<![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 Thu, 05 Mar 2015 06:56:16 -0800 Thu, 05 Mar 2015 06:56:16 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Widow Finds Husband's Grenade]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:23:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/030415+pembroke+pines+grenade.jpg

A widow who was cleaning out her husband's storage found a World War II-era grenade in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Wednesday.

The discovery was made at the Colony Point condos, Pembroke Pines Police officials said.

A bomb squad responded and the grenade was secured and safely removed.

No other information was immediately known.

Photo Credit: Pembroke Pines Police]]>
<![CDATA[Naked Woman on Drugs Crashes Car]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:58:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/225*120/3-3-2015-NakedCrash.JPG

A naked woman allegedly high on drugs crashed her car and ended up on the front lawn of an apartment building in South Los Angeles.

The woman hit several parked cars before driving across the sidewalk and onto the grass at Lockland Drive and Marlton Avenue at around 5:30 p.m, Los Angeles Police Department said.

No one was injured. Paramedics covered the woman in a blanket when they arrived on the scene and took her away for treatment.

<![CDATA[Japan's "Cat Island" Crawling With Kitties]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:14:30 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/202*120/cat210.JPG

All the cat videos you ever need — in a single clip.

Aoshima Island in Japan is crawling with kitties, 120 of them, NBC News reported. They outnumber the people six to one.

And yes, the island's nickname is "cat island."

Cats even hang out at the dock, to greet cat-loving tourists.

People come from all over Japan to see the animals, even though there's no shops or hotels.

The cats were originally brought here to hunt mice. Now a kitten-control program is underway -- so far ten cats have been neutered. Only 110 more to go.

<![CDATA[Wooden Passenger Fools Carpool Lane]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:17:13 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fake+passenger.JPG

A Long Island man allegedly used a wooden figure in a hooded sweatshirt to drive solo in the Long Island Expressway's HOV lane because, he told officers, he was late to his new job, police said.

A Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer noticed the fake passenger when he pulled the man over for speeding at 77 mph at 6:30 a.m. on Friday in Dix Hills.

A photo of the crudely made dummy shows a wooden board with a block-shaped, wooden head wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

"I was trying not to laugh at the guy because I thought it was quite silly," said officer Jonathan Abrams. 

Abrams said for a moment, he actually thought it was a real person.

"The silhouette was realistic enough," he said. "You see people with hoods up, sleeping in the front seat all the time." 

The driver, James Campbell, told NBC 4 New York the officer seemed to have a sense of humor about it.

"He said, 'Passenger, can I see some ID?' And I said, 'Officer, I don't think so,'" said Campbell, chuckling. 

Campbell told the officer that he was driving to a new job and didn't want to be late.

"He said he started a new job and he couldn't afford to be late to his new job, so traveling through the HOV lane allowed him to get there a little bit faster," said Abrams. 

He was issued summonses for speeding and occupancy violation.

Campbell didn't seem deterred. He pulled up to his home Friday evening after work with the dummy still in the front seat, saying he'd been using it for months. 

He said, "He's got a sister down in the basement and on special occasions, I bring her out and she wears a tutu." 

Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Dept. ]]>
<![CDATA[What Color Is This Dress? No One Can Agree]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:44:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/the-dress-B-1l26HXAAEJ48-.jpg

Is this dress blue and black… or gold and white? The debate is raging, and no one seems to agree.

BuzzFeed posted the controversial photo Tuesday evening, and already it's gone viral.

The image was originally uploaded by Tumblr user "swiked," who wrote:

"I see it as white and gold. My friend right here sees it as blue and black. I CANT HANDLE THIS"

Another user fired back:

"if that’s not gold my entire life has been a lie"

Others chimed in, all with different perceptions. Admittedly, no one in the newsroom could agree either.

So what color is it really?

The mystery may never be solved.

Photo Credit: Romanoriginals.com
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<![CDATA[Woman Had Cheating Ex Robbed]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:59:34 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/022515+sarah+matherly.jpg

A South Florida woman was arrested after authorities say she arranged to have her cheating ex-boyfriend robbed at gunpoint.

Sarah Nicole Matherly, 22, is facing robbery with a firearm and extortion charges following her arrest in Hollywood. She was ordered held on $7,500 bond at a hearing before Broward Judge John Hurley Wednesday.

According to the arrest report, Matherly lured her ex-boyfriend to a home in Hollywood. Once inside, he was met by a group of men.

Matherly went into a bathroom while the men robbed ex, and told them "don't forget his f-ing" chain," said Hurley. One of the men reportedly put a gun to his head during the robbery. 

The home was a "smoke house" where people go to take drugs, Hurley said.

Matherly later contacted her ex and told him, "that's what you get for cheating on me," Hurley said. She also threatened him with robbery if he didn't give her cash, Hurley said.

At the bond court hearing, Matherly's attorney argued that she was in another room and didn't know about the robbery.

Matherly, who has no criminal record, will have to undergo drug testing every week after her release from jail, the judge ordered. She'll also be required to get a job or go back to school.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Guinea Pigs Abandoned at Dolores Park: Report]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:47:26 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/10385574_10152828852603757_5014629187749311779_n.jpg

At least six abandoned guinea pigs were found wandering aimlessly Wednesday morning in the middle of San Francisco's Dolores Park.

A gardener, who identified herself as Michelle, said she found the guinea pigs overnight at the park near the 20th and Church streets Muni stop, according to a blog post on the San Francisco Chronicle website.

“People leave all kinds of pets in Dolores Park,” Michelle told the Chronicle. “Bunnies, chickens and once I caught a man grazing his goats here.”

Animal Care & Control officials said they were picking up the guinea pigs which will be put up for adoption — if they are friendly.

The woman who found the unusual flock of furry rodents took it all in stride.

“It’s Dolores Park,” Michelle said to the Chronicle. “We get a lot of weird stuff here.”

Animal Care & Control has posted pictures of some different guinea pigs who are up for adoption on its Facebook page (including the one pictured above).

Photo Credit: Animal Care & Control San Francisco]]>
<![CDATA[Madison Bumgarner Poses as Paul Bunyan With Bull]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:29:22 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*125/madbum2.JPG

World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner is getting some new attention after he posed as Paul Bunyan for a photo shoot.

Yup, that’s him in red suspenders and an ax posing for the cover of the first issue of the Season’s Giants magazine.

MadBum was born in Hickory, North Carolina where he still lives on a farm during the offseason.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Giants]]>
<![CDATA[Spelling Goof: Berkeley Librarians Recycle Misprinted B-E-R-K-L-E-Y Buttons]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:50:22 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mattchurch.jpg

The public library in Berkeley, California, a city known for its obsession with recycling, composting and all things green, has found a way to reuse its misprinted buttons: by shipping them 2,385 miles away to a library in Michigan.

The California city's name was misspelled on the buttons, which read "I have a library card, Berkley Public Library," dropping an "e" from "Berkeley." The Berkeley Public Library received the shipment of misprinted buttons 10 years ago, and put them in storage after discovering the error.

But even a decade ago, Berkeley was committed to making sure nothing goes to waste. So instead of throwing the buttons away, off they went to Berkley Public Library in Michigan, where they could be put to better use.

And that was the end of that, until recently, when an employee from the Berkeley, California, library found 125 more of the misprinted buttons in storage and contacted the Berkley, Michigan, library once again.

Matt Church, library director for the Berkley Public Library in Michigan, explained: “We had just run out of the buttons from that 10-year-old supply a few months ago, and we were trying to decide if we should get more. We give them to kids when they get their first library card."

And then, as luck would have it, "Berkeley called and said, ‘Hey, we found more!’”

Speaking by phone on Monday, Church said libraries are all about sharing ideas and materials with each other, even when there are thousands of miles between them.

“This reach across the country is so thoughtful," Church said, "and we’d be happy to return the favor if we ever find any extra E’s in our materials.”


Photo Credit: Matt Church/Berkley Public Library, Michigan]]>
<![CDATA["Happy Lunar New Year" From FB's Mark Zuckerberg ]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 10:34:56 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/200*120/zuckerberg4.jpg

In honor of the Lunar New Year, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg delivered a message in Mandarin Chinese wishing everyone a happy one, in a video he posted on his own Facebook page.

As of midday Thursday, his video, which appears to be spoken in a pretty good Mandarin dialect in front of a red wall with Chinese lanterns dangling from the ceiling, had over 2 million views and more than 111,000 likes.

He apparently also has decided this is the Year of the Sheep, though others are quibbling that the year is dedicated to the goat or the ram.

"Happy Lunar New Year! 春节快乐!" his post reads."This is a moment of renewal and celebration each year. I hope you have a wonderful time surrounded by friends and family, and I hope that the Year of the Sheep brings you health and happiness."

Zuckerberg is married to Dr. Priscilla Chan, whose father is a Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant, according to the Daily Mail, who arrived in America with his family in the '70s after spending time in a refugee camp. He worked in a Chinese restaurant in Boston before moving his family to Palo Alto.

Zuckerberg, self-taught in the Chinese dialect, drew "gasps and laughter" from a crowd in Beijing during a 30-minute Q&A in October 2014 he conducted in Mandarin. Humbly, Zuckerberg said his "Chinese is horrible," according to the Guardian. But told the crowd that he decided to learn the language to communicate with his in-laws.

Photo Credit: Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page
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<![CDATA[Woman Found in Box Near Landfill]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:44:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Irving+landfill+021815.jpg

A woman was found alive and barely clothed inside a cardboard box near a landfill in North Texas, and now police are working to figure out what happened.

Officers were called Saturday morning after employees and some community service workers in Irving discovered the woman. Police said the woman was wearing only a shirt and only spoke Spanish, telling investigators she was out with friends the night before in Dallas and had no memory of how she ended up in the box or at the dump.

In fact, a missing persons report was filed with Dallas police just hours before she was discovered.

According to police reports obtained by NBC 5, the victim was out drinking with a girlfriend Friday night at a club near Walnut Hill Lane and Brockbank Drive.

The victim's friend went to get their car, leaving the woman with a man they had just met. When the friend came back, the victim was gone.

The missing person report was filed Saturday at about 7 a.m. and by about 9 a.m. workers found the woman, who is in her 30s, inside a large box at the municipal landfill in the 200 block of West Hunter Ferrell Road.

Police took the victim to a local hospital to have her tested on whether she had been raped.

Irving police continue to investigate, and further details have not yet been released.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[What Do You Call A Sport That Combines Skiing and Horses?]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:53:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_skijorning0217001_1500x845.jpg Skijoring, a sport that combines skiing and horses, is a huge hit in Silverton, Colorado.]]> <![CDATA["Fifty Shades of Grey" Distracts Sacramento Drivers]]> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 16:24:22 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/50ShadesDriveThru.jpg

Opening weekend for the film "Fifty Shades of Grey" included some unwilling viewers.

The movie is being shown at the West Wind Drive-In theater in Sacramento, right off Highway 50. Motorists say they could clearly see the R-rated movie as they drove past.

Even worse, the theater is right next to a go-kart track, which was filled with families over the President's Day weekend.

"I just don't think it should be on a big screen out in the middle of the public, where anybody could turn around and see it," Susan Weiss told KCRA-TV on Monday.

The manager of the theater says he has moved things around so the movie is not visible from the freeway or the track.

By Monday night, KCRA reports, Jennifer Lopez's "The Boy Next Door" and "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” could be seen from a distance, but “Fifty Shades” was tucked away from plain sight.

Photo Credit: KCRA]]>
<![CDATA[Grandfather Viciously Beaten by "Crazy" Attacker at ATM]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 07:10:57 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/2-17-2015-BeatenGrandfather.JPG

A grandfather was viciously beaten by a man he described as "crazy" during a confrontation at an ATM on Valentine's Day.

Updated Article: Arrest in Attack at ATM

Raul Fonseca was hospitalized following the assault at the Bank of America in Temple City at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The 79-year-old said he was waiting in line when a man in his 30s started screaming "do you know me" in his face.

He tried to defend himself by swinging at the man,  however the situation rapidly escalated.

"Maybe if I hit him, he run away but, no, it was worse," Fonseca said.

His attacker easily overpowered him, raining down punches to his face, arms and head, then kicking him as he lay on the floor.

Fonseca blacked out during the beating, and when he came too he was covered in blood. He was surrounded by good Samaritans and paramedics.

"I don't remember anything until a half hour later," Fonseca said.

The motive is unknown, as the attacker did not steal any of his money. The assailant is described as being around 6 feet tall, 160 pounds.

Fonseca said he is having trouble sleeping at night knowing his attacker is still on the run, and fears he could hurt others.

"He was angry, angry with anybody," Fonseca said, "Catch him put him in jail because he can hurt anybody else."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators are hoping surveillance footage from the bank will be able to help them identify the attacker.

<![CDATA[Watch: Fire Breather Catches Fire]]> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 18:49:18 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tattoo-Fire1.jpg

A Philadelphia couple captured a scary moment on camera when a performing artist suddenly caught fire.

Jeff Hurd and his wife Alice Gibson attended the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Sunday and watched a fire-breathing performance from the Ink Illusionists.

As the performer blew fire, flames suddenly engulfed his entire body and spread to the floor. The fire breather was able to put the flames out while event organizers quickly extinguished the fire on the floor by flipping a table on it.

Gibson told NBC10 the whole incident happened so fast that many members of the audience thought it was part of the show. The Philadelphia Fire Department did not respond since the flames were put out so quickly and with minimal damage, according to Hurd.

Hurd said the performer told him he was okay when he went to check on him. Gibson told NBC10 she noticed minor burns on his body.

NBC10 reached out to the Ink Illusionists. A spokesperson for the group declined to comment.

The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention is an annual three-day event featuring appearances and performances from some of the most popular and skilled tattoo artists in the country.

Photo Credit: Alice Gibson]]>
<![CDATA[Scorpion on a Plane at LAX]]> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 10:38:59 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/scorpion2.jpg

An Alaska Airlines flight out of Los Angeles International Airport was delayed Saturday night after a passenger said they were stung by a scorpion on the plane, airline officials said.

Flight 567, which was carrying two college basketball teams, was preparing to depart at 7:50 p.m. for Portland, Ore., when the sting was reported, Alaska Airlines spokesman Cole Cosgrove said.

The female passenger was checked out by medics at the gate and released, but didn’t continue on the flight, Cosgrove said.

The scorpion was found and killed by the crew, who checked overhead compartments for any additional unwanted arachnids, Cosgrove said.

It was unclear how the scorpion got on the plane. The flight originated from Los Cabos, Mexico, Cosgrove said.

Both Oregon State University Men's and The University of Portland's Women's Basketball teams were aboard the flight to go home after weekend games in Los Angeles, according to Oregon State University radio play-by-play announcer Mike Parker. 

The flight was delayed by 40 minutes.

Olivia Woo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images (File photo)
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<![CDATA[Secret Sommelier Gifts Bay Area Diners With Free Wine]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 12:29:53 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Private+Wine+Tasting.jpg

An anonymous woman has been gifting Bay Area diners with free bottles of wine.

Diablo Magazine caught wind of the project in January when editors received a follow from a handle called @SecretSommCA on Twitter. She told Diablo that she is working with Visit Tri-Valley, the tourism board for Livermore Valley, Amador Valley and San Ramon Valley, to surprise people with wine from Livermore purveyors on Friday and Saturday nights.

"It's like a modern-day equivalent of turning water into wine," said The Dapper Diner, a fellow anonymous gourmand with a dedicated local following.

It's also reminiscent of the "hidden cash" craze a Bay Area real estate investor started last year when he started hiding free money then tweeting the location.

"I really like the idea because there's nothing like free booze to bring a smile to someone's face. Plus, the fact SecretSomm is focusing on local wines out of the East Bay is a great PR stunt for those wines that too often get the Rodney Dangerfield 'no respect' treatment."

As for the identity of SecretSommCA, he says, "Someone that works closely with the wine makers in the East Bay would be my guess."

SecretSommCA told Diablo her acts of kindness would continue through Valentine's Day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Tip Jar Bandit" Arrested After Witness Tips Off Cops]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:21:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/tip+jar+bandit.JPG

Police swooped on a 20-year-old woman accused of swiping money from a Beverly Hills restaurant's tip jar Friday night and several others.

The woman, Jessica Shub, is suspected of other tip jar thefts in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles in a spree that's been credited to the "Tip Jar Bandit."

Shub was arrested within about 60 seconds of stealing tip money from the Brighton Coffee Shop in Beverly Hills, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department, which is investigating three other Tip Jar Bandit cases. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating two.

Local restaurants were on alert for about a month -- about $50 was taken from LA restaurant Komodo on Monday, Jan. 12, according to a worker at the restaurant. Security footage showed a woman on her phone wait until the shop's cashier turned his back, then reach into the tip jar and stuff her hand into her purse.

A witness trailed Shub out of Brighton Coffee Shop after she allegedly took money from the shop at about 4:40 p.m. Friday. Beverly Hills police were called and arrested the 20-year-old "within 60 seconds," according to Lt. Lincoln Hoshino.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Komodo]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Rescued From Coyote's Mouth Now Up For Adoption]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 07:05:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/182*120/02-12-15_Divot-Rescue-Dog.JPG

Divot, a long-haired chihuahua mix named after the marks left by clubs on the golf course, has quite a story to tell about how she got her name.

It begins at the Griffith Park golf course.

“We were just about to tee up to the last hole when a coyote came running down. We didn't know what it had in it's mouth,” said Christopher Nelson, 12.

What it had in it's mouth was Divot. Another golfer took cell phone video of the coyote as Christopher and his mother tried to get it to drop the dog and leave by throwing golf balls and pine cones.

Despite neck wounds, Divot was still breathing, so they rushed her to a nearby animal hospital.

"I think Divot is extremely lucky and I am so happy they found her and rescued her because if they hadn't thrown those golf balls and golf clubs and got that coyote to go away, she wouldn't have made it," said veterinarian Dr. Annie Harvilicz.

Harvilicz is with the Animal Wellness Foundation in Marina del Rey, which took over Divot's care when they realized she needed to be quarantined for six months to check for signs of rabies.

“When she started with us she was extremely scared. I think she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Any time we would pick her up she would cry out. Sometimes she would scream," Harvilicz said.

Now, six months and $6,000 later, she's ready for adoption.

Divot is believed to be about 4 years old and her caretakers say she'll do well in any household. She gets along with other dogs and with children.

“She's incredibly sweet. She's an adorable dog. Everyone loves her. All she wants to do is cuddle and sit on someone's lap and give kisses," Harvilicz said.

For more information on Divot or to contribute to the Animal Wellness Foundation, which funded her recovery, visit their website www.animalwellnessfoundation.org

Photo Credit: Tommy Bravo]]>
<![CDATA[GPS Guides Driver Onto Railroad ]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 10:50:40 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/img_551.jpg

One look at the aftermath, and you can guess right away that something went terribly wrong early Monday in Carrollton, Texas.

Police officers were called out to the 1000 block of North Broadway Street after 1 a.m., and when they arrived a female driver told them that her GPS told her to turn right instead of left, which put her vehicle on a set of railroad tracks.

Police said she traveled about 50 to 60 yards before the railroad tracks damaged her car and kept her from going any farther, and she was forced to call the police for help.

Carrollton Police Department Spokesperson Jolene DeVito told NBC 5 that the officers had to call the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and make sure no freight trains were coming through the area while a tow truck removed the car from the tracks.

The driver was arrested and taken to jail on suspicion of drunken driving, and Carrollton police later posted the photo to social media as a reminder of how dangerous it is to drink and drive.

Photo Credit: Carrollton Police via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Woman Survives 3 Days After Driving Off Cliff]]> Thu, 12 Feb 2015 11:05:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6A-WOMAN-SURVIVES-FALL-VO---00000521.jpg

A woman from Atascadero is recovering at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo Wednesday night after spending three nights stranded hundreds of feet down a cliff.

Debbie Lopez was driving along Highway 1 just south of Ragged Point when she says she lost control of her pickup truck when she went to put out a cigarette. The truck flipped over the side of the cliff.

"And I knew at that point that I had to get myself out, I had to see my husband and my family," Lopez told sister station KSBY in San Luis Obispo. "I wanted to go home."

Stranded for days, the 57-year-old found herself upside down in her pick-up Saturday night on a cliff near Ragged Point after loosing control on the windy and wet road.

"The truck just flew over and I could just feel myself flying down and hitting things I don't know what I hit, and when I landed, I didn't know I was upside down," says Lopez.

After releasing her seat belt, Lopez realized she had damaged ribs, cuts, and bruises. By Monday, Lopez says, she finally got the strength and courage to climb out of her windshield.

"I made it, and maybe I'm halfway home," says Lopez.

That was just the beginning.

"And then it took a day and a half to figure out how I'm going to get out," says Lopez.

The only way up, was up.

"I know when I climbed out and I looked it was straight down," says Lopez. "I was yelling out help but no one could hear me, I was so far down."

A full 24 hours of fighting, crawling up incredibly steep terrain.

"I finally and cars were right there, and I got up and for a moment there were no cars and I leaned down and I kissed the road," says Lopez. "And I said that I am going home."

Putting Lopez back in her family's arms.

"I just have a new lease on life, and there is a God and he listens," says Lopez.

Once Lopez reached the road, she says a family from Louisiana stopped and called help for her.

Lopez should be released from the hospital on Thursday. Atascadero Police say her truck is still stuck on the cliff and that it is so far down they had a difficult time seeing it Tuesday night. There is no guardrail on that portion of the road.

Watch the entire raw and uncut interview on the KSBY website.

Photo Credit: KSBY]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens of Rabbits Taken From Owner Who "Lost Control"]]> Thu, 12 Feb 2015 07:53:09 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rabbits-possible-hoarding-santa-ana.jpg

Dozens of rabbits were in need of homes after they were taken from their owner, who police say "lost control" as they multiplied at her Santa Ana home.

Police responding to a complaint on South Broadway Tuesday night said the woman was living in unsanitary conditions with 40 to 60 rabbits in a single-car garage, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Officers, who described her living conditions as a "possible hoarding" situation, said the woman did not have a restroom in the 200-square-foot garage and was instead using buckets.

The rabbits appeared to be in good condition, Bertagna said. About 10 of them were pregnant.

The woman, whose named was not released, agreed to give up the rabbits to police and was not cited, despite a city ordinance restricting residents to four rabbits, Bertagna said.

Santa Ana Animal Control was searching for homes for the rabbits.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Santa Ana Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Caught on Camera Stealing Surveillance Cameras: Police]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:11:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/surveillance+thief.jpg

Police say a thief was caught on camera – on the very cameras he was stealing.

The man is accused of stealing video surveillance cameras attached to the outside of a Long Island motel in October.

After taking the cameras, the man fled from the Heritage Motel in Port Jefferson in a white Chevrolet four-door pickup truck with a male passenger, police said.

Anyone who may have seen the man is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.  

Photo Credit: Suffolk County Crime Stoppers]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Dresses Up as "Slave" for #TBT]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 04:13:30 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0210-heritagehigh-costume.jpg

"Throwback Thursdays" are a popular Spirit Week event at many high schools, designed to let students dress up in vintage outfits, and help break the winter doldrums.

But when a student went costumed as a slave last week at Loudoun County's Heritage High School, some classmates were surprised.

News4 learned about the costume from the outraged mom of another Heritage High student. She didn't want her identify revealed for fear of repercussions for her daughter.

She said that when her daughter got home last Thursday and told her about the costume, she immediately asked to see a picture.

"He had this white shirt on with red stains on it as if he'd been whipped," said the mother. "That was blood and on the back it said 'Property of Heritage High School' and he had a 200-count bag of cotton balls that he was scattering as he walked the halls. I was livid. I couldn't believe what I was hearing in 2015. Are you kidding me?"

She was even more surprised to learn the student was African American. The mother wondered why the student was allowed to wear the slave costume the entire day.

A school spokesman said Heritage High administrators greeted the student at the door last Thursday morning.

"They said, 'Look, you are really pushing the boundaries here. This is a tasteless costume. It's not disrupting the boundaries per se. Now if anybody [came] to us during the day with strong objections and says [it's] disruptive, then the costume comes off,'" said Wayde Byard, Loudoun County Schools spokesman.

Byard said the student was barred from competing in the costume content. The school's administration determined the costume didn't not violate the dress code, so it was a matter of the student exercising his free speech rights.

"There is a very fine line here between free speech and good taste. As we know, free speech is not always tasteful speech," said Byard. "The student was making a statement. There was no disruption. Students rolled their eyes as you might expect, but nobody said, 'That's horribly offensive and this is disrupting my day.'"

Byard said the decision might have been different if the student had been white.

"Had it been a white student instead of an African-American student, obviously that might have incited some racial tension. That might have been a different story."

Heritage High School senior Bianca Jackson says the costume surprised her.

"I thought it was really inappropriate for Throwback Thursday," said Jackson "I think people are kind of like, 'What are you doing?' It's something you don't joke about."

The mother who told News4 about the costume said she plans to write a letter of complaint to school administrators and the superintendent. She fears allowing this costume will open the door to more troublesome displays.

"What if someone comes dressed as the Holocaust [sic] or the Klan? Is that then considered inappropriate? Where is the line? You are dealing with teenagers. You have to establish some boundaries," she said.

Byard said a Klan costume or student dressed in swastikas would be in violation of dress code policy because that would constitute hate speech.

"I think the principal's job day to day is to sort out what is disruptive and what is not and I'm sure if the line is crossed the principal will reprimand students," said Byard.

The mom said that, at minimum, administrators missed a teachable moment, suggesting they could have kicked off a discussion among students.

"They could have turned this around to a learning opportunity," she said. "They could have done a number of things and they did nothing. That's unacceptable."

<![CDATA[Girl Scout Returns to Pot Dispensary to Sell Cookies]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:28:45 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/greencrossgirlscout.jpg

Danielle Lei has business acumen that exceeds her peers.

On Sunday, the 14-year-old Girl Scout set up cookie sales in front of San Francisco pot dispensary The Green Cross for the second year in a row. Lei told SFGate.com that she sold 208 boxes in two hours, and plans to return to The Green Cross to sell more cookies on Valentine's Day.

There has been no opposition to Lei's creative sales strategies from The Girl Scouts of Northern California. Dana Allen, the organization's marketing and communications director, told Mashable in 2014 that "the mom decided this was a place she was comfortable with her daughter being at."

"We're not telling people where they can and can't go if it's a legitimate business," Allen said.

But neither the organization nor the general public at large may know that "Girl Scout Cookies" is also the name for a hybrid marijuana strain that is popular in the Bay Area's urban community.

It's probably best to stick to Thin Mints and Samoas when ordering from Lei, who will return to The Green Cross from 12-2 p.m. on Feb. 14.

Photo Credit: Green Cross]]>
<![CDATA[Man Held in Stomping Death of Dog]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 08:33:24 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg

VISALIA, Calif. (AP) — A Central California man was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after stomping a dog to death and tossing its body in the street in front of his home.

The Fresno Bee reports that police arrested 35-year-old Robert Mesa Monday evening after receiving calls of gunshots at a home. When police arrived, Mesa ran inside his house.

Police arrested Mesa after they found a dog dead in the street, as well as a loaded 12-gauge shotgun inside his home.
Witnesses said Mesa stomped and kicked the small dog before throwing its body into the street. He did not shoot the dog. It was not immediately clear if the dog belonged to Mesa.

Mesa was booked into jail on suspicion of animal cruelty, gun possession and terrorist threats.

<![CDATA[Man Steals Pork Loin ]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 07:42:06 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pork-loin.gif

Police are looking for a man who stole a pork loin from a New Jersey Sam’s Club by sticking it down his pants and running out of the store, reports NJ.com

The man allegedly approached a store greeter at about 3 p.m. Monday and threw a pork loin at the employee’s feet before running out with another pork loin in his pants, according to NJ.com.

The pork was reportedly worth $105.

Photo Credit: Stock Image]]>
<![CDATA[Valuable Axe Stolen From SF Tiki Bar]]> Fri, 06 Feb 2015 17:00:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/smug-ax.jpg

The axe is gone.

Tiki bar Smuggler's Cove is short one "tiki axe," after a patron apparently ripped the hand-carved, custom-made artifact from the bar's wall, according to reports.

EaterSF brings us the news of the bar's loss: a wooden implement, resembling a paddle or a club, that served as decoration and ambience for the Franklin Street tiki bar and rum emporium.

Whoever stole the axe is not weak: They tore it straight from the bar's wall, taking along some "woven matting" and pieces of sheetrock along with it. How they managed to do so undetected is not known.

Bar staff are asking tiki fans and rum-swillers alike to keep an eye out on eBay and other secondary markets for sign of the one-of-a-kind axe.

This is not the first time the upscale tiki lounge has been victimized: In 2012, someone lifted a valuable mug known as "Tiki Bob" from its place of honor at the bar, Eater reported.

Tiki Bob has not been seen again.

Photo Credit: Smuggler's Cove / Facebook]]>
<![CDATA["High There!" App Sparks Stoner Love]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 05:49:48 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/High+There+App.jpg

Stoners looking for that special someone, rejoice: There is a new way to light up connections with others who share a love of weed.

High There! is a dating app, similar to Tinder, designed especially for marijuana smokers.

The Denver-based app is available for Android phones in states where use of marijuana is legal, according to its download page in the Google Play store.

High There! doesn't yet have an iPhone app, though several media reports say one is in the works.

Similar to Tinder, High There! lets users create profiles and swipe through potential matches. But the app also lets weed-smokers let others know what they like to do when high. A preview on Google Play shows the options to set your "energy level" to "low" if you like to veg out, or to "high" if you want to go for a run after you partake.

The app also matches people based on their preferences for consuming THC -- vaping vs. smoking, for example.

"High There! solves the problem many cannabis consumers face in connecting with similar people," according to the app's download page. "Whether looking to connect with new friends, current friends, fellow patients, or simply to find that special someone who understands and supports your choice to consume, High There! helps by giving you a safe place to express yourself."

CEO Todd Mitchem told Mashable the app is designed for more than just dating.

"A lot of people say we're the Tinder of weed, but that's only one facet of the whole thing. It's so much bigger," he said.

Mitchem said the app can help users find recommendations for local medical marijuana dispensaries, or just make friends. (Presumably, friends with some weed.)

Photo Credit: High There! Screen Grab from Google Play]]>
<![CDATA[Man Steals Cruiser, Taunts Officers]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 17:58:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/10953946_858430890884339_5937183689389048835_n.jpg

A Springfield man was arrested early Thursday after calling police "pigs," taking a cruiser on a joyride, and throwing punches at officers, according to police.

Police in Springfield were called to a home on Laurelton Street around 4 a.m. Thursday and were greeted by a woman who asked them to get her boyfriend to leave.

Officers escorted Michael Kopeski, 27, from the home and had him wait outside. Police said Kopeski became outraged because he wanted to go back inside to "get his stuff." He started to yell at the officers, calling them "pigs," and spit at a police cruiser.

Kopeski then jumped into the police car and began to drive away. The officers ran after the cruiser and were able to open the passenger door, discharging pepper spray into the vehicle, according to police.

Kopeski kept driving, so officers called for backup. Police said Kopeski used the police radio to taunt the officers and disrupt radio transmissions.

Authorities eventually were able to box in the stolen cruiser at Berkshire Avenue and Page Boulevard. Police said Kopeski would still not cooperate and threw punches at the officers.

Kopeski was arrested and charged with several offenses, including larceny of a motor vehicle.

Photo Credit: Springfield Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Gardener in Florida Spots 75-Pound Panther]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 16:56:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6617975_G-1.jpg

A gardener working at a Florida home Tuesday was shocked by a 75-pound panther lurking on the side of the house.

The couple who owns the residence, Al Dijindil and Andrea Cameron, told NBC affiliate WBBH the gardener spotted the 2-year-old panther in bushes along their Naples home.

"The gardener said, 'I think you have a tiger in your yard,'" Cameron said.

Cameron was able to see the panther safely inside her house by looking out of a window. "I was hoping he would stay there until help arrived,” Cameron said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers tranquilized and removed the cat, which will be released in a less populated region, according WBBH. They said that the panther most likely swam over from Keewaydin Island, off the coast of Naples.

"The panther will be released in Picayune Strand State Forest. It's a little farther from major roads, so we think that will be a safer option than Rookery Bay... No time frame yet, he's still groggy," panther biologist for FWC Mark Lotz said to WBBH.

Cameron's family was surprised to hear about her ordeal with the big cat.

“My brother said, ‘Wow, that’s a big panther. It’s a good thing he didn’t eat you,'” Cameron said.

Photo Credit: Andrea Cameron]]>
<![CDATA[Scouts' Nude Beach Hike]]> Tue, 03 Feb 2015 07:49:54 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/black+beach+5454.jpg

A Cub Scout pack’s hike along the San Diego coastline led the children to a nude beach, scout officials confirmed Monday.

The scouts, ages 9 and 10, were out for a planned hike on January 24 in the area of Torrey Pines State Beach just north of La Jolla.

A few hiking trails in this section of the coastline led down to the beach below the cliffs. One beach in particular, Black's Beach, is known for its nude sunbathers.

So on this Saturday hike, the young scouts saw a little more than parents were expecting.

Scout officials say the pack “encountered some individuals who were inappropriately dressed.”

A Facebook user told NBC 7 that parents were “panicked” and protested the hike route to the cub master.

According to the official statement from the San Diego-Imperial Council, parents and adult volunteers “quickly rerouted” the group “to protect the youth.”

NBC 7 tracked down the pack leader who told us he was not punished for the field trip.

Council officials say they met with parents and discussed whether there needed to be any other action taken.

“Together we concluded that proper protocol had been observed and appropriate steps were taken in this matter," the official statement said.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has a number of hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

One ranger told NBC 7 that it’s very common to see youth groups hiking in the area, especially scouts who are working toward earning an outdoor badge.