HOUSTON – It’s been a weird, wild year, y’all!
From an HOA dust-up over ducks to a big break in a 40-year cold case, the Houston area did not disappoint in the weird news department this year.
Without further ado, here are some of the Houston-area headlines that made us do a double take in 2022.
A Cy-Fair teacher was charged with child endangerment after she reportedly put her COVID-19-positive son in the trunk of her car to prevent being exposed to the virus.
Harris County constables arrested a man who they said was driving a truck with a lit barbecue pit in its bed that had created a large fire. Constables said the man failed a sobriety test. They also found cocaine on his person.
Deputies arrested a Texas woman after she allegedly attempted to buy a mother’s 1-year-old son at the self-checkout section of a Walmart location in Crockett. She offered the mother $500,000 in cash for the child.
When a man fired a gun inside a Highland Village sushi restaurant, a UFC fighter and his friend rushed him and wrested away his weapon.
Dashcam video caught the moment a driver leapt from a big rig as it fell from an overpass following a collision in Pasadena.
A man who allegedly stole a forklift led Harris County deputies on a slow-speed chase down the Hardy Toll Road in Aldine.
A homeowners association in Cypress filed a $250,000 lawsuit against a couple who had been feeding ducks near their home. Neighbors complained the ducks were destroying their property.
Sheriff’s deputies seized a calf, a dwarf caiman, a rabbit, two pythons, three horses, four guinea pigs, and 19 dogs from a Hitchcock home filled with garbage, debris and animal remains.
A woman boarded a stranger’s 52-foot yacht in Galveston, took it on a joyride, and docked it on the other side of Offatts Bayou before police arrested her and reportedly found four grams of drugs on her person.
A woman in Oklahoma learned that she was the missing “Baby Holly” from a Harris County crime scene where her biological parents were murdered 40 years earlier.
A Houston family visited all 89 Texas state parks.
In August, a Baytown family was reunited with their dog four years after it was stolen.
An emu led Houston police on a low-speed trot – yes, you just read that correctly – in the Greenspoint area before the big bird was taken into custody and reportedly returned to its rightful owner.
Nehemiah Juniel, 15, made history as Sam Houston State University’s youngest graduate when he walked the stage in August. He said he planned to pursue a career in cardiology.
Twenty tons of pineapples spilled onto I-45 in Montgomery County after two 18-wheelers collided.
A Houston man ate 52 Filipino egg rolls in 10 minutes, winning a lumpia-eating contest held by a restaurant in the Heights.
A Missouri City dad wrangled an alligator threatening to delay his daughter’s first day of school.
A team of engineers at Rice University repurposed dead wolf spiders as “necrobotic” grippers “able to lift more than 130% of their own body weight.”
A Houston repairman called the police after finding burned human remains in a barbecue pit at a home he’d been contracted to work at.
A Houston man claimed his 6-month-old baby was in the backseat of his stolen vehicle to get a quicker police response, law enforcement said. When the baby’s grandmother saw a report about the missing child on television she called to let authorities know the child was unharmed and in her care. The child’s father was charged with filing a false report.
A wild video captured ATV, four-wheeler and dirt bikes drivers swarming the streets of downtown Houston in August.
A janitor with an STD gave an office worker an incurable disease after repeatedly urinating in her water bottle, police said. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
A man filed a lawsuit against Texas Pete hot sauce after he learned the product isn’t actually made in Texas.
A Southwest Airlines plane flying from Houston to Mexico was nearly delayed after a passenger airdropped a nude photo to other fliers.
Surveillance video captured a shoplifter thoughtfully selecting and trying on several items of clothing before walking to the luggage aisle. He casually threw the pieces into a duffle bag and fled the Friendswood department store.
A coyote was caught on camera jumping a six-foot fence in Pecan Grove.
A 6-year-old successfully fought off a man who attempted to kidnap her from her yard in Houston, her parents said. She defended herself by head-butting the attacker.
Video captured a fan rush the field, grab Houston Astros’ star second baseman Jose Altuve and attempt to take a selfie with him during Game 2 of the AL Championship Series. A group of security guards and police officers pulled the man away before wrestling him to the ground, handcuffing him and escorting him off the field.
A Houston couple reported finding at least a dozen fully-automatic M16 rifles in a storage case they’d purchased from an online government surplus store.
A prowling python terrorized a west Houston neighborhood in October.
A Houston-area woman reported she was hospitalized after handling a napkin left in her car door.
A Katy woman attempted to smuggle a spider monkey across the border. She fled an immigration checkpoint when CBP officers found the monkey during a secondary search of her vehicle.
Astros superfan and Houston icon Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale had a viral f-bomb-laden exchange with a Phillies fan who heckled him during Game 3 of the World Series. Days later, the 71-year-old furniture mogul earned a record $75 million payday when the Astros won the World Series.
A 33-year-old Houston man is charged with aggravated assault, accused of chucking a can of White Claw at Sen. Ted Cruz during the Houston Astros victory parade. Police said the can struck the Senator in the “chest/neck area.”
Chompers the python sent would-be thieves running during a botched robbery attempt in southeast Houston. In security footage of the incident released by Houston police, the pair are seen fleeing the scene moments after demanding the snake at gunpoint. “I’m guessing he was scared of the snake,” the victim, Ariel Giron told KPRC . “The snake kind of went by him, and he jumped back. . .“Now I guess he’s staying with me,” Giron said, laughing.
A Houston man attempted to fly phones, tobacco, vape pens and other items into a Beaumont prison on a drone.
A woman in fuzzy pink slippers stole a carton of cigarettes from a Houston convenience store at gunpoint. See security footage of the robbery here.