Shoelaces As Seen In The News
– Archive 2 (2015-2010)

In the News

Shoelaces occasionally make an appearance in the news, where they have been involved in good and bad, happy and sad events. Here's some links to various news stories involving shoelaces.

NOTE: Click any small image to enlarge. Links to full stories should open in a new window, leaving current page active.

News Story Excerpts

Date Range: 2018-2016 2015-2010 2009-1994

Man in questioning attempts to choke detective with shoelace police say

– KUTV News (USA), 12-Dec-2015

Assault suspect Kelsie Searle (photo: KUTV News)

"Searle was left along [sic] in an interview room while the detective typed up a report and Searle reportedly turned off the light.

According to Liddiard, the detective entered the room with other officers to see what was happening. Searle allegedly attacked the detective with a shoelace wrapped around both hands, apparently in an attempt to choke the detective."

Full story on KUTV News website

Officer tugs at shoe laces, everyone's heart

– (USA), 28-Nov-2015

Police officer Ricky Howard + boy (photo:

"A Fort Wayne Police Department officer patrolling a neighborhood on the southeast side of the city stopped his car to talk to two children. In a matter of moments, the officer got out of his car–to help tie one of the boy's shoes."

Full story on website

Row over cop buying 99p shoelaces on duty escalates into dispute 'costing tax payer £500,000'

– The Daily Mirror (UK), 01-Jul-2015

Police officer (photo: The Daily Mirror) (file picture)

"The six-figure legal battle was sparked back in 2008 when a shopper in Melton, Leics, told the officer he should not be shopping while on the beat. The 60-second exchange ended after the officer said he had been buying the laces for his police boots."

Full story on The Daily Mirror website

'I found Reese Witherspoon's boot!' Hiker makes 'Wild' find on Mount Hood

– The Oregonian (USA), 08-May-2015

Hiker Chris Kesting with Reese Witherspoon's boot (photo: The Oregonian)

" 'The thing that stood out was the red laces,' he said. 'The brown of the leather blended into the soil and I didn't see that at all. I saw the red laces and thought it was weird that there were flowers out already. That's when it came into focus. It was kind of funny.' "

Full story on The Oregonian website

Cat who snacks on SHOELACES saved after vet removed huge string ball from its tummy

– The Daily Mirror (UK), 06-May-2015

Shoelace-swallowing cat Garry (photo: The Daily Mirror)

"A peckish puss nearly got in a right tangle by secretly snacking on shoelaces.

Garry was also partial to plastic and hair-bands.

But his doting owner didn’t suspect anything wrong until the two-year-old puss went for an annual vaccine.

Vets at Brighton PDSA Pet Hospital found an extremely large mass in his stomach."

Full story on The Daily Mirror website

Freak shoelace accident injures young girl's kidney

– ABC 7 News (USA), 06-Mar-2015

Injured child Sophia Angelini (photo: ABC 7 News)

"A freak accident involving an untied shoelace sent a little Belmont girl to Stanford hospital with a very serious injury. It was a lunchtime accident last Friday, that sent 7-year-old Sophia to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford for nearly a week.

'I tripped on my shoe lace, and fell on the curve, and I hit my side on it,' said Sophia Angelini."

Full story on ABC 7 News website

Burglary victims caught and tied up Washington suspect with his own shoelaces and sweatshirt

– NY Daily News (USA), 18-Feb-2015

Burglary suspect Tyrone Porter (photo: NY Daily News)

"The victims of a Washington state burglary tied up the suspect with his own shoelace until police officers arrived.

They used Porter's own sweatshirt against him, tying his legs together and binding his hands behind his back with his shoelaces."

Full story on NY Daily News website

Farmer died being dragged into grain auger as shoelace got caught

– STV News (Scotland), 28-Nov-2014

Farmer Jim Sharp (photo: STV News)

"A statement from police officer sergeant Graeme Shearer was read out to Selkirk Sheriff Court.

In it he said he had unwound Mr Sharp's overalls and jeans from the metal auger blade and found the shoelace was the item that had got caught on it first."

Full story on STV News website

Drowning victim may have tripped on untied shoelace – coroner

– TVNZ (New Zealand), 24-Oct-2014

Hutt River where body was found (photo: TVNZ)

"An untied shoelace may have caused an unemployed man to trip and fall into the Hutt River and drown, a coroner believes.

'While it cannot be known with certainty how Mr Waiwai came to be in the water I am satisfied that the evidence before me points to him having fallen accidentally – it is possible he tripped on his untied shoelace,' she said."

Full story on TVNZ website

Little boy, 6, run down and killed by the same school bus that dropped him home 'because someone had tied his shoe laces together'

– Daily Mail (UK), 19-May-2014

Shreveport school bus accident scene (photo: Daily Mail)

"Witnesses say that Brendan Houston, a first-grade student at Herndon Magnet School, had alighted the bus in North Highland, a suburb of Shreveport, when he realized his shoe laces had been tied together.

He stopped to fix the laces, but the bus driver, Debra Stevens, didn't see him and pulled out."

Full story on Daily Mail website

Tragic Luas crash victim squeezed my hand and talked about 'love' – witness

– The Irish Independent (UK), 11-Apr-2014

Luas tram plus crashed BMW (photo: The Irish Independent)

"The Luas was travelling very slowly at the time, but it tailgated the BMW. She had bent down to tie her shoelace, and when the car spun out of control, the wing mirror caught the back of her head, and that was the end of it."

Full story on The Irish Independent website

Tangled shoelace causes Madison crash

– WGME News 13 (USA), 27-Feb-2014

"A driver in Madison had his shoelace become tangled with the gas pedal, causing him to crash into a truck."

Full story on WGME News 13 website

Video: Rafael Nadal takes a nasty fall and breaks ... a shoelace

– Sports Illustrated (USA), 20-Jan-2014

Tennis player Rafael Nadal's broken shoelace (photo: Sports Illustrated)

"When Rafael Nadal takes a bad tumble, the tennis world gasps and holds its breath. Did he hurt himself? Did his knees break?

Turns out there were no scratches – just a busted shoelace. The match was delayed as Nadal had to run off court to get a new shoelace from the locker room. Apparently, of all the things he carries with him on court, an extra pair of laces isn't one of them."

Full story on Sports Illustrated website

NBA Fines Knicks' Smith for Shoelace Incidents

– The New York Times (USA), 09-Jan-2014

Basketballer untying opponent's shoelaces (photo: The New York Times)

"After J. R. Smith was spotted untying one of Shawn Marion's sneaker laces in the Knicks' win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, N.B.A. officials privately reprimanded him and told him not to do it again.

Midway through the first quarter against the Pistons, Smith unsuccessfully reached for the laces on Greg Monroe's left sneaker as both players awaited a free-throw attempt."

Full story on The New York Times website

Video of first incident on YouTube

Video of second attempt on YouTube

Injured hiker drags himself down Mt Ruapehu

– TVNZ (New Zealand), 24-Nov-2013

Injured hiker with helicopter rescue crew (photo: TVNZ)

"The 19-year-old man was hiking alone on the northwest slopes of the mountain when he slipped, sliding up to 100 metres and fracturing his leg.

The man, who is living and working in New Zealand, used his shoe laces to tie his legs together and began to drag himself down the mountain, yelling for help."

Full story on TVNZ website

Referee punishes goalkeeper after opponent helps to tie his boot laces

– Metro (UK), 11-Nov-2013

Opponent ties goalkeeper's shoelaces (photo: Metro)

"With the match between Al Nahdha and Al Ittihad all square at 2-2 host goalkeeper Taisir Al Antaif was about to make a clearance when he realised his boot lace was undone.

Unsure as to what to do (those big foam gloves make lace-tying quite tricky) Al Antaif was saved by opposition striker Jobson, who, noticing the keeper’s plight, trotted up to his rival and bent down to tie the goalie’s lace."

Full story plus video on Metro website

Ian's Comment: Amazing sportsmanship! Firstly, to re-tie the laces of an opponent. Secondly, after a penalty kick was unfairly awarded as a result, the kick was deliberately squandered, thus reinstating the gesture that would otherwise have been destroyed by the over-zealous referee. A win for both teams!

Burglar caught out by his own sweaty feet after he leaves DNA evidence at crime scene

– Daily Mail (UK), 21-Oct-2013

Burglar breaking in (photo: Daily Mail) (file picture)

"A prolific burglar was finally jailed after he was given away by his sweaty feet.

David Wilks, 33, left a small piece of shoelace at a crime scene and police sent it away to be DNA tested.

A court heard sweat from Wilks's feet had seeped into the shoelace and police were able to get his DNA profile."

Full story on Daily Mail website

Police hunt convicted killer who escaped using shoelace

– This Is South Wales (UK), 20-Jul-2013

Prison escapee James Stevenson (photo: This Is South Wales)

"A CONVICTED killer who escaped from his custody cell using a shoelace is wanted by police.

He escaped from a Dorset prison where he was being held for the manslaughter in 2005.

Four years later Stevenson went on the run for more than two weeks after fleeing from his cell at Swansea's Guildhall, minutes after he was sentenced to five years in prison for possessing a shotgun.

He was given an additional two years on his sentence after he inserted a shoelace into the cell door and used it to pull back a spring-loaded latch."

Full story on This Is South Wales website

Ian's Comment: This is the same person who escaped using the same shoelace technique back in Jan-2010 (see story below) and probably the same method in 2005. When will the authorities improve the locks on their prison cells?

Police officer's shoelace favour tugs internet's heartstrings

– Toronto Star (Canada), 30-May-2013

Police officer Mark Borsboom + elderly man (photo: Toronto Star)

"It was only after getting a bit closer that he realized the officer was not searching the elderly man – whom Cassidy described as having a cane and a breathing apparatus that ran through his nose – but instead tying his shoe."

Full story on Toronto Star website

'Hissing' passenger tied up with shoe-laces after he tries to open jet plane door mid-flight

– Daily Mail (UK), 27-May-2013

Passenger Alexander Herrera (photo: Daily Mail)

"Ten minutes before Flight 132 was due to land in Portland, Oregon, Alexander Michael Herrera, 23 allegedly tried to open the emergency door after making 'unusual' statements.

The plane's crew and other passengers in row 17 had to restrain him with shoe laces and belt clips."

Full story on Daily Mail website

Design students step into limelight with sculpture at Malaysia International Shoe Festival

– The Star (Malaysia), 29-Mar-2013

Shoe sculpture made out of 40,000 shoelace pieces (photo: The Star)

"The 3m-high shoe sculpture, made of 40,000 pieces of shoelaces, drew the attention of visitors with its colourful design and sheer size.

It entered the Malaysia Book Of Records as the largest sculpture to be made from shoelaces."

Full story on The Star website

Man with the world's most advanced bionic hand can now tie his own shoelaces ...

– Daily Mail (UK), 11-Mar-2013

Nigel Ackland tying shoelaces with his bionic hand (photo: Daily Mail)

" 'Its crazy I can now tie my shoe laces for the first time in years and play with playing cards. I'm developing my use of the hand more and more daily.

It really is a whole new quality of life.' "

Full story on Daily Mail website

Video on YouTube

Play of the day: Shoelaces lead to red card

– The New Zealand Herald (NZ), 01-Feb-2013

Eredivisie football players tangled by shoelaces (photo: The New Zealand Herald)

"Roda JC striker Sanharib Malki might be looking to order shorter shoelaces for future games after his current pair led to a red card in a Dutch Eredivisie League game this week.

The Syrian player (Sanharib Malki) was left tangled with ADO Den Haag striker Mike van Duinen when their shoelaces got caught while both players attempted to go for the ball."

Full story on The New Zealand Herald website

Video on YouTube

Ian's Comment: See also similar incidents in 2017, 2016 and 2010.

Duct tape and shoe laces propel WRX STI to second overall in Sno*Drift Rally

– Torque News, 30-Jan-2013

David Higgins and his rally car (photo: Torque News)

"The 2013 Subaru WRX STI driven by David Higgins took second overall in the first Sno*Drift Rally race after being put back together with duct tape and a co-drivers shoe laces."

Full story on Torque News website

Accident tied to shoelace

– Observer Today (USA), 03-Nov-2012

Rite Aid car crash (photo: Observer Today)

"According to police, the vehicle struck the building after the driver's shoelace interfered with the brake pedal."

Full story on Observer Today website

... traffic ASP suspended after forcing constable to tie his shoelace

– India Today (India), 26-Sep-2012

Constable ties police superintendent VN Tiwari's shoelaces (photo: India Today)

"Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday suspended VN Tiwari, additional superintendent of police of Traffic Department for asking a constable to tie his shoelace."

Full story on India Today website

What to expect from the provincial budget

– Montreal Gazette (Canada), 20-Mar-2012

Finance minister Raymond Bachand (photo: Montreal Gazette)

"Raymond Bachand, presenting his third budget Tuesday, has eschewed the tradition of Quebec finance ministers, who usually buy new footwear to present their taxing and spending plans.

This year Bachand just bought new laces."

Full story on Montreal Gazette website

Brock: Shoelace antics led to Suh stomp

– Fox Sports (USA), 12-Dec-2011

Football player Ndamukong Suh (photo: Fox Sports)

"So he says, 'OK, every time you're in a pile, I want you to focus on something. I want you to untie his shoes.'

'Anytime you can, just reach in; he's got floppy shoe laces, he doesn't spat (cover them with tape) or anything, just untie his shoes. It will irritate him.'

Brock said the Packers offensive lineman untied Suh's shoes three times during the game.

'That's why he stomped him,' Brock said."

Full story on Fox Sports website

Bristol mum's horror as boy's shoelace gets stuck in Primark escalator

– Bristol Evening Post (UK), 12-Dec-2011

Connor Garland & mum Kirsty (photo: Bristol Evening Post)

"A PREGNANT mum says she was abused by shoppers and ignored by staff as she struggled to free her son when his shoelace became stuck in a store's escalator.

'I was desperately trying to pull his shoe off but it was getting tighter as the lace was pulled in.' "

Full story on Bristol Evening Post website

Shoe laces help Wigton's John Millington master RAC Rally

– News & Star (UK), 09-Dec-2011

Rally driver John Millington (photo: News & Star)

"But the event wasn't all plain sailing – the pair had to operate their wipers using shoe laces at one point after they failed in heavy rain.

'We tied shoe laces around the wiper blade and had to drag it across the screen when the water got too much for Gwyndaf to see through the screen.' "

Full story on News & Star website

Van driver cleared of killing biker on Bury New Road after telling jury his shoelace became tangled on pedals

– Manchester Evening News (UK), 08-Dec-2011

Van driver Stephen Johnson (photo: Manchester Evening News)

"A van driver has been cleared over the death of a biker after the jury heard his shoelace had got stuck around the accelerator.

Stephen Johnson, 54, couldn't get his foot on to the brake and drove straight into the path of motorcyclist Ian Brierley."

Full story on Manchester Evening News website

Man dies in freak shooting accident

– News24 (Africa), 31-Oct-2011

"Dr Paul Möller, 60, was alone at a shooting range on Saturday morning when he apparently stepped on a loose shoelace and fell down while holding his .357 revolver.

As he fell down, a shot went off and hit him in the right temple."

Full story on News24 website

Dravid's shoe-lace costs him his wicket!

– OneIndia (India), 13-Aug-2011

Batsman Rahul Dravid (photo: OneIndia)

"... commentator David Frost discerned that the bat had actaully [sic] brushed against the lace of Dravid's boot in the willow's follow-through and that it was most likely this unusual collision that exuded the impression of a thick nick by the ball off the bat!"

Full story on OneIndia website

David Bowie's Manners Won Over Iman

– Daily Express (UK), 29-Jul-2011

Iman & David Bowie (photo: Daily Express)

"I remember once the laces on my trainers came undone and David was down on his knees in the middle of the street tying them for me."

Full story on Daily Express website

Michael Caine hates shoe laces

– Yahoo! OMG! (Philippines), 19-Jul-2011

Actor Michael Caine (photo: Yahoo! OMG!)

"[One night] my shoe lace broke. It screwed me right up. I've never worn shoes with laces since."

Full story on Yahoo! OMG! website

How the Markells met: Love at first shoelace?

– Delaware Online (USA), 24-Jun-2011

Carla & Jack Markell (photo: MSNBC)

"Host Joe Scarborough introduced Carla Markell ... noting the couple first met in kindergarten.

Asked what kind of introduction the young Jack Markell made, the first lady responded: 'He taught me how to tie my shoes.' "

Full story on Delaware Online website

Video on MSNBC website

Man's shoelace caught on gas pedal, causes serious accident

– The Destin Log (USA), 17-Mar-2011

"Pensacola resident Richard Miller was driving east on U.S. Highway 98 around 9:30 a.m. when his shoelace became entangled on the gas pedal and he was unable to stop."

"Miller, who was driving a 2006 Chevrolet, hit the back of a 1974 MG GT ..."

Full story on The Destin Log website

Thief left [left] hanging by shoelaces

– Daily Mirror (UK), 12-Mar-2011

"A BUNGLING thief had to call 999 for help after a botched getaway left him dangling from a fence by his shoelaces.

The clumsy crook, 28, was snared when his shoelace became caught."

Full story on Daily Mirror website

Gosport man gets head stuck in thorn bush after trying to tie shoelaces

– Hampshire Daily Echo (UK), 19-Jan-2011

"A MAN fell down a 20-foot embankment and ended up with his head stuck in a thorn bush after an unsuccessful attempt to tie his shoe laces.

Shortly after midnight the man bent down to tie his laces at Rowner Road, Gosport, and rolled down the bank."

Full story on Hampshire Daily Echo website

Laces save TA soldier from Taliban sniper

– The Daily Mirror (UK), 05-Dec-2010

"A soldier was saved from a Taliban sniper – by his boot laces.

Lance Corporal Michael Davies, 31, bent down to tie up his laces a split-second before he was fired on."

Full story on The Daily Mirror website

Beckham's Newcastle ties

– Newcastle Herald (Australia), 27-Nov-2010

David Beckham ties Harrison Jones' shoelaces (photo: The Newcastle Herald)

"Eight-year-old Harrison Jones will never forget the day football royalty bent down to tie his shoelace, even though the junior rugby league player did not know who David Beckham was before yesterday.

'I was running around and he asked me if he could do my shoelace up and I said yes. I think it was pretty cool.' "

Full story on The Newcastle Herald website

Movie prank led to marriage of 60 years

– Bay of Plenty Times (New Zealand), 20-Oct-2010

Married couple Imez & Harry Johns (photo: Bay of Plenty Times)

" 'I saw this pretty girl sitting in front of me and she had long beautiful plaits which were flowing over the back of her chair. So I took my shoelace out of my shoe and I tied her plaits to her seat,' said Mr Johns.

Imez believes she may have threw the shoelace back at him."

Full story on Bay of Plenty Times website

Man run over by his own truck

– The Post and Courier (USA), 20-Oct-2010

"A 42-year-old man was injured Monday night when he was run over by his own pickup truck.

The man said he was backing up with the door open when his shoelace got caught under his tire and pulled him out of the truck, Brouthers said."

Full story on The Post and Courier website

Teen using shoelace to light candle sets house on fire

– NBC 10 News (USA), 04-Oct-2010

Providence house fire (photo: NBC 10 News)

"Investigators said Monday that a teenager who tried to a light a candle with a shoelace started a fire that left seven people homeless.

He couldn't reach the wick, so he set a shoelace on fire and tried to use it as a lighter.

Officials said the teenager threw away the shoelace in a wastebasket filled with tissues, which started smoking."

Full story on NBC 10 News website

Things are picking up for the bionic boy

– The Telegraph (UK), 06-Sep-2010

Bionic boy Patrick Kane (photo: The Telegraph)

"On July 22 my 13-year-old son, Patrick, tied his shoelaces. It was a moving occasion. For the first time in his life he had performed this routine but intricate task, on his own and unaided.

Patrick had become the youngest of the small number of people round the world – some 1,400 or so – fitted with the Touch Bionic prosthetic. He was the 'bionic boy'.

It can lift up to 90 kilos, perform intricate tasks (such as shoelace tying, holding spherical objects, using a keyboard), and provide a level of digital functionality previously impossible."

Full story on The Telegraph website

Boyfriend falls 11 stories and dies after trying to scale girlfriend's building

– NY Daily News (USA), 09-Jul-2010

View down side of Harlem apartment building (photo: The New York Times)

"A man who tried to scale down the side of a Harlem building with [with] shoelaces and a belt plunged 11 floors to his death Thursday morning.

Wright tied the laces and the belt to a pipe and tried to inch his way to her top-floor window, then plummeted onto a second-floor patio roof."

Full story on NY Daily News website

Later story plus photo on The New York Times website

Slide tackle gets laces stuck to studs

– Yahoo! Sports (USA), 19-May-2010

Tangled soccer players Silva & Davi (photo: Yahoo! Sports)

"After a horrible first touch early on in Cruzeiro's match against Avai on Sunday, defender Leonardo Silva went in for a challenge on a charging Davi that resulted in getting Davi's laces stuck to the studs on Silva's boot."

Full story (including video) on Yahoo! Sports website

Ian's Comment: See also similar incidents in 2017, 2016 and 2013.

Man crawls out of ravine after crash

– Cowichan Valley Citizen (Canada), 05-May-2010

Car crashed down embankment (photo: Cowichan Valley Citizen)

"When he was going to downtown Duncan his shoelace got caught under the accelerator of the vehicle and he sped out of control and off the road, ...

It came to rest approximately 200 feet down the bank."

Full story on Cowichan Valley Citizen website

Dog mauls boy, 11, in Tieri street

– Central Queensland News (Australia), 26-Mar-2010

"A Tieri schoolboy's face was slashed and bitten in an unprovoked weekend dog attack.

The 11-year-old was walking alone down Pisces Street on Sunday afternoon when he bent over to tie a loose shoelace and was savaged by the medium-sized black and white dog."

Full story on Central Queensland News website

Figure skater Nobunari Oda dragged down by his bootlaces

– Reuters, 19-Feb-2010

Nobunari Oda's untied skate laces (photo: Reuters)

"Following a crash landing on the triple loop, memories of Tonya Harding's skating debacle at the 1994 Olympics came flooding back when Japan's Oda had to stop mid routine to sort out one of his bootlaces.

With the long laces trailing his boots on the ice, Oda skated up to the judges seeking permission to retie the offending piece of cord."

Full story on Reuters website

Ian's Comment: See also the earlier Tonya Harding story.

Mandela's Shoelaces

– The New Yorker (USA), 11-Feb-2010

Nelson Mandela after his release (photo: The New Yorker)

"Mandela asked for a meeting with P. W. Botha, the head of the apartheid state, which Coetsee and Barnard finally arranged in 1989.

So anxious was Barnard, the intelligence chief, about the meeting that seconds before the two men were to shake hands, he knelt down to fix Mandela's clumsily tied shoes. (Prisoners were forbidden shoelaces, and Mandela was long out of the habit of tying them.)"

Full story on The New Yorker website

1995 "Time" article, containing Richard Stengel's account

Hunter Rescued After Hanging From Tree

– Jacksonville News (USA), 06-Jan-2010

"Epperson said the hunter's portable tree stand malfunctioned. The hunter fell backward and was saved from falling to the ground by his shoe laces, which hugged the tree's trunk."

Full story on Jacksonville News website

Prisoner used shoe lace to escape from Swansea court

– BBC News (UK), 04-Jan-2010

Shoelace escapee James Stevenson (photo: BBC News)

"A prisoner has admitted escaping from the crown court in Swansea after using a shoe lace to tamper with a lock.

The court heard Stevenson had used a shoe lace to tamper with a latch on his cell door during the escape."

Full story on BBC News website

Ian's Comment: This same person escaped again using the same shoelace technique in Jul-2013 (see story above). When will the authorities improve the locks on their prison cells?

Ayrshire dog rescued after falling from icy cliff ledge

– Ayrshire Post (UK), 01-Jan-2010

Rescued dog Bruno and owners (photo: Ayrshire Post)

"Bruno somehow finished up on a precarious ledge in the Galloway Hills, beyond Loch Doon.

Brian now had to think about getting them both off the ledge.

He used boot spare boot laces to make a lead, tying one end to Bruno's collar and the other round his wrist.

'I had to virtually throw Bruno on to the ledge above,' said the fit gardener/handyman."

Full story on Ayrshire Post website

More News Story Excerpts

Date Range: 2018-2016 2015-2010 2009-1994

Please Contact Ian if any of the above links doesn't work or if you have another link that you feel would make a good addition to this list.

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