Sudan Provost, 40, walked into the River City Bank in Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 29 and, reported the Sacramento Bee, quietly announced to employees that he had come to “rob” it, but then handed a teller his driver’s license and a money order to be cashed. The teller asked if he had an account, and Provost replied, “This is not a joke. I have a gun. I do this for a living.” However, he opened his bag to reveal that he had no gun and then asked for a tissue for his runny nose. The teller said she didn’t have one. Provost said he’d be right back and walked across the street to a drugstore, and by the time he had returned, police were on the scene and arrested him on suspicion of attempted robbery.
New York state food inspectors are having trouble keeping up with the illegal importation and sale of uninspected exotic meat, for the city’s immigrant population, including bush meat and meat from endangered species, according to a December Associated Press report. Inspectors found, among other items openly displayed in New York City storefronts, armadillo and iguana meat, cow lungs, smoked rodent and an unidentified fish paste, along with crates of turtles and a tub of bullfrogs, and occasionally endangered gorilla and chimpanzee meat.
LATEST RELIGIOUS MESSAGES
A 2006 Church of England report warned that disagreeable congregants, together with the pressures of the church’s “feudal system” bureaucracy, were turning priests harshly negative and creating an “irritable clergy syndrome.” One of the report’s authors told The Times of London in December that priests are bothered by “having to be nice all the time to everyone, even when confronted with extremes of nastiness,” such as aggressive and neurotic parishioners.
FINE POINTS OF THE LAW
Elementary schoolteacher’s aide Kumi Houston of Williamson County, Texas, was fired in November after she allegedly admitted to a sheriff’s detective that she allowed an 11-year-old boy to reach under her bra and fondle her (which would clearly be illegal). However, as Houston’s attorney later explained, her statement (which Houston did not deny making) was not necessarily a confession. What happened, said attorney Robert Phillips, is that his client “made a statement. It may be an admission, or it may be just [her] version of what happened. That’s not a confession.”
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
James Lane III, 27, was arrested in Carrboro, N.C., in January after police chased him, in his car and later on foot. Officers tackled Lane about 20 feet into a wooded area and recovered a white plastic bag containing a pound of marijuana. When police pulled Lane to his feet, he said that someone must have left the bag on the ground at precisely the spot in the woods where Lane fell, because he had never seen it before.
CELEBRATE THE VEGETABLES
The Bosnian town of Bijeljina proposed in November to build a giant cabbage monument to honor its most important crop. “We very much appreciate this vegetable,” said the director of the town’s tourism office. And Briton Richard Townsend, 24, on a personal mission in December, ate 36 Brussels sprouts in one minute, seeking the world record, but fell seven short. He said he had trained by eating a plate of brussels sprouts every day for six weeks. MTW