A 19-year-old security guard acted within the law when he fatally shot a man in a pickup that suddenly backed up with the guard hanging on, officials said.
The gunman, a Corona resident whose name was withheld by authorities, feared for his life when he fired into the passenger side of the compact-sized pickup late Tuesday behind Summit Villas on Via Zapata, said Riverside police Sgt. Mark Rossi.
“Basically, he told us he’s hanging onto the open (passenger-side) door, and he’s afraid that if he lets go, he’s going to be run over,” Rossi said. “The (guard) stated that he wasn’t able to catch his footing.”
A short time later, the same pickup drove to Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley with its front-seat passenger suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He died within minutes.
Investigators have been unable to identify the man, believed to be a Mexican national between 25 and 35 years old. The pickup’s driver, Efrain Castillo-Diaz, remains jailed on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon — his vehicle — against the security guard.
Rossi said that Castillo-Diaz, a 27-year-old resident of the San Bernardino County community of Bloomington, did not provide a statement and that another passenger said little. But, he added, an independent witness corroborated the guard’s account.
Everything began when the guard spotted Castillo-Diaz, whom he recognized from prior contacts, rummaging through a large trash bin in a private alleyway behind the Canyon Crest apartment complex he patrolled. The suspect and his companions were looking for recyclables.
When the guard tried to intervene, Castillo-Diaz ran to his pickup, but as he tried to drive away, his path was blocked by the guard’s patrol car. The guard walked up to the pickup, standing behind its open passenger door, when Castillo-Diaz accelerated in reverse, Rossi said.
Representatives of California Housing Patrol, the private company employing the guard, did not return a call Thursday. Rossi said the guard held a valid state license to be a security officer and to carry an unconcealed firearm.
The shooting is not the first for the guard’s firm. In 2006, an employee wounded a gang member who fired a gun at a Rialto apartment complex, police said at the time.
Less than two years later, a California Housing Patrol guard was charged with unlawful use of a badge and lights while harassing patrons at a Victorville roller rink. That man pleaded no contest to creating a noise disturbance with his car’s siren and megaphone.
Anyone with information on Tuesday’s shooting in Canyon Crest may call Riverside police Detective Dave Smith at 951-353-7103.
Source:Dayton Daily — The orthopedic surgeon charged this week with eight sex-related felonies admitted that he engaged in sexual activity with a 16-year-old girl, according to an affidavit filed in Xenia Municipal Court.
Henry William Albers was charged with two counts of rape, three counts of gross sexual imposition and three counts of sexual battery. The charges were filed Monday, June 21.
Albers, 47, is employed by the Orthopaedic Center for Spinal and Pediatric Care, which has offices at several area hospitals. He is no longer seeing patients at the center, according to the practice website. The girl was not a patient, according to investigators.
Albers, who lives in the River Ridge II development of Sugarcreek Twp., was released after posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bond, according to court records.
Greene County Prosecutor Stephen K. Haller said investigators had interviewed other children who had contact with Albers and there was no evidence any of them were assaulted.
“We don’t have any reason to believe there are any other victims out there,” Haller said.
The incidents allegedly occurred during the last two months, according to Sugarcreek Twp. police Sgt. Mark White. White said he and an investigating officer from the police department arrested Albers at his residence Sunday, June 20, after a complaint phoned in by the girl’s mother and an interview with the girl.
White said the charges will be presented to a grand jury.
According to a statement released by the Orthopaedic Center, Albers is suspended from the practice and “none of these charges involve Dr. Albers’ role as a physician caring for patients.”
The center has offices at Children’s Medical Center, Miami Valley Hospital South, Stanfield Place in Troy and Atrium Medical Center in Middletown.
Mills is now in Double-A Akron and unfortunately for him, police say he was in a bar called Whiskey Dick’s after an Aeros game on June 3.
Police were called to a bar on West Exchange Street around closing time, after witnesses reported an off-duty bouncer had been beaten by a group of men who had taunted him about using steroids, and taunted his girlfriend for dating him.
Akron Police quickly learn three of the men are Indian farmhands, the aforementioned Beau Mills, Aeros outfielder Jerad Head and Columbus Clippers pitcher Josh Tomlin.
“It just got physical, I mean they got into an argument led into you know, kicks, punches,” Lt. Rick Edwards, Akron Public Information Officer said.
The Akron Aeros front office declined comment on the allegations, but Akron Police say the beating the took rose to the level of felonious assault and criminal charges were filed on Tuesday.
Edwards says the assault was brutal. “Our victim basically was knocked to the ground after being punched and kicked, he was kicked in the side, a couple of broken ribs and a punctured lung, was transported by local paramedics here to the hospital where he spent a couple of days in the hospital recovering from those injuries.”
If convicted, the three players could face punishment ranging from probation to eight years in prison.
Beau Mills and Jerad Head were released on signature bonds. Josh Tomlin is expected to surrender to Akron Police.
Chalk photography up as the latest freedom to become endangered in the United States. Wiretapping or eavesdropping laws conveniently provide police justification for arresting those who video tape or snap pictures of them acting in public locations as they forbid citizens from “obstructing law enforcement”.
Now the most extreme example of photography crackdown yet has occurred. A man named Francisco Olvera was having a house party and was confronted by a local cop. The cop entered his house. Olvera photographed the cop and was promptly arrested. Courthouse News reports:
Olvera says the trouble started when Alderete responded to a complaint of loud music coming from his home. In front of the home, Alderete asked Olvera to show identification and as Olvera walked into his house to get it, Alderete followed him in.
“Olvera did not believe that Alderete had the authority to enter Olvera’s residence and, therefore, took a picture of Alderete using his cell phone,” the complaint states.
Olvera claims that Alderete saw a can of beer on a kitchen counter, next to Olvera’s wallet, and immediately handcuffed him.
Olvera was detained on charges of illegal photography, public intoxication, and loud music. Since the arrest he has been acquitted of all charges and now is seeking punitive damages from the city for violation of his rights.
Many courts on a state level have ruled that taking videos or photos of police using your phone qualifies as obstruction.
A rash of YouTube videos and pictures have captured police brutality in various areas, but now police have the legal means to threaten those who might snitch them out. In many areas even if you are snapping photos or video to use in your own defense, you will face additional charges and the media evidence will be disallowed.
Legal scholar and professor Jonathan Turley is among the members of the legal community fighting these provisions on the grounds that they represent a gross violation of Constitutional and legislatively-guaranteed freedoms. Turley states, “The police are basing this claim on a ridiculous reading of the two-party consent surveillance law – requiring all parties to consent to being taped. I have written in the area of surveillance law and can say that this is utter nonsense.”
While the Olvera case seems closed — other than this pending lawsuit — the battle over whether citizens should be able to photograph or video tape police in public or in private (in their homes) is unlikely to go away. It would not be surprising if the U.S. Supreme Court at some point is forced to rule on this issue. At that point, we may finally know, once and for all, whether U.S. citizens have lost this freedom and means of accountability.
KTLA — A clerk in a Hollywood marijuana dispensary was shot dead Thursday evening, just hours after another marijuana dispensary employee was killed in a separate apparent attempted robbery in Echo Park, police said.
At around 9:15 p.m. Thursday, the owner of a pot shop in the 1600 block of North El Centro came in to close the store, and found an employee dead in the back office, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.
The employee was believed to have been killed in an attempted robbery — the second such incident at a marijuana dispensary that day.
Just hours before and less than 6 miles away, another deadly attempted robbery occured in Echo Park. At around 4:15 p.m., an unknown number of suspects entered a pot shop in the 1300 block of Sunset Boulevard and opened fire, Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations officials said.
The clerk in the marijuana dispensary was shot dead while the store’s security guard remains in critical condition. Both men were shot in the upper body.
One “known suspect” fled the scene, and police are still searching for him and at least one other suspect.
The incident is believed to have been a robbery, though it is unknown if any of the suspects made off with anything.
A police perimeter was set up on Sunset Boulevard from Marion Avenue to Douglas Avenue, effectively shutting down traffic on that portion of the busy street.
It is unknown whether or not the shootings were related.
Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? The grownups at John F. Kennedy High School, that’s who – a new state report says.
Staffers at the Bronx school swiped more than $90,000 students raised at bake sales and other fund-raisers, state Controller Thomas DiNapoli found.
Principal Anthony Rotunno resigned after probers uncovered the sugary swindle – the latest black eye for a school facing possible closure.
In a particularly egregious abuse, Kennedy staffers blew more than $7,000 on four retirement parties at suburban eateries, the audit found.
“This was the students’ money,” DiNapoli said. “They raised it selling cupcakes and asking for donations. The students worked hard to raise this money. Whoever is responsible should be punished.”
The audit, covering the period July 2007 to June 2009, found that Kennedy staffers misused or stole $91,216.
That money was pooled in what’s known as a general school fund, an account used to pay for student activities such as trips and proms. The cash comes from student bake sales, candy sales, other fund-raisers and proceeds from the school store.
The teachers used a chunk of the money to party at Live @ the Falcon, a popular concert hall in Marlboro, N.Y., in September 2007, sources said.
In June 2008, they celebrated at Yonkers eateries Dunwoodie Pizzeria & Restaurant and Tombolino Ristorante. And they dined at Pasta Amore, an Italian restaurant in Piermont, with sweeping views of the Hudson River.
“Kennedy officials told us that they reimbursed the account for $7,114 [for the teacher parties]; however, they were unable to provide any evidence to indicate that this had occurred,” DiNapoli’s report says.
The Education Department is investigating how the rest of the money disappeared.
Among the audit’s other alarming findings:
The Kingsbridge school owes $60,559 to a vendor for yearbooks, caps, gowns and championship rings purchased from 2004 to 2007.
Kennedy is also on the hook for $22,790 to a vending machine company for supplies bought for the school store.
The school spent $713 of the students’ cash on teachers’ keys.
The school’s treasurer bounced 15 checks worth a total of $28,825 because she didn’t even know the accounts were depleted.
The report pins blame squarely on Rotunno’s shoulders.
“The Kennedy principal did not establish basic accountability for student funds,” the report says.
Rotunno stepped down in May, officials said.
“When we confronted Mr. Rotunno with the draft audit report a month ago, he resigned and will never work in the Department of Education again,” said Education Department spokesman Danny Kanner.
Reached on his cell phone, Rotunno said only, “That’s something that would have to be handled by the Department of Education.”
A department supervisor has taken control of the finances of the troubled school, which is one of 34 facing possible closure by the state.
Source: MinerNews — A 24-year-old man will serve at least 10 years in prison for assaulting a federally employed security guard earlier this year.
Jarrid Bloom, 24, formerly of Reno, Nev., pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to felony counts of assault on a law enforcement officer and using a handgun during a violent crime. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, three other felony charges will likely be dropped at sentencing.
Using a handgun during a violent crime carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, with a maximum penalty of life behind bars. The assault on a law enforcement officer charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Bloom told U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline that he had only been in Fairbanks for a week when in the early morning hours of July 7 he ran into a security guard patrolling the Fairbanks federal courthouse’s parking garage.
The guard stopped Bloom after it appeared that Bloom was looking for unlocked cars in the complex. Bloom first attempted to ride his bike to the top floor of the garage but, finding no exit, returned to the second floor where the guard drew his gun and began searching him.
The guard found a small tinfoil cube of marijuana and a fight ensued. Bloom punched the man in the face six to eight times, resulting in an orbital bone injury that later required surgery. The security guard fought back with a collapsible baton commonly used by law enforcement, striking his assailant in the thigh.
Bloom then reached for the security guard’s belt, unsnapping the magazine and handgun. The suspect was able to knock the baton away, and the two began struggling for the gun,
When Bloom grabbed the gun from the guard, he demanded the guard’s baton and wallet, pointed the gun at a vehicle in the garage and fired once, puncturing the tire of a car.
The victim was ordered to wait 40 seconds before doing anything, and when he was sure that the assailant was gone, the security guard called police.
However, by that time Fairbanks police had already received a call from someone who had heard a man shouting and the sound of the gunshot.
Police contacted Bloom fleeing on a bike outside of the courthouse before they received the security guard’s call. Bloom had the baton and the security guard’s wallet in his pocket, and the gun was located nearby.
Bloom was previously convicted of felony counts of grand theft auto and possession of a stolen vehicle in Nevada.
Beistline tentatively set sentencing for Jan. 8.
Security guards at Metropolitan Community College were given police powers Wednesday by the school’s board of governors.
The vote means the college will establish its own police agency, said Sheila O’Connor, a Metro spokeswoman.
She said the school hopes to implement the change in 60 days.
Guards who pass or have passed a 14-week police training course will be authorized to detain suspects, make arrests, investigate thefts, stop drivers they suspect are under the influence and write traffic tickets.
Metro has about 21 security officers. They are already allowed to carry guns.
Previously, officers at Metro’s three campuses and two education centers had to call local police if an arrest was required.
A former bouncer was sentenced Tuesday to 3 years in prison for slamming a bar patron’s head to the sidewalk and leaving him deaf in one year.
Charles Kurkowski, 30, of Derby, was ordered by Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk to be taken from court in handcuffs during the midmorning sentencing. He had been free on bail.
Kurkowski expressed remorse for the injuries suffered by Jared N. Underberg, 22, but did not admit guilt for the incident outside the former Quote bar at Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Stree at about 3 a.m. Nov. 14, 2008.
Prosecutor Amy B. Benedict said Kurkowski was convicted March 24 of second-degree assault for the incident.
The judge found Kurkowski guilty after a five-day non-jury trial.
Police say it happened Tuesday morning as the girl walked to school.
The girl’s name is being withheld due to her age.
Investigators say the fifth grader kept walking as Deodhram Singh, 38, allegedly tried to lure her into his vehicle three times.
She went to her grandparents house nearby, and her grandfather was able to get a license plate number.
Police later arrested the officer.
“Instead of panicking, she got right to her grandparents house, got to a safe place, and that’s something we try to stress to children all the time, especially when they’re approached by somebody like this man,” said Albany Police Detective James Miller.
Singh, who told police he was self-employed and has denied any wrongdoing, was arraigned on charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.
He’s being held in Albany County jail pending $2,500 bail.
A sheriff’s detective who is the department’s “go to guy” for property crimes was named the 2009 Deputy of the Year Wednesday.
Detective Rodney Vose, a 15-year veteran of the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, received the award during an afternoon ceremony that also recognized the top court security officer, correctional officer and civilian employee. Several civilians were also singled out for their service.
“This is something we do every year to recognize the hard work the men and women of this department do,” Sheriff Neil Williamson said. “Times are getting rough. With threats of layoffs, it’s hard to keep morale up, but this is one thing we can do to say ‘Thank you’ and let them know they are doing a good job.”
Williamson said Vose worked on several residential burglaries in the eastern part of the county. Along with several other people, he eventually got guilty pleas in federal court.
“This hard-working deputy is an invaluable asset to the detective bureau and the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office,” Williamson said.
Vose said it’s rewarding to recover people’s stolen property.
“(Solving these crimes) is very important because it’s people like you and I who go to work every day who come home to find their door kicked in,” Vose said. “They are working hard, but the guys going around doing this aren’t working. They are making a living off making our lives miserable.”
John Reynolds can be reached at 788-1524.
*Correctional Officer of the Year: Brad Martin.
“He has a good attitude toward his job and responsibilities. His work ethic and ability to work with others is unparalleled,” Williamson said.
* Court Security Officer of the Year: Barb Krueger.
“In addition to her regular duties, (Krueger) also serves on the auxiliary and has recently stepped up to coordinate the honor guard. She does all of this with a smile and a willingness to help wherever needed,” Williamson said.
*Civilian Employee of the Year: Chris Wiedel.
“He somehow completes tasks in minutes that we have been told are impossible to do at all. He hasn’t been here long, but he’s made an indelible impression on each employee and the agency as a whole,” Williamson said.
*Citizen of the Year: Jack Caldwell of Williamsville.
Caldwell helped deputies catch two men who were attempting to sell stolen property at his antique mall. Caldwell gave authorities detailed information and even blocked their vehicle in his lot. The two men later admitted to local thefts and numerous crimes out of state, Williamson said.
*Citizens Award: Emergency Response Coalition.
The coalition is made up of union workers who are called out after disasters, such as tornadoes in Springfield, Loami and Williamsville.
Brad Schaive, business manager for Laborers’ International Union, Local 477, said the group can mobilize chain saw crews and equipment operators in an hour.
“It’s a huge honor for us. It’s not anything we expected. Anytime an organized labor organization and members get recognized for community service, it’s a big deal to us.”
SLED records show Atkins was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor Wednesday.
Chief Drakeford said Atkins is out of jail on $50,000 bond.
Drakeford said he called SLED a week ago after getting information that Atkins was accused of having inappropriate relations with a student.
According to warrants, Atkins engaged in sexual acts with a female student at the Quality Inn on Highway 56 North in Clinton between August 2008 and June 2010. The warrants also state that Atkins engaged in sexual acts with a female student at Clinton High School, Bell Street Middle School and Comfort Suites Hotel all in Clinton. According to SLED the incidents happened with two different 16-year-old students.
Atkins has not returned our phone calls.
Source Cape Cod Times — An argument raging over a controversial band T-shirt is hitting sour notes this week at the Cape Cod Mall.
A Hyannis teenager shopping earlier this week at the mall was forced to flip inside out what security officers deemed to be an “inappropriate” T-shirt minutes after he purchased the shirt at a mall retailer.
Richard Gould, 18, bought the “Psychopathic Records” shirt, featuring the musical act the Insane Clown Posse, among others, Monday from Hot Topic, a music, clothing and merchandise chain.
He quickly put on the shirt, which depicts a cleaver-wielding silhouette on the back. But within minutes, a mall security guard forced Gould to turn it inside out and threatened to expel him from the building, citing the shirt as a gang symbol.
“A particular T-shirt sold at one of our stores is in and of itself not inappropriate for sale. But (the shirt) is commonly recognized as gang-related through local law enforcement intelligence,” mall manager Leo Fein wrote yesterday in a statement to the Times. “We deem it inappropriate to wear in common areas of Cape Cod Mall.”
Gould did not buy the shirt, he said, as an endorsement of the violence often associated with the Clown Posse, which has drawn attacks over what critics perceive as violent and vulgar song lyrics.
Instead, he intended it as support for one of his favorite musical acts and a sign of individual expression, he said yesterday, displaying the shirt proudly.
“I’m not hurting anybody. I’m just wearing a shirt,” said Gould, a former Barnstable High School student who works as a cook at Gringo’s Mexican Restaurant in Hyannis. “I just like the music. … It’s a form of expression.”
The Clown Posse, a hip-hop act from Detroit, has drawn criticism since it formed in the early 1990s for songs like “I Stab People” and “Still Stabbing.” And devoted followers, known as Juggalos, have been involved in several criminal incidents across the country, including a July 2008 case in which two men were arrested in Utah after allegedly attacking a victim with a medieval battle axe.
The incident led state authorities to label the Juggalos a gang, according to news reports.
The next month, a stabbing incident at the Cape Cod Mall led police to wonder if some of the individuals involved were followers of the band, officers said at the time.
But now two years later, police rarely hear about the group, and there is no concern of gang-related activities involving Juggalos in town, according to Barnstable police Sgt. Sean Sweeney. “I don’t really hear about them much,” Sweeney said yesterday. “It’s not like there’s that kind of gang around here. … We do have a lot of clowns, though.”
Cape Cod Mall, and other shopping centers across the state, maintain similar dress codes, requiring shoppers to be fully clothed and prohibiting clothing “likely to cause a disturbance.”
Other malls have not reported similar incidents involving gang-related clothing, according to Lisa Bell, a spokesman for Simon Property Management, which operates Cape Cod Mall and seven other malls across the state.
“We haven’t seen a lot of those (shirts),” echoed Dave DesRochers, marketing manager for the Independence Mall in Kingston, which is not a Simon Mall and does have a Hot Topic store on site.
“We haven’t had any issues with it,” he said.
Representatives from Hot Topic did not return calls for comment.
School districts across the Cape similarly discourage rude, vulgar and provocative clothing, but they do not directly prohibit gang-related symbols or insignia, administrators said.
“We try to look at a pattern,” said Eduardo MacDonald, an assistant principal at Nauset Regional High School. “If you sense that students are wearing a certain type of clothing and causing issues throughout the school, that’s what raises a question to us. But with regard to clothing alone, we don’t look at that for much.”
Nor should they, said Cindy Gould, Richard’s mother, who filed a complaint with the mall.
“It’s just a shirt,” she said yesterday. “If you don’t want it to be in the mall, don’t sell it at the mall. … I’m going to go buy one and put it on. (We’ll) see if they tell me to take it off.”
Scott Bregman, 48, a Centennial School District math teacher, was arrested Wednesday. Police say he sent a photo of his genitals to a 17-year-old boy.
The incident happened at the B&R Fitness Club in Lower Southampton. Police say Bregman told the teen that he was a teacher at William Tennent High School and offered to tutor him.
Police say the teen was not one of Bregman’s students. However, police say Bregman was aware of the teen’s age and that he was a junior at another school, officials said.
The teen told police he had previous run-ins with Bregman at the club, and that Bregman made him feel “uncomfortable.”
Bregman is charged with disseminating explicit sexual material to a minor and corruption of minors. If convicted, he could be sentenced to more than two years in prison.
He was arraigned and released on $30,000 bail.
Tanya Thienngern, 37, surrendered to police a day after an arrest warrant was issued. Since May 10, Watsonville police have been investigating claims that she was involved in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student.
Thienngern denies she had a sexual relationship with the student, her Monterey-based attorney Joe Cisneros said. She was booked in Santa Cruz County Jail and released Wednesday on $25,000 bail. A court date was set for June 23.
Police Sgt. Saul Gonzalez said there is a “strong possibility” that Thienngern, an Aptos resident and English teacher, had sexual contact with and provided alcohol to other students, both on and off campus. But the arrest was based on allegations involving one student.
Police said she was arrested on suspicion of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, both incidents with the same student; three counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors; one count of endangering the person or health of a minor; and one count of degrading, immoral or vicious practices of drunkenness in the presence of children, police said.
When the allegations first arose, the Pajaro Valley School District placed the teacher on administrative leave. On Thursday, the district said it expects to complete its own internal investigation within the next two weeks.
“If we find substance to these allegations, we’re considering dismissal,” said Albert Roman, assistant superintendent of human resources at the district.
The district has three schools in Monterey County: Pajaro Middle School, Ohlone Elementary and Hall District Elementary. It’s unclear how many of its graduates are now at Pajaro Valley High, Roman said. Most would end up at Watsonville High School, he said
Sunday, officers responded to a shooting at 3360 Watkins where they found a 37-year-old victim laying on the sidewalk with apparent gunshot wounds.
The victim was transported to the Regional Medical Center by Memphis Fire Department Ambulance in critical condition.
Preliminary investigation reveals that the victim was shot at Super Lo Foods, located at 3327 Watkins, by an armed security guard.
It has been reported that the victim is a habitual shoplifter and was asked by the security guard to leave the store. Officers were advised that the victim refused to leave the property and attempted to attack the security guard when the guard shot the victim several times. The victim fled the scene and went to 3360 Watkins for police assistance.
The security guard arrived on the scene after the officers made the scene, and was taken into custody without incident for questioning.
The victim, male, 37, has since been released from the hospital.
A Los Angeles Airport Police officer suffered minor injuries Thursday while attempting to remove a woman from a Frontier Airlines flight after she became angry over being told that she had to check an oversized carry-on bag, authorities said.
The woman, who was not immediately identified, was booked at the LAPD’s 77th Street Division jail on suspicion of battery on a peace officer, Los Angeles World Airports Police Sgt. Belinda Nettles said. The officer was treated and released at a hospital for scratches to his neck and face.
The incident unfolded about 3:30 p.m. when a flight attendant asked the woman to check her carry-on bag into the plane’s luggage compartment.
“She became irate,” Nettles said.
“When we arrived she was already sitting in her seat and refused to exit the aircraft,” Nettles said. “Airport Police removed her and in doing so the officer suffered minor injuries.”
Nettles said it was rare for Airport Police to be called about passengers who refuse to check their baggage when they are asked.
“They may fuss about it but people are usually very cooperative,” Nettles said.
She didn’t know the man who walked into her room at Sparrow Hospital, holding a box of chocolates under one arm.
It was the afternoon of March 4, the woman recalled. She had gone to the emergency room because of a blood sugar problem and eventually was transferred to a private room.
She was starting to drift off to sleep when 52-year-old Rochester Terrell – wearing a leather jacket over a collared shirt and dress pants – walked up to her bed and offered her the gold-and-yellow box of chocolates.
“I told him, ‘no, I’m a diabetic,’ ” she recalled.
Discreetly, so he wouldn’t see, she tried to press the button that would call a nurse. But instead, the television changed channels.
“I kept asking him who he wanted to see, and he said: ‘Just anybody,’ ” the woman said.
Terrell, of Lansing, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced Wednesday in Ingham County Circuit Court to 16 months to three years in prison. His attorney, Kelly Fletcher, declined to comment.
The woman described the incident in a telephone interview after the sentence hearing. The Lansing State Journal does not identify victims of sexual crimes.
Eventually, the woman said Terrell touched her inappropriately and then tried to lift up her dress.
At that point, she didn’t care if he saw her press the button to call the nurse.
When the nurse answered, “I told her to get in (the room) real quick,” the woman said.
Terrell, the woman recalled, “looked at me and said, ‘Why?’ Then he said, ‘OK,’ picked up his stuff and walked out.”
Within minutes, hospital security apprehended Terrell, Sparrow Hospital spokesman John Berg said.
The incident has led to a review of security procedures, Berg said. A task force has looked at the incident and recommended changes.
Terrell was not wearing an identification badge, Berg said. Hospital staff have been asked to be more aware of visitors in their area, particularly people without badges, he said.
“We’re asking associates to ask questions, ask people if they are visiting, to check in and get a visitor’s badge,” Berg said, adding that the incident is the first of its kind in recent memory.
“Our security has a fairly active presence,” Berg added. “The question is, how do we improve that?”