MONDAY, JANUARY 7 This week of salty meth, suicide bloopers, and criminally misinterpreted American Sign Language kicks off in Portland, Oregon, where a man faces an array of criminal charges after allegedly using his dreadlocks to choke his girlfriend. As KOIN Local 6 reports, the alleged trouble went down around 2:30 this morning, when officers responded to a domestic violence report and were met by a woman who claimed her boyfriend, 32-year-old Caleb Grotberg, had assaulted her and choked her with his dreadlocks. Upon finding the dreaded suspect, officers arrested him for investigation of domestic violence, assault, menacing, and second-degree kidnapping, while his girlfriend will be taken to a hospital for treatment of numerous non-life-threatening injuries.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 8 The week continues in Seattle, where this morning a man walking downtown was struck by a bus, then walked to a nearby Starbucks to order a coffee. Details come from the Seattle Times, which reports the incident occurred around 7:15 a.m. near the corner of Third and Stewart, where a man crossing the street was struck by a Metro bus, with the collision significant enough to crack the bus's windshield. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old man—described by paramedics as a well-dressed "downtown business professional"—walked away from the collision and into a Starbucks, where he ordered a drip coffee and was described as "relatively lucid." "He wasn't served the coffee, however, because he was bleeding from his head," reports the Times, adding that the man was taken to Harborview with a "serious but not life-threatening" concussion. Supplementary drama: "A police officer trained to evaluate whether drivers are impaired by drugs or alcohol evaluated the bus driver and determined he was showing signs of impairment," reports the Times. But as Seattlepi.com will report on Friday, "The Metro bus driver who hit a pedestrian in downtown Seattle on Tuesday morning was not high or drunk, according to tests administered [by] Metro."
••Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, a 22-year-old man tried to kill himself twice this morning and failed both times. "[The man] first tried to end his life by jumping out of a moving vehicle that was driving him to work in Canonsburg," reports the Associated Press. "About a half hour later, police say the man stepped over a guide rail into the path of a tractor-trailer, which tried to avoid the man but knocked him out of his shoes. Troopers from the Washington barracks say the man jumped up, grabbed his shoes, slid down a hillside, and walked to work." (He was soon after flown to a Pittsburgh hospital.)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9 In worse news, the week continues in North Carolina, where tonight a deaf man in the town of Burlington was stabbed after his sign language was reportedly mistaken for gang signs. As the Associated Press reports, 45-year-old Terrance Ervin Daniels was using sign language with another deaf man when "[a] third person saw them, thought they were flashing gang signs, and stabbed Daniels several times with a kitchen knife." Twenty-two-year-old Robert Jarell Neal was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and felony assault on a handicapped person, while Daniels was listed in stable condition at a Chapel Hill hospital.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10 In stupider news, the week continues in Western Washington, where a 31-year-old Centralia woman stands accused of a whole bunch of stupid shit. Melisa Akers's journey to numbskull notoriety began with a call to 911, in which the woman told the dispatcher she was "desperate for help because people were pounding on her door, angry that she sold them salt but told them it was methamphetamine," as KIRO reports. ("People who use [meth] know exactly what it's like," said Centralia police officer Corey Butcher to KIRO. "Frankly, I'm amazed she would even try that.") When cops responded to Akers's call, they reportedly found her smoking pot with three teenage boys, for which she was arrested on charges of providing marijuana to minors.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 11 In scarier news, the week continues in Los Angeles, where last night two gunmen invaded a Nordstrom Rack clothing store and "took 14 employees captive, sexually assaulting one, stabbing another, and locking the detainees in a storage room for hours," as Reuters reports. Authorities first learned of the invasion "after an employee at Nordstrom Rack called a loved one to ask him to report to police that two men armed with handguns were inside the store after closing time." Fearful of a hostage situation, police called in a SWAT team, which "entered the store shortly after 2 a.m. and found the employees, 13 women and a man," reports Reuters. "Most were locked inside a storage room in the rear of the store, and a couple of them were found in a bathroom." Nowhere to be found: the armed gunmen, who somehow fled the scene undetected despite the intense police presence. The person who was sexually assaulted and the person who was stabbed were treated and released, and the hunt for the gunmen will continue until Monday, when the LAPD will announce the arrests of five people: three Los Angeles men suspected of being the gunmen and two Los Angeles women accused of helping to execute the armed invasion.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12 In even scarier news, the week continues in New York, where today Governor Andrew Cuomo responded to the flu epidemic that's ravaging huge swaths of the United States by declaring a public health emergency. "Cuomo's order came a day after federal health officials said that fast-spreading influenza had officially reached epidemic proportions in the United States," reports Reuters. "Cuomo's executive order temporarily allows pharmacists to give flu shots to patients between ages 6 months to 18 years old. Typically, the state limits pharmacists to administering vaccinations only to people 18 and older." In closing, some scary numbers: "In New York, the governor's office said 19,128 cases of influenza have been reported this season, compared with 4,404 positive laboratory tests reported for the entire 2011–2012 season." (And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this season's flu has already killed 20 children.) Get your flu vaccine and never stop washing your hands. (Yes, you too, Cherry Canoe.)
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13 Nothing happened today, unless you count the end of a glorious Seahawks season or the broadcast of the Golden Globes.
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