Mall theft, police chase closes down major Atlanta area road during rush hour www.privateofficer.com
Alpharetta GA Aug 6 2010 The two men and a woman whose arrests led to a brief shutdown of Ga. 400 Wednesday evening have been charged in connection with an alleged snatch and grab of clothes from a North Point Mall department store.
Elliott Alexander, 37, of Philadelphia; Jeffery Green, 46, of Stockbridge; and Celest Duarte, 42, of Atlanta, were charged with two counts each of theft by shoplifting after police caught them near the mall on Ga. 400, said Officer George Gordon of the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.
The dramatic arrest, with officers drawing guns amidst the evening commute, led to a brief closure of all southbound lanes of the highway just before 6 p.m.
Officers, responding to a call for help from a mall security officer, quickly caught the Ford Explorer and its three occupants. A search of the vehicle turned up stolen clothing from Dillard’s and J.C. Penny, Gordon said. Officers also found a loaded handgun, crack cocaine and a wig, he said.
Alexander also was charged with felony possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Gordon said. He said the gun was not used during the thefts but noted that possession by a convicted felon is illegal.
Alexander and the other two were being held Thursday at the Fulton County Jail.
Alpharetta’s public safety director, Gary George, said the arrests resulted from a “great relationship” between the mall loss prevention staff and his officers.
“Our officers reacted swiftly to identify and locate the suspects,” he said. “The end result is we have three suspects in custody who will no longer prey upon our business community.”
DANBURY CT Aug 6 2010 — Two people have been charged, one with assault, in connection with a shoplifting incident Wednesday at Bob’s Stores at 114 Federal Road, according to Lt. Detective Tommy Michael of the Danbury Police Department.
Michael said the incident occurred at 1 p.m., when a man identified as Victor Anthony Rodriquez, 20, of Kent Shore Drive in Carmel, N.Y., shoplifted a pair of sneakers.
Michael said Rodriguez then allegedly assaulted a loss prevention officer in the store and was charged with breach of peace, third-degree assault and third-degree robbery.
Rodriguez was held by police on a $5,000 bond.
Michael said Rodriguez had a female accomplice, Shelby Reynolds, 18, who also lives on Kent Shore Drive in Carmel. Police said she was charged with breach of peace and held on a $500 bond.
For the second straight year, Walden Security has awarded college scholarships to all eligible children of Walden Security employees who applied and met the criteria – including several from the Chattanooga area.
Recipients of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarships were chosen based on their grades, extracurricular activities and financial need.
They were honored last month with a special luncheon at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club that also featured keynote speaker Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson.
There were a total of 13 scholarships awarded this year, up from nine last year, and the 2010 honorees included seven repeat winners:
Jonathan Hudson of Chattanooga, Tenn., is a repeat winner of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarship. He’s a rising sophomore at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he majors in information technology. He’s involved in several groups on campus, including the Class of 2013 Ring and Crest Committee, West Point Glee Club, Baptist Student Union and intramural swimming and wrestling teams. His mother, Kelly Burns, is a controller in the corporate office.
Caleb Kelly of Chattanooga, Tenn., is a repeat winner of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarship. He’s a rising junior at Middle Tennessee State University, where he’s an honor student, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a double-major in music business and audio production. His parents are Tekelia and Mack Kelly; Tekelia Kelly is an instructional design coordinator in the corporate office.
Brittany Lamb of East Ridge, Tenn., is a repeat winner of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarship. She’s a rising junior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she’s a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and majors in accounting. Brittany is a teller at First Tennessee Bank, she edits the yearbook and she’s also a cheerleader. Her mother, Rhonda Layne, is a staff accountant in the corporate office.
Julian Reed of Chattanooga, Tenn., a rising freshman at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering and play football. At Red Bank High School, Julian co-captained the football team, was chosen for Who’s Who in America, and was a member of several groups, including Urban League Youth Leadership and National Honorary Youth Leadership. He also served as vice president of the school’s beautification club. His mother, Beth Bullion, is a human resources manager in the corporate office.
Keli Shipley of Chattanooga, Tenn., a rising freshman at Maryville College who plans to major in business and organization leadership. In high school at Girls Preparatory School, she was president of the Christian Forum, placed 22nd in a national Junior Engineering Technical Society competition, was a member of both the investment and math clubs and was also heavily involved with her church and Camp John Knox. Her parents are Laurie and Tom Shipley; Tom Shipley works as director of quality assurance in the corporate office.
Cordell Cossairt of Ringgold, Ga., rising senior at Berry College who majors in psychology. Cordell volunteers for Floyd Medical Center and Habitat for Humanity. Cordell’s father, Michael Cossairt, is a security officer in Chattanooga.
Jessiccah Hallock of Douglasville, Ga., who will enroll this fall at Georgia State University. Her father, Dwayne Jones, works as a security officer in Atlanta.
Kristie Holt of Dickson, Tenn., is a repeat winner of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarship. She’s a rising junior at Tennessee Tech. Her father, Bobby Holt, is a security officer in Nashville.
Marriah Paige of Lithonia, Ga., is a repeat winner of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarship. She’s a rising sophomore at the University of Georgia. Her grandfather, Fred Paige, works as a security officer in Atlanta.
Adam Perry of Old Hickory, Tenn., is a repeat winner of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarship. He’s a rising sophomore at Volunteer State Community College. His father, Clark Perry, is a security officer in Nashville.
Bianca Schulze of Marietta, Ga., is a rising junior at Georgia State University. Her mother, Nancy Mack, is an operations manager in Atlanta.
Bonnie Williams of Smyrna, Tenn., is a repeat winner of the Walden Security Employee Family Scholarship. She’s a rising sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University. Her mother, Beth Williams, is a senior operations manager in the Nashville office.<!–[endif]–>
Walden Security will continue to offer the scholarship each school year.
“We want the best for our employees and their families, and helping with their higher education is one of the most important ways to help them achieve their goals,” says Walden Security President Michael S. Walden. “We’re proud of all that these students have already accomplished, and we’re especially proud of the repeat winners, because it proves they are making the most of their opportunities.”
Walden Security is one of only five security firms in the nation with a company-wide ISO® 9001:2008 Certified Quality Management System. In addition, Walden Security is nationally certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC).
Joining more than 200 US corporations with WBENC certification, Walden Security is the largest WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise specializing in security services.
Walden Security is SAFETY Act certified and ranks among Inc. Magazine’s America’s Fastest Growing Companies. Visit WaldenSecurity.com for more information.
Forest High School teacher Thomas Brown, 59, was arrested at his home on Wednesday. Marion County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jenifer Lowe said that Brown touched the student inappropriately during school and later contacted his underage victim on the internet.
During the summer break, Lowe said, Brown sent the student Facebook messages that “were ‘flirtatious’ and sexual in nature”
According to Lowe, a detective with the Marion County Youth Internet Crimes Unit impersonated the student on Facebook on Saturday, carrying on a “sexual conversation” with Brown while in the guise of the underage victim. Deputies say Brown then exposed himself via webcam.
According to Lowe, the victim was a student in Brown’s world history class. Brown was charged with solicitation of a child using the internet, transmission of obscene or harmful material to a minor and simple battery, Lowe said.
Medina OH Aug 6 2010 Sharon Centner, A Medina County Deputy Sheriff and Highland Schools Resource Officer, was recently honored with the 2010 Ohio School Resource Officer of the Year Award.
The award was presented June 29 at the Annual Ohio School Resource Officer’s Conference in Maumee, Ohio.
Highland Middle School Principal Jon Deuber nominated Centner because of her hard work.
He said, “Officer Centner has worked tirelessly with the entire school community to provide an excellent education centered around the DARE concepts. As the DARE and School Resource Officer, she spends time communicating with parents to keep them abreast of their child’s progress academically, socially and behaviorally. She has a strong working relationship with her community of learners.”
He added that she is always suggesting and them implementing program and activities for students. In a relatively rural district, the opportunity to participate in healthy, fun activities outside the school day is vital for children.
For example, he said, she has coordinated many after-school programs such as DARE Skate Night, DARE Bowling Night and a huge 5th grade DARE graduation night. Each of these on-going activities is well attended and eagerly anticipated by the students.
“Deputy Centner maintains a very visible presence in the school and the community,” said Deuber. “She chaperones many of our school activities, including dances, athletic contests and musical programs. Sharon also coordinates a two-hour parent meeting that touches on many aspects of adolescence image, peer pressure, academics, smoking and internet safety to help provide insight and assistance to parents when dealing their new teenagers. She truly takes the success of each student personally.”
Juan Jose Hernandez Mendoza was sentenced Wednesday by a Napa County judge for killing Manuel Reyes, a guard at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville in August 2003.
Prosecutors say Hernandez Mendoza stabbed the 58-year-old Reyes in his car. After the car crashed, Reyes was found dead on the side of the road.
DNA from the scene identified Hernandez Mendoza as a suspect, but he eluded authorities for years until he was arrested for molesting a child in Oregon—a crime for which he is serving nearly 15 years.
Because the 31-year-old Hernandez Mendoza will have to serve the sentences concurrently, he won’t be eligible for parole for nearly 41 years.
Seattle Wa Aug 6 2010 A 25-year-old man was arrested early Thursday morning after police found him inside a closed business.
At about 2:40 a.m., police responded to a report of a commercial burglary in progress in a building the 800 block of Rainier Avenue South. A security guard reported that he had spotted a man moving around inside the closed business. When officers arrived they also saw the man inside the business.
Police, accompanied by a police dog, went inside the business and found the burglar trying to hide.
Police said the man likely entered the business through an open window by using a ladder.
The man was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for investigation of burglary.
Nashville TN Aug 6 2010 The Metro Police Department is blaming the loss of about 1,600 videotaped traffic stops, including some depicting DUI arrests, on a private vendor.
The deleted files contained traffic stops and arrests made by the DUI unit, aggressive driving unit and fatal crash team between October 2009 and April 2010.
They were deleted when the Kansas-based company ICOP Digital, Inc., remotely performed a software update May 25-26 to equipment housed within the Metro Police Department.
The department said a new in-car camera system would be purchased because of the error.
“I cannot understand how the vendor could download an update into our server that had the effect of deleting video files,” Interim Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said.
“This could have an impact on DUI prosecutions, the number of which is unknown at present. While I believe ICOP unintentionally provided a faulty update, the action is, nevertheless, inexcusable.”
About 300 video files have been recovered.
Metro District Attorney Torry Johnson said a dash camera video is just one piece of evidence considered in the prosecution of a criminal case.
“Once it has been determined which cases, if any, have been deleted, we will then evaluate the impact on a case-by-case basis,’’ Johnson said in a prepared statement.
Karen Cunagin Sypher pleaded not guilty to extortion and other charges. The 50-year-old woman faces up to 26 years in prison, though under sentencing guidelines she would likely receive a lighter punishment.
A panel of six men and six women started deliberations Wednesday afternoon and resumed at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Their guilty verdict was reached just after noon.
Sypher did not testify in her own defense, and her attorneys rested their case without calling any witnesses. They have blamed the extortion plot on her ex-husband.
CALUMET CITY, IL Aug 6 2010 Police are looking for three suspects in a shooting that critically injured an off-duty security guard.
The security guard, a 25-year-old man who has not been identified, was critically wounded while sitting in a car in the 300-block of Calhoun in Calumet City at 3 a.m. Thursday. Police say the man was talking to his girlfriend when three suspects approached the guard’s vehicle on all sides and tried to rob the victims.
“It appears it may have been a robbery attempt. He struggled with one of the offenders and one of the offenders on the opposite side of the car evidently pulled a gun and fired at the wounded person and struck him in the back of the neck,” said Chief Edward Gilmore, Calumet City police.
Police say the robbery attempt began when one of the suspects asked the couple for a cigarette and then demanded their personal items. Investigators say the suspect on the driver’s side began to strike the male victim and he fought back. That’s when the suspect on the passenger side window fired his gun, police said. The suspects then fled on foot.
The woman in the car was unharmed. Police say they recovered a weapon believed to have belonged to the victim. No one is in custody.
“We have never had that over here, never. This has been a quiet street since I have been here,” said Elizabeth Berry, neighbor
We’re not safe to come outside of our house or in our yards or in the block. We have to look back because we don’t think nothing like that would happen but now it’s like maybe we need to watch our backs because we never know what may happen now. This changes everything,” said Elaine Lane, neighbor.
Jeffery Westerman, 33, was arrested and booked into the Juab County jail Tuesday night. A judge set his bail Wednesday morning at $10,000 bond or $1,000 cash.
Investigators with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, who handled the case as an outside department, say that on July 22, Westerman responded to a car accident along 300 South in Provo.
A 29-year-old woman failed field sobriety tests, and investigators say Westerman then threatened to arrest her if she would not provide sexual favors. The woman reported the incident the next day.
“He used his position to ask for sexual favors in exchange for not arresting her on criminal charges. She was to the point she felt trapped and finally gave in to his demands,” said Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
Surveillance video from a nearby business substantiated the woman’s claims.
Provo city officials say Westerman was terminated from the department on July 27 after a brief investigation.
“We did an internal investigation, and we learned enough that gave us reason to terminate him; and he was terminated last Tuesday,” said Provo City spokeswoman Helen Anderson.
Westerman was booked into jail on second-degree felony charges of forcible sexual abuse. He was also booked on third-degree felony charges of obstruction of justice — those charges involve false statements Westerman allegedly made to investigators.
Prosecutors are now reviewing evidence in the case for possible charges against the former officer. They call his arrest very serious, and one that will be aggressively prosecuted.
“Anyone who abuses that power and discretion, it’s something we take very seriously because we don’t want the public to be concerned about police officers when they get pulled over,” said Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson.
Westerman posted bail Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to be in court for his initial appearance next week, when formal charges are expected to be filed.
Tavares Fla Aug 6 2010 A central Florida woman who was arrested after her shirt got wet at a kiddie splash park in Tavares is suing the city for violating her rights, the woman’s attorney told AOL News.
“We are trying to vindicate her [and] establish [that] what was done to her was unconstitutional and wrong,” said civil rights attorney Howard S. Marks.
The incident that provoked the lawsuit occurred in April when Janet Lovett and her husband took their 7-year-old son, who is autistic, to the Children’s Splash Park in Tavares. While she was in the park, Lovett was splashed by water, which soaked the front of her white T-shirt and made her padded bra visible.
Janet Lovett’s lawyer said the Florida woman is suing the city of Tavares for violating her rights because she was arrested after her shirt got wet at a kiddie splash park there.
“She was ultimately approached by an individual [who] professed to be a city employee and [told] she was not appropriately dressed for the park,” Marks said. “[He told her] she would have to change into a bathing suit or some other clothing.”
Marks said his client left her husband with their child, put a towel over her shoulders and walked out of the city-owned park. She was planning on going home to get a bathing suit when she was approached in the parking lot by a police officer.
“[The] police officer confronted her and started essentially quizzing her and demanding information from her, stating that she needed to put Mrs. Lovett’s name in a database,” Marks said.
Lovett, a Peruvian native who was granted American citizenship in January, speaks English, albeit “not perfectly,” Marks said. She said she explained the situation to the officer and requested to speak with her husband. The officer allegedly denied that request and asked Lovett to produce her identification. She had none with her and told the officer it was in her car.
“I started shaking. I [felt] nervous. My son was inside [the] park with [my] husband. I was alone,” Lovett said in an interview with ABC-affiliate WFTV. “[I was] very scared. I [had] never been arrested before.”
A police report obtained by WFTV indicates Lovett did not give her name fast enough. As a result, she was taken into custody on suspicion of obstructing justice and resisting arrest.
“[The officer] took my client’s arms and twisted them behind her back after handcuffing her,” Marks said. “That caused some bruises to her arms and her hands. [She was] then escorted into the back of a patrol car and taken to jail.”
Lovett sat in jail for about five hours before her husband could arrange to pay her $1,500 bond. The state attorney later dropped the charges without explanation.
“Legally, under the constitution of the state of Florida and the U.S., it is our position that Mrs. Lovett did not have to provide any identification information, but she never refused to do so,” Marks said. “Obviously, [police] have a right to investigate crimes if there is a reason to believe somebody committed a crime, but there was no crime here.”
Marks said he is also concerned about the city’s alleged refusal to disclose information on the database into which the officer allegedly said she wanted to put his client’s name.
“We have never been able to get any answers from the city,” Marks said. “I don’t know what database they could be putting her in. It is either a wet T-shirt database — if the city is maintaining one of those, that’s an entirely different story — or an illegal alien database.”
The city of Tavares acknowledges receiving a notice of intent from Lovett’s attorney but declined to comment on the case.
“I can’t respond to any of those questions,” public communications spokeswoman Joyce Ross told AOL News. “[It's] typical for any type of lawsuit or notice of suit that we can’t comment.”
Marks said the lawsuit he is filing is for violation of civil rights, false arrest and malicious prosecution. He also said that it will ultimately be up to a jury to decide how much money to award his client.
“Mrs. Lovett committed no crime,” Marks said. “Absolutely no cleavage [was showing]. Even if seeing someone’s bra is indecent exposure or illegal in the U.S., then we are going to have to have a lot of appropriations for jails because most of the public is going to be in them.”