Source: CBS NEWS — DeKalb County Schools didn’t know they had a teacher arrested on charges of aggravated child molestation and statutory rape until CBS Atlanta News told them.
Stephenson Middle School Spanish teacher Rafer Lamar Grier is charged with four counts of aggravated child molestation and one count of statutory rape that allegedly happened in 2008. Grier was not arrested and jailed until Feb. 5 of this year; the whole time he was teaching young students.
CBS Atlanta News asked the tough questions to the DeKalb County School District about why they didn’t know about the accusations against one of their own teachers.
A spokesman with the DeKalb County School district said they couldn’t have known about the accusations of molestation and rape against Grier unless he or someone else came forward to tell them about it.
In a statement to CBS Atlanta News from the DeKalb County School District, they said:
“The DeKalb County School District learned of the arrest of Mr. Grier after receiving the media inquiry from Channel 46 and subsequently researching the DeKalb Jail web site.”
The school district goes on to say:
“The school district is extremely shocked and disappointed by these charges and will undertake swift and appropriate action, allowed by law, pending disposition by the courts on this matter.”
It is not known if any students were involved.
The school district says Grier has worked for DeKalb County schools since 2000.
Parents CBS Atlanta News talked to said they just wished someone would have told them about the serious accusations facing a teacher who spends his time surrounded by their children.
“I feel they should have sent us a letter or something stating that this is going on or something to that fact,” said Carolyn Banks.
Banks has a daughter in the seventh grade at Stephenson Middle School. She said the accusations against Grier are shocking.
“It kind of stunned me because we’re not aware this is going on, and nobody else informed us about it,” said Banks.
A spokesman from the school district said they do not plan to formally notify parents about the arrest unless a conviction is made.
Grier’s next court date is set for Feb. 16.
By: Brett Davis/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
www.privateofficer.com A popular teacher at Randolph Technical Career Center has been arrested on a charge of possession of child pornography, after an RTCC student allegedly saw an “inappropriate” image on a flash drive given to him by the teacher.
Police investigators charged William Zucca, 58, of Rochester, the Media & Communications teacher at RTCC, with the felony and he was held overnight on $50,000 bail pending arraignment.
Investigators say they are searching for further pornographic material and that the investigation is on-going.
Police allege Raymond M. Roeber, 23, of Tompkins Street, Pittston, failed to stop for a traffic violation on state Route 315 and abandoned his vehicle on East Main Street just before 12:30 a.m.
Roeber ran through the casino’s parking lot and scaled a fence near the race track where he was apprehended.
Police said they found several syringes inside Roeber’s vehicle.
Roeber was charged with eight counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of driving under the influence and one count each of escape, fleeing or attempting to escape, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license and several vehicle violations. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $20,000 total bail.
Roeber was wanted by Wilkes-Barre Township police on charges of retail theft and criminal conspiracy in connection with his alleged role in stealing televisions from the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Dec. 28.
According to the criminal complaint: Roeber was observed weaving in traffic on state Route 315 at about 12:15 a.m. He turned onto East Main Street driving into oncoming traffic and the catch basin along the roadway.
After he was apprehended, Roeber struggled with an officer until he was handcuffed. He told the officer that he smoked marijuana and injected cocaine.
Police said Roeber refused to submit to a blood-chemical test.
Roeber told police he attempted to escape because he knew he was wanted by authorities.
Wilkes-Barre Township police allege in arrest records that Roeber, Jason Rodney Shearer, 33, of Avoca and David Callahan, 31, of Pittston conspired to steal four televisions from Wal-Mart on Dec. 28.
Roeber and Callahan distracted the store’s greeter while Shearer allegedly walked out of the store with two televisions, police allege.
The three men returned to Wal-Mart later in the day, according to arrest records, and were stopped by a security officer while removing two televisions from the store.
Callahan is facing two counts of retail theft in Luzerne County Court.
Shearer is facing charges of retail theft and criminal conspiracy. He has not been captured.
Roeber is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on the pursuit and possession charges on Feb. 16 before District Judge Diana Malast in Plains Township, and on Feb. 17 before District Judge Michael Dotzel on the retail theft charges.
Two parents have filed a lawsuit against the Coachella Valley Unified School District and Saul Martinez Elementary School, claiming officials did not protect their then-6-year-old son from sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The lawsuit was filed Feb. 9 against Saul Martinez Principal Delia Alvarez, Superintendent Ricardo Medina and the seven school board members by a North Shore mother and father, who filed anonymously as A. Doe and B. Doe to protect their son.
In February 2009, their son was sexually assaulted with a stick by an older male first-grade student while using a Saul Martinez urinal, according to court reports.
More than a month later, school officials gave the victim a “safety net” so he did not have to use the bathroom alone, but the lawsuit states that school and district officials did not contact the aggressor’s parents or do enough to keep their son safe from him.
“We’re hopeful that the school district will take this seriously,” said Megan Beaman Carlson, an attorney with Coachella-based California Rural Legal Assistance, a nonprofit group that provides free legal services to low-income residents. “I think it’s been long enough.”
Medina, who joined the district in May 2009, said he was aware of the situation but not that the lawsuit had been filed.
“Obviously, we’re very disappointed because we’ve been trying to work through the issues and evidently they’ve not been resolved to their satisfaction,” Medina said. “We’re very disappointed that it’s gone to this level.”
Students’ privacy rights prevented him from discussing any details, he said.
District legal counsel and Principal Alvarez did not immediately respond to inquiries about the case.
Policy revision sought
The lawsuit asks for a revision of the district sexual harassment policy and its safety plan and training of all district staff regarding proper implementation of those policies.
The only financial compensation requested in the lawsuit is payment of the petitioners’ legal fees.
It’s possible that the other first-grader didn’t fully understand the consequences of his action because of his age, but the victim still suffered serious consequences from the incident and the school district still had a responsibility to protect students, Beaman Carlson said.
“This was still a situation where a student was assaulted in a sexual manner, whether it was meant sexually or not,” she said.
Immediately after the initial assault, the victim told a security guard, who did nothing but send the child to class, court reports state.
The boy’s mother reported the incident to Alvarez the next day and filed a police report so her son could be seen by a pediatrician specializing in traumatic injuries, according to the court reports.
Alvarez later told the mother “she believed the incident in the bathroom could have just been a game and that the Petitioners’ son was confused,” according to court documents.
The same aggressor threatened the petitioners’ son at other times and pulled the first-grader’s shirt away from his back in the school bathroom on March 6, documents report.
Later that month, the boy was given a “safety net” so a “buddy” accompanied him to the bathroom and a yard supervisor accompanied him during recess.
However, school and district officials did not adequately respond to several pleas to protect or separate the boy from his harasser, the court documents claim.
“We believe that they didn’t contact the family but we’re not sure about that,” Beaman Carlson said. “There’s no way for us to verify that.”
The district and parents had an unsuccessful mediation in July and, in August, the district notified the parents the incident wasn’t properly handled.
The petitioners’ son continues to see a therapist weekly, suffered academically and feared going to school, has trouble using the bathroom without a parent present and often avoids using the school bathroom at all, according to the lawsuit.
By: Brett Davis/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
Police responded to an armed robbery after several teens pulled a gun on a security officer.
The incident took place in a store located in the 2100 block of South Mooney Boulevard when the security officer saw them putting merchandise in a bag. As they walked out of the store, the officer ordered them to stop and at that point the boy brandished the handgun and the guard retreated, police said.
Police were notified and officers spotted the boy a few minutes later in the 2100 block of South Divisadero Street and arrested him.
Jerry MaCallister filed the suit against Sneekers in Putnam County Circuit Court Friday. He alleges the Putnam Village bar failed to properly train its bouncers or put in place an effective security system.
On Nov. 7, 2008, Michael Messer, then 25, shot McCallister in the stomach with a gun he had sneaked into the bar.
Messer pleaded guilty in June to malicious wounding, assault and brandishing a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
According to the lawsuit, the bar’s bouncers had kicked Messer out of Sneekers earlier that night for being drunk and threatening other patrons, and then let him back in again later that night.
When in the bar the second time, Messer pulled a gun, the suit states. McCallister saw the gun and intervened, and in the process was shot, according to the suit.
Several other patrons tackled Messer and held him until police arrived.
The bullet entered McCallister’s stomach and exited through his back, according to the suit. He was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center, where part of his colon was removed because of injuries from the bullet wound, the suit states.
McCallister asks in his suit for compensation for his medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.
Clarion-based state police Trooper Patrick Berggren, 34, Clarion, and Clarion Hospital security guard John D. Loweranitis, 45, New Castle, were injured while trying to restrain George at 2:10 a.m. Monday in the ER.
Police say George spat upon, scratched, threatened and used obscenities toward the two men and emergency room employees. She faces two counts each of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and harassment and three counts of assault.
The nature and extent of Berggren’s and Loweranitis’ injuries were not released.
Two other employees of the Oasis Club, 6800 Essington Ave. were cleared of all charges by Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons.
James Koons, 31, of Media, Delaware County, died from blunt-force trauma which fractured his skull in the front and back, testified Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Sam Gulino.
Koons and a longtime friend, George Foreacre, 35, of Secane, Delaware County, got into an altercation with the club’s bouncers inside the establishment and were escorted out, according to testimony from Foreacre and police and surveillance video that was played during the 4 1/2 hour hearing.
The confrontation continued in the parking lot, where Koons sustained injuries from being struck, knocked down to the ground or both, according to Gulino.
Though video from the parking lot does not show who struck Koons, prosecutors maintained that the fatal blow was thrown by John Pettit, 48, of Pennsauken, N.J., who was described in court as a club manager.
Pettit was held on charges of third-degree murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, hindering apprehension and related offenses.
Pettit, who had been charged with general murder, has been in jail for more than three months because of the prosecution’s contention that he threw the fatal blow. After ruling that he should be tried for murder, however, the judge set bail at $150,000.
The other five defendants already were free on bail.
Club owner Robert Laflar, 43, was held for third-degree murder and conspiracy. Bouncer Timothy Carpenter was held for aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person, but charges of third-degree murder and conspiracy were dropped.
Bouncer Edwin Padua was held for third-degree murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Bouncer Brendan Davis, 32, who had been charged with third-degree murder, was cleared of all charges. Club employee Staci Shoenberger, 33, who had been charged with hindering apprehension and filing a false police report, also was cleared of all charges.
Source:Suffolk-News Herald A sergeant with the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department has been charged with three different bank robberies in that city, police announced on Wednesday.
John Michael Keene II, of the 1100 block of Fern Lane in Suffolk, was arrested Tuesday near the BB&T Bank at 825 Volvo Parkway, which had been robbed earlier in the day.
Chesapeake police announced Wednesday morning that Keane also was being charged with two earlier robberies at the same bank. The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department announced soon afterward that Keane had been fired and was being held without bond at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.
According to a news release from Officer Dorienne M. Boykin, a spokesperson for the Chesapeake Police Department, a man wearing dark glasses, gloves and a surgical mask over his face entered the BB&T Bank on Tuesday and handed a bag to a teller “implying that he was conducting a bank robbery.”
The teller filled the bag with money and gave it to the suspect, who then left the bank and fled the area in a red vehicle, possibly a Ford Taurus, according to Boykin.
Shortly after the robbery, a Chesapeake K-9 officer saw a vehicle that appeared to match the description of the suspect’s car parked in a lot near Volvo Parkway. Police stopped the car, and inside it they found evidence from the bank robbery, Boykin stated.
After he was arrested, Keane was identified as a suspect in two previous robberies at the bank, Boykins stated in a follow-up on Wednesday. Those robberies occurred July 10 and Dec. 23 of last year.
Keane has been charged with three counts of robbery, three counts of wearing a mask in public, three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and three counts of entering a banking house with the intent to commit larceny.
Keane, 32, was hired as a security officer with the Sheriff’s office in June 1998, according to Sgt. David Rosado, a public information officer for the department. Keane became a Deputy Sheriff in August 1999 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in July 2008, at which time he was assigned to the Booking Section, where suspects are processed after they are arrested.
A preliminary hearing on Keane’s charges is set for March 31 in Chesapeake General District Court.
An officer tried to pull over a driver around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday near the Valley Fair Mall because the plates on the car didn’t match the vehicle registration. The driver sped away and tried to hit a police officer’s car.
Police pursued the car, which the driver ditched at an apartment complex near 3600 South and 2200 West. They say the driver assaulted a security guard who tried to stop him.
Police used a K-9 unit to track down the suspect. They found 35-year-old Ramon Santiago-Gonzalez hiding in a nearby backyard, arrested him and booked him into the Salt Lake County Jail.
The security guard is OK. Police say Santiago-Gonzalez could face charges for that attack.
Police say they found cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine in the vehicle. They also believe Santiago-Gonzalez was in possession of a 9 mm handgun and possibly a shotgun.
Lt. Mike Coleman with the West Valley City Police Department said, “We believe the suspect did discard some ammunition while he was on foot fleeing officers. We have officers in the area searching to see if they can discover a handgun.”
Police also are looking into whether gang affiliation is involved.
The investigation found that Olson filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim and a false police report alleging multiple injuries and stating he was hit in the student parking lot by a another student driving a car. There were no witnesses to the injury. However, the parking lot was monitored by a surveillance camera, and the surveillance tape from the school’s camera did not show him being hit by a car. Olson previously entered a plea of not guilty and then entered a different plea of guilty or no contest of insurance fraud.
Following the guilty pleas, Olson was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to make restitution through Keenan to the Alameda County Schools’ Insurance Group for $8,726.09. Olson was also required to pay $1,000 to the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Assessment Commission and an additional $178 in criminal and civil fines. Olson will also serve 30 days in county jail.