Originally created 05/06/02

Odds and ends



HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- When a suspected drug dealer on the lam tried to hide out in a small wooden house, the occupant squealed on him.

Richard Barajas was done in by a potbellied pig.

Agents with the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force were checking on possible illegal drug activity at a residence when a man identified as Barajas, 40, of Houston, spotted the officers and fled.

Agents Todd Sanders and Cory DeArmon pursued the suspect through several back yards before losing him. That's when DeArmon noticed a pig causing a commotion - Barajas was hiding in his house.

"The pig was not happy at all," Sanders said this week.

Barajas was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver after officers found three pounds of marijuana.

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- At 46, Al Skinner says he hasn't given dying much thought. But when he goes, he wants to roar out to his gravesite on a chrome-plated Harley-Davidson.

To that end, Skinner has custom-built a motorcycle sidecar strong enough and large enough to carry a casket. It is believed to be the country's only "motorcycle hearse" of its type.

"Firefighters are carried to their burials on fire trucks," Skinner, of Wrightsville, said this week. "If you ride, why not go out on a bike?"

Skinner, who insists the idea isn't as crazy as it sounds, doesn't plan to wait until he dies to put the motorcycle to use.

For $300 - plus mileage of $1 per mile - he will make it available to others, promising "the ultimate ride for motorcycle enthusiasts or those in search of an extraordinary farewell."

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MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. -- Alvin Jumpp may have taught high school history, but authorities say he neglected one timeworn fact: Bank stickups rarely succeed.

Jumpp was arrested at his home Tuesday after allegedly robbing his own bank, then deposited the cash in other branches.

Jumpp, 51, who teaches history at Audenried High School in south Philadelphia, robbed the Farmers & Mechanics Bank branch in Mount Laurel on April 21, wielding a handgun wrapped in plastic or paper, according to the FBI.

The robber told two tellers, "You have 10 seconds." He was given a bag containing $10,233 before he fled, authorities said.

The robber was dressed in black and had white gauze covering his face, but a teller told authorities she recognized his low, raspy voice as that of Jumpp, a customer. The FBI said the mask was found at Jumpp's home.

During the week after the holdup, large deposits were made into Jumpp's account at two Farmers & Mechanics branches, police said. One deposit contained several "bait bills" put in the bag the robber was given.

Authorities said Jumpp's home was scheduled for auction because of $2,560 in late taxes. On April 22, the tax bill was paid in full, along with a $500 cash payment for the next quarter.

A bail hearing was scheduled for Friday.