The Odd Side – April 25, 2017

Family of Dead Boy Find Man Posing as Him

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A Pennsylvania man who assumed the identity of a baby who died in Texas in 1972 has been arrested on charges of Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft after the baby’s aunt discovered the ruse on Ancestry.com.

Jon Vincent, 44, was arrested in Lansdale, near Philadelphia, on Monday, but had also lived near Pittsburgh and York, Pennsylvania, since 2003 — after first obtaining a Social Security card in the name Nathan Laskoski in 1996, federal prosecutors said. Vincent remained jailed Wednesday, when a federal magistrate ordered him to appear for arraignment May 2.

The real Nathan Laskoski died in December 1972, two months after he was born near Dallas. Vincent stole the dead child’s identity after escaping from a Texas halfway house in March 1996, and used the dead baby’s identity to start another life, prosecutors said.

Laskoski’s mother told the investigator she remembers a strange telephone call sometime in 1996, from someone asking questions about Nathan, including his Social Security number. Social Security records show Vincent has been employed, as Laskoski, and earned income every year since 1996.

Vincent’s public defender, Felicia Sarner, said he was “a very young man when this matter first arose, and he deeply regrets the poor judgment he exercised back then.”“

Testing Begins After Brown Spots Appear in Two Florida Cities

SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is looking into complaints about brown spots that are appearing on cars, boats, air conditioning units and other objects in a couple of cities.

Dozens of people complained to Springfield city officials in the last week or so, prompting them to ask the environmental agency to investigate.

Agency spokeswoman Brandy Smith says investigators have visited some of the larger nearby industrial facilities, but didn’t find a potential source for the spots.

Charles Lewis tells The News Herald that the spots went through the clear top coat on the hood of his new silver SUV and won’t come off.

Springfield Mayor Ralph Hammond says so far no one has reported health issues.

Police Detonate 19th-Century Cannonball Found Among Antiques

HULL, Mass. (AP) – An antiques collector in Massachusetts says he didn’t realize he had an explosive 19th-century cannonball sitting in his home until a bomb squad detonated the device.

WFXT reports that Bruce Wescott, of Hull, took the cannonball to a gun store trying to sell it. He found the explosive, which he believed to be from the Civil War, in a box of antiques he bought a year earlier but never looked through. He said the owner of the gun store told him the cannonball was potentially dangerous and asked him to leave.

Wescott took the cannonball home and called police, who told him not to touch it.

Neighbors were evacuated as a state police bomb squad removed the device, took it to a landfill and blew it up.

Man Gets Two-Cent Check From Gov’t and Doesn’t Know Why

LYNN, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts man has a ready answer when asked for his two cents’ worth: He presents a check he got from the government.

Bruce Rideout, of Lynn, tells The Daily Item that he got the two-cent check from the U.S. Treasury Department a couple of days ago and has been carrying it around and showing his friends ever since.

He’s not sure why he got the check and doesn’t plan on asking.

The 79-year-old Air Force veteran and Lynn Water and Sewer Commission retiree had already received his income tax refund and his monthly pension.

He’s not going to cash the check. He has already visited a store to have a custom frame made. The cost? More than $82.