<![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 Sun, 24 May 2015 02:40:25 -0700 Sun, 24 May 2015 02:40:25 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Bay to Breakers 2015]]> Mon, 18 May 2015 13:46:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*130/brady5.JPG The 2015 Zappos Bay to Breakers got rolling with a cloudy yet festive start early Sunday morning, with participants dressed up as everything from salmon to giraffes to the fictional start-up "Pied Piper" from the HBO show "Silicon Valley."

Photo Credit: Ian Cull]]>
<![CDATA[Parrot Ruffles Feathers Over Spanish Curse Word]]> Thu, 14 May 2015 12:15:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/71927337_Parrot-Green-Generic.jpg

A parrot named Rula is ruffling some feathers in Tracy, California.

At issue is what exactly Rula is spewing from his gray beak. Neighbor Jennifer Baca told NBC affilate KCRA that she swears the green parrot is repeating the cuss word for "prostitute" in Spanish. She blames the parrot for her grandchildren having now picked up the word.

But the bird's owner claims that is impossible. Owner Rita Canisales told the station that all she hears is Rula repeating his name, "Rula, Rula." Her neighbor, who speak Spanish as her native tongue, has simply misunderstood, Canisales said. 

She insisted the bird is not bilingual and she's only taught her talking bird English, including the words to the song "Old McDonald." The parrot also has other talents which include barking like a dog, meowing like a cat, or mimicking the sounds of a drill or waterfall, Canisales said

Meanwhile, Animal Control Services have responded to Rula's home more than dozen times due to complaints over noise from the parrot and barking from the owner's dogs, KCRA reported. 

"Bird complaints are a little unusual," Ben Miller, the Tracy Animal Shelter supervisor, told the station. 

KCRA played a recording of Rula uttering the phrase in question for Miller so he could hear from himself. 

"As I don't have any bilingual staff members," Miller said, "I'm not sure I can confirm that it's cursing."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Image Source]]>
<![CDATA["Petite" Inmate Slips Off Handcuffs, Escapes Jail]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 17:45:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/5-13-15+Kelly+Smith+Prisoner.JPG

A prisoner slipped out of her handcuffs Tuesday evening and ran out of sight from authorities at the Ventura Police Department in Southern California.

Kelly Smith, 23, of Ventura, was being booked Tuesday night on charges of a stolen vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon when she managed to escape custody, authorities said.

Her arrest stemmed from an attempt to flee from officers when she nearly struck one of them with a stolen truck loaded with guns and ammo.

While she was seated in the booking area, she slipped her handcuffs off and ran out of the downstairs door. Once officers realized she had fled, they went after her.

She was last seen in the area of Walker Street and Glacier Avenue near some of the commercial businesses.

Smith was last seen wearing a blue shirt and bluejeans. Her hair is dyed red. She is wanted for escaping custody, possession of a stolen vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon and two unrelated misdemeanor warrants.

"Anytime you have someone in custody you want to keep them in custody," said Cmdr. Ryan Weeks, of the Ventura Police Department.

"The car backed up and took off nearly striking one of the officers, they jumped out of the way."

Weeks said Smith and a passenger stole the truck they were in and tried to take off when police spotted them.

Weeks said the stolen truck had guns, ammunition, and gun powder.

Neighbors said Smith nearly escaped twice during the arrest, once after she was pulled from the vehicle and held on the ground and then again from the patrol cruiser.

Neighbors credit a member of the homeowners association for tackling her and holding her for police.

She complained of pain in her back and neck and was taken to the hospital, Weeks said.

After about 11 hours, she was cleared to be booked into the Ventura jail when she escaped.

"She was handcuffed, sitting down on a bench and cuffed to the bench," Weeks said.

She sat alone in a hallway facing what police describe as a glass window.

They think she squatted low enough out of view and then crawled out the door.

"Very skinny. Very petite wrists ... She was able to get both of her hands out from the cuffs and was able to sneak out," Weeks said.

<![CDATA[South Bay Lawyer Secretly Lives in Office for Four Months]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 14:18:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/desk1.jpg

It's a story seemingly plucked from the plot of "Better Call Saul": a newly-appointed South Bay lawyer secretly lived in his office for four months to save on rent money.

The recent U.C. Hastings College of Law graduate, a man named Mitchell (last name withheld), told SFGate that he didn't want to sign a lease on an expensive Silicon Valley apartment before he found out if he passed the Bar exam because the job he had secured after graduating was temporary until he passed.

Mitchell showered at the gym, stayed with relatives on the weekend and stealthily slept at his desk at work. He was able to save $12,000 to put toward an apartment in Santa Clara during the four month period where he stayed in the office and in his truck.

Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Goats Gone Wild]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 07:38:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/5-6-15-Goats+Agoura+Hills.JPG

Dozens of grazing goats were on the loose in Southern California on Wednesday after roaming down their hillside job site and into the street.

Video footage captured in Agoura Hills by NBC4 viewer Joe Cascio shows the group of at least 50 goats descending the hillside and eating the green grass in the center divider of the city's street.

"There's goats everywhere!" Cascio exclaimed while recording cellphone video of the goats.

Video showed cars stopped in the street as goats — and spectators — filled the roadway.

He described the goat sighting as "bizarre" and as something that would happen "only in Ventura County."

Community members in the Morrison Ranch area of Agoura Hills hired the herd of goats to eat brush for two weeks, according to the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station. Morrison Ranch residents wanted an environmentally friendly way to clear the weeds, brush and other invasive plants.

The weed eaters somehow got loose around 10 a.m. Wednesday on Grey Rock Road and East Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Agoura Hills, officials said.

The two officers on scene were "severely outnumbered" and unable to wrangle the herd of goats, Cascio said.

Passers-by pulled over on the side of the road to catch a glimpse of the goats, which Cascio said were "intent on eating."

The eco-goats ran back up the hillside after a while, Cascio said.

Photo Credit: Joe Cascio]]>
<![CDATA[Snorkeler Finds Plastic Skeletons Having Underwater Tea Party]]> Wed, 06 May 2015 12:04:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/f_skeleton_partay_150506_6a819ada04e4d948f980d79e51334ebb.nbcnews-ux-640-360.jpg

A pair of sunglass-clad skeletons were caught lounging in lawnchairs beneath the Colorado River on Monday.

Divers discovered the duo 40 feet beneath the river near the Arizona-California border on Monday morning, after a snorkeler spotted the bones and reported them to police, thinking they were real.

"When firefighter Foerstner located the alleged remains, he found it to be an underwater tea party with two fake skeletons sitting in lawn chairs," the sheriff's department said in a statement.

Divers plan to recover the skeletons later this week, and some officials are considering placing them outside the sheriff's office as a joke, according to the sherriff's office.

Officials say they don't plan to locate the person responsible for the skeletons.

<![CDATA[Urns End Up on Thrift Store Shelf]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 04:41:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/urn+bonnie+throp.jpg

Authorities are trying to figure out how urns containing what could be human ashes ended up on the shelf of a thrift store in Connecticut.

Angela Dupree, of Shelton, said she found them by chance while shopping at the Savers store on Route 1 last Thursday.

"I was actually looking for bakery pans for my friend's bakery," she said.

Dupree said she spotted the urns on a shelf in the housewares department. Both containers were sealed and marked with $3.99 price tags.

"I went down the home decor aisle and I noticed two marble – they looked like urns to me," Dupree said. "I tried to even pull the top off, because this can't be what I think it is."

But, she said, it was. One of the urns had a name on it – Bonnie Throp – and the dates 1966-1983.

Dupree brought the urns to store employees and explained what she had found.

"They were totally surprised too," Dupree said. "They had no idea that's what it was."

Store management in turn alerted the Orange Police Department and the local health department.

The urns and their contents are now being held in a secure vault at a nearby cemetery until someone can explain what – or who – might be inside.

"Because we are no longer in possession of the urns, I'm hoping the cemetery can help. I'm sure they will do whatever they can to help find the owner," Savers communications director Sarah Gaugl said, adding that she will "make sure they are handled in a respectful manner."

The urns lack the metal markings that cremation experts say are typically used to identify urns. One expert said families often divide ashes into various containers to be dispersed among family members.

It's not clear how the urns ended up at Savers. A spokesperson for the company said it's possible the urns were mistakenly donated, then listed for sale by someone who didn't realize what they were.

"I'm sure that was not done intentionally," Dupree said. "I'm sure the family wants it back."

So far, NBC Connecticut has not been able to locate death or cremation records for Bonnie Throp from any of the state's 19 certified crematories.

There are no immediate plans to test the contents of the urns, according to the manager of the cemetery where they're being held.

EDITORS NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated the location of the thrift store as Southern California. It is located in Orange, Conn.

<![CDATA[Relative Claims Remains Left at Church: Cops]]> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:40:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/201*120/4-28-15-Urns.JPG

A person claiming to be a relative has come forward to claim urns containing the remains of three family members.

Someone dropped off the containers at an El Monte church on Tuesday, prompting police to search for family members.

An El Monte Police Department spokesman confirmed the relative had come forward, but would not give anymore details.

The remains of Erna, Rodney and Brian Muldrow, were dropped off before noon at the Nativity Church, at 3743 Tyler Avenue, in El Monte, police said. The three were father, mother and son, and they were cremated seven years ago. Their ages were not immediately known.

Someone abandoned the sealed urns on church property. Church staff found the urns and later received a call from someone who claimed to have found the urns in a storage container.

The container had been purchased from an auction. The caller provided no other information.

Investigators learned the identities of the dead family members and determined they had been cremated by the Heritage Crematory and the Pomona Cemetery Association.

"The El Monte Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance with locating anyone related to the deceased," police said. "We would like to reunite the remains of the deceased with their next of kin."

Anyone with information regarding this case may telephone the El Monte Police Department at 626-580-2114. Information may also be submitted at tips@elmontepd.org.

<![CDATA[Smuggling Gone Wrong: Man Gets Wedged Under Seat]]> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:21:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CBP_+Man+Wedged+.jpg

For one man trying to sneak into the U.S., freedom didn’t just mean making it over the border. It soon meant just escaping from a truck’s backseat.

At about 3 a.m. Sunday, Customs and Border Protection officers pulled over a 48-year-old woman in a 1998 Dodge pickup truck at the Otay Mesa port of entry.

While she handed over her passport, officers gave her truck a brief inspection. One of them found a man hiding underneath the rear seat of the pickup, according to CPB officials.

When they asked him to come out, they realized he had become wedged into the specially-built smuggling compartment and couldn’t get out on his own.

Officers eventually pulled a lever under the seat and freed the suspect.

He was taken into custody, and using his fingerprints, CPB officials discovered he is a 36-year-old Mexican with no legal ability to enter the U.S., they say.

Both he and the driver, a U.S. citizen, will face federal charges. The duo were taken to the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Photo Credit: CBP
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<![CDATA["Oaktown Pup" Video Humanizes Pet Adoption]]> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 18:46:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/185*120/uptownfunk.JPG

East Bay SPCA made a funky song to bring awareness to the coolness of adopting dogs.

Sung by Amanda Schechtman, "Oaktown Pup" parodies the Bruno Mars hit "Uptown Funk," with lyrics like, "Read the forms, sign your name. Counselor! Grab the leash from East Bay SPCA to my foreva home."

The accompanying video features a famous local human. In a Facebook post, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf thanked the East Bay SPCA for "offering her the cameo role."

"Oaktown Pup" currently has logged over 748,000 views on YouTube and the East Bay SPCA has heard from viewers as far away as Belgium and Japan.

Photo Credit: East Bay SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Tater Tots, Comfy Couch Waylay Would-Be Burglar ]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:18:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/tatertots.jpg

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Police say a would-be burglar was sidetracked by snacks and naptime Thursday afternoon, heating up some Tater Tots and then taking a snooze on the sofa of the house he broke into.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports a homeowner in Petaluma went downstairs to find the 44-year-old man sleeping on her sofa. The woman ran to her bedroom, called police and then ran out the front door while the man tried to flee through the back door of the house.

Officers parked on the next street picked him up, Tasing him twice before they were able to get him into the back of the cruiser.

The Placerville man is being held on a $30,000 bail, and has a criminal history including arrests for drug and weapons possession.

Photo Credit: Or-Eda Tater Tots.]]>
<![CDATA[SPAM Food Truck Rolls Through SF and Daly City]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:15:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/spam1.jpg

SPAM will promote its tinned meat products via a food truck stopping in the Bay Area this week.

According to Inside Scoop SF, the local stops on the "SPAMERICAN Tour" will include a dish created by Food Network star Sunny Anderson as well as a "SPAMmy tots" of shaved SPAM, raw ahi tuna poke, fried nigiri rice and blood orange teriyaki sauce from chef Robert Lam of San Francisco's Butterfly.

The truck will swing by the Giants vs. Dodgers game from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, the Daly City Safeway (601 Westlake Center) from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, and at Pier 39 from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. 

Meanwhile in the fine dining world, San Francisco restaurant Liholiho Yacht Club is currently creating its own version of the spreadable animal meat with premium ingredients.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Mrs. Doubtfire" Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 18:47:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/193*120/doubtfiremain.jpg

A suspect dubbed by police as the "Mrs. Doubtfire" bank robbery suspect has been arrested and identified as a 31-year-old man from Sand City.

Santa Cruz Police Lt. Bernie Escalante said Brandon Calantoc was taken into custody on Monday stemming from the Apr. 3 bank robbery of a bank on Morrissey Boulevard, and casing  Rabo Bank while acting suspiciously. Police added the charge of wearing a disguise while committing a bank robbery.

Pictures released of the bank robbery show a stocky robber wearing a blond wig, locket and glasses exiting the bank.

On Monday, Carmel police ended up stopping Calantoc to ask him quesitons about a series of car burglaries in that city. Police found drugs in the car, along with pieces of stolen mail and credit cards, Escalante said.

Officers also found "items of evidence" including a purse and locket that matched photos from the Santa Cruz robbery, and notified Santa Cruz police, Escalante said.

Calantoc was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for robbery, the enhancement of wearing a disguise while committing the robbery, committing a felony while out on bail, and for the attempted robbery at the Rabo Bank.

Calantoc was out on bail from Monterey County for two counts of burglary, possession of stolen property, theft of access card data, possession of burglary tools, and conspiracy. 

Calantoc’s bail was set at $600,000 for both incidents.

Efforts to reach him were not successful.

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Police
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<![CDATA[Film About Band, "The Residents," Screens in SF]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 07:14:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Residents+WoW-001.JPG

As one of the members of the mysterious San Francisco-based band, The Residents, once said: Don’t make your music hoping you’ll land an obituary in Rolling Stone magazine.

And it is with that maverick spirit that the documentary, “Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents” was made, which screens at the Kabuki Theater on Friday May 1 and Sunday May 3 as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. The film debuted in March at South by Southwest.

“That really stuck with me,” said Don Hardy, 40, of San Jose, one of the film’s three producers, all former or current NBC Bay Area photographers. “I learned from them that if you love something, you should find people with the same passion, and go do it.”

So he, Barton Bishoff and Josh Keppel, who still works at NBC Bay Area, set off two years ago to document the life of a largely unknown group, but which is wildly popular with a small but rabid following.

The members, who play experimental, avant-garde tunes and have been described as the “strangest band in rock and roll,” stand out in two ways: They have been wowing crowds for 40 years, and they remain completely anonymous to their fans by hiding their faces. Their best-known costume? Iconic eye-ball masks with top hats and tuxedos.

But that’s not to stay they stick to that. They’re always changing their looks. They particularly favor grotesque rubber faces - some bald, some with flowing dreadlocks. The trio recently caved into pressure to ID themselves to their adoring fans. So they did. As “Randy,” “Chuck” and “Bob.”

“Being around for 40 years is impressive for any band,” said Keppel, who was first introduced to the band through another cult figure, Les Claypool of Primus who plays The Residents’ cover tunes, about 20 years ago. “But their musical art is just so weird. I want to open up people’s eyes about them.”

The performers are able to make a living in the Bay Area by creating more than 60 albums and staging shows, including a stop at Bimbo’s in San Francisco during the group’s recent “Wonder of Weird” tour.

Their fans love them so much, that one collector in the Midwest bought their “Ultimate Box Set,” which includes every official release and one iconic eyeball mask and hat, all packed in a refrigerator, for $100,000.

The group started in rural north Louisiana, but had its “artistic awakening” after moving to San Francisco in the late 1960s.

While their identities remain unknown, they are managed by The Cryptic Corporation, which handles their media inquiries and bookings.

The documentary took more than two years and $200,000 to make, Hardy said, about $50,000 of which was raised by fans, much of it through Indiegogo crowdfunding.

As for traveling to parts of the United States and Europe with the anonymous band, Keppel himself was cryptic about whether he knew who the performers were.

“At some point,” Keppel said, “You get welcomed into the inner circle.”

But those in the inner circle are also close enough to keep the four-decade old secret intact.

TO WATCH THE FILM:  8:45 p.m. Saturday at the Pacific Film Archive Theater in Berkeley; 9 p.m. May 1 and 6:15 p.m. May 3 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco. Tickets: $14-$15, info at www.sffs.org.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel
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<![CDATA[Launching Moonshine Into Space]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 18:03:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Onyx+Moonshine+Space.jpg

Moonshine is going to the moon. Well, almost.

A Connecticut distillery plans to launch a 750-milliliter bottle of moonshine 22 miles into space next month. It will be the first time a full-sized bottle of liquor leaves the earth’s atmosphere.

“Onyx Moonshine is all about attempting things that haven’t been done before, which is the true essence of the American spirit,” Onyx Spirits Company co-founder Adam von Gootkin said in a statement Tuesday. “It’s amazing to think that 150 years ago our ancestors were arrested for illegally selling moonshine and here we are, legally sending a bottle into space. This is just one small adventure of many more to come.”

Company officials will fasten the bottle of liquor to an aeronautical weather balloon, along with a rock glass and silver platter, and launch it into space May 2.

The apparatus – two years in the making – is equipped with GoPro cameras, GPS technology, a radar deflector, parachute and foam covering to protect the bottle when it lands on Long Island Sound.

Rain dates are slated for May 3, 9 and 10 in case weather gets in the way. The exact time and location of the launch is still to be determined, but the East Hartford distillery said it will take place somewhere in western Connecticut.

Onyx Moonshine, which got its start in 2011, announced the launch in observance of Earth Day and the company’s “commitment to sustainable business practices.” The distillery produces the country’s first ultra-premium moonshine and New England’s first aged whiskey.

Photo Credit: Onyx Moonshine
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<![CDATA[Baseball Team's Famous "Ball-Dog" Retiring]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 11:39:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/batdog3.jpg

The Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team in North Carolina is losing a valuable player at the end of the season.

Miss Babe Ruth, a black lab, gets to play fetch for a living. She’s been the team’s ball-dog for the better part of a decade, and she happens to be better known than most of the players.

This season will be her last on the diamond. The team says she deserves some down time, and the fans say they’re going to miss her.

But two of Miss Babe Ruth’s canine companions, also named after baseball legends, will continue the tradition: her brother, Master Yogi Berra, and her niece, Lou-Lou Gherig.

Since dogs outnumber children in San Francisco, maybe it's time the Giants added a few furry friends to their Balldude roster.

<![CDATA[Officers Confiscate Gator While Executing Search Warrant]]> Sun, 19 Apr 2015 12:11:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/41815alligator.jpg

It wasn't exactly what they were looking for, but police in New Jersey made a startling discovery Saturday while executing a search warrant: an alligator.

A Long Branch resident apparently was keeping the reptile as a pet, police said. Officers confiscated the beast, which eventually was turned over to the state Division of Fish & Wildlife.

A maximum fine of $25,000 is possible for housing such a reptile, Long Branch police said.

It's likely a new home for the gator will be found in a zoo or aquarium, police said.

Photo Credit: Long Branch Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Ben & Jerry's Unveils Ice Cream Burrito]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:38:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ben-jerry-ice-cream-burrito.jpg

Cup, cone or burrito?

Ben & Jerry's is unveiling a new ice cream burrito, its new treat that splits the difference between a sundae and a waffle cone.

The Vermont-based ice cream company will now serve you any two flavors of ice cream tucked into a chewy waffle wrap and topped with fudge and cookie crumbs — just in time for April 20.

The company not-so-subtly timed the treats to the unofficial pothead holiday, promising it will cure "the ultimate case of the munchies."

Thursday, Ben & Jerry's unveiled another new concoction: A special release beer called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale brewed in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing. It's described as a brown ale laden with chocolatey, salted caramel, vanilla goodness. 

Some of the proceeds from sales of the beer will go to an environmental group fighting the effect of climate change on mountains. More details will be released later this year.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ben & Jerry's
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<![CDATA[Watch: iPhone Records 40-Story Fall, Owner Says]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:41:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/iphone-dubai.jpg

Photographer Catalin Marin said his iPhone fell 40 stories from a Dubai rooftop while he was shooting the skyline — and it recorded the dramatic drop.

Marin had set his iPhone on a ledge to shoot time-lapse video of the fog rolling in during sunrise when it took a tumble. He was also shooting photos with a Nikon camera, he said.

“My heart dropped,” Marin told NBC Owned Stations. “I was afraid it was going to fall on someone’s head.”

The area was not crowded at the early hour, he said. A man found the phone and returned it to Marin after he had sent text messages and searched for it using the Find My iPhone program, he said. The phone, which he thinks fell into loose gravel, was undamaged.

Marin posted 15 seconds of what he said was an 8-minute video on Instagram and he is looking to license the longer video for use.

Even though he acknowledged that he's shattered a past phone's screen by dropping it off a table, he laughed when asked to respond to those who might question the video's authenticity.

"It's as real as it gets," Marin said.

Photo Credit: Catalin Marin/Momentaryawe.com]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Burglary Caught on Cat Cam]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:45:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/hells+kitchen+cat+cam.JPG

A thief broke into a Hell's Kitchen apartment through a window Monday afternoon, and the resident's cat cam caught the burglary on tape.

The video shows the thief climbing up scaffolding to get to the window — which was closed but had a broken lock — and stealing an iPad and laptop. Police say he also took jewelry and a digital camera.

In an interview with NBC 4 New York Tuesday, the victim said she'd installed the home camera to watch her cats while she was at work. 

"People thought I was crazy to spend $200 on a camera, plus another $100 a year to record the video so I could watch my cats," she said. "But it really unexpectedly came in handy." 

The video shows the burglar climb in through the window and acknowledge one of the cats, which watches him warily from its perch on a pillow.

He then rummages through the victim's desk, touching her laptop, picking up cords and stuffing items in his pockets as he looks around the room. The robber, in a black hat and jean jacket, pops in and out of the view of the camera as the cat watches him from a rug — first alone, then with the company of another feline.

The robber stuffs his stolen items in a black bag and eventually leaves through the front door after shutting the window he climbed through.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was terrified watching the video at work. Soon after, she received a notification that an app on her iPad had been disabled. 

"I knew someone had to have my iPad, because I keep it in my apartment," she said. "I had to watch it a couple of times and be like, this guy is in my apartment and looking at my stuff."

The woman said the camera system has proved invaluable: "If I didn't have this, there's no way I would know when it happened, how he came in, what was touched, what was compromised."

She has filed a police report and turned over the video to police. Anyone who recognizes the man in the video is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

<![CDATA["Better Than Your Average Studio": Apartment Features Shower in Kitchen ]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:47:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Shower-head-generic-7308089.jpg

If you made a move to New York City with hopes of making a meal in the shower like the eccentric “Seinfeld” character Kramer, now’s your chance.

A real estate agent in Manhattan’s Lower East Side is advertising a studio apartment featuring a shower stall in the kitchen. It’s not clear if the shower’s drain comes with a garbage disposal like the one the 1990s sitcom character had installed so he could make salads, but the agent calls the setup “better than your average studio!”

“Although the shower is in the kitchen, YES it's in the kitchen, it has a separate room for your bed, so the kitchen/living area can easily accommodate a sofa and small table & chairs & more!,” the listing for the small apartment reads.

Rent for the apartment, at Orchard and Delancey streets, is $1,795.

The listing went viral after it was first spotted by Gothamist, but Business Insider reports that the arrangement isn’t as strange as it may seem.

Business Insider says that many old tenement buildings were initially built without running water but were forced to add pipes to comply with state law at the turn of the 20th century. Then, when another law was passed requiring tubs, sinks and basins to have running water, some landlords built tubs into the kitchens of apartments to avoid having to install a second set of water pipes.

The site reports that a city law passed in 1969 more or less ended the practice, but a rare apartment may still feature a tub or shower stall in their kitchens.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chimp Swats Down Drone at Dutch Zoo]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 07:19:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/MonkeyDrone.jpg

The chimpanzees at a zoo in The Netherlands created their own no-fly-zone for drones Friday.

A drone was zipping through their habitat at the Royal Burger's Zoo for an animal TV show when one of the chimps grabbed a tree branch and knocked the drone to the ground.

The drone was likely destroyed, but the camera captured the entire episode, as well as the chimpanzees inspecting the camera.

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<![CDATA["No. 1 Giants Fan" Shows Off "The Hat"]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:56:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giantshatcrop.jpg

A baseball fanatic who describes herself as the "No. 1 Giants fan" came out before the sun rose on Monday morning to show off her 7-pound hat covered in buttons she's collected over the last  50 years.

A woman who identified herself only as "Clark," arrived at Willie Mays Plaza on the day of the Giants’ home opener against the Colorado Rockies to show off her heavy hat to NBC Bay Area meteorologist Christina Loren.

Her current hat, which she’s been using for the past 15 years since she retired two others, weighs slightly less than a small cat.

The orange sunhat is covered with memorabilia, including a piece of confetti from the 2014 World Series victory parade. There are also pins from various opening days throughout the years, a few from Candlestick Park where the Giants used to play before moving to AT&T Park in 2000 , one commemorating former record-setting slugger Barry Bonds’ 400th home run, and one that looks like a miniature Willie McCovey jersey, number 44.

Despite the increasing weight of her standout good luck charm, Clark has no plans to watch any Giants game without it, especially if her team is going to take home a fourth World Series trophy.

“I keep thinking I need to retire it," she said. "But it’s become such a big winner for me, I just gotta keep wearing it!”

Photo Credit: David Parkinson ]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Condo on Market for $49M]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:55:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/luminaduplexpenthouse.jpg

A condominium in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood is on the market for $49 million.

The property is a 13,800 square foot duplex penthouse on the 41st and 42nd floors of the new Lumina building at 201 Folsom Street.

According to the listing, there are five bedrooms, five "entertaining rooms," six bathrooms, two half bathrooms, a gym/massage room, and family lounge. The windows are 20-foot high "shimmering walls of glass" that offer 360-degree views and there are eight exclusive-use outdoor spaces including a private rooftop terrace.

A sale of this unit could be the most expensive condo deal in the history of San Francisco, reported The Real Deal.

Business Insider noted that properties inside the Lumina begin at $2 million and will not be ready until later this year, and the duplex penthouse will not be habitable until summer of 2016.

Photo Credit: Sotheby's]]>
<![CDATA[Sea Lion Pup Gets "Detained"]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:13:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sea+lion+in+squad+car.JPG

Sheriff’s deputies had an unusual suspect in the back of their patrol squad car this week in Imperial Beach, San Diego, California.

Let’s just say fingerprinting him could be tough.

A sea lion pup wandered away from the shoreline on Wednesday and waddled five blocks to Mar Vista High School. School staff called in San Diego County sheriff’s deputies to “investigate.”

Deputies detained the little guy, or put him in the back of the patrol car. Animal Control officers and SeaWorld workers arrived soon after to tend to the pup.

In a news release, sheriff’s deputies jokingly described attempting to figure out the sea lion’s motive.

“While deputy sheriffs attempted to interview him as to his activities, he clammed up and requested his lawyer,” the news release said.

On a serious note, an increasing number of sea lion pups, in search of food, are washing up on California's shores and scientists have said they don't know the remedy.

Photo Credit: San Diego Sheriff's Department
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<![CDATA[Giants and Padres Squabble Over Chewing Gum]]> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 13:41:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/167*120/469104166.jpg

Baseball players and bubble gum are not typically a source of controversy.

But that was before "Gumgate." San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris accused San Francisco Giants outfielder Angel Pagan of intentionally tossing a piece of dirty old gum his way during the Padres' home opener Thursday evening.

Pagan's response?

“If I tell you, you’re going to laugh,” Pagan warned reporters before explaining how the heated exchange unfolded in San Diego.

According to CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic, during his ninth inning at-bat, Pagan accidentally threw a piece of gum under Norris’ legs while trying to remove the sticky substance from the batter’s box. Because, after all, who likes stepping in gum?

Norris, apparently offended by the piece of old chewing gum, confronted Pagan, resulting in a warning from the home plate umpire.

“He was just being kind of a d--khead,” Norris told reporters. “I don’t take kindly to that.”

Padres pitcher Craig Kimbrel seemed to agree with his catcher – his next pitch was a 97-mph fastball that whizzed right under Pagan’s chin. Kimbrel claimed it wasn’t intentional, telling reporters, “It just happened.”

Instead of resorting to name-calling, Pagan fired back with a lead-off triple, hit deep to center field.

While Pagan hasn’t acknowledged Norris’ digs, NBC Sports writer Craig Calcaterra offered his two cents: “Maybe it’d have more gravitas as a statement if it didn’t come from someone who spends entire games spitting into and around the batters boxes where dudes have to stand all day.”

Perhaps someone should remind Norris that there’s no crying in baseball, especially over gum.

The Giants went on to defeat the Padres 1-0 in the 12th inning.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Beaten After Stealing Horse]]> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 04:50:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/horseback-pursuit-taser-bernardino.JPG

The San Bernardino County Sheriff ordered an internal investigation Thursday into an arrest caught on NBC Los Angeles' NewsChopper4 video that showed deputies beating a suspect when they caught up with him following a desert chase on horseback.

Aerial footage showed the man falling off the horse he was suspected of stealing during the pursuit in San Bernardino County Thursday afternoon.

He then appeared to be stunned with a Taser by a sheriff's deputy and fall to the ground with his arms outstretched. Two deputies immediately descended on him and appeared to punch him in the head and knee him in the groin, according to the footage, reviewed several times by NBC4.

The group surrounding the man grew to 11 sheriff's deputies.

In the two minutes after the man was stunned with a Taser, it appeared deputies kicked him 17 times, punched him 37 times and struck him with batons four times. Thirteen blows appeared to be to the head. The horse stood idly nearby.

The man did not appear to move from his position lying on the ground for more than 45 minutes. He did not appear to receive medical attention while deputies stood around him during that time.

The man, identified as Francis Jared Pusok, 30, of Apple Valley, was hospitalized with unknown injuries, authorities said.

Pusok's mother Anne Clemenson blasted the conduct of the deputies, and said she still does not know where her son is, or what condition he is in following the arrest.

"To me, it was like a joy ride for the cops to do this to him. (It was) brutality. He didn't deserve something like that," Clemenson said. "To Tase him, the beatings that I see them doing to him — it's uncalled for. You see him laying down, and they continue to kick him, hitting him and punching him. Why?"

His girlfriend, Jolene Bindner, said she hasn't been able to get answers from the Sheriff's Department about Pusok's condition, let alone what hospital he's at.

"They have not told me a thing," she said. "How can you be tased and still feel it's necessary to beat him like that? I don't understand."

Three deputies were injured during the search. Two suffered dehydration and a third was injured when kicked by the horse. All three were taken to a hospital for treatment.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told NBC4 he was launching an internal investigation into the actions of the deputies.

"I'm not sure if there was a struggle with the suspect," McMahon said. "It appears there was in the early parts of the video. What happens afterwards, I'm not sure of, but we will investigate it thoroughly."

The series of events started when deputies from the Victor Valley station went to a home on Zuni Road to serve a search warrant in an identity theft investigation, authorities said in a news release.

The suspect took off in a vehicle and deputies initiated a pursuit through unincorporated Apple Valley, the town of Apple Valley and unincorporated Hesperia. The area is more than 80 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Pusok allegedly abandoned the vehicle 40 miles away from Hesperia in a place called Bowen Ranch where he took off running.

During a search on foot, with off-road vehicles and by helicopter, deputies learned the suspect had stolen a horse and rode it on dirt trails through rugged, steep terrain, causing numerous injuries to the horse.

A sheriff's helicopter inserted a team of deputies to take the suspect into custody. As deputies made contact with Pusok, the horse threw him off.

Deputies said the Taser was ineffective due to his loose clothing and a use of force occurred.

"I can certainly understand the concerns in the community based on what they saw on the video," McMahon said. "I'm disturbed by what I see in the video. But I don't need to jump to conclusions at this point, until we do a complete and thorough investigation. If our deputy sheriff's did something wrong, they'll be put off work and they'll be dealt with appropriately, all in accordance with the law as well as our department policy."

San Bernardino Superior Court records show Pusok has convictions for resisting arrest, animal cruelty, disturbing the peace, attempted robbery and failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility.

The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement that while they understand police officers are authorized to use force, they "are deeply troubled by the video images that appear to show San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies beating a man after he surrendered."

Gadi Schwartz, Asher Klein, Nyree Arabian and Michael Larkin contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Police Seek Volunteers to Get Drunk]]> Wed, 08 Apr 2015 17:00:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_alcohol_470x265.jpg

Police officers in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania want you to help them by getting drunk on their dime. And no, it’s not a trap.

The Department announced Monday that they’re looking for volunteers to participate in a “field sobriety coordination testing school” for officers. The officers involved in the school are working to get a certification which would allow them to use different techniques while enforcing the DUI laws in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth.

“To successfully conduct this training the police department needs 20 volunteers who are willing to consume alcoholic beverages under supervision,” a Newtown Township PD spokesperson wrote. “Upon reaching various levels of intoxication, the volunteers will be asked to perform 3 field sobriety coordination tests which officers will administer.”

Volunteers must be between the ages of 21 and 55, less than 45 pounds or more overweight and not on any medication that has a negative reaction to alcohol.

The classes will take place May 5, May 6 and May 7 at the BPG Conference Center in Newtown Square. The volunteers will be needed May 6 and May 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"All dosing of alcoholic beverages will be monitored and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided," the spokesperson said.

Interested? Email PFC Joseph Vandegrift at vandegriftj@newtowntownship.org or call 610-356-0602 voice mail #135.

<![CDATA[Comic Shop Tackles Minimum Wage Hike]]> Mon, 06 Apr 2015 13:07:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/comixexperience.jpg

Comix Experience has started a graphic novel club in order to tackle the $80,000 more per year the owner says he needs to generate to weather the minimum wage increases underway in San Francisco.

The retailer, which has two locations in San Francisco, was inspired by an endangered science fiction bookstore called Borderlands, which sold sponsorships to customers earlier this year in order to survive.

Owner Brian Hibbs told Hoodline that he needs to sell more than 334 yearly memberships at a cost of $240 to the graphic novel club in order to afford the minimum wage increase. Monthly memberships which offer one graphic novel each month cost $25.

Under the new ordinance, minimum wage in San Francisco is set to rise to $12.25 on May 1 and will go up each year until it hits $15 per hour on July 1, 2018.

Hibbs is happy to have found a potential solution that reflects the company's core values.

"We don't sell comics merely to make money from them — we sell comics because we literally can't think of a better way to spend our days than communicating the boundless love we feel for great comics and their amazing creators," he wrote on the graphic novel club website. "Every member of our staff feels just the same way: We burn for comics, and we want to ignite your passion for the best that our medium has to offer!"

Photo Credit: Comix Experience]]>
<![CDATA[Big Wheel Race Draws Hundreds in SF]]> Mon, 06 Apr 2015 16:36:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/BARTteam21.jpg

OK, it’s not really a sport.

But who’s going to argue that it wasn’t a lot of fun?

Hundreds of people showed up for the 15th annual “Bring Your Own Big Wheel” race in San Francisco’s Portero Hill on Easter Sunday, zooming down Vermont and 20th streets on a set of plastic wheels. No rubber allowed.

The race was conceived in 2000 in the “mind of a mad man” named Jon Brumit, according to the Bring Your Own Big Wheel website. Brumit’s grand vision back then was to ride the transportation mode of his youth and cruise down the crooked ol' Lombard Street.

Brumit was the sole rider that year, with 13 spectators.

By 2006, Brumit had 30 fellow racers, organizers said.

And then, YouTube was born.

Every year after that, the organizers note, ridership swelled to the hundreds, and spectator numbers began to spike to the thousands.

Already tired of tourists, Lombard Street residents wanted the race to move, or else.

The annual Easter phenomenon has been held on Vermont Street in 2008, and organizers are thrilled that this street is even curvier.

On Sunday, riders whooped and cheered and looked quite silly rolling down the street, their backs hunched over the tiny trikes, some in masks and hats, one man even sporting a hot pink Lyft mustache, and everyone looking like they were having a blast from the past.

There was even a group that went as BART, using cardboard and spraypaint to make the train cars.


Service advisory: mad cowboy in possession of bart train.

A photo posted by Levi Weintraub (@therevlev) on

Photo Credit: Rachel Cohen]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Stroller Used to Shoplift]]> Mon, 06 Apr 2015 22:20:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dicks+Sporting+Goods+Stroller+Theft+Hatch+Nicolle+Hatch+Edward+Hatch.jpg

Police in South Jersey asked for the public’s help to find a duo accused of using a baby stroller to swipe high-end baseball bats.

A man and a woman pushing a baby stroller walked into the Dick’s Sporting Goods store on Nixon Drive Tuesday night around 8 p.m., said Mount Laurel Police.

The duo then cut the security locks on five Easton Mako Torq BBCOR baseball bats valued at nearly $2,750 and put the bats into the stroller before leaving the store, said investigators.

Police later identified the alleged shoplifters as Edward Hatch, 37, and Nicolle Hatch, 33, both of Philadelphia.

The duo also swiped a $500 iPhone 6 from the Funplex on Route 38 on March 27 after it was left unattended at the prize counter, said police.

Police issued multiple arrest warrants for both suspects on a variety of charges including criminal mischief, theft and conspiracy counts.

Police asked anyone who knows the Hatch's whereabouts to contact Mount Laurel Police at 856-234-8300, confidentially at 856-234-1414 ext. 1599 or on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Mount Laurel Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[New York City Subway Dance Party]]> Fri, 03 Apr 2015 19:50:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2-party-aa.png

Some subway riders didn't know when they entered a train car with velour red rope that they had walked into a dance party. 

Inside was a DJ with a soundboard, strobe lights, glow sticks and music playing. The party, caught on video, is now going viral on YouTube.

Meir Kalmanson, 25, and his friends threw the party on March 26 in order to help commuters connect with each other. They said they hope to start a conversation and break down imaginary walls between New York City commuters.

“One guy told me he was in a depressing state of mind for weeks now, and this act of joy and unity opened his eyes to happiness and the kindness of people,” Kalmanson told NBC New York. 

In the video, some passengers on the 3 train seem perplexed at first and some seem unaffected. First one, then two, then three brave folks get the underground party started.

As more and more passengers began to join each other dancing in the confined space to Tobu’s “Mesmerize,” bystanders laughed and applauded. Those standing on the subway platforms smile, take notice, and some join in.

Kalmanson and his team set up their dance party after rush hour so they would have space for both their equipment and people to move. People were laughing out loud and grabbing their cameras as the team was setting up, he said. When he began to dance and urged others to join, Kalmanson described the atmosphere as “amazing” and “magical.”

“I love making videos that bring positive energy and smiles to the people who watch my work," he said.

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<![CDATA["Stop Pooping" Along Trail]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 04:31:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ss3-31-15-1.jpg

To whoever has been pooping on the public bike path in Hampton, Illinois – please stop, officials have asked.

“Stop pooping on bike path,” read two new signs along the trail. And no, it’s not a message directed towards pets.

Apparently joggers who poop along the path have been an increasing problem for Hampton over the past two years, the city’s Public Works supervisor Scott McKay told NBC station KWQC.

"When the individual does it, it does it right in the lane. It’s not on the center line. It’s not off on the grass," he said. 

McKay said there's certainty the act is done by a human and not an animal because the culprit adorns it with toilet paper and leaves the same footprints.

So now he's taken matters into his own hands. In case the runners were under the guise that it was okay to use Mother Nature’s open roadways as their personal toilet, they now have a friendly reminder educating them otherwise.

McKay said he hopes the signs solve the problem.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Liou/KWQC]]>
<![CDATA[Man Says He Released Pink Chickens to "Make People Smile"]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:20:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2015-03-27-at-8.39.49-PM1.jpg

Two chickens dyed pink were spotted roaming the Portland, Oregon, waterfront park on Thursday, leaving many wondering why were they pink and who let them loose.

The mystery didn't last long. The day after a Multnomah County Animal Services picked up the chickens, their owner, Bruce Whitman, claimed the birds on Friday.

"I wanted to make people smile," Whitman told NBC Friday. "I thought it would be fun for people when they get up and have a cup of coffee to be able to smile when they wake up."

Whitman said he soaked the chickens in beet juice and food coloring to get the vibrant color. He then left the nameless chickens in a tree, where they would have plenty of bugs to eat and water to drink as they roost, he said.

When Whitman arrived to the animal shelter, he said he was met with laughs and some head scratching. While employees were curious as to what the charade was about, they were happy to find out the chickens had a safe home to go to. 

Whitman was charged with a standard impound fee for the time the chickens were at the shelter. He was also informed about the dangers of releasing birds in public places, an MCAS spokeswoman said, according to NBC affiliate KGW.

Photo Credit: Multnomah County Animal Services
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<![CDATA[Pink Chickens Roam Portland]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:03:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2015-03-27-at-8.37.41-PM.jpg Pink Chickens Roam Portland

Photo Credit: Multnomah County Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Music Video Crew Behind Mystery Piano]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:03:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/03-27-2015-piano-santa-monica-1.gif

The hills were alive with the sound of music this week after hikers in search of sweeping views of Southern California were surprised to find a piano on a lookout in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The piano was discovered on top of Topanga Lookout, near Stunt Road in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area.

Several photos posted to Instagram indicated the piano was hauled up Tuesday  to the ridgeline for a music video shoot involving Seatlle-based artist Rachel Wong. Wong was a finalist in Ford's 2012 "Gimme the Gig II" contest, according to her biography.

The photos showed the five-person crew using a rope to pull the piano up a narrow trail, part of a two-mile round trip hike with about 160 feet of elevation gain. They used a moving dolly on some parts of the rugged trail, a job that took about 45 minutes, said videographer Michael Froton.

Aerial video Thursday afternoon showed hikers playing the piano on the graffiti-covered concrete foundation of an old fire tower and taking pictures of the instrument with a dramatic natural backdrop.

"It shows how different we are," said hiker Nick Herron. "Where else do you hear about a piano on top of a ridge?"

A representative from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy told NBC4 Thursday they were not aware of the piano. The agency said the land likely belongs to a water district.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>