News of the weird

Wednesday February 06, 2002

Kitty come home! 


HIBBING, Minn. — An orange tabby cat managed to find his way back home, after a 350-mile journey across two states. 

With raw paws and protruding ribs, Skittles showed up at Charmin Sampson’s northern Minnesota home 140 days after her family last saw the 2-year-old feline in southern Wisconsin. 

Sampson says her family saw Skittles last on Labor Day weekend when the Sampsons were packing up to return home to Hibbing, Minn. 

More than three months later, Skittles showed up at the Sampson’s front door. 

“I knew it was Skittles,” said Jason Sampson. “The cat is orange, with white paws and he’s got a look to him — a unique look.” 

Now, Skittles has settled into his old routine — snoozing in the living room armchair. 

Legless man attempts robbery  


LONDON — A homeowner who discovered three men trying to rob his house had no difficulty in describing one suspect — he had no legs. 

On Monday, would-be burglar Robert William Bate was spared a jail sentence after his lawyer told a judge he was giving up his life of crime. 

Bate, 22, was carried away by an accomplice as the gang fled the scene last June. He was arrested soon afterward. 

Bate, who has previous convictions for burglary and shoplifting, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary. 

He said he had drunk 16 pints of beer before friends persuaded him to act as a lookout while they robbed a house in Easington Colliery, northeast England, on June 1. 


‘Jeeves, take me to jail’ 


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Three people rode a limousine ride to jail after police said they used a stolen credit card to hire the car. 

A limousine company notified a Cheektowaga man Monday that service in his name had been ordered for an address in Buffalo, police said. The man had earlier reported to police that his credit card was stolen. 

So with a police officer at the wheel instead of the usual driver, the limousine made three stops — picking up the alleged suspects. 

A 15-year-old boy claimed to be the owner of the credit card, which was found in his pocket, police said. He was charged as a juvenile. 

Two adults, Charles Rogers, 44, of Cheektowaga, and Westover Robinson, 40, of Buffalo, were charged with theft of services, criminal impersonation, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child. 



An alternative to pepper spray 


HIGH POINT, N.C. — A North Carolina mailman really is a dog’s best friend. 

Dale Baity has handed out treats to about 50 dogs on his route for the past three years until recently. The U.S. Postal Service told him to stop after a treat-seeking canine scared a substitute carrier. 

The dog was pepper sprayed by the frightened postal worker. 

The dogs’ owners supported Baity and praised his work as well as his good heart.  

Now, Baity is back in business delivering his doses of goodwill. 

Postal officials refused to talk about the issue and referred questions to Bill Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Postal Service in Charlotte. 

Carriers are forbidden to pet dogs, and feeding them is discouraged because of the possibility of being attacked, Brown said. 

The occasional dog biscuit is left up to the carrier, Brown said. 

“We don’t encourage it, but some situations may be different than others,” he said.