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NEWS OF THE WEIRD

By Chuck Shepherd

Recurring Themes

The Micropenis Defense: Jacques Rouschop, 44, went to trial in October in Ottawa, Ontario, denying that he had raped two sex workers — which he said was physically impossible because at the time he, at 5-foot-6, weighed 400 lbs., had a 66-inch waist, and a two-inch-long penis (erect), plus a painful hernia. He was not asked to “flash” the jury, but an examining nurse verified the details. (Despite the lack of DNA evidence, video or a rape kit, Rouschop was convicted.) [Ottawa Citizen, 10-18-2016]

A 23-year-old man in Tampa, Florida, was hanging out with his cousin in September, and nearby were a gun and a bulletproof vest — and the result was predictable. According to police, the first man donned the vest and said he wondered whether it “still worked”; the cousin picked up the gun and said, “Let’s see.” The cousin, Alexandro Garibaldi, 24, was charged with manslaughter. [WTSP- TV (St. Petersburg), 9-11-2016]

Judges can issue “material witness” warrants to lock up innocent people to ensure their trial testimony, but rarely do it to actual crime victims. In December 2015, the Houston, Texas, district attorney obtained such a warrant jailing a rape victim (“Jenny”) to secure her testimony against a serial rapist she could identify, because Jenny, exceptionally fragile, was hesitant. She finally took the stand, and the rapist is now serving multiple life terms, but Jenny’s added trauma (especially since police mistakenly placed her into the jail’s general population instead of a separate wing) provoked her to file a lawsuit against the DA, which is still in progress. And in November, likely to Jenny’s satisfaction, the DA, Devon Anderson, failed re-election. [Wall Street Journal, 11-8-2016]

More Sperm Wars: Most couples who create embryos to freeze for the future agree that the consent of both is required for actual use. Two former couples are on opposite sides of the issue: Actor Sofia Vergara’s ex-boyfriend wants their embryo brought to term (but she does not), and Missouri woman Jalesia McQueen wants two she created with then-husband Justin Gadberry brought to term (but he does not). In the latter case, an appeals court ruled for Gadberry in November (though the couple already have two children from frozen embryos). In the Vergara case, the ex, Nick Loeb, is trying for an extraordinary court ruling based on his “inability to otherwise procreate” (since two subsequent girlfriends adamantly chose abortions). [Forbes.com, 11-18-2016] [Washington Post, 11-17-2016]

• Victims in News of the Weird stories have been hit by “flying” animals that should not be airborne — even once by a cow (falling off a cliff) and once by a horse (that fell from a trailer on a highway overpass). On Nov. 17, in Clarksville, Tennessee, an unassuming pedestrian along Dover Road was smacked by a deer that sailed into him after it collided with a minivan. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with broken bones. [The Leaf Chronicle (Clarksville), 11-18-2016]

These days, body orifices seem hardly more unusual as storage areas for contraband than one’s shirt pocket, but it was news in Fort Pierce, Florida, in October when police said that Rosalia Garcia, 28, badly failed at handling glass crack pipes. Officers were called to a domestic fight in which Garcia’s boyfriend accused her of slashing him with her crack pipe, and later, while being booked on the charge, she told police she had another crack pipe in her genitals. Then, in front of an officer, she accidentally cut herself on the pipe as she removed it. [TCPalm.com (Stuart, Florida), 11-21-2016]

In America, tens of thousands of pedestrians are hit by cars every year, but rare is the driver who runs over himself. Periodically, News of the Weird updates readers: In October in Orlando, William Edwards, 28, leaving the Dancer’s Royale strip club at 2:30 a.m., started his truck, drove, fell out, had it run over his leg, and saw the truck drift down a street and into a home, injuring the occupant. Earlier in October, a 25-year-old man in Scugog, Ontario, backing his car down his driveway with the door open, fell out, had it run over his leg, and saw it hit two mailbox posts. (Both times, as in nearly every similar case, alcohol was involved.) [WKMG-TV (Orlando), 11-22-2016] [Orangeville Banner, 10-4- 2016]


About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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