Entries in Viral (5)


Cop’s Good Deed Goes Viral

Thinkstock/Getty Images(WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.) -- It was cold, wet and gray in Winston-Salem, N.C., when Police Officer Charlie Ziegler noticed a woman pushing a stroller in the rain.

“I went up to her and said, ‘Get in the car, there’s no reason for you or your baby to be out here,’” Ziegler told ABC News.

Ziegler’s act of chivalry last Tuesday was photographed by a passer-by and posted on Facebook and the officer has been surprised by how popular the photo has become on the Internet since, to him,  it was a normal act of kindness.

“You see someone and you just help them,” he said.

The woman and her child had only three blocks left before reaching her destination, a daycare center where she works, but Ziegler wanted to get them out of the icy rain.

Ziegler joined the police department four years ago.

“It was one of those, either do it or stop talking about it kind of moments. Right around when the economy went completely down. So I applied and here I am,” said Ziegler.

But the officer doesn’t attribute his good deed to being a policeman. As a husband and father of two young children, Ziegler says even if he was off-duty, he still would have helped the woman.

When off-duty, Ziegler works at First Baptist Church. He said that while providing security there, he often sees the woman who he helped walk by.

Ziegler’s mother-in-law, Donna Johnson, told ABC News that the act was representative of his caring personality.

“He’s just that type of person. Very helpful and outgoing, and he doesn’t want to see anyone in trouble or in need,” said Johnson.

Ziegler’s wife Rachel echoed her mom’s statement. “It’s not a surprising story,” she told ABC News. “It’s very Charlie-esque.”

Rachel Ziegler said she’s surprised by how viral the image has become.

“Last Tuesday I was actually having lunch with him and he told me that someone from the local news had contacted him and it surprised me,” she said. “You would just expect anyone to do that…to save someone from the freezing rain.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


VIRAL PHOTO: Raccoon Road Kill Painted Over

Sean McAfee(JOHNSTOWN, Pa.) -- Something black with a yellow stripe down its center caught drivers' attentions in Johnstown, Pa., and it wasn't the road. An unlucky raccoon had not only become road kill, but its corpse briefly turned into a palette for a road crew's paintbrush last week.

"I was just riding my motorcycle home and saw it and did a double-take laugh," Sean McAfee, of Johnstown, told ABC News Friday.

"I drove my motorcycle home from work and I told my wife we needed to go back out with the camera gear," he said. "I thought, 'This will be a great Facebook photo.'"

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, however, thought differently.

"A mistake was made and it's getting quite a bit of attention and not in the right light," Tara Henry, community relations coordinator for PennDOT, told ABC News.

The crew apparently discovered the road kill too late in the painting process on Aug. 2 and couldn't stop their machines in time to both avoid and dispose of it.

"Part of the [paint] line is stopped before they got to the raccoon," she said. "They did try and stop it. But they stopped it too short and turned it back on, and they ended up painting over it."

The three-vehicle paint train, consisting of a paint truck, paint supply truck and a foreman to pace traffic, was operating in what Henry described as a heavily traveled area. The crew couldn't turn around and pick up the coon, leaving time for McAfee's camera to swoop in and document the paint's prey.

McAfee said he took 45 photos of the raccoon from a variety of angles, then posted them on Facebook. His coworkers convinced him to submit a copy to the local paper, the Tribune Democrat, and the vermin went viral.

The photo was such a hit, McAfee has decided to sell 8x10 prints for $15 on Etsy, a website vendors use to sell handmade or vintage items, arts and crafts.

Since its debut, the animal's corpse has been removed from the road. A gap in the road's paint remains, however, homage to the void left by the raccoon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Olive Garden Review Gets Celeb Attention, More than 400K Views

Mike Mergen/Bloomberg News(GRAND FORKS, N.D.) -- The tweets keep coming, a backlash against initial snarky comments is building and online clicks on a viral restaurant review of a local Olive Garden have doubled just days after its release on a small, North Dakota newspaper's website.

The review of the chain eatery, whose arrival was said to be highly anticipated in Grand Forks, N.D., has caused a nationwide Internet firestorm, with more than 400,000 hits on the Grand Forks Herald's website.

The article made history for the paper after it was posted Tuesday, quickly reaching 200,000 views by Wednesday afternoon. It was 10 times more read than paper's next-most-popular story.

Eighty-five-year-old Marilyn Hagerty, a 65-year news veteran, wrote the review as a part of her "Eatbeat" column. When told by her son that her article had gone viral, Hagerty noted she "didn't know what that meant."

The initial tweets were sometimes mocking.

Kevin Hoffman tweeted, "BREAKING: Marilyn Hagerty also reviewed Taco Bell."

But there also has been social media support.

Jamila Twain wrote, "Back off my breadsticks! In defense of Olive Garden (and Marilyn Hagerty)."

Even some of Hagerty's fellow foodies chimed in, with author and chef Anthony Bourdain tweeting, "Very much enjoyed watching Internet sensation Marilyn Hagerty triumph over the snarkologists (myself included)."

"Everyone had blogged about it, tweeted about it," Alan Sytsma, editor of New York Magazine, told ABC News. "Everyone knows who she is. She's probably the most famous restaurant critic in America right now."

Hagerty told ABC affiliate WDAZ she didn't know what all the fuss was about.

"People were quite excited about the Olive Garden, and it was packed with people for several weeks," Hagerty told WDAZ.

But her tell-all review became an Internet sensation, describing the chain's new location as the "largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks," and a hot-spot attracting "visitors from out of town as well as people who live here."

Hagerty's meal of choice at the popular American chain was chicken alfredo.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Accused Drunk Driver Knees Officer in Groin, Vamps for Mugshot

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office(PRESCOTT, Ariz.) -- A DUI suspect is in hot water, but she remembered to turn her post-arrest frown upside down in time for her mugshot. The Arizona woman became belligerent when police approached her for allegedly driving drunk. She kneed a police officer in the groin, yelled profanities and fought back when she was placed under arrest, according to a Prescott Police Department report.

Back at the police station, 24-year-old Michelle Watson brazenly posed for her mugshot with disheveled hair, a big smile and two thumbs up.

Police were called when Watson was observed driving her white Honda Civic erratically, hitting numerous curbs and driving on the sidewalk, according to the police report.

When an officer approached her, he observed that Watson had “dilated pupils and red, watery and bloodshot eyes” and that her “breath was heavy with an intoxicating beverage,” according to a Prescott Police Department report.

“Watson was wearing a purse which was draped over her shoulder. Ofc. Wing attempted to remove the purse. When doing so, Watson, using her right knee struck Ofc. Wing in the crotch,” according to the police report. “Watson was then taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs.”

Watson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault of a peace officer, resisting arrest and driving under the influence.  Her DUI charge was categorized as “DUI-Super Extreme” in the police report. She posted bond and was released on Nov. 18.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Facebook Shutting Down Shop, Abandoning Users?

Photo Courtesy - NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rumors that Facebook will be shutting down on March 15 have gone viral across the web, causing users to question what will happen to their photos and other content that they have shared on the world's largest social networking site.

The flurry of online chatter that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company would shut down its servers comes just days after it had been valued at $50 billion after a $500 million infusion of cash by investment bank Goldman-Sachs.

The story seems to have been perpetuated by supermarket tabloid the Weekly World News, which Saturday published an article headlined "Facebook Will End March 15th!"

The Weekly World News, which is known for stories on alien abductions and the infamous "bat boy," also reported that Facebook indicated that users should remove all of their personal information and content from the site by March 15. According to the article, after that all photos, notes, links, and videos would be removed.

Facebook has yet to officially respond to the article. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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