Striking News from the Past Week
MONDAY, OCTOBER 21 This week of fatal fakeness, Biblical freak-outs, and beloved-by-Last-Days artists venturing into the great beyond kicks off with a double whammy of deadly driving in the Pacific Northwest. Our first story comes from Kenmore, where just after midnight this morning, a young woman was driving and attempting to light a cigarette when she allegedly fatally struck a pedestrian. Details come from Seattepi.com, which identifies the victim as 31-year-old Joseph Humphreys, who'd been walking along the edge of 62nd Avenue Northeast when he was struck and sent flying by a truck allegedly driven by 24-year-old Sydney K. Jones, who initially fled the scene, only to return on foot several hours later and report finding Humphreys's body. Jones will turn herself in to police tomorrow, when she will be charged with felony hit-and-run.
•• Meanwhile, this evening in Snohomish County, "[a] 55-year-old Edmonds man tried to avoid arrest for drunken driving and wound up dead," reports KIRO. The unnamed and now dead alleged drunk driver was first detained by cops around 6:30 p.m., after they received reports of the man driving erratically near the town of Sultan. "Two deputies in two separate squad cars pulled the driver over and the man got out for a field sobriety test," reports KIRO. "The exact details of what happened next are under investigation, but [Everett police officer Aaron] Snell said the suspect got back into his vehicle and sped away." After speeding six miles east on Highway 2 with police in pursuit, the suspect crossed the center lane and crashed into an oncoming truck, after which his car spun around and was hit again, this time by one of the pursuing squad cars. Both deputies and the driver of the truck escaped with minor injuries; the suspect driver died at the scene.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22 In worse news, the week continues in California's Sonoma County, where this afternoon a 13-year-old boy was walking near his home with a toy rifle and wound up fatally shot by a cop. Details come from the San Francisco Chronicle, which identifies the boy as Andy Lopez Cruz, an eighth-grader who played basketball, trumpet, and the occasional shooting game involving an air rifle that was apparently indistinguishable from an AK-47. Cruz was carrying this air rifle this afternoon when he caught the eye of two sheriff's deputies in a patrol car. "[A]fter deputies pulled in behind the boy, one shouted for him to put the gun down, then fired several shots," reports the Chronicle, citing official police statements. "At a news conference, Santa Rosa police officers involved in the investigation held up Andy's pellet gun alongside a real AK-47 assault rifle." ("Federal law requires replica guns to have an orange tip, but Andy's toy rifle didn't have one," writes the Chronicle. "California law requires 'imitation weapons' to look like playthings by being brightly colored or transparent. But a state senator's proposal in 2011 to extend that requirement to air guns failed after manufacturers and retailers opposed it.") Cruz was shot seven times, authorities said, and died.The deputies involved have been placed on paid leave pending an investigation.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23 Nothing happened today, unless you count the 11-year-old boy arrested after he was found with a gun, knives, and more than 400 rounds of ammunition at Frontier Middle School in Vancouver, Washington, or the two students taken to the hospital with minor injuries after a police rifle discharged during an officer's drug-awareness presentation at an elementary school in Chino, California. (As KTLA News reports, the loaded rifle was mounted on a police motorcycle, its trigger was pulled by an elementary school student, and the resulting injuries were caused not by gunfire but by resulting "metal debris.")
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 In lighter but still troubling news, the week continues with a notable freak-out in Oklahoma City. Our protagonist: 22-year-old Jeremy Anderson, who first caught the attention of authorities after someone called 911 to report a "person going ballistic" in a nearby apartment. "When officers got to the apartment, they said they found Anderson, whose face and hands were covered in blood, screaming random things on the front porch," reports KFOR-TV. "Authorities used a sledge hammer to get into the house and found the walls and floor were covered in blood, bleach, and other 'substances.' A small fire was burning near the stove which quickly filled the house with smoke." About that fire: As Anderson reportedly told police, he started the fire in his kitchen because he was "cooking the Bible." "Anderson told officers he met a 'possessed homosexual demon' who wanted drugs from him and performed sexual acts on him," reports KFOR. "He said he 'wasn't gay, just high' and when he came to his senses, he couldn't believe he let the male demon touch him." Then came the Bible-cooking, the bloody screaming, and eventually, the first-degree arson charges.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 In lighter but not completely untroubling news, the week continues with the ridiculous Daily Show interview that resulted in real-world consequences. Our hapless hero: Don Yelton, the Republican precinct chairman of Buncombe County, North Carolina, who sat down with The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi to discuss his state's contentious and allegedly racist voter ID proposals and made a series of jaw-dropping proclamations. Top of the heap: Yelton's defense of North Carolina's voting ID requirements, which he said aren't designed to hurt black people, just Democrats. "The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt," said Yelton to Mandvi. "If it hurts a bunch of college kids that are too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, then so be it. If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, then so be it." Other highlights: Yelton's explanation that his Facebook posting of an image of Obama as an African witch doctor was meant to poke fun at the president's "white half," and interviewer Mandvi's awestruck response to Yelton's growing pile of mouth poo: "You know we can hear you?" The interview aired Wednesday, the North Carolina GOP called for Yelton's resignation yesterday, and the world continued spinning today.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 In worse news, the week continues with the death of Marcia Wallace, the comedy actor who spent her life cracking up America, first as Bob Newhart's salty receptionist, Carol Kester, on The Bob Newhart Show, then in her Emmy-winning role as Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. In between, she made a zillion hilarious appearances on TV game shows and played Teen Witch's favorite teacher in Teen Witch, and yesterday, she passed away at her LA home at age 70. RIP, Marcia Wallace, and confidential to whoever decides who gets the Mark Twain Award for humor: There is no shame in a posthumous nomination.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27 In more bad news, the week continues with the death of Lou Reed, the songwriter and musician who spent his life making rock 'n' roll history—first with his untouchable band the Velvet Underground, then with his four decades as a solo artist—before passing away this weekend at 71. For a fitting tribute to Reed, see Dave Segal's remembrance on page 37.