New York City cops got an unexpected hand last Tuesday as a vacationing British bobby tackled and subdued a stabbing suspect in midtown Manhattan.
Colin Webber, 37, a policeman from Leicestershire, England, and his wife Claire, 38, also a police officer, were strolling along 47th Street, heart of New York's Diamond District (search), at around 2 p.m.
She was "trying to con me into buying a diamond necklace," Webber explained to the New York Post.
Meanwhile, inside one of the many small stores along the street, clerk Arsen Aranbayev, 25, was arguing over a counterfeit watch with Abraham Sariashvili, 44, well known in the area as a seller of watches, DVDs and perfumes.
Sariashvili hit Aranbayev in the face, witnesses told the New York Daily News. That's when the clerk jumped over the counter and a fistfight began.
The donnybrook spilled into a neighboring store, where police say Sariashvili stabbed Aranbayev three times in the chest, then smashed a mirror over his head.
"Now you happy? Now you happy?" witnesses said Sariashvili screamed before running out the door.
Outside, the Webbers saw a wild-eyed man running toward them, bloody knife in hand.
Webber, used to tackling suspects with only a wooden baton, slammed into Sariashvili, putting him into a headlock and forcing him to the ground.
"There wasn't time to think about it," Webber, who stands 6-foot-2, told the Daily News. "It was a spur-of-the-moment thing."
"I may have been off duty, but when something like that happens, the adrenaline rushes and you just act," he told the Post.
As the pair wrestled on the sidewalk, Aranbayev's friends and family members ran up, kicking Sariashvili — and landing a few blows on Webber as well.
Claire Webber's own police training came into play, and she pulled the angry group off her husband and the suspect.
"I was in fear for my husband's life," she told the Daily News. "My concern was for my husband."
New York police soon arrived and hauled off Sariashvili, who has two prior arrests for criminal possession of stolen property, according to the Post. He was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
Aranbayev was in serious but stable condition at a local hospital.
By the end of the day, the Webbers were the toast of the New York Police Department.
"We could use Sgt. Webber here," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (search), who gave Colin Webber a certificate of appreciation in a ceremony at police headquarters downtown.
Following that, the couple were taken out to dinner by detectives from the Manhattan North Precinct before they caught a flight home later that night.
The publicity, Webber told the Associated Press, "will probably cost me a round of beer" when he reports for duty on his regular beat.
The Webbers said they'd definitely come back to New York.
"We like it," Colin Webber told the Daily News.
"I want to come back for the necklace," added Claire.
Drug Dealer Gets Tax Write-Off
PERTH, Australia (AP) — An Australian court ruled Wednesday that a convicted heroin dealer can claim a $165,000 tax deduction for money that was stolen during a drug deal.
The Australian Taxation Office (search) lost a bid in the High Court to overturn a lower court decision that Francesco Dominico La Rosa of Perth, the capital of Western Australia state, could write off the money as lost income.
The ATO had been trying to make La Rosa — who served a 12-year jail term for dealing heroin and amphetamines — pay tax on his 1994-95 income, which it estimated at $337,000.
But La Rosa insisted his taxable income should be reduced because half that sum had been stolen.
The money had been buried in La Rosa's backyard and was dug up to spend on a drug deal in May 1995, but was stolen during the transaction by unknown people, the court was told.
The ATO had argued it was against policy to allow stolen money as a tax deduction.
The federal government has vowed to change the law to bar losses incurred in deriving illegal income from being claimed as tax deductions in the future.
Robbery Suspect Fails to Learn From Mistake
LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Police said they had two substantial clues in two theft cases — a suspect's name and telephone number.
Bradley J. Hightower, 23, of Latrobe, gave his first name and telephone number when he applied for a job Oct. 12 at Rolling Hills Industry (search), Latrobe police said.
While he was finishing the job application at the janitorial company, Hightower allegedly took a cash box and $26 inside, police said.
"We called him the same day, [with] the phone number he'd written on his job application. He confessed," said Latrobe Police officer John Sleasman.
A week later, Hightower left his name and telephone number at Latrobe Area Hospital when he applied to be a volunteer there, police said.
Later that day, hospital employees noticed their wallets were missing, police said.
Once again, police called Hightower, who confessed to taking the wallets and returned the money, Sleasman said.
Hightower was charged with theft and receiving stolen property. He will be arraigned Nov. 24.
A telephone number for Hightower could not be located and he could not be immediately reached for comment by The Associated Press.
Man Stores Dead Woman in Freezer
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- What should he do about the dead woman in the freezer? the 59-year-old man inquired of Spokane police.
Detectives who responded to the Chateaux Apartments found the body of a 57-year-old woman inside a chest-style freezer, Capt. Bruce Roberts said.
Police did not identify the man but said he was the woman's caregiver. He told them he arrived at the woman's apartment about two weeks ago and found her dead, then put her in the freezer.
"His underlying motivation, at least what he told us, was he wanted to preserve her dignity," Roberts told The Spokesman-Review. "It's unique and unusual, but at this point there is nothing criminal."
The man was sent to a local hospital for a mental evaluation.
Detectives couldn't remove the woman, so they "took the whole freezer," Roberts said. There were no obvious signs of foul play but an autopsy was planned once the body thawed.
The man walked into the Public Safety Building on last Tuesday to ask for help, Roberts said.
The man told investigators that he had a relationship with the woman for several years but was not her husband.
"She apparently had several strokes and other medical problems during that time," police spokesman Dick Cottam said.
Roberts said detectives were gathering medical records to see if they could help explain what happened and were trying to locate relatives. The woman's name was not immediately released.
Breast-Feeding Mom Gets Wrong Baby
WINCHESTER, Mass. (AP) — A newborn at Winchester Hospital (search) was given to the wrong mother for breast-feeding and the employee who was responsible was fired, hospital officials said.
Doctors don't anticipate health problems for either the baby or the mother involved in the mix-up Saturday morning, hospital spokesman Mark Whitney said.
"It's a terrible thing for both of the families involved," Whitney told The Boston Globe. "I don't think we can apologize enough to the families involved. What we can do is rededicate ourselves to making sure this kind of thing can't and doesn't happen again."
Hospital maternity wards typically follow strict rules that require medical personnel to match an identification bracelet on the baby with bracelets worn by the one of the parents before handing the child to the parents. That policy was violated last Saturday, Whitney said.
The hospital declined to identify the employee or the mother.
The sister-in-law of the woman who was given the wrong baby said the woman noticed something was wrong when the baby nursed with greater vigor than her child and seemed to have longer hair.
A nurse took the baby from her arms and said, "Oops, this isn't the right baby," said the sister-in-law, who asked not to be identified.
The woman does not have HIV or other infectious diseases, the sister-in-law said.
Whitney said both families have been offered counseling and the hospital expects both mothers and their newborns to be discharged routinely.
Norwegian Pays Long-Overdue Hotel Bill
OSLO, Norway (AP) — After putting up with pangs of conscience for 24 years, a Norwegian finally settled a hotel bill he skipped out on in 1980.
The Clarion Hotel Ernst in the southern town of Kristiansand (search) received a handwritten anonymous letter of apology with a 500-kroner note ($80) attached, hotel director Kay Johnsen said by telephone Thursday.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Johnsen, who has been in the hotel business for more than 20 years.
The note said the sender had stayed at the hotel in the autumn of 1980, had some sandwiches and drinks on his room bill, and then left without paying for anything "because of my lifestyle at that time."
"I have thought a lot about this incident afterward," said the note, adding that he wanted to apologize as well as settle up.
The note was signed, "One who wants to make good, and hereby has."
"He is forgiven," said Johnsen. "And probably by higher powers than us."
Johnsen said the hotel will give the cash to the Salvation Army's Christmas collection drive, so the sender was able to clear his conscience, repay his debt and help the needy.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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