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The Boston Market Story

Daring jail escapees hijack World War II era submarine

This story is embargoed until Mo Vaughn stops trying to bump chests with Morganna the Kissing Bandit

2000 The Herald Noose

   HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Out of their cells for recreation hour, three "extremely dangerous" prisoners Thursday night overpowered an unarmed corrections officer, then escaped over a series of 25-foot rotisserie chicken wire fences at the Bergen County Jail, Sheriff John "Jack" Zisa said.

    The three prisoners, convicted of stealing Halloween candy from a Hasbrouck Heights grocery store and turned down for parole seven times, are considered armed with sweet but sharp teeth and "extremely dangerous," Zisa said.

    "Maybe we should have bought the razor wire," said an embarrassed Bergen County First Assistant Deputy Undersheriff Edwin P. Reiter, who defended the ineffective fences by brandishing a handful of coupons good for $2 off on 10 feet of rotisserie chicken wire from Boston Depot, which was created when the bankrupt Boston Market chain was taken over by Home Depot Inc.

    The violent youth offenders took several hostages, 11 cups of coffee, one decaf tea, two lentil soups, and a container of rice pudding with no whipped cream from a nearby Greek diner and then hijacked the USS Ling, a World War II era submarine berthed in the Hackensack River.  The submarine disappeared beneath the murky waters of the Hackensack and two hours later surfaced in Delaware Bay, where the violent youth offenders threatened to torpedo the battleship USS New Jersey unless they were given $43 million and a half-dozen rotisserie chicken with two side dish dinners, and don't forget the cornbread, authorities said.

    Reiter and a team of hostage negotiating headline writers asked the escapees if they would honor a coupon good for $12 million off on the payment of a $43 million ransom, but a spokeswoman for the escapees, Renata Frittata, pointed out that the coupon had expired in 1967.

    Reiter, a consummate hostage negotiator who recently won the release of six pages before deadline, told Renata that the expiration date was a result of the Y2K glitch, and assured her that he had never redeemed an expired coupon in his life. Renata then exacerbated the situation by demanding payment in Sacagawea dollars.  She threatened to open one cup of coffee from the Heritage Diner every 15 minutes and pour it into Delaware Bay until her demands were met.

    Meanwhile, Bergen County officials crossed the Hudson River in a tourist dinghy and boarded the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, which was then dispatched in the direction of Delaware with 80 F-16 fighter planes on its deck.  Each of the F-16s was equipped with two submarine-hunting rotisserie sparrow missiles.  It was not known how they could take off from the Intrepid, however, as several charity events were in progress on the deck.  But it sure was an imposing looking sight, authorities said.

    "Uh-oh," said Christine Maurus, a spokeswoman for the Maurus County Prosecutor's Office, when she saw several rodents scurrying down the ropes of the Ling and onto the dock.

    The standoff ended peaceably, however, when Malcolm Q. "Mac" Borg, who saved the Ling from mothballs, alerted officials that the torpedoes the Ling carried were duds.

    "I knew that," Reiter said.

 AP - 27-52-00161604-29-53

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