New York Oct 1 2010 A Rutgers University freshman, distraught over a gay tryst splashed live across cyberspace by his roommate, plunged to his death from the George Washington Bridge.
“Jumping off the gw bridge sorry,” read the final Facebook status from Tyler Clementi, just 72 hours after his private life suddenly became public knowledge.
The 18-year-old committed suicide after his dorm-room rendezvous was surreptitiously streamed on the Web via his roomie’s hidden camera, sources told the Daily News.
The student who broadcast the liaison, and the friend who was with him, were arrested while Clementi’s family waited for his body to be found.
“His poor parents,” one police source said. “Shame is a terrible thing.”
The quiet redhead, a scholarship student and skilled violinist, apparently asked roommate Dharun Ravi, 18, for some privacy on Sept. 19.
“Roommate asked for the room till midnight,” Ravi wrote on Twitter that night. “I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
Authorities say Ravi streamed the action on the Web to friends – an illegal video transmission.
Two days later, in another Twitter post, Ravi indicated he had plans for a sequel.
“Yes, it’s happening again,” he wrote, inviting people to watch between 9:30 p.m. and midnight. The second streaming attempt failed, authorities said.
When Clementi learned of the vile voyeurism, he couldn’t handle it and methodically planned his own death.
Sometime after 8 p.m. on Sept. 22, a friend said, he used his cell phone to change his Facebook status to the chilling farewell message.
Clementi wandered along the south walkway of the GWB from Fort Lee, N.J., to the tower on the New York side at 8:50 p.m., sources said.
Once there, he carefully left behind his wallet – including his license, AAA card and Rutgers ID – before leaping to his death. There was no note.
Authorities discovered the corpse of a white male floating Wednesday near the Columbia University boathouse, about 30 blocks north of the bridge, but no identification was made.
The dead teen’s devastated family said they were “cooperating fully” with the continuing criminal probe against Ravi and his high-school pal and fellow Rutgers freshman Molly Wei.
“Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician,” they wrote. “The family is heartbroken beyond words.”
A priest spent about an hour Wednesday consoling the family at their Ridgewood, N.J., home.
Ravi and Wei were each charged with two counts of invasion of privacy. Ravi, freed on $25,000 bail, faced two additional charges for his botched bid at beaming Clementi’s love life on the Internet.
They face up to five years in prison if convicted.
Rutgers, which launched a program to promote civility on campus just this week, said if the allegations are true, the duo violated the school’s “standards of decency and humanity.”
The gay rights group Garden State Equality denounced the death as a hate crime.
Rutgers student Danielle Birnbohm, who lived next door to Clementi and Ravi, said the pair shared a room in the Davidson C dorm but spent little time together.
“[Tyler] kept to himself. He was a great person,” said Birn-bohm. “It’s a shame. I can’t believe someone would kill himself because of that.”
Another dorm resident, Nicole Conter, recalled Clementi as “cute and quiet.”
“He was in a band, and played instruments,” said the chemistry major. “He really kept to himself.”
At Ridgewood High School, the teen won a scholarship from the local symphony orchestra at his June graduation.
Ravi, of Plainsboro, and Wei, 18, of Princeton, were members of the same clique at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North in New Jersey.
Friends described Ravi as an outgoing Ping-Pong player and Frisbee enthusiast who enjoyed a good prank.
“I think he’s a good person,” said Michael Zhuang, 17, a neighbor and former classmate. “I don’t think he’s a homophobe. It would’ve been no different if it was a girl in the room.”
They later told investigators they were stunned as the Cathedral City officer unbuckled his gun belt, unbuttoned his shirt, dropped his pants and underwear and jumped into the pool.
“We just couldn’t believe he was actually getting into the pool,” one of the women told The Desert Sun on Wednesday.
The couple who own the house, as well as their two friends, filed a complaint with the Cathedral City Police Department early Wednesday, claiming the on-duty officer who responded to a neighbor’s noise complaint ended up naked in the pool.
A police spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of the complaint, but confirmed the department placed an officer on paid leave Wednesday while he is investigated for misconduct.
The department has also asked the Riverside County district attorney to conduct a criminal investigation, Lt. Chuck Robinson said.
Police say that an initial call was received at 3:45 a.m. from someone complaining about noise in the 35-000 block of Maria Road.
Fifteen minutes later, police received a call about an officer in the pool.
The Desert Sun interviewed the couple who own the home and one of the women who was in the pool. They asked not to be identified because they say they are embarrassed and because they had been told by detectives to keep a low profile while the investigation is ongoing.
They said the wife and two female friends were in the pool when the officer came to the door.
The husband, 37, said he answered the door and was told by the officer he needed to investigate the noise complaint. The man said the officer walked through the house to the pool.
The women, who said they had been drinking, said they chatted with the officer briefly and joked that he should join them.
They say he then stripped, left his holstered gun on a poolside table, and jumped into the pool.
The officer followed the women around the pool, flirtatiously “playing footsy” for about 10 minutes, the husband said.
Asked by a Desert Sun reporter what the women were wearing, one of the women said, “We had bottoms on … and tops.”
The husband said he was so troubled by the officer’s presence that he considered picking up the gun and ordering the officer to leave. But he decided against it because he didn’t want to escalate the situation with four children sleeping inside the house.
Instead, he said he ran to the front of the house, scrawled the license plate number of the patrol car onto his forearm and called 911. “I thought maybe someone would show up and see him inside the pool,” the man said.
When the officer heard the call on his police radio, he jumped out of the water, grabbed his clothes and ran back to his car, according to the wife and one of her friends.
The husband said he took photos of the officer on his camera phone while he was in the pool.
He said the phone, as well as three towels that had been out by the pool, were taken by an investigator with the district attorney’s office.
The officer — who police declined to identify — is the third Cathedral City police officer to be placed on paid leave in 11 days.
One officer is on administrative leave after he shot and killed a man during a confrontation on Sept. 19.
A second officer is on leave after a Monday shooting that police call an attempted “suicide by cop.”
Robinson said the department is committed to thoroughly investigating the complaint.
“Once the truth has been determined, we will take the appropriate action,” Robinson said. “It’s a public trust issue and the public’s got to know that we’ll police our own, and we’ll do it appropriately.”
FAIRFAX, Va.Oct 1 2010 – A daycare teacher’s aid is in a New York jail tonight after police say he tried to flee the country. He is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl at the daycare in Virginia.
Fairfax County police were first summoned to investigate allegations that a 4-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by a day care worker. The alleged incident occurred on Tuesday, September 21, at the Minnieland day care center, located at 14415 Compton Village Drive in the Centreville area.
On Friday, September 24, police obtained a warrant charging 22 year old, Siyamand Salehzadeh with sexual assault.
On Saturday, September 25, Salehzadeh was detained in the state of New York, attempting to enter Canada. Salehzadeh currently is awaiting extradition to Fairfax County.
Officials at Minnieland Private Day School sent a statement saying they have met with all parents and staff at the center and it continues to offer support to everyone.
Police say they don’t believe any other children are involved.
WEBSTER, Texas Oct 1 2010 — A man accused of drinking alcohol at a hospital was booted from the building and then charged in connection with the disappearance of an ambulance, authorities said Wednesday.
Jakson Don Leone, 34, was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, stemming from a 7:45 p.m. Tuesday incident outside the emergency room at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, Webster police Deputy Chief Tom Claunch said.
Police had no city of residence for Leone, and his bond amount wasn’t known, Claunch said.
An ambulance owned by First Medical Response arrived with a patient at the hospital, 500 Medical Center Drive, at 7:25 p.m., Claunch said.
“A gentleman was in the hospital for an unknown reason when he was escorted out for consuming alcohol,” Claunch said.
Shortly thereafter, the man was seen on security video outside where an ambulance was parked, Claunch said.
“After the crew unloads the patient, they guy walks out of camera view and the ambulance is gone,” Claunch said.
Using a GPS tracking device, police found the ambulance about 8 p.m. at Seven Palms apartment complex, two or so miles from the hospital, Claunch said.
Police canvassed the area and arrested a suspect at a nearby filling station, Claunch said.
Two cell phones and laptop computers missing from the ambulance were recovered, Claunch said. The ambulance’s defibrillator and blood pressure machine weren’t recovered, he said.
Paducah KY Oct 1 2010 A western Kentucky jury has convicted a former security guard of stealing copper cable at a railroad engine shop where he formerly worked.
The McCracken Circuit Court jury took about 45 minutes to convict 43-year-old Anthony Fagan and under 10 minutes more to recommend a maximum 20-year prison term.
According to The Paducah Sun, Fagan caused more than $500,000 damage to 34 railroad engines by cutting copper cabling out of them while they were at VMW Paducahbilt to be overhauled.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond McGee said the company also reported up to $500,000 more in lost business because of the damage.
Defense attorney David Troutman argued that others had stolen the copper and caused the damage.
Fagan will be sentenced Nov. 1.
WASHINGTON DC Oct 1 2010 - It was just before 2:30 p.m. when witnesses say four men wearing hoodies and masks inside a black Dodge Magnum stopped in front of an armored car at the Georgetown BB&T Bank.
One man, who did not want to be identified, was shopping across the street.
“I was talking on the phone, then I heard some screaming: “Get down! Get down!” I thought it was maybe some guys playing or something,” the shopper said.
But this was no joke. Police say the four suspects were robbing the guards who were transferring money to the bank. They say at least one of the suspects had a gun.
“I saw some people running. I saw one guy pointing the gun at his face over there in front of the bank,” the shopper said. “He was on his knee with his hands in the back.”
“There was a struggle that ensued over the weapon as the individual was pointing it at the guard,” said Lt. John Hedgecock of D.C. Police. “The guard struggled with him for a moment and he was overpowered and fell down.”
The suspects took the guards’ gun and money, ran back to the car and sped off. A short time later, investigators found the suspect car a few blocks away, but the suspects were nowhere to be found.
During the confrontation, no shots were fired and no one was hurt.
“It’s got us very concerned. This is a very brazen act in broad daylight and as you can see, this is a heavily traveled area with foot traffic and vehicular traffic,” Lt. Hedgecock said.
EDISON NJ Oct 1 2010— A South Plainfield woman who served as swim coach at Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison was sentenced Thursday to 364 days in jail and five years probation for having sex with a female student and asking her to withhold information from the police.
Sarah E. Blessing, 28, who also worked as a fifth-grade teacher in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact and witness tampering in Superior Court, New Brunswick, in August.
Assistant Middlesex County Prosecutor Christie Bevacqua told Judge Joseph Paone that Blessing assaulted the girl after the girl’s mother asked Blessing to “watch out for her” because the girl was struggling through a difficult time.
“The betrayal of trust is a huge thing here,” Bevacqua said.
The victim’s mother told Paone that Blessing had groomed her daughter for a long period of time before assaulting her. “She took my daughter’s innocence away,” the mother said.
At the end of a lengthy statement to Paone, Blessing apologized for her actions, but not before explaining herself.
“I wasn’t manipulative. It wasn’t predatory,” Blessing said. “I had feelings for this person.”
Blessing will not be allowed to have any contact with the victim or any unsupervised contact with females under the age of 18 and must undergo mental health counseling.
Under the sentence, she can no longer teach and will be barred from holding public employment in New Jersey.
She faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted at trial. Blessing was arrested at her home on LaCosta Place in South Plainfield Dec. 1, 2009. Authorities said Blessing began having sex with the student in June of 2009 and continued up until the time of her arrest.
The investigation started when the Diocese of Metuchen called law-enforcement authorities after discovering the relationship, authorities said.
The teen-ager was a student at Bishop Ahr at the time of the incidents.
Blessing, a fifth-grade teacher at Park Middle School in Scotch Plains, had served as the girls swim coach at the Roman Catholic high school since 2005.
The Diocese of Metuchen fired Blessing after she was arrested and charged. She was suspended from her $56,891-a-year tenured position at the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District immediately after her arrest.
MONROE NJ Oct 1 2010 — A security officer foiled a bank robbery Thursday when the guard followed the armed suspect and apprehended him in the parking lot, police said.
The robbery at Pamrapo Savings Bank, 437 Spotswood Englishtown Road, was reported just before 11:40 a.m. Thursday, Lt. Marc Jimenez said. Witnesses told police a man entered the bank and placed a handgun and a note on the counter, demanding money.
The teller complied and turned over an undetermined amount of cash, prompting the gunman to flee, Jimenez said. The teller then alerted the on-duty security officer, who followed the man into the parking lot and apprehended him with the help of responding officers.
The suspect, identified as Victor Cannestro, 41, of Lodi, is charged robbery, theft and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Additional details about the encounter and information about the security guard were not immediately released by police.
A woman who answered the phone at the bank late Thursday afternoon declined to comment.
Cannestro was taken to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $100,000 bail, with no 10 percent cash option.
ROCKFORD IL Oct 1 2010 — Two people were arrested in an apparent burglary to Christian Life School.
Police were dispatched to the school, 5950 Spring Creek Road, around 10:30 p.m. after a security guard spotted people inside after the school was closed.
Police arrested 18-year-old Kyle Olson and 17-year-old Andrew Schultz and charged them with burglary.
Police do not yet know why the two were inside the school and are not yet saying whether they were students.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.Oct 1 2010 — A Louisville woman has been charged with theft after police said she stole about 2,000 hydrocodone pills from her employer.
Metro Police said Brittany N. Goff, 22, stole the pills over the course of a year.
According to arrest records, store surveillance cameras caught images of Goff filling prescriptions.
Police said Goff tried to adjust pill counts on prescriptions.
Goff was arrested Monday.
Police said she admitted to stealing the hydrocodone.
Rochester, N.Y.OCT 1 2010 — Seven people were arrested for their involvement in a large counterfeit merchandise trafficking operation.
Police arrested Fan Zhang, Deno Delregno, Zhang Chi, Zhang Qing Fu, Chen Xiu Ying, Gina Hurlbert and Suzanne Pelow, all of Rochester this week.
According to affidavits, Fan Zhang and her husband made trips to New York City twice a month to buy fake designer purses, wallets and sunglasses. They then transported to Rochester and sold them to area retailers.
Homeland Security Investigators estimate that three companies involved in the conspiracy imported more than 1 million items to the U.S. from nine Chinese companies over the course of a year.
Federal and state authorities also searched 11 locations in Rochester and in Secaucus, N.J. Police estimate they will need several days and about 23 tractor trailers to haul away the suspected counterfeit goods from those locations. Police also found several MLB baseball caps, watches and jewelry in their searches.
All seven defendants are charged with conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods — a charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, fine of $250,000 or both.
According to arrest records, a St. Matthews Mall security officer saw James F. Carrico, 52, loading his station wagon with flowers from the front of the Whole Foods store.
Louisville Metro Police said Carrico drove to his house.
According to arrest records, Carrico told police he was a wholesaler and he had not been near Whole Foods.
The flowers were visible in Carrico’s vehicle, police said.
Carrico was arrested and his car was towed.
Police Officer Will Phillips
Greenfield Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tour of Duty: 4 years
Badge Number: 251
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
Date of Incident: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Weapon Used: Automobile
Suspect Info: At large
Officer Will Phillips was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while on bike patrol training at approximately 12:45 am.
He and two other members of the bike patrol team had just finished their shift and were conducting a training ride on department issued bikes. They were riding on U.S. 40 between Greenfield and Knightstown when he was struck by a vehicle which then fled the scene. All of the officers were wearing helmets and had lights on their bikes on uniforms.
The driver of the vehicle that struck Officer Phillips remains at large.
Officer Phillips had served with the Greenfield Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife and two young sons.
Agency Contact Information
Greenfield Police Department
116 South State Street
Greenfield, IN 46140
Phone: (317) 477-4410
Please contact the Greenfield Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Police Officer James E. Fowler III
Baltimore City Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, September 27, 2010
Tour of Duty: 34 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: Monday, September 27, 2010
Incident Location: Pennsylvania
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Officer James Fowler was killed in an automobile accident on U.S. 22 in Lewiston, Pennsylvania, while traveling to an accident investigation training course at Penn State University.
During the drive Officer Fowler encountered inclement weather, causing his vehicle to leave the roadway and strike the center divider.
Officer Fowler was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Baltimore Police Department for 34 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Agency Contact Information
Baltimore City Police Department
601 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 396-2020
Please contact the Baltimore City Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.