Mouth Bomber at Loss for Words

Plenty of people have tried to rob banks with weapons they don't have. But this one was unique.

Tucson, Ariz., police say U.S. Army Sgt. Jeffry Leon Lewis Jr., stationed at nearby Fort Huachuca (search), walked into a Wells Fargo branch Monday morning and gave a teller a note stating that he had a bomb in his mouth.

"They were saying this man was very mad, he had a bomb in his mouth," witness Claudia Martinez, who was eating with her family at a McDonald's next door, told the Tucson Citizen. "When they said it was a bomb threat, I got goose bumps all over."

Police cleared the restaurant and started escorting people out of the bank, but two women got mixed up and headed back inside.

That's when two officers realized they had to act fast. They grabbed Lewis, whose mouth was taped over, got him outside and handcuffed him to a metal fence adjoining the bank building.

"It was very brave [of the officers] to separate him from the public," Tucson Police Sgt. Mark Robinson told the Citizen. "They really were faced with a situation that they had to take immediate action on, and they made the choice to put themselves in harm's way."

Lewis knelt on the ground while the bomb squad's one-armed robot took the tape off his mouth, at which point he spit out something that cops say definitely was not explosive.

Then an officer in a huge bomb-resistant suit patted Lewis down and found nothing dangerous. Nor was there anything explosive in his backpack, car or anywhere near the bank, police say.

Lewis allegedly admitted the whole thing was a hoax and also confessed to another attempted robbery at the same branch in January.

Eric Hortin, deputy public affairs officer at Fort Huachuca, said Lewis was an electronics specialist who had been in the service since Oct. 2001. He added that since the alleged robbery attempt took place off base, the Army would not take action for the time being.

"It's always difficult when a soldier is in this situation," Hortin told the Citizen. "This kind of news hits everybody in the command hard."

— Thanks to Out There reader David B. Click in the photo box above to see a speechless man being frisked by a robot.

That Motorbike Looks Familiar

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A Greenville police officer found his stolen motorcycle after stopping a truck that didn't have its headlights on.

Cpl. Jeremiah Motz said he checked the license tag on the bike in the back of the pickup early Friday morning and discovered that it was his motorcycle, stolen from his yard hours before.

The suspects in the truck tried to drive away when Motz turned on his lights and siren, but eventually pulled over at a nearby church.

Police say Steven Dale Baker, 24, of Liberty, and Jamie Lee Crider, 27, of Greenville, have been charged with grand larceny.

— Thanks to Out There reader Dave E.

Baby Boy Destined to Meet Lex Luthor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a bird, it's a plane, it's another strange celebrity baby name.

Nicolas Cage (search) is a big fan of "Superman" and has now named his new son Kal-el, which is the name Superman was given when he was born on Krypton. Kal-el Coppola Cage was born Monday.

Cage is a nephew of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (search), and was born with the Coppola last name. The "Cage" surname comes from Luke Cage, one of the first black comic-book characters.

Kal-el is the first child for Cage, 41, with his wife, Alice. They've been married for a little over a year.

It was the third marriage for Cage and the first for his new wife, who was 20 when they were wed. They met when Cage visited a Los Angeles restaurant where she was working as a waitress.

Cage has another son from a previous relationship.

He was previously married to Lisa Marie Presley (search) and actress Patricia Arquette (search).

— Thanks to Out There reader Greg M.

That's No Cell Phone, Teach

CLERMONT, Fla. (AP) — A substitute teacher pulled out a student's insulin pump after mistaking it for a cell phone, officials said.

Cliffton Hassam told East Ridge High School (search) officials that his insulin pump began beeping in class Friday.

Before he could turn it off, substitute teacher Richard Maline ripped it from his leg, according to the written statement Hassam gave school officials on Tuesday.

Hassam, a junior, is diabetic and wears the insulin pump to regulate his blood sugar level.

Maline pulled the pump because he thought the beeping came from a cell phone, said Russell Anderson, executive director of human resources for Lake County School District (search).

"It fell to the floor," Hassam wrote in his statement to school officials. "The second time he pulled it the tube came out of my leg."

Maline realized his mistake after he grabbed the pump, Anderson said.

In his statement, Hassam said his blood sugar levels did not return to normal until after the weekend.

Maline has been removed from the school district's substitute teacher pool, Anderson said.

Eva Hassam, Cliffton's mother, said she filed a complaint with the Lake County Sheriff's Office, and hopes to file charges against Maline and the school.

NBA Player Gets Rebound on Stolen Jewelry

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Bobcats forward Melvin Ely (search) said Monday he'd recovered some $30,000 worth of jewelry that was taken from him last week when he was robbed outside a strip club.

According to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report, Ely and two friends were robbed by four men in the parking lot of the Carousel Club (search) early last Wednesday. The suspects also shot at his car, the report said.

Speaking about the incident for the first time Monday during Bobcats media day, Ely said he found the jewelry at a pawn shop last week, and while he was there, one of the four men who robbed him walked through the door.

"I'm in the pawn shop giving the guy the description of my jewelry. He says he has it and he gave it to me free," Ely said.

"As I'm talking to the owner, the guy who robs me walks right in, swear to God," Ely added. "They saw me and ran out, but his face is on the [security] camera. Basically, they're going to get caught. They aren't the smartest criminals."

People have apologized to him since the robbery, Ely said.

"The dumb choice that a few people made is not going to affect my opinion of Charlotte," he said.

Ely also would not apologize for being at a strip club.

"I'm still going to go where I please," Ely said. "I will be careful in some of my decision-making, because I don't want it to reflect badly on the team."

Total Bummer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Dude, you just didn't pass out on campus. You passed out in the college president's office.

A University of Buffalo student is likely enduring razzing after campus police said he was found passed out in the president's office over the weekend.

Officials at the campus told The Buffalo News that a student headed home after a night of drinking got into the president's suite early Saturday morning after the overnight cleaning crew left the door ajar.

Campus police say the cleaner returned a few minutes and found the student lying in the office's reception area.

Police say the student probably got off a bus at a nearby stop and was looking for a place to sleep it off when he found the office open door.

The student was taken to a Buffalo hospital for evaluation.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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