Los Angeles CA April 27 2011 Police officers across the country can now undergo five weeks of maritime security training at a new operations center that opened Monday at the Port of Los Angeles.
At the same time, federal and city officials asked the public to remain vigilant of any suspicious activity at the nation’s busiest seaport.
“Keeping a port secure involves the ability to effectively prevent, or if something were to happen, to effectively respond to something of that sort,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a news conference Monday at the port.
The five-week program trains law enforcement personnel on various boating laws, maritime intelligence and how to spot terrorist threats or weapons of mass destruction that could pose a danger to cargo and cruise vessels.
Classes will be held at the new $16.1 million Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center in San Pedro, which was funded by federal and state grants. The facility is equipped with classrooms, a helicopter landing pad and floating docks.
The new training facility also is expected to help relieve a backlog in training law enforcement officials on federal security protocols, Napolitano said. The first class at the Port of Los Angeles began two weeks ago with 24 officers.
Napolitano and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also asked dockworkers and cruise ship passengers to keep a sharp lookout for any “suspicious behavior” at the port.
The “iWATCH” community involvement program, launched citywide in October 2009, was brought to the Port of Los Angeles so that workers and tourists can identify and report questionable activity that could lead to a terrorist attack.
The program, also known as the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, is similar to a Neighborhood Watch system, educating the public about the types of behavior to watch for and report. Posters and pamphlets already are available across Los Angeles, encouraging travelers to learn more online at http://www.iwatchla.org.
“We take the fact that this port, our airport and many of the critical assets that we have here are, unfortunately, high targets of opportunity for those who would do our great nation harm,” Villaraigosa said while standing next to Napolitano.
“Even with the best- trained officers and new technology, we know law enforcement can’t do it alone,” Villaraigosa said. “They can’t see everything, so we all need to be vigilant and proactive Angelenos.”
Reports are reviewed by Los Angeles Police Department detectives to determine whether the activity is linked to terrorism.
The LAPD has previously reached out to various religious and ethnic organizations while crafting the iWATCH program to ensure that it focuses on a person’s activities or behavior, rather than targeting any particular race, ethnicity or religion.
“We’re asking you to step it up to a level where you not only provide a great service to the nation, but you’re also saying, ‘I want my neighborhood to be safe,”‘ Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.
A T-shirt vendor was credited with spotting and reporting the suspicious behavior of a man who parked an explosives-
laden Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of New York City’s Times Square on May 1, 2010, then quickly walk away.
While the car bomb never went off, authorities said it would have likely killed people walking nearby. Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani national, was arrested days later and eventually sentenced to life in prison.
“We deal with evolving threats all the time,” Napolitano said. “The way we can best minimize the opportunity for terrorists to successfully attack … any place in the United States is by involving the public at large.”
But despite a promotion to captain, the 61-year-old private security guard says his employer, Kent Security, pays him just $11.14 an hour for his work. “That’s just not a fair wage,” he says.
What’s more, it might also break Miami’s “living wage” ordinance. That’s what Dixon and a dozen other Kent guards allege in a letter sent to city officials.
Gil Neuman, CEO of the North Miami-based firm, says his company hasn’t willfully violated the wage law. “If that’s the case, we’ll certainly correct it,” Neuman says. “We’re not interested in doing anything wrong.”
In all, Kent has about 20 guards who work at city hall, on Dinner Key, and outside some nearby police stations, and another 15 who protect Miami Parking Authority sites.
Miami’s living wage ordinance, which was passed in 2006, requires $13.07 per hour for workers without health insurance or an $11.82 hourly rate for insured employees, says Eric Brakken, Florida state director of 32BJ SEIU, a union that represents many security guards.
Like Dixon, many Kent guards with insurance make $11.14 an hour, Brakken says; uninsured guards also make more than 50 cents per hour under the required wages.
“It’s in the city’s interest to have contractors follow this law,” Brakken says. “If contractors respect their employees, then the best officers with the most experience will stay on the job. At the end of the day, that helps keep citizens safe.”
That’s what Dixon says he wants.
“I’m not the type of person looking to come stand around for eight hours just to get a check,” he says. “I’m out there to do a good job, and I want to be paid fairly for it.”
Raphael Yeary, who is a history teacher at Marie G. Davis Military and Global Leadership Academy, is being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Marie G. Davis is a middle and high school.
Police said they received a tip Monday that Yeary, 45, and a student had been texting sexually explicit pictures to each other. They began an investigation and said they found out about the alleged sexual encounters when they interviewed the student.
Yeary was also charged with distributing pornographic material to a minor.
Police said the girl involved is older than 16 years old, but it is still against the law for a teacher to have sex with a student.
Yeary has been a teacher with CMS since 1998 and has taught at several schools in the district, officials said. He has been suspended with pay during the investigation.
Yeary’s bond was set at $100,000.
Terry Lamar Jones Jr. entered the Forsyth County Law Enforcement Detention Center with his attorney shortly after 1 p.m.. He faces 64 felony counts of sexual activity with a student.
The investigation by Forsyth County sheriff’s investigators is ongoing. Anyone with information on this or a related case is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 917-7001 or CrimeStoppers at 727-2800.
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev.April 27 2011 — North Las Vegas police arrested a man for attempted murder after he allegedly fired shots at a camera crew filming a reality show.
Police say 40-year-old Carlos Barron became angry after a van was parked in front of his home on Vigilante Court, near Losee Road and East Centennial Parkway. Police say Barron assaulted one of the people in the van after demanding they move the vehicle.
The people in the van belonged to a film crew of the show “Repo Games.” They were shooting a repossession that was occurring in Barron’s neighborhood.
After Barron struck the person inside the van, crew members confronted him. He allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband and opened fire. The victims fled the area before calling police and Barron went back into his home.
Police say Barron then barricaded himself inside the house. After a two hours standoff, Barron tried to flee out his back door. He was arrested and taken into custody.
Barron was booked into the North Las Vegas Detention Center for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, aiming or discharging a firearm where a person might be in danger, and obstructing a police officer.
BANGOR, Maine April 27 2011— A man concealed three DVDs while shopping Monday afternoon at Target, then punched a store security officer who tried to stop him when he fled from the store, making the simple theft a felony robbery, police said.
“This case is elevated in seriousness to a class C felony due to the alleged act of theft combined with assault,” Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday.
The sergeant described the crime as “a DVD hit-and-run.”
Bangor police released two store video surveillance images that show the thief shopping in the electronics department of the Longview Drive retail store at around 4 p.m. Monday, and his getaway car, believed to be a purple Pontiac Sunfire, leaving the parking lot.
The robber is described as a white man of average height with medium-long brown hair that hangs in his face. He was wearing a black T-Shirt that reads, “Shadows Fall,” a dark hip-length jacket, and dark-colored jeans.
The store employee who was hit did not need medical attention, Edwards said.
If caught and convicted of felony robbery, the thief could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Those with information about the incident may call Officer Joe Baillargeon at the Bangor Police Department at 947-7382, ext. 95777. The department’s anonymous tip line can be reached by pressing extension 6.
Reno NV April 27 2011 A 34-year-old Reed High School special education teacher remained jailed Monday on charges she had sex with two 17-year-old students, in acts that allegedly occurred in her personal vehicle.
Friday’s arrest of teacher Bethyl “Beth” Shepherd was the second recent sexual misconduct-related arrest of a special education Reed High School employee.
Last month, Reed special education teacher’s aide Marie L. Fisher was arrested on felony charges related to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student with whom she also allegedly sent graphic text message photos, according to court documents. An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled in the case.
Shepherd, who has been on administrative leave since school police received information on the incident, faces felony counts of sexual conduct between a school employee and a pupil. Bail was set at $4,000.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Sparks Justice Court, school police detectives learned through an unidentified source that Shepherd, employed with the district since August 2001, allegedly was involved in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student on April 7.
Investigators accused her in the court filing of having sex with two 17-year-olds in her personal vehicle, away from school grounds. She told investigators that one student forced her to engage in sexual activities while she denied any contact with the other.
Washoe County schools police Chief Mike Mieras said, “Well, there are two sides to a story,” but after interviews with other sources, he added, enough information had been gathered to suggest probable cause. “What her allegations are at this time are not quite matching up to the accounts of what was reported to us,” Mieras said.
It was not immediately known Monday afternoon if Shepherd had hired an attorney. A contact phone number Shepherd gave officers went unanswered and did not allow voice mail.
Mieras said school district area superintendent Lynn Rauh, who oversees Reed, is going to meet with Principal Mary Vesco and do some training with the staff on appropriate behavior and personal relationships with students.
School district police tell students, parents, staff and community members they can call a whistle-blower hot line at 877-874-8416 or school district Secret Witness at 775-329-6666 to report suspected misconduct between employees or students, Mieras said.
Anyone has any additional information about the case can contact school district Detective Sgt. Michelle Burrell at 775-348-0285.
A 34-year-old Reed High School teacher remained jailed Monday on charges she had sex with two students in acts that allegedly occurred in her personal vehicle.
According to court records, Lonnie Hendricks, 54, was caught sexually abusing a teen girl by her older brother.
The brother contacted police.
Court paperwork indicates he admitted to the abuse and said he was “glad he got caught so that he would stop.”
Hendricks worked for the Mesa School District for six months. A district spokesperson says he was a special education aide who worked with 10 kids and four adults at Field Elementary School in Mesa.
The district sent letters home with students explaining to parents what was going on. Police say the teen victim does not attend Field Elementary School.
Hadyetou Diaby, 27, was stabbed in the back while escorting an intoxicated man outside of the Pueblo Viejo bar, 224 E Main St., at 2:50 a.m. said police. Diaby sustained non-life-threatening injuries from the attack, and was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center.
Police said the man who stabbed Diaby was the friend of the intoxicated man he was escorting, Marcelino Benavides-Bonilla, 50 of Patchogue.
Benavides-Bonilla was charged with assault in the second degree.
Morris, who was 58, was set to retire on June 30. His sudden death has greatly affected his Shrewsbury community and the larger Monmouth County law enforcement community, Thomas C. Menapace, the borough council president and police commissioner, said Monday.
“He was the consummate professional, a cop’s cop,” Menapace said. “He was the type of police officer that every town wants.”
Morris mentored young officers of the Police Department and as traffic safety officer, implemented measures to keep Shrewsbury school children safe. He was also known for his volunteerism, including the Special Olympics.
In a press release Monday, Menapace, Mayor Donald Burden, Police Chief John Wilson and Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Robert Turner extended their own and the borough community’s sympathy to Morris’ wife, Penny, his daughter, Gabriela, his family and friends.
A viewing is planned from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Atlantic Highlands Methodist Church, where a funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
A prison parolee tried to abduct a woman at knifepoint from their halfway house and robbed a security guard before fleeing early Monday, police said.
Police are searching for Roosevelt Glenn, 61, who they said should be considered armed and dangerous. Glenn is described as a black man with salt-and-pepper hair and brown eyes, police said. He stands about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 210 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue sweatpants and a white T-shirt.
A woman living at the Gaudenzia halfway house at 13th and Spring Garden Streets told police that Glenn woke her about 2:30 a.m., brandished a knife, and forced her to leave the building. Outside, the woman fought Glenn off and ran for help. Glenn also tied up a security officer and took his possessions, the guard told police.
Police say they believe Glenn may be in the areas of 20th and Parrish Streets, the 2900 block of North Bambrey Street, or the 4400 block of Parrish Street. Authorities ask anyone with information to call 911.
OAKLAND CA April 27 2011 — The scene of a deadly rampage early Monday morning in a bar near Jack London Square was quiet by late afternoon, hours after a man armed with an assault rifle, perhaps hoping to rob people attending a Lil Wayne concert after-party at a club around the corner, opened fire inside the business, instantly killing two people and wounding four others.
A padlock on the entrance and faded evidence markings on the sidewalk outside the newly opened Sweet Jimmie’s bar and restaurant on Broadway near Third Street were among the few signs of the violence. The incident erupted about 12:45 a.m. Monday as about a dozen family members and friends of the bar’s owner were inside playing video games, said David Ward, the operator of Sweet Jimmie’s.
Ward said that a group of men first tried to rob two men walking on Broadway before signaling to another robber in a nearby car. That man had an assault rifle and began firing. The two men who were being robbed ran inside Sweet Jimmie’s, followed by the gunman.
Six people were shot, two fatally, and another was wounded by shrapnel. One of the dead was a 22-year old man who had been walking past the bar. The other was 27-year-old Billy Jenkins, an Oakland resident who had been inside playing games when the gunman entered and started firing, Ward said. The first victim’s name was not released pending notification of relatives. Another 27-year-old man was in grave condition Monday evening. The other victims range in age from 27 to 45 and are from other Bay Area cities. They are expected to recover.
Ward was subdued Monday as he spoke about the shooting. He said the establishment will stay closed until he’s sure his family is OK.
Sweet Jimmie’s is located in usually a safe area, where Sunday nights are typically slow, Ward said. The establishment’s doors were open, Ward said, when he heard the shots and started walking toward the door — that’s when the gunman came in firing. Someone pushed him out of the way and he landed on the floor with four others trying to escape the bullets.
“I’m just glad it wasn’t me,” he said. “If that person hadn’t pushed me out of the way, I’d be dead. There’s probably an angel looking after me.”
Oakland police Sgt. Tony Jones said the gunman “appeared to be firing indiscriminately,” and police are trying to determine why.
Lil Wayne played a concert at the Oracle Arena earlier that evening. His record label held an after-party at Kimball’s Carnival nightclub, around the corner from Sweet Jimmie’s. Oakland police assigned extra security there because of the party and were the first to respond to the shooting at Sweet Jimmie’s.
The gunman escaped in a car with at least three other men before police arrived. They drove southbound on Broadway in a newer-model white Dodge Avenger with stock rims.
Broadway between Third and Fourth streets was shut down for several hours to allow police and crime scene technicians to investigate.
While police were investigating the attack, a man who had just left Kimball’s was shot in the leg. That shooting happened just after 2 a.m. in the 200 block of Clay Street. Police don’t know the motive for that shooting and don’t believe it was linked to the Broadway incident.
The two killings brought to 37 the number of homicide victims in the city this year. Last year at this time there had been 30 homicides.
Ward said he took over the bar and restaurant on Broadway about two months ago, but the new awning with the Sweet Jimmie’s sign went up just last week. He said he rents the space but plans to buy it soon.
His father, Jimmie Ward, owned the popular Sweet Jimmie’s nightclub and restaurant on San Pablo Avenue for many years. It closed in 2006, and the elder Ward died last year.
ABC has no record of any enforcement actions against the new business or of the name being changed in February.
An employee at a Nation’s Giant Hamburgers next to Sweet Jimmie’s said that with the exception of some panhandlers there has been “no violence like this” on the block.
Nation’s usually closes at 1:15 a.m. but it closed immediately after the shooting, and police made employees wait inside for several hours before leaving.
There has been violence in and around Jack London Square in recent years.
In September, four men were wounded in a drive-by shooting outside the Home of Chicken N Waffles in the 400 block of Embarcadero West. They were among a group of people waiting to get into the restaurant about 2:40 a.m. None of the men was badly wounded, and no suspects have been arrested.
In November 2006, Mingles Nightclub in the 200 block of Embarcadero West closed after a pregnant woman was fatally shot outside the establishment. There had been several violent incidents near the club before that, including another killing in April 2006, and it was in danger of having its license suspended by the city. The site since has been demolished.
Louis Parks, 34, was arrested by Zone 4 officers and charged with shooting a towing company security guard in December, according to police spokeswoman Kim Jones.
Jones said Lyndon Tucker was shot on Dec. 17 while working security at Midtown Towing on Ridge Avenue. He later died at Grady Memorial Hospital.
In the second case, Jones said a murder warrant was secured Monday for Ronald Fisher, charging him with the May 30, 2005, shooting death of Eddie Shaheed.
Shaheed, 17, was shot in the back of the head while walking along Cascade Avenue with a group of friends, Jones said.
The Atlanta police Fugitive Squad served the murder warrant on Fisher at the Fulton County Jail, where he has been held since March 2010 on a separate homicide charge.
An arrest warrant has been issued for 23-year-old Justin Lee Perez.
He’s charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
Police say Perez tried to run over a security guard in front of Fast Freddy’s Pool Hall on April 17.
The guard fired shots and Perez fled the scene.
The guard suffered two gunshot wounds and was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital.
He’s since been released.
Richmond VA April 27 2011 Police are investigating an incident in which a speeding car drove at two apartment security guards, striking one of them, before the two fired several shots at the vehicle.
Capt. David L. Martin said there were no apparent injuries in the incident, which occurred at 11:55 p.m. Monday at the Chippenham Place apartment complex in the 5800 block of Orcutt Lane in South Richmond.
Martin said the guards had been hired to patrol the grounds of Chippenham Place because the residents had been having problems with trespassers.
Martin said the security guards told police that when they saw a 4-door silver Honda Civic pull into the apartment complex, they didn’t think the vehicle belonged there, so they began to walk up to it. That’s when the car accelerated quickly and knocked down one of the guards, Martin said.
Both security guards pulled out their firearms and fired at the vehicle. The guard who had been knocked down fired at least two rounds, and the one who was standing fired at least three, Martin said.
The guards told police they thought they struck the vehicle.
Anyone with information about the car or its occupants can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (804) 780-1000.
The complaint, which was filed with the state Labor Relations Board on April 14, takes issue with the chief arresting a man who was allegedly in possession of marijuana because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was “off duty” when the March 20 arrest was made.
“I think it’s absurd. I’m not going to turn my head on crime that takes place,” Chief Duffy said. “I took the same oath (as a police officer) that everyone else took.
“On my day off and I’m driving around as the police chief, and that’s wrong?” he asked.
The complaint states that “the work of apprehending and arresting individuals has been the sole and exclusive province of members of the bargaining unit,” and that the city did not inform or negotiate with the union that the chief would be “performing bargaining unit work.”
Because of this, the union says the city violated the state Labor Relations Act and the Policemen and Firemen Collective Bargaining Act.
“We’re not out to bust his chops,” Sgt. Bob Martin, police union president, said. “It’s not against the chief. The action is against the city.”
Mayor Chris Doherty declined to comment on the matter Monday.
While the chief has been known for several off-duty arrests in the city, the complaint only makes mention of the March 20 incident.
On that day, Chief Duffy said he was not scheduled to work but decided to check on citizen complaints about possible drug activity in a part of West Scranton.
While driving through the area, he arrested a man who had an outstanding bench warrant issued by Lackawanna County Court. The chief also searched the man and allegedly found he possessed a marijuana joint and drug paraphernalia, leading to the man’s arrest on drug charges.
Sgt. Martin acknowledged that the chief is “morally and legally obligated” to act if he sees a crime happen and to make an arrest if necessary.
But, the union president said the chief, as member of management, should not actively root out crime or randomly patrol neighborhoods while off duty because it violates union agreements that protect rank-and-file officers’ employment. The union is concerned city administrators will have more leverage to lay off police officers because “Chief Duffy will step in” and do the work, Sgt. Martin said.
“It’s a perception and it leads to that,” he said. “We’re threatened with layoffs.”
The union is asking an agreement be drawn up about the chief making the arrests.
Chief Duffy said he will not stop patrolling neighborhoods or making arrests if he receives reports from citizens, whether on or off-duty, because of the complaint.
“It’s not like I am getting the information and keeping it to myself and playing hero,” the chief said. “I will continue to do this. I’m a public servant.”
On March 20, while not on duty, Scranton Police Chief Dan Duffy decided to take a drive through West Scranton, following up on complaints about drug activity. He saw a man he had arrested before walking on Division Street, according to arrest papers. Chief Duffy ran his name, confirmed there was a bench warrant issued for his arrest, and pulled him over. “I consider myself always on duty,” Chief Duffy said at the time.
New York NY April 27 2011 A New York City police officer pleaded guilty on Monday to charges that he participated in a ring that robbed drug dealers, an operation that officials say yielded more than 550 pounds of cocaine and $1 million in drug proceeds.
The case against the officer, Emmanuel Tavarez, 31, was scheduled to go to trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn before Judge Sandra L. Townes, with jury selection set for Monday.
Mr. Tavarez, who joined the force in July 2002, spent most of his career with the Transit Bureau. Prosecutors said he used his badge and fake search warrants to conduct raids on the drug dealers. He and his co-conspirators then kept the drugs and money taken in those raids.
Prosecutors said Mr. Tavarez helped the robbery crew appear legitimate by outfitting its members with N.Y.P.D. raid jackets and other equipment and paraphernalia. During one robbery, they said, Mr. Tavarez restrained a victim with handcuffs.
After suspicions arose, he was placed on modified assignment in August 2009. Stripped of his gun and badge, he was assigned to monitor feeds from surveillance cameras at a public housing complex in Queens.
Mr. Tavarez pleaded not guilty after his arrest last May; at the time of his arrest he was suspended without pay. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to three charges: robbery conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine; and the use of a firearm in the course of those crimes.
His lawyer, Raymond L. Colon, said, “The quantity of evidence was a bit overwhelming.” But Mr. Colon described the situation as “tragic,” adding that Mr. Tavarez’s “significant other” gave birth to his child several months ago. The baby was conceived shortly before Mr. Tavarez’s arrest, Mr. Colon said.
“For all intents and purposes he was a fine officer,” Mr. Colon said. “This was really an aberration, I think.”
Mr. Colon said he did not want to say anything that might jeopardize Mr. Tavarez’s standing during his sentencing, which is scheduled for July 29; Mr. Tavarez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The Police Department did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.