Preliminary autopsy reports from the Medical University of South Carolina confirmed Wednesday that James Piotrowski, 42, of Stuart, Fla., suffered multiple gunshot wounds, one of which was fired by security officer Charles Gary Knox of Beaufort, Tanner said.
Piotrowski died shortly after he was shot at about 12:09 a.m. at the home of his uncle and aunt, Richard and Carolyn Santee, Tanner said.
There was an argument between Piotrowski and Richard Santee, 68, Tanner said. Knox shot Piotrowski after the guard saw him shoot and wound Santee, he said.
Based on evaluations of the crime scene, witness interviews and evidence, Knox’s actions are considered a justified use of force, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release Wednesday.
“The security guard was confronted with a person with a gun and witnesses that man shoot another man,” Tanner said. “The guard was in jeopardy, so he had to act. All of this happened in a matter of seconds.”
Attempts to reach Knox, Piotrowski’s family in Florida, Steve Russell, the community’s head of security, and Brays Island Plantation General Manager Kevin Rhatigan were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Russell said Tuesday the security guard would be on paid administrative leave until the investigation is closed.
Tanner said it appears Piotrowski was shot multiple times before security arrived — at least once in the stomach and a second time under the jaw — and was then shot once in the upper left shoulder area of his back by Knox, according to Tanner.
“The immediate fatal wound was the one fired by the security officer, but pathologists said the other wound in his neck area could have and would have caused death if he hadn’t received immediate medical attention,” Tanner said Thursday. “It’s very unfortunate that someone was killed, but Knox’s actions were appropriate.”
Shortly before security officers arrived, Santee went into his first-floor bedroom and retrieved from his closet a long-barreled revolver with the brand name “The Judge” loaded with .410-gauge shotgun shells, Tanner said.
Tanner declined Wednesday to release details about what happened next, citing the ongoing investigation.
People staying in the home told investigators they called Brays Island Plantation security before calling 911, he said. The caller, whom investigators believe was Carolyn Santee, gave few details to plantation security, asking only that officers come to the house quickly, Tanner said.
Moments later, Knox arrived at the large, two-story home and walked to the front door. He knocked and rang the doorbell, but no one answered.
“He didn’t hear gunshots,” Tanner said. “There was no indication of what was happening inside the home.”
As he stood at the front door, Knox looked through a front window and saw a man standing in the foyer, pointing a gun at another man, who was slumped at the base of a staircase.
The man inside the home raised the gun and fired, hitting the man — Santee — on the staircase, Tanner said.
The security officer then opened the front door, which was unlocked, and shot the man holding the gun, later confirmed to be Piotrowski, Tanner said.
Santee, who was shot at least once by Piotrowski during the incident, was taken to Memorial Medical University in Savannah. He was listed in good condition Tuesday, Tanner said. The medical center did not have him listed as a patient Wednesday.
PENSACOLA, Florida Dec 2 2010 – The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has identified the second body found in a wooded area near the University of West Florida campus.
A Gulf Power security guard found a woman’s body Monday afternoon at a substation near East Nine Mile and Jernigan Roads. While collecting evidence, Crime Scene Technicians found a second
woman’s body. The Sheriff’s Office brought in cadaver dogs to search the wooded area. The dogs did not find any more remains.
The Sheriff’s Office identified them one of them as 19-year-old Debra Ann Jones. They also confirmed what family members told News 5 on Tuesday. The other woman is 25 year old Broxson had a history of arrests on drug and prostitution charges. Her last arrest was October 12 for cocaine possession.
The Sheriff’s Office will not say Broxson and Jones died, but they do suspect foul play. One of the bodies had been there at least a week. The other three days or less.
The shooting victim, Aurelio Guzman, arrived at 6:30 a.m. Monday with two men in a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox SUV that listed a different person’s name as the buyer on the license plate.
An off-duty police officer working security at St. David’s Hospital, along with a second guard, questioned the driver, identified as Joshua Sanchez, and a passenger Joe Quintero, and checked the vehicle for weapons, which were found.
Sanchez and Quintero told the guards that Guzman unintentionally shot himself through the hand while seated in the back seat of the car as it drove northbound on Interstate 35 between Rundberg Land and Braker Lane. The bullet grazed his thigh after passing through his hand.
The off-duty officer discovered through a record search that Sanchez and Quintero were both convicted felons.
According to police, Guzman admitted that the three men had been burglarizing vehicles and stole several firearms in the burglaries. Guzman had an outstanding misdemeanor probation violation warrant. He was arrested and taken from St. David’s Hospital to University Medical Center Brackenridge for surgery on his hand.
Austin police officers called to the scene took Sanchez and Quintero to the police organized crime division to be interviewed. Quintero allegedly told police they had committed several car burglaries, drove around drinking promethazine and smoking pot.
Also found in the Equinox were an iPhone, Pioneer screen deck stereo head, Kimber pistols (the owner of the guns later found), chainsaw, papers from a Nissan, several loose boxes containing other car speakers, laptop computer and GPS unit.
The case remains under investigation and police are working to identify other owners of the stolen goods found with the trio.
Clark County School District Police say Chaparral music teacher Adam Romo was arrested Wednesday for two counts of sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old student.
Romo has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case. He is scheduled for his first court appearance on Friday.
Palm Beach Gardens Fla Dec 2 2010
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
A security officer on patrol at a business in the 8000 block of North Military Trail saw a man prying open a coin-operated newspaper box with a crow bar shortly before midnight.
Police said that the man. who officers did not identify, then cut the lock off of an ice machine with a bolt cutter.
The security guard confronted the person and was able to take him into custod and notified the sheriff’s office.
The man was arrested and taken to the county jail.
WASHINGTON DC Dec 2 2010
PRESS RELEASE —Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, in partnership with Mall of America and the state of Minnesota, today applauded the expansion of DHS’ national “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign throughout Minnesota—to include Mall of America as well as other public venues across the state.
“Homeland security begins with hometown security, and every citizen plays an important role in ensuring America’s safety,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign will provide the citizens of Minnesota and the many shoppers and visitors to Mall of America with the tools to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper law enforcement authorities.”
The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign—originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and funded, in part, by $13 million from DHS’ Transit Security Grant Program—is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.
The expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign to Mall of America will include both print and video advertisements throughout the mall’s shopping and amusement park areas to help the thousands of daily tourists and shoppers to identify potential threats and suspicious situations. “If You See Something, Say Something” materials were unveiled at Mall of America today by DHS Protective Security Advisory Glenn Sanders, Mall of America Security Director Major Doug Reynolds, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion.
“We are excited to partner with Mall of America and the Department of Homeland Security on their ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign,” said Commissioner Campion. “We value our private partners and the work they do. Their efforts will go a long way to enhancing our statewide ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign.”
The state-wide expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign will begin in Minneapolis and St. Paul and will leverage Minnesota’s participation in the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative—an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to specific terrorist threats and related crime.
Since this summer, DHS has worked with its state, local and private sector partners, as well as the Department of Justice, to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign and Nationwide SAR Initiative to communities throughout the country—including the recent state-wide expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign throughout New Jersey and new partnerships with organizations including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the general aviation industry and six state and local fusion centers across the Southeastern United States that participate in Southern Shield.
In the coming months, the Department will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign nationally with public education materials and outreach tools designed to engage America’s businesses, communities and citizens to remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the county safe.
Montgomery County TX Dec 2 2010 Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Huntsville man Nov. 20 for taking improper video recordings on his cell phone of a 14-year-old girl shopping at The Woodlands Mall.
Arturo Rodriguez-Ruiz, 37, was arrested and charged with improper photography and video without consent. He is being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $60,000 bond, as well as a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement hold.
Mall security notified an MCSO deputy that a man was following The Woodlands teen around several stores in the mall, and had been seen crawling around the floor near her. When the deputy approached Rodriguez-Ruiz, video footage was found on his phone taken from the floor up the girl’s skirt.
“We were pleased with security and that it was taken care of so quickly,” said John Pew, general manager of The Woodlands Mall.
Pew did not want to comment on details of the mall’s security system, but said the mall has both indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, mall security, MCSO patrols on foot, bike and vehicle, and the Alpha & Omega mounted patrol monitoring the mall.
“Someone is here 24 hours a day,” Pew said. “We take security matters very seriously. The problem is not with the security, but the people out there in the world.”
Mall tenants also are required to read a tenant manual, handed out to all retailers, and employees are trained to watch for potential incidents, he said.
MCSO Lt. Dan Norris said the girl had notified someone in the mall, who notified mall security.
“I know mall security works well with the patrol deputies,” Norris said. “They have a close working relationship.”
Lt. David Dottei, with MCSO District 6, said the mall’s cameras “really help us in situations like this.”
If convicted of the state jail felony, Rodriguez-Ruiz faces 180 days to two years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
A similar incident occurred at the mall May 31, 2004, when the MCSO arrested 28-year-old Jonathan Delgado mall on two counts of improper photography or visual recording after employees at the former Foley’s store noticed suspicious behavior from Delgado through the store’s surveillance system.
Pew said he believes such incidents are not a problem in the mall.
The MCSO “has had a couple of these over the years,” Norris said, but it’s not a situation that amounts to many arrests.
“This happens rarely, and when it does it’s just an individual with a phone or a camera,” Dottei said.
“Just be aware of your surroundings. If there’s not 100 people around you and someone’s close to you, be aware of it.”
The assault—which was made public by Marsala in an all-campus advisory e-mail dated Wednesday, Nov. 24—took place in the computer room of an unspecified residential dormitory at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The suspect, who was identified as a 5’10″ student-aged male with no facial hair, entered the cluster and began to physically accost a female student. He then blocked her from exiting from the room and began to masturbate in front of her. The female student was able to escape and sought the help of a fellow student.
“The first thing our officers asked him was, ‘How did you get into the residence hall?” reported Marsala, adding that “it is most likely that the [perpetrator] piggybacked in.” Piggybacking, or the act of entering a dorm through a door which has been unlocked by a previous entrant, may also explain how the accused entered a secure computer room. The suspect responded to initial interrogation by Vassar’s officers and admitted that he had followed Vassar students into buildings after they had swiped their Vassar College Identification Cards.
To assist the Police Department in its investigations, Marsala’s office is now “following up with the students involved in Sunday’s arrest.” If the individual is identified as the one responsible for the assault, the exact action Vassar will take is unclear at this point: “We don’t know if the student wants to press charges; if not, we will close the case, but the suspect will still be in custody on the outstanding charge. There may still be other Vassar charges pending,” said Marsala. These charges, which may include trespassing, would only be pressed when all required investigations are complete. Another all-campus advisory e-mail will be sent out at this point to keep the Vassar community updated about all developments.
In the all-campus advisory e-mail, Marsala listed ways in which Vassar students could come forward to aid Safety and Security in this and other investigations that may be required in the future, asking community members to “feel free to report any persons or activities that they feel might be suspicious to the Campus Response Center (CRC) at (845) 437-5221 and we’ll investigate immediately.”
Marsala also advises students “not to confront anyone piggybacking into the houses themselves; instead, give us a call and we’ll check the person out.”
Other than security, Vassar is equipped with other ways of responding to such incidents such as professional and peer counseling. His e-mail contained a link to Vassar’s Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention (SAVP) program, which deals with cases such as the one that took place last week. The program, which aims to “prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship abuse and stalking crimes on our campus,” can be reached at savp.vassar.edu. Students may also contact Counseling and Assistance in Response to Rape and Exploitive Sexual Activity (CARES), a student-run calling service that aims counseling students who have felt any form of personal violation.
While instances of concern such as this have happened before, students seemed particularly concerned that the event took place within a residence hall and not in the open. This is why certain steps have been taken to secure Vassar’s dormitories, according to the Office of Residential Life.
“In light of the incident,” Director of Residential Life Luis Inoa asks “students to utilize the resources available to them—friends, House Team, Security, Campus Patrol” in an e-mailed statement. “[Students should] call Security if they see someone, Vassar related or not, behaving in a manner that is concerning. I think it is important to note that I mention “Vassar related” because we need to understand that most often Vassar students are harmed by other Vassar students,” wrote Inoa in an e-mailed statement.
In terms of future action that the College will take, Inoa claims that he has “notified the House Advisors of the matter and have encouraged them to discuss this with their house teams.” “I would like them to stress that safety is a communal matter and it starts with being able to call each other out on destructive and harmful behaviors,” he concluded.
DURHAM NC DEC 2 2010 (WTVD) — Arrest warrants show two former Duke University employees stand accused of taking $267,000 from the school.
Dr. Eric Joel DeMaria, 51, of Tacketts Pond Drive in Raleigh, and John William Cotton, 39, of Loblolly Pine Drive in Raleigh, face embezzlement charges.
DeMaria worked at Duke from July 12, 2005 to August 1, 2010. His last position was physician and director of the bariatric surgery program.
Cotton worked from November 8, 1993 to August 1, 2010. His last position was business manager in the department of surgery.
Both men are free on $25,000 bond.
The warrants say the men took the money between January and the end of December 2009.
McLEAN, Va.Dec 2 2010 (AP) – A Virginia grandmother threw her 2½-year-old granddaughter several stories to her death from a walkway at a shopping mall after a family outing, police said Tuesday.
Carmela Dela Rosa, 50, of Fairfax was arrested and charged Tuesday with murder, said prosecutor Ian Rodway, the chief deputy Commonwealth’s attorney.
The child, Angelyn Ogdoc, died in a hospital after plunging to the pavement Monday night. She fell from a walkway linking the mall’s third floor to the parking garage’s sixth floor at Tysons Corner Center in Fairfax, a Washington suburb in Virginia.
Investigators believe Dela Rosa threw the child over a railing but do not yet know why, Fairfax County police spokeswoman Tawny Wright said. Wright said the toddler and Dela Rosa were leaving the mall with family at the time.
Dela Rosa was being held without bond, and a preliminary hearing in the case was set for Jan. 4, Rodway said. A public defender will be assigned to the case.
One of Dela Rosa’s neighbors, Russell Jackson, described them as “a happy family” and said Dela Rosa lived with her husband and a son, but that their daughter and granddaughter were frequently at the home.
Jackson, who lives in a row house directly next door to the family, said the grandparents would often take care of the young girl.
“She was a sweet, happy baby,” he said, adding that Dela Rosa and her grandchild could often be seen in the window of the home, waiving to passers-by.
No one answered the door Tuesday at Angelyn’s two-story home in Falls Church, about seven miles from the home of the grandparents.
Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club security guard arrested on peeping tom complaint Brian Keith Beattie, 26, was arrested at the country club, 7000 NW Grand Blvd. about 11 p.m. Saturday, according to a Nichols Hills police report.
Another security officer at the country club told a Nichols Hills police officer he had witnessed Beattie peeking in the women’s bathroom and changing area.
Beattie told the officer he was looking into the bathroom trying to find a valet worker, the report states.
The security guard who made the report to police said Beattie was seen following a female as she walked to the changing area, then the guard saw Beattie stand on a trash can lid and look into a window where women were changing, the report states.