Artificial Leg Used Against Owner

Ever want to yank off someone's leg and beat them over the head with it? A Virginia man may have done just that.

Police in Fredericksburg have charged Rodney Prophitt, 27, with pulling off his neighbor's prosthetic limb and then striking him with it, reports The Free Lance-Star.

The whole thing started Wednesday evening when Michael Clapp, 38, found a bottle of medicine missing from his apartment. He immediately suspected Prophitt and went next door to ask him about it.

Prophitt responded by knocking Clapp to the floor, then tugging off Clapp's fake leg and hitting him with it.

"At some point," city police spokesman Jim Shelhorse told the newspaper, "Mr. Clapp was able to grab his leg back, get back to his apartment and call 911."

Clapp went to the hospital with a broken nose. Prophitt was charged with felonious assault and petty larceny. Shelhorse didn't know what kind of medicine was taken or why Clapp had an artificial leg.

— Thanks to Out There reader Shannon D.

I'd Like to Order a Strip Search

Boston-area Wendy's restaurant (search) managers are feeling pretty dumb now that it's clear the caller who suggested that several employees be strip-searched wasn't a cop after all.

"Words simply cannot express how badly we feel about the entire incident," Wendy's spokesman Bob Bertini told the Boston Herald. "Obviously we had managers who were duped."

Wendy's restaurants in four different suburban towns got the calls Friday night. In each case, the caller said police suspected employees of stealing from customers, and that workers should be strip-searched.

And in each case, the supervisors on duty at the time complied, making one employee in each store take off his or her clothes.

Local police were incredulous. "We would not call and request a strip search to be conducted," Abington Detective Sgt. Scott Saccoach told the Herald.

"The chain [has] fallen victim to a vicious scam," read a Wendy's statement released Wednesday night, according to WCVB-TV. "We are certainly embarrassed and saddened over all that has happened. ... Our deepest apologies go out to our employees who were drawn into this scam."

Wendy's patrons felt sorry for the unclothed employees.

"If my son or my daughter were working here part-time," one diner told the TV station, "I would just be totally flabbergasted if they came home and told me that this had happened to them."

WCVB said similar incidents have been reported in other states. All four managers are on paid leave while the investigation continues.

— Thanks to Out There readers John M. and Matt T.

Man Confuses School With Day Care Center

PEQUANNOCK, N.J. (AP) — A Paterson man faces child endangerment charges after allegedly showing up at a Roman Catholic school clad in a diaper and pink stretch pants.

William Rhode III, 53, was wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs when he appeared Tuesday in Superior Court in Morristown (search). Judge Salem Vincent Ahto wanted to make sure Rhode understood the charge lodged against him.

Rhode nodded his head when the judge asked if he understood the charge. Ahto then ordered him returned to Morris County jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Rhode is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation on March 12.

Police said he showed up at Holy Spirit School at dismissal on Feb. 13 seeking a job application. When his request was denied, he defecated in the diaper and fled on foot, police said.

Lincoln Park police arrested him a short time later near a supermarket.

— Thanks to Out There reader Scott G.

Precocious Child Carries Out Gross Research

BELCOURT, N.D. (AP) — A young scientist says cat drool appears to be cleaner than that of dogs. Lacey Lafromboise, a fifth-grader at Turtle Mountain Elementary School (search) in Belcourt, earned a trip to the Native American Science Fair in Albuquerque, N.M., by proving that her two dogs have more bacteria in their mouths than her two cats.

Lacey said she got the idea for the study while one of her dogs was licking her face.

Lacey tested the saliva of her cats, Jasum and Daisy, and her pet dogs, Copper and Lady. One of the dogs spends most of its time outdoors. She said that dog has more bacteria in its mouth, probably because it chews on things outside.

"On the other hand, the indoor cat is dirtier than the cat that spends most of its time outdoors," Lacey said.

She hypothesized that the indoor cat's habit of eating table scraps created more bacteria.

Her mom, Sandy Lafromboise, got permission from a science professor to use an incubator and a microscope at Minot State University (search).

The experiment won Lacey top honors at some local and regional science fairs.

Lacey said she will probably improve on her experiment before heading to Albuquerque. She said she may retest her pets and make a new display board.

Lacey said she's also practicing answers to questions that judges may ask her.

Can I Pay the Fine With Small Change?

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Thursday they are investigating a student for stealing electricity after he plugged his laptop into a train station electrical socket and used 0.2 euro cents, or a quarter of a U.S. cent's worth, of power.

The 23-year-old man, whose identity wasn't released, was seen by police officers connecting the computer at the station in the central city of Kassel late one evening last November. Suspecting that he had stolen the laptop, officers arrested him after he boarded a tram outside.

He proved the computer was his own, but prosecutors still opened an investigation on suspicion of "removing electrical energy."

"The officers had no choice. They must investigate if there is suspicion of an offense," said Kassel prosecutor Manfred Jung. "However, these proceedings will most certainly be stopped."

Chinese Officials Miss the Point of International Soccer

BEIJING (AP) — They might idolize David Beckham's (search) technique, but Chinese officials ordered its national boys' soccer team not to copy his ponytail or other "weird hairstyles."

Rules issued this week by the China Football Association also bar players for the under-17 team from adopting the shaved head of Beckham's Real Madrid (search) teammate Roberto Carlos.

"Dyed hair, long hair and weird hairstyles are all strictly prohibited in the training camp and all players must cut hair short," said the order, reported by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Beckham is a pop-culture idol in China, featured on billboards and television commercials. He and his Real Madrid teammates were mobbed by adoring fans when they visited Beijing in August to play an all-star Chinese team.

China's youth team started spring training this week in the southern city of Nanning.

"You must learn how to behave as a true man before becoming a soccer star," Xinhua quoted Feng Jianming, director of the CFA youth department, as telling the players.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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