Florida man dies after winning cockroach-eating contest

Edward Archbold was, according to those who met him on Friday night, the life of the party – a bit of a showoff who was up for anything, even a giant cockroach-eating contest.

He won. And then, tragically, he died.

Now police from Deerfield Beach, Fla., about 40 miles north of Miami, are investigating the death of the 32-year-old, who on Facebook went by Edward William Barry.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Archbold, of West Palm Beach, and several other contestants signed up to eat a variety of insects at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach. After eating dozens of giant cockroaches, Archbold was declared the winner of an ivory-ball python. (The prizes, Archbold indicated on his Facebook page that night, were less significant than the glory.)

He had also entered a superworm-eating contest earlier in the night.

But after winning, Archbold felt sick and started vomiting. He then collapsed in the store and was later pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s office is conducting tests to determine a cause of death, according to the sheriff’s office statement.

On Facebook, Ben Siegel Reptiles wrote that staff met Archbold the night of the Midnight Madness sale: “We all liked him right away. All of us here at Ben Siegel Reptiles are sad that we will not get to know Eddie better, for in the short time we knew him, he was very well liked by all.”

In the comments beneath the statement, the reptile store wrote that the prize “now belongs to his estate.”

In another Facebook comment, an attorney claiming to represent Ben Siegel Reptiles wrote that contest participants had signed waivers accepting their participation in this “unique and unorthodox contest.”

“The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken from an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles,” wrote attorney Luke Lirot.

No other contestants felt sick, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

And Archbold seemed to be doing all right earlier in the night, according to his own account on Facebook. He took photos of the superworms and wrote: ” Also side note im NOW in a super worm eating comp now…….what ever the hell a super worm is?”

Eating the bugs yielded valuable rewards, according to the store’s Facebook page: “Eat the most bugs in 4 minutes, win the ball morph. That’s it. Oh yeah, any vomiting is an automatic DQ,” the advertisement stated. “Eat the most crickets, win a male lesser. Eat the most superworms, win a female orange belly. Eat the most discoid roaches, win a female graphite sired ivory!”

Michael Adams, a professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, told The Associated Press that he has never heard of someone dying after eating roaches.

“Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don’t think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat,” Adams said. “Some people do have allergies to roaches but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects.”

Meanwhile, Archbold’s friends took to his Facebook page to remember him. Wrote one: “This goes out to one of the most funnest, craziest, and most energetic person I have ever met!!! I will never ever forget u Eddie… I don’t think anyone could!!”

 

(Please note, we take NO credit for this story. All information is from here!)

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Funeral Director’s License Suspended After He Dismembers Body

Ellenberg Funeral Services on Highway 81 in Loganville closed down almost as quickly as it opened. It is now being reported that the owner, William B. Ellenger III, has had his licenses suspended following a series of bizarre incidents.

According to CBS Atlanta, Ellenberg, who also is the owner of Metro Embalming and Crematory in Conyers, had his license suspended after it was reported that he dismembered an 800-pound body in the Conyers location in order to fit it into the crematory. Conyers police investigated and reported it is not a crime to do so. Permission needs to be sought from the family first, though, and it is reported that Ellenberg did not do so.

Ellenberg appeared on a large billboard on Highway 78 in Loganville earlier in the year advertising the opening of Ellenberg Funeral Services in Loganville. However, it wasn’t open long before it was found to no longer be in operation. CBS Atlanta reports that Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a suicide attempt by Ellenberg on Aug. 15 when he allegedly shot himself in the leg. He also is reported to have threatened the life of a former business partner.

Ellenberg’s license was suspended on Sept. 20, but he can appeal the ruling. Ellenberg told CBS Atlanta that his troubles are the result of a woman scorned – the former business partner with whom he reportedly had a relationship at one time.

 

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Minnesota man charged with burrito assault

AUSTIN, Minn. — After tossing a burrito at a woman on Tuesday night, an Adams, Minn., man was charged in Mower County District Court with gross misdemeanor domestic assault.

Troy Hansen also was re-sentenced for a probation violation on a gross misdemeanor DWI conviction from July and sentenced to 180 days in jail.

According to court documents:

Adams police and a Mower County sheriff’s deputy went to the 100 block of Fourth Street NW in Adams after 9 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a domestic dispute. When they arrived, they discovered Hansen had allegedly thrown a burrito at the woman; toppings were still on her head and right shoulder.

The court complaint states Hansen asked the woman for a cigarette and got angry when she refused. He then dumped her plate off the bed and threw her cooked burrito, which struck her in the head. The complaint does not state that the victim was burned, but she said she was scared.

Hansen admitted he had about six pints of beer, was given a breath test and registered a .254 blood-alcohol content, the complaint adds. He was arrested for domestic assault. A review of his record shows a previous conviction for third-degree domestic assault in June 2009.

 

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fast-food worker suspected of stabbing customer

HEMET, Calif.—Authorities say an employee at a fast-food drive-thru window in Southern California stabbed a customer after a dispute over his order.

A Riverside County sheriff’s statement Friday said the man complained about his order to 28-year-old Gabriel Villalba, who worked at Del Taco in Hemet, shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday.

The statement says the confrontation escalated until Villalba stabbed the customer in the abdomen with a knife.

The customer, whose name was not released, was driven to the hospital by friends. His injury is serious but not considered fatal.

Villalba was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $25,000 bail.

Deputies did not know if he had hired an attorney and there were no local phone listings in Villalba’s name.

 

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Texas sheriff’s office sued after bogus mass grave claim from ‘psychic’

Police search for “mass graves” at the rural Texas home in 2011 (AP/KPRC-TV)Joe Bankson and Gena Charlton have filed a lawsuit against the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and several media organizations after the Texas couple made global headlines in 2011 when their property was searched for a “mass grave” that was later debunked as nothing more than a bad tip from an alleged psychic.

“Not a single body was found buried in the backyard,” attorney Andrew B. Sommerman told The Dayton News. “This all started with a psychic who gave them (the sheriff’s office) a tip — a bad psychic who had given the sheriff’s office tips in the past that were wrong.”

Along with the sheriff’s office, Sommerman says the couple is filing suits alleging false statements against several media organizations, including KPRC, Belo Corp. The New York Times, CNN America, Thompson Reuters and ABC News.

The Dallas Observer reports that in their lawsuit, the couple alleges the search resulted in “mental anguish,” financial loss and “substantial damages” to their reputations.

When asked what the couple hopes to achieve, Sommerman said, “A little dignity. Vindication … At least now everyone will know the truth.”

In June 2011, local officials, the FBI and several national media organizations descended on the property as reports began to circulate that 25-30 bodies were buried on the grounds. After a search that Sommerman says left extensive damage to the property, police were forced to admit that their only “evidence” had come in the form of a tip from a 48-year-old grandmother, and self-described psychic, going by the name of “Angel.”

In their lawsuit, which was filed last week in the 193rd Judicial District in Dallas, Bankson and Charlton claim they have been unable to return to their rented home because, “everyone looks at them askance because of the accusations made against them.”

The couple also alleges that the sheriff’s office failed to secure their property after what they call an “unreasonable search.”

“This situation was handled okay on our end. It checked out for us,” Liberty County Sheriff Henry Patterson told the Dayton News. “I am not worried about our part of it. Everyone (the media) at that location was told that nothing was going on and we couldn’t stop what happened.”

The couple is also reportedly trying to sue “Angel,” who is listed as a Jane Doe in the lawsuit, but they have as yet been unable to obtain her legal name.

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