Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wimp Keeps Complaining

Man told to 'walk off pain' after shooting
Star News Services
Saturday, August 18, 2007

JOHANNESBURG - A South African man shot three weeks ago was told to "walk the pain off" and is still trying to persuade hospitals to remove the bullet lodged in his side, a newspaper said Thursday.

Three Johannesburg hospitals refused to remove the bullet for security guard Phillip Mashiane, 38, who was shot during a burglary at the property of South Africa's ambassador to the United Nations, the Star newspaper said.

The bullet passed through his elbow and entered his body just above the hip, missed his vital organs and stopped beneath the skin on the opposite side of his body, the Star said.

Mashiane said he was turned away by one private hospital because he could not afford the bills while a public hospital took X-rays and kept him in for observation before patching him up and sending him home with painkillers.

When he returned a doctor told him to "walk the pain off."

Today's Children Stab Cows For Kicks

Teen accused of running over, stabbing cows
The Associated Press
August 20, 2007

PLEASANT PLAINS — A teenager has been arrested on animal cruelty charges after he reportedly stabbed a cow and tried to run over a herd of cattle, authorities said.

The youth, who was not identified because of his age, faces charges of first-degree cruelty to animals and first-degree criminal mischief, Pleasant Plains Marshal Matt Thomas said.

Thomas said he was dispatched to a farm at about 10 p.m. Friday because three boys in a pickup were reportedly running over cattle, he said.

Thomas said a youth had a knife and his arms were bloody. Jay L. Smith, owner of the cattle, told police that one of the cows had been fatally stabbed, and several cows were wounded.

“The juvenile was driving the Ford Ranger in the field. He was driving fast and cutting doughnuts,” Thomas said, adding that the teen was joined by two older friends. “According to the two, the juvenile then started purposely trying to hit the cows.”

One of the cows apparently got stuck under the pickup, and that’s when the youth stabbed it, Thomas said.

The teen was taken to the Independence County juvenile detention facility.

Last week, nine black angus cows were shot at a farm near DeQueen; five died.

No-Fun Janitor Turns On, Tunes In, Sues

Janitor: Co-workers put LSD on pizza
August 20, 2007

HACKENSACK, N.J. --A Fair Lawn school custodian is alleging in a lawsuit that his co-workers laced his pizza with the hallucinogen LSD in an attempt to poison him at an office party in 2005.

Dominick A. Rao, a janitor with the district since 2000, was served pizza out of a different box than the other custodians, his attorney, Richard Mazawey, told The Record of Bergen County for Monday editions.

"He said he felt like his body and system were melting from the inside out, like he was living in a kaleidoscope," Mazawey told the newspaper.

Soon after, Rao went to an emergency room at an area hospital where it was found that he "had a controlled dangerous substance running through his bloodstream," Mazawey said.

Rao said he has extremely poor vision due to bilateral ocular albinism, a condition that causes his eyes to lack pigment. Because of this, he said he was often bullied by his supervisor and co-workers.

When Rao returned to work after the alleged incident, a co-worker asked him, "How are you still alive," the suit says.

"Upon hearing this, he realized how extensive the plot to poison him truly was," the suit says.

Schools Superintendent Bruce Watson declined to comment on the suit, which was filed in Superior Court in Hackensack, saying he had not received a copy.

Rao filed a police report more than a year after the alleged incident but no criminal charges have been brought against anyone.

Dead Dog Treated Like Dead Dog

In death, service dog treated as roadkill
Linda Goldston, Mercury News

It was bad enough for Richard Gambord to learn that his missing service dog was killed a short time after he crashed his van and the dog ran off.

Then, he learned that the golden retriever's battered body had already been disposed of - mixed in with roadkill and grease at a San Jose rendering plant.

"It's just so sickening," Gambord said. "They took this esteemed and loved dog and hauled him away like he was roadkill. It makes me sick."

A Caltrans worker took Quinn's remains to San Jose Tallow the same night he was killed - a violation of Caltrans policy, a Caltrans spokeswoman said.

To Gambord of Los Gatos and the college student who spent more than a year training him, Quinn was treated with no more respect than motorists show squashed squirrels.

Brigetta Smith, public information officer for Caltrans confirmed that the dog was taken there even though it violated the department's procedure. Road crews are supposed to take the body of a dog or cat to an animal shelter so it can be scanned for an ID chip - and the owner can be notified, she said.

In this case, Gambord and others searched for a week for the dog that was wearing a collar and a purple cape with the logo for Assistance Dog Institute.

Based in Santa Rosa, the institute places nine to 15 assistance dogs each year and there is always a waiting list. Quinn was placed with Gambord, who has multiple sclerosis, three weeks ago, and the dog already had helped Gambord take a few steps without fear of falling.

"We certainly didn't want it to end this way," said Jorjan Powers, community and public relations director for the institute. "It's just an unhappy ending no matter how you look at it."

Smith said Caltrans is reviewing its procedures "to make sure this doesn't happen again."

A California Highway Patrol officer who removed the dog's body from the roadway told Caltrans the dog was wearing a collar and its purple uniform. The Caltrans worker who picked up Quinn, however, said he did not see the cape or the collar.

"I've asked our guys to review the agreement we have with the rendering plant to make sure they won't accept domestic animals from us," Smith said. "There should be safeguards on both ends."

Gambord and Quinn were returning home from an outing Aug. 12 when Gambord said he heard his dog choking in the back of the van. The next thing he knew he had crashed into some bushes on the Interstate 280-880 interchange in San Jose. The van's door flew open and Quinn bolted out about 1 a.m. Authorities think the dog was hit by a car about an hour later.

"He kept getting hit so the CHP ran a traffic break so Caltrans could pick him up," Smith said. "We picked him up about 2 a.m. right at northbound 280 to northbound 880."

Smith said Caltrans used to take all dead animals it removed from roadways in the South Bay to the rendering plant, but it changed its procedure two years ago to take only wild animals.

Caltrans used to have a contract with the humane society that allowed them to drop off the dead bodies of cats or dogs that had been killed on a freeway or expressway, but "Caltrans chose not to renew it," said Chris Benninger, executive director of Humane Society Silicon Valley.

Peggy Leyba of San Jose Tallow said the manager could not be reached Monday. Commonly, the dead animals taken to tallow plants are boiled down to oil that goes into a range of products, including fertilizer, soap and stock feed.

"They do accept dead dogs," Leyba said, but she had no information about the products produced.

Powers said the staff of the institute plans to hold a memorial for Quinn, and meet to discuss what happened. "We plan to meet and see if there isn't some good that can come out of this tragedy."

One-Legged Man Ambitious, Prolific

Arab father on pace for 18 wives, 100 kids
CanWest News Service

DUBAI - A one-legged Emirati father of 78 is lining up his next two wives in a bid to reach his target of 100 children by 2015, Emirates Today reported on Monday.

Daad Mohammed Murad Abdul Rahman, 60, has already had 15 brides, although he has to divorce them as he goes along to remain within the legal limit of four wives at a time.

"In 2015 I will be 68 years old and will have 100 children," Abdul Rahman told the local tabloid. "After that I will stop marrying. I have to have at least three more marriages to hit the century."

The United Arab Emirates newspaper splashed its front page with a picture of Abdul Rahman surrounded by his children, the eldest of whom is 36 years old and the youngest of whom is 20 days old. Two of his current three wives are also pregnant.

Abdul Rahman said his large family lived in 15 houses. He supports them with his military pension and the help of the government of Ajman, one of seven emirates that comprise the UAE, which includes Dubai, a hub of Gulf trade and tourism.

Islam allows men to marry up to four women at a time, though most marry only one.

Elves Advise Murderous Child

'Craziest child' on trial in Westminster slaying
Friend's father was slain at home in Westminster
By Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News
August 21, 2007

Michael Tate has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since he was 5 years old and shouldn't be convicted of murdering his friend's father because he is insane, a defense attorney told a Jefferson County jury Monday.

His psychiatrists say he is "the craziest child they have ever seen," defense attorney Margaret Baker said during opening statements at his murder trial.

Tate is accused of stabbing and bludgeoning Steven Fitzgerald, 41, to death during a burglary of the Fitzgerald family's Westminster home Nov. 8, 2004.

Tate and Fitzgerald's son, Michael, were runaways from a social services placement and had been living in vacant buildings near the Fitzgerald home. Fitzgerald was 17; Tate was 16.

Michael Fitzgerald is serving a 62-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to testify against Tate. Baker said Fitzgerald's version of events can't be trusted because he has a history of lying and manipulation.

But she conceded that her client "can't say what happened either. Michael Tate's memory is not accurate because he's literally out of his mind."

Tate has been hearing voices since age 6 and seeing things since age 8, Baker said. Six years ago, he began seeing Satan, demons and elves who commanded him to hurt himself or others, Baker said. He tried to commit suicide numerous times, including once when he was 12 in a psychiatric hospital, she added.

He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Placed with social services at age 3 because of abuse, Tate was moved 28 times in 13 years between foster homes, psychiatric hospitals and other institutions.

Although an expert for the defense contends Tate is insane, prosecutor Jacque Russell said a psychiatrist at the state mental hospital concluded Tate is sane.

While at the hospital for four months, Tate showed no symptoms of mental illness even though he was not on any medications, Russell said. The doctor concluded that Tate was an angry young man who flew into rages and couldn't control his temper, Russell said.

He was diagnosed as having a conduct disorder - a precursor for antisocial personality, meaning he disregards and violates the rights of others, she said.

"But that is not insanity," Russell said. "What he did was criminal, not insane."

Tate told Michael Fitzgerald that he wanted to kill Fitzgerald's family the day before the murder, when the two burglarized the home the first time, stealing computers and other electronic gear, Russell said.

After killing Steven Fitzgerald, Tate hid his bloody gloves in a vent and began eating a quart of cookie dough ice cream, Russell said. When he was arrested, he was wearing Steven Fitzgerald's ring and a rosary and a cross necklace belonging to the family.

Youth Thought It Was Safe To Text

Train strikes man who was texting
August 21, 2007

ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio --A train struck and injured a pedestrian who was sending a text message on his cell phone while crossing railroad tracks, a collision that hurled him about 50 feet, authorities and witnesses said Monday.

Zachariah Smith, 18, waited for a southbound train to pass Monday morning. He then walked around a gate and onto the tracks, apparently unaware that another train was coming from the other direction, said witness Mike Billups.

"The horn was blowing like mad and the kid was text messaging," said Mayor Richard Ellison, who went to the scene and talked to several witnesses after hearing of the accident. "The kid apparently was just daydreaming."

Smith was knocked out by the collision, Billups said.

After regaining consciousness, Smith was taken by paramedics to nearby University Hospital in Cincinnati with undisclosed injuries. He was listed in serious condition Monday night.

It was not clear how fast the train was moving.

Gates and lights at the crossing were in working order, said Elmwood Place police Col. William Peskin.