Odd Side – November 27, 2018

Police: Mom Drove With Son on Car Hood Over Dentist Dispute

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania mom faces criminal charges for allegedly driving with her son on the hood of her car after the boy refused to go to the dentist.

Police in Bethlehem Township say the incident began when the 12-year-old boy told 36-year-old Shaurice Jones he wasn’t going to the dentist, and climbed on the hood of the car.

Jones then allegedly drove two miles to a regional police office. Police say the speed limit on the road is 40 mph.

LehighValleyLive.com reports Jones, of Bath, was arrested Monday. She is charged with child endangerment and reckless endangerment and has been freed on $1,000 bail.

It wasn’t known Monday night if Jones had retained an attorney. A phone number listed for her address was not working.

Stranded Camel Entertains Motorists Along Snowy Roadway

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The surprisingly powerful winter storm that swept across Pennsylvania brought some surprising sights with it, including a camel stranded along a snowy roadway.

Motorists traveling about 40 miles north of Philadelphia started tweeting about the camel and posted video on social media.

An organization claimed the camel, which lives at the Peaceable Kingdom Petting Zoo, was on his way to an event at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center when the vehicle he was traveling in got stuck.

The organization contacted the camel’s handler, who decided it was best for the camel to head home after his snow adventures, so he returned to the petting zoo.

Missing Meerkat Case Solved With 3 Charged in Australia

SYDNEY (AP) — It wasn’t grand theft. It was tiny.

But the snatching of a baby meerkat from a zoo has not only become a major story in the Australian city of Perth, it has led to the arrest of three people.

In September, Perth Zoo was ready to publicly show off its new month-old meerkitten to the public and media, but a day before its planned debut, it was gone.

Worried zoo staff said the male baby, who hadn’t yet been named, had apparently gotten out of its nest box, and feared it may have been snatched by a bird of prey.

But the other possible reason for its disappearance — theft — was also explored.

Police were called to investigate, and two days later they found the missing meerkat — at a house 80 miles away, in the town of Beverley.

Police charged two people who had visited the zoo over the furry heist. Jesse Ray Hooker, 23, was charged with stealing, while his friend Aimee Cummins, also 23, with receiving stolen goods.

On Wednesday, police charged a third person, a 31-year-old woman, also from Beverley, with possessing stolen property.

Hooker appeared in Perth Magistrates Court, also on Wednesday, where defense lawyer Chad Silver said that Hooker felt such fondness for the newborn meerkat as it ran toward him in its enclosure and had scooped it up and put it in his cooler bag.

He had then played loud music on the drive home to Beverley so that Cummins, unaware of the heist at the time, couldn’t hear the animal’s distressed cries. The pair took the meerkitten home, adding it to a menagerie of four dogs and a cat.

Silver told the court Hooker was in the process of returning the meerkat when the police called. In the tiny town of Beverley, population 1,700, even a secret that small was apparently too hard to keep.

“The simplicity of the offense meant the police were able to capture and follow up the meerkat very quickly,” Silver told the court.

In front of a large media contingent, Hooker pleaded guilty and was fined $2,800. Cummins would have faced her verdict, but Silver said she could not attend the hearing, citing medical reasons and intense media pressure.

She’ll appear in person in January. The 31-year-old woman will face court next month.

As for the meerkitten, despite fears from zoo staff his mom would reject him, he’s been welcomed back into the fold and given a name from the East African language of Kiswahili: Salama, which means “safe.”