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Police: Man arrested after donning clown mask, chasing 6-year-old daughter

BOARDMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- An Ohio man is facing charges after police said he put on a clown mask and chased his 6-year-old daughter around their neighborhood as punishment for behavioral issues, according to multiple reports.

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Boardman Township police arrested Vernon Barrett Jr. on charges of child endangerment and inducing panic Saturday after officers were called to Lemans Drive, WFMJ reported

Barrett told authorities that he put on a clown mask and chased his daughter as an alternative to spanking her for disciplinary issues, according to The Associated Press.

Authorities said Barrett’s daughter jumped into a stranger’s car and then ran down the street to a stranger’s apartment, screaming that a clown was chasing her, WKBN reported.

A tenant at the apartment spotted the masked man, who police identified as Barrett, and yelled that he was going to call police, according to WKBN. Police said Barrett started to run in the opposite direction and the tenant fired a gun, shooting grass near Barrett, the news station reported.

The tenant, who was not identified, was charged with using a weapon while intoxicated, WFMJ reported.

Police: Stop taking selfies with bears

Police in Colorado are telling residents and visitors to stop trying to take selfies with bears after a crowd of overeager wildlife viewers separated a mother bear and her cubs as they were coming down from a tree in downtown Aspen.

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The crowd included a mother who was seen carrying her child toward the bears in order to take a selfie with the animals, Aspen police said.

Police said they’ve seen an increase in reports of bear sightings in recent days, and with that they’ve had growing concerns over the crowds that gather around the animals.

Officers said the incident with the mother bear and her cubs, which happened Wednesday near the Hyman Avenue mall, was particularly bad.

“It got pretty heated,” Aspen police Sgt. Rob Fabrocini said in a news release. “They came down into a fairly large crowd of photo-takers and those that insisted on trying to get close enough to take selfies.”

Officers said that a small group of people chased after the mother bear and her cubs when they tried to run from the group, separating the mother from her cubs. Authorities said the mother bear returned to the mall “very agitated and making loud crying sounds.”

“People were still walking right up to her, even when it was clear she was agitated and growling as people got close,” Fabrocini said.

The bears were eventually reunited and able to escape the area during a lull in the crowd, police said.

“The members of the Aspen Police Department would like to use this real-life scenario as a reminder to the public that bears are wild animals,” police said in a statement.

Agitated bears can attack and seriously injure people, officers reminded the public, and if a bear does attack, it could have to be euthanized by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

“What may seem like an opportunity for good selfie could cost a bear its life,” police said.

Officers also reminded the public that it is illegal to harass wildlife -- including bears. Harassing wildlife is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of $100.

To remind people to stay away from bears, Aspen police created the hashtag #AspenBearsSelfieStrike.

“It is easy to blame these situations on tourists, but locals are also involved in unsafe behaviors,” police said. “The Aspen Police invite you to work with us and be a champion for the bears.”

Man claims he was forced to try meth at knifepoint, police say

An Ohio man told Middletown police that while he was forced to try methamphetamine at knifepoint while at an apartment on Wilbraham Road, according to police reports.

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Police responded to Atrium Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon and found the 19-year-old Carlisle man “making what appeared to be uncontrollable movements of his extremities,” commonly seen with people who use methamphetamine, the report said.

He told police that while he was in the apartment, a male pulled out a syringe and asked if he wanted to try methamphetamine. He told the man that he doesn’t “mess with drugs” because he’s an expecting father.

When he refused, the man pulled out a switchblade knife and put it to the side of the man’s torso, the report said. After using methamphetamine, the man immediately felt sick. He told authorities that he left the apartment, fell down the stairs and was picked up by a friend in the parking lot.

Town paying people to trap skunks

A town in Illinois fed up with skunks is offering a little green to be rid of the stinky problem.

Vernon Hills is offering people $75 for each skunk that is trapped and removed from the village, WGN reported. 

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Officials say that while the area has been dealing with a skunk problem for awhile, this year's mild, wet spring has caused a spike in the skunk population.

Skunks are most active this time of year because they are storing up fat for winter, wildlife experts told WGN.

Two-headed rattlesnake found by electrical worker

An electrical worker on a job in Arkansas made an unusual discovery earlier this week: he found a two-headed rattlesnake outside a home in Forrest City.

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The man, identified by Arkansas Online as Woodruff Electric employee Rodney Kelso, said he found the snake “sunning itself” outside a home. The 11-inch timber rattlesnake was found off Arkansas Highway 284 with two other snakes that appeared normal looking, KFSM reported.

Kelso donned a pair of gloves after finding the two-headed serpant and put it in a box to bring to Forrest L. Wood Crowley's Ridge Nature Center in Jonesboro, Fox13Memphis reported.

Kelso, operations director at Woodruff Electric, told Arkansas Online that he has never seen anything like the snake in his 50 years in the area.

“It does happen from time to time in nature,” Cody Walker, education program specialist at the nature center, told Arkansas Online. “Usually they die from complications."

Nature center employees said the snake will eventually be put on display, according to Fox13Memphis.

Witnesses mistake garage fire for Labor Day celebration

Officials were called to a home in Miamisburg, Ohio, on Monday morning after flames engulfed the home’s detached garage fire in what neighbors first mistook for a Labor Day celebration, according to reports.

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Firefighters were dispatched to a fully engulfed detached garage fire at a house in the 50 block of Arthur Avenue around 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Neighbors said they noticed smoke in the air for more than an hour before they realized that it was not due to Labor Day celebrations, but rather was a nearby residence on fire. Neighbors said they saw wires sparking from the garage. 

The Miami Valley Fire Department was not immediately sure what caused the fire, and though a Corvette and motorcycle inside the garage were ruined, they were not sure of damage estimates.

The people inside the home got out safely, authorities said.

Officials continue to investigate the fire.

Alligator found swimming at New Jersey hotel part of video shoot, authorities say

A 3-foot alligator found swimming in a New Jersey hotel pool last month was part of a rap video shoot, according to multiple reports.

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Police found the alligator during an Aug. 15 raid of the Bayview Inn & Suites in Atlantic City, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said. Police were searching for a man who was wanted on a charge of homicide in connection with a 2016 drug overdose death.

Drugs were seized, authorities made multiple arrests and a pit bull was shot and killed by an Atlantic City police officer “when the animal made an aggressive move toward the officers as they attempted to enter a room,” Tyner said. He added that 33 people were removed from the hotel, which was left heavily damaged by 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

Officers with Animal Control of South Jersey were called after police found a 3-foot alligator swimming in the hotel’s pool. Tyner said the reptile was safely removed and taken to a zoo in Cape May County.

Before it was seized, the alligator played a starring role in the music video for the single “Damn,” featuring Sean Temple, also known as Style1, reported. The music video was partially shot at the Bayview Inn & Suites, according to the news site.

An alligator on a leash with its mouth taped shut could be seen in a behind-the-scenes video posted to YouTube. (Warning: The video contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.)

Police arrested Temple and Bashawn Whitted-Scott, 25, who is also featured in the video posted to YouTube, last week in connection with a spate of burglaries reported in Egg Harbor and Hamilton townships last month, the Press of Atlantic City reported.

Temple and Whitted-Scott were arrested on charges including robbery, conspiracy, aggravated assault and conspiracy to make terroristic threats, the Press reported, although police told the newspaper that the charges were not linked to the music video shoot.

Cape May County Park & Zoo officials told the newspaper that the alligator will be taken to an animal reserve outside Tampa Bay, Florida, “sometime this year.”

Creepy image caught on family's surveillance camera

A family in New Mexico had their dinner interrupted Tuesday night by a creepy image appearing on their surveillance camera.

In the surveillance footage provided to KRQE, a bright blob of light in vaguely human form can be seen streaking across the parking lot in front of the Hernandez home.

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The Hernandez family told KRQE that they are not sure what the image was, but it could be otherworldly, considering the history of the lot. A neighbor told Brianna Hernandez that his uncle had lived in a house on the corner lot, and died there. The property remained vacant until it was torn down and duplexes were built.

The Hernandez family said they will keep a closer eye on their surveillance camera after the spooky sighting.

Ecstasy pills shaped to look like Donald Trump seized by German police

Authorities in Germany seized thousands of bright orange ecstasy pills over the weekend, each shaped and stamped to look like President Donald Trump.

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Police in Osnabruck, a city in northwest Germany, said in a news release that officers stopped a Peugeot 307 around 9 p.m. Saturday as it was traveling toward Hanover on the A30. Inside the car, officers said they found a 51-year-old Austrian man and his 17-year-old son.

The pair told officers that they had been in the Netherlands to look at a vehicle they were planning to buy, but inside the car, authorities said they found 5,000 ecstasy pills and a large amount of cash. Police believe that the pills, which were stamped with “NL” and the name “Trump,” originated in the Netherlands, according to BBC News.

Police estimated that the pills were valued at about €39,000 (about $45,900) once sold.

Officers arrested both the father and the son, who were not identified.

It’s not the first time the Trump-shaped ecstasy pills have made the news. British tabloids reported last month that the pills, reportedly made in both pink and orange, were flooding the UK illegal drugs market. The Daily Star reported that one seller, who was not identified, was marketing the pills with the tagline “Trump makes partying great again,” a play on the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Those pills were also believed to have come from the Netherlands, according to the Daily Star.

Woman's passport photo so bad it's funny

Passport photos, much like driver's license photos, are rarely considered works of art, but for one woman, what started out as a normal photo became anything but when she received her passport.

Chelsey Ramos needed to get her passport renewed before a trip to Germany with her boyfriend, Buzzfeed reported. The photo taken at Costco came out looking normal and she submitted it to be processed with her passport renewal form.

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However, once she received her updated passport, she discovered that the photo had undergone an unfortunate revision. Her forehead had been elongated, making her look like a "Conehead," according to a discussion on Reddit, where Ramos’ boyfriend posted the image Thursday.

Ramos was able to get a corrected passport photo, but kept the bad one for laughs. 

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