Los Angeles, CA Feb 10 2011(CBS) – A security guard was killed Wednesday on the set of ‘NCIS.’
The guard was reportedly hit by a van whose driver lost consciousness.
The accident occured on location in Santa Clarita, according to the celebrity Web site TMZ.com.
Sheriff’s Sargeant Michael Konecny said the accident occured about 10:10 a.m. at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller, a vacant industrial building often used for film and television productions.
CBS made a statement regarding the on-set accident. “Everyone at the network, the studio and NCIS is devastated by the news. Our hearts grieve for his family and friends for this tragic loss. We are, of course, cooperating with the local authorities in Santa Clarita to help determine what caused this terrible accident. Production on the show has been suspended.”
The producers of the popular CBS drama also released a statement: “With profound sympathy we mourn the tragic passing of our co-worker and friend. ‘NCIS’ is a family. And, as with any family, we are deeply saddened by this unexpected loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.”
“NCIS” star Pauley Perrette (she plays Abby Sciuto) tweeted about the tragedy Wednesday afternoon. She wrote: “It was a tragic accident on the ‘NCIS’ set/ We are all mourning. ‘NCIS’ cast & crew is a tight knit family. We love each other. All prayers to the family of our security guard. We lost one of our own today.”
TMZ said the driver who had a medical emergency is 60. He was identified as Ralph Blunt of Pasadena.
The security guard, Julio Garcia, was 52. Garcia was a Reseda resident.
He was pronounced dead at Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital.
St. Louis MO Feb 10 2011 – The FBI and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department say a man is in custody in connection to an armored car robbery that happened Wednesday in the Bevo neighborhood.
St. Louis police said the robbery occurred around 1:30 p.m. at the Shop N Save in the 4600 block of Chippewa Avenue. Two Garda Cash Logistsics employees were returning to the vehicle after leaving the grocery store when a man with a gun demanded the bags they were carrying.
The robber took the bags and ran off. One of the guards said he fired a shot at the suspect, but does not believe he wounded him.
The suspect, a 45-year-old man, was reportedly taken into custody just before 3:30 p.m. in the 4900 block of Pernod. The money was recovered. Investigators said the suspect left something at the scene of the crime which tipped them off to his location.
But giving police-style badges to officials who aren’t police officers has happened before in South Florida.
Several cities issue badges to commissioners, mayors, city clerks, city managers and, in at least one case, department heads.
Some say the practice of giving badges to civilians invites abuse from those who might use them to avoid speeding tickets or get admitted to night clubs.
“I don’t know what purpose they would serve, other than if elected officials would want special treatment,” said Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera.”Most of them run around with entourages anyway, so it shouldn’t be that hard to identify them.”
The badges carry no legal weight, but some officials say they need them in case of emergency. “Imagine what might happen during a hurricane, nuclear accident or other disaster situation,” said Cutler Bay Town Councilwoman Peggy Bell, who along with the rest of the town council made the decision to issue badges this year. “A Cutler Bay official could be denied necessary access during this time of great need.”
Miami Lakes Town Manager Alex Rey agreed.
“The only time I used my badge was during hurricanes,” said Rey, whose town issues badges to the manager and elected leaders. “I was walking around in my jeans and wanted police to know I was a town official.”
On the other hand, Opa-locka City Clerk Deborah Sheffield Irby said she hasn’t found the need to use her badge yet.
“It’s sitting on my desk and has been on my desk for the 18 years I’ve been here,” she said. “I don’t carry it around.”
Most cities do not have written guidelines for how badges can be used.
“Obviously, they need to be used for appropriate purposes,” said Mitchell Bierman, Cutler Bay town attorney, whose law firm represents several South Florida cities.
“My guidelines would only be used in connection to their official duties. I’m certain that all of our council members understand that.”
To purchase official badges, some retailers require written approval from the departments requesting them.
“We ask for a letter of authorization on the department’s letterhead, along with department identification before selling them,” said Alex Sgambato, a sales representative for Law Enforcement Supply, a North Carolina-based company that has a showroom in Miami.
“Most large companies have the same policy we do, but there are a lot of mom-and-pop shops that don’t ask for any form of ID.”
In Sunny Isles Beach, the mayor, city commissioners and department heads are given badges upon their appointment. City spokeswoman Stephanie DeThomas said the badges are mainly used in ceremonial matters, not for everyday identification.
“Whenever a high-ranking official is elected or appointed, they are given to them,” she said. “If they leave or are dismissed from their position, the badges are collected immediately.”
However, some say giving city officials badges can mislead people into thinking they have more power than they actually do.
“I don’t care if it says ‘council member’ or ‘Popeye’ on it. No one really reads a badge,” said Nancy McCue, a retired North Miami police commander who was on the force for 27 years and who now lives in Deerfield Beach. “It can be very confusing. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with a badge.”
McCue, who retired in 2000 and has a retiree police badge of her own, said the emblem should be given once the individual has proved they’re capable of using it conscientiously.
“It’s one of those things that you earn,” she said. “In North Miami when you retire, you’re given your gun. Do I use my gun? No. It’s been in my safe since I retired. But, at least I earned it.”
North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin also disagrees with the practice.
“I was offered a badge when I first got elected to the council back in 1999 and I turned it down then,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for law enforcement officers, be it police or firefighters. I don’t deserve a badge that they worked so hard to earn.” Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk said she can see why residents would question the use of badges by city administrators.”
“I had one as a council member and basically we don’t really use them that often,” she said. “It is a method of official identification for official circumstances. People are concerned with anything that’s used as official, and that’s understandable.”
The police union’s Rivera offered a simple suggestion for non-officers who want a badge: Become a cop.
“If they want to be like police officers so bad,” he said, “come on out and join us on the street.”
Nashville TN Feb 10 2011 A federal grand jury charged Nashville-based gun manufacturer Sabre Defence Industries and five company officers with illegal international arms trafficking.
Sabre’s largest customer was the U.S. military until the company shuttered operations late last year.
Owner Guy Savage, a United Kingdom citizen, and Middle Tennessee residents President Charles Shearon of Ashland City, Chief Financial Officer Elmer Hill of Brentwood, Director of Sales Michael Curlett of Hermitage and International Shipping and Purchasing Manager Arnold See Jr. of Antioch are the individuals charged.
They also face charges of conspiracy, making false statements, smuggling, wire fraud and mail fraud in the 21-count indictment unsealed Tuesday.
They and the company, located at 450 Allied Drive in Nashville, are accused of illegally importing and exporting regulated gun components to and from the United States. The indictment alleges that Savage directed the activity from the U.K., where he owns a gun manufacturer of the same name.
Federal prosecutor John Webb said authorities aren’t sure where the illegally trafficked gun parts ultimately ended up and hope to find out.
E-mails reveal frustration
In July 2004, Savage displayed his frustration with United States regulators in an e-mail to Hill and Shearon cited in the indictment: “This Iraq situation has companies banging on our door for M16s because we are the only supplier outside the U.S. since the State Department has a lump of granite up their asses with exporting machine guns to anywhere. … I’m not prepared to have bureaucrats in another country tell me how to run my business in the UK, which is incidentally their only reliable ally on the planet.”
Multiple subsequent e-mails cited in the indictment show company officials openly discussing skirting authorities.
The indictment alleges that the defendants concealed their activities by falsifying shipping records and labels and concealing gun components in false bottoms of boxes. The indictment alleges that Sabre smuggled regulated firearms components overseas without required licenses or authorizations since at least 2003, shortly after Savage acquired the U.S. company.
Sabre was raided by the ATF in February 2010. At the time, Shearon said the raid concerned the potential criminal misuse of Sabre firearms by individual employees of the company. One former Sabre employee was charged last year of using company parts to illegally build and sell guns, but the indictment unsealed Tuesday reveals far broader allegations. The federal prosecutor said Tuesday’s indictment was “directly related” to the February 2010 raid.
Sabre continued operating for several months after the raid before its lender, Cadence Bank, forced it to shut down by seizing its accounts. In a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the bank says Sabre owes it $1.7 million. A foreclosure sale of the company is scheduled for Feb. 15. An announcement of the liquidation by Cadence to bidders notes that there is an opportunity to continue the business at its existing location with equipment in place.
According to court filings, the U.S. government stopped accepting shipments from Sabre in July 2010. The indictment states that Sabre’s contracts with the Department of Defense totaled between $74 million and $120 million.
The company, formerly known as Ramo Defense Systems, started as a small Nashville gun manufacturer in 1978. Savage purchased the company in 2002 and renamed it after Ramo had entered bankruptcy. Savage oversaw the company’s massive growth fueled by military contracts as the U.S. waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company also benefited from a boost in consumer sales that followed the election of President Barack Obama, because of fears that stricter gun control would accompany his election.
Shop owner surprised
Jerry Hassler, who owns Franklin Gun Shop with his sons, said Sabre made excellent, accurate and reliable semi-automatic weapons of a high quality typically associated only with custom makers. Hassler said he found the charges hard to believe, but conceded, from experience, that “if you’re going to be in the gun business, you got to do the paperwork.”
Savage was arrested Tuesday in London and is awaiting extradition to the U.S. Each of the other four defendants has been issued a summons to appear in the U.S. District Court in Nashville.
“We don’t have any reason to believe they’re a flight risk,” Webb said. “Mr. Savage, on the other hand, is a foreign national, and there is a flight risk.”
Messages left with Sabre’s attorneys at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings were not returned Tuesday afternoon.
If convicted, each count comes with maximum sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years and fines ranging from $250,000 to $1 million.
Abington PA Feb 10 2011 Some keen observation by a Willow Grove Park mall security officer ended with the arrest Friday of a New York man who allegedly shoplifted $4,000 worth of items from at least five stores at the mall.
Carlos Hernandez, 32, of the 8300 block of 31st Avenue, New York, was arrested around 4:30 p.m. Feb. 4 and charged with criminal conspiracy, theft, receiving stolen property, possession of an instrument of crime and a credit card violation, according to Abington Deputy Chief John Livingood.
A security officer observed Hernandez walking in the mall with a Disney bag and started following him, as the Disney store no longer exists at the mall, Livingood said. Hernandez was observed going to a maroon minivan parked in the mall lot and police officers called to check found him hiding in the back of the minivan with what police call a “booster bag” — a bag lined with foil to defeat security measures — in plain view, he said.
Inside the bag, police found more than $4,000 worth of stolen property from the Limited, Victoria’s Secret, Caché, American Eagle and Gap, Livingood said. Hernandez claimed he had a female accomplice, but provided no information on her and no one else was taken into custody, he said.
Washington DC Feb 10 2011 Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued an internal order last week strengthening the role of university police in calls for service to off-campus locations linked to D.C. universities.
The general order directs Metropolitan Police Department officers, when responding to calls to a “campus-affiliated location off-campus (e.g. fraternity house, off-campus housing),” to invite campus police to respond to the site as well.
The order does not extend university police jurisdiction beyond campus confines, clarified Thomasine Johnson, director of public safety at Catholic University. She served as chair of a committee within the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area that helped hammer out the order.
The new directive reflects existing practice at Catholic University, said Johnson. When 5th District police respond to a location off-campus “where students are disturbing the area,” they call the university police to respond as well. Those school-employed officers “attempt to bring a peaceful closure to the incident,” she said, at locations including off-campus housing not owned by the university.
Though the order leaves some room for interpretation of what constitutes “a campus-affiliated location,” a police department representative confirmed yesterday that the order would include off-campus homes rented by students.
“The genesis of this notification is to permit the learning institution to handle the matter in-house, address standards of conduct and assuage the concerns of the neighborhood, provided the problem is not substantial,” D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump wrote in an e-mail to The Current.
Michael McNair, director of public safety at American University, wrote in an e-mail that the new order will not change much for most campus police, who already often respond to off-campus incidents. The only real change, he said, is to allow the Metropolitan Police Department more “latitude” in addressing matters involving students, particularly noise complaints.
Representatives of Georgetown and George Washington universities agreed that the new rule is a welcome one, though not a surprise, as the schools had worked with city police on the agreement.
“This order makes [it] clear that campus safety officers and MPD work cooperatively to address incidents on or near campuses,” wrote Georgetown spokesperson Julie Bataille.
But the city police will remain the lead agency at any off-campus incident, stressed advisory neighborhood commissioner Ed Solomon, who chairs the Georgetown/Burleith commission’s public safety committee. “That’s why I’m comfortable with this general order,” he said in an interview.
That may be the intent of the order, but according to Fraternal Order of Police head Kristopher Baumann, the result of the new policy may look quite different.
The new rule encourages city police to defer to an entity with no police powers beyond campus boundaries, Baumann wrote in an e-mail to The Current.
What if someone is hurt — in a fight or drug overdose, for example — while police are waiting for school-employed safety officials, Baumann mused. “I can’t imagine trying to defend (or even explain) this policy in a civil suit before a jury,” he wrote.
The new order follows closely on the heels of a strengthened noise ordinance that the D.C. Council passed recently. That law imposes a $500 fine and potential 90-day sentences for violations that include “making unreasonably loud noise” at night.
University student groups have construed the law as an attack on students and begun an online petition against the measure. As of yesterday afternoon, that document had nearly 1,500 signatures.
Source:The Current News
Rome NY Feb 10 2011 Mohawk Valley Community College is taking proactive steps to make its campuses safer learning environments with the addition of four peace officers to the College’s Security Department. The officers are on campus and in MVCC’s residence halls starting in January.
The move to Peace Officer status, which has been in the planning stage for more than a year, took place under the guidelines of New York State Law and as approved by the College’s Board of Trustees at their December 2010 meeting.
By state law, community college peace officers have the authority to enforce the Laws of New York State. Powers include traffic stops and the issuance of tickets for moving violations; use of physical force in making an arrest or preventing an escape; warrantless arrests; transportation of individuals in mental health crisis who pose a threat to themselves or others; and removal of any firearms discovered on property owned or rented by the College.
Peace officers will be on patrol at the Utica Campus around the clock with rotating shifts as an enhancement of MVCC’s current security force. They will also be able to respond to calls on the Rome Campus. Because of the recent success of patrols by the Utica Police Department, these patrols will continue and peace officers will work closely with local police.
Among New York’s community colleges, some deploy armed peace officers and some use unarmed peace officers. While MVCC’s peace officers carry additional equipment compared to security officers, they do not currently carry firearms. The Board of Trustees have instructed MVCC administrators to consider the question of whether peace officers should be equipped with firearms. The Trustees and President’s Cabinet are planning to host college-wide open forums on this question in the coming weeks, and the College Senate and other governance bodies are expected to give their input.
MVCC’s peace officers are new employees Mark E. Jankowski, Timothy J. Hajec, and Christopher B. Katz. They report to Chief Joseph Palmer, who has also been appointed as a peace officer. Palmer has been the Chief of Security at MVCC for more than eight years and previous was a police officer with are police departments.
Peace officers work in concert with the college’s existing security officers. The main differences between peace officers and security officers include additional arrest and investigative powers; several hundred hours of specialized training for each peace officer; new equipment and new connections with local law enforcement.
Jankowski holds an Associate in General Studies with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Columbia College. He has more than 10 years experience as a police officer with the Solvay and Jordan police departments. He is also experienced in college community security with two years as a peace officer at Onondaga Community College.
Jankowski received his certification in Field Training Officer School from the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department and a certificate from Bicycle Patrol School at Onondaga Community College. He was also shift supervisor at OCC for two years.
Hajec’s experience includes being a police officer with the Town of Frankfort Police Department and a peace officer at Syracuse University. He has also worked as an armed security guard for ETI Security in Syracuse.
Katz’ experience includes being a peace officer with the Onondaga County Auxiliary Police Department and a security officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse. As the Assistant Director of Public Safety, Katz was also site supervisor of security operations at Allied Barton Security in Philadelphia for nearly two years.
49-year-old Richard Pagel of Mosinee started yelling during a plea hearing. He threatened and swore at security officers as they removed him from the courtroom. He was tasered when he resisted, A sheriffs deputy suffered a minor injury – a twisted ankle – during the incident.
Pagel was charged with disorderly conduct, threatening and bail jumping. He was in court to enter a plea on an unrelated disorderly conduct charge.
Daryl Lyn Lindholm, 48, of Two Harbors made her first appearance Tuesday in St. Louis County District Court. She’s accused of eight felonies: four counts of financial exploitation of more than $5,000 from a vulnerable adult and four counts of the theft of more than $5,000.
According to the criminal complaint, Lindholm was the financial manager for Covenant Enabling Residences. She was hired on Jan. 24, 2007, as financial assistant and payroll clerk and became financial manager.
The complaint states that Lindholm told her sister, Dana Norton, executive director of Covenant, that she had stolen an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 from the nonprofit. Norton fired Lindholm in December 2009 and contacted authorities.
The phone number listed for Lindholm is no longer in service and she couldn’t be reached for comment.
Covenant Enabling Residences is a subordinate of The Evangelical Covenant Church of America. It has five facilities in Minnesota, including four in Duluth, in which it provides residential care to adults with developmental disabilities.
Lindholm was responsible for the day-to-day financial management of the facilities and clients. She had access to petty cash, checkbooks and client accounts, along with the main bank accounts.
Lindholm is accused of using client money for her gambling and personal use rather than the basic needs of the vulnerable adults.
Norton told police that Lindholm told her she had been taking money through petty cash and also by taking client money without authorization.
Norton did a preliminary check and discovered that there were more withdrawals than deposits during the banking process. She also found that Lindholm had taken clients’ tax refunds and discovered numerous missing receipts from monies paid out for client activities.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hasbargen after an investigation by Duluth police Sgt. Don Boso and Susan Renstrom, an investigator assigned to the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The criminal complaint states that an independent audit indicated Lindholm stole $56,455.94 from her employer and $27,115.04 from vulnerable clients for a total of $83,570.98.
“None of the clients will be harmed financially,” Norton said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “They all have been made whole. We’ll be pursuing recovery through restitution from the accused and through our insurance policies.”
Renstrom reviewed the independent audit and determined that records falsely showed that client money was paid to Covenant when the facility did not receive money; money was withdrawn from client bank accounts and not paid into client facility accounts or was unaccounted for; client tax refund checks from the federal and state governments and federal stimulus checks were cashed but not deposited into either client bank accounts or client facility accounts; and client rent checks were written and cashed but not received by the facilities.
The complaint alleges that Lindholm admitted to forging her sister’s name on several petty cash checks, and that payroll bonus checks written to herself were bogus.
Lindholm came to court on her own Tuesday on a summons and is free without bail, pending her next court appearance on March 2. As a condition of her release, 6th Judicial District Judge Sally Tarnowski ordered Lindholm to not seek employment that involves the money of vulnerable adults.
Orlando Fla Feb 10 2011 Two University of Florida swimmers have been suspended from the team indefinitely following their arrest for shoplifting in Orlando on Saturday.
Lily Ramirez, a junior from Gainesville, and Daniela Victoria, a junior from Plantation, are facing charges of misdemeanor petit theft after admitting to police they stole two jackets valued at $130 from a Nordstrom at an Orlando Mall.
“We are extremely disappointed in the actions of two of our student-athletes this past weekend,” UF swimming coach Gregg Troy said. “Both individuals have been suspended indefinitely, and will miss the 2011 SEC Swimming Championships (at UF next week) and beyond. University of Florida student-athletes are held to a high standard of character. This was unquestionably a massive error in judgment, and our program simply cannot and will not tolerate this type of behavior.”
Police stopped Ramirez and Victoria after they were alerted by Nordstrom employees that the two swimmers had walked out of the store with the two jackets without paying.
The two have since been released from jail.
Timothy James Shelly, of 543 Mauch Chunk Road, Palmerton, was charged with indecent assault and indecent exposure. Shelly was already in Lehigh County Prison on similar charges in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.
According to court documents:
Allentown police received a report of an exposer on Sept. 11 at the Kmart, 1502 S. Fourth St. Police spoke to a security guard who said a man was following a girl throughout the store and exposing himself in front of her and possibly had touched her.
A child interview specialist with the Lehigh County Child Advocacy Center interviewed the victim, a 10-year-old girl, who said she was looking at birthday cards when she noticed a man standing next to her and exposing himself. The girl said she tried to move away from the man, but he followed her and bumped up against her.
The girl said she ran to her mom and they told store security.
Allentown Detective John Buckwalter interviewed Shelly last week. Shelly said he did not know specific details about the Sept. 11 incident, but said he has committed similar acts to close to 100 victims in area stores. Shelly said he goes to stores, finds a girl that he likes and then exposes himself. He said he sometimes brushes up against them.
Shelly told Buckwalter is he unsure if he touched the victim on Sept. 11, but said he probably did. He said he has done the same thing at the south Allentown Kmart about a dozen times.
Shelly was also charged on Jan. 28 for committing similar acts at a Target in Hanover Township, Lehigh County. State police at Bethlehem said Shelly exposed himself Jan. 2 at Target off Airport Road, and then did it again more than three weeks later.
Shelly was charged on Jan. 28 and committed to Lehigh County Prison on $20,000 bail. His bail was raised by $25,000 after the Allentown charges.
According to the state police’s Megan’s Law web site, Shelly had to register as a sex offender in January 2003 after an attempted indecent assault conviction.
ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. Feb 10 2011 – An Accomack County deputy was arrested for allegedly stealing energy drinks from a convenience store in Chincoteague on ten separate occasions.
Sheriff Deputy Jerry Spencer Tarr was charged with ten counts of petit larceny on Monday, a news release from Virginia State Police said.
Tarr came under investigation when Petroleum Marketing Group (PMG) contacted the State Police to investigate an alleged shoplifting at the Corner Market Convenience store in Chincoteague.
PMG and its employees identified Tarr on ten occasions on video surveillance stealing several Five Hour Energy Drinks.
Police said Tarr was investigated, charged, and released.
GREENVILLE, SC Feb 10 2011 – A custodian who helped rescue a baby abandoned in a toilet at a South Carolina arena says he hopes to meet the infant whose life he saved.
Marco Calle said Wednesday he was worried the baby left behind after a Friday night circus performance wouldn’t survive.
A cleaning crew found the baby at 11:30 pm Friday with its feet in the water and head resting on the toilet rim at Greenville’s Bi-Lo Center. Calle lifted the baby while his boss called 911. He says there was evidence a woman had recently given birth in the stall.
The woman accused of abandoning the baby has been charged with abuse and neglect. Jessica Blackham’s mother told a judge her daughter didn’t know she was pregnant and can’t remember giving birth and later went to a hospital for bleeding.
Blackham’s mother also told a judge Wednesday that Blackham, who already has a 4-year-old child, has had amnesia since going into a bathroom at the Bi-Lo Center in downtown Greenville.
Her mother says Blackham felt ill during a circus performance Friday night and went to the bathroom. She says Blackham can’t remember what happened.
According to Greenville police Sgt. Jason Rampey, the baby weighed about 6 pounds at the time it was found.
Authorities say Jessica Blackham, 25, from Easley was arrested on Tuesday night after she came to the Greenville police station accompanied by family members. A municipal judge in Greenville on Wednesday set a $30,000 bond for Blackham, who is married and already has a 4-year-old child, police said.
Blackham is charged with two counts of felony child abuse and one count of unlawful neglect toward a child. If convicted on all charges, she could face up to 50 years in prison.
Officials said they could not immediately explain what Blackham may have been thinking when she gave birth Friday night at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville while attending a circus performance.
When the baby was found, the infant was only a few hours old and officials say the child was suffering from hypothermia.
The child was transported to nearby Greenville Memorial Hospital and listed in critical condition on Tuesday.