When you turn to the news for information, you typically expect to see stories related to world news, politics, sports, weather, and entertainment. However, on occasion, a particular news story may not seem to fit into any of the traditional categories. The news stories on this list defy traditional journalism and remind us that the truth can sometimes be much stranger than fiction.
From legal professionals flinging poo to a convenience store bathroom that is transformed into a disco dance party with the push of a button to a giant Watusi bull riding shotgun inside a tricked-out car, ordinary news takes a back seat in these reports, so be fully prepared to expect the unexpected.
Here are ten bizarre news stories that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.
10 Attorney’s Poo-Filled Pringles “Prank” Leads to Suspension
On November 29, 2023, Jack A. Blakeslee, a criminal defense attorney in Caldwell, Ohio, was suspended by the Supreme Court of Ohio from practicing law for one year, with six months of that suspension stayed. His crime? Tossing a Pringles potato chip can full of his own feces in the parking lot of a victim advocacy center and “failing to control his own bizarre impulses.”
On the morning of November 30, 2021, Blakeslee defecated into an empty Pringles can and then left his home to attend a pretrial hearing for his client, who was a defendant in a capital murder case. However, as he drove past the Haven of Hope victim advocacy center in Cambridge, Ohio, which was scheduled to appear in court opposite of him in the trial, Blakeslee threw the Pringles can into the parking lot before heading to the courthouse. Carpenter Wilkinson, who works at the advocacy center, saw the incident and reported it to the police. Surveillance video also confirmed Blakeslee using the advocacy center as his “drop zone.”
Blakeslee claimed that he was not targeting anyone in particular but rather that he had thrown the feces-filled can to “blow off steam.” He also admitted that he had pulled the Pringles prank at least 10 times that year, imagining the “look of surprise” on the faces of anyone who found the cans.
Yet despite his claims of a poo prank, the court felt that Blakeslee’s misconduct required a suspension, stating, “His aberrant conduct has adversely reflected his own fitness to practice law and brought discredit to the profession through significant media attention.” Blakeless pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and littering.
9 Deceptive Diner Feigns Heart Attack to Escape Twenty Restaurant Bills
In September 2023, a 50-year-old Lithuanian man, only identified as Aidas J., ordered seafood paella and two whiskeys at the El Buen Comer restaurant tapería in Alicante, Spain. However, at the end of Aidas’s meal, Moisés Doménech, the restaurant manager, was told that Aidas was attempting to dine and dash, evading the outstanding bill of $36.75 (€34.85).
When Doménech confronted Aidas, Aidas claimed he was going to his hotel room to get cash, but regardless of his plea, the restaurant staff refused to let him leave. At that point, Aidas dramatically clutched his chest and fell to the floor as if he was having a heart attack. Despite his stellar performance, restaurant staff didn’t fall for the ruse and called the police rather than an ambulance.
However, this was not Aidas’s first attempt at dodging a restaurant bill. In fact, this was the 20th such incident within a year, making the conman well-known to the local police force. Apparently, Aidas was known to masquerade as a Russian tourist, dress in designer clothes, and visit fancy restaurants around Alicante.
Once inside the restaurant, he would begin his order with a Russian salad, drink multiple glasses of whiskey, enjoy a hearty main course of entrecote or lobster, and then have more whiskey for dessert. Each time, he would repeatedly fake heart attacks to get out of paying the bill. This time, however, Aidas was caught and jailed for 42 days.
8 Unconventional Quest to Satisfy Hot Pockets Craving
At approximately 3:30 am on May 27, 2020, police were dispatched to a Wells Fargo bank in Chollas View, a neighborhood in the southeastern portion of San Diego, California, after a burglary alarm sounded. However, this was not your typical burglary. Rather than someone looking for cash, the alarm company told police that surveillance cameras inside the bank captured a man inside a break room using the microwave.
When police arrived on the scene, they found a broken window near the bank’s drive-thru ATM. At that time, the security company was able to confirm that the suspect was still inside, so officers drew their guns and used a megaphone to tell the man inside to surrender and come out with his hands up. They then warned the suspect that a K-9 would be sent in if he did not surrender. After getting no response, the officers knocked the bank’s front door down and sent in a K-9 dog before entering the building to retrieve the suspect.
Moments later, officers were seen walking the man out of the bank, holding his hands behind his back. The unidentified man later told police that he was homeless and that he had broken into the bank to use the microwave and ate two Hot Pockets while inside. When the man was asked if the Hot Pockets were worth it, he responded, “Hell yeah, it was worth it.”
7 Airplane Forced to Make U-Turn Due to Diarrhea Incident
The Delta Airlines Airbus A350 had set out on time on the evening of September 1, 2023, for a flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to Barcelona, Spain. However, just slightly more than two hours after the plane’s departure, Delta Flight 194 was forced to return to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 336 passengers on board. While one might expect weather issues, fuel shortages, or technical reasons for the turnaround, that was not the case.
Unfortunately, there was an “onboard medical emergency” causing a messy trail of diarrhea left behind by a struggling passenger, which ultimately created a “biohazard” situation. Maintenance crews spent the next five hours cleaning the airplane and had to replace the aisle carpet ruined by the incident.
After a lengthy eight-hour delay, passengers (reportedly including the one suffering diarrhea) were allowed to re-board, and they finally landed in Barcelona without further incident around 5:16 pm local time on September 2, 2023.
6 Man Pulled Over with 2,200-Pound Bull Riding Shotgun
At approximately 10:05 am on August 30, 2023, officers in Norfolk, Nebraska, were dispatched on a call for a “vehicle with a cow inside” rolling through the town. While police assumed the bovine passenger would be a small calf that would actually fit inside the vehicle, what they discovered was anything but small.
Officers located Lee Meyers riding down US-257 with his enormous 2,200-pound (997-kilogram) half-Longhorn, half-Watusi African bull riding shotgun in a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria. The car’s roof on the passenger side had been removed so the animal could fit, and there was a yellow barrier on the side of the vehicle to keep the bull inside.
The bull, whose name is Howdy Doody, is a regular attraction at parades and fairs throughout the state, and the two were actually on their way to another small-town parade when they were stopped in Norfolk.
Norfolk Police Captain Chad Reiman stated that despite the citable issues with the situation, the officer wrote Meyers some warnings and asked him to take Howdy Doody back home to the city of Neligh.
5 U.S. Open Delayed After Protester Glued Bare Feet to Floor
Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova were set to play the first match of the evening on September 7, 2023, during the women’s singles semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. Gauff was leading 1-0 in the second set when play was halted due to a group of environmental protestors in the stands.
Security guards and, later, more than half a dozen police officers went over to confront the four protestors, who were wearing shirts that read “End Fossil Fuels.” Three of the protestors were escorted out of the stadium, but unfortunately, the fourth was not so easily moved, as he had glued his bare feet to the concrete floor. The police department’s Emergency Services Unit was eventually able to free the protester, allowing him to be removed from the stadium.
Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, who have carried out a number of civil disobedience-style demonstrations over environmental concerns, claimed credit for the protest. All four activists were taken into police custody, and after a nearly 50-minute delay in the tennis match, play resumed, and Gauff went on to win 6-4, 7-5.
4 Unsuspecting Thief Steals Vacuum Full of Hundreds of Hornets
Don Shump, the owner of Philadelphia Bee Co., relocates honeybees and bumblebees and will often use them to make honey to sell in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. Aside from relocating and honey production, Shump’s company also freezes and studies hornets and wasps.
On September 21, 2023, Shump had a job that entailed removing a large amount of European hornets from a home in Malvern, Pennsylvania. While on the job, Shump siphoned what he believed to be approximately 400 hornets (at least half of which were queens) into a shop vac, with plans to freeze the insects the following morning. Shump then drove home but left the vacuum in the bed of his truck because the bees were trying to make their escape.
However, sometime between 9 pm on September 21, 2023, and 7 am on September 22, 2023, someone stole the vacuum out of the bed of his truck, completely unaware of what was inside. Even in light of the loss of the $110 vacuum, Shump went on to issue a warning to the thief about the dangers of the vacuum’s contents and wrote a post on Facebook stating, “To the poor soul who lifted the shop vac out of the back of my truck, I wanted to give you a heads up… The vacuum was there because it was filled with European hornet queens, the largest social stinging insects in the eastern United States. I performed the removal of their nest late yesterday afternoon. Those girls should be full of life and extra spicy. I anxiously await your unboxing video.”
3 Convenience Store Bathroom Button Activates Disco Dance Party
While convenience store bathrooms provide easily accessible facilities for those traveling, they are often not the most luxurious or sought-after place to do your business. However, the HOP Shops in Northern Kentucky have made a name for themselves by giving people a place where they can boogie in the bathroom.
Six HOP Shops have big red buttons installed in their bathroom with a sign reading: “Do Not Push This Button.” However, underneath the words of warning is a picture of the chain’s mascot, Hoppe the Frog, winking, implying that the rule is meant to be broken. One push of the button sets a disco ball in motion, activating colored lights that spin across the walls, stalls, ceilings, and sinks as a song from the disco era plays through a speaker, turning the bathroom into a miniature dance club.
The quirky idea of turning the convenience stores’ bathrooms into tiny dance spaces was the brainchild of the chain’s vice president of retail marketing, Damon Bail, as a way to make the stores a “destination.” The first bathroom was installed at the HOP Shop in Verona, Kentucky, in February 2023 and proved to be such a big hit that the company started expanding them to other locations. They now have five in Northern Kentucky and one in Maineville, Ohio.
2 Woman Sues Hershey’s for $5 Million Over Faceless Reese’s Pumpkins
Many candy brands release specialty products during each holiday season. Reese’s is no different, offering a variety of spooky shapes for the Halloween season, such as pumpkins, ghosts, bats, and skeletons. However, one woman in Florida was less than thrilled with Reese’s holiday-themed peanut butter candies and has gone on to sue their parent company, Hershey, for $5 million.
Cynthia Kelly of Tampa, Florida, reportedly purchased a bag of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins from an Aldi store in October 2023, “believing that the product contained a cute looking carving of a pumpkin’s mouth and eyes as pictured on the product packaging.” Unfortunately, when Kelly got home to unwrap her Reese’s treat, she was upset to find no happy pumpkin face on the candy.
On December 28, 2023, Kelly went on to file a hefty class-action lawsuit against The Hershey Company for $5 million for “false and deceptive advertising” on not only the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins but a variety of other Halloween and holiday candy made by the company. Kelly stated that had she known there were no detailed carvings on the candy, she would not have purchased the $4.49 bag.
1 Burglar Pauses Mid Theft to Pet Family Dog
At approximately 10:40 pm on July 15, 2023, an unidentified male made his way into an open garage at a San Diego, California, home, intending to steal a 2019 Electra 3-speed bicycle valued at $1,300. Just as the man was about to leave with the bike, the family’s golden retriever emerged from the house and greeted the thief.
However, rather than high-tailing it away from the crime scene, the man brought the bike back into the garage, stopping mid-robbery to give the dog pets and belly rubs, all of which was caught on video surveillance. Once playtime was over, the thief took off with the bike.
The San Diego Police Department posted the security video to their Facebook page in August of 2023, and thanks to an anonymous tip, the 42-year-old man was arrested on August 27, 2023.