Odds and Ends – June 27, 2019

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(Kreispolizeibehoerde Viersen via AP)
(Kreispolizeibehoerde Viersen via AP)

German police: “Guardian angel” pigeon protected speeder

Berlin (AP) — Police in western Germany say divine intervention saved a speeding driver from getting a ticket, after a pigeon photobombed a traffic enforcement camera at just the right moment. Perhaps inspired by this week’s Ascension Day national Christian holiday, Viersen police said “the Holy Ghost must have had a plan” to help the driver. Just as the radar clocked the driver at 54 km/h (33.5 mph) in a 30km/h zone and the camera flashed, the pigeon flew in front of the car, obscuring the face of the driver with its spread wings and thereby concealing the necessary evidence of who was at the wheel. Police say “thanks to the feathered guardian angel,” the driver was spared a 105 euro ($117) fine but should take it as “a sign from above” to slow down.

 

Police: Mystery man pulling emergency brakes on subways

New York (AP) — New York City police have been searching for a person who has been intentionally pulling the emergency brakes on subway cars for no legitimate purpose. Police on Thursday released images and video of a man they say rode on the outside of a car for several stops before entering the car and pulling its emergency brake and fleeing. It happened on a northbound 2 train at the 14th Street and Seventh avenue station during the Tuesday evening rush hour. Police say there have been about 40 similar incidents. They began in February, continued in March and increased in frequency in April and May. Police believe the brake pulling prankster is using a key to gain access to an unoccupied motorman car, where he is able to engage the emergency brake.

 

Air Force: Obscene contrails above Phoenix unintentional

Phoenix (AP) — U.S. Air Force officials say their pilots did not intentionally draw male anatomy with aircraft contrails in the skies above the Phoenix area. Photos taken of a series of sky ovals near Luke Air Force Base have circulated on social media and some say the shapes resemble male genitals. Base spokesperson Becky Heyse told the Arizona Republic that leadership of the 56th Fighter Wing has reviewed the photos and flight audio to determine the shapes were made unintentionally. The F-35 fighter jets were conducting standard training maneuvers Tuesday. Heyse says the contrails were made as the jets were about to engage in a simulated dogfight.

 

School closes after man enters overnight, takes clothes off

Scranton, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania elementary school closed for the day after educators realized that a man had entered the building overnight, got naked and spilled Murphy Oil Soap on the gym floor. Neil Armstrong Elementary School staff originally thought the spilled soap was a prank, but the principal reviewed security footage and saw that a man had been on the premises. Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano says that once inside the school, the man took off his clothes and walked through parts of the school. School officials decided at about 7 a.m. to close the school for safety. Graziano says there were no signs of forced entry. More than 600 students are enrolled at the school.

 

Berlin park’s drug dealer solution panned by authorities

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Berlin (AP) — A creative attempt by a downtown Berlin park manager to keep drug dealers away from families and joggers has been met with an emphatic “nein” from German officials. Cengiz Demirci demarcated certain areas in the popular Goerlitzer Park with pink spray-painted lines for the dealers to stand behind, with the intention of keeping them away from playgrounds and a small farm for children, among other places. But federal drug czar Marlene Mortler slammed the idea Thursday as appearing to give dealers “license to trade.” And the capital’s top security official, Interior Minister Andreas Geisel, said Demirci’s idea would not be adopted by the city. He says: “Police are fighting drug trafficking, including in Goerlitzer Park.” Local media reported that drug dealers weren’t planning on standing behind the non-permanent lines anyway.