Troopers told the Inter-Mountain that 68-year-old Robert DeMent was finishing his shift as a security guard when a visitor reported a vehicle on fire near a park bridge Monday. Lt. J.A. Wise in Parsons says it appears DeMent tried to move the van from the ditch.
The newspaper says that when troopers arrived, DeMent was found dead in the minivan, which was owned by the state Division of Natural Resources.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The incident took place around 7 a.m. at Fountain Place on Ross Avenue, the same building Hosam Smadi tried to bring down in an undercover sting last September.
A security guard notified police after finding a threatening note.
“While he was making his patrol, he noticed a note sitting on a scooter saying that if you don’t unplug your computers, there’s a bomb attached to the scooter and it will blow up,” said Sgt. Warren Mitchell from Dallas Police.
“Being that [Fountain Place] has already had media attention… we took every precaution necessary,” said Mitchell.
The threat forced officers to call in special investigative teams, including the bomb sqaud.
But the threat turned out to be a hoax.
“We did find out that the scooter did belong to an employee who worked at the restaurant and that one of the managers had left a note to remind employees to turn off their computers,” Mitchell said.
News 8 has learned the manager works at Avanti restaurant. Investigators believe there was no criminal intent but they filed a false alarm report. The employee was taken to police headquarters for questioning by intelligence officers.
“We will meet with the district attorney’s office to see whether we file charges,” said Mitchell.
“In a post 9/11 world, to make anything similar to a bomb threat — it’s not a good thing. It’s a terrible, terrible joke,” he added.
Streets were closed off near the building, which was evacuated.
A new report recently released by the U.S. Justice Department shows that in at least six cases contract security officers did not detect mock explosives sent by a inspector general team, according to a new IG report.
According to the report, the contractors were not thorough in their searches and lacked training.
The finding is one example of how the U.S. Marshals Service, charged with providing security inside federal courthouses, has failed to maintain proper oversight of security and security contracts, according to the report released Friday.
Of the 60 Court Security Officers personnel files auditors reviewed, 18 percent lacked required firearms qualification records and 47 percent contained outdated firearms qualifications.Most security officers begin work at their assignments without ever starting any of the required training until after they are already on the job.
The U S Marshals Service oversees more than 5,000 CSOs at about 400 court facilities and was appropriated $370 million in 2009 for security services.
Three of six Marshals Service district offices auditors visited did not conduct quarterly reviews of security procedures at federal courthouses. In one district, security procedures had not been updated since 1983.
The report also details the awarding of a $300 million contract to a company that had been placed on alert lists within the Justice Department for fraud and the company ended up filing for bankruptcy.
Another company currently under contract with the service has also had previous problems and yet was allowed to renew their contract.
The audit lays out 15 recommendations, including:
• Ensure that all security officers are appropriately trained before entering duty.
• Ensure district offices perform required quarterly unannounced tests to determine if security officers are screening visitors, packages and mail.
• Review the background investigation process for CSOs and ensure investigations are completed in a timely manner.
The Marshals Service has concurred with all 15 recommendations and Director John Clark said in a letter responding to the audit that “immediate improvement of the court security procurement process is imperative.”
However, no timeline was given nor were there any specific corrective actions outline by the Marshal Service.
UNIVERSITY CITY PA – November 21, 2010 (WPVI) — University of Pennsylvania police shot and killed a suspect after they say two men opened fire on them overnight.
It all started around 2:45 a.m. with the carjacking of a Cadillac by two men near the intersection of 50th and Arch Streets.
The victim called Philadelphia Police who broadcast a description of the vehicle on police radio. A short time later officers from the 16th district observed the Cadillac traveling east on Locust Street and tried to pull the vehicle over, however the Cadillac sped away with police right behind them.
A few blocks away near the intersection of 40th and Locust Walk the driver of the Cadillac lost control and jumped the curb, striking a concrete barrier.
Penn police picked up the chase on foot. That’s when they say the men started shooting at them.
The Penn officers shot back, killing one of the suspects. The other suspect was arrested at the scene.
No officers or students were wounded.
A message from University of Pennsylvania Vice President for Public Safety Maureen S. Rush reads in part:
“Unfortunately, tonight our community was subjected to violence that began with an armed carjacking at 50th & Arch Streets … Although we never want to experience this type of violence near our campus, I am very proud of the expert response from our PennComm Communications Center, AlliedBarton Security and most importantly, from our very brave and tactically proficient Penn Police Officers and Supervisors.”
The investigation continues.