<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:21:46 -0700 Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:21:46 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Monk Relaxing Atop Wind Turbine Spotted by Drone ]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:17:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/wind+turbines0507.jpg

A Benedictine monk at a private Rhode Island school has discovered that finding solitude is no easy feat, even 175 feet in the air.

A drone camera took video of Brother Joseph Byron hanging out on top of a wind turbine at the Portsmouth Abbey School, a private catholic boarding school.

That video has now gone viral.

Brother Byron said he went up on top of the turbine to relax during a heatwave on Aug. 16.

That's when he got quite the surprise.

"It's beautiful up there, absolutely gorgeous," he said. "You never know what's hovering around."

Brother Byron said he's the de facto keeper of turbine, which has been there for 10 years. He said the blades only turn with wind at 12 miles per hour, and that day, there wasn't any wind, so he climbed up.

He said he's not afraid of heights.

"The next thing I heard was the buzzing," he said. "And at first, I was kind of - I had never seen one before so, that's kind of cool."

The drone, which the Daily Mail reported was remotely operated by a visiting tourist from California, hovered for a bit and went away, only to come back.

He later noticed the video was published.

Byron tells the Providence Journal he's never seen a drone before and wasn't thrilled by the encounter. He added that, because of all the attention he's getting, he's going to wait a little while before going back on the turbine again.



Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Mexican Superhero 'Peatonito' Helping to Keep Streets Safe]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:54:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000012918350_1200x675_515219523835.jpg One of the largest streets in the world has its own caped crusader.]]> <![CDATA[First Look at 'Burning Man: The Musical' ]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:40:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burner-musical.jpg

"Burning Man: The Musical" will one day be a full-length film feature, but the first five irreverent minutes are available to watch now.

San Francisco Magazine reported that the project is the brainchild of Matt Werner, 31, a tech writer for Google who is about to go to the annual Black Rock City event for the first time. 

After a successful Kickstarter campaign raised $5,327 in April, Werner has launched a new crowdfunder via Indiegogo that has raised $3,001 of a $20,000 goal as of this writing.

According to the Indiegogo campaign, that $20,000 would help fund the production and filming of the next two songs of the musical, which Werner plans to keep serializing on YouTube.



Photo Credit: Matt Werner
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<![CDATA[SoCal Couple Dives into Marriage]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 08:16:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Underwater-scuba-wedding-0824.jpg

One San Diego couple's marriage is already underwater and they haven't even been married a week.

Mark and Crystal Vartanian took the plunge at La Jolla Cove Saturday morning, diving 20 feet underwater to get married.

Mark Vartanian certainly didn't have cold feet before the ceremony. In fact, he wore a tuxedo over his wetsuit for the occasion.

"I'm hot," he admitted before the ceremony as his fiancée laughed.

Crystal followed his lead, wearing a dress over her scuba gear.

The entire wedding party, many of whom had never been diving before, also donned wetsuits for the wedding.

"We feel like if you've been to one wedding, you've been to them all," Crystal Vartanian told NBC7 of San Diego. "We really wanted to give our guests something different to take back with them."

Crystal says the couple was just searching the web one day when they came across an ad about scuba diving. They quickly came up with the idea of combining the two. They became certified and began planning for their big day.

After the ceremony, the couple had their reception at San Diego's Birch Aquarium.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose School Creates Student ID for Campus Cat]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:36:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cat-id.jpg

After years of hanging out informally on campus, a cat has been made an official member of the student body at San Jose's Leland High School.

The orange and white feline, whose name is Bubba, lives nearby but prefers to spend his waking hours at Leland and neighboring Bret Harte Middle School. His school-issued student ID lets administrators and hall monitors know he belongs.

Bubba has his own Facebook page and a marked demand to be more active online.

"People want me to get him on Instagram," Bubba's owner Amber Marienthal told the San Jose Mercury News. "I only have so much time to devote to my cat's social life."

Marienthal told the publication that she would like to see Bubba included in 2017 graduation so he can be with the students who have enjoyed his company since they were in junior high.

Waiting for my peeps.

Posted by Bubba the Cat on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I brought you some dessert. #GetItWhileItsHot

Posted by Bubba the Cat on Sunday, August 9, 2015

Exhausted after my 36 hour long "stay" inside a classroom. Luckily I meow like a lion and the security guy heard me!

Posted by Bubba the Cat on Friday, July 31, 2015

 

It's official - I am now part of the Student Body - the best part, mind you.

Posted by Bubba the Cat on Tuesday, July 28, 2015



Photo Credit: Facebook.com/bubbathecat]]>
<![CDATA[Bear Takes an Afternoon Dip in His Neighbor's Hot Tub]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 07:47:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/150818_hottub_bear_03.jpg

The summer heat can make people—and bears—crazy.

A bear busted down Tony Diering's fence to take a leisurely swim in the man's pool before taking a dip in the hot tub, CTV News Vancouver reported.

"He's just relaxing and having a little cool down," Diering told CTV News Vancouver.

"It's just amazing, to see funny things on YouTube then to have it happen in your own backyard," he said. 

Last month, Diering said a bear came to help himself to the bird seed. Diering removed the feeder to deter more unwanted guests, but the bear—which, Diering he believes is the same one—knocked down the fence to get inside. 



Photo Credit: Tony Deiring]]>
<![CDATA[Man Says Siri Made the Call That Saved His Life ]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 08:23:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_111010073653_Siri.jpg

A Tennessee teen is alive today thanks to Siri, he says.

Eighteen-year-old Sam Ray says the voice recognition service on his iPhone — famously named Siri — called emergency dispatchers after his truck fell on him while he tried to make repairs.

Ray told media outlets that a jack collapsed, pinning him under nearly 5,000 pounds of metal in a location where he couldn't be easily seen or heard. He says he was trying to get free when he heard Siri activate.

"I said 'Call 911,' and that was all it said," he said.

Rutherford County dispatcher Christina Lee says she first thought it was a mistaken pocket-dial, but then she heard his screams for help and sent crews, who rescued him.

She said she knew his general location from the cellphone signal, but Ray helped them pinpoint his exact whereabouts.

"The map got to his street. ... It got pretty close," Lee said. "But he was yelling his address, and that was the best thing he could have done."

When volunteer firefighters arrived, they raised the truck back up with a jack and pulled Ray out. He was under the truck for about 40 minutes.

"I could feel myself slipping," he said. "I was starting to accept that I wouldn't get out."

Ray and Lee met Friday for the first time after the July 2 incident.

Rick Miller, who is chief of trauma and surgical care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said Ray suffered broken ribs, a bruised kidney, cuts and a concussion, and he had burns on one arm. Miller said Ray is lucky his wounds weren't worse.

"Sometimes these crush injuries can be devastating and can kill you," Miller said. "I've never heard of a story where you can figure out a way to use Siri to call 911 and get yourself rescued."

Sam Ray said he is thankful to be alive.

"I guess I'm stuck with an iPhone for the rest of my life," he said. "I owe them that."



Photo Credit: File - AP]]>
<![CDATA[26-Year-Old Cat Makes the Record Books (Again)]]> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:03:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/corduroy_oldest_cat.jpg

Corduroy the cat has given his owner a lifetime of purrs and love.

At 26 years old, the green-eyed feline was recognized by the Guinness World Records for a second time. 

On Thursday, Guinness World Records announced Corduroy broke the record for oldest living cat again. He had held the record last year but was bested by another cat named Tiffany Two that recently died at the age of 27 years, 2 months and 20 days. 

Corduroy has been a lifelong companion of his owner Ashley Reed Okura. She got the cat when she was just 7 years old. The average life span of a cat is 15 years.

Guinness World Records says that although Corduroy now holds the record for the oldest living cat, he's the not the oldest cat to ever live.

Creme Puff, born in 1965, lived 38 years and 3 days. 



Photo Credit: Guinness World Records
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<![CDATA[Giant Chocolate Lobster]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:58:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_34201.jpg

A Maine candy company is seeking to break a Guinness World Record with a gigantic chocolate lobster.

To commemorate 100 years in business, Haven's Candies of Westbrook has unveiled "Shelby."

The extremely large crustacean, made of solid milk chocolate, is in honor of Shelby Putnam, who owned Haven's with his wife, Harris, from 1970 to 1990. He still works at the company as chief engineer.

"Shelby" is 418.1 pounds of mouth-watering goodness. The sculpture measures 90.5 inches from tip to tail and 47.75 inches claw to claw.

ACME Scale Company of Windham completed the official weigh-in, required by Guinness to certify the entry as a potential record holder.

"Shelby," who will be on display through Oct. 22 at the store, is hoping to claim fame as the "World's Largest Chocolate Sculpture." You can also see "Shelby" on display on Oct. 24 at the Maine Marketplace.



Photo Credit: Haven’s Candies]]>
<![CDATA[420 Games Combines Athletics, Cannabis Pride]]> Mon, 10 Aug 2015 15:56:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/medical+marijuana+stock+cannabis.jpg

Stoners are athletes, too – that's the premise for the upcoming 420 Games in San Francisco and San Jose, at least.

The 420 Games is sponsoring a 4.20 mile fun run/walk followed by a concert with reggae artist Pato Banton in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Saturday and a golf tournament at Los Lagos Golf Course in San Jose on August 29.

Marijuana will not not be provided to participants at the Games, which is being promoted as cannabis-positive sporting events and not a "smoke in," according to the event's official website.

"The 420 Games goal is to eradicate the false stereotypes that hinder millions of successful and motivated people and to propagate the choice and ability to responsibly use cannabis as a supplement without fear of prosecution or judgement," reads a statement on the site's "about" page.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Burning Man Parody Would Build Wall to Prevent Attendees' Return]]> Fri, 07 Aug 2015 13:03:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BURNING-MAN-VO---00000618.jpg

A parody captures the Bay Area's sizable tide of annual anti-Burning Man sentiment by proposing the construction of a 300-mile wall to keep revelers from returning to the Bay Area.

According to a fake crowdfunding campaign devised by Cultivated Wit, the fantasy wall, which has raised billions of dollars in imaginary pledges, would be constructed from Point Reyes to Santa Cruz during the week that everyone is on the playa in Black Rock City, Nevada, so that they cannot come back home.

"For the rest of us, what’s normally our favorite week of the year… lasts forever!"

Since it's not a real fundraising campaign, you can't donate to make this cause a reality. But you can buy an "I [Wall] SF" T-shirt to show your theoretical support.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA['Tarzan' Arrested at SoCal Zo]]> Fri, 07 Aug 2015 06:10:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/207*120/08-05-2015-zoo-santa-ana-tarzan-1.jpg

One of the wildest attractions at the Santa Ana Zoo Tuesday morning had nothing to do with the animals.

A shirtless, mud-covered man caused an uproar when he climbed trees and attempted to elude officers, according to Santa Ana Police. The man claimed he was the fictional Lord of the Jungle, Tarzan, as he ran around the property, zoo staff members told police.

Zoo director Kent Yamaguchi discovered the man and explained the bizarre scene to a 911 operator.

"We have a gentleman who appears to be under the influence of something and is climbing into trees and jumping in animal exhibits," Yamaguchi said.

"Oh, ok, wow. Has he said anything to anybody?" the 911 operator asked.

"Um, he's shouting at people that he's Tarzan," Yamaguchi responded.

Santa Ana officers briefly chased the man, 36-year-old John William Rodenborn, who was arrested and later tested positive for methamphetamine. Methamphetamine was also found in the Rodenborn's car, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

"He more than likely will be cited and released." Bertagna said. "Hopefully he won't come back again."

Rodenborn was allegedly trying to climb into several monkey enclosures, but didn't get anywhere near the zoo's 59 primates, police said.

"He didn't make any animal sounds," said Yamaguchi. "He was just sort of enjoying himself in the trees.

"He kept telling me that he just wanted to play, and that I needed to play."

It was not immediately clear how Rodenborn got into the zoo. Staff members said he was not a paying customer and did not enter the zoo through the main entrance or employee access.



Photo Credit: Santa Ana PD]]>
<![CDATA[Eat 24: When Donald Trump Says 'Mexico' We Give You Free Tacos]]> Thu, 06 Aug 2015 16:55:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/donald-trump-encuesta.jpg

You heard right. For every time Donald Trump says the word "Mexico" during Thursday's presidential debate, food delivery app Eat24 says it will give you a free taco.

The billonaire presidential candidate recently took a lot of heat for his controversial comments about Mexicans and immigration. Many are waiting to see what he's going to say next, as he takes the spotlight for the Fox-Facebook debate tonight.

Eat24 tweeted that every time Trump says "Mexico," they will post a "coupon code on Twitter @Eat24 for $5 off your order of $10 or more on Eat24.com or the Eat24 app. (#HolaDonald)."

The company explains: "Why are we doing this? Because even though Donald Trump (#HolaDonald) and Eat24 don’t have much in common besides a love of whacky toupees (is it a toupee, right?), we want to fully support your constitutional right to have pulled pork nachos and a Diet Coke delivered to your couch while you watch his face change from one shade of pink to another/contemplate his policy ideas."

Want a lifetime supply of tacos? Eat 24 has another idea: "Yes, you’re totally allowed to Tweet at @realDonaldTrump (#HolaDonald) and tell him to say “Mexico” a million times so you can order a lifetime supply of tacos."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bees Swarm Bike in Midtown Manhattan]]> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:14:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/katie+linker+photo+credit.jpg

It was an odd sight Tuesday afternoon in midtown as hundreds of bees swarmed a bicycle locked to a traffic sign. 

The bees were spotted covering the front of the bicycle parked at West 56th Street and Seventh Avenue at about 2 p.m., according to several witnesses. The NYPD was called to the scene, and it looked as though beekeepers were taking care of the swarm.

The bizarre sight amused many New Yorkers, some gathering nearby to watch beekeepers remove the insects.

"Who knew there was an NYPD bee squad?" Katie Linker posted to Instagram.

It wasn't immediately clear where the bees came from, but former NYPD bee manager Tony Planakis told Gothamist they were probably from a hive nearby. 

"When a swarm takes place, it's going to take place within 100, 150 feet of the mother hive," Planakis told the website. "Bees are going to say, 'We're going to go to the closest location and sit there and regroup, we're going to wait for the queen to arrive, and once she does, scouts will go look for a new home.'"



Photo Credit: @klinker13/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Upside Down Over Illinois, Skydivers Break Record]]> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:38:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SkyDiveThumb1.jpg Traveling at speeds of up to 240 mph, 164 skydivers flying head-down have built the largest ever vertical skydiving formation on July 31, 2015 over central Illinois, smashing the previous record. ]]> <![CDATA[Meth Pills Were in In-n-Out Drink, Man Claims in Lawsuit]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 13:27:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/innoutmeth.jpg

In-n-Out Burger has been sued by a man who alleges he found meth in the bottom of his drink, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. 

The incident allegedly occurred on the night of March 9, 2014, when Fred Maldonado, of Carlsbad, ordered a burger and drink from a Southern California In-n-Out. An executive for the restaurant chain has called the claim "baseless."

Maldonado then returned to his nearby motel, where he drank half the beverage and went to sleep. When he awoke the next morning, he emptied the rest of the drink and allegedly found two pills and a napkin at the bottom of the cup, according to the lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

When Maldonado returned the cup and its contents to the In-n-Out location, located at 8767 Firestone Blvd. in Downey, the manager apologized and offered him a gift certificate for a free burger, according to the lawsuit.

Though Maldonado was unaware of what the blue gelatin capsules were at the time, later testing found that they contained methamphetamine, according to toxicology findings from last August submitted by Maldonado's lawyer, G. Patrick Connors III. The napkin and the cup both tested negative for methamphetamine in a test conducted by Utica Toxicology Service.

"The beverage served by defendants to plaintiff was not clean, wholesome, and free from harmful or injurious foreign substances but instead, unknown to plaintiff, contained hazardous and unhealthful foreign substances, namely two capsules of methampetamine and a napkin that was unfit for human consumption," the lawsuit stated.

A picture of the capsules and napkin allegedly found in the drink were provided by Connors.

Maldonado did not ingest the pills, but did suffer nausea and serious injuries to his health, as well as mental distress, as a result of consuming the drink, according to his lawyer.

In-n-Out has denied the allegations.

“At In-N-Out Burger, we have always served the freshest, highest quality burgers, fries, and drinks and customer safety is one of our highest priorities. We will vigorously defend these baseless claims. Due to the fact that this matter involves ongoing litigation, we will unfortunately not be able to comment any further,” In-n-Out Executive Vice-President Arnie Wensinger said.

Maldonado has sued for unspecified damages.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of G. Patrick Connors III]]>
<![CDATA[Morrissey Says He Was Groped at SFO]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:52:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/455184451.jpg

British pop singer Morrissey said he was groped at San Francisco International Airport this week on his way to London, and now he's making waves by blogging about what he's calling a "sexual assault."

On his True to You "Morrissey Zine" blog, the former Smiths singer wrote that prior to taking off from SFO on July 27, he was approached by an "airport security officer" who stopped him, "crouched" before him, and "groped" his private areas, moving away quickly when another officer passed by.

Morrissey said two members of the British Airways Special Services were "horrified at the sexual attack," and at their urging, he lodged a complaint. Those agents were not identified and NBC Bay Area was not able to independently verify this part of the story.

Morrissey relayed his version of what transpired on his blog between what seems to be a British Airways employee and the officer:

Morrissey:You have just sexually groped this man.
Officer:
That's just your opinion.
Morrissey: What you have done is illegal.
Officer: That's just your opinion.
Morrissey: You have no right to do what you have just done.
Officer: That's just your opinion.

SFO Doug Yakel deferred all comment to the TSA. According to a TSA spokesman, the alleged groper does not officially work for the federal government, but is a private contractor with Covenant Aviation Security that provides service at SFO.

A TSA spokesperson responded to NBC Bay Area's request for comment, saying in part, "TSA works with numerous groups to continuously refine and enhance our procedures to improve the passenger experience while also ensuring the safety of the traveling public."

It's unclear whether any action will be taken against the officer based on Morrissey's accusations. Morrissey didn't state on his blog whether he was pursuing any criminal action.



Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Shower Curtain Lets Bathers Know It's Time to Get Out]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:40:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/h20-curtain-2.jpg

A London-based artist may have the solution for those who enjoy long showers even in the midst of a drought.

Elisabeth Buecher designed a shower curtain that encourages people to stop wasting water after four minutes. The project, which features a water tap sensor that triggers the inflation of spikes, is part of an installation series called “My Shower Curtain is a Green Warrior.”

Bucher said in an email that people sometimes need a little prodding to be mindful of saving water.

“I see my curtains like alarm clocks,” Buecher said. “You don’t want to get up in the morning but you have to and the alarm clock helps you to do it”.

Although the plastic spikes are harmless, Buecher found inspiration in the medieval torture devices seen in Tim Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow.”

Buecher uses her textile installations to raise awareness about social and environmental issues.

The shower curtain is currently a prototype, which the artist and educator uses for educational purposes. However, Buecher would love to see her products on store shelves.

She has also created a shower curtain that slowly inflates around a person and only allows for a four-minute shower before it traps them.

“People get very excited about it for lots of different reasons,” Buecher said. “The curtains do create a lot of interesting discussions across generations and fields.” 



Photo Credit: Elisabeth Buecher]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders' Candidacy Inspires Merch]]> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:15:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2015-07-21-19h30m41s117.png

As the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attracts more and more interest from around the country, it’s also inspiring a surge of support in surprising ways. Those include pro-Sanders displays on the bottoms of beer cans and on the sides of purses.

At the Burlington Beer Company in Williston, Vermont, brew master Joe Lemnah recently printed a message saying #FeelTheBern, a reference to Sanders, on the bottoms of cans of his Light in the Window IPA.

“It’s kind of like a little Easter egg, if you will,” Lemnah said, describing how a beer drinker may discover the slogan on the bottom of a can. “Politics and religion were always the things you don’t do with business, but I feel like those days are changing a little bit; where it’s safer to show how you actually feel.”

The support from the craft beer producer, who said he admires how Sanders has long championed agricultural concerns, comes as the candidate is drawing huge crowds at rallies nationwide. In those appearances, Sanders often decries what he calls the outrage of income inequality, and pushes for a political revolution to strengthen the working class.

The enthusiasm level and size of the crowds at Sanders events has led some political observers to describe his candidacy as one that challenges the sense it’s inevitable that Hillary Clinton will walk away with the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Along with that surge of interest from rally attendees, Flashbags, an accessories line, has seen a surge in business. The company, as did Sanders’ political career, launched in Burlington.

“I just sent some out to Wyoming,” said Erin Cain of Flashbags, showing necn several designs of Sanders purses, which she said are hot sellers with liberal customers. “I can’t actually seem to make them fast enough right now.”

Burlington graphic designer Dave Barron, who has a side business called The Bernie Shirt said he has shipped hundreds of the garments to nearly all 50 states. “Bernie brings an electricity to the race you don’t often see,” Barron said.

Barron told necn he is donating a tenth of his sales to Bernie 2016, noting that buyers seem energized by how the sometimes wild-haired senator focuses on the little guy. “Bernie fights for everybody, which you don’t see in every candidate.”

Barron also noted the shirts are printed by New Duds in Winooski, another small Vermont business.

In response to an inquiry from necn regarding the support from the Burlington Beer Company, Flashbags, The Bernie Shirt, and other independent businesses around Vermont, the Sanders campaign issued the following statement:

“These are all examples of the many ways that Bernie's message is resonating. This is part of the grassroots movement that is growing in Vermont and all over the country. People in different, creative ways are sending a message to the billionaire class that they can't have it all.”

Joe Lemnah said he did receive a complaint about his beer cans, from someone backing Hillary Clinton. But Lemnah said that will not stop him from “feeling the Bern.” 



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Tooth-Shaped Balloon Mascot Gets Loose, Flies Away]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:13:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mickey+balloon+2.JPG

A Chicago-area dental practice is asking for help finding a loose tooth. 

“Mickey the Molar,” a 10-foot by 10-foot balloon, has disappeared up into the sky.

The balloon, which has been a staple at Algonquin’s Founders’ Day Parade for 17 years, is the mascot for Dr. Timothy Stirneman’s All Smiles Dental practice.

A spokesperson for the practice said the flying tooth seems to have just “flown away on its own.” With the Founders’ Day Parade beginning on Sunday, the practice said they’re desperate to get the balloon back.

Anyone who spots the “loose tooth” can call All Smiles Dental at (847) 854-7645. 



Photo Credit: All Smiles Dental
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<![CDATA[Alligator Taken Into Police Custody on NYC Street Dies]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:11:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/alligator+manhattan.jpg

A 3-foot alligator NYPD officers took into custody after they spotted it walking across a Manhattan street has died, authorities say.

The reptilian scofflaw startled residents near Ninth Avenue and 205th Street in Inwood Thursday afternoon and was picked up by the NYPD's emergency services team, authorities said.

The reptile, which the NYPD's 34th precinct joked was having trouble hailing a trip out of town, was taken to Animal Care Centers of NYC, where workers removed the duct tape police had put on its snout and put it in an aquarium-type setting that had heat and a shallow pool of water.

The alligator died Friday morning, Animal Care Centers of NYC said. The group said it had named it CockadoodleQ.

"We have no knowledge of the conditions CockadoodleQ had lived in prior to his arrival that contributed to his death," Animal Care Centers of NYC said in a statement.

Exotic animals are illegal to have as pets in New York City. It's not clear how the gator made it onto the street, nor was it known if police were looking for an owner.



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Bugs Appear as Storm on TX Weather Radar]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 06:00:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/bug+radar+tx.JPG

Rangers at a state park near the Texas panhandle say flying insects caused a weather radar to light up as if there was a large storm there Wednesday.

The interesting radar image came from the area near Copper Breaks State Park, west of Wichita Falls.

National Weather Service officials say people shouldn't be alarmed by the size of the blob, which spanned for several miles. It wasn't a swarm, they said, rather there were just enough bugs flying around to be seen on the radar.



Photo Credit: National Weather Service
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<![CDATA[SF Implements Pee-Repellant Paint Program]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 08:28:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/th-HD-PEE-PAINT-TZ---01243503.jpg

A splashy new idea for getting people to stop using San Francisco alleys and walls as toilets is being implemented in several of the city’s neighborhoods. The Department of Public Works is testing out a new paint that repels urine to discourage peeing on the sidewalk.

Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said crews have installed a liquid-repellant paint in about 10 locations.

“When people urinate on the wall, the pee bounces back and hits your pants or gets you wet,” Nuru said. “So we are piloting it to see if we can discourage people from peeing on many of our hot spots.”

Around parts of San Francisco, the stink is obvious, and architect John Jackson says he’s had enough.

“Public peeing is an issue in the city,” Jackson said. “When I come to work that’s all I smell walking down the street.”

Cities in Germany have reportedly seen a lot of success with the pee-repellant paint. In San Francisco, the paint is paired with signs instructing people to “Hold It!” and to seek relief in an appropriate place. However, the signs don’t warn about possible consequences for those who don’t “hold it."

Overall steam-cleaning requests are down about 17 percent, a trend the city's public works department believes is partially due to its Pit Stop staffed bathroom program.

While some want the city to pursue alternatives, like more public bathrooms, Jackson thinks the paint is worth trying. But he also cautioned that old habits die hard.

“If [the paint] deterred them,” Jackson said, “they would just move to the next wall.”


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<![CDATA[Wiccan Witches, Mystics Provide Tech Support]]> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:17:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/224*120/joeytalley.jpg

Psychics, mystics and witches are providing Silicon Valley with a supernatural form of tech support.

"Most people want me to protect their computers from viruses and hacks," Reverend Joey Talley, a Wiccan witch based in Marin, told SF Weekly, "so I'll make charms for them. I like to use flora."

But Talley also works with companies to alleviate issues ranging from haunted offices to bugged computer networks.

According to her website, "Issues too unusual or dangerous to take to the straight world of Western helpers are comfortably resolved with Reverend Joey's personalized Wicca help. No problem is too big, too small, or too weird. Resistant conditions and bizarre symptoms are welcome."

Private appointments are $200 per hour and apprenticeships are available.



Photo Credit: Joey Talley]]>
<![CDATA['Drunk' Squirrel Damages English Club]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 12:30:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-469038412SQUIRREL72315.jpg

A “drunk” squirrel caused hundreds of dollars of damage at a private members’ club located in England, BBC reported.

The secretary of the Honeybourne Railway Club told BBC that he originally thought that someone had broken into the building, located near Evesham in Worcestershire.

He was mostly right -- except the invader was not a man but a squirrel that was “staggering around” after coming out from behind a box of chips, according to BBC.

"There were bottles scattered around, money scattered around, and he had obviously run across the bar's pumps and managed to turn on the Caffrey's [Irish Ale] tap,” Sam Boulter said. "He must have flung himself on the handle and drank some as he was staggering around all over the place and moving a bit slowly.”

Boutler said he lost £300, or about $465, in the incident. He was able to grab the rowdy rodent in a waste bin and released it out of a window.

"I've never seen a drunk squirrel before,” Boutler said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bombshell Discovery: Bazooka Shell Found in Storm Drain]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:16:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/072115+bazooka+shell+found+in+Fairfax+County.jpg

A Fairfax County, Virginia, worker inspecting a drain made an unusual discovery in a residential neighborhood Tuesday morning -- a round of bazooka ammunition possibly dating back to the Korean War era.

The bazooka shell was found in a drain on the 9300 block of Glenbrook Road in the Mantua neighborhood, Fairfax County Police said. Officers responded about 10:45 a.m. and kept neighbors away as they investigated.

The device was determined to be an inert, "blank" round likely used in training, police said. It wasn't immediately clear how long the shell had been there.

Police and fire officials stayed on the scene near the Mantua Hills Swim Club for almost four hours, leaving about 2:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Fairfax County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Chipotle Anti-Fast Lasts 153 Days and Counting]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 05:50:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/536073195.jpg

Two men who have never met appear to have in common a similar zest for fast Mexican food. Both men started eating Chipotle every day for the last 100-plus days and have taken to social media to write about their experience on the diet. 

Los Angeles animator Andrew Hawryluk, 23, is documenting his Mexican food habit on his Chipoltlife blog, calling it a "culinary endurance art piece." Hawryluk says he's eaten Chipotle at least once a day for the past 153 days, spending $1,567 and consuming 110,890 calories.

On his blog, he says he typically orders a burrito bowl consisting of white rice, chicken, guacamole, and lettuce with Tabasco chipotle sauce on top. He prefers a bowl so he doesn't have to eat with his hands.

Hawryluk's food project started on Feb. 18, the first day of Lent, as an anti-fast. He's taken a photo of each of his receipts to prove his purchases at the "best restaurant," as he calls it. 

This feat is not so unique, though.

Mark Rantal of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is also chronicling his Chipotle addiction. On July 14, Rantal celebrated his 100th lunch at Chipotle and posted a photo of himself to his Facebook page holding a plate of food with candles outside the restaurant to celebrate the milestone. 

"We are fortunate to have such fiercely loyal and enthusiastic customers. While these guys are taking that farther than most, we have a lot of people who are very loyal and regular customers," said Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle Mexican Grill. 

Neither Hawryluk nor Rantal is a paid spokesperson, according to the food chain. 



Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Foal Born with Patch That Looks Like Its Own Shadow]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 06:03:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Horse+11+AP774176329487_14.jpg

A chestnut foal born in May in England has been gaining a lot of attention around the Internet for his peculiar, self referential birthmark.

The young horse, named Da Vinci or "Vinny" for short, appears to host his own silhouette on his back and shoulder that mingles with his mane. 

Owner Wendy Bulmer told the Daily Mail that she named the horse Da Vinci because of the work of art that adorns his coat.

This horse, she said, is full of surprises. 

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"I bought his mother at a sale and didn't know she was in foal [pregnant] so that was a bit of a surprise," the riding school owner Wendy Bulmer told the Daily Mail in an interview.

While many chestnut horses have patches, most are unrecognizable, Bulmer said, but this one is a work of art. 

Not only does the horse have something of a self portrait on his coat, he's also got a little heart near his hind quarters. 

Maybe that heart is why all the children Bulmer's riding school, Fyling Hall riding school at Robin's Hood Bay love 'Vinny' so much. Or maybe it's because he's such a friendly foal, like Bulmer said. 


 



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Naked Protestors Take Aim at FEMA ]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:21:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/eucalyptus+generic.jpg

Protesters shed their clothing in a eucalyptus grove on the UC Berkeley campus over the weekend to protest FEMA plans to cut trees in the East Bay hills.

FEMA announced the controversial tree thinning plan in March. A grant of $5.7 million is earmarked to reduce the hazard of wildfires in the East Bay Hills by removing non-native plants.

According to Berkeleyside, about 50-75 people took part in Saturday's demonstration. The event was organized by the TreeSpirit Project to protest a plan to clear 450,000 trees in the Oakland and Berkeley hills. 

But protesters say the plan to leave dead wood on site will actually increase the potential for fires in an already volatile area.


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<![CDATA[Wedding Whopper: Joel Burger, Ashley King Tie the Knot]]> Sun, 19 Jul 2015 01:54:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/071915-burger-king-wedding-illinois.jpg

Couples will tell you that every wedding is special in its own way — and that's certainly true for Joel Burger and Ashley King, who married Friday afternoon in Illinois for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, with French fries or with onion rings.

Burger and King have been friends since grade school, Burger told NBC's John Yang for TODAY. Their evening wedding featured gifts from Burger King, which paid for the wedding after their story grabbed international headlines, including the fast-food chain's crowns and custom mason jars (and the groomsmen posed with Burger King shirts under their suits).



Photo Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Burger King]]>
<![CDATA[Cancer Patient Treated with 'Baggie of Dirt': Authorities]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:11:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11P+FAKE+CANCER+DOCTOR+VO+-+00000411.jpg

A northern California man was arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine unlawfully after authorities say he treated a woman in late stage cancer with a “baggie of dirt.”

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office arrested Vincent Gammill, 69, of El Cerrito, on July 9 at his office in Richmond on charges of practicing medicine without a license, dependent adult abuse and furnishing dangerous drugs without a license. 

Detectives said they found 25,000 prescription pills including morphine, Ambien, steroids, along with Mexican and Russian drugs at both his office and home. Gammill told detectives he offered alternative options to the traditional treatment of cancer. He also initially said he had no formal education beyond high school, but then “remembered” he had obtained a doctor of science degree sometime in the 1990s, according to Ventury County Detective Robert Davidson.

Davidson also told NBC Bay Area that Gammill's bail was set at $10,000 and he was later booked in Contra Costa County jail, but as of Friday, he was out of custody.

When reached by phone on Friday, Gammill denied to NBC Bay Area that he prescribed his patient dirt and denied that any dirt was used at all.

He also said he doesn't "treat" patients. Rather his Natural Oncology Institute is an "instructional program," which patients can choose to follow or not. He used these therapies for his own cancer, he said.

The woman involved, Gammill said, is an actress. "I think she just wants to be in the limelight."

He said he is being represented by a Santa Barbara attorney, who was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

In June, a 49-year-old Thousand Oaks woman reported that she sought Gammill’s treatment after finding his website in 2009. His site touts “alternative and complementary care” for people with cancer. The website also offers a five-day "Mango Retreat Program," in Del Mar, in "walking distance" to the Pacific Ocean. Gammill wrote on his company website that he was diagnosed with cancer, as well, in 2009 and chose both conventional and alternative cancer strategies to help. He saw his last formal oncologist in 2010.

Davidson said that agents started investigating the case after the woman told the Thousand Oaks East County Sheriff’s Office that she had been scammed out of $2,000 and harmed by Gammill’s practices.

Gammill reportedly treated the woman with baggies filled with dirt, powders, liquids and other commercial medicines that were past their expiration dates, authorities said.

During one of her visits to his office, Gammill instructed the woman on how to mix the ingredients into capsules before taking them, the pharmaceutical investigators said. At one point in the visit, authorities said Gammill brought out a large frying pan and told her that one of the compounds could burn a hole through the table. After the woman felt a burning sensation in her stomach, Gammill reportedly told her this was a good because it meant the ingredients were still active.

The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials team was called to Gammill’s office to “render it safe” after investigators reportedly found bottles labeled “corrosive” and “poison” in his laboratory, agents said. Investigators did not find any record of Gammill having any medical training upon his arrest.

In 1989, Drug and Enforcement Agents found more than 1,000 types of dangerous chemicals at a lab that Gammill owned. In court papers, Gammill argued that he ran a legitimate lab, and the chemicals the agents found were used to make fuel additive, naval jelly and dextran sulfate, which was a common underground AIDS treatment.

But DEA agents said that the lab was actually an "operational methamphetamine lab."

Gammill was charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, but he moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing in California's appeals court that the government violated his "due process rights by its bad faith destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence."

Eventually, in 1992, a judge overturned Gammill's conviction.

Gammill is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on Aug. 31.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: The Natrual Oncology Institute]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Parade Honors World's No. 1 Eater]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:48:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nathans-parade-winner.jpg

Matt Stonie ate 62 hot dogs on July 4 earning him the ranking of No. 1 competitive eater in the world. And for this, he deserves to “RELISH” in glory with a downtown San Jose parade on Friday to celebrate his gobbling of franks, the parade's hosts posted on Facebook.

LIVE 105 KITS San Francisco radio organizers are hosting the parade at 2 p.m. at the corner of San Pedro and St. John streets in San Pedro Square.

The 23-year-old Stonie, who likes to be called “The Megatoad,” beat reigning champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who also is from San Jose, during the annual July 4 international hot dog eating contest held at Coney Island. Major League Eaters now has Stonie ranked as the No. 1 competitive eater in the world, and Chestnut as No. 2.

Chestnut had won this annual – and bizarre – contest for the last eight years. Afterward, Chestnut smiled in defeat and told the media that he had been "looking for competition" and "I finally have it."

“It’s really unexpected, this last-minute parade,” Stonie told NBC Bay Area on Friday before the parade.

As for how Stonie embarked on what he calls a career: “It’s one of those freak things that happened,” he said.

He started as an junior at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, when he signed up for a 5-pound burrito-eating contest at Iguana’s “Home of the BurritoZilla” near his grandparents’ house. He won and pocketed $1,000.

And he’s been speed-eating ever since, from slug burgers to pumpkin pie, pepperoni rolls to birthday cake, and from bacon to hot dogs. In fact, he’s been doing so well, financially speaking, too, that he is taking a break from studying biochemistry at Mission College in Santa Clara.

At first, he said, his parents were skeptical of him downing 20,000 calories at a time. But now, he said, they see that he’s making money and being flown across the world – including for a TV stint in Korea. “Sometimes now, they help me cook up hot dogs,” he said.

Competitive eating isn’t for everyone, and it’s not easy, Stonie added.

“The first few years were miserable,” he said. “I was bloated, had fatigue.”

But he added that he’s figured out how to “fine tune my regimen” by balancing exercise, fasting and taking lots of vitamins and minerals.

As for him and Chestnut, Stonie said they are far from best friends but they do hang out occasionally. That the No. 1 and No. 2 competitors in the world both hail from San Jose, might not be so unusual, he said. 

“Living in California, people think a little differently,” he said. “We go for what’s outside the box.”
 



Photo Credit: Michelle Roberts
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<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Japanese Hotel Replaces Staff With Robots]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 06:51:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/robot-GettyImages-480744956_master.jpg The Henna Hotel, scheduled to open on July 17, features multi-lingual humanoid robots that greet visitors while other robots serve coffee and do the cleaning, as well as room doors that are opened by face-recognition technology.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Man, Nephew Win Meth Lab in Auction ]]> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 06:20:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-07-12+at+10.20.27+AM.png

A man and his nephew in California got a little more than they expected when they won an auction for an abandoned storage unit.

At Cubesmart in Rancho Cordova, units are auctioned when renters default on them for longer than 45 days, according to NBC affiliate KCRA. Some people buy these units and resell them for a profit.

The two men won one of the units with an $80 bid, according to the station. However, it contained a box full of hazardous, old-fashioned equipment used to make meth.

Narcotics officers told the station that the material was so toxic, hazmat specialists had to be called out.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department detectives are not sure if the lab was operated on site, but they are now looking for the original owners of the unit, according to KCRA.

A message for comment left with Cubesmart was not immediately returned. 

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<![CDATA[Stephen Curry Wins Best NBA Player, Best Male Athlete at ESPY Awards]]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 09:24:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/steph11.jpg

Warriors star Stephen Curry won this year's Best NBA Player and Best Male Athlete at Wednesday's 2015 ESPY Awards, adding to his already long list of honors.

Curry beat other big names in the business, including LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Curry thanked his family, including wife Ayesha — who gave birth to the couple's second daughter Friday — as well as his team while accepting the award.

"You know, I never imagined myself standing on this stage holding this award," he said, humble as always. "I'm 6-foot-3, 180 pounds soaking wet. It's really nice to be called an athlete once in a while. Thank you very much."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr won Best Coach at the ESPY Awards, making it an extra special night for the team.



Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Doctor Removes More Than 70 Non-Food Items From Dog's Stomach]]> Sat, 11 Jul 2015 14:15:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dog+stomach+contents.jpg

Something tells us one lucky dog is about to go on a diet.

Tiki, an 8-year-old black Labrador, visited the Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital this week in Mars, Pennsylvania, a small town about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Hisham Ibrahim, known as ‘Doctor I” examined Tiki’s stomach and made a remarkable discovery: a mass in her stomach.

When Ibrahim operated, he quickly found the mass was comprised of 62 hair bands, eight pairs of underwear and a bandage. It took two hours of surgery to remove all the items, USA Today reported.

"'Doctor I' started pulling handfuls of different items out," Emily Cottle, his head technician, told WTAE's reporter on Wednesday. "It was quite an experience to see."

Ibrahim told NBC Washington that he has found some unusual items in his 12 years working in Pittsburgh, but Tiki wins the award for the strangest taste buds.

"It was just amazing, and it's not easy," Ibrahim, said while doing a follow-up. "But, thank God, we were able to pull through, and Tiki has recovered very well.” 



Photo Credit: Dr. Hisham Ibrahim]]>
<![CDATA[Man Finds This Object in His Skin]]> Sun, 12 Jul 2015 05:42:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/fish+fin+leg+skier.jpg

Pat Schottler didn’t think much about a large bruise on his leg and five puncture wounds after a day of water skiing, but during a visit to the doctor a few days later, things took an unusual turn.

Schottler, 35, said he assumed he hit a stick while skiing on Medicine Lake in Minnesota, NBC affiliate KARE 11 reports.

It wasn’t until his wife encouraged him to visit an emergency room that he found out what the bruise actually was.

Doctors ordered an X-Ray of his leg, which they thought would show a broken fibula, but instead showed a “foreign object embedded in his leg,” Schottler’s wife Julie Schottler told KARE.

That foreign object was something the couple never expected—fish fin.

Schottler told the station doctors removed four pieces of fish from his leg, the longest one being nearly three-fourths of an inch. He said the fin likely came from a bluegill. 



Photo Credit: Pat Schottler/KARE ]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: U.S. Robot Company to Japan Company: Let's Duel]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 07:34:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2015-07-08-at-9.46.41-PM.jpg

A U.S.-based robotics company has thrown down the metallic gauntlet and goaded a Japanese competitor into a heavy metal battle of mechanical proportions. 

"Suidobashi, we have a giant robot, you have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen," said co-founder of MegaBots, Inc Matt Oehrlein—along with his partner Gui Cavalcanti both draped in an American flag—in a YouTube video challenging Suidobashi Heavy Industries' Kuratas. 

Megabot, the U.S.-based company, is confident in its Mark 2 model: a towering 6-ton metal beast. 

"We just finished tightening the last bolts on the Mark 2—America's first fully functional giant piloted robot," Oehrlein says in the video to the Japenese robotics company.

The massive robot is operated by a team of two people and can shoot three pounds paint balls at from its cannon at 100 miles per hour, according to Oehrlein.

"And because we're American, we added really big guns," co-founder Cavalcanti added with dramatic pause. 

Suidobashi's CEO responded to MegaBots' gentlemen's duel in his own video: "Come on guys, make it cooler," Kogoro Kurata said, with shots of him wrapping the Japanese flag around his shoulders.

"Just building something huge and sticking guns on it," Kurata continued. "It's super American."

Suidobashi launched The Kurata, named after the CEO and designer, in 2012. At 4.5 tons, it was a little less than Mark 2, a full heads-up display (HUD), and guns controlled by an advanced targeting system. 

No venue or date for the battle of the death metals, but the challenge has been accepted. 


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<![CDATA[WATCH: 4-Foot Alligator Caught in New Jersey River]]> Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:46:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Gator-Caught-NJ-0708.jpg

Authorities captured an alligator in a New Jersey river after a fisherman and police both spotted one of the reptiles floating in the Passaic River on Wednesday.

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Elmwood Park Police Chief Mike Foligno said officers saw a 4-foot-long alligator in the water off of River Drive after being called to the scene by a fisherman. After the sighting, they called state wildlife officials to hunt down the creature.

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Authorities tracked the reptile for nearly two hours before corralling it. Chopper 4 footage from the scene showed one searcher stirred a rod in the water before another can be seeing pulling the gator out with a catch pole. 

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“I think it was probably someone’s pet that got too big so they released it into the wild,” Foligno said.

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The fisherman who spotted the gator, Luis Acosta, said that at first he thought it was a snapping turtle. But, he said, he saw a long tail and called police.

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He said he was shocked to see the gator in the chilly northern waters of New Jersey.

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“It was cool to watch, ya know, but it don’t belong around here,” he said.

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