Really Stupid People

- Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an
airport hotel after he tried to pass two (counterfeit) $16 bills.

- A man in Johannesberg, South Africa, shot his 49-year-old friend
in the face, seriously wounding him, while the two  practiced
shooting beer cans off each other's head.

- A company trying to continue its five-year perfect safety record
showed its workers a film aimed at encouraging the use of safety goggles
on the job.  According to Industrial Machinery News, the film's
depiction of gory industrial accidents was so graphic that
twenty-five workers suffered minor injuries in their rush to leave
the screening room.  Thirteen others fainted, and one man required
seven stitches after he cut his head falling off a chair while
watching the film.

- The Chico, California, City Council enacted a ban on nuclear
weapons, setting a $500 fine for anyone detonating one within city

- A bus carrying five passengers was hit by a car in St. Louis,
but by the time police arrived on the scene, fourteen pedestrians had
boarded the bus and had begun to complain of whiplash injuries and
back pain.

- Swedish business consultant Ulf af Trolle labored 13 years on a
book about Swedish economic solutions.  He took the 250-page manuscript
to be copied, only to have it reduced to 50,000 strips of paper in
seconds when a worker confused the copier with the shredder.

- A convict broke out of jail in Washington D.C., then a few days
later accompanied his girlfriend to her trial for robbery.  At lunch, he
went out for a sandwich.  She needed to see him, and thus had him paged.
Police officers recognized his name and arrested him as he returned to
the courthouse in a car he had stolen over the lunch hour.

- Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by
placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to
a photocopy machine.  The message "He's lying" was placed in the
copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the
suspect wasn't telling the truth.  Believing the "lie detector" was
working, the suspect confessed.

- When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused
to hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to
call the police.  They still refused, so the robber called the police
and was arrested.

- A Los Angeles man who later said he was "tired of walking,"
stole a steamroller and led police on a 5 mph chase until an officer
stepped aboard and brought the vehicle to a stop.

-- Police in Key West, Fla., arrested college student Jason Maloney in 
October as he was reveling with friends at the Mardi-Gras-like Fantasy 
Festival and decided to enjoy some marijuana in back of a building. They 
did not realize that the building was police department headquarters and 
that they were standing very, very close to the building's air-conditioner 
intake.  Officers decided to take a look outside when the room began to 
smell like marijuana. 

-- Jose Sanchez, 31, of Camden, N.J., was arrested in November and charged
with burglary for allegedly looting the Hill-Rom Corp. in Pennsauken, N.J.
The burglar had stuck a piece of paper in the doorway to keep the door from
closing and forgot to retrieve it before leaving. The piece of paper was a
recent traffic ticket issued to Sanchez, with his name and address on it. 

-- Leroy Evans, 24, was charged with attempting to rob the Southshore DoNut
Shop in New Orleans in October. Evans had apparently not been listening to
comedians' jokes lately and so for some reason did not expect there to be a
police officer on break inside. Officer Freeman Spears, in uniform, was one
of only two customers in the shop when the gun-wielding, stocking-masked
Evans burst in at 12:45 a.m. Spears shot Evans twice, sending him to the

-- David Leon Phillips, 24, and three other men were charged in Tullahoma, 
Tenn., in October with attempting to pass a counterfeit $10 bill at a Krystal 
restaurant. Several other counterfeit bills were found in their car. Police 
said the work was of such poor quality that they doubted the U.S. Secret 
Service, which has jurisdiction over counterfeiting, would even bother to 
investigate. Not only had the bills been run off on an ordinary copier rather 
than a laser printer, but all the bills were in black and white. 

-- Ronnie Wade Cater, 39, was arrested in Hampton, Va., in October and
charged with calling in a bomb threat. According to detectives, he was
sitting at a bar, drunk, and had the idea to call police about an alleged
bomb at another bar, hoping to divert enough officers to that bar so that
he might drive home undetected. However, probably because he had been drinking,
he lingered on the phone a little too long while talking to the dispatcher
about the bomb, and the call was traced.