<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usFri, 28 Jul 2017 02:57:36 -0400Fri, 28 Jul 2017 02:57:36 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Accused of Smuggling King Cobras in Potato Chip Cans]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:47:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/209*120/cobra-side-by-side.jpg

A Monterey Park man was arrested on federal smuggling charges Tuesday stemming from the seizure of a package that contained three king cobras hidden in potato chip canisters.

Rodrigo Franco, 34, was taken into custody without incident by special agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after he was named in a federal criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles last week, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Franco is charged with one felony count of illegally importing merchandise into the United States, which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, U.S. Customs and Border Protection on March 2 inspected a package sent from Hong Kong and discovered three live king cobra snakes -- a protected and highly venomous reptile -- each of which was nearly 2 feet long.

In addition to the three snakes, the parcel being sent through the mail contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles, prosecutors said.

On the same date, Franco also allegedly mailed six protected turtles -- desert box turtles, three-toed box turtles and ornate box turtles -- from the United States to Hong Kong, but that shipment also was intercepted by the USFWS.

Because of the danger associated with the cobras, the snakes were seized from the package that had come from Hong Kong. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service made a controlled delivery of the soft-shelled turtles to Franco's home. Immediately after the package was delivered, federal agents executed a search warrant at the residence.

While searching the home, agents found the package that originated in Hong Kong in a children's bedroom, in which they also discovered a tank containing a live baby crocodile and tanks containing alligator snapping turtles, a common snapping turtle, and five diamond back terrapins -- all of which are protected species, according to the affidavit.

During a subsequent interview with authorities, Franco allegedly admitted that he had previously received 20 king cobras in two prior shipments -- but he said all of those snakes had died in transit, prosecutors said.

During the ensuing investigation, authorities obtained evidence from Franco's phone, which contained messages in which he and someone in Asia allegedly discussed shipping turtles and snakes between the United States and Asia. According to the complaint, the messages indicate that Franco had previously received live cobras from his contact in Asia and was going to give five of the snakes to a relative of his contact.



Photo Credit: Uniter States Fish and Wildlife Service]]>
<![CDATA[Twins Born Conjoined at the Heart]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:55:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Joined_at_the_heart-150093339088500001.jpg

Twin baby girls Paisleigh and Paislyn Martinez were born conjoined at the chest, with their hearts fused together. Doctors from University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital used groundbreaking technology to separate them.

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<![CDATA[The Costumes of Comic-Con]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:15:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+Costumes+THUMB.jpg

One of the key attractions at any Comic-Con is the fan-made costumes. NBC talked to a few attendees about what inspired their look and how much it cost to put it all together.

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<![CDATA[Comic-Con: The Hall H Line Survival Guide]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:38:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+HALL+H+THUMB.jpg

The famed Hall H at Comic-Con is where all the biggest and most exciting panels happen, and fans line up overnight just to get a chance to get a glimpse of some of their favorite stars or creators. Here is everything you need to know to survive the wait.

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<![CDATA[The 5 Weirdest Panels Listed in the Comic-Con Guidebook]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:37:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+5+WEIRDEST+PANELS+THUMB.jpg

Comic-Con is full of panels that feature beloved actors and exclusive sneak peaks at footage of upcoming movies and shows, but there are also quite a few Klingon-eyebrow-raising ones in the mix. Here are five of the weirdest panels at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.

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<![CDATA[Weapons Check at Comic-Con]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:28:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+WEAPONS+CHECK+THUMB.jpg

Many Comic-Con costumes wouldn’t be complete without the right swords, crossbows or blasters — but there are some strict rules for what you can and cannot bring onto the convention floor. Here’s what you need to know.

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<![CDATA[Feet Jabbed Into Empty Row Make for In-Flight 'Nightmare']]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:04:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/feet3.jpg

A California woman thought she had hit the jackpot when she boarded a JetBlue plane for a short flight this week: she had an entire row to herself. 

"I left the armrests up so I could bask in the comfort of my private airplane bench," Jessie Char, who was flying from Long Beach, California, home to San Francisco, told NBC 4 New York. "It was a short flight, but I wasn't about to let this go to waste." 

Char says she heard a small thud a few minutes after takeoff and noticed one of the armrests had fallen. Then the unthinkable happened. 

"At first I assumed it was just a loose hinge, but as I stared at the armrest I noticed a set of toes creeping outwards," Char said. "By the time I pulled out my phone, a second foot had appeared." 

Char says the toes started wiggling and then the situation deteriorated even further. 

"I watched as one of the feet slowly lifted the window shade up and down again," she says. 

The now highly disturbed traveler made eye contact with a flight attendant, but the feet retracted — Wicked Witch of the West-style — as the crew member approached, Char says. 

Char says she caught a glimpse of the feet's owners after the flight; the woman was about 5 feet 3 inches tall — or shorter — and was seated in a row with extra leg room, she says. 

Char's tweet, captioned, "Today, I flew on the set of a nightmare," has gotten more than 4,100 retweets and 20,800 likes since she posted it early Wednesday. And as one might imagine, the memes are extra special.



Photo Credit: @jessiechar/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Gator Crosses Busy Florida Street]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:45:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_GATOR_ON_STREET_IN_FLA_071917-150048393084600001.jpg

A large alligator was captured on camera crossing a busy street in Lakeland, Florida.

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<![CDATA[Goat Rams Through Glass Door of Colo. Business]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:33:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_GOAT_OFFICE_0711819_1-150048201809600001.jpg

An aggressive goat was caught on camera repeatedly ramming and eventually breaking the front door glass door of a polyurethane manufacturer in Colorado.

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<![CDATA[Grizzly Bear Gets Root Canal]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 15:13:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_BEAR_ROOT_CANAL_071717_1-150033897146600001.jpg

A team of veterinarians and specialists performed a root canal on a 538-pound grizzly bear named Albert at an animal rescue in Alpine, Calif.

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<![CDATA[Whining Over Winnie? Chinese Censors Scrub Pooh Memes]]> Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:54:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/141751511-Winnie-the-Pooh-China.jpg

Winnie the Pooh is a fictional persona non grata on some Chinese social media sites, where censors are scrubbing images and mentions of the bear, NBC News reported.

On the popular chat app WeChat, stickers of Pooh and friends were no longer accessible, while Weibo no longer showed memes comparing President Xi Jinping to the bear.

That longtime meme is being blamed for the censoring in the absence of an official explanation. WeChat's developer declined to comment to NBC News.

"To ban Winnie because someone has compared him to Xi?" one student said. "What the heck, give Pooh and President Xi a break!"




Photo Credit: VCG via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Taking Selfie Damages $200,000 in Art]]> Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:55:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/selfieart.jpg

A woman damaged an estimated $200,000 worth of art at a Los Angeles gallery while taking a selfie.

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<![CDATA[Circus Worker Trampled, Bitten by Camel at Fairgrounds in MD]]> Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:35:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_608408348.jpg

A circus worker in Maryland was airlifted to a trauma center Friday after he was trampled and bitten by a camel at the Charles County Fairgrounds, authorities said.

The 57-year-old man sustained a head injury shortly after 2:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland, said a Charles County Fire spokesman. The camel is part of an animal exhibit at the fairgrounds this weekend.

The victim's condition is unknown. He was airlifted to a medical center in Prince George's County.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Spills Live Eels on Oregon Highway]]> Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:57:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Truck_Spills_Live_Eels_on_Oregon_Highway_1200x675_996660291751.jpg
[WARNING: Some people may find the content of this video disturbing] A truck hauling eels overturned on an Oregon highway, turning the coastal road into a slimy mess on Thursday, July 13, 2017.
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<![CDATA[King Cobras and Geckos Seized at JFK Airport]]> Tue, 11 Jul 2017 17:21:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/snakes+seized+at+JFK.jpg

Nearly a half a dozen king cobras and a handful of geckos were seized by border agents at Kennedy Airport, authorities said.

The reptiles were detected by Customs and Border Protection officers scanning an express mail package from Hong Kong late last month.

The contents of the package were described as a “plastic tray,” but an x-ray revealed the slithering outlines of snakes.


The officers contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to examine the package further.

The FWS officers opened the container and found a Styrofoam casing with rows of holes. The parcel was filled with five juvenile king cobras and three geckos.

The animals were all alive, and the package was turned over to the FWS for further investigation, authorities said.




Photo Credit: U.S. Customs
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<![CDATA[Six Injured in Sixth Running of the Bulls of 2017]]> Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:10:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+BULL+RUNNING+THUMB.jpg

Wednesday was the sixth running of the bulls this year in Pamplona, Spain.  As part of a nine-day festival, hundreds run ahead of six bulls on a path to the bull fighting stadium. Six people were injured Wednesday morning. Five people had been gored by bulls since the festival began on Friday.

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<![CDATA[Stolen Ambulance Found at 7-Eleven on Free Slurpee Day]]> Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:25:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/071117+slurpee+ambulance.jpg

An ambulance was stolen from a hospital in Maryland and then found outside a 7-Eleven on Tuesday, free Slurpee day.

The ambulance with no patients inside was stolen Tuesday afternoon from outside Prince George's Hospital Center, a representative for the county fire department said. It appears to have been running when it was taken.

Officials used GPS to track the vehicle to a location about 2 miles south. They found the ambulance at a 7-Eleven on the 600 block of Arbor Street in Cheverly.

Tuesday is 7-Eleven Day. The convenience store chain is giving free, small slushy drinks from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the country.

No information on a suspect was available immediately.

This is at least the second time in less than two months that an ambulance was stolen from Prince George's Hospital Center. A recently released hospital patient stole an ambulance during the morning rush hour May 19 and led police on a chase through two counties for more than an hour, police said.

Any time Prince George's County ambulances are unattended, they should be locked, with the engines off, Assistant Chief Alan Doubleday said in May that department policy states.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.



Photo Credit: Getty Images; Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Colorado Teen Survives Unprovoked Bear Attack While Camping]]> Mon, 10 Jul 2017 13:22:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_bearattack0710_1500x845.jpg

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking for a bear that bit a 19-year-old man named Dylan, who wishes to keep his last name private, early Sunday morning in an unprovoked attack at a campground in Boulder County.

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<![CDATA[Shark Bites Swimmer Off Miami-Area Beach]]> Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:45:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+SHARK+ATTACK+MIAMI+THUMB.jpg

A swimmer was bitten by what lifeguards believed was a bullhead shark in South Florida on Sunday. Miami-Dade lifeguards believe this is the first shark attack in 20 years.

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<![CDATA[VP Pence Touches NASA Equipment Labeled 'Do Not Touch' ]]> Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:27:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/809911566-Mike-Pence-NASA-Do-Not-Touch.jpg

Houston, we have contact.

Vice President Mike Pence was seen touching a piece of NASA equipment labeled "Do not touch" on Thursday, driving the internet wild.

It happened while Pence was touring the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with Director Bob Cabana and Sen. Marco Rubio. Photos show Pence reaching for a titanium cover, where a sign inches above his hand warns against touching the "critical space flight hardware."

Pence toured the space center to mark his appointment as chair of the recently reinstated National Space Council, which will advise the president on space policy and set goals for U.S. space exploration.  

Also on the trip, Pence promised NASA employees a Mars landing and a return to the moon in the agency's future: "We will grab that destiny with both hands."


But Pence's apparent defiance of the no-touching rule prompted a flood of memes on social media, which show the vice president grabbing everything from M.C. Hammer of "U Can't Touch This" fame, to the glowing Saudi Arabian orb that went viral when President Donald Trump was seen touching it in May.

Reddit had a "Photoshop Battle" for users to create the best Pence-touch meme.

NASA Spokesperson Jen Rae Wang said in a statement Friday afternoon that the signs on the hardware -- a titanium forward bay cover for the Orion spaceship -- are there only "as a day-to-day reminder."

"Procedures require the hardware to be cleaned before tiles are bonded to the spacecraft, so touching the surface is absolutely okay," Wang said.

Pence tweeted about the incident shortly thereafter, getting in on the humor with some jabs at Rubio and himself.



Photo Credit: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Haunting Photos Show Abandoned Midwest Amusement Parks]]> Fri, 07 Jul 2017 12:14:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/chippewa+lake+thumb.jpg In a series of eery images, photographer Seph Lawless captures amusement parks around the Midwest years after they'd been closed and abandoned.

Photo Credit: Seph Lawless]]>
<![CDATA[Police Seek Help Finding Owner of Boat Left on Highway]]> Mon, 10 Jul 2017 10:11:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/boat+on+road.jpg

South Brunswick Police have unraveled the mystery behind why a 37-foot boat was found on the side of busy Route 1 in New Jersey Thursday afternoon.

The boat, it turns out, was recently sold and in the middle of a road trip from Mamaroneck, New York, to a marina in Maryland.

The driver transporting the boat to Otter Creek Marina, Christopher White, told police he started to experience mechanical difficulties on the road. Around 1:30 p.m., White inexplicably decided to leave the boat on the shoulder of the highway and return to Maryland to get a new trailer, police said.

"White left the boat on blocks and headed to Maryland to get a new trailer," South Brunswick police Capt. James Ryan said in an email. "White could not explain why he never notified police or any authorities about leaving the boat."

The saga surrounding the vessel, named Maraliya and formerly out of Larchmont, New York, quickly spread after police took to Twitter asking the public for help.

The South Brunswick PD tweeted a picture and video of the boat asking 'Do you know the owner?'

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After five hours sitting on the highway shoulder, a tow truck came to cart away the boat.

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White was issued to summonses for failure to notify police of a disabled or abandoned vehicle and for obstructing the passage of vehicles. Police said the boat on blocks caused a minor car crash "from drivers watching the boat as it was on the highway."



Photo Credit: South Brunswick Police Department
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<![CDATA[Woman Weds Man 3 Years After Twitter Joke About Marrying Him]]> Mon, 10 Jul 2017 10:14:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/armus-twitter.jpg

Twitter, she married him. It just took a while.

Almost three years after Llia Apostolou sent a joking message on Twitter in search of a blind wedding date, she and the stranger who answered her made it to a different wedding: their own.

Apostolou, a social media manager from London, explained the romantic saga on her blog. She and a friend went to a pub on Valentine's Day in 2014 to "distract ourselves from our singleness" when she saw a photo of Paul Gibson pop into her Twitter feed.

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"I can’t explain what happened next, I felt something shift in my heart," Apostolou said on the blog. "Perhaps it was the whiskey, but I wanted to know you."

A few months later, still in search of a date to her sister's wedding the coming weekend, Apostolou sent that joking tweet.

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Gibson responded almost immediately, and the two exchanged light-hearted messages about the idea, even joking about getting married themselves.

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She writes, "So our conversation moved from tweets, to direct messages, to long and rambling emails about our lives."

And three years later, that Twitter exchange took them to the altar — and Apostolou's callback to the moment when their romance took off has gone viral, getting retweeted more than 15,000 times.

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Apostolou said in another Twitter message that she and Gibson are unavailable to speak to the media because they are on their honeymoon.

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Photo Credit: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[The Internet Can't Get Enough of This Dog's Balancing Act ]]> Thu, 06 Jul 2017 09:27:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/goldenbalance.jpg

River, a 5-year-old golden retriever from Charlotte, North Carolina, has the internet talking about his ability to balance things on his head and nose.

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<![CDATA[Zoo Animals Eat Frozen Treats at Zoo in Rome]]> Thu, 06 Jul 2017 09:19:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_POPSICLES_ROME_ZOO_070517_1-149929331529900001.jpg

A zoo in Rome is giving animals frozen treats this summer to help them beat the heat, and to provide them with vitamins, minerals and amusement.

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<![CDATA[China Gives Germany Two Pandas Ahead of G-20 Summit]]> Wed, 05 Jul 2017 14:39:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+PANDA+GIFTS+THUMB.jpg

Chinese President Xi Jinping presented German Chancellor Angela Merkel with two unique gifts ahead of Friday’s G-20 Summit: a pair of giant pandas. The two pandas, Meng Meng and Jiao Qing (which translates to “Sweet Dream” and “Darling”) will be loaned out to the Berlin Zoo for the next 15 years. It had been five years since the zoo last had pandas.

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<![CDATA[Video Shows Snake Slithering on NYC Subway Train]]> Thu, 29 Jun 2017 20:33:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/snake+on+a+train_juvnguerrero.jpg

You can now add snake to the wide variety of people, animals and microorganisms that have come in contact with the city’s subway poles.

A straphanger captured a snake wrapped around a rail handle on an L train in a video that has gone viral.

In the video, the snake is wrapped around the pole with its head stretched out towards the ceiling.

A man can be heard quietly saying, “Snakes on a train, yo, snakes on a train,” as the camera zooms in on the wriggling reptile.

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It appears as though none of the other passengers seem to notice the critter or are too hardened by what they had already seen traveling the city’s subway system.

The man who shot the video, Juan Guerrero, said it appeared the snake belonged to a man seen standing next to the snake.

Guerrero said the man was kissing the snake before he let him go onto the rail.

The video was eventually picked up by the popular Instagram account "subwaycreatures." The post had more than 131,000 views as of early Thursday.

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A snake on a plane garnered similar fame after it was captured slithering out of an overhead storage compartment on a commercial flight in Mexico last year.

Last week, bizarre video of a raccoon in a subway seat on a Lexington Avenue-line train elicited mixed reactions from New Yorkers.

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Photo Credit: Juan Guerrero]]>
<![CDATA[Man Destroys Ten Commandments Monument 24 Hours After Unveiling]]> Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:14:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+10+Commandments+Vandal+THUMB.jpg

A man yelled “freedom” as he rammed his car into a monument depicting the Ten Commandments outside the Arkansas State Capitol, less than 24 hours after it was unveiled. Michael Tate Reed posted videos to his Facebook page of the collision and his justification for doing so, authorities said. This wasn’t the first time Reed was arrested for destroying a Ten Commandments monument. Reed was also booked in 2014 for vandalizing a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma. He apologized the following year and said he suffered mental health issues.

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<![CDATA[Watch: Man Is Hit By Bus Then Walks Into Pub]]> Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:07:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ukbuscrash.png

Keep calm and carry on.

That’s what Englishman Simon Smith seemed to do after being struck by a bus on his way home from work. Almost immediately after, Smith brushed himself off and entered a nearby pub as if nothing happened.

Despite being hit hard enough to crack the windsheild, Smith was left with only minor scratches and bruising. The incident took place on Gun Street in Reading, England, and was captured on CCTV.

The 53-year-old told U.K. news outlets he was lucky to be alive.

He explained in an interview with The Sun that he never saw the bus coming. 

"It's quite funny everybody think I have gone for a pint," he said. "I was actually looking for a place of refuge when I went into the doorway of the pub." 

An ambulance arrived then. It wasn't until after he was discharged from the hospital that he had a pint.

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<![CDATA[Oscar Mayer Adds New Vehicles, Drone to WienerFleet]]> Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:33:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/wienerfleet.jpg

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… WienerDrone?

Oscar Mayer announced the expansion of its "WienerFleet" in a YouTube video Monday, which will add two new hot dog-shaped vehicles to bring the company's products straight to consumers. The Kraft Heinz company made the announcement of the fleet expansion to celebrate its new line of hot dogs ahead of its July 4 festivities in Weiner, Arkansas.

The fleet will now include the Wienermobile, WienerMini, WienerRover, WienerCycle, and even a WienerDrone. The new additions will serve their own unique purposes in delivering the hot dogs. The WienerCycle is intended for urban deliveries, while the WienerDrone can travel to remote locations.

"As the most iconic brand, we're going where other hot dogs can't," said head of marketing at Oscar Mayer, Greg Guidotti. "We’re committed to getting our new hot dog in everyone’s hands – and going to great lengths to do this."

The meat company created its first Wienermobile in 1936. The car travels around the country with its class of "Hotdoggers," who man the vehicle. According to the Wienermobile's Instagram account, the car last stopped in Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.



Photo Credit: The Kraft Heinz Company
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<![CDATA[Watch: Raccoon Spotted Riding the Subway in NYC]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:36:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/raccoon+subway+2.JPG

Video of a raccoon riding the subway, nibbling food out of a bowl as it's seated between two people, has New Yorkers alternately repulsed, amused and just plain bewildered. 

Subway rider Brooke Hogan told NBC 4 New York she took the video on a Lexington Avenue-line train heading uptown from 42nd Street last Tuesday. 

The raccoon is seen seated next to a woman -- apparently his owner or handler -- furiously licking food out of a small plastic bowl.

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It's not clear from the video why the woman had a raccoon, or why she brought it on the subway. People in New York aren't allowed to have a raccoon without a license, and licenses aren't issued for pet wildlife, according to the city

People on social media were also apparently befuddled. On a popular Instagram account devoted to chronicling the quirky quotidian scenes of the subway, varying reactions flooded the comments: 

"Never sitting on the train again." 

"I'm not sure if I'm laughing or throwing up." 

"Are you kidding me?? How did people not freak out??" 

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"New York subway is just game over, not even playing anymore."

"People become so strange in the summer."

"Next stop, Bronx zoo." 

"Raccoons are New Yorkers, too." 

"This is why the NYC subway is the best, and worst." 

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It shouldn't be surprising that the subway raccoon was able to grip the bowl with its own paws -- the animals have "amazing dexterity, allowing them to open doors and untie knots," according to New York City's wildlife site. They can also rotate their back feet, allowing them to descend from trees headfirst.

New York City's wildlife site also says most raccoons pose no risk of transferring disease to humans, and the incidence of rabies in the New York City raccoon population is very small. Since 2014, the city and federal governments worked together to vaccinate raccoons on Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens against rabies.

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Still, people shouldn't approach or feed raccoons, the city warns: they can become a nuisance if people supply food or shelter. The "opportunistic feeders" will eat whatever is easily accessible, including fruit, nuts, fungi, insects, worms, birds, turtles, eggs, mice, bats, squirrels, fish, snakes, frogs, dead animals, bird feeder seed, pet food and human food waste. 

Most raccoon don't live past 6 years old in the wild. 

A message has been left with the MTA. 

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Photo Credit: Brooke Hogan]]>
<![CDATA[20-Pound Live Lobster Found in Luggage at Boston Airport ]]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:46:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TSALOBSTER+626.jpg

A Transportation Security Administration screener at Boston's Logan Airport made a huge catch at checked baggage on Sunday.

TSA spokesperson Michael McCarthy tweeted a photo of a screener posing with a lobster weighing more than 20 pounds.

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According to a later tweet, the lobster was traveling in a cooler in checked baggage. It was "allowed to continue," McCarthy said.

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<![CDATA[Diner Finds Dead Frog in Salad at LA Restaurant]]> Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:34:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/frogsalad2.jpg

Officials with the BJ's Restaurants chain said they're investigating how a dead frog wound up in a diner's salad at one of the company's locations in West Covina, Los Angeles County.

Shawna Cepeda posted a picture of her salad with a frog that appeared to be the size of two croutons in a Yelp review on June 14. Cepeda couldn't be reached Saturday, but in her Yelp post, she said she ate at the restaurant the previous night and ordered a side salad.

"I was about four bites into it and I noticed it tasted a little different," she wrote. "I thought maybe the ranch dressing was a little bitter, and after mixing the salad around some more I found a dead baby frog."

The manager offered to comp her meal, which she declined.

She said corporate apologized and sent her a $50 gift card.

Krysteen Romero, the general manager at the restaurant, posted a comment on Cepeda's Yelp page more than a week later apologizing and offering to speak to her directly.

In a statement issued to NBC4, BJ's Chief Financial Officer Greg Levin said the company takes this seriously and they "have launched an internal investigation including discussions with our suppliers and distributors to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future."



Photo Credit: Shawna Cepeda]]>
<![CDATA[National Llama Competition]]> Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:34:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+NATIONAL+LLAMA+COMP+THUMB.jpg

Hundreds of llamas and alpacas will gather in Waterloo, Iowa, this weekend to take part in The Gathering of Friends and Champions, a national llama competition. The llamas will be judged on their fleece, agility and halter or gait. Llamas can grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 440 pounds.

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<![CDATA[Man Visits Disneyland 2,000 Times In a Row]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:39:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+DISNEY+VISIT+THUMB.jpg

A Huntington Beach man has set a record for most consecutive visits to Disneyland. Jeff Reitz, 44, has visited the park 2,000 times in a row. Reitz started visiting the park every day when he was unemployed and wanted to keep his spirits up. Employed at the VA now, Reitz continues to visit every day after work because it helps him to decompress after a long day. His favorite ride is the Matterhorn Bobsleds, which he first rode with his mom when he was 2 years old. 

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<![CDATA[Deer Caught Duking It Out on Camera]]> Sat, 24 Jun 2017 08:30:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DeerBoxing.gif

Bring it on! Two deer were caught in an impromptu boxing match, caught on cam by a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer.  (Video Credit: TWRA)

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<![CDATA[Barflies Order Drinks During Armed Robbery]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:44:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/BarRobbery0620_MP4_1280x720_971876419659.jpg

Barflies appeared not to notice as armed robbers were sticking up a Florida bar with a shotgun Sunday, with some patrons even trying to order more drinks as the robbery was in progress.

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<![CDATA[Snake Crawls Out From Under Hood of Moving Truck]]> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:46:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/snakehood.jpg

A snake gave a couple of people inside a moving truck quite a scare when it appeared on the hood.

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