Wednesday's American Oddities

Associated Press

Gurney holding dead person falls from van into traffic
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Police say a gurney holding a dead body fell from the back of a coroner’s van into Olympia traffic
The Olympian reports the van was heading back to the county coroner’s office Monday after responding to a home death.
Olympia Police Department Lt. Paul Lower says two gurneys fell out of the van at the intersection of Martin Way East and Phoenix Street Southeast.
The gurney holding the deceased person was found in the intersection, while the second gurney rolled down the street and was found in a parking lot.
Lower says officers rerouted traffic while the coroner’s office was notified and returned to load the gurneys back into the van.
Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock says an investigation has started to determine the cause of the incident.
He says there was no trauma to the body and the family was notified.

Accused burglar doesn’t flush toilet, leaves DNA for police
VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A man accused of burglarizing a Southern California home took a bathroom break and left DNA evidence in the toilet that led to his arrest, an investigator said Tuesday.
The suspect “did his business and didn’t flush it” during the October break-in in the city of Thousand Oaks, said Detective Tim Lohman of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
That allowed investigators to collect evidence to conduct a DNA profile. It matched another profile in a national database and detectives tracked down the suspect at his home in the nearby city of Ventura.
Andrew David Jensen was arrested July 28 on suspicion of first-degree residential burglary, a felony. His bail was set at $180,000. Lohman did not know if Jensen, 42, has an attorney.
Efforts to reach Jensen for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Lohman said it’s the first DNA burglary match case he knows of with fecal evidence collected from a toilet.
“When people think of DNA evidence, they usually think of hair samples or saliva,” Lohman said.
Jensen was scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

$1M bill deposit attempt leads to Iowa man’s drug arrest
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man who tried to deposit what he presented as a $1 million bill has been charged with drug possession in Iowa.
A criminal complaint says Sioux City police officers were called to a Northwest Bank branch Thursday to talk to a man who tried to deposit the bill into his account. The officers asked 33-year-old Dennis Strickland whether he had any more of the bills and that a baggie fell out when he emptied a pocket. The complaint says the baggie contained methamphetamine.
The U.S. Treasury Department says it has never produced a $1 million bill.
Iowa court records say Strickland is scheduled to be back in court Monday. His attorney hasn’t returned a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.

3-day-old deer pulled from wild to spend life in captivity
PHOENIX (AP) — A 3-day-old baby deer is being sent to a wildlife reserve after somebody thought they were helping the fawn by removing it from a desert area in Arizona.
Mike Demlong, Wildlife Education Program Manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, says a man found the fawn , thought it was abandoned and took it into a bar to see if anybody else wanted to take it home.
The fawn ended up in the hands of Arizona officials, though. And now, because it was ripped from its mother and depends on humans for survival, it will never be able to go back into the wild. Demlong said nobody knew the man who took the baby deer, so they won’t be investigating.

Ex-mayor charged with trying to lure teens into car for sex
NANTICOKE, Pa. (AP) — Police say the former mayor of a northeastern Pennsylvania city has been jailed on charges he tried to lure teenage boys into his car.
Seventy-six-year-old Edward Butkiewicz remained in the Luzerne County jail without an attorney listed in court records last week.
Newport Township police arrested him after at least two boys reported five instances of luring since Sunday. The suspect was mayor of Nanticoke, a neighboring city, in the 1980s and spent about 30 years as a public school teacher.
One boy tells police Butkiewicz offered him $3 to take a ride. Another boy told police Butkiewicz asked to see his “private area” and wanted to do things to the boy which the boy called “weird.”

2 Martin Shkrelis turn up in same courtroom, with same judge
NEW YORK (AP) — A defendant in a money laundering case has at least two things in common with “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli — the same name and the same judge.
The other Martin Shkreli pleaded not guilty Friday in the same New York courtroom where the former pharmaceutical CEO was waiting for a verdict in his securities fraud trial. His doppelganger wasn’t there at the time.
The odd coincidence wasn’t lost on the 59-year-old Shkreli No. 2, who smiled and shook his head when asked about his counterpart. He said he had no interest in being that “famous.”
Prosecutors have accused the more notorious of the two Shkrelis of deceiving investors in two failed hedge funds. The 34-year-old “Pharma Bro” is best known for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent.