Undercover Officer Justin Fox was at the right place at the right time.
“You know these guys came to a gun battle and little did they know they were going to meet someone who was also ready to do what it took to make people safe,” said Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas.
Fox and a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer were working a separate investigation at the Hyatt Place Hotel, which is just off Old Hickory Boulevard near Brentwood, when three robbers walked into the lobby around 2:30 a.m. with guns drawn.
The robbers held the clerk and gunpoint and were forcing her to give them cash when Fox and the other officer entered the lobby.
According to a Metro police report, the suspects ordered the officers to the floor at gunpoint, striking, kicking and threatening to kill them. Before Fox was completely on the ground, he pulled out his gun, turned around and shot all three suspects.
The suspects did not return fire, and the THP officer did not fire a weapon.
Despite being shot, the three suspects, identified as 23-year-old Deaunte Carter, 22-year-old Rory Gilmer and 20-year-old Antonio Leggs, got away in a maroon mini-van.
Fox followed the mini-van in his unmarked police vehicle and radioed directions to dispatch. The mini-van was then pulled over without incident on Interstate 65 North around the Wedgewood Avenue exit.
“He did a tremendous job in protecting himself, protecting the other officer and protecting most importantly the citizens who were being held in fear of their life by these three fellows,” said Serpas. “He made decisions he had to make to save people’s lives, and that’s exactly what he did and that’s what he should have done.”
Medics were called to the scene, and emergency officials rushed the three suspects to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Carter and Gilmer were listed in critical condition, and Leggs has been updated to stable condition.
Mumford said that 40 minutes before robbing the Hyatt Place, the gunmen robbed three victims in the parking lot of the Homewood Suites on Church Street. Two purses and a wallet were stolen from the out-of-town business guests, but have since been recovered.
Multiple attempted aggravated robbery arrest warrants have been issued against all three suspects. Additional aggravated robbery charges are anticipated. Federal charges are pending.
According to the police report, Leggs has two previous theft convictions. Gilmer has been arrested eleven times.
“Everyone deserves to know that this is the kind of case that continues to point us to repeat offenders,” said Serpas. “These guys have been in and out of trouble. They’re not new to the system.”
Fox was put on administrative assignment for the time being.
Dakota Ray Kohler-Lander was free on $5,000 bail and had been scheduled to appear Wednesday morning before Albany County Judge Thomas Breslin for arraignment on an indictment charging one count of third-degree rape.
It was not immediately known why Kohler-Lander was in Minnesota.
Guilderland Police Chief Carol Lawlor said her department notified the man’s family Wednesday night of his death. Lawlor had no details of the incident.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Web site said Kohler-Lander fell four floors to his death. Security officers were called around 6:50 p.m. about a man with a knife, the newspaper reported, quoting police. Within seconds of the officers approaching Kohler-Lander, he climbed over the railing and fell to the first floor of the mall in Bloomington.
The Hennepin County, Minn., medical examiner’s office ruled as the cause of death multiple blunt-force injuries. It had yet to determine whether the fall was an accident.
Kohler-Lander, who lived on Evelyn Drive, was arrested last Oct. 1 for allegedly having sex in Guilderland with a girl who was 16 at the time and too young to consent, authorities said.
“This is a family that has had a lot of tragedy, and, although there is an accusation of a crime, all individuals are presumed innocent,” said Heather Orth, spokeswoman for Albany County District Attorney David Soares. “This is definitely not the way we would have liked to have seen this case come to an end.”
Orth’s reference was to the death last June of Kohler-Lander’s twin brothers, Alexander and Zachary Rohloff, 17, who were killed while riding separate ATVs in Schaghticoke and hit head-on near the apex of a small hill. Neither teen was wearing a helmet at the time, and officials said they may not have known they were each headed toward the same hilltop.
An escaped Florida State Prison inmate who has been on the lam since 1983 is headed back to a Sunshine State jail cell after he was arrested in North Carolina Wednesday night. Now almost 70, Charles Lee Sparks was nabbed when he tried to do what many elderly people do; apply for social security benefits. He now has a new retirement plan, courtesy of the state of Florida.
Sparks, who was serving a 20 year sentence for trafficking in Quaaludes, was arrested by police in Wilmington, North Carolina, after they were tipped off by the Social Security Administration.
Police arrested him Wednesday when he arrived to keep an appointment at the Wilmington social security office.
Investigators say Sparks was using the identity of William Bolyn Garrett, a Virginia man who died in 1983, the same year Sparks drove away from a north Florida prison facility in a Pontiac Lemans he was washing as part of a prison work detail.
Originally, Sparks was charged with identity fraud when federal officials determined the man he was impersonating had been dead for 27 years, but a fingerprint check tagged Sparks as a fugitive. Despite the decades of freedom, Florida officials never officially stopped looking for Sparks, whose name was in a federal database of escaped fugitives.
Sparks, who was originally held on $200 thousand bond, saw his bond canceled and is now being held for return to Florida on a fugitive from justice charge.
Sparks had about 18 years left on his sentence when he escaped.
“Our message to fugitives like Mr. Sparks remains the same — we will never stop looking for you. I’d like to thank the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for bringing Mr. Sparks to justice,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil.
Almost 400 Florida fugitives have been captured since 2007, when the Corrections department formed it’s Fugitive unit. While Sparks had eluded the long arm of Florida law for almost 3 decades, his case is by no means the oldest cold case. The Corrections department said some of their cases are older than 60 years.
Thirty-one-year-old Patrick Denis and 26-year-old Glenmore Clarke are both charged with two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and obstruction.
The shooting happened at Magic City around 3:45 a.m. Friday morning at Forsyth and Brotherton streets.
“All of a sudden, bam, bam, bam!” said Bobby Tookes, describing the shooting.
“These dogs just riding around and shooting and shooting everything,” said Taiwon Davis, another witness.
Atlanta Police Sergeant Ed Baker said about 8-12 shots were fired in the parking lot. The gunfire followed a fight inside the club. It was unclear what the fight was about.
A security guard was treated and released from the hospital with a wound to the buttocks. A woman, believed to be a patron, was wounded in the leg. She is in fair condition at Grady.
The two suspects were caught at Central and Rawson streets. They tried to run from their car, but police chased them down. A police officer twisted her ankle in the chase but is expected to be fine.
The suspects are scheduled to make their first court appearance Saturday morning at 11 a.m.
St Louis County Police spokesman Rich Eckhard says they believe that Kenneth Kyle, 47, of San Francisco contacted Tessa Vervlerah of Ballwin, Missouri via the internet. Investigators say he then travelled to Missouri to engage in sex acts with the woman’s 13-month-old child.
Kyle and Venvierah both are facing a variety of charges, including statutory rape, promoting child pornography, and other charges.
Eckhard says they believe this was going on for several months, so it’s hard to tell just how old the child was when the crimes actually began.
Kyle was arrested March 15 at San Francisco International airport as he returned from a trip to Europe. The FBI had reportedly learned that Kyle had shared child pornography from his home computer, which lead to his initial arrest. Authorities say a search of his San Francisco home and his laptop turned up child pornography, and that lead to these new charges.
He says prosecutors have slapped each suspect with a $2 million cash-only bond, basically keeping both behind bars until they can have their day in court.
Police say the officer noticed that John White matched the description a store clerk gave of the thief, and the address White wanted turned out to be the same one the officer was checking.
The address had been left on a slip of paper the thief left at a gas station.
White was arrested Tuesday after the officer found he had both phones, along with a small amount of marijuana.
Police say charges are pending.
The death toll has risen by four since the fiery crash was first reported, but KSP Trooper Charles Swiney said two children survived the crash.
Dispatcher Kathy Tyree said the collision occurred at 5:16 a.m. CDT in Hart County near mile marker 63, which is near Munfordville, Kentucky.
Emergency Management Director Kerry McDaniel said the tractor-trailer was going south on I-65 when it crossed the median, striking the van head-on. The van was carrying men, women and children. A pastor at a southern Kentucky church said many of the victims were from a Kentucky-based Mennonite family.
After crashing into the van, the semi hit a rock wall and burst into flames. McDaniel said the truck driver was killed.
Kentucky State Police, Hart County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky Safe Patrol, Hart County Emergency Management Services, Munfordville Fire Department and the Hart County Coroners Office were all on the scene.
Northbound lanes of I-65 have been shut down, and a detour has been established.
According to a KSP press release, traffic is being diverted off of I-65 at exit 58 onto KY218. Traffic will then be diverted onto US31 east and then head north. Traffic will remain on KY61 until the intersection with I-65 at exit 91.
KSP said the interstate will be close for at least eight hours. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has been advising motorists to seek an alternate route north of Kentucky and plan for delays until the crash has been cleared.
I-65 southbound lanes have been affected by rubbernecking.
Sgt. Roger Self was found dead in his home with a gunshot wound Wednesday night.
Thursday night Ethan Self, 18, was charged with first degree murder. The Greeneville High School senior is being held on $500,000 bond.
Greene County Sheriff Steve Burns says co-workers became concerned Wednesday night when Sgt. Self didn’t show up for his 7:00 p.m. shift.
Officers stopped by his Love Street home and found his body. Authorities say Sgt. Self was shot at least once.
“Roger was a quiet, gentle officer who loved to do his job, didn’t come to the forefront in a lot of things. He didn’t want the publicity,” said Sheriff Burns. “He was just a good man.”
Sgt. Self’s body was sent to Johnson City Medical Center for an autopsy.
His wife passed away three years ago.