WASHINGTON DC June 16 2011 — A District of Columbia police officer was charged Tuesday with scamming an elderly woman she was assigned to help, authorities said.
Sgt. Aisha Hackley was arrested on a theft charge at the police department’s Second District headquarters, where she works. The 35-year-old was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court later this month.
Hackley forged the signature of an 85-year-old woman she met last December during a fraud investigation, depositing 10 checks from the woman’s Bank of America account that totaled more than $43,000, according to court charging documents. Eight of the checks were made payable to Aisha Jackson, which authorities say is another name for Hackley, and two were written out to Kevin Jackson, her son.
The older woman contacted Bank of America on or about May 31 after noticing a series of suspicious checks charged against her account. She later told a fraud investigator that the signature on eight of the checks was not hers, that she would not have authorized the checks for the amounts written and that she did not know Aisha Jackson or Kevin Jackson, according to court records.
Hackley, when questioned by a bank investigator, said she had met the woman last December after the woman reported being a victim of a lottery scam. Hackley visited the woman’s home several times over the next few months and even helped her open a new PNC Bank account, the documents say.
Hackley’s attorney, Kenneth Auerbach, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. D.C. police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said Hackley’s police powers have been revoked and that Hackley came under investigation after the Internal Affairs Division received a tip from a police officer in April.
Hackley’s next court date is June 30.
Hackley was recognized in December 2003, at the Capital Hotels Award Metropolitan Police Service Award Luncheon, for arresting two teenagers who were in a stolen car after she saw the vehicle make an illegal turn.
Jobin J. Grandstrom, 36, of the 400 block of Grove Avenue, Cumru Township, was charged with simple assault and recklessly endangering another person in the May 1 attack on Jordan Seyler, 21.
Muhlenberg police filed the charges Friday in District Judge Dean R. Patton’s office.
Patton issued a warrant for Grandstrom, who was arrested Tuesday by state Constables Tim Swartz and Lawrence LaFaver, at a Lebanon County car dealership where he works, authorities said.
Grandstrom was arraigned before Patton and committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail.
Muhlenberg police gave the following account:
Seyler was at Legends Sports Bar, 2545 N. Fifth St. Highway, when he became involved in a disturbance on an outdoor deck.
Grandstrom, who is employed by Legends as a bouncer, broke up the disturbance and ordered Seyler back into the bar with the rest of his party.
A while later another disturbance involving Seyler occurred on the deck.
Grandstrom approached Seyler and placed him in a headlock.
Grandstrom pushed Seyler toward a side door leading to the parking lot. He then pushed Seyler out the door with such force that Seyler’s feet left the ground and he landed headfirst on a sidewalk two steps below the door.
Police were called to the bar for a report of an assault and found Seyler bleeding on the sidewalk.
Seyler was taken by ambulance to Reading Hospital, where he had emergency surgery for head injuries. After the surgery, Seyler remained in the hospital in serious condition for several days.
Grandstrom is still employed as a bouncer at Legends, according to court records.
No one at the club could be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Seyler has filed a lawsuit in Berks County Court against Grandstrom, Legends and the club’s parent companies to recover his medical and other expenses. The suit seeks more than $50,000.
“Because of the truly careless and outrageous actions of Legends bar and its employees, this young man will now have to live with devastating injuries for the rest of his life,” said Joel J. Feller of the Philadelphia law firm handling Seyler’s case.
Feller said Seyler spent 10 days in Reading Hospital and then 10 more days in the hospital’s acute brain injury unit before he was discharged. He is now undergoing occupational and speech therapy on an outpatient basis, Feller said.
On a 48-12 vote, the House sent Senate Bill 405 to Gov. John Kitzhaber’s desk, without a floor debate. The Senate approved the bill on a tighter 19-11 vote in April.
Kitzhaber’s press secretary, Christine Miles, said the governor is aware of the legislation and that he would be reviewing it with his legal team once it hits his desk. She wouldn’t comment yet on whether he would sign the bill into law.
The driving force behind the bill for much of the session has been the University of Oregon, which classified the bill as one of its top legislative priorities.
The UO has been looking to establish a more powerful campus police force ever since it phased out in recent years a contract under which it paid the Eugene Police Department to keep peace on campus.
Representatives of the university and supportive lawmakers have argued that nationwide, 98 percent of universities comparable in size to the UO have their own police departments, as do all Pac-12 schools, except the UO and Oregon State University.
None of Oregon’s six other public universities, including Oregon State University, has indicated that it will look to set up its own sworn police department should SB 405 become law.
The UO employs 35 peace officers in its Department of Public Safety. The force operates on an annual budget of approximately $4 million.
Under current law, campus peace officers are allowed to frisk people, make arrests if they have probable cause and issue municipal citations. For almost everything else, they rely on their partnership with Eugene police.
Campus peace officers are also not equipped with firearms.
If the bill is signed into law, Doug Tripp, the director of the UO’s Department of Public Safety, said the university would set about implementing what it expects to be an “incredibly slow and deliberate” six-year transition process.
“We’re not in any hurry,” Tripp said. “We want to do it right from the onset and continue to communicate with the community about what is changing.”
Tripp said the transition would involve 26 of the current 35 peace officers becoming fully-fledged police officers. The other nine positions would morph into lower-level security jobs.
Prospective campus police officers would be chosen “through a highly selective process,” Tripp said, and would all undergo the same certification process as any other police officer in Oregon, even if they have been previously trained.
The university estimates that the potential reshuffling of the campus police force would result in only a net $6,000 increase in the public safety department’s annual budget, Tripp added, because, while better-trained police officers would cost more money, the department would save funds by downgrading nine current peace officer positions into basic security positions.
As to the lingering question of whether the campus police force would carry firearms — an idea that some UO students have vocally opposed — Tripp said that a decision has not been made, though he acknowledged that SB 405 would legally allow a campus police force to do so.
“Ultimately the decision rests on the shoulders of the university’s leaders,” he said. “But I would also expect that the community will have a voice in that decision.”
Under SB 405, university police departments could enforce any university administrative rule or ordinance, in addition to Oregon criminal law. Universities that want a police force would also need to establish a process through which complaints or grievances against an officer or the department could be filed.
WALTERBORO SC June 16 2011 One man was arrested after three people were shot Tuesday outside of the Colleton County Detention Center. Authorities are saying the shooting was a result of a domestic dispute.
It happened about 12:30 p.m. behind the jail at 22 Klein St., where authorities said a man fired into a vehicle, striking three people. A woman inside the car was injured by shattered glass.
According to a statement released by the Walterboro Public Safety Department, officers responded to a report of a black Ford chasing a red Lincoln on East Washington Street. There were reports of shots having been fired.
The two vehicles turned onto North Jefferies Boulevard and headed north.
Officers stopped the black Ford at North Jefferies and Robertson boulevards and found a black handgun in that vehicle. The driver was arrested.
While on the traffic stop, officers received further information about shooting victims in the red Lincoln at the county jail and responded there as well.
A spokeswoman for the city said the shooting happened outside the jail. Attempts to reach officials at the jail were unsuccessful.
All four victims were taken to the Colleton Medical Center with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. One victim who was shot in the neck was later flown by helicopter to Medical University Hospital in Charleston.
Ervin Sanders, 49, of Bodison Memorial in Round O is charged with one count of criminal domestic violence, four counts of attempted murder, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and one count of discharging a firearm within city limits.
He was being held in the county jail pending a bond hearing.
“It is possible this increase is due to the prevalence of Organized Retail Crime (ORC) where items are stolen in quantity and then resold to consumers on the Internet or at flea markets”
.“It is possible this increase is due to the prevalence of Organized Retail Crime (ORC) where items are stolen in quantity and then resold to consumers on the Internet or at flea markets,” said University of Florida criminologist Richard Hollinger, Ph.D., who directed the survey. “The National Retail Federation just completed its own survey showing an increase in ORC activities with more than 95 percent of retailers saying they had been victims and almost 85 percent indicating that the problem had gotten worse over the last three years.”
Retail theft includes shoplifting, employee theft, administrative error and vendor fraud.
As in years past, employee theft made up the largest portion with $16.2 billion in losses or more than 43 percent of the total. The second biggest category was shoplifting and ORC with a loss of $12.1 billion or almost 33 percent of the total losses.
There are a number of technologies available to help retailers combat retail theft. Some are especially good at helping to detect and limit ORC activity, according to Michael Creedon, vice president, national accounts for retail at ADT Commercial.
“We work very closely with our retail customers to give them the tools they need to help limit their losses, protect their merchandise and keep prices down for consumers,” he said. “There are a lot of sophisticated video and software products available that can help detect ORC behaviors and alert store management.”
Smart camera systems can help pick up unusual behavior such as a shelf of over-the-counter pain medication disappearing into the coat of a shoplifter. These intelligent camera systems can help follow a suspected shoplifter throughout the store recording movements and alerting store management.
High definition and megapixel cameras are allowing retailers to capture top quality images of shoplifters or ORC gang members and match up those images with law enforcement photos. And advances in network technology are allowing more retailers to take advantage of cameras and recorded video. Retailers have the option of using the power of cloud computing to simplify their systems and maximize their technology investment by outsourcing the collection and storage of video while still having 24/7 access to view it from almost any location with an Internet connection.
“Shoplifting and retail theft affect all of us,” said Creedon. “We want to make it as easy as possible for retailers to use the available tools in an effective and cost efficient way. Outsourcing can provide those benefits.”
Retailers are also turning toward new and more efficient inventory technologies. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are helping retailers complete inventory tasks in hours as compared to the days it previously took. Knowing what merchandise they have and where it is located is key in detecting retail theft. It can help a retailer sort out what merchandise is being lost to vendor fraud, administrative error or to employee theft and shoplifting. Once the retailer knows what is causing the losses, action can be taken to stop or limit it.
Charlotte NC June 16 2011 A US Airways employee was taken into custody Tuesday after he sneaked aboard a flight from Florida to Charlotte and then flew to Pittsburgh, according to reports.
The incident follows a period of increased airport security scrutiny that began when a Charlotte teen hid in the wheel well of a Boston-bound US Airways flight last November. The 16-year-old’s battered body was found on a Milton, Mass., street below the flight path to Logan International Airport.
On Tuesday, a US Airways employee stowed away on a flight from Tampa to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, according to reports, and then boarded a flight to Pittsburgh.
A spokesperson at the Tampa airport said the employee got onto a flight to Charlotte by stowing away in a mechanical area of the plane, according to Observer news partner WCNC-TV.
Then the employee, a mechanic, used a buddy pass – passes often given to airline employees – to fly from Charlotte to Pittsburgh, according to WSOC-TV.
Allegheny County authorities in Pennsylvania said the employee was taken into custody at Pittsburgh International Airport around 11:20 a.m.
A statement released by US Airways provided little detail about the incident.
“We can confirm that we had an incident with an employee this morning and are working with the proper authorities to determine exactly what occurred,” said spokeswoman Valerie Wunder.
She said US Airways would not comment further, citing employee privacy.
The Transportation Security Administration is also investigating.
“TSA is conducting an investigation to determine whether a US Airways employee may have improperly used his airport credentials to access the aircraft and subsequently travel on a flight from Tampa to Charlotte,” TSA said in a statement.
The employee’s airport access credentials have been revoked pending the outcome of the investigation, TSA officials said.
The death of high school sophomore Delvonte Tisdale, whose body was discovered in a Boston suburb after falling from a plane, sparked an investigation into security at Charlotte/Douglas. A police report about the breech concluded Tisdale might have boarded US Airways Flight 1176 while the plane sat idle for 37 minutes as it waited to take off.
The report also revealed weaknesses investigators found and recommended suggestions to better secure Charlotte/Douglas.
VALLEJO Ca June 16 2011
A special education teacher at a Vallejo elementary school has been arrested on suspicion of raping a developmentally disabled student aide, police said.
Jerry Johnson, 56, of Elk Grove (Sacramento County), a teacher at Loma Vista Elementary School on Rainier Avenue, raped an 18-year-old student who has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old in February, authorities said. The alleged attack happened on campus, police said.
Johnson was booked Monday on a $750,000 warrant alleging rape of a person who is incapable of consenting due to her mental and developmental disabilities, police said
NASHVILLE, Tenn. June 16 2011– A Metro police officer has been indicted on a slew of charges in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy.
A federal grand jury indicted 31-year-old Officer Richard Wilson on charges of corruptly soliciting, demanding, and accepting cash in connection with transactions related to his duties as a police officer, attempting to distribute cocaine, and money laundering,
The indictment states that between April 5 and June 15, Wilson attempted to distribute cocaine on two dates. He also allegedly received cash payments totaling $24,500 for his assistance to individuals he believed to be drug traffickers.
Wilson allegedly transported what he believed to be cocaine and drug money to locations in and around Nashville. On three of those occasions, Wilson was on duty, in uniform, and in an official police vehicle while assisting individuals who he believed to be drug traffickers. Wilson is also charged with money laundering in connection with one of the transactions.
Two others are also charged in the indictment. 31-year-old Michael Dwayne Wray of Murfreesboro, and 32-year-old Adam Yates. Wray is charged with attempting to distribute cocaine and money laundering. Yates is charged with attempting to distribute cocaine.
Wilson was immediately decommissioned by the Metro Police Department following his arrest Tuesday night by the FBI. He had been on the force for six years.
Wilson had been assigned to the DUI Unit in the police department’s Traffic Section since December 2009. He was a patrol officer at the South Precinct from March 2007 to December 2009. He was a patrol officer at the Hermitage Precinct prior to March 2007.
An internal investigation, which is separate from the criminal case, remains active. That investigation will result in formal administrative charges accusing Wilson of violating police department rules and regulations.
Prior to joining the police department, Wilson was a General Sessions Court security officer.
U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin said the indictment was the result of collaboration between the prosecutor’s office, the FBI and the Nashville police department.
Investigators said Holly Polson, 35, met the teen at Shadow Hills Intermediate School in Palmdale.
Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Polson was supposed to be tutoring the 13 year old after school. Instead, Polson was having sex with the boy on campus, he said.
“We entrust our children to teachers and school instructors and in this case that trust was violated,” Hudson said.
Hudson said the boy’s parents found inappropriate text messages that Polson had allegedly sent their son on his cell phone.
“Deputies contacted the victim and he disclosed that he had been having a sexual relationship with the suspect,” Hudson said.
The victim told authorities that he started having sex with Polson two weeks ago. When investigators interviewed Polson, she allegedly admitted to the sexual relationship with the student.
“She admitted to several instances of having sexual intercourse with the victim on school grounds,” Hudson said.
Neighbors near Polson’s Palmdale residence said she lived with her husband and four children.
“My little brother used to play with their boys, so he knew them pretty well,” neighbor Daniel Rocha said. “They seemed like such a great family. I’m really surprised. I would have never expected this.”
Polson was arrested at her home Tuesday afternoon and booked on four felony counts of lewd acts with a child. Her bail is set at $100,000. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.
The boy’s name was not released because he is a minor.
MORAINE, Ohio June 16 2011– Security with Dayton Power and Light and Moraine police took several men into custody who were looking to steal scrap metal.
Officers said they arrested two men in a van and discovered property belonging to Dayton Power and Light.
According to police, they believe that there were two more men involved in plan to steal copper wire from a large DP&L yard.
Moraine officers searched for the men along Dryden Road and all around the storage yard. They managed to get two men into custody who were trying to leave the area in a white van that was driving suspiciously, police said. The van was flagged down here Kettering.
Sgt. Mike Keegan said, “Blacked out means that they came out driving without their headlights on.”
Officers said the discovered a large section of black coil that protects copper wire inside the van. Officers then returned to the storage yard and talked with security.
According to police, they believe that four men entered the property by possibly cutting a surrounding fence line.
Police said they believe that they recovered everything that the men tried to steal. They are now looking at surveillance video to find more clues.
Colette Phelps, 28, of Los Gatos, made her first court appearance in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Wednesday and was ordered to return on July 8 to enter a plea.
Authorities said police received reports at around 10 a.m. on June 1 that Phelps had allegedly committed lewd acts with a student at the Stratford School a private organization with 13 preschool, elementary and middle-school campuses across Silicon Valley.
Phelps has taught at the school for the last five years.
She has been arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse, according to police.
Outside the courthouse, Phelps attorney Steve Clark could not comment much on the case. He said that Phelps was “deeply embarrassed to be in this situation.”
“I will say that Ms. Phelps has had some significant personal and medical challenges in her life recently,” he added. “I’m going to be appraising the DA office of that. “
Clark said that Phelps has been a “well-respected member of the community.”
“Ms. Phelps absolutely has no contact prior with law enforcement,” he said. “She’s a 28-year-old teacher. She has been a well-respected member of the community and so this is a very difficult time for her.”
However, court records show that Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence in 2008 and for driving with a suspended license in 2009.
Utica NY June 16 2011 Two Utica police officers are credited with saving the life of an Oakland University police officer who went into a cardiac arrest last month during a firearms training session at a Shelby Township gun range.
OUDP Chief Samuel C. Lucido sent a letter to the Utica Police Department thanking the quick-thinking officers and the OUPD for their lifesaving actions.
During the OUPD firearms training drill at the Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress range in Shelby Township in May, OUPD Sgt. Douglas Godwin suffered a cardiac arrest.
Utica police officer Douglas Julien, who had just left the range himself after a training session, was listening to the police traffic radio and heard the emergency call for an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Julien immediately alerted Utica Sgt. Sean Coady, who was still at the range. Coady had an AED in his squad car. While members of the OUPD gave Godwin CPR, Coady ran out to his vehicle and grabbed the AED. The AED was used on Godwin, who was immediately transported to Troy Beaumont Hospital.
“The AED getting there so quickly is what saved his life,” said Interim Utica Police Chief Dave Faber.
Lucido said a doctor who treated Godwin said that the officers’ quick response and knowledge of how to use the AED saved Godwin’s life.
“The officers couldn’t have done it more by the book,” the doctor told Lucido.
Godwin was recently released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
“We are truly grateful for the high level of professionalism and attention to duty exhibited by Officer Julien and Sergent Coady,” said Lucido. “On behalf of the men and women of the OUPD, please extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for their efforts.”
Angleyn Hendricks, 49, was stuck in the downtown courthouse in a locked attorney visitation room for 17 hours overnight.
Now, a long-time deputy faces discipline, and there’s a new policy to keep it from happening again.
“There was surely a violation of policy,” said Chief Deputy John Ford.
On Friday, a judge sent Hendricks to jail for 48 hours. A deputy then put Hendricks in a locked, 8′ by 6′ visitation room on the fourth-floor around 3 p.m. Friday.
He should have returned right away but forgot.
No one returned to room until 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Hendricks had no food, water or access to a bathroom.
Once a deputy discovered her, he took the woman to the Criminal Justice Center. Medical personnel examined her and found that she was in good health.
“We’re in business because everyone makes mistakes, and we’re not exempt from making mistakes. My thing is we need to learn from what we’ve done and hopefully this won’t happen again,” said Ford.
Policy has now changed. Instead of a single double-check for inmates. Three deputies will now sweep the building every night.
“It will be almost impossible for us to miss anybody,” said Ford.
The deputy responsible for leaving the woman faces an official reprimand.
“He was very remorseful. He took responsibility for it, and of course, that’s what we would want,” said Ford.
The woman got credit for the 17 hours she spent neglected at the courthouse. She’s out of jail but is scheduled to return to court next month on an unrelated drug charge.
The sheriff’s department hasn’t figured out how to discipline the deputy. He could face anything from a letter of warning to suspension.
PHOENIX AZ June 16 2011– A US Airways pilot was arrested after a hotel security guard said the tip of one of his fingers was sliced off when the pilot slammed the room door, according to police.
Fredric J. Ahern, 58, of Hockessin, Del., was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on one count of aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, according to a booking report.
The incident happened about 4 p.m. Monday at the Sheraton Hotel, 340 N.Third St. in Phoenix.
The report states the security guard was trying to enter Ahern’s room when the 36-year US Airways employee slammed the door, causing the victim to lose the tip of his left index finger.
The unidentified security guard was taken to a hospital, where he was treated.
There was no reason given as to why the guard was entering the room.
LAS VEGAS NV June 16 2011 — A Las Vegas man was arrested Monday on charges of impersonating a police officer, according to a Las Vegas Metro police report.
Police said Richard Henderson, 45, who drives a sport utility vehicle, pulled a woman over near Fourth Street and Charleston Boulevard by flashing a badge at her.
The woman told police that Henderson yelled at her to “Open your (expletive) window,” and took her driver’s license, the report said.
He then looked at her license plate before returning her license to her, police said.
The woman said Henderson then yelled at her for driving badly and left the area, the report said.
A records search of the license plate revealed Henderson as the owner of the SUV, the report said.
When officers saw Henderson’s photo, they recognized him as someone they had dealt with during a recent domestic dispute and knew he was employed as a security guard, the report said.
When officers went to his apartment, they found Henderson in his SUV, double parked in handicapped and no parking spaces, the report said.
When asked if anyone has had access to his SUV, he told officers, “Nobody has permission to drive my car but me,” the report said.
His badge and uniform matched the description given by the woman he pulled over, the report said.
When Henderson was taken into custody, he said the woman was driving all over the road and that he got her to pull over, but didn’t identify himself as a police officer, the report said. He said that once she pulled over, he got out of his SUV and approached her, telling her she was “driving like (expletive),” the report said.
He told officers he was on his way to work, so he was in his security officer uniform, the report said.
Hyannis MA June 16 2011
A grandmother was enjoying an a lunch-time ice-cream cone with her granddaughter in the Cape Cod Mall food court when a man faked a fall and made off with her purse, according to police.
Police arrested and charged Edward J. Delia, 25, of 199 Cammett Rd., Marstons Mills with larceny from a person over the age of 60, purse snatching.
The victim told police she was sitting with her granddaughter when Delia fell into her stroller next to her table. Witnesses told police it looked like the suspect pretended to fall and grabbed the victim’s purse from the bottom rack of the stroller and began to walk fast toward the exit to the parking lot.
The victim noticed as Delia walked away that her purse was missing and it was in the his hands. The victim yelled, “That’s my bag,” got up and chased after Delia. She was able to get the bag from his hands, the arrest report stated.
Mall patrons helped the victim chase down the man and were able to notify security.
When police arrived, mall security had Delia near the exit. Delia told police his girlfriend has called him and said she lost her purse. Delia said he saw the purse on the floor and thought it was his girlfriend’s. Delia was unable to tell police the name of his girlfriend or make contact with her, the arrest report stated.
Delia pleaded not guilty to his charge at Barnstable First District Court today.
Savannah GA June 16 2011 It was a misdemeanor charge of egg foo young.
A Georgia woman was reprimanded after calling 911 to report that her local Chinese restaurant had delivered her the wrong order.
The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police released an audio recording of the recent call to local media to highlight the type of calls people should not be making to 911.
“I need the police. It’s this Hong Kong restaurant type restaurant to go,” the woman said when asked what was the emergency.
“I ordered food and they done bring the wrong food. I done brought it outside and they ain’t going to give me my money and I need my money. Uh-uh,
I need to someone to handle this,” she said. “They ain’t going to do me in any kind of way.”
Authorities say making this kind of call can result in help being delayed to those who really need it – and that can be the difference between life and death.
While the woman could have been charged with abusing 911 – a misdemeanor – cops let her off with a warning.
FORT WORTH TX June 16 2011 — A Fort Worth Zoo security guard was assaulted Tuesday after trying to order four men reportedly harassing people just outside the zoo’s perimeter to move along.
The attack occurred shortly after 1 p.m. in the 2600 block of Park Place Avenue.
The two Hispanic men and two black men, all believed to be about 17 to 20 years old, fled afterward and had not been apprehended as of Wednesday afternoon.
The 59-year-old guard told police that he had received a call that several young men were hanging out near the perimeter of the zoo, harassing people as they walked or drove by, according to Sgt. Pedro Criado, a police spokesman.
The guard said he arrived in the area and asked the men what they were doing, to which they replied that they were “just chilling.”
The guard asked the men to move along, and the suspects began cursing and telling him to mind his own business, he told police. The guard told the men that if they did not leave, he would notify police.
The guard had moved his vehicle and was calling for additional security guards when one of the suspects began making an obscene hand gesture at him, then two suspects approached his vehicle and began banging on the windows, he said.
The guard stepped out of the vehicle and told the suspects several times to back away but the men continued to curse, yell and make derogatory statements at him, asking the guard “Whatcha’ going to do?” he told police.
The guard said one of the suspects then swung at him and punched him. He said he grabbed the attacker by the throat when a second suspect punched him in the back of the head, causing him to fall to the ground. The guard said he sustained more blows before another guard arrived to assist.
A female then pulled up in a car, told the suspects to get inside, and they left, Criado said.
Zoo co-workers took the guard to the hospital for treatment of injuries that reportedly included scrapes, bruises, bumps and a possibly dislocated shoulder.
“I do know he was treated and released from the hospital and is fine,” said Remekca Owens, a zoo spokeswoman.