Border Bathroom Traps Montana Student

Saturday just wasn't Jesse Huffman's day.

First the Great Falls, Mont., 19-year-old was stopped coming over the U.S. border from Canada. Then he was arrested after clogging up a government toilet.

"I've never been arrested before or anything like that, and I get arrested for taking a dump," Huffman, a sophomore at Montana State University-Bozeman (search), told the Great Falls Tribune.

Huffman and four friends were driving back from a party in Alberta when guards at the Port of Sweet Grass (search), where Interstate 15 meets the Canadian border, pulled the car over for a random search.

The driver, also 19, was cited for possession of alcohol. While the group waited, Huffman, who says he has irritable bowels, asked to use the bathroom.

The bathroom was unlocked for him. Huffman went inside, did his business and flushed the toilet — but didn't wait to make sure it all went down.

Within a few minutes, a port inspector found that the toilet was clogged and threatened Huffman with federal charges, which could jeopardize his student loans.

"I didn't think they were serious at first, I was just laughing so hard," said Cory Grayson, a friend of Huffman's from Great Falls who had also been in the car.

Huffman explained his delicate intestinal condition, and said he used "at most" a fifth of a roll of toilet paper.

He then offered to unclog the toilet himself, but was told, "They had absolutely no plungers within 40 miles."

Grayson told the newspaper Huffman's friends asked if they could take pictures of the clogged toilet, but were turned down.

"This guy just blew everything way out of proportion," Huffman said. "I have no idea why he thought I would try to do something like that on purpose."

Port Director Larry Overcast would only say that Huffman "was dealing with an experienced inspector."

Federal charges were not filed, but a Toole County sheriff's deputy drove Huffman 38 miles to the town of Shelby to book him on a charge of misdemeanor criminal mischief, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

His friends followed and picked him up six hours after his fateful bathroom request.

Huffman, who says a combination of scholarships, loans and his own money pays for college, has hired a lawyer and plans to fight the charge at his court date Tuesday.

"[The fine] would pretty much drain me after I get all my school supplies," Huffman explained. "And that would not be cool."

— Thanks to Out There readers Angie L., Rebecca T. and Tom D.

Test-Driven Vehicle Used as Getaway Car

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Zachary Hayden liked the car so much, he only needed to stop at the bank to get some money.

The problem is, police said, he didn't have an account there.

Authorities said Hayden, 31, of Warsaw, Ind., robbed the Wells Fargo Bank on Monday after test driving a Ford Escort from the Good-One Auto Sales (search) and then using the car for his getaway.

"He didn't seem different from other customers," said Trent Goodwin, a car salesman. "He walked here, but a lot of our customers do that."

Goodwin sent another employee along with Hayden when he said he needed to withdraw the money to buy the vehicle.

While Hayden was inside the Wells Fargo, the employee got out of the car to help a woman with directions. Just then, Hayden allegedly ran out of the bank and fled in the car, leaving the employee behind.

More than six hours after the robbery, Nevada Highway Patrol pulled the car over near Ely, Nev., about 200 miles southwest of South Ogden. It still had the white lettering of $1,895 on the window and displayed dealer license plates.

Like any good salesman, Goodwin tried to put a good spin on the situation.

"Our deals are so good, bank robbers shop here," he said.

— Thanks to Out There reader Heidi B.

School Confuses Town With Drug

GRAYSON, Ga. (AP) — A high school student's parents are upset after a misunderstanding with school officials involving a T-shirt with the name of his former hometown — Hempstead.

Terrell Jones was stopped by a school administrator Monday at Grayson High School because he was wearing a shirt that read: "Hempstead, NY 516;" a reference to the Long Island town and its telephone area code.

The administrator mistook it for a drug reference.

"It was ridiculous," said Caron Jones, Terrell's mother. "They were labeling him that he was advertising marijuana."

The family had moved to Gwinnett County from Hempstead, N.Y., and never thought the first four letters in the town's name would cause problems at school.

"I had no idea that hemp stands for marijuana until I looked it up in the dictionary," Caron Jones said. "But his T-shirt says Hempstead, not hemp."

Terrell Jones was allowed to return to class after convincing school officials to do an Internet search, which confirmed that Hempstead was a real town.

"Before they would jump to any conclusions, they should be sure of what they're talking about," Hempstead town spokeswoman Susie Trenkle said of the Georgia officials.

Hempstead, named for either Hemel-Hempstead, England, or the Dutch city of Heemstede, is the nation's largest township, with 759,000 residents spread across 22 villages and more than 142 square miles, Trenkle added.

The student's father, James Jones, said he wants an apology. Meanwhile, Terrell Jones says he will continue wearing the shirt to school.

School officials could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

— Thanks to Out There reader James A.

Engine Stolen Right Out of Car

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. (AP) — Julie Slye didn't know the engine of her Ford Mustang was being stolen until the thieves took the hood.

Slye and her boyfriend had spent six years putting together the eight-cylinder custom engine, she said last Thursday as she thumbed through a scrapbook filled with pictures of the 1989 Mustang's 5.0 block.

She noticed something was amiss on Aug. 13 when she walked outside of her home.

"That's when I noticed the hood was gone," Slye said.

Slye estimates the parts to be worth about $2,500. But the "sentimental value" is worth much more, she said.

"They stripped the whole thing down to the block," she said. "They just took everything."

The only portions of the refinishing job not yet completed were a new hood and a paint job for the car, she said. Now she has a new hood, but she's decided not to go ahead with a paint job unless the engine is recovered.

"I was just thinking why in the world would someone do this to my car?" she said. "I've heard of people breaking into cars and stealing radios, a wallet or a pocketbook, you know, but I've never heard of something like what happened to me."

Slye has put up signs asking for anybody who has information about the heist to come forward. She also said she might consider an amnesty if the stolen parts are simply returned.

Dutch Burglars Steal Cop's Bike

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — A pair of Dutch burglars' bad luck shifted into high gear when they were caught fleeing the scene of an attempted break-in on bicycles belonging to the very policeman who arrested them.

Police in a suburb of the eastern Dutch city of Nijmegen said the hapless burglars were trying to break into a house Sunday when neighbors alerted the police.

When policemen arrived at the scene, a witness pointed them in the direction in which the pair rode away on bicycles.

The suspects were soon chased down and arrested separately. One arresting officer was surprised to recognize his own bicycle. The other thief was found with the other bike.

"Apparently they happened to steal these bicycles from the officer's back garden during their flight," police said in a statement.

The men, aged 26 and 32, were taken into custody and charged with bike theft.

"We're investigating whether it's possible they have committed other burglaries," police said.

Angry Bird Attacks Norwegian Cop

OSLO, Norway (AP) — It was one of the toughest fights Jorun Lyngstad had experienced during her time as a Norwegian police officer.

A wood grouse, Europe's biggest game bird, attacked Lyngstad during a bike ride in the woods last Wednesday, ramming the off-duty officer from the side and sending her flying through the air, local media reported.

"I suspect this violent perpetrator has, to put it mildly, a strained relationship with the law," Lyngstad, 37, told the newspaper Romsdals Budstikke.

With her foot stuck in one of the pedals, Lyngstad had to use her bike as a shield as she tried to fight off the aggressive bird, which kept coming at her.

"It wouldn't give up," Lyngstad said. "It was a harder fight than I usually see when I'm on duty."

Lyngstad was finally able to pin the aggressor's head underneath the bike's front wheel, after which the bird fled back into the woods. Lyngstad suffered only minor scratches and a big bruise in her side where the wood grouse rammed her.

"If I had needed to strike it again, I would have struck to kill," she said.

A wood grouse, also known as capercaillie, can be up to three feet tall, and weigh up to nine pounds.

Lyngstad, who was wearing a bright yellow vest during the bike ride, said she had no idea what caused the bird to attack.

Hurricane Leaves New Crop of Babies in Wake

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Hurricane Isabel may have left a happy legacy.

Martha Jefferson Hospital is reporting record numbers of births for June and July, and Isabel can take the credit.

"The math works," said Ann Nickels, Martha Jefferson's spokeswoman.

Isabel slammed into Virginia Sept. 18, 2003.

There were 168 births in June, and 163 in July — about 20 more than usual for each month.

When Isabel struck, Martha Jefferson nurses said they knew they'd be facing a storm of their own nine months later.

"Historically, when we have power outages or snowstorms, we'll see a burst of babies," nurse Kim Smith said. "With Isabel, the power was out for a long time."

While many of the new mothers acknowledged they were having hurricane babies, nurses said Isabel wasn't a big topic of conversation.

"The mothers just want to get the babies out," said nurse manager Mary Ann Lucia. "They don't talk about how they got the babies in."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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