Jesus and Jennifer Flores, 36 and 35 respectively, had been arguing, Jennifer’s brother told police, when Jesus pulled out a gun and shot Jennifer at around 3 a.m.
As the brother ran away, he heard several more shots, police said.
A police SWAT team was called to the scene in the 1900 block of Getty St. and attempted to call Jesus out of the house. They later entered the home and found the couple’s bodies.
Family members say the Jesus and Jennifer married 3 months ago and they were not aware of any violence in the couple’s history.
Jennifer’s father characterized Jesus as a ‘great guy’.
“Only the man upstairs knows what was going on in his head,” Robert Mendiola, Jesus’ brother said. “He took care of his family.”
SPRINGFIELD OH Aug 30 2011 — Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly described prescription drug abuse as a statewide epidemic Monday morning after a deputy faced a hearing in Clark County Municipal Court.
Amanda K. Nichols, 37, pleaded not guilty after she was arrested on a charge of possession of drugs, a fourth-degree felony.
Nichols is expected to face a preliminary hearing next week, and has been placed on administrative leave. Kelly said no further action will be taken until the case is completed in the courts.
According to an affidavit from Clark County Municipal Court, Nichols was accused of purchasing 60 Vicodin pills from an undercover officer Saturday.
The affidavit shows between July 5 and Aug. 20, Clark County Sheriff detectives began investigating a report that Nichols was involved in purchasing prescription medication.
Working with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, an undercover officer and a confidential informant met with Nichols, in which she agreed to purchase 60 Vicodin tablets for $120.
After Nichols took possession of the drugs, she was stopped in her vehicle by a Clark County Sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol car. The pills were found inside the glove box of her 2003 gold Chevy Malibu.
She was taken to the investigation section of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office where she was interviewed by detectives and booked into the Clark County Jail.
Kelly said Sunday that Nichols has served as a deputy with the sheriff’s office in the jail division for five years. She had also previously served in the U.S. Navy and as a police officer in Tremont City, Kelly said.
He added while the case is unfortunate, it is an example of a larger problem in the state.
“This shows that it is not held to any particular group or neighborhood,” Kelly said of prescription drug abuse. “It happens everywhere.”
According to information from the State Medical Board of Ohio, since 2007, unintentional drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio.
Source:dayton daily news
Phenix City AL Aug 30 2011 A Phenix City police officer was found dead in her residence Sunday afternoon.
Forty year old Frankie Deer, a lieutenant with the Phenix City police department was discovered deceased in her home in Salem, AL about 3:40 PM Sunday afternoon by a friend, who was also a fellow officer.
She had worked the night before and was scheduled to work Sunday. No foul play is suspected. She had been complaining of being ill the last few days. Her body has been transported to the medical examiners office of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for a postmortem exam to determine the cause and manner of death.
The case remains under investigation by the Lee County Sheriff’s office, the Lee County Coroner’s office and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
SAN ANTONIO TX Aug 30 2011- A dedicated law enforcement officer and loving father of a special-needs son was killed in a fiery crash in San Antonio Saturday night, when he crashed his Precinct 3 constable patrol car into two utility poles, officials said.
Sgt. Mark Scianna, 49, was working his normal overnight traffic supervisor shift Saturday night around 10:30 p.m., when he crashed into a utility pole on the far North Side.
The vehicle rolled over, ejecting Scianna, and then struck a second pole before bursting into flames, said Bexar County Sgt. E.M. Conger.
Firefighers saw the fireball, according to Precinct 3 Constable Mark Vojvodich, and rushed to the scene. Simultaneously, Scianna activated his emergency toner, which triggered first responders.
Scianna, who had worked in Vojvodich’s office for nearly two years, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The emergency lights on his patrol car were on, officials said, but investigators are unsure if he was chasing a motorist or trying to stop someone.
Conger said it was not immediately clear if he was wearing a safety belt, and investigators are still trying to determine what roles mechanical failure and speed played in the crash.
Loud bang heard
The wreck, which rang out through the neighborhood like an explosion, startled neighbors. Ruby Elizondo said she had been reading in her home at the intersection where the crash occurred and was startled by a loud bang.
“I jumped out of bed and looked out the window and saw flames burning up one of my trees,” said Elizondo, 90. “I ran outside. There was fire all the way up my driveway.”
Elizondo’s daughter, Sylvia Kappelmann, lives nearby and saw fire from her window after she heard what sounded like a bomb. She thought the wooded area across the street was ablaze and rushed over to help her mother, Kappelmann said.
“I grabbed a hose and started watering everything down,” she said. “The car was fully engulfed in flames.”
Originally from Connecticut, Scianna took a pay cut when he left the Castle Hills Police Department and joined Vojvodich’s office. Although he had opportunities to advance, Scianna declined promotions that would take him off of patrol.
“Mark absolutely loved his job,” Vojvodich said. “He loved being on the street and was very friendly and outgoing. He truly enjoyed serving the community.”
Nightly call to son
Around 10 p.m. every night, Scianna would call his 15-year-old son with special needs to wish him a good night.
“His son meant the world to him,” Vojvodich said. “He would stop whatever he was doing, call him, and even sing him a little song. He was an excellent father.”
Services for Scianna are pending, officials said.
Elwood IL Aug 30 2011 Police say a Will County warehouse worker partnered with an accused murderer to rip off $60,000 in toilet paper and plastic utensils from his employer.
Elwood police Cmdr. Patrick Kerr said Juan J. Hernandez and William Chaban stole truckloads of merchandise from the Georgia-Pacific facility in Elwood between February and April.
The investigation began May 18 when the company told police pallets of bath tissue and Dixie cutlery meant for big-box retailers were missing.
Kerr said police got a tip to look at local flea markets, and on June 4 found two vendors at Derald’s Flea Market in Joliet selling items stolen from Georgia-Pacific.
Officers seized about $1,000 in merchandise and learned it had been supplied by Hernandez, 25, an inventory control specialist at the warehouse, police said.
On July 20, police searched two units at a Joliet storage facility and found more than $10,000 in paper products and plastic cutlery, Kerr said.
Hernandez was arrested at his Joliet home on Aug. 23 and charged with theft. He remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Police also learned “an entire truckload of bath tissue” stolen from the facility and valued at more than $20,000 had been sold to Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson, Ind. Kerr said five pallets of toilet paper and 10 trays of knives, forks and spoons were recovered.
Chaban, 35, of Lockport, made that sale while awaiting trial for the murder of his mother-in-law, police said.
On June 18, 2007, Chaban strangled Irene Opalinska in the bathtub of her Norwood Park home. Arrested two months later, Chaban was out on bond at the time of the warehouse thefts.
He was convicted of murder in June and sentenced to 45 years in prison. He’s now in the Stateville Correctional Center.
Source:Chicago Sun Times
Detroit MI Aug 30 2011 When high school students return next week to Detroit public schools, they’ll pass through high-tech detection machines akin to airport security systems that snap a photo and indicate the location of any metal objects on their bodies.
The systems are used in some high schools across the country, but Detroit Public Schools is the first district in the nation to install it in all of its high schools, according to the manufacturer, Baltimore-based View Systems.
The $534,000 security system is one of several new features DPS is rolling out this fall in an effort to increase safety and improve its image after more than 800 assaults in the 2009-10 school year, the most recent statistics available. DPS also has a new motorcycle police patrol unit and more surveillance cameras to augment its existing ID-badge system for visitors to high schools that includes a quick background check to pinpoint sex offenders.
In addition to hundreds of school-based security officers, DPS has a fully deputized police department with 51 officers who have arrest powers anywhere in the city. “We are the police,” said DPS Police Chief Rod Grimes. “This is how you create a safe environment.”
Detroit Public Schools’ biggest security threat? Troublemaking outsiders, district says
Last September, the first day of school was marred by a shooting that injured two teens a block from Mumford High School in Detroit.
Detroit Public Schools Police Chief Rod Grimes said officers were frustrated because it appeared the shooter intentionally pulled the trigger as soon as his target — a student — stepped across the street from campus.
As sworn officers, DPS police concentrate on campus safety but have the power to arrest people anywhere in the city. This year, they’re getting some extra tools to keep school campuses safe and plan to work more with the Detroit Police Department. An announcement on joint security measures is scheduled for Wednesday, school and police officials said.
Among the new tools are a DPS motorcycle patrol unit and more surveillance cameras. DPS also will be the first district in the nation to install high-tech, airport-style, concealed-weapons detection systems in all of its high schools.
Roshana Dixon, 42, whose two children attend Mumford High and the J.R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy, said Mumford’s security responded quickly to fights and other incidents last year. But the new metal-detection system and motorcycle patrols could help students feel safer.
“All of that is good,” she said. “It’s for their safety.”
Starting trouble around schools
During the 2009-10 school year, DPS reported 129 confiscated weapons and 851 physical assaults, among other offenses, according to the most recent data available from Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Information.
DPS employs 51 police officers; 47 campus police, whose authority does not extend beyond school campuses, and about 270 private security officers through a contract with Securitas Security Services USA.
Officials said the district constantly battles the perception that DPS campuses are violent. That perception is part of the reason about 100,000 students have left the district over the last decade, they said.
But the trouble is mostly from outsiders coming into schools, Grimes said.
“We have an alarming number of adults — parents — coming to our schools acting very inappropriately,” he said.
DPS patrol police Officer Lawrence Johnson and his partner patrol the east side, including Pershing High. He makes arrests four of every five days — primarily for disorderly conduct, fighting, theft or criminal sexual conduct, he said. The biggest problem is outsiders who come on or near campus to start trouble, he said.
“On day one, I’m locking people up who don’t belong here,” Johnson said last week as he patrolled the Pershing High area. “We’re trying to make some inroads so that, maybe, people will bring their children back to DPS.”
Chlonia Seabrooks, 35, whose daughter will be a freshman at Pershing this fall, said more officers need to be seen on campus after school “because that’s when most of the drama starts.”
The motorcycle units and body scanners sound like good ideas, she said: “It’s needed to resolve some of the issues going on around the schools.”
How the scanners work
Last year, when the Communication & Media Arts High School won a TV show makeover, Baltimore-based View Systems donated a ViewScan concealed-weapons detector. Now, they’ll be in all Detroit high schools this school year.
The walk-through scanners use advanced magnetic technology to pinpoint threatening objects while ignoring common items such as coins, body piercings and small keys, according to the company. It creates an image that appears on a monitor. Indicators point to spots on the image where metal is detected. The photos and information can be stored for months or years.
“It’s a nice tool,” Grimes said. “We found it was able to move 500-plus students in less than 15 minutes.”
DPS officials also were impressed, and bought and installed 60 units in the 32 high schools, spending $534,000 from the $500.5-million construction bond voters approved in 2009.
“If Johnny comes in carrying something … and his parent says, ‘Oh, no, not my Johnny,’ you have the photos,” said Gunther Than, View Systems’ founder and CEO. “We built the units for Detroit, according to specifications of Detroit’s needs. The Detroit models are becoming the standard models for schools, so Detroit is actually leading the way.”
League City TX Aug 30 2011 Employees of a League City department store are accused of illegally holding two women suspected of shoplifting from the store.
Saira N. Malhi and Zareen Akhtar filed a lawsuit July 27 in Harris County District Court against Kohl’s Department Stores Inc.
According to the petition, Malhi and Akhtar were shopping at the Kohl’s store in League City in May. After completing their purchases, the women say they were taken to a back room by an employee and allegedly accused of shoplifting.
Malhi and Akhtar say they were held for hours while they were searched and questioned. Both claim they eventually conceded to the allegations only because it was getting late and they had to pick up their children.
Malhi and Akhtar are suing Kohl’s over false imprisonment and asking for an unspecified amount of money in damages plus court costs. The women are represented by attorney Ashish Mahendru, of Houston. They ask for a jury trial.
Harris County District Court Case No. 2011-44280.
This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Harris County Courthouse. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.
BRAINTREE MA Aug 30 2011 — A Quincy woman faces charges she stole nearly $300 worth of merchandise from Macy’s at South Shore Plaza.
Braintree police said store security officers were watching surveillance cameras Saturday night when Gina Spada, 24, was spotted walking to an unattended cash register with several items.
After momentarily losing sight of Spada, security then noticed her allegedly hide an item in a shopping bag she had taken from near the cash register. The other merchandise she had taken could no longer be seen, police said.
After Spada left Macy’s, security followed her to another store where she allegedly stole a pair of earrings.
Spada was charged with larceny of property worth more than $250
Lancaster PA Aug 30 2011 Three family members stole more than $25,000 worth of items from Kohl’s department stores in three states, including Pennsylvania, police said.
Ismet Fetic, 52, Snezana Fetic, 49, and their daughter, Emina Fetic, 29, all of Drexel Hill, were arrested Tuesday, state police said.
An investigation was launched in April after information suggested the Fetics were stealing high-end KitchenAid mixers, Dyson vacuums and other products from Kohl’s stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, police said in criminal complaints. The thefts occurred between March 18 and June 30, investigators said.
The Fetics would select a high-priced item and place a price tag from a lower-priced item on the box, often while hiding the lower-priced item in the bottom of their shopping cart, according to police.
After paying for the item at the reduced price, they would sell it on eBay for less than Kohl’s original price, police said.
They used the eBay accounts for “miksomali11″ and “renukitchenbath” to sell the items, police said in criminal complaints.
The Fetics stole from Kohl’s stores in Lancaster, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Lebanon and York counties in Pennsylvania, state police said.
Only one store in Lancaster County was targeted, according to criminal complaints. On April 17, Snezana Fetic purchased a $649.99 Dyson vacuum for $59.99 at the Kohl’s store at Park City Center.
The Fetics are charged with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, organized retail theft, retail theft, receiving stolen property and criminal use of a communication facility, police said.
Bail was set for each at $250,000, and they were committed to Delaware County Prison to await a preliminary hearing.
HARRISBURG PA Aug 30 2011 – An Allegheny County man was charged today with devising a scheme that enabled him to steal at least $70,000 worth of gift cards from Lowe’s and Home Depot stores throughout Pennsylvania and later sell those gift cards on Craig’s List for 60% of their value.
Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as Jason Novak, 39, 1904 Monroe St., Swissvale, Allegheny County.
According to the criminal complaint, Novak entered Lowe’s and Home Depot stores empty handed, filled a cart with expensive items, such as range hoods, carpets and sinks, and then took the items directly to the return desk to receive store credit for the stolen items.
The charges state that Novak used this scheme at least 50 times at various Lowe’s stores and at least 40 times at Home Depot stores.
Kelly said that Novak allegedly presented fraudulent Pennsylvania photo identification to the cashier and each time received a gift card for the value of the returned items. Agents believe that Novak used at least 35 different Pennsylvania license numbers and each time signed the return receipt using the false name on the identification.
Agents executed a search warrant on Novak’s home and recovered 11 fake Pennsylvania photo identification cards, three cell phones, computers and other electronic items.
Novak is charged with 88 counts of theft by deception, 88 counts of theft by unlawful taking, 88 counts of retail theft, 56 counts of identity theft, 56 counts of forgery, 11 counts of unlawful use of a computer and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.
Kelly noted that Novak is currently a fugitive and being sought by authorities in Pennsylvania.
Kelly thanked the U.S. Postal Inspectors and the McCandless Township Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.
The case will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecution Section.
Joseph Threadgill, 23, was last seen escorting the customer off the premises at TD’s North early Saturday morning. The customer, 40-year-old Thomas Hancock, had allegedly started a fight inside the club, then scuffled with bouncers as he was being tossed out.
According to a criminal complaint, Threadgill was following Hancock as he walked away from the club, then an employee said he heard several gunshots. When the employee looked over, he told police he saw Hancock standing over Threadgill firing at him as he lay on the ground.
The complaint said that Threadgill was shot several times and that it appeared there were gunshot wounds to the back of his head.
Hancock has been charged with an open count of murder and was being held Sunday evening at the Metropolitan Detention Center in lieu of a $30,000 cash only bond.
Hancock ran into trouble at the club after he attempted to talk to a female employee who didn’t want to talk to him, the complaint said.
When Hancock saw the employee talking to another man a short time later, he came over to them and allegedly said, “Do you know who I am? I’m Thomas Hancock.” When the man the employee was talking to extended his hand to shake Hancock’s, Hancock reached out, started choking him and drew back his fist as if he were going to hit him, the complaint said.
That’s when TD’s bouncers moved in and began escorting Hancock out.
Hancock became violent again as he was being kicked out, the complaint said, and attempted to punch one of the bouncers. Hancock was punched in the face instead, the complaint said.
On his way out the door, Hancock allegedly yelled, “I will destroy you.”
A group of people that the complaint identified as possibly Hancock’s friends came outside soon after and the bouncers had to protect Hancock from being punched by members of the group, who eventually left, leaving Hancock alone in the parking lot.
Threadgill was the last bouncer outside with Hancock.
After the shooting, an employee said he saw Hancock drive away.
The club was able to provide police a copy of Hancock’s driver’s license, because when people enter the club, their licenses are scanned and the information saved.
Police went to Hancock’s home in Rio Rancho and saw a car that matched a description given by a TD’s employee. They waited outside the home until a woman, Hancock’s mother, came out and said her son had come home and appeared distressed and drunk.
Hancock was taken into custody a short time later.
COTTONWOOD AZ Aug 30 2011 — Cottonwood Police arrested 28-year-old Corey Ray Felix of Cottonwood Saturday in connection with a $4,000 theft from SunBank.
The day before, officials from SunBank notified the Cottonwood Police of an employee theft that occurred during that week.
When officials discovered $4,000 missing from the bank’s vault, they reviewed their surveillance video footage that recorded Felix entering the vault by himself, against company policy, and leaving with a handful of cash.
By violating a company security policy, Felix was able to gain unauthorized access to the vault.
After he was contacted by bank officials, he returned $1,000 to the bank.
The remaining $3,000 had not yet been accounted for.
Felix was arrested at his home without incident on a single count felony theft and booked in at the Yavapai County Jail.
Lufkin, Texas Aug 30 2011 – A Lufkin man was taken to jail after police say he fled Wal-Mart with stolen merchandise.
Just before 11 P.M. Saturday night, a LPD officer was flagged down by store security and an employee in the parking lot.
The report states they pointed out Demedric Taylor. They believed he had taken items from the store, and was trying to get away.
Taylor allegedly ignored the officer’s orders for him to stop, and kept walking. According to police, he pulled away and ran when the officer tried to take him into custody.
Another officer joined the chase, caught up with him, but police say he kept struggling to get away. The officers eventually got him handcuffed.
The report says stolen items including beer, printer ink, boxers, and a package of T-shirts were on found on him.
Taylor is charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest, and felony theft. The theft charge was enhanced because of previous convictions for theft.
Dallas TX Aug 30 2011 Police arrested four people Sunday suspected of running a massive shoplifting ring and reselling items at local flea markets. Officers gave NBC 5 exclusive access, while they raided homes in Dallas and uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen goods.
Dallas and Denton police closed in on three homes Sunday morning — two on Abilene Street — after a month-long investigation. Denton Detective Erin Haislett and loss prevention investigators from several DFW retailers uncovered $300,000 worth of stolen goods from one home alone.
Police photos inside the house show bags of merchandise stacked high and filling several rooms.
“We’re not going to take this anymore,” said Haislett. “These are high-dollar items — real expensive Oil of Olay, Aeropostale clothing.”
Police say the suspects stole items an entire family could use — shampoo, diapers, laundry detergent, and literally a treasure chest full of panty hose — stolen from stores including Dollar General, Tom Thumb, The Gap, and The Children’s Place. Price tags were still attached, and the items were accumulated over four years.
“It’s a huge victory for us today,” said Kelly Moye, regional loss prevention investigator for Dollar General. “They’re exactly like a mini-retailer. We feel like we’re at war.”
Police say the family in the home at 4134 Abilene Street, as well as the house next door, bought the merchandise from the actual shoplifters and have been re-selling them at flea markets like Traders Village.
Retailers are spending more money on security, like tracking devices to recover stolen products, and they say it’s ultimately hurting the customer.
“It all costs us in the long run — higher prices, lost sales tax revenue for the cities,” said Moye.
Despite the enormity of this organized retail theft operation, investigators say it’s only a tiny fraction of what’s going on in North Texas.
Police say you can help spot stolen merchandise. If you find products at a flea market that are cheaper than what you would pay at any legitimate retailer, they’re most likely stolen goods.
According to police, a man had a history of domestic violence before he allegedly admitted to investigators that he killed his wife. However, Neighbors told News Center 7 that they did not know the couple had problems.
William Strickland, 73, is in the Montgomery County Jail on murder charges. Officers said Strickland told them that he stabbed his wife, 62-year-old Carolyn Strickland, to death with a large kitchen knife Saturday night after an argument at their home on Angier Drive in Dayton.
Caroline Strickland was a 5th-grade teacher at Louise Troy Elementary School. School officials said they have a crisis team available for students and staff.
“I don’t know what to say cause I was really surprised. Because, you know, I thought they had a good relationship. I was just surprised and shocked,” said Ora Robinson. Robinson lives near the Strickland’s home and said she use to bowl with Carolyn.
Police said they had been out to that home several times in the past. In fact, they had responded to a domestic call about a week ago. They said they arrested William and confiscated a handgun from him, but Carolyn chose not to press charges.
William Strickland is expected to go before a judge on Monday to answer to charges. An autopsy is scheduled to determine an exact cause of death.
Surprise AZ Aug 29 2011 Wendy Klarkowski isn’t the most intimidating-looking officer on the force at the Surprise Police Department.
Standing 5 feet 3 inches and weighing 118 pounds, Klarkowski is dwarfed by some of the hulking officers in the department.
But she is built with grit and determination, supervisors say. Those qualities led the 49-year-old to be named the department’s Rookie of the Year, making her the oldest officer in Surprise to achieve the distinction
She took some detours on the way to her dream job. A decade ago, Klarkowski was so ill she could barely walk.
Klarkowski took an unusual career path compared with some police officers. She worked as an office manager for her church for more than 20 years, a lifelong dream to be an officer simmering in the back of her mind.
“Right out of high school, I met my husband, who at the time was a highway patrolman,” she said. “We got married and we decided to have a child. One of us had to have a normal life, so I was a stay-at-home mom.”
One day in 1997, when her son was 12 years old, Klarkowski started having chest pains and labored breathing. Fearing she was suffering a heart attack, she went to doctors.
“They couldn’t figure it out,” she said.
Her doctor referred her to specialists at the University of Arizona’s hospital in Tucson. She learned she had an autoimmune disease that was attacking her heart and lungs.
The treatment was nearly as bad as the disease, Klarkowski said. She had heart surgery, two years of chemotherapy and took medication that made her bones brittle. Doctors gave her special boots to keep the bones in her feet from breaking when she walked.
Recovery was a struggle, requiring rehabilitation exercises to rebuild her bones and years of effort to shed 35 pounds she gained because of her medication.
Missing the dream
In 2006, with her health problems mostly behind her, her husband, Bernie, retired and son, Tim, about to graduate from college, Klarkowski decided it was time to focus on her own ambitions.
She became a 911 operator for Surprise police. It nudged at the edges of her dream, but didn’t quite reach it.
She’d handle an emergency call and wish she could be on scene to help.
“I could do more than just sit here on the phone,” she thought. It seemed a part of her was missing.
Her husband and son pushed her to look into the department’s reserve-officer program. Many aspiring officers use the volunteer program to get a foot in the door.
Wendy doubted her abilities. After all, it was less than a decade since she was barely able to walk.
“There’s no way,” she thought. “These guys are like, 22, 23 . . . “
Tim convinced her to go for it. He told her she had as good a chance as any one of being an officer.
At age 46, after two years as a 911 operator she enrolled in Glendale Community College’s police-training program.
She got help from an unexpected mentor. Her son, Tim, had joined the Surprise Police Department a year earlier at age 22. He was pretty good at it, too. He was the department’s Rookie of the Year in 2008.
Tim helped her train by taking her to the gym, teaching her pushups and jogging with her on treadmills.
The training was far from easy. Klarkowski, who hadn’t been to a gym since high school, learned to scale a 6-foot wall, do 50 pushups and run a mile in less than 15 minutes.
“The first time I jumped over a wall, I was like, ‘I hope nothing breaks,’ ” she said.
She said that being a rookie officer from the Boomer generation has advantages.
Klarkowski isn’t easily rattled, for one thing. Viewing her job as a privilege and not a right helps keep things in perspective, something many young people don’t have, she said.
“I’m having fun,” she said.
Having raised a child also helps her in her job. She finds she’s particularly adept at helping parents who have called police for help with their teenage children.
“I can relate to them and tell them something that worked for me,” she said.
She said she often finds herself telling parents that, 10 years down the road, when the children are grown, “it will be worth everything you’re doing.”
Nancy Hecker, coordinator for a career-counseling program conducted by the AARP Foundation, said people who change careers later in life often face age discrimination, lack technological savvy and have physical limitations.
Making the switch successfully requires a “fire in your belly,” she said.
Department officials said Klarkowski was named Rookie of the Year based on her passionate approach to her work.
“Wendy’s the kind of officer where right out of the gates she’s already doing a great job, applying herself as much as she can, but still comes to you as a supervisor and asks, what can I do better?” said Sgt. Bert Anzini, her first supervisor.
“The person that she is, the character she has and her work ethic, it’s just phenomenal.”
Surprise Police Chief Mike Frazier said that in his three-decade career, he’s seen men in their 40s and 50s become officers.
But Klarkowski is the first woman he’s known to become an officer in middle age.
“For her, age doesn’t really matter,” Frazier said. “She’s just committed and has the drive that it takes. You have to think, if she was 100 years old, would she try to go for it?”
He praised her as highly motivated.
“There’s never any of this idleness, if you will,” he said. “She’s just always engaged in trying to do the work of the day.”
Klarkowski, wary of skeptics, is a bit self-conscious about saying she’s “living the dream.”
“For me, it’s the truth,” she said. “It’s a dream I’ve had for 30-something years. If I could go back and do it again, I would do it exactly the same way.”
Gastonia NC Aug 29 2011 A Gastonia man faces charges he assaulted a bar bouncer with a semi-automatic handgun on Saturday, according to arrest warrants.
Shawn Dale Roderick, 42, of 1953 Cloverdale Circle is accused of pointing the handgun at a bouncer at Whiskey Mill Bar and Grill in Bessemer City.
According to the warrant affidavit, Roderick got upset with someone at the bar and left saying that he was going to his car to get a gun.
Roderick is accused of getting the gun and pointing it at the bouncer. The bouncer stripped Roderick of the handgun and held him until police arrived, according to the affidavit.
Roderick was charged with assault by pointing a gun, two counts of drug possession and carrying a concealed handgun while consuming alcohol.
He was booked at the Gaston County Jail at 3:37 a.m. Saturday and held under a $10,000 secured bond.
Fairfax County police said the unknown attacker broke into the townhouse in the 7000 block of Brocton Court after midnight, went upstairs and took the girl from her bed. The girl’s parents and 1-year-old sibling were at home, police said. They said the parents did not realize that the girl had been abducted until she returned home about 4 a.m. and told them what had happened.
Officer Don Gotthardt, a police spokesman, described the abduction and assault as “horrific” and unlike any crime the neighborhood had seen before. He emphasized that neighbors should remain vigilant, keep their doors locked and report any suspicious activity to the police.
The 5-year-old was taken to a hospital for treatment of upper-body injuries that are not life-threatening, Gotthardt said. It was unclear Saturday whether she had been sexually assaulted, he said.
As of Saturday afternoon, detectives had not been able to interview the girl extensively because she was being treated at the hospital, Gotthardt said. The assailant was identified as a man, but Gotthardt said police were not able to immediately provide a description.
“We haven’t connected this to anything at this point. We’ve seen nothing else similar in this area,” Gotthardt said. “The frustrating thing is there is no further description of the suspect at this time.”
Police canvassed the neighborhood Saturday to ask residents if they had noticed anything unusual, and a canine team and crime scene technicians searched for evidence. Authorities also said they were investigating whether surveillance video from the nearby Brookfield Plaza shopping center would yield clues to the man’s identity.
Police said they think that after the child was taken from the home, she was assaulted at a “nearby location.” They said it was not clear where the man took the child or how she made it back home.
Neighbors described the area as a diverse community, with several immigrant families and little crime.
“It’s not the greatest neighborhood in the world, but, generally speaking, it’s very safe,” said Rob Reid, 52, who has lived on Brocton Court for three years.
A neighbor whose son often plays with the victim said she was shocked to hear of the abduction and assault.
“They play a lot in our front yard, and we were never worried about that,” she said. “It’s really surprising, because we’ve never heard of anything like that happening here.”
Salima Karim, 65, said break-ins are rare in the neighborhood, where she has lived for nine years.
“I feel very bad. Shame on the person who did this,” Karim said. Karim said she has often seen the girl and her mother walking together.
Police are asking the public for any information about possible suspicious activity in the area early Saturday morning.
The fight was reported about 1:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Jeremiah Bullfrog’s Live, 4115 S.W. Huntoon.
The woman who was stabbed was taken to a local hospital by American Medical Response ambulance.
Topeka police Lt. Richard Hundertfund said the woman’s condition was unknown.
A witness said the fight involved several females, and that a security officer wrestled a knife away from one of the women. The witness said one of the women suffered a cut to the back of her head from a high-heel shoe.
Topeka police and Shawnee County sheriff’s officers responded to the scene, as did the Topeka Fire Department and AMR ambulance.
Police set up a crime scene and collected evidence.
Anyone with information about the altercation may call police detectives at (785) 368-9400 or Crime Stoppers at (785) 234-0007.
Chesterfield County VA Aug 29 2011 An Army captain from Fort Lee apparently shot dead four people, including his former wife, in a weekend killing rampage in Chesterfield County and suburban Philadelphia followed by a manhunt during which two Pennsylvania officers were injured.
The soldier later committed suicide, authorities said.
Leonard John Egland, 37, a logistics officer at the sprawling military base south of Richmond, is believed to have killed his former wife, her boyfriend and his young son at a house in Chesterfield as well as his former mother-in-law, Barbara Reuhl, 66, in Bucks County, Pa., police said Sunday.
The Virginia victims were not immediately identified.
Egland had been in the Army nearly 20 years had been deployed to Afghanistan and possibly Iraq, said Lt. Randy Horowitz of the Chesterfield Police Department.
The three people found dead by police in a house in the 13100 block of Stockleigh Drive had been shot with a handgun, said Horowitz. He declined to provide details about the weapon or the number of times the victims had been shot.
On a tip from authorities in Pennsylvania, Chesterfield police went to the house Sunday shortly before 1 a.m. to “check the welfare of anyone at the Stockleigh Drive address,” a written statement said. At the time, the Richmond area was reeling from Hurricane Irene.
“They had a crime scene up there that led back to our location,” said Horowitz, referring to Pennsylvania police.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said Reuhl is believed to have been killed Saturday night.
Police discovered Egland’s body in Jamison, Pa., along with a rifle, pistol and ammunition, Sunday about 3:40 p.m., more than 10 hours after the second of Egland’s two armed encounters with officers. His body was turned over to the Bucks County coroner for final identification.
Also on Saturday night, police said, Egland flashed a handgun at a nurse or orderly at St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown, Pa., after leaving behind his daughter – who is believed to be about 6 and was with him on the frantic drive from Virginia – along with a note. The hospital worker then called police, providing a description of Egland and his vehicle.
Around midnight, the vehicle was stopped by state and local police in Doylestown Township, Pa., Egland allegedly fired shots from a semi-automatic rifle, hitting a Doylestown officer in the arm, police said. A shot shattered a windshield, spraying glass in the face of another officer.
Egland’s vehicle was seen again Sunday in Warwick Township, Pa. Officers took fire, but no one was hit, police said. At that point, police warned residents to stay in their homes and mobilized two SWAT teams. “I know just from the way the phones were ringing in the police station that it was causing a great deal of anxiety among our people, and for us as well,” said Mark Goldberg, Warwick Township police chief.
Police Chief Dwayne Wilkerson said two bouncers, the bar’s owner and some patrons were standing outside Bada Brew when a shot was fired.
The bouncer who was shot was taken to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center for treatment, but the injury wasn’t serious, the chief said.
Wilkerson said three male Hispanics who were asked to leave the bar at around 10 p.m. Thursday are being sought for questioning. The men were asked to leave because they were all wearing red.
“The bar took that as some kind of gang colors,” Wilkerson said.
The men returned shortly before midnight wearing baseball jerseys, but they were refused entry to Bada Brew. The shot was fired at 12:09 a.m.
“Are these guys involved? Maybe,” Wilkerson said. “We’re certainly not going to rule it out.”
One of the men was described as heavy set with a shaved head. All three were in their mid- to late 20s.
Erie PA Aug 29 2011 A Cleveland woman blocked traffic and then urinated near the entrance to Presque Isle Downs & Casino after security officers threw her out, state police said.
Cindy L. Cykman, 44, was charged with disorderly conduct.
Security officers ejected Cykman from the casino at 7 p.m. Thursday, state police said. She walked approximately 150 yards from the casino’s entrance, toward Route 97, and then stepped into the median and urinated in full view of the traffic, police said.
Cykman was arrested by members of the state Gaming Enforcement Office. She was released to the custody of a relative.
Palm Beach Fla Aug 29 2011 More alligators than bad guys prowl Palm Beach County’s Mecca Farms.
Yet a full-time sheriff’s deputy stands guard over the remote county-owned property, adding an annual six-figure expense to a real estate mistake that already cost Palm Beach County taxpayers $100 million.
County taxpayers are spending about $116,000 a year for a sheriff’s deputy assigned specifically to the 1,919-acre former citrus grove once slated to house the Florida branch of The Scripps Research Institute.
Scripps never made it to Mecca, and now the property’s security cost is raising eyebrows at a time when the county faces a budget shortfall and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw contends he can’t afford to lose any patrol deputies.
County commissioners have called for exploring ways to reduce the security cost, such as hiring private security or scaling back to periodic patrols of the far-flung property.
“Mecca Farms is a mistake in the past that is going to keep on haunting us for quite a while,” County Commissioner Jess Santamaria said.
Mecca Farms was intended to become a “biotech village” anchored by Scripps, with room for spin-off businesses and new neighborhoods to spread across western farmland.
The county bought the land in 2004 for about $60 million and invested another $40 million in planning, permitting and initial construction. A water pipeline built to serve Scripps and the expected development cost another $51 million.
But instead of Mecca Farms becoming the hub of a new high-tech industry, environmental concerns in 2006 moved Scripps’ proposed research labs and headquarters to Jupiter. Now the county is stuck with about $6 million a year in debt payments and maintenance costs, including security, for the mostly unused farmland west of Palm Beach Gardens.
When construction crews left the site, security responsibilities fell to the county.
This year there have been no arrests made or citations issued at Mecca Farms, as off Thursday Aug. 25, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Sixteen warnings were issued by the deputy patrolling Mecca Farms.
Vandalism of construction equipment, illegal dumping and trespassing are among the past illegal activities at Mecca Farms that prompt the need for security, according to the county’s real estate management department.
Keeping a deputy on the property full time also is aimed at reducing the county’s legal liability risks posed by dangers on the property.
Deep drainage canals there are teaming with alligators, and wild hogs roam the property. There are leftover pipes and other remnants of Mecca Farms’ development past.
Trying to fence off the entire 1,919-acre property was considered too big a one-time expense. And fences wouldn’t aleviate the need for an on-site presence to help identify and prevent problems, according to county officials.
The deputy has an ATV to help access the vast property. Aside from chasing away trespassers and guarding against illegal dumping, the deputy can report problems with drainage canals or the water “re-pump station” at Mecca Farms. That’s the water-supply facility that pressurizes water moving north in the county’s western pipeline.
“We don’t like spending the money but we also recognize … the potential for bad stuff to happen out there,” said Ross Hering, county real estate director. “It’s just not one of the safest areas.”
The county pays the Sheriff’s Office $116,000 a year for Mecca Farms security, but that just moves the same tax dollars from one branch of county government to another.
The $116,000 from the county covers one deputy patrolling the property 40 hours a week and his vehicle.
The arrangement means that assigning a deputy to Mecca Farms doesn’t take away from road patrols elsewhere, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
The county always expected to sell Mecca Farms to developers if the Scripps plan fizzled, but the collapse of South Florida real estate deflated its resale value.
As a result, the county is holding onto the land, hoping that property values rebound. In the meantime, the county is looking for an agricultural operation to lease the land and take over security.
“The whole concept of having to spend [money] to maintain Mecca Farms is just adding insult to injury, considering the whole Scripps location catastrophe,” County Commissioner Steven Abrams said. “I don’t know what there is out there even for criminals to do.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC Aug 29 2011 – Authorities in New Hanover County have recovered the body of a man who reportedly jumped into the NE Cape Fear River early Saturday morning.
Melton Robinson Jr., 27, had been missing since Saturday morning when three men reported that he jumped into the river at the Castle Hayne Boat Ramp at Orange Street around 12:30 a.m. The incident happened at a time in which Hurricane Irene was narrowing down on the Cape Fear area and authorities had a difficult time getting a boat in the water immediately.
A group of emergency responders, including NC Wildlife, New Hanover County Fire and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office found the body before 4pm Sunday.
The death remains under investigation.
ELGIN, Ore. Aug 29 2011 — Richard “Dickie” Shafer was one of the first people to pop into City Hall, introduce himself to the new city administrator and offer to help out as needed. He was known for letting customers at his excavation business slide awhile if they couldn’t pay the bill.
“The mildest guy in the world,” friend Bruce Lauricella recalled.
Then tragedy struck this rural town that sits at a crossroads in wheat and cattle country. A police officer, responding to a 911 domestic disturbance call by Shafer’s wife, shot and killed Shafer. Few people know exactly what happened early the morning of Aug. 1. Outside law enforcement agencies are investigating, and the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave.
But the incident has so angered residents that many are demanding the small police department be disbanded, even as other communities across the country struggle to maintain police forces amid budget cuts.
“It was murder,” said John Thibodeau, 78, who retired to Elgin from Reno, Nev. 27 years ago. “I absolutely think they need to go.”
Elgin sits at the base of the Blue Mountains in northeast Oregon. Modest homes line the streets. The downtown is a collection of restaurants and small businesses with posters in the windows advertising the “Annie Get Your Gun” production at the opera house in the old, brick City Hall, built in 1912.
Once a booming timber town, Elgin has one mill remaining. Many of the 1,700 residents work at the mill, in neighboring towns or in services that support a steady stream of tourists in RVs passing through each summer.
The police department has been a subject of controversy for months. Complaints include aggressive ordinance enforcement, response times and officer availability. Several residents also had voiced concerns about an officer who seemed nervous or uncomfortable and always had a hand on his gun.
Those concerns were heightened with the shooting involving Shafer and that officer, Eric Kilpatrick.
Dickie Shafer had been married several times before, but he and his wife, Gloria, were together more than a dozen years. They have an 11-year-old son who was home when the couple got into an argument.
Gloria Shafer called 911.
She told The Observer newspaper of nearby La Grande that her husband met Kilpatrick at the door, unarmed, and spoke to him for several minutes. He then asked to take his gun to his pickup. Kilpatrick agreed, she said, and watched as her husband emptied the magazine of his AR-15, an assault-style rifle.
Gloria Shafer contends the officer then “snapped,” ordering Shafer to drop the gun, tasering him and then shooting him in the chest.
Police Chief Kevin Lynch counters that the evidence indicates Shafer was pointing his weapon at the officer, and he’s confident his office will be cleared of wrongdoing.
Lynch said his department’s only previous contact with Shafer involved a property line dispute with a neighbor.
More than 400 people turned out for Shafer’s memorial service at the local rodeo grounds, the biggest turnout there in 20 years.
Mary Wise, Shafer’s mother-in-law, declined to talk about what happened early that morning. Her daughter and grandson are now living with her while they grieve.
“The police force here believes it is above the law and it needs to go,” she said.
Chief Lynch, who was on his honeymoon at the time of the shooting, took over the department five years ago and usually oversees a force of two full-time officers.
However, one recently resigned to work for the county and Kilpatrick is on leave following the shooting.
City officials have considered eliminating the force in the past to save money, but rejected the idea. This time, the issue is on hold pending an outside audit of the department.
“The shooting is a tragedy for everyone. It’s every officer’s worst nightmare,” Lynch said, but added that the city needs its own officers that know the people.
“When you have your own dedicated force, they know the thieves, they know the drunks. They know the dopers,” he said.
He also maintains that those speaking out loudest have had run-ins with police or are staunchly anti-government.
“They’re suspicious of anything government. A lot of them want to get rid of government, but that includes police, and I don’t think anyone really wants that,” he said. “Because, in the end, the guy with the most guns wins.”
Elgin is known for an independent streak: In 2008, the entire planning commission resigned rather than consent to new state ethics requirements for public officials.
Supporters of the police department argue that the city needs a force of its own, rather than contract with county sheriff’s deputies who might not respond as quickly.
“Being a police officer is not a popularity contest,” said Wendy Benjamin, a local resident who spoke up at a public meeting held after the shooting. “Common sense says the police force should remain in the community.”
Others want the department to stay, but with significant changes.
Lauricella, Shafer’s friend, took over the liquor, tobacco and gift shop his parents ran for 36 years and has had several attempted break-ins at the store. As a small business owner, he believes the city needs a police force, but one that is accountable and has appropriate oversight.
A survey mailed out to city residents after the shooting showed that many people merely want a return to simpler times — before big-city law enforcement strategies. Longtime locals bemoan what they consider a loss of Elgin’s small-town sensibilities.
Arnie Krause, who was born and raised in Elgin, knew few of the people who spoke at public meetings about disbanding the police department.
“It’s the same thing here as a lot of areas, I guess,” he said, leaning on one crutch in front of Cooter’s, the auto salvage and repair shop he bought in 1968. “People left big areas because they didn’t like it. They came here and change it to what they didn’t like.”
Krause speaks fondly of Shafer, a talented welder and longtime friend who knew where every pipe and line in town was buried.
“The city is going to miss him the most,” Krause said. “That’s like shooting the goose that laid the golden egg.”
Johnston County NC Aug 29 2011 A former substitute teacher for Johnston County schools faces multiple charges of sexually assaulting a child.
Johnston sheriff’s deputies arrested Robert Dennis Learn, 64, on Aug. 19. He was charged with five counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, three counts of attempted first-degree sex offense and one count of statutory rape, sheriff’s spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said.
Learn, of 58 Santa Gertrudis Court, is alleged to have committed the crimes over four years since 2007, Amaon said.
The victim’s parents reported the allegations to sheriff’s investigators July 31, Amaon said.
The victim, who was 11 when the incidents began, was an acquaintance of Learn’s family, Amaon said. Three of the incidents are alleged to have occurred either while the victim was in Learn’s home or in his car when he was driving the victim to his house to spend the night with his daughter, Amaon said.
Johnston County Schools Public Information Officer Terri Sessoms said Learn worked for the system as a substitute teacher from October 2006 to October 2010 at Cleveland and West Johnston high schools, and at Archer Lodge and Clayton middle schools.
Sessoms said she had no information that any complaints were made about Learn during his employment with the school system.
Aamon said the alleged incidents were not connected to Learn’s teaching position with the school system.
Learn was confined in the Johnston County jail with bond set at $850,000.
According to investigators, the officer was at his second job working as a security guard at a jewelry store.
He was walking a customer out when he saw a car pull into the parking lot and two men attempting to break into another car.
The officer confronted the men, who got into their car and backed up, hitting the officer’s leg, officials said.
The officer pulled out his gun and fired shots at the men as they fled the scene, investigators said.
Police said they believed a vehicle matching the suspect’s getaway car was the same one found submerged in water at Westheimer Road and Hidalgo.
The officer’s condition was not released.
While delivering a package to a vacant house, the postal worker told police, he was approached by a man who wanted to accept the package. The postal worker asked the man for his identification, but he did not have any.
Police said the man jumped into the postal worker’s delivery truck and began to fight over the package. The struggle caused the postal worker’s vehicle to veer off the road and hit a home’s front porch in the 3100 block, police said. Officers did not say whether the man got away with the package.
PISGAH, Ala. Aug 29 2011— A deputy’s wife was shot in the face while she was attempting a burglary.
April Wheeler Brewster was taken to the hospital by a friend after she was shot Tuesday.
An investigation revealed that the shooting took place outside a home in Pisgah that Brewster had attempted to rob prior to the shooting. Initial reports said that she was shot while driving.
Police declined to name the shooter, but a man has come forward claiming he fired the shot, according to WAFF. Billy Kirby told reporters that items were stolen from his home, including jewelry and knives.
Investigators said Brewster is the wife of Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy, but no evidence linking the deputy to the incident has come forward.