Rock Beats Scissors, Bat Beats Fork

The holdup attempt might have worked — if the alleged robber hadn't been armed with only a fork.

Shreveport, La., police say a man asked to use the bathroom of a gas station last Wednesday afternoon.

Forty minutes later, he emerged from the restroom and walked up to the counter with something to declare.

"He stuck his hand under his shirt and said, 'This is a robbery. I got a gun,'" Detective Russell Ross told the Shreveport Times.

The clerk didn't believe him, so the man came behind the counter to make his point clear.

"They scuffled. And during the scuffle, she felt something sharp poke her," related Ross. "She reached over and grabbed a baseball bat she had behind the counter and started whaling on him when she realized what he had under his shirt was a fork ... which was no match for a baseball bat."

The clerk chased the miscreant out of the store, still beating him with the bat.

"A customer saw what was going on, took a pistol from his vehicle, came over and fired his pistol into the ground," said Ross. "All aggression ceased at that point."

Derrick Dwayne Franklin, 24, was arrested and charged with one count of attempted armed robbery.

— Thanks to Out There reader Kori G.

Handicapped Man Walks Away With Artificial Leg

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man test-fitting a $17,000 artificial leg ran off without paying the bill, police said.

The man visited Spectrum Prosthetics and Orthotics (search) on Aug. 19 to be fitted for the prosthetic and "was allowed to take it for a couple hours to ensure that the fit was proper," a police report said.

But the man didn't come back, Sgt. David Murillo said.

Todd Schweizer, one of the owners of the company, said employees had been working with the man for about a week.

"We were trying to meet his needs," Schweizer said.

No one answered the door at an address left by the man, and calls to a cell phone number also were not answered, Detective Robert Lewis said.

Company employees waited several days to report the theft because they may have believed he was coming back, Lewis said.

— Thanks to Out There reader Scott T.

Just Visiting the Ladies

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Authorities are investigating how a male inmate managed to lock himself up with eight female prisoners at the Wilson County Jail (search).

"Everyone says nothing happened — they only talked," Chief Deputy Johnie Deagen said Thursday.

Officials believe Joseph Krist, 34, sneaked into the cell after he moved a mop and bucket from his cell into a vestibule located between his and the women's cell.

Krist apparently didn't return to his cell, but instead stayed in the vestibule until the women's cell door was remotely opened by a jail employee for them to get the mop.

Deagen said Krist was in the cell for about 11 hours Monday. He was jailed on a bank robbery charge.

Deagen said staff and inmates may face disciplinary action.

Jellyfish Shut Down Nuclear Reactor

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — A Swedish nuclear power plant shut down one of its three reactors Monday because of an abnormal accumulation of jellyfish in the cooling system.

The Oskarshamn (search) plant in southeastern Sweden uses water from the Baltic Sea in its cooling tanks.

The water has been unusually rich in jellyfish in recent weeks, but the problem grew worse Monday morning, forcing officials to shut down the reactor.

"When there are too many jellyfish in the cooling water, the flow is hindered and we have to clean it to keep the reactor going at full effect," plant spokesman Erik Mattsen said.

Operator OKG said there was no danger to the public. The reactor was to be restarted Tuesday.

The Oscarshamn plant supplies about 10 percent of the electricity used in Sweden. The reactor that was shut down was commissioned in 1972 and was Sweden's first commercial nuclear power unit.

Man Accused of Holding Fake Fundraisers for Supposedly Sick Daughter

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A former school committee member was charged with holding phony fundraisers after falsely telling people that his 8-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with leukemia.

Jordan Bruno, 35, of Cranston, was charged with four felony counts and one misdemeanor count of obtaining money under false pretenses, the attorney general's office announced Aug. 11.

Prosecutors said that Bruno raised about $20,000 during a series of fundraisers in 2004. He allegedly told people the money would pay for his daughter's medical expenses.

"You can't get much lower than that," Michael Healey, a spokesman for state Attorney General Patrick J. Lynch (search).

Bruno was on the Cranston school committee from 2001 to 2002, when he resigned, citing poor health.

Bruno pleaded not guilty to all five counts in Providence Superior Court Aug. 17 and was released on $20,000 bond pending an October court appearance.

Angry Villagers Bite Off Ear Over Utility Bills

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Villagers in Georgia beat up an electric company employee and bit one of his ears off after he threatened to shut their power off for nonpayment, police in the former Soviet republic said last Tuesday.

The attack occurred last Monday in Kvemo Arkvani, about 55 miles southeast of Tbilisi, when regional utility worker Elshad Tagimov told some residents he was going to turn off their electricity because they were late in paying their bills, regional police officer Temur Maisuradze said. He gave no further details of the incident.

The small, former Soviet republic is plagued by frequent power outages, and non-payment is a constant problem for its utilities. The Tbilisi electric company recently cut off supplies to 300 state agencies because of debts accumulated in previous years.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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