It wasn't Geoff Crook's fault that a tornado tore through his Florida house, revealing over 50 marijuana plants to the outside world.
So argues Crook's lawyer, who insists his client is innocent of any crime.
"He's not on the run and he has not done anything wrong," attorney Steve Casanova told Florida Today.
Casanova would not say where Crook was, other than that he wasn't home when the twister hit his house in Palm Bay (search), on the Atlantic about 50 miles southeast of Orlando.
About 25 houses and apartments were damaged by the tornado this past Sunday.
Police say they went into Crook's residence to see if anyone was hurt, not because the tornado ripped away fabric placed over the front windows, exposing a good-sized pot plantation to the street.
Police spokesman Barney Weiss said the 54 plants were about 3 feet high and lit by grow lamps attached to timers. Also found was a ledger book containing a schedule for watering and harvesting.
So far, Crook, 41, is only a "person of interest," Weiss told the newspaper. "We just need to talk to him."
— Thanks to Out There reader Harley W.
Break Into Car, Crack Open Ignition, Fall Asleep
RICHMOND, British Columbia (AP) — It wasn't hard for the Mounties to get their man in a car theft, even though it had not been reported.
Alerted by a passer-by, officers found a man asleep at the wheel of a car with the lights on early Sunday. The motor was running and a screwdriver was in the ignition, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (search) said.
The man was sleeping so soundly that police were unable to rouse him by yelling through a bullhorn. When they pounded on the door, he finally woke up, opened the door and emerged with the car in gear.
Officers responded quickly to keep the vehicle from rolling away.
A quick check established that the vehicle had just been stolen without the owner being aware, police said.
The man could make a court appearance as early as Monday on a charged of possessing stolen property and three counts of failing to comply with a probation order.
— Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.
Try Again in Six Months
A Los Angeles man went through a lot of trouble to get out of the U.S. and see his lady.
The unidentified 41-year-old was found Feb. 23 nearly frozen to death on a golf course in Emerson, Manitoba, just across the border from where the Minnesota-North Dakota line hits Canada.
Local police told the Canadian Press and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (search) that the man was babbling incoherently, his jacket open and his hands bare in the biting prairie winter wind.
He was rushed to a hospital, where doctors said he might lose some fingers from frostbite.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered the Angeleno had set out walking from Pembina, N.D. on Feb. 19, but had managed to cover only about four miles in four days.
Over that time, temperatures ranged from a high of 14 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of minus 22.
Apparently, the wintry walker had met a woman in Quebec on the Internet, and wanted to visit her, but for some reason had been denied legal entry to Canada.
... Or Just Ask This Guy for a Ride
LYNDEN, Wash. (AP) — A practical joke shut down a U.S.-Canadian border crossing for nearly four hours just as the weekend was getting under way.
A 42-year-old man was stopped at the border around 4:40 p.m. last Friday.
During an inspection of his vehicle, "a crude device thought to be an explosive" was found under a seat, Corporal Dale Carr of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a news release.
The inspection area and a duty-free shop were immediately evacuated, spokeswoman Paula Shore with the Canadian Border Services Agency (search) said, and highways going north and south were closed.
Investigators subsequently determined that the "suspicious device" was harmless, Carr said.
It turns out the man's co-workers in Olympia, Wash., had put ball bearings into a metal tube and crimped the ends.
They placed the device in his vehicle to annoy him, the idea being that "it would create a rattle that the driver would find difficult to locate," Carr said.
The man was questioned and released. He will not face charges, Carr said.
It will be up to U.S. authorities to decide whether his co-workers face charges, Shore said.
"It's not a good idea to play practical jokes at the border," said Shore, clearly not amused.
Berkeley Students Get No Homework
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Students in the Berkeley school district aren't getting written homework assignments because teachers are refusing to grade work on their own time after two years without a pay raise.
So far, a black history event had to be canceled and parents had to staff a middle-school science fair because teachers are sticking strictly to the hours they're contracted to work.
"Teachers do a lot with a little. All of a sudden, a lot of things that they do are just gone. It's demoralizing," said Rachel Baker, who has a son in kindergarten.
Teachers say they don't want to stop volunteering their time.
"It's hard," said Judith Bodenhauser, a high school math teacher. "I have stacks of papers I haven't graded. Parents want to talk to me; I don't call them back."
The action was organized by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (search), which wants a cost-of-living increase next year.
Street Racer Made to Wear Sandwich Board
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — If drivers can't read Erik Rivera's sign, they might be going too fast.
Rivera used to street race on late nights through south Orange County. Now he goes at a slower pace, wearing a sign: "Don't Street Race. I Lost My Drivers License for 3 Years."
Orange Circuit Judge John H. Adams Sr. ordered 24-year-old Rivera, of Kissimmee, to wear the sandwich-board sign as a deterrent to other racers.
Rivera was arrested in June and convicted in November of fleeing and eluding deputies and resisting law enforcement without violence.
Along with losing his license and being placed on probation for three years, he has to wear the sign where he used to race at the Waterbridge Shopping Center (search) parking lot near the Florida Mall.
Rivera will wear the 2-foot-by-3-foot sign for 50 consecutive Sundays from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., when other young people are out racing. He must also pay for the sign and attend a special driving school.
Rivera's attorney, Aramis Donell, said her client had some initial reservations about wearing the sandwich-board sign.
"There is a level of humiliation," Donell said. "But it beats going to the Department of Corrections."
Compiled by FOX News' Paul Wagenseil.
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail, with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things), to firstname.lastname@example.org.