HOUSTON TX Dec 24 2010 – A University of Houston police officer was killed early Friday morning in a single-vehicle crash.
Police said Officer Ann O’Donnell, 24, was headed to a kidnapping-in-progress call at MacGregor and Calhoun around 1 a.m. when she clipped a curb on the left side of the road, overcompensated and lost control of the vehicle.
The police car slid sideways and smashed into a tree in the front yard of a home on N. MacGregor near Faculty.
O’Donnell died en route to Ben Taub Hospital.
Through the night, many of her colleagues gathered there to console each other and O’Donnell’s family.
The U of H police chief said O’Donnell, who was originally from Galveston, was a kind person with a great work ethic. She had been working the night shift for the force for about a year.
Police said counselors would be available for officers who need help coping with the loss.
The Des Moines Register says Kenneth Rettler of Bear Creek, Wis., was arrested in Des Moines on Wednesday on a charge of sexual exploitation by a school employee.
Rettler was a biology teacher at Scavo Alternative High School. He allegedly had a sexual relationship with a student in the fall of 2009. He was fired in December 2009 and relinquished his teacher license in May.
Rettler also is charged with preventing apprehension, obstructing prosecution.
Online court records show Rettler was released after posting $400 bond. A court appearance is Dec. 30. There is no attorney listed for Rettler.
GREER, SC Dec 24 2010
A former day care teacher charged with four counts of lewd act on a child is out of jail on bond. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested 22-year old Ronasha Taylor of Simpsonville on Wednesday.
Investigators say Taylor, while working at “Kids R Kids” day care on Westmoreland Road in Greer, made four children touch her bare chest on several occassions.
Michele Seckinger, the owner and director of “Kids R Kids”, says on October 18th a child told his parent about the alleged touching and the parent complained to day care staff.
“The staff were the ones that notified and requested an investigation by South Carolina Department of Social Services who in turn requested we notify the sheriff’s office,” says Seckinger in a written statement.
Seckinger, who was not the director of the Greer facility at the time, says staff immediately placed Taylor on unpaid leave of absence. She says she terminated Taylor in November.
“(Taylor) was hired by Kids R Kids in April 2009 witha clean record having prior experience at three other non-affiliated Upstate child care centers,” says Seckinger. “Futhermore, the teacher passed all state and other required background checks prior to her employment.”
She says the other day care centers at which Taylor worked gave her good references, and she says Taylor is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education at Greenville Tech.
Seckinger says Taylor was the teacher of a K4 class comprised of 9 students. She says the alleged victims were students of Taylor’s. She also says all of them were four years old and some were boys and some were girls. She also says the children told investigators when Taylor committed the lewd acts, she took them into the restroom where there are no surveillance cameras. She says the parents of the children removed them from the school.
A spokesperson for the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office says the day care has cooperated fully with investigators during the course of the investigation.
A spokesperson for DSS says the agency is investigating the situation to determine if “Kids R Kids” could have done anything further to prevent or deter the alleged behavior.
Taylor has not returned calls seeking comment. A man who identified himself as her brother said she went to see an attorney on Thursday. She is out of jail on $10,000 bond.
News Channel 7
GREENVILLE, SC Dec 24 2010Authorities say a second suspect is behind bars, accused of robbing an Upstate bank.
Greenville County Sheriff Deputies arrested 18-year-old Brandon Smith on Wednesday.
He and another suspect are being held at the Greenville County Detention Center under no bond.
Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office have charged Nathan David Neal, 31 year old white male of Easley, with one count of Armed Robbery and one count of Possession of a Weapon during Violent Crime. Deputies state that Neal entered Carolina First Bank located at
1216 Woodruff Road around 4:30 pm and handed the teller a note demanding cash. Neal then produced what appeared to be a handgun and told the teller that he was not kidding. After the teller gave him an undisclosed amount of cash Neal attempted to exit the bank through the rear doors but they were locked so he then exited back through the front doors of the bank.
Approximately thirty (30) minutes later Greenville County dispatch was advised that the suspect had been located at the Verizon Wireless Call Center located at 701 Brookfield Parkway in Mauldin. When deputies arrived on the scene they observed the security guard at Verizon Wireless was holding Neal down from leaving the scene. Deputies then took Neal into custody without incident. Neal has been placed into the Greenville County Detention on a No Bond.
This case is still under investigation and deputies may be looking for one more suspect.
(MOBILE, Ala.)Dec 24 2010 – Fresh off the heels of an FBI report that crime in Mobile is rising, Mobile police are stepping up their game against the thugs who steal cars.
Police say part of the problem are homemade tow trucks; thieves are throwing them together, using them to snatch cars and make some quick cash.
Donnie Mizell runs his own licensed towing company in Mobile. After more than a decade in business, he says he’s heard all about homemade wreckers, who jack cars by towing them off the side of highways, parking lots or even your driveway.
“They’ll watch a car on the interstate and if it stays more than three or four days, they’ll yank it up and go crush it,” Mizell said.
He says the thieves get $200 to $300 a car at the crusher, and your missing car could be unrecognizable in a couple of hours when chop shops take it apart.
Ofc. Chris Levy with Mobile police says they’re trying to zero in on these thieves, especially with car thefts soaring by nearly 40 percent in six months.
“If we observe a homemade wrecker hauling a vehicle around town, we’re gonna make sure that they’re operating properly, that the vehicle is not in fact stolen,” Levy said. He also says cops are checking wreckers for proper towing licenses.
To other drivers, these car thieves in the act, may not look suspicious, but police and Mizell say there are clues. Homemade wreckers are often unmarked pick-up trucks with a hook on the back for towing. While licensed wreckers display more info.
“You’re looking for a name and phone number, DOT numbers,” Mizell said. “All approved trucks in Mobile have a Mobile police inspection sticker in the passenger side front windshield.”
Mizell also says these thieves are finding new ways to fly under the radar; they are starting to buy old official tow trucks from towing companies and use them to steal cars.
So as police step up their tactics, they want you to do the same to keep your car safe.
MOBILE, Alabama Dec 24 2010 – Mobile police say a man stole a police car and led officers on a short chase. It happened Thursday morning at a local restaurant.
Sheila Collins says she doesn’t understand why police say her son stole a police car.
“This hurt me,” said Collins.
Officers say the crime happened Thursday morning at the downtown McDonald’s restaurant.
Investigators say Dedric Lucky was jumping on the hood of an SUV.
His strange behavior lead police to respond.
“The officer began to talk to Dedrick Lucky,” said officer Chris Levy.
That’s when police say Lucky started running from the officer.
“Mr. Lucky then jumped into the passenger side of his patrol car, crawled over to the driver’s seat, and stole his patrol car,” said Levy.
Police chased Lucky from Government Street to Epinet Drive.
“Turns out that was his parents address that he ran to,” said Levy.
While en route, Lucky called his mother while he was being chased.
“He said I’m driving the police car and they gonna shoot me,” said Collins,” And my son pulled that police car up in my yard and he was driving it and I couldn’t believe it.”
No shots were fired and police were able to arrest Lucky.
But his father tried to talk police into taking him to a local hospital for mental evaluation.
“You need to take him to USA to get some help. Anyone who would steal a police car, knows something is wrong,” said father Booker Collins.
Lucky is now facing several charges.
Police say the officer, whose car was stolen, will not be disciplined.
They say it’s usual practice for officers to leave their cars running, while responding to a call.
“In this particular case, it seems pretty clear, Mr. Lucky stole the police. Mr. Lucky refused to stop for the officers. He created this situation,” said Levy.
Collins realizes she can’t control her son because he is an adult.
But that reality does not help a mother’s worry.
“My son wasn’t brought up in no trash,” said Collins.
Now Collins says her only option is to help her child, even if he is in trouble.
Lucky is facing many charges including leaving the scene of an accident.
Police say when he stole the car, he hit an SUV on the way out of the parking lot.
Niagra Falls Dec 24 2010 A police investigation at the Maid of the Mist turned into a rescue after a suspect became trapped in the Niagara gorge early Thursday.
At 4:30 a.m., a security guard at Maid of the Mist contacted Niagara Parks Police after spotting two people on the boats.
One person was arrested at the scene without incident.
The second suspect fled on foot into the gorge.
He was found about two hours later near the Rainbow Bridge.
“The slope of the gorge is incredibly slippery right now and treacherous,” said Sgt. Lance Dobbin, of the Niagara Parks Police.
The Niagara Falls Fi re Department was called in to help the Niagara Parks Police high-angle river team remove the male from the gorge.
Niagara Falls Fire Chief Lee Smith said firefighters used an aerial winch to lift the male to the top of the gorge.
The male was treated at hospital for hypothermia and released into police custody.
Charged with mischief over $5,000, theft under $5,000, attempt to commit an indictable offence and obstruct police is an 18-year-old Niagara-on-the- Lake resident.
A 17-year-old youth from Niagara Falls is charged with mischief over $5,000, theft under $5,000 and attempt to commit and indictable offence.
The armed guard, who works for a private security company, was accompanying some employees out of the DTLR clothing store about 10 p.m. when a vehicle pulled up to the curb and gunfire was exchanged between the guard and someone in the vehicle, Henrico police Lt. R.J. Clark said.
“There was a gun battle between the two of them,” Clark said.
The security guard was shot, apparently in the hand, Clarke said, but his injury was not considered life-threatening. The vehicle left, and it was not clear whether anyone in the vehicle was wounded, Clark said.
“We don’t know anything about the suspects at all,” Clark said. The security guard “did shoot multiple rounds back at them.”
After the guard was shot, he took cover in a nearby Subway restaurant, where someone called 911, Clark said. The guard was taken to VCU Medical Center.