The body of Irabu, 42, was found at 4:25 p.m. PDT Wednesday, county sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Arriaga said.
“He was found dead by an apparent suicide,” he said.
Irabu lived in Rancho Palos Verdes but it was not immediately clear whether it was his home, the sergeant said.
Other details were not immediately released.
Messages left at the county coroner’s office were not immediately returned.
In May 2010, Irabu was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena.
Police said he was stopped after his car drifted outside of traffic lanes and he nearly collided with a parked car.
He posted $5,000 bail but it was not immediately clear whether he was criminally charged.
Quinton OKLA July 29 2011 Four people are killed, including two children, after their horse drawn carriage was hit from behind by a semi. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the crash happened Wednesday night about 10:45 on State Highway 31 in Pittsburg County, 4 miles west of Quinton.
Investigators say the horse drawn carriage was traveling in the middle of the road when it was hit.
The report says a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old as well as two adults died in the crash. OHP identified the deceased from Quinton as 38 year old Paul Ogden, his daughter 5 year old Meckennen Ogden, 28 year old Lee Ogden, and 4 year old Emma Ogden. All four were thrown from the carriage on impact of the crash and died at the scene from their injuries.
OHP says one passenger in the carriage, 18 year old Colby Finch of Texas, survived but was critically injured. He was flown to a Tulsa hospital and listed in critical condition with head injuries.
The driver of the semi was identified by OHP as Marvin Bowen from Foyil. The report says the 38 year old man was not injured.
SAN FRANCISCO CA July 29 2011 — “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is scheduled for surgery after he snapped his Achilles tendon while running after a woman who he says stole cash and other items from his San Francisco hotel room.
The 71-year-old Trebek tells reporters he spotted the woman in his room around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, chased her down and confronted her.
He was on crutches Wednesday when he hosted the National Geographic World Championship at Google headquarters.
San Francisco police Lt. Troy Dangerfield says hotel security apprehended the suspect and recovered some of Trebek’s belongings.
Dangerfield says 56-year-old old Lucinda Moyers was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary and receiving stolen property.
After his scheduled surgery Friday, Trebek is expected to be in a cast for six weeks.
On Thursday, Moyers was ordered to stay at least 150 yards from the “Jeopardy!” host and his wife.
A judge Thursday also set Moyers’ bail at $625,000, noting that the two-time convicted burglar could face an extended sentence under California’s three-strikes law if she’s found guilty again.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Jeff Ross said a public defender would be assigned to the 56-year-old woman. She appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit but won’t enter a plea until her arraignment set for Monday morning.
VANCOUVER Canada July 29 2011 — The woman found dead in her Vancouver home on Tuesday night has been identified as Melanie Alexis O’Neill, a Simon Fraser University professor.
Police discovered O’Neill’s body in her residence, one of three suites of a home in the 100-block of West 13th Avenue, around 10:30 p.m.
A concerned acquaintance had asked police to check on her welfare after not having heard from her lately, said Vancouver police spokesman Const. Lindsey Houghton.
O’Neill was an associate professor in biophysical and biological chemistry at Simon Fraser University, having joined the faculty in 2005.
Jon Driver, acting president and vice-president academic and provost of SFU, said the university was “distressed” to learn of her death.
“Melanie was well liked and respected by her peers, who noted she displayed amazing strength and conviction in her research in biological chemistry,” Driver said in a statement.
“She was considered a pioneer – one of only a few scientists internationally researching how humans use light to synchronize their metabolic and behavioural patterns with the outside world.”
O’Neill won the Career Investigator Award, Scholar, from the Michael Smith Foundation for health research in 2005.
A man detained by Richmond RCMP in connection with the homicide on Wednesday was transferred to VPD for questioning and released without charges, said Houghton.
It is not known what the man’s relationship was to O’Neill, or how police were first alerted to him. He is still considered a person of interest, Houghton said.
Dave Kite, who lives two doors down, said a Caucasian woman who appeared to be in her 30s had just moved into the suite, on the main floor of the large triplex, about three weeks ago.
“We didn’t know her very well, but we saw her walking around a few times,” he said.
Helen Hutton, also a nearby resident, said the incident was shocking.
“It’s a little oasis in the middle of the city,” she said of the street, where large trees formed a canopy overhead.
“It makes me extremely nervous, but I can’t help but feel it’s an isolated incident.”
Forensic investigators were at the scene Wednesday.
O’Neill’s body was removed at 12:15 p.m.
The homicide is Vancouver’s ninth of 2011.
LOS ANGELES CA July 29 2011 — The FBI has been called in to handle a homicide at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. The body of the 56-year-old man was left undiscovered for a week at a time when VA officials are receiving heavy criticism for their management of the campus.
The remains of Jose Luis Plascencia were discovered on June 30 when a groundskeeper was trimming foliage near a stadium, the Los Angeles Times reports. Initially, investigators suspected no foul play, but it was later determined by the Angeles County coroner’s office that Plascencia’s neck had been cut.
The West Los Angeles VA facility has its own police force with about 55 officers.
Aikens, 46, was arrested as he got off duty this morning at the HPD Central Jail on Riesner.
FBI agents and Internal Affairs Division officers took his gun from him, along with his car keys, as they arrested him on felony charges of abusing his badge and possessing cocaine.
Assistant US Attorney Jim McAlister said Aikens was under FBI surveillance when he used his patrol car to escort and protect a shipment of 7-kilos of cocaine during a sting operation last month.
He’s accused of accepting a $2,000 bribe in exchange for providing security for the supposed drug couriers, but those pushers were actually undercover agents taking part in the sting. There was no other dope involved, McAlister said.
Two hours after his arrest, Aikens was brought before US Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy for his initial appearance, where he said he expects to lose his job over this.
Sgt. Aikens will also lose his apartment, he said, because he told the judge he was living rent-free at an apartment complex on Antoine in northwest Houston, in exchange for providing security at the complex.
Such security arrangements are common within HPD and most other law enforcement agencies in the Houston area.
Aikens posted a $50,000 unsecured bond, which means he was released from custody without forking over a dime.
Judge Milloy allowed him to spend a few days removing his furniture from his free apartment, but she ordered him to live with his sister in Houston pending the outcome of his trial.
Aikens, who joined the Houston Police force in June 1992, was earning nearly $55,000 base salary according to recent city payroll records. But he told the judge today he only had $2,500 in the bank and could not afford to hire a lawyer.
The judge appointed a public defender to represent him, but ordered him to cough up $1,000 to defer some of the cost.
As he stood before the judge, his hands were crossed behind his back and he could be seen fidgeting with his fingers as the judge spoke to him.
When she asked if he wanted to invoke his right to remain silent, Aikens answered, “At this time, yes ma’am.”
He told the judge he may have left a weapon in his personal vehicle parked outside the jail, and Milloy responded, “Get your keys and get that weapon secure. If you have a weapon, I will revoke your bond.”
The sergeant said he understood.
He said he wasn’t sure the weapon was still inside his car because, “I’m assuming they took it out…..They asked me at the time where my gun belt was,” Aikens said of his arrest.
HPD Headquarters said he was placed on Relieved of Duty status with pay upon his arrest, which means he has no police authority while he’s out of jail on bond.
He was scheduled for arraignment on Thursday, August 4th, when the judge said he could enter a plea of not guilty. He faces 2 felony indictments that could bring 30-years in prison if he’s found guilty. He’s charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Cocaine, and a violation of the Hobbs Act, which means using the color of authority for corruption.
Inside the federal courthouse, deputy US Marshals expressed anger at someone tarnishing the badge. One deputy marshal who used to be an HPD officer said, “He’s a piece of s—. He affects our badges and everyone with a badge with this.”
Fellow HPD officers said a review of the department’s Internal Affairs history shows Sgt. Aikens has been suspended from duty without pay for a total of 87-days, which is an astonishing number.
Suspensions without pay are levied only after Internal Affairs investigations are completed and wrongdoing has been confirmed by the department. It was unclear how many sustained violations of departmental rules accounted for that 87-days worth of suspensions, and it was unclear if he had overturned any of those suspensions by filing appeals.
One HPD supervisor pointed out that Aikens was promoted to the rank of sergeant within the past year or so, despite the lengthy list of violations of police department policy.
In court Aikens said he has a 17-year-old daughter who lives with her mother. He was paying $600 per month in child support, he told the judge, so she ordered him to find another job within the next 10-days.
He was arrested in uniform, but Marshals said he was being released without his HPD shirt on. He was told to wear his undershirt only when he walked out of the courthouse to meet his superiors who had confiscated his car keys.
Aikens also asked prosecutors to return his cell phone. “That’s the only phone I have,” he said, adding that it had numbers stored for calling family members to alert them to his arrest.
Prosecutors said other arrests were possible as agents continued trying to crack the drug-operation that prompted the undercover sting. There were no other officers arrested, and prosecutors said they did not know of any other officers who were suspected of helping the drug ring that led to the sting.
Seven time convicted indecent exposure suspect nabbed maturbating at Seattle mall www.privateofficer.com
King County WA July 29 2011 A Seattle man seven times convicted of indecent exposure-related crimes is now accused of exposing himself at an Auburn mall.
King County prosecutors contend Kenneth R. Libke, 54, was caught pleasuring himself as he drove a Jeep around the SuperMall parking lot. They go on to claim he appeared to be following women around the lot.
On June 2, a SuperMall security officer watching the parking lot by camera spotted Libke in his car. Believing he appeared to be preparing to shoplift, the security officer continued to watch Libke as he drove around the lot.
According to charging documents, the security officer was able to view the inside of Libke’s vehicle. Libke, prosecutors contend, was naked from the waist down and masturbating.
“(The security officer) became physically ill at the actions she had witnessed and almost vomited,” an Auburn detective told the court. “(She) was very concerned about the visibility of the driver’s actions since his windows were not tinted and any pedestrian walking past his vehicle could have looked in and seen him.”
The security officer contacted Auburn police and provided a copy of the surveillance video.
Investigators also spoke with a man who said he’d seen Libke’s Jeep in the mall parking lot on several occasions since December 2010.
According to the detective’s report, the man said he noticed the Jeep because it was often driving around the lot as though the driver was looking for women. After spotting a woman, the Jeep’s driver would drive near her and slow down.
Police were able to link the Jeep to Libke, a registered sex offender with convicted several times for indecent exposure and lewd conduct. He was previously convicted of nearly identical conduct at the Alderwood Mall parking lot in Lynnwood.
Libke has been charged with felony indecent exposure. Prosecutors contend he acted with sexual motivation.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.July 29 2011 – Clinton Township police arrested four suspected of trying to steal five flat screen TV’s at Walmart on Hall Road and Romeo Plank.
On Tuesday night, Walmart security observed the suspects loading up a shopping cart with flat screens valued at $5,136 retail cost according to Captain Richard Maierle from Clinton Township police. Walmart security made a call to Clinton Twp. police alerting them to the situation.
Donte Manning, 23, of Pontiac, pushed the loaded cart out of the store while Christina Hollis, 19, and Danique Johnson,20, and an unnamed juvenile male assisted in the attempted theft. One of the suspects pulled up to the store in a van and were attempting to load the flat scenes inside. As the suspects were attempting to load the television sets, Clinton Township police arrived and took all four into custody.
The suspects were charged with first degree retail fraud, a five-year felony, and conspiracy to commit retail fraud.
Bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety in 41-B District Court in Clinton Township.
Maierle said Walmart has surveillance photographs of at least two and possibly three other suspects who got away in another vehicle.
He said the photos of all of the suspects will be distributed among store security along Hall Road to see if the suspects were involved in thefts at other stores. The pictures were not released to the media at this time.
If you have any information on this case, please contact Clinton Township Police at 586-493-7800.
RANDOLPH CO., Indiana July 29 2011– A teacher in Randolph County, Ind., has been arrested for having a sexual relationship with a student, police said.
Shannon Woodson, 36, a teacher at Greater Randolph Interlocal Corp., was taken into custody on Thursday after admitting that she had sex with a 17-year-old student who attends the school, according to police.
The student and Woodson engaged in sexual activity on at least three separate occasions, according to investigators. The two also used marijuana and drank alcohol while at her apartment in Farmland, Ind., police said.
Woodson was being charged with child seduction. She faces up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000, if convicted.
ATLANTA GA July 29 2011– Smile. If you’re in Atlanta, in public places, you’re probably on camera, and police are watching you.
It’s the same in many other Metro Atlanta cities, as well, which are relying on surveillance cameras more and more to try to prevent crime and catch criminals.
Now critics are questioning Atlanta’s decision last week to spend $2.6 million in federal grants to expand the city’s surveillance camera network to an unprecedented level.
What Atlanta is doing is entering into contracts with private businesses that have their own surveillance cameras.
As a result, the city is beginning to network thousands of private and public surveillance cameras, with live views of practically everywhere, to monitor and record live video at the city’s 911 Center.
Debbie Seagraves of ACLU Georgia does not trust the government to protect the privacy of innocent citizens. She quickly dismisses the old argument that says, “As long as I’m not doing anything wrong, I have nothing to worry about from the government watching me all the time on all those surveillance cameras.”
“I just have to say that when you give someone, some entity, the power to watch you at every moment, if they want to see something wrong, they will,” Seagraves said. “And that’s the danger… I’ll say once again, wrong is often in the eye of the beholder.”
Seagraves said cameras don’t reduce crime; criminals just move to less affluent areas where there are no cameras.
But Col. Wayne Mock of the private police force “Midtown Blue” disagrees. Mock said that Midtown Blue, along with Atlantic Station, just signed “memos of understanding” with the City of Atlanta, making them among the first private security organizations to allow Atlanta Police to tap into their dozens of live cameras 24 hours a day.
Midtown Blue has had its cameras in place throughout Midtown Atlanta since 2005. Mock said they DO reduce crime.
“There’s a substantial crime reduction in Midtown, and there will be a substantial crime reduction all over Atlanta with Chief Turner’s program taking cameras all over the City of Atlanta and putting them in the 911 Center… Cameras, what do they do? They’re actually police officers. That camera is actually a police officer sitting on the utility pole. Now we have them mounted in the street, on traffic poles. It’s actually a police officer there, it’s actually his eyes recording.”
Col. Mock believes the more cameras that there are — recording everything going on in public — the fewer places criminals will have to escape in order to commit crime out of camera range.
Here are excerpts from 11Alive’s separate interviews with Seagraves and with Mock on Wednesday.
I’m not sure what the safeguards are in these “memos of understanding” with private businesses. Who keeps the data? What are the limits on how it can be used? How long is it kept? Who has access to it?
We, I’m afraid, have become victims of surveillance creep. Loss-of-privacy creep. It’s coming upon us a little at a time and occasionally there’s a bump in the road where people are a little upset about being X-rayed to the point of appearing nude in an airport. But we’ve become so used to the idea that government can see us anywhere at any time. I don’t know when we got comfortable with it. But, apparently, it had something to do with a time when we became afraid of terrorists. And the surveillance did increase.
What’s happening is that our ability to surveil our citizenry is quickly outstripping our ethical safeguards about what we do with that information and with that technology. There have been reported incidents in other cities of police officers using surveillance data to stalk ex-wives, girlfriends, to stalk people who have visited a gay bar, to go back and attempt blackmail. There have been all kinds of things that have happened with these kind of surveillance cameras. I’m not saying those things are going to happen in Atlanta. What I’m saying is that just because we can do something doesn’t necessarily mean we should do something.
I don’t believe that the City of Atlanta or anyone else can show us evidence that this [expanding of the surveillance camera network] is a better way to spend money than hiring another cop, and giving the cops on the beat better equipment and better access to what they need to actually do community policing. In fact there’s a lot of evidence that that is exactly the best way to spend money, to invest in your policemen on the beat, in training and in equipment.
[People always say, "If I'm not doing anything wrong, I've got nothing to worry about."]
I just have to say that when you give someone, some entity, the power to watch you at every moment, if they want to see something wrong, they will. And that’s the danger. Will you get to the place where, with these high definition cameras… that you have to be careful about what you read in public, how you dress in public, how you interact with other people? Do you want to be a person who has to look over your shoulder and think every moment about every word you say and everything you do? I’ll say once again, wrong is often in the eye of the beholder.
So now what you’re talking about is private entities gathering information [with their own surveillance cameras], and now they are using it and sharing it in concert with a governmental entity that has an enforcement power. So I’m not saying they shouldn’t do it, I’m saying we don’t have the proper safeguards in place to ensure that it isn’t misused and abused. You know, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be safe from someone [monitoring the videos] who just decides they don’t like how you dress, they don’t like what you did, you look suspicious, you talked on the street with somebody that was under surveillance. We don’t have the proper safeguards in place, and our technology is outstripping our ethics.
There’s also no evidence that it cuts down on crime within a city… it moves it to less affluent areas. Which is why we should consider whether or not it’s a better use of our dollars to put more cops on the street in areas where people need them.
Col. Wayne Mock
Public Safety Manager
Well, they’ve been a major factor in crime reduction.
We signed an MOU [memo of understanding] with Atlanta, and we’re real excited, because our cameras, our 48 cameras, and the Atlantic Station cameras that are under North American Properties… are among the first ones in [Atlanta's] 911 Center. We’re excited about that. That gives the operators and their new system the ability to monitor — to dispatch officers and monitor locations at the same time. It’s a great entity. It’s going to [result in] a major crime reduction, a major public safety factor.
I’m not sure there’s an issue [of government intrusion] there, at all. We’ve talked about Big Brother before. We video, we’re on the public right of way, we’re set totally toward your public safety as a citizen. We don’t listen, we don’t monitor, we don’t do any audio whatsoever; everything we do is video. We record, look and the dispatcher constantly looks for your safety… So it’s a win-win situation for everybody.
People know that they’re being monitored, they’re being viewed… The fact that you know that the camera’s there, and the fact that you know that Atlanta police officers out of the Midtown Blue operation are going to respond within two to three minutes of this issue, [makes everyone safer].
Some of these cameras catch as many as 16 blocks… You virtually, probably, will not get out of range. You can try to get out of range, but if you commit it, you’re going to be caught.
There’s a substantial crime reduction in Midtown, and there will be a substantial crime reduction all over Atlanta with Chief Turner’s program taking cameras all over the City of Atlanta, and putting them in the 911 Center.
You connect a volley of cameras together and you just increase your chance of gathering evidence that judges seem to love in municipal court.
Atlantic Station will be tied in… all the businesses, the buildings in Downtown, Midtown, that will be tied in, Westside Village, College Park… Buckhead tied in with cameras, you’ll have Sandy Springs tied in with cameras, you jump to Dunwoody, you jump to Lilburn, you’re jumping, you’re jumping, you’re jumping. And you just create a safer environment for everybody together in Metro Atlanta.
It still takes a good law enforcement officer to respond, and respond to it. Cameras, what do they do? They’re actually police officers. That camera is actually a police officer sitting on the utility pole… It’s actually a police officer there, it’s actually his eyes recording.
Security reported that three subjects were involved in stealing items from a store at the mall.
When stopped by security officers, a female suspect assaulted a security officer.
Security officers were able to detain, Raheen Simmons, 30, and Shawntaya Eley, 25, both of Brooklyn, NY, who were charged with grand Larceny.Lanequa Bostic, 26, of Brooklyn, NY, was also charged with Grand Larceny and Assault and Battery.
All three were held without bond.
Principal Keith Phipps and teacher Jack Turley of the Boone County Career and Technical Center are accused of manufacturing and purchasing material used to make methamphetamine last spring, and both were suspended, said Jeff Huffman, assistant superintendent of Boone County, West Virginia, schools.
Huffman said the methamphetamine traces were a result of the illegal stimulant, which is frequently homemade, being smoked at school, and authorities do not believe the drug was manufactured at the school.
The use of methamphetamine, which can cause brain damage and violent behavior, has ravaged many rural communities.
The drug traces were discovered through testing by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
“Based on the amount of residue found, we felt it was in the best interests of employees and students to go ahead and close the facility while we continue to complete our testing and begin the required remediation process for various parts of the facility,” Huffman said.
Had the methamphetamine been made at the school, he added, “The readings from the test results would be much, much greater.”
The school, which serves as many as 450 students during the regular school year, will remain closed indefinitely.
School officials plan to meet on Thursday to design a plan for decontaminating the building and putting a contract for the work out for bidding.
Orlando Fla July 29 2011 Shopaholics beware. The next time you try on a suit or a bathing suit at your favorite store, you may be showing off your birthday suit too.
A former loss prevention officer is blowing the whistle on a dressing room dilemma at Macy’s.
It all started with a tip from a former Macy’s loss prevention officer.
“I knew for a fact that our customers didn’t know that we could see them naked. In 20 years in loss prevention, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he told WKMG-TV in Orlando.
“This” is the fitting room door. He says Macy’s designs them slats up instead of slats down to give security a better view of customers. But it gives passersby a better view too … of you and your pants on the ground. WKMG took undercover video at three different Macy’s stores in Orlando showing men and women in different stages of undress behind the fitting room doors.
“That makes me less eager to shop at their store. It kind of makes me think they assume I’m going to steal something. It kind of cheapens the shopping experience for me just a little bit,”said confessed shopaholic Jaime Hampton of Tallahassee.
“I wouldn’t mind it, if it is in fact, if it helps keep prices low because it keeps shoplifting down. Then it isn’t any different than changing your clothes in front of a lot of other women in the gym, or in a spa, or anything else,” Tallahassee shopper Jill Mercer said.
“It makes me feel very disrespected by them,” said longtime Macy’s cardholder Marion Merzer of Tallahassee. “I think that I understand the need for security for things like shoplifting but I think there needs to be a better way to go about that, than yet another intrusion into our privacy.”
We visited the Macy’s at Governor’s Square Mall. We found that fitting rooms in lingerie and juniors had the “slats up” doors, doors you can easily see through as you walk by, but that was not the case in every fitting room in the store.
A Macy’s spokesperson did not explain if this was a recent change or why it was made. Vice President of Media Relations Melissa Goff did provide this statement:
“Retailers work hard to strike a balance between preserving the privacy of customers, providing customer service, maintaining customer safety in fitting rooms, and deterring the theft of merchandise. We at Macy’s are continually reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure we are serving the best interests of all of our customers. We strive to make customers feel safe and secure at Macy’s.”
LOS ANGELES CA July 29 2011 – A crazed woman randomly snatched an infant from a stroller, slammed the baby into a pole and later said she was trying to break the baby’s arm off “so she could eat it,” Los Angeles cops said Wednesday.
Prosecutors have charged Natasha Hubbard, 36, with aggravated assault and released her photo believing she may have other victims from her wild rampage in downtown Los Angeles last Thursday.
The terrifying incident with the 4-month-old boy took place in a crowded shopping district packed with families, police said.
Detectives said mom Adriana Miranda, 29, was pushing her infant son Alexander in his stroller when Hubbard unbelted the child and grabbed him by the leg.
Witnesses said Hubbard then swung the baby over her head and slammed him into a metal rail of a nearby truck as the mom and the baby’s aunt watched in horror, police said.
The mother and aunt fought off the woman, with the suspect clawing at Miranda as she clutched the baby boy in her arms, police said.
Arriving officers were able to locate Hubbard with the help of witnesses who pointed her out.
She’s now in jail with bail set at $55,000.
Hubbard told detectives that she tried to break off the baby’s arm so she could eat it, police said.
The tiny victim received bruises and scratches as a result of the attack.
Fort Hood TX July 29 2011 A U.S. serviceman is in custody after he allegedly admitted he was planning an attack on his fellow servicemen at the U.S. Army base at Fort Hood, Texas, the same base where 13 people were killed in a 2009 terror attack.
U.S. officials told ABC News an AWOL soldier, identified by the FBI as a Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested Wednesday after making a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, Texas, the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the weapons he allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 32 others on Nov. 5, 2009. According to one senior official, Abdo has also mentioned the name of high profile al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — the same man investigators said inspired the previous Fort Hood attack along with other potentially deadly terror plots in the U.S. — though no direct link between Abdo and Awlaki has been found.
Abdo, 21, allegedly told law enforcement he wanted to “get even” and was targeting Ft. Hood because of the previous attack there, according to law enforcement documents obtained by ABC News. The documents say he did not plan to attack the base itself, but instead planned to plant two bombs at a nearby restaurant popular with Ft. Hood personnel.
He hoped to detonate both at the target location before using a pistol to shoot survivors, according to the documents. Abdo had gone AWOL over the July 4 weekend from Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division in Kentucky over 800 miles away.
Abdo, 21, was arrested Wednesday and agents found firearms and “items that could be identified as bomb-making components, including gunpowder,” in his motel room, according to FBI spokesman Erik Vasys.
When he was arrested, Abdo was in possession of large quantities of ammunition, weapons and what appeared to be the makings of a bomb, according to early accounts from law enforcement. He had also apparently purchased an Army uniform with Fort Hood patches from a local surplus store.
Abdo, reportedly of Palestinian descent, was raised by his Muslim father and non-denominational Christian mother in Texas. In 2010 he told ABC News he was Muslim and should not have to participate in what he called an “unjust war” in the Middle East.
“Any Muslim who knows his religion or maybe takes into account what his religion says can find out very clearly why he should not participate in the U.S. military,” Abdo said then.
Abdo said in 2010 he originally joined the military because he believed he would be fighting a “just” war that would help protect the freedoms of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Months later, however, Abdo said he realized he “wasn’t supposed to be here.”
Abdo filed for conscientious objector status, which was approved by the Secretary of the Army, but his discharge was put on hold after Abdo was charged with having child pornography on his computer, an Army spokesperson told ABC News. Law enforcement sources said investigators began looking at Abdo’s computer files due to “radical statements” he made after filing for discharge and only discovered the pornography then.
On a Facebook page apparently maintained by Abdo, he writes in the most recent post on June 22 that it was two days after the Secretary approved his discharge that he was charged with having 34 images of child pornography on the computer.
“As god says, ‘The end is ultimately with the believers’ Quran,” the post says.
Local police were initially alerted to Abdo by the owners of Guns Galore who reported him as “suspicious.”
A clerk at the store, who identified himself to ABC News as Mr. Ebert, said Abdo came to the store Wednesday afternoon looking for gunpowder and “reloading options.”
Ebert called the police after he said he felt “concerned with the quantity of his request and his general demeanor.”
“There was clearly something wrong with him,” Ebert said.
According to the documents, military officials believe the incident “was likely isolated to the Fort Hood area and the suspect in custody, and that arrest of the suspect has mitigated any further threats related to this incident.”
Abdo’s former lawyer, James M. Branum, declined to comment for this report except to say he hasn’t spoken with his client “in a long time.” Abdo now faces federal charges in connection with the alleged plot.
Miami Fla July 29 2011 A pair of thuggish brothers brutally attacked an American Airlines pilot after he kicked one of them off a plane for being passed out drunk, officials said.
Jonathan and Luis Baez, both of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, were arrested at Miami International Airport on Wednesday night for the assault, which left the pilot bruised and bloodied and delayed the San Francisco-bound flight more than two hours.
The scuffle started after a flight attendant noticed that Jonathan Baez, 27, had passed out without buckling his seat belt as the plane pulled away from the gate.
The attendant tried to wake Baez, but he was groggy and appeared plastered on booze or high on drugs, cops said.
After the attendant told the crew that Baez wouldn’t buckle up, the pilot stopped taxiing and turned around, cops said.
When Baez finally came to, the attendant told him he had to get off the plane.
“He was apparently barely compliant at that point,” American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said. “He was exhibiting symptoms of intoxication. He was not walking well when he went up the aisle.”
Luis Baez, 29, decided to follow his brother, and the two screamed obscenities at the pilot.
“When you fly to San Juan, I will have you killed,” one of the goons shouted, according to police.
Crew members escorted the brothers off the plane, but Jonathan ran back, punched the pilot in the face and then punched a female flight attendant who tried to step in, cops said.
Luis then joined in the vicious beatdown, and the two hoodlums chased the pilot into the terminal, cops said.
Eventually, some passengers and crew members tackled the brothers and held them down until police arrived.
“There was a scuffle … so about three or four of us went out there and tackled the guys,” passenger Ken Venting told KGO television. “So we just did what we needed to do to help out.”
The Miami-based pilot was cut up, bruised and shaken after the attack, police said.
Another pilot showed up, and the 176 passengers and six crew members took off for San Francisco at around 11:30 p.m., two hours after the scheduled take off.
Jonathan and Luis Baez were held at Miami-Dade County jail on $9,000 bond and $12,500 bond on assault and battery charges.
“I think it’s fair to say that both these gentlemen won’t be flying with us again,” Smith said.
After a weeklong trial in Superior Court in Los Angeles, the jury Wednesday awarded Kathleen Green $925,209 for the gender discrimination she suffered that made her unable to be promoted to captain.
But Green’s claims of retaliation and harassment were denied.
“I didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but I had to stand up for myself and other women at the LAX police Department,” Green said in a statement. “I now hope females in law enforcement agencies will be given the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”
Green, who worked for the LAX Police Department since 1980 and held a lieutenant’s rank for 10 years, alleged that being female prevented her timely promotion to a captain’s position.
She retired last year because, according to her lawyers, “she could no longer take the discrimination at work.”
Joseph Y. Avrahamy, lead trial attorney in the case, said in a statement that he was “very satisfied” with the jury’s verdict and happy the jury “recognized the mistreatment” Green endured at the hands of management of the LAX Police Dept.”
Green’s attorney, Yael Trock, said her client was discriminated against because “she is a petite woman who did not fit the mold of a captain in a law enforcement organization.”
But, she added, “she should have been promoted to the captain’s position several years ago based upon her qualifications.”