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.
“I want to formally express my condolences to the family for their loss,” said Mayor Rodney “Buck” Christian. “A member of our fire department has been placed on administrative leave with pay. At this point, I cannot comment any further until the investigation and all the facts are complete.”
Investigators recovered two dead premature infants who were flushed down a toilet into a septic tank Friday.
“This is the worst thing I have seen in all my years,” St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles said.
Surles said family members contacted him Friday about the situation.
“It is our duty to follow through with any credible allegation that may have been done, and we want to be sure everything was done accordingly and done right,” Surles said.
He said after hearing an allegation that two premature infants were disposed of in a toilet, the sheriff’s department started its investigation “by going into the septic tank to recover the bodies.”
Coroner Dennis Russell said Surles notified him about the incident and requested his assistance. He said the initial call from the residence came into Central Dispatch at 6:49 a.m.
“When I arrived on the scene, the lid on the septic tank had been removed,” Russell said. “A pump was inserted to remove some of the water from the tank. Once the water was removed, Investigator Tommy Dixon and I went through the debris and recovered the babies at 5:07 p.m. The babies were cleaned at the scene, placed in a container and taken to the coroner’s office in Pell City Friday. They were transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville Monday.”
Russell said Monday the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences said “the babies were not live births” and “would not have lived had they been born in a hospital.”
Russell said family members did not have anything to do with the disposal of the babies.
“The mother had left the room and had absolutely nothing to do with the babies being flushed down the commode, nor did any other family member have anything to do with flushing those babies down the commode,” Russell said.
The Sheriff’s Department continues its investigation into the incident.
“We are getting the final report and we’re going to conclude our investigation and present what we have to the grand jury,” Surles said. “We will see what happens from there.”
Attorneys Lance Bell and Matt Abbott, who represent the mother, said in a prepared statement Tuesday that the woman’s family is appreciative for the quick response and investigation being conducted by the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office.
“This was a frantic emergency situation where a young pregnant mother of about 20 week old twins, in excruciating pain, suffered a miscarriage during the early morning hours of Friday, July 23,” the statement from the attorneys said. “After calling 911, and while strapped to a stretcher, this young mother was forced to witness medical/emergency personnel knowingly and willfully flush her babies down the toilet. As attorneys and designated spokespersons for the family, we will be relentless in our pursuit not only to conduct a thorough investigation of all the facts surrounding this shocking and unexplainable event, but to demand accountability for those who are responsible for this heinous, willful act that shocks the conscious of a moral and decent society.”
CHARLOTTE, NC–Marketwire – July 28, 2010 – AlliedBarton Security Services, http://www.alliedbarton.com, the industry’s premier provider of highly trained security personnel, is proud to announce that Robert Bouldin, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Officer, was named EMS Rescue Educator of the Year in 2010 by Gaston County Rescue/Ambulance Association and Gaston County EMS in recognition of his dedicated service to the citizens of North Carolina’s Gaston county.
Robert Bouldin, who also serves as a Fire Captain and is on the Board of Directors for the Ranlo, North Carolina Volunteer Fire and Rescue squad, has a long history of volunteerism and heroic actions on the job. Bouldin’s credentials include advanced EMT, firefighting, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Hazardous Materials (HazMat) certifications.
Bouldin was also named the Most Valuable EMT of the Year for 2009 in recognition for his volunteer work for the community. Bouldin donates his time and expertise by teaching CPR to regional church and civic groups. “The more people who know CPR, the more lives that can be saved,” says Robert Bouldin, when explaining why he serves as a volunteer CPR instructor.
“Despite a demanding schedule as an AlliedBarton EMT Officer in the Charlotte region, Robert volunteers his time to help ensure the safety, security and wellness of his community,” said DelMar Laury, Vice President and General Manager for AlliedBarton Security Services in Charlotte, NC. “Robert is a leader within AlliedBarton and within his community and we are proud of his ongoing commitment to serve the community in which he lives and works.”
AlliedBarton Security Services is the industry’s premier provider of highly trained, responsive security personnel. Customer-focused police, security officers and managers located across the country are supported by national resources developed from over 50 years of security experience. More than 50,000 employees and 100 offices provide security for several thousand clients in many industries, including approximately 200 Fortune 500 companies. As the most honored security officer services company, AlliedBarton leads the industry in award-winning programs. AlliedBarton has been recognized by Training magazine, ASTD, Corporate University Xchange, Leadership Excellence and the American Business Awards, among others. For more information call 1-866-825-5433 or visit http://www.AlliedBarton.com.
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands July 28 2010 — A jury in the U.S. Virgin Islands has convicted an airport security screener of jury tampering in a drug trafficking trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nolan Paige says Transportation Security Administration screener Ikim Blackett, 31, was convicted Monday after two hours of deliberation by the U.S. District Court jury. Sentencing is expected next month.
The TSA screener at Cyril E. King Airport was charged with going to the house of a juror and offering to pay her $1,500 in return for a not guilty verdict in a federal case involving six men accused of smuggling cocaine from the U.S. territory to North Carolina.
All six men were convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.
“If I would have thought about it, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
She traded tumbling for tackling when she brought down a thief at Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma last weekend.
“I just wasn’t going to, like, let him run right past me.”
The rising high school junior cheers for the Moore High School Lions. She was at the mall talking to her mother on her cell phone when suddenly a man started running her way.
“I was like, ‘Hang on Mom,’ and I put the phone down. When he got close to me, I just got in his way and grabbed him and he kept trying to run so I just slammed him on the ground.”
By slamming him to the ground she gave mall security the chance to catch up.
“I grabbed him and then put him on his stomach and I was still holding on to him. I don’t even know.”
She didn’t even know what she had done. High School Playbook wanted to know, “What was she thinking?”
“I didn’t think. I was shaking. I was like nervous. I didn’t know why I did that,” Kealey Oliver smiles in amazement.
She got a scratch on her arm and bruised her left knee. And to top it off, she did it all in a dress.
“I was in a strapless dress, yes.”
Kealey told all her friends and even posted her story on facebook.
We called Penn Square Mall but got no comment. Police confirmed a shop-lifter was arrested around this time.
To Kealey, it’s really no big deal.
“At first, I thought I was just going to stop him, but he kept running. So I was like, okay, I guess you’re going to the ground.”
SMITHFIELD NC July 28 2010 – A Raleigh fire cadet is accused of kidnapping and raping a Smithfield woman.
Daniel Robert Muller, 24, of Black Angus Drive, Garner, is charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual offense.
Selma police said they found the 40-year-old rape victim walking down a street the morning of July 19. She told officers she was abducted at gunpoint the previous day while walking on South Sixth Street and take to a secluded area in Selma where she was raped.
Police said the victim did not know Muller.
Muller is charged with first degree kidnapping and first degree sexual assault for the incident. He turned himself in on July 24 at the Johnston County Jail and was placed under a $250,000 secured bond.
Authorities say during their investigation they discovered that a second woman had been offered a ride by Muller on May 25. They say they woman was taken to a secluded area in Smithfield where a weapon was displayed, but she was able to escape before being assaulted.
On Tuesday, Muller was served with additional warrants for first degree kidnapping and attempted first degree sexual assault. He was given a $100,000 secured bond.
Muller is currently in the Johnston County Jail under a $350,000 secured bond.
Muller has been a paid firefighter with the City of Raleigh since May 26.
According to the Raleigh Fire Department, Muller was a new recruit still enrolled in its cadet training program when he was arrested.
RFD rules require a cadet to be on time. Because Muller is in jail and was a no-show Monday and Tuesday, the Chief says he’s no longer a member of Raleigh’s fire department, according to its attendance rules.
Police are still investigating if there may be more unreported incidents involving Muller in the Smithfield-Selma area, and encourage anyone with information to come forward.
Ventura CA July 28 2010 In separate incidents Sunday outside a rap concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater, a Santa Paula man was arrested on suspicion of shooting at a car and police stunned another man with a Taser after he allegedly failed to comply with orders, authorities said.
After the rap show, headlined by The Game, four men were fighting with two others on the second floor of a public parking garage on Santa Clara Street, according to a witness.
As people were trying to break up the fight, one of the men involved went to his vehicle, pulled out a gun and fired two times. He fired toward the group of people in the altercation, who had entered a black sedan and were fleeing the scene, authorities said.
Officers arrived on scene within moments of the 11:50 p.m. incident and took Gilbert Hernandez, 27, of Santa Paula, into custody, police said. The alleged shooter was shocked with a Taser by police during his arrest, checked at a local hospital, then booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of shooting at an occupied vehicle, officials said.
Police did not locate any shooting victims. Officers found a handgun in Hernandez’s vehicle, police said.
About 40 minutes before the shooting, a man attending the same concert was stunned with a Taser outside the theater, 26 S. Chestnut St., after he allegedly became combative with security officers, police said.
The incident occurred after the 29-year-old Merced resident became intoxicated and began to dance on top of some large speakers, Ventura police said in a prepared statement.
Event security staff asked the man to come down, and he cooperated with them as they led him out to the street, police said. But once in the street, the man allegedly tried to hit one of the security officers and event staff tackled him, police said in the statement.
When police arrived, they saw the man was bleeding from his forehead, and event staff turned the situation over to the officers. The man was shocked with a Taser by police after officers ordered him to stay on the ground and he started to stand up, police said. In the statement, police officials said the officers believed the situation would escalate and were concerned for their own safety.
The man was treated at Ventura County Medical Center for minor injuries from the altercation and then released. He was booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of fighting and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, police said.
Bridgeport CT July 28 2010 Four months after he allegedly punched a Home Depot security officer in the face, a 33-year-old Bridgeport man was arrested Thursday for trying to steal tools from the store.
Andre Cruz Mendoza, of Cedar Street, was charged with attempted third-degree robbery and attempted fifth-degree larceny.
Mendoza concealed a $720 DeWalt tool kit on March 13 and tried to leave the Kings Highway store without paying, police. A store security officer grabbed Mendoza by the jacket, but he spun out of the jacket and punched the officer in the face, police said.
Mendoza reportedly dropped the tool kit and fled in a rented get-away car. Store personnel have reportedly since identified Mendoza on video surveillance and linked him to prior shop-lifting incidents at both the Fairfield and Stratford Home Depots, police said.
Police recently obtained a warrant for Mendoza’s arrest, which was served on him Thursday at Bridgeport Superior Court. Bond was set for $25,000.
TROY NY July 28 2010 — A 22-year-old Chevy Chase, Md., man came to Samaritan Hospital this morning and killed himself with a shotgun blast to the face, police said.
The suicide with a 12-gauge occurred at 9:02 a.m., Detective Sgt. David Dean, a department spokesman said. He said the man left a note.
The shooting took place at the bottom of a black metal fire escape about 50 feet from the emergency room entrance, according to police. That site is not readily visible from the driveway leading to the hospital.
A hospital worker alerted police. The gunfire was detected by the city’s Shot Spotter system, which uses acoustics and computers to locate the exact site of gunshots.
Detectives are on the scene at the hospital off Burdett Avenue.
The man’s identity and connection to the area have not been released by police who are attempting to notice his family.
Londonberry NH July 28 2010 New Hampshire high school teacher Melinda Dennehy has pled ‘guilty’ to charges of texting nude photos of herself to a 15-year-old male student.
In the plea deal, she carries a charge of indecent exposure, and was given a suspended jail sentence on condition she remain on good behavior and have no contact with the child or go to the high school, reports AP. She apologized in court for her actions and ‘poor judgement’, and had already resigned from her job in April.
The 41-year-old female English teacher sent a Londonderry High School male student, 15, four sexy photos of herself, along with continuous text messages, and he also claims they kissed on two occasions in a school classroom.
Dennehy photos however were not kept secret by the student. Instead the male student sent the photos to his friends, only to have them wind up in police hands.
Dennehy was identified by a co-worker in the photos.
Dennehy turned herself into the Londonderry police, and was charged with indecent exposure. Dennehy has two children and has been ordered by authorities to stay away from children under the age of 16.
Dennehy is by no means the only teacher to have made this mistake; in fact, it has become a bit of a phenomena for female teachers and their male students to form these unhealthy relationships.
In 2008, teacher Louisa Tuck was discovered to have been a porn star named ‘Crystal Gunns’ (thanks to her 36FF bust, no doubt). Michigan teacher Kelly Ann Abdo was busted for public sex with a student. Pittsburgh teacher Beth Ann Chester texted nude photos of herself to a student.
In 2009, Florida teacher Christy Lynn Martin was arrested for sending nude photos via text messaging; New York teacher Cara Dickey was arrested for raping a teen student; and in Massachusetts, Lisa Lavoie was found in a motel room with a 15-year-old boy.
SUMMIT, N.J.July 28 2010 – Dusk fell around Salvadoran immigrant Abelino Mazaniego as he sat on a bench on a promenade in an upscale New York suburb after finishing his restaurant shift. As night encroached, so did a group of teenagers, including one with a cell phone videocamera at the ready.
Then, authorities say, they beat him unconscious, with the camera rolling.
Days later, the 47-year-old father of four was dead — but not before the video had been circulated among teenagers in Summit, N.J., authorities say. And not before a nurse in the emergency room where he was taken the night of July 17 was accused of pilfering several hundred dollars from his wallet.
The attacks on Mazaniego’s body and dignity resulted in days of escalating court actions that culminated Tuesday in murder charges against three young men, ages 17, 18 and 19. A fourth teenager believed to have videotaped the attack hasn’t been charged, but authorities weren’t divulging details on the teen’s involvement or potential culpability.
In Summit on Tuesday evening, a young girl sobbed, trembled, and clutched the waist of an older woman as they stood in a group of five people in front of a shrine of sunflowers, votive prayer candles, handwritten notes and a photo of Mazaniego that had been placed on the bench where he was attacked. Speaking quietly in Spanish, a woman with red-rimmed eyes said she was Mazaniego’s wife of 29 years, and the rest were family members. She declined to give her name, saying she was too upset and scared to speak about the attack.
Mazaniego was “a hardworking, punctual, friendly employee,” said Colin Crasto, manager and chef at Dabbawalla Indian restaurant, across the street from where the attack took place, and where the victim had worked for three years as a cook’s assistant. A photo of Mazaniego was taped to the front window, with a message saying he had been the sole supporter of his family and asking patrons to donate money to help his family.
Along Summit’s main thoroughfare, a place of upscale clothing and jewelry stores, real-estate brokerages advertising million-dollar homes, and luxury SUVS parked along the street, merchants and residents said the attack was an anomaly for the town, a vibrant mix of nationalities that considers itself welcoming of immigrants.
“I know bad things happen all the time, everywhere, but it’s unusual here,” said Neil Rodriguez, the manager of The Wine List, who knew Mazaniego, as he worked a few doors down. Recalling Mazaniego as a “genial, really nice gentlemen,” Rodriguez said that, as a Hispanic, he was bothered that the incident was being portrayed by some as racially motivated.
“It’s a random act of violence, there’s not a lot of racial strife in this town,” he said. “I’d like to see the parents that produced such monsters,” he added, referring to the alleged attackers.
Khayri Williams-Clark, 18, and an unidentified 17-year-old, both of Summit, were arrested Wednesday on manslaughter charges. Williams-Clark pleaded not guilty to the charge Friday.
Now they’re charged with murder, along with Nigel Dumas, 19, of Morristown. A spokesman for the public defender’s office, which is representing Williams-Clark and the 17-year-old, declined to comment Tuesday and said the office hadn’t yet received an application to represent Dumas.
The 17-year-old is being held in the Union County juvenile detention center, while Williams-Clark is being held at the Union County jail on $100,000 bail, prosecutors said. Bail for Dumas, at the same jail, has been set at $250,000. Authorities wouldn’t say how many teens were in the group or whether there would be more charges. They also weren’t discussing theories on the motive for the beating — whether it was Mazaniego’s background, a thrill killing or some other reason.
But it apparently wasn’t an attempt to get the $640 in cash that Mazaniego was carrying.
Police found the victim after the beating and took him to the hospital, where, officials say, nurse Stephan Randolph, 39, of Flemington, took the money out of the unconscious victim’s wallet.
Family members noticed the missing money and told authorities, who charged Randolph with third-degree theft Monday, six days after Mazaniego died.
Broward County Fla July 27 2010 More than 70 Broward Sheriff’s Office employees working at Port Everglades could be replaced with private guards under a cost-cutting proposal from seaport administrators that union leaders say could jeopardize security.
The port’s plan calls for eliminating all of its Sheriff’s Office community service aides — civilian employees who staff the four entrance gates, direct traffic and patrol what is on track to become the world’s largest cruise hub. Replacing them with guards from the private sector could shave about $2.5 million yearly from the port’s budget, said Port Director Phillip Allen.
Allen said he’s attempting to “right size” port security, but the union representing the community service aides questions whether the change would expose the port to heightened threats, including terrorism. The Federation of Public Employees argues that private guards lack the aides’ training and sense of professionalism.
“Anyone seriously viewing such private security guards as being capable of properly protecting our seaport … against infiltration by organized crime networks and as potential terrorist targets has simply failed to do the necessary research,” Scott Perrin, a master steward for the union, wrote the Broward County Commission.
Surprise AZ July 27 2010 A man accused of crashing a party in February has been arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide because the security officer called to the scene died of a heart attack, Surprise police said.
Surprise police arrested 42-year-old Timothy Tuggle on Thursday because of his suspected responsibility in the death of a security guard, Surprise police spokesman Sgt. Mark Ortega said.
According to Ortega, Tuggle attended a party he was not invited to in February and would not leave when asked. Instead, Ortega said, Tuggle became belligerent, and fought people around him. Others at the party called a security guard to the scene.
Tuggle was being restrained by two party guests as the security guard arrived, according to Ortega.
Ortega said it was unclear whether the Tuggle and the security guard made contact. But the security guard had a heart attack and later died.
Tuggle was arrested in February on suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct. Police submitted a recommendation for a charge of negligent homicide on Thursday to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors will decide whether to charge Tuggle.
The death sentence has been upheld for a man convicted of shooting a security guard during a robbery attempt and setting him on fire, the state’s highest court ruled on Monday.
Ron O’Neal Finklea, 36, was sent to death row in September 2007 after a Lexington County jury found him guilty in the death of 56-year-old Walter Sykes Sr., a security guard for Wackenhut Corp. working at a plant that made electronics.
The attack that apparently came after Finklea and another suspect tried prying open an ATM at the Solectron plant was captured on the plant’s surveillance video, which the court described in its decision.
Early on the morning of Aug. 2, 2003, Finklea went to the plant in Springdale with another man later identified as his brother-in-law, 33-year-old Theodore Davis. Thinking he wanted to use the ATM, Sykes opened the door for Finklea, who then followed him into the plant’s security office and let Davis in.
Davis handed Finklea a gasoline can, which he used to douse the ATM machine.
Moments later, Sykes was seen on video running from the security office, engulfed in flames. Sykes left the building and then collapsed on the plant’s front lawn. Finklea and the other man fled the plant, taking nothing, authorities said.
Authorities said Finklea shot Sykes in the neck and head before pouring gasoline on him and setting him on fire. At the time, Sheriff James Metts said he thought the fires had been set on fire to destroy evidence. Investigators said they found evidence someone had tried to pry open the ATM.
The day before the shooting, authorities said Finklea had gone to the same plant to try to use the ATM, which another guard told him wasn’t working. During that visit, Finklea asked the guard questions about the company’s security and left when another guard showed up.
Finklea and Davis were arrested several days later in Monroe County, Ala. Finklea subsequently tried to hang himself in his cell, an event the court wrote resulted a brain injury and amnesia about the shooting and fire.
During his trial in September 2007, jurors found Finklea guilty of murder and first-degree arson. In the appeal, his attorney argued Finklea should not have been found competent to help his attorneys during the sentencing part of the trial because of his brain damage.
The court disagreed, writing that Finklea did help his attorney by identifying possible character witnesses, giving details about his character and expressing remorse.
“Even assuming Finklea’s amnesia is genuine, we decline to find him unable to assist counsel based on an inability to recall mitigating facts which may or may not exist,” the court wrote. “Moreover, any potential prejudice to Finklea’s capacity to consult with his counsel due to his inability to recall the circumstances of the crime is lessened by the fact that the incident was captured on video.”
Finklea’s appellate attorney also said the trial court should not have let prosecutors use fire during closing statements. At trial, prosecutor Donnie Myers held a lit fire-starter in front of the jury as he described how Sykes was lit on fire.
“Gasoline pouring on another human being and the fire, the fire, the burning,” Myers said in his closing statement. “What if it’s all over your body and you can’t get away from it, it’s engulfed you? … The last, last moments of a good man’s life on fire.”
The judge was right to allow that demonstration, which did not prevent Finklea from getting a fair trial, the justices wrote.
On Monday, Finklea’s appellate attorney said he had hoped the justices would give more consideration to his client’s mental state.
“We never challenged Mr. Finklea’s guilt, but are disappointed the Court found it acceptable to execute a man who cannot remember why he is being executed,” chief appellate defender Joe Savitz said Monday.
Davis was convicted of murder in 2008. He is serving a 30-year prison sentence
LaPorte IN July 27 2010 A police officer responding to the LaPorte County Fair to make an arrest was delayed by an attendant at the gate who insisted that he pay.
It’s an incident that officials with the fair and sheriff’s office were reluctant to speak much about Monday.
The mix-up stems from a decision to use private security during this year’s fair, which ended Saturday night.
Sheriff’s deputies used to working security were told they had to pay to enter the fairgrounds this year unless called to make an arrest.
”I think there’s some common sense that got overlooked there,” said Gene Shurte, general manager of the LaPorte County Fair.
LaPorte County Police Sgt. Mike Kellems was dispatched to the fairgrounds just after 5 p.m. Friday to arrest an individual wanted on an outstanding felony warrant.
Another county police officer at the fair happened to see the man and recognized him as being wanted on the outstanding charge.
Kellems stopped at the ticket gate and explained he was there to take a fugitive into custody, but was informed by an attendant that he had to pay the $5 admission fee. He again stated why he was there, but another attendant, Marcia Morris, insisted he pay.
Kellems asked for a receipt and returned to his squad car.
In his report, Kellems said he waited for several minutes but nobody came to his police vehicle with a receipt, so he went ahead and entered the fairgrounds.
Kellems made his way to the fair security office where LaPorte County Police Chief of Detectives John Boyd was waiting with the fugitive for him to take away.
Robert Aubin, 23, of Hammond was wanted for failing to appear in court on charges of failure to stop at an accident and driving on a suspended license.
Private security was brought in after the county for the first time asked the fair to pay liability insurance on the officers as a legal precaution.
The private firm, A & B Security out of Valparaiso, provides its own liability insurance and costs about two dollars an hour less per officer.
Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said he agreed before the fair to make his officers available to make any apprehensions at the fairgrounds because private security does not have arresting powers.
Mollenhauer said he hopes things can be worked out for sheriff’s deputies to return to work security at next year’s fair.
”Maybe this is a good lesson for everybody to realize,” Mollenhauer said.
Shurte said no decisions have been made.
”We have no idea,” said Shurte.
Mobile Al July 27 2010 It was just after daybreak when a police SWAT team headed to a Days Inn in Mobile, Ala.
Their man was in a room on the third floor.
He was a prime suspect in a car theft. But he also was wanted for questioning in the slaying of his mother at a Pinellas Park mobile home.
After posting a police bulletin, Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies had tracked 24-year-old Corey Hicks to this hotel, then sought help from authorities in Mobile.
Arrest warrant in hand, and Pinellas sheriff’s detectives watching, the Mobile SWAT team moved in. The team broke in the door and a man came at them, ax held high. The blade hit one of the officers in the arm.
The team opened fire.
Shortly after 9:15 a.m., Corey Hicks, 24, was dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Soon afterward, deputies released information that he was the prime suspect in the murder of his 51-year-old mother, Debbie Neace.
Bruce Hicks, 58, repeatedly had tried calling Neace during the weekend. Neace’s boyfriend of 28 years, he moved out two weeks ago after several disputes with the couple’s son, Corey.
Failing to reach her, he decided to drive to the blue mobile home they once shared.
When Hicks arrived Sunday, he found Neace dead.
After an autopsy Monday, detectives said Neace had suffered multiple “sharp force” injuries to her head and upper torso, consistent with wounds from an edged weapon.
Neace’s car, a 2006 Toyota Corolla, was missing. Deputies suspected Corey Hicks stole it. On Sunday they weren’t calling him a suspect, but they said they did want to talk to him.
After spending the night interviewing friends and family members, detectives discovered that the last time anyone saw Neace alive was 6 p.m. Friday.
Once they connected the dots with the fights and the stolen car, detectives believed Corey Hicks was their suspect. They obtained an arrest warrant for grand theft auto, and once the car was found they asked Mobile police to help.
Police would not reveal how many times Hicks was shot. The officer who was struck in the arm by the ax suffered a broken bone. He also was hit in the same arm by a stray bullet during the SWAT team rush.
The officer was treated at a nearby hospital and released.
“This tells us that this is a very dangerous job,” Mobile police Chief Michael T. Williams said at a news conference after the shooting. “Every day these police officers go out and put their lives on the line to protect the citizens of this city.”
Monday afternoon, friends arrived at Neace’s Pinellas Park home.
Rene Jalbert and Catherine Self brought a bouquet of white, orange and yellow flowers.
They had both worked with Neace at Valpak in Largo, designing coupons. “This is a devastating loss of a good person,” Jalbert said. “She was kind, generous and always smiling.”
Jalbert said she had worked with Neace for 13 years and said Neace had never mentioned any problems at home. She said their work sometimes was stressful.
“It takes a special kind of woman to do that job with a smile,” Jalbert said.
Self said every morning when she arrived, Neace was already there, smiling. She had worked with Neace for eight years, the last four side by side.
“How a quiet person can be missed this much,” Self mused, staring at the flowers.
SAN ANTONIO TX July 27 2010 — A security guard is recovering after being hit by a car over the weekend.
The security guard was hit near Main and Evergreen early Sunday morning.
“For whatever reason, the security guard asked the suspect to move his car, explained Officer Matt Porter of the San Antonio Police Department. “His co-worker then ran across the street to come to his aid. The suspect backed the vehicle up, not seeing him, striking that security guard.”
Police said it appears it was an accident, but the driver was arrested for DWI.
Neither the name of the driver or security officer was released.
Tara Durig, 27, and Jason Durig, 29, of 1251 Hilltop, are in the Miami County Jail, Troy Police Capt. Joe Long said.
Police are calling the death of the infant suspicious. The boy’s body is at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, where preliminary autopsy results are expected Tuesday, July 27, Long said.
A call to Miami County 911 at 11:42 a.m. reported an 8-month-old was not breathing, he said, adding the mother called 911.
Police are looking into whether the parents have been investigated for child abuse previously, Long added.
“We had sufficient evidence to charge child endangering, pending the outcome of the autopsy and further investigation,” Miami County Prosecutor Gary Nasal said Monday afternoon.
Monday night, neighbors of the couple were holding a vigil for the child, who they said was named Caleb. Angela Byrd, 36, said the couple made a living “scrapping,” or collecting junk metal to sell at a scrap yard. She said their pick-up truck overloaded with junk was a familiar sight around the neighborhood.
She said she helped the couple move in.
“I thought they were good people,” she said.
Gainesville Fla July 26 2010
A Gainesville man is accused of trying to run away with the cover charges collected at a downtown night club.
Gerald T. Pressley, 21, allegedly took $240 from the Studio night club, 112 S Main St. He distracted a club employee with “offensive conversation” before grabbing the money out of a cash box near the entrance to the bar, according to a police report.
A bouncer chased Pressley and caught him several blocks away, police reported. He was charged with robbery by sudden snatching, a felony.
MICHIGAN CITY IN July 26 2010 — A Michigan City police officer was left bleeding from several deep scratches on his face after a confrontation with an unruly customer inside a CVS drug store here late Friday.
Officer Robert Grant received the injuries while attempting to arrest Michael G. Sydow, 37, 8303 North County Road 400 West, according to police reports. Police were called to the drug store at 3219 Franklin St. shortly after 11 p.m. because Sydow was yelling at and threatening off-duty police Officer Todd Pliske, who was working security at the store, allegedly saying he could “kick all cops’ ass.” Sydow was there waiting with his friend, Alisha Maelynn Pahl, 20, for her prescription to be filled, police said.
When Grant approached Sydow inside the store and asked to speak to him, Sydow refused to speak to him and would not take his left hand out of his pocket, according to police reports. When Grant grabbed Sydow’s left arm to try to remove it, Sydow punched him in the nose. Grant took him to the ground but Sydow grabbed his face and pushed his thumb into Grant’s left eye. He dug his fingernail into Grant’s face several times. Officer Jason Costigan grabbed Sydow’s hands, but Sydow yelled he wouldn’t stop fighting and continued to resist arrest.
Grant used a Taser three times to shock Sydow before they were able to wrestle his arms behind his back, but he started spitting blood all over the aisle. Pahl came over and started screaming expletives at the officers, so Pliske and Officer Ken Eguia arrested her, as well.
Both were placed in the transport van while and taken to the police station. Sydow was frothing at the mouth and growling like an animal, police said, and said he would kill them all if they took off his handcuffs. They decided to take him to St. Anthony Memorial for treatment of his injuries before placing him under arrest.
Sydow was charged with battery to a police officer, resisting law enforcement, marijuana possession and public intoxication. Pahl was arrested on charges of resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct, minor in possession of alcohol and identity deception. Pahl originally gave police a fake name and driver’s license information.
HOUSTON TX July 26 2010 – More than a dozen people are facing charges after a raid at a flea market in northeast Harris County. The arrests were made after a months-long investigation by a task force with the Department of Homeland Security.
Eighteen people went to the flea market to work Saturday and instead were arrested. They’re now spending the weekend at the federal detention center and could face a whole lot more time in jail.
At Sunny Flea Market on the north side, the busy Saturday business was slowed this afternoon when local and federal officers swept in with arrest warrants.
Carlos Perez, a shoe shop owner, got caught up in the raid and has blisters on his hands to show for it.
“They start getting people and putting them on their knees and actually they got me. I don’t do nothing wrong. They grabbed me and throw me to the van and it was hot,” said Perez.
Eighteen people were arrested, all accused of making and selling fake documents out of the flea market. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents led the operation but this wasn’t about immigration status.
“They’re being arrested on criminal violations, not administrative, all criminal violations,” said Michael Feinberg, ICE Special Agent in Charge.
The arrests come after a months-long investigation by a newly formed Homeland Security Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force. This it’s first large scale arrest operation.
“Everybody brings their own specialties to try to identify different documents that could be potentially counterfeited or fake, for instance, social security card, drivers license, immigration documents and so on,” said Feinberg.
Breaking up document fraud rings has been a focus for Homeland Security. Fake identity documents, like the ones in handcuffs are accusing of creating, lead to immigration fraud says Houston’s acting special agent in charge as well as other criminal activity.
“Somebody could change their identity,” Feinberg said. “It could be a fugitive who could change their name to someone else and be walking around with a separate set of identity.”
According to ICE’s website, document fraud has helped criminals and even terrorists live among us. ICE today would not provide details about how this ring worked, but we hope to learn more on Monday when the 18 people in custody are in federal court.
We did call Sunny Flea Market, but the person who answered quickly hung up on us.
Houston has one of the 18 Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces in the country. Nationwide since April 2006, they’ve been involved in close to 2,500 cases, with almost 1,500 people convicted in those cases.
Witnesses told police that the stabbing victim, Nathaniel Williams, was angry with the guard, Justin Musick, for calling police to the complex about 11:30 p.m. Friday to assist with a domestic disturbance involving Williams.
Williams reportedly attacked the 22-year-old guard by punching him in the head and knocking him to the ground where he continued to fight him. Witnesses told police that Musick was defending himself when he retrieved his small pocket-knife and stabbed Williams to get him off of him. Police said Musick is much smaller than Williams.
Williams was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the report written by police Sgt. J.D. Thornton.
Homicide investigators are conducting the follow-up investigation. Witnesses were interviewed and at this time there has been no arrest, said police spokesman, Sgt. Chad Mahaffey.
Seattle WA July 25 2010 Shoplifters, Beware!
If you have a notion to take something from a store without paying, don’t do it! Even if you feel that the big box, corporate store would not feel it, you will. For starters, they are watching. They have hidden cameras, security personnel dressed like shoppers, and detection devices at the doors..
And once you are caught, not only will you be prosecuted, but the store can sue you for damages under RCW 4.24.230. That provides: ” An adult or emancipated minor who . . . [steals]is liable in addition to actual damages, for a penalty to the owner or seller in the amount of the retail value thereof not to exceed two thousand eight hundred fifty dollars, plus an additional penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than six hundred fifty dollars, plus all reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs expended by the owner or seller..”
This liability is in addition to potential criminal proscution. Frequently, people get notices after being caught by security from distant lawyers practicing in states like Florida. The letter demands anywhere from $100 to $650 for the petty cases. The letter must contain this notice: “IMPORTANT NOTICE: The payment of any penalty demanded of you does not prevent criminal prosecution under a related criminal provision.” If you receive such a notice, don’t just pay right away. It may be worth consulting a lawyer..
One way to mitigate the inevitable criminal prosecution is to try to work out a ‘compromise of the misdemeanor.’ This compromise is described in another Washington law, RCW 10.22.010. It grants a court discretion to dismiss an eligible charge (where the charge was not committed upon an officer, or done “riotously,” or with intent to commit a felony or involve domestic violence.) The key requirement is that the injured party must “acknowledge in writing that he or she has received satisfaction for the injury.” So if you want to pay the civil fine, it may be worth negotiating with the victim of the theft to get them to agree to sign off on a compromise of the misdemeanor..
One irony for shoplifters: the big corporate chains–Sears, KMART, Fry’s Electronics, etc. are the most likely to catch you, the most likely to make a civil demand, and the least likely to agree to a compromise of the misdemeanor when you are charged with a crime. “It’s against corporate policy” or some such rubbish is their reasoning. They want your purchases but they don’t really care about you: the no mercy rule. In contrast, the poorer, solo shopowners who can’t afford the fancy security are more likely to sign off on a compromise. One more reason to stay away from chain stores..
These rules apply to juveniles as well. That is, the custodial parent can be sued on the civil side. Of course that may give the parent a right to collect that debt from their young loved one.
For example there is a case where the juvenile shoplifted a $20 shirt and his father paid a civil penalty of $175 to the store, the court required the son to pay his father $100 back in restitution. State v. T.A.D., 122 Wn. App. 290, (2004)..
So caveat emptor: buyer and shoplifter, beware..!
Great Falls Montana July 25 2010 Jeremy Young is looking for work after losing his job as a Walmart security guard earlier this month for scuffling with an alleged shoplifter who later took out an elderly greeter on his way to being arrested on robbery charges.
Young, 32, believes he was just doing his job and that his firing could have been avoided. Walmart officials believe Young put others in danger by violating the company’s policy of not tangling with shoplifters.
“We do have policies and procedures in place to protect the safety of asset-protection associates, store associates and our customers,” company spokesman Dan Fogleman said. “We appreciate Mr. Young’s intentions, but his actions put his safety and the safety of other associates — and our customers — in jeopardy, potentially.”
Walmart’s rules for asset-protection associates have come under scrutiny recently, and Young isn’t the first store employee in the nation fired for violating the policy.
Store security and law enforcement is about the only work Young has ever done. Now, he is struggling to find a job in that area in Great Falls to support his wife and three children. Young and his family moved here from Phoenix last year to find work.
Young admits he should not have tried to physically restrain Bruce Lee Houle Jr., 26, from fleeing the store on Smelter Avenue with two stolen shirts on July 1. He expected a one-day suspension, probation or to be moved to another store department for violating the policy — not to be fired.
“They want to make me the example of what not to do in this situation because of their policy,” Young said.
On July 1, Young spotted Houle allegedly concealing two shirts in the front of his pants. He and his partner, in plain clothes, followed Houle outside the store, identified themselves as security and asked Houle about the shirts, according to court documents.
Houle became combative and began to struggle as he was being led back into the store, court documents state. Walmart allows asset-protection associates to lead shoplifters back into the store by their forearms, Young said.
Houle tried to take off a sweatshirt that Young and his partner were holding onto to keep him from fleeing.
Fogleman declined to comment on specifics of Walmart’s security policy, but Young said these actions were violations.
Houle fought and scratched Young multiple times on the neck, arm and leg while Young opened the security office door, court documents state.
Young’s partner tried to hold on to Houle’s T-shirt, but he took it off and ran toward the front door — in the direction of 80-year-old store greeter James Pasha. Pasha tried to stand in Houle’s way, but Houle leveled him, causing multiple bruises and lacerations to his face, elbow and ear. The lacerations required stitches, court documents state.
Young followed Houle to see where he was headed while calling Great Falls Police. Houle eventually was captured by police while trying to hide on the bank of the Missouri River. Houle, who was charged with robbery and theft, is scheduled to be arraigned in Cascade County District Court this week.
Houle, who has previous convictions for assaulting a police officer and burglary, told police he didn’t want to spend his last $30 on the shirts.
Young waited a week to hear from his local and regional asset-protection managers that he would be terminated. His partner was not fired, he said. In similar situations, other asset-protection associates have been put on probation, he said.
Young started at the Great Falls Walmart in June 2009 as an overnight stocker before becoming an asset-protection associate in October. He had a verbal warning on his record for approaching a customer he believed had stolen something. It turned out that the person had not stolen an item.
Young believes he was fired because the store didn’t want to get sued by the greeter.
“I did violate policy trying to apprehend (Houle). At the same time, it makes it hard to gain control of shrinkage loss when you establish this policy,” he said. “People know they can get away with it.”
This was the first time Young dealt with an aggressive shoplifter at the Great Falls Walmart. He estimates that he has recovered or prevented about $9,000 in merchandise from being stolen from the store
Walmart’s policy on asset protection states associates may not physically confront shoplifters. That policy has come under fire, as has the company’s handling of situations where the policy was violated. In October, an asset-protection associate in Ocala, Fla., was fired for chasing down a knife-wielding theft suspect in the store’s parking lot. An employee also was fired from a Wichita, Kan., Walmart after getting into a fight with a man trying to steal a computer in May.
When asked about criticisms of the store’s policy on dealing with shoplifters, Fogelman said in an e-mail to the Tribune that, “… we constantly evaluate the way we do things to ensure we can maintain a safe environment for our customers and associates. Nothing is more important than our ability to protect their safety and well-being. What we want to avoid is having a situation escalate that might result in someone getting hurt.”
Fogelman said asset-protection associates such as Young are aware of what they cannot do in these situations.
Fogelman spoke with local Walmart management about this specific incident, but said he couldn’t comment on why Young was fired because it was a personnel matter.
“Unfortunately, due to (Young’s) actions, he no longer works for the company,” Fogelman said.
The suspects are believed to be part of a large, well-organized ring of professional shoplifters that retail chains first identified in 2008, Detective Debra Haverkost said. She said the group is suspected of stealing more than $100,000 in valuable merchandise from retail drug and grocery stores and reselling it to small businesses or street merchants.
Regional law enforcement agencies, including Vista sheriff’s deputies, had been watching the ring and had identified the four suspects, Haverkost said. Officers followed the suspects from their home in the San Fernando Valley to a CVS store on Oceanside Boulevard.
She said the suspects were captured outside of the store with about $500 in stolen beauty products, Haverkost said. They were booked into the Vista jail on charges including burglary and conspiracy, she said.
Around 3 a.m. Saturday, police re-captured Maurice Sealy. Officers arrested Sealy Friday after they say workers caught him shoplifting at a Walmart on Cobb Parkway.
Police tell us Sealy complained about being hurt when he was caught and they took him to Kennestone Hospital for treatment. Officers tell us Sealy escaped when they turned their back.
A few hours later, FOX5 news photographer, Grenard Smith, spotted Sealy and called police. Marietta police caught up with Sealy a short time later.
Sealy now faces escape charges in addition to shoplifting.