The victim had identified Stewart and a friend as the perpetrators, Walsh said, “and yet you still denied it,” the Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse reported.
“Well, that cost you,” Walsh added.
The other teenager, Skyler Ninham, 16, pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced to 1 to 4 years in prison.
Stewart and Ninham carried BB guns that looked like real pistols when they knocked a 73-year old man to the ground–Stewart punching him in the face–and took all the cash he had on him, prosecutors said. That amounted to 7 cents.
Stewart’s lawyer, Laurin Haddad, had pleaded with Walsh to treat her client as a youthful offender, so that a felony conviction wouldn’t remain on his permanent record.
“For 7 cents, now you’re making someone a felon for the rest of his life,” Haddad told the Post-Standard.
STOCKTON CA Aug 31 2011 – The 29-year-old mother of a Fillmore Elementary student was arrested by Stockton Unified police after allegedly assaulting the school’s principal Monday morning, the latest in a series of incidents that have raised security concerns across the district.
Stockton Unified Assistant Superintendent Dan Wright said the dispute that led to the assault centered around Fillmore’s new uniform code, which took effect when the school year began July 26.
The assault occurred as classes began at about 9 a.m. Within 90 minutes, Stockton Unified police arrested Pami Gibbs.
Fillmore Principal Evangelina Ramos, 42, was taken by ambulance to Dameron Hospital, where she was treated for a broken nose and other facial injuries. Wright said it is uncertain when Ramos will return to work.
School security continues to be a major concern for Stockton Unified campuses.
Stockton Unified Police Chief Jim West confirmed that a Taylor Elementary parent was subdued by one of his officers with pepper spray last week when she came to be viewed as a threat during a visit to the school office. Also last week, two teenagers were shot within a block of Edison High during a fight that included at least some students.
Earlier this month, two teachers at Stockton Intermediate Alternative were injured when they attempted to break up a fight between two students.
“There are so many different (safety) issues right now in this district,” said Gina Hall, president of the principals union. “The police are stretched to the limit. I realize the budget issues are big, but there’s got to be something we can do. … We definitely need to find a way to make our schools safe and secure.”
Security staffing was a major casualty of June budget cuts. Last year, Stockton Unified reduced its staff of campus security assistants, who work at the elementary schools, from 46 to three. Fillmore does not have one this year. Each of the four comprehensive high schools had eight campus security monitors last year; this year, each has four.
Still, at a meeting of the district’s safety committee on Aug. 17, Superintendent Carl Toliver said he was “pleased” by a “very quiet opening” to the school year. He also said cash-strapped Stockton Unified was hoping to increase security staffing but not until sometime in September, after the district gains greater clarity on the state of its finances.
“We would love to have more security on our campuses, obviously,” Wright said Monday morning as he stood outside Fillmore, in southeast Stockton. “I don’t think this is a circumstance that would have been prevented by that. This is someone who, in an instant, just turned around and attacked this principal, seemingly without provocation.”
According to West, when Gibbs dropped off her third- and fourth-graders at Fillmore on Monday morning, Ramos objected to the depiction of skulls on the third-grader’s T-shirt.
West said Gibbs was upset that her son had been told to turn his shirt inside out and was discussing the matter outside the school office with Ramos, Assistant Principal Tamara Pronoitis and counselor Janet Holderbein.
School code restricts what students can display on their clothing.
Suddenly, she punched Ramos in the face several times, West said. The principal’s co-workers rushed to her defense, and the attack seemed to be over after Gibbs threw a few more punches at Ramos. At this point, Gibbs drove away from the school, according to witnesses.
Police arrested Gibbs at her residence. She is charged with two felonies – battery of a school employee and making threats to a public official – and two misdemeanors. One of the misdemeanors was for causing “injury based at least partly on race.” Gibbs is white; Ramos is a Latina.
West said Gibbs made reference to Ramos’ ethnicity during the altercation. Gibbs is being held at the San Joaquin County Jail. Bail is set at $134,000.
A couple of hours after the assault, a parent stopping by Fillmore was surprised when she learned what had happened.
“What would cause someone to attack the principal?” said Christina Lopez, who has two young children at Fillmore. “She’s here to protect the kids.”
Fulton Ill. Aug 31 2011 A High School teacher who had sex with a student will serve six months in jail.
Nicole R. Letcher, 26, an English teacher, was arrested in May on charges she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old.
She will serve her sentence in the Whiteside County Jail. She also will have to serve four years of probation after she’s released.
Letcher was suspended from the River Bend School District in May, Superintendent Jane M. Bauer said at the time of Letcher’s arrest.
Letcher pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor, a Class 2 felony. As part of her negotiated plea, three additional counts were dismissed.
The Fulton Police Department reported that allegations had been made of an improper relationship between a student and a teacher and opened an investigation, leading to Letcher’s arrest.
She was accused of criminal sexual activity from December to May, court records show.
The victim’s gender was not made available.
Letcher graduated from Fulton High School in 2003.
Clovis Unified said Cardillo is currently employed, and has been with the district since 2007.
School officials said he has been on leave since June 22nd. The district said it’s working with police on the investigation. School officials said his only assignment has been as a drama teacher.
A man was arrested after TSA officials found 7 snakes and 3 tortoises in his pants.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the incident happened on Aug. 25 when security officials were screening passengers with a millimeter wave advanced imaging technology machine.
“While snakes and tortoises may not pose a threat to aviation, non-metallic weapons and explosive concealed beneath clothing remain a concern for security personnel and this discovery demonstrates again the effectiveness of advanced imaging technology,” TSA spokesman Jon Allen wrote in a statement.
According to WKMG in Miami, the man was taken aside after TSA officials noticed something odd in the passenger’s pants. When he was taken in for further screening, TSA officials discovered the exotic animals held in nylon sacks and concealed in the man’s trousers.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper reports the animals were taken by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The man was arrested and charged with violating the Lacey Act, which pertains to imports of exotic animals. The man could face a maximum of five years in jail.
While the TSA said no to snakes on a plane this week, last week they dealt with an attempted bird smuggler.
Two endangered birds were found wrapped in socks and taped to the chest and leg of a woman attempting to board a flight from Los Angeles to China.
Just when you may be thinking this is a lot of animal smuggling in a short period of time, this was, quite amazingly, not the only case of a man putting snakes in his pants this week.
Twenty-two-year-old Eric Fiegel was arrested Tuesday after police reviewed surveillance footage from Predator’s Reptile Center in Mesa, Arizona and found that Fiegel stole several baby albino boa constrictors by stuffing them in his shorts.
SATSUMA, Alabama Aug 31 2011– Three Atlanta residents — one of whom tried to eat a counterfeit traveler’s check — remain in the Mobile County Metro Jail on charges related to trying to cash a fake check, Satsuma Police Chief Chris McLean said today in a news release.
About 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 19, Satsuma police responded to a call at the Pilot Travel Center at U.S. 43 and Interstate 65. Officials said that a woman identified as Dimisha Carmela Dix, was attempting to cash a counterfeit Visa traveler’s check. Police detained Dix, 23, while other officers looked for the vehicle she and others were traveling in.
Police found the vehicle behind a Chevron station on U.S. 43 next door to the Pilot station. Inside were 2 others, identified as Darrell Lashon Walker, 35, and Keyonna Santrice Jackson, 30. As officers approached the vehicle, they saw Walker attempting to eat a counterfeit traveler’s check. Both occupants were taken into custody. During a search of the vehcie, police found 43 more counterfeit traveler’s checks hidden in the roof of the suspect’s vehicle.
Police learned that Walker had passed counterfeit checks at the Pilot back on earlier this month on Aug. 4 and again on Aug. 8. Investigators contacted the Secret Service. Authorities discovered that the more than $560,000 has been stolen throughout the United States since 2006, using that counterfeit Visa check account number, police said.
Walker was arrested and charged with 4 counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument, second-degree marijuana possession, officials said. Jackson and Dix were charged with second-degree possession of a forged instrument. All 3 suspects were taken to Mobile County Metro Jail.
The 3 are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 7, according to jail records. Dix and Jackson remain jailed with bail set at $10,000, records show. Walker remains jailed with a total bail set at $13,000, records show.
Hawkins spearheaded the group’s formation in 2008 to shed light on the need for tighter security and better emergency planning at the more than 300,000 Christian churches in the United States.
Churches lose millions of dollars each year because of crime, Hawkins writes in an email to Security Director News. “It doesn’t matter whether it is a rural, urban, or suburban church … large, small … different denominations … doesn’t matter. They are all experiencing crime.”
However, surveys and polls show that more than 75 percent of churches do not have any security in place, according to Hawkins. “Plus, less than 10 percent have anyone dedicated to security functions in the church,” he writes.
Hawkins, who is also manager of security management education outreach for American Military University, sent a letter to the Christian Security Network’s mailing list today announcing its end. In the letter to members, he said he hoped the network would create a community of church officials and law enforcement officials who would rally behind the issue and improve the state of church security in the country. Unfortunately, Hawkins writes, “we failed.”
He elaborated for SDN: “Church leaders just do not believe that there is a problem. … After every incident you hear the same thing: ‘I never thought this would happen to a church.’ … Unfortunately, the church is not that sacred place that it once used to be … times have changed. Churches still think they can leave their doors open and unlocked and are surprised when they become victims.”
Ultimately, it was that lack of participation and buy-in from the Christian community that rendered the organization unsustainable. “At the end we realized there was very little interest in changing,” he writes.
Hawkins also has resigned as chair of ASIS’s Houses of Worship Security Committee, which he helped found in 2009. Rather than focusing on Christian churches, this committee focuses on the security concerns for all faith-based places of worship. Hawkins says his decision to resign as chair of the ASIS committee is related to his ending CSN, but not a reflection of the “very committed group” of members from several faiths that participated in that group.
Despite his shutting down CSN and resigning from the ASIS group, Hawkins expects to continue speaking, writing and advocating on the issue of church security, including a panel discussion at the ASIS show next month in Orlando. “Even though CSN is done, I still remain passionate about the vulnerability of the Christian church.”
EMT Michael Kenwood — a member of the squad’s swift water rescue team — was hospitalized after being pulled from the water early Sunday with undisclosed injuries.
He was attempting to search a submerged car near Johnson Park at approximately 4 a.m. after Irene hit the area before becoming trapped in the water.
The 39-yearold was tied to another responder when they entered the water, but they soon found the current was too strong and tried to turn back when one of them fell. They came free from the line held by other rescue squad members.
The submerged car was later determined to be empty.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Seattle WA Aug 31 2011 Facebook, which has become the ultimate time killer, will likely no longer be permitted for people serving time.
The Washington state Department of Corrections (DOC) has begun talks with the social-networking giant to have inmate accounts disabled, said prisons spokesman Chad Lewis. The move was spurred by an announcement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation earlier this month that Facebook has agreed to take down inmates’ pages.
In Washington, the decision to try to ban inmates from offering status updates, “liking” friends’ photos, commenting on videos and sending messages will likely affect only a handful of inmates, Lewis said.
Over the last year, corrections officers have confiscated about 40 contraband cellphones from prisoners — the vast majority did not have the smartphone technology necessary for Facebook usage, said Lewis.
Inmates are forbidden from possessing or using cellphones in Washington prisons, and they are not allowed to use the Internet on prison computers.
Corrections staff believe that family or friends of inmates have been keeping the jailbirds’ accounts going from outside prison walls, which is a direct violation of a Facebook policy prohibiting anyone else from using another person’s account, Lewis said.
“We think most of the time if an offender’s Facebook status is updated it’s a family member or a friend updating it,” Lewis said. “The indication has not been that anything illegal has been done. It has mostly been males trying to communicate with their wives or girlfriends or sharing naughty photos.”
The same DOC investigators who scour inmate letters, listen in on phone calls and check the highly secured instant-messaging system that prisoners are allowed to use to communicate with a specific list of people, are checking Facebook regularly looking for inmate accounts, Lewis said.
Corrections officials initially considered asking the Legislature to make the possession of Facebook accounts by inmates a crime punishable by additional prison time, but the proposal was shelved because of the potential financial costs. If just establishing an agreement with Facebook doesn’t work, Lewis said that DOC will consider legislation in 2013.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.Aug 31 2011 – An off-duty juvenile court officer was ambushed and assaulted at a gas station just north of downtown Nashville.
Officials said the attack happened at the Mapco Express at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street around 5:45 p.m. Monday.
The court officer was apparently filling an ice chest when four suspects walked up to the man and asked if he worked at the juvenile court. When the court officer responded that yes, he did work at the court, the four individuals attacked him.
Metro police said the suspects then got into a small black car and left the scene. The make and model was not known.
Several officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department responded to the scene.
The juvenile court officer was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. The extent of his injuries was not available. Officials said he was coherent when he left the scene.
The victim’s identity was not released.
Investigators said they believed the suspects may have been juveniles.
Anyone with information should contact CRIME STOPPERS at 74-CRIME
Tahlequah Oklahoma Aug 31 2011 A police officer is stepping down allegedly after stealing money from Hispanic drivers during traffic stops.
The investigation began about a month ago after an alleged victim filed a complaint against Tahlequah police officer James Johnson, saying Johnson stole about a thousand dollars from his wallet after he told Johnson that he didn’t have a green card or a driver’s license.
Bruce Niemi with the Coalition for the American Dream told the News on 6 yesterday that Johnson was “taking advantage of a group of people that fear the police. That’s the fear in the mind of the entire community that they or their relatives will suffer deportation.”
Johnson allegedly told detectives that he stole between $800 and $1,000 because he needed money to spend on his children.
Johnson had been under investigation for about a month.
They arrested a dozen suspects. One of them is a police officer.
“We have various undercover deputies all around the area, and we keep an eye on her. We wait until an exchange is made, a deal, an agreement and then we take action and arrest the perpetrator,” said an undercover sergeant.
During the sting, sheriff’s deputies arrested 47-year-old Sheldon Czegledi who is a 14 year veteran with The Phoenix Police Department after he agreed to exchange money for sexual services.
“It’s always a surprise. Although some of them have a hunch or inclination that she might be a police officer or a cop,” said an undercover sergeant.
With two un-marked police units and a five man take down team waiting in a hotel room nearby, the safety of the undercover deputy is their first priority.
“There is not any arrest that we’re willing to pursue to compromise the safety of our female deputy,” said an undercover sergeant.
The sting netted 15 people in central El Paso where complaints about prostitutes have risen over the years.
HEATH OH Aug 31 2011 — Heath police arrested a Maryland woman accused of stealing wallets, credit cards and money from the break rooms of several local businesses Aug. 6.
Tonya L. Middleton, 38, of Suitland, Md., was arrested Monday after Elder-Beerman employees told Indian Mound Mall security they saw a woman who matched the description of a thief whose photo was released by Licking County Crime Stoppers, Heath Sgt. Craig Black said.
Licking County Crime Stoppers released security camera images of a woman stealing purses, wallets, money and credit cards from break rooms at Michaels, Best Buy, Petland, Aeropostale, Elder-Beerman and Target.
She then used the credit cards to buy items at Target, Walmart and Toys R Us, according to the Crime Stoppers news release.
Heath police arrested Middleton on Monday night. She initially lied to officers about her identity, Black said.
Middleton was wanted for a felony theft parole violation in Maryland and theft in Virginia. She might be linked to thefts in nine Ohio jurisdictions, including Zanesville, Columbus, Dayton and southeastern Ohio, Black said.
Middleton, last known address 4238 Suitland Road, Apt. 301, was charged Tuesday with tampering with records, a third-degree felony.
A man in the surveillance photos was not identified and was not located with Middleton. Anyone with information should contact Licking County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-488-9058 or Heath police at (740) 522-2677.
She will appear for a bond hearing Tuesday afternoon. The case will be reviewed by a grand jury for possible indictment.
DALLAS TX Aug 31 2011 – DFW Airport police have arrested and charged an American Eagle worker for stealing from passengers and lying on the application for his security badge.
Jose Alberto Peralta, 45 of the Dominican Republic, was arrested Friday. He’s suspected of stealing and pawning almost 100 pieces of jewelry and sunglasses worth more than $10,000 from passengers’ luggage over the past year.
According to reports, a fellow American Eagle employee tipped police off because Peralta had worked on numerous flights where items were reported stolen or lost. That employee also reportedly saw him taking items out of bags.
Officers confronted Peralta at work and found two silver bracelets, a pair of silver earrings, a gold heart-shaped diamond necklace and Oakley sunglasses at the bottom of his backpack.
At first, Peralta said the items were his and that he carried them in from the Dominican Republic because gold prices are higher here. Then, he admitted he took the necklace from an aircraft but said he planned to return it, the report states.
Peralta was also charged with tampering with a government record because he wrote in two different birth dates on a renewal application for a security badge. The report states he explained it away as a mistake made years ago that never got corrected.
The airline would not comment citing the criminal investigation.
A 31-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., man is accused of standing on a toilet in the women’s restroom at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to peer into adjoining stalls.
Jose Luis Carrera-Gutierrez was caught on camera Monday night going into the women’s restroom off the casino floor and staying in there for about an hour, records say.
Security personnel didn’t realize what was happening until a woman in the restroom saw Carrera-Gutierrez standing on a toilet to leer over the wall, records say. Carrera-Gutierrez was looking at a woman in the adjoining stall, records say. The witness confronted Carrera-Gutierrez and would not let him leave until security arrived.
During a police interview, Carrera-Gutierrez admitted to entering the ladies’ restroom, but said he went in by accident and only stayed about 20 minutes. According to records, about 60 women went in and out of the restroom while Carrera-Gutierrez was inside.
Police also obtained a search warrant for Carrera-Gutierrez’s cell phone. The results of the search were not documented in court records. Carrera-Gutierrez is charged with disorderly conduct and was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $3,000 bail.
Mandatory drug testing for welfare applicants is becoming a popular idea across the U.S. Many states – including Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Louisiana – are considering adopting laws like Florida’s. At the federal level, Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has introduced the Drug Free Families Act of 2011, which would require all 50 states to drug-test welfare applicants. (See photos inside Colorado’s marijuana industry.)
And the focus isn’t even limited to welfare. In July, Indiana adopted drug tests for participants in a state job-training program. An Ohio state senator, Tim Grendell, recently said he plans to introduce a bill to require the unemployed to take a drug test before they receive unemployment benefits.
Drug-testing the needy has an undeniable populist appeal. It taps into deeply held beliefs about the deserving and undeserving poor. As Alabama state representative Kerry Rich put it, “I don’t think the taxpayers should have to help fund somebody’s drug habit.”
But as government policy, drug testing is being oversold. These laws do not do what their supporters claim. And more importantly: they are likely to be unconstitutional. (See a TIME feature on your right to privacy.)
Drug testing proponents like to argue that there are large numbers of drug users going on welfare to get money to support their habits. The claim feeds into long-standing stereotypes about the kind of people who go on welfare, but it does not appear to have much basis in fact.
Several studies, including a 1996 report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, have found that there is no significant difference in the rate of illegal-drug use by welfare applicants and other people. Another study found that 70% of illegal-drug users between the age of 18 and 49 are employed full time.
Drug-testing laws are often touted as a way of saving tax dollars, but the facts are once again not quite as presented. Idaho recently commissioned a study of the likely financial impact of drug testing its welfare applicants. The study found that the costs were likely to exceed any money saved.
Read why drug tests do not always work.
That happens to be Florida’s experience so far. A Florida television station, WFTV, reported that of the first 40 applicants tested, only two came up positive, and one of those was appealing. The state stands to save less than $240 a month if it denies benefits to the two applicants, but it had to pay $1,140 to the applicants who tested negative. The state will also have to spend considerably more to defend the policy in court.
Given that cost-benefit reality, it is hard to escape the suspicion that what is really behind the drive to drug-test benefits applicants is a desire to stigmatize the needy. The fact is, there are all sorts of people who benefit from government programs. Businessmen get state contracts, farmers receive crop subsidies and retired state workers receive pensions. The pro-drug-testing movement, however, is focusing exclusively on welfare recipients – an easy target. (Read about ER doctors testing for drugs without a patient’s consent.)
Policies like Florida’s will almost certainly end up in court – and there is a good chance that they will be struck down. The Fourth Amendment puts strict limits on what kind of searches the state can carry out, and drug tests are considered to be a search. In 1997, in Chandler v. Miller, the Supreme Court voted 8-1 to strike down a Georgia law requiring candidates for state offices to pass a drug test.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, said that the drug testing was an unreasonable search. The state can impose drug tests in exceptional cases, when there is a public-safety need for them (as with bus and train operators, for instance). But the Fourth Amendment does not allow the state to diminish “personal privacy for a symbol’s sake,” the court said. (Read whether schoolteachers should be drug-tested.)
Drug testing welfare applicants does not seem to meet the Chandler test since there is no particular safety reason to be concerned about drug use by welfare recipients. In 2003, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Michigan’s drug testing of welfare applicants as a Fourth Amendment violation.
If Florida and other states are really concerned about drug use, they should adopt stricter laws and better enforcement policies aimed at the whole population, not just the most vulnerable. But these laws are not really about drug use. They are about, in these difficult economic times, making things a little harder for the poor.
Child molesters, rapists and other violent felons paid by federal government to babysit www.privateofficer.com
CHICAGO IL Aug 31 2011— Child molesters, rapists and other violent felons have been allowed to take part in a state-federal babysitting program and got access to children even after reforms were made, a Chicago Tribune investigation found.
In Sunday’s editions, the Tribune reported problems with the Child Care Assistance Program — a $750 million-a-year program that subsidizes child care for more than 150,000 poor families in the state.
Illinois The paper didn’t uncover instances of children being harmed, but it said privacy laws prevented an in-depth study.
The program, intended to provide impoverished families with much needed child care, has come under scrutiny before, with lawmakers passing a law in 2009 that forced the state’s Department of Human Services to do a better job of vetting potential participants. The aim was to prevent convicted rapists — like a man who earned $5,000 baby-sitting two children over a two-year period — from taking part.
Still, the Tribune found that not only did it take nearly 18 months to start doing the checks, but that even today there are not sufficient safeguards to prevent people who live in homes with sex offenders and other felons from participating.
For example, the paper found that a woman in Bellwood was paid by the state to babysit in her home — even though her husband pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage girl. The state removed her from the program this year after the paper asked about her case. In another case, the paper reported that nothing stopped a parolee from moving in with his girlfriend, whom the state was paying to babysit, despite convictions on two gun and three drug cases.
In fact, according to court records, the man, Raheem Gray, only moved out last year when he was returned to prison after a parole check revealed a gun hidden in the couple’s apartment under a child’s bed.
State officials, after learning of the findings, have vowed to implement further reforms, the paper reported.
“You are talking about not only the state sanctioning, but the state creating an economic incentive for someone with a criminal record to be in a room with a kid,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican. “That’s frankly not a situation that I find acceptable.”
Advocates, though, say there are no problems with the vast majority of those who participate in the 14-year-old program that they say is crucial to helping parents work their way out of poverty.
“This is a program that is absolutely essential if we are going to, with a straight face, tell families that if they work and if they continue to develop themselves, we can help them make a difference for their families, said Maria Whelan, the president of the nonprofit Illinois Action for Children.