Drive-By Bombing Via Lawn Mower

It was a definitely low-tech, low-speed attack, police say.

Steven W. Coleman, 37, allegedly threw two Molotov cocktails made from Budweiser beer bottles, gasoline and rags at his ex-girlfriend's house Saturday night, according to Foster's Daily Democrat newspaper of Dover, N.H.

Neither bomb exploded — the rags never caught fire, a crucial part of making a Molotov cocktail (search) work — but the gas fumes stank up the street so badly that two neighbors had to go the hospital.

Dover police quickly showed up to find Coleman calmly smoking a cigarette nearby, a third beer bottle in his jacket pocket.

A police cruiser flipped on its lights — and Coleman gunned the engine of his riding lawn mower.

The leisurely chase wound over several streets of the New Hampshire town, until a second cruiser blocked off the lawn mower's escape.

In addition to the third bottle — the report didn't specify whether it held gasoline or the original Budweiser (search) — Coleman was found to be wearing rubber gloves and carrying a book of matches.

Police booked him on charges of resisting arrest, reckless conduct and disorderly conduct. He was also slapped with criminal trespass for violating an order barring him from city-housing authority property.

— Thanks to Out There reader Kyle F.

Action Figure Saved From Watery Grave

A sea-rescue team sprang into action Sunday afternoon after callers reported seeing a parachutist plunge into the English Channel just off Hastings in southeastern England.

But when the heroic rescuers reached the stricken sky jumper a quarter-mile from shore, he turned out to be an Action Man figure (search), the European equivalent of a GI Joe doll.

"We located Action Man just after teatime," a spokesman for the Hastings coast guard told Sky News. "It looks like a kid tied him to some helium balloons and set him loose."

"The two people that saw it probably reported it because it was like a small silhouette and looked like it was much further away than it actually was," he told the BBC.

Action Man was introduced by Hasbro UK in Britain in 1966 after the success of GI Joe in America two years earlier. The doll, along with various supporting characters and accessories, is sold all over Western Europe.

— Thanks to Out There reader Jennifer W.

Gee, That's an Awfully Heavy Box of Cheerios

NASHUA. N.H. (AP) — Authorities in New Hampshire report they have busted the cereal bandits.

According to police, 18-year-old Christopher Booze and an underage friend tried to steal expensive electronics by putting them into cereal boxes at a Costco.

They allegedly dumped out the cereal from several large boxes and filled them up with things like a digital camera, a GPS system (search) and a computer hard drive. The cashier only rang up the cost of the breakfast food.

Nashua police said the value of the high-tech gear was about $800. The two guys were arrested after being detained by store security.

— Thanks to Out There reader Samantha C.

Man Fails to Quit While Ahead

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — A suspected drunken driver found a way to delay his court appearance: He torched the building, police said.

Christopher Chianese, 26, set the new municipal offices on fire on Nov. 19, causing at least $300,000 in damages, just hours before he was scheduled to answer a felony charge of driving while intoxicated, village authorities alleged.

Chianese, a student at the New York Chiropractic College (search), was charged Dec. 1 with third-degree arson and ordered held on $200,000 cash bail. If convicted, he could get up to 15 years in prison.

The fire destroyed court documents, computers and other equipment in the building, which houses the court and various municipal offices in this village in central New York.

Chianese was convicted in May 2003 of a misdemeanor count of DWI and fined $500.

No one was hurt in the fire, which heavily damaged the ground floor of the two-story building. All court appearances were postponed while offices were being set up in a former library.

Theater Rudeness Leads to Broken Ribs, Jail

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A man was sentenced Dec. 2 to six months in jail for assaulting a man who shushed him during a movie, leaving the victim with a punctured lung and broken ribs.

According to testimony during his October trial, Paul Elrod, 39, arrived late to a movie in March and told his wife that he had had trouble finding a parking space.

Jamin Eisenbach, 51, turned and said, "Shhh," putting a finger to his mouth.

Eisenbach testified that he felt the back of his seat being kicked several times during the show, heard coughing behind him and felt blowing in his hair.

After the movie, Eisenbach said Elrod kicked him in the chest and he fell backward down a few steps and hit a railing. He was hospitalized nine days.

Elrod admitted during the trial he was upset over being shushed, but said he was defending himself in the fight.

The judge also ordered Elrod to pay more than $13,000 restitution and take anger management classes.

Town Refuses Strip-Club Charity Donations

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The owner of an adult night club that last year gave gifts to hundreds of needy children in public housing says he's been told "thanks, but no thanks" this year.

Jeff Bustle, owner of Teasers in Statesville, said the Statesville Housing Authority told him that it won't accept gifts collected at his business.

"It's really sad," said Bustle, who has participated in toy drives for the past 14 years.

David Meachem, executive director of the housing authority, said he rejected the toys because he was criticized last year for accepting the donation.

Residents complained after they saw a photograph in the Statesville Record & Landmark last December.

The photo showed two dancers from the club next to a Statesville police officer, inside a limousine loaded with presents for children.

"We took a public whipping," he said. "The community was outraged about the publicity."

That's absurd, said Bustle.

"I feel like the people who make these decisions are people who have never been without [presents] on Christmas," he said.

At least one minister agrees with Bustle.

The Rev. Jeff Porter, pastor of First Baptist Church, said such differences should be set aside during the holidays.

"Christmas gives us the chance to cross barriers for the less unfortunate," he said. "The Bible is full of times when folks of all backgrounds took one step closer to God by acting like Jesus."

Despite the authority's decision, the toy collection continues at Teasers, where more than 150 toys are stacked up beside the dance stage. Another 200 are expected later this week, and Bustle expects to collect about 600 gifts total.

The toys won't go to waste, Bustle said.

"I want people to know that we're still taking toys for needy children," Bustle said. "The toys will go to local kids."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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