So Much for Pumpkins: Man Fakes Plane Crash in Yard for Halloween

In some cases, a puny pumpkin just won't do.

Steve Chambers, Los Angeles resident and big-time Halloween fan, constructed a creepy yard display of a horrific plane crash so realistic he even had police fooled.

So fooled, in fact, that one passing officer who noticed the gory fake limbs sticking out of the wreckage almost called for backup, San Diego's KFMB and report.

'It really caught my eye and I thought maybe a plane had crashed," Officer Greg Andrachick told Metro. "But I spoke to the owner and he told me he was setting up a Halloween display."

Chambers, who works as an aircraft mechanic, got the tools for his terrifying décor from work.

"It's a G3 Gulfstream which we've made to look like it crash-landed in front of my house," he explained. "It's all fun for Halloween."

The gory scene is capped off with police tape telling passersby the scene is "Under Investigation."

But not everyone is thrilled with Chambers' penchant for lawn theatrics.

"Lots of people give the thumbs up, and a few middle fingers have been put up as well," he said.

Giving Finger Food a Bad Name

CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (AP) — Health officials are investigating a woman's claim that she found part of a human finger in a Subway sandwich — an allegation reminiscent of the chili bowl finger hoax that hit a Wendy's restaurant last year.

Two health inspectors visited the Subway restaurant Thursday in Chowchilla after the woman reported finding what appeared to be a half-inch piece of a finger a day earlier, said Jill Yaeger, director of the Madera County Environmental Health Department.

The inspectors did not find any evidence that a restaurant worker had lost part of a finger, but the purported human digit was sent to a laboratory for testing, she said.

The Subway manager, Anita Munoz, said she was in the restaurant when the woman returned with what she claimed looked like a finger.

"It looked like a thick piece of fat," she told The Fresno Bee. "It doesn't look anything human to me."

Munoz said the incident would be investigated by Subway's national headquarters.

Subway spokesman Kevin Kane said the company was aware of the woman's claim but would not comment until Madera County officials completed their investigation.

"The Subway restaurant chain takes every customer comment seriously," Kane said Friday. "We don't know what the foreign object is yet."

Chowchilla is about 90 miles east of San Jose, where a Las Vegas woman claimed in March 2005 that she bit into a fingertip in a bowl of chili at a Wendy's restaurant. Anna Ayala's stomach-turning claim made headlines around the world.

The claim was found to be a hoax and Ayala was sentenced to nine years in prison. Her husband was sentenced to more than 12 years for getting the finger from a co-worker who lost it in a workplace accident.

Wendy's, based in Dublin, Ohio, said it lost $2.5 million in sales because of bad publicity and had to lay off dozens of employees at its Northern California franchises.

Subway, which has more than 26,000 restaurants in 85 countries, is owned by Doctor's Associates Inc., based in Milford, Conn.

Because One Plastic Lady Is Never Enough

FERNDALE, Michigan (AP) — A man with a history of smashing store windows to grab female mannequins has been accused of indulging his fetish again, this time to grab a store-display dummy fitted with a French maid's uniform.

Ronald A. Dotson, 39, was arrested and jailed Oct. 9 after breaking a window at a cleaning-supply company to get at a mannequin in a black and white French maid's uniform, police said.

A judge Thursday ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination to determine whether he is competent to stand trial on charges of attempted breaking and entering.

"Mr. Dotson went to prison and they haven't helped him," said his lawyer, Edward Cohn. "He got out of prison and he was right back out there. It's pretty bizarre."

Dotson had been out of prison for less than a week when he was caught. His erotic pursuit of mannequins over the past 13 years has led to at least six convictions for breaking and entering and a stint in prison, police said.

"He told his parole officer he was going to buy a mannequin so he didn't have to do these break-ins anymore," said Detective Brendan Moore said. "Apparently that didn't work out."

And Now This From the Frozen-Potty-Bomb Department:

CHINO, Calif. (AP) — A chunk of blue ice, apparently from the holding tank of an aircraft toilet, ripped a hole in an elderly couple's roof and destroyed a bed. William McElroy was watching a movie with his wife Evelyn and would normally have been in the bed when the block of ice crashed into the house Wednesday night.

"It was a huge crash. It shook the whole building but we thought it was a car," McElroy said. The couple went outside to investigate but found nothing, so they returned to finish watching the movie.

They didn't discover the chunk of ice on the bed and the 2-foot-wide hole in the ceiling until Thursday morning.

"If I'd been looking at TV (in his bedroom) I'd have had it," he said.

"I think we had somebody extra looking over us," Evelyn McElroy said from her wheelchair Thursday afternoon.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said Thursday if the offending chunk of ice is from an airplane, then it is likely the cause of a leak in a holding tank of the aircraft's bathroom.

Blue ice occurs when waste leaks from a plane's bathroom onto the outside of the plane and freezes at high altitudes. The liquid begins to thaw as the plane descends, Gregor said.

Nicest. Lady. Ever.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The temptation was there: an envelope stuffed with $12,450 in cash, stashed under a hospital patient's pillow.

But the housekeeper at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan didn't hesitate before doing the right thing.

For Marie Toussaint, it was a no-brainer.

"The money didn't belong to me, and I wasn't supposed to take it," the 50-year-old native of Haiti told The Associated Press. "That's the normal thing to do."

Toussaint found the envelope, filled with $100 bills and "a few 50s," after the patient checked out on Oct. 4. She handed it over to the nurse in charge.

A relative of the unidentified patient, an elderly woman, later collected the money.

Toussaint is to be honored for her honesty next month at a hospital Thanksgiving party.

"Some people are crazy about money," she said in a telephone interview. "But my conscience would kill me if I took it, because I believe in God."

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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