Hard to believe the kneeling for the anthem issue has come to this. A veteran Baltimore City SWAT officer may have put his career and life in jeopardy because of a kneeling-for-the-national-anthem argument. Police are investigating Bryant Russell after they were called to a Denny's restaurant for disorderly customers reported to be arguing over NFL players protests. Police encountered Russell in the parking lot and smelled alcohol on his breath. His eyes were also described as bloodshot and glassy, and his speech was slurred. Russell told the officers he was a Baltimore City police officer and would not be intimidated. Concerned Russell was about to drive, officers told him if he did, he would be arrested. Russell allegedly told the officers, "Don't threaten me," and then proceeded to get behind the wheel of a black SWAT Team SUV owned by the Police Department. In their report, police said, "Russell advised there are 'guns in the vehicle,' and that he was on call, and could drive the vehicle anywhere in the state." Baltimore Police Department policy says so-called take home vehicles are to be used only for official duties and responsibilities, and officers who have them can't exhibit conduct that discredits BPD. Perhaps lucky for Russell, the officers were suddenly called away to a more important issue. While the officers did not arrest Russell or see him drive, when they returned to Denny's, Russell and the SUV were gone. A spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department said the incident is under investigation by Internal Affairs. (WBAL News)
Ken Ham's Halloween
You may have heard of creationist Ken Ham - the man who runs the Noah's Ark attraction in Kentucky - the one that purports dinosaurs were on the ark. Well he's calling on his followers to put Jesus back into Halloween. In a new blog post, Ham said all of those trick-or-treaters coming to the door on Oct. 31 provided "a fantastic opportunity to share the saving gospel with your friends and neighbors." But Ham's convictions turned out to really be little more than a sales pitch for the "Halloween Learn & Share Kits" he's selling which include religious pamphlets as well as fake money with stern warnings that are intended to be given out on Halloween. The fake million-dollar bills come with either a picture of a dinosaur or Noah's Ark on the front, with ominous warnings of damnation on the reverse side. The message reads: "Have you ever lied, stolen or used God's name in vain? If so, you've broken God's law. The penalty for your crimes against God is death and eternal hell." Kids should love that! Parents too! (Huffington Post)
1000 Likes and I'll Turn Myself Into Police!
A wanted Detroit-area criminal known as "Champagne Torino" made an interesting post on the Redford Township Police Department Facebook page - one promising to turn himself in for 1,000 Facebook shares. The person manning the department's Facebook page had threatened to ban Torino from the page. As Torino already has several arrest warrants against him, it's a wonder he was on the page at all. Still, the threat of a ban sparked his competitive nature so he promised to turn himself in if the department's next post got 1,000 shares. He also sweetened the deal by promising to come with a dozen doughnuts and to pick up every piece of litter around local schools. The department happily accepted the challenge, joking that the doughnuts were the key element: Within an hour the post had more than the 1,000 shares and last check had over 4,200. But Torino had yet to show with or without donuts as of Tuesday night. Officers tried to be philosophical about it on a post, explaining that "everyone gets caught at some point." (Huffington Post)
Jailed Mom Shocked Her Boy Was Vaccinated!
In Michigan, Rebecca Bredow chose to go to jail rather than vaccinate her 9-year-old son. She was sentenced to seven days in prison last week for ignoring a court order to have the boy immunized. Bredow was her son's primary caregiver, but then Oakland County Circuit Judge Karen McDonald ruled that she has to split custody 50/50 with her ex-husband. While she was in prison, the boy was immunized and Bredow said she was "devastated" to learn that the boy had his shots while she was behind bars and he was in the custody of her ex-husband. Ms. Bredow, says vaccination goes against her "personal beliefs" and "religious convictions." Michigan is among the 10 states with the lowest vaccination rates. Not surprisingly, they also have dramatically increased cases of whooping cough and measles in kindergarteners. (WDIV)
When Will the Frat Boy Madness Stop?
Ten people have been arrested on hazing charges in the death of a Louisiana State University fraternity pledge after a night of drinking. One of the 10 suspects - 19-year-old Matthew Naquin - also faces a negligent homicide charge in the death last month of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver. An autopsy showed Gruver's blood-alcohol level at the time of his death was 0.495 - six times the legal limit. Eight of the suspects are LSU students and were active members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The hazing charges against all 10 suspects, whose ages range from 18 to 21, are misdemeanors. The autopsy found Gruver inhaled vomit and other fluid into his lungs. Witnesses told police that the fraternity's pledges were forced to drink to excess on the night before Gruver's death, during a game or initiation ritual called "Bible Study" that required pledges to drink if they incorrectly answered questions about the fraternity. (Newser)
There's An Asteroid Coming!
Don't look know but the Earth will be having a close call - astronomically speaking - when a 65-foot-wide asteroid buzzes past today! Asteroid 2012 TC4 is expected to come within 27,000 miles of Earth - about one-eighth the distance between the Earth and moon and only about 5,000 miles above most of the satellites orbiting Earth. Don't worry - there's no chance the asteroid will hit the Earth, but its proximity will be used to test an asteroid warning system. 2012 TC4 will make further passes by Earth in 2050 and 2079, and there is an outside chance it could make impact on the latter fly-by. But there are a dozen far more pressing things to worry about. The asteroid is at No. 13 on the "risk list" of objects that could impact Earth. (Christian Science Monitor)
There's Gold in Them There Sewers!
There's a new report that says about 6,600 pounds of silver and 95 pounds of gold ends up down the drain and in Switzerland's sewers each year. That's about $1.8 million worth and as strange as it sounds, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology say it comes from Switzerland's gold refineries and watchmaking industry. But just in case you're considering donning a hazmat suit for a smelly treasure hunt, you may want to reconsider. The researchers determined that not only do the trace amounts of precious metals pose no real danger to the environment, it would also not be worth the cost of collecting them. Good to know! (CNN Money)
What the WHAT?
In Chandler, Arizona, 21-year-old Janae Peterson was arrested after video surfaced of daycare workers playing with a sex toy and even letting the children under their care touch the object as well. Detectives are asking for 25-year-old Gabriella Del Carmen Garcia, who was seen in the video "committing the acts with the sex toy" and 24-year-old Fatina Saywer, the person who shot the video, to turn themselves in. They both disappeared after the video went viral. Although Peterson didn't participate in the act, she was arrested for failing to report the felony. Police didn't hear about it until a third party who saw the video called them. In the video, multiple staff members could be seen handling the plastic phallic sex toy, and even allowing a young boy to play with the item as well. Parents said they were livid by what happened. Detective Seth Taylor said the charges pending for Garcia are four counts of "furnishing harmful items to minors," while the charges pending for Saywer are: one count furnishing harmful items to minors, one count luring a minor for sexual exploitation and one count sexual exploitation of a minor. (Global News)