He was a millionaire, and he didn't even know it.
A New York City truck driver turned himself in to police Monday, suspected of stealing a $1.5 million painting from a warehouse at John F. Kennedy International Airport (search).
The 1982 untitled oil-and-acrylic work by Jean-Michel Basquiat (search) was on its way to London for an exhibition when Anthony Porcelli, 35, allegedly spotted it on the loading dock in its container, labeled "PAINTING," on May 4.
Surveillance videotapes of the warehouse showed a man who looked liked Porcelli loading it into the back of his truck and driving away.
A copy of his driver's license, as required of all visitors to the warehouse, proved he'd been there that day.
"To me, he's a complete idiot," George Cunningham, his boss at Cace Trucking in Elizabeth, N.J., told the New York Times. "Why would you give someone your driver's license with all your information and then go and do something like this?"
Police searched the Cace warehouse in Elizabeth last Thursday and found the Basquiat, still in its unopened container, hidden in the back.
"He didn't know he hit the lottery with this," one detective told the New York Daily News. "It was just an opportunity, and he took a shot at it."
Porcelli, jailed on charges of first-degree larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, isn't talking, and neither is his lawyer.
But a man calling himself only "Vinnie," and who said he was Porcelli's landlord on Staten Island (search), told the Times that Porcelli had been angry at warehouse workers for keeping him waiting and took the container purely out of spite.
"He absolutely did not know what was in the package — he's a truck driver," Vinnie said. "I don't think there was any intent to make a monetary gain. He was just trying to get back at them."
His boss was less forgiving.
"In all honesty, I haven't seen or heard from him since this happened," Cunningham told the New York Post. "And if I had, needless to say, there would be no work for him to come back to."
Click in the photo box above to see a picture.
— Thanks to Out There reader Aviva K.
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Malicious gossip often results in tears and anger, but in Colombia it had lead to murder — and officials say they've heard enough.
Fed up with people targeted by false rumors turning up dead or wrongfully arrested, the mayor of a small Colombian town has made gossip a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.
"Human beings must be aware and recognize that having a tongue and using it to do bad is the same as having dynamite in their mouths," says an official municipal decree issued last year in Icononzo, 40 miles southwest of the capital, Bogota.
Mayor Jesus Ignacio Jimenez insists that in a country as violent as Colombia, gossiping can have serious consequences.
"It's a tradition for gossip to spread through small towns, and it's a part of life, but what is worrying is that people are going to jail or being murdered due to gossip," Jimenez said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Monday.
Icononzo resident Edelmira Giron said the decree, which also calls for fines of up to $150,000 for spreading false rumors, has had an impact since it went into effect six months ago by making people "think twice" about what they say.
So far nobody has been arrested on gossiping charges, Jimenez said, while insisting that sooner or later it will happen.
"They just haven't yet been caught," he said.
— Thanks to Out There reader Susan A.
BOSTON (AP) — A woman isn't legally responsible for injuries her boyfriend suffered while they were having consensual sex more than a decade ago, a state appeals court ruled Monday.
The man, identified only as "John Doe" in court papers, filed suit against the woman in 1997, claiming she was negligent when she suddenly changed positions, landed awkwardly on him and fractured his manhood.
The man underwent emergency surgery in September 1994, "endured a painful and lengthy recovery" and has suffered from sexual dysfunction that hasn't responded to medication or counseling, the appeals court said.
Although the woman may have exposed her boyfriend to "some risk of harm," the three-judge panel said her conduct during the sexual encounter wasn't "wanton or reckless" and can't support a lawsuit.
The man's lawsuit already has been thrown out by judges in Salem District Court and Essex Superior Court.
The appeals court upheld those rulings, while noting that its ruling doesn't apply to cases where someone has negligently infected a partner with a sexually transmitted disease.
The man's attorney, John Greenwood, said he is likely to appeal Monday's ruling to the state's highest court.
"It's a case that hasn't been seen before in Massachusetts," he said.
— Thanks to Out There reader Nathan C.
MILLIKEN, Colo. (AP) — A former supervisor at a Budweiser distributorship says he was fired for drinking a Coors beer in public.
Ross Hopkins, 41, filed suit in Weld County District Court, saying American Eagle Distributing Co. (search) has no right to tell him what kind of beer to drink when he is off-duty.
Hopkins said he was fired in May 2003 after the son-in-law of the distributorship owner saw him drinking Coors in a Greeley bar.
Jeff Bedingfield, an attorney for American Eagle, declined to discuss the specifics of the lawsuit but said "there are two sides to every story."
In its court response, American Eagle said Hopkins was fired "for conduct that relates to a bona fide occupational requirement that is reasonably and rationally related to the employment activities and responsibilities of a particular employee."
The court filing does not directly challenge Hopkins' claim that he was fired, at least in part, for drinking Coors in public.
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A man who pretended a vacuum-cleaner attachment was a gun during two robberies last year has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Michael Shewman, 24, admitted to robbing a Village Pantry and Mutual Federal Savings Bank (search) in July 2004, authorities said.
Delaware County Circuit Court Judge John Feick last week sentenced Shewman to two 20-year sentences, which will be served at the same time. Shewman had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery.
The Muncie man told Feick the robberies had excited him.
In 1999, Shewman was convicted of three robberies in Delaware, Kosciusko and Wabash counties, where he used a knife, authorities said.
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — A Croatian deputy minister who proposed prosecuting wearers of indecent swimwear and bathers who relieve themselves in the sea was fired on Monday, her boss said.
Other proposals to ban revealing swimsuits, swimming while drunk and eating on the beach have also been canned, said Croatian Education and Sports Minister Dragan Primorac (search).
The regulation, dubbed "Nazi tourism" by a Zagreb newspaper on Sunday, had been signed by the minister and was due to come into force on Wednesday.
Under public pressure, Primorac said Sunday he was withdrawing the regulation. He also said he was replacing deputy Romana Caput Jogunica (search), who had drafted it.
The disputed regulation banned "inappropriate swimming suits," without giving details.
It also prohibited consumption of food and drinks at public beaches, as well as quarrels and fights and swimming while intoxicated.
Relieving oneself into the sea was also banned, although it remained unclear how that would be controlled.
Croatia is proud of its long coastline and clear sea and most of its foreign currency profits come from tourism.
Compiled by FOX News' Paul Wagenseil.
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail, with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things), to firstname.lastname@example.org.