This is why you shouldn’t park in front of fire hydrants

A New Jersey driver who parked in front of a fire hydrant got burned — when firefighters bashed out his windows to run a hose through the ride.

“This is what happens when you park in front of a hydrant,” the Hamilton Township Professional Firefighters posted on Facebook — along with a photo of the silver Acura. “Reminder, it is against the law to park in front of a fire hydrant.”

Firefighters spotted the inconsiderate parking job after rushing to a house blaze on Norway Avenue in Hamilton around 1 a.m. on Thursday, according to NJ.com.

The driver’s bad car-ma recalls the classic Seinfeld episode “The Handicap Spot,” in which George blocks a space meant for a disabled person at a mall — and returns to find his dad’s car demolished.

There were no injuries in the single-alarm fire and officials have yet to determine its cause.

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Man accused of chugging beer during DUI stop

BIG COPPITT KEY, Fla. — Authorities say a 48-year-old Florida man raised a can of beer and chugged it after a sheriff’s deputy stopped him on suspicion of drunk driving.

Daryl Royal Riedel told Monroe County Sheriff’s investigators he was scared when he fled in his pickup truck as Deputy Anthony Lopez stepped out of his patrol car Thursday. Riedel drove for a short distance before stopping.

Riedel has three prior DUI convictions between 2003 and 2010 and a fourth is pending from 2017.

The report says Riedel got out of his truck, beer can in his hand and chugged it.

Riedel faces numerous charges, including felony DUI, fleeing from a deputy, driving with a suspended license and failure to submit a breath test.

He’s in jail without bond. Records don’t list a lawyer.

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Roller coaster was taken out of service twice before derailment

ORLANDO, Fla. — A roller coaster that derailed in Florida had been put out of service by state inspectors twice in the past year and a half because of problems with the ride.

Two riders fell 34 feet when their car derailed Thursday night and was left dangling from the track. Firefighters used ladders to pull eight others to safety high above the Daytona Beach Boardwalk.

“The front car which was holding four passengers completely came off the tracks,” said Daytona Beach Fire spokeswoman Sasha Staton. The two riders who fell from the Sand Blaster ride suffered traumatic injuries, she said.

Of nine passengers taken to the hospital, all but two were discharged by Friday afternoon.

A month before the derailment, a state inspector had found problems with the ride, and the roller coaster was ordered to be taken out of service. State inspection reports released to The Associated Press on Friday show that an inspector last month found excessive corrosion, a damaged seat, and a crack in the track. Those problems, though, were corrected by the time of a follow-up inspection Thursday, according to the reports.

“Deficiencies corrected,” the inspector noted in the “comments” section of the report.

“Department inspectors conducted a thorough inspection of the ride, and it was found in compliance with state law,” according to a statement Friday from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokeswoman Jennifer Meale. “Anyone who should be held accountable will be held accountable.”

A “stop order” also was issued for the ride in February 2017 because of corrosion and damaged handrails. The stop order continued through two following inspections. In May 2017, an inspector found damaged nuts and bolts. The next month, a seat was found damaged.

In videos posted on social media by witnesses, two people can be seen dangling from the car’s seats and metal scaffolding beneath the track. Bystanders gathered under the passengers, stretching out their hands to assure them that help was coming.

“Two people done fell out and clanked their head on the ground,” Matt Campbell of Knoxville, Tennessee, said in a video of the scene that he posted online.

Campbell and some relatives had been planning to ride the roller coaster, which looked fast but not too extreme for the younger children in the family. It had been raining but the storm seemed to have passed. As they walked toward the ride, they heard a loud bang and saw the front car jump off the track, he said.

“The car was banging against the rails real hard as it came around the turn,” Campbell said. “We noticed it wasn’t just a normal banging of the roller coaster going down the track, that’s what made us look up.”

Campbell said he and his relatives dropped what was in their hands, breaking his sunglasses and spilling their sodas on the ground, to rush toward the ride. He said he saw two women fall from the front car, while a man and a woman appeared to be dangling and stuck between that car and the metal scaffolding under the track.

As some people warned those passengers not to move before rescuers arrived, Campbell said a ride worker grabbed a ladder to help the injured who were hanging above the ground. Firefighters climbed up to rescue them as well as six other passengers in two cars that were still on the track.

“They had to use the tower ladder to get to them and then bring them on board and guide them safely back down,” Staton said.

Nine passengers were taken to the hospital, but hospital officials wouldn’t describe their injuries due to privacy concerns, said Tangela Boyd, a spokeswoman for Halifax Health Medical Center.

Two of the passengers work for a Kentucky company that provides services to people with mental disabilities, and they were on a business trip. One of them remained in the hospital and the other was discharged, said Jory Wells, an official with Alternative Outlook, LLC.

The accident is under investigation.

“We don’t know what happened,” Staton said.

Roller coaster databases show the Sand Blaster had operated in four other locations in its four-decade history. The ride opened at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk in 2013. Before that, it was at the Blue Diamond Amusement Park in New Castle, Delaware, where the ride was called the Blue Diamond Streak.

The coaster operated at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton, Pennsylvania, and before that, the coaster was at Legend City in Phoenix, Arizona. It originated at Adventureland Park in Addison, Illinois, according to Ultimate Rollercoaster.com

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Grandma strangles rabid bobcat with her bare hands

A rabid bobcat was no match for this Georgia granny.

DeDe Phillips strangled a crazed cat that pounced on her as she was working in the front yard of her home in rural Hart County, about an hour north of Athens.

“I took it straight to the ground and started inching my hands up to its throat,” the 46-year-old told the Athens Banner-Herald.

Then she squeezed.

“Once I got him where he wasn’t moving I started screaming for my daughter-in-law to call 911,” she said.

Phillips suffered a broken finger and numerous bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs. She also started a round of rabies shots after learning the cat was rabid.

The daughter-in-law of a bobcat trapper, Phillips knew she was dealing with a vicious animal — and needed to act fast.

“They go for your jugular . . . when they can get the vein you’re dead in a couple of minutes,” she said, noting she was careful not to yell until the cat was subdued, because she didn’t want her 5-year-old granddaughter to come outside.

Phillips refused to release the beast until her son showed up and stabbed the animal “four or five times.”

“It never budged, so I knew it was completely dead,” she said.

Ironically, she had just applied a “Women who behave rarely make history” bumper sticker to her truck, and was preparing to snap a photo for her husband when the brazen bobcat wandered into her yard.

“My neighbor’s dog was barking and it drew my attention,” Phillips told the paper.

The attack happened in a flash.

She snapped a photo of the cat and it “took two steps and was on top of me . . . it came for my face.”

Phillips’ cousin set up a Fundly.com account to raise money for her medical expenses; she’s already collected $24,200 as of Saturday afternoon.

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Michael Jackson’s former elephant escapes from zoo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An elephant that once lived at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch briefly escaped its enclosure at a Florida zoo.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens posted on Facebook that Ali the bull elephant wandered through a gate that was accidentally left open and wound up in a courtyard.

The zoo said guests weren’t endangered and safety protocols were quickly put into place.

Zoo staff used food to entice the elephant back into the enclosure. Ali was loose for about 20 minutes.

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Dancing FBI agent accused of accidentally shooting man at bar charged

He went from pop and locking — to lockup.

The brainless off-duty FBI agent who accidentally shot a man while doing a backflip on a Colorado dance floor was tossed in jail Tuesday, according to a report.

Chase Bishop, 29, whose gun went flying out of his holster at Mile High Spirits bar in Denver, was charged with second-degree assault, according to The Denver Post.

The disgraced G-man — whose dangerously clumsy move was captured in a viral video — turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office told the paper. He is being held in Downtown Detention Center in Denver.

On June 2, Bishop’s gun discharged and struck fellow reveler Tom Reddington in the leg.

Bishop pounced on the weapon but accidentally squeezed off a single round. He then placed the gun in his waistband and walked off the dance floor with his hands in the air, the video shows.

“We sat down at one of those picnic tables — I heard a loud bang and I thought some idiot set off a firecracker,” Reddington told ABC News later.

“Then I looked down at my leg and see some brown residue… All of a sudden from the knee down it became completely red. Then it clicked that I’ve been shot.”

Reddington is expected to fully recover, his lawyer has said.

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Salted popcorn breaks marriage apart

Would you like anything else with that? A soda? Candy? A divorce?

A Wisconsin man caused a scene at a movie theater after his wife allegedly put salt on their popcorn without his permission and angrily declared their marriage to be over, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Police arrived at Marcus Majestic Cinema in Brookfield, a town 12 miles west of Milwaukee, after reports of a domestic situation stemming from a snack purchase gone awry.

According to a police report, the wife purchased the popcorn herself and was instructed by her husband not to salt it. Having paid for it, she decided to do it anyway.

The husband, salty in more ways than one, accused his wife of being “unfaithful” and doing “things” behind his back, the Sentinel reported.

He reportedly declined to see the movie despite already having purchased the tickets. His wife saw the film without him, then refused to let him drive home, telling police that he drives too fast when he is angry.

The husband, however, would not get in the car, prompting her to call the police.

Police said the wife never felt threatened at any point, and only called the cops for assistance on how to handle the unpleasant situation.

It is unclear whether divorce proceedings have begun.

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Patients being tested for HIV after nurse reused syringes

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — A Cherokee Nation hospital in Oklahoma is testing more than 180 patients for HIV and hepatitis after allegations that a nurse reused syringes to administer medications.

The nurse violated protocols by using the same vial of medication and syringe to inject multiple intravenous bags at W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, according to Cherokee officials. The nurse no longer works for the tribe, the Tulsa World reported.

“We’re a big government, and we have to do our due diligence to make sure things are handled properly,” said Joe Byrd, speaker of the Cherokee Tribal Council. “You can be sure that I’ll have my pulse on the situation.”

Researchers strongly recommend against reusing syringes with IV bags but say the risk of transmitting a disease by doing so is low, according to a 2010 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

The risk of transmitting hepatitis B was less than 53 in 1 million, while the risk of transmitting hepatitis C was less than 4.3 in 1 million, according to the study. The risk of transmitting HIV was about 0.15 in 1 million.

“Patients were never directly in contact with any needle,” said Brian Hail, the hospital’s CEO. “The likelihood of blood-borne pathogens traveling up the lines into an IV bag or IV tubing to cause cross-contamination from using the same syringe is extremely remote.”

Still, hospital officials said patients who were treated at the hospital between January and April should return for blood tests as a precaution.

About 64 patients had been screened as of Monday, and none tested positive. Officials are also still working to notify eight patients who should be tested, Hail said.

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Emergency workers found sleeping on the job: cops

MADISON, Conn. — Police say three emergency dispatchers in Connecticut have been caught sleeping on the job.

Madison Police Captain Joseph Race said Tuesday two of the dispatchers resigned in February and May and one was fired in May as a result of an investigation into the matter.

Race says all three Madison dispatchers worked the overnight shift from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., and they were all found sleeping on the job more than once.

He says the sleeping happened when more than one dispatcher was on duty, and there was no danger to the public. All three were civilian dispatchers, not police officers.

Race says the remaining dispatchers have been working overtime to cover the vacant shifts.

The Board of Finance has approved $45,000 to cover the expense.

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