<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usThu, 08 Dec 2016 04:01:58 -0800Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:01:58 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Half-Marathoner Lost for 12 Hours]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:33:10 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/120516+marathon+runner+gets+lost.jpg

Melissa Kitcher had full intentions of completing her first half-marathon Sunday, but it's safe to say she pictured it ending a little bit differently.

Kitcher went missing for nearly 12 hours after running off the trail during the Trail Hog Half-Marathon at the Carlton Reserve near Venice in Sarasota County, Florida.

"I kept thinking to myself, 'Wow, how do people run these trails? I can't even walk them,'" she said. "When I hit the power lines I said, 'Yes I'm definitely way off course. I'm lost.'"

But how did she manage to get lost?

Kitcher said there was no marking to indicate or properly direct her. “The website says you're supposed to be on Jeep trails. So when I came out there was a Jeep trail and I figured that was the path I needed to be on," Kitcher explained.

The runner ended up six to seven miles off course with no phone — it inconveniently froze up two minutes before the start of the race, she said.

Race director Thierry Rouillard had this to say about the situation: "It's the worst nightmare for a race director. I love what I do and want everyone to be happy. That was her first half-marathon. That was her first trail run. She learned the hard way.”

Kitcher ended running over 16 miles before the park’s department located her in the reserve about 7:30 p.m.

She was uninjured. Thirsty, of course, but just happy she could go home.

“She was happy when we found her. I'm going to send her a gift package with racing stuff. A finisher's medal and award for the longest Trail Hog half-marathon in the history of the event," Rouillard joked.

Despite going a little off course, Kitcher already has sights set on redemption.

"There's the Sarasota Half Marathon on March 19th. I already have that in my head," she said. "Everybody keeps telling me no more races, I said I'm lucky this one's on the street."



Photo Credit: SNN-TV]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Subway Rat vs. Dinner Roll]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 05:10:50 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dinner+roll+rat.jpg

This so-called Roll Mole is giving Pizza Rat a run for its money.

A rat was recorded dragging a comically large dinner roll on the subway tracks on the Upper East Side last Thursday, another sign of the determination the city's rats apparently possess when it comes to acquiring food bigger than them. 

Christian Waugh told NBC 4 New York he was waiting for a train home from a Christmas concert rehearsal when he noticed the rat trying to drag the large dinner roll along the subway tracks at the 51st Street subway station.

Waugh said as he reached for his phone, the rat seemed to give up and dash away. However, the rat came back moments later to fight for his dinner. Waugh was able to take a quick video on his phone.

“I started recording his actions but noticed that no one else on the platform was paying attention whatsoever,” Waugh told NBC 4 New York. “Most were just on their phone with no clue regarding the epic activity that was taking place.”

Waugh said the event reminded him of Pizza Rat, but found the furtive antics of the dinner roll rat to be hilarious.

Waugh’s friend dubbed the rodent the “Roll Mole.”



Photo Credit: Christian Waugh]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Claws: Beaver Picks Through Christmas Decor at Dollar Store]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 05:53:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/20161130+Beaver+Thumb.jpg

Haven't we all been there at the holidays -- rifling through the boxes of pre-lit trees, prowling the shelves for just the right holiday bauble?

When it's time to decorate your dam, you have to hit the store! And that's just what this shopper did in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, on Monday.

Except this shopper was a beaver.

And its claws are better for digging through mud and sticks than through a dollar store. Police were called after the little critter damaged some of the merchandise.

"As an law enforcement officer, you just never know what your next call might be," read a Facebook post from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.

The beaver was safely captured by animal control and taken to a wildlife rehabilitator, the sheriff's office said.

(To wait for the after-Christmas sales, of course.) 



Photo Credit: St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Werewolf, Gorilla And Santa All Caught on Trail Camera]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 04:42:09 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_trailcam1130_1920x1080.jpg A Kansas police trail camera was set up after reports of mountain lion sightings and yielded some hilarious surprises.

Photo Credit: KSHB-TV]]>
<![CDATA[French 'Spiderman' Scales Skyscrapers Harness-Free]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 08:25:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/20161124_Spain_1.jpg Alain Robert, 54, has a lifelong passion for scaling skyscrapers and other structures with only his hands and a good pair of climbing shoes despite his frequent arrests by police for unauthorized stunts. The French daredevil added the Agbar Tower in Barcelona, Spain, to his repertoire of over 100 conquered buildings and structures on Nov. 25, 2016. See some of his wildest climbs from around the world.

Photo Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Runaway Bull Takes 5-Mile Trek Through Philly]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 21:32:24 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bull+on+Interstate+95+Sixerschix.jpg

A young bull escaped from a Philadelphia slaughterhouse Tuesday afternoon, leading police on a chase past a city high school and down Interstate 95.

The 550-pound bovine broke free from a truck outside the Saba Live Poultry meat processing facility along the 2100 block of North Hancock Street in the city's Kensington neighborhood around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

"Well when I opened the door the animal took off," Pablo Rosario, the owner of Saba Live Poultry, told NBC10 late Tuesday. 

A worker at the plant, who refused to give his name, also told NBC10 that staff were preparing to unload the bull from the truck when it charged them and scampered off.

The man placed blame on the truck driver, saying he failed to properly pull the truck into a loading dock.

The animal then began a more than 4-mile trek through several city neighborhoods and onto two highways.

One of his first stops was at Kensington High School along East Cumberland Street. Witness Pete Colon said the bull darted in front of his car before walking up to the school.

"He stopped at the doors and looked at his reflection in the glass, then ran toward Thompson Street," Colon said.

"I did not believe my eyes," said Karen Harr, who spotted the animal as it ran loose in Fishtown. "I did not believe what I was seeing. I pulled over at this fire hydrant and that's when it ran right by me straight up Commerce Street to Delaware Ave. I was afraid of it charging my car."

The bull then made its way onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 95, heading against traffic.

Stunned drivers stopped their cars as the scared steer meandered through the jam.

A woman, who did not want to give her name, said at first she thought a horse was running at her car.

"[I] thought it was going to trample over and smash me and my car," she said after tweeting a photo of the bull staring at her through the windshield.

From there, the bovine made its way back onto city streets in Chinatown. It ducked into some brush and trees next to the Interstate 676-95 interchange at 7th and Vine streets. Police and state conservation officers cornered him there.

Concerned about the public's safety, a Pennsylvania Game Commission conservation officer fired on the animal three times using a 12 gauge shotgun, killing it.

"In an extreme situation, in an emergency situation, for public safety, we chose to put it down," Pennsylvania Game Commission conservation officer Jerry Czech said.

No humans were injured in the incident, police said.



Photo Credit: SixersChix
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<![CDATA[Thrill Seeker Bungee Dunks Cookie 240 Feet, Breaks Record]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 03:19:29 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-11-17-at-5.00.42-PM.jpg Simon Berry just wanted a cookie, his tea and a little thrill. The 24-year-old combines the three in a record-breaking bungee dunk for 240 feet with a perfect aim for Guinness World Records Day.

Photo Credit: NBC ]]>
<![CDATA[2-Hour Wait for Gold Toilet]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 08:26:21 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GOLD_AP_16259825556036.jpg

Patrons at the Guggenheim are standing in line for up to two hours to use the bathroom at the Fifth Avenue museum, but they don't seem to mind the wait. 

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan replaced the toilet in the museum's fourth-floor restroom with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold as part of his "America" exhibit, which opened in September. 

According to Vulture, which first reported the long wait, the golden throne has become quiet the attraction. 

The exhibit is currently on open-ended display. The toilet is the first piece Cattelan has exhibited since his 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim. 

The museum says on its website that the exhibit "offers a wink to the excesses of the art market but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all."



Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Air Horn Incidents]]> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 17:11:30 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/222*120/air-horn-el-segundo-mug.jpg

An air horn that sounds like a train has been terrorizing the residents of El Segundo for weeks, but police in the Southern California city have just arrested a man in connection with the noise — with air horn equipment inside his car, they say.

The bust came early Sunday at 4 a.m. — around the time many of the alarmingly loud incidents would occur.

"The sound is like a train coming through the neighborhood," said El Segundo Police Lt. Ray Garcia.

The noise has been plaguing residents on the west side of the city for weeks. Police have received numerous reports of an extremely loud air horn going off before residents spot a getaway car, a blue four-door sedan driven by a man.

Oftentimes, officers couldn't catch the air horn blower because the person would blare the horn and then "beat feet," police said. At times, officers on the east side of town could hear the noise and would hurry over, only to find that the perpetrator had taken off.

Sunday morning, officers once again heard the noise, then made a traffic stop at Grand Avenue and Main Street directly after. In a blue 2006 Chevrolet Aveo, they spotted air horn equipment inside the car, police said.

The commotion drew several residents from their homes, claiming they were victims of the air horn aggravator. They initiated a citizen's arrest, according to El Segundo police.

John W. Nuggent was then taken into custody by police, police said. He was booked at El Segundo jail on a misdemeanor charge of suspicion of disturbing the peace and his car, with horn inside, was impounded. 

Garcia said the air horn aggravator has been sounding his horn almost every single night.

"He's been doing this for weeks, and we've been chasing him for weeks — but we got him," Garcia said.

Garcia said they aren't exactly sure why the man allegedly has an "ax to grind," but believe that he thinks someone in the area has wronged him in some way, and this is his way of getting back at them.



Photo Credit: El Segundo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Sues Zara Over Dead Rat]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 16:26:26 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4542614291.jpg

A Manhattan woman is suing Spanish fashion retailer Zara after she says she found a rat sewn into a dress she bought at one of their stores.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court last week, 24-year-old Cailey Fiesel says that she not only suffered emotional distress but was diagnosed with a rodent-born disease after wearing the dress.

Court documents say that Fiesel bought two dresses “off-the-rack” at Zara’s Greenwich, Connecticut, store back in July and hung them in her closet. In mid-August, she wore the black dress in question for the first time.

While at work, Fiesel says she started to notice a “disturbingly pungent odor” but couldn’t figure out where the offending smell was coming from. “She was unable to escape this odor,” according to court papers.

Throughout the day, Fiesel says she noticed something that felt like a loose string from her dress rubbing against her leg. She didn’t give much thought to it and reached down to try to find the string. That’s when she says she made the grisly discovery.

“To her utter shock and disbelief, as she ran her hand over the hem of the dress she felt an unusual bulge and suddenly realized that it was not a string that was rubbing against her leg but was instead a leg rubbing against her leg. The leg of a dead rodent that is,” court documents say.

“Paralyzed with fear,” Fiesel jumped out of her chair as coworkers gathered around her desk. Court documents claim that when she took off the dress she found a dead rodent sewn into its hem, the bulge of its body hidden beneath the fabric.

Photos of the dress included with the court papers “conspicuously [depict] the dead rodent with at least one of its appendages protruding.”

The lawsuit claims that Fiesel “has sustained significant personal injuries and emotional distress” and “a large rash that was diagnosed as a rodent born disease” as a result of Zara’s negligence.

It was Zara’s duty “to prevent its products from being manufactured and sold with disease causing rodents sewn into them,” the suit says.

Fiesel is seeking unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for Zara USA told NBC 4 New York the company is aware of the allegation and is investigating the matter.

"The brand has stringent quality controls and health and safety standards worldwide that are followed and met in manufacturing, including stitching and pressing," the spokesperson said. "We are committed to ensuring that all of our products meet these rigorous requirements."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Fungus Furniture]]> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 11:47:17 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/Screen+Shot+2016-11-14+at+9.49.04+AM.png Ecovative Design on Green Island, New York, is taking an unusual approach to making their furniture by growing their building boards from mycelium instead of using wood, metal or other conventional materials.]]> <![CDATA[Baby Monkey Hitches Ride on Goat's Back]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 04:30:51 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2016-11-16-16h47m40s132.jpg A baby monkey, who appeared on a private farm in southern China, rode on the back of a black goat for several days. CCTV showed footage of the monkey riding on a goat's back, reporting that the farm owner said it seemed the monkey felt more secure that way. Local wildlife protection authorities said they would send the seven pound monkey to the city's zoo first and then release it to the wild later.

Photo Credit: CCTV]]>
<![CDATA[Crocodile Surprises Couple in Pool]]> Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:55:30 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2016-11-01-15h28m35s117.jpg A couple's late night swim nearly ended in disaster when a crocodile joined them in a pool at an African resort. CCTV video shows the pair lounging in the hotel pool, unaware of the croc lurking in the shadows. The woman appears to have suffered several bites, but was not seriously injured.

Photo Credit: CCTV]]>
<![CDATA[Panda Wrestles Zoo Intruder]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 15:48:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/panda+man.jpg A man sneaked into a giant panda enclosure at a zoo in southeast China and ended up wrestling with a panda. Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed surveillance video of the incident. According to CCTV, the man was allegedly showing off to his female friends by jumping into the panda enclosure to tease a sleeping panda. The panda then woke up and gripped the man's leg. Zoo authorities later said the move was usually used by pandas when they were playing with the breeders. The man struggled to free himself from the panda's strong grip and eventually managed to escape.

Photo Credit: EBU]]>
<![CDATA[Keeping Up With the Bones: Hilarious Halloween Decorations ]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 15:30:53 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cover-et-bones-102616.jpg

Photo Credit: Keeping Up With the Bones Facebook Page]]>
<![CDATA['So So Sorry' for Stealing Car]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 06:55:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_subaru1028_1920x1080.jpg

One woman was lucky enough to have her car stolen — not by a thief, but by someone who was just a bit confused.

Erin Hatzi of Portland, Oregon, had her red Subaru stolen right out of her driveway Tuesday night, NBC affiliate KGW reported. Surveillance video showed a woman calmly taking the vehicle and driving off a few minutes later.

Police were notified and actually came across the stolen car right outside Hatzi's home, according to the report. The driver brought a note — which Hatzi posted to Facebook — that read:

"Hello, So sorry I stole your car. I sent my friend with my key to pick up my red Subaru at 7802 SE Woodstock and she came back with your car. I did not see the car until this morning and I said, 'that is not my car.' There is some cash for gas and I more than apologize for the shock and upset this must have caused you. If you need to speak further, with me, I am ******* and my number is ..........So so sorry for this mistake."

Police said that older model Subaru keys can sometimes work on different cars, according to KGW. Hatzi and the unwitting car thief didn't meet.

"It's like a bad sitcom that nobody would ever buy the story because it's stupid and it makes no sense. But it happened," she told the station.



Photo Credit: KGW-TV]]>
<![CDATA['Flintstone House' Now Up for Rent on Airbnb]]> Fri, 28 Oct 2016 20:57:56 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/flintstonehouse.jpg

Hillsborough's most recognizable piece of real estate is now up for rent on Airbnb.

The Airbnb listing on Friday shows the so-called "Flintstone House," a 2,730-square-foot home at 45 Berryessa Way, can be rented for $750 a night.

The property was listed on the market for just over a year.

In September 2015, the home was up for sale for $4.2 million. This past summer, the price dropped to $3.2 million.

Visible from Interstate 280, the 40-year-old, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is striking for its amorphous dome shapes made of wire and shotcrete.

According to Redfin, the last sold price was $800,000 in 1996.

Listing agent Judy Meuschke gave NBC Bay Area an exclusive tour of the home in September 2015 — through the brightly-hued conversation pit and into the quirky kitchen.

"We felt that's a pretty good price for a landmark," Meuschke said of the $4.2 million asking price at the time.

]]>
<![CDATA[Beyonce Sports Sparkly Sock Boots at Warriors Game]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:01:59 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-159826297.jpg

Basketball fans may have been disappointed by the Warriors’ loss at the Oakland Arena on Tuesday, but Queen Bey slayed courtside.

Beyonce drew attention for her sparkly green Vetements sock boots that teeter on heels resembling cigarette lighters. She was seated beside her casually dressed husband Jay-Z at the opening night game in which the Spurs beat the Warriors 129-100.

The stretchy mid-calf booties feature Vetements’ name in white and "a saucy unicorn-printed column heel," according to Nordstrom, where it is sold for $2,230.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cubs Win Yearbook Prediction]]> Wed, 02 Nov 2016 22:27:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/michael+lee.png

There have been a lot of signs pointing to 2016 being the Cubs’ year, but this may be the wildest yet.

Back in 1993, one Chicago Cubs fan predicted in his high school yearbook that the team would win the World Series 23 years later.

"Chicago Cubs, 2016 World Champions. You heard it here first," the quote under Michael Lee's name reads. 

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Fast forward to 2016, and the Cubs are headed to their first World Series in 71 years.

“In high school we graduated and I saw that quote and I thought it was a funny quote,” said Mission Viejo High School alum Marcos Meza, who said he has known Lee since seventh grade.

Lee was from Chicago but raised in California, Meza said, and always maintained his allegiance to the Windy City. The two friends had lost contact after high school, but connected on social media in 2009, when they first reminisced about the yearbook prediction that was just seven years away.

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“I told Mike, ‘Dude you had the coolest yearbook quote,’” Meza said.

Michael Lee could not immediately be reached for comment on the story.

Meza, a Dodgers fan, said he didn’t think the prediction would come true — until the Cubs beat the Dodgers in the NLCS.

“I kept quiet on it because I’m a Dodgers guy,” he said. “But once the Dodgers lost I was like, ‘Man I’ve got to get this out there.'”

After he shared the image, other photos of the yearbook began popping up on Twitter and Reddit.

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Meza said as the photo gained traction on social media, many people questioned if it was photoshopped, so he took videos of his yearbook to verify them.

He said he knows Cubs fans are superstitious but he believes the 23-year-old prediction isn’t a jinx, but fate.

“It’s not like Bartman interfering with the ball but I think the Cubs are there,” he said. “Those words went from [Lee’s] lips to God’s ear. And if I was a Cubs fan I'd be mad he didn’t predict it in 1999.”

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Photo Credit: Marcos Meza
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Bear Gets Behind the Wheel, Crashes Car]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:13:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_bearcar1020_1920x1080.jpg

When the snow falls then melts in the mountains of Colorado this time of year, the Grand County Sheriff's Department usually sees an uptick in calls relating to bears.

"As fall sets on us, there are a lot of bears in our area," Sheriff Schroetlin said.

But a call to deputies on Saturday was a little different than most.

A 200 pound black bear got inside Danny Archer's car and accidently got carried away.

"The bear put the car in neutral and it rolled back across the street into a spruce tree," Archer said.

Read more on this story at 9News.com.



Photo Credit: KUSA]]>
<![CDATA[Half-Naked Intruder Scares Boy With BB Gun]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:11:22 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_nakedintruder1021_1920x1080.jpg A half naked drunk woman walked into Michigan home and played with the family dog while young boy hides under his bed with BB gun and calls 911.

Photo Credit: WDIV]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Pigs Eating Their Way Through Front Yards in San Jose]]> Mon, 03 Oct 2016 06:41:47 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sj-pigs.jpg

Front yards are being ripped up in a San Jose neighborhood, and while residents are well aware of who the culprits are, there's very little they can do.

The torn-up lawns are the work of wild pigs on a feeding frenzy, residents said. They strike in the middle of the night, digging up lawns in the Evergreen neighborhood of South San Jose.

"They came in and ... I saw a huge pack of them, and they were effectively ripping up the sod," resident Rod Murchison said.

Murchison and his neighbors said there are about 20 of the wild boars, and they have destroyed more than half a dozen lawns in the neighborhood over the past week.

Kevin McFatridge lives up the street from Murchison. His front lawn looks like a war zone. The pigs even took out his geranium plants.

"We can handle a little patch here or there, but our entire lawn is now gone, and that's very frustrating," McFatridge said.

Murchison believes the pigs came from the ranchland across the street from his home. He said he had a similar problem about 10 years ago but it stopped after neighbors got together to secure a fence. Murchison even put up a device that shines a red light, simulating a pig predator. He hopes it will be enough to keep the hungry grub hunters away.

Murchison's 10-year-old daughter Katie built two fairy houses in the front yard. She's so worried about the pigs, she put up a warning.

"I put up the sign so the fairies would know not to come at night because the pigs might come," Katie said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Creepy Clowns Reportedly Spotted in NY, NJ: Officials]]> Mon, 03 Oct 2016 08:02:17 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/clown-generic.jpg

Officials in at least four towns in New York and New Jersey said they've been investigating reports of creepy clowns trying to scare children and others recently.

Authorities in Suffolk County and the Ulster County village of Ellenville in New York and Toms River and Pohatcong in New Jersey said that they'd received reports of creepy clowns in recent days in what appears to be the latest in a nationwide trend of reports of clown sightings.

In Lindenhurst, school officials said in a Facebook post that they were keeping students inside during recess after reports about people dressed as clowns in North Babylon and Brentwood. The district also alluded to a tweet that indicated that the village might be the next target.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we will be keeping elementary school children in during recess today and our security team is on high alert," the district said in the post.

The district said it's referred the matter to the Suffolk County Police Department.

Suffolk County police added that investigators haven't been able to confirm any sightings in the county and that no officers had seen anyone wearing a clown costume.

"We understand this may be a social media prank throughout the country, but we take quite seriously all calls that involve intentional harassment, trespassing, disturbing of the peace, and reported activity that results in the citizens of our county feeling threatened," the department said.

Parents at the school on Friday were split on the reports. At least one said it sounded like a joke, and another said that they're worried that coverage of the clowns could make for meaner pranks.

"I think you're just going to make whoever is doing this say, 'Ha, I got them. What else can we do? Let's take it up a notch," said Jessica Kulish.

In Ellenville, police said they were investigating false reports of acts committed by a clown who calls himself "Bubbo Theclown" on Facebook. The department said in its own Facebook post that any purported crimes committed by "Bubbo Theclown" were hoaxes.

"This is not humorous in anyway, and in fact causes unnecessary stress, and in some cases traumatizes the children who are victims of these heinous acts," the department said. 

In Pohatcong, New Jersey, authorities cited an 18-year-old riding on the hood of a hearse at a Wal-Mart on Tuesday. Police there said the man hadn't made any contact with shoppers and called the episode a "hoax." 

"This odd phenomena is happening all over the country but it will not be tolerated in this township," said Pohatcong Mayor James Kern III. "Hopefully those considering these type of actions will now think otherwise."

Authorities in Toms River are likewise investigating reports of clowns, though police didn't confirm any sightings in the Jersey Shore town. Authorities in the town said that there had been threats to schools that originated from outside the Garden State and they haven't found any credible threat from the clown reports. Still, additional officers will be posted at schools in the town. 

The incidents are among the latest in a series of frightening encounters involving clowns nationwide. Since August, people South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia have reported scary or suspicious incidents with people dressed as clowns.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carpool Lane Trip With Trump Cutout Leads to Ticket]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 02:19:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TrumpCarPassenger.jpg

A Washington state trooper ticketed a driver trying to get through the carpool lane with a giant cutout of Donald Trump's head Tuesday morning.

"You see a lot of things in your career, including mannequins, but this was something else," said Trooper Rick Johnson, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol.

He said the trooper stopped the car on State Route 167 near Auburn, told the driver, "This is just awesome" — and handed him a $136 citation for violating the HOV lane.

"He let him keep his Donald Trump cutout," Johnson said.



Photo Credit: Washington State Patrol]]>
<![CDATA[Sword Stolen From Joan of Arc Statue in DC Park]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:26:39 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/092116+joan+of+arc+statue+no+sword.jpg

Who stole the sword?

The sword Joan of Arc wields in a statue in Northwest Washington's Meridian Hill Park has vanished and the National Park Service says it was stolen.

The French heroine clutched only her weapon's handle in her right hand Wednesday afternoon, as Borderstan.com was first to report. The bronze sword appeared to have been broken off.

U.S. Park Police are investigating the theft. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton questioned whether NPS could have prevented it.

"The Park Service should be able to give Joan of Arc her sword back and place it so securely that kids couldn't get it out," she said.

This is at least the second time the French heroine's sword has vanished. It was stolen in 1978 and was not replaced until 2011, the history website Ghosts of DC says.

The sculpture was a gift from Le Lyceum Societie des Femmes de France, a society of French women, to the women of the United States, according to the Smithsonian Institution. It was dedicated in 1922 and was designed as a replica of a statue in front of Rheims Cathedral in France.

One parkgoer was frustrated to see that the sword was missing.

"People don't have any respect for others. That's for everybody, not for an individual," he said. "Such a beautiful landmark too."

"So sad. Stealing part of history," another man said.

News4's Pat Collins asked, "What kind of person would take Joan of Arc's sword?"

"My best guess? Some college students drunk, on a college pledge task," one man responded.



Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Time to Move? Snake Invades Apartment for 4th Time]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:17:06 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/englewood+snake.png

A woman found a 3-foot python in her apartment Monday night on Chicago’s South Side. 

Police were called to the Englewood neighborhood home in the 6500 block of South Normal just after 10 p.m. after the woman said she found the massive python in her bathroom. 

It is the fourth time a snake has invaded her apartment, police said. Residents say an old neighbor in the building used to breed the animals, and some believe some may have been left behind. 

This time the python was discovered wrapped around the shower curtain, the woman said. 

Chicago Animal Care and Control were dispatched to the apartment and were able to capture the snake, which was reported to be harmless, police said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 / Chicago Police]]>
<![CDATA[Pizza Vending Machines May Be Coming Soon]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 06:57:36 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_pizzavending0920_1920x1080.jpg Piping hot pizza could soon be headed to a vending machine near you. Pizza Touch is testing three pizza vending machines at Florida gas stations, two in Orlando and one in Lakeland.

Photo Credit: WFLA]]>