December 20, 1995
Web posted at: 10:20 a.m. EST
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- It must have confused a lot of children. In San Francisco, a herd of 100 men and women dressed up as Santa Claus charged through a downtown department store as a joke.
Police arrested three Santas: two men who allegedly tried to steal a Christmas wreath and a woman who allegedly exposed her breasts. Others reportedly broke into a children's play area, stole decorations and generally played havoc.
The prank, which some did not find funny, was organized by the Practical Joker's Club.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Through rain, sleet and piles of snow, letter carriers are expected to make postal history Wednesday.
With the Christmas crush in full swing, the U.S. Postal Service is expected to deliver more than 750 million pieces of mail by the end of the day. That figure would make it the busiest postal day ever.
Temporary workers and commercial airlines are helping the postal service handle the holiday increase, which has been hampered by poor weather in the Northeast and Midwest.
NAPLES, Florida (CNN) - A stunt woman was killed and several others were injured when a boat flew out of control during the filming of a movie in south Florida.
The accident occurred in Big Cyprus Swamp in the Florida Everglades during the filming of the Disney movie "Gone Fishin'." The boat was to go off a ramp and fly into a stand of mangrove trees. It went off the side of the ramp, spun into two other boats and sent them into a group of observers.
Janet Wilder, 29, who was among the observers, died at the scene. Four others, including Wilder's husband, were injured.
"Our entire crew is terribly saddened by the death of this talented performer," said a spokeswoman for the local production company. "We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends."
"Gone Fishin'," starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover, is a buddy film in which two men take a weekend fishing trip together.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A customer unhappy with the service at a Bronx shoe store went on an armed rampage Tuesday, leaving five dead and four others seriously wounded.
Police said the alleged gunman, Michael Vernon, 22, entered the Korean-owned store, "Little Chester's," near the Bronx Zoo shortly before noon Tuesday and demanded a pair of boots before opening fire.
They said that Vernon then fled the scene, reportedly using one of the victims as a shield. He was shot by a passing police officer, who was alerted by witnesses, said New York Police Chief Louis Anemone. (220K AIFF sound or 220K WAV sound)
Four people, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed inside the store during the shooting. The shop owner's wife died of her wounds at a hospital and another man was on a life support system. Two other men were in critical condition Tuesday night, officials said.
The suspect was in serious condition, with multiple gunshot wounds.
Initial reports indicated the attack was a robbery attempt, but officials later said that that Vernon was unhappy with the way he was treated inside the store.
Police were investigating whether the attack was racially motivated.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The family of former President Richard Nixon is calling Oliver Stone's new film "Nixon," which opens Wednesday, "erroneous and malicious."
Nixon's daughters, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, accused Stone Tuesday of "character assassination." They said that Stone, known for his controversial depictions of Vietnam and the John F. Kennedy assassination, pulled facts from the air when it came to depicting the Nixons' private life.
Nixon is portrayed in the film by Anthony Hopkins as a man unsure of his political future and haunted by his past as well as by the deaths of his brothers and his political rivals, John and Robert Kennedy. Stone also suggests in the film that Nixon knew about the alleged assassination plot against Cuban President Fidel Castro, a plan the film suggests backfired and eventually led to the death of President John Kennedy in 1963.
In a written statement issued by the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, the family said that scenes in the film featuring actors playing Pat and Richard Nixon, both deceased, "are calculated solely and maliciously to defame and degrade President and Mrs. Nixon's memories in the minds of the American public."
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A search has failed to turn up the remains of the first U.S. combat casualty in the Gulf War.
Last week, American and Red Cross officials gained the permission of the Iraqi government and searched the desert there in order to find the remains of Lt. Cmdr. Michael Speicher, 33, of Jacksonville, Florida.
It is not known exactly what happened to the Navy pilot, but reports said Speicher's plane exploded in the air. After the crash, there was no communication from Speicher and a few months later, the Pentagon declared him missing in action, body unrecovered.
Two years ago, the Pentagon learned that Speicher's plane had been found by hunters in the desert. The hunters photographed the plane and brought back a piece of the wreckage, which enabled U.S. officials to identify it as Speicher's FA-18.
Speicher is the only American killed in Iraq whose remains have not been recovered.
SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- Plaintiffs engaged in a wrongful death suit against former football star O.J. Simpson have been told that they can view his financial records.
Superior Court Judge Alan B. Haber ruled Tuesday in a Santa Monica courtroom that the Goldman and Brown families may view Simpson's records in order to determine if Simpson is profiting from the deaths of their loved ones.
The two families have filed a wrongful death suit against Simpson seeking damages through civil law in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson, Simpson's ex-wife, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
Simpson was acquitted of the double murders on October 3 in a Los Angeles court.
Haber rejected a defense request for a stay of the order to review Simpson's financial records to allow time for an appeal.
MISSION, Texas (CNN) -- In the latest in a wave of congressional departures, another House member said Tuesday he won't seek re-election.
Rep. Kika de la Garza, a conservative Democrat who has represented the poor Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas for the past 30 years, is the 30th House member to make such an announcement.
De la Garza, 68, is known for his fierce support of farm programs and NAFTA. He said he is stepping down because "it was just time."
The congressman said he will spend his remaining term focusing on the balanced-budget plan. De la Garza first introduced a balanced budget bill nearly three decades ago.
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