News of the weird 7/26/08

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Police : Man shot mower that wouldn't start

MILWAUKEE -- A 56-year-old Milwaukee man is accused of shooting his lawn mower because it wouldn't start. Keith Walendowski has been charged with felony possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle and misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed. According to the criminal complaint, Walendowski said he was angry because his Lawn Boy wouldn't start Wednesday morning. He told police: "I can do that, it's my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want." A woman who lives at Walendowski's house reported the incident. She said he was intoxicated. Walendowski could face up to an $11,000 fine and six years and three months in prison if convicted. A call to Walendowski's home went unanswered Friday.

Illinois village dumps police over dispute

STANFORD, Ill. -- There's been no police department in the central Illinois community of Stanford since May, and there won't be for the foreseeable future. The three-officer department shut down after a part-time police officer was accused of unfairly giving Mayor Margaret Campbell several traffic tickets in March. A video of the incident allegedly shows the officer, Ramiro Bosquez, calling police chief Everett Copeland to gloat about pulling over the mayor. Campbell was cited for failure to dim headlights, inoperable headlights and expired registration, but those citations were later dismissed. Bosquez and Copeland were put on administrative leave after the incident, and Bosquez resigned in June. Attempts to reach the two were unsuccessful. This week, the village board decided not to renew Copeland's contract. McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery said his deputies are patrolling the town. He has offered to help find new officers to reopen the police department. Stanford, just southwest of Bloomington, has about 670 residents.

-- From wire reports

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