For allegedly impersonating Blues winger Keith Tkachuk and two other NHL players, Elander Mark Lachney. The 35-year-old from Denham Springs, La., was apprehended in Pineville, La., after a five-month manhunt that involved the NHL, FBI, Secret Service and law enforcement agencies from four states. In 1995 Lachney—who is 5'11", weighs 180 pounds and "doesn't look like he works out," according to a police source—was sentenced to four years in prison on two counts of filing false public records while impersonating the 6' 2", 227-pound Tkachuk. Authorities suspected Lachney was at it again in February when Tkachuk was called by his bank regarding a request 4 for a credit card in his name to be mailed to Louisiana. Lachney, who police say left messages for them saying, "You can't get me, I'm too smart," later allegedly secured $10,000 in loans using the aliases of Tkachuk, Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch and Flyers center Jeremy Roenick. When he was arrested, he had Louisiana driver's licenses in the names of all three players. He was charged with bank fraud and identity theft, both felonies. Tkachuk said he's "happy the thing is over."
Three American saddlebred show horses, including two-time World's Grand Champion Wild-Eyed And Wicked, due to the effects of a poison injected into their left forelegs by an unknown assailant. Five horses were attacked on the night of June 28 at the Double D Ranch in Versailles, Ky. (Two are expected to survive.) The poison caused rapid deterioration of tissue and nerves in the animals' lower legs. "The legs were swollen to three times the normal size," says Dr. Ric Redden, an equine podiatrist who treated the animals. "It was very painful." In the past horses have been murdered for the purposes of collecting insurance. However, none of the Double D horses, which were worth a combined $3 million, was insured for more than a token amount. "It was apparently done just to get rid of them," says Kayce Bell of the American Saddlebred Horse Association. "We're just sickened by what's happened."
After five seasons as Bucks coach, George Karl, 52, who led Milwaukee to the Eastern Conference finals in 2001 but hadn't won a playoff series since. Neither the team nor Karl would say if the coach quit or was fired. In 2001 Karl signed a two-year contract extension worth $14 million, the richest contract in pro sports for a coach who isn't also a general manager. But the Bucks are rebuilding, and Karl was hesitant about working next year as a lame duck. Karl has spoken of wanting to take a year off to watch his son, Coby, play basketball at Boise State, where he will be a redshirt freshman this fall.
In the first inning of a Northern League game between the St. Paul Saints and the Gary SouthShore Railcats, former White Sox outfielder Minnie Minoso, 77, the first man to play pro baseball in seven decades. When Minoso, who retired from full-time play in 1964, led off as the Saints' DH, Railcats pitcher Tim Byrdak paid homage by using an exaggerated old-school windup on the first two pitches, both balls. After Byrdak reverted to form, Minoso ran the count to 3 and I, then fouled off a 90-mph fastball before ball four. He left for a pinch runner. "It was great," said Byrdak, 29. "And when they came in after the game and said the lineup card with our names on it was going to the Hall of Fame, it was like Christmas."