Washington DC Sept 21 2010 A longtime teacher at Sidwell Friends School was placed on five years of probation Monday for fondling a 15-year-old student, the result of an earlier plea agreement with prosecutors that spared the victim from having to testify in court.
Robert A. “Pete” Peterson, 65, will not serve time in jail. But he has been fired by the school, must register on Maryland’s online sex offender listing and can no longer be around children without another adult present.
“I believe we’re masters of our fate by the decisions that we make, and I’ve made some bad ones,” Peterson said in court Monday, his first public comments since being charged earlier this year.
Peterson taught seventh and eighth grades at Sidwell, one of the Washington area’s premiere private schools.
He apologized to the victim, the victim’s family and his own family. “I am truly sorry,” he said, standing in a ninth-floor courtroom in Rockville. “As a teacher for over 40 years, I have often advised my students that when they’ve gotten into trouble or made a serious mistake, they should stand tall and face the situation directly. They should never lie or try to weasel out of the consequences. I want to live up to that principle. I intend to face the consequences, and more importantly make amends for the damage done.”
Peterson earlier pleaded guilty to one count of sex abuse of a minor.
He taught the boy in middle school. When the student got older, Peterson hired him to do odd jobs at his home — moving furniture or cleaning, for example. That progressed to conversations about sex, to massages, to Peterson fondling the boy inside his bathroom, according to prosecutors and police.
Prosecutors said the abuse began when the boy was 14 and lasted more than a year.
It included an incident that took place on the Eastern Shore, at a Sidwell camp at which Peterson served as a director. At one point, Peterson entered the boy’s cabin and fondled him, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said they did not take the case to trial in large part because of the wishes of the victim and his family. There was no physical evidence, according to attorneys, and the victim could have been subjected to a potentially rough cross-examination. Prosecutors have tried to keep his name private, referring to him as John Doe in earlier proceedings.
The family thought a trial “would be counterproductive to the progress he has made since this traumatic event,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said in an interview.
Peterson’s attorneys said Peterson didn’t want the boy to have to testify either.
Peterson’s reputation before the incident seemed completely at odds with the charges. Many parents were shocked.
“He has been a hero, in the past, to so many students,” Peterson’s attorney, Barry Helfand, said in court, adding that had the matter gone to trial, he would have brought in “a parade of the who’s who” to speak on behalf of his character.
Helfand said that Peterson told him he didn’t want to go to trial.
“I don’t want you to cross-examine that young man,” Helfand said his client told him. “I don’t want you to try to make him a liar. I don’t want you to try to do any of that.”
Las Vegas NV Sept 21 2010 Chart topping singer Bruno Mars, best known for singing the hook on Travie McCoy’s single “Billionaire,” was nabbed in a Las Vegas bathroom for cocaine possession on Sunday, reports The Associated Press.
The 24-year-old singer was detained at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino by hotel security and found with 2.6 grams of cocaine. He was later turned over to the police and booked on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. He faces felony charges.
According to the arrest report, Mars, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, told the arresting officer that he “had acted foolishly and had never used drugs before.” He was in Las Vegas for a performance on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Wasted Space night club.
Representatives for Mars have not commented on the arrest.
According to Clark County District Attorney David Roger, the case was still under review and formal charges had not been filed. The singer is due in court on November 18.
Mars is the second celebrity in the last month to have a run-in with the law in Las Vegas over cocaine charges. Socialite Paris Hilton pled guilty on Monday to two misdemeanors on her cocaine arrest in order to avoid a felony charge and serving jail time.
The signer’s first solo single “Just the Way You Are” is sitting in third place on Billboard Hot 100 chart and is album Doo-Wops & Hooligans will be released on Oct. 5
Starkville MS Sept 21 2010 Anna Jordan couldn’t help but smile as she stood at the corner of North Montgomery Street and Greenfield Drive Friday and watched the afternoon traffic.
With each passing vehicle, Jordan raised her right hand and waved enthusiastically, a smile planted firmly on her face. Many of the passing motorists waved back.
“Some of them don’t wave back, but I keep on,” Jordan said with a grin. “They will. They will.”
Jordan, 55, is a security officer for Capital Security and is assigned to nearby Sudduth Elementary School. Throughout much of the day, Jordan helps keep the building secure.
Every morning and afternoon, however, Jordan mans the corner of North Montgomery Street and Greenfield Drive, where she directs traffic, helps students cross the road and greets passing vehicles with her signature wave and a smile.
“Everybody wants a wave in the morning, so I speak to them. And I speak to them in the afternoon. I enjoy it,” she said. “Good group of kids. Good group of babies.”
Do you actually work security in the school here?
Yes, sir. I monitor inside. It’s a good sign to see the babies. It’s a blessed thing. I enjoy it. I really do. I enjoy meeting the teachers, the principal. I’ll stack the busses in the afternoon.
So how long have you been in the security business?
Going on two years.
What did you do before that?
Working in the old folks’ home, taking care of the elderly. I enjoyed doing that until I hurt my back in 1979, so I came out of that environment. Then I started helping the handicapped at Rolling Hills. The older I got, the weaker the back got, so I changed jobs. I was working over in West Point, at Navistar, but then they moved me over here to the high school. I enjoy being a security officer. I really do.
What are some of the difficult parts of the job?
Nothing. I’m my own boss down here at this end. I work this end during the morning and the afternoon. So my other security on the back side works carpool. We enjoy it.
Do you find yourself growing attached to these kids or is this just a job?
I’ve done grown attached to them. Just like I said, I enjoy seeing the babies. Some are so short and tiny, you just stand back and look and think, ‘Hey, I was that small once.’
What’s the most exciting thing that has happened so far this school year?
Just working with the babies and the teachers and the principal, and speaking to the public.
Outside of work, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies or anything?
I’m a 55-year-old security office and when I leave work, I’m serious, it’s home, bath, bed. No more energy that day.
What do you do to stay upbeat? You seem pretty like a pretty upbeat person just from driving by you every day and talking with you now. Where does that come from?
Oh, I’ve been this way all my life. I’ve tried to be a very good citizen. Like I said, I love people. I love being around people, when I’m not tired.
What is it like seeing a new generation of kids coming through the same school system you went through?
How would I put that? It’s amazing because, like I said, once I was that age. I can’t look back and see me, but when I see these babies, I think ‘I was that small once.’
Do you have children yourself?
I have two. They are grown. I have a son who is 36 and a daughter who is 35. I have a granddaughter here at Sudduth. She’s in second grade.
It must be nice seeing her.
Oh yeah. All the time. I tell the teachers, ‘If you’ve got problems, you don’t have to call mama. I’m mama.’
How is it working outside every day?
Oh, it got hot, but God took care of me. And when it gets cold, I’m used to the winter. I was in it last year. My mama always told me you can put on enough clothes to keep warm, but you can’t take off enough to keep cool. I just thank God that I am a security officer. I always wanted to be a policeman, but not security. I just didn’t know what was what. Now this is what I’m doing and I enjoy it. Every Friday when the kids come out, I say “Have a good weekend.” It’s what I do.
Oak Ridge TN Sept 21 2010 A firearms instructor with Wackenhut Services was struck by bullet fragments last month when there was a malfunction with a Dillon M134D Aero Minigun. The incident occurred during the semi-annual firearms qualifications taking place at the Central Training Facility in Oak Ridge. Wackenhut is the government’s security contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and other Oak Ridge facilities.
The Aug. 25 incident is outlined in a Department of Energy occurrence report, and Oak Ridge officials today confirmed some of the details. The unnamed firearms instructor’s injuries were reportedly minor, and he was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
“The instructor received a cut to his forehead, and small fragments in his left knee and right forearm,” the DOE report said. “He also injured his right forearm while moving to a prone position during the incident.”
The Gatling gun was mounted in the turret of a Lenco Bearcat, an armored vehicle used at Y-12.
According to the DOE report, “The fragments occurred when the barrel clamp/flash suppressor on the gun loosened and moved forward, causing it to be struck by bullets during a burst of gunfire.”
The report said that a team began an investigation and minigun training at Central Training Facility was suspended until the completion of the investigation.
“All operational miniguns were checked and it was verified that all are serviceable and properly installed,” the report said.
According to a statement released by WSI-Oak Ridge, the firearm “experienced a mechanical failure” during the Aug. 25 event.
“The weapon’s manufacturer has been notified and is close to completing engineering improvements to the weapon,” the WSI statement said. “All other weapons have been checked to ensure this will not happen again, and no further issues have been identified.”
Steven Wyatt, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration in Oak Ridge, said, “It was clearly a malfunction. Anytime you’re dealing with firearms, and there’s a mishap, it’s certainly a serious matter. The fortunate thing is the individual was not seriously hurt.”
In a statement, WSI General Manager Lee Brooks said, “While I am upset that our training instructor was injured, I am relieved that he received only minor injuries. We will be working closely with NNSA and the weapon’s manufacturer to find a solution to the problem and to ensure the safety of our employees at the highest level.”
According to information released earlier by Wackenhut, the Gatling guns are capable of firing 3,000 rounds a minute using 7.62 mm ammunition.
Source:Atomic City Underground
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Sept 21 2010 – Two Jacksonville parents continue the search for their son in Alaska after his small plane disappeared nearly a month ago.
Mason McLeod, his two coworkers at the National Park Service and their pilot were reported missing after it failed to arrive in the town of King Salmon as expected an hour after takeoff.
The NPS scaled back their search efforts for the missing plane on Sept. 3 after logging nearly 60,000 miles with still no sign of the four men.
There is now a $65,000 reward being offered to anyone who can give the families an idea of where their plane could be.
Mason’s parents are continuing their own search for their missing son through the help of volunteer pilots.
Lawanda Hill, a close family friend, has kept in close contact with Mason’s parents throughout.
“We’re not ready to think of where they might be. We’re trying to stay focused on the fact that they’re survivors, they’re park rangers, they know how to survive in the wilderness and that’s what we’re holding on to,” Hill said.
Friends and family have since started a website to help raise donations for the cost of the fuel for those volunteer pilots: bringmasonhome.myevent.com.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The search continues for a Jacksonville man and three others in Alaska after their plane disappeared somewhere in the mountains Saturday.
Mason McLeod, 26, who’s from Jacksonville, is a park ranger. The small plane he was on was reported missing after it did not arrive in the town of King Salmon as expected an hour after takeoff.
McLeod just finished a camping vacation in Washington with his parents, who are still in the Northwest awaiting word on the search, and he and the other workers were on their way to rebuild an old ranger station.
The Coast Guard is looking for the plane about 285 miles southwest of Anchorage. The Air Force, Alaska State Police and volunteer pilots are also helping in the search in the remote terrain.
McLeod’s parents, Steven and Susie McLeod, said their son has worked for the U.S. National Park Service for four years. They said he works summers at Katmai National Park in Alaska and winters in the Everglades National Park.
Katmai National Park, where the plane went missing, covers five million acres and is the third largest park in the U.S. system.
McLeod’s parents said Mason fell in love with Alaska after going on a cruise there.
“It was like, ‘Surely this is not happening to us.’ So it’s been rough, really rough,” family friend Lawanda Hill said of the missing plane. “To get where Mason was you had to fly in on the very same plane that he was on that went down, so he was in a remote area in Alaska, but it’s what Mason loved to do. If Mason made it off the plane, he would be fine. He is a survivor.”
Friends have begun a prayer circle for McLeod, a Stanton College Preparatory School and Florida State University graduate, and his family is holding out hope he’ll be found safe.
“We are all trying to stay very positive,” Hill said. “Prayer is a powerful thing, and that is what we are depending on.”
“They started hitting me with the stick, pepper-sprayed me real bad, they tried to put the handcuffs on my hands,” claimed one resident.
Residents complain that not only are their units here in disrepair, their security officers, employed by the Judicial Security Company, are too aggressive and take the law into their own hands.
“They hit a pregnant woman, she’s pregnant!” exclaimed a resident.
You don’t have to look far to find a Memphis Police report and documentation of the abuse.
According to one report, last Thursday at the gates of the complex 32-year old Kevin Grandberry arrived there to visit a friend. Seconds after pulling up the drive security stopped him, asking for his ID.
“When I reached for my ID I heard one of the security guards officers say ‘Hey he’s got a gun,’” said Grandberry. “By that time 3 of them pulled their guns and pointed them directly at me, I heard one of them cock, I instantly feared for my life.”
Monday afternoon the complex manager claimed she didn’t have the details.
“No one has spoken to me about anything, the police have not spoken to me about it, my security to me, and I’m checking that out,” she said.
After weapons were drawn, Grandberry said he put his car in reverse and left the complex. But the security guards chased him and pulled him over.
“They snatched me out my car, they flipped me on my head,” said Grandberry. “When I got back up he maced me so when he maced me I started running; the big guy that flipped me hit me in the back of my head.”
Residents there said that’s all too common.
“They come back over here every time they’re always beating somebody,” claimed one resident. “They’re over here every 15 minutes always beating somebody.”
After the incident police were called and the 3 guards were arrested. 2 were later released. FOX13 News learned one of the guards, 17-year old Ernest Rice, was charged with not having a security guard registration card and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Residents said there needs to be a change, and that change needs to happen now.
“They just do what they want to do, really they’re outlaws.”
Source”FOX NEWS MEMPHIS
A Sheriff’s Office official said this afternoon she is trying to determine why the private guard with six months experience was assigned to the high-risk inmate, whose previous charges include twice attacking corrections officers at the Duval County jail. Also being explored are how the inmate broke partially free from his restraints, beat the guard and took his gun and what else may have led to the attack.
“I think it’s pretty dramatic an inmate was able to do the things he was able to do,” said Chief Tara Wildes of the Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division. “I consider us all very fortunate that it turned out as well as it turned out.”
The Times-Union is waiting for comment from officials of The Wackenhut Corporation, which has a security contract with the Sheriff’s Office to guard hospitalized inmates.
Wildes said Sheriff’s Office protocol for such inmate transports will be reviewed along with inquiries to be made of the GS4 Secure Solutions, the security company that has the contract with the Sheriff’s Office to guard hospitalized inmates. She said one immediate change now requires the person manning the lone corrections officer post at the hospital do additional checks of restraints on inmates kept overnight.
Security guard John Scarborough, 62, told The Florida Times-Union this morning he was able to wrestle the gun away from the man after a momentary standoff with another security guard and a corrections officer who pointed their weapons at the gunman in a hospital hallway. No shots were fired.
The rescue occurred as the gunman threatened panicked nurses that “you all better run because I’m going to start shooting.” A handful of nurses ran for cover.
Police charged Larry Garner, 19, of Jacksonville with aggravated battery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Court records show Garner was awaiting trial after being charged with attacking corrections officers at the jail early this month and July. He was being held for sentencing after being convicted of carrying a concealed firearm and resisting arrest in June.
Scarborough said he had previously watched Garner and was aware of his pending charges. Scarborough said he felt capable of guarding Garner, who’d given him no trouble in the past after being brought to the hospital for medical treatment. He said he saw no reason to have more than one guard on Garner, despite his criminal history.
“I knew the guy,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough, a Vietnam veteran, said he’s never experienced anything like Saturday’s attack while a security guard. Previously self-employed selling gun cleaner at gun shows, Scarborough said he’s aware his new job has its dangers, but he never figured on being taken hostage.
“You’re never prepared for it,” Scarborough said. “It was quite a to do there for awhile.”
Wildes said the contracted security guards at the hospital should have known Garner could be trouble because they were aware of his criminal record and propensity to act out. She didn’t know if any corrections officers had talked to Wackenhut about Garner on this trip.
Wildes said she prefers that the company’s better trained guards watch such high-risk inmates. The Sheriff’s Office contract with Wackenhut does not address specific levels of security, she said.
“In retrospect, of course, I would have expected someone with more experience,” Wildes said. “But I can’t say somebody with just five months experience would in every case be a bad choice.”
A security company official said Scarborough’s military background and training with the company made him qualified to do the job.
“We really didn’t have any concerns he would be unable to handle those situations of guarding the prisoners,” said Danny Grizzard, senior vice president for operations of GS4 Secure Solutions, formerly known as Wackenhut.
Police Union President Nelson Cuba said the incident reinforces his argument with the Sheriff’s Office for having trained corrections officers, not security guards, watch hospitalized inmates. Wildes said the job was privatized in the 1980s primarily to save the Sheriff’s Office money. Cuba said he knows of no other Florida sheriffs have private guards watching prisoners.
“This guy had nowhere near the training that a corrections officer has in dealing with these types of situations,” Cuba said. “Our officers know how sneaky these guys can be.”
The state’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, whose duties include setting training standards for police and corrections officers, last month sought an injunction against the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to stop the practice. The state attorney general’s office turned down the request, suggesting the commission further investigate of the matter.Though troubled by Saturday’s incident, Wildes said she still supports using private security guards.“Has it been perfect? No,” Wildes said. “But when we had police and corrections officers on the inmates, we had similar incidents occur.”
The attack occurred in a hospital building known as The Pavilion, which is a treatment facility across Jefferson Street from Shand’s main building, said Dan Leveton, a hospital spokesman.
Garner, wearing handcuffs, leg shackles and connecting chains, was taken to Shands from the jail Thursday night after telling jail officials he’d eaten razor blades and some type of writing instrument. Wildes said authorities believe Garner got the razor blades from another inmate.
Garner remained in the emergency room holding cell until the next morning, when he was admitted to a room on The Pavilion’s fifth floor, Wildes said. Scarborough took over watching Garner at 3 p.m., about two hours before the attack occurred, she said.
The report said Scarborough was following Garner to the room’s bathroom. Garner somehow managed to partly free his left arm, turned and began striking Scarborough in the face and head with his right wrist, which was still handcuffed. The handcuffs caused several cuts to Scarborough’s head as he struggled with Garner.
“He wanted to escape,” Scarborough said.
The struggled spilled into a hallway, where nurse Judy Davis, 45, tried to help restrain Garner. Garner pulled Scarborough’s gun from his gun belt and pointed it at Scarborough’s head as Davis ran for cover. Nurses and other staff on the floor heard Garner’s threats and began running and yelling that Garner had a gun.
Scarborough said he remembers struggling on the floor and Garner going for his weapon, but he doesn’t remember the gun being pointed at his head.
Security guard Herman Ruise, 59, was making rounds when he heard the screaming, came around a corner and saw Garner with the gun. Ruise drew his weapon and told Garner to put the gun down. Garner then pointed the gun at Ruise.
Corrections officer Russell Rhoden, 33, also making rounds, got off an elevator, heard the commotion and saw a nurse run by him as she screamed, “He has a gun.” Rhoden drew his weapon, rounded the corner and saw Garner holding the gun. Scarborough said he was facing Garner at the time.
Rhoden heard Scarborough begging for his life and saw Garner turn the gun sideways toward Ruise. Rhoden pointed his gun at Garner and told him to drop the gun he was holding. Scarborough said he had his back to Ruise and Rhoden and doesn’t remember them behind him..
Scarborough said Garner lowered the gun and he took it from him.
“I saw him look past me and I grabbed the weapon,” Scarborough said.
Garner was taken into custody and put back in jail. Scarborough was treated at the hospital and received several stitches for his wounds.
Scarborough said he appreciated the actions of his co-worker, the corrections officer and the hospital staff. He also said he planned to return to work as soon as he can.
“This is one of those things that can happen anytime to any of us,” Scarborough said. “That’s why they pay us.”
Leveton said inmates who are treated at Shands and not kept overnight are routinely cared for in areas away from the public. He said inmate patients who stay overnight are kept under guard in hospital rooms.
Leveton directed all questions about details of the incident to the Sheriff’s Office. He said Shands works diligently to ensure patients are safe and no hospital procedures have been changed as a result of Saturday’s attack.
“Our main concern is always making sure that people are safe on campus,” Leveton said. “In these cases, we leave that up to the Sheriff’s Office to make sure they guard these prisoners.”