End of Watch: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Sergeant Adam Rosenthal was killed in an automobile accident near the intersection of Southwest 18th Street and Boca Rio Road in Boca Raton at approximately 6:15 am.
He was reporting to the station at the beginning of his shift when his patrol car struck a tree in the median. He was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Sergeant Rosenthal is survived by his four children.
Agency Contact Information
Delray Beach Police Department
300 West Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Phone: (561) 243-7888
Please contact the Delray Beach Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Security officer struggles physically, financially after being injured sixteen months ago www.privateofficer.com
Fisherville VA Feb 17 2011 Sixteen months after being sucker-punched from behind while working as a part-time security guard at Eastside Speedway in Waynesboro, 49-year-old Troy Price of Fishersville continues to struggle both physically and financially.
The former head of security at the track, Price was working the night of Oct. 24, 2009, when a fracas broke out involving about eight people. For the first time in his 10-year career, Price said he pulled out his pepper spray and let the chemical fly.
“It all started because I sprayed a teenager,” Price said. “I didn’t know he was a teenager.
“I warned him three times.”
Incensed by Price’s act, Christopher N. Root, 25, of Waynesboro, started after the security guard, but others restrained him.
“I had turned my back to walk away,” Price said during a phone interview Tuesday.
But as he started to move away, Price was punched —struck on the left side of his neck, directly on his carotid artery, forever changing the former truck driver’s life. And this afternoon, that punch will bring Root before an Augusta County judge.
Following the punch, Price had trouble standing. Rescue personnel whisked him to Augusta Health in Fishersville, then he was flown by a medevac helicopter to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.
“When he hit me, it immediately caused a stroke,” Price said.
He would spend several days in the intensive care unit in Charlottesville, and another three weeks at the Augusta Rehabilitation Center, relearning how to walk, talk, use the bathroom and shower.
“It took awhile,” Price said.
However, Price has never fully recovered. He continues to suffer from numbness along the entire right side of his body. Walking for Price, who stands at 6 feet, 7 inches tall, does not come easily.
“It’s aggravating because I can never tell where my foot is. I trip over everything in the world,” he said.
A truck driver by trade, Price eventually lost his commercial driver’s license and his full-time job. He has not returned to the speedway, and attempts to receive disability payments have proved fruitless.
“I’ve been turned down twice,” he said.
In the meantime, Price has burned through thousands of dollars in savings, and there isn’t much left. “I’m running out of money,” he said. “Now, I’m actually into my IRA.”
This afternoon in Augusta County Circuit Court, Root, charged with malicious wounding in the case, will face a judge on the felony charge. He faces the possibility of 20-year prison term if convicted.
During a preliminary hearing held June 3, an Augusta County sheriff’s investigator testified that Root admitted hitting Price, and said he did so because he claimed he saw Price reach for a can of Mace. Root, the investigator said, expressed remorse for his actions.
As for Price, he’s tried several medications to cure the numbness that plagues nearly half of his body. So far, nothing has helped alleviate the problem.
“I was told it might go away one day, or I might have it the rest of my life. It’s kind of turning into a rest of my life thing,” he said.
Special Agent Jaime J. ZapataUnited States Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations
End of Watch: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: 4 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Incident Location: Overseas
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: At large
Special Agent Jaime Zapata was shot and killed outside of Mexico City, Mexico.
He and another agent assigned to United States Embassy and were traveling between Mexico City and Monterrey when they were forced off the road by 10 members of a Mexican drug cartel. The agents were in an armored vehicle with diplomatic plates and identified themselves as diplomats.
The cartel members opened fire on them, fatally wounding Agent Zapata and wounding the second agent.
Special Agent Zapata had served with ICE for four years.
Agency Contact Information
United States Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations
500 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20536
Phone: (202) 732-4242
Please contact the United States Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Marty King, a former public services director, charged the city for work that was never performed to its infrastructure over several years.
The State Attorney’s office announced King’s arrest Monday, and will hold a joint press conference with North Miami Beach police Monday afternoon..
King, who oversaw the city’s water-and-sewer work, resigned from his $100,000-a-year job last year after he admitted he approved purchase orders for services and materials that were not performed or delivered, according to city records.
A 15-page audit of the city’s public services department by the Fort Lauderdale engineering firm Chen & Associates, shows King submitted purchase orders that detailed 22,500 feet — more than four miles — of water-and-sewer pipes, 254 manholes and 142 valves used to shut off flow to water pipes.
The audit highlighted shoddy record keeping including duplicate purchase orders and no record of where the work was performed.
MIDDLETOWN OH Feb 17 2011 — A Middletown man has been ordered to stay away from an apartment complex and nursing home after pleading guilty to impersonating a security guard.
William Haeger, 28, pleaded guilty to one charge of prohibited acts by a security guard Friday at Middletown Municipal Court. Two counts of the same offense were dropped at the request of the prosecutor, according to court documents.
Haeger was arrested in October after staff and residents at the Arlington Arms apartment complex and Kensington Place Nursing Home across the street complained he was intimidating people and would detain and search visitors.
According to a police report, when confronted by officers, Haeger displayed a badge and business cards claiming he was a security guard for the apartment complex. Arlington Arms management said he was not an employee and was told not to represent himself as one.
A Middletown police investigation revealed while Haeger was a criminal justice student at the University of Cincinnati, he did not have a degree in law enforcement nor did he have necessary licensing from the Ohio Department of Homeland Security to work as a security guard, according to police.
Judge Mark Wall suspended Haeger’s 30-day jail sentence on the condition he stay away from Arlington Arms and Kensington Place. He also was ordered to pay $300 in fines and court costs, according to court records.
John Mulvey, Haeger’s attorney, said “the court record speaks for itself,” and both he and his client declined to comment.
Middletown police Sgt. Jim Cunningham said he was happy with the outcome of the case.
“It’s definitely unusual that someone would go to that extreme to do what he did,” Cunningham said. “He was basically freelancing as a security guard and it created some risk for Arlington Arms, which was an innocent party here.”
In addition to his sentence, Haeger was ordered to surrender any weapons he has to police to be destroyed and to turn over his handcuffs, according to court records.
West Palm Beach Fla Feb 17 2011 Eight hours after 10-year-old Victor Doctor stumbled out of his adoptive father’s pickup truck overcome by toxic fumes, Florida child welfare investigators dispatched to the boy’s West Miami-Dade home on Monday were confronted with a startling question: Where was Victor’s twin sister?
The answer would turn the red truck, near I-95 in West Palm Beach, into a crime scene: The girl was found inside a bag, dead, in the bed of the pickup.
Both Victor and his twin, who has not been identified by police or child welfare administrators, had been the subject of a troubling call to the Department of Children & Families’ abuse hotline only four days earlier. The children, a schoolteacher said, were being bound hand-and-feet with duct tape.
The children, the report said, were being untied only so they could eat.
In the aftermath of Monday’s tragedy, two other children who were adopted by Jorge L. Barahona, Victor’s adoptive father, were taken into custody by DCF Tuesday. Their case will be heard Wednesday before Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman, who has been asked to place them, once again, in foster care.
Jorge Barahona was charged late Tuesday by West Palm Beach police with aggravated child abuse, police told reporters at a Tuesday night news conference. “We expect other charges to be forthcoming,” said police spokesman Chase Scott.
Child welfare administrators offered few details Tuesday as to what happened to Victor and his twin.
“We are in the preliminary stages of a very tragic and extremely complex investigation,” said Mark Riordan, a DCF spokesman. “We are working side-by-side with law enforcement in two jurisdictions, and protective investigators in two jurisdictions.
“Though there is an open investigation involving this family,” Riordan added, “our primary concern is the safety of these children.”
Sources say Victor remains hospitalized in critical condition, having been placed on a respirator so he can breathe. Barahona, police said, was speaking with investigators Tuesday night.
Scott said the chemicals on Victor’s body were so toxic that an officer who was exposed to the child became ill — suffering from headaches and chest pains. Officers still do not know precisely what chemicals were being kept in the truck’s cab. Barahona is an exterminator.
According to sources with knowledge of the case:
Victor and his twin became foster children when their birth mother’s drug and alcohol abuse led to persistent neglect. They were sent to live with Jorge Barahona, 53, who owns a pest control company, and his wife, Carmen, 60, who worked for a pediatrician. A few years ago, the Barahonas adopted the twins.
The Barahonas appeared to be traditional suburban parents. They had two dachshund puppies, a parrot and had been foster parents for a decade. In the chambers of Circuit Judge Valerie Manno-Schurr, the two children said privately that they wanted the couple to adopt them.
Before the adoption, the Barahonas had been the subject of three reports to the abuse hotline, said Riordan, who declined to specify the allegations. A source said one report stated the girl had been going to school dirty, while another report claimed one of the children had been bruised. The allegations did not result in any action against the Barahonas.
The Barahonas also had custody of two other children adopted from the state, a 7-year-old girl and an 11- or 12-year-old boy, and often cared for a grandchild in their home, at 11501 SW 47th Ter. in West Miami-Dade.
On Feb. 10, DCF’s abuse hotline received an alarming report: Victor and his sister were being physically abused by their adoptive parents, who allegedly were tying the twins up with duct tape. The twins, the report said, “are being untied to be fed.”
A neighborhood child had reported the alleged abuse to a teacher, who, in turn, called the state.
But between Feb. 10 and Monday, child welfare investigators had not taken the children — who were being home-schooled, and had little visibility in the community — out of the home. Carmen Barahona had told investigators she and Jorge were separated, and she had custody of only the other two children — not Victor and his twin.
ON THE HIGHWAY
On Monday, during early morning rush-hour, a highway road ranger found Barahona and his adoptive son in the pickup — emblazoned with CJ Pest Control and a Miami-Dade phone number — on the side of Interstate 95 between Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and 45th Street.
Barahona was slumped behind the wheel. The boy, Victor, was clambering out of the truck, in the midst of a seizure, and suffering from what appeared to be chemical burns.
The boy was taken to St. Mary’s hospital, his father to Columbia Medical Center, police say.
Police called DCF administrators, who realized quickly that they already were investigating the report from four days earlier. They dispatched investigators to the Barahonas’ West Miami-Dade home, where they noticed Victor’s sister was missing.
IN THE TRUCK
About 5 p.m., Hazmat teams were asked to return to the truck. A state Department of Environmental Protection worker found the girl’s body in the bed of the truck. Police said late Tuesday the body was partially decomposed.
The body remained inside the flatbed Tuesday afternoon — black tarps draped over the truck — until late Tuesday evening.
West Palm Beach police told reporters late Tuesday that the pickup was to be taken to a ‘‘secure’’ facility where the FBI will examine it.
Since the girl’s body was found, at least one of Victor’s adoptive siblings has confirmed to authorities that the children were being bound in the Barahona’s home, a source told The Miami Herald.
Nashville Tenn. Feb 17 2011 — A Tennessee State University police officer was hospitalized late Tuesday after a fight with a gunman.
According to an affidavit, Lt. Phillip Beene confronted a man suspected of threatening a student with a gun hours earlier.
The suspect refused to follow orders, forcing Beene to wrestle him to the ground.
The officer called for help, and when backup arrived, Beene and the suspect were fighting for control of a gun.
Eventually, the officers managed to take the gun away from the suspect and place him in a patrol car, but as they were taking him to jail, he managed to slip out of his handcuffs and run away.
Officers captured him after a short chase.
Police said the suspect, Stephen Sheppard, 20, threatened them and stated that he was affiliated with the Dodge City Crips gang.
He was jailed on several charges including aggravated assault on an officer and resisting arrest.
Police said the gun he was armed with was stolen.
Sheppard has a lengthy criminal history dating to 2009.
PHOENIX AZ FEB 17 2011 A/P — There was a moment when Henry Morello began to lose hope, stuck as he was for five long days with his car in a ditch in the Arizona desert.
The 84-year-old drank windshield wiper fluid after he got thirsty, used car mats to stay warm and even read a car manual from cover to cover to pass time.
Then, he heard a knock on a window from a hiker, and suddenly his long, painful ordeal was over.
“I just kissed him,” Morello said of the hiker. “He looked like an angel to me.”
Morello described his ordeal at a hospital news conference Tuesday as he recalled making a wrong turn while driving home Feb. 7 from a favorite restaurant in Cave Creek and ending up stuck in the desert near Interstate 17 north of Phoenix. His car and cell phone battery soon went dead as rescuers looked for him.
Morello said he became stranded when – realizing he took a wrong turn – made a U-turn and ended up in a ditch.
He tried to crawl out of the car but did not get too far and returned. He ripped a chrome piece from his car and put it on the roof, hoping someone would see the reflection.
He didn’t have water. To quench his thirst, Morello said he broke the wiper fluid container open with a rock and filtered out fluid with napkin to try to make it safe.
He said nights were hardest for him because he would get scared, and he prayed to Saint Anthony, patron of lost causes.
With no sign of searchers by the fifth night, Morello said, he started to lose hope.
“My phone went dead, my battery went dead, and I went dead,” Morello said.
Overnight temperatures the week he was missing were in the upper 30s to the mid-40s, the National Weather Service said.
The hikers who found him Saturday morning weren’t identified at the news conference, but Jim Sheehan, a friend who helped organize a search and rescue team, said they knew of the missing man.
“Nobody ever gave up” in the search, said Sheehan, who was on a search plane when he got a call saying Morello had been found.
Morello is a patient at John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix, where doctors said he arrived in good condition considering what he’d been through. A diabetic, Morello, will stay in the hospital a few days while doctors treat him for kidney damage.
Dr. Kevin Veale said initial reports were that Morello had consumed some antifreeze, which would have been much worse than wiper fluid.
Morello lives on his own but a caregiver visits daily.
Morello’s nephew, Carl Morello, was at the news conference along with other family members from Chicago. He said the family was simply overjoyed to hear that his uncle was found alive.
“Miracles still do happen,” Carl said.
Family members in Chicago were kept informed during the effort by friends in Arizona.
About 100 volunteers passed out fliers and searched on the ground for Morello over four days, after authorities got word that he was missing. The efforts began Wednesday. Volunteers cooperated with the Maricopa Sheriff’s department to make sure that all surrounding areas were covered.
Morello won’t be driving by himself for a long time, said Sheehan, who has been friends with Morello for 15 years.
And Morello says he’s learned a lesson the hard way: “I’ll never drive without water,” Morello said.
“In appreciation of their hard work and commitment to protecting this nation, AFGE would publicly like to say ‘thank you’ to every TSO, and in particular, those in Seattle,” AFGE 11th District National Vice President Gerald Swanke said.
After a nine-year battle to secure workplace protections for Transportation Security Administration employees, AFGE on Feb. 4 applauded TSA Administrator Pistole for affirming collective bargaining rights and praised TSOs across the country for their unwavering commitment and tenacity in fighting for collective bargaining rights to be settled.
“For nine years, TSOs have had to deal with issues of dangerous workplaces, discrimination, selective hiring practices, nepotism, management intimidation, and reports of lax oversight at the agency with only AFGE to stand between them and an often arbitrary and capricious management. Many issues will be up for negotiations, including seniority, shift biddings, transfers, awards and the mechanics of the agency’s flawed and subjective pay-for-performance system known as PASS,” said AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox, who will be in attendance at Wednesday’s event.
AFGE’s Solidarity Stand will be attended by AFGE leaders and activists, as well as members of the AFL-CIO and its affiliate unions.
One year ago, AFGE filed a petition with the Federal Labor Relations Authority for exclusive union representation at TSA, and that election has finally been called for March 9-April 19.
“AFGE can truthfully and proudly say that we have been the only union at airports around the country for nine years fighting for the respect and dignity due TSOs. As the only union with strong backing from the powerful AFL-CIO and its 12 million members, we have the utmost confidence that TSOs will join the tens of thousands of other DHS employees already represented by AFGE and vote overwhelmingly for AFGE,” AFGE National President John Gage said.
TSOs in Seattle are members of AFGE Local 1121, which includes airports throughout Washington and Alaska. AFGE is the only union to represent TSOs since the agency’s inception, and currently has more than 12,000 dues-paying members in 40 AFGE TSA Locals across the country. With more than 264,000 dues-paying members in more than 75 federal and D.C. government agencies, AFGE is the single largest federal employee union in the country.
For more information, please visit http://www.tsaunion.com.
AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees
Jacksonville Fla Feb 17 2011 A 28-year-old man died from an unknown cause Tuesday morning after a struggle with Jacksonville police at the Red Roof Inn on Youngerman Circle on the Westside, police said.
Chief John Hartley of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said multiple 911 calls led police to the hotel, where officers found a man with a history of mental problems in distress. It happened before 1 a.m.
The man, later identified as 28-year-old Curtis James Moss, had security guards called to his room at least twice “having different thoughts” about people being in the complex, Hartley said.
After the security guards checked the parking lot and attempted to reassure him, police eventually arrived.
“With the thought [of] getting him some help, they [police] tried to get him out of the room,” Hartley said.
He said Moss became agitated as officers attempted to put him in a patrol car and he began to resist.
“At that point, they took him to the ground,” Hartley said.
He said several officers were called in to assist the three who were on scene, finally getting Moss restrained in handcuffs. That’s when the officers realized he was in medical distress and rescue was called. No stun guns or weapons were used, Hartley said.
When rescue personnel arrived, Moss was still alive, though CPR was performed before he was transported to Orange Park Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, according to Hartley.
The chief said Moss was accompanied by his girlfriend and had prescribed medication consistent with his mental history. No illegal drugs were found.
Hartley said the exact cause of death is not yet determined.
Jail and court records last show Moss as being 6-foot-6, 150 pounds. He was released from the Duval County jail in May after serving a 120-day sentence for resisting an officer with violence and disorderly intoxication involving endangerment.
Norristown PA Feb 17 2011 Authorities are asking the public to help identify and locate the subjects responsible for the armed robbery of a Brinks armored vehicle that occurred earlier in the month, as the Brinks truck was making a delivery to the Bank of America branch located at 1000 Sandy Hill Road in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Three unidentified subjects drove up to the Brinks truck as it was making the delivery, in a Chrysler Town and Country minivan that had been stolen earlier that day from the parking lot of a convenience store on Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. The three males, described as either black or Hispanic, were wearing masks, dark jackets, jeans, and gloves and were armed with handguns and an assault rifle. After striking the armored car employee in the head with the butt of an assault rifle and knocking him to the ground, the delivery of cash that he was carrying was stolen. The three males then fled in the stolen minivan through the Regatta Apartment complex behind the bank branch, crashed through a chain barricade, and then abandoned the stolen minivan in the 900 block of Main Street in Norristown. The males switched into an early 2000s model year Nissan Pathfinder, black or dark blue in color, and then fled the area towards Bridgeport. A picture of the Nissan Pathfinder is below.
Brinks has offered a $25,000 reward to assist in the investigation for the arrest and conviction of the subjects responsible for the robbery and the recovery of the stolen money.
These subjects are considered armed and dangerous, and anyone with information is urged to call the FBI at 215-418-4000 or the Norristown Police Department at 610-270-0977. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
It happened around 9:00 p.m. in the 3500 block of Fairmount Avenue.
Police say a suspect was attempting to steal a computer when he was shot by a private security guard watching the building.
The suspect was wounded in the hand and is in stable condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
The guard was unharmed.
Police are investigating.
A man walked into the pharmacy Monday and handed a clerk a note demanding drugs, the Herald reported.
Police used information gathered during previous robberies to determine the man’s likely escape route, police said. Police arrested a 32-year-old Everett man, who they belive is the robbery suspect, and a 36-year-old Everett woman, who they believe was his getaway driver, police said.
“It is our belief that this individual is responsible for all of the robberies of this pharmacy since they started occurring in late November,” Edmonds Police Sgt. Don Anderson told the Herald.
The lawsuit, filed in Stark County Common Pleas Court against Securi-Com of Canton, stems from the arrest of burglary suspect James A. Sturznickel in December.
Back then, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office warned homeowners with alarm systems to contact their security companies to verify the integrity of the systems after learning that Sturznickel had worked for Securi-Com and may have used his knowledge to bypass security alarms to burglarize homes.
In the lawsuit, Securi-Com customers Stephen and Marci Houff claim they were victims in January 2010 of a burglary perpetrated by Sturznickel. No criminal charges have been filed against Sturznickel for that incident.
The lawsuit alleges that Securi-Com breached its contract with customers by installing defective security systems that were easily disarmed by Sturznickel.
The complaint also claims the company retained Sturznickel as an employee despite an alleged substance abuse problem. Sturznickel was charged in 2009 with possession of heroin but later pleaded no contest to the lesser charge of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, seeks damages in excess of $25,000 and is assigned to Judge Charles E. Brown Jr.
The Houffs’ attorneys, Allen Schulman and Brian Zimmerman, have asked the court to certify the case as a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of other Securi-Com customers whose homes were burglarized.
“Just the idea that someone invades your home and privacy in a such a manner, that’s a frightening thing,” Schulman said.
Company president James F. Sturznickel said the lawsuit was a surprise and that he had not yet seen a copy of the complaint.
He said his company did some work at the Houffs’ home and monitored their alarm system, but that the system was originally installed by another company.
He also said his son no longer works for the company, and that he learned of his son’s drug problem after his son was laid off.
James A. Sturznickel, 42, of Lake Township, is awaiting trial next month in Summit County Common Pleas Court on burglary and other charges.
He also faces a receiving stolen property charge in Stark County.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. Feb 17 2011– Two men were arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of attempting to rob a check-cashing business, a Santa Rosa police sergeant said.
A resident notified police around 7:45 a.m. that two men with handguns and masks were near California Check Cashing at 1552 Santa Rosa Ave., Sgt. Steve Fraga said.
The men ran when they were confronted by a security guard, Fraga said.
Officers found the suspects near the corner of Santa Rosa and Flower avenues and confronted them at gunpoint, Fraga said.
One of the suspects allegedly ran and discarded a loaded firearm in a gas station parking lot before surrendering to armed officers, Fraga said.
Witnesses saw the second suspect allegedly hide a backpack near a residence on Flower Avenue before fleeing east toward Petaluma Hill Road, Fraga said.
Officers found a loaded firearm and robbery tools in the backpack and later determined one of the firearms had been stolen in a local burglary in October, Fraga said.
The second suspect was found on Petaluma Hill Road near the Santa Rosa Avenue intersection, and witnesses identified both men as the ones they saw near the check-cashing business, Fraga said.
Police found the suspects’ vehicle, described as a purple Lexus registered to a Vallejo resident, on Flower Avenue.
Cory Terrell Burns, 29, of Santa Rosa, and Cory Ivan Ellison, 23, of Vallejo, were booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of stolen property and firearms charges, Fraga said.
Police in Georgia report a bandit walked into a McDonald’s, wanting to stick-up the place. But he didn’t have anything to write with.
So, the man asked an employee for a pencil and paper. Authorities say the suspect then handed a note demanding money to the manager.
The McRobber claimed he had a gun. Police say he ran out with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Cobb County police are looking for the suspect.
Elkins WV Feb 17 2011 The deputy U.S. Marshal who was killed while serving an arrest warrant on a residence in Elkins, West Virginia this morning was a 24-year-old who graduated from the U.S. Marshals Academy just over a year ago.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller of Bridgeport, W. Va., had worked for the U.S. Marshals Service’s Clarksburg office since his graduation just over a year ago from the U.S. Marshals Academy, spokesman Jeff Carter told reporters in an e-mail.
“Hotsinpiller was among several Deputy U.S. Marshals from the Northern District of West Virginia, who, along with members of the West Virginia State Police and The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force were serving an arrest warrant on Charles E. Smith at 319 Central Street in Elkins,” Carter said.
“Smith, 50, was wanted on a charges related to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and felon in possession of a firearm,” Carter said. “Immediately upon entry into Smith’s residence, three Deputy U.S. Marshals were fired upon by a shotgun blast and struck. Deputies returned fire on Smith and he was shot dead on the scene.”
The U.S. Marshals Service is not releasing the identities of the injured deputies at this time, Carter said. The FBI and West Virginia State Police are investigating the shooting.
Hotsinpiller was the first deputy U.S. Marshal to die in the line of duty from gunfire since 1992, when William Degan was killed at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The last U.S. Marshals-related death from gunfire took place on Jan. 4, 2010 when Court Security Officer Stanley W. Cooper was killed in Las Vegas. Those figures do not include local task force officers who are from other law enforcement agencies but and are given special deputation.
Two other shootings involving U.S. Marshals personnel took place last month, one in St. Petersberg, Fl. and the other in Miami.
Late Update: Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement:
“Today’s shootings in Elkins, West Virginia, demonstrate yet again the danger that our nation’s law enforcement officers confront on a daily basis. This morning, while attempting to serve a felony arrest warrant, three Deputy United States Marshals were met with gunfire from a dangerous fugitive who was eventually killed. In fulfilling their critical duties, these courageous Deputies put their lives on the line and put the safety of others above their own.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller, who made the ultimate sacrifice today, and with the two Deputies who were injured in the line of duty. Their valiant actions and their service to our nation will not be forgotten, and the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of all those who serve in law enforcement will continue to be a top priority.”