FORT WORTH TX Aug 25 2011 — A Fort Worth police officer shot and killed a suspected bank robber during a chase that ended Tuesday morning in a grassy field near Lake Arlington, according to police. The robbery occurred about 9 a.m. at the Woodhaven National Bank, 6750 Bridge St.
Sgt. Pedro Criado, a police spokesman, said an officer working off-duty security at the bank had gone into the bank’s kitchen to cut up a peach when he heard a commotion and discovered a robbery in progress.
Criado said the suspect had pointed a gun at a teller, demanded money, and was running out the door with an undisclosed amount of money when the off-duty officer spotted him and gave chase.
Criado said the suspect jumped into a vehicle, which police have since learned had been stolen from Arlington. A woman was waiting inside the car. The off-duty officer followed in his personal vehicle, alerting dispatchers to send patrol officers to the area.
A chased ensued and the suspect drove into a field just south of Big Fork Road near Lake Arlington, where his car became stuck in a ditch, police said.
The suspect ran, with police in pursuit. He pulled out a weapon and fired at officers, authorities said.
An officer returned fire and hit the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
At some point during the chase, he apparently dropped off the female passenger. Police continued to search for her Tuesday afternoon.
Criado said police are trying to determine whether the suspect may also be responsible for the robbery of a Chase Bank at 6040 Ramey Avenue last Thursday
WARREN, N.J.Aug 24 2011 —Most Americans consider cleanliness, price and location as more important factors than security when it comes to selecting a hotel, according to a new survey.
According to the survey, which asked 1,011 participants what their top priority was when selecting a hotel, the most important factor is cleanliness (43 percent), followed by price (23 percent) and location (19 percent). Security was the most important factor in selecting a hotel for only 11 percent of those surveyed.
Opinion Research Corp. conducted the telephone survey in June 2011 on behalf of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. The sample group comprised 509 men and 502 women, 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. The survey has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.
“Travelers should take safety precautions more seriously, and travel security should be higher on their checklist than cleanliness,” Jim Villa, a senior vice president and North American manager for Chubb’s Accident & Health business, said in a statement. “It seems that more people are concerned about housekeeping than security.”
The survey also included several questions about the upcoming 10-year anniversary of 9/11. According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents would not refrain from traveling for business on September 11, 2011; fewer than one in five are fearful of flying on September 11, 2011; while only 16 percent are fearful about flying on an airplane on a national holiday.
In other survey findings regarding the 9/11 anniversary:
• Nearly one-third of respondents would be concerned about being near a nuclear power plant on September 11
• 22 percent would avoid a chemical plant
• 18 percent would avoid entering a sports stadium or entertainment venue with a large crowd of people
• 16 percent would be concerned about being near an oil refinery
• 13 percent would be concerned about being near a military base
• 14 percent would not take a cruise
• 11 percent would not take a train
• 9 percent would avoid taking a ferry
SANTA CRUZ CA Aug 24 2011 – A former county middle school teacher was sentenced Monday to 17 years in state prison for molesting a student.
Steven Jay Sande, a 61-year-old Santa Cruz resident, was sentenced for acts that occurred when the girl was 12 and 13.
He was arrested July 12, 2010, after the victim confided in her mother. Investigators said the abuse went on for weeks in spring and summer, at locations on and off the South County campus.
Sande admitted in April to more than 15 charges. At the sentencing hearing, he apologized and said he deserved to be punished, and that his “soul was swallowed up in shame and grief.”
Urging the maximum sentence, the victim’s parents told Judge Jeff Almquist that their daughter lives with significant emotional pain and fear and that they don’t know how much she will recover.
In a letter from the victim read in court, she said she hated and feared him.
She wrote that she was once in his car, stopped at a red light, and saw a friend of her mother’s and wanted to jump out and run to that woman. But she was afraid.
The victim’s family, who the Sentinel is not naming to protect the identity of the victim, said Sande told the young teen he might kill himself if she told anyone.
Her mother said she hoped her daughter would be remembered for being the one who stopped him.
“How could my daughter be molested by a teacher and have to hold onto that for so long?” she said. ” …Steve Sande is a predator; he’s a threat to the community.”
She read a letter Sande had written to her daughter, in which Sande wrote the student had his heart and love forever.
Outside court, the girl’s father said the sentence was not long enough because Sande had such wide access to children. The father said he wants to work to prevent such predatory “grooming” of children by adults in positions of trust.
“But there is some closure, and we are getting him off the streets,” the father said.
Sande’s attorney, George Gigarjian, said his client admitted his guilt early, sought counseling and was genuinely remorseful.
Judge Jeff Almquist said sentencing was an “extremely difficult” decision.
He said he had seen middle school teachers regress somewhat to cope with students at such a challenging age. But there are boundaries that cannot be crossed, Almquist said, despite Sande’s clean record and success in life.
“This is both an abhorrent crime and apparently an aberrant one,” he said.
Sande had told Almquist he would give his life to take away what he had done. In his closing remark – as Almquist decided between less than 10 years to more than 30 years – the prosecutor reminded the judge of Sande’s statement about giving his life.
Gigarjian mentioned Sande’s possible brain damage from a 2005 auto accident, and a family member’s theory about possible male menopause. At least four well-known psychologists concluded Sande is not a predator or a pedophile, Gigarjian said.
Sande’s wife said her husband’s behavior had changed and was “nothing like the honorable man I’ve known for 36 years.”
Tony R. Smith, 52, of Rochester, was arraigned on the charge Monday afternoon in Town Court and scheduled to return to court Sept. 6.
Deputies said Smith allegedly stole materials from PCORE Electric at 135 Gilbert St. sometime between May and July while he worked there as a security guard.
Atlanta GA Aug 24 2011 Toya Carter’s new husband Mickey ‘Memphitz’ Wright was arrested this morning at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, after attempting to go through customs with a fully loaded weapon.
The former record-executive had just finished shooting a commercial with Toya when they were making their journey home via the airport. During a routine security check of his luggage, a .40 caliber gun was found and Memphitz was immediately arrested by the Atlanta Airport Division of the Clayton County Sheriff’s office.
According to Bossip.com, who obtained his booking sheet, Memphitz claimed that he forgot the weapon was in his luggage and that he intended to leave it behind. Despite his claims, Mem was booked at 11:56am and is currently being held at the jail on a single charge of carrying a weapon in an unauthorised location. Security also reportedly found a bullet in the chamber of the gun.
Memphitz’s bail is yet to be set. An eyewitness reports that Toya remained calm throughout the ordeal.
In a strange coincidence, Toya’s ex-husband Lil Wayne completed a nine-month stint in prison last year for gun possession.
Mesa AZ Aug 24 2011 Police arrested a Department of Corrections officer and his brother on suspicion of having sex with two girls aged 15 and 16 on three separate occasions.
Officers arrested Corrections Officer Leon Scott, 34, at 9:20 p.m. Friday. His 24-year-old, unemployed brother, Anthony Kniffin, was taken into custody at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Both men were identified by the victims, and each confessed to having sexual conduct with them, according to a police report. Scott has been employed as a corrections officer at Arizona State Prison in Florence, according to Department of Corrections Spokesman Barrett Marson.
Scott and Kniffin both confessed that three separate sexual encounters with the girls took place in June and July, according to a report.
Both men admitted knowing the girls were underage, but said they did not believe the girls when they initially told them their ages. Police documents indicated both men were present during the discussion of one of the victims’ planned sweet 16 party.
All three of the encounters reportedly took place in the men’s apartment, police reported. The victims’ mother had previously had a brief relationship with Kniffin’s brother, police said.
According to Sgt. Ed Wessing, spokesman for Mesa Police, the mother of one of the victims learned of the sexual conduct through a post on her daughter’s Facebook profile.
INDIANAPOLIS IN Aug 24 2011 — The family of a security guard who was killed in the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair intends to sue the state.
Attorneys filed a tort claim notice Monday on behalf of the family of Glenn Goodrich, 49, of Indianapolis, who was working for ESG Security at the Sugarland concert Aug. 13 when the rigging above the stage gave way, killing six people and injuring 40 more.
This serves as the first step in the process to help (Goodrich’s widow) Heather and her young sons obtain the resources they need to survive, as Glenn was the primary earner,” said Carl Brizzi, attorney and former Marion County prosecutor, who is representing the family.
The state and the Indiana State Fair Board and Commission are named in the tort claim.
Last week, attorneys for two of the collapse victims — Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah, who was killed, and her partner Beth Urschel, who was severely injured — filed lawsuits seeking an injunction to preserve evidence in the case.
Attorney Kenneth J. Allen said Monday he wants his experts to be present at the collapse scene to monitor and participate in any testing.
“There were state police officers, (Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and other agencies present at the time the fair was ongoing, at the time the stage was erected, and the result was a tragedy, a catastrophe that was preventable, predictable and foreseeable,” he said. “We will not allow that to happen two times.”
A hearing on the request is set for Tuesday morning in LaPorte County Circuit Court. The state said it plans to ask for a change of venue for the hearing so that it can be heard in Marion County.
Investigators are poring over policy, procedure and physical aspects of the stage collapse. Winds of up to 70 mph were estimated at the time of the collapse, and a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued for Marion County about 10 minutes prior to the collapse.
When it comes to injuries or death on state property, the law stipulates that the amount paid out to each person cannot exceed $700,000, with an overall cap of $5 million.
Victims and their families have nine months to file a tort claim to seek money for medical expenses or loss of life. The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has 90 days to respond. If the claim is rejected, the person can file a lawsuit in the case.
Those seeking to file a lawsuit against a private entity, such as the concert promoter or the company that set up the stage equipment, have two years to file a lawsuit.
A fund to help the victims and their families has been established by the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Donations can be made online or checks with Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund in the memo line can be sent to CICF, Attn: Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund at 615 N. Alabama St. Indianapolis, IN 46204.
LOS ANGELES CA Aug 24 2011 — Frank Potenza, a former New York City police officer who turned to comedy as “Uncle Frank” on his nephew Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night talk show, died early Tuesday. He was 77.
A statement from ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” said Potenza was “beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all.”
The show is on hiatus until Sept. 6, and ABC did not have any immediate information about an on-air tribute to Potenza.
The silver-haired Potenza had served as a police officer for two decades and as a private security guard before Kimmel asked him to join his fledgling show as a guard and cast member in 2003.
On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” the uniformed Potenza was paired in comedy bits with Guillermo Rodriguez, a real-life parking lot security guard for the show. The two men also joined with Veatrice Rice, another show security guard, in a clueless discussion about news events. Rice died in 2009.
Potenza and his former wife, Conchetta “Chippy” Potenza, were sent by Kimmel on comic “adventures” such as working on a dairy farm and learning self-defense.
“Thank you for your kind words about a very kind man — my Uncle Frank — who passed away this morning,” Kimmel said in a Twitter posting.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a Korean War veteran, Potenza served as a police officer for 20 years before working as a guard in Las Vegas and at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. Then Kimmel asked him to move to Los Angeles to work with him.
Potenza is survived by his three daughters and a newborn granddaughter, according to the show’s statement. Funeral plans were not released.
STATESVILLE NC Aug 24 2011 NASCAR driver Kyle Busch pleaded guilty Tuesday to speeding 128 mph in a 45 mph zone in May.
Iredell District Judge Thomas Church revoked Busch’s driver’s license for 45 days and told him not to drive any car during that time. The judge also fined Busch $1,000.
Busch, who also pleaded no contest to reckless driving, apologized for his actions. His lawyer said Busch has agreed to sponsor 10 driving schools that will benefit 300 teenage drivers.
Losing his license won’t keep Bush off the race tracks. A valid driver’s license isn’t required to drive in NASCAR.
In a statement released the day he was ticketed, Busch said he was test driving a new sports car and “got carried away.”
“I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road,” he said. “I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors and race teams for my lack of judgment.
“I take responsibility for my actions, and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again.”
Two days later, at Charlotte Motor Speedway before qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600, Busch apologized again.
“I’m certainly sorry for my actions and for my lack of judgment,” he said. “This is something that I can take and learn from and hopefully move forward and not let happen again.”
Busch, who lives in Iredell County, drives the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. On Sunday, after winning the race at Michigan International Speedway, Busch moved into sole possession of first place in the Sprint Cup standings.
Nobody was injured on May 24 as Busch sped down Perth Road with his wife, Samantha, in the passenger seat of a borrowed yellow Lexus LFA sports car. An Iredell County deputy stopped him near a Lake Norman subdivision, not far from a day care, a church and several neighborhoods.
Nearby residents were incensed that the millionaire race car driver may have put them at risk and somehow avoided going to jail.
Busch was ticketed for speeding and reckless driving. He wasn’t jailed, a matter of the arresting officer’s discretion.
Busch reportedly told the officer who stopped him the $350,000 high-performance car was “just a toy.”
“It wasn’t that it was a toy, it’s a high-performance vehicle and that shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Busch said in May. “It should be driven with caution. Obviously I didn’t have caution. There’s probably a reason why on TV commercials they show at the bottom, ‘Professional driver, closed course.’ Mine was not that.”
Iredell Sheriff’s officials said the camera in Deputy Christopher Stone’s patrol car was running as he pulled Busch. But they wouldn’t describe what the video shows and declined to release it, saying it’s evidence in a pending case.
Officials say they did not give Busch preferential treatment when they let him go with a citation instead of jailing him.
Capt Darren Campbell, with the Iredell Sheriff’s Office, said Busch “had the proper ID. He was from the area. He was a low risk to flee.”
“The officer didn’t cut any breaks,” Campbell said. “(Busch) was charged with going 128. The officer did that, and he will be prepared to testify in court, if it comes to that.”
Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said a security officer at a Sportsman’s Warehouse on 7200 South contacted police after observing an officer in a police vehicle smoking what appeared to be some sort of illegal drug.
The officer, Ben Beglarian, left his vehicle in the store parking lot and began walking toward the nearby InTown Suites motel, reportedly to meet someone. Beglarian, a K9 officer, was confronted by officers who found drug paraphernalia inside his vehicle, Hoyal said.
Hoyal said charges have yet to be screened by the city attorney and brought before Beglarian.
Police say 31-year-old Crystal Murphy of Holland will be summoned to court to answer to charges of larceny over $250 from someone 60 and over, and larceny under $250.
Police say the alleged thefts at Wing Memorial Hospital occurred between November and July and were reported by the patients’ relatives
Police say an 87-year-old patient was missing a diamond ring, a 97-year-old patient had $120 taken, and a 90-year-old woman had a gold cross taken.
Most of jewelry was traced to a pawn shop in the Worcester area.
A hospital spokesman tells The Republican that security procedures at the hospital have been changed and the suspect no longer works there.
CRANFORD NJ Aug 24 2011— A veteran township police officer has been charged with groping a woman while on duty and in uniform, authorities announced today.
Officer Brian Thomas, of Linden, turned himself in Friday after being charged in connection with an incident reported by a woman that his attorney says he knew.
He was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual contact and second-degree official misconduct, said Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow. The charges follow an investigation by the department’s internal affairs bureau.
Thomas, 37, allegedly assaulted the woman June 22 while responding to a call. Romankow’s office would not release more details.
The officer, a 12-year veteran on the township department, was initially held at the Union County jail and was released after posting $150,000 bail, corrections officials said.
Thomas’ attorney, Charles J. Sciarra, pointed to the two months that have passed since the alleged crime, saying it meant either the prosecutor has “serious reservations,” or the victim waited to report it.
“Further, the alleged victim is not some random civilian, but rather a lifelong acquaintance of Officer Thomas with, we understand, some issues with the criminal justice system pending during the suggested times in question,” Sciarra said.
“It goes without saying that these charges are denied and will be defended vigorously.”
Thomas was suspended without pay following his arrest, said Chief Eric Mason. The chief said Thomas’ supervisors and fellow officers “did not hesitate to report” the accusation.
AIRMONT NY Aug 24 2011 — A Pomona man is in jail today after police said he pushed a grocery store security guard through a window while allegedly trying to steal $15 worth of meat and cheese.
Ramapo police were called to the Shop-Rite supermarket on Route 59 in Airmont at 12:30 p.m. Sunday to investigate a report of a theft.
Store workers told police that a man identified as David Butterfield, 54, of Brevoort Avenue, Pomona, was seen trying to steal the items.
When a 56-year-old guard tried to stop him, the two men got into a fight and Butterfield allegedly pushed the worker into a glass window pane, causing it to shatter. The guard suffered a laceration to his hand.
Washington DC Aug 24 2011 A Calvert County man pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to filing false tax returns and embezzling more than $630,000 from the Navy, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Christopher M. Hill, 46, of Lusby, a civilian Navy employee, received about $631,000 from a company that had previously been under contract to the Navy’s recycling program. Hill also chose not to disclose in tax filings that he received about $220,000 in income from the company, prosecutors said.
Mr. Hill attempted to maneuver around the government contracting process to line his own pockets rather than play within the rules,” said Robert Craig, a Defense Criminal Investigative Service special agent involved in the case.
Authorities say that from 1998 to 2003, Hill managed the recycling program at Patuxent River Naval Air Station as the Navy contracted with companies to collect recyclable materials, sell them and give a portion of the sales proceeds to the military.
Although the contracts ended in 2003, one of the companies that had been under contract continued to retrieve scrap metal and gave part of the proceeds to Hill, according to court documents. In 2008, when Hill started working at the Washington Naval Yard, the company continued to send checks to Hill’s personal post office box in Calvert, the documents say.
Meanwhile, Hill did not file a tax return from 2005 to 2007, authorities say. He signed fake tax returns in 2008 and 2009, leaving out the $220,000 that he got from the company, according to the authorities.
According to court documents, Hill will pay the Navy $631,000 and the IRS more than $134,000. He will also give up a laptop computer.
Hill faces up to 13 years in prison and $500,000 in fines, according to court documents. He is expected to be sentenced Feb. 6.
MISSOULA MT Aug 24 2011- Missoula’s DirecTV call center sent more than 300 employees home early after a woman dropped off a suspicious package at the call center Monday afternoon.
Hazardous materials and emergency crews then worked for about four hours trying to figure out if the substance was dangerous.
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office says 911 dispatchers received a call about a suspicious package that was delivered to an HR employees at DirecTV just before 3:30 p.m. The sheriff’s office says inside the package were some satanic symbols and white powder.
“It had an unknown substance. We had a HAZMAT team here,” says Greg Orr, Missoula Rural Fire Acting Battalion Chief.
The sheriff’s office says the suspect walked into DirecTV and handed a security guard an envelope. She asked for the package to be delivered to a specific man working in the human resource department at the call center.
“Under advisement from the fire department we evacuated the center. Obviously, our first concern is for the wellbeing and safety of our employees,” Missoula DirecTV Site Director Brian Moses explained.
“We evacuate anybody that hasn’t been exposed and if folks have been exposed, we typically shelter them somewhere inside the building,” added Orr.
In this case, none of the employees got sick for the powder. The sheriff’s office says the contents of the package also included several pictures of satanic symbols.
The fire department says in situations like this, it’s up to the HAZMAT team to figure out what the substance might be.
“Our job is to get in and try to identify the product. We don’t know what it is and we want to try to find out exactly what it is and if it’s harmful,” Orr said.
The site director says none of the customers were affected by the center’s closure because the calls are distributed to other centers within the company.
The Missoula Rural Fire District was able to determine the powdery substance was not biological and it was sent to Helena for additional testing.
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Missoula woman Monday evening in connection with this package. She told investigators the powder is salt. The woman is a former DirecTV employee who wanted to scare the man who fired her.
The prosecutor, Lisa M. Friel, who spent nearly three decades at the district attorney’s office, will head a new division of the company, T & M Protection Resources L.L.C., which operates largely in the New York area and Israel, according to the company’s chairman, Robert S. Tucker. The company is expanding to offer sexual assault education and investigative services to universities and corporations.
Ms. Friel joins a number of former law enforcement and government officials at the company, including several former senior police officials, a former United States Secret Service official, a former deputy director of operations at the Central Intelligence Agency, and New York City’s former special narcotics prosecutor.
Mr. Tucker said the focus of Ms. Friel’s job would be to work with universities and colleges to educate students and staff about sexual assault issues and to “investigate and help sort out allegations of sexual misconduct.” She will also work with public corporations, which he said had sought assistance in the past on a range of issues, including sorting out accusations of misconduct at holiday parties and setting up training programs and policies focused on sexual misconduct in the workplace.
“Lisa is the top expert in assessing complaints of sexual assault and harassment and an investigator known for her ability to solve complex cases,” Mr. Tucker said. “Lisa is the ideal person to run a unit to help corporations and colleges and summer camps and fraternities. The market for this is everywhere.”
Despite her role in the sex crimes unit, Ms. Friel made only an initial court appearance early in the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund who was accused in May of attacking a hotel housekeeper, and did not remain on the investigating team. The charges against Mr. Strauss-Kahn were dropped by a Manhattan judge on Tuesday, at the prosecution’s request.
Ms. Friel, who figured prominently in the HBO documentary “Sex Crimes Unit,” plans to leave the district attorney’s office in October to join T & M.