The following stories are brought to you by the fine folks on the News4 assignment desk.
OFF-DUTY OFFICER DRAWS GUN AT HAUNTED HOUSE
A Baltimore city police officer got a real fright at a haunted house -- and now he faces assault charges.
Sgt. Eric Janik pulled his gun on a haunted house employee dressed up as the killer from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," according to county police.
The employee approached Janik, who was off duty, after the haunted house tour was over Sunday night in a bid to get "one last scream," police said. For the last fright of the tour, Leatherface chases people around, the Baltimore Sun reported. (NBC Washington)
CHANGE YOUR LIFE, SAVE THE WORLD
The United States could cut greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of France's total annual emissions by getting Americans to make simple lifestyle changes, like regularly maintaining their cars or insulating their attics, a study showed Monday.
If US households took 17 easy-to-implement actions -- like switching to a fuel-efficient vehicle, drying laundry on a clothesline instead of in a dryer, or turning down the thermostat -- carbon emissions could be cut by 123 metric tons a year by the 10th year, the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. (Breitbart.com)
TURNING THE TIDE ON GANGS IN NOVA
Gangs are still a substantial factor in crime across the Northern Virginia region, but a new report indicates there has been some success in efforts to break them up.
There are more than 80 gangs in the Northern Virginia region, with more than 5,000 gang members in the four counties, five cities and seven towns included in the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force region.
"Northern Virginia has achieved notable success in thwarting gangs, in containing their spread and in suppressing the number of crimes they commit," says Ken Billingsly, who conducted the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force Comprehensive Gang Assessment between 2003 and 2008. (WTOP)
MOUTHFUL OF COCKROACHES
A Michigan pet store employee got himself a mouthful of cockroaches — on purpose. The Lansing State Journal reported Sean Murphy on Friday stuffed 16 Madagascar hissing cockroaches into his mouth. He was trying to set a new Guinness World Records mark and said the old record was 11.
Murphy initially got 12 squirming cockroaches into his mouth, but then kept adding them until he got to 16. He says it was a "big surprise" since he's never fit that many in his mouth before "in one try." (MSNBC)