Here's one way to stay out of jail. Just eat way too much. In Florida, 38-year-old George Jolicoeur was arrested for scamming restaurants but was offered a plea deal when prosecutors discovered it was too expensive to incarcerate him - because he weighs 600 pounds! Jolicoeur became infamous for ordering food and then complaining about the quality and refusing to pay after he eats it. The obese thief once devoured five milk shakes before finding a hair in the shake and refusing to pay. After Jolicoeur was charged with five counts of felony petty theft, he became ill and bedridden. He now resides in a nursing facility and relies on a respirator to breathe. After prosecutors discovered that the state would have to foot the bill for his medical care they offered a plea deal. Assistant State Attorney Kyan Ware justified the decision saying, "He's in his prison cell. He's not getting out of that bed." (New York Daily News)
This Year's Salvation Army Feel Good Story
They stand outside every December ringing bells and raising money for those in need. But one donation in Orlando this week really has the Salvation Army's bells ringing. Someone dropped a 1904 $20 coin made from one ounce of pure gold in one of the little red kettles. As you might have guessed, it's worth a good bit more than $20 now. Appraisers estimate more like a whopping 1,200. Captain Ken Chapman said, "We were elated." The special coin helped the area Salvation Army hit 100,000 for the season. (WREG)
Enough with the Support Animals Already
If you need a support animal to fly, forget about Delta. The airline said it will ban all emotional support animals on flights longer than 8 hours and will ban all service and support animals under four months of age on flights no matter the duration. The new policy is effective Dec. 18, ahead of the Christmas holiday travel season. Delta amended its animal policy after finding an 84% increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals in 2016 and 2017, "including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog." The airline said the updated support and service animal age requirement aligns with the vaccination policy of the CDC, and the eight-hour flight limit for emotional support animals is consistent with the principles outlined in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Air Carrier Access Act. Delta plans to contact customers to adjust reservations if the policy update impacts their travel plans. The full policy and additional information is available on delta.com. (MarketWatch)
The Continual Decline of Western Civilization: Sex Island
It's called "Sex Island" and it's the brainchild of five hard-partying New York friends in their 30s and 40s including a hedge-funder and a nightclub owner. Sex Island is basically designed for men who can drop $6,000 on a "golden ticket" to a private island in the Caribbean with unlimited booze, food and women ready to satisfy them at any hour of the day. Reportedly there are also drugs galore during the four-day erotic holiday, but Sex Island's head of PR, identified only as Tony, said it does not directly provide any illegal substances, but rather acts as a middleman between dealers and guests. When Sex Island's splashy promo video showing off women at the hosting site went viral, the Colombian government did everything in its power to shut it down. As a result, the founders were forced to relocate and put down roots on a private island in the Caribbean at a luxury hotel willing to partner with them. Both prostitution and brothels are legal in the country that hosts Sex Island. But when guests need a break from all the drugs and women, popular extracurricular activities are available like strip tennis, naked pool games and even naked sky diving. (New York Post)
Those Crazy Kids Today
Meanwhile in Ontario, police rushed to a residence in Simcoe after a 9-year-old girl called 911. Turns out she was only mad because her parents were making her clean up her room. Constable Dave Sanchuck says there was no criminal intent, so the girl won't face any charges or consequences apart from a good "talking to." Her little stunt wasted about 30 minutes of time for two officers who could have been helping somebody who really needed it. (CBC)
Goldmember? Is That You?
Over in Vietnam, 36-year-old businessman Tran Ngoc Phuc (FOOk - or at least that's how we're gonna say it) has become a social media star over his obsession with gold. He apparently wears a total of 29 pounds of gold wherever he goes, and is always accompanied by at least five bodyguards who make sure that no one messes with him. He began making headlines in Vietnam after a series of YouTube videos of him showing off his massive jewelry collection went viral with several millions of views. Since then, photos and videos of him wearing his huge gold necklace, bracelets and rings have been doing the rounds on Vietnamese social media, and even on several websites in China and Thailand. While some people expressed their doubts that the jewels are real gold, most commenters wondered how he can stand walking around with so much extra weight. Phuc admitted that wearing that much gold took some getting used to, but says it's worth it as all the gold has boosted his good luck and prosperity. (Oddity Central)
Thou Shall Not Put Thy Husband to the Kidnapping Test
In China, a 33-year-old mother identified only as Chen is in hot water after allegedly faked the kidnapping of her 11-year-old son as a way of testing whether her husband really cared about her and their child. Reportedly, Chen filed a fake missing person's report in Yueqing City, on Friday. She told police that her son had last been seen near his school and gave them a description of the clothes he was wearing. The case was declared a top priority and huge resources were allocated to a regional search. The family even offered 500,000 yuan ($72,000) for any information about the boy's whereabouts. Turns out the boy had been safe and sound in the care of a relative all along. Five days into the investigation police found evidence that Chen had been lying from the very beginning. CCTV footage from a parking lot near the scene of the alleged kidnapping showed the young mother telling her son to go wait in another car, while she went to file the fake missing person's report. After running a search and tracking down the other car, they found the boy safe and sound. Chen was arrested and charged with "creating and deliberately spreading false information" but what's even more bizarre is that according to an official police statement, she staged her own son's kidnapping because she had recently been in an argument with her husband and wanted to test his love for them. One official noted that kidnapping is a very sensitive issue in China, where around 70,000 are kidnapped and sold on the black market every year. Very few of them are ever found again, so someone faking their own child's kidnapping for such a stupid reason as Chen's is very unacceptable. (Oddity Central)
I'll Show You... You... Car!
In Harbor Springs, Michigan, police arrested 33-year-old Chad Johnson over some anger issues he had... with his car. Police were called after someone reported seeing Johnson beating his car with a baseball bat in a parking lot. While on their way to the parking lot, Troopers encountered Johnson driving the car and pulled him over. They noted the bat lying in the passenger seat, an open container of alcohol, and also suspected Johnson was intoxicated. Turns out he was also driving with a suspended license and had more than one previous OWI conviction. When asked about the baseball bat, Johnson told troopers he struck the car because it was always having problems and he was angry at it. He was charged with OWI 3rd Offense, Possessing Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle, DWLS 2nd Offense, and Habitual Offender. That means he could get up to 5 years in prison. (Michigan Live)
What the What?
From the "How Dumb Can You Be" files: In Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, police say Michael Cornell - an elected constable - faces a citation and potential fine of up to $600 for allegedly trying to buy guns from people on the street as they were entering the Wilkinsburg Police Department for its annual gun buyback program. Cornell apparently saw it as a good way to get more guns cheap. By doing so he violated Wilkinsburg's peddling ordinance. Police say they will notify and consult with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine whether any other charges should be pursued. Police will also review surveillance video to see if it appears Cornell was successful in purchasing any guns on the street. WTAE)