Weird news 2.7.16
Weird news of the week.
Many Catholics in Highland Park, California used to call Erwin Mena “Father.” He officiated at least one wedding, and heard the confessions of dozens, if not hundreds, of people during his five months of posing as a priest for the St. Ignatius of Loyola parish. In reality, though, he was a big fraud.
According to reports, Mena had been known to the archdiocese since he first presented himself to them as a priest the 1990s. At that time, he had managed to bypass the usual process that required a new priest to present his credentials and identification, which was to include a letter from his bishop. He reportedly found a parish in need of a substitute, and the pastor there allowed it without checking with the archdiocese. Mena was known to have led prayer groups in San Bernardino, Orange County, Stockton, and Fresno. Every time the archdiocese found out he was trying to work as a priest, he would inevitably disappear.
In January of 2015, Mena set up shop at the St. Ignatius of Loyola parish. He continued to hear confessions, handle funerals, and even officiated a wedding. One thing some parishioners noted almost immediately was at some point, he came up with the idea of selling tickets for a trip to Philadelphia to be present when Pope Francis visited. He managed to solicit anywhere between $500 and $1000 per person for tickets, which allegedly would have included airfare from Los Angeles to Philly as well as accommodations in local convents. Over 24 people reportedly turned their money to Mena for the trip, including 60-year-old Michelle Rodriguez. Rodriguez forked over more than $900 to Mena for the trip when she learned about it from a mutual friend. However, when Rodriguez asked Mena for the simplest details of the trip (e.g., when their flights departed), Mena told Rodriguez to be patient. At one point, the parish staff tried the validate Mena’s credentials, but he couldn’t provide them. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office estimated the total losses from Mena’s con to be $53,000.
A felony warrant was issued, and Mena has been charged with 22 total felonies and 8 total misdemeanors. He is currently being held on more than $100,000 bail, and the next scheduled court appearance is Friday, February 5. If convicted, he faces up to 21 years in jail.
Police say a father in Maryland has admitted to allegedly shooting and killing his 2-year-old daughter and her mother, a second-grade teacher.
Authorities say 26-year-old NeShante Alesha Davis and her toddler daughter, Chloe Nichole Davis-Green, were executed on Tuesday morning in the parking lot of their home. Davis was found outside her condo building in Ft. Washington with gunshot wounds. She died at the scene.
As for her daughter, little Chloe didn’t stand a chance. Investigators say the child was shot as she was strapped into her carseat. She later died at the hospital.
Prince George’s County Police arrested 25-year-old Daron Boswell-Johnson and he’s been charged with two counts of first-degree and second-degree murder. According to a Facebook post by the department, Boswell-Johnson has confessed to the alleged murders.
The motive in this case may be child support. Investigators say Boswell-Johnson went over to the condo to confront Davis about his payments.
The death of this loving mother and child has left the community and police department heartbroken. Investigators took to their Facebook page to post this message:
This week, our department investigated a domestic-related double homicide. We announced the arrest of a suspect who shot and killed his 2-year-old daughter and her mother. In 2013, the Prince George’s County Police Department formed a Domestic Violence Unit which is tasked with investigating cases of domestic violence and more importantly, providing assistance to those who are currently in a dangerous relationship. We created this video to let our community know more about our DVU, how it operates and how it can assist those who need help. Please share this video with your friends, family and social circle.
In a federal lawsuit, a 16-year-old teen is suing a Colorado news station for allegedly airing a shot of his erect penis during a piece about sexting.
Seeking $75,000 in damages, the teen is suing KOAA TV and six employees for sexual exploitation, invasion of privacy, and defamation, amongst other charges. He is claiming that the Pueblo-based station used an image of his area for a Feb. 24, 2014 cautionary piece about sexting. The newscast also reportedly displayed the then 14-year-old’s Facebook page with his full name.
According to The Denver Post, the family had contacted KOAA TV in Feb. 2014 about an incident where a cell phone video of their son’s penis was uploaded to YouTube as blackmail. The lawsuit is claiming that both the teen and dad requested that the station not reveal his identity.
The Washington Times reports that the lawsuit is specifically alleging that KOAA TV staff screencapped images from the boy’s Facebook page and images from the video for their coverage. The Facebook page reportedly appeared on television unedited, showing the names of the teen’s friends.
“KOAA aired the thumbnail image of the Youtube video depicting Plaintiff’s erect penis and his name as a part of the story,” the suit is claiming.
According to The Gazette, the station broadcasts throughout southern Colorado.
“While we are unable to discuss the specifics of this recently filed litigation, we will defend ourselves against unfounded accusations,” KOAA president and general manager Evan Pappas told The Gazette.
A woman in New Jersey refuses to believe her husband is responsible for the death of her young son, even though, according to Philly.com, 21-yer-old Jagger Thomas Jost was arrested for allegedly killing his 2-year-old step-son Vernon Gaylord Sylver, Jr.
U.S. Marshals took Jost into custody this week.
According to the report, on May 16, 2015, Vernon died after what was previously believed to be an accident — his mother thought her child had fallen down before he died. But after a lengthy investigation, the report says, authorities believe Jost actually punched Vernon before his passing.
The incident occurred in Greensboro, N.C., where a medical examiner ruled young Vernon had died from complications of blunt-force trauma to the abdomen, Philly.com reports.
Although authorities believe the child’s alleged death was at the hands of his step-father, 23-year-old Tiffany Jost feels differently. She believes, according to the report, that her son fell from a three-foot stack of bricks he’d been climbing and then landed on his stomach.
A couple days later, the child began to vomit and show signs that something was seriously wrong. He was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.
U.S. Marshals tracked Jost to Tiffany’s sister’s home. Currently, he’s being held in the Atlantic County Jail where he is facing first-degree murder and felony child abuse charges.
Tiffany Jost told Philly.com that, if she’d thought her new husband was responsible, she “would have killed him myself.”
Only six days after Vernon’s death, Tiffany and Jagger tied the knot. They did it more quickly than planned because she was too upset for the big fancy wedding they had slated to participate in later on.
She told Philly.com her son loved to watch cartoons and also enjoyed watching her and her husband cook in the kitchen.
UPDATE, Feb. 5, 2016:
According to The Daily Mail, authorities believe two engineering majors at Virginia Tech plotted carefully to pull off the kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell. They reportedly purchased a shovel and cleaning supplies at different Wal-Mart stores, and Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said the two allegedly hid the girl’s dead body in the trunk of a Lexus.
They still haven’t listed a motive for the killing, but CNN claims Eisenhauer opted to kill the girl because she was “planning to expose” their sexual relationship.
He reportedly admitted to driving to the girl’s house and seeing her climb out a window on the night she vanished, and also reportedly said he brought her to the home of his accomplice (Keepers) after that.
Keepers, for her part, “broke down” on the stand as she reportedly described her excitement at being “part of something secretive and special.”
Her lawyer, per the Daily Mail, asked that she get released from jail and turned over to her parents because she’s not being fed a gluten-free diet in jail and she has a gluten allergy (!). They also apparently complained that she wasn’t receiving the adequate dose of her antidepressant.
In court on Thursday, prosecutors described details of what they think happened to Lovell. Specially, they said Eisenhauer and Keepers had been planning the murder since early January and that they were going to lure Lovell out of her house to meet Eisenhauer for a date and then slit her throat in a far-off location.
Keepers said she wasn’t present for the actual murder, which is believed to have occurred on Craigs Creek Road in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Lovell’s funeral was Thursday afternoon, with “several hundred” people turning out to say goodbye to the child.
Nicole Lovell went missing from her bedroom on January 27, and police claim she was killed that same day.
As we told you about on CrimeFeed the other day, an 18-year-old Virginia Tech athlete named David Eisenhauer was arrested for her alleged murder.
Soon after, another VA Tech student was also arrested — Natalie Keepers, 19. Keepers was first charged as an accessory for allegedly helping Eisenhauer dispose of Lovell’s body, but those charges have reportedly been upgraded to accessory before the fact to first-degree murder.
Court documents, according to the Daily Mail, show that Keepers may have been involved in the crime between January 4 and January 27. The new charges against her could send her to jail for 20 years to life.
The young victim — who’d had a liver transplant as a child — was reportedly an acquaintance of Eisenhauer’s, but it’s not clear in exactly what context. Police do reportedly think she could have met him via the anonymous Kik messenger app, and Lovell was active in several teen dating groups on Facebook, per the New York Times.
She reportedly showed texts to a neighbor that she claimed were from an 18-year-old college student. The neighbor said Lovell had mentioned they were from her online “boyfriend.”
Lovell’s mom reportedly said her daughter had been bullied at school and via social media.
In another case of chicken gone gross, Marc Nicholls, 30, claims he encountered something foul after biting into what he thought was a chicken breast from KFC.
The man purchased the chicken as part of a three-piece box in the Gold Coast of Australia. “I pulled a piece off, then found that and spat the rest out. You don’t expect to have that type of crap in your food when you go to KFC,” he told Mail Online.
Nicholls believes the offending meat — which looked disturbingly brain-like — was actually a piece of offal (possibly a lung or a kidney).
According to Metro, a KFC spokesman responded, “Most of the time offal is removed in the preparation process, but occasionally it may remain.”
Nicholls says the outlet where he bought the offending food didn’t give him a refund, instead telling him to complain to the company.
A man is facing charges of battery after allegedly hitting a Walmart worker in the face with a bag of potato chips.
According to The Smoking Gun, 61-year-old James Roberston, an ex-convict, was arrested last week after a dustup with a female employee at a Walmart in Gainesville, Florida (where else?).
The employee, Tara Haynes, reportedly refused to make a sale to the man (we don’t know why), and poor Robertson grew rather heated. When Haynes asked him to leave the store, he reportedly lashed out, throwing the bag of chips at her face. Though she got hit in the mug and the upper chest, she apparently wasn’t injured.
Robertson was charged with misdemeanor battery and freed on his own recognizance. He was also banned from ever going back to that Walmart.
A Dollar General employee in Tennessee is facing serious charges after police say he allegedly raped two women after catching them shoplifting. He was finally arrested 10 months after the incident.
The NY Daily News reports that Robert Lindlau was working his shift in the spring of 2015 when he allegedly noticed two women, ages 32 and 44, stealing from the store.
Instead of calling police, or calling the general manager, the report says the 38-year-old escorted the women to a back office. He reportedly told the women it would be “about an hour” before police could make it there. What the women didn’t know was the police were never called.
The report says Lindlau allegedly made the women undress and perform oral sex on him.
Police told the NY Daily News the victims “were in fear for their safety and felt that they had no choice but to comply with Mr. Lindlau’s demands.”
After the assault, the women told authorities Lindlau allowed them to leave the store, and they were even allowed to take some of the items they were allegedly caught taking in the first place.
Lindlau is facing two counts of rape. It’s unclear on why it took so long to bring formal charges forward.
An Indiana house dubbed the “demon house” has been demolished by none other than Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans.
Huffington Post reports that the host and producer purchased the problematic home in early 2014. Though Bagans knocked down the dwelling two weeks ago, he now plans to create a documentary detailing the demon house and all its oddities.
What makes this home so unsettling? One of the home’s last residents, Latoya Ammons, sought every type of help imaginable after she reportedly saw family members levitate and convulse for no reason.
Living there from November 2011 to May 2012, she documented how her three children’s behavior went past the point of bizarre — something that was backed up by officials. One child was described as walking backwards all the way up a wall, doing a flip, and then landing on his feet. Another kid was allegedly picked up and thrown into a wall by an unseen force.
Bagans has interviewed police and a Department of Children Services worker close to the case. However, he hasn’t said whether the documentary would include Ammons or her family, according to the Indy Star.
“Something was inside that house that had the ability to do things that I have never seen before — things that others carrying the highest forms of credibility couldn’t explain either,”Bagans wrote to the Indy Star in an email. “There was something there that was very dark yet highly intelligent and powerful.”
The passengers on Delta Flight 2598 got an unusual surprise on the January 22 flight. Instead of the usual movie for in-flight entertainment, as the flight was approaching its halfway point, a fist fight broke out between two of the flight attendants on the crew.
The two female crew members were reportedly having a disagreement over what Delta Airlines described as “work issues” when the whole thing went to blows. According to reports, a third woman tried to break up the fight, but ended up getting hit for her efforts.
When informed of the melee, the pilot diverted the airplane — which was traveling to Minneapolis from Los Angeles — to Salt Lake City to sort out the problem. The plane was on the ground there for over an hour while the flight attendants were removed from the airplane. Delta declined to comment to reporters on whether the flight attendants involved in the fight were punished. There are also no reports on whether the flight attendants were dealt with by Salt Lake City police.
The flight resumed course to Minneapolis with no further incident, with the passengers arriving approximately 75 minutes late. According to reports, all passengers on that flight received an apology letter from the airline. Passengers who were Delta SkyMiles members received an undisclosed number of miles, while those who weren’t received ticket vouchers.
A blogger and activist known for his controversial stance on rape is planning meetups of like-minded men to take place around the world.
Daryush Valizadeh of Maryland is not only an alleged misogynist, but he has gained quite an internet following as pickup artist Roosh V. According to the New York Daily News, the 36-year-old announced meetups in 43 countries on Saturday — with 100 meetups to take place in the U.S.
On his website Return of Kings, Roosh caused international outrage when he penned “How to Stop Rape,” a piece that advocates that rape should be legal on private property. His reasoning? That doing this would force women to take responsibility for drinking and allow men to live without fear of going to jail.
Needless to say, the post didn’t go over well. After facing tons of criticism, he claimed the piece was satirical.
While people are calling for these events to be cancelled — and some Australians want him to be banned from their country altogether — Snopes attempted to separate fact from fiction involving the meetups. While Return of Kings is known for rape advocacy and anti-women stances, the website claims their events aren’t being billed as “Make Rape Legal” protests. Snopes also said it’s unclear how many people will attend or how women who decide to show up might be greeted.
Though pickup artist Jake Allen was banned from the Land Down Under last month, Roosh V says he plans to head there to “show how weak and impotent the Australian government is.”
A dude with a very, um, special name is making waves after being accused of assaulting a campus police officer and a sheriff’s deputy at Evergreen State College in Washington State.
Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop, 34, has reportedly been charged with two counts of first-degree assault, third-degree assault, as well as other charges of malicious mischief and malicious harassment.
After resisting arrest when a cop confronted him about tearing down fliers at the college library, the man allegedly bit the cop’s finger and tried to stab the officer with a pen. He also allegedly tried to snatch the cop’s gun, and, according to court documents, “retrieved a handcuff case and swung it like a hammer, causing a laceration on the officer’s head.”
The officer was reportedly taken to the hospital for a tetanus shot and four staples in his head.
The perp, who was reportedly listed as homeless, legally changed his name to Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop in 2011. His birth name was a totally respectable — if ho-hum — one: Jeffrey Drew Wilschke.
The Epoch Times notes that a few years back, the accused man explained to the Wisconsin State Journal the profound meaning of his newfangled first name: “the explosion of awareness of the interconnectedness of the infinite love in the universe.”
He reportedly said Doo-doo meant “the struggle of our daily lives with that awareness, that with love comes chaos,” while Zopittybop-bop-bop signifies “…the outcome of that struggle, which is often ironic, especially because all life ends in death.”
He was reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia at some point, but refused treatment and said he actually suffered from depression and PTSD from being homeless. He’s being held on $50,000 bail, according to KTVB.
Michael Emrick of Ambridge is proof that sometimes, you really can judge a book by its cover.
Police were called to a Sheetz store in Baden, Pennsylvania, on January 27 in response to what was described as a retail theft in progress. When police arrived, they were told that the alleged shoplifter had ducked into a pickup truck that was still on the premises.
That driver, later identified as Emrick, 36, ignored the cops’ requests to stop and turn off the truck. According to the police report obtained by The Smoking Gun, officers tried to use a Taser on Emrick, but it didn’t work. Emrick reportedly stepped on the gas as one of the police officers became tangled in the truck’s mirror and ended up being dragged a few feet.
After driving down roads, through woods, and even through local homeowners’ lawns, one of the officers finally caught and tackled Emrick as he was trying to run into the woods after ditching the truck.
Emrick now faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault and retail theft. Police were amused when they noticed the man’s t-shirt, which proclaimed “Really Good At Making Really Bad Decisions.” Considering that Emrick’s rap sheet goes back almost 20 years, we can’t disagree.