While most retrospectives will likely focus on politics and world events, I want to stick to the theme of this blog. So, as we close the book on the tumultuous year that was, I’d like to take a look back at the stories that most caught my attention for their strangeness. Without further ado, here are my picks for the weirdest Oklahoma news of 2017!
Karan Ribitzke of Owasso was booked into Tulsa County Jail on charges of kidnapping after she allegedly allowed a door-to-door saleswoman into her home, only to refuse to let her leave. After ranting about religion for over an hour, Ribitzke, completely naked, then chased the woman down the street when she managed to escape.
Residents of Henryetta got the Footloose treatment when an upcoming Valentine’s Day dance was cancelled due to a 40 year-old city ordinance that banned dancing within 500 feet of a church. The ordinance was abolished later that month, unfortunately not in time for the holiday festivities.
An OKC mother, Melissa Wevers, was arrested for filing a false Amber Alert after her two toddlers were located safe and sound at their grandmother’s house. Wevers originally stated the children had been taken by a white man in an SUV; the vehicle was later found also at the grandmother’s residence. It’s believed she made up the story to get the children’s father in trouble.
In another bizzare case of domestic turmoil, Norman resident Joseph Cross found himself at the center of a kidnapping investigation after someone reported he had shoved a woman and an infant into his car and drove away. Turns out the person who reported Cross to authorities was an angry family member seeking retaliation after an argument with the couple. No charges were filed.
A 4th grade class in OKC became amature crimefighters after they spotted a burglary happening just across the street from their school. Their teacher, Miss B., called 911 and, with help from the pint-sized investigators, managed to give details about the suspects and vehicle. The dispatcher said it was the best burglary call she’d ever taken.
A Tulsa man, later identified as Robert Scott Nutter (yes that is his real last name), was booked into jail on a count of outraging public decency after he reportedly terrorized local women by flashing them his dangly bits while holding a banana. Authorities are still perplexed as to the “significance of the banana”.