New St. Louis Police Truck Vows To Protect And Serve… Ice Cream

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By Cooking Panda

St. Louis police have an ice cream truck, and they’re not afraid to use it.

It’s no big secret that cop-civilian tension has reached an all-time high in our nation. Therefore, in a bid to develop a more positive relationships with the communities it has vowed to protect and serve, St. Louis police have come into possession of an ice cream truck, stocked with free cones for civilians.

The ice cream truck is called Operation Polar Cops — yes, really — and was donated to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department last month, according to CNN. The cost, which was covered entirely by donations, was $16,000, and the truck came with over 6,000 frozen treats donated by a supermarket and local dairy.

On July 26, Operation Polar Cops officially debuted at a local Boys & Girls Club. In minutes, children were swarming around the truck, delighted to receive their free frozen novelty.

“Law enforcement realizes the need to bridge gaps in our community. It is more important than ever to engage citizens and build trust,” Police Commissioner Sam Dotson said in a press statement to MUNCHIES.

“Operation Polar Cops is a unique tool to reach our youngest citizens. The goal of this project is simple. It’s about introducing our officers as positive role models in a fun environment.”

Added Dr. Flint W. Fowler, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis: “It’s critical that citizens and law enforcement work together to keep our neighborhoods safe for all. It’s encouraging to know that our police department is seeking out new ways to connect with our youth.”

Sources: MUNCHIES, CNN / Photo credit: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tags: community building, ice cream, operation polar cops, Police, st. louis
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Watch Police Hand Out Ice Cream Cones Instead Of Tickets (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

If you’re a law-abiding citizen and driver in Virginia, then you should probably be made aware of the new traffic law that saw cops pulling over 20 people on July 29 (video below).

Have you heard of it? “Vehicle code 1739” — driving on a hot day without an ice cream cone.

According to WTKR, Halifax Police Chief Kevin Lands and Officer Brian Warner decided to try and remediate some of the tension between civilians and the police force by purchasing ice cream cones and handing them out to unsuspecting drivers.

It was a hot summer day, and temperatures had reached the 90s, which is surely grounds enough for an icy reward. However, when asked why he and his partner Officer Warner did it, Chief Lands told WTKR that the pair simply “wanted to try and put some smiles on people’s faces.”

Mission accomplished — one Facebook video posted by Kevin Lands (which has been viewed more than six million times as of August 2) captures an officer after he pulled over a driver. He proceeds to tell her the reason she was stopped: for driving on a hot day without ice cream, naturally. Immediately, she erupts into relieved peals of laughter.

“Her reaction was absolutely the best,” Warner said. “It was genuine, and she had us smiling and laughing for a good hour afterwards, and I’ve probably watched the video myself 50 times just laughing… and that’s one of the great things with police work you get to meet people like that on a daily basis, and it makes the job worth it.”

Watch the sweet exchange below.

Sources: WTKR, KTLA, Kevin Lands/Facebook / Photo credit:  Expat Claptrap

Tags: community building, ice cream, Police
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Deputies Allegedly Given Tampered Food, Taunted During Lunch Break

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By Cooking Panda

A North Carolina restaurant has been accused of mistreating on-duty deputies during their lunch break, going as far as preparing the food “to the point where [the meal] wasn’t even fit to eat.”

On July 10, two deputies in Cleveland County went to a Zaxby’s restaurant in Shelby, North Carolina, while in uniform.

“As they walked up to place their orders, the boys in the back cooking the food started yelling at them and calling them names,” the wife wrote about her husband’s experience at the restaurant, as reported by WJZY.

Although the law enforcement officers ignored the comments, the mistreatment continued.

“Being the professional deputies that they are, neither of them replied to the rude comments or acknowledged it,” the wife continued on Facebook, reports WJZY. “Then, as they sat down to eat their food, my husband realized that the boys had put the hottest sauce possible on his wings, to the point where his food wasn’t even fit to eat.”

Cleveland County Captain Joel Shores told WBTV that although the incident was upsetting, he was not surprised.

“Years ago, this profession was respected, it was honored,” Shores said. “Now to get ridiculed, to be a target, to possibly get shot at, for little pay… what’s the motivation to be a police officer other than [to] do it because your heart’s in it to help the community?”

Shores said he wished that people realized that law enforcement officers aim to protect the public, not harm them.  

“If you’re not ready to be ridiculed, law enforcement is not the job for you, especially in today’s world,” he said. “We don’t want to shoot no one. We don’t want to pepper spray. We don’t want to taser, that’s not what we wake up to do. We wake up to protect.”

Shores said the situation would be fully investigated and that Zaxby’s and the franchisee was deeply apologetic for the incident.

“We are not going to judge an entire franchise based on a couple employees,” he wrote on Facebook. “That is what is happening to us in Law [Enforcement] and we are above that! Zaxbys can not be judged on a few bad apples. Just pray for our nation.”

Sources: WJZY, WBTV / Photo credit: Robin Kanady/WJZY

Tags: Cleveland County, employees mistreated customers, Police, restaurant employees mistreated law enforcement, tampered food, Zaxby's
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‘She Was In Tears’: Woman Upset After Trooper Accuses Her Of Doing Meth (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

Stephanie Foltz was pulled over for speeding in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, when Trooper Thomas Manning accused her of smoking methamphetamine after catching a glimpse of her teeth (video below).

Stephanie told WTHR she simply inherited less-than-pearly whites and has never touched meth. The condition of her teeth reportedly deteriorated after she gave birth.

“What happened to your teeth?” Manning is heard asking in an audio recording of the exchange captured by Stephanie’s husband, Matt Foltz.

“Childbirth,” Stephanie, a young mother, replies. 

“Are you saying your children did that to you?” Manning says.

“During pregnancy, they take calcium out of your body and the first place it comes from is teeth,” Stephanie responds.

“I don’t believe you,” the trooper says. “I know they do take calcium from your body, but they don’t do it in that way.”

Stephanie was issued a speeding ticket, but she said the real damage was to her self-esteem.

“After that conversation, it makes me not want to talk to anyone,” she told WTHR. “If he has that perception of me, who’s to say somebody else doesn’t, you know?”

Stephanie added that even if her teeth are bad, the officer had no right to tell her she was doing meth.

Matt said his wife was distraught following the incident.

“She was in tears,” he said. “She could hardly talk, let alone drive. I ended up taking off work early.”

When Matt couldn’t get in touch with the state police, he posted the audio recording on YouTube. Stephanie hopes making the interaction public will shed light on Manning’s actions, although state police have decided not to punish him.

“I don’t want the publicity,” she said. “I don’t want the attention. I just don’t think it was right the way he handled the situation.”

Stephanie’s friend, Heather Wolfe, started a crowd-funding campaign to help fix her dental issues.

“[Stephanie] is an amazing friend, mother, daughter, and wife,” Wolfe wrote on the GoFundMe page. “She doesn’t have the funds to get her teeth fixed. If we could all pitch in it would help tremendously.”

As of Sept. 30, $35 of the $1,000 goal had been raised.

Sources: GoFundMeWTHR / Photo Credit: WTHR

Tags: meth, Police, Society, stephanie foltz, thomas manning
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McDonald’s Employee Takes Drastic Measures When Drunk Customer Refuses To Leave (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

A video has been posted on Youtube capturing the moment when an employee of a McDonald’s store in East Lansing, Michigan, knocked out a customer with a single punch.

The incident occurred early last Thursday at around 3 a.m at the McDonald’s on Grand River Avenue. A Michigan State University student was hurt in the altercation, but his injuries were not life threatening.

Witnesses described how the student entered the store and proceeded to spit on the counter. This prompted a comment from an employee which drew an angry response from the student, who threw a “caution: wet floor” sign at the worker.

Kevin Lange, who recorded the video, said that another worker was called from the back to escort the student out, and that was when things got out of control.

After the worker dressed in black pushed the student over while escorting him out, the student turned on him. According to Lange, the student appeared “startled and ready to pick a fight.”

The worker dressed in blue then intervened, knocking the customer to the floor with a single blow.

While acknowledging that the student’s behavior had been provocative, Lange questioned the response.

“He definitely instigated it,” Lange said of the student. “But, it got taken too far. He didn’t have to get punched. He could have got pushed out and told not to come back.”

Observers helped tend to his injuries, which included a large gash on his head. He was later taken to hospital.

According to East Lansing police spokesman Steve Gonzalez, no further information on the incident could be released since investigations are still on-going. The student filed a criminal complaint, Gonzalez said.

At this point in time they’re still tying up loose ends on it, then they’ll refer it to the prosecutor’s office for review,” he said.

Sources: MSU State NewsMLive.com / Photo Credit: Screenshot
Tags: Assault, crime, mcdonald's, Police, Punch
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Police Pay Man’s Meal Tab At IHOP, Arrest Him A Few Hours Later

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By Cooking Panda

When Arizona Police officers responded to a call about a man with mental issues who couldn’t pay for his meal at a Phoenix IHOP, they decided to help him out by paying his tab. What happened next, however, was beyond what they’d expected.

Authorities arrived at the IHOP after employees called and informed them that Mykel Cantrel Cooper, 23, had just ordered and eaten a meal but was unable to pay for it. When they arrived, it was determined that Cooper had “mental health issues,” according to PIX 11. The officers subsequently paid his tab, tipped the wait staff and proceeded to transport him to a nearby facility for treatment at his request. While at the facility, Cooper reportedly told officers that he had “done something bad” to his roommate.

The cryptic revelation prompted officers to visit the young man’s apartment and investigate. They entered the apartment to find Cooper’s roommate, Steven Horkovy, 29, stabbed to death. The stabbing was believed to have happened early last week, the day before Horkovy’s body was discovered on Dec. 31.

Cooper later admitted to the homicide and was arrested for suspected first-degree murder. He was taken to the Maricopa County Jail, where his bond was set at $1 million.

Sources: PIX 11AZFamily.com / Photo Credit: pix11.com

Tags: Arizona, Mental Illness, Murder, Police, Stabbing
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Couple Realizes That Chili’s Waiter Did Something To Their Drinks, Takes Action (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

A couple in New York proved a waiter at their local Chili’s restaurant spit in their drink, thanks a DNA test done by police.

Last summer, Ken Yerdon and his wife, Julie, visited the Clay, New York, Chili’s restaurant for dinner, and had a few minor complaints that included undercooked vegetables and chips not being served. The couple’s waiter, Gregory Lamica, became annoyed. 

“They were busy — we understood,” Julie said. “We were patient with him, but we could tell he was annoyed with us. All Ken said to him was, ‘Are you OK? Have we done something to offend you?’ And he said, ‘Oh, no, no.’”

Before they left, Yerdon and his wife requested their drinks be refilled in to-go cups. Lamica instead brought them empty cups, seemingly expecting them to pour their remaining soda in by themselves. When Yerdon asked Lamica to fill the drinks, he once again became annoyed and went to the back of the restaurant to fill the cups.

As Yerdon was leaving, he noticed that Lamica wouldn’t make eye contact with him. While driving, Lamica took two sips of the beverage before the lid popped off and he made a disturbing discovery. 

“I saw the spit in the cup,” he said. “It wasn’t regular spit either. It was definitely a loogie.”

After dropping his wife off at home, Yerdon went back to the Chili’s and informed management of the incident. The manager offered him a refund and coupons, but the restaurant didn’t fire the waiter.

“We just felt like he needed to be terminated immediately,” Julie said. “To do something like that was so vile and beyond the pale. We couldn’t believe it.”

Yerdon saw Lamica in the parking lot on his way out and proceeded to confront him about the spit. 

“I said, ‘Why did you spit in my drink?'” he told reporters. “He was bawling. He just kept walking with his apron in his hand and he didn’t answer me. I said to him, ‘You wouldn’t be crying if you didn’t spit in my drink.’ He said, ‘I don’t want to lose my job.’”

The Yerdons later called the police, who questioned Lamica. The young man denied spitting in the drink, but agreed to give a saliva sample. The sample was tested and three months later, DNA results came back positive as Lamica’s. He was charged with disorderly conduct.

Yerdon and his wife now plan to sue Lamica for the “psychological trauma” endured from not knowing whether or not he contracted HIV for hepatitis from sipping the contaminated drink.

“It was a long six months of anxiety,” Julie said. 

Sources: Syracuse.comUSA Today

Photo Credit: Flickr/Facebook

Tags: chilis, DNA, Police, restaurant, Spit
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Photos Of Police Officer Showing Up On Grandma’s Doorstep Go Viral (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

At a time when tensions between police officers and African Americans are high, some good news has emerged from Tarrant, Alabama. 

Helen Johnson, 47, lives in poverty with her two daughters, a niece and two grandchildren, ages 1 and 3. This month, her daughter’s welfare check got lost in the mail and the family began to go hungry. 

After two days without eating, Johnson went to a Dollar General store with $1.25, hoping to buy some eggs. Upon learning she was more than 50 cents short, Johnson desperately shoved five eggs into her pocket.

“Of course, when I put them in my jacket pocket, they broke,” Johnson told AL.com. “I’m not a good thief at all.”

A worker apprehended Johnson and informed her the police had already been called. 

After the store decided against pressing charges, Tarrant police officer William Stacy bought eggs for Johnson.

“She started crying,” Stacy said. “She got very emotional and was very apologetic. She tried to give me the money she had on her, $1.25.”

Stacy grew up in a household that was frequently short on food and had been to Johnson’s home before on a call. Johnson and her family have few furnishings, and everyone sleeps on mattresses on the floor. 

“The story she told me Saturday matched up with what I had seen when I was there,” he said. “I felt like it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to pass judgment on her.”

Stacy told Johnson to repay him by not shoplifting again. “I hope she won’t do it again,” he said. “I pray she doesn’t, and I don’t think she will.”

The story quickly went viral, but by Tuesday, the family was down to one slice of bread.The officers brought Johnson to their headquarters, signed her up for the annual Tarrant Toy Drive and told her about the donations pouring in. 

On Wednesday, Stacy and officer Jay Jenkins took two truckloads of food to Johnson’s apartment. ”The last time I saw my house this full, I was 12 years old and staying with my grandmother,” she said. ”I’ve been crying all day.”

Johnson said that if someone asked her for a slice of bread, she would give them a whole loaf and Stacy’s phone number. “My heart is wide open right now,” she said. 

Source: AL.com / Image via Joe Songer, AL.com

Tags: Facebook, Good Samaritan, Officer Robert Sibal, Police, Social
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