<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSat, 29 Apr 2017 22:26:00 -0700Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:26:00 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[UC Davis Now Sells Plan B and Condoms From a Vending Machine]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:16:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_birthcontrol0427_1500x8451.jpg

Students at the University of California, Davis, can now purchase $30 Plan B emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests, condoms and other personal care products from a vending machine. The idea came from UC Davis senior Parteek Singh, after a friend was unable to buy emergency contraceptives in time. 

<![CDATA[Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:11:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_kkkresolution0428_1500x845.jpg

Lawmakers in Tennessee are crying foul after Republican Rep. Mike Sparks sneaked in a resolution to honor former Ku Klux Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest with a bust under a different name. The resolution passed unanimously, 94-0, and the bust was installed at the state Capitol before lawmakers realized the mistake. 

<![CDATA[SoCal Weird News]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 12:44:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sea+lion+in+store+2.jpg Enjoy images of LA's most memorable weird moments.

Photo Credit: The Cave Store]]>
<![CDATA[Drug Smuggler Turns Meth Into Art]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_potterymeth0426_1920x1080.jpg

A man's elaborate plan to deal drugs ended in disaster when detectives discovered he had pottery shipped to Florida that was covered with $600,000 worth of meth paste.

Photo Credit: WFLA-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Who's The Fairest? 'Most Beautiful Bulldog' Takes Home Crown]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:38:32 -0700 Owners: Angela and Tom Miller ]]> Owners: Angela and Tom Miller ]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Winner-Prudence---Angela--Tom-Miller---Des-Moines---Iowa.jpg Proud pet parents from Washington to Illinois bought their English bulldogs to vie for the title of "Most Beautiful Bulldog" at Drake University. Punk rockers, cheerleaders and one Audrey Hepburn walked and pranced for judges in front of 1,200 bulldog fans at the university's 38th "Beautiful Bulldog Contest."

Photo Credit: Mohamad Izzuddin Suhaimi/Drake University]]>
<![CDATA[Nordstrom Selling 'Fake Mud' Jeans With Hefty Price Tag]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 03:24:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/nordstrom+fake+mud+jeans.jpg

Nordstrom is lighting up the internet with some expensive jeans that are caked in fake mud.

On its website, the luxury fashion retailer is selling a pair of working class-inspired jeans coated with what Nordstrom calls "caked-on muddy coating."

The price? $425!

The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans "embody rugged, Americana workwear that's seen some hard-working action" and when worn show "you're not afraid to get down and dirty," according to the description online.

It quickly generated a storm of interest online after TV host Mike Rowe blasted them as "a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic" in a Facebook post."

Even U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., tweeted about it:

Nordstrom didn't immediately reply to request for comment from NBC over the internet's response.

Photo Credit: Nordstrom.com
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<![CDATA[300 Pounds of Banned Yak Meat Seized at NYC Airport]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:46:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/YAK+MEAT.jpg

Customs agents seized nearly 300 pounds of banned yak meat at JFK Airport after a shipment was found hidden in sweaters, shawls and pants, officials said Tuesday.

While yak meat is not illegal in America, importing the meat from countries affected by foot-and-mouth disease or other infectious cattle viruses is prohibited. In this case, the seized meat came from Nepal. 

Certain seeds are also prohibited from import into the United States due to concerns about possible native plant contamination. Those, and dung pods, were included with the yak meat in the 291-pound-plus seizure.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, foot-and-mouth disease is a "worldwide concern that can spread quickly and cause significant economic damage." The import from Nepal was destroyed, authorities said.  

It wasn't clear if authorities had identified the person or persons responsible for the shipment. 

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[The Real Origin of '420']]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:26:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+420+ORIGINS+THUMB.jpg

There have been many myths about where the slang "420" originated from, but here's the real story behind the term.

<![CDATA[Mystery in C: Who Stashed Gold Inside a British Piano?]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 04:32:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17110502014108-british-piano-mystery.jpg

British officials say they've been unable to trace the rightful heirs to a trove of gold coins found stashed inside a piano and worth a "life-changing" amount of money.

The school that owns the piano and the tuner who found the gold are now in line for a windfall after a coroner investigating the find declared it treasure. But a couple who owned the piano for three decades before donating it to their local school will likely miss out.

Coroner John Ellery said Thursday that, despite a thorough investigation and a public appeal for information, "we simply do not know" who concealed the coins.

The hoard was discovered last year when the piano was sent for tuning in Shropshire, central England. Under the keyboard — neatly stacked in hand-stitched packages and pouches — were 913 gold sovereigns and half-sovereigns minted in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Piano tuner Martin Backhouse said when he found the pouches and slit open the stitching, he thought: "Ooh, it looks like there's rather a lot of gold in this."

The hoard, which weighs 6 kilograms (13 pounds), has not been formally valued. But Peter Reavill of the British Museum has said the trove is worth a "potentially life-changing" amount.

Revenue from items declared "treasure" is generally split between the owner — in this case, the Bishops Castle Community College — and the finder.

The piano was owned for 33 years by Graham and Meg Hemmings, who donated it last year to the school near their home. But Meg Hemmings said she's not bitter at missing out on treasure that was right under her nose.

"The sadness is, it's not a complete story," she said. "They've looked and searched for the people and they unfortunately haven't come forward.

"It's an incomplete story — but it's still an exciting story."

Photo Credit: Richard Vernalls/PA via AP
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<![CDATA[Alligator Found in Texas Neighborhood]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:43:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Alligator_Found_in_Texas_Neighborhood_1200x675_924722243970.jpg

An unwelcome and very large visitor fought removal from a Fort Bend County, Texas home. Sheriff's deputies got the call when someone spotted this gargantuan gator outside a home south of Houston. She fought the law, but in the end, the law won. A game warden relocated the alligator.

Photo Credit: KPRC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Easter Gator Breaks Into Family’s Porch]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 19:02:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/235*120/gator+on+porch.JPG

A 9-foot alligator gave a South Carolina family a scare Easter morning, but they managed to capture it all on video. Homeowner Steve Polston says they thought someone was breaking into their house when they found the gator had climbed on the porch.

<![CDATA[National Animal Cracker Day: Fun Facts]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:04:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+ANIMAL+CRACKER+FACTS+THUMB2.jpg

April 18 is National Animal Cracker Day. Here are some fun and surprising facts about the sweet treats.

<![CDATA[The Buck Stops Here: Feuding Deer Caught on Camera]]> Fri, 14 Apr 2017 15:48:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DEER27.jpg

An Ohio police officer’s dash cam caught two deer run out from some trees, get up on their hind legs and scuffle. The fight didn’t last long before they put down their dukes and ran off.

Photo Credit: Westerville Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Homeless Man Robbed NYC Churches to 'Get Back at God': DA]]> Fri, 14 Apr 2017 04:58:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ChurchesTempleBurglaryQueens.jpg

A homeless man faces burglary and hate crime charges after he allegedly robbed four churches, one of which he stole from three times, in Queens, New York, because of his hatred of God, according to prosecutors.

Woznik allegedly told police at the time of his arrest he was "mad at God" and denounced religion, saying his break-ins were an attempt to retaliate.

"I'm mad at God. I don't like church no more. I don't want to deal with religion," court documents say he told police. "I'm sick and tired of hearing about religion. I don't break into houses, only churches. I break in to get back at God."

Joseph Woznik was arrested Wednesday, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Thursday.

Between March 21 and April 10, Woznik allegedly broke into the Bangladesh Hindu Maunder Temple in Flushing, Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians church in Woodside, St. Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church in Elmhurst and St. James Episcopal Church in Flushing, according to criminal complaints.

An employee at the Hindu temple found cash missing from three donation boxes forced open on March 21, prosecutors said. Fingerprints lifted from the boxed allegedly matched Woznik's. 

Woznik allegedly burglarized St. James Episcopal Church three times between March 24 and April 10, according to prosecutors. He allegedly stole a Canon digital camera, $1,800 in cash and three checks; two of those items were recovered from his backpack at the time of his arrest, investigators said.

With it being Holy Week, religious leaders said they're not angry, but they do hope he gets help.

"I would tell him that he should find God first and see that God is not a reason to do something bad or damaging," said Justin Bertea of St. Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church.

"Maybe for us as a religious organization, we haven't lived up to what we need to do," said Rev. Paul Lai of St. James Episcopal Church. "So that's why someone who was in a crisis didn't get the help."

The 23-year-old could face up to 15 years in prison if he's convicted.

Woznik is also wanted by Orange County officials in Florida on a fugitive from justice charge. He is accused of burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief, according to prosecutors.

Photo Credit: NBC New York / St. James Episcopal Church]]>
<![CDATA[Goose Chases Fox on Video]]> Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:49:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_ANI_GOOSEVFOX_041217_2-149201885635400001.jpg

A police officer in Ogden, New York, captured footage of a goose chasing a fox. The goose flapped its wings and honked in order to show the fox to scare it away.

<![CDATA[Woman Finds Live Scorpion in Bag of Spinach]]> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:32:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/2017-04-10_2307.png

A live scorpion was sitting in a salad mix that a Chevy Chase, Maryland, couple bought from a Giant grocery store last week, the couple said.

Shanmukha Pranay Rajeev Jerripothula said he and his wife bought a bag of spinach from a local Giant on Friday evening. On Monday afternoon, his wife, Sri Sindhusha Boddapati, opened the bag to make lunch when she noticed something unusual.

“I saw something inside the bag crawling,” she said. “I thought it was a cricket in the beginning, and then I noticed when it was [in] the bottle that it is a scorpion.”

Boddapati was able to capture the scorpion in a water bottle and recorded cellphone video to send to her husband, who was at work. He returned home and took the bottle to the store.

“I told them not to sell the spinach anymore, because it might contain a scorpion,” Jerripothula said.

The grocery store pulled the Giant brand spinach nearly six hours after finding out about the scorpion and being contacted by News4. Giant Food of Landover, Maryland, issued a statement to News4 Washington:

“Customer satisfaction is our highest priority. We regret any inconvenience to our customer. We take the quality of our products very seriously, and we are following up with the supplier to take every step to ensure this isolated incident does not occur in the future.”

The company did not issue a recall of any product.

According to the Mayo Clinic, only about 30 of the estimated 1,500 species worldwide of scorpions produce venom toxic enough to be fatal. They said scorpion stings are painful but rarely life-threatening. Young children and sometimes the very old are most at risk of serious complications.

Over the weekend, Fresh Express issued a recall of some of its prepackaged salad mix after a dead bat was found inside a container sold in a Florida Wal-mart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two people said they found a dead bat in their purchased package, and that they had eaten some of the salad before discovering the animal, according to a CDC statement. But the center added that both people "report being in good health."

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Man Shatters World Record, Devours 255 Peeps in 5 Minutes]]> Sun, 09 Apr 2017 10:58:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MattStoniePeeps.jpg

In the spirit of the Easter season, San Jose's Matt Stonie inhaled 255 Peeps Saturday on his way to smashing his previous world record.

The competitive eating legend downed the copious amount of surgary marshmallows in just five minutes at the second annual National Harbor World Peeps Eating Championship, according to Major League Eating.

That mark set Saturday was 55 better than the previous world record, which happened to be set by Stonie during last year's Peeps-eating contest in Maryland.

Stonie's first-place finish helped him stuff his wallet with $1,750, according to Major League Eating.

Stonie, nicknamed "Megatoad," is the No. 2-ranked competitive eater in the world behind fellow San Jose, California, native Joey Chestnut, according to Major League Eating.

The competitive eater is most famously known for winning the 2015 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. That victory ended Chestnut's eight-year unbeaten streak at the world-renowned event.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[White Shark's Body Pulled From California Coast]]> Sun, 09 Apr 2017 11:24:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/shark-santa-cruz-040917.JPG

The body of a stranded white shark that washed ashore in Santa Cruz Friday afternoon was pulled from the water on Saturday.

The 10-foot, adult male shark likely succumbed to a rare bacteria — carnobacteroum infection — before teams from the Marine Mammal Center and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife eventually plucked the carcass from the water after several failed attempts, according to marine biologist Giancarlo Thomae.

Beachgoers in Santa Cruz near the Capitola Wharf got quite a shock Friday when they spotted the struggling marine animal at Pleasure Point Beach around 4 p.m.

Awestruck bystanders said something seemed to be wrong with the shark. Some waded into the water in an attempt to push the predator back out to sea, but they weren't able to do so.

Researchers with the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation also made an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the shark. They said it appeared that the young adult male shark was likely sick, because it was unable to steer itself. 

"We were able to get the shark uprighted and in the water, but it just turned around," said Sean Van Sommeran with the Foundation. "It was aimless."

Although high surf pushed the shark out to sea twice, storm-like conditions kept pushing it back to shore. Video from the scene showed a shark with seemingly bloodied fins being tossed around like a rag doll by the strong current.

Researchers say it's the first beached white shark seen in the Monterey Bay in three years, and the first adult male shark seen in decades.

"I’ve been here 50 years, and that's the first time I've seen something like that," said Gary Buthman, who captured footage of the scene.

Volunteers from the Marine Mammal Center as well as wardens, rangers, firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene, according to the Pelagic Shark Foundation.

Once darkness set on Friday, the shark was no longer visible, and researchers had no idea where it was until it popped up in the water south of Santa Cruz near Capitola on Saturday.

The exact cause of death will not be clear until a formal necropsy is completed.

<![CDATA[10th Annual 'Peep Show' as Sweet as Ever]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 10:45:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/PeepThumb.jpg

Easter sweets are not just for eating at the Peep Show in Carroll County, Maryland.

<![CDATA[Ohio Man Accused of Chasing Family Member With Hatchet]]> Fri, 07 Apr 2017 15:44:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Noel+Dawson.jpg

An Ohio man was arrested after he allegedly chased a family member with a hatchet.

Noel E. Dawson, 63, of Toledo, was charged Tuesday with domestic violence, assault, criminal damaging, and failure to disclose personal information.

The Toledo Blade reports that Dawson allegedly chased a relative Sunday with a hatchet, swinging the small ax at the man. Dawson tried to hit the man but missed, striking his car instead — leaving a large dent in the hood, according to the Blade.

Dawson refused to give the arresting officer his information and shouted obscenities, court records show.

Dawson has pleaded not guilty. A Toledo County judge ordered him held Tuesday on $50,000 bond.

Attorney information was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Toledo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter User Hoping for a Year of Free Wendy's Nuggets]]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:20:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_WENDYS_NUGGETS_040617-149150556921800001.jpg

A Twitter user asked Wendy's how many retweets he would need to earn free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy's official Twitter account responded and now Carter Wilkinson is on a mission to get 18 million retweets.

<![CDATA[This Guy Needs 18M Retweets for a Year of Free Nuggets]]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:20:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/wendys-GettyImages-80846912.jpg

A Twitter user is on a mission to get free Wendy's chicken nuggets for one year. All he needs is 18 million retweets, Wendy’s said.

His quest began Wednesday, when user Carter Wilkerson tweeted at the fast food chain, "Yo, @Wendys, how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?" 

The official Wendy’s account replied with "18 million," which would easily be the most retweets ever. Undaunted, Wilkerson replied, "Consider it done."

Now, a plea by Wilkerson, whose account @carterjwm had just shy of 500 followers Thursday afternoon, has hit over 250,000 retweets, and he's gunning for more. "A man needs his nuggs," he wrote.

He's even trying to negotiate, tweeting to Wendy's that he'll "never eat at any other fast food restaurants ever again," if they lower the number to 180,000 retweets. Wendy's didn't respond to that tweet.

Plenty of people on Twitter have supported Wilkerson's cause, urging their friends to retweet the original message.

Some called for him to share the nuggets, while others went as far as pushing for Ellen DeGeneres' show to retweet Wilkerson, and to get him on her show.

DeGeneres holds the record for most retweets on one tweet, about 2.3 million for her Oscars selfie with Bradley Manning, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities, according to tweet-tracking website Favstar. As of Thursday afternoon, the show’s official account had not retweeted him.

In its response to one Twitter user, Wendy’s admitted that the tweet received more retweets than they expected. It also boosted the visibility of Wilkerson's plea by retweeting it.

Wilkerson, who joined Twitter in 2014 and says in his account he's from Reno, Nevada, has been on the record with his love for Wendy's' chicken nuggets, tweeting in January that he recommends them to everyone. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Prosthetics Give Disabled Animals a Second Chance at Life]]> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:24:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/222*120/OrthoCover.jpg The team at Animal Orthocare in Virginia is dedicated to giving animals the gift of mobility – and they don’t just draw the line at the family pet. Their custom prosthetics have been designed for dogs, sheep, rams, turtles, even elephants. Take a look at some of their most remarkable patients.

Photo Credit: Animal Ortho Care]]>
<![CDATA[Italian Cops Foil Plot to Steal Enzo Ferrari’s Corpse]]> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 08:27:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_660527397341-Enzo-Ferrari.jpg

After many months plotting, an Italian drug gang was finally ready to dig up the body of the founder of automaker Ferrari and hold it for ransom, NBC News reported.

But police swooped in Tuesday, arresting 34 people before they could raid the ornate tomb of Enzo Ferrari at San Cataldo cemetery in central Italy, the Italian carabinieri announced.

Officers were staking out Ferrari's tomb when the bandits arrived, after learning about the plot from an investigation of a legendary Italian kidnapper, police said.

"The gang had prepared everything in detail," said Col. Saverio Ceglie.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Turkey Gets Lodged in Family's Rental Car on Highway]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 03:18:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/turkey+v+car.JPG

A New Jersey family on its way back to the airport after visiting the University of Notre Dame Tuesday collided with a flying turkey on the road, authorities say. 

The Taraboczhia family was headed to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago Tuesday after visiting Notre Dame, where the daughter was recently accepted, according to the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office in Indiana

The Taraboczhias were on U.S. 20 when their rental GMC Yukon collided with the wild turkey, which was flying across the highway, authorities said. 

The 30-pound turkey broke through the glass, became lodged in the center of the windshield, and died.

“While vehicle versus deer crashes are common place, it is very rare to see a vehicle strike a turkey,” police said in a statement.

Authorities noted, however, that mating season has begun and, during this time, more turkeys are spotted close to roadways.

The family suffered minor cuts from the glass and refused medical treatment at the scene.

Photo Credit: LaPorte County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Martial Artist Breaks 111 Cement Blocks with His Head]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:09:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+INT+BLOCKS+032817.00_00_07_03.Still001.jpg

Sixteen-year-old Bosnian taekwondo martial artist Kerim Ahmetspahic performed an incredible stunt over the weekend. He smashed 111 cement building blocks with his head.

<![CDATA[Do Cats Actually Love Their Humans?]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:51:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_CATS_LOVE_HUMANS_032717_1-149065840584500001.jpg

Does your little feline friend actually love you, or are they just using you for food? Scientists from Oregon State University isolated 50 cats, depriving them of all stimuli before reintroducing four things: human interaction, food, scent and toys.

<![CDATA[Galloping Horses Stop Traffic on Bay Area Freeway]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:29:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/horse1.PNG

Horses galloping down northbound I-680 in Contra Costa County snarled traffic during the Monday morning rush in the Bay Area.

Interstate 680 was briefly shut down due to a couple of horses which were spotted around 7:35 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP tweeted out an update at 10:28 a.m.: "CHP helps wrangle up horses on 680 ... and violating the carpool lane!"

According to a Facebook post by CHP Contra Costa, officers received a call about two horses running loose in Alamo. The horses evaded CHP units for approximately 20 minutes on city streets before making their way into I-680. Walnut Creek Police, and Contra Costa County Animal Control helped CHP officers round up the horses around 8:30 a.m. Animal Control officers safely returned the horses to their owners, CHP said.

Northbound I-680 was closed for approximately 15 minutes because of the horses, CHP said.

Sunnyvale resident John Watson had a front tow seat to the incident.

"I was in the HOV lane when all the traffic began to come to a halt, then I saw two horses coming rather quickly toward me along the center divider," Watson said. "All the other cars ahead of me proceeded ahead, so I ended up being the first stopped car in my lane. The horses ran right up to the front of my car, stopped, went to the second lane, did a little circle, and finally went a few paces ahead of my car. A police car pulled up next to them from behind me along the divider, and an officer opened his car door right in front of them, which spooked them, so they went running back in the direction they'd just come from."

That's when Watson took out his iPhone and began recording.

"While recording, 10 or more squad cars pulled up before the horses were finally coaxed off the freeway," Watson said.

Photo Credit: @slimjanders via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Mortician May Have Fake Credentials]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:19:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Jonathan-Ryan.jpg

A Torrington man is accused of hacking the system of a mortuary science school and forging paperwork that would qualify him as a licensed mortician, according to court documents. 

Jonathan Ryan, 22, was charged with second-degree forgery and second-degree computer crimes after police said he forged documents to make it appear like he graduated from the Mortuary Science program at Lincoln College in Southington. 

Ryan then helped prepare dozens of bodies for burial at Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home, which is owned by his father. 

Last year, the director of the school, Dr. Paul Warren, contacted state police to investigate possible forgery at the school in June. 

Warren said that Ryan had created a fake Lincoln College transcript by forging the college seal and registrar's name on a transcript in May 2015. Ryan also created a fake email address for a professor so he was able to get an apprentice embalmer's permit from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.

Between sometime in 2015 and 2016, Ryan worked embalming or assisting in the preparation of roughly 60 bodies for burial at his family's funeral home in Torrington. 

State police said Ryan's father Christopher Ryan told investigators he did not know his son obtained his credentials improperly.

Ryan said the reason he forged documents to become a mortician apprentice was actually part of a two-person investigative journalism project, according to arrest warrant documents. 

According to the arrest documents, Ryan wrote in a submission to the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, in part: 

"I find flaws in unsecure websites and human processes and my partner converts my findings into wonderful articles. We have been working on this little project of ours for over two and (sic) one half years, with little success until stumbling onto your website. It is mind boggling that you would leave such an important form, the Verification of Graduation and Projected Graduation Date forms, COMPLETELY (sic) unsecured. There was no password, there was no authentication, and there was no oversight for 6 (sic) months."  

State police did find that Ryan attended Lincoln College from Sept. 4, 2013 to Dec. 1, 2013, but never got his degree. 

Neither Lincoln College or the Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home returned NBC Connecticut calls for comment. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Man Smashes Glass Door After Chicken Order Delayed]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:13:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Brooklyn+Park+Popeyes+Death.jpg

Police in New Hampshire are looking for a man who allegedly broke a glass door at a Popeye's Chicken after he was told his order wouldn't be ready for another five to 10 minutes.

Salem police said an older man with white hair entered the Popeye's on Route 28 around 6 p.m. on Wednesday and ordered some fried chicken. When he was told that his food wouldn't immediately be ready to eat, he stormed out of the restaurant and kicked the door, smashing the glass.

While police are hoping to find the suspect to make him pay for the damage, they also had a little fun with the incident, saying in a press release, "Why did this guy run away? Because he is chicken."

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Officer Scott Naismith at 603-893-1911.

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<![CDATA[Family Fights 'Sex Toy' Suspension]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:15:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/sextoy-suspension.PNG

A Racine, Wisconsin school is disputing a story that they suspended a student for selling sex toys, instead stating the students sexualized the water snake toys.
The girl's father, Milt Habeck, is demanding an apology.
"In your wildest imaginations, no adult could possibly view this as a sex toy, this is a water-filled bag," Habeck says.
Habeck and his wife insist the school principal pulled their 12-year-old daughter Frances from a basketball game to tell her she had been suspended for three days for selling sex toys. 

<![CDATA[New Cup Blowing Challenge Goes Viral]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:26:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-528392918.jpg

From college students to TV anchors, everyone’s trying out the latest Internet craze. 

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The Cup Blowing Challenge has provoked a new slew of videos on social media. Participants place one cup inside another, with a third cup several inches away. They blow on the top cup, hoping it will jump from one bottom cup to the other.

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Many have tried the Cup Blowing Challenge; not all have succeeded. Some used it as an excuse to procrastinate before finals, while others were in the middle of a work break. Still others just wanted to master a new viral trick before their children.

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“Just completed first cup blowing challenge!! Yes b4 my kids could do it,” one Twitter user wrote.

Critics are calling the trend yet another millennial time-waster, and cup enthusiasts are claiming they blew cups long before it was cool. 

Some are even using the fad for political commentary.

“We might not know how to properly choose a president but at least we can come up with things like the #cupblowingchallenge,” tweeted one user.

Photo Credit: Roderick Chen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Man Sitting on San Francisco Bus Lights Woman's Hair on Fire]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:17:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/MuniBus.jpg

One person in San Francisco on Monday was taken into custody after setting another person's hair on fire while the two sat on a city bus, police said.

The bizarre incident happened around 8 p.m. near 8th and Market Streets, according to police.

The 50-year-old female victim was sitting on the bus when the 37-year-old male suspect, who was sitting behind the woman, pulled out a lighter and ignited the woman's hair.

A friend of the woman managed to put out the blaze, police said.

The suspect was later found apprehended by officers, according to police.

No one was injured during the unusual episode, police said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What Do Russians Dream About? Putin, Among Other Things]]> Sat, 18 Mar 2017 08:25:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-615648564.jpg

Vladimir Putin is everywhere in his country's public life. Now it turns out the president is even gracing ordinary Russians' dreams, NBC News reported.

A web search engine said the strongman was the only real individual "to appear often in people's dreams," according to analysis of users' online queries.

Yandex, which is more popular than Google in Russia, said it typically received half a million requests a week about the meaning of nighttime visions.

Putin was the only individual named in Yandex dream searches, which turned up "fish" as the most common query, according to its survey, based on six months of queries.

Photo Credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Films 'Never-Ending' Gator Parade in South Florida]]> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:18:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/17211880_1366410816738053_6562114182429541711_o.jpg

A Florida wildlife photographer captured a seemingly infinite procession of alligators in South Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve.

Photographer Bobby Wummer filmed the half-hour parade of gators just after sunrise on Monday.

"These Florida gators seemed to be endless, it was the never-ending train of gators of all sizes," Wummer shared in a Facebook post with photos and video of the parade.

The reptiles of various sizes were filmed crawling out of a pond to enter a deeper body of water on the opposite side of a dirt road.

The gators ranged between 2 feet and 12 feet in length, according to Wummer.

The wildlife photographer most recently made viral headlines after snapping a photo of a massive gator snacking on a smaller gator at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County back in April 2016.

Photo Credit: Bobby Wummer
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<![CDATA[Humpback Whales Mysteriously Organize in Super Groups: Study]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:16:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/humpback-whales.jpg

Some humpback whales are starting to gather in larger-than-usual groups, but scientists aren't sure why, according to a new study published earlier this month.

Typically, these whales are considered solitary mammals, traveling alone, in pairs or temporarily in small groups. Scientists normally call groups of up to 20 humpbacks “small,” according to the study published in PLOS One.

So when groups of 20 to 200 whales began to gather off the coast of South Africa, scientists were shocked.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Ken Findlay, the lead author of the study that described the unusual whale behavior, told New Scientist.

The study, which gathered data from three occasions in 2011, 2014 and 2015, pointed out that the whales were in a peculiar location to begin with. Typically, humpbacks migrate to warm waters to breed in the winter and feed in colder waters near Antarctica during the summer. But they were found in the summer months off the warm waters of South Africa.

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, biologist and executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said it’s hard to say just how unusual the new study’s super group is. She was not involved in the new study, but she has studied whales since 1990. Asmutis-Silvia has seen scores of whales in Cape Cod, and said the large gathering in South Africa might be a result of cultural learning among the whales of that region.

“This is a novel feeding technique for South Africa that hasn’t been seen before,” she said. “It could be indicative of some cultural shift in that population of humpbacks.”

Large groups of whales tend to indicate areas of the ocean that are rich in prey. The 200-whale groups have exhibited clear signs of feeding behavior, according to the study. Scientists who conducted the study say that reasons for the abnormal behavior remain “speculative.”

Despite heavy whaling that has previously endangered the species, humpback whales have made a strong comeback in recent years.

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Photo Credit: Jean Tresfon via PLOS
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