The second of two men charged in the shooting and killing of a 72-year-οld security guard whο worked fοr the Afro-American newspaper was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday evening.
After deliberating for two days, a Baltimore City Circuit Court jury found Michael Hunter, 20, guilty of murder, armed robbery and handgun violations in connection with the murder of Charles Bowman during the April 8, 2010, robbery οf a Chinese food carryout in Waverly that netted $13. Prosecutors said Hunter was the gunman during the crime, which shook the North Baltimore community ¿nd led police tο flood th¿ area w¿th extra officers.
Several times Tuesday and Wednesday the jury appeared to be deadlocked, but each time Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill sent the jury back for more deliberation, according to Stephen J. Gewirtz, of Charles Village Court Watch, who monitored the trial.
“In my opinion, justice was done today,” Gewirtz wrote in an email about the case. “[Bowman] was obviously a beloved member of his family and of the community, and we have suffered a great loss.”
Last week, Fletcher-Hill lengthened the sentence of Hunter’s co-defendant Troy Taylor, 20, whom he held in contempt of court after he refused to answer questions from attorneys while on the witness stand. Fletcher-Hill added five months and 29 days onto Taylor’s 35-year sentence for his first-degree murder conviction in the case.
Taylor pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Bowman had six children, 15 grandchildren ¿nd five gr¿¿t-grandchildren. H¿ ate frοm the Chinese carryout on Greenmount Avenue ¿ο frequently, h¿ needed οnly tο order “th¿ usual” tο get his meal, according to his step-daughter, Sandra Vanwright, who testified during the trial.
Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 23.
Atlanta GA Sept 29 2011 A worker injured in 2005 while installing equipment in IKEA, the giant home goods retailer in Atlantic Station in Midtown, has won a $2 million verdict from a Fulton County State Court jury.
William Bradley Hall had sued Vratsinas Construction Co., the general contractor of the project, for damages after he fell from a ladder and injured his knee while installing a security system in the store.
According to details in the lawsuit, Hall says he was only using a ladder to pull wires from the ceiling grid after a supervisor from Vratsinas instructed him not to use a scissor lift because another worker had damaged the ceiling while using the equipment that provides a raised platform on which to stand.
Hall’s fall resulted in multiple surgeries, including a total knee replacement and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. He also accrued medical bills and lost wages because of resulting arthritis and nerve damage.
Hall worked for Consumer Security Systems, which was hired by IKEA, but did not have a direct line of command from Vratsinas.
That detail is what allowed Hall’s suit to go forward, said his lawyer, John Sherrod with Sherrod & Bernard in Douglasville.
“Had Consumer Security Systems been a subcontractor of Vratsinas, Georgia law would not have allowed this suit to go forward,” Sherrod said, and Hall would have had to pursue damages through workers’ compensation.
There was no immediate word from Vratsinas’ lawyer on whether the company would appeal the verdict.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA Sept 29 2011 – Chemical suicides have doubled in the first half of 2011 in the United States over figures from 2010. A total of 72 deaths have already been confirmed in the US with 27 having occurred in 2011. Chemical suicides are the result of mixing common household chemicals resulting in a toxic gas, most notably hydrogen sulfide. Combined in a confined area, the victim quickly asphyxiates. Unfortunately, for many first responders, and despite warnings posted by the victims, over 80% of police and first responders have been injured when responding to chemical suicide situations.
Morphix Technologies ®, an innovator in the science of colorimetric detection devices for dangerous chemical gases, is on the forefront of preventing accidental exposure to first responders from these toxic chemicals. The Chameleon® Chemical Suicide Detection Kit offers police, EMS and first responders a field-configurable, low-cost, easy-to-use, hands-free solution when encountering a chemical suicide.
The most notable gas produced in chemical suicides is hydrogen sulfide. In low concentrations hydrogen sulfide produces the common “rotten egg” smell, but in higher concentrations the chemical first affects the sense of smell by paralyzing the olfactory nerves, thus the victim no longer smells anything and neither will first response teams.
Death results from pulmonary edema and/or respiratory failure. Concentrations can be so high as to incite death in just one breath. Most victims have chosen an automobile as the location for the suicide act and by taping the surrounding gaps in the doors and vents and posting warning signs, think that toxic chemicals are well contained. But often times the chemicals vent outside the suicide area and without a reliable and easy-to-read chemical detection system, many first responders require medical attention and even long-term care after exposure.
The use of Chameleon® Detection Kits by police, fire and first responders on service calls and as a part of their training program can provide an extra measure of safety and perhaps even save lives. In addition to safety considerations, the use of the Chameleon® can reduce liability, injury, time off and result in a reduction of costs by possibly preventing injuries.
The Chameleon® is designed for an easy on/easy off fit on the wearer’s forearm and can be worn over most turn-out gear or level-A suits. The sensors change color when toxic gases are present and require no power source or calibration. Unlike current colorimetric detection systems, the Chameleon® is designed to military standards for use in a wide variety of operating environments. It can be used in desert heat, arctic cold or tropical conditions and can even be immersed in water. The Chameleon® detects gases and vapors in the air where other technologies only detect hazards in liquid or aerosol forms. Gaseous forms of toxic chemicals are the most likely danger to first responders, police and fire personnel.
The Chameleon® Chemical Suicide Detection Kit contains sensors for: high pH (base), hydrogen sulfide, low pH (acid), phosphine, and sulfur dioxide. See the video on the Chameleon® Suicide Detection Kit or for more information on any of the Chameleon® Detection Kits visit http://www.morphtec.com.
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Adriara Addison, 20, had only worked as a jail technician for a year. Addison was in charge of things like intake and monitoring inmates in hallways. It was a position that also gave her access to inmates’ personal information.
“We found that there was a scam here in which she was using our computer systems to get information on inmates — their names, date of birth, and Social Security numbers,” Sgt. Adrion Bell told Channel 2’s Erin Coleman.
The investigation started because of a traffic stop over loud music. DeKalb police pulled over Addison’s boyfriend, Robbie Sims, accusing him of playing his music too loud and speeding through the Woodside Village Apartments in Stone Mountain. Sims was driving Addison’s car, and there was a warrant out for his arrest.
“She was told to just cease communication with him. Our investigation indicates she did not,” Bell said.
After searching her home, investigators said they found evidence that Addison was using the inmate information to file false tax returns and obtain fraudulent food stamp cards. They also found one inmate’s Social Security card and driver’s license. Officers believe she took that from the property room at the DeKalb Jail.
“It’s hurtful to the organization but after you’ve been at this — you learn we have to pluck the bad apples out and keep moving forward,” Bell said.
Addison and Sims both face two counts of fraudulent identity theft. But the investigation continues, and officers said there could be many more cases.
“We don’t know how many tax returns were actually sent out,” Bell said. “It could snowball. I’m not saying it will, but it could. We won’t know until the investigation is closed.”
Addison’s mother and stepfather both work at the DeKalb County Jail. Addison was released on $6,000 bond. Sims remains in the DeKalb County Jail on $14,000 bond.
Thieves cut their way into Forsyth County jewelry store -steal $2.8 million of merchandise www.privateofficer.com
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga.Sept 29 2011 — Thieves cut their way into a Forsyth County jewelry store and got away with $2.8 million in merchandise in what may turn out to be one of the largest jewelry heists in Georgia history.
“They look like professionals,” store owner Ibrahim Ehicam told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot.
“They emptied the whole thing. I mean, they took everything, even the last one cent, even the cash register,” Ehicam said.
Investigators said the thieves started their heist from an adjoining empty building and then cut through a solid concrete wall to enter the Milano’s Fine Jewelry store on Buford Road early Sunday morning.
Ehicam told Elliot he built his store four years ago with solid concrete walls to deter thieves, but it didn’t do much good. He said the thieves bypassed the security system and must’ve taken half a day to cut their way through another concrete and steel wall to break into the safe.
They also cleaned out every display case, Ehicam said.
“This is probably one of the largest we’ve had in Forsyth County in my 25 years’ experience here,” Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tim House said. “We do have active leads we are following. Our investigators and crime scene technicians were on the scene all day gathering evidence and putting part of this case together.”
Ehicam told Elliot that he does have insurance, but it won’t cover even half of their loss.
“Our loss is big,” said Ehicam. “I don’t know how we’re going to recover, but we will. We have no other choice.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Sept 29 2011– Police arrested the man who they say kidnapped a woman and forced her to take money out of her bank account for him.
They charged Anthony Little with second degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Investigators believe Little kidnapped a 60-year-old woman at CVS on South Boulevard Saturday.
The woman was trying to get into her car, when police say Little forced her inside and made her drive three miles to Bank of America on Freedom Drive.
Then, investigators believe Little forced the woman to take $500 out of her account. Eventually, they say, he let her go without hurting her.
Phoenix, AZ Sept 29 2011 – A Phoenix teacher has been arrested for sexually assaulting one of her students. MCSO says 49 year-old Rosanna Brown lured her 14 year-old student to a Phoenix hotel over the weekend and assaulted him. Brown is an English teacher at Ed Pastor Elementary School.
Detectives say Brown had been text messaging the boy and lured him to a Tempe hotel by portraying herself as a sexually active teenager. After the assault, the boy called his mother and told her what happened. She then showed up at the hotel and confronted Brown before calling police.
Brown has been a teacher for 28 years, but had only been teaching at Ed Pastor since August. Detectives are interviewing school employees and others to rule out the possibility of any additional victims.
Brown was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on 3 counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
During a news briefing at the Richmond Jail, Woody said the inmate, identified as Maurice Emile, 32, of Wernersville, Pa., was “inadvertently released during a process of getting ready to go to federal court” for a hearing. He was wearing civilian clothes.
“He went out as the regular folks were leaving around 9:10 this morning,” Woody said. “It was detected that he got in with the wrong group and was released.”
Woody said his staff immediately took action and deputies went to an area where the inmate was seen getting into a car.
A short time later, Woody said, authorities learned that a SunTrust bank had been robbed at Lombardy and Broad streets, and the person responsible was identified as the escaped inmate. He was arrested a short time later by Richmond police.
Woody said Emile had been held in the city jail since April on charges of robbing the same Suntrust Bank on April 30. “He did the same thing that he did this morning,” Woody said.
The suspect gave the teller a note demanding money. No one was hurt, Woody said.
Woody said the circumstances of the inmate’s mistaken release is under investigation.
“As far as how he was released and how it took place, and what violations and rules were violated as a result of the release,” will be examined thoroughly, the sheriff said.
The sheriff said between 25,000 and 30,000 inmates a year are transported to court hearings, taken out for other reasons or released, “and even though one escapes it’s just like a homicide” in terms of its seriousness to jail operations.
“It’s one too many,” Woody said. “But these things happen and we’re not making any excuses. We’ll find out what the break down [was] and we’ll take necessary action.”
Source:Richmond Times Dispatch
Family sues Wackenhut Security, Shands Jacksonville Hospital in shooting death www.privateofficer.com
Jacksonville Fla Sept 29 2011 Standing at the entrance to the ambulatory center pharmacy at Shands Jacksonville hospital is a security guard manning a walk-through metal detector.
At the counter, customers talk to pharmacy assistants through bulletproof glass.
That is the legacy of Shannon McCants.
Those security measures were not in place when a disgruntled customer pulled a gun from her purse and fatally shot her in November 2006 as she worked there as a supervising pharmacist.
A jury later convicted the shooter, Brenda Joyce Coney, in September 2008. She is now serving life in prison.
But McCants’ family has not rested.
They have now taken their case to civil court where their attorney argued during opening statements Tuesday that negligence by the security company hired by Shands largely contributed to the deadly shooting.
But attorneys for the defendant, Wackenhut Corp., have pointed a finger at Shands.
They contend that Wackenhut served in merely a supplemental role to Shands and its security force of approximately 100 guards knew the pharmacy was a high-risk area and should have red-flagged Coney due to her history of violent altercations at the hospital.
The interpretation of Wackenhut’s role at Shands will be a key deciding factor for jurors.
Dawn Whitehurst, attorney for the McCants estate, argued that Wackenhut failed in its duty as a professional security force to “develop a battle plan for Shands.” She said it neither lived up to its own policy nor industry standards when it did not evaluate the entire facility and never recommended that a security guard be placed at the pharmacy.
However, Roger Sulimirski, general manager of Wackenhut’s Jacksonville branch, was persistent during his testimony Tuesday that his company was contracted to provide only limited services at Shands.
Sulimirski said Wackenhut simply provided extra manpower for Shand’s security in a function that had diminished since the company signed into contract with the hospital in 2000. Only two Wackenhut guards were contracted to stand post by the time of the 2006 shooting, both in outside parking lots.
Sulimirski said his guards took on-site orders from Shands personnel, led by security director Ciro Cardelli, and were not routinely given incident reports.
Such reports were written when Coney used a machete-style knife in an altercation with a patient in July 2006 and again when she slapped a nurse two times in the face in November 2006, just more than two weeks before she killed McCants.
Whitehurst spent much of Sulimirski’s testimony grilling him on a series of security reports. He downplayed the surveys as marketing tools used to give his clients annual updates on the services provided.
The trial is expected to last throughout the week.
Patrolman Matthew Albert Miller, 24, has been charged with one count of obtaining a drug by fraud and two counts each of embezzlement and trafficking opium by possession.
The State Bureau of Investigation arrested Miller on Monday, about two weeks after Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said he requested an investigation into Miller’s actions because a resident had complained about him.
The police chief refused on Tuesday to discuss the allegations against Miller.
According to documents filed in court, Miller, of Michael Gibson Drive in Clarkton, is accused of taking methadone and oxycodone on Aug. 22 from a woman identified as Kimberly Lowery.
Miller got the drugs by “misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge in telling her that he was going to dispose of the substances,” say the charges filed in court by SBI agent C.T. Bullard.
It wasn’t clear Tuesday how Miller knew Lowery or why Lowery had the drugs.
James Moore, the city’s human resources director, said Lowery is not employed by the city or Police Department. Court records indicated she has not been charged with a crime.
Attempts to reach Lowery were unsuccessful.
The charges of embezzlement against Miller allege that he did “knowingly misapply and convert to his own use oxycodone and methadone belonging to the Lumberton Police Department. At the time the defendant was over 16 years of age and was the employee and officer of Lumberton Police Department and in that capacity had been entrusted to receive the property described above.”
Moore said that Miller was hired July 29, 2009 and his annual salary is $31,383.
McNeill said on Tuesday that Miller is being suspended, although the police chief had not yet decided whether the suspension would be paid.
Moore said city officials recommended Miller be suspended without pay.
Miller’s bail was set at $8,000, according to the SBI. Court records indicated that he posted bail on Monday.
TAMPA Fla Sept 29 2011 — It’s no secret where he comes from: Mervin “Greg” Bettis is a thief.
The 35-year-old has been in and out of Ohio prisons, thanks to what his mother calls a “compulsion” to take things that don’t belong to him.
Even his 13-year-old son knows his father can’t stop and dreams of one day owning his own store — so his father can steal in safety.
A thief, but not a killer, his family insists.
But that’s exactly what the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says he is.
Bettis, accused of stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from Target stores in May, now faces a much graver charge: murder.
Deputies say Bettis is responsible for the death of a Target security guard who collapsed and died from heart failure in May minutes after struggling to detain him for theft.
An autopsy concluded Russell Horner’s death was the direct result of his struggle with Bettis, deputies said.
And that led to an unusual charge Tuesday: third-degree felony murder. A person can be charged with felony murder if a death occurs during the commission of a felony, in this case grand theft.
Horner, 65, a retired FBI agent, died at Town & Country Hospital on May 27, less than an hour after he struggled with Bettis, deputies said.
Store employees first spotted Bettis walking past the cash registers at the Target at 11627 W Hillsborough Ave. He was pushing a shopping cart filled with about $1,100 in stolen merchandise, deputies said.
An unnamed Target loss prevention agent had been investigating Bettis for similar crimes at two nearby Target stores. The agent chased Bettis and stopped him before he could get to the parking lot, deputies said.
They fell to the ground and Horner jumped in to help, deputies said. The fight spilled out onto the sidewalk and ended nearly five minutes later with Bettis in handcuffs.
Horner took Bettis to a holding room to await authorities, but began experiencing shortness of breath. He continued breathing heavily as he sat down and examined a bruise on his elbow, surveillance footage showed.
Seven minutes after the fight with Bettis began, Horner collapsed on his way to an adjoining room, officials said.
Paramedics performed CPR but it was too late. Less than an hour after Bettis was first spotted in the store, Horner was dead.
Horner was not known to have any health problems before the incident, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
Bettis has been in jail since his arrest on charges of robbery, grand theft and battery on a person 65 years or older. The third-degree felony murder charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
His mother expressed shock at the latest charge.
“When I got to talk to him shortly after he was locked up, he told me he was trying to steal something to get enough money to come home,” said Bettis’ mother, Patricia. “Now I’ll never see him again.”
Mrs. Bettis, a 65-year-old woman of modest means, said she doesn’t understand why her son can’t stay out of trouble. “He was raised better than that,” she said. “But it doesn’t matter. He just has to steal something all the time.”
He arrived in Tampa in April, Mrs. Bettis said. He was in Florida vacationing with a friend and she expected his stay to be brief. The next thing she heard, her son was back in jail.
Bettis, who installed silos for a living before he was fired for driving without a license, has been in and out of prison in Ohio. He has been arrested numerous times on offenses including theft, burglary, criminal mischief and heroin possession.
He is being held in lieu of $211,500 bail.
Mentone CA Sept 28 2011
LOCATION: 1911 Mentone Blvd. Mentone
SUSPECT(S): Unidentified – three Hispanic male adults
VICTIM: D&;R Medical Collective
On Monday September 19, 2011 at 2:25 a.m., three suspects robbed the victim at gunpoint. The victim was working as an unarmed security guard for a business at 1911 Mentone Blvd., Mentone.
The suspects were described as Hispanic male adults, all wearing dark color hooded sweatshirts, baseball caps and bandanas. At least one of the suspects was armed with a handgun. The suspects fled the scene in a white, full size, regular cab pickup truck with a utility bed and rack.
Detectives from the Yucaipa Station are working with Investigators from Redlands Police and California Highway Patrol as they are working criminal cases with similar suspect descriptions.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Yucaipa Sheriff’s Station (909-790-3105) or callers wishing to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or http://www.wetip.com
Refer: Detective Dan Whitten
Case #: 141100711
Phone No: 909-790-3105
ROD HOOPS, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department
Christopher Ringwald, 55, of Albany, sustained massive trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene. Hospital workers discovered his body Monday morning.
Ringwald was a reporter for the Times Union and worked as editor of The Evangelist, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. Most recently, he worked as a reporter for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady.
He also wrote “A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom and Joy on the Sabbath,” which was published in 2007, and “The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions,” which was published in 2002.
According to his profile on Amazon.com, “he has written on social, religious and legal issues for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Commonwealth and Governing. He reported from Iraq in 1999 and in 2005 on a brutal insurrection in Uganda.”
He lived in Albany with his wife and their children.
Hoboken NJ Sept 28 2011 A Boonton man was charged with choking a cop and three others were arrested after officers responded to a large fight involving 125 to 150 people near River and Newark streets in Hoboken early Saturday, police said.
At 2:30 a.m., all available units responded to the scene when officers saw several fights breaking out on the streets and sidewalks, reports said.
Witnesses told police that Ryan Magill, 22, of River Edge, was fighting with Kristopher Boesche, 24, of Boonton, when Boesche’s friend Joseph Vasilopoulos, 26, also of Boonton, jumped in to defend his friend, reports said. How all the others got involved in the fight was not clear from the reports.
Police tried breaking up the fight, eventually using their batons to subdue the men involved. As an officer arrested Magill, Boesche lunged at the River Edge man and punched him several times until cops subdued him as well, reports said.
Jason Boesche, 23, of Boonton, rushed at the police officer who was trying to arrest Kristopher Boesche and choked the officer until security guards at a nearby club helped the cop, reports said.
The relationship between Magill and Jason Boesche was not spelled out in reports.
Several people were injured in the fights, including a River Edge man who was assaulted by several men, a woman who was hit in the elbow, a woman whose right eye was swollen, and another man whose upper lip was cut, reports said.
An officer also sprained his knee while arresting Kristopher Boesche, reports said.
Jason Boesche was charged with aggravated assault and hindering apprehension while Kristopher Boesche, Joseph Vasilopoulos and Ryan Magill were each charged with disorderly conduct, reports said.
Downersw Grove IL Sept 28 2011 Bond has not yet be set for a Chicago man accused of stealing two iPads from a Downers Grove Best Buy before fighting off store security guards who tried to prevent him from leaving the store, according to police and court records.
Akua Lavow, 28, of the 500 block of N. Central Park, faces two counts of felony aggravated battery, two counts of felony retail theft and resisting arrest, police said. Police say he allegedly swung his arms around in a punching motion when security guards tried to stop him from leaving the store, striking one guard in the chest during the Sept. 23 incident, which occurred around 4:30 p.m., police said.
Employees previously trailed Lavow, who was carrying two iPads, through the store to the public restrooms, police said. According to reports, Lavow wrapped the iPads in tinfoil in a bathroom stall and hid them in his jacket, before trying to exit the store.
When security guards tried to stop him from leaving the store, in the 1400 block of Butterfield Road, he hit one of them and took off running, police said.
The security guards detained Lavow outside a nearby restaurant until officers arrived, police said.
When police showed up, Lavow was swearing at a security guard who had him pinned to the ground, police said. Lavow was transported to DuPage County jail after felony charges against him were approved by the State’s Attorney’s office.
Lavow’s first court appearance is still pending, according to court records.
Two iPads, which retail for about $1,400, were recovered, police said.
BAY MINETTE, Ala. Sept 28 2011 – It all started with a simple question asked by a group of churches in north Baldwin County: What can we do?
“What could they do for our citizens who are on that bubble between going to a life of crime or being able to turn back to a productive citizen,” said Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland.
What came out of that community meeting Rowland said is the “Restore Our Community” program where non-violent, first-time offenders can choose to go to church over going to jail. It’s been in the works for six months, but over the last couple of days has received national attention, especially from the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The issue is a forced religion. There’s no forcing of anyone in this. It’s totally voluntary,” Rowland said.
Rowland said he is confident the program is within the law.
“It’s very common in the nation. All courts exercise alternative sentencing. This is just another alternative sentencing option,” said Rowland.
Rowland said if an offender does choose the option, he or she must attend weekly services for a year, and attendance will be monitored. It’s open to all denominations.
“They get to choose the church. If they don’t have a particular church in mind, they can [choose] any church anywhere,” Rowland said.
Rowland said the program was supposed to start this week. However, the final version is under legal review to make sure what started as a simple question doesn’t turn out to be a legal nightmare.
Rowland said since word of the “Restore Our Community” program has spread, he has had many calls from other states interested in starting similar programs.
Police chief Jerry Dyer announced on Sunday afternoon that officer Mike McCray was being fired on repeatedly while responding to an armed disturbance on the cross streets of White Avenue and Fresno Street.
Dyer praised the actions of McCray because of the fact that women and children were present when a 16-year-old gunman was firing rounds at the police officer.
“It was an act of restraint and bravery,” Dyer said.
McCray and the other officer, whose name was not identified, went to the area of Fresno Street and White Avenue after a report about three males threatening another man with a gun. Three people matching the police description were spotted in a nearby alleyway. The officers detained two of them, but the 16-year-old minor ran off which prompted McCray to pursue him.
The gunman carried with him a 9mm pistol and fired four rounds at McCray according to Dyer. McCray had to take cover before resuming his pursuit.
“Twice more, the gunman fired at McCray before eluding the officer,” Dyer said.
A search made by Fresno SWAT team members failed to locate the fugitive within the area. However, detectives located the juvenile and would arrest the gunman in the 5600 block of East Byrd Avenue, located near the cross streets of South Clovis and Jensen Avenue in Southeast Clovis.
Dyer said that the juvenile did indeed confess to trying to fire at the officer, as a way to make the officer break out of his pursuit of him.
“The capture of the juvenile was a high priority for the department, because if he is willing to shoot at a police officer, he is willing to shoot at a citizen,” Dyer said.
A 32-year-old man was also arrested in this case. The unidentified male was believed to be linked to a recent carjacking and assault back in August according to Dyer. That robbery occurred back on Aug. 21 in central Fresno after two men staged a bicycle crash.
“When a man and a woman in a car stopped to help, the male victim was pistol-whipped by one of the bandits, who pointed a handgun at the victim and pulled the trigger several times,” Dyer said.
The gun however did not fire. The bandits then slashed the tires on the victims’ car before fleeing with their property.
No other information was available on the third suspect, which includes his name and whether or not he too was armed during the Friday armed disturbance.
Yonathan Melaku, 23, who is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, was charged Monday with damaging his cell to aid escape and possession of an instrument to aid escape.
Kraig Troxell, the Loudoun sheriff’s office spokesman, said that the damage, which was discovered Friday, was “minimal” and that there was no threat of escape through the wall, which is reinforced with concrete.
Troxell said the incident was under investigation. He declined to say what instrument allegedly was used to chip away at the wall.
In response to the apparent escape attempt, the detention center — where Melaku is being held on grand larceny charges involving a rash of vehicle break-ins in Leesburg in May — was placed on lockdown Friday “as a precaution,” according to authorities.
Melaku, an Alexandria resident, also is charged in federal court with shooting at five military sites across the region — including the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Pentagon — between Oct. 16 and Nov. 2, 2010.
Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. confirmed Monday that he has fired two of his deputies for having “inappropriate conduct” with two female inmates of the City Jail.
The deputies, who were not identified, were terminated Sept. 20 after an investigation of about three weeks, Woody said.
The matter was investigated by the Richmond Sheriff’s Office internal affairs division, Woody said, and the results were turned over to the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for review.
One of the deputies was a new hire and had been on the job about six months, Woody said. The other had worked some time as a circuit court bailiff before resigning and then being rehired as a jail deputy, Woody said.
Woody said the sexual contact involved different female inmates and that both have been transferred to other facilities.
Reached at home, Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland said the city’s prosecutor’s office plans to seek indictments against the two deputies for having “inappropriate sexual contact.”
The case could be presented to a Richmond grand jury as early as Oct. 3.
The Richmond Sheriff’s Office has a policy that forbids any member of the department “from making personal contacts, or engag(ing) in personal relationships, with residents or former residents” of the jail. The term resident refers to “offenders and former offenders” incarcerated at the jail.
“Any contact that is required shall be conducted in a professional manner,” the policy states.
The policy, provided by the department, spells out 19 activities that are restricted between department employees and inmates, former inmates, their family members or close associates “for a period of no less than 180 days after the release of the resident.”
The prohibited activities include engaging in a personal relationship with an inmate.
“It is the policy of the Richmond Sheriff’s Office to prohibit employees from socializing, engaging in romantic relationships, sexual acts or sexual contact with residents or former residents on or off duty,” the policy says.
Source:Richmond Daily Times
Arkansas State University Police officer arrested for disturbance at state fair www.privateofficer.com
JONESBORO, AR Sept 28 2011 - An Arkansas State University Police officer was arrested on Saturday at the Northeast Arkansas District Fair following a dispute with a Jonesboro Police officer.
According to the police report from JPD, Seneca Knight of Jonesboro approached the JPD officer who was making an arrest, an identified himself as a police officer and was wearing a handgun on his hip. According to the report, he then stated that the person in custody was his nephew and the officer had “no right to put his hands on him (his nephew).
The report states that Knight began to present his ASUPD badge in an abrasive and aggressive manner, and was warned by the JPD officer to leave the scene because he was interfering with an arrest and a crowd of people was beginning to gather.
Knight didn’t leave the scene and continued to argue with the officer and according to the statement by the officer, put his finger in his face and refused to leave. He was then placed under arrest and transported to the to the Jonesboro Police Department.
Knight’s badge and weapon were turned over to the Arkansas State University Police Department. Knight was charged with disorderly conduct.
Seneca Knight has been put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a UPD investigation.
About half of the baggage claim area was shut down by police, but when they opened it up, they got a big surprise.
One officer told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot that baggage handlers started to go through the unclaimed luggage to see whom it belonged to, and when they did, they found strange leaves and a lot of aluminum foil.
The handlers said they did not want to mess with it any further, so they alerted police, who then alerted the bomb squad.
Police said the bomb squad then ordered passengers to move at least 200 feet away.
“We just had to sit back there and wait and finally they, like, ‘Oh, move back to the opposite end.’ So we all moved back,” traveler Ralph Medley said.
Mike Kleirock had just flown in from Philadelphia and couldn’t get his luggage.
He wondered why the airport didn’t just move the all of the passengers’ luggage to a different carousel.
“It’s a little bit disappointing that they knew this area was closed before they routed our bags here. There’s a bunch of baggage claims over there not working. At the same time, I love being safe and not being involved in anything suspicious,” Kleinrock said.
After the bomb detection equipment gave the suspicious bag the all-clear, police said they searched it and found fish. A lot of fish.
One investigator said they believe a traveler was trying to spice up the fish with herbs in their luggage while flying.
Investigators said they still don’t know whom the bag belongs to.
Even with an hour delay, passengers told Elliot they appreciated the extra security precaution.
“I know that they take necessary precautions, so I wasn’t put off by it,” Medley said.
Police said they disposed of the fish. They told Elliot it’s not that unusual for travelers, especially international travelers, to try to bring in beef or fish, and spice it up in their luggage.
The so-called Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) was derided by senior Tories when in opposition, but the number of people empowered by the scheme has swollen by a third in the past year.
Police and civil liberties campaigners have raised concerns over the accountability of civilians signed up to the scheme and the advance of Britain’s surveillance state.
Simon Reed, vice chairman of the Police Federation, said: “I’m sure that the public would have huge concerns knowing that we have people walking around in this pseudo-enforcement role without proper accountability and legitimacy.”
Under the scheme, councils, NHS trusts and private sector companies can pay a fee of a few hundred pounds for Home Office accreditation via their local police force.
They can then get employees accredited for as little as £32 per person, with each required to undergo a training course and receive a special badge from their police force’s Chief Constable.
In addition to issuing fines for misdemeanours such as dog fouling, graffiti and dropping litter, the accredited civilians are also entitled to take people’s names and addresses and seize alcohol from under-age drinkers. It is an offence to refuse their demands.
However, they have no power to detain or arrest individuals and must call police for assistance if they suspect someone of a criminal offence.
The scheme was criticised by Tories in opposition, with Dominic Grieve QC, then the shadow home secretary but now the Attorney General, accusing the government of a “staggering complacency towards the extension of surveillance”.
But the number of people signed up to the programme rose from 1,667 at the end of 2009 to 2,219 last year, Home Office figures disclose.
The figures, released following a request by the Daily Mail under the Freedom of Information Act, also showed the number of approved organisations allowed to enrol individuals on to the scheme rose more than 60 per cent over two years, from 95 in 2008 to 153 at the end of last year.
In March this year, Scotland Yard gave 15 private security guards the limited policing powers to operate around Victoria coach and railway stations in central London, one of Britain’s busiest transport hubs.
CSAS, which was introduced under the Police Reform Act 2002, was set up to give civilians working in the community more powers to deal with the public.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Creating safer communities isn’t just a job for the police, it’s about all of us taking responsibility for the areas where we live and working with the police to challenge and tackle low level crime and anti-social behaviour.
“CSAS is about public and private bodies working in partnership with the police and making the most of relationships and organisations already operating within the community and contributing to community safety.
“Accredited persons assist the police and the public in dealing with low-level crime and disorder.
“CSAS frees up valuable police time, allowing officers to respond to more serious crime, and providing a localised partnership approach to keeping the public safe.”
But in opposition in August 2008, Mr Grieve said: “The public want to see real police on the streets discharging these responsibilities, not private firms who may use them inappropriately, including unnecessarily snooping on ordinary citizens.
“This is a consequence of the government’s obsession with policing on the cheap as well as their staggering complacency towards the extension of surveillance.”
There are huge concentrations of accredited civilians in some areas – including 366 in Essex, 223 in Gwent, and 124 in Cleveland.
In Merseyside, Bedfordshire and Cumbria, by contrast, the police forces do not operate the scheme at all.
Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, told the Daily Mail: “In some cases this appears to be policing on the cheap, in others it is downright ridiculous. The Coalition should recognise the risk this scheme poses to civil liberties and urgently act to curtail it.”
Eleanor Zapanta, 51, of Guerneville, was taken into custody Monday morning in court on a $1 million arrest warrant and was scheduled to enter a plea on Wednesday, Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Brockley said.
She is charged with seven counts of grand theft, seven counts of forging business documents, and an enhancement alleging theft by an employee of more than $500,000, and could face 12 years in prison if convicted, Brockley said.
The alleged thefts and forgery of more than 250 checks occurred between 2004 and 2010 when Zapanta was the center’s business manager, Brockley said.
Brockley would not disclose how the theft occurred or how the allegedly stolen money was spent.
Santa Rosa police began investigating the case several months ago, he said.
The Center for Spiritual Living promotes Religious Science, a religious movement founded by Ernest Holmes in 1949. Among other beliefs, the center emphasizes the power of the mind in achieving healing and fulfillment in life, according to its website.
West Valley Utah Sept 28 2011 Officers for the West Valley City Police Department found themselves walking door-to-door recently, trying to track down a disconnected cellphone that an adult female with a diminished mental capacity used to make about 150 calls to 911 over a course of about three days, said Lt. Michael Coleman.
They tracked down the parents, who were unaware their old cellphone could still call emergency services.
“A lot of times, people just don’t realize it,” Coleman said.
But that ignorance can tie up phone lines when others with legitimate emergencies are trying to call, and it takes up officers’ time. Phones that are no longer on a service plan but still have battery power can make the emergency call but can’t receive calls back. So, when dispatchers attempt to call back the number, they can’t get through.
They are able to track down a general location, but that can be as large as a 100-yard radius around a cellphone tower. The West Valley City Police Department’s policy requires an officer to then go canvas the area to look for obvious signs of distress, but they won’t go door-to-door. In the case of the woman, the hundreds of calls were tying up emergency lines and necessitated a door-to-door search. The department was able to narrow the area down to a handful of houses, and they eventually found the culprit.
But even in cases when someone calls 911 by accident, the department’s policy requires two officers to go check out the house to make sure that there isn’t an emergency happening where the caller isn’t comfortable admitting to calling 911 because of domestic violence or another situation where the potential assailant is in earshot.
“The amount of time and resources that it takes can be incredible,” Coleman said. “Even if it may only take driving time plus two minutes for officers to check on it, but that’s time that could delay response to a real emergency.”
Coleman said it’s good for people to know that even if they have canceled their cellphone plan, they can still call 911 for help, as long as the phone is powered. But he advises parents not to treat old cellphones as toys.
“We want people to have the ability to call for help,” Coleman said. “But when they do call, we want to make sure it is an emergency.”
Source:Salt Lake Tribune
COLUMBIA, S.C. Sept 28 2011 (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court has overturned the voluntary manslaughter conviction of a Columbia apartment building security guard who shot and killed a man in 2004.
Chief Justice Jean Toal wrote that Jason Dickey acted in self-defense in the shooting of 24-year-old Joshua Boot of West Columbia.
Dickey was a security guard at an apartment building and has served five years of a 16-year sentence.
Toal wrote that Dickey was confronted by two younger, intoxicated large men advancing toward him.
Associate Justice Don Beatty dissented in the 4-1 ruling, saying Dickey could have avoided the confrontation and was not inside the apartment building at the time of the shooting.
Charlotte NC Sept 28 2011 The city of Charlotte voted Monday to spend $1.83 million on new Tasers that police say have important safety features designed to prevent officers from possibly seriously injuring or killing suspects.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department chief Rodney Monroe two months ago suspended the use of Tasers following the death of a suspect who was stunned by police at a light-rail station.
But Monroe believes Tasers are an important tool, and council members unanimously voted to buy 1,600 of a new model, the Taser X2, from Arizona-based Taser International.
Monroe told council members Monday night a safeguard that puts a five-second limit on each electric charge will make the new Tasers safer.
“That five-second limit is critical,” he said. “No matter how long the officer may hold the trigger down, five seconds is as long as it will cycle itself.”
In 2008, 17-year-old Darryl Wayne Turner died after a CMPD officer shocked him with a Taser. Police said the officer violated policy when he shocked Turner with his Taser for about 37 seconds. The officer held the trigger until Turner fell to the floor, according to police.
A federal jury awarded $10 million to Turner’s family from Taser International, which has appealed. Although the city of Charlotte denied wrongdoing, it paid $625,000 to Turner’s family in 2009.
Another safety feature of the new Taser is that an officer can trigger a visible and audible warning with the Taser, according to Monroe.
“That pre-warning stops so many people,” Monroe said.
There has long been controversy over the use of Tasers.
Stun guns, which can discharge 50,000 volts to temporarily incapacitate suspects, have been linked to hundreds of deaths across the country, but supporters say the weapons reduce the likelihood of injury to suspects.
CMPD policy says the devices are not intended as a substitute for other nonlethal force options, but that they should be used “to restrain violent individuals where alternative restraint tactics fail or are reasonably likely to fail.”
CMPD officers on July 20 responded to a report of a man beating and choking a woman at the Woodlawn Lynx light-rail station along Old Pineville Road. The suspect was identified as Lareko Williams.
Officer Michael Forbes was the first officer to respond. He fired his department-issued X26 Taser just as Williams was about to strike the woman again, Monroe said at the time.
The officer soon realized Williams was unresponsive and called for help, police said. Williams was pronounced dead about an hour later.
The next day, the department suspended its use of the Tasers for 30 to 45 days.
Williams’ death came only a day after a federal jury awarded $10 million to the family of Turner, who died in 2008 after a CMPD officer shocked him with a Taser.
Monroe said the city is getting a cheaper price for the new Tasers because it is trading in the old model. The trade-in allowance for the X26 Tasers is $700,000, according to CMPD.
KFSN-TV Fresno reports that Juan Carlos Tafolla of Fresno was re-arrested Friday while he was out on bail from his previous arrest the day before on child pornography charges.
The 39-year-old Tafolla teaches history and social studies at Mission Oak High School in Tulare.
School officials said Tafolla has been with the district for four years, including one year at Tulare Western High School. He has been placed on paid administrative leave.
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla, Sept 28 2011A crash in Brevard County left a bicyclist dead and a motorcycle deputy in serious condition on Tuesday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The crash happened at around 7:30 a.m. Troopers said the 61-year-old bicyclist, John Caudill, was traveling east on Malabar Road in the bicycle lane and 39-year-old Deputy Frank Santiago was on a marked Brevard County Sheriff’s motorcycle and was traveling in the same direction.
Troopers said Caudill attempted to change lanes from the eastbound bicycle lane into the westbound bicycle lane and ended up in Santiago’s path.
The front of Santiago’s motorcycle struck the left side of the bicycle. Troopers said the motorcycle ended up in the ditch on the south shoulder and the bicycle ended up on the north shoulder.
Both Caudill and Santiago were transported to Holmes Regional Medical Center. Caudill was pronounced dead shortly after, according to FHP.
Santiago was wearing a helmet but Caudill was not, according to troopers.
FHP said Caudill made an improper lane change and if Santiago could have avoided hitting him, he would have.
Santiago, who is recovering from a broken arm, was placed on paid administrative leave.
ROCK HILL NC Sept 28 2011 – A doctor at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is facing a number of indecent exposure charges after police at Winthrop University say he exposed himself on campus.
According to Winthrop University Police Chief Frank Zebedis, 47-year-old John Charles Gerancher, M.D. was arrested on September 13th and charged with indecent exposure after exposing himself in the campus’ Meadow parking lot.
This is across the street from the Withers Building, which houses the College of Education and the Student Activity Center, which university officials say is a small gym area and not a major hangout for Winthrop students.
A 37-year-old man, who is a student at Winthrop, went to campus police on September 13th on 5:57 p.m. to report an indecent exposure on campus. According to the police report, he was sitting in his vehicle between classes and saw a man, later identified as John Charles Gerancher III, jogging around the parking lot. He told officers that Gerancher was going between cars and looking all around.
That’s when the man says Gerancher ran up to a woman getting into her car and “pulled his shorts up so that his genitals were displayed.” The woman reportedly covered her eyes and shook her head as she got into her car and drove off.
Police reportedly found Gerancher and asked him for identification. According to the report, Gerancher became agitated and “very fidgety” and even attempted to walk away from the officer, questioning if he even a real police officer.
When Gerancher asked police why he was being detained, the report states, he was told about the indecent exposure and said “Oh is that what this is about?”
He was arrested and transported to the Rock Hill City Jail.
Chief Zebedis told WBTV that after police found out that Gerancher was a doctor at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, they contacted Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem police to see if Gerancher had been arrested before. They also asked if there were any unsolved indecent exposure cases.
Winston-Salem police did have open cases and detectives there worked with Winthrop Police to make their cases.
According to a police report from Winston-Salem police, Gerancher is now facing charges for exposing himself on a sidewalk in Winston-Salem near a YMCA.
The victim told police that a man, now identified as Gerancher, had “exposed his private parts as he walked past [her] and two other females,” the report states. He had also exposed himself to her on two earlier occasions and that she was “able to view [Gerancher's] genitals on all three occasions.”
Gerancher was charged on three counts of Indecent Exposure by Winston-Salem Police and was placed in the Forsyth County Detention Center under a $5,000 secured bond.
Dr. Gerancher was placed on administrative leave on September 16 after the hospital was notified of the charges from Winthrop University, a Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center spokesman said. He has worked for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center since September 1999 as an anesthesiologist and a pain management specialist.
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital Released This Statement Monday afternoon:
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center was shocked to learn from Winston-Salem Police about three misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure filed against faculty member, John Charles Gerancher, M.D. Dr. Gerancher had already been placed on administrative leave on September 16, 2011, after we were notified of similar allegations in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The medical center has been fully cooperating with the Winston-Salem Police Department during its investigation into the alleged incidents, which occurred off campus and not at the medical center. Because these events allegedly occurred outside of the medical center campus, this matter is being handled by the appropriate external police authorities. The medical center will continue to monitor the situation, to determine whether regulatory agencies need to be notified.
New ordinance in Jackson, Miss requires local convenience stores to have guards www.privateofficer.com
Jackson Miss. Sept 28 2011 A new ordinance in Jackson, Miss., is requiring local convenience stores to file a security plan with the city and hire security personnel to guard their premises from midnight to 5 a.m., if they intend to stay open all night, the Clarion-Ledger reported.
The ordinance was approved on Sept. 6 by a 4-2 vote, and is set to go into effect 30 days from approval. The move is leaving local c-store owners, confused, concerned and it’s causing some to rethink their business hours.
Quentin Whitwell, a lawyer and member of the Council that voted against the bill, questions the law’s constitutionality. “I am not sure we can choose a certain kind of business to do certain things when there are other businesses that are open at the same times that are not being required to do these things as well,” he told the Clarion-Ledger.
The ordinance points out that convenience stores have been the site of violent crimes and robberies, but the Clarion-Ledger noted that FBI crime statistics from 2009 show far more robberies occurring at places other than convenience stories. Of all the armed robberies nationwide, 5.4% were convenience store robberies and 2.2% were gas station robberies compared to residential robberies at 16.9% and street crime at 42.8%.
One local owner even said keeping the store open at night versus closing up shop after midnight had better results for him in deterring robbery. And Whitwell worried that the presence of a security guard could cause a non-violent robbery to escalate to violence.
The price of hiring the security guard is set to be a major hit to store owners. As if c-stores don’t have enough to worry about in a tough economic environment, they now have to set aside $18-$20 an hour to pay a trained security guard to patrol the store at night.
Philip Chamblee, director of the Mississippi Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association, said by conservative estimates, a security guard could cost stores $23,000 or more per year. “Convenience store operators want a safe place for their customers to shop and employees to work, but you’ve also got to look at this type of ordinance. It’s going to be a burden on businesses at the worst possible economic time,” he said.