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Those weren't gang signs

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Police in North Carolina say a deaf man was stabbed several times after his sign language was mistaken for gang signs by another man.

Burlington police Sgt. Mark Yancey said 45-year-old Terrance Ervin Daniels was using sign language with another deaf man. He said a third person saw them, thought they were flashing gang signs and stabbed Daniels with a kitchen knife. A neighbour saw the victim and called emergency personnel. Daniels is in stable condition at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill after Wednesday's incident.

Police arrested Robert Jarell Neal, 22, and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury and felony assault on a handicapped person.

Cannon in park loaded

NEW YORK -- An 18th-century cannon was found loaded with gunpowder and a cannon ball Friday during a routine cleaning at the Central Park Conservancy.

Residual gunpowder was spotted after a piece of rust was removed from the cannon, exposing the cannon ball, New York City police said. Authorities were summoned to remove the gunpowder and make the cannon safe for public display. The cannon came from a British Royal Navy ship, the HMS Hussar, circa 1763 to 1780.

"We silenced British cannon fire in 1776 and we don't want to hear it again in Central Park," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

'At one with the tiger'

NEW YORK -- A man who jumped into a tiger den at the Bronx Zoo and was mauled by a 400-pound animal told police, "Everyone makes choices," a court complaint says.

David Villalobos, 25, was arraigned Friday in a Bronx court and pleaded not guilty to trespassing charges.

On Sept. 21, Villalobos jumped from a monorail train that tours the zoo's Wild Asia exhibit. He cleared a five-metre-high fence and was attacked and dragged by a Siberian tiger named Bashuta.

Villalobos suffered bites on his arms, legs, shoulders and back. He also had a broken right shoulder, right rib, right ankle and pelvis and a collapsed lung.

In the complaint, police Sgt. Peter Monopoli says that when Villalobos was asked why he jumped, he said, "Everyone makes choices and we have our reasons in life why we do things."

He told another investigator, "I was testing my natural fear. You would not understand," the complaint says. "It is a spiritual thing, I wanted to be at one with the tiger."

Villalobos was alone with the tiger for about 10 minutes before he was rescued by workers who used a fire extinguisher to chase the animal away.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 12, 2013 A23

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