An unidentified security guard on his way to work at a local bank Thursday morning spotted a man exposing himself to several children at a school bus stop near C and Lime streets, according to Sgt. Doug Hubbard of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station.
The man called deputies, but fearing the man would leave before authorities could arrive, he confronted the flasher. A fight then ensued.
“We received several calls about a security guard and another person in a physical confrontation in the middle of the street,” Hubbard said.
Deputies arrived and were told by witnesses that Leonard Placentia, 32, had been exposing himself to the children and was arrested for indecent exposure.
Placentia had been arrested for the same offense in May of this year, court documents show. Just a few days after that incident, he allegedly bothered a child. He was formally charged with annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 in Oct. Placentia has also been arrested for false imprisonment.
The security guard’s “actions were very commendable,” Hubbard said. “We wouldn’t normally recommend people do what he did but it was quick thinking on his part.”
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Hesperia station at (760) 947-1500 or call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.
The city and state must also pay $50,000 to Tom Rich, a former member of Jacksonville’s First Baptist Church. Rich operated FBC Jax Watchdog, a blog often critical of the church’s pastor, Mac Brunson. First Baptist has long been one of the largest churches in the country and one of the most prominent congregations in the Southern Baptist Convention.
Rich filed the federal lawsuit in 2009 claiming violation of his First Amendment rights guaranteeing free speech and prohibiting the establishment of religion when Det. Robert Hinson, a member of First Baptist who served on the pastor’s security detail, got a subpoena ordering Rich’s Internet service provider to reveal his identity.
Rich claimed he chose to blog anonymously to draw attention to issues in the church rather than himself and thought it would encourage more open discussion. In allowing the case to move forward in April, U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard noted that the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects anonymous speech.
After he was exposed, Rich says the church obtained trespass warnings against him and began proceedings to revoke his church membership. Eventually he and his wife left their church of more than 20 years to join another congregation.
While the settlement does not admit wrongdoing by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s or State’s Attorney’s offices, Sheriff John Rutherford agreed to meet with Rich, his lawyers and the city’s legal counsel to discuss ethical issues arising from the case.
“We are extremely pleased with this settlement, and believe that the lawsuit and its settlement will serve the interests of the citizens of Jacksonville through a strengthening of the JSO’s ethical policies and training provided to detectives on constitutional First Amendment issues,” Rich wrote on his blog Oct. 20. “We are very grateful to Sheriff Rutherford in agreeing to meet with us personally to address these issues, and think this is an example of excellent governmental leadership on his part.”
First Baptist Church told local media it had no comment. A separate lawsuit against the church continues to move forward in state court.
State police say Carmen Vacalebre (vak-eh-LEH’-bray) of Waterbury was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with circumventing airport security. Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the State Police, said the 66-year-old Waterbury resident was found with a small handgun in a carry-on bag.
Vacalebre is chief executive of Carmen Anthony, which operates in Avon, New Haven, Waterbury, Wethersfield and Woodbury.
He did not immediately return a call seeking comment
ATLANTA GA Oct 22 2010 — Atlanta police said two men who stormed a Buckhead CVS Pharmacy had one thing in mind — stealing prescription drugs.
The CVS Pharmacy across from Piedmont Hospital — at the corner of Peachtree Street and Brighton Road — was robbed of drugs Thursday morning.
Police said two men, who had bandanas covering their faces, stormed the CVS just before 4 a.m.
One man had a gun and grabbed an employee, and his partner rounded up two customers inside the store, police said.
The men then made their way to the pharmacy, where the pharmacist saw the whole incident happening and ducked.
“They took the employee directly to the pharmacy. They went back in the pharmacy area and they took some promethazine – which is a codene-type syrup. They didn’t come to rob the location of money, they came specifically for the drugs,” said Capt. Van Hobbs of the Atlanta Police Department.
Police said the men took several bottles of the promethazine.
There were surveillance cameras in the store and police said they are looking at it to get a description of the men.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS. That’s 404-577-8477. Callers can remain anonymous.
ATLANTA GA Oct 22 2010 — A 61-year-old Alpharetta man has been indicted after authorities say he fondled a fellow airplane passenger as she slept.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta said Wednesday that Ranchhodbhai Lakha faces various sexual assault charges.
Authorities say that on a September 28th Delta flight from Dallas to Atlanta, a 20-year-old woman sitting in the same row as Lakha fell asleep. She awoke to discover Lakha allegedly touching her below the waist. The woman removed Lakha’s hand and told him to stop. When Lakha tried to touch her again she told a flight attendant.
An FBI investigation shows Lakha may have been involved in other similar incidents, possibly in Alabama. Other possible victims are encouraged to call the FBI.
TRENTON, N.J.Oct 22 2010 — Criminal enterprises will flourish in one of America’s poorest and most dangerous cities — and reach into neighboring towns — if plans to lay off half the police force take effect, a Camden police union leader told lawmakers Monday.
“All hell will break loose,” Fraternal Order of Police lodge president John Williamson testified at a hearing of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
Up to 180 officers could lose their jobs if the city cannot negotiate concessions in contracts to help plug a $28 million budget deficit.
Public-safety leaders depicted a similarly grim picture of the recession’s effects on police departments statewide. About 170 police officers are on the chopping block in Newark. Trenton will lose 111. In Atlantic City, 40 officers just lost their jobs.
In all, 2,521 fewer police officers are working in New Jersey than there were in January 2009, union leader Anthony Wieners told the Assembly panel.
Layoffs and attrition through retirement have led to a 12 percent drop in police forces, said Wieners, president of the New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association.
Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R., Union) repeatedly pressed speakers to suggest solutions, but problems dominated the discussion.
Union leaders predicted that the result of further layoffs would be reduced response times and higher crime rates. Police would be at higher risk with fewer colleagues available for backup. Investigators would focus on shootings and murders but no longer would have the time or numbers to pursue burglaries and smaller crimes.
Gang members in Newark already are rejoicing over the cuts by donning T-shirts with the date of the layoffs, said Derrick Hatcher, president of that city’s FOP lodge.
Gov. Christie is pushing the Legislature to adopt changes in how police and fire union contracts are negotiated. The Assembly and Senate are considering proposals that would limit raises awarded through binding arbitration at the level of a 2 percent tax cap that takes effect in January.
Arbitration is a key piece of Christie’s plan to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes. Public-safety salaries generally are the largest portion of a municipal budget.
Bill Lavin, president of the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, questioned whether police officers and firefighters who agree to concessions in their contracts should fall within the cap, saying, “Safety is not free.”
In Camden, the Police Department has a budget deficit of nearly $14 million.
If negotiations are unsuccessful, the city plans to lay off between 150 and 180 of the city’s approximately 375 police officers in addition to 77 firefighters and 150 other employees. The cuts, described as a worst-case scenario, equal more than a third of Camden’s unionized workforce.
Williamson said he had asked the city whether there would be a guarantee that no one would be laid off if the union agreed to all the concessions sought, and was offered none.
“At what point do we draw the line?” he asked.
The union president said the department would be moving backward after the recent addition of about 50 officers to a historically understaffed force.
Meanwhile, he added, the threat of layoffs has sent morale “down the tubes.”
City spokesman Robert Corrales said in a written statement that Mayor Dana L. Redd neither wants nor favors layoffs, and the number could be minimized if unions agree on “meaningful concessions.”
He added that nonuniformed employees had made significant sacrifices by furloughs, and that even if every nonuninformed city employee were laid off, Camden would still run a deficit.