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STRANGE BUT TRUE

Red in the Face
The City of Aurora apologized after printing a community-services directory for Vietnamese immigrants whose cover featured the flag of the Communist government many of the same people had fled from in terror.

I Found It!
The Christian Booksellers Convention in Denver featured such items as Jesus toenail clippers, Angel erasers, "Taste of Heaven Jelly Beans" and a "Post Rapture Milk Carton" that included the words, "Have you seen these people?"

They Were Teed Off
A Lafayette couple sought an injunction against the Indian Peaks golf course after alleging that their $500,000 home near the eighteenth hole was being "bombarded by golf balls."

Basket Case
Organizers of the America's Challenge balloon race in New Mexico took first prize away from a Colorado team because the group had bumped into too many other balloons during the race and accidentally dropped an oxygen tank during lift-off.

Different Strokes
Officials closed Boulder's Spruce Pool after swimmers complained that white paint from the sides of the pool was sticking to their skin and bathing suits. Authorities said the pool apparently had been filled before the paint dried.

DIA Diary, Part One
"United...uh...367 going around. There's somebody on the runway."--Pilot of a United Airlines jet who saw a DIA work truck beaaneath his plane while attempting to land during an October 23 snowstorm.

"Are we getting someone out there to chase this guy off?"--Exasperated DIA air-traffic controller.

Bagging the Limit
After two hunters died in shooting accidents within the first two weeks of hunting season, state authorities sought to allay fears by noting that, in the old days, Colorado commonly lost an average of sixteen to seventeen hunters per year.

Is That a Piece of Plutonium in Your Pocket or Are You Just Glad to See Me?
A Colorado State University professor made plans to finally conduct tests on the sex organs of people who had died while living near the Rocky Flats nuclear bomb factory. The private parts had been saved in a freezer in New Mexico since the mid-1970s but were never tested for radiation because of a lack of funds. The professor said he wanted to test the tissue because he had come across unanswered questions while studying the urine of people living near the plant.

Give That Man a Hand
After his right thumb was severed when his horse stepped on it during the saddle-bronc riding competition at the National Western Rodeo, cowboy Robert Etbauer calmly picked up the digit and walked out of the arena. A spokesman for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association told the Associated Press that Etbauer later described the incident as "the dangdest thing."

Our Robbers, Ourselves
The Women's Bank in downtown Denver was held up by an armed woman.
That's Nothing Compared With the Cost of Wiping Up That Grey Poupon Spill

Federal officials estimated the cost of destroying tons of mustard gas still stored at the Pueblo Depot Activity at $953 million.

Mutiny on the Bounties
A Norwood man whose underage daughters found the bones of a missing Grand Junction woman complained when he didn't receive the $50,000 reward offered for information on her whereabouts.

The brother-in-law of the man who confessed to killing U-Haul heiress Eva Berg Shoen five years ago in Telluride sued in San Miguel County Court, demanding that Shoen's family come through with a $250,000 reward it had offered for information leading to the killer.

DIA Diary, Part Two
"May I have your attention. MarkAir has gone bankrupt and we are out of business. You are advised to collect your baggage at Carousel 19."--Public-address announcement when the discount airline, down to two planes, folded October 24.

Someone to Watch Over You
An Arapahoe County man was arrested after his Swedish au pairs discovered he had installed a secret camera to videotape them in the bathroom of his home. Police investigators faced the daunting prospect of viewing 350 hours of videotape to see who else might have been caught in the act.

A 53-year-old landlord in Eldorado Springs was sent to prison for installing a two-way mirror through which he spied on female tenants. His punishment included erecting a sign in front of his rental units reading, "No female renters allowed by Judge Thomas Reed."

US West fired several employees after an investigation revealed that the workers were listening in on the phone calls of unsuspecting customers.

In an attempt to prove an ethnic intimidation lawsuit, Evergreen's Aronson family, using a scanner, taped so many private phone conversations by their neighbors the Quigleys--including talks between the Quigleys' young son and his grandfather--that the transcripts consumed 1,200 pages.

Lone Steer State
A teenage driver trying to splash water on fans at an Aurora soccer game lost control of his car and plowed into the stands, injuring four people.  

After a Fort Collins woman left her station wagon running while she ducked into a convenience store, her two-year-old daughter put the car in gear, driving it through the store's front window.

...And a Free Ticket to The Accidental Tourist
After the State Armory bar in Greeley discarded a green Mylar ballon used in a St. Patrick's Day celebration, the balloon floated to Arkansas, where a fisherman found a sales receipt attached to the string and mailed it back. Bar manager Dan Hagemeister told the man he'd buy him a beer if he ever came to Greeley.

But He Really Got in Touch With Himself
A sixteen-year-old boy from Torreon, Mexico, who was in Colorado to take part in a five-week wilderness survival program was lost for five days in the backcountry. When rescuers found him, he had nothing but a whistle.

Somebody Call the American Civil Libertines Union!
After state legislators proposed a bill making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to work as a topless dancer, the operator of the Mile High Saloon in Glendale accused lawmakers of practicing "age discrimination."

Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shortly after the opening of Denver's new central library, patrons mysteriously began falling to the ground as they walked out of the east entrance. Officials determined that a botched construction job had caused a set of steps to blend in with the sidewalk as shadows grew longer in the afternoon.

Ken Was Taken Into Custody
A Lakewood burglary suspect told police he entered a home because he saw two naked Barbie dolls in the backyard and thought the residents might be swingers who "wanted to play."

DIA Diary, Part Three
Headline from the front page of the July 18 Denver Post: "DIA Noise Breaks Accord." The story described how jet noise at the airport was causing numerous complaints. Headline from the business section of the Post the same day: "DIA Project Breaks Ground." The story described the planned development of a residential community six miles west of the airport.

Go for the Busto
Anheuser-Busch took down a billboard in Fort Collins after residents complained that it was too suggestive. The ad featured a bosomy woman in a bathing suit, down on all fours, with a beer can placed "provocatively" beside her.

Going, Going...Gone
An Aurora man's car was stolen from the drive-up lane of a Colfax Avenue Taco Bell after he got out to urinate behind a building.

I Hate It When That Happens!
A 23-year-old El Paso County man was taken to a hospital after falling from a pine tree while naked.

A Denver man was burned after he climbed a power line to get a wallet he had thrown onto the wires.

A Littleton woman suffered minor burns after the flame from a dessert flambe shot out at her while she was standing next to a cooking display.

A tourist from California visiting Pagosa Springs suffered a large welt in his groin after a bullet fired into the air by a rancher a mile away hit the zipper on his pants while he was filling his tank at a gas station.

Put Him in Cell 36-C
Hundreds of bras were slashed--on the right cup only--by "The Playtex Vandal," who struck lingerie departments in local discount stores. Officials arrested a 63-year-old retired trash collector, who denied slashing the bras but admitted he had purchased the pair of size-ten women's underwear he was wearing when taken into custody.

The Bad-Humor Man
Douglas County sheriff's deputies investigated two alleged assaults on an ice-cream truck driver who was continually pelted by L-shaped pieces of wire as he drove his route. Authorities said a youth was seen running from the scene of the attacks, which may have been carried out with a crossbow.

DIA Diary, Part Four
The most distant point from which DIA officials received a noise complaint: Durango, 250 miles away.

Typical Mail Behavior
An Arvada woman complained to police that her mailbox had been the victim of "unprovoked beatings." Officers assured her that they would send extra patrols to protect the structure.

She Came Out Through the Bathroom Window
A real estate agent allegedly stole jewelry and a camera from a woman whose house she had been hired to sell--and then locked the homeowner in the bathroom when the client became suspicious.

He Gave 'em a Pisa His Mind
An Arvada man pulled over for drunk driving and ordered to take a roadside sobriety test told police officers he had a liver and kidney condition that caused him to lean to one side.

Down by Law
Prosecutors alleged that a woman illegally collected more than $7,000 in unemployment payments while working for the Denver District Attorney's office. She had been hired to collect and distribute victim restitution payments.  

He Offered Some Smokin' Deals
A thirty-year-old Boulder man was arrested after bringing 65 baggies of marijuana to sell at the city's open-air farmers' market.

Innocent Till Proven Guilt-Free
Attorneys for teenage burglar Jeffrey Nowman, shot and paralyzed by Capitol Hill resident Robert Coleman following an attempted break-in last December, successfully convinced a judge that their client should receive no jail time because he had "suffered enough." Six months later Nowman was charged with aggravated robbery for pulling a stickup from his wheelchair.

Attorneys for Robert Coleman successfully convinced a judge that their client should receive no jail time because he was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and had momentarily reverted back to his former identity as a San Diego police officer when he fired the shot that struck Nowman.

First You Place Your Hands Around His Neck...
A twelve-year-old boy convicted of helping to kill a man by kicking him to death was ordered by a Denver judge to undergo "holding therapy" designed for kids who have trouble with "attachment."

Officers on Patrol
A Denver police officer backed his squad car over an 84-year-old nun while pursuing a man he saw urinating at the state capitol.

While leaving the office after his first day on the job, Walsenburg police chief Joel Shuls was hit by a car driven by one of his own officers.

Emergency vehicles responding to a chain-reaction collision on I-25 were involved in at least four accidents themselves.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent convicted of threatening the life of a Sedalia bar owner during a drinking binge was sentenced to six months in jail.

A nineteen-year-old Colorado man managed to steal a patrol car belonging to two Utah state troopers even though he was handcuffed and strapped into the front passenger seat.

The sheriff of Clear Creek County pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in a domestic-violence incident with his wife. She told officers her husband lost his balance during an argument and fell on her, breaking her ankle in three places.

Police in Fort Collins stationed an officer in a lawn chair along busy streets to nab speeders.

Denver sheriff's deputies mistakenly booked a female prostitute into the city jail as a man. She had sex with two male inmates before authorities realized their error.

Well, Excuuuse Me!
A man who shot to death a popular Chinese restaurant owner in the Republic Plaza food court said his Oriental culture required him to commit the murder to avoid "losing face."

An attorney for Eugene Bayliss, accused of killing two people and wounding two others during a shooting spree at a Colorado Springs bar, argued that the fact that his client could have killed everyone in the bar but didn't proved he was innocent. Bayliss went to the bar armed with an AK-47 rifle, a 9mm handgun and four hand grenades, allegedly to "seek respect" from a biker who had shot him with a pellet gun during a traffic altercation. The jury acquitted Bayliss, who was living in a bunker on his parents' farm at the time of the trial.

Colorado Springs resident Francisco Martin Duran claimed he believed he was firing at an evil mist that had descended over the White House when he fired several shots at the president's residence last year. According to Duran, he feared the mist would enter Bill Clinton's brain and force him to destroy the world.

They Really Baubled the Job
Thieves in search of 500 diamond rings being held at a Westminster jewelry store broke down several doors in a shopping mall before they figured out which one was the jewelry store. They absconded with dozens of cubic zirconia samples worth roughly $2 apiece.

Pushing the Envelope
Denver police were called to a downtown post office after postal workers complained that a co-worker had called them names, including "roly-poly ass" and "wackadoo."

A female employee at the same downtown post office accused a male colleague of sexually harassing her by making "lewd, filthy remarks regarding my female anatomy." She later entered the "Biggest Butt Contest" sponsored by radio station KRFX/ The Fox and took third prize after a series of events that included sitting on a standard-sized toilet seat and having her overhang measured.

A fifty-year-old Denver postal clerk was arrested and held without bail after he showed up for work wearing a dress, a gorilla mask and a "strap-on sexual device."

Four Denver postal workers faced misdemeanor charges after allegedly tampering with letter-sorting machines in an attempt to annoy their supervisor and get longer breaks.  

Longmont postal workers protested when a co-worker they had accused of harassing them came back to work. The 56-year-old technician had first gotten into trouble in 1986 when he punched a co-worker for calling him a "rinky-dink."

An Aurora letter carrier whose customers reported receiving greeting cards already opened was taken into custody after allegedly failing to deliver a television set mailed as part of a police sting operation.

A Postal Service inspector made the Montrose postmaster hand over a gun he kept in his car. Employees had complained that the postmaster had a gun at the same time he was being investigated for sexual harassment.

Houston, We Have a Problem
A Westminster woman blown off a sofa after work crews ruptured a natural gas line near her home claimed in a lawsuit that she had post-traumatic stress disorder. Said her attorney, "Her life has not been the same since the house blew up."

Say Aaarrgghh!
A male nurse at the Mount View Detention Center was injured when he bit his tongue after a boy jumped on his back during an examination.

Ski Country, U.S.A.
Cable network MTV filmed three weeks of programming in Aspen, including shows on the Lift Line Love Connection, dog sledding, apres-ski parties and the entrance of a Beavis and Butt-head float in Aspen's Winterskol.

Skiers and snowboarders in Vail got ready to rumble after a snowboarder and a skier collided on the Columbine run. Said one participant, "The snowboarder was acting like a wild animal."

The Wall Street Journal reported that Colorado resorts were sending spies into one another's camps in an attempt to steer business away from competitors.

The owner of the Vail Racquet Club died after skiing into a tree.

Thanks for Dropping In
A man who survived a 300-foot fall from Lookout Mountain was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital, where he reportedly jumped out of his hospital-room window and disappeared. Officers were told to be on the lookout for a man wearing a cast.

Where the Wild Things Were
Authorities apprehended a 46-year-old man suspected of shooting cattle in southern Colorado. According to the deputy DA who prosecuted the case, the offender "didn't like cows."

Two men were arrested for allegedly stealing five hedgehogs from a Loveland pet store and taking them for a late-night joy ride.

A Montezuma County couple obtained Colorado's first-ever commercial snake-pit license for a seven-foot-deep reptile display two miles east of Mesa Verde National Park.

The state Division of Wildlife hired a Center man full-time to track bears in the San Luis Valley.

A Jefferson County man entered a plea of not guilty to seven misdemeanor counts after shooting a black bear and her two cubs. The man said he thought the mother bear, who was in a tree at the time, was about to attack him.

After finding "suspicious" footprints in her yard, a Sheridan woman told police she believed someone was casing her house. Officers concluded the tracks had been made by a squirrel.

Aurora police took 25 cats and 200 guns from a home ankle-deep in cat dung. Said one officer, "You couldn't spend more than a minute in there without thinking you had to run outside and puke."

U.S. Customs agents arrested a Denver man accused of offering rhinoceros horns for sale.

An Ohio tourist shot a horse out from under a Beulah man, thinking it was an elk.

Federal wildlife agents were called in after a rare black-footed ferret named Sabrina died while in government custody.

Professional rodeo cowboy Ty Murray, after paying a $50,000 fine for "bulldogging" (wrestling to the ground) a wild elk: "I had about $50,000 worth of fun, so I figured I came out all right on the deal."

Police confiscated two Bengal tiger cubs from an Agate man after pulling him over for a traffic violation.

Somebody stabbed a giant inflatable gorilla promoting a radio station at a downtown food festival.

Answer the Damn Ad Yourself
The University of Denver issued a call for volunteers to participate in a study of "couples who fight."

"Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Mr. Jerry Goodbar. Please Pick Up a White Courtesy Phone."
Police detained Los Angeles businessman Jerry Goodbar for unlawful carrying of a weapon after he tried to take an unloaded hunting rifle through a security checkpoint at DIA.

A Taste of Colorado
Police arrested a man for marijuana possession after he fell asleep in his still-running car while waiting in the drive-through lane of a Church's Fried Chicken restaurant.

A traffic altercation in Castle Rock mushroomed out of control after one man hit another with a partially eaten burrito.  

Twelve Colorado Springs high school students were arrested in a "hell week" hazing incident that allegedly involved tying three freshmen to a tree, smearing them with soy sauce, syrup, shaving cream, Vaseline and cat food and leaving them in the woods.

A Denver man charged with putting varnish on his wife's hair, causing clumps of it to fall out, insisted the substance was actually honey and chocolate syrup being used as part of an agreed-upon sexual encounter. According to a police report, foodstuffs were a regular part of the couple's sex life.

A nineteen-year-old CU freshman frat boy nearly died after being bound with an extension cord, duct-taped to a chair and forced to drink more than a pint of Jack Daniels and a forty-ounce bottle of beer.

Authorities found a corpse near Limon with peanut butter smeared on its face and hands.

Two robbers forced a Little Caesar's employee in Boulder to open the store safe, then tied him to a chair and poured pizza sauce on him.

A Boulder restaurateur was ordered to pay a vegetarian client $463 after it was revealed he had used anchovies in the client's favorite vegetarian pasta dish.

DIA Diary, Part Five
While a corporate film crew for United Airlines was getting footage of the carrier's new 777 jet at Denver International, the crew's high-intensity lights set off the airport's fire alarm, triggering automatic cannons that shot fire-fighting foam over the plane, the hangar and the film crew. A United operations manager said of the resulting mess, "Picture the Little Rascals putting the whole box of detergent in the washing machine." Airport officials said they were glad to know their automatic sensors were working properly.

Actual Calls to the Rocky Mountain Poison Center
A man suffered serious burns when he shocked himself with a car battery in an attempt to treat a snakebite.

A man with a cold used a pine-oil cleaner instead of cooking oil to fry a steak.

After being bitten on the hand by a rattlesnake, a man cut his hand off to keep the poison from spreading.

A woman mistook a tube of hair remover for face cream and lost her eyebrows in the process.

Conversion Therapy
The Cornerstone Baptist Church in Colorado Springs continued to get into hot water by baptizing children without their parents' permission. In the latest episode, a Jewish mother who allowed her son to go to Sunday school with a playmate grew suspicious when he returned home with wet hair.

Don't Worry, Be Happy
An Adams County Social Services supervisor tried to relieve stress among staff members by screening Disney's The Lion King during working hours.

They're Always on the Clock, Aren't They?
A group of Fort Collins lawyers determined to fix a clock in the courthouse law library that had been stopped at 3:30 as long as anyone could remember were themselves stopped at the last minute by an old-timer. He told them the timepiece had been left that way intentionally as a tribute to the exact moment the old courthouse had shut down.

Let Us Spray
More than 800 students were sent home from Panorama Middle School in Colorado Springs after someone set off pepper spray in the boys' restroom.

A thirteen-year-old Commerce City boy was arrested for squirting pepper spray in his science class at Kearney Middle School.

A woman involved in an argument with another woman at a Douglas County Burger King pulled a can of pepper spray on a bystander who had intervened.

A man was shot after he threatened a fifteen-year-old boy with a can of pepper spray aboard an RTD bus.

Six students at Kepner Middle School in Denver were sent to Denver General Hospital after pepper spray permeated a classroom.

Greenwood Village police using pepper spray to break up a riot at a high school football game accidentally doused twelve innocent students.

Packing Irony
A man who two years ago shot and killed a seventeen-year-old boy during a traffic altercation in Colorado Springs applied this year for a concealed-weapons permit with the El Paso County sheriff's office.

Actual Jokes Written for Mayor Wellington Webb by Denver DJs Lewis & Floorwax
"They say we've been having trouble with the bags at the airport. I say mothers-in-law have as much right to travel as anybody else."

"Everybody's talking about what a big deal it was to get 1 million men to Washington, D.C. Hey, we get 70,000 people walking out of Mile High Stadium in the third quarter every Sunday."

"People ask me if I live in Denver because I like the mountains. I say no, I'm a leg man."  

"I don't think any mayor is as funny as I am--but that Marion Barry's a crackup!"

More Proof That the End of the World Is Coming
The Colorado Symphony Orchestra's recording with John Tesh at Red Rocks rose to the top of Billboard magazine's instrumental-album charts. Said an orchestra spokesman, "Having a number-one record puts us on a national scale."

Coloradans for Family Values
A 33-year-old Longmont woman, nervous about her pregnancy, took a friend's advice to drink a glass of wine to relax. After consuming what she claimed were two and a half glasses of Chardonnay, she arrived at the hospital drunk and gave birth to an intoxicated baby.

A man was under investigation after rubbing a chile pepper on his two-and-a-half-year-old grandson's lip after the boy swore at him.

Police took a six-year-old Vineland girl's grandmother into custody after the elderly woman fired shots at a pickup truck full of departing relatives during a family dispute and hit the girl in the shoulder.

Police arrested a Lakewood man on assault charges for allegedly attacking his father for not giving him $5 to buy the fortieth-anniversary edition of Playboy.

A 47-year-old Fort Collins mother pleaded guilty to helping her son fake his own kidnapping.

Jefferson County sheriff's deputies arrested a thirteen-year-old Golden girl who tried to hire two seventeen-year-old boys to kill her mother because she was "too strict" and wouldn't allow the girl to talk on the phone long enough.

Twin Piques
Police were called to a home in Lakewood after seventeen-year-old twin brothers got drunk and refused to let their mother and her fiance leave the home "until they got their bong back."

Wheat Ridge police apprehended two four-year-old twin boys for stealing mail. The boys told police their mother made them do it.

DIA Diary, Part Six
An 85-year-old Michigan man was fatally crushed after he sat down on an oversize baggage carousel at the airport just before it began to move.

What's in a Name?
Dr. Sylvan Stool of Children's Hospital--an eye, ear, nose and throat man--donated 700 diapers to the hospital's annual diaper drive.

Bryan Scram, one of the metro area's top fifty fugitives, was arrested in Thornton after shoplifting $119 in merchandise from a Wal-Mart store.

Radio station KRKS fired outspoken talk-show host Bob Heckler.

Cary Stiff, co-editor of the Clear Creek Courant, was charged with third-degree sexual assault and harassment after allegedly masturbating while staring at two men in public vapor caves at the Indian Springs Resort.

Gary Cowman served as a spokesman for the Colorado Cattlemen's Association.

Information about Klondike and Snow was cheerfully provided by Denver Zoo spokeswoman Angela Baier.

Fort Lupton's Rebecca D. Furr campaigned against the wearing of animal pelts by human beings.

Amy Miracle was associate pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver.

A Denver gang member named "Half-Dead" was shot completely dead by another gangster.

What's in a Nickname?
A man dubbed "Mr. Hawaii" by local police held up area banks while wearing festive tropical shirts.

A judge refused bail for the "Mideast Bank Bandit," accused of robbing six banks in and around Denver.

Police in Greeley sought the "Mary Poppins Robber," a polite and soft-spoken woman suspected of holding up at least five banks in northern Colorado while wearing a scarf on her head.

This Is a Screwup
A man robbing a bank in Northglenn failed to notice that the only other customer in the bank at the time was wearing a shirt that read "Police." The officer shot him before he could escape.

Warning: Check Your HMO List
A Loveland psychiatrist was arrested for beating a woman unconscious in a fit of rage after a hospital security guard wouldn't let him see his girlfriend, who was delivering a baby.

Please Fill Out Form 85675959585748459450459847
The civil rights office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Denver was reprimanded by another government agency for violating an employee's civil rights.

DIA Diary, Part Seven
The city assigned public-affairs staffers to monitor broadcasts by Denver radio talk-show hosts critical of the airport.

What a Way to Go
A sixty-year-old La Jara man died when his .22-caliber revolver fell from its holster and fired a bullet back at him.

Two men in southwestern Colorado died when a tree fell across a road and landed on their moving car.

A Denver man died when a wheel flew off a passing van and landed on top of his car, crushing his head.

A 43-year-old Laird woman riding on a mattress in the bed of a pickup truck died when a gust of wind caught the mattress and flung her off the truck. A man in Colorado Springs who committed suicide by laying his head across a railroad track tried to record his own decapitation with a timer on his camera. Police who developed the film said the only picture on the roll showed the headlight of an oncoming train.  

A 22-year-old state Division of Wildlife officer drowned in the Colorado River while conducting a survey of the endangered Colorado squawfish.

A 39-year-old Denver man hanged himself from playground equipment in Wier Gulch Park the day after Halloween--and dangled for nearly 24 hours while neighbors assumed it was a Halloween prank.

An Avon hunter died after another hunter backed over his tent with his all-terrain utility vehicle.

A fifty-year-old Colorado Springs man trying to outrun police who saw him drive through a stop sign steered his Cadillac into the Big Johnson Reservoir and drowned.


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