Mr. Buck's Wild Ride

The passenger was dead, and more than a little ripe, but he had a hell of a ride.

An escaped mental patient, on the run from Florida, stole an ambulance in North Carolina last Sunday and led police on a three-county chase, passing briefly into Virginia.

When the cops finally pulled him over, he emerged — somewhat less than voluntarily — wearing a stethoscope around his neck, a pager on his waist and latex gloves in his back pocket, and sporting a Mohawk haircut.

"I don't think anyone would have mistaken him for a doctor," Rockingham County (N.C.) Sheriff's Officer Dean Venable told The Reidsville (N.C.) Review.

Even stranger, somewhere along the way he'd picked up a patient — a dead male deer, lying in the back of the ambulance with an intravenous tube stuck into it. A defibrillator may also have been used on the animal.

"I don't know how the man got it up in there," Sgt. Robert Pearson of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (search) told the Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union. "It was a six point buck."

Even worse, it had been dead for somewhere around a week. Police think it must have been road kill the driver just came across.

"I smelled that deer until 10 o'clock that night," said Pearson.

It turned out Leon Hollimon Jr., 37, had escaped from a mental-health facility in Jacksonville, Fla., in mid-August and not been heard from until last Saturday, Sept. 24.

That's when Lexington, N.C., police arrested him as he hung around the town hospital in a wheelchair.

"Actually he was in the wheelchair, riding it in the middle of the road and intoxicated," Lt. Scott Nanney told WFMY-TV of Greensboro, N.C. "So that's when officers decided to take him into jail for four hours."

The next morning, Hollimon allegedly stole the vehicle from Davidson County Ambulance Service (search), but it wasn't spotted until early that afternoon, when police in Danville, Va., 80 miles away, noticed it but didn't give chase.

Hollimon must have been spooked, for he headed back into North Carolina, where Rockingham County sheriff's deputies gave chase, following him down back roads, and even through some fields, across the Caswell County line until the ambulance ran into a ditch.

"It was a little like the Duke boys out there, I understand," Pearson said, referring to Hazzard County's (search) finest.

Hollimon was taken to a psychiatric facility near Durham for evaluation. It wasn't clear whether he was fit to be charged.

Hollimon's father told WAWS-TV of Jacksonville his son was a paranoid schizophrenic who had stabbed his two sisters and a brother in the past. North Carolina authorities told the Review that Hollimon had arrests and convictions for petty crimes stretching from Florida to New Jersey.

"It's about the most bizarre thing I've ever seen," the tow truck driver who hauled the ambulance away told the Review. "I don't know how he even drove it with the smell in there."

— Thanks to Out There reader Deanna H.

Stay Back, or I'll Sic My Pig on You

BOULDER CREEK, Calif. (AP) — A man and his pet wild pig facing eviction from their Boulder Creek home have eluded authorities — the man by running into the woods, and the pig by attacking deputies.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies have tried numerous times to evict Christian Canabou from his home, but he always flees when they arrive, authorities said.

Canabou has now been ordered by animal control officials to evict the pig — a 200-pounder named Kate. He was given until 10 p.m. Thursday to remove the animal from the property, where neighbors have complained it has become a nuisance.

But getting Canabou and the pig to leave hasn't been an easy task.

"The pig, and I don't know her name, is aggressive," sheriff's Sgt. Fred Plageman said. "It seems to be a domesticated pig, and on past occasions it has chased deputies around and chewed up part of a patrol car."

Deputies tried again to evict Canabou on Tuesday but found only the pig. They posted eviction notices and left the property.

"The rumor is that every time we go up there, the owner runs into the woods," said Mike McFarland, general manager of Santa Cruz County Animal Services. "To be boldly honest, we don't really want to take custody of a 200-pound pig."

— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.

Ten Women Suddenly Made 'Honest'

NEW YORK (AP) — Ten couples tied the knot in a group wedding billed as "Marry Your Baby Daddy Day."

Each of the couples who married at the House of the Lord Church had been living together for years and had children together.

"The older I get, I see getting married as the way to go," said Garfield James, 34, who married Millicent Ellis, 35. "I want to raise my kids the right way."

The ceremony was organized by Maryann Reid (search), author of the book "Marry Your Baby Daddy," who said she was dismayed by what she said were too many single-parent families within the black community.

"Single parenthood is very much accepted as the norm and being married is looked at as unusual," she said. Thursday's ceremony "gives me hope that our future generations can possibly see this and break the cycle of broken homes."

Make Sure It's Freshly Washed Before Buying

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Apparently, there's a big market out there for used colonoscopes.

Four of the devices used to examine the human colon were lifted from a local hospital — at a total cost of nearly $104,000.

Authorities say the theft is likely driven by a large overseas market for the devices.

"If you go on the Web and type in 'used endoscopes' or 'used colonoscopes,' you'll find dozens of suppliers selling used equipment," said State College police Detective Ralph Ralston. "It's kind of bizarre."

State police are investigating last weekend's theft from Armstrong County Memorial Hospital (search) in East Franklin Township, about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh.

"We're mystified by it ourselves," said Bud Mitchell, the hospital's director of facilities management.

The hospital is mulling offering a reward. State police said they have no leads.

— Thanks to Out There reader Jim G.

Man Parks on Railroad Tracks to Save Race

EAST MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Passing freight trains disrupted the 2005 Quad Cities Marathon (search), prompting a race organizer to drive a pace truck into the path of an approaching locomotive.

After runners were forced to stop and wait as two trains made their way through East Moline last Sunday, Joe Moreno sped over to an intersection near the 22-mile marker and parked his truck on the railroad tracks, blocking a third train from passing.

"I don't know how fast it was coming, but you could hear it coming from a distance. It was blowing its horn," Moreno said Monday.

The train stopped less than a block away.

Moreno says he then sat in the vehicle with the doors locked for nearly 1½ hours as several hundred runners crossed the tracks.

A railroad employee tried to get Moreno to move his truck, but it wasn't until police arrived that the former East Moline mayor agreed to move the vehicle.

"With every minute, I was buying time for the runners," Moreno said.

Richard Stoeckly, vice president and chief operating officer of the Iowa Interstate Railroad Co. (search), said the disruptions were the result of a "breakdown in communication" between race organizers and the company.

Boy, Dad Catch Something Not Native to Pennsylvania

BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — A father and son fishing in Indian Creek in Bucks County netted a three-foot alligator last Sunday.

Bill Chase, his 3-year-old son Ryan, his niece, and several other children from Bristol Township were fishing near the VFW War Memorial Softball Field along Indian Creek when some of the children spotted the alligator downstream.

They ran back to tell Chase, who called animal control officer William Kurko.

The alligator was held overnight at a nearby kennel. Reptile experts have been called to determine where to place the animal, Kurko said.

"It looked very healthy; it adapted well. But right now, it's hissing like heck," Kurko said last Sunday.

Kurko said the alligator may be taken to the Aark Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (search) in Newtown.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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