LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.March 31 2011 — Gwinnett County police announced two arrests in connection with a series of ATM and armored car robberies in Metro Atlanta over the past 5 months.
Stacy Lamont Dooley and Quinton Lamar Booker have been charged in the series of eight armed robberies and the murder of an armored car guard beginning last fall.
Police captured the men at about 9 a.m. Wednesday on Georgia 141 near Medlock Bridge Road when authorities blocked their vehicle.
Three of the robberies happened in Gwinnett County, including the Mall of Georgia Bank of America branch on Nov. 11, the Snellville Wells Fargo branch on Nov. 29, and inside the Mall of Georgia on Dec. 7. An armored car guard fired at one of the suspects in the Mall of Georgia holdup.
Gwinnett County detectives took the lead in the investigation after the March 15 shooting death of an armored car guard in front of a Toco Hills Kroger store in DeKalb County.
Dooley is charged with three counts of armed robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery for the robberies in Gwinnett County. Booker is charged with three counts of armed robbery for the Gwinnett County robberies. The pair face possible additional charges. Officials said the investigation remains open and that other suspects may be involved in the case.
Charges in the homicide will be investigated by DeKalb County Police.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that jurors on Tuesday convicted Herbert Mike Merritt of first-degree murder. Merritt shot Anthony Laymond “Tony” Ford six times before stabbing him and carving out a piece of his chest cavity. The 49-year-old Merritt thought he was eating a piece of Ford’s heart, but instead ingested a portion of the dead man’s lung.
Merritt must serve at least 51 years in prison.
He contended he suffered a psychotic break when he killed Ford and was insane. Jurors deliberated five hours before finding him guilty.
MIDDLETOWN PA March 31 2011 – The two were shoplifting with their children when they got into a fight with a 55-year-old Oxford Valley Mall security guard and severely beat the woman.
A mother and daughter from Trenton who beat a 55-year-old Oxford Valley Mall security guard who tried to stop them from shoplifting were sentenced Tuesday in Bucks County Court in Doylestown.
Luz D. Deleon, 55, and Anna Deleon-Valle, 22, pleaded guilty to theft and assault charges before county Judge Albert Cepparulo.
Deleon-Valle was sentenced to one to two years in the county prison. Her mother will serve four years of probation.
Both women were ordered to complete parenting classes. Deleon-Valle must also attend an anger management course.
The incident began in Sears, where the women were shopping with Deleon’s 13-year-old daughter and Deleon-Valle’s 2-year-old son.
The store’s loss prevention staff saw the women take approximately $500 worth of clothing into a fitting room, where they concealed it inside shopping bags and the toddler’s stroller.
A security guard approached the women as they left the store. The shoplifters threatened to spray the woman with mace, then attacked her, said deputy district attorney Blake Jackman.
“They punched her and knocked her to the ground and kicked her,” Jackman said.
The mother and daughter grabbed their kids and ran for their car. The guard followed them, and Deleon-Valle fought with her in the parking lot while her mother loaded the stolen clothes into the vehicle.
Police soon arrived and arrested the women. The guard suffered severe facial cuts and injuries to her eyes and teeth in the beating.
Standing next to her attorney, Niels Eriksen, Deleon-Valle said emotional problems led her to commit the crime.
“I was just so angry that day,” she said.
Deleon was represented by attorney Keith Bidlingmaier. With the help of an interpreter, she apologized to Cepparulo.
“I am very sorry,” she said.
Deleon-Valle has prior convictions for shoplifting and drug-related offenses in New Jersey. Deleon has no priors.
Cepparulo warned the women that another conviction could earn them a state prison sentence. He said their crime was even more serious because it was committed in front of their children.
“The kids had to see this, then see the arrest that occurred. That doesn’t leave very good memories.”
Virginia Beach VA March 31 2011
I would have done that for anybody being chased in the parking lot, that’s my job, that’s what I get paid to do.”
Still afraid to show his face, fearing retaliation; Thomas, a security guard for Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach says he knew instantly Monday night wouldn’t be an ordinary day on the job.
“I know most cars that come through here and I know mostly everyone that comes through here. And it circled the parking lot three times, and then they pulled behind the building,” says Thomas.
Investigators say shortly after that a 19-year-old who was walking towards Zero’s Sub Shop was approached by two men who tried to rob him – that’s when Thomas jumped in.
“I grabbed one of the guys by the jacket and then he let out a shot,” adds Thomas.
The victim was shot, and fell to the ground. Thomas says the two men ran off.
Thomas ran inside the pool hall to call police, and he stayed with the 19-year-old until emergency crews got there. “After he got shot he just said he wanted to go to sleep, and he couldn’t move his legs and he couldn’t feel his fingers.”
The 19-year-old was taken to the hospital and rushed into surgery. Police say he’s in serious condition.
Thomas says he’s thankful he was able to do his job, and help someone who was in trouble. “I was just doing my job.”
Police are still looking for the two men. If you know anything call the Crimeline at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
FORT LEE, N.J. March 31 2011- Three New Jersey police officers have been suspended after five arrested teenagers spent the night locked up in a police van.
The teens were among a group of 20 who were rounded up after neighbors complained about a loud house party early Saturday. Fort Lee’s attorney Lee Cohen says the five were left behind when the van reached police headquarters.
One of the teens, Adam Kim, said in an email that he and four other boys were “stranded” for more than 14 hours with no food, water or cellphones.
The boys say they were released after an officer heard them making noise.
Cohen tells The Record newspaper there was a “serious error.”
He says the commanding officer of the shift and two other officers have been suspended with pay.
Detectives say the 36-year old Town of Byron man used his position as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to get access to a computer system in a Genesee County health care facility.
Police say Kalmbacher printed out prescriptions for hydrocodone and percocet and then forged signatures on them.
Investigators claim that Kalmbacher took those prescriptions to be filled at various pharmacies in the Village of Leroy, Town of Batavia, Town of Pembroke, and the City of Batavia.
According to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Kalmbacher was able to illegally obtain around three thousand narcotic pain pills – which authorities believe he used himself.
The Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force started investigating Kalmbacher after receiving a tip from a pharmacy in the Village of Leroy.
Sege Kalmbacher is being held without bail in the Genesee County Jail.
He faces the following charges:
-Twenty-Four Counts (24) of Criminal Possesion of A Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree, a class B-Felony of the New York State Penal law.
-Twenty-Five Counts (25) of Criminal Possesion of A Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree, a class D-Felony of the New York State Penal law.
-Twenty-Seven (27) Counts of Computer Trespass, a class E-Felony of the New York State Penal law.
-Twenty-Five (25) Counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th Degree, a class A-Misdemeanor of the New York State Penal law.
Sege Kalmbacher Sr. is scheduled to return to Batavia City Court on April 21st at 1:30pm.
ATLANTA GA MARCH 31 2011
Gwinnett County police have arrested two men in connection with a string of violent armored car robberies across the metro Atlanta area, including one in Toco Hill Shopping Center on March 15 that left a Lawrenceville guard dead.
Police arrested Stacey Lamont Dooley and Quinton Lamar Booker earlier today, according to a Gwinnett County Police Department statement. Dooley is charged with three counts of armed robbery for robberies committed in Gwinnett County and two counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Booker is also charged with three counts of armed robbery.
They have not been charged in the Toco Hill Shopping Center robbery that left 32-year-old guard Gary Castillo dead. DeKalb County police will investigate that incident. Gwinnett County police also expect additional charges against the two men.
A funeral service was held Monday morning in Canton for Castillo, who worked for Garda Cash Logistics. He was leaving the Kroger grocery store in the shopping center with a cash pick-up when he was shot by one of the robbers who fled in a getaway car with another man on March 15. He later died at Grady Hospital in Atlanta.
The Amarillo Globe-News reported Wednesday that a fourth indicted guard retired after the June 2010 incident at the Clements Unit.
A Potter County grand jury on March 9 indicted John Jowers II, Matthew Borunda, Robert Nixon and Jeremy Bevill on misdemeanor official oppression charges. Conviction carries a penalty of up to a year in jail.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says Jackie Ronald Green is serving a life term for a 2007 killing in Smith County. Clark says Green was either threatening to or throwing things at the guards.
TCDJ fired Borunda, Nixon and Bevill shortly after the incident. Clark says Jowers resigned.
GULFPORT, MS March 31 2011 – Gulfport Police have reported the arrest of a local man for stealing a substantial amount of cash from his employer.
Police say that 19-year-old Daniel Jordan has been charged with Embezzlement after he was allegedly caught taking $1200 from a business on Monday.
Jordan is accused of stealing money from a business in the 3700 block of 25th Avenue. Investigators believe Jordan actually took about $13,000 from the business over the past month. Police have not identified the name of the business or how he was caught.
Jordan is being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center in lieu of $10,000 bond.
The 26 year old was allegedly impaired around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday night when he slammed into 29-year-old Deanna Tucker. Friends of the victim said she died four hours later in surgery.
Her death has sent shock waves through the city’s police department. Tucker is the daughter of Gulfport Police Chief Alan Weatherford.
Here’s what happened Tuesday night. According to Deputy Chief Papania, a vehicle traveling westbound on the 1500 block of Pass Road, left the roadway and collided with a parked car. Officials said Tucker was loading her small child into the car at the time when she was struck, pinning her between the cars.
The child was unharmed.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and the Biloxi Police crash re-creation team assisted Gulfport Police in the investigation.
Ironically, we’re told by friends of Chief Weatherford that he spent the first eight years of his career as a DUI officer, patrolling the streets of Gulfport, trying to keep suspected drunk drivers off the road. Now, the chief’s family is coming to grips with the loss of Deanna. And as one friend said in disbelief, it’s painful to think the cause of her death may end up being a drunk driver.
Now, for the first time, we hear from Gulfport police about the Tuesday night accident that killed the chief’s 29 year old daughter.
In that statement, officers wrote, “The Gulfport Police Department has a long history of proactive traffic enforcement. Annually, we set goals aimed at reducing crashes with injuries. The police department has made tremendous efforts regarding public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. The department is involved in the “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign. We continue to our support of “United in Fighting Underage Drinking”.
“For the past 12 months, the Gulfport Police Department has made 1,292 arrests for Driving Under the Influence. This department has addressed traffic enforcement with the recognition of the impact that impaired driving has on the community.
“It is apparent from this tragedy and other similar events in our city that policing is only one facet of the solution. People must take personal responsibility for impairment driving prevention in order to truly ensure the safety of themselves and others. In a tragedy like this, there are great complexities in healing and recovering; when the prevention is so very simple – Don’t Drive Impaired.”
Mentor OH March 30 2011 A man is accused of exposing himself Monday morning in the men’s department in the Mentor Kmart store.
Richard Hennessey, 28, of Madison, had visited the store at about 11 a.m. A store security guard said she saw Hennessey expose and stroke himself on the security camera, Mentor Police Lt. Tom Powers said.
She called police and officers arrested Hennessey when he tried to leave the store.
Hennessey was charged with public indecency, a first-degree misdemeanor. If he’s convicted, he could be punished with up to six months in jail.
Hennessey be arraigned tomorrow morning in Mentor Municipal Court.
The bouncer at Safari Sports Bar told police that he was breaking up an altercation between two women before 1:30 a.m. when one of the women struck him in the face with a beer bottle. After officers put the woman in the patrol car, she started kicking at the back window. Officers said they pepper sprayed the woman to control her.
Alma Lee Garcia, 20, was arrested for aggravated assault, resisting arrest and public intoxication, police said. Garcia was free on bond from Nuces County Jail as of Monday morning.
NAPLES, Fla.March 30 2011- The Naples Police Department is investigating a bizarre hit-and-run that happened in the 700 block of 5th Ave. S.
“I was at my store and it was probably about 10:45p.m. and I heard a loud bang and I said that sounds like a gunshot,” said Amy Rosenbluth, whose store is located a few feet from where the accident occurred.
After hearing the gunshot, Rosenbluth looked outside.
“It was all cornered off with police cars and I heard someone got hit by a car,” she said.
Police say a woman in a Mercedes hit a person walking in an alley. According to the report, the driver got out of her car and said she didn’t hit anyone. Then an Allegiance Security guard arrived, witnesses say as he got out of his vehicle, she got into hers.
“This vehicle (the Mercedes) didn’t want to stay on the scene so he (security guard) fired two rounds from his gun at fleeing vehicle,” said Lt. John Barkley, a spokesperson for the Naples Police Department.
The driver was found and identified. Her name isn’t being released, but police say she could face charges and they’re checking to see if alcohol was a factor.
“She wasn’t even aware at the time that someone had shot at her,” said Lt.Barkley.
The state attorney’s office will determine whether the security guard will face charges for discharging a firearm in public.
NEW ORLEANS LA March 30 2011 (AP) – BP says one of its employees lost a laptop containing personal data belonging to thousands of residents who filed claims for compensation after the Gulf oil spill.
The oil giant disclosed the potential data security breach to The Associated Press on Tuesday. But BP spokesman Curtis Thomas says the company doesn’t have any evidence that claimants’ personal information has been misused.
Thomas said the company mailed out letters Monday to roughly 13,000 people, notifying them that their data was in the computer.
The data belonged to individuals who filed claims with BP before the Gulf Coast Claims Facility took over the processing of claims in August. BP paid roughly $400 million in claims before the switch.
As of Tuesday, it had paid roughly $3.6 billion to 172,539 claimants.
LINCOLN IL March 30 2011 — A Lincoln Community High School teacher has been formally charged with multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges involving a student.
Douglas Benz, 43, an English teacher, freshman football coach and assistant coach in other sports at LCHS, on Monday was charged by Logan County State’s Attorney Michael McIntosh’s office with four counts of criminal sexual assault and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The counts pertain to offenses that allegedly took place between Aug. 1, 2010, and Jan. 31 between Benz and the alleged victim, a female high school student who “was at least 13 years of age but under 18 years of age” when the alleged offenses occurred, according to court documents.
The specific charges include fondling and touching for sexual gratification, as well as sexual penetration.
LCHS superintendent Rob-ert Bagby said Wednesday morning, a day after Benz was arrested, that the teacher and coach had been placed on administrative leave. Bagby declined to say if Benz was on paid or unpaid leave.
Criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony, is punishable upon conviction of up to 15 years in prison, two years of mandatory supervised release and a possible $25,000 fine. Criminal sexual assault also carries with it two sentencing provisions, the first of which states that “upon conviction of this offense, defendant shall not be sentenced to a period of probation, a term of periodic imprisonment or conditional discharge,” while the second provision states, “upon conviction of this offense, any sentence imposed on this count shall be served consecutive to any other sentence of imprisonment.”
“Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony not eligible for probation due to the nature of the offense,” assuming that the (defendant) is found guilty, said Logan County assistant state’s attorney Jonathan Wright, who is handling the case.
Criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony, and if found guilty, the offender can face up to a maximum of seven years in prison and a possible fine of $25,000. The minimum punishment, if found guilty, is 48 months of probation.
Wright said a criminal sexual abuse conviction can carry with it the $25,000 fine, but the fine is not mandatory.
Circuit Judge Thomas Harris ruled Monday during a brief court hearing that probable cause exists to support the charges against Benz.
Benz, who was arrested by Lincoln police at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at a Springfield hotel, said he would be hiring an attorney.
He is scheduled for another court appearance with legal counsel at 11 a.m. today.
Benz remains in custody at the Logan County Jail. His bond has been set at $100,000.
As part of a plea deal, three original charges of sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sex assault with more than a 10-year age difference were dropped.
Bowles, 31, of Fort Collins was arrested Jan. 21 after she was found in a car parked at North Lake Park in Loveland having sex with a 16-year-old male student.
As stipulated in the plea deal, Bowles will face 10 years of supervised sex offender probation, Prosecutor Renee Doak said.
Additionally, she must register as a sex offender and could face some jail time, said Linda Jensen, spokeswoman for the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Stephen Howard will sentence Bowles on May 9.
Since her arrest, Bowles has been barred from seeing her two children. She is allowed to talk to them on the phone. Her husband is filing for divorce.
In accepting the plea deal, Howard ordered that any mental evaluations of Bowles be conducted and supplemented before sentencing. At the time of her arrest, Bowles was working as an instructional coach for the Thompson School District, meaning she helped teachers improve at their jobs. She wasn’t working directly with students.
She has a teacher’s license in social studies, according to the Colorado Department of Education.
Bowles resigned following her arrest. She has no prior criminal record.
Granby CT March 30 2011 Police arrested a substitute gym teacher Sunday and charged him with two counts of risk of injury to a minor, two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and three counts of breach of peace.
The charges against Robert A. Klein, 62, of Lindsey Circle in North Granby, are based on several incidents involving three female students who said Klein touched them on the head, chest, lower back or buttocks at the Wells Road Intermediate School.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, one of the girls said Klein touched her on March 1. Two other girls, both of whom said they witnessed that incident, reported that Klein had touched them inappropriately a year earlier.
Klein said he has been a substitute teacher for seven years, according to the affidavit.
Klein was arrested after a joint investigation by the state Department of Children and Family Services and the Granby Police Department. The investigation was triggered by an initial disclosure by a Granby Public Schools staff member.
Klein was arraigned Monday in Enfield Superior Court. He has been released on a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court again on April 13, 2011.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo., March 30 2011 (UPI) — An observant security guard thwarted an attempted storage facility burglary by locking a man inside the unit, St. Joseph, Mo., police said.
Ronald E. Dennis, 49, was released from the Mini-Warehouse of St. Joseph and subsequently arrested for burglary by police, the St. Joseph News-Press reported.
The security employee had seen a slightly opened door on one of the units at 1 a.m. Sunday and had shut and latched it. Later he heard sounds “which was the suspect Dennis of St. Joseph, attempting to free himself,” Capt. Kevin Castle said.
Dennis remained in custody on a probation-parole warrant.
Carolina Toledo, a 26-year-old from Honduras living in an apartment on Ridgedale Avenue in town, was seen concealing $31.94 worth of items in her purse at the Rite-Aid Pharmacy on North Park Place, according to the complaints.
A store security officer, identified in complaints only as D.M., stopped Toledo and ushered her into his office.
When Toledo learned police were called, she slammed the security guard’s head against a door, slapped him in the face three times and tried to flee the pharmacy, but police arrived in time to stop her, the complaints charge.
The shoplifting alleged at the store was elevated to a robbery because Toledo struck the security officer, the complaints state.
She said the security officer injured her, according to the complaints. She was brought to Morristown Memorial Hospital after her arrest.
Toledo managed to remove one handcuff, leave an examination room, grab her belongings and run down a hospital corridor in an attempt to escape before she was caught, the complaints said.
She was being held in Morris County Jail on $20,000 bail, with no 10 percent option, on charges of robbery and escape. Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials also have filed a detainer against her.
MENTOR, Ohio March 30 2011- Police said a Euclid couple accused of stealing a comforter from a J.C. Pennys store at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor hit a security guard with their car.
According to investigators, 48-year-old Darlene Carr-Askew and 55-year-old Bernard Askew tried to make a run for it before they were approached by a security officer. Police then said they got into their car and backed up, hitting the security guard with the vehicle.
The two were later caught by Wickliffe police and the merchandise that was valued at more than $500 was recovered.
The security guard was treated for scrapes at the hospital.
The Askews are now charged with aggravated robbery.
Madison WI March 30 2011 An alleged shoplifter running from a West Towne Mall store was able to get away from a security guard by spraying pepper spray into the guard’s face, police said.
The retail theft was reported at 2:55 p.m. Saturday at Boston Store, the Madison Police Department reported.
According to a police report, the female suspect was observed by security at the store allegedly removing security tags from men’s clothing and stuffing the merchandise into a black handbag.
“The employee pursued her as she left the store and was about to catch up with her in the parking lot when he was stopped in his tracks by the pepper spray,” said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.
Police said the woman then jumped into an off-white or cream-colored Chrysler 300M and drove away. The car was reported to have front end damage.
The 28-year-old security guard from Oregon was treated for exposure to pepper spray.
The suspect is a black female, 24-30 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches to 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 200-220 pounds, hair worn in a ponytail, wearing a white sweater and carrying a black handbag.
RIDGELAND, S.C. March 29 2011
As Interstate 95 sweeps past this small town along South Carolina’s coastal plain, motorists encounter cameras that catch speeding cars, the only such devices on the open interstate for almost 2,000 miles from Canada to Miami.
The cameras have nabbed thousands of motorists, won accolades from highway safety advocates, attracted heated opposition from state lawmakers and sparked a federal court challenge.
Ridgeland Mayor Gary Hodges said the cameras in his town about 20 miles north of the Georgia line do what they are designed to do: slow people down, reduce accidents and, most importantly, save lives.
But lawmakers who want to unplug them argue the system is just a money-maker and amounts to unconstitutional selective law enforcement.
“We’re absolutely shutting it down,” said state Sen. Larry Grooms, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Earlier this month, Ridgeland Police Officer David Swinehamer sat in a van beneath an overpass as a radar gun in a thicket of electronic equipment outside clocked passing vehicles: 60, 72, 73, 67.
Then a Mercedes with South Carolina tags sped by going 83 – 13 mph over the speed limit. A camera fired and pictures of the tag and driver appeared on a monitor in the van. The unaware motorist continued north, but could expect a $133 ticket in the mail in a couple of weeks.
“I just don’t think it’s right,” said James Gain of Kissimmee, Fla., one of the lawsuit plaintiffs who got a ticket last year while driving between his home and Greensboro, N.C. “If you get a ticket you should be stopped by an officer, know you have been stopped and have an opportunity to state your case.”
Gain paid the fine, saying it was less expensive than driving six hours back to Ridgeland for court.
Motorists do get a warning. As they enter town, a blue and white sign says they are entering an area with “Photo-Radar Assisted Speed Enforcement.”
Speed cameras are used in 14 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The only other place with a camera on I-95 is in a Maryland work zone.
The cameras have sparked controversy in other places around the nation as well.
Last year, Arizona ended a two-year program with cameras on Phoenix-area expressways and other roads, in part because of perceptions they were being used to raise revenue.
But Cedar Rapids, Iowa, began using cameras last summer on busy I-380. Police there said during the first month of operation, violations dropped 62 percent.
Hodges said since Ridgeland, working with iTraffic Safety, became the first community in South Carolina to deploy cameras in August, motorists are also driving slower along the 7 miles of I-95 passing through the town limits.
From January to July of 2010, there were 55 crashes and four fatalities. From August through the end of last month, there were 38 crashes and no deaths. And since the cameras started operating until last month, there has been almost a 50 percent drop in the number of motorists driving 81 or more.
“You can’t argue with the results and the only reason you would be upset is because you are speeding,” said Tom Crosby, a spokesman for AAA Carolinas. “All it’s doing is enforcing the law and even then you have to be doing over 80 to get a ticket.”
Police use driver’s license photos or physical descriptions from licenses such as a driver’s hair, eye color and weight to identify the motorist. No ticket is issued if there is any question about the driver’s identity.
Grooms, the legislator, said since not all speeders are ticketed, it’s selective enforcement. He added that while the system may issue a ticket, it doesn’t get violators off the road.
“You are driving down the road at 100 mph or you are driving down the road drunk. The camera takes your picture and three weeks later you get a ticket in the mail. There is no element of public safety,” he said.
Grooms said the cameras are only a money-maker for the town. Hodges discounts that, saying the town just wants to recover the cost of police and ambulance service for millions of motorists passing through. Two-thirds of ticket money goes to the state, he said.
The town has about $20,000 invested in the van. The contractor, iTraffic Safety, pays the other costs in return for a share of ticket revenue.
While state law prohibits issuing tickets solely on photographic evidence, the mayor said that doesn’t apply in Ridgeland because an officer is also there to see the speeder from the van.
But the state Senate, in a 40-0 vote, recently gave approval to changing that and banning speeding tickets from photographs whether the camera is attended or not. The law would also require tickets to be handed directly to a motorist.
The federal lawsuit contends it’s unconstitutional to send motorists tickets by mail and to addresses outside town limits.
Ridgeland is one of almost 90 jurisdictions nationwide using cameras to nab speeders and “to our knowledge, every single one of them mails the tickets,” Hodges said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls speed cameras “a very effective countermeasure” to crashes but said they should supplement, not replace, officers patrolling. Ridgeland still uses officers on the interstate.
Hodges is not surprised by opposition to the cameras, particularly with South Carolina’s history of motorists’ rights. South Carolina was one of the last states to enact a .08 blood-alcohol level for drunken driving and took a long time to pass a primary seatbelt law.
“We went through similar things when breathalyzers came out. We went through similar things when radar guns came out,” Hodges said. “It’s the same type of mentality.
PISCATAWAY NJ March 29 2011 — As a commander of the Piscataway police SWAT team, Sgt. David Powell knew when to move in to save hostages and designed drills to teach other officers how to as well.
On Sunday, Powell, 46, was on the opposite side, barricading himself inside his house and declaring he had taken hostages.
Around 5 p.m., police cordoned off several blocks around 130 Parkside Ave., and the SWAT team Powell had once trained surrounded his house. While neighbors waited anxiously behind locked doors, members of the Middlesex County Special Operations and Rescue Team tried to negotiate with Powell, but he refused to surrender.
At 6:48 p.m. Powell, a 22-year veteran of the police force, stepped onto the front porch and sprayed shots from a 9mm submachine gun. Police, “concerned for the safety of the public and the safety of the possible hostages,” fired back, said Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan in a statement.
At 1:41 a.m. Monday Powell was declared dead inside the home, ending the seven-hour stand-off. Powell, a father of two, died of a gunshot wound, said Kaplan, who indicated ballistic tests will be done to determine which shot killed the former Piscataway policeman.
Police Chief Richard Ivone called Powell a decorated officer who was respected in the department and was most recently assigned as a road sergeant in the patrol division. However, Ivone said, “there was a domestic situation that led to tragedy.”
The incident began about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when police called and sent Powell text messages regarding a report that he had violated a restraining order, Kaplan said, although police did not disclose who reported the violation.
After nearly an hour, Powell, who was off-duty, refused requests to come to headquarters and said he was holding hostages, according to the prosecutor.
As officers continued to try and talk with Powell, investigators determined he was alone and there were no hostages, said Kaplan. A State Police Bomb squad robotic device was sent up to the front porch, helping officers decide if was safe to enter the home.
Powell, who had been a member of the Middlesex County SWAT team and a commander of the Piscataway SWAT team, lived in the house on Parkside Avenue for a nearly 20-year period, a time marked by disputes according to neighbors.
Wendy Richards, who lives two doors away from Powell, said she knew he had problems for several years, and he should have been given help.
“I’m extremely angry. This incident doesn’t surprise me. I really thought this would have blown up sooner. Imagine having to live two doors down from this,” said Richards, whose husband is a retired Piscataway police officer.
Representatives from the Cop2Cop counseling service for law enforcement were at the police department Monday, Ivone said. He said all township officers, including Powell were aware of the program, but it’s uncertain if Powell had called the counselors.
Powell’s son from his first marriage grew up in the house until his parents divorced more than 10 years ago, neighbors said. Powell had joint custody of the son, who graduated from high school last year, and a nine-year-old daughter with his second wife, according to neighbors.
Powell’s mother, when asked about her son, who grew up in Dunellen, said he had just gone through a difficult divorce. Her voice breaking with emotion, Diane Powell said he was “a loving father and a good son.” She ended a telephone call, saying she couldn’t talk any longer.
Kaplan said the state Attorney General’s Office was notified of the shooting, as required by state guidelines and that police were investigating the weapon used by Powell, and how he had obtained it.
Trooper Kevin P. Dobson
New York State Police
End of Watch: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Tour of Duty: 14 years
Badge Number: 196
Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle
Date of Incident: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Trooper Kevin Dobson was struck and killed by a vehicle while making a traffic stop on I-290 in Erie County at approximately 7:30 am.
He was transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
Trooper Dobson had served with the New York State Police for 14 years. He is survived by his three children and girlfriend.
Agency Contact Information
New York State Police
Public Information Office
1220 Washington Ave Bldg 22
Albany, NY 12226
Phone: (518) 783-3211
Please contact the New York State Police for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Deputy Sheriff Robert Britton
Smith County Sheriff’s Office
End of Watch: Monday, March 28, 2011
Tour of Duty: 19 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Animal related
Date of Incident: Thursday, March 24, 2011
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Deputy Sheriff Robert Britton succumbed to injuries sustained four days earlier when he was attacked by an injured cow while directing traffic around the animal.
He had responded to the scene after a vehicle struck and injured the cow on Farm Road 344. As he directed traffic around the animal it charged him and knocked him into the air. He landed on his head and suffered severe head injuries. The cow continued attacking him until other deputies were able to pull him to safety.
Deputy Britton was transported to East Texas Medical Center where he remained until succumbing to his injuries.
Deputy Britton had served with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office for 19 years. He is survived by his two children.
Agency Contact Information
Smith County Sheriff’s Office
106 East Elm Street
Tyler, TX 75702
Phone: (903) 590-2600
Please contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Waterford CT March 29 2011 – A former cashier at Target was charged Wednesday with first-degree larceny for allegedly defrauding the store out of $24,894 in a coupon-manipulation scheme.
According to an affidavit, Richie R. Hanson, 21, of Uncasville, allegedly used an override function on a store cash register to obtain multiple discounts on merchandise.
In an interview with police, Hanson said that every Wednesday between Oct. 17, 2010, and Dec. 5, 2010, three men would come to the store with coupons for $10 and $20 off items such as a television stand and a Star Wars All-Terrain Armored Transport Vehicle.
The three men would then purchase cellphones and other items, according to the affidavit. Hanson allegedly would punch a key on the register bringing the total to less than $100.
The affidavit said the three men would then pay Hanson $50 and take him out to dinner.
Security workers at Target began to suspect Hanson when a gift card with a balance of $437 was found on the floor near the checkout aisles.
A check of the gift card’s transaction history revealed that it was linked to Hanson’s register log-in.
Target said it fired Hanson on Dec. 8, 2010, after he signed a statement admitting to the total amount of money associated with the coupon fraud.
Hanson is due to appear in New London Superior Court on April 7.
Waterford police did not comment on whether the case is still open.
The hospital said it already terminated 49-year-old Nancy Jo Abel after discovering about $200,000 missing from its coffers.
According to a police report, an auditing firm came in, connected Abel to the missing money and told Shands the funds were funneled into an account for a company called St. Jude.
“A detailed internal audit revealed financial discrepancies and those results were given to JSO and the State Attorney’s office last Friday,” a statement from the hospital read.
Abel is scheduled for a court appearance Thursday morning.
HARTSELLE, Alabama March 29 2011 — Authorities say thousands of dollars were stolen from a north Alabama Walmart when thieves opened registers and drained them of cash in a matter of minutes.
WHNT-TV obtained security tapes showing two females and one male opening two registers in a Walmart in Hartselle. Police say the suspects walked out with more than $4,500 within 7 minutes.
Authorities say it appears they used a key to access the registers.
Hartselle Police Lt. Justin Barley says a lot of registers were open and the suspects just slid around and nobody noticed.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the March 5 crime is linked to similar thefts. Barley said police have some indication that this might be an ongoing problem in Alabama and possibly in Georgia as well.