resulted from his first attempt to order a pizza.

Daniel Gurney called a nearby pizzeria Tuesday night. The manager recognized Gurney as a former customer who once used a bad credit card, so he called police to report him for fraud.

When police ran a check on the address given by the pizzeria manager, they learned that Gurney had four probation violation warrants for aggravated assault. Officers responded to his location in the 2400 block of McClure Street at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said that an officer arrived to arrest Gurney, who did not cooperate. He tried to escape through the back door, but he was met by police. He then retreated into the house, refusing to come out.

Given Gurney's violent history, police called in a SWAT unit. Authorities said they used beanbag rounds, tear gas and flash-bang grenades before Gurney surrendered peacefully.

During the standoff, a different pizza delivery man arrived at the house with a pizza. Police told the man to leave.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Beauty Trend: Snail Facial]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:37:55 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/THAI-SNAIL-FACIAL-20150128.jpg The latest beauty trend in Thailand has therapists using snails to munch on clients faces, leaving a healthy glow in its path.]]> <![CDATA[Dog Found in Dumpster Gets Second Chance]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:10:40 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/hemingway-abandoned-dog2.jpg

A dog’s whimpering led to his rescue from a dumpster in Chula Vista and now, with the help of doctors, the abandoned pup is on the mend.

Hemingway was found Jan. 13 nearly hairless, a victim of months-long neglect according to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. The 1-year-old Shih Tzu was infested with fleas, disease, and malnourished.

He may have been tossed in the trash or climbed into the dumpster in search of food, RCHS spokesperson John Van Zante told NBC 7.

"This is something that happened over a period of months,” Van Zante said referring to the dog’s bacterial and fungal infections.

Hemingway was first treated by County of San Diego Department of Animal Services in Bonita and is now on five medications and getting constant care from a foster family. After three more weeks of healing, he may be ready for a forever family.

"He was nervous and he shook and he just wasn't sure whether he should trust people. Now even though we give him baths he's starting to come out of his shell,” Van Zante said. “We're finding out he's not just a scared dog. He's a really great dog with a good personality.”

Throwing away a puppy is never the solution especially with 180 rescue shelters in San Diego County, Van Zante adds.

While it seems no one at the humane society knows how the dog got his name, one staff member recalls the famous quote “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

"That's our hope for Hemingway,” RCHS Medical Director Kathy Zerkle said in a statement. “That the broken places will heal strong and he'll find the loving family that he deserves."

For more information visit the shelter at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to www.sdpets.org.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Mr. Incredible Guilty of Assault]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:47:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/10-23-14_hollywood+blvd+costume+superhero+fight.jpg

A man who dressed as Mr. Incredible, the superhero dad from the hit animated movie, was convicted of battery for beating a woman dressed as Batgirl on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Los Angeles City Attorney said Tuesday.

Muhammet Bilik, 35, was sentenced to three years probation, 20 days of California Department of Transportation work, 36 anger-management sessions, as well as one day in jail for the fight, prosecutors said. He is also banned from the Hollywood Entertainment District.

"Hollywood Blvd. is famous around the globe and attracts millions of visitors every year. We must keep it safe," said City Attorney Mike Feuer in a statement. "The characters who interact with children and family along Hollywood Blvd. have to obey the law."

The beating, caught on a video that went viral, shows Bilik in a red costume and black mask covering his eyes body slamming and punching the woman dressed as Batgirl in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre as costumed Chewbacca and Waldo try to restrain him.

A couple of weeks later, the victim came forward and confirmed the masked man’s identity, prosecutors said.

This conviction is one of seven cases in the past six months involving costumed characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Captain America, and Superman, Feuer said.

The rash of cases is leading some to worry about the safety of the characters and tourists.

"For him to do something like that just ruins it for us," said a man dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean." "It makes us look bad."

Added a costumed Spider Man: "There's kids around. There's tourists around, families that are just coming here just to have a good time."

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who represents Hollywood, has been trying to figure out ways to make sure the characters aren't a danger.

He says one possibility is to ask private businesses such as the Hollywood and Highland complex to hire their own characters.

"That could require background checks and some sort of formal process," he said. "It's what they do in Las Vegas. It's what they do in other locations. I would love to see Hollywood take that type of step forward."

O'Farrell says what the city can do is limited because the characters have a First Amendment right to be on public sidewalks.

Spider Man and Captain Jack hope that any action the city takes makes a distinction between those who make trouble and those who do not.

"It's not everyone," Spider Man said. "It's just certain people."

Four years ago the LAPD conducted a crackdown on Hollywood Boulevard street characters. The sweeps led to a lawsuit which a judge ruled violated their First Amendment rights.

Photo Credit: www.filmon.com]]>
<![CDATA[Mini Therapy Horse Joins SoCal Sheriff's Department]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:59:42 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/LA-sheriffs-department-mini-therapy-horse-valor.jpg

A miniature therapy horse named Valor is joining the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to “heal hearts and bring smiles to hurting people” who have suffered traumatic incidents, officials said.

Valor has been specially trained as a law enforcement therapy horse and will join reading programs and appear in community outreach events in the Malibu area, a Jan. 23 news release from the Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff's Station said.

Valor and her handler, Victoria Nodiff-Netanel, are part of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, a team of pint-sized horses that visit hospitals and hospice programs, comforting more than 35,000 adults and children each year who have experienced traumatic events. The horses were sent to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, after the 2012 mass shooting.

"Valor will serve as a 'face' of law enforcement and does so while upholding the Sheriff's Department motto of 'A Tradition of Service," according to Heather Fuquay from the department.

Valor lives in Malibu with four other therapy horses. She was named after Port Authority Police Officer Kenneth Tietjen , who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Photo Credit: Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses on Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Coyote Roams NYC Housing Complex]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:40:41 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/11115coyote.jpg

Police captured a female coyote Sunday that was spotted roaming a Manhattan housing complex, authorities said.

The coyote was sedated and captured in the sprawling Stuyvesant Town complex and delivered to the city's Animal Care and Control, where it was fed and examined by veterinarians.

The animal was later released in a wilderness area in the Bronx.

Earlier this month, police captured a coyote in Riverside Park and released it into a Bronx wooded area.

"Although it's often called the concrete jungle, New York City has over 5,000 acres of forest land and is home to an abundance of wildlife," said city Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

Most coyotes pose no danger to people, but New Yorkers shouldn't try to feed or approach them, Silver advised.

<![CDATA[Sea Lion Invasion]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:32:57 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_sealions0123001_1500x845.jpg Hundreds of sea lions have taken over an Oregon dock, leaving boaters in a lurch.]]> <![CDATA[Michigan Man Tattoos Taco Truck Logo, Gets Free Food]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:34:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/taco-stand.jpg A Michigan man is now entitled to a lifetime of free tacos after he got a tattoo of a taco featuring the logo for Flint's new food truck, Vehicle City Tacos.]]> <![CDATA[Man Sells "World's Largest BBQ Pit" on eBay]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:14:41 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/smoker2.jpg

They say everything is bigger in Texas, so, naturally, the proclaimed "world's largest barbecue pit" is being sold on eBay by a Brenham man.

Terry Folsom listed "Undisputable Cuz," the 40-ton, 76-foot barbecue pit, on eBay for $350,000. The 24-door pit also features:

  • A walk-in cooler
  • Beer taps
  • Places for television and stereo equipment
  • A 40 kW diesel generator

Folsom is also selling the truck pictured in the listing (and above) for an additional $50,000.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Envelope Shortage Could Bring Court Stoppage]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:22:57 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/mail1.jpg

The wheels of justice could grind to a halt in one Pennsylvania county thanks to some envelopes -- or lack thereof.

A Northampton County judge said that the county may need to cancel criminal court for a week in February because of staffing issues that left the county short envelopes it uses to notify everyone from victims to witnesses to police about upcoming court dates.

District Attorney John Morganelli tells NBC10 that due to the recent retirement of a print shop specialist, the county was short thousands of the needed envelopes. Volunteers were hand stamping the envelopes — including postal regulations — and using typewriters to address the envelopes in an attempt to keep things moving.

County Executive John Brown told The Express-Times that a new solution would be used to address the issue.

"The IT solution for the district attorney's office will be up and running by end of the day,” Brown told the paper. “This will solve the current situation in the DA's office."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Barbie-Costumed Attacker Was High]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 01:52:51 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tutu-trial-clip%281%29_1-PIC_0.jpg

The trial for the man accused of a brazen sexual assault in a Big Lots bathroom closed Wednesday as the defendant argued he had no recollection of the alleged attack.

Gregory Phillip Schwartz, 41, said he was drunk and high on meth and had been up for several days at the time of the alleged assault. He said, though, that he does not remember much of what he heard from others’ testimonies.

"I start hallucinating when I've been up that long...from sleep deprivation and the drug," Schwartz said in court Wednesday. "I was out of my mind."

Schwartz is charged with multiple felonies, including assault with intent to commit rape, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and false imprisonment by violence in the February assault. He is also charged with shoplifting the dress he donned during the attack – a pink Barbie cheerleader costume.

The victim, who testified under her first name only at the beginning of the trial, said she entered the bathroom inside a Clairemont Big Lots while talking on the phone. She said she went into a stall and was getting ready to take a seat when she caught the sight of a man’s bare feet on the ground in the stall next to her.

The man then climbed up on the toilet and peered over the stall at her before getting down on all fours and crawling into her stall to attack her, she said. She alleged that the defendant grabbed her, held her by her neck and attempted to sexually assault her.

Schwartz, however, said he only remembers waking up to a screaming woman in the adjoining stall. He said he had gone into the men’s restroom to masturbate after hours of drinking in an attempt to come down off the meth and sleep. He did not know at the time that he had fallen asleep for two hours before switching to the women’s restroom.

“I remember waking up on the floor and a woman had her hands over her ears and she was screaming,” he said in court. “I was half in my stall and half encroaching on hers.”

The defendant said he does not remember peeking over the stall; only that the screaming sobered him up.

“I went back into my stall and she continued to scream for ten more seconds and I waited for her to go out,” he said.

Prosecutors allege that Schwartz ran back into the men’s restroom to change out of the Barbie costume before trying to leave. He was confronted by a Clairemont Town Square security guard and dropped a pair of women’s underwear on the ground before brandishing what appeared to be a screw driver, then fled the store, according to earlier testimony from the security guard.

Earlier that same day, an employee at a nearby hair salon was reportedly sitting in her car when the defendant opened the passenger door and asked her if she wanted to smoke meth, according to testimony by Detective Carmelin Rivera with the San Diego Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit.

Schwartz said he does not recollect that either.

Much was learned about Schwartz in his testimony, including the fact that he is a Navy veteran and has a six-year-old daughter. He is also divorced and his only real chunk of sobriety was during his seven-year marriage, ending in 2010.

Before losing his job and his home two years ago, Schwartz worked as an electrician, he told the jury Wednesday.

But addiction – which Schwartz’s attorneys are using in multiple ways to argue his innocence – has been on ongoing problem for many years, he said. He has been in and out of recovery programs, both successfully and not, since his time in the Navy, and had left a rehabilitation center less than two weeks before the attack, he said in court.

Schwartz’s defense team argued at the beginning of the trial that he suffered from drug-induced “transvestic fetishism” and becomes more sexual and is aroused by cross-dressing while under the influence of meth.

Psychiatrist and addiction specialist Dr. Alan Abrams took the stand to confirm that fact; stating masturbation, use of pornography and heightened sexuality are not uncommon for meth users.

“People who use methamphetamine come to experience a particularly heightened euphoria from their sexual behavior, and so things develop from that pairing where users of methamphetamine come to want to enhance their sexuality by using methamphetamine, and so they get into this vicious cycle,” Abrams told the jury.

Abrams also detailed the difference between homosexual males, bisexual males and those men who enjoy sex with other men while high on drugs, but are neither bisexual nor homosexual.

According to Schwartz’s testimony, he has secretly worn women’s clothes and indulged in sex with other men since age 17, but only while high on “uppers.”

The prosecution said at the start of the case, that although the victim made it out of the alleged attack, the case is important for the safety of the public.

“I have never handled a case like this before,” said Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett, prosecutor in the case.

“Based on the charges and what happened in the case, we’re taking it very seriously as a public risk and thankfully the victim came out fine. She’s injured and she’s scared, but she will recover and that’s all we want,” Barrett added.

The trial closed Wednesday afternoon and it is now up to a jury to decide Schwartz’s fate. If convicted, he faces seven years in prison.

<![CDATA[NY Man Bulldozes Home Without Telling Wife: Police]]> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:46:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/james+rhein+bulldoze.jpg

A New York man who rented a bulldozer from a local construction company and demolished the house that he lived in with his wife, whose name is on the deed and who did not know about the razing, told NBC 4 New York he did it because it was dilapidated and needed to come down.

The foundation of his Middletown home was crumbling from years of disrepair, 48-year-old James Rhein said Tuesday afternoon, and he tried to get a permit to demolish it himself Monday but couldn't because the office he needed to visit was closed due to the federal holiday.

"So I took it down, that's it," said Rhein, who was arrested Monday in the process of demolishing his home. Police said he was knocking the single-family house to the ground with an excavator and tossing the debris in Dumpsters when they arrived; they said he didn't try to run and was cooperative.

Rhein's wife is the legal owner of the home. She was not there when it was razed and police said she had no idea it was happening. Rhein said he tried to call her before beginning the demolition but she didn't pick up her phone; all items left in the home when it was destroyed were replaceable, he said.

Neighbor Darryl Horn said Rhein's wife drove up to find her home reduced to rubble.

"She was very upset. She was in the middle of the road screaming, 'her house, what happened to her house?'" said Horn. 

Rhein admitted to NBC 4 New York his wife was distraught initially.

"But now she's over it," Rhein said. "We're good. I'm a good husband, what can I tell you?"

He apparently notified utilities companies in advance of the demolition because electric, water and gas lines to the house were shut off. No one was injured. Rhein says he doesn't believe he did anything wrong and that police overreacted.

NBC 4 New York made multiple attempts to contact Rhein's wife Tuesday night but was unable to reach her. 

Rhein was charged with criminal mischief and released on $300 bail. He has one previous arrest in 2013 regarding a case of harassment; his wife was not involved.

He's due back in Middletown City Court on Jan. 30. Information on an attorney for Rhein wasn't immediately available.  

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Leaves 1-Year-Old in Cab, Robs Wawa: Police]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:45:29 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Amanda+Paoletti+Wawa+Theft.jpg

A Delaware mother left her 1-year-old in a cab while she held up a Wawa overnight, said Delaware State Police.

A yellow minivan taxi pulled up to the Wawa at 705 Philadelphia Pike in Wilmington around 3:25 a.m. Tuesday to let Amanda Paoletti out, said police.

Paoletti left her infant daughter in the cab with the man they live with as she entered the store, said police. Once inside, the 29-year-old Wilmington woman indicated to a 19-year-old Wawa employee that she had a gun and wanted the money in the register, said investigators.

Police said that the woman behind the counter complied and handed an undisclosed amount of cash over to Paoletti who then left the store and jumped back in the cab.

Investigators later tracked down the taxi in question and the driver -- unaware of the heist -- directed police to a home on the 100 block of Ashton Street. Inside the home, police found Paoletti, her 1-year-old and the home's owner, who also had no knowledge of the heist.

Officer arrested Paoletti and found cocaine and drug paraphernalia in her possession. She was charged with robbery, child endangerment and drug possession and sent to county jail in default of $8,000 bail.

<![CDATA[Man Steals Wallet While Holding Child: Police]]> Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:10:03 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Surveillance-Photos-of-the-.jpg

Police are searching for two theft suspects, including one man who was allegedly caught on camera snatching a wallet while holding a child.

On Jan. 5, around 9:30 a.m., a 62-year-old man left his wallet on the counter of the Interstate Battery Store on Robin Hood Road in Delmar, Delaware.

Two men, one of them carrying a small child, entered the store, took the man’s wallet from the counter and then left the scene, according to police.

The first suspect is described as a man between the ages of 20 and 30 standing between 5-foot-10 and 6-feet and wearing a blue shirt and black jacket.

The second suspect is described as a man between the ages of 20 and 30 standing between 5-foot-10 and 6-feet wearing a blue shirt.

If you have any information on their identities or whereabouts, please contact Senior Corporal J. Wharton at 302-337-1090.

Photo Credit: Delaware State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Girls' Coach Ousted After 161-2 Win]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 23:44:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/221*120/Arroyo+Basketball+huge+win.JPG

A Southern California girls’ high school basketball team scored more than 150 points than their opponents last week, a historically lopsided win that led to the coach's suspension.

Arroyo Valley High School put away 161 points in their game against Bloomington High on Monday, Jan. 5.

It wasn't Bloomington's first blow-out loss this season -- in fact, they haven't scored more than 23 points in going 0-15 this year -- but they only managed two points in the game, scored in the third quarter, according to MaxPreps.com.

The 161-2 score is the most lopsided girls’ basketball tally in Southern California history, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

Arroyo coach Michael Anderson was suspended for two games this week, team parents said. He missed a game Wednesday that the Arroyo Hawks still won handily, 80-19, and will sit out another Friday, while his son coaches the team.

The school didn't say if it had supended Anderson, saying it doesn't comment on personnel issues. Anderson didn't return numberous phone calls.

"People shouldn't feel sorry for my team. They should feel sorry for his team, which isn't learning the game the right way," Bloomington coach Dale Chung told the San Bernardino Sun.

But Arroyo parent Martha Godinez called the suspension outrageous and unfair.

"Our team is good and we can't help (that) our team's good," Godinez said.

The scoreline grew to a sporting scandal, with pundits across the web, and near the schools, weighing in whether the game was unsportsmanlike.

"It's too embarrasing for the school," said Riverside resident Jesus Espinoza.

Administrators at Arroyo Valley have reached out to their counterparts at Bloomington to start "rebuilding and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship," said the San Bernardino City Unified School District in a statement that noted action could still be taken if necessary.

"We want to use that game as a teachable moment for the rest of our athletes...throughout the school district to understand to play with really great sportsmanship," superintendent Maria Garcia said.

Photo Credit: Alex Vasquez]]>
<![CDATA[Car Crashes Into Wall, Stuns Swimmers in YMCA Pool]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 21:15:39 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Ridley+Park+YMCA+Pool+Crash.JPG

A car crashed into a Pennsylvania YMCA and almost wound up in the pool — shocking swimmers doing laps Friday.

An elderly woman mistook the brake for the accelerator when she slammed her red sedan partially into the pool area of Ridley Area YMCA on South Avenue in Secane around noon, said Ridley Township Police.

The woman wasn’t seriously hurt, police said.

There were swimmers using the pool at the time, said the YMCA. None of the swimmers were hurt but they sure did get a surprise by the gaping hole left in the wall.

“The Y is open, but the pool will be closed for the foreseeable future,” Michael Ranck, president and CEO of the Ridley Area YMCA, told the Delaware County Times.

Photo Credit: Jason Galloway, Delcotimes.com]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: High School Soccer Player's Stunning Goal Goes Viral ]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 11:05:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/soccer-6.jpg

A goal scored by a North Texas high school soccer player is causing a lot of buzz on the Internet.

Michael Lewis, who wears number 25 for the McKinney Boyd High School boys’ soccer team, specializes in flip throw-ins during games. On Tuesday, Lewis tied up the game against Frisco Wakeland when his 35-yard throw-in sailed over every player, tipped off the goalie’s hand and went into the back of the net.

Even Lewis' coach is surprised by the flip throw-in that ended up in the goal.

“It’s pretty rare to score directly off the throw-in,” said coach Casey Osborn. “It doesn't happen very often.”

But for Lewis, the varsity soccer player took his skills from gymnastics and brought them to the field.

“I just started doing it just for fun,” said Lewis. “And then I realized how good it could be and just kept doing it and just got better and better from there.”

Still, scoring a goal from his throw-in wasn't his goal Tuesday night.

“My intention was to hit a teammate and let them score,” said Lewis.

His coach isn't complaining, though.

“It was pretty spectacular, borderline unbelievable, because the objective was to hit a target player,” said Osborn. “But we'll take a goal any day of the week.”

The game ended in a 1-1 tie, thanks to Lewis' throw.

Vine user Delaney Jennings posted a short video of Lewis' goal, and by Wednesday afternoon, the Vine had already been “looped” close to 3.5 million times. Lewis is surprised by the online buzz.

“I am actually very surprised. I didn't expect any of it at all,” he said. “I just saw it as a normal goal.”

NBC 5's Catherine Ross contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Delaney Jennings, Vine and @michael_lewis28, Twitter
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Delta Makes Flight With 2 Passenger]]> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:26:27 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Empty-Plane.jpg

Legroom wasn't an issue for one Brooklyn man who was lucky enough to be one of two passengers on a flight from Cleveland to New York City Monday morning.

Chris O'Leary, editor of beer blog Brew York, tweeted a photo of himself on the otherwise empty plane before the jet turned back to the gate to pick up a second passenger, according to his Twitter feed.

"They rebooked everyone but me on another flight to LGA, so I am literally the only person on this plane," O'Leary said in one tweet.

In another tweet, O'Leary said that a second passenger got on the plane just as his plane was about to push back from the gate. The two passengers then departed for New York City.

Several other Twitter users expressed envy at O'Leary's presumably peaceful flight.

"Talk about leg room. No babies crying. And, no fighting over the arm rest. Play the lottery, you're sure to win," tweeted Kesha B.

Photo Credit: Chris O'Leary via Twitter @ohhleary
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[TV Sticking Out of Car Leads to Police Pursuit]]> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:25:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/222*120/Bensalem+Police+Chase+Television+Car.JPG

A big-screen television sticking out of the back seat of a car led police in Bucks County into a pursuit that ended in a crash.

Officers tried to pull over the Buick sedan around 2 a.m. Wednesday near State Road and Tennis Avenue because officers saw the TV protruding from back door, said Bensalem Police.

As the officers tried to pull over the suspicious vehicle the driver sped off, said investigators.

A short pursuit ensued ending when the car crashed through a guard rail and into a ditch — the boxed television still sticking out of the side of the car. Two guys got out of the car and ran off. Officers nabbed one suspect while the other got away.

Police used K-9s to search for the second suspect but he remained at large Wednesday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Accused Robbers Posed as Cops]]> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 09:14:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/150113-women-police-impersonators.jpg

Two Los Angeles County women accused of committing robberies while posing as police officers in Rancho Dominguez last week have been arrested, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.

The women, dressed in “police-type uniforms” and driving a 1999 Lexus RX300 SUV, stopped a bicyclist about 12:45 a.m. in the 18000 block of Susana Road last Friday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

The women handcuffed and robbed the cyclist.

Minutes later, sheriff’s officials said the duo tried to rob a second person about a block away on Santa Fe Street, but the victim didn't have anything to give them.

Detectives were able to identify the women, one of whom had numerous tattoos on both arms, and began a surveillance operation on them, sheriff’s officials said.

The women were detained. Their names were not released.

Local resident Mario Sorto told NBC 4 he always suspected the two women, who he said would constantly harass immigrants while wearing police uniforms.

He said they usually would ask people in Spanish for ID. Sorto was suspicious as they drove a normal SUV without sirens. The vehicle has now been impounded by detectives.

Deputies serving a search warrant at the women’s home found a fake handgun, two uniform jackets with police-type patches, handcuffs, strip ties, a flashlight, gloves and other items, officials said.

The women face robbery charges in both cases, deputies said.

Anyone with information on the robberies was asked to call Det. Gus Ramirez at 310-847-8366.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Smashes into Liquor Store in ATM Robbery]]> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 20:59:39 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/nj+liquor+store+atm+smash+grab.jpg

A pickup truck smashed through the front of a Clifton, New Jersey liquor store in a brazen smash-and-grab overnight, crashing so violently that it dislodged the ATM in the front of the store, surveillance video shows.

Employees at the Liquor Locker on Allwood Road showed NBC 4 New York the video of the robbery, which happened just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Two men are seen peering in through the windows, apparently getting a sense of the store layout. Then a pickup track reverses through the front of the store, dislodging the ATM.

The two men drag the machine into the cab of the Ford F-250 or 350 pickup truck and speed off in the direction of Route 3 before Clifton police pull up less than two minutes later. 

Employee Ramon Rivera was stunned by what he saw when he arrived at the store. Shattered windows and broken wine bottles were strewn everywhere. 

"I thought it was an explosion, that someone just blew up the place," he said.

Construction workers were spending the day Tuesday boarding up the store of the store, and employees inside were sweeping, mopping and sorting through what was ruined -- and trying to find what can be salvaged.

The thieves took the ATM with an unknown amount of cash inside, but they didn't steal any liquor. 

"These guys were professional and obviously they don't care," said Rivera.

Clifton police said this is the first smash-and-grab robbery of its kind there, but just 12 miles away in Newark, there were similar cases two months ago that were also caught on camera. In a Nov. 14, 2014 case, two men crashed a stolen truck into a dry cleaners on McCarter highway to steal the ATM there. Thieves tried the same tactic at the Applebee's in Newark but were unable to move the ATM.

Clifton police are investigating whether the robberies are linked. 

-- Jen Maxfield contributed to this report 

<![CDATA[Florida Man Arrested After Dropping Pants, Dancing in Intersection: Deputy]]> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:16:57 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/claytoncornelisonmugshot.jpg

Deputies often see it all in their line of work, but one Florida law enforcement official saw quite a bit more than she expected while at a major intersection in North Fort Myers.

The Florida deputy said she was watching three people in a crosswalk as one, later identified as Clayton Cornelison, set his bicycle down and dropped his pants, according to NBC 2.

The deputy said in the arrest report that once the man dropped his pants, he began to “shake his penis by moving his hips in a circular motion and proceeded to dance in the middle of the intersection with his pants around his ankles in the direction of oncoming traffic,” the Fort Myers NBC affiliate reported. 

The man saw the deputy watching him and quickly pulled up his pants, according to the report. According to NBC 2, the man told the deputy he wasn’t wearing a belt and his pants had fallen down.

He was arrested on a charge of indecent exposure and taken to the Lee County Jail Monday afternoon. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

Photo Credit: NBC 2/Lee County Sheriff]]>
<![CDATA[Special Butterfly Discovered at Philly Museum]]> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:15:18 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/rare+butterfly.jpg

A magnificent rarity appeared at The Academy of Natural Science’s Butterflies! exhibit.

“I thought: ‘Somebody’s fooling with me. It’s just too perfect,’” said Chris Johnson, a volunteer at the museum. “Then I got goose bumps.”

Johnson found a beautiful specimen with the characteristics of both male and female butterflies. Each wing had different markings, splitting the butterfly in half with different genetic characteristics.

Johnson informed his supervisor, David Schloss, who promptly called a lepidopterist to confirm his suspicions.

Jason Weintraub, who specializes in butterfly collections, knew immediately that the insect needed to be collected and euthanized for research before being potentially injured or killed in the exhibit.

The butterfly had a condition called bilateral gynandromorphy, a genetic condition that primarily affects birds and butterflies.

“It can result from non-disjunction of sex chromosomes, an error that sometimes occurs during the division of chromosomes at a very early stage of development,” Weintraub said.

The "brush-footed" butterfly, Lexias paradalis, does not yet have a colloquial name. It is often found in Southeast Asia, according to museum officials.

The nameless butterfly originated in a farm in Malaysia before it was sent to the local exhibit.

“In most cases, such specimens are ‘discovered’ in museum collections by a researcher who is carefully examining reproductive organs of insects under the microscope and stumbles across a specimen with both male and female characteristics,” Weintraub said.

The miracle butterfly will be displayed at the Academy of Natural Science from Jan. 17 to Feb. 16.

Photo Credit: Academy of Natural Sciences]]>
<![CDATA[Drugged Bread Causes Hallucinations]]> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:55:32 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/199*120/1-8-2015-3KingsBread.JPG

At least 40 people in Orange County suffered symptoms ranging from nausea to hallucinations after eating Three Kings cake laced with a synthetic drug, prompting a criminal investigation of the bakery that made it, police said Friday.

Officials closed Cholula’s Bakery in Santa Ana on Wednesday after up to 40 customers reported getting sick after eating Rosca de Reyes bread on Monday and Tuesday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Nurses from multiple hospitals contacted Santa Ana police after dozens of patients turned up sick earlier this week, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Bertagna said patients were nauseous and were having hallucinations and out-of-body experiences.

"The only common denominator with all these patients is they ate this Three Kings bread in celebration of the holiday," he said.

He is hoping laboratory specialists can identify exactly what was contained in the bread.

"There are hundreds of types of synthetic drugs," Bertagna said. "Hopefully they can isolate what exactly we're talking about."

The fruitcake, which is traditionally eaten on Jan. 6 to mark Three Kings Day, was distributed around California. Customers became ill with symptoms including dizziness, palpitations, and numbness, officials said. The cake is also known as Three Kings bread.

Lab results showed the presence of a synthetic drug in the bread, said health officials, who handed the case over to the Santa Ana Police Department, which launched a criminal investigation.

Esperanza Rodriguez, 60, of Santa Ana, said that after eating the cake she felt dizzy, her mouth was dry and eventually she fainted.

Other victims include a man in his mid-40s, his teenage daughter and son, and a 4-year-old boy, who all reported feeling nauseated and anxious as if they were under the influence of a drug, police said.

People who believe they have consumed the tainted bread are encouraged to contact the Santa Ana Police Crimes Against Persons Unit at 714-245-8390.

The bakery will remain closed until it meets three criteria — professional restaurant-grade cleaning, disposal of all opened food and all ingredients used to make the Rosca de Reyes bread, and mandatory food safety training for all staff.

The bread was sold at Cholula's Bakery and the following outlets:

-- El Nopal Mercado, 31451 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano;

-- La Bodega Ranch, 918 N. Glassell St., Orange;

-- La Bodega Ranch, 1700 N. Placentia Ave., Fullerton;

-- Santa Ana Marquet, 1216 W. 1st St., Santa Ana;

-- Tony's Liquor, 32141 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano;

-- Gonzalez Marquet, 235 W. La Jolla St., Placentia;

-- Taqueria Mocorito Restaurant, 1076 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim;

-- Taco Boy, 725 N. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim;

-- Brianna's Ice Cream, 2107 E. Ball Road, Anaheim;

-- La Bodega Ranch Market, 4945 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach.

Calls to the bakery for comment were not immediately returned.

<![CDATA[Man Comes Forward to Claim Boa Constrictor Found in San Diego Toilet ]]> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 14:31:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/6PW_PKG_SNAKE_IN_A_TOIL_KNSD5KKU_1200x675_381371459843.jpg

The great mystery of the snake in a toilet has been solved.

The 5-foot boa constrictor that slithered from a toilet at a downtown San Diego PR firm belongs to a tenant who lives on the fourth floor, the property manager told NBC 7 on Thursday.

The owner came forward on Wednesday, saying the snake had been lost and he thought it had escaped from a window, as its enclosure is near the window.

He "feels really bad for the anguish" this has caused, the property manager said. The owner plans to move the snake to a friend's house.

Meanwhile, the snake is staying at the Gaines Street Animal Shelter.

No word yet on a reunion.

So why did the snake escape to the building's sewage system? Lt. Dan DeSousa with San Diego County Animal Services said it appeared the snake was about to shed skin and was likely seeking a water source.

"He found a toilet to soak in and obviously didn't come out of that toilet," DeSousa said. "Took a wrong turn, ended up downstairs."

Holly Wells, whose partner at Vertical Public Relations found the snake as she was plunging the toilet, said they have no hard feelings.

"I'm not upset. I think we can have a good chuckle over it, honestly," she said. "My partner, Stephanie, who's terrified of snakes, might think a little bit differently. But I think it's all fun and games."

The owner still hasn't come forward publicly. His snake has an attitude -- a reputation as a nipper, animal control workers said.

The story drew national interest and Animal Services is still getting phone calls from news outlets.

It's not difficult to figure out why, Wells said.

"Everyone is so intrigued by the story because it's everyone's nightmare come true."