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News of the Weird
 

News of the weird


Chuck Shepherd September 4th, 2013

this year acknowledged that, still, about 70 percent of claims (covering 600,000 veterans) have been waiting longer than 125 days for yes-or-no decisions..

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Police report
—Notwithstanding the city of Detroit’s various problems, residents still expect its police force to behave sensibly, but in July, a police commander’s office blundered, releasing to all officers a document concerning an order of form-fitting bulletproof vests. Each individual officer’s height and weight were on the email, but so were female officers’ bra cup sizes (which were initially necessary to assure body-armor fit so as not to restrict mobility — but obviously were no one else’s business).

—In August, prosecutors in Broward County, Fla., accused two Lauderhill police officers of an improper 2012 traffic stop, charging both patrolmen in the squad car with demanding favors from two female motorists. Officer Franklin Hartley allegedly demanded oral sex from the passenger, and his partner, Thomas Merenda, according to the charge, “asked the victim to punch him in the ‘nuts,’ meaning genital area.” Said Merenda’s lawyer, of the charge: “outrageous, outlandish and absurd.”

Perspective
America’s military veterans, whom the country supposedly champions wholeheartedly and insists should be properly compensated for their service and the disruption to their lives, must navigate as many as 613 government forms from 18 different agencies to receive what they are due by law, according to a July study released by the American Action Forum. The principal agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, purports to have been making great progress over the last few years, but earlier this year acknowledged that, still, about 70 percent of claims (covering 600,000 veterans) have been waiting longer than 125 days for yes-or-no decisions.

Fetishes on parade
Finding an aberrant sexual behavior not previously mentioned in News of the Weird is an exhausting task, but British psychologist Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University, has succeeded: the eproctophile (a person sexually aroused by the passing of gas). Griffiths told LiveScience.com in July that he plans to study other rare “paraphilic disorders,” including “fire fetish, a blindness fetish and dacryphilia, or arousal by tears, weeping or sobbing.”

Least competent criminals
A computer virus called “Ransomware” has been freezing computers since 2012, the FBI acknowledged, making much work for tech support, but likely never causing the victim to be arrested until Jay Matthew Riley, 21, of Woodbridge, Va., came along. The virus tricks people into thinking the FBI has discovered that they had inadvertently viewed child pornography and locks their computer, but since the viewing was probably accidental, “allows” them to avoid arrest by paying a $300 fine to unfreeze the computer. Riley apparently did have child porn (inadvertently gathered or not) on his computer and, frightened by the virus, gratuitously inquired at a local police station whether there were warrants for his arrest. No, they said, but in the course of conversation, he consented to a search and was arrested.
—Chuck Shepherd

 
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