<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Weird News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Fri, 30 Jan 2015 06:25:10 -0800 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 06:25:10 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Hot Air Balloon Lands in Street in Sorrento Valley]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 05:17:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Hot+air+balloon+landing+0129.jpg

A hot air balloon landed in the street in Sorrento Valley, California, on Thursday after it was seen flying low overhead and clipping a tree.

Several people called police at 5:30 p.m. after spotting the balloon flying low over Mira Mesa Boulevard, officers said. San Diego police officers responded to the area to perform traffic control.

The balloon landed at Lusk Boulevard and Barnes Canyon Road.

It wasn't immediately clear what led to the emergency landing or whether anyone was injured.
 

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<![CDATA[Drug Store Thief Hops Counter, Steals Pills]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 20:43:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Generic-police-tape.jpg

A Southern California pharmacy was robbed Thursday when a thief hopped the counter and stole prescription drugs, San Diego Police confirm.

Officers responded to the CVS on Westview Parkway in Mira Mesa just after 7 p.m. following a robbery of the pharmacy counter involving one or more suspects.

Police were investigating the incident as grand theft but have not said whether it is connected to a recent string of robberies targeting pharmacies.

San Diego Crime Stoppers has offered $1,000 reward to information leading to an arrest in a recent robbery at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Navajo Road.

In that incident, someone walked into the Walgreens just before noon on Jan. 21 and handed a demand note to the pharmacist. 

The note said the man had a gun and wanted oxycodone. The employee handed the man the pills and the male left the store in an unknown direction.

Officials believe the man also robbed a San Diego CVS Pharmacy on Eads Avenue in La Jolla on January 13 with a demand note asking for Roxicodone, a generic name for oxycodone.

Officials are asking anyone with information to call the San Diego Police Department’s Robbery Unit at (619) 531-2299 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 News]]>
<![CDATA[Body Parts Found in Suitcase: SFPD]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:58:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

San Francisco police say a suitcase found in the South of Market neighborhood Wednesday afternoon contained dismembered body parts.

The suitcase was found after a caller reported a suspicious package near 11th and Mission streets at 4:14 p.m., according to police.

A medical examiner confirmed the remains are human, but police said it was unclear late Wednesday if all the remains belong to one victim.

Police said the incident brings San Francisco's homicide rate to 10 for the year.

Bay City New contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Pizza Order Leads to Standoff]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:21:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pizza-assault-arrest-gurney.jpg

Police in Irving, Texas, said a man ordered a second pizza during a four-hour standoff that resulted from his first attempt to order a pizza.

Daniel Gurney called a nearby pizzeria Tuesday night. The manager recognized Gurney as a former customer who once used a bad credit card, so he called police to report him for fraud.

When police ran a check on the address given by the pizzeria manager, they learned that Gurney had four probation violation warrants for aggravated assault. Officers responded to his location in the 2400 block of McClure Street at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said that an officer arrived to arrest Gurney, who did not cooperate. He tried to escape through the back door, but he was met by police. He then retreated into the house, refusing to come out.

Given Gurney's violent history, police called in a SWAT unit. Authorities said they used beanbag rounds, tear gas and flash-bang grenades before Gurney surrendered peacefully.

During the standoff, a different pizza delivery man arrived at the house with a pizza. Police told the man to leave.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Beauty Trend: Snail Facial]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:37:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/THAI-SNAIL-FACIAL-20150128.jpg The latest beauty trend in Thailand has therapists using snails to munch on clients faces, leaving a healthy glow in its path.]]> <![CDATA[Mr. Incredible Guilty of Assault]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:47:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/10-23-14_hollywood+blvd+costume+superhero+fight.jpg

A man who dressed as Mr. Incredible, the superhero dad from the hit animated movie, was convicted of battery for beating a woman dressed as Batgirl on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Los Angeles City Attorney said Tuesday.

Muhammet Bilik, 35, was sentenced to three years probation, 20 days of California Department of Transportation work, 36 anger-management sessions, as well as one day in jail for the fight, prosecutors said. He is also banned from the Hollywood Entertainment District.

"Hollywood Blvd. is famous around the globe and attracts millions of visitors every year. We must keep it safe," said City Attorney Mike Feuer in a statement. "The characters who interact with children and family along Hollywood Blvd. have to obey the law."

The beating, caught on a video that went viral, shows Bilik in a red costume and black mask covering his eyes body slamming and punching the woman dressed as Batgirl in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre as costumed Chewbacca and Waldo try to restrain him.

A couple of weeks later, the victim came forward and confirmed the masked man’s identity, prosecutors said.

This conviction is one of seven cases in the past six months involving costumed characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Captain America, and Superman, Feuer said.

The rash of cases is leading some to worry about the safety of the characters and tourists.

"For him to do something like that just ruins it for us," said a man dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean." "It makes us look bad."

Added a costumed Spider Man: "There's kids around. There's tourists around, families that are just coming here just to have a good time."

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who represents Hollywood, has been trying to figure out ways to make sure the characters aren't a danger.

He says one possibility is to ask private businesses such as the Hollywood and Highland complex to hire their own characters.

"That could require background checks and some sort of formal process," he said. "It's what they do in Las Vegas. It's what they do in other locations. I would love to see Hollywood take that type of step forward."

O'Farrell says what the city can do is limited because the characters have a First Amendment right to be on public sidewalks.

Spider Man and Captain Jack hope that any action the city takes makes a distinction between those who make trouble and those who do not.

"It's not everyone," Spider Man said. "It's just certain people."

Four years ago the LAPD conducted a crackdown on Hollywood Boulevard street characters. The sweeps led to a lawsuit which a judge ruled violated their First Amendment rights.



Photo Credit: www.filmon.com]]>
<![CDATA[Coyote Roams NYC Housing Complex]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:40:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/11115coyote.jpg

Police captured a female coyote Sunday that was spotted roaming a Manhattan housing complex, authorities said.

The coyote was sedated and captured in the sprawling Stuyvesant Town complex and delivered to the city's Animal Care and Control, where it was fed and examined by veterinarians.

The animal was later released in a wilderness area in the Bronx.

Earlier this month, police captured a coyote in Riverside Park and released it into a Bronx wooded area.

"Although it's often called the concrete jungle, New York City has over 5,000 acres of forest land and is home to an abundance of wildlife," said city Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

Most coyotes pose no danger to people, but New Yorkers shouldn't try to feed or approach them, Silver advised.
 

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<![CDATA[Sea Lion Invasion]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:32:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_sealions0123001_1500x845.jpg Hundreds of sea lions have taken over an Oregon dock, leaving boaters in a lurch.]]> <![CDATA[Michigan Man Tattoos Taco Truck Logo, Gets Free Food]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:34:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/taco-stand.jpg A Michigan man is now entitled to a lifetime of free tacos after he got a tattoo of a taco featuring the logo for Flint's new food truck, Vehicle City Tacos.]]> <![CDATA[Man Sells "World's Largest BBQ Pit" on eBay]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:14:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/smoker2.jpg

They say everything is bigger in Texas, so, naturally, the proclaimed "world's largest barbecue pit" is being sold on eBay by a Brenham man.

Terry Folsom listed "Undisputable Cuz," the 40-ton, 76-foot barbecue pit, on eBay for $350,000. The 24-door pit also features:

  • A walk-in cooler
  • Beer taps
  • Places for television and stereo equipment
  • A 40 kW diesel generator

Folsom is also selling the truck pictured in the listing (and above) for an additional $50,000.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA["Room" – Inside a Tesla – Offered on Airbnb]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:44:23 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/164*120/teslamain.JPG

Not every hotel room can claim to be zero emissions. 

Then again, not every hotel room is actually a car.

But, thanks to the Silicon Valley creations of Tesla and Airbnb, you can now sleep inside a car for $85 a night. Specifically, you can rent out the inside of a Tesla Model S for $85 a night on Airbnb.

Popular Mechanics reports this "boundlessly optimistic" arrangement is available in Phoenix, Arizona, but it doesn't appear that the keys are included with the rental.

But, as host Steve Sasman notes, "How often do you get to sleep in a $118,000 Electric Car?" The answer could be "every night," depending on your financial plan (or lack thereof).

Sasman is also the author of the book, "How Anyone Can Afford a Tesla," in which he talks about the five best ways to make money owning a Tesla.

On the Airbnb website, Sasman touts the amenities that come with renting the "world's first Tesla hotel": An airbed that accommodates two in climate-controlled comfort all night, clean sheets, pillows and blankets, and remote-controlled candles to "help set a fun camping mood in the Tesla."

"Sorry, NO NBA Players allowed. Despite my love for basketball, the Tesla is just too small for anyone over 6' 6". Please...stop asking," Sasman writes.

He says the car is securely parked in his garage and that guests also get access to the kitchen, living room, TV, and private bathroom and shower in his condo.

"As the Tesla is of course my transportation, I would request that you are up by 8 a.m. so I can get to work," Sasman notes, adding, "however, this is very flexible and we can agree on a time the night before of course! You are free to hang out in the condo and even sleep-in longer on the big comfy couch if you like."

House rules: No smoking or pets in the Tesla or condo. "It's a pretty quiet condo unit so expect the same from quests (sic)," Sasman adds.



Photo Credit: www.airbnb.com]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Dressed as Barbie Said He Was "Out of His Mind"]]> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 22:52:51 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tutu-trial-clip%281%29_1-PIC_0.jpg

The trial for the man accused of a brazen sexual assault in a Big Lots bathroom closed Wednesday as the defendant argued he had no recollection of the alleged attack.

Gregory Phillip Schwartz, 41, said he was drunk and high on meth and had been up for several days at the time of the alleged assault. He said, though, that he does not remember much of what he heard from others’ testimonies.

"I start hallucinating when I've been up that long...from sleep deprivation and the drug," Schwartz said in court Wednesday. "I was out of my mind."

Schwartz is charged with multiple felonies, including assault with intent to commit rape, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and false imprisonment by violence in the February assault. He is also charged with shoplifting the dress he donned during the attack – a pink Barbie cheerleader costume.

The victim, who testified under her first name only at the beginning of the trial, said she entered the bathroom inside a Clairemont Big Lots while talking on the phone. She said she went into a stall and was getting ready to take a seat when she caught the sight of a man’s bare feet on the ground in the stall next to her.

The man then climbed up on the toilet and peered over the stall at her before getting down on all fours and crawling into her stall to attack her, she said. She alleged that the defendant grabbed her, held her by her neck and attempted to sexually assault her.

Schwartz, however, said he only remembers waking up to a screaming woman in the adjoining stall. He said he had gone into the men’s restroom to masturbate after hours of drinking in an attempt to come down off the meth and sleep. He did not know at the time that he had fallen asleep for two hours before switching to the women’s restroom.

“I remember waking up on the floor and a woman had her hands over her ears and she was screaming,” he said in court. “I was half in my stall and half encroaching on hers.”

The defendant said he does not remember peeking over the stall; only that the screaming sobered him up.

“I went back into my stall and she continued to scream for ten more seconds and I waited for her to go out,” he said.

Prosecutors allege that Schwartz ran back into the men’s restroom to change out of the Barbie costume before trying to leave. He was confronted by a Clairemont Town Square security guard and dropped a pair of women’s underwear on the ground before brandishing what appeared to be a screw driver, then fled the store, according to earlier testimony from the security guard.

Earlier that same day, an employee at a nearby hair salon was reportedly sitting in her car when the defendant opened the passenger door and asked her if she wanted to smoke meth, according to testimony by Detective Carmelin Rivera with the San Diego Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit.

Schwartz said he does not recollect that either.

Much was learned about Schwartz in his testimony, including the fact that he is a Navy veteran and has a six-year-old daughter. He is also divorced and his only real chunk of sobriety was during his seven-year marriage, ending in 2010.

Before losing his job and his home two years ago, Schwartz worked as an electrician, he told the jury Wednesday.

But addiction – which Schwartz’s attorneys are using in multiple ways to argue his innocence – has been on ongoing problem for many years, he said. He has been in and out of recovery programs, both successfully and not, since his time in the Navy, and had left a rehabilitation center less than two weeks before the attack, he said in court.

Schwartz’s defense team argued at the beginning of the trial that he suffered from drug-induced “transvestic fetishism” and becomes more sexual and is aroused by cross-dressing while under the influence of meth.

Psychiatrist and addiction specialist Dr. Alan Abrams took the stand to confirm that fact; stating masturbation, use of pornography and heightened sexuality are not uncommon for meth users.

“People who use methamphetamine come to experience a particularly heightened euphoria from their sexual behavior, and so things develop from that pairing where users of methamphetamine come to want to enhance their sexuality by using methamphetamine, and so they get into this vicious cycle,” Abrams told the jury.

Abrams also detailed the difference between homosexual males, bisexual males and those men who enjoy sex with other men while high on drugs, but are neither bisexual nor homosexual.

According to Schwartz’s testimony, he has secretly worn women’s clothes and indulged in sex with other men since age 17, but only while high on “uppers.”

The prosecution said at the start of the case, that although the victim made it out of the alleged attack, the case is important for the safety of the public.

“I have never handled a case like this before,” said Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett, prosecutor in the case.

“Based on the charges and what happened in the case, we’re taking it very seriously as a public risk and thankfully the victim came out fine. She’s injured and she’s scared, but she will recover and that’s all we want,” Barrett added.

The trial closed Wednesday afternoon and it is now up to a jury to decide Schwartz’s fate. If convicted, he faces seven years in prison.

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<![CDATA[Man Holds Child During Theft: Cops]]> Sun, 18 Jan 2015 21:10:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Surveillance-Photos-of-the-.jpg

Police are searching for two theft suspects, including one man who was allegedly caught on camera snatching a wallet while holding a child.

On Jan. 5, around 9:30 a.m., a 62-year-old man left his wallet on the counter of the Interstate Battery Store on Robin Hood Road in Delmar, Delaware.

Two men, one of them carrying a small child, entered the store, took the man’s wallet from the counter and then left the scene, according to police.

The first suspect is described as a man between the ages of 20 and 30 standing between 5-foot-10 and 6-feet and wearing a blue shirt and black jacket.

The second suspect is described as a man between the ages of 20 and 30 standing between 5-foot-10 and 6-feet wearing a blue shirt.

If you have any information on their identities or whereabouts, please contact Senior Corporal J. Wharton at 302-337-1090.



Photo Credit: Delaware State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Tutu-Clad Suspect Suffers "Transvestic Fetishism": Atty.]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 11:00:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/schwartz-tutu-clip-BIG+LOTS+TUTU+TRIAL%281%29_1-PIC_0.jpg

The defense attorney for a man accused of a bizarre sexual assault in a Big Lots bathroom said the attack - and the pink Barbie costume he wore during the assault - were brought on by the use of drugs.

Opening statements from the defense claimed that Gregory Philip Schwartz, 41, was drunk and high on meth, and had been up for hours at the time of the assault. She said Schwartz suffered from drug-induced “transvestic fetishism."

Some evidence, including the stolen Barbie costume, was presented and testimony was heard from the victim, a Big Lots employee and a security guard who encountered the defendant the day of the attack.

Schwartz is charged with multiple felonies, including assault with attempt to commit rape, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and false imprisonment by violence in the February attack. He is also charged with shoplifting the dress he donned during the attack – a child’s pink Barbie cheerleader costume.

The victim said she entered the restroom while talking on the phone and went into a stall. She was getting ready to take a seat when something caught her eye.

“I noticed something in my peripheral vision, so I looked over and I saw a man’s bare feet…in the stall next to mine,” the victim said in court Thursday.

She said the man then climbed up on the toilet and peered over the stall at her before getting down on all fours and crawling into her stall to attack her. Schwartz allegedly grabbed the woman, held her by her neck and attempted to sexually assault her, police said.

The woman fought back and was able to escape and run to a store security guard.

Prosecutors allege that Schwartz ran back into the men's restroom to change out of the Barbie costume before trying to leave the store. The defendant was confronted by a Clairemont Town Square security guard and dropped a pair of women’s underwear on the ground before brandishing what appeared to be a screwdriver, then fled the store, according to the security guard's testimony.

An employee at a nearby hair salon said she was sitting in her car when the defendant opened the passenger door and asked her if she wanted to do meth, according to preliminary testimony by Detective Carmelin Rivera with the San Diego Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit.

Schwartz was later identified after surveillance footage from the store captured what investigators described as unusual behavior for several hours. He was also seen on camera entering the restroom wearing the dress he had stolen, according to San Diego Police Lt. Chuck Kaye.

Schwartz entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment in March, and bail, which was initially set to $100,000, was raised to $110,000 for a parole violation related to a misdemeanor for child endangerment and cocaine possession conviction.

The prosecution said although the victim made it out of the alleged attack, the case is important for public safety.

“I have never handled a case like this before,” said Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett, prosecutor in the case.

“Based on the charges and what happened in the case, we’re taking it very seriously as a public risk and thankfully the victim came out fine. She’s injured and she’s scared, but she will recover and that’s all we want,” Barrett added.

If convicted on the assault charges, Schwartz faces seven years in prison. The trial is ongoing.

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<![CDATA[Accused Robbers Posed as Cops]]> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:14:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150113-women-police-impersonators.jpg

Two Los Angeles County women accused of committing robberies while posing as police officers in Rancho Dominguez last week have been arrested, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.

The women, dressed in “police-type uniforms” and driving a 1999 Lexus RX300 SUV, stopped a bicyclist about 12:45 a.m. in the 18000 block of Susana Road last Friday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

The women handcuffed and robbed the cyclist.

Minutes later, sheriff’s officials said the duo tried to rob a second person about a block away on Santa Fe Street, but the victim didn't have anything to give them.

Detectives were able to identify the women, one of whom had numerous tattoos on both arms, and began a surveillance operation on them, sheriff’s officials said.

The women were detained. Their names were not released.

Local resident Mario Sorto told NBC 4 he always suspected the two women, who he said would constantly harass immigrants while wearing police uniforms.

He said they usually would ask people in Spanish for ID. Sorto was suspicious as they drove a normal SUV without sirens. The vehicle has now been impounded by detectives.

Deputies serving a search warrant at the women’s home found a fake handgun, two uniform jackets with police-type patches, handcuffs, strip ties, a flashlight, gloves and other items, officials said.

The women face robbery charges in both cases, deputies said.

Anyone with information on the robberies was asked to call Det. Gus Ramirez at 310-847-8366.



Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Man Arrested After Dropping Pants, Dancing in Intersection: Deputy]]> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 08:16:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/claytoncornelisonmugshot.jpg

Deputies often see it all in their line of work, but one Florida law enforcement official saw quite a bit more than she expected while at a major intersection in North Fort Myers.

The Florida deputy said she was watching three people in a crosswalk as one, later identified as Clayton Cornelison, set his bicycle down and dropped his pants, according to NBC 2.

The deputy said in the arrest report that once the man dropped his pants, he began to “shake his penis by moving his hips in a circular motion and proceeded to dance in the middle of the intersection with his pants around his ankles in the direction of oncoming traffic,” the Fort Myers NBC affiliate reported. 

The man saw the deputy watching him and quickly pulled up his pants, according to the report. According to NBC 2, the man told the deputy he wasn’t wearing a belt and his pants had fallen down.

He was arrested on a charge of indecent exposure and taken to the Lee County Jail Monday afternoon. It was unclear if he had an attorney.



Photo Credit: NBC 2/Lee County Sheriff]]>
<![CDATA[Drugged Bread Causes Hallucinations]]> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 08:55:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/199*120/1-8-2015-3KingsBread.JPG

At least 40 people in Orange County suffered symptoms ranging from nausea to hallucinations after eating Three Kings cake laced with a synthetic drug, prompting a criminal investigation of the bakery that made it, police said Friday.

Officials closed Cholula’s Bakery in Santa Ana on Wednesday after up to 40 customers reported getting sick after eating Rosca de Reyes bread on Monday and Tuesday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Nurses from multiple hospitals contacted Santa Ana police after dozens of patients turned up sick earlier this week, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Bertagna said patients were nauseous and were having hallucinations and out-of-body experiences.

"The only common denominator with all these patients is they ate this Three Kings bread in celebration of the holiday," he said.

He is hoping laboratory specialists can identify exactly what was contained in the bread.

"There are hundreds of types of synthetic drugs," Bertagna said. "Hopefully they can isolate what exactly we're talking about."

The fruitcake, which is traditionally eaten on Jan. 6 to mark Three Kings Day, was distributed around California. Customers became ill with symptoms including dizziness, palpitations, and numbness, officials said. The cake is also known as Three Kings bread.

Lab results showed the presence of a synthetic drug in the bread, said health officials, who handed the case over to the Santa Ana Police Department, which launched a criminal investigation.

Esperanza Rodriguez, 60, of Santa Ana, said that after eating the cake she felt dizzy, her mouth was dry and eventually she fainted.

Other victims include a man in his mid-40s, his teenage daughter and son, and a 4-year-old boy, who all reported feeling nauseated and anxious as if they were under the influence of a drug, police said.

People who believe they have consumed the tainted bread are encouraged to contact the Santa Ana Police Crimes Against Persons Unit at 714-245-8390.

The bakery will remain closed until it meets three criteria — professional restaurant-grade cleaning, disposal of all opened food and all ingredients used to make the Rosca de Reyes bread, and mandatory food safety training for all staff.

The bread was sold at Cholula's Bakery and the following outlets:

-- El Nopal Mercado, 31451 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano;

-- La Bodega Ranch, 918 N. Glassell St., Orange;

-- La Bodega Ranch, 1700 N. Placentia Ave., Fullerton;

-- Santa Ana Marquet, 1216 W. 1st St., Santa Ana;

-- Tony's Liquor, 32141 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano;

-- Gonzalez Marquet, 235 W. La Jolla St., Placentia;

-- Taqueria Mocorito Restaurant, 1076 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim;

-- Taco Boy, 725 N. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim;

-- Brianna's Ice Cream, 2107 E. Ball Road, Anaheim;

-- La Bodega Ranch Market, 4945 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach.

Calls to the bakery for comment were not immediately returned.

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<![CDATA[Owner of Snake Slithering in Toilet Comes Forward]]> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:31:35 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PW_PKG_SNAKE_IN_A_TOIL_KNSD5KKU_1200x675_381371459843.jpg

The great mystery of the snake in a toilet has been solved.

The 5-foot boa constrictor that slithered from a toilet at a downtown San Diego PR firm belongs to a tenant who lives on the fourth floor, the property manager told NBC 7 on Thursday.

The owner came forward on Wednesday, saying the snake had been lost and he thought it had escaped from a window, as its enclosure is near the window.

He "feels really bad for the anguish" this has caused, the property manager said. The owner plans to move the snake to a friend's house.

Meanwhile, the snake is staying at the Gaines Street Animal Shelter.

No word yet on a reunion.

So why did the snake escape to the building's sewage system? Lt. Dan DeSousa with San Diego County Animal Services said it appeared the snake was about to shed skin and was likely seeking a water source.

"He found a toilet to soak in and obviously didn't come out of that toilet," DeSousa said. "Took a wrong turn, ended up downstairs."

Holly Wells, whose partner at Vertical Public Relations found the snake as she was plunging the toilet, said they have no hard feelings.

"I'm not upset. I think we can have a good chuckle over it, honestly," she said. "My partner, Stephanie, who's terrified of snakes, might think a little bit differently. But I think it's all fun and games."

The owner still hasn't come forward publicly. His snake has an attitude -- a reputation as a nipper, animal control workers said.

The story drew national interest and Animal Services is still getting phone calls from news outlets.

It's not difficult to figure out why, Wells said.

"Everyone is so intrigued by the story because it's everyone's nightmare come true."

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<![CDATA[Snake Slithers Into Downtown PR Firm's Toilet]]> Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:00:56 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Snake-Toilet.jpg

When Stephanie Lacsa saw water mysteriously rising in her public relations office's toilet Tuesday, she chalked it up to the old pipes in their 1800s-era building. She never expected her plunger to pull up a flickering tongue and diamond-shaped head.

“I thought my eyes were deceiving me,” Lacsa said. “But as soon I saw the flicker of its tongue, I definitely knew that it was in fact a large snake heading straight towards me.”

Lacsa, who is terrified of the slippery reptiles, ran screaming as a 5-foot-6-inch boa constrictor slithered from the toilet onto the bathroom floor.

She taped the door shut and called her Vertical PR co-founder, Holly Wells, who was skeptical.

“She said, ‘It’s the size of my forearm,’” Wells told NBC 7, “and I was like, ‘No, it’s the probably the size of a pencil.’”

But when Wells joined Lacsa at their downtown office and cracked open the door, she saw the evidence for herself – an ophidiophobes’ worst nightmare.

“Business was done after that. It took an hour and a half for animal control to get out,” said Wells. “We were stuck in our office with our feet up on the desk.”

Even the county animal services officer was shocked. She told the women she had never seen anything like this in her career, calling it “the stuff of urban legends.”

The officer believed the Colombian rainbow boa may have been stuck in the pipes for a few days, for it was underweight and in the process of shedding its skin.

After the sneaky reptile was taken to the Gaines Street animal care facility for examination, Wells and Lacsa were left with the biggest mystery: where did the snake come from?

“I don’t think they’re natural to the Gaslamp area,” Wells joked. There are residential tenants in their Old San Diego City Hall building, but none have reported a missing snake.

Animal Services Deputy Director Dan DeSousa said he was uncertain if a snake could survive in a sewage system for long. 

DeSousa said it got “nippy” and bit its handler. If no owner comes forward by Friday, the boa will go to a local reptile group.

"The snake scared the living daylights out of us, but we truly hope he gets the care he needs and can be placed in a good home,” said Wells.

“And I also hope that the new owners of that home know to keep their toilet seat lids down."

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<![CDATA[Unbelievable Animals: Zombie Cat]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:30:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/miracle-cat-2.jpg Check out some of the craziest animals and the stories behind them.]]> <![CDATA[Florida Man in "I Have Drugs" Shirt Arrested for Drugs: Cops ]]> Wed, 07 Jan 2015 08:30:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/010715+john+balmer.jpg

A Florida man who was wearing a T-shirt that said "I have drugs" was arrested for drug possession, authorities said.

John Balmer, 50, was arrested Monday for possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana at the Kmart in Hudson, north of Tampa, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Balmer remained behind bars Wednesday on $2,150 bond, jail records showed. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

The sheriff's office posted a photo on their Facebook page of Balmer wearing the shirt which reads: "Who needs drugs? No, seriously, I have drugs."



Photo Credit: Pasco County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Person Stuck in Chimney Saved]]> Sat, 03 Jan 2015 18:01:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/Woodcrest-Chimney-stuck.jpg

A woman stuck and injured in a Riverside County chimney had to be rescued Saturday morning, fire officials said.

The Woodcrest rescue took about two hours, a Riverside County Fire Department news release said, after which she was taken to a hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

The victim's identity and age weren't released.

She was stuck above a 12-by-12-foot brick fireplace, which she entered from the roof, officials said. Firefighters were called at 4:58 a.m. to the home, in the 15800 block of Rancho Viejo Drive.

The homeowner told NBC4 the woman is the mother of his children but that they were not married. He said the woman does not live in the house.



Photo Credit: Engineer Jared Hazelaar/CAL FIRE Riverside]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Scratch-Off Thief Stops to Chat on Phone]]> Fri, 02 Jan 2015 03:34:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/scratch+off+thief.jpg

Police are looking for a man who was caught on video stealing scratch-off tickets from a Bronx restaurant, and stopping to answer his phone twice in the process.

Authorities say the man broke into Pastora restaurant at East 167 Street on Christmas Eve and took multiple New York state scratch-off tickets.

The man can be seen on surveillance video taking two phone calls as he burglarizes the store.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.  

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<![CDATA[Hasbro to Replace Phallic Play-Doh Toy]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:47:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/play-doh-dennis.jpg

Hasbro Inc. says it will replace a Play-Doh toy that looks similar to a penis.

The syringe-like "extruder tool" is part of Play-Doh's Cake Mountain toy. It squeezes modeling compound through a round tube with corkscrew-type ridges around the outside and a dome-shaped top.

Its phallic appearance upset some parents.

An Oklahoma TV station blurred the image of it when it did a piece about the complaints in November. Since Christmas, Play-Doh's Facebook page has received thousands of comments about it, saying it looked like a penis or a sex toy.

Some were upset. Others thought it was funny.

The Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company says it is replacing the tool in future sets. It also says it will replace it for anyone who already bought one.

Click here to see an image of the controversial Play-Doh "extruder tool."



Photo Credit: Flickr/Dennis Brekke]]>
<![CDATA[Eggnog Sends Man to Hospital]]> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 14:10:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/eggnog-th.jpg

A Utah man says he's fully recovered after he was hospitalized for chugging a quart of eggnog so quickly that he inhaled some of creamy holiday beverage into his lungs.

Ryan Roche from Utah County told KSL-TV that he participated in an alcohol-free eggnog chugging contest at a holiday office party earlier this month.

Roche says he downed a quart of eggnog in 12 seconds without taking a breath but soon began coughing and gasping.

Hours later, a friend drove him to the hospital as Roche was shaking and struggling to breathe.

Doctors told him he had eggnog in his lungs.

He was put on oxygen and antibiotics and released from the hospital after three days.

Roche says he recovered his strength after a week.

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<![CDATA[Man Calls 911 on "Babbling" Wife]]> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 08:24:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/middletown+police+department.JPG

All he wanted was a good night's sleep, but instead, this Middletown, Connecticut, man found himself in trouble with the law.

When first responders arrived at Peter Recchia's home on Traverse Drive the night of Dec. 17, they expected to find his wife in need of medical help.

But, as they soon realized, Recchia was only upset because his wife was talking too much, according to police.

Recchia, 54, admitted that he had only called 911 because his wife "babbles" when she's off her medication. Police said he'd been gone for 10 days and suspected she wasn't taking it.

Firefighters and EMTs showed up to find Recchia's wife sitting in a chair and smoking a cigarette. Because he had a court date the next morning and wanted to get to bed early, Recchia called for help and exaggerated his wife's condition, police said.

Now he's going back to court, but for a different reason. He was issued a misdemeanor summons for falsely reporting an incident and will face a judge Jan. 2.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Spotted in Backyard]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 06:25:25 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/202*120/12-19-14-mountain+lion+sherry+kempster+newbury+park.JPG

A mountain lion creeping alongside a Southern California woman's backyard wall forced road closures as wildlife officials tried to capture it.

Sherry Kempster of Newbury Park in Ventura County was in her kitchen Friday morning when she heard crows cawing in the backyard, which usually means "a hawk or something" is in the area, she told NBC4.

Kempster looked out the window about 10:20 a.m. and saw the back leg and tail of a creature moving past the barbecue grill. She soon realized it was a mountain lion.

She captured a picturesque image of the lion as it walked along her backyard wall, a mountain view in the background.

Friday's sighting was the first time she and her husband have seen a mountain lion in the 17 years they lived in their home, she said.

After Kempster called 911, Ventura County sheriff's deputies and Fish and Game wardens started looking for the mountain lion. Officials found it in underneath a trailer in a mobile home park about 5 p.m.

Authorities blocked roads for nearly 90 minutes as they worked to contain the big cat.

Officials said the 14-month-old mountain lion, dubbed P-34, came from the Santa Monica Mountains. She was captured about 8:34 p.m. and released "at an undisclosed location," officials said.
 



Photo Credit: Sherry Kempster]]>
<![CDATA[Woman's Luggage Found 20 Years Later]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:54:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_longlostluggage1218_700x394.jpg

Many travelers fear having their luggage lost at the airport. One Arizona woman had the fear become a reality, though her story has a happy ending — two decades later.

Maria Dellos, a Tuscon teacher, received a phone call from the Transportation Security Administration at Tucson International Airport on Tuesday informing her that luggage she lost 20 years ago had been found.

“I actually almost ignored the call because of telemarketing. All day long I get calls,” Dellos told NBC affiliate KVOA.

Dellos explained to the station that a note she had in the bag containing an old address allowed the TSA to locate her. It contained "very valuable" art supplies from a trade show in Las Vegas, she said.

"I was just absolutely blown away," Dellos said.

“We just did some shuffling of equipment at the airport, so it's quite possible that we came across something that somebody left unattended for a long period of time," TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez told KVOA.

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<![CDATA[Card Game Sells 30K Boxes of Poop]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:29:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/51RD-Lha01L._SL1023_.jpg

Instead of coal in their stockings, thousands of Cards Against Humanity customers will be getting a box of poop—bull poop.

The creators of the popular card game protested Black Friday by removing their products from their website, instead only offering one item—a box of “Bulls*@t” for $6.

The box, which quickly sold out to more 30,000 purchasers, contained actual feces, to this dismay of many fans hoping the move was a prank. Last year, the party game was sold on Black Friday for $5 more than its actual price.

The product was described on the company’s website as “literal feces, from an actual bull,” which could be used to “fertilize your garden, adorn a festive tree, or surprise a loved one with a gift of poop.”

Writing on the package claimed the box was made in China, but the poop was made in America.

Despite the description, and a Frequently Asked Questions section that specified the contents even more, some customers raised a stink.

According to the Cards Against Humanity blog, one viewer wrote in “I used my mom’s credit card to buy this she’s going to be livid when I tell her that it was literal cow poop please cancel my order.”

Another said the “ad was misleading” and one said they thought the box “was a new expansion all about poop.”

Chicagoan and game co-creator Max Temkin tweeted about the box, saying “if you buy the poop expecting it to be something else that’s not poop, you’re actually buying a valuable life lesson for $6.”

The game’s official Twitter page also replied to several tweeters clarifying they did in fact purchase poop.

While some called on the company for a refund over the smelly stunt, others are taking advantage of their newly acquired feces, selling the box on eBay for much more than the purchase price.

Card’s Against Humanity’s Twitter feed claims the boxes cost $5.80 to make and mail, and they donated their $6,000 in profits to Heifer International.


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<![CDATA[Calif. Mailman Works the River]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:11:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/waterbymail.jpg

As Santa readies his reindeer, and U.S. postal carriers take to their feet and trucks, one person delivering the mail this holiday season will be dropping off packages by boat.

Rick Stelzriede, 61, of Tracy is the only postal carrier with a river route in California, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Still, he downplays his unusual role.

"I am the only mailman on the water but I mean, it's no big deal," he said. "I could be a postman in the city and do the same job."

The job entails hopping into his 21-foot aluminum boat, and slogging through 60 miles of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, six days a week to get mail, bills and Christmas presents on time to his 23 customers. He doesn't stop for wind, rain, hail, sleet or the thick mess of seemingly endless river weeds and kelp.

"Yeah, it's hard to get to, remote and totally, totally off the wall," he said, opening mail boxes set on the docks and waving "hasta manana" to some of folks along his route.

Stelzriede signed on with the U.S. Postal Service as an independent contractor after a he noticed a veteran water courier on the river route. When that carrier retired some years back that's when Stelzriede "got his shot," said the Postal Service's spokesman in Northern California, Augustine Ruiz. Stelzriede also has customers along a more traditional route, Ruiz said, which he delivers to by mail truck or on foot.

Ruiz joked that Stelzriede is probably the only mailman to meet a river otter on his route or have his pony tail chewed on by a sea gull.

Since he took the job, Stelzriede hasn't stopped, boating along a route between San Francisco and the Central Valley that's been around as long as the Gold Rush.

At the end of the day, the pony-tailed mailman - fully aware of his role in history on the Pony Express - feels he's completed a job well done.

"I really feel like I did a service for someone," he said. "I brought them their mail."



Photo Credit: Henry Jerkins
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Hunters Find ATM in Middle of Woods]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:56:56 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Discarded+ATM+Hunters.jpg

A father and son on the hunt for game in eastern Pennsylvania instead found an automated teller machine in the middle of the woods.

Pennsylvania State Police responded to a wooded area off the unit block of Orchard Street in Rockland Township, Berks County around 9:30 a.m. Saturday after the men reported finding a stand-alone MAC machine.

Police said they don’t know how much if any money was in the ATM. It also wasn’t clear when the automated teller machine was dumped in the area.

On Tuesday, police released a photo of the black and blue-colored money machine in hopes that someone might know where it came from.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Reading Barracks at 610-378-4011.

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<![CDATA[Deers Crashes Through NJ Home]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 08:20:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Deer-in-Home-Lead.jpg

A Galloway Township, New Jersey, woman received an unexpected visitor Saturday afternoon while she was in the middle of cooking.

The woman told police she was inside her home on Northampton Road and placing sweet potatoes in the oven when a deer suddenly burst through her front door and ran into her house.

The woman said she managed to follow the deer into the back of her home and lock the animal inside her master bathroom. She then contacted police.

When police arrived they found shattered glass on the front storm door and a damaged frame on the main door indicating the deer was strong enough to run through the doors and enter the home. After a brief standoff, the officers managed to safely escort the deer out of the home and release it back into the wild.

Police said the deer caused significant damage to the bathroom while it was locked inside.

The homeowner was not injured during the incident.



Photo Credit: Galloway Township Police ]]>