It’s not my fault

David Matthews / January 26, 2010

Got a sinking feeling

New York police weren’t sure what to make of a man they found this past October wandering around a water treatment plant in the middle of the night wearing a wet cow costume and asking for a ride.

It took some work, but officers were eventually able to piece together the events of the evening.

The man, Jeffrey Barber, was driving home from a Halloween party near Buffalo when his GPS device told him to make a right turn onto I-190. Barber took the instructions a little too literally and made an immediate hard right onto Aqua Lane where he eventually ended up driving onto a small boat dock and straight into the Niagara River.

As the car began to sink, the engine and electrical system stopped working. Barber knew he needed to escape, so he did “like he saw how to do on TV” and smashed through the car’s window with his left hand and swam to shore.

Barber, now soaked and sporting a bloody hand, walked to the nearby Tonawanda Water Treatment Plant, which he mistook for the University at Buffalo campus located on the other end of town. Somehow he managed to get on the building’s public address speaker to ask for help, and that’s when the police were called.

Once officers were able to get Barber’s injuries checked out, they began to hunt for his car. It was eventually discovered 50 ft offshore by divers. Inside police found four whiskey bottles, three beer bottles and the head of Barber’s cow costume.

It just goes to show how important it is to have an accurate GPS system, especially when you’re drunk.

Jump at the chance

An Oregon motorist said she probably wouldn’t have hit a Caltrans worker if he had just moved a little quicker.

Catherine Stotts, 62, was driving along Highway 20 near Willits, Calif., when traffic began to slow for a construction zone. One lane was closed for repaving, so traffic was forced to merge into the other.

Instead, Stotts decided to drive over a row of cones and take the construction lane. She was making much better time than the backed-up traffic in the correct lane until she rounded a corner and spotted a wide-eyed Kenneth Sears.

Sears was working on foot in the closed lane when he saw Stotts barreling toward him in a full-size Ford van. The 60-year-old tried to get out of the way, but Stotts managed to ram her van into both him and the guardrail he was jumping behind.

Stotts later explained to police that she took the construction lane because she wasn’t used to driving on new asphalt. She also pointed out that Sears was partly at fault, too. After all, he might not have wound up in the hospital if he had just jumped a little faster.

Cereal offender

A Needham, Mass., man found himself in a bowl of trouble back in May when police caught him driving under the influence . . . of cereal.

The 48-year-old man was stopped by police after several drivers called 9-1-1 to report his erratic driving. While performing a routine search of the car, officers discovered a bowl of milk and cereal in the passenger seat. When they checked the milk, they found that it was still cold.

Faced with such damning evidence, the man admitted he had been eating the cereal while driving, but only because he got hungry.

(In his defense, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.)

The man was cited for driving with an expired license, failure to stay in lanes and operating to endanger.

Things got even worse, though, when an officer asked what was in the cereal bowl and the man replied, “Nut-n-Honey.”

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