SHAWNEE Okla Aug 25 2010 — Joe Leeds’ three children remind him daily how important it is to wear his bulletproof vest.
Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputy Joe Leeds holds the bulletproof vest that kept him from harm. Photo provided
“Every day when I leave the house, one of them says ‘I love you, Dad — don’t get dead,’” Leeds said. “They’re the reason why I do this job and why I make it home every day.”
The Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputy was shot four times in the chest Wednesday night during what should have been a routine traffic stop in Bethel Acres west of Shawnee. His bullet-stopping vest not only helped save his life, but prevented him from being seriously injured.
He was treated and released that night from a hospital.
Law enforcement officials Thursday continued to search for a red 1990s model, Chevrolet extended-cab pickup and the three men inside it.
A white man in the back seat rolled down his window and opened fire on Leeds with a small-caliber weapon, he said.
“It felt like getting hit at close range with a paintball gun,” Leeds said.
Leeds, 36, said he instinctively reverted to tactical training he received through the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office. He moved quickly out of the shooter’s point blank range, returned fire and says he likely struck the pickup.
The truck drove off, and Leeds got back in his patrol car and followed it until the pain in his chest was too harsh to overcome. He joined the search for the three men after being released from the hospital, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department said.
Leeds has been an Oklahoma certified police officer for eight years. He has worked for Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth for about 18 months and is the department’s K-9 handler. Before that, he was employed at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department.
One of his former partners was Seminole County sheriff’s Deputy Marvin Williams, who was shot and killed in July 2009 while serving an arrest warrant. Deputy Chase Whitebird also was shot and killed that day.
Neither was wearing a bulletproof vest.
“They were good officers,” Leeds said. “I’ve always been diligent about wearing my vest, but after what happened to them, I don’t think twice about it.”
Leeds said he’s tempted to hang his vest, T-shirt and the dented metal plates once inside his vest next to his front door.
It would be a reminder of his brush with death and the importance of being physically and mentally ready for the job, he said.
Anyone with information about the shooting can call the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Department at 273-1727.
Nicholas Cramer was arrested because of the incident, which was an investigation led by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, as well as State Police and the Attorney General’s Office.
Cramer held substitute teaching appointments in many local districts, including Menands and Schalmont. Internet records also show that in July and August of this summer, Cramer was a day camp director at the Country Club of Troy for children ages 4-11.
Over the phone, a spokeswoman from troy’s country club said he wasn’t their director, and that he came from an outside source. That’s because the camp was set-up and run by a Texas organization called “Kids Entertainment.”
All mention of cramer has been removed from their website as of Monday. Cramer is being held in the county jail on a $25,000 bond and will next appear in court on Thursday.
18-year-old Joseph Thomas Hansen of Claire City was arrested early Tuesday morning after authorities got a tip that he was making threats against the school and town.
After Hansen was arrested authorities found several weapons and other materials for making explosives at his home. Sisseton residents are glad he was taken into custody.
“Well I’m glad that our law officers are on the thing and got on it so it was taken care of right away,” Sisseton resident Byron Pederson said.
But, the South Dakota Attorney General says that arrest wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for a tip from the public. The initial tip about the threats came in Monday morning, on the first day of school. That sparked an investigation that involved the Sisseton Police, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms investigators.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is praising the public for that tip that helped authorities prevent a possibly serious situation.
“Law enforcement feels that we’ve been very proactive to stop a potentially very dangerous situation,” Jackley said.
Jackley says a Sisseton School Resource Officer took the tip about the threats that set off the investigation and led to the arrest, and the discovery of weapons and explosives at Hansen’s home.
“Without that information there would have not been an investigation, there would have not have been an arrest, and we would have not have confiscated the dangerous components as well as the weapons and ammunition,” Jackley said.
And Jackley says parents, students, and the public can take something away from this situation; that even threats shouldn’t be ignored but turned over to investigators.
“This incident highlights the importance that when a student, when parents, when school officials see some potential suspicous activity, or gain some information of a public safety nature, that they go to the next step. That they go to the school resource officer. That they provide that to local law enforcement so that can be followed up to make sure we protect our school children in the communities,” Jackley said.
Hansen was a student at Sisseton High School. He now faces ten counts of having the materials for making a destructive device.
WHEATFIELD NY Aug 25 2010 —A Sears loss prevention agent was punched and kicked, and suffered a cut on her finger, after a shoplifter drove off while still wearing the handcuffs that the agent had put on her over the weekend.
The security officer said that at 3:11 p. m. Friday, a woman in her mid-20s was putting draperies in a stroller, underneath her infant and left the store with another child and another woman.
The store agent said she followed the two women into the parking lot and saw them throwing the stolen merchandise into the trunk.
She told Niagara County sheriff’s deputies she was was able to handcuff one of the women before they tried to leave. The female security guard fought with the other two women for two minutes, trying to take the merchandise back, and was punched in the face and head before the two women left at a high rate of speed, taking the handcuffs with them.
The security agent said her clothing was ripped, she cut her finger and had swelling and redness on her face and head, but did not need medical treatment.
Police are seeking the three women who face charges of robbery and assault.
INDIANAPOLIS IN Aug 25 2010 — A man was arrested Monday after he told a security worker at Indianapolis International Airport that he had a “bomb in my belly” at a security checkpoint, police said.
Indianapolis police were called to the airport at about 1:30 p.m. Authorities said that Jeff Rarey, 53, made the remark to a transportation security officer as he was going through a metal detector.
Security officials shut down two lanes of security screenings after the threat and pulled Rarey and his belongings to the side.
Rarey told investigators that he asked a security officer why he had to undergo additional screening before making the statement.
He told police that that he made a stupid mistake and was sorry for making the statement.
Security officials screened Rarey again, after which he was arrested on a charge of false reporting.