The Odd Side – September 30, 2014

Oregon Cops: Suspect Drove Fast, Had Strong Smell

LEBANON, Ore. (AP) — Officers in central Oregon say a suspect they tried to collar at a traffic stop drove too fast for pursuing officers, but eventually he was just too fragrant.

The Albany Democrat-Herald reports that the driver gave officers in Linn County the slip in a high-speed chase before dawn Sunday, doing better than 100 mph in a red Honda Prelude whose hood flew off.

But Lebanon police later saw the car parked and launched a search by foot.

That’s when officers caught a “strong scent of cologne” in the darkness and soon found their suspect hiding in shrubbery.

Thirty-five-year-old Charles V. Agosto was jailed on charges including probation violation and trying to elude officers. Officers said he told them he regretted using the cologne.

There was no immediate indication he had a lawyer.

EU Flag Stirs Confused Terrorist Alert in Belfast

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — It’s often said the European Union has an image problem. In Belfast, it seems, the EU flag can be mistaken for an emblem of terror.

Northern Ireland police say they were called Sunday to a town near Belfast after locals reported seeing a house flying the flag of an Islamic terrorist group.

The homeowner explained it was actually the emblem of the 28-nation EU. The man declined to be identified because of fears that Belfast’s home-grown extremists might attack his house.

“You couldn’t make it up,” said Belfast councilman Andrew Muir.

The flying of rival Irish, British and paramilitary flags frequently raises tensions in Belfast.

Denver Bank Robbery Suspect Hams It Up in Mug Shot

DENVER (AP) — A man captured after authorities say he tried to flee a bank robbery in Denver doesn’t seem too upset about his arrest.

The mug shot taken after 45-year-old Michael Whitington’s Sept. 23 arrest shows him with a broad, toothy smile and his eyes open wide.

Police say he robbed a bank on Denver’s 16th Street pedestrian mall and then tried to get away on a light-rail train. Officers stopped the train a few blocks away and arrested him.

He has been charged with one count of robbery and is due to appear in court on Tuesday to be advised of the charge.

He’s being held in jail, and it’s not clear whether he has a lawyer yet.

Cops: Man Fired Into Neighbor’s Home to Unload Gun

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (AP) — Police in Pennsylvania say a man accused of shooting a bullet through a neighbor’s window told a judge he fired the gun because it was the only way he knew how to unload it.

Middletown Detective Patrick Nicastro tells the Bucks County Courier Times that 31-year-old George Byrd IV of Penndel at first denied being behind the shooting, but then acknowledged during his arraignment that he fired the weapon to clear the chamber because he was unfamiliar with guns.

Authorities say Byrd fired the gun early Friday afternoon in the suburban Philadelphia community. No one was injured.

Byrd is being held in the Bucks County jail on $20,000 bond. No attorney is listed on court papers.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8.

Police: Man Refused to Move for Helicopter Landing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was arrested after deputies say he refused to move his car so a helicopter could land and transport a victim to the hospital after a serious car accident.

Authorities in central Florida’s Volusia County say 26-year-old Tessa George lost control over her vehicle Thursday and struck a tree. Deputies called for a helicopter to airlift George to a hospital and blocked off traffic for the landing. But deputies say James Allen, a 52-year-old physician’s assistant, refused to move his car.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports Allen was charged with failure to obey police-fire department orders and resisting an officer without violence. He was released on his own recognizance Friday from a county jail.

Allen could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

Texas Firefighters Rescue Pet Frog From Blaze

WESTWORTH VILLAGE, Texas (AP) — Firefighters who doused the flames at a North Texas house have also made sure the lone resident didn’t croak.

Fort Worth firefighters rescued a pet frog and returned the amphibian to the daughter of the homeowners who were out of town.

Battalion Chief Richard Harrison said Wednesday that firefighters have saved dogs and cats, but it’s the first time he recalls a frog rescue.

Firefighters on Tuesday night were dispatched to a blaze in Westworth Village. Crews searched the house and found no humans while bringing the blaze under control.

Then Jamie Wilson arrived and asked fire crews to look for her family’s frog.

A firefighter located the unscathed frog in its glass container.

Authorities are trying to determine what sparked the fire that caused about $60,000 in damage.

Cannon Backfires at Fort McHenry in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) — In late-breaking news from the 19th century, there’s been a cannon recall.

The National Park Service says an iron reproduction historic cannon exploded during a celebratory firing Sept. 16 at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, launching a 100-pound mound of metal on the cannon’s rear more than 300 feet afield. The cannon was filled with powder and fired as part of the weeklong bicentennial celebration of the Star-Spangled Banner. One crew member sustained minor burns, but no visitors were injured.

The park service issued an internal memo announcing that cannons from manufacturer Cannons Online will be taken out of service until further notice.

The park service says it has suspended the historic weapons firing program at Fort McHenry, and opened an investigation into the incident.