The victim was cutting grass along Freedom Parkway, between Memorial Drive and Boulevard, when a pickup truck hit and killed him Wednesday morning, police told Channel 2’s Erin Coleman.
A crew of 4 men was cutting grass in the median and weed eating when a pickup truck came around the curve and lost control, police said.
Nikole Lasane told Coleman she heard the accident from her inside her home. “I knew something was hit but I didn’t know it was a person,” said Lasane.
Police later identified the driver as Glenn Johnson, 21. Johnson was charged with second-degree homicide by vehicle and failure to maintain lane.
“He was very distraught. Very, very distraught. Torn up,” said Officer Otis Redmond after police interview Johnson. Police had not released the victim’s name on Wednesday afternoon.
State transportation officials told Coleman they contract their landscaping services to a company called Bromell Manicured Lawns, but it was not known if the crew put up warning signs along the road.
ST. PETERSBURG Fla July 29 2010 — A man is accused of trying to steal the state flag as it flew outside Tropicana Field.
But that wasn’t the flag that David James Willis said he wanted to steal, according to St. Petersburg police.
Willis told police he thought he was taking the Marine Corps flag — that flag is scarlet with the corps’ gray-and-gold emblem in the center — that flew outside Gate 4. Florida’s state flag is white with a red diagonal cross dotted by the state seal.
Willis told police he was an Army veteran and didn’t think much of the Marine Corps’ performance in past wars. That’s why he wanted to take the flag, he told police.
“This guy’s not a good historian,” said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.
Willis, 49, had been drinking, police said.
The incident happened about 2:25 p.m. Tuesday when a Tropicana security guard tried to shoo Willis away because she said he was drinking beer from a bench outside the stadium, according to police.
Then the security guard heard the sound of the flag pole’s panel hitting the ground.
The guard said she saw Willis reach into the pole’s mechanism to lower the flag, police said, so she grabbed him and pulled him away until officers arrived.
Willis was arrested on a felony charge of grand theft. He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail Wednesday in lieu of $5,000 bail. Police could not confirm whether he actually served in the Army.
San Bernardino CA July 29 2010 The backyard shooting deaths of two young brothers, only 10 and 12 years old, are believed to have been the result of a double suicide or a murder-suicide, according to police.
California cops found the boys, 12 and 10, apparently shot to death.The apparent weapon that was used was a handgun that belonged to their father.
A family member discovered Bryan Gonzalez, 12, and his younger brother Christian, 10, just after noon on Tuesday, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman.
Bachman said that the boys were pronounced dead on the scene. An official autopsy report is expected later this week.
“It remains to be a death investigation and the investigators have assured us that they’re not looking for any suspects,” said Bachman. “They said it’s very likely that this incident involved only the two boys.”
However, the investigators want to take the time with the case and they have not completely ruled out the possibility of foul play, but they have assured us they aren’t looking for any suspects,” said Bachman.
The boys were found in a ravine on the Chino Hills, Calif., ranch where their family lived in a double mobile home, according to Bachman. A handgun that was found at the scene is confirmed to have belonged to their father.
It was not immediately clear whether the gun had been locked up or where it was usually stored, she said.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this,” said Bachman. “It’s unusual to say the least. It’s very disturbing.”
“I mean, they were just 10 and 12. We don’t even think of children at this age of [being capable] of hurting themselves,” she said. “They were in elementary school.”
The brothers were students at Butterfield Ranch Elementary school, located just a mile from where they lived. On Tuesday night, classmates and friends constructed a makeshift memorial for the boys .
It’s heartbreaking,” Cameron Rogers, a classmate who had traveled to Disneyland with the older of the two brothers last month, told ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate KABC . “But he’s in a better place right now.”
Authorities said that the two boys had lived at the mobile home with their mother and father. There is no number listed for the home.
Forensic psychologist N.G. Berrill, who has not treated the Gonzalez family, told ABC News that he wonders what was going on inside the home to make these young boy feel so helpless.
“When you get kids who are feeling that overwhelmed at that age and resort to such graphically violent means to kill themselves or one another, it raises a lot of very serious questions,” said Berrill.
Forgiving a Son Who Murdered Your FamilySon’s Plot: ‘I Wanted Them Dead’ Econo-cide? DC Lawyer’s Layoff, Suicide”Whatever was going on was sufficient to literally overwhelm two siblings and have them reach the decision of killing themselves,” he said. “That is such an enormous decision for a kid, but it’s particularly sad because we know that they don’t understand the full scope or ramifications of what they’re doing.”
Berrill said that unlike adults, who can think about the future and might consider reasons why not to kill themselves, children focus primarily on present day.
“Adults have enough experience that they can say ‘this is a terrible time but I have strengh to live through it and find remedies,’” said Berrill. “When you’re a kid, you live a lot in the here and now.”
“That’s why I think that their circumstances had to be so desperate because they saw no alternative,” he said.
“Their lack of maturity makes it that much more tragic.”
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, in a statement Monday to FOX6 News, said Whitney Wilson, 23, of Avon, Ind., had been charged with child abuse. Investigators said the charges were filed after deputies were called to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham Sunday by hospital staff. They found Wilson’s two-month-old baby, Cadence Davidson, on life support. Doctors told them the child had a skull fracture, a fractured femur and healing rib fractures. The child was taken off of life support Monday morning and died.
Investigators said Wilson told them the baby had been with her since they left Indiana on Saturday, but that she did not know what had happened to Cadence and denied hurting the baby. She arrived at her parent’s home in the Bessemer area at approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday, and the baby was taken to Children’s Hospital at approixmately 9:30 p.m.
Investigators say Wilson was charged Sunday night with child abuse and planned to file more charges Monday. Wilson has two other children, a three-year-old and an 18-month-old, who were taken into protective custody by DHR.
During a hearing in Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s prosecutors said they had filed papers seeking to try the teen, who turned 14 this month, as an adult.
Judge C. Philip Nichols Jr. scheduled a hearing on that issue for Aug. 27. If the teen is tried as a juvenile and found to have been “involved” — the equivalent of guilty — he could be held until he is 21. If the case is moved to adult court and he is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
The Washington Post does not generally identify juveniles who are charged with crimes unless they are charged as adults.
No new details of the slaying of Hannah Wheeling, 65, emerged at Wednesday’s hearing. The teenager, dressed in a white T-shirt and casual pants, said little.
He is accused of killing Wheeling, a general studies teacher at the Cheltenham Youth Facility. He has been a suspect since shortly after the incident. He was being held in the detention center on burglary charges and after the killing was moved to a more secure facility.
Two law enforcement sources said Wheeling was last seen giving the suspect a test at 4 p.m. Feb. 17. About an hour later, another staff member saw the suspect running up a set of stairs; the boy appeared anxious and sweaty, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.
Wheeling, of Bel Air, Md., was found beaten to death outside the facility’s Murphy Cottage just before 8 a.m. the next day. In addition to being bludgeoned, she had been strangled with a “ligature,” or some type of cord, the sources said. Near her body, the sources said, investigators found a concrete block they think was used in the beating.
Also found were three shirts of the type issued to Cheltenham residents, one with the suspect’s name written on the neckline, the sources said.
Each of the shirts had blood stains. DNA tests showed Wheeling’s blood was on at least one of the shirts.
A state police spokesman said at the time of the incident that Wheeling died from multiple blunt-force trauma. Despite his age, the teenager was big enough to have overpowered her, law enforcement sources said.
The killing raised questions about a facility with a difficult past.
The suspect had been staying in Murphy Cottage, which is outside the fence at Cheltenham. It houses about 20 boys with no known history of mental illness or violent crimes such as murder, assault or sexual offenses, said Jay Cleary, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, which runs Cheltenham.
A source familiar with operations at Cheltenham said the youths at Murphy Cottage are supposed to be in view of a staff member 24 hours a day.
Investigators think Wheeling arrived for work about 8 a.m. Feb. 17 and never left the grounds.
ST. LOUIS MO July 29 2010 An Uplands Park police officer faces up to 25 years in federal prison after admitting Wednesday that he robbed and sexually assaulted four female paid escorts he had lured to meet with him.
Leon F. Pullen, 32, of Foley, scoured online advertisements posted by the escorts, then pretended to be a customer, according to court documents and testimony at his plea hearing in federal court here. Three attacks occurred in the northwest St. Louis County village of under 500 people, one at a St. Louis hotel.
Once with the escorts, Pullen would identify himself as an officer, then demand money, sex or both by threatening arrest or the implicit threat of violence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Marcus said in court.
Pullen pleaded guilty of nine felony charges, including conspiracy, deprivation of civil rights, witness tampering and lying to the FBI. In exchange, prosecutors will drop 10 other charges. He is scheduled for sentencing in October.
One of Pullen’s victims, identified in court only as “D.S.,” watched the hearing and spoke to a reporter afterward.
D.S., 36, said she had been in St. Louis with a friend last year for baseball’s All-Star Game, and posted an ad on a website. Her account of the evening of July 15 was confirmed through court records and testimony, including Pullen’s admissions in court.
Pullen arranged their meeting, agreeing to pay $400 for both D.S. and a friend. He drew them to an address that turned out to be an abandoned house in Uplands Park. When the women arrived, Pullen, in uniform, with a marked police car, and an auxiliary officer, Justin Biancardi, pulled them over.
Pullen told D.S. to give him all her money or get naked. When she offered money, Pullen told her, “That was the wrong answer,” Marcus said in court. Marcus also said that Biancardi took money from D.S.’s friend.
Pullen then ordered D.S. to follow him. D.S. said that Pullen refused her requests for a lawyer or a female police officer, and that she panicked at the prospect of following Pullen to the station. She recalled her friend saying, “You have to go. He’s a cop. You try to drive off, he’s going to kill us.”
Inside the station, Pullen forced D.S. to sit on a bulletproof vest and forcibly performed oral sex on her. “You’re raping me, stop it!” she recalls shouting. Pullen then suggested intercourse, but neither had a condom. She was able to escape by suggesting that they meet later.
D.S., the former wife of a police officer, said she called St. Louis police internal affairs and was referred to the FBI. Within hours, agents were listening in as she called Pullen and confronted him about the sexual assault. She said he had written down his number for her, and she remembered his name from embroidery on his shirt.
Agents would later win the cooperation of Biancardi and collect Pullen’s DNA.
In court, Pullen also admitted robbing and sexually assaulting women on three other occasions from February to June of 2009. He acknowledged that he lied to the FBI and told Biancardi to lie, saying that no one would believe the women because they worked as escorts.
Pullen was arrested by the FBI in September 2009 as he was about to start his shift. Officials said he had ads printed out for 11 other female escorts.
He has been on unpaid administrative leave since his arrest, said Douglas Rudman, a lawyer who represents Uplands Park. “Now that he has pleaded guilty, I anticipate the council at its next meeting will take appropriate action.”
Rudman said that Biancardi, who was unpaid, left the department on his own before Pullen’s arrest.
Biancardi’s lawyer, David Ferman, said Wednesday that his client is no longer in law enforcement.
Ferman said he expects Biancardi to face unspecified federal charges later.
Gonzalo Fernandez, a lawyer representing three of Pullen’s victims, was at Wednesday’s hearing and said later that they may file a civil suit against the village.
In April, the BOE decided to eliminate the position of school resource officer. The police officer earned approximately $100,000 per year. After the elimination of the officer, the public was told that the board had no intention of replacing the officer or bringing in any outside help to fill in at the schools.
The school resource officer was in charge of providing law enforcement and police services for the school district. The officer also worked with problem students to try to get them on the right track, established a partnership with school administrators in order to provide for a safe school environment and was visible within the school community. In some cases, depending on the district’s needs, the officer developed classes in law-related education, worked with guidance counselors to assist students and initiated interaction with students both in and out of the classroom to promote a safe educational experience.
Elmwood Park Board of Education President Jennifer Pellegrine called the school resource officer cut a decision governed by monetary reasons.
“There is no way around it,” she said. “For us, the issue came down to either cutting the school resource officer or cutting an instructional position. We choose to keep the instructor.”
Elmwood Park Chief of Police Don Ingrasselino called the situation very disturbing.
“The school resource officer is someone who knows the kids in those schools,” he said. “Our resource officer has a relationship with the kids and has the ability to keep the halls safe and diffuse situations which might arise. She knows the students, she knows what goes on and she knows how to handle any activity. To get rid of her is a bad idea.”
The chief is against bringing private security guards into the school.
“I am appalled by the school’s decision to do this,” said Ingrasselino. “It doesn’t make any sense to fire someone, to get rid of one position, and then, months down the line, quietly look into hiring five different positions to fill in for the single position which the board got rid of.”
Pellegrine called the hiring of five private security personnel, “more hall monitors than anything else.” Pellegrine said the Board of Education did not do an about-face by hiring these five new positions, rather she called the decision one which stems from a difference in policy citing the board’s understanding that the school district needed some type of security within the schools.
“We wanted to have some presence in the halls, yet we didn’t think an officer was needed,” she said.
The Elmwood Park School District will place two security officers in the elementary schools — one in the middle school and two in the high school.
According to the Elmwood Park School District Business Administrator William Moffitt, the five new hires will receive $12.50 per hour on a full-time scale over a 10-month work year.