This Week in Weird, Dec. 4

Staff reports

Ziggy the cat found after fire

CANTON, Ohio - Ziggy the missing cat likely hid while the veterinary clinic that was his home filled with smoke Tuesday night.

Dr. Richard Wade of the Canton Veterinary Hospital, his wife and daughter worried the feisty feline may have bolted from the front door when firefighters arrived to put out the blaze. The cat usually wanders the clinic, frequently greeting other pet owners.

“We left food out but he didn’t get into it. He had to have been here the whole time,” Wade said Thursday, grinning as he held the cat. “The doors weren’t open or anything (since the fire). There would’ve been no way for him to get out.”

Wade had put out food in the back of the clinic Wednesday in the hope that Ziggy would make an appearance. He and his family asked neighbors and clients to call should they find the cat in the neighborhood.

But it left some evidence (cat feces) by the front door Thursday morning that tipped Wade off that white cat was still inside the clinic.

He began revisiting possible hiding spots, including the one his assistant technician Tracy Dragos had shown him the day before.

That’s where he found Ziggy, covered in soot and cowering in the back corner of a recessed counter in the pharmacy area where a trash can was stored — “way in the back,” Wade said.

Mother arrested after son is

CLINTON, Tenn. - Tailgating, getting angry, blocking a garage door and making racial slurs at a sheriff's office deputy led to charges being filed against an Andersonville mother on Thanksgiving Day, all because her son got arrested.

Sarah Jane Stooksbury, 59, was charged with resisting arrest, aggravated criminal trespassing, assault, violation of the registration law, following too closely and disobedience to a police officer.

Her son Robert Duane Stooksbury, 39, was charged with aggravated assault.

Robert Stooksbury was arrested first, a few minutes after 6 p.m., after he allegedly shot at a man who came to his house to invite him to his home for Thanksgiving dinner.

On the way to jail, Deputy Mark Hobbs noticed Stooksbury's mother's car was directly behind his patrol car. He reported that the car was so close he could see only part of the hood.

Hobbs further reported that as he sped up, so did Sarah Stooksbury.

Hobbs then radioed jail personnel to close the sallyport door when he arrived with Robert Stooksbury. However, Sarah Stooksbury drove her car into the port so the door couldn't be lowered, reports said.

Sarah Stooksbury refused to back up her car and said she wasn't leaving until her son was released from custody, reports said.

She got out of the car when deputies approached, and when Hobbs tried to detain her, she hit him in the face with her hand, which was holding a cell phone.

Reports said she told Hobbs to "get my Mexican hands off her" and that she wasn't going to jail and would "call his boss."

At least two deputies and a Clinton police officer reportedly witnessed the incident - which was also caught on the jail's surveillance cameras.

Robert Stooksbury was later released after posting a $10,000 bond. His mother was later released after posting a $14,000 bond.

Police say driver struck 6 cars in mall garage

NATICK, Mass. - A Framingham man brought extra turmoil to what was already one of the busiest shopping days of the year at the Natick Collection last Saturday, police said.

Dylan Laird, 18, faces a slew of charges after authorities said he smashed a car into at least six other cars in the mall's parking garage.

Police said Laird, who first sideswiped a Jetta and hit the rear bumper of a Prius, drove the car without proof of registration or insurance. The one license plate on the car - which was tacked onto the front bumper - was stolen.

Witnesses told officers that Laird drove fast and recklessly around the parking garage around 4:30 p.m., police said.

Laird failed to stop after striking the first two vehicles. When asked for insurance information, he swore at one motorist before taking off, police spokesman Lt. Brian Grassey said.

Laird tried to drive away after mall security was notified, police said. He struck four more cars before getting out of the car and running east out of the parking deck.

Police found Laird talking on his cell phone outside the nearby Hampton Inn.

Police charged Laird with disorderly conduct, driving after a license suspension, three counts of leaving the scene of property damage, reckless driving, attaching plates that are not assigned to a car, driving an unregistered and uninsured car, and receiving stolen property worth less than $250.

Student's science project goes awry; firefighters respond

LAKE TWP., Ohio - When a high school student told his teachers that he tried to duplicate a science experiment at home, teachers got worried things could go awry.

The experiment — one that involved mixing household chemicals and fertilizers — kept the Stark County Hazmat unit and Uniontown Volunteer Fire Department units busy Thursday afternoon.

The combination created a volatile mixture that gave off chlorine gas and made hydrochloric acid. The amount was small, but still could be harmful.

The Lake High School student takes a horticulture class at Marlington High School and explained his experiment to teachers Thursday morning. Teachers decided to take precautions and headed for the student’s home.

School officials called police, who then sought assistance from firefighters. The fire department decided to bring in the hazmat unit to be certain the chemicals were disposed of properly.

“Just a lot of resources were consumed,” Uniontown Fire Lt. Jason Hamblin said.

GateHouse News Service