Cops Stop Runaway Car, Evoke Erik Estrada

It took some quick thinking, and maybe an old TV show, for two Denver cops to stop a runaway car.

Twenty-year-old Angel Eck was driving her 1997 Pontiac Sunfire (search) westbound on I-70 Friday night when the brakes failed and the accelerator stuck, sending her hurtling uncontrolled down the freeway.

"It had a mind of its own," Eck told The Associated Press Sunday. The car "kept accelerating, and my foot wasn't even down on the gas."

Eck turned on her hazard lights and dodged other vehicles, including tractor-trailers and a van full of children, at speeds of up to 100 mph. Nothing she tried slowed the car down.

"I probably went off the road three times trying to get around traffic," Eck told TheDenverChannel.

She tried calling the police, but her cell phone couldn't get a signal. After 45 frantic minutes, she reached a friend, who called 911.

Police cleared the freeway as Eck sped westwards. Meanwhile, officers Gary Ayers and Troy Bisgard decided to try something radical.

They got their cruiser right in front of Eck's car, then slowed down slightly so that she bumped them. It took miles, but both vehicles finally came to a peaceful stop.

Officer Kim Lovato said Ayers and Bisgard joked that they'd gotten their idea from an old episode of "CHiPs (search)," the 1977-1983 television show about two motorcycle-riding California Highway Patrol officers.

"Whenever they had a runaway car on 'CHiPs,' this is exactly what Ponch and Jon would do," Lovato told TheDenverChannel. "One is brunette and one is blonde just like Ponch and Jon, and they did what they needed to do and it turned out just perfect."

Bank Office Becomes Nest of Vipers

South African police are on the hunt for a man who threw a hissy fit in a bank.

Abel Manamela, who's now in hiding, admits walking into an Absa Bank branch office in Johannesburg and throwing several poisonous snakes on the floor.

Customers and staffers panicked as the deadly nippers slithered into the reception area. Manamela, who wanted revenge after the bank repossessed his car, got away in the chaos, reports the BBC.

"I asked people to move away so that they would not get bitten," Manamela said in a statement issued from a secure location. "Then I put my bag on the floor and opened it."

No one was hurt, but while cops say they captured five snakes at the bank, Manamela said he let 15 go.

"I had 10 puff adders (search), three mambas and another two cobras," he said.

Manamela says he'll do it again if his car's not returned. Police are treating it as a case of attempted murder.

— Thanks to Out There reader Adam P.

Camel in a Snowstorm? Yeah, Right

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — It took some convincing before police would respond to reports of a camel on a southern Sweden road in the middle of a snowstorm.

"We were somewhat doubtful at first," said police spokesman Sten-Ove Fransson in Skoevde, 162 miles south of Stockholm, of Friday's incident. "But then more people called, so we were finally convinced that there really was a camel gone astray on the road."

Before police arrived, friends of the camel's owner came and led it back to a stable, where it has been kept while awaiting a home in a new barn.

Owner Anneli Arvidsson said in a telephone interview that the 22-year-old Siberian camel, Emat, might have wandered off because of the absence of his usual companion, a horse.

"On Friday, the horse had been taken inside the stable and the camel was left alone in the pasture, which probably made him feel lonely," she said.

Don't Take This Woman Out to Dinner

NEW YORK (AP) — Sonya Thomas (search), a 99-pound woman known as 'The Black Widow,' won Philadelphia's annual Wing Bowl chicken-wing eating contest in a dramatic overtime on Friday.

Thomas, from Alexandria, Va., consumed 167 wings, beating Ed 'Cookie' Jarvis by two wings in a two-minute overtime round, the first in 10 years.

In December, Thomas was crowned the Fruitcake Champion (search) after downing nearly five pounds of the treat in 10 minutes, beating her closest rival — 405-pound Eric Booker — by a single bite.

Despite her size, Thomas is no lightweight on the professional eating circuit. She's eaten 43 tacos in 11 minutes to claim victory in the World Champion Chicken Taco Eating Contest.

She also holds the female world record for eating 24 hot dogs in 12 minutes and for eating 68 hard-boiled eggs in 8 minutes.

Honest, but a Bit Slow to Act

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — A wallet lost by a Swedish teenager more than 40 years ago has been returned, complete with the cash its owner once considered a small fortune.

Gulli Wihlborg was 18 when she lost the red wallet while riding her bicycle in the southern Swedish town of Trelleborg in 1963, the Trelleborg Allehanda local newspaper reported Monday.

So after four decades, she was stunned to open an envelope last week and find that someone had anonymously sent her the long forgotten wallet.

"It's fantastic," Wihlborg told the newspaper.

She said the wallet contained old photographs and receipts, and even all the cash she remembered losing.

"It's exactly 45 kronor and 54 oere, ($6.17). That was a lot of money for me then. I was renting a furnished room for 90 kronor, so that was half my rent," she said. Adjusted for inflation, the amount of cash she lost would now be worth 412 kronor ($55.80).

The sender did not provide any clues about his identity, just a note that read: "Dear Gulli, you should never give up hope. Here's your wallet that was found on [the street] Oestersjoegatan many years ago. Greetings from Trelleborg!"

Now, Wihlborg just hopes the sender will come forward, so she can learn the rest of the story.

"It would be fun to know," she said. "You wonder why it hasn't been sent until now."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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