Originally created 06/17/04

Odds and Ends



NEW YORK -- It wasn't a usual perp chase for police Lt. John Daly.

But with help from passers-by, a bread basket and some luck, he was able to corral his suspect - an injured baby peregrine falcon.

"Right away I knew it wasn't an ordinary pigeon," Daly said, referring to New York's peskier feathered inhabitant.

Daly said he saw the 4- to 5-week-old falcon while driving his cruiser in Manhattan on Tuesday. The bird fell into the street near the Waldorf Astoria hotel and oncoming traffic swerved to avoid hitting the tiny raptor.

With the help of several pedestrians blocking the bird's path and a breadbasket from a restaurant inside the hotel, Daly was able to cage the bird.

Daly, 33, a self-described "bird lover," said he placed the falcon into a box and brought it to his nearby precinct.

The baby falcon was to be turned over to animal control officials for medical care and would likely be released back into the city once it recovers, Daly said.

Daly said the fledgeling could have fallen out of a nest at a nearby building or hit a building as it flew south from Central Park.

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PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- A blind man was charged with reckless conduct after he drove a golf cart through the city with help from an inebriated friend.

Samuel McClain, 35, drove two miles through winding streets - also accompanied by his guide dog - before running into a parked car, police said.

No one was hurt, but McClain and Michael Johnston, 47, were charged with reckless conduct "due to the blatant disregard for public safety," according to police reports.

The report said McClain drove the cart Saturday while Johnston gave directions after having six or seven beers.

Peachtree City, about 25 miles south of Atlanta, has about 80 miles of paved cart paths and 9,000 registered carts that residents use for daily errands.

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ROCKY MOUNT, Va. -- Perhaps visiting hours were over.

Police shot and killed a full-grown black bear that wandered into a hospital Tuesday. The 300-pound male bear wandered in front of Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital at about 9:10 p.m. and activated a sensor that opens the hospital's doors, police said.

The bear wandered down a few hallways and into a computer room, said Lt. Karl Martin of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Two police officers yanked the door shut behind it.

Officers planned to sedate the bear, but because the hospital was nearly full they worried about it getting loose. An officer shot the bear twice and killed it, Martin said.

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MONROE, Wash. -- Inmates in Washington state prisons have guards to thank for a four-month reprieve from a smoking ban.

The ban affects inmates and prison staff and was scheduled to take effect July 1. It was postponed to Nov. 1 under a recently negotiated agreement with Teamsters Local 117, said assistant deputy corrections secretary Lynne DeLano on Monday.

The union had two concerns with the ban, said Teamsters lawyer Spencer Thal. One concern was that inmates could become violent if they are cut off from tobacco. The other was that guards who were longtime smokers would have difficulty quitting.

Thal refused to discuss details of the agreement until it is presented to union members. The union has about 12,000 members, including about 5,000 prison workers.

State officials have said the chief purpose of the ban is to cut health care costs. At least 17 other states ban smoking in prison.