The Week in Review
MONDAY, JANUARY 28 This week of caged children, scalded monkeys, and totally crush-worthy candidates kicks off today at an Irish airport, where this morning an Air Canada flight from Toronto to London was forced to make an emergency landing after one of the pilots went aggressively nuts. Details come from the Associated Press, which reports the aggressive nuts-going made itself known roughly an hour before the plane was due to land at Heathrow. That's when passengers saw the plane's copilot dragged screaming from his cockpit then pinned to the ground by crew members. "He was swearing and asking for God and very distressed," said passenger Sean Finucane to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "He was yelling loudly. His voice was clear so he didn't sound drunk or anything. He basically said he wanted to talk to God. When they tried to put his shoes on, he swore and threatened people. He was very, very distressed."
While the copilot was shackled by his ankles and handcuffed to a seat, the captain took solo command of the jet, making the aforementioned emergency landing at the Republic of Ireland's Shannon Airport. The distressed copilot was taken by ambulance to a psychiatric hospital, after which the plane and its 146 passengers completed a safe journey to Heathrow.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 29 Speaking of newsworthy crazy: Today brings a story from Washington County in southwestern Pennsylvania, where a grandmother stands charged of child endangerment after locking her 10-year-old grandson in a plastic dog cage. Details, once again, come from the Associated Press, which reports that in addition to caging her grandson for a reported 90 minutes (in a crate described by the AP as "feces filled"), 51-year-old Rhonda Lehman also stands accused of making terroristic threats, after phoning Washington County's Mental Health/Mental Retardation office to say that she would bury her grandson alive in the backyard if someone didn't come for him. Even weirder: It seems the 10-year-old boy was asking for it. In an interview with police, the boy admitted to spiking his relatives' drinks with lamp oil and the Easy-Off cleaning product Bam because "he was angry because he didn't get to go on a trip," as Washington police officer James Markley told the AP. Ms. Lehman remains jailed on $25,000 bail, while her grandson has been placed in the custody of the county's Children and Youth Services, which is treating him for mental-health issues.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30 The week continues with deadly violence in Seattle's Central District, where late this morning a man opened fire inside the Philadelphia Cheese Steak restaurant, killing the owner and seriously wounding a customer before fleeing the scene. After a massive 20-hour search, tomorrow police will announce their arrest of the shooting suspect: 23-year-old Rey Alberto Davis-Bell, who'll be booked on investigation of murder and assault and hopefully spend the rest of his stupid life in prison. Today's real subject is Degene Barecha, the 32-year-old owner of Philadelphia Cheese Steak slain in the business this morning. As KING 5 reports, Barecha was an Ethiopian immigrant who'd progressed from hired dishwasher to owner of the popular sandwich shop, where he worked seven days a week and which he planned on moving to a new location this weekend. But as the Seattle Times reports, Barecha had years of problems with shooting suspect Davis-Bell, whom friends of Barecha describe as one of a group of young men who loitered in the restaurant and allegedly tried to sell drugs to customers. Making everything ridiculous: In taking ownership of the shop, Barecha had been carrying on the dream of his best friend, mentor, and business partner Troy Hackett, the 38-year-old previous owner of Philadelphia Cheese Steak who was fatally shot on a Central District street in 2003. Condolences to everyone.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 31 In much better news: Today we turn to Los Angeles's Kodak Theater, where tonight Democratic presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton engaged in their first one-on-one debate. After eight years of Dubya, with his retarded-monkey manner and undisguised contempt for America, the sight of two such passionate, intelligent, articulate, and inherently progressive politicians made our heart race, and if we had one wish, it would be for a Clinton/Obama (or Obama/Clinton) ticket. While we're fantasizing, we'd also like free universal health care and water-soluble pit bulls.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1 The week continues with the mysterious Everett, Washington, entity known as SNBL USA, a "preclinical contract research organization that specializes in nonhuman primate and small animal research" that houses nearly 2,000 primates and represents clients like Pfizer pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, and Seattle Genetics. But thanks to an investigation by a KIRO 7 news team, the Everett laboratory is doomed to be remembered as "that place that boiled a monkey to death." Details come from KIRO, which reports the popular-with-researchers Cynomolgus Macaque monkey weighs anywhere from 3 to 25 pounds and make lots of barking noises, with both size and noise suggesting the unlikelihood of such a monkey going unnoticed in a small cage. But apparently just such a thing happened at SNBL, as someone placed a wire cage holding a healthy female macaque monkey into an industrial dishwasher, where the 180-degree water, caustic foam, and detergent combined to kill the primate during the 20-minute cycle. This isn't SNBL's first time in the hot seat: In 2005, the USDA opened a series of federal animal-welfare violation cases against the laboratory after 19 marmoset monkeys were given fatal injections of "highly toxic agents... without the use of methods to relieve pain and distress." As for the fatally scalded monkey: The USDA tells KIRO that it's looking into possible Animal Welfare Act violation charges against SNBL, while the National Humane Society is pushing for a criminal prosecution as well.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2 Another day, another totally upsetting attack on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Today's case commenced a couple hours after midnight near the corner of Olive Way and Howell Street. That's where 22-year-old Brad Crelia and his 27-year-old partner Thomas Colonna were walking when a speeding car came barreling toward them and screeched to a stop. When Colonna threw up his hands in protest, three young men jumped out of the car and attacked, punching Colonna in the face and beating Crelia—who has a hurt foot—with his cane while shouting gay slurs. Crelia and Colonna suffered cuts and bruises, the attackers fled the scene, and witnesses provided police with the attackers' license-plate number. Stay tuned.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 Nothing happened today, unless you count the Super Bowl.
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