A snake on a highway, an argument between brothers turn bad, a man steals from a dead woman and more in this week's edition.
Big snake slithers its way across highway
ROCKFORD, Ill. — What’s more rare?A colorful 8½-foot boa constrictor inching across U.S. 20 on a Tuesday morning causing traffic to back up, or a passing motorist who happens to be a herpetologist, someone who studies amphibians and reptiles?
Suffice to say both are rare, and yet both met Tuesday morning.
The boa constrictor, usually found in tropical Central and South America, was discovered about 9 a.m.
“It came out of the ditch and was going to the north side of the roadway,” said Gary Longanecker of Winnebago County Animal Services.
“The ironic thing was there was a herpetologist on his way to Galena. He stopped and threw a blanket over it. It curled up, and he picked it up and put it in a dog carrier. We never had to touch it.”
Longanecker suspects the snake was someone’s pet that either escaped or was discarded.
“The herpetologist said it was well cared for. There were reports out there that the snake was ran over, but that was not the case,” he said.
Longanecker also said a boa makes for an expensive pet. “They’ll eat three white rats a week. The rats will cost you about $5 to $6 each.”
Longanecker said the snake has been taken to a reptile rescue in a Chicago suburb. He said the boa still can be claimed by the owner or it will most likely find a new home in a zoo.
Cops: Man beats brother over CD selection
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — A Framingham man is being charged after he savagely beat his brother over his choice of music, Police Detective Sgt. Tim King said.
William LeBlanc, 37, pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault and battery during his arraignment.
According to court records, around 5 p.m. last Saturday, a man rushed over to a police officer in the area and told him there was a fight going on.
When the officer got there, a woman walked out of the apartment and told him that two brothers were fighting. As she spoke with the officer, LeBlanc emerged from the home with bloody knuckles, King said in his report.
Police entered the home and found Darren LeBlanc lying on the kitchen floor. His face was swollen, he had marks and scratches on his chest and blood coming from his left ear. Darren LeBlanc told police that his brother beat him up, King said.
The victim was disoriented and could not answer basic questions, like the day or month, as medics tended to him.
When police questioned William LeBlanc a second time, according to the court record, he told officers that he and his brother had been arguing about which CD they would listen to.
Hospital employee charged with stealing dead woman’s wedding rings
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital released a statement this week apologizing to the family of a woman who died earlier this month after an employee admitted to stealing her wedding rings.
Frederick Tapley, 36, of Romeoville was charged with two felony counts of theft, Downers Grove Police Sgt. Dave Bormann said. Tapley was in charge of wheeling the deceased woman from the hospital to the morgue, Bormann said.
Bormann said the woman died July 2 in the hospital. On July 4, her daughter reported her mother’s wedding rings stolen. The hospital was helpful in allowing police access to employees who would have been near the rings, Bormann said.
Tapley confessed to taking the rings July 28.
Bormann said the rings have been recovered from an undisclosed pawn shop where Tapley sold them.
Mysterious sculptures show up on pier
FALL RIVER, Mass. - No one knows from whence they came, or at least no one knew Friday.
That’s when people started noticing four sculptures, all two-dimensional depictions of people, perched atop pilings on the southwest side of City Pier.
The sculptures are between 2 and 4 feet high and are made of half-inch plywood.
One of the sculptures has its hands joined over its head, as though about to execute a swan dive into the water. The other three seem to be dancing. Surrounded on three sides by water, the weed-overgrown City Pier is a green canvas for the artist.
“I just took a ride out there,” Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan said last Friday afternoon, adding that he did not know the identity of the artist.
“I’m not against people expressing themselves through art,” Flanagan said. “If they are going to do it, I just wish they would inform the city.”
Flanagan said he could not condone the placement of the sculptures because City Pier is contaminated from decades of use as an industrial site.
“Really, no one should be going out there,” he said.
GateHouse News Service