MONDAY, JULY 2 This week of bad trips, crappy lies, and the unfortunate intersection of suicidal urges and gorilla suits kicks off in Seattle's First Hill/Cherry Hill/Pill Hill neighborhood, with a beguiling tale of incriminating horseplay. As KIRO reports, it was not long after 5 p.m. this evening when the SPD received calls about a man shooting a gun out of a car near Swedish Medical Center. When officers arrived at the scene, witnesses directed them to the car involved in the alleged shooting—a Dodge Intrepid, which now sat parked in a lot on Broadway. Searching the car, officers soon learned the alleged gunplay involved only an airsoft BB gun, which was found under the Intrepid's passenger seat. But then: "Police checked the license plate number and found that the car had been stolen from Lynnwood," reports KIRO. "The 36-year-old suspect was arrested for investigation of auto theft." Hurrah for bank-shot crime busts.
TUESDAY, JULY 3 If one were to believe the ramblings of the vaccine-eschewing lunatics turning the Pacific Northwest's island communities into hotbeds of whooping cough, the American Pharmaceutical Industry™ is ruled by profit-seeking sociopaths willing to do anything—exploit fears, bribe doctors, repeat life-endangering lies—to keep a nation of overmedicated sheeple hooked on their wares. Today brings a story that suggests these lunatics might be totally right. Exhibit A: GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical group that was fined $3 billion after admitting to paying off doctors and encouraging unsuitable prescriptions for children. "The company admitted corporate misconduct over the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin," reports the Guardian. "Paxil was promoted as suitable for children and teenagers by the company despite trials that showed it was ineffective." As for Wellbutrin: Prosecutors said GlaxoSmithKline paid Dr. Drew Pinsky $275,000 to hype the drug on his radio show via on-air promotions centering on Wellbutrin's unapproved uses. ("GSK claimed it could treat weight gain, sexual dysfunction, ADHD, and bulimia," reports the Guardian. "Pinsky, who had not declared his GSK income to listeners, said Wellbutrin could give women 60 orgasms a night.") Regarding the payoffs: "The company encouraged sales reps in the US to mis-sell three drugs to doctors and lavished hospitality and kickbacks on those who agreed to write extra prescriptions, including trips to resorts in Bermuda, Jamaica, and California," reports the Guardian. "Psychiatrists and their partners were flown to five-star hotels on all-expenses-paid trips where speakers, paid up to $2,500 to attend, gave presentations on the drugs... GSK also paid for articles on its drugs to appear in medical journals, and 'independent' doctors were hired by the company to promote the treatments, according to court documents." Dear vaccination-eschewing lunatics of the Pacific Northwest: We're sorry to have doubted you. (But you still need to vaccinate your fucking kids.)
•• Speaking of drug trouble: Today also brings a story from Daytona Beach, Florida, where a young man tried to bring himself out of a hallucinogenic-mushroom-inspired "dream" by shooting himself in the head. Details come from the Daytona Beach News-Journal, which identifies the bad tripper as 17-year-old Steve Tilbury, who told police he'd imbibed hallucinogenic mushrooms then fallen half-asleep. When he awoke, the boy told police, he felt trapped in a nightmare he could not escape. And so he retrieved a .22-caliber rifle from his parents' bedroom, returned to his own bedroom, sat on the bed, put the butt of the gun on the floor, and fired once into his forehead. "Tilbury said he thought if he shot himself, he would wake up from the bad dream," wrote investigators in their report. "He said after he shot himself, he didn't wake up from the bad dream." Miraculously surviving the point-blank rifle blast to the head, Tilbury ventured outside to ask a passer-by to take him to the hospital. "Deputies were called to Florida Hospital DeLand at 5:54 p.m. Tuesday where they found Tilbury with a .22-caliber bullet hole in the center of his forehead," reports the News-Journal. "A deputy asked Tilbury if he wanted to kill himself and he said, 'No, I just wanted to wake up from the bad nightmare. I am happy and I love my life.'"
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 Nothing happened today, unless you count America's birthday (which we do), or the 1,001 told-you-so fireworks injuries that will be reported, with a blend of schadenfreude and sanctimony, all day tomorrow (which we don't).
THURSDAY, JULY 5 The week continues with the introduction of the Pacific Northwest's most entrancing folk-hero/alleged criminal since the Barefoot Bandit: Yevgeniy M. Samsonov, a 29-year-old man who was set on the road to his current notoriety back in March 2009. As the Seattle Times informs us, that's when Samsonov was "involved in a minor traffic accident when his car was rear-ended while he was stopped at a traffic light in Tacoma," after which Samsonov filed a claim for chiropractic treatment that netted him $3,452 from PEMCO. "Two and a half years later, Samsonov sought additional payment from PEMCO, claiming that his beloved cat Tom had been killed in the same accident," reports the Times. "PEMCO issued Samsonov a check for $50 to compensate him for the cat. But Samsonov then told PEMCO that he'd paid $1,000 for the cat, who'd been like a son to him... [and he] wanted $20,000." As supporting evidence for the lost-cat claim, Samsonov allegedly sent two photos of his dear departed feline to PEMCO representatives. Then: "A PEMCO claims representative did a Google Images search and discovered identical cat images appearing on web sites, blogs, and Facebook pages," reports the Times. "The two images Samsonov submitted are actually of two different cats. Neither belonged to Samsonov." Upon discovering the fraudulent feline photos, PEMCO canceled the previously issued $50 check and sent the case to the insurance commissioner's anti-fraud unit. Samsonov has been charged with first-degree attempted theft and felony insurance fraud, and he is scheduled to be arraigned next Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court.
FRIDAY, JULY 6 In more upsetting news involving animal-based fakery, the week continues in San Antonio, Texas, where today an apparently suicidal man was hit by a car after being chased by a person in a gorilla costume. "According to an incident report, a 25-year-old man was seen running toward traffic after leaving the Coco Bongo nightclub," reports the San Antonio Express-News. "The person in the gorilla costume—who police found at Coco Bongo shortly after the wreck—told investigating officers that the man had said he wanted to kill himself before running toward the oncoming vehicles." The man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
SATURDAY, JULY 7 The week continues with a gloriously pleasant and sunny day in Seattle (where folks crowded into Cal Anderson Park for a Stranger-sponsored post–Fourth of July hoedown) and a hideously hot day for a huge swath of the rest of the country, with scorching temperatures reported from Iowa to the East Coast.
SUNDAY, JULY 8 Nothing happened today, unless you count more glorious/hideous sun.
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