When he peered out, he saw off-duty police officer Thomas Wortham IV on the ground. Two other bodies lay still nearby.
As he ran over to check on the officer, Wortham’s father approached and aimed two guns at him.
“Don’t touch him, I’ll shoot you,” the elder Wortham shouted, apparently believing Stewart was one of his son’s assailants.
Stewart quickly identified himself. “Oh, Stewart,” the father said. “These guys were trying to rob my son and I shot both of them.”
Wortham’s son was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead hours later. One of the robbers was dead on the scene, while the other was taken in serious to critical condition to the same hospital.
Two other suspects fled in a red Nissan Maxima that was later found by police. The two suspects remain at large.
Police say the four suspects had pulled up to the home of the officer’s parents at 85th Street and South King Drive in the Chatham neighborhood about 11:30 p.m. and tried to steal the motorcycle that Wortham had recently bought himself as a coming home present. He had just served his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Wortham, of the Englewood Police District, was 30 and single, and had been on the force for three years, according to Supt. Jody Weis.
Only five days ago, he had attended a memorial at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. for police officers killed in the line of duty last year. He was active in working against crime in his neighborhood and nearby Nat King Cole Park, where he was the Cole Park advisory council president. (Read more about Wortham HERE)
Wortham had ridden his motorcycle to his parents’ house Wednesday night to show them pictures from the memorial, according to Ald. Freddenna Lyle (6th) said.
Wortham’s father, also named Thomas, watched from the door as Wortham left and got on his bike about 11:25 p.m., the alderman said.
The father saw at least two men get out of the Nissan and try to steal the motorcycle, according to Lyle and police.
The father grabbed his gun and came to his son’s aid, sources said. In the exchange of gunfire, Wortham was shot several times and two of the suspects were wounded, authorities said. Retired police officers are allowed to keep guns, officials said.
The two other robbers fled in the Nissan Maxima onto the Dan Ryan Expressway and headed north, police said.
“This is a tragedy. This young man survived two tours in Iraq, and came home and got murdered on the streets in front of his house that he grew up in,” said Lyle, who has known the officer and his family for years. “In front of his father, it’s just unbelieveable.”
“When they talk about the good die young, this is the perfect example. He was nice. He was mannerable. He was polite.”
Mayor Richard Daley spoke about the officer at an unrelated news conference this morning.
“The entire city of Chicago extends condolences and prayers to the family. We think of him serving not only our city, but our country,” Daley said.
He said the officer’s death should highlight the importance of hand gun laws, Daley said.
“I hope it does,” he said. “Here’s a young man who served twice in Iraq, father a police officer, an unbelievable police officer. You’d better believe it, it does add in some (importance). It should be. It should wake up America.”
Weis said police had located a vehicle that witnesses reported fleeing from the scene.
Early this morning, the body of one of the suspects lay in the street near the scene of the attack, a few feet away from a motorcycle parked in the middle of the street. He was covered by a white sheet.
The dead suspect was identified as Brian Floyd, 20, of the 3700 block of South Wentworth Avenue.
About 12:30 a.m., a woman screaming “That’s my baby, that’s my baby” was escorted to a police car. Police said she was the mother of one of the suspects.
The other suspect and the officer were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Kevin MacGregor. Wortham was shot more than once.
Records show Floyd was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in 2007, but he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and got 1 year conditional discharge and 10 days of community service.
A second 2007 case for misdemeanor attempted criminal trespass to a vehicle was dropped. He had a pending misdemeanor case from this year for gambling/playing games of chance.
The two suspects being sought have arrest records for drug and gun possession.
The shooting took place in the Chatham neighborhood, across the street from Nat King Cole Park. As president of the park’s advisory council, Wortham had been trying to find ways to combat violence in the neighborhood.
“He was part of a group of residents concerned about the park,” Lyle said. “They were working on trying to make sure things went on as they should. He was there all the time. We were getting ready to have a community event this Saturday. … I don’t think we’ll have it now.
“After the last shooting in the park (in late April) we were going to take back the park on the first 80 degree day. That was this week. We are not going to give up the park to the thugs. The residents were going to converge there with lawn chairs.”
Neighbors said the officer had attended Brother Rice High School. His father, they said, is also a military veteran.
King Drive was blocked off from 87th to 84th this morning as police continued to investigate the shooting.
Dozens of officers — some in blue uniforms and vests, some in plainclothes, some in green uniforms — worked around a single-story brick house on the northeast corner of King and 85th. Some of them carried rifles.
Also on the scene were two mobile command centers and at least a dozen marked and unmarked police cars and SUVs.
Several neighbors gathered on the street, discussing the shooting and the recent rash of violence at Nat King Cole Park across the street from the house.
“It’s unbelievable,” said neighbor Elliot Powell, who has lived near the Worthams for 29 years. “This used to be a quiet neighborhood.”
Powell said he was at home Wednesday night when he heard what sounded like firecrackers.
“I just heard, ‘pow, pow, pow,’” said Powell. “Then I ran to the front window and saw two people lying in the street and Wortham’s father pacing up and down.”
Nancy Termon, who lives with her husband Ron Ernest down the street, said she heard at least six shots.
“I got up and put on my jeans and looked out the window,” Termon said. “I was kind of scared because it was so loud being just across the street.”
Termon said she saw a man wearing a white shirt lying on the street. “I said, ‘Oh my God, somebody’s lying on the ground,’” Termon said.
Ernest said violence seems to have taken over the community. “It’s an urban terror,” he said.
Termon said she does not let her two grandchildren play at Cole Park, where a group of people were shot about a month ago.
Termon and Ernest said they were too shaken up to go to sleep as they headed back inside to warm up.
Another resident, who lives on Vernon, said there have been at least three recent shootings at the park and his mother was carjacked a few weeks ago.
By about 4 a.m., police cars were lining streets between Christ Medical Center and the medical examiner’s office, as Weis and others escorted the officer’s body to the office. Nearly 100 vehicles, most of them police cars, were part of the procession.
This is the second officer from the Englewood District killed in the last year. Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez was killed in the line of duty last year.
“The entire district is just reeling right now,” said Lt. Maureen Biggane, a police spokeswoman.
Officials from the Independent Police Review Authority are investigating whether Wortham fired his weapon during the shooting, said Curtis Tarver, a spokesman for the agency, which examines shootings involving Chicago police officers.
The suspects, who were using an assault weapon, were themselves fatally shot.
The incident began around 11:40 a.m. (12:40 p.m. ET), when police made a traffic stop on a white minivan traveling eastbound on I-40 at Airport Road, said Inspector Bert Shelton, who is assigned to city hall for the West Memphis Police Department.
The occupant or occupants of the van shot two police officers and sped off, he said. One of the victims died at the scene; the other was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died, Shelton said. One of the two fatalities was the son of the city’s chief of police, he added.
A short time later and about a mile away, in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart, two deputies searching for the suspects came across a white minivan and were shot and wounded as they approached the vehicle, Shelton said.
“The suspects were using an assault rifle,” he said.
The suspects themselves were then fatally shot by other responding officers, he said.
On Tuesday, Homer Hendrix, 37, of Meridian Road on the East Side, was found guilty of aggravated robbery and robbery but not guilty of felonious assault on a peace officer.
Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Beverly Y. Pfeiffer said Hendrix had eight prior convictions, most recently for robbery and receiving stolen property, and that the incident on April 7, 2009, wasn’t the first time he had assaulted a security officer or attempted to run from police after a theft.
She called him a threat to society.
Security officers at the Kohl’s store on S. Hamilton Road across from Eastland Mall called police after surveillance video showed Hendrix shoplifting clothes.
Hendrix ran from the store to a waiting car at the same time that Officer Brett Bodell arrived in an unmarked van. Bodell shot Hendrix in the shoulder as Hendrix rammed the van.
Hendrix said he did not know Bodell was a police officer.
Bodell and his wife told the judge that they were emotionally distraught over what happened.
Holyoke Police Chief Anthony Scott told 22News, police arrested 31-year old Ira Paul Tuesday on a shoplifting complaint at the Target store.
Target’s Corporate Loss Prevention said Paul and two un-identified women comprised a sophisticated shop-lifting ring, which has stolen more than 200-thousand dollars in merchandise from New England Target stores.
Chief Scott says police discovered Paul was a fugitive after running his fingerprints.
source:KOAT Corporate retailers and police agencies held a summit Wednesday in Albuquerque on how to stop a growing shoplifting problem.
Major retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, and Target were at the summit, showing that shoplifting is a huge concern for stores– and it’s not just kids stealing a pack of gum anymore.
Joseph LaRocca with the National Retail Federation said Wednesday he handed over more than 1,600 felony cases of shoplifting to prosecutors.
“Retailers could lose billions of dollars every year from crimes that take place in the city,” said LaRocca.
Police officers said the problem is no longer only the average shoplifter, but members of organized groups who are stealing large amounts of merchandise and then selling it.
Police said that many of these shoplifting operations are not at small local stores, but large retailers.
Karen Fischer with the Albuquerque Police Department said the problem has gotten so bad that police have linked up with other communities on an online crime watch system to try to crack the large shoplifting rings.
Fischer said it’s more than just cracking down.
“It’s to understand the impact of retail crime on other crime and how it victimizes individuals and honest citizens,” said Fischer.
Fischer said ultimately the consumer pays the price for shoplifting, because retailers have to raise their prices to compensate for theft.
Authorities said usually the large shoplifting rings are also involved in identity and credit card theft.
On May 6, a man entered the Kohl’s department store at Mullins Crossing in Evans. A Kohl’s loss prevention employee noticed that the man took several different types of clothing into the dressing room, but the employee stated the man exited the dressing room without holding any clothes.
The employee stated the suspect’s pants were bulging, and that he believed the suspect stuffed the clothes into his pants. No clothing was found in the dressing room after the suspect left.
The employee then chased after the suspect outside the store. The suspect said, according to the employee, “You better back off, I have a gun with me.”
The man is thought to have stolen nearly $400 worth of clothing.
The suspect is described as approximately 6 feet tall, between 250 and 280 pounds, age 34-39, and was wearing a black t-shirt with “Coogi” in white lettering on the left chest.
If you recognize the man in these photos, please contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers investigated eight shoplifting complaints since Wednesday, May 12, including that day’s arrest of Ray Anthony Dwayne Davis.
The 22-year-old from Salt Rock was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting, receiving/transferring stolen property, battery, possession of a controlled substance and public intoxication. Davis was arrested in connection with an incident at J.C. Penney in the Huntington Mall.
A $60 pair of shoes and a $26 shirt were taken, along with a wallet and its contents valued at $130. The wallet was taken from an employee in the photography department. Minor injuries were reported to a security guard. Police also confiscated a hydrocodone pill at the scene.
The remaining seven cases resulted in an arrest as the following were charged with misdemeanor shoplifting.
Cory Justin Mills, 27, of Huntington was arrested in connection with a Tuesday, May 18, incident at Best Buy at the Huntington Mall. A $10 DVD was taken.
Meia Marie McComas, 28, of Huntington was arrested in connection with a Tuesday, May 18, incident at Macy’s at the Huntington Mall. About $1,369 in various items were taken.
Kristy Lynn Utt, 34, of Charleston was arrested in connection with a Sunday, May 16, incident at Home Depot in the Merritt Creek Farm shopping center. A $799 power washer was taken.
Audrey Michelle Helton, 24, of Salyersville, Ky., was arrested in connection with a Saturday, May 15, incident at Sears in the Huntington Mall. About $180 in clothing was taken.
Kimberly Gayle Hamlet, 31, of Barboursville was arrested in connection with a Friday, May 14, incident at Sears. About $55 in perfume was taken.
Molly Sue Ross, 38, of Huntington was arrested in connection with a Wednesday, May 12, incident at Sears. About $110 in clothing was taken.
Lisa A. Shaver, 40, of Rosedale, W.Va., was arrested in connection with a Wednesday, May 12 incident at Best Buy. A $200 headset was taken.
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
Police say that a shoplifter fleeing the Summit Mall struck a mall security officer with her vehicle injuring the officer.
Arrest warrants have been issued for 41-year-old Elizabeth A. Barkly of Akron who police have been able to identify as the driver of the vehicle. Police say they are looking for her now.
Police said mall security followed Barkley at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday as she fled Summit Mall after reportedly stealing a pair of $30 sandals from American Eagle.
A mall security officer who followed her to the parking lot was copying the vehicle’s license plate number when Barkley reportedly pulled from the parking spot and hit the officer’s right leg.
The officer sustained minor injuries.
Rachel Meadows was located last night on 54th Avenue North and was arrested without incident.
On March 3, the police department received notification from a citizen that a baby had been born inside a Maudina Avenue apartment and might be dead. Responding officers found the deceased child wrapped in a pair of pants underneath a crib. Meadows acknowledged giving birth the prior day and said that the child whimpered before she covered him in a blanket. She did not call for any help.
The Medical Examiner subsequently confirmed that the baby was born alive. Meadows is jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Puerto Rico May 20 2010 Legendary golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez and his wife were robbed at gunpoint early today by four men who broke into his Puerto Rico home, bound the couple and fled with cash, jewelry and other items, according to a report on TMZ.com
Rodriguez, 74, told TMZ that the men were in his home for about 45 minutes after the robbers tied up a security guard and broke in at around 1:30 a.m. while he and his wife were sleeping.
Rodriguez, however, described the robbers as gentle with his wife, though they even stole the wedding ring from her finger while ransacking the home, the TMZ report said. Several reports estimated the amount stolen during the robbery at $500,000
Andy Wilson, 44, is charged with one count of sexual battery.
Since 2004, Wilson worked at the Henry County Hospital as a security guard.
According to police, on the night of April 5, a 24-year-old female patient at the hospital asked Wilson for a ride home.
The request by a patient was not unusual.
“It was not uncommon. It was not uncommon. If you asked me how many times it happened a month, I’d say a couple” said Henry County Hospital CEO Blake Dye.
But police say what happened on the car ride home was unusual.
According to court documents, the female victim told officers Wilson, “Placed his hand on her leg” and “Started to feel her crotch area” and “Grabbed her, pulled her close and kissed her on the mouth.”
When questioned, Wilson denied the allegations and told officers he, “Patted victim on leg and said, ‘Yeah, you look good.’”
Wilson claimed the woman kissed him after which he told her this was something he did not want to pursue.
Wilson also said he did nothing illegal and the incident was a moral deficiency not a criminal matter.
Henry County Prosecutor Kit Crane says before Wilson ever got in the car with the woman, Wilson’s co-worker advised him against taking the woman home.
“My experience has been…when a partner says ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea,’ it typically isn’t a good idea” said Crane.
During the investigation Wilson agreed to take a polygraph test, which, according to court documents, he failed.
Police say Wilson then admitted to fondling the woman and he was 100 percent sure he touched her on the crotch.
Because Wilson was carrying his weapon at the time of the alleged incident, the sexual battery charge was elevated to a class C felony, which carries two to eight years in jail if found guilty.
Police recovered hospital video showing the two leaving together in Wilson’s own car.
Police also recovered text messages sent from Wilson’s phone to the victim after the car ride home.
One asked, “Do you want to get together?”
Wilson is out on bond. 24-Hour News 8 stopped by his house for a comment. He was not at home.
Wilson also worked part-time for the sheriff’s department, he has been placed on suspension.
“I’m going to be honest with you,” Stewart, 22, said when the guard asked about the blood. “I just killed my dad.”
That exchange and other bizarre comments — including that Stewart’s three pit bulls, God and characters from the film “American Pie 2” told him to kill his father — are detailed in an arrest affidavit filed against Stewart in the April 27 death of his father, Robert.
Trevor Stewart, who family members said after the slaying had recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was arrested April 28 after talking to the security guard and is being held without bond at the Arapahoe County Jail. He is due in court Thursday.
After the comments to the security guard and a sheriff’s deputy in Jefferson County, police found Robert Stewart, 55, dead in the family’s home on East Rowland Drive in a tony southeast Aurora neighborhood. He had been stabbed multiple times and had a large knife sticking out of the back of his head. Police also said in the affidavit that officers found between 40 and 50 marijuana plants at the home.
According to the affidavit, filed by Aurora police Detective Warren Miller, Stewart told the sheriff’s deputy he stabbed his father 10 times in the head and slit his throat.
In an interview with Aurora police, Stewart said he killed his father because he believed his father was Satan and because his father and brother tried to poison him, first with a drink and later with tainted marijuana.
“It’s the best thing that ever happened to this world,” Stewart told police. “He is Satan, are you kidding me? I am glad that he is gone, he is Satan. It was the right thing to do no matter what.”
Stewart said the night of the slaying, he and his father went to a restaurant for food.
When they returned home, Stewart threw out his drink from the restaurant because he believed his father — who at this point in the interview he referred to only as Satan — had poisoned it.
Later, Stewart’s three dogs told him he needed to kill his father. When he walked into the family’s living room, “American Pie 2” was on the television and the characters also told him to kill his father.
“(Stewart) advised that he is Jesus and that God spoke to him and told him to kill (his father),” Miller wrote in the affidavit.
Stewart said that while his dad was cutting up marijuana plants, Stewart grabbed a kitchen knife and stood in front of a mirror for about 20 minutes thinking about what to do.
Then, when his father turned his back, Stewart plunged a kitchen knife several inches into his father’s skull.
Robert Stewart survived the initial attack and turned around.
“Trevor, what are you doing?” he said, at which point Stewart stabbed his father several more times.
Stewart said the knife’s blade bent in the attack and, because he believed his father was faking being dead, he used another knife to cut his father’s throat.
During the attack, Stewart cut his hand and covered it with a bandage because he believed his father’s blood was poison and would kill him.
Stewart’s lawyer, public defender Jennifer Ahnsted, did not return a call for comment Wednesday.
Atlanta GA May 202010
source:ACJ.com A Florida man tried to bring a loaded handgun through a security checkpoint at the Fulton County Courthouse, authorities announced Wednesday.
Douglas Fitzgerald, 43, of Cantonment, was carrying a .44-caliber Magnum with six hollow point bullets in a leather bag that he placed on the scanner, Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson said in a statement issued Wednesday.
The incident occurred on May 13. Fitzgerald was jailed, and has since been released on an $8,000 bond. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a deadly weapon and carrying a pistol without a license, according to the sheriff.
Fitzgerald, when confronted by deputies, initially denied bringing a weapon to the courthouse , but later said he had forgotten it was inside his bag, according to the Fulton Sheriff’s Office.
Courthouse security has been an issue in Fulton since 2005, when Brian Nichols, a suspect in custody, beat a deputy and grabbed her gun, then killed a judge, a court reporter, another deputy and, later, a federal agent.
Jackson recently re-opened several courthouse entrances that he had closed for security reasons after judges raised concerns about the long lines for the public.
This is at least the second recent incident in Atlanta involving a gun at a security checkpoint.
On Saturday, an off-duty Delta Air Lines pilot was arrested after he tried to bring a loaded Taurus .38 special through airport security.
Matthew Lamar McDaniel, 32, had a permit to carry a concealed handgun, according to the report, but it is illegal for most people to carry one into secured areas of airports. He also told police he had forgotten it was in his bag.
Groff, 39, is the recipient of the 2010 law enforcement officer award given by the American Society for Industrial Security’s Schuylkill Valley Chapter No. 128.
The award recognizes a police officer who has distinguished himself through exceptional service to a business or community organization.
While saying he was honored to receive the award, Groff, who has worked as a policeman on the Spring Township campus for 10 years, praised his job, his employer and co-workers.
“I’m blessed to work with the students,” the Robesonia resident said. “Penn State is a great place to work. I have great mentors and great leaders who help guide me.”
A graduate of the Reading Police Academy, Groff (not to be confused with a former Reading policeman with the same first and last name) was nominated for the award by Penn State Police Chief Bob Rehrer.
Rehrer said Groff is a rare combination of a skilled law-enforcement professional with true humanitarian spirit.
Groff has been certified as a field evidence technician and has received several professional instructor certifications.
In addition to his duties, Groff has developed an excellent relationship with the students on campus, Rehrer said. He supervises the Student Patrol/Escort Program and is lead instructor in the Rape Aggression Defense System course, which teaches female students, faculty and staff members to be more aware of their surroundings and how to defend themselves from attack.
For the past three years, Groff has served as adviser to the Christian Student Fellowship, a service club on campus. Each year, Groff travels with the club to perform community service.
This year, the club traveled to Miami to work at the Miami Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter and soup kitchen that provides aid to women and children.
During these trips, Groff uses his vacation time and works alongside the students and their pastor, Dave Hershey, who organizes the missions.
“He truly gets along with the students,” Hershey said. “They all like him, and he sets a good example. I think it’s easy for a faculty adviser to sign a paper (to approve a trip). To Officer Mark, he wants to get to know the students.”
Travis County TX May 20 2010 A man was arrested Wednesday at Travis County’s Criminal Justice Complex after telling security guards he was carrying a bomb.
Police said Richard Allen Dougherty pointed to a bag going through security and told a deputy there was a bomb inside.
He later said he was joking but was arrested, any way. The building wasn’t evacuated. Dougherty is charged with making a false alarm, which is a felony.
This is the second false alarm arrest in less than a week.
On Friday, the courthouse was evacuated after a man told a deputy there was an explosive in his bag.
Douglas Hoopes is also facing felony charges. Both men could face up to two years in prison if convicted.
A man was shot dead late Wednesday outside MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, according to myFOXtampabay.com.
The victim was reportedly killed by security guards outside the Dale Mabry gate of the base at around 6:45pm.
He had tried to crash through the gate, and charged at an FBI agent while armed with a knife.
A MacDill spokesperson told abcactionnews.com that security had been alerted to an altercation at the Family Camp on base around 6:00pm.
A man involved in the incident reportedly fled on his motorcycle after security responded.
He then headed towards the Dale Mabry Gate, where he was shot. He died on the scene.
No other people were hurt.
“Our Security Forces personnel acted promptly to safeguard the base and its personnel,” Col. Larry Martin, 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander, told abcactionnews.com.
“We appreciate the quick and professional cooperation from local law enforcement and fire responders.
“The incident is under investigation and as more information is available, it will be released.”
The victim’s name has not been released.
Rescue personnel, Tampa police and base security all attended the scene although the base was not put on lockdown.
MacDill is a U.S. Air Force base located about 4 miles (6.4km) south-southwest of Tampa, Florida.
Security guard William Bennett had no idea who they were at first. All he knew was that managers at the Tortuga Inn told him to ask the rowdy guests to settle down.
When he did, an argument started, which led to a call to the Bradenton Beach police department, more arguments and eventually a scuffle on the beach one Saturday night in 2009.
Bennett wound up in jail.
And the guests, a group of powerful Tampa attorneys that includes the Hillsborough County public defender, wound up as the key witnesses in a felony battery case that starts next month.
Among them is Robert Herce, who represented teacher Stephanie Ragusa in a high-profile teacher sex case; he ended up with a U-shaped scar on his cheek after the fight at the Bradenton Beach resort.
The trial against Bennett, 34, sets up as one where jurors might be expected to choose a side — the security guard or the attorneys — and figure out what happened that night.
Bennett’s lawyer wonders whether there was any pressure on the State Attorney’s Office to bring a criminal charge, because Bradenton Beach officers who responded that night say the two sides told completely opposite stories.
Police did not charge anyone that night and Bennett was not arrested until three months later.
“There’s a fight on the beach and he winds up as the only one charged?” asked attorney Charlie Britt of Bradenton, who represents Bennett. “Can you tell me there wasn’t something going on behind the scenes? It seems logical to think that these lawyers may have used their resources to have this guy arrested.”
No way, says the prosecutor, Assistant State Attorney Lisa Chittaro. No one from the group called, e-mailed or wrote letters pressing for a charge against Bennett, she said.
Bradenton Beach officers sent their report up to Chittaro, who did a pre-filing investigation and relied heavily on the eyewitnesses and physical evidence of Herce’s injuries.
“There was no pressure from anyone to file,” Chittaro says.
Chittaro says she did not realize Herce, 60, or any of the other witnesses were attorneys before deciding to charge Bennett with aggravated battery. She said she only learned that Julianne Holt, the Hillsborough public defender, would be part of the case when Bennett’s lawyer put her on the witness list.
Holt could be asked to tell jurors how much the attorneys were drinking during the stay at the Tortuga Inn, a resort in the 1300 block of Gulf Drive North. Holt said in an e-mail that “it wouldn’t be appropriate to discuss a pending case.”
Police reports and witness statements show that they were staying at the Tortuga Inn for the weekend and had several run-ins with Bennett.
Call logs from Bradenton Beach police show three calls to officers from Bennett, the night security guard.
“These people were smashed drunk,” Britt says. “He’s doing his job, asking them to calm down and it escalates.”
About midnight on May 24, Herce, his brother and another woman were walking up the beach. Bennett was on duty and there was an argument. Herce says Bennett vowed to “mess up the other side” of his face, a reference to a birth mark on Herce’s cheek.
Police say Bennett used brass knuckles to beat Herce in the face, leaving a scar. But officers who went to the resort found no brass knuckles that night and Bennett plans to tell an entirely different story at trial.
Bennett, whose only other local criminal charge was for driving with a suspended license, will say that he was only doing his job and that the group had been so rowdy that managers wanted them to keep quiet.
He will testify that the guests were swimming after hours, being loud in the room and were not supposed to be on the beach when he came across them.
And when he did, the lawyers were so drunk that Herce shoved Bennett first and then fell to the ground on his own, Britt says.
“It’s going to come down to who the jury believes,” Britt says.
The arrest warrant says Det. John Villar Jr. pulled over a car on April 28. Villar was in plain clothes, wearing a police badge and a gun. His cousin, Fausto Villar, wore a bulletproof vest with the word “police.”
They grabbed a bag in the car that had over $130,000 in cash, saying it was part of an investigation.
The two were arrested Tuesday and charged with armed robbery, armed burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Fausto Villar is also charged with impersonating a police officer and possession of a bulletproof vest.
Police also arrested Leonard Laster, who authorities say runs a gambling operation.
The employee was identified as Darlene Brown, 51, of the 1200 block of E. Burnett Ave., said Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Bob Fraction.
An autopsy will be performed on Thursday morning, he said.
Police received a call around 3:30 p.m. about an accident in the parking lot of the facility, said Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell. When officers arrived at the scene along South Clay Street off Meriwether Avenue, they found Brown dead.
Two employees, including Brown, had reportedly been riding on the back of a garbage truck as it pulled into the parking lot, ending their shift for the day, Mitchell said.
After they hopped off, the driver apparently did not see Brown walking in front of the truck and struck her, Mitchell said.
Stephanie Coslow, who had come to the scene with her mother after hearing reports of the incident, said she was related to Brown through marriage.
She said Brown had been with Waste Management for one or two years. She had retired from the Louisville Water Co. and joined Waste Management because she wanted to continue working, Coslow said.
She lived near the facility, Coslow said.
Brown “was young and beautiful and whenever you needed somebody to talk to, she was there for you,” Coslow said. “I’m in shock.”
The police department’s traffic unit is investigating the incident as an accident, Mitchell said.
By: Brett Davis/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
www.privateofficer.com - Police from multiple cities and towns have responded to a location outside a night club in Racine where a security guard was reportedly shot.
Police said that there were numerous shots fired during a large fight in the parking lot outside Park 6, near the corner of 6th Street and Park Avenue.
Numerous police units responded but the suspects fled the scene, but their vehicle got into a rollover crash in Kenosha.
Police said that they are questioning at least three people.
No other information was available.