PHILADELPHIA PA May 27 2010 (CBS) ―
When the 50-seat United Express commuter plane arrived at Philadelphia Airport just after midnight, everyone got off – except Ginger McGuire. Instead, she was found four hours later by the jet’s cleaning crew.
The sleeping passenger was found on an airplane, alone, nearly four hours after everyone else got off. It’s adding a new twist to airport security concerns, as the incident is raising questions about who’s watching the planes we fly.
When the 50-seat United Express commuter plane arrived at Philadelphia Airport just after midnight, everyone got off – except Ginger McGuire.
“I fell asleep on the plane. Next thing you know, I wake up at four o’clock in the morning, nobody’s on the plane, nothing,” McGuire said.
McGuire had been left alone after the 65-minute flight, sleeping on the empty commuter jet for nearly four hours before she was found by the plane’s cleaning crew.
“I’m completely freaked out at this point,” McGuire said. “I’m like, ‘oh my God, why didn’t somebody wake me up?’”
Passengers who expect the airlines to be vigilant say leaving a person alone, with easy access, on a plane is a clear lapse in security.
“I can’t believe, on a 50-passenger plane, nobody would wake someone up like that,” passenger Trevor Hirz said.
“In a sense it is a security issue, because if you’re not paying attention to that, what else are you not paying attention to?” passenger Benito Martinez said.
A spokesperson for United Express released the following statement: “We are working closely with our partner, Trans States [Airlines], to investigate the cause and remedy the situation with the customer.”
McGuire blames the airline.
“[This is] really easy stuff. All this drama could have been avoided if someone just made the effort to, number one, wake me up, and number two, not to just leave me there,” McGuire said.
A spokesperson for Trans States, the commuter airline, says it’s standard protocol to make sure all passengers are safely off the plane at the end of every flight.
McGuire, who works at a cable TV station in a Detroit suburb, says the crew simply forgot her.
Sun News police say a stepped-up effort to thwart a form of “organized crime” is paying significant dividends.
Just over a year ago, the department began putting extra emphasis on disrupting organized retail theft rings operating at the Oak Park Mall. Since then, dramatic decreases in merchandise losses have been reported by a number of mall retailers.
At the Macy’s department store alone, the yearly theft losses dropped from $480,000 to $266,000 after the new retail crime unit effort got under way.
Express clothing store representatives told the department that its typical weekly losses of $1,300 were reduced to $120 after the program was implemented.
The program involves new enforcement strategies and stronger efforts to better educate store management on loss prevention techniques. Similar efforts also have been used beyond the mall, but to a limited extent. Now, Police Chief John Douglass says his department will expand more aggressively to other retail centers.
Douglass says theft prevention is especially crucial to Overland Park because of its major retail centers and the city’s heavy budgetary reliance on sales tax revenues.
“We can’t let that revenue stream be attacked or eliminated,” Douglass said.
The chief added that it has been especially critical to retailers that thefts be minimized during the recession.
“If we didn’t help keep the losses down, some of (the merchants) may well have fallen over the side. That’s how important this was,” Douglass said.
Detective Dennis Reaser said patrol officers and merchants in the past often treated shoplifting cases as individual crimes. Now, police say that they and retailers are working more effectively in linking singular thefts to what could be part of much larger criminal networks.
If police nab someone they suspect to be part of a crime organization, they are more aggressive about questioning the suspect and getting him or her to divulge names of others in the group.
Police say some of their individual arrests led to information that allowed them to undermine higher-level fencing operations. In some instances, the clearing of up to 2,000 to 3,000 theft cases has stemmed from a single arrest.
One Overland Park shoplifting arrest resulted in the apprehension of eight suspects. A search warrant of the suspects’ homes in Blue Springs, Mo., led to the recovery of about $23,000 worth of items stolen from 70 different retailers including 30 at Oak Park, Reaser said. Police also recovered $11,000 worth of gift card receipts in that sweep.
Officers and retailers both are being better trained and informed about identifying tell-tale signs of professional criminal activity. The retailers are encouraged to share information about suspected thieves with other merchants and the police.
In some cases, merchants gave photos of suspected shoplifters to police, who in turn observed and then apprehend the suspects in the act of a theft.
The enforcement effort involves more than shoplifting. In a recent briefing of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, Detective Brian Pierce explained that one case involved a check scheme in which two women robbed Macy’s and Dillard’s of more than $275,000 by using fraudulent checks.
Police also recently made arrests involving the cashing of fraudulent payroll checks at the Price Chopper grocery store near 75th Street and Metcalf Avenue. Pierce said that on Fridays – the thieves’ preferred day of doing the scam – the store was cashing 10 to 25 payroll checks that turned out to be fakes. The average amount of each check was about $800.
While Reaser said that members of the theft groups should not be confused with characters from “The Godfather,” they nevertheless are well organized criminals.
“It definitely is individuals getting together and recruiting others to steal merchandise and to sell that stolen merchandise,” Reaser said.
He emphasized that shoppers should not be alarmed by such activity. The thieves do not pose a crime hazard to patrons. In fact, the offenders prefer to stay as low-profile as possible.
Small-dollar shoplifting cases usually involve young people caught stealing small items, said Officer Jim Weaver, the department’s public information officer.
In fact, misdemeanor shoplifting cases that went through municipal court last year were dominated by teens.
But the most monetary damage for stores is done in felony thefts often involving the organized groups, police say.
During one six-month period at the mall, Reaser said, police recovered almost $93,000 worth of stolen property.
While the department has had significant success in breaking up some theft rings and greatly reducing losses at the mall, Reaser said law enforcement’s job hardly is over. If police efforts are diverted elsewhere for long, the thieves soon will return, he said.
So, the department has maintained an office at the mall for several years, and when there are signs of reviving criminal activity the officers redouble efforts.
Reaser said the department’s retail unit has not gone unnoticed in the crime world.
“It sends a message, if you are coming to Overland Park we will arrest you and we will go after your entire organized retail crime group,” Reaser said.
When one city gets highly aggressive in fighting retail thefts, the thieves typically move into other communities. But Reaser said the entire area benefits from the arrests and the undermining of a theft ring.
“We work with other communities and jurisdictions,” Reaser said. “As long as we have a tie in Johnson County (to a crime group), we’ll go anywhere else they operate and we’ll try to get them charged in those other places as well.”
Nichole Chapman, 28, abruptly resigned her teaching job on Monday. On Wednesday, she was brought into the Cleveland County Magistrate’s Office by two Shelby Police Department detectives.
As she was led in, she said, “There was no crime…Yes, I am innocent.”
She was charged with two counts of taking indecent liberties with a student and two counts of committing a sexual offense with a student.
After appearing before the magistrate she challenged reporters to go talk to the 19-year-old male student and his mother. She said they “will tell you there was nothing happening.”
Both the student, Vavaughia Snipes, and his mother agreed to speak to reporters.
“I ain’t no victim,” Snipes said.
He said Chapman and he became friends and he said she told him she was having marital problems. He said their relationship eventually became sexual and that their encounters took place at the house where he lives with his mother and family. His mother also told NewsChannel 36 that she approves of the relationship.
“If it is love, man, it’s love,” he said. “Nobody can stop this.”
Snipes said he suffers from seizures and has a learning disability.
“I love her and she loved me so it ain’t going to stop me from seeing her,” he said.
Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford said any physical relationship between a teacher and a student, no matter what the age, is a crime.
Ledford said he was only mildly surprised that the suspect in this case was a woman.
“It’s just not something you hear every day and if you do read about it, it’s someplace else,” said the chief.
Travis Bryant McFerrin, of Red Bird Lane, faces four felony counts in the case, according to Gaston County police Capt. J.D. Ramey.
Ramey said the alleged crimes took place over a three-month period from July to September in 2007, and then again last August in McFerrin’s home. It means McFerrin was 16 and 18 at the time of the alleged attacks.
Police said McFerrin had dropped out of college recently and was not working.
McFerrin is charged with two counts of statutory rape and two counts of indecent liberties with a minor.
He is being held in Gaston County Jail under $500,000 bond, police say.
HOUSTON TX May 27 2010 — A controversial shooting Monday night in southeast Houston ended with a 20-year-old father dead. The apartment complex security guard said he shot the man because feared for his life. But now he’s been charged with murder.
Terry Beacon, 22, has been charged with murder in the death of Everette Crockett, 20.
A neighbor at the Cullen Park Apartments reportedly says Crockett bumped her car and cracked her taillight. She asked the security guard to intervene.
Officials with the security company say during the confrontation Crockett was belligerent and appeared to threaten to run over Beacon. They say Beacon fired because he was in fear for his life.
Neighbors and Crockett’s mother claim there were no threats to Beacon, and the shooting was unwarranted.
According to witness reports in court documents, Beacon was scene running towards Crockett’s vehicle with his gun drawn before firing into the car, striking Crockett in the upper left torso.
Beacon has been with the Top Gun security company since 2009. Bail has been set at $50,000.
By: Rick McCann/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
http://www.privateofficer.com/ – In a time when many colleges and universities are arming their security personnel and transitioning from a security department to a police force, one North Carolina college is downsizing police personnel.
Meredith College says that because of the low crime rate that their school has experienced that have decided to reduce its force of armed police officers.
The school laid off four of its seven officers after the college saw only one violent crime between 2006 and 2008.
Meredith school officials say that they already have a security force on campus which they will rely on mostly for campus protection.
However, security officers are not capable of making arrests or carrying guns.
A Meredith College spokesperson says the college is a very safe campus and the safety of staff and students is their highest priority and they do not feel the reduced police presence will impact the safety of their campus.
Kevin Pegues will spend the next 75 months in jail.
Pegues is now paralyzed from the waist down from injuries sustained in the confrontation. He says he didn’t want to hurt the officers or the dog, but the jury didn’t buy his arguments, and neither did the judge in handing down a six-year sentence.
Pegues tried to convince the judge he was the victim.
“They take an issue for a four-legged animal and call him a creature, then what am I?” Pegues said. “That’s the question, what was I that day when they pulled the trigger and shot me in the back?”
The incident began as an argument over a $2 toy between a customer and store employees. Investigators said trouble began when a Pegues got into a scuffle with employees at the Tukwila Trading Company over the toy. When officers arrived at the store at 3725 South 144th Street, the man ran off, jumping over several fences to get away.
Police finally caught up with Pegues at a nearby housing complex. Witnesses say officers then opened fire.
“They Tased him and he went down,” witness Rocky Ruvo said shortly after the incident. “And then they let the dog go on him. And then somebody said – I didn’t see a knife – but somebody said he had pulled a knife and slashed at the dog. And while he was down, that’s when the officer pulled his gun and shot the subject twice.”
Police said when Pegues refused to give up despite a Tasing and repeated orders to drop the knife, an officer shot him in the leg.
“Other officers were very close by and tried other means to try to subdue the man,” said Tukwila police spokesman Mike Murphy. “They were unsuccessful and eventually had to shoot him to stop the threat to themselves and others.”
The police dog, a German shepherd named Gino, was stabbed in the neck during the scuffle and seriously injured, officials said. He underwent four hours of surgery to repair a 4-inch puncture wound in his neck, but has since recovered.
But while most of the focus was on Gino’s’ injury, prosecutors said the long sentence was for how Pegues threatened the officers’ lives.
“He showed a knife and said, ‘Let’s do this,’ ” said prosecutor Steven Kim. “And he egged on the police and asked for a fight and he was heard saying ‘You’re going to have to kill me, or I’m going to kill you.’ “
Pegues’ 6-plus year sentence was actually on the lower end of the sentencing range. The judge said she took into account that the officers were not injured and that Gino had since recovered fully.
The substitute, 66-year-old Carl Peak, has been booked into the Pima County Jail on six misdemeanor counts.
Officers say they responded to the school May 24th and interviewed six female students that were in Peak’s class.
Interviews with the students confirmed Peak touched each of them in the buttocks.
Officers arrested Peak after interviewing him at the Tucson Police Main Station downtown.
Hector Cesar Lopez Olivarria, 41, went into the Marshalls store on Marron Road just after 2:45 p.m. with a pair of wire cutters and cut security sensors off several items, Carlsbad police Lt. Paul Mendes said.
He hid the merchandise on himself and left the store, then picked up a rock and pushed the guard who confronted him outside, Mendes said.
Olivarria then ran away. Police, aided by a police dog and a helicopter, searched the area for about an hour with no result.
About two hours later, a mechanic at the Sears Auto Center at Plaza Camino Real told police he saw a man coming out of a creek area with his clothes wet and covered in leaves.
He got into a vehicle near Haymar Drive and South Vista Way. Officers pulled him over once he started to drive away, Mendes said.
Olivarria was taken into custody, and his wife, 32-year-old Alejandria Cervantes, was cited for driving without a license and insurance and was turned over to immigration authorities, Mendes said.
Olivarria was booked into the Vista jail on charges including robbery, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon, and was placed on an immigration hold.
Casino security apprehended the suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, across the street from the casino.
The Seminole Tribal Police of Tampa is handling the case, said Gary Bitner, a spokesman for the agency.
The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. inside the casino, located at 5223 N. Orient Road.
The woman who is in her late 50s was at a slot machine holding a redeemable ticket when the incident happened, Bitner said.
The value of the ticket wasn’t known, he said.
The woman wasn’t seriously injured. Bitner said he didn’t expect her to be transported to a local hospital.
Teacher Alice Hawley received a letter from the district signed by Superintendent, Grady Flemming saying her contract for the 2010-2011 school year was not being renewed.
Hawley says it’s been a whirl-wind over the past two days since the district decided to reinstate her contract for the 2010-2011 school year on Wednesday.
She is thrilled they asked her to come back, but says the real challenge isn’t over.
“The real victory will come when we can go in and freely pray. As we want to as the children want to, that’s when real victory comes,” said Hawley.
This same scenario happened once before to Hawley over 15 years ago. After several years, the district once again asked her to come back.
Even still, Hawley says she believes in the power of prayer and will continue to pray as long as her students are comfortable.
“And I’ll never deny a child prayer if they ask for prayer,” said Hawley.
One of Hawley’s students Billy Wright says these prayers were always voluntary, and that she told every student at the beginning of the year to tell her if they didn’t want to participate in prayer.
“She said you can leave a letter an anonymous email, or just tell her raise your hand in class,” Wright said.
Students from Franklin High lead an outpour of comments wearing T-shirts and writing insignia saying “I broke a rule, I prayed in school.”
“We should be able to do that instead of firing people for praying,” student Kristie Wallace said.
Former student Amerika Shaw says she doesn’t see why the district made a big deal over Hawley’s classroom prayers.
“She prayed for us, our education, and if we had any problems, and just asked God to watch over us, that’s about it,” said Shaw.
According to state law: “It shall be lawful for any teacher or school administrator to permit the voluntary participation by students or others in prayer.”
Many Franklin High students say school leaders often initiate prayer on a daily basis.
“And sometimes our principle comes and he’ll bow his head and he’ll pray with us,” said 9th grader Triston Wilkinson.
Superintendent Flemming was not available for comment to WLBT.
Investigators say Trooper J.D. Goodnight slowed to 95 before he hit a car driven by 55-year-old Sandra Allmond.
Allmond and 11-year-old Taylor Strange were killed.
According to the Highway Patrol, Goodnight was traveling southbound on the Interstate 85 Business Loop just before noon Sunday in Jamestown when he clocked a vehicle traveling northbound at 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. He activated his blue lights and turned around headed north. He slammed into Allmond as she was turning left at a green light at the River Road intersection.
Goodnight was not using his siren. The accident report released Thursday says Allmond “failed to yield.”
The 32-year-old woman, who lives in Clackamas, Ore., allegedly was intoxicated when confronted by police Tuesday afternoon.
She was still wondering why she was arrested as a Clark County sheriff’s deputy drove her to the jail in Vancouver, said Sgt. Jerry Lester with the La Center Police Department.
The woman was no longer in custody Wednesday evening, a jail employee said.
When found in the car, the boy had soiled his clothing and had a cup of sour milk to sustain him. A security officer on patrol heard him crying in the woman’s Lincoln Navigator SUV in a casino parking lot about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Lester said.
Lester said the security officer notified his supervisor, who told police.
Employees of the Chips Palace Casino, 318 Old Pacific Highway, used overhead speakers to ask the person who had the Lincoln to come forward. After being paged twice, the woman cashed in her chips, went outside and found officers waiting for her, Lester said.
She said she’d left the boy in the car, Lester said.
“She said she’d checked on the kid every couple of hours and he was sleeping,” Lester said.
Security videos indicated she’d arrived in the parking space about 4 a.m. Tuesday, Lester said.
Although police hadn’t seen the woman driving the Lincoln, they measured her alcohol level at 0.14, considerably more than the state’s DUI threshold of 0.08, Lester said.
Police called for officials with Child Protective Services, who took custody of the toddler.
Alerted by casino employees, officers found the boy sitting in his car seat in the SUV, which was locked, with no window open, Lester said. He didn’t appear harmed by his long wait in the warm car, but he was wet and his cup of milk had soured.
“The deputy changed him and got him into fresh undergarments,” Lester said.
Casino employees brought the boy a peanut-butter sandwich and some watermelon.
It was a cloudy afternoon and police measured the outside temperature at about 63 degrees.
“Inside my car, with the door open, it was 85 degrees. And it definitely felt warm inside (the woman’s SUV),”
Police Officer Travis P. Murphy
Phoenix Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tour of Duty: 4 years, 6 months
Badge Number: 8474
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Apprehended
Officer Travis Murphy was shot and killed when he confronted a suspect who had fled the scene of a shots fired call earlier in the night.
Officers in a neighboring precinct responded to a report of shots fired. When they arrived, the perpetrator had fled, but they transmitted a description of the suspects vehicle over their Department radio. Several minutes later dispatchers received reports that a man was seen attempting to hide a vehicle under a tarp at a vacant home. Officer Murphy, along with several officers, responded to the scene and started searching for the man on foot.
Officer Murphy encountered the suspect and was shot. Other officers immediately placed him in a patrol car and took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.
The suspect was taken into custody after being found hiding in a nearby shed.
Officer Murphy had served with the Phoenix Police Department for four and a half years. He is survived by his wife, 2-year-old daughter, and 2-week-old Son.
Agency Contact Information
Phoenix Police Department
620 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: (602) 262-7626
Please contact the Phoenix Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Border Patrol Agent Mark Van Doren
United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection – Border Patrol
End of Watch: Sunday, May 23, 2010
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: Sunday, May 23, 2010
Incident Location: Texas
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Border Patrol Agent Mark Van Doren was killed when his patrol car collided with a steer and a tree on Farm-to-Market Road 755, in Brooks County, Texas.
He and another agent were on patrol when the crash occurred. His partner was critically injured in the crash.
Agency Contact Information
United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection – Border Patrol
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20229
Phone: (202) 344-3532
Please contact the United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection – Border Patrol for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Thomas Brian Smoak was arrested Tuesday and charged with having a weapon on school grounds and making a terrorist threat.
Athens Police Capt. Floyd Johnson says dispatchers were told the school had received a call informing them a father of one of the students was on his way with a shotgun. Officers arrived and learned that a student had been involved in an incident and that his father was upset over the way it was handled.
Johnson says Smoak’s vehicle entered and exited the campus and was stopped by officers, who discovered the weapon and ammunition.