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Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 12:01 am

Slightest provocation

Curses, foiled again
A man walked into a bank in Antioch, Calif., and handed the teller a note. She couldn’t make it out because of the bad handwriting and showed it to the manager to help her decipher the message. By the time they figured out it was a hold-up note, the man had left through a back door. Police arrested suspect Jamal Garrett, 29, after they found him across the street from the bank and witnesses at the bank identified him. (San Jose Mercury News)

A man entered the garage at a home in northwest Chicago and demanded that the resident hand over the keys to her 2012 Honda MDX. She complied, but then fled the garage and closed the door behind her, trapping the man inside. She called the police, who arrived to find Andre Bacon, 21, sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with the keys in the ignition. (Chicago Tribune)

Slightest provocation
Authorities charged Ahmed Nur Adan, 27, with felony assault at a Cass County, N.D., jail after he punched fellow inmate Timothy Lowseth, 26. Adan explained that for the past three days, Lowseth had been coming into Adan’s cell, farting and then leaving. Lowseth admitted farting but denied doing so in Adan’s cell. (Forum News Service)

Ashley Marie Prenovost, 24, went on a naked rampage after she and her live-in boyfriend returned to their home in Glendale, Ariz., and he refused to have sex with her. Police said Prenovost punched two holes in a bedroom wall and “punched a picture hanging on the wall in the hallway, causing glass to break and causing injuries to both of suspect’s hands.” Holding their 4-month-old daughter, she then ran around inside the home and “bled all over the floor in the master bedroom, hallway, and common area by the front door and kitchen.” (The Smoking Gun)

Retired police officer Curtis Reeves, 71, asked Chad Oulson, 43, to stop texting during the previews at a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Fla. When Oulson objected, an argument ensued, and at some point Reeves said Oulson threw popcorn at him. Claiming self-defense, Reeves fatally shot him. (Associated Press)

Always read the fine print
When Christopher Poole, 26, learned that Nando’s fried chicken chain was offering a card guaranteeing chicken for life to anyone who ate at all its worldwide outlets, he embarked on an attempt to visit all 1,031 of them. “I love chicken and eat there a couple of nights a week anyway, so I decided to embrace the challenge,” Poole said. After spending $1,670 and gaining 14 pounds from visiting just the 85 outlets in the United Kingdom, Poole discovered that the competition ended two years ago. “There are now so many Nando’s worldwide that we don’t run the challenge anymore,” a Nando’s official said. He added that if Poole completes his attempt, “we will happily honor our original promise and give him free Nando’s for life.” Poole promptly announced he was heading for Australia, where Nando’s has nearly 300 outlets. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Sour note
When Canadian flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui arrived in Boston via New York, he found that U.S. Customs officials at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport had searched his luggage, mistaken his 13 instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. “They told me they were agricultural products,” said Razgui, who made them all by hand from hard-to-find reeds. “And now they’re gone.” (The Boston Globe)

Handicapable
Police reported that Shamal Battice showed up at a car dealership in Ocala, Fla., wanting to buy a car. Salesman Anselmo “Chico” Barreto helped Battice, a paraplegic in a wheelchair, get into a 2009 Pontiac G6, whereupon Battice locked the door and started the engine. He then used a folding cane to press down the gas pedal and drive off the lot. Barreto notified the authorities, and Bradford County sheriff’s deputies arrested Battice at a gas station trying to refuel the car. (Ocala Star-Banner)

Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi, whose deafness won him fame as a modern-day Beethoven, acknowledged that he paid a ghostwriter to compose some of his internationally acclaimed symphonies. The ghostwriter, Takashi Niigaki, revealed at a news conference not only that he had written more than 20 pieces for Samuragochi, but also that his employer only pretends to be deaf. “Samuragochi is deeply sorry as he has betrayed fans and disappointed others,” Kazushi Orimoto, Samuragochi’s lawyer, said while stating that his client wasn’t available to meet the press. Asked if Samuragochi had listened to Niigaki’s news conference, Orimoto insisted, “There’s no way. He can’t hear.” (The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal)

Too big to care
HSBC bank has imposed restrictions on large cash withdrawals by some of its British customers who cannot prove why they want their money. Customer Stephen Cotton said that when he tried to withdraw £7,000 pounds ($11,695) from his local HSBC branch, the bank declined his request without “a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for” and refused to tell him how much he could have. “So I wrote out a few slips,” he explained. “I said, ‘Can I have £5,000?’ They said no. I said, ‘Can I have £4,000?’ They said no. And then I wrote out one for £3,000, and they said, ‘OK, we’ll give you that.’” When he complained, the bank said the new policy took effect in November but declared it “had no need to pre-notify customers of the change.” (BBC News)

Secret identities
After the New York Times published a story about rising demand for pigs raised in open pastures, the newspaper’s international edition reprinted the story. The Malaysian version included two pictures of the pigs but blacked out their faces. “This is a Muslim country,” a representative from the printing company based in Shah Alam said, explaining that pictures of pigs are not allowed. He acknowledged that the authorities had not ordered the cover-up. “What they have done is self-censorship,” Hashimah Nik Jaafar, secretary of the Home Ministry’s Publication and Quranic Texts Control Division, said, noting that Malaysia has no law prohibiting publication of pictures of pigs. (The Malay Mail)

Passion fruit
Police investigating a break-in at a gas station in Newington, Conn., said surveillance video showed a station wagon repeatedly backing into the store and breaking the glass doors. The driver jumped out of the vehicle, grabbed a banana from a shelf, ate it and then drove off. Nothing else was taken. (Associated Press)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

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