Atlanta Ga. Nov. 15, 2007
Alien and drug smugglers along the U.S.-Mexico border have spawned a rise in violence against federal, state and local law-enforcement authorities, who say they are outmanned and outgunned.
“They’ve got weapons, high-tech radios, computers, cell phones, Global Positioning Systems, spotters and can react faster than we are able to,” said Shawn P. Moran, a 10-year U.S. Border Patrol veteran who serves as vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 in San Diego.
“And they have no hesitancy to attack the agents on the line, with anything from assault rifles and improvised Molotov cocktails to rocks, concrete slabs and bottles,” he said. “There are so many agent ‘rockings’ that few are even reported anymore. If we wrote them all up, that’s all we would be doing.”
Assaults against Border Patrol agents have more than doubled over the past two years, many by Mexico-based alien and drug gangs more inclined than ever to use violence as a means of ensuring success in the smuggling of people and contraband.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff acknowledges that although the department has begun to make progress against “the criminals and thugs” operating along the U.S.-Mexico border, “we are beginning to see more violence in some border communities and against our Border Patrol agents as these traffickers … seek to protect their turf.
“We must provide the manpower and resources they need to carry out their duties, and we are working hard to make sure they get them,” Mr. Chertoff said during a speech in Houston this month.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the investigative arm of Homeland Security, stated in a report earlier this year that border gangs were becoming increasingly ruthless — targeting rivals, along with federal, state and local police. ICE described violence on the border as rising dramatically over the past three years in what it called “an unprecedented surge.”
But many agents think they are viewed as “expendable” by the managers within Homeland Security and the Border Patrol. They say that while the number of agents overall has increased dramatically over the past year, the actual number of line agents has not seen a corresponding jump.
Several noted that one six-mile section of border near San Diego, regarded as one of the most dangerous alien- and drug-smuggling corridors in the country, previously was assigned as many as 50 agents, but has been expanded to 13 miles and has one agent posted for each mile.
“That kind of situation is becoming increasingly common,” Mr. Moran said. “The status quo is unacceptable. Agents are being assaulted four to five times per shift. Ironically, the region has often been touted as the cornerstone of Operation Gatekeeper. Well, the cornerstone is crumbling and if changes don’t happen soon, we will lose an agent.”
Operation Gatekeeper was a Clinton-era security initiative that put 300 agents on the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, along with more fencing and lighting. It was based on a similar program in El Paso, Texas, where agents were stationed within sight of one another at main crossing points in order to form a human wall.
“Where are all these new agents they say they’re hiring?” Mr. Moran asked. “It’s hard to believe that Mr. Chertoff means it when he says his job is to provide the manpower and resources the agents need to carry out their duties, to give them the means to protect themselves against violence from criminal traffickers.”
Mr. Moran noted that many agents are being assigned to “non-border activities,” including jobs at Border Patrol headquarters in Washington. He said the agency’s headquarters soon may be the largest regional office in the entire Border Patrol, “assigned the task of telling the public what a good job we’re doing.”
Several agents noted that many of the alien- and drug-smuggling gangs targeting law-enforcement authorities are doing so with sophisticated weaponry. They noted that in February, an ICE-led task force seized two completed improvised explosive devices, materials for making 33 more devices, 300 primers, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, five grenades, nine pipes with end caps, 26 grenade triggers, 31 grenade spoons, 40 grenade pins, 19 black powder casings, a silencer and cash during raids in Laredo, Texas.
“Keeping explosives and other high-powered weaponry out of the hands of violent criminal organizations is a central focus of the new Border Enforcement Security Task Force in Laredo,” Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who heads ICE, said in announcing the seizures. “ICE is working day and night with its task force partners to stem the tide of violence that has been ravaging border communities in south Texas.”
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SAN DIEGO CA. Nov. 15 2007 – Three men suspected of robbing a Mission Valley hotel and shooting at a security guard Wednesday night were arrested less than two hours later after a short police pursuit ended in a crash.
Officers eventually connected the trio to four other holdups in the City Heights area Wednesday and believe they were looking to pull off another robbery when they were caught.
Patrol officers spotted a white Honda Civic in City Heights shortly after 1 a.m. on Fairmount Avenue near Olive Street and tried to pull it over. After a short chase, the car crashed on University Avenue near 58th Street.
“What started out as a simple traffic stop led to a little chase, which led to the robbery suspects being taken into custody,” said police Sgt. Kerry Tom.
Three men were taken into custody. They were treated at a hospital for injuries suffered in the crash.
Police said evidence from a robbery at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley was found inside the car.
Shortly before midnight, two men in their 20s, one wearing a Chargers blue beanie, the other in a Charger Antonio Gates jersey, had confronted a desk clerk and a security guard in the lobby of the hotel on Hotel Circle South, police said.
One of the men was armed with a silver handgun that police believe was a pellet gun.
After getting cash from the clerk and demanding the security guard hand over his wallet, the robbers left, getting into a Honda with a waiting driver. When the security guard followed them outside and asked for his wallet back, the robbers fired several shots at him before driving off.
The guard was hit by a projectile but was not injured, which is why police believe the weapon was a pellet gun.
The hotel guard followed the fleeing robbers in a car, but lost them.
Police said the robbers may be the same men who fired a shot as they robbed an E-Z Wireless store in on Euclid Avenue near 54th Street in City Heights on Wednesday afternoon.
They also are suspected of robbing Nate’s Cafe on Euclid Avenue near Home Avenue, Guatemala Market on University Avenue near 43rd Street and a 99 cents store on Euclid near Wightman Street, all between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
The first two holdups were staged about seven minutes apart, according to police.
One of the three men arrested was released from prison two weeks ago, Tom said.
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Philadelphia Pa. Nov. 15, 2007
An AlliedBarton security guard exposed himself to a female student after he escorted her home Monday night, Division of Public Safety officials said yesterday.The guard offered to escort the student from 38th and Sansom streets to her house, near 41st and Locust streets, at about 9:00 p.m. They arrived at her door, and he said something to get the student’s attention. When she turned around, he had exposed himself.The security guard, 21, was arrested shortly after the incident was reported and has permanently been removed from campus. He did not have a criminal record, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.The guard’s name has not been released because the victim has chosen not to press charges, Philadelphia Police officials said.
An e-mail that circulated through several Penn listservs last night suggested that the man may have been an imposter wearing a stolen AlliedBarton uniform, but Rush and AlliedBarton officials said that the offender was in fact a security guard, and that no AlliedBarton uniforms have been stolen or misplaced.Rush also said that a series of programs have been immediately implemented to prevent similar incidents.
All escorts will now have to carry visible photo IDs and service cards with their names on them to give to anyone whom they escort home.In addition to these measures, Rush said the minimum age for security guards is being raised from 21 to 25 to ensure that guards are “mature enough” to handle the job.Penn has contracted its security services from AlliedBarton since 1996, and, according to spokesman Larry Rubin, the company has never had a similar experience.”It is without a doubt one of the worst moments for the Allied team,” Rush said. “They’re heartbroken.”She also had harsh words for the security guard in question.”He betrayed our trust. I am furious,” she said. “It’s really important that you take this as one example and not forget the example that all the other [security guards] have set since 1996.”Rush added that all AlliedBarton security guards go through extensive training about sexual harassment and violence against women before they are hired.
Following the incident, officials have stressed to guards once again to follow rules and regulations, Rush said.As far as long-term changes go, Rubin said AlliedBarton is completing a survey “to re-evaluate and reiterate the responsibilities and expectations of all officers working in escort assignments.”Rush also stressed that students should still feel comfortable calling an escort, especially in light of the sexual assault involving a female student Monday morning.”This is not the time to not use walking escorts because of this incident,” she said.However, most students interviewed said their views on the escort service have been swayed. College senior Elyse Monti said she would still call in for an escort if she needed one but with “much, much more caution.”Others, like Wharton senior Jessica Trief, still see the escort as a valuable resource.”I don’t think all the security guards are like that. I think it’s a one person thing, so I wouldn’t be scared to use it again,” she said.
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Florida Nov. 15 2007
From the county where drunk driving is considered a sport, comes this true story.
Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a bar in Punta Gorda,Florida after last call the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so apparently intoxicated that he could barely walk.The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing. After what seemed an eternity in which he tried his keys on five different vehicles, the man managed to find his car and fall into it. He sat there for a few minutes as a number of otherpatrons left the bar and drove off.
Finally he started the car, switched the wipers on and off–it was a fine, dry summer night–,flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times, honked the horn and then switched on the lights. He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for a few more minutes as some more of the other patrons’ vehicles left. At last, when his was the only car left in the parking lot, he pulled out and drove slowly down the road.The police officer, having waited patiently all this time, now started up his patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and administered a breathalyzer test. To his amazement, the breathalyzer indicated no evidence that the man had consumed any alcohol at all! Dumbfounded, the officer said, I’ll have to ask you to accompany me to the sherriffs office. This breathalyzer equipment must be broken.”"I doubt it,” said the truly proud non-drinker. “Tonight I’m the designated decoy.”
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Washington D.C. Nov. 15 2007
Since the outbreak of a cybercrime epidemic that has cost the American economy billions of dollars, the federal government has failed to respond with enough resources, attention and determination to combat the cyberthreat, a Mercury News investigation reveals.
“The U.S. government has not devoted the leadership and energy that this issue needs,” said Paul Kurtz, a former administration homeland and cybersecurity adviser. “It’s been neglected.”
Even as the White House asked last week for $154 million toward a new cybersecurity initiative expected to reach billions of dollars over the next several years, security experts complain the administration remains too focused on the risks of online espionage and information warfare,
overlooking the international criminals who are stealing a fortune through the Internet.
“They’re still not taking cybercrime seriously enough,” said former administration cybersecurity adviser Marcus Sachs, now at Verizon Communications, reflecting the views of several former White House officials.
Experts like Sachs are encouraged by the prospect of serious federal action on cybersecurity. But they remain concerned that the White House, years after it should have taken notice, continues to neglect a key component of this massive challenge.
The difficulties are systemic and widespread:
• Limited resources. Current and former agents contend there are too few federal cyberinvestigators, and that too little is done to retain detectives with advanced technical training. Budget numbers appear to support the critics’ complaints responsibility. A half-dozen federal agencies fight organized Internet crime with overlapping programs, and at times are barred from sharing information. One private security consultant described having to act as a go-between, linking information between two agencies unable to talk directly.
• An unfamiliar threat. Traditional crime-fighting techniques are often useless. And there are indications that top government officials still do not appreciate the scope or danger of the Internet fraud menace.
The FBI, for example, projected in early 2006 that cybercrime cost American businesses an annual $67.2 billion. But when asked recently if his unit had enough money to deal with a problem of that magnitude, a top FBI cybercrime official responded that he had never heard the number.
“That’s way beyond anything I’ve seen,” said Shawn Henry, FBI deputy assistant director for the cyber division. “The biggest number I’ve seen is $5 billion.”
Told the figure came from the agency’s own oft-cited report, Henry said it was issued a year before he assumed his position, and he was not familiar with it.
Leadership void: Terror is the focus – not cybercrime
Since a 2003 presidential commission issued the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, the White House has suffered from a leadership vacuum on cybersecurity.
Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism coordinator, retired as cybersecurity czar just as the strategy was published. His deputy took over, only to leave government two months later.
The administration then eliminated the post entirely and shifted responsibility from the White House to the Department of Homeland Security – which treated the issue largely as a terrorism and military risk, to the exclusion of the online criminal underground that began to flourish during the next few years.
In 2005, the Government Accountability Office issued a scathing report lamenting that department’s inability to take on the cyberthreat as a whole.
“None of the senior leadership of DHS knew anything about cyber. They were all terrified about airplanes blowing up and people in body bags,” recalled Clarke, now chairman of Good Harbor Consulting. “They were so focused on the physical threats, cyber didn’t make the cut.”
Under congressional pressure, the Homeland Security Department hired Greg Garcia to oversee cybersecurity last fall – more than a year after promising to create the position.
In July, after a series of embarrassing computer intrusions at the departments of Defense, State, Commerce and Homeland Security, the GAO again lambasted the Homeland Security Department for its inability to protect even its own system against cyberattacks.
In the face of such complaints, the administration last week sent an amended budget request to Congress, asking for the first funds toward what many believe will be a grand cybersecurity initiative. A White House budget office spokesman said the funding was part of “ongoing work” on cybersecurity and declined to discuss details of the plan.
But the Homeland Security Department is expected, under the initiative, to be leading a major effort to secure government data, as well as make sure critical industries like energy, food and banking can still operate in the event of a cyberattack from foreign nations or terrorists.
The National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Defense, all agencies said to play key roles, declined to comment.
Who’s responsible? Duties dispersed among agencies
While the Homeland Security Department oversees government cybersecurity efforts, responsibility for investigating cybercrimes is dispersed among several federal agencies. The FBI has primary authority for cyber law enforcement. The Secret Service, experienced in combating counterfeiting, handles computer-driven financial crimes. The Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Postal Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement also have roles.
Officially, the FBI lists cybercrime as its third main priority, behind counterterrorism and counterintelligence.
But it is a distant third: For the fiscal year that just began, the FBI budget includes 5,987 full-time FBI staffers assigned to counterterrorism and 4,479 to counterintelligence. For cybercrime, it funds 1,151 employees, among them 659 agents.
Nor does last week’s budget request alter that disparity. The $39 million FBI increase in newly sought cyberfunding was barely one-third of the proposed increase in its already-huge counterterrorism budget.
“This administration has said its budget priorities are the war in Iraq, fighting terrorism,” as well as Hurricane Katrina recovery, said Keith Schwalm, a former White House homeland and cybersecurity aide and Secret Service cybercrimes agent. “If you don’t fall under one of those buckets, you don’t get funded.”
Even within the cyber division, Internet attacks on American citizens and their private information are among several responsibilities. The threat of cyberterrorism – of spies or terrorists breaking into government computers – is the primary concern. Compact-disc privacy also falls within the division’s jurisdiction.
And one in three FBI Internet-crime investigations last year focused on a very different area: online child pornography and exploitation.
Child pornography cases “get all the press attention, and they can say they’re doing something about cybercrime,” said Susan Brenner, a University of Dayton law professor who studies policing on the Internet. But, she contends, the government is failing to pursue the most sophisticated – and potentially dangerous – cybercriminals.
It’s not that Robert Mueller, the FBI director, is ignorant of the cybercrime problem. As the U.S. attorney for Northern California in the late 1990s, Mueller created the Justice Department’s first computer hacking and intellectual property unit. Two years ago, Mueller called the threat of cybercrime “serious” and getting worse.
In a speech last week, Mueller said: “The simple truth is we do not protect cyberspace to the same degree we protect our physical space. We have in large part left the doors open to our business practices, our sensitive data and our intellectual property.”
However, agents in the field say they need more money to respond to the threat. “We probably do not have the right amount of resources or training in place,” Scott O’Neil, chief of the FBI’s computer intrusion section, said at a September forum on cybercrime in Mountain View. “But we’re doing the best we can.”
The Secret Service, now a unit within the Homeland Security Department, is similarly constrained. Next year, the department proposes cutting staffing for the Secret Service division that investigates cybercrime by more than 10 percent, as it faces an increased need to protect presidential candidates.
“Federal law enforcement needs more agents to deal with this,” said Ron Plesco, executive director of the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance, a government-funded non-profit that investigates cybercrime.
Inadequate budgets are only exacerbated by the departures of many experienced investigators. Some leave out of frustration with rotation policies, which encourage, if not force, agents with cybercrime proficiency to leave their skills behind for positions in unrelated units.
A June report of the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, criticized these practices and said: “FBI and Secret Service officials acknowledged that the rotation policies have at times resulted in these agencies under-utilizing staff with cyber expertise.”
Talented agents often bolt for corporate jobs, where they are both paid more and better able to focus on electronic crime. Once they leave, “Who’s left to actually do the cases?” asked Steve Santorelli, manager of investigations at Team Cymru, an Internet crime research organization.
“A bank can’t go and arrest somebody,” added Santorelli, a former Scotland Yard cybercrime detective.
Replacing that expertise carries a high price. Though the federal agencies do not release the amounts they spend on anti-cybercrime training, it takes about 18 months and $4,000 worth of classes to become a proficient user of EnCase Forensics, a common program for computer investigations, according to Guidance Software. To educate advanced forensic cybercops, government agencies shell out upward of $10,000, plus travel and time off.
New kind of crime: Old techniques are ineffective
The challenge of fighting cybercrime goes beyond resources; even some of the best detectives find it difficult adapting to the complex virtual world, where criminals are bouncing their Internet traffic from computer to computer across several continents, and digitally laundering money through several people’s bank accounts.
Cybercrooks, hiding far beyond the reach of the law, take over people’s personal computers in rich nations, assimilating them into robot networks, or “botnets,” and using them as a launching point for attacks. Multiple search warrants might travel through several countries, from one Internet service provider or e-mail account to the next, only to stop cold when the trail leads to an uncooperative nation.
Finding witnesses and physical evidence – the traditional crime-fighting methods – is far more challenging to implement online. In the physical world, a million-dollar heist requires elaborate planning with “accomplices, weapons, getaway plans,” said security industry pioneer Dan Geer. Not so in Internet crime, where a fortune can be stolen with mere clicks of a mouse by a single person.
Other obstacles compound the problem. Victims may not realize they have been had. “If I steal your car, you don’t have it anymore,” said Brenner, the University of Dayton professor. “If I steal your data, you’ll never know unless you stumble over it being used somewhere.”
And even if they do notice, they may not bother to report the crimes.
“In the electronic world, I can steal a million dollars one dollar at a time, and almost no victim will care,” said Geer, now at Verdasys.
Sluggish response: Crooks are quick; agencies aren’t
To their credit, the FBI, Homeland Security Department and other agencies spend tens of millions of dollars each year on technologies and facilities to aid cyberinvestigations and network protection. Yet that funding has been nowhere near enough to keep up with the burgeoning expansion of Internet crime in the past few years.
The FBI launched a network of high-tech crime labs in 2000 devoted to the growing cybercriminal threat. But those labs have been bogged down with forensic examinations in a wide variety of cases unrelated to cyberspace, ranging from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) steroids cases to the public corruption investigation of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.
The American Prosecutors Research Institute, in an April 2005 report, discovered a six-month backlog for forensic examinations at the FBI’s San Diego lab. The bureau’s Ohio lab said in its most recent annual report that its top priority was to reduce the laboratory’s backlog, even as its caseload was increasing.
In an area of crime where evidence moves across the world in minutes and thieves change their attack methods in the course of days, slowdowns like these can wreak havoc on investigations.
Richard D.G. Cox saw the price of delay over the summer, when he thought he had found evidence to help take down one of the Internet underground’s most powerful criminal groups.
Cox and his team at the Spamhaus Project, a European non-profit that tracks cybercriminal gangs, identified a computer serving as one of the technical nerve centers of the Storm Worm group – an organization that had turned hundreds of thousands of computers into remote-controlled zombies by depositing malicious software and absorbing them into a botnet, then rented it out to spammers.
FBI agents had earlier made clear to Cox that information about Storm was urgent. So he contacted the bureau, thinking the discovery of the server – just driving distance from federal cyber headquarters – provided a rare opportunity.
But weeks passed with no response. In mid-October, Cox asked an FBI agent what had happened. The agent said the bureau decided not to pursue the lead, but offered no explanation.
“This is a regular occurrence,” Cox lamented of the episode, which the FBI declined to discuss. If they can’t deal with something this important, Cox said, “There’s got to be something wrong.”
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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. Nov. 16 2007 — It is a day of mourning in Douglas County. Wednesday night’s collision between a deputy’s squad car and another vehicle killed the popular manager of the local Wal-Mart.
The victim’s husband is also a Douglas County deputy and a close friend with the deputy who is now in the hospital.
The tragedy along Highway 5 wove between families, law enforcement and hundreds of store workers.
Tammy Barnwell died in Wednesday night’s horrific wreck. She was killed by deputy’s cruiser driven by a family friend.
“It’s like losing a member of your family,” said Sheriff Phil Miller.
The 44-year-old Barnwell managed Douglasville’s Wal-Mart, where Thursday employees held a prayer vigil, after which many workers simply went home.
“We’re just all in shock. I mean, I heard about it on the news last night but I didn’t know it was her. And then I came up here to get my check today and one of the cashiers told us about it and everyone’s just devastated,” said Wal-Mart employee Patty VanDermay.
The Georgia State Patrol is piecing together the accident. Deputy Chris Black was responding to a call for help after a nearby armed robbery. Investigators do not believe he had his blue lights and sirens on.
Deputy Black’s cruiser crossed the center line and hit Tammy Barnwell’s car head on. She was killed instantly.
Deputy Black worked alongside Tammy Barnwell’s husband, Douglas County Deputy Robert Barnwell.
“The families knew each other…and we knew Tammy and she was a sweet, sweet lady,” said Miller.
There are questions today along with the tears and sadness and all of the mourning. Was the deputy speeding recklessly on that country road? Why didn’t he have his emergency equipment activated? Would Barnwell have been able to move to the shoulder upon hearing the siren and thus avoiding this crash and her death? There are many questions today in this metro Atlanta community but few answers. some even ask whether or not the deputy will be charged in this horrific crash. The investigation is underway and charges may come out of that but regardless if they do or don’t, two families who were friends, a business where the victim was loved and a rapidly growing community that is still close -knit is left in sorrow and hurting.
Lebanon TN. Nov 16. 2007
Police say desperation for money led a Bethpage woman to dream up a murder-for-hire plot, offering a teenage friend thousands to kill her mother in hopes of getting millions in insurance money.
Joshua Hayden Stubblefield, 18, a senior at Watertown High School in Wilson County, was arrested Monday, accused of agreeing to kill the mother of his friend, 19-year-old Lauren Ashley Morrow.
Police acting on a tip arrested Stubblefield after undercover investigators sold him a weapon that was to be used in the crime, they said. Morrow and her boyfriend, Andrew Bruce Bland, 24, were arrested at their Sumner County home Tuesday evening. All three are charged with conspiracy to commit felony murder.
“Their story was kind of hard to believe,” Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe said. “As soon as” Stubblefield “made the gun transaction with us, we knew it was very serious.”
According to police records, Stubblefield told investigators that Bland and Morrow had offered to pay him $150,000 to kill Morrow’s mother, Karen Colleen Stribel.
Money appears to be the motive. Morrow allegedly told Stubblefield she was in line to receive $2 million in insurance money after her mother’s death. Ashe said Stribel does have a “very substantial” insurance policy, but that it is much less than $2 million.
After his arrest, Stubblefield let police listen to a brief phone conversation among himself, Morrow and Bland. He wore a wire Tuesday during a visit to the couple’s Bethpage home, where the three discussed the killing.
“It was rather bone-chilling to hear them talking about how they’d kill this woman — all just over money,” Ashe said. Morrow and Bland were arrested after that conversation.
Stubblefield was freed after posting a $20,000 bond. Morrow and Bland remained in the Wilson County Jail Wednesday.
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Springfield MO. Nov. 16 2007
A Missouri State University security guard could face jail time after he was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer for the second time in less than two years.
Brian Armstrong, 31, of Highlandville, was charged Nov. 7 with false impersonation of an officer after reportedly stopping and briefly detaining a female driver near campus on Oct. 27.
He has pleaded not guilty.
A probable-cause statement filed by the Springfield Police Department said Armstrong, who was on probation for a similar incident in Christian County, “gave the victim verbal orders and made statements that led the victim to believe he was a police officer.”
The statement said he detained the woman for about 10 minutes. It states the woman refused to comply with Armstrong’s orders “not knowing what Armstrong’s intentions were.”
Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Ron Cleek said Wednesday that because of the new charge, he would seek to have Armstrong’s probation revoked and a 90-day jail sentence imposed.
According to Cleek, Armstrong used his personal vehicle equipped with flashing lights to pull over a motorist in Highlandville on April 4, 2006.
While he didn’t show a badge, his actions gave the victim the impression he was an officer when he “gave them a chewing out about their driving.”
“He can’t do that,” he said. “I can’t pull someone over. I’m a citizen when it comes to traffic offenses.”
Armstrong was found guilty Nov. 11, 2006 and received a suspended 90-day sentence. He was placed on probation, ordered to attend anger-management classes and spent 48 hours in “shock” incarceration in the Christian County Jail in December 2006.
Cleek said the court papers to revoke Armstrong’s probation will be filed soon and a hearing will be set to determine Armstrong’s fate.
MSU officials admitted Wednesday that Armstrong was allowed to remain a security guard after they became aware of the Christian County incident. He has been with the security department about four years.
Gary Snavely, director of security at MSU, said the university conducted an internal review after the Christian County incident came to light.
The result, Snavely said, was that “we decided to keep him on. He is still with us.”
Armstrong, who was making $22,565 annually, was subjected to a criminal background check when he was hired. He had a military background, Snavely said.
Snavely refused to comment further on the decision to keep Armstrong and added that the report produced by the review was a closed record because it was a personnel matter.
Snavely said a similar review would be conducted on Armstrong’s latest incident “if it’s warranted.”
“I haven’t seen the (police) statement,” he said. “I don’t know the facts. I’ve got to look into what transpired.”
Armstrong, who is out on $500 bond, was charged by the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.
The probable-cause statement said he was wearing his royal blue MSU security officer uniform and driving an MSU-marked security car when conducting a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Heather Snow of Springfield in the 700 block of East Walnut Street.
The charge is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail, said Grant Story, spokesman for the Springfield Police Department.
Snavely said no other MSU security guard has been accused of impersonating an officer in the six years he’s been at the university.
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Baltimore Md. Nov. 16 2007 The family of a slain 72-year-old woman on Thursday filed a $14 million lawsuit against her Baltimore apartment complex, alleging her murderer was allowed to kill because of lax security. On June 2, Leo Cooper entered his mother Shirley Cooper’s home, located in the Temple Gardens apartments located at 2601 Madison Avenue, to find her dead as a result of multiple stab wounds. The killer is still at large. “The person who savagely murdered the late Shirely Cooper entered the premises through an unsecured and unmonitored entryway,” attorney David Ellin wrote in the family’s wrongful death suit against ETG Associates and Roizman Development, the owner and operator of the apartment complex. Ellin alleges that security cameras were not properly installed or operating at the time of Cooper’s murder. He said the $14 million is a “symbolic amount” representing the number of times Cooper was stabbed. “It’s an overall failure of their security system,” Ellin said of the suit, which was filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court by Cooper’s mother and five children. “There have been problems with people just walking in the front door and a side door left open.” Representatives of the apartment complex were not immediately available for comment.
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Huntington W.V. Nov. 16, 2007
Cabell County Sheriff Deputies make an arrest in a hit & run that badly injured a man in Huntington Thursday morning.
55-year old Billy Seabolt of Barboursville was found along Terrace Avenue several hundred yards from GC Services. That is in the Altizer section of the city.
A Cabell County Sheriff’s Deputy tells wsaz.com that Seabolt worked as a security guard at the business. They say he clocked out around 1:15 am.
A worker GC Services found him along the road around 7:00 am. The deputy tells us his feet were up over a guard rail and that vehicle parts were found near him.
Deputies tell us they arrested 18-year old Korey Brammer of Proctorville, Ohio after he took his pick-up truck to a a Barboursville body shop. Brammer was arraigned Thursday afternoon. He is charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
Brammer told Dave Benton in court that he hit something, but kept on going. Investigators say that Brammer told them he thought he had hit a deer.
Brammer told judge that he works at GC Services and that the accident happened as he was leaving work after 1am.
Seabolt was was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital. He is listed in serious condition in ICU.
Lawton Ok. Nov. 16 2007 _A little before closing time Wednesday, two masked robbers came into the bank on the 4100 block of West Gore and stole cash from the bank, overtaking a security guard. Lawton Police say one of the suspects took the security guard’s weapon and held up one of the tellers and the security guard at the same time.
The second suspect jumped over the counter, told the teller to open the door to the office and collected cash from the safe. Meanwhile, the first suspect ordered the security guard to the ground. Both suspects then fled east from the bank and were seen heading north down a creek.
Lawton Police need help in tracking down the suspected robbers. Suspect number one is described as a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt or jacket, white gloves, a dark colored mask and white tennis shoes. Suspect number two was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt or jacket, white gloves, a dark colored mask, dark blue jeans and black tennis shoes.
One of the suspects is approximately 5’9″ and 220 pounds. The other is approximately 5’7″ and 150 pounds. If you have any information regarding this robbery or any felony crime, please call Crimestoppers at 580-355-INFO. As always, you never have to give your name. If your information leads to an arrest and charges being filed, you will receive a $600 reward from Crimestoppers. City National Bank is offering $10,000 for the tip that leads to the arrest of the suspects.
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