From a boisterous bovine’s great escape to an elaborate, failed art heist, Houston did not disappoint in the weird news department this year.
Without further ado, here are eight of the bonkers stories that captured our attention -- so far -- in 2021. Enjoy.
A couple stole a $10,000 dog and then drove for over a mile as a store employee who tried to stop them clung to the hood of their car.
Video captured store worker Alize James clinging to the front of sedan as it sped through Harris County
“They were weaving, driving recklessly and I could barely hold on. I was so scared,” James said.
An Amber Alert sent to Texans in January stated that Chucky, the killer doll from the “Child’s Play” horror films, was a suspect in a kidnapping.
The alert warned of a 16-pound suspect wearing blue denim overalls and a multicolored striped long sleeve shirt and “wielding a huge kitchen knife.” The doll was described as a 28-year-old male with red or auburn hair and blue eyes who stands 3 feet 1 inch tall. His race was listed as “Other: Doll.” The alert stated the abducted child was Glen, a 5-year-old boy who stands 2 feet 3 inches. In the film “Seed of Chucky” a doll named Glen is Chucky’s child.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said the alert was mistakenly sent while conducting a test.
A 53-year-old League City man stabbed a restaurant manager several times after he was asked to wear a mask at a Jack in the Box restaurant.
Police said the man refused to cooperate with a store policy that required face masks inside the restaurant due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The man tackled the assistant store manager, then used a pocketknife to stab the employee three times in the arm and upper torso. The man fled the scene. Months later, police located and arrested him at a sports bar. Police said he was living out of a tent nearby.
Burglars break into Bayou Bend Collection and Garden, lead police on boat chase and escaped through storm drain
In mid-March, a pair of would-be burglars broke into the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Bayou Bend Collection and Garden. The couple entered the museum by squeezing through a grate above a basement window on the house museum’s north terrace, triggering a burglar alarm. The museum security guard responded and chased the pair through the front door and into the woods, where they had a motor boat waiting in the bayou. The pair navigated their boat through the bayou and over to a storm culvert, where they abandoned their boat and seemingly vanished into thin air.
Police found the boat, inspected the museum grounds and determined nothing had been taken from the premises. As of this writing, no one has been arrested in the incident.
A man jumped a fence, climbed a ladder and hijacked a crane in downtown Houston in late March, prompting a response from a Houston police SWAT team which helped the man down. Police said they believe drugs played a role in the incident. The man was taken into custody and charged with criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance.
A traveler at Houston’s Hobby Airport was caught trying to hide crystal meth inside a breakfast burrito.
According to officials at the Transportation Security Administration, noticed some sort of lump inside a burrito while scanning luggage. Agents asked the passenger to unwrap the burrito so they could see what was inside. Officials said the passenger insisted there was nothing inside the burrito, but once he had opened it, agents found a taped black package with some sort of substance inside.
Agents called Houston police, who determined the substance was crystal meth. The traveler was arrested.
In late April, a cow and an alligator disrupted Houston traffic in separate incidents on the same day.
Early April 28, a boisterous bovine named Star broke free from its enclosure, releasing its eight cow companions in the process. While the herd meandered through the yard munching on grass, Star made a beeline for the East Freeway, where morning commuters captured the cow on camera trotting along the shoulder near Beltway 8. After some cajoling, Harris County’s livestock team coerced the cow off the freeway, sedated it, loaded into a trailer and transported her back home.
Several hours later, an alligator stopped traffic on the Fred Hartman bridge in Baytown. Harris County authorities wrangled the big gator using a slip-leash. Then they tied the gator, placed him in a truck bed, drove him away from the bridge and back toward the water, where they released him.
Two customers at a north Harris County McDonald’s location were arrested on July 4 after allegedly pulling a gun on the restaurant’s manager during an argument over the amount of salt on their fries.
Authorities said video surveillance and multiple witnesses captured the suspects displaying a firearm at the manager at the drive-thru during the altercation. The firearm was recovered from the vehicle.
On May 9, India was seen prowling a west Houston neighborhood. At one point, the tiger encountered an armed off-duty Waller County sheriff’s deputy. In a video of the incident, the deputy is heard yelling at the tiger’s alleged owner, Victor Hugo Cuevas, to get the animal inside.
When officers arrived at the scene, Cuevas, who was out on bond for a murder charge at the time, put India in a white Jeep Cherokee and drove off, leading officers on a brief pursuit, before getting away.
Cuevas was taken into police custody the following day, charged with evading arrest. Nearly a week later, Cuevas’ wife turned over the tiger to police.
India was taken the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas, located southeast of Dallas.
Eccentric Galveston attorney dressed as Michael Myers cited after taking creepy stroll along the Seawall
A Galveston attorney dressed as Michael Myers, the notorious horror movie murderer of the slasher series “Halloween,” strolled a Galveston beach in September, fake bloody knife in hand. The lawyer, Mark Metzger, was issued a citation after a scared onlooker called the police. The spectacle unfolded hours before Tropical Storm Nicholas was set to make landfall along the Texas coast.
About a month later, Metzger’s Michael Myers antics garnered attention once again when he appeared in court dressed as the character. Why, you may ask, would an attorney do this? Because the judge dared him to.
Do you remember any other wild stories that came out of the Houston area this year? Share them in the comments.