Phantom Gunman Holds Cops at Bay

Police who surrounded a suburban Atlanta house in a 14-hour armed standoff finally stormed the building — only to find that the wanted man had simply vanished.

"It was time-consuming, tiring and stressful," police Maj. Mark Weaver told WSB-TV. "We always like to have a good ending with no injuries ... this happened with no injuries but we have no suspect."

The whole anticlimactic incident began Thursday afternoon when a repossession man showed up at the house in Powder Springs (search), about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta, reports WSB-TV.

As often happens, the man who lived there wasn't happy to see his car taken away. He pulled a gun, and the repo man called the cops.

Cobb County authorities sealed off the entire neighborhood, preventing residents from entering or leaving, as they tried to smoke out the unnamed gunman with tear gas.

In an effort to communicate with the man, who had neither said anything or fired a shot, police also threw two cell phones into the house, but got no response.

At about 5:30 a.m. Friday, exasperated officers barged into the house, only to find it unoccupied.

It wasn't clear what the gunman's identity was, how long he'd been gone or where he went.

— Thanks to Out There reader Patrick H.

Citizen's Arrest Has Surprise Ending

KINSTON, N.C. (AP) — A man claiming to be an undercover agent hauled in a handcuffed neighbor for booking but ended up facing charges of his own.

Reginald Suggs has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and possession of a concealed weapon. He was in jail last Monday with bond set at $15,000.

Wilbur Grady said Suggs, 49, approached him last Sunday and told him he was under arrest. He brandished a wooden stick and a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun, according to police reports.

Grady said he recognized Suggs, who lives a few doors down on the same street.

"I was just in the yard washing the tires when this dude walked up in my yard and said he was an undercover agent," Grady said. "He told me I was under arrest. I told him to get out of my yard with that crazy talk."

The two exchanged words before Suggs rushed up and cuffed Grady's hands behind his back. Suggs then forced Grady, 68, into Suggs' car and drove him to the county jail.

He told a magistrate that he had brought in a prisoner for possession of stolen property, selling illegal lottery tickets and selling alcohol without a permit.

The magistrate, a 12-year veteran in the Lenoir County Magistrate's office, quickly realized Suggs did not have the authority to make arrests.

Firefighters used bolt-cutters to remove the handcuffs, for which Suggs did not have a key.

"This whole thing was just unbelievable," Grady said. "I mean, taken to jail in my own car."

— Thanks to Out There readers Esther T. and James B.

Dunce of Robbers Celebrates With King of Beers

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Minutes after a bank heist, the alleged robber walked into bar and ordered a beer.

"One Budweiser draft," Ronald Langdale told bartender Martin Jimenez on Thursday after slapping a $5 bill on the bar at Mario's Restaurant, which shares the same strip mall property as the Bank of America (search).

Langdale, 58, of Los Angeles only got to drink half of the beer.

Police arrested him for allegedly robbing the Bank of America. He had the loot with him in a white plastic bag, Sgt. Mike Mello said.

"In all my years, we've never had one of these," said Mello, a 21-year department veteran.

Langdale was identified by witnesses as the man who told a teller he had a weapon and wanted cash. He fled on foot with the money, although authorities wouldn't say how much.

"He was just silent. Very pensive," Jimenez said, adding it didn't appear to him that Langdale was hiding from anyone. When police officers approached, the bartender said Langdale turned pale.

He was arrested without a struggle, Jimenez said.

Caffeine Jones Costs Man His Freedom

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A man used a video camera to record his apartment being burglarized, apparently by a neighbor's friend intent only on stealing coffee and creamer.

Arnold Reed became suspicious that someone had been pilfering his coffee after his upstairs neighbor, Rebecca Hall, said she smelled coffee in her own apartment but knew she didn't have any.

Reed borrowed a video camera and caught Hall's house guest, 24-year-old Mark Bojniewicz stealing French vanilla coffee from his freezer and hazelnut coffee creamer from his cupboard, he said.

"If the guy would have asked me, I would have gave it to him," Reed told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The videotape showed Bojniewicz using a butter knife to gain access into the home.

Reed collected about 10 hours of tape on the borrowed equipment, which he set up on his entertainment center facing his front door and kitchen.

Reed said he caught Bojniewicz on the second day of recording. He isn't sure how much coffee was stolen.

"I have no clue. ... Every now and again I'll have some coffee. He did have a fair share."

Reed recorded Bojniewicz breaking into his apartment Thursday. He showed the tape to Alaska State Troopers, who arrested Bojniewicz.

Troopers also questioned Hall, who fished a coffee filter with grounds out of her trash. Bojniewicz had apparently hid them in an empty taco shell box, a trooper report said.

Bojniewicz was charged with burglary and theft. He remains jailed on $500 bail.

Defenestration Results in Resignation

NEWTON, Ga. (AP) — A teacher at a Newton County school has resigned after officials say she admitted she told two students to throw a 14-year-old girl from a classroom window.

The teacher, a 63-year-old Conyers resident, was not immediately arrested after the Monday incident, which took place at Sharp Learning Center (search). But the Newton County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

The student, whose name was not released, was taken to Newton General Hospital on Tuesday night for neck pains and cuts to her body, said Newton County Sheriff's Office investigator Marty Roberts.

According to an incident report by resource officer Brian Chiappetta, the students were in class when the teacher took a photograph of some of the students. When the girl asked why the teacher had taken her picture, the teacher allegedly responded with a disparaging remark about the girl's appearance.

The girl became upset and began to use profanity and hit the office assist button on the classroom wall, the incident report said. The teacher then allegedly told two 14-year-old boys to pick up the girl and throw her out the window.

The two boys later told principal Kenneth Daniels that they threw the girl out the window because they did not want to be written up for disobeying a teacher.

The teacher resigned Wednesday, Roberts said.

Roberts said he has been told that the school board will leave it up to the girl's parents to pursue criminal charges against the teacher. But he said his investigation is ongoing.

"I've had incidents involving schools, but I've never heard of such a thing where the teacher instructs students like this," Roberts said.

— Thanks to Out There reader Jenny L.

Right Skeleton, Wrong Skull

ROME (AP) — Experts hoping to reconstruct the features of Italian poet Petrarch (search) by examining his bones have a problem: The skull in the 14th-century writer's tomb is not his.

Researchers discovered Thursday that a skull in the marble casket believed to hold Petrarch's remains probably belonged to a woman, according to project leader Vito Terribile Wiel Marin. He insisted, however, that the rest of the bones were Petrarch's.

Marin said tests showed the DNA of the skull was different from that of the other bones. He said physical marks, including a leg injury suffered while riding from Florence to Rome in 1350, confirm the rest of the skeleton was Petrarch's.

"Don't ask me where the real cranium is, because no one knows where it finished up or who took it," Marin said. "Think of all the craniums in the world — where would we look?"

"Our only hope now is to make an appeal in the hope that someone who is the descendant of the thief might return it anonymously," he said.

Petrarch was born in Tuscany in 1304 and is famed for the poems he dedicated to his mysterious love, Laura. He is considered second only to Dante in the pantheon of Italian writers.

He devoted much of his life to the study of ancient Greek and Roman scholars, attempting to reconcile their pagan world with the Christianity that dominated Medieval European thought.

For this he is widely seen as the founder of humanism, the study of classical civilization that paved the way for the Renaissance.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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