Maui Time

NOTW: A criminal gets trapped in an escape room, goths feel taxes, and proof that sprinkling cocaine is never the solution

VIRAL LEMON

San Diego photographer Mike Sakasegawa prides himself on seeing the beauty in mundane objects, The Washington Post reports. But something about his latest subject took social media by storm. On Jul. 11, as Sakasegawa returned home from his morning run, he noticed a round, yellow object rolling down the street. “I thought it was a tennis ball or something,” he said, but in fact it was a lemon. So he did what any self-respecting photographer would do: He captured video of the fruit as it continued its journey to the bottom of the hill, then posted his 1.5-minute documentary to Twitter. Within 24 hours the video racked up more than 2.5 million views. “I post stuff that’s similar to this all the time,” Sakasegawa said. “Most of the time, it floats on by.” By the next day, the lemon video had gained more than 100,000 likes, was retweeted tens of thousands of times, and a literary agent had contacted Sakasegawa, wondering if he’d like to make the lemon into a children’s book.

LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS

Rye Wardlaw, 40, chalked up a big FAIL on Jul. 8 at NW Escape Experience in Vancouver, Washington, when he broke into the business in the pre-dawn hours. According to The Washington Post, Wardlaw tried and failed to enter through a back door using a metal pipe, then knocked a hole through the wall. After climbing through, he knocked over a set of lockers. Then, carrying a burrito and a beer he nicked from the company’s refrigerator, he wandered into the “Kill Room,” an escape room dressed to look like a serial murderer’s hideout. Among the blood-spattered walls and fake cadavers, Wardlaw got scared, but he couldn’t… escape. So he called 911 (four times) and pleaded for help. Clark County Sheriff’s officers accepted his confession and charged him with second-degree burglary.

TAX LAW HITS GOTHS

Organizers of Bats Day, a special celebration at Disneyland for the goth community, have called it quits, citing the loss of available tax deductions under President Trump’s new tax law. The annual event began 20 years ago and grew to attract more than 8,000 goths each year, with Disneyland offering discounted tickets and hotel rooms for participants. “We did a lot of research,” Bats Day founder Noah Korda told Vice, “and, unfortunately, it just wasn’t feasible to actually continue… with the way that we run the event.” On May 6, about 800 goths showed up for a final group photo in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

BEACH OFFICE HOURS

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo isn’t going to spend her summer sitting in a stuffy office. Instead, she announced on Jul. 14 that she is holding summer office hours at state beaches, beginning with Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett. She and members of the Office of Constituent Services, who will help connect residents with state services, started their new schedule on Jul. 16. The governor told the Associated Press she looks forward to hearing directly from residents while visiting some of the state’s most popular destinations.

HEY, IT’S FLORIDA

Indian River County (Florida) sheriff’s officers stopped Earle Stevens Jr., 69, on Jun. 27 after another driver called 911, complaining that Stevens’ Mercury Grand Marquis kept tapping her bumper in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane. The officers noted “a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath… His speech was slurred and his eyes were red and glossy.” He also had an open bottle of Jim Beam bourbon in a brown paper bag on the passenger seat. Stevens, of Vero Beach, struggled to produce his ID and said he’s never had a valid Florida driver’s license, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers. He also explained he was not drinking while driving, only when he stopped for stop signs and traffic signals. After failing several field sobriety tests and a breath test, Stevens was charged with driving under the influence and driving without a license.

BLAME THE DOG

Florida Highway Patrol officers pulled over a Nissan sedan on May 16 on I-95 after observing erratic driving, reported the Miami Herald. Indeed, Port St. Lucie, Florida, resident Scott Allen Garrett, 56, smelled of alcohol, had an open bottle of 92-proof Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum on the passenger seat, was slurring his words and had “red, very glassy and bloodshot eyes,” according to the police report. Garrett then told officers his dog had been driving – which would have been notable on its own, but was particularly interesting considering there was no dog in the car with him. Garrett was charged with DUI.

BRIGHT IDEA

In Nashville, 20-year-old Antonio Freeman knew he had a problem on Jun. 25 when three police officers approached him as he rolled a marijuana cigarette. He also knew there was a bigger problem in his pocket: a plastic bag full of cocaine. In a bold move, according to the Tennessean, Freeman pulled the bag out of his chest pocket, crushed it in his hand and sprinkled cocaine over Officer Ryan Caulfield’s head and into the air in an attempt to destroy evidence. The officers were able to salvage about 2.5 grams of cocaine and charge Freeman with tampering with evidence along with possession of a schedule IV drug and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. n