Sad sack

Sting leaves undercover cop holding bag of less-than-valuable trinkets

The flip side

July 21, 2008

Do NASCAR collectibles qualify as legal tender? Or, in this case, illegal tender? A Pennsylvania man jailed on a charge of selling painkillers allegedly wanted a witness against him rubbed out. After finding his "hit man," however, he was planning to pay him off in bobbleheads.

Allen Bridges of Everett was asking around the Bedford County Jail, searching for someone to kill for him, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

"I want him fed to the pigs," said Bridges, apparently a Hannibal Lecter fan.

But Bridges seems to have blabbed too much, and another inmate tipped law enforcement officials, who then set up a state policeman to pretend he was interested in murder for hire. Bridges sent his 18-year-old son to meet the "hit man."

The son gave the officer a big trash bag filled with his father's NASCAR collection. The stuff apparently wasn't very impressive.

"It looked like a bunch of junk," Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins said.

Bridges and his son have been charged with solicitation of murder, conspiracy and retaliation against a witness.

The district attorney's disdain aside, Mr. Flip still plans to see whether he can buy a meatball sub with a couple of Tony Stewart T-shirts and a Dale Earnhardt Jr. mug.

Blue chipper

A freshman to watch this football season: Riley Reiff. The Iowa defensive end recruit has displayed the kind of speed and stamina that could be a big help to the Hawkeyes.

Early Saturday morning in Iowa City, he was arrested for public intoxication and interference with official acts - but that wasn't until after he had eluded eight police officers in a 20-minute chase on foot, the Des Moines Register reported.

Then again, maybe Reiff won't be quite as fast on the field when wearing his football uniform. Police report he had taken off some of his clothes.

(Tips of the Flip to Deadspin.com.)

Charmed?

That Joba Chamberlain, what a party animal.

Not only does he like to play Guitar Hero (Aerosmith is a particular favorite, he told SI.com), but the New York Post also reported this tidbit:

"A few nights back, he was spotted at the MLB.com 33 Club party, where 'He climbed onto Alyssa Milano's table and starting dancing,' said our witness. 'He stayed in the VIP room until 3 a.m.' "

No report on whether Milano was concerned that those Cleveland gnats were still following Chamberlain around.

Compiled from wire and Web reports by Mr. Flip, who wears a flea collar to avoid such problems.

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