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The Odd Truth, Nov. 2, 2004

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Brian Bernbaum.

Now That's Bipartisanship

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. - Maybe the nation isn't as divided as all the pundits claim.

After all, Upper Burrell Township neighbors Kerry Bush and John George have made it through the presidential campaign on speaking terms.

"I don't think people have put two-and-two together," George said, noting that neighbors haven't targeted either man with election year pranks.

George said it was his fourth-grade son, Cole, who noticed that the neighbors' names combine to form those of President George W. Bush and his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry.

Bush manages a company that just got the cleaning contract at a nearby hospital, and said his name helped break the ice with his new co-workers.

And he has a ready reply to their most frequent jokes.

"I don't feel at all like a flip-flopper," Bush said. "I get called Mr. Bipartisan."

Extreme Trick-Or-Treating

SIMSBURY, Conn. - A 12-year-old boy hung onto his pillowcase filled with Halloween candy despite being beaten and dragged nearly 100 feet by two teenagers who tried to steal the loot, police said.

The boy, who was wearing a costume, was trick or treating Sunday night on Phelpscoft Road when two teenagers carrying skateboards beat, kicked and dragged him, police said.

Police arrested the two teens about a half-hour after the incident.

One 16-year-old suspect was charged with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault and attempted larceny. The other teen, a 15-year-old, was referred to juvenile court.

The 12-year-old victim did not require hospitalization but was sore from his injuries, police said.

"Young kids don't realize that when something is taken with the threat of force, the resulting charge is robbery, which is a serious offense," said Simsbury police Capt. Peter Sevetz, a department spokesman. "All over a small amount of candy."

Romaniam Judge Spotted In X-Rated Video

BUCHAREST, Romania - A Romanian judge is accused of taking off more than her judicial robes. Judge Simona Lungu is under investigation for allegedly starring in an X-rated video sold in Denmark. She denies the porno charge, but experts at the Forensic Institute conclude that it's her. Lungu is also under investigation for failing to disclose financial conflicts of interest. Lungu could be kicked off the bench if the National Council for Magistrates rules against her.

Burglar Falls Asleep On The Job

TOKYO - A man allegedly broke in to a house in western Japan with the intention of robbing it, but was so drunk that he fell asleep in his victim's home without stealing a thing, police said Monday.

The occupant returned to his home in Kobe city Sunday afternoon to find the unemployed suspect, Tatsumi Okagawa, 52, asleep on the floor upstairs, a Hyogo prefecture police spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

Okagawa told police he had intended to rob the home but instead just fell asleep.

Police caught him as he tried to flee the house and arrested him on suspicion of illegal entry, the spokesman said.

Kobe, a major port city, lies about 270 miles west of Tokyo.

Woman Accused Of Cutting Off Boyfriend's Penis

HOUSTON - A Harris County woman accused of cutting off her boyfriend's penis with a kitchen knife while he was sleeping was being sought by police Saturday, sheriff's detectives said.

The severed organ has not been found since the attack Thursday morning at the woman's home.

The 33-year-old victim is in Ben Taub General Hospital and is expected to survive. The 45-year-old woman told detectives she cut the man because he had been unfaithful and had physically abused her. Eighty percent of his penis was severed, detectives said.

The Harris County Sheriff's Department declined to release the couple's names Saturday because the woman has not been charged.

Detectives said the man was on probation for assaulting the woman last year and found a court order prohibiting him from going near her. He was not abusing her when the attack occurred, said sheriff's Lt. Ruben Diaz.

Despite the court order, the woman invited him to her home Thursday, Diaz said. The man works a night shift, and after he arrived, went to bed.

Later in the morning, the victim was awakened by a sharp pain. "He sees the bed full of blood, he immediately looks down and knows what's going on," Diaz said. "She's standing in the room. She's still there, staring at him."

The woman's sister and 22-year-old daughter heard the man's screams and drove him to a hospital. The woman with the knife refused to help them, Diaz said.

The woman later spoke with detectives after her daughter reached her on a cellular phone. She refused to return to the house, Diaz said.

The couple had lived together in the United States for about four years, but are not believed to be legally married, Diaz said. Detectives say she still is married to another man in her homeland of El Salvador. They said she may be headed there.

Panty Raider Busted

POCATELLO, Idaho - A 44-year-old Chubbuck man is accused of breaking into a student housing area at Idaho State University to steal underwear from the laundry room.

A campus security officer saw the man on a video monitor on October 22nd. When officers arrived, he was still there, going through laundry.

Pocatello police Lieutenant Steve Findley says the man admitted having a long-standing affinity for stealing women's underwear. He was even wearing a stolen thong when he was caught.

The man, who was not identified, is not a student at the university. He is charged with two counts of unlawful entry and two counts of petit theft.

Disgruntled Employee Poisoned Coffee

SCHILLER PARK, Ill. - A Skokie man was accused of placing hazardous chemicals in his company's coffeepot, according to authorities.

Kemarat Vathananand was angry at a vice president of Schiller Park-based Castle Metal Finishing Corp. who told him he could not drink coffee in the shop area, investigators said.

Vathananand, a pollution control operator who has worked at the company for 15 years, was charged Friday with attempted murder and unlawful tampering with food. A Cook County judge ordered Vathananand, 50, held on $100,000 bond.

Vathananand is accused of placing sodium dimethyldithiocarbamate, lead acetate and urine in the coffeepots. No one at the company became seriously ill, said Tom Stanton, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Employees first noticed a bitter taste in the coffee three months ago, and bought new coffeepots, said Mike Marrazzo, a spokesman for Schiller Park Police. When that didn't help, an employee ran a test on a sample of coffee, and it came back positive for lead acetate, authorities said.

Schiller Park Police installed a hidden camera in mid-October, and just over a week later, Vathananand was captured on tape pouring something into the coffee maker, Stanton said.

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