Mailman Bitten by Barking Man

A Louisiana mailman was bitten Wednesday by a barking animal — of the human variety.

The letter carrier, who had been on the job for about two weeks, heard barks as he walked up to the house in Houma, 50 miles southwest of New Orleans.

There was a dog in the yard, but it was chained up, leading the postman to think the coast was clear, police Lt. Todd Duplantis told The Courier of Houma.

Suddenly, a barking man came running from around the side of the house, nipped the mailman's shoulder, and then scampered inside.

"I've never heard of something like this," Terrebonne Parish (search) Postmaster Bill Frye told the newspaper. "I was shocked when I heard about it."

Police arrested Mark D. Plumb, 20, of Butler, Mo., and charged him with simple battery. He went free after posting a $165 bond and apparently telling police the whole thing was a joke.

The postman had minor physical injuries, but was a bit shaken up by the encounter.

Frye said mail carriers are equipped with dog spray, but the substance may not work on other species.

"We don't expect that a human being is going to run up and bite one of our carriers," he said.

— Thanks to Jackie L., Tracy M., Paul J. and Cy C.

Bank Robber Leaves Behind Wallet

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — It wasn't hard for police to track down the man they say robbed a Trustmark Bank this week — the suspect apparently left his wallet and identification at the scene of the crime.

Terrell Green, 26, of Jackson, was charged with Wednesday's robbery.

Police Lt. Tom Thompson said a man walked into the bank wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and sunglasses, and handed the teller a note from his wallet demanding money.

When the teller asked what she should do with the money, the man handed her a white pillowcase into which she placed seven $100 bills, 17 $50 bills and numerous smaller bills and a dye pack, Thompson said.

The man took the pillowcase and left, authorities said.

Police set up checkpoints to search for the suspect but had to look no further than the bank counter, where the suspect's wallet was found with his identification inside.

Following information from the wallet, Thompson said investigators went to the suspect's mother's home and arrested Green as he was walking out the front door.

Thompson said Green was being held without bond pending an initial court appearance.

— Thanks to Out There reader Marsha E.

Clowns Rob Convenience Store

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Instead of the fun house, it's the big house for two people suspected of robbing a Tucson convenience store wearing clown outfits.

The Tucson police department says 25-year-old Megan J. Franklin and 27-year-old David N. Willingham were caught Wednesday.

Police acted on a tip and busted the pair.

According to a Quik Mart (search) official, the robbers entered the convenience store wearing the clown costumes around 2:30 a.m.

They were armed when they took an undisclosed sum of money and left the store, near North Country Club and East Fort Lowell.

Franklin and Willingham were charged with one count of armed robbery and one count of aggravated robbery.

Fake Fugitives Cause Real Panic

LAND O'LAKES, Fla. (AP) — Some marketing genius is going to have some explaining to do.

A radio station stunt that had three listeners dressed up like escaped jail inmates went awry Friday when dozens of people called 911 and the resulting ruckus tied up traffic during morning rush hour, authorities said.

The three people, shackled and dressed in what appeared to be jail uniforms, were competing to try to get motorists to give them a ride, Pasco County (search) sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said.

The first one back to the studios of Tampa station WXTB-FM — 98 Rock — would win a trip to Los Angeles in conjunction with a new Fox show called "Prison Break."

But after 30 or 40 calls from "terrified" motorists and residents, sheriff's deputies responded in force and took them into custody for real, Doll said. They were released after about an hour.

"We took it quite seriously and responded with every available deputy we had in that area," Doll said.

No charges were filed, because the bogus inmates didn't forcefully try to get in any of the cars. But deputies still aren't happy about the stunt.

Doll said Florida law would have allowed motorists and deputies to shoot them if they were seen to pose a threat.

A message left with the radio station wasn't immediately returned Friday.

Vacationing Family Finds House Occupied

LAKE CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) — Someone's been sleeping in my bed!

A family from Putnam County returned from a North Carolina vacation to find their beds mussed, their stove dirty and wet towels hanging in the bathroom, police said Friday.

There were beer-bottle caps on the floor and the cover had been pulled off their pool.

"Somebody made themselves at home," said Detective Kevin Owens of the Town of Kent police force, which covers Lake Carmel.

Over the course of the last month, four young people were arrested on charges of criminal trespass: Jessica Healy, 17, of Patterson; Carlos Montalvo, 20, of Kent; Mark Sieker, 20, of Kent; and Ashley Tedesco, 18, of Carmel. All have pleaded innocent.

The Lake Carmel family of four, whose names were not released, left for North Carolina on June 30 and the son and daughter returned July 9 to find that the back door had been opened, Owens said.

Going room to room, they found that the computer had been used, some CDs were missing and other evidence that their home had been lived in while they were away, and called police.

Detective Kevin Douchkoff "developed suspects by talking to the neighbors," Owens said, but it took time to track the suspects down because some had recently left their parents' homes.

Police Chief Donald Smith said people going on vacation should have a trusted neighbor check the house a few times a week.

Problem Elephant Gets New Roommates

SEATTLE (AP) — Elephant experts are getting ready to send an ill-tempered 38-year-old pachyderm to Tacoma, where she'll join two other females not known for their social graces.

The move is expected to ease tensions at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo (search), where Bamboo's intolerance for younger elephants and their calves has forced handlers to separate the herd at times.

At Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo (search), Bamboo will live with two fellow Asian elephants, 39-year-old Suki and 41-year-old Hanako.

She'll be shipped south in a special air-conditioned tractor-trailer, probably arriving by Labor Day.

The Tacoma zoo is a national leader in handling elephants considered too dangerous to be kept and trained using traditional methods.

The Tacoma zoo's first "troubled" elephant, Cindy — who died in 2002 — had a history of grabbing and biting people.

Suki moved in after throwing a handler against the wall and trying to stomp him, and Hanako was sent from the Washington Park Zoo (search) in Portland, Ore., because she was unpredictable and moody.

Officials believe Bamboo will be more comfortable at the Tacoma zoo, "with Asian elephants her age and disposition," Woodland Park curator Nancy Hawkes said.

Point Defiance elephant caretakers have been visiting Bamboo in Seattle, hoping she'll recognize them once she arrives in Tacoma.

Officials also have been swapping elephant droppings to get the future roommates accustomed to each others' scents — smell is an elephant's most important sense.

Click in the photo box above to see a pouty pachyderm.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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