COLUMBIA, SC Nov 15 2010 – Friends, family and colleagues are remembering a fallen Columbia firefighter who was killed in the line of duty Saturday afternoon after being hit by a car on Interstate 20.
Just nine months into his dream job, 23-year-old Chance Zobel’s life was cut short while fighting a brush fire on I-20. Interim Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said Zobel was proud to be a firefighter.
Jenkins recalled Zobel’s excitement for the job from the very beginning. “I remember meeting with him and he was very eager to get started,” said Jenkins. “He was already in the department, he was very eager to get started as a firefighter.”
Zobel and another firefighter, Larry Irvin, were putting out a grass fire in the median on I-20 near Clemson Road on Saturday. The South Carolina Highway Patrol said Zobel and Irvin were hit by a Chevy Impala that had been rear-ended by a van.
Troopers said the Impala hit two fire trucks before it struck Zobel and Irvin. Both firefighters were rushed to the hospital. Zobel died, and Irvin is in critical but stable condition.
“I think we all are going to miss a lot about him,” said Jenkins. “He was well mannered. You don’t find a lot of young men with the mannerisms that he had.”
Zobel had humble beginnings at the fire department, according to Jenkins. Three years ago, Zobel was responsible for inspecting fire hydrants. His position was upgraded after a meeting with the chief. “I was interviewing people to be hired and because he was already here with us,” Jenkins said. “We knew his desire. We knew he wanted to be a firefighter so we gave him a chance.
Zobel was set to be married to his fiancee in April. He leaves behind a host of firemen who say he was like a little brother. “We’re just going to miss him,” said Jenkins.
Chief Jenkins said Zobel is the sixth firefighter in over 100 years of the department’s history to be killed in the line of duty. A public memorial for Zobel is being planned, but the exact date has not been set.
End of Watch: Monday, November 15, 2010
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Assault
Date of Incident: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Weapon Used: Person
Suspect Info: In custody
Correctional Officer Gary Chapin succumbed to injuries sustained one month earlier after being attacked and beaten by an inmate in the Crawford County Correctional Facility.
Officer Chapin was transported to Wesbury United Methodist Community Hospital but never regained consciousness after the attack.
The inmate who beat him was in jail on a parole violation at the time. Charges are pending against the inmate in connection with Officer Chapin’s murder.
Agency Contact Information
Crawford County Correctional Facility
2100 Independence Drive
Saegertown, PA 16433
Phone: (814) 763-1190
Please contact the Crawford County Correctional Facility for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
GREENE COUNTY, GA Nov 15 2010 — A Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed Sunday morning at his home. Chief Deputy Kevin Roberts, 48, was gunned down as he answered his door by an individual who is believed to have been the center of a Greene County Sheriff’s investigation.
According to Captain Ron Thurmond, spokesman with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the suspect then shot and killed himself. His identity is being withheld pending positive identification.
Greene County Sheriff Chris Houston said said the gunman was likely the target of an ongoing undercover drug investigation, but he said Roberts wasn’t involved in the probe.
Chief Roberts was a career law enforcement officer with Greene County. He was a sheriff’s deputy since 1999. He also served as a City Police Officer with Union Point and Greensboro.
CHARLESTON, W.Va.Nov 15 2010 — “Quiet is my best friend,” he said.
Henry Pickens keeps the peace at the Kanawha County Library.
He wears a gleaming gold badge and a black cap with SECURITY lettered in white across the crown.
Guided by the library’s Code of Patron Behavior, he deals with everything from lost children to annoying cell phone talkers to down-and-outers reeking of alcohol.
“His goal is to make the library safe and comfortable for everyone who comes in,” said Susanna Holstein, facilities and security manager.
If patrons get a little too comfortable, Henry handles that, too. “We don’t allow sleeping,” he said. “I might get a call saying we have a sleeper on the first floor.”
It’s his job to roust them from slumber, gently but firmly, hopefully without a scene.
Henry doesn’t like scenes.
“I’m a mild-mannered, even-keeled person,” he said. “I pride myself on getting along with everyone. I don’t argue with people. I tell them about the infraction and what they need to do to correct it. I tell them they can either correct it or leave. That’s the option I give them. If they refuse, I call the police.”
“He’s a warm and caring person, firm but fair,” said Holstein.
“He treats everyone with such respect,” said children’s services chief Terri McDougal. “He’s the Golden Rule in action.”
A Vietnam veteran and a former drill sergeant, Pickens started working at the library in 1991 after 20 years in the military.
Wait a minute. Drill sergeant?
“I was floored when I heard that,” McDougal said.
“Everybody has two sides,” Henry said with a sly smile. “There’s a time to be hard and a time to be gentle.”
In the Army, he snarled and screamed when he had to. “When they come in, they’re individuals. You’ve got to break them down so they work as a team. I took pride in that.”
Henry’s drill sergeant past didn’t surprise Kay Ferrill, circulation supervisor. “He can size up a situation and take charge. Drill sergeants shape people. They know the rules. They know how things work. They get people trained and where they need to be.”
Some library patrons and staffers call him Officer Pickens. “But to most people, I’m just plain Henry,” he said.
Home base for Just Plain Henry is a small office behind the circulation desk. Not that he spends much time there. “This is not a desk job,” he said. “You are always checking and observing.”
He checks the restrooms at least every 20 minutes. He monitors the parking lot, patrols inside and outside, tours every floor, walks every aisle in the book stacks, looks behind pillars, peeks in every nook and cranny.
“The building wasn’t designed for a library, so there are a lot of spaces from a security standpoint, cubbyholes, that have to be constantly checked.”
Henry does a lot more at the library than snoop around. Staffers know him as their go-to guy, a beyond-the-call type who views whatever needs doing as part of his job description.
“If we’re not sure who to call, we call Henry,” Ferrill said. “When I introduce new hires to him, I tell them that Henry will be their best friend. He solves all kinds of problems for us, from mechanical problems to building issues to handling a disruptive patron. We really rely on him.”
He helps load and unload books and supplies, makes the mail run when needed, even shovels snow.
“If he sees something that needs doing, he jumps in,” said Holstein. “When the courier van goes to the branches, he will go out on that. If there’s a special event, Henry is always on hand, watching and making sure everything runs smoothly.”
He was the escort (he doesn’t like the word bodyguard) for writer Nicholas Sparks during the recent West Virginia Book Festival, and he organized security for visiting zookeeper Jack Hanna.
One malodorous incident sorely tested Henry’s beyond-the-call mettle. Tiny Tim, a python on exhibit at the library, had what Henry delicately refers to as “a little accident.”
“Every two or three years, we have a program called ‘Snakes Alive,’” he said. “The presenters feed the snakes for a whole week before they come here. Tiny Tim, this 16-foot python, had a little accident.
“We rolled him outside in a wagon and stretched him out in the parking lot and gave him an antibacterial bath. He was getting restless and trying to make a getaway. People driving by were doing double-takes.”
Later, he went to McDougal’s office and told her, “You know I would do anything for the children’s department, but I believe that was way above and beyond the call of duty.” She didn’t argue.
He’s usually the one who unlocks the front door in the mornings. “There are always 15 to 20 waiting to get in,” he said. ” Some are from the shelter. They have cards. They can use the computers. They’re supposed to look for jobs.
“We can’t refuse admission to anyone as long as they behave themselves,” he said.
He has a reputation for handling the trickiest situations with aplomb. Imagine approaching a patron about body odor. “I don’t embarrass them. I call them to the side, explain the code and tell them they are welcome to come back when they correct the problem.”
“He always keeps it low key,” Holstein said.
My military background helps me stay calm,” he said.
He learned a lot during his tour in the infantry in Vietnam. “Booby traps were the big thing,” he said. “Nothing is guaranteed from one day to the next. I learned to appreciate that more.”
After Vietnam, he trained noncommissioned infantry officers.
He longs for the day when his library beat expands, with the promise of a new facility a few blocks away. “A lot of people love this building,” he said. “It was a post office first, then a courthouse. But we’ve outgrown it.
“When we have the Sunday jam sessions on the third floor, we have to clear the tables each time and put them back.”
Clearing and setting up tables isn’t exactly a security issue. But it needs doing and, well, there’s Henry.
NIAGARA FALLS NY Nov 15 2010 —Security officers responded to a disturbance inside a local casino and found a robbery in progress over the week-end.
Officers said that a LaSalle man was arrested early Saturday on a charge of third-degree robbery and is accused of trying to grab cash from a man in the Seneca Niagara Casino.
Lawrence H. Jackson, 42, of 80th Street, was arrested at 4:15 a. m. after casino security officers broke up a fight in a restroom.
Police said that Jackson tried to steal the money from a Town of Niagara resident and was taken into custody by the casino officers.
Club owner Rocco Scarfone said he and the staff are working with the police to solve the shooting.
“We have inside security, we have outside security. (But) security did not see anyone get shot, and under my direction, we’ve been fully cooperative with Greensboro Police Department,” Scarfone said.
Police documents released after the shooting, however, said the club’s security refused to call 911, denied there was a shooting and even used bleach to clean up the blood stains outside the club.
Police said they responded 44 different times to calls of stabbings or gunshot victims at the club since February.
The club’s liquor license has since been suspended.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Nov 15 2010 — Three Fort Carson soldiers were arrested after allegedly breaking into a medical marijuana dispensary, Colorado Springs police said.
Store surveillance video showed three men wearing masks jimmying their way through the back door of Rocky Road Remedies, a dispensary on South Academy Boulevard, at about 2 a.m. Saturday. Once inside, the men tried to leave through the front door, but it was locked and surrounded by bars. They soon found out the back door was locked too.
“The burglars had jimmied the door to the point where they disabled it, so they couldn’t get out and we couldn’t get in,” said Colorado Springs Police Sgt. Mark DeVorss.
The would-be burglars were literally trapped.
DeVorss said a police officer responding to a different incident nearby noticed movement inside the dispensary and went to investigate. Police had to use extrication tools to get in and make the arrests.
“It felt good. It’s a relief knowing that the suspects are in custody,” said dispensary owner Wenze Waddington.
Waddington said he arrived about 15 minutes after his security alarm went off. He said the suspects were already in handcuffs.
7NEWS asked Waddington if he knew the men.
“They had never been patients or had never been in here,” Waddington said.
Police identified the suspects as 23-year-old Darius Thomas, 22-year-old Cory Young and 22-year-old Ramone Hollins. All three are active-duty Fort Carson soldiers.
“Fortunately for us, they made it easy for us to capture them and, to their credit, they were compliant with us,” said DeVorss.
The three men now face second-degree burglary charges. They remained in jail Sunday, each being held on $10,000 bond.
Fort Carson officials wouldn’t comment on potential military consequences.
Buford GA Nov 15 2010 Former Buford resident Thomas Sanders, wanted in the kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl, was arrested Sunday in Mississippi — the same state where he was declared dead 16 years ago.
This undated file photo provided by the FBI in New Orleans shows Thomas Steven Sanders. The FBI says the Mississippi man who was once considered legally dead was arrested Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010 in the kidnapping of a slain Las Vegas girl whose body was found in the woods of central Louisiana.
Hunters in central Louisiana found Lexis Roberts’ skeletal remains on Oct. 8, a month and three days after she was last seen with her mother, Suellen Roberts, and Sanders in Arizona.
The drifter, 53, became a suspect after investigators uncovered security footage from a Las Vegas Walmart store that showed Sanders purchasing bullets.
That ammunition was consistent with the weapon used to kill Lexis Roberts, the FBI said.
Sanders, wanted for kidnapping, likely faces more charges. Suellen Roberts, who is not a suspect in her daughter’s death, remains missing.
A nationwide manhunt led federal marshals to the rural Louisiana home of Candace Tarver, Sanders’ first wife and the mother of his three adult sons.
She last saw him 23 years ago. Sanders had said he was leaving to find a job and promised to return with a new washer and dryer.
With no word from Sanders for seven years, Tarver and Sanders’ parents and brother successfully petitioned a Mississippi court to declare him dead in July 1994.
“I almost passed out,” Tarver said after agents told her that her ex-husband was alive and a suspect in the murder of a young girl. “He’s destroyed my life and he’s doing it again.”
Tarver told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that she feared for her safety because Lexis Roberts’ remains were found just 150 miles from her home.
Tarver said her former husband previously had exhibited a disturbing attraction to young girls, but she didn’t think he was capable of murder.
Sanders, a handyman and scrap metal collector, was discovered in a compromising position with a girl, 6 — by the child’s father — Tarver said.
“That girl’s dad beat the hell out of him,” Tarver said.
Sanders, however, told his wife that the bruises and gashes were caused by a hammer that fell on his head.
“I didn’t believe him,” she said, adding her husband was always disappointed they never had a daughter. “He wanted girls.”
After leaving his family behind, Sanders settled in Buford, near Lake Lanier Islands, public records reveal.
He moved to Winder, where, in 1994, he pleaded guilty to two counts of child battery.
He was sentenced to one-year probation for repeatedly hitting a boy on the legs and buttocks and then rubbing a pair of underwear in the child’s face.
Outside of the Barrow County charges, there’s little to link him to Georgia.
His last known address was in Bumpus Mills, Tenn., three miles south of the Kentucky border. At some point, he made his way to Nevada, where he befriended Suellen Roberts, 31.
Sanders gave gifts to Suellen Roberts and her daughter, earning their trust, family members told a New Hampshire television station.
“He could be charming,” said Tarver, who met Sanders after he was discharged from the Marines. “He told me he had to act like he was crazy to get out of there. I think there’s always been something wrong with him.”
Jy Sanders, the man’s oldest son, said his father often was cruel. When Tarver was in labor with the couple’s third child, Sanders didn’t drive her to the hospital, he told the AJC.
Asked how he’d react if he saw his father again, Jy Sanders said, “I’d spit in his face.”
Chicago IL Nov 15 2010 – William Woolridge and Johnny Johnson are friends with something in common: they were both arrested this weekend after cops said they were caught pretending to be law enforcement officers.
Johnson, 21, was charged early Friday with felony false impersonation of a peace officer, unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of body armor, having a firearm without a valid FOID card and he was cited with a city weapon violation, police said.
Woolridge, 33, was charged early Friday with felony false impersonation of a peace officer, police said.
Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien said the two men knew each other and are acquaintances.
Woolridge was arrested early Friday at the Austin District police station at 5701 W. Madison St. after identifying himself as a U.S. Army Reservist military policeman, according to a police report. Police were already investigating Johnson when they discovered Woolridge.
During an interview, Woolridge presented a shield with U.S. Army military police engraving and was wearing a bulletproof vest, gun holster, magazine holster and handcuffs, according to the report. He did not have military identification because he said he “left it at home,” the report said.
He then told police he lied, and allegedly said he was never in the military but “wished he was,” the report said.
A 9 mm Beretta handgun was recovered in Woolridge’s vehicle, police said. Two magazines and 20 rounds of live ammunition were also recovered.
Meanwhile, police arrested Johnson at 330 N. Central Ave. at 7:26 p.m. Thursday after he flagged down officers to ask a question about public service, the report said.
Johnson was wearing a black vest and body armor with the word “police” on it.
He also had a semi automatic handgun in a holster with an extra magazine of ammunition. Officers asked him if was a police officer and he replied, “Yes, I am a Steger rookie police officer,” the report said.
Johnson was placed into custody without incident when he could not produce police identification or a star. The handgun and ammunition were taken into evidence, according to the report.
Both arrests are being classified as the same incident and are related, O’Brien said.
Woolridge was booked into Cook County Jail Friday after being ordered held on $90,000 bond, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s website.
Johnson was ordered held on $75,000 bond during a Friday hearing, according to the website.
Johnson and Woolridge are both expected to appear for preliminary hearings Nov. 18, according to the website.
Grand Central Area detectives are investigating.