POLICE: MAN TRIES TO ROB BANK OF $1 IN PRISON BID: NORTHERN CAMBRIA, Pa. (AP) — A man tried to rob a Pennsylvania bank of $1 because he hoped to be sent to a federal prison nearby, police said.
Jeffrey McMullen, a 50-year-old regular customer of an AmeriServ bank in the western Pennsylvania town of Northern Cambria, handed notes to two tellers Friday demanding a dollar, according to a police complaint reported by The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown.
The tellers thought it was a joke, police said. He then spoke with a new accounts employee and repeated he was robbing the bank for a buck.
Police say McMullen apparently wanted to be prosecuted federally so he could be taken to a prison in central Pennsylvania. Police could not immediately say why.
McMullen awaits a preliminary hearing, and court records didn't list an attorney. Under terms set by a Northern Cambria district judge, he must undergo a mental evaluation and post $50,000 bail in order to win release from jail.
One note given to tellers said, "FBI custody. Preferbly (sic) Loretto Pa. No press. Seal all files," according to the complaint. Police took that to be a request that McMullen hoped authorities would not publicize his case. The other said, "Federal bank robbery. Please hand over $1.00."
TEXAS TECH PROFESSOR OFFERS HALLOWEEN LAW BOOK: LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A Texas Tech law school professor has looked at Halloween-related cases and whether the spooky celebration offers a legal excuse for crime.
Victoria Sutton's new book is called: "Halloween Law: A Spirited Look at the Law School Curriculum." Details were announced Monday by the school in Lubbock.
Sutton, who teaches constitutional, biodefense and biosecurity law, says her research has found a great number of cases revolving around Halloween.
In the criminal law section, Sutton looks at whether Halloween excuses vandalism to some degree.
She says the short answer is no and that courts in general have decided that "vandalism is still vandalism."
POT-BELLIED PIG RUNS AMOK IN W. PA. NEIGHBORHOOD: MIDLAND, Pa. (AP) — A pot-bellied pig that someone likely abandoned as a pet has been running amok in one western Pennsylvania neighborhood.
Folks in Midland Heights, a neighborhood in Beaver County about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, say they've had no luck catching the pig, which is rooting around in yards and frightening children.
Resident Kristi Bilotto tells KDKA-TV that she contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission, but they told her they don't handle wild animals and referred her to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Those folks told her to contact the local animal shelter or humane society.
Bilotto says the pig has so far outsmarted residents who have tried to trap it or put it in a cage.
PA. BOROUGH REACHES PARADE ROUTE CHAIRS COMPROMISE: CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania borough has reached a face-saving compromise over a seat-saving problem at its popular Fourth of July parade.
Canonsburg council earlier this year cracked down on people who put up chairs two weeks before to save seats to the parade, which is billed as the second-largest in the state, behind Philadelphia's.
Council banned the chairs until 6 a.m. the day of the parade, but drew fire from residents and business leaders who say the chair-placing — featuring many festively decorated seats — had become a tradition unto itself.
As a result, council voted Monday to compromise. Residents can now begin placing their chairs at 6 a.m. July 2 — but they will no longer be able to tether chairs together with string or chains, or connect them to utility poles, as a safety measure.