The Week in Review, July 25-31
MONDAY, JULY 25 This week of foiled terror, fatal plunges, and alleged assault with bratwurst kicks off with an alleged assault with bratwurst. Our setting: Des Moines, Iowa, where this evening 63-year-old Connie Jones got into a verbal argument in her home with Tajuana Banks, a 31-year-old woman whom Jones described to police as a regular visitor who regularly tried to spark physical altercations. "In this instance, Banks repeatedly yelled profanities at Jones in an attempt to get her to fight, according to the police report," reports KCCI News. "Police said Jones kept her cool and refused to fight, until Banks picked up a nearby bratwurst and hurled it at the victim's chest." Fearing an escalation in the violence, Jones called police, who arrested Banks on a charge of simple assault. "Police documented grease marks on Jones's clothing for the police report," reports KCCI. "Police said that while leaving the apartment, Banks yelled that she would do it again if provided an opportunity."
TUESDAY, JULY 26 Speaking of the collision of objects typically found in kitchens and the human body, the week continues in Glendale, California, where today police dazzled reporters with the story of the 63-year-old man who attempted to surgically correct his hernia with a butter knife. Details come from Reuters, which reports the man's wife called police to report the attempted surgery. "Police found the man lying naked on the porch of his apartment, Glendale police spokesman Sergeant Tom Lorenz said. 'He told his wife he was frustrated with this hernia, and he didn't want to wait any longer for the medical procedure.'" And oh yeah: "Police officers watched as the 63-year-old man, after pulling the knife out of his abdomen, put a lit cigarette into the wound." "I don't know if it was an attempt to cauterize or anything," said Lorenz. Having committed no crime, the man—who was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol—was taken to Los Angeles County–USC Medical Center, where he was put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. "The hospital was expected to perform the surgery to fix his hernia," reports Reuters.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 In actual news, the week continues with a scary story that could've been 10,000 times worse. At the center of the saga: Naser Abdo, a 21-year-old Army private who's been absent without leave from Fort Campbell, Kentucky since the July 4 weekend. A faithful Muslim, Abdo had been granted conscientious objector status that precluded his serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, but this status was revoked when Abdo was charged with possessing child pornography. Then he went AWOL, finally turning up last night in Killeen, Texas, where, as the Associated Press reports, Abdo took a taxi to the gun shop Guns Galore and bought six pounds of smokeless gunpowder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition, and a magazine for a semiautomatic pistol. Disturbed by Abdo's weird purchase and "overall demeanor," clerk Greg Ebert called the cops. "Killeen police learned from the taxi company that Abdo had been picked up from a local motel and had also visited an Army surplus store, where he paid cash for a uniform bearing Fort Hood unit patches," reports the AP. Today, Naser Abdo was arrested at a motel about three miles from Fort Hood's main gate. In his room, police reportedly found a large quantity of ammunition, weapons, and a bomb inside a backpack. Questioned by police, Abdo reportedly admitted planning an attack on Fort Hood, the Army base previously attacked in 2009. Abdo has been handed over to the Feds and will face terror charges. Thank you, suspicious gun shop employees.
THURSDAY, JULY 28 In worse news, this afternoon in Seattle, someone driving an SUV fatally struck a bicyclist at Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street, and then sped away. Condolences to the family and friends of Mike Wang, the 44-year-old Shoreline man (and father of two) killed by today's hit-and-runner. Everyone else: If you see a brown American-made SUV with a chrome rack on the roof and a guilty-looking motherfucker behind the wheel, copy down the license plate number and call the cops.
FRIDAY, JULY 29 Nothing happened today, unless you count the trial of Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormon splinter group that practices polygamy and, if the charges against Jeffs are true, child rape. During today's court proceedings in San Angelo, Texas, defendant Jeffs—who is serving as his own lawyer against two counts of sexual assault of a child—addressed the court in the voice of God: "I, the Lord God of heaven, ask the courts to cease the prosecution of my holy ways," said Jeffs. "There will be a judgment against all those who prosecute the church. I will bring sickness and death. Let this cease." Following Jeffs's one-man God show, CNN reports, Judge Barbara Walther warned Jeffs that if he again called for "the jury's destruction," he would be removed from the courtroom. On Monday, Jeffs will file a motion on behalf of God seeking the removal of Judge Walther from the case. The fun continues.
SATURDAY, JULY 30 Speaking of slaves to insanity, the week continues in South Florida, where tonight a young man high on magic mushrooms tried very hard to drown himself. Details come from South Florida's Sun Sentinel, which identifies the suicidal 'shroomer as 21-year-old Daniel Yepez, whose friends called police after his hallucinogenic mushroom trip turned spooky. As the Sun Sentinel reports, Monroe County sheriff's deputy Nicholis Whiteman arrived at Long Key State Park just in time to see Daniel Yepez run into the water, saying he wanted to drown. After dropping his gun belt, Deputy Whiteman splashed in after him, commencing a battle in which the tripping Yepez did his best to fight off the man who was there to save him. Eventually, Whiteman "got Yepez in a bear hug and dragged him to shore," reports the Sun Sentinel. "During the struggle with the flailing Yepez, his elbow hit Whiteman in the eye. The deputy was treated at the scene for a cut. Yepez was finally pulled from the water in handcuffs and taken to Fisherman's Hospital in Marathon for treatment." Happy ending: Once back from his bad trip, Yepez apologized profusely to his battered savior. "Yepez apologized many times over for striking me," wrote Deputy Whiteman in his police report. "[H]e remembered very little of the incident."
SUNDAY, JULY 31 The week ends with abject horror in Syria, where today brought a bloody crackdown by government security forces that involved tanks, snipers, and "corpses littering the streets" that left at least 70 people dead. "President Barack Obama called the reports 'horrifying' and said President Bashar al-Assad is 'completely incapable and unwilling' to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people," reports the Associated Press.
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