A slithering surprise inside stalled pickup
When a woman's pickup stalled on a street in Santa Fe, N.M., Thursday, local chef Jackson Ault stopped to lend a hand. Both got a surprise when Ault popped the hood and found a brown and yellow python slithering across the engine block. A police lieutenant responding to a call for help retrieved the 20-pound snake, which was taken to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. A spokesman says the reptile has minor injuries but is in good shape. Police say the snake likely crawled into the pickup at the driver's home several blocks away. Authorities say the owner hadn't turned up yet.
Whoops is right
Tow truck driver hauled off to jail
Sometimes a name is fitting. Authorities arrested the owner of Whoops Towing as he tried to haul off an undercover police car in Oregon. Michael Alan Selmer, 35, of Falls City, who has spent much of the past decade in prison over several scams, was taken into custody after police got reports that a towing business was operating without a certificate, posting impound warning signs in parking lots and using a spotter to generate tows. Police parked the unmarked vehicle as part of the investigation, then arrested Selmer when he showed up in the tow truck. He was booked on suspicion of failure to register as a sex offender and violating parole terms. Prosecutors were reviewing the towing investigation.
An unintended weekend in jail
A visitor was accidentally trapped inside an empty maximum security visiting room at Cook County Jail for 31 hours last weekend. Looking for the area where his son is in custody in a drug case, the man went through a door that was propped open and it shut behind him. "There's no reason to check on that room because it's not used on the weekends," said Cara Smith, the jail's executive director. He pounded on the concrete door but no one could hear him, she said. The man was rescued after he broke a sprinkler head, alerting Chicago Fire Department firefighters who found him about 1 a.m. Monday, Smith said. "We're tremendously sorry for what this man went through," she said.
Plane diverted, pilot calls for pizza
Faced with potentially hungry — and grumpy — passengers, a Frontier Airlines pilot treated them to pizza when storms diverted a Denver-bound flight to Cheyenne, Wyo., where the plane was stuck for a couple of hours. Cheyenne Domino's Pizza manager Andrew Ritchie said he got a call about 10 p.m. Monday and pilot Gerhard Bradner told him he needed to feed 160 people — fast. Ritchie said his crew made about 35 pizzas and delivered them in about 30 minutes to the airport, where the driver handed the food off to flight attendants who handed out boxes and slices to appreciative passengers.
Compiled from Times wires.