Moron Takes It to a Whole New Level

Jeremy Niederbrach's criminal career may have gone from thuggish to asinine.

Niederbrach, a 25-year-old resident of Salem, Ark., had a court appearance to determine his parole status Feb. 9, having been charged with criminal mischief, reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Police had accused him of driving through several people's yards, at least two chain-link fences, a tree and a Sonic Drive-In (search) sign.

But by 10:30 a.m., his case hadn't been called — so he went outside the Salem District Court building for a smoke. In plain view of cops and court officers, he whipped out and lit a marijuana cigarette.

"He stood out there, and he lit up the joint," Salem Police Chief Al Roork told the newspaper. "I'd say he used real poor judgment."

Looking down on Niederbrach from a second-story window were Brian Sanderson and Scott Russell, agents with the 16th Judicial Drug Task Force.

"This is stupid," Sanderson, who went to high school with Niederbrach, remembers saying to Russell at the time. "I can't believe we're watching this."

Sanderson and Russell watched Niederbrach take a few puffs, burn his fingers on the stubby butt of the "roach," then drop it back in the prescription-pill canister he'd been keeping it in.

"We just waited for him to come back upstairs to arrest him," Sanderson said.

Niederbrach denied having any pot, then got belligerent.

"I told him to settle down," Sanderson told the newspaper. "We told him we watched him smoke it. It didn't matter what he said."

Niederbrach was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and additional parole violations.

"It was amazing," Sanderson said. "We've seen people doing drugs before, but we were undercover, and we weren't at a courthouse. I kept trying to think I was missing something and tried to come up with an excuse for him. But I couldn't think of any."

— Thanks to Out There reader Lisa C.

British Public Loves False Alarm

If you can't beat the Britney generation, join 'em.

Aging Welsh rockers The Alarm (search), who had minor hits in the U.S. during the '80s with "The Stand" and "68 Guns," have a new single climbing up the British charts — under an assumed name.

Even better, the song's video features an entirely different, much younger band, reports the BBC.

"We wanted the song to be judged on its merits and stir up the water a little bit, break the mold," said band leader Mike Peters, who's about to turn 45.

The song in question, "45 RPM," is a catchy punk number that's hit No. 28 on the British charts. The single's credited to "The Poppy Fields," and the accompanying video has a bunch of cute twentysomething guys singing along — in reality the Wayriders, another band entirely.

"If it had been released as The Alarm it would have been dismissed as the work of a bunch of has-beens," Peters explained to the London Sun. "Radio stations wouldn't have played it if they had known it was us."

— Thanks to Out There reader Jason M.

Nasty Burglar Gets Just Desserts

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A judge made sure the punishment fit the crime when he sentenced a man to clean 100 toilets at the Saginaw County Jail.

Jonathan F. Naessens, 23, pleaded guilty to stealing a firearm from a Richland Township home, but investigators also found human feces in the basement near the window where the burglar entered the house.

Authorities say Naessens defecated on the floor. In addition to the toilet scrubbing, Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard on Wednesday sentenced the Richland Township man to two years' probation and to pay $389 in restitution to clean the property.

"The sentence is excellent," Sheriff Charles L. Brown told The Saginaw News. "What's more disgusting than someone coming into your home and doing this?"

Outrageous Paint Job to Become Simply Dull

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The owner of a car with a nude woman painted on its trunk is hoping a G-rated version of the dancer satisfies prosecutors.

During a hearing Thursday in Marion Superior Court, a lawyer for Erica Meredith, 25, said his client would have clothes painted on the 3-by-5-foot image of the woman.

The airbrushed paint job on the 1976 Buick sedan depicts a naked woman twirling around a pole while two men in an audience watch.

The car was registered in Meredith's name but actually belonged to her boyfriend, Keyon Johnson, she said.

Meredith was charged with a felony count of disseminating material harmful to minors after she was ticketed during a traffic stop last month near a school. Johnson was not charged.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has said he would drop charges if the image was covered or the car was kept off the street.

Jack Crawford, Meredith's attorney, said the artist who painted the mural would paint clothes on it.

"We suggest that the offensive parts be covered," Crawford said.

Whole Lotta Pork Fried Rice

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials figure a 1,980-pound pig that died from lack of exercise has a shot at being named the biggest pig ever. They plan to apply for a listing in the Guinness Book of Records, the government's news agency said Monday.

The pig, which was 8 feet 3 inches long, is already the heaviest ever reported in China, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The beast had a girth of 7 feet, 3 inches and its tusks were 5-¾ inches long when it died Feb. 5, the agency said. It cited the pig's keeper, Xu Changjin, a farmer in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

The pig lived to be 5 years old — considered long in China, where most pigs are slaughtered by age 3 — and was kept in a "nicely built sty," the report said.

But, "it had grown too big to move around," said Liu Mingyu, a professor at Liaoning University (search), who said it died from lack of exercise.

China's previous heaviest pig weighed in at 1,540 pounds, Liu said, in Xinhua's report.

We Await Speaker of the House Cookie Monster

LINCOLN, Neb. — The accidental flip of a switch provided some unexpected humor during NETV's Legislative coverage Friday.

About 10:30 a.m., as Sen. Arnie Stuthman of Platte Center was debating, NETV's audio feed of Stuthman was briefly switched to sound from PBS' children's show "Sesame Street."

What was heard on the air was a Sesame Street character wondering aloud "where Ernie is hiding today."

Of course, the reference was to a Sesame Street character. But with the conflicting audio and video feeds, it looked as if Stuthman were asking — in an unusually high-pitched voice — for the whereabouts of Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers.

Gene Nick, an engineer with NETV, said the incident occurred because a switch on the master switchboard was accidentally activated during an operations check on another piece of equipment.

"We're sorry about that," Nick said. "We certainly hope nobody was offended."

Stuthman wasn't.

"They should have asked where Arnie was," he laughed.

Chambers, who sits directly behind Stuthman in the legislative chamber, had an answer to the question.

"I'm standing right here. My voice has been quiet, but I'm right here," he said. "There's a power higher than that of the Legislature working that may be trying to get a message to somebody."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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