This Week in Weird, April 9

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

‘Poocasso’ receives one-year jail sentence

RIPLEY, W.Va. - The man charged with redecorating a convenience store bathroom using his feces will spend a year in jail for raising such a stink.

Randy Lee Holcomb, 47, was arrested March 24 on one count of destruction of property for allegedly defacing the bathroom at Gary’s Beverage and Video Inc. in Ravenswood using his feces. 

According to the complaint filed by Ravenswood Police Patrolman B.A. Fox, on March 17, Holcomb entered Gary’s Beverage and Video appearing very intoxicated.

The complaint states the Holcomb repeatedly called the clerk “Honey” and kept asking her if he could use the store’s bathroom. The clerk refused to allow Holcomb to use the restroom, as it was marked for employees only. However Holcomb ignored the denial and went into the bathroom anyway. After using the restroom, Holcomb left the store.

After Holcomb left, the clerk said she began to smell a “terrible odor” coming from the bathroom. When she went to check the bathroom, she discovered feces smeared all over the walls, floor, doorknob, light switch and toilet itself.

Last week, Holcomb appeared before Magistrate Tom Reynolds for entry of a plea in the case. At that proceeding, Holcomb pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor act of destruction of property. 

Reynolds sentenced Holcomb to one year in jail, and he was assessed $159.50 in court costs. A previous 90-day suspended sentence for an unrelated brandishing a deadly weapon charge was ordered to be served concurrently with the current sentence. 

Car dealership employee accused in car theft

JACKSON TWP., Ohio - Police on Monday arrested a car dealership finance employee accused of fleeing with one of the dealership’s cars, helping to steal another and having crack cocaine.

Stark County Jail records said Thomas M. Lammlein, 36, was working in the finance department of Spitzer Chevrolet when Kevin S. Spitzer gave him permission 3:30 p.m. Friday to take home a white 2010 Chevrolet Impala.

Jail records said he failed to return the vehicle on Monday after Spitzer tried several times to get the car back.

According to jail records, Lammlein entered the dealership between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. Monday, removed keys to a 2008 Cadillac, removed the license plate on the vehicle to replace it with a dealership plate then gave the keys to another person. The Cadillac was then removed from the lot.

Jail records said Perry Township police were notified about the vehicles after North Canton police issued a “missing person/endangered adult” bulletin.

OnStar, the security and communication system available in some General Motors vehicles, provided Perry police with the Impala’s location, and Perry police stopped the car at 2:52 p.m. Monday.

Jail records said that officers noticed a clear plastic bag fly out of the car as Lammlein got out. The officers found the bag on the top of the car trunk. Jail records said it contained what officers believed to be crack cocaine.

The jail records also said Lammlein told the officers where the Cadillac could be found.

Lammlein was booked into the jail on charges of complicity to grand theft of a motor vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle and cocaine possession, jail records said.

Motorcycle lawn ornament stops people in their tracks

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - If you’re driving down North Fifth Street in Springfield, watch out for the giant attack robot.

At roughly 10 feet tall, it’s hard to miss, standing on the east side of the street with one menacing, red eye visible behind a metal visor.

The robot is guarding the end of the driveway of its creator, Travis Taylor, a handyman-turned-artist who works out of a shed behind his house.

Taylor said he built it mostly from a broken-down motorcycle his nephew was hoping to restore.

“He was gone one day, and I had some metal laying around and got to thinking about it,” Taylor said. “I just chopped it up and started building it.”

The final product has recognizable motorcycle parts: the gas tank is the head, the exhaust pipes extend down the back like a jet pack, the drive chain is draped through an arm-mounted Gatling gun like an ammunition belt.

But there are non-motorcycle parts, too. The pelvis is made from a piece of an old weight-lifting machine, and there’s a large soup can in the middle of the torso.

Almost every component of Taylor’s sculptures is reclaimed material, much of it obtained from friends and family — like a Pabst Brewing Co. keg he dug out of the mud at a friend’s dad’s farm. It was stamped with a “74” — indicating the year it was produced — and still had beer inside.

The keg is part of his next large sculpture, which he is keeping under wraps until he’s ready to unveil it.

“It’s about making something out of nothing, with next to nothing,” Taylor said. “My most high-tech tool is this welder. I have a welder and a grinder and that’s it.”

6-foot-long snake fished out of lake

MEYERS LAKE, Ohio - Suzi Spotleson used to swim off her dock at Meyers Lake. After Monday night, she isn’t sure she will continue. Not after looking out of the window above her kitchen sink and seeing something floating in the water.

It was about 6:15 p.m. Monday when Spotleson went outside to investigate. What she found was a 6-foot-long snake she believed was a python — turns out it was a boa constrictor.

“When I first saw it, I thought it was a turtle,” she said, surprised by the find. “Then I went down to investigate.”

Fortunately, the snake was dead by the time it reached her home. Neighbor Kent Smith used a net to fish it out of the water.

State wildlife officials say it likely is an abandoned pet, since such large snakes aren’t indigenous to northeastern Ohio.

“Considering it is not native to Ohio, if it was a python, I would assume it was a pet,” said Jamey Graham, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “Pythons just could not survive (on their own) our winters.”

Neither could boa constrictors, said Stephon Echague, wildlife rehabilitation supervisor for the Stark County Park District Sanders Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers, who identified the snake from a photo.

Spotleson believes it was someone’s pet that either got away on its own or was set free because it probably got too big.

Surviving the shock of finding the snake in her own backyard, so to speak, Spotleson said there will be one major change in her lifestyle now.

“We swim in the lake right off the dock but now, I am not so sure I will go back in,” she said, noting that she has lived there since 2005.

“I’ve seen turtles, but this is like having a Loch Ness Monster in the lake. It is disturbing. I won’t be swimming in there for a few months, at least.”

GateHouse News Service