The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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November 4, 2009

Weird news: Just wanted to make trouble

-- Sensitive! (1) St. Paul, Minn., police were called to the 1300 block of Desoto Street in July by a 43-year-old man, who demanded that a report be filed because he had found a slice of half-eaten pizza near his fence and thought it represented someone’s intent to “harass” him. (2) A 56- year-old man was cited by police in Carlisle, Pa., in September after a complaint from neighbor Brian Taylor, 43, who swore that the man had flicked a toothpick onto the sidewalk in front of Taylor’s home just to “annoy” him.

-- A nine-hour, 16-officer search of the home of alleged drug kingpin Michael Difalco, near Lakeland, Fla., in March, apparently was not exciting enough. Surveillance video (from Difalco’s security system) released by police in September showed that the easily distracted officers also took time out to play spirited frames of bowling on Difalco’s Wii game. Since the detectives were unaware of the camera, they uninhibitedly pumped their fists and shouted gleefully with every strike. Police supervisors acknowledged the unprofessional behavior but said the search nonetheless was productive.

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