- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 31, 2004

Lucky the bunny living in clover

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. — It seemed that Lucky the bunny’s luck had run out.

Strapped to a powerful explosive with a lit fuse, Lucky was tossed into a lake, but the explosive didn’t detonate and the rabbit was pulled out of the water.

Now Lucky’s owner and his friend face misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty after photos of the July 13 incident surfaced on the Internet.

Nick Sigmon, 18, and Paul Collins, 20, are accused of taping an illegal M-1000 — a large firecracker equivalent to a quarter stick of dynamite — to the rabbit and throwing her into Lake Don Castro.

Mr. Sigmon said he fished Lucky out of the water to save her from drowning, but prosecutors Wednesday charged the two lifeguards. Two other men who were present during the incident may also face charges.

Asked why he fitted Lucky with the explosive, Mr. Sigmon said, “Um, that’s a real tough question to answer.”

Lucky is in a foster owner’s home, where she’s snacking on hay pellets and doing well.

‘Girlie men’ T-shirts prove hot sellers

SAN FRANCISCO — “Girlie men” are wearing their party pride.

San Francisco-based fashion designer Sarah Lefton created baseball style T-shirts that read “Sacramento Girlie Men,” and they are selling like mad.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made the now-famous put-down of Democratic lawmakers during a July 17 rally, using the “Saturday Night Live” phrase to chide the legislators for what he considered as caving in to special interests.

Orders for the shirts have come in from as far away as Ireland, Miss Lefton said. They sell for $24, and she promises to donate 20 percent to the state Democratic Party.

Fan dies after falling from escalator

MILWAUKEE — A man who fell 17 feet from an escalator during a major league baseball game at Miller Park has died of his injuries, which included a broken back and fractured skull, authorities said.

James A. Kolata, 48, fell during Thursday’s game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs, said Kim Brooks, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. He died in a hospital on Friday.

Miss Brooks said Mr. Kolata was sitting on the escalator’s handrail when he fell. A medical examiner’s report found the man suffered fractures to his skull and vertebrae and a collapsed lung.

Mr. Kolata’s wife told investigators he had no health problems, drank only socially and did not use illegal drugs, the report said. The incident is being investigated.

Ex-cop charged in subway arson

NEW YORK — The former police officer who said he found a flaming backpack that exploded in a Times Square subway station was arrested yesterday in connection with the incident.

Joseph Rodriguez faces charges of arson, weapons possession and reckless endangerment, police said.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association attorney Stuart London has said the former officer denies he was responsible for the July 19 subway incident. Mr. London did not immediately return a call for comment yesterday.

Officer Rodriguez, 27, was involved in rescue efforts following the September 11 terrorist attacks and said he was traumatized by it, according to officials.

At some point, the NYPD sought to remove Officer Rodriguez from the force because of unspecified psychological problems. The officer resisted, but agreed to retire after being awarded a disability pension two weeks ago based on a claim that his problems stemmed from September 11.

Investigators soon focused on Officer Rodriguez as a possible suspect based largely on his psychological history, sources said. He also raised suspicion by wasting several minutes trying to report the bomb to his partner, rather than calling 911, they said.

The officer was briefly hospitalized after the explosion. He was arrested at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Columbia-Presbyterian Center.

Dozens injured when balcony collapses

POLSON, Mont. — A balcony crowded with dozens of people at a popular bar and casino collapsed, injuring at least 70 people, officials said yesterday.

There were no immediate reports of any deaths from the accident Friday night at the Diamond Horseshoe Casino.

Polson Fire Chief Tom Maloney said seven of the injuries were serious or critical, but the others did not appear to be life-threatening. It was not immediately clear what caused the 14-foot-high balcony to collapse.

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