Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha said Officer Eric Fontes was assisting in a routine traffic stop at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and was standing on a grassy median next to a concrete barrier, when a truck hit him.
“Suddenly, a 2003 Toyota Tacoma driven by a 20-year-old man veered left around four police vehicles, off the highway and onto the grassy median where the officers were located. The truck hit the concrete divide and struck Officer Fontes, as the other officers were able to jump out of the way,” Kealoha said.
But then the truck hit a subsidized police vehicle which then slammed into Officer Herman Scanlan, Kealoha said.
Paramedic crews took Fontes and Scanlan to the hospital. Fontes died before arriving at the Pali Momi Medical Center. Scanlan was in serious condition at Queen’s Medical Center.
“This incident has shattered many lives. And we ask that everyone remember these officers and their families in our thoughts and prayers,” Kealoha said in a somber press conference at Honolulu Police Department headquarters Wednesday afternoon.
Fontes was on the force for seven years and was assigned to the Kapolei police substation.
Kealoha and the entire department is dealing with the loss of one of their own. Kealoha and others who attended the press conference wore black strips of tape across their police badges in a show of mourning. Kealoha stopped for a moment before a small memorial for Fontes that included a framed photograph of the fallen officer and his boots.
“This tragedy highlights the dangers that our officers face every day and the stress their families must endure,” Kealoha said.
“Our hearts go out to him and his family. It hurts the entire department. We continue to do what we need to do to honor his legacy,” State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers President Tenari Maafala said.
The woman involved in the initial traffic stop complained about pains from the crash about an hour after the incident. An ambulance took her to an area hospital for treatment.
Police arrested the driver of the pickup truck, James Dorsey Mancao, 20, of Waianae. He faces charges of negligent homicide and negligent injury.
“I know he is not reckless like that,” Mancao’s father, Jules, said. “I’m just sorry for the officer who got hurt. It’s a tragedy. He’s a good kid.”
His parents said he is in the National Guard and is scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in the next few months.
His parents said he does not drink. Honolulu police confirmed alcohol was not involved in the tragedy.
Police are investigating if speed contributed to the crash.
This is the first death for an officer on duty since May 2007.
LAS VEGAS NV Sept 15 2011 — A Metro police officer has been arrested for soliciting prostitution.
According to a news release from Metro, Peter Hervoyavich was arrested early Wednesday morning near Paradise Road and Twain Avenue.
According to Metro, officers observed Hervoyavich, who was off-duty, pick up an apparent prostitute and begin a sex act in his personal vehicle.
Hervoyavich is on paid administrative leave. He has been with Metro for 17 years.
FAYETTEVILLE, TN Sept 15 2011 – A woman wanted on felony charges in Virginia lead Tennessee law enforcement officers on a high speed chase Wednesday morning in one of their own patrol cars.
An officer pulled over 25-year-old Sarah Marie Armstrong in Fayetteville, Tennessee around midnight Tuesday for a routine traffic violation. After running her license, the officer discovered Armstrong had several felony warrants for her arrest in Virginia.
The officer arrested the woman, but when he walked away to question the passengers in Armstrong’s car, she somehow squeezed through a small window in the plastic divider between the font and back seats.
Armstrong climbed into the driver seat and took off in the patrol car.
Lincoln County deputies, Tennessee state troopers and Fayetteville Police chased her down U.S. 431.
The Lincoln County sheriff said Armstrong was driving in the wrong direction at speeds topping 100 miles per hour. The whole time, officers said she was screaming profanity over the police radio.
Officers finally managed to stop her about four miles north of the Alabama state line on U.S. 431. Using their own patrol cars, they forced her to run off the road and crash.
Armstrong was arrested and charged with evading arrest, three counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of aggravated assault, auto theft, three counts of vandalism, resisting arrest, escape, driving under the influence and fugitive from justice.
Her bond was set at $207,000
COVINGTON GA Sept 15 2011 – Criminals who intend to target the Covington Housing Authority had better think twice: There will be an increased police presence there thanks to an agreement reached to hire off-duty officers to work security.
#Police Chief Stacey Cotton notified the Covington City Council at its Sept. 6 meeting that Housing Authority Director Greg Williams requested the arrangement due to an increase in criminal activity at the complex off Alcovy Road.
#The Housing Authority will pay off-duty police officers to work in four-hour shifts during what are traditionally peak times for complaints, Cotton said. The officers will be paid $35 per hour by the Housing Authority.
#Officers will be on foot, on golf carts and at times in vehicles. The Housing Authority will not pay for the use of CPD vehicles, but Cotton said they are needed because of the size of the complex and for safety.
#”We benefit if we need to lock somebody in the car or if we need to stop a vehicle, we’ll have the blue lights,” he said.
#As with all side jobs, the shifts will be posted in the Police Department and all officers will have an equal opportunity to work, Cotton said.
#There is a recurring problem with trespassing by individuals who have been banned from the property due to past criminal acts. CPD officers will be on the lookout for those individuals and have the authority to ban others when warranted, he said. They will also work with residents to address their concerns.
#The CPD previously had a precinct at the Housing Authority that was funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funding was pulled a few years ago, and the precinct was closed.
#”Obviously without our attention (the criminals) are out again,” he said. But now, “If they’re willing to fund it, we’re willing to do it.”
#The council was not required to vote on the matter, but informally expressed support for the arrangement.
The vote comes after several high-profile violent incidents on or near Stockton Unified School campuses in the first weeks of the new school year.
“We’re happy, but it’s still going to be hard since we’re still down two monitors at each site from last year,” Edison High School security monitor Annette Price said.
In June, the school board cut security staff positions in half at each of the city high schools from eight monitors to four.
Tuesday’s vote will give each of the four high schools six monitors and the K-8 schools will split 42 campus-safety assistants. The cost is estimated to be $2.5 million in salary and benefits.
“This phone rings all the time,” former school security monitor Sam Corona said.
Corona was laid-off in June, but still hears daily from students about school trouble, fights, and gang activity.
“The kids come to us, because they know we’re not going to snitch on them, but we have our own ways of solving the problems,” Corona said. “We know all of the kids.”
Several parents picking their children up from after-school programs said they were hoping the district would increase campus safety.
“The streets are bad and there’s nobody out here,” Fillmore Elementary School parent Maribel Hernandez said. “I would be nervous if I was running late to get her, because even now there’s nobody around.”
Dominic C. Dunnavant filed a lawsuit Sept. 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Carolyn A. Dunnavant.
In his complaint, Dominic C. Dunnavant alleges his ex-wife accused him in an emergency order of protection of uttering many violent statements.
Alleged threats Carolyn A. Dunnavant alleges Dominic C. Dannavant to have made include: “I will kill you, your son and your sister; Let’s die like Romeo and Juliet. Our love will last in the eyes of God; I am going to enjoy killing you; How do you want to die wife — do you want me to strangle you, stab you or just shoot you in the heart?; How are you enjoying breathing your last few hours? Time is near, my wife.”
However, Dominic C. Dunnavant contends he made none of the statements. Instead, Carolyn A. Dunnavant created the fictitious statements, according to the complaint.
Because of Carolyn A. Dunnavant’s accusations, Dominic C. Dunnavant lost his job as a security official in the St. Louis area, the suit states. Since then, Dominic C. Dunnavant has experienced substantial difficulties in obtaining alternate security work, the complaint says.
“Carolyn A. Dunnavant has misused legal proceedings, namely the function of an Emergency Order of Protection, in that she had an ulterior purpose or motive, namely to intimidate or embarrass Dominic C. Dunnavant by haling him into court by use of statements she made to herself by creating online accounts to not only conceal her identity, but also attribute said statements to Dominic C. Dunnavant when he made no such statements,” the complaint says.
Because of Carolyn A. Dunnavant’s actions, Dominic C. Dunnavant claims he suffered damage to his reputation.
In his three-count complaint, Dominic C. Dunnavant seeks compensatory damages of more than $150,000 and punitive damages of more than $150,000.
Dominic C. Dunnavant will be appearing pro se.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-495.
The teacher failed sobriety tests administered by police, according to Alpine School District spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley.
Neither the name of the teacher nor the school she worked at were released Wednesday by the district. Bromley said the incident happened after lunch when the school administration received an anonymous phone call that the teacher in question was drunk.
“The principal immediately had her come down to the office,” she said. “There was never a time the students were in danger.”
Bromley said the class the teacher taught in had three other adults in the room at all times, a master teacher and two aides, because of the special needs children. None of the other teachers nor the school administrators detected any red flags.
“Those three adults did not have any indication by the way she was talking or acting or smelled that she was intoxicated,” Bromley said.
However, when given field sobriety tests by Pleasant Grove police about 1 p.m., they found her to be over the legal driving limit of .08, she said. Bromley did not know if the teacher was intoxicated the entire day or started drinking during lunch.
The teacher immediately resigned. Bromley said this was the teacher’s first job out of college. The school had been in session for about 2 ½ weeks.
WATSON, LA Sept 15 2011 – A middle school teacher is without a job after being arrested for allegedly having sex with a teenage girl over the summer.
Bryan Phenix Jr., 27, a teacher at Live Oak Middle in Watson, is accused of having sex with a minor between the age of 13 and 16.
Phenix allegedly had consensual sex with the girl three times between May and July. Officials said the victim is not a student at Live Oak and it is believed the incidents did not happen on school property.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office reported it was just made aware, but have enough evidence to charge Phenix with three counts of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
Phenix was the physical education teacher. Superintendent Bill Spear said he was notified of the teacher’s arrest and Phenix is no longer employed with the school system.
“How the sheriff’s office was made aware of this was by the mother contacting us because of things that were concerning,” said Perry Rushing with LPSO.
He added by law, what happened between Phenix and the underage girl is considered consensual because of her age. Otherwise, it would be statutory rape.
If convicted, Phenix faces up to 10 years on each of the three counts and will have to register as a sex offender.
The school system said it performs background check on all employees before hiring. Phenix had no prior charges on his record.
Federal grand jury indicts Utah men for selling horses to Mexico processing plant www.privateofficer.com
Charges filed Wednesday in federal court in Salt Lake City say the men bought 64 wild horses from the Bureau of Land Management between February and August. The men claimed the wild horses would be used for breeding, which qualified them for lower purchase prices.
The two men are each charged with four counts of wire fraud, two counts of false statements and one count of aiding or abetting.
BLM officials became suspicious and alerted federal authorities, who intercepted a truck from Utah in August carrying 47 of the horses to the Mexican border.
Police say leaking carbon dioxide killed woman, sickened 10 others at Ga. McDonald’s www.privateofficer.com
SAVANNAH, Ga.Sept 15 2011 — Carbon dioxide piped through gas lines to a soda fountain leaked in a McDonald’s in Georgia and sickened 10 people, including a woman who later died after being found unconscious in a restroom, police said Wednesday.
Investigators determined a leaky gas line between the walls caused the gas, used to pump carbonation into sodas, to build up a week ago to the point where people inside were unable to breathe.
“It caused what is normally a harmless gas to be pumped into the wall cavity and leak into the women’s restroom,” said Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew. “At a high level of concentration, it displaces oxygen.”
Firefighters were called Sept. 7 to the restaurant in Pooler, about 10 miles west of Savannah, and two women were found unconscious in a restroom. They were later admitted to a Savannah hospital, where eight others from the restaurant were treated and released. Eighty-year-old Anne Felton of Ponte Vedra, Fla., died the next day.
Investigators initially suspected customers fell ill to noxious fumes from cleaning chemicals. An autopsy found no trace of chemicals in Felton, Revenew said, but it indicated she succumbed to asphyxiation.
The restaurant’s franchisees, John and Monique Palmaccio, said in a statement they “are committed to running safe, welcoming restaurants.”
“We worked closely with the authorities to determine the cause of this incident and we’ve taken action to correct the situation,” the statement said.
The police chief said the owners had replaced the soda fountain’s gas lines and valves and were allowed to reopen the restaurant.
“At this point we don’t anticipate criminal charges,” Revenew said. “It just appears to be a mistake.”
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration is also investigating. OSHA investigators were conducting interviews last week, looking into possible workplace safety violations.
Kelso WA Sept 15 2011 Police Tuesday arrested Chris Young Bokor, 21, of Astoria on suspicion of third-degree theft and second-degree burglary. Target security officers reported seeing Bokor walking through the aisles, donning clothing and pulling the tags off, according to a police report.
When Bokor was confronted he was wearing $80 in merchandise, including underwear and a woman’s bra, police said.
Bokor faces at burglary charge because he was barred from the Three Rivers Mall last month after he allegedly fought with a police officer and mall security guard.
HOUSTON TX Sept 15 2011 – Police have identified the man who was arrested Tuesday afternoon with a gun in his carry-on at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Masoud Faraji, 43, now faces a charge of ‘unlawful carrying of a weapon.’
According to the Houston Police Department, Faraji was arrested as he went through a terminal security check point. TSA screeners told police they spotted a handgun in the suspect’s carry-on baggage.
The suspect claims he didn’t know the weapon was in the bag, and that he had not used or looked in the bag in over a year before bringing it to the airport.
Police say the gun, a .25 caliber weapon, was not loaded.
An investigation with the Phoenix, Mesa and Glendale police departments has shut down a group of 16 people authorities accused of making a profession out of shoplifting retail items for the past six years.
The investigation started after security officials at Paradise Valley Mall in June alerted Phoenix police after they noticed suspicious shoppers making repeated trips.
Hotspots for the thefts were many of the major malls in metro Phoenix, such as Anthem Outlets, Arrowhead Towne Center, Scottsdale Fashion Square and San Tan Village Mall.
Authorities suspect the group of shoplifters targeted stores such as the Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Dillard’s, Sears and the Disney store.
Eleven people face a 53-count Maricopa County grand jury indictment. Authorities are still searching for five more suspects.
According to Phoenix police Sgt. Aimee Smith, about $86,000 in stolen items, and 76 victims have been identified. She said there is a lot of money and stolen goods unaccounted for because most items were sold across the United States and in Mexico.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said these losses affect consumers as a whole because they are “built into the prices we pay.”
“This is significant,” he said, adding that his office will “prosecute this matter to the fullest.”
According to Montgomery, the thieves would choose stores that had little security or surveillance and then stage the clothes prior to shoplifting in order to steal specific sizes, colors and styles.
The shoplifters usually had bags handy to quickly stuff clothes into, Montgomery said. They would then pass off the stolen merchandise quickly to other players, drop it off in their car and repeat the process at a different store.
Smith said the shoplifters, ranging in age from 30 to 45, would sell the items they didn’t want on the black market, some in parking lots, “like a drug deal.”
The theft ring had many ways to profit from the stolen items, according to Montgomery.
Each member of the theft ring would receive about 10 percent of the retail value from the “re-sellers,” according the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Clients, called payans, would pay one-fourth to one-third of the full retail price.
Clients could also buy the items for a flat rate. These clients were the re-sellers’ regular buyers who would buy the merchandise from the shoplifters’ homes or at a meeting place.
Smith said the sellers were not vending the items to individual stores.
She said one suspect is in the country illegally.
The Phoenix Police Department hopes to detain the five remaining suspects soon.
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn.Sept 15 2011 – Police have charged a Hendersonville mother in the deaths of her two newborn sons.
25-year-old Lindsey Lowe was arrested on Wednesday and charged with two counts of first degree murder.
Police were called out to a home on Park Circle around 9 a.m. by Lowe’s father who had found the two boys unresponsive. Police said the deaths were immediately deemed suspicious due to the location of the infant and absence of the mother.
Police located Lowe. She was taken to the police department where she was cooperative during interviews. She is currently undergoing medical evaluation.
Police would not speculate on how the infants died, but said there were no signs of trauma or abuse. However, they did have enough information to arrest and charge her.
Police said aspects of the investigation are pending further scientific examination, including the identity of the babies’ father.
Both of the infants’ bodies were transported to the Medical Examiner’s office for autopsy.