COSTA MESA CA Sept 20 2010 – A former security guard at Trinity Broadcasting Network was arrested Sunday after attempting to break into the network facility, police said.
Robert Shorter, 39, of Yorba Linda, was arrested on suspicion of burglary after a caller reported a suspicious man at about 3 a.m. lurking around the Christian network’s headquarters in Costa Mesa.
After receiving the call, several Costa Mesa police units and a canine unit surrounded the facility and established a perimeter, said Costa Mesa police Sgt. Patrick Wessel.
Shorter was stopped and arrested while walking to his car in the parking lot. The former security guard at the network was terminated several years ago, Wessel said.
“It appears that he has returned several times since then gaining access with either a key or access code,” Wessel said.
“He is believed to be responsible for four to five burglaries in the recent past.”
Trinity Broadcasting is reviewing extensive video surveillance to find out how many times Shorter burglarized the facility and to determine the extent of the loss, police said.
Shorter is believed to have stolen cash from donation boxes, Wessel said.
The investigation is ongoing.
BATON ROUGE, LA Sept 20 2010 – Shoppers enjoying a Sunday afternoon inside the Mall of Louisiana got a scare after a mid-day robbery caused chaos inside the shopping center.
Crowds rushed out of the mall after initial reports indicated shots were fired. Authorities later confirmed shots had not been fired. Rather, two masked thieves had robbed a jewelry stand inside the mall.
The sound people mistook for gunshots was breaking glass at the first floor jewelry kiosk.
Cassie Boudreaux was inside the mall while the mayhem ensued.
“Everyone is saying, ‘Run, get out of the mall,’” Boudreaux said. “You have women and children in here. Women pushing strollers and you see them grabbing their kids out of their strollers so they can run and get out of the mall. It’s crazy.”
Boudreaux said she also took off running after she saw a huge crowd of people rushing her way.
East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies said the two men sprayed workers with mace at The Gold Center kiosk. Deputies said the men then broke the glass on several jewelry cases, grabbed what they could, then took off running.
Pam Doran was another shopper there. She said she nearly lost one of her shoes trying to escape what she thought was a shooting.
“I was very scared,” Doran said. “I’ve never been in this type of situation. We just wanted to get as far away as possible.”
With security virtually everywhere — in the middle of the day with so many people around — Boudreaux said Sunday’s robbery is unbelievable.
“You think you’re in a pretty safe environment,” she said. “When something happens like this, it just makes you rethink now. Anything can happen and anything is possible.”
Mall officials told 9News the two employees sprayed with mace were treated. No other injuries were reported.
Deputies are currently on the hunt for the two robbers. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 344-STOP.
The TUSD Governing Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to dismiss Jennifer Lynn Whiting.
Whiting had been on paid leave and was scheduled to appeal her termination on Sept. 21 but will not have the opportunity due to a new state statute.
State law required Whiting to inform the school district of her sex-crime-related arrest, but she failed to do so, said TUSD legal counsel Rob Ross. As a result, her appeal hearing was canceled.
“Under the statute she is required to inform us,” Ross said. “If a person fails to do so, we shall dismiss them. In this case, we knew of her arrest, we were aware of it, but she never told us herself.”
Whiting’s attorney, Dan Cooper, said the statute isn’t clear as to who must give the notification, but said TUSD was notified. “She was in jail so she couldn’t immediately notify anyone,” Cooper said.
Whiting’s only appeal option now as far as her job is concerned is to file a lawsuit or a special action, Cooper said. He did not know if Whiting intended to do that.
Whiting, 32, was arrested in a “sexting” case June 25. Suspicions about Whiting first arose on the last day of school – May 26, according to TUSD’s statement of charges.
On that day, the student’s female cousin was to pick up the boy, his brother and his male cousin at a nearby park after school.
The boy’s brother and male cousin made it to the park, but the boy didn’t. The female cousin called the boy and told him to meet her at the park.
Sometime later, a car pulled up and the boy got out. The female cousin thought she recognized the driver of the car as Whiting, but the driver held her hand up to her face and drove away.
The female cousin followed the car and tried to get a better look, but the driver continued to hide her face.
The incident was reported to the boy’s father, who contacted police.
The father also reportedly found sexual photos of Whiting on his son’s cell phone.
Whiting had sexual contact with the boy four times from May 26 through June 23 and also involved the boy in an undisclosed drug offense three times during that period, according to an indictment
Columbus OH Sept 20 2010 A Columbus woman who was part of a quartet of mall shoplifters who killed a man in Springfield five years ago when their fleeing car ran over him has been ordered released from prison.
The 2nd District Court of Appeals in Dayton ruled yesterday that the 2009 conviction in Clark County Common Pleas Court of Toneisha Gunnell, 25, was a violation of her right against double jeopardy because a Clark County judge should never have declared an earlier mistrial in the case.
The court overturned Gunnell’s conviction and ordered her released from the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
Her attorney, James Griffin, said he expects to file the paperwork to have Gunnell released in the next four or five days.
She was serving 18 years to life in prison on several charges, including murder, for her role in the June 2005 hit-and-run death of 49-year-old John Deselem in the parking lot of a Springfield mall.
Clark County can appeal the decision to the Ohio Supreme Court. Prosecutor Steve Schumaker did not return calls yesterday seeking comment.
Gunnell and her three friends were tried on murder charges three times, with a conviction finally coming in February 2009. Still in prison for the crime are Alicia McAlmont, 26, Renada Manns, 29, and Mahogany Patterson, 25, all of Columbus.
The four women stole a car from a relative in Columbus on June 7, 2005, and shoplifted thousands of dollars’ worth of clothes from the Upper Valley Mall in Springfield.
Deselem, who had been shopping with his girlfriend, tried to stop their car as they fled through the parking lot with a store security guard running after them.
The women didn’t deny that they were thieves, but they argued that Deselem’s death was an accident.
Their first conviction from November 2005 was overturned on appeal because Judge Doug Rastatter improperly dismissed a juror.
At the second trial in 2007, Rastatter declared a mistrial after a juror admitted she had looked up some legal definitions one evening at home.
Jurors are not allowed to do independent research.
The women, who were tried together, were convicted again at a third trial in early 2009.
Yesterday, the 2nd District appellate judges ruled that because Rastatter should not have dismissed the juror in the second trial, Gunnell’s third trial violated her right against being tried for the same crime twice.
“The trial court did not view a mistrial as a last resort, but instead as the first and only resort,” the judges wrote in their decision. “The court abandoned its role as a neutral adjudicator and became an advocate for the state’s cause.”
Court records show that Manns, who was driving the car, settled her lingering appeals case and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and theft charges in late August. She was sentenced to 111/2 years in prison. As part of what apparently was a plea agreement, she gave up her right to appeal on the grounds of double jeopardy.
Patterson also ended her appeal on Aug. 26, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and voluntarily gave up her double-jeopardy right. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
But McAlmont, who is serving her 18 years-to-life sentence, still has the same appeal as Gunnell pending before the same court.
Griffin said he’s excited about the appellate court’s decision.
“This happened five years ago in June, and Toneisha was so young when she went to prison,” he said. “Toneisha is a changed woman today.”
Deselem’s family has consistently declined comment.
Spartanburg SC Sept 20 2010 A youth faces numerous juvenile charges after authorities say he tried to steal merchandise from Kohl’s department store, then punched a store security officer, knocked a customer to the ground and bit a sheriff’s deputy on the arm as he resisted arrest.
The boy was charged with shoplifting, assault on a police officer while resisting arrest and two counts of third-degree assault and battery. He was charged on a juvenile referral and released to his parents.
The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the store on Warren H. Abernathy Highway.
An incident report states the suspect was spotted on surveillance video stealing a pair of shoes. When a deputy arrived on the scene after the suspect was detained by the store security officer, the suspect punched the female security officer in the face — causing her nose to bleed — and injured a customer’s arm when he pushed her down.
The deputy chased the suspect through the store, the report states, and the two fought as the deputy tried to handcuff the suspect, who bit the deputy on the left arm.
The deputy was treated at a local hospital for his injuries.
Orwigsburg patrolman William Bradley, 47, was found dead “from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound” at 1 p.m. Sunday in the police station’s locker room, according to a news release issued by state police at Schuylkill Haven. Bradley, who lived in the borough, was discovered by Orwigsburg Chief Stanley Brozana.
The time of death was between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., the release stated. Bradley was pronounced dead by county Coroner Joseph Lipsett.
The probe is being conducted by the criminal investigation unit of Schuylkill Haven barracks.
Orwigsburg is about 8.5 miles southeast of the county seat of Pottsville.
Las Vegas, NV Sept 20 2010- One person is dead, another injured, after a shooting at a local apartment complex. Many people who live there are now scared for their own safety.
It happened early Sunday morning just after midnight. Metro Homicide detectives were out interviewing neighbors and possible witnesses, but there’s still no one in police custody for the shootings.
When the shots rang out in the middle of the night, Natalie Saramiento woke-up her two young children and took cover in the kitchen.
Her husband went to see what was going on. “We heard five gunshots, and he went outside and saw a security guard that works here laying on the ground,” she describes. “He was shot. He said call 911.”
Police won’t confirm that a security guard was shot, and neither will the property manager of the Wynn Palms Apartments, but Natalie says her husband recognized him. “He was in one of the yellow shirts all the security guards wear,” she says. “A young guy, in his twenties. My husband has talked to him before.”
She and her family moved in a month ago. Now they’re considering moving out. “I moved here because my parents live right across the street,” she says. “I needed to be close to them so they can watch my kids when I go to work.”
Others who’ve lived here longer say something this serious has never happened before, but they also fear that the area is changing.
“I’ve noticed things getting worse, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of something like this happening,” says Richard Oswald. “I’ve been here about three years now. It’s scary because we do have a lot of people who have families here.”
Natalie says it was too close of a call for her family. “You never know what could happen,” she says. “What if the gunshot goes through the window or something.”
Police aren’t releasing the name of the person who was killed, or the other shooting victim who’s recovering in the hospital. They also didn’t indicate whether they have any suspects, or leads on what prompted the shooting. The apartment complex’s manager also declined to comment.
He was 61.
Mr. McLaughlin, originally of Roxbury, lived most of his life in Dorchester with his wife and three children.
Mr. McLaughlin, who worked as a nighttime security guard at the Boston Globe, spent the daytime hours caring for his family.
He did the shopping, took care of his grandchildren, and often drove his daughter to work.
“He was the rock of the family,’’ said Mr. McLaughlin’s wife, Josephine (Figaratto).
The couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in July.
She said they often took trips to the Boston Public Garden and sat on his favorite bench near the water.
Mr. McLaughlin had worked for the Globe since the mid-1980s, his wife said.
He began in the maintenance department and later moved to security.
Freddie Gillard Jr., a fellow Globe security guard, said he and Mr. McLaughlin worked together for the past 20 years.
Gillard said he could not ask for a better friend or co-worker.
“Anything to do to help you, he would,’’ Gillard said, recalling a time Mr. McLaughlin offered to fix his car during a lunch break.
Gillard, who said his family and the McLaughlins became friends over the years, said Mr. McLaughlin’s absence will be noticed.
“I already have missed him,’’ Gillard said.
Besides his wife, Mr. McLaughlin leaves two daughters, Donna McLaughlin of Braintree and Kelly McLaughlin of Dorchester; a son, James H. McLaughlin 3d, of Dorchester; a sister, Alice Bisazza of Las Vegas; three granddaughters; and two grandsons.
A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Brendan church in Dorchester.
Jacksonville Fla Sept 20 2010 An inmate from the Duval County jail attacked a private security guard at Shands Jacksonville Saturday afternoon while at the facility for treatment, a hospital spokesman said.
The inmate had been taken from the jail to the hospital for treatment, Shands spokesman Dan Leveton said.
“The inmate tried to overpower one of the Wackenhut guards,” he said. The altercation then expanded as “other Wackenhut guards, a JSO corrections officer, and Shands Jacksonville security responded,” Leveton said in a statement issued later.
They wrestled and eventually the inmate was overpowered and is now back in the custody of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Leveton said.
The security guard and a patient care associate who had tried to help the guard were taken the to the emergency room as a precaution, he said. No shots were fired, but he could not confirm reports that the guard’s gun was taken and that he was pistol-whipped.
Leveton didn’t have any information about the inmate or why he was being treated at Shands.
BOISE ID Sept 20 2010 — Two men suspected of robbing a man at gunpoint in Boise last week were caught Thursday night because they tried the same scheme on Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney, according to police.
Boise Police say the robbers pretend to be selling computers on Craigslist, and when the would-be customer arrives for a sale, the men rob them.
Raney said he was off-duty and just looking to buy an Apple laptop for a good deal, but said he ended up stumbling upon two men who he says would have robbed him.
“In all of the ads just in Boise out there in Craigslist, this is a popular item. There had to be a lot of responses, and for them to have that great luck to pick the sheriff to try to scam and try to rob, I think, good for them because they’re going to be in jail a while,” said Raney.
Twenty-year-old Dominic Hinton of Boise and 19-year-old Roman Nazarko of Caldwell are charged with felony robbery and other crimes.
Sheriff spotted danger, called police
Raney says he saw the computer listing on Craigslist and agreed to meet the seller near a gated subdivision in Garden City. As he got close to the neighborhood, the supposed seller tried to change plans over the phone.
“As I got near the area, the caller told me to pull off onto the side of the road into the parking lot of some businesses that were dark and nobody was around,” Raney said.
The sheriff says that was a warning sign and he became suspicious, eventually calling Garden City Police for help.
“I called Garden City Police and talked to Sergeant Little there and said, ‘I think this is a robbery that’s going to happen, so you come in from that side and I’ll come in from this side and let’s see what happens.’”
After spotting the men and a brief chase, the sergeant and the sheriff were able to arrest the two robbers.
“In this case, I’m thankful that it was me, that I was prepared to react, that I used good common sense, but it could have been somebody innocent there that could have been hurt, but [the suspects are] in jail, and that’s where they ought to be,” said Raney.
A strange coincidence, to say the least
The irony of the situation isn’t lost on Raney who laughs at the strange coincidence.
“I think it’s hilarious,” Raney said. “I kept myself safe the whole time. I was never in danger. I was smart enough to do that. And they went away [to jail]. The only thing better than laughing at arresting criminals is laughing at arresting dumb criminals.”
Raney says he hopes by sharing his story, others will be careful if something doesn’t seem right. He’s also glad he was the one meeting the criminals last night instead of someone who may have fallen prey.
Police still searching for more suspects
Police say these two men were also involved in an armed robbery in Boise last week where a Nampa man reported he was robbed at gunpoint when he showed up to buy an iPad near Lake Harbor Lane and State Street. Boise Police are still looking for additional suspects in that case.
Anyone with any information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.
Boise Police suggest the following for safety when buying items over Craigslist or other Internet classified sites:
* Bring another person along when buying from an unknown seller.
* Meet in a brightly lit, crowded public place for smaller items.
* Unless absolutely necessary, do not agree to meet the seller at your home or their home.
* Keep records of the sellers name, phone number, and e-mail address.
“I hope that by me being involved in this that I’ve prevented somebody from being victimized, maybe hurt, maybe even worse last night,” Raney said.
The civil action, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia against Imperial Security Inc., accused the firm of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when it, in effect, fired Julie Holloway-Russell as a part-time guard for wearing a religious head covering called a khimar while on duty at the Convention Center on Dec. 26. That was her first day on the job.
The khimar covered only her hair, ears, and neck, with the loose ends tucked under the collar of her shirt.
A woman answering the telephone at Imperial’s Ridge Avenue office Friday said that she was unaware of the suit and that no one else was available to comment.
According to the EEOC suit, Holloway-Russell said a supervisor told her she was not allowed to wear the khimar while on duty, and was told to remove it.
She declined and left for the day. The next day, the suit said, Imperial called her with another assignment, explained the uniform policy, and said she could wear a baseball cap.
Holloway-Russell said she declined because it was “in conflict with her religious beliefs,” the suit said.
At her job interview with Imperial on Nov. 25, she had worn a religious garment that covered her from head to toe, revealing only her hands and face, the suit said. She was told about the policy at that interview, commission trial attorney Natasha L. Abel said in an interview Friday.
Imperial’s uniform policy requires employees to wear specific clothing as a uniform and forbids additions to it “for any reason, including religion,” the suit said.
The Dec. 26 assignment was Holloway-Russell’s first for Imperial, which provides security for the Convention Center and other area companies, according to the suit.
Because she never received another work call from Imperial, Holloway-Russell assumed she was terminated.
Abel said “this was not the first time” the company had threatened “to terminate other Muslim employees if they wore religious garments while on duty.”
“That’s why this is a class-action suit,” Abel said.
In May, Imperial offered Holloway-Russell an assignment at the construction site at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the suit said.
In its offer, Imperial allegedly stated it would “relax” the no-headgear policy at this site because there would be “virtually no exposure to the general public.”
MOBILE, Alabama Sept 20 2010 — A Mobile County teacher who admitted sending pictures of his genital area to a 13-year-old student will go to prison for 15 months, a federal judge decided Friday.
Darrell La Void Tyler, 29, pleaded guilty in May to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor. He admitted that he began sending text messages to the Continuous Learning Center student with his cell phone on Feb. 18.
The messages included solicitations for sex and pictures of his naked body, according to court records.
U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose appeared to express regret that federal advisory sentencing guidelines called for a relatively light punishment.
She noted that parents and students place great trust in teachers.
“I think that’s what makes this crime, your conduct, so reprehensible,” the judge said.
Tyler, who worked as a health and physical education teacher, was placed on leave after his arrest. The state superintendent of education revoked his teaching license on July 14.
“He has no teaching certificate, no legal reason why he should still be getting paid,” said Michael Sibley, a spokesman for the state Department of Education.
But Mobile County schools officials said they never received notice of the state action, and Tyler remains on the payroll, earning $39,756 a year.
After Tyler gets out of prison, he will have to register as a sex offender. According to court records, he will not be able to live in his current home because it is too close to Forest Hill Elementary School.
According to court records, Tyler sports a tattoo on his upper right arm that says,
“Only God Can Judge Me.”
He said Friday that he was sorry for his actions.
“Every day, I think about the situation and my family,” he told DuBose. “I feel everything is being ripped from me.”
The Continuous Learning Center is an alternative school in Toulminville for special-needs students. The 13-year-old student’s mother found sexually themed messages from Tyler and contacted police, according to the defendant’s plea agreement.
Police obtained a search warrant to examine Tyler’s phone and arrested him on March 9, the plea document states. Authorities said that Tyler confessed to sending sexually explicit messages and photos to the teen.