Todd Spikes, 44, also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The sentencing was part of a plea agreement that spared Spikes prison time, defense attorney Ted Zentner said.
“We took the deal because we considered the risk of a trial,” Zentner said in a phone interview Tuesday.
A conviction would likely have sent Spikes to prison for three to five years, probation and listing as a sex offender, Zentner said.
Spikes is among the last cases still open from the 21 men arrested in the December 2006 sex sting in Flagler Beach. Most others have been sentenced to probation or prison.
Spikes pleaded no contest and was found guilty. The plea deal calls for him to serve 10 years’ sex offender probation on lewd and lascivious exhibition and concurrently serve five years’ probation for computer porn.
Most of the cases against Spikes were moved to Walton County, where Spikes lives near DeFuniak Springs. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second count of lewd and lascivious exhibition as well as a charge of attempted lewd or lascivious battery in Flagler County. Spikes drove from his home near DeFuniak Springs near the Alabama border to Flagler Beach to have sex with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, investigators said.
But he drove away from the decoy house without getting out of his SUV, and police stopped him a few blocks away. Flagler Beach police found a shotgun, an assault rifle and handguns, all loaded, in Spikes’ SUV.
New York state police said Micah Brown, 30, was arrested Wednesday after a two-month investigation.
Police said the investigation began when an underage girl reported having a sexual relationship with Brown. The girl said she met Brown in a chat room in November 2009 and that he helped her with school work. The girl said Brown later began text messaging her.
The girl told police that Brown traveled to meet her in February 2010 and gave her marijuana and alcohol before engaging in sexual conduct.
Brown was arrested at the Quality Inn in Dewitt, N.Y. Police said Brown admitted to traveling to the motel to engage in sexual conduct with girls he believed to be 14 and 16 years old.
Brown was charged with attempting to disseminate indecent materials to a child. He was arraigned and remains held on $1 million bond.
Officials at the American School For The Deaf said Brown was placed at the school by a college. They said Brown had been at the school for about three weeks.
As prisons across the country look to reduce manpower and cut costs, those considering unstaffing towers in favor of monitored cameras and sensors are drawing the ire of unions who say officers — and prisoners — are being put in danger.
“No camera has ever stopped someone from being beaten up,” said Ed McConnell, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association. “… When you need help, a man with a gun does it. … A camera doesn’t help you.”
Pennsylvania is evaluating whether it needs officers constantly on tower duty, saying it could save nearly $5 million a year by joining the ranks of states including Ohio, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Florida and others that have made similar moves.
“They’ve become pretty much obsolete,” John K. Murray, superintendent of the Camp Hill prison in central Pennsylvania, said of towers. “Towers are kind of the dinosaur way of doing our business.”
Pennsylvania corrections officers already monitor cameras inside prisons. The projected savings would come from a reduction in overtime, because there would be more officers inside the prison to help fill in when others are out sick or on vacation.
“It would be a better use of our resources to take them out of the towers and put them inside the institutions,” department spokeswoman Susan McNaughton said.
Only five of 27 state facilities even have perimeter towers because of changes in prison design; Pennsylvania hasn’t built a prison with them since the 1960s. The Corrections Department hopes to have those changes in place by June.
In some states, the tower guards are long gone at most prisons. Connecticut started reducing tower staffing in the mid-1990s and now has only two prisons that staff towers, and even then only during selected times, said Andrius Banevicius, a spokesman for the Connecticut Correction Department.
The California corrections agency started taking officers out of prison towers in 1993, a year after it started installing lethal electric fences. The move saved $70 million a year in staff costs, spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.
The unions representing corrections officers argue that unmanning towers removes important sets of human eyes — eyes that don’t lose power and eyes that have access to weapons in the event of a riot or other emergency.
“They’re talking about taking away an important aspect of public safety,” McConnell said, noting that officers in the towers are especially important during times of unrest.
In Pennsylvania, some prisons may decide to keep officers in towers while inmates are in the yard or being moved around, McNaughton said.
At Camp Hill, the site of riots in October 1989 that hurt 120 officers and inmates and severely damaged much of the prison, the prison has bolstered security in recent years.
The prison has more than 50 surveillance cameras, new razor wire, two separate fences (the tops of which have been raised from 12 to 14 feet) and an armed perimeter officer who patrols the border 24-7. The last escape at the prison, which has more than 500 officers and about 3,450 inmates, was in the mid-1980s.
From a historical standpoint, U.S. prisons really started manning towers only late in the 19th century as prisoners became more enterprising.
And while Hollywood may glorify them as the last line of defense, many say that’s simply not the case in a high-tech world.
“There’s a lot of complacency when it comes to those tower posts,” Murray said. “The tendency is to not see as much as you should see.”
NEW ORLEANS LA April 21 2010 – An explosion rocked an offshore oil drilling platform, sending a column of fire into the sky and touching off a frantic search at sea Wednesday for at least 11 reported missing.
Most of the 126 workers on the rig Deepwater Horizon were believed to have escaped safely after the explosion about 10 p.m. Tuesday, Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O’Berry said.
The rig, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip, was still burning at midday Wednesday. It was tilting about 70 degrees and threatening to topple into the water. There was no estimate of when the flames might be out.
Helicopters and boats searched the Gulf of Mexico for any sign of the workers who had not been accounted for.
“We’re hoping everyone’s in a life raft,” O’Berry said.
The Coast Guard said Wednesday that seven workers had been critically injured. Later in the day, West Jefferson Hospital in suburban New Orleans said it treated four people, three of whom had been released. The University of South Alabama Medical Center said it was treating one person in its burn unit and evaluating five others.
O’Berry said many workers who escaped were being brought to land on a work boat expected to arrive Wednesday evening.
When the explosion happened, the rig was drilling but was not in production, according to Greg Panagos, spokesman for its owner, Transocean Ltd. in Houston. The rig was under contract to BP PLC. BP spokesman Darren Beaudo said all BP personnel were safe but he didn’t know how many BP workers had been on the rig. Panagos said it’s still too early to know what caused the explosion.
“Our focus right now is on taking care of the people,” he said.
O’Berry said Coast Guard environmental teams were on standby in Morgan City, La., to assess any environmental damage once the fire was out.
According to Transocean’s website, the Deepwater Horizon is 396 feet long and 256 feet wide. The semi-submersible rig was built in 2001 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard in South Korea. The site is known as the Macondo prospect, in 5,000 feet of water.
The rig is designed to operate in water up to 8,000 feet deep and has a maximum drill depth of about 5.5 miles. It can accommodate a crew of up to 130.
A semi-submersible rig is floated to a drilling site. It has pontoons and a column that submerge when flooded with seawater. The rig doesn’t touch the sea floor, but sits low in the water, where it is moored by several large anchors.
Last September, the Deepwater Horizon set a world deepwater record when it drilled down just over 35,000 feet at another BP site in the Gulf of Mexico, Panagos said.
”It’s one of the more advanced rigs out there,” he said.
Panagos did not know how much the rig cost to build, but said a similar rig today would run $600 million to $700 million.
Workers typically spend two weeks on the rig at a time, followed by two weeks off. It is equipped with covered lifeboats with supplies to allow them to survive for extended periods if they must evacuate.
Total offshore daily production in the Gulf of Mexico is 1.3 million barrels.
Joe Hurt, a regional vice president for the International Association of Drilling Contractors, said working on offshore oil rigs is a dangerous job but has become safer in recent years thanks to enhanced training, improved safety systems and better maintenance.
“In recent years, there’s been a lot more money available and more money spent on training and safety,” he said.
Transocean has 14 rigs working in the Gulf and 140 worldwide. There are 42 rigs either drilling or doing workovers — upgrades and maintenance — in depths of 1,000 feet or greater in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the federal Minerals Management Service.
Since 2001, there have been 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injuries and 858 fires and explosions in the Gulf, according to the agency, which did not break down the cause of the deaths, the severity of the injuries, or the size of the fires and explosions.
Atoka County Undersheriff Tony Taylor said as deputies investigated the alleged incident, 24-year-old teacher Samuel Bellows came to the sheriff’s office and confessed to the crime.
Taylor said he could not comment on further details into the case, only to say the alleged incident did involve a minor student in Harmony public schools where Bellows teaches history and computers.
Zachary Greene, 29, is charged with three counts of sex offense with a student, a felony, said Sgt. Eric Ennis, acting chief of the Spencer Police Department.
The warrants were drawn Monday evening and police took Greene, who quit his job Friday, into custody this morning.
He was taken to the Rowan County Detention Center for processing and then to the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office, Ennis said.
Police got information about the alleged crimes Thursday and contacted Rowan-Salisbury School System officials that day, said Rita Foil, public information officer for the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
School system officials put Greene on paid administrative leave Friday morning, Foil said. He resigned Friday afternoon.
Foil said the system hired Greene on July 27, 2004. He had been at North Rowan High since that time. In addition to teaching, he was an assistant football coach and wrestling coach.
Foil said the school system is cooperating with the police department in the case.
Source: Daily Journal An alleged rape of a 23-year-old female psychiatric patient by another patient with a long criminal history highlights the high frequency in which the San Mateo Police Department responds to the county hospital for a variety of calls including patient assaults against hospital staff or sexual assaults.
“It is clearly a challenging and complex issue as to what to do with medical and psychiatric patients who become assaultive or threatening as that’s sometimes a manifestation of their illness,” said San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and medical center are responsible for providing internal security at the hospital but San Mateo police have responded to the county facility at least 444 times for calls for service since 2007.
There have been five sexual assaults reported to the San Mateo Police Department since 2007 at the Medical Center’s psych ward, all with follow-up investigations, according to the department.
Ronald Sunwo O’Brien, 27, faces multiple counts of sexual assault, burglary and great bodily injury related to an incident that took place in the early morning hours of March 30 when he allegedly raped a female psychiatric patient at the San Mateo Medical Center.
The hospital is conducting an internal investigation into the alleged rape at the psych ward.
While the SMPD and medical administrators have met on an ongoing basis to establish protocols for response to the medical center, the frequency in which San Mateo officers respond to the hospital is of concern to Manheimer.
There have been 34 patient assaults against hospital staff, 96 public disturbances and 65 patients under hospital care reported missing since 2007 that the SMPD has responded to and investigated.
And while the SMPD has strict protocols on how to respond to the medical center and psych ward, some decisions as to when to contact the police are left up to the judgment of hospital staff, said Robin Thaw, Health System spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, nurses are set to sit down with hospital administrators today to discuss security at the facility and psych ward in particular.
The alleged rape by O’Brien occurred between 11:30 p.m. March 29 and 7 a.m. March 30, according to SMPD. But the police said they were not called to the psych ward until 3:27 p.m. March 30, more than eight hours after the alleged rape took place.
The medical center’s internal investigation will not include a separate alleged incident in which patient Daniel Mark Brickman is accused of groping three nurses and exposing himself over a few weeks in February and sexually battering a fellow patient Feb. 25.
SMPD, Manheimer said, is often caught in the middle of two county entities — the medical center and county jail.
“When the county hospital staff calls us to arrest a patient at the psychiatric ward due to their behavior, it is challenging as many are there since they have already been determined a ‘danger to themselves or others.’ It is a dilemma for us to determine whether to leave them in the psychiatric facility with qualified caregivers and a facility designed for these individuals or transport them to the county jail that at times won’t accept them, based on either their incapacity or the minor level of their violation that would not qualify them to be housed in the county jail,” Manheimer said.
The hospital’s internal investigation, called a root cause analysis, retraces the events before, during and after the alleged sexual assault. The assessment includes a structured series of questions, such as staffing ratios, environment of care and if anything else was going on at the time prosecutors say O’Brien raped a 23-year-old female patient on March 30.
Dr. Susan Ehrlich, CEO of the county’s public hospital, said the organization is looking at every possible angle to figure out how O’Brien was allegedly able to rape a fellow patient in the unit and how best to prevent future assaults.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said Health System spokeswoman Thaw. The medical center intends to continue to partner with SMPD to have dialogue on security and to study protocols, Thaw said.
Discussions have not centered on the quality of security, Thaw said, but SMPD contends it has raised questions about security personnel.
Police Chief Manheimer is “pleased and encouraged” that the medical center is conducting a comprehensive audit of practices and protocols in light of the security issues and the high number of calls SMPD responds to at the medical center.
“At times I have thought it might better to take the San Mateo Police Department out of the middle in responding to these psychiatric ward incidents, since we are neither custodial nor medical experts and do not have control of either facility. However, we are the responding entity as the hospital is in our city and would welcome any further study of this issue as well,” Manheimer said.
U.S. Security Associates contracts with the county Sheriff’s Office to provide security at the medical center and several other county facilities including Coyote Point Marina and the Hall of Justice and Records at the County Center in Redwood City.
The multi-year contract with U.S. Security Associates expires this June. The contract was worth more than $4 million for this fiscal year.
At the medical center, U.S. Security Associates provides approximately 1,100 hours of worker man hours a week to provide security at the facility. The Psychiatric Emergency Services and Emergency Room areas at the medical center have a round-the-clock security presence, according to the contract.
In fiscal year 2006-2007, the county spent $1.65 million on security alone at the medical center.
The average pay for security guards at the medical center ranges from about $15.70 to $19.82 an hour, according to the contract.
The psychiatric unit where the alleged rape occurred, however, is not provided with round-the-clock security.
Between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., a security guard each patrols the ER and Psychiatric Emergency Services areas of the medical center. However, only two other security guards are on roving patrols during the late-night shift. Typically, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., U.S. Security Associates provides for eight security guards to patrol the hospital.
Aside from the current charges, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office said O’Brien also has a past pattern of arrests, commitments to Napa State Hospital after being found incompetent and eventual no contest pleas for time served. His criminal history includes misdemeanors and a September 2004 attempted carjacking in Daly City for which he was ultimately sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
The medical center’s report is expected to be finished within 30 days and will then be submitted to the Joint Commission, the national nonprofit organization that issues credentials for the hospital.
The analysis must also include an action plan to ensure it never happens again.
“It seems there are no easy answers with this challenging issue, and we share the concerns of all involved in protecting the patients, staff, and broader community. We look forward to the assessment being conducted and will provide any information, support, or participation that the Medical Center would seek in terms of addressing security issues within their facility,” Manheimer said.
In response, the county is now trimming security at 13 county buildings, including the DeKalb Grady Health Center, senior centers and several office buildings.
The county has been paying Walden Security $25,750 per month to provide security in the lobbies of various county buildings, county public safety director William “Wiz” Miller told commissioners on Tuesday. That cost needs to be reduced to $4,779 a month.
DeKalb Police reviewed each county facility and found the guards’ hours could be scaled back from a combined 1,204 a week to 478.
“We don’t have the money to continue running at that level,” Miller told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “By May 1, we were going to be out of the whole [annual] security budget.”
Even with the cuts in security, the county is still short about $150,000. County officials now are trying to find that money in other department budgets and hope to renegotiate the contract with Walden Security, Miller said. It’s unclear if that’s possible. Walden did not return calls or e-mails on Tuesday.
Four security guards now protect the DeKalb-Atlanta Human Service Center, which houses the DeKalb Grady Health Center, the Kirkwood drug treatment center, a senior center and an office building. Under the new plan, two guards will work there, Miller said.
That’s not enough to placate residents who live nearby in Kirkwood.
“The community people are the ones who will be hurt,” said Flossie Mae Greer, 76, a Kirkwood resident for 40 years. “There’s a pharmacy, money and drugs at the Grady clinic. That’s a target for criminals and it’s dangerous.”
Sarah Fitten works for the Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority, which is housed in the Human Service Center. She worries about her safety at work.
“There is a mental health facility and a lot of homeless people who come in for the drug rehab program,” said Fitten, who has lived and worked in the area for 39 years. “Desperate people do desperate things. It’s not safe for the workers.”
Greer goes to the senior center across the street, which will share the security guards with DeKalb Grady. She likely won’t use the center as much because of the decrease in security.
“It will not be safe for all of us if you take all the security out,” she said. “These are services I pay for with my taxes.”
Property taxes, however, no longer can fund the level of service DeKalb residents have come to expect over the years, commissioners said.
An estimated loss of more than $1 billion in property tax value and $15 million in sales tax revenue led to the current shortfall. Commissioners voted in February not to raise property taxes, forcing them to decrease about $100 million in expenses, including security, health services and staff.
Miller insisted residents and workers will not be in danger. The only building to lose all security presence is the William T. White office building. The security guards at the Clark Harrison building, which houses the CEO’s office, will be cut 108 hours per week.
Miller said he plans to have police patrol more at all of the county buildings. He already has made a request to Atlanta Police, which patrols the neighborhoods near DeKalb Grady.
Oliver was an engineer with the Public Works Department before he was fired Monday.
Investigators said Oliver drove a city vehicle to a Wal-Mart store in Riverdale. Oliver allegedly purchased home electronics, showed his receipt to a greeter and left the store.
Police said Oliver went back inside the store, took a more expensive electronic device and attempted to show the first receipt to the greeter. The greeter noticed the discrepancy and called security and Oliver was arrested.
No arrests have been made as authorities continue to look for three black males in their late teens or early 20s who were seen running away from the scene.
Druey was shot several times when he stepped outside the William Pearson Community Center, on Carey Avenue near Martin Luther King Boulevard, just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 .