PITTSBURGH PA Oct 30 2011 (AP) — While firefighters in Pittsburgh were at City Hall getting flu shots, the trucks they parked outside were getting parking tickets.
The trucks were parked for about 5 minutes Wednesday in permit-only spaces reserved for City Council members. But council President Darlene Harris denies any involvement.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says the tickets never should have been issued. He says firefighters were encouraged to get flu shots to stay healthy.
Firefighters union attorney Josh Bloom says they drove the trucks to City Hall so they could stay on duty.
Fire Chief Darryl Jones tells KDKA-TV he has appealed the tickets. He says he’ll ask a judge for leniency.
WELD COUNTY, Colo.Oct 30 2011 — The Weld County Sheriff’s Office arrested a security guard in Longmont who they say impersonated a cop by trying to pull someone over.
It happened at around 8 p.m. on Thursday. Sheriff’s deputies said the security guard, identified as Tonyo Lopez from Longmont, tried to pull over Zach Riley.
Riley said he was driving his black Chevy pick-up truck out of the Longview Communities Trailer Park in Longmont Thursday night when he noticed something in his rear view mirror.
“I saw red, blue, yellow lights. I thought it was a police car,” Riley said.
Riley said he pulled his truck over and that’s when he realized this wasn’t a normal traffic stop. He says Lopez asked him for proof of insurance and that he noticed Lopez wasn’t a police officer, but a security guard.
“His badge said security guard on it, but he told me he was an officer of the law,” Riley said.
Sheriff’s deputies said Lopez works as a security guard at the Longview Communities Trailer Park in Longmont and that he wears a security guard uniform. He also drives a white SUV that has flashing lights like a police car, but he is not a police officer.
Riley said when he realized Lopez was not a police officer he started to drive his truck forward and that’s when Riley says Lopez became violent.
“He jumped up and put his arm around my neck, pulled down on me and with the other hand he reached over and slammed my truck into park,” said Riley.
Riley said that when Lopez put his truck into park while he was driving it damaged his transmission.
He said he was able to get Lopez off of him and then call 911. Weld County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested Lopez for impersonating a police officer. Deputies said it is illegal for anyone other than police to make a traffic stop. They also charged Lopez with criminal mischief for damaging the transmission to Riley’s truck.
Weld County Sheriff’s deputies said Lopez bonded out of the Weld County Jail at around 3:30 Friday afternoon. He is facing two felony charges with the max sentence for both being five years behind bars.
San Antonio TX Oct 30 2011 A dispute between two motorists that San Antonio police said turned into a road rage incident ended Friday when one of the men shot himself in the head, possibly by accident, officers said.
Police said a preliminary investigation shows the man, believed to be in his mid-30s, shot at the other man’s vehicle before he shot himself.
Witnesses told authorities the man was seen arguing with a 24-year-old man just before 3 p.m. at a Citgo gas station in the 11800 block of Starcrest Drive on the North Side.
The two drove to the corner of Jones Maltsberger Drive and Burning Trail, but police did not describe their progress there as a chase. At the intersection, witnesses said they saw the younger man get out of his Dodge Ram pickup and start waving his hands to warn drivers behind him to back away, said Police Chief William McManus.
Police said the man in the other vehicle, a Nissan pickup, had stopped in front of the Dodge.
He fired a shot at the Dodge’s windshield while sitting in his Nissan and then turned the gun on himself and fired again, police said.
“It appears to be self-inflicted or accidentally self-inflicted,” McManus said.
Police did not release the names of the drivers. McManus said that based on what police knew, no charges were contemplated, but investigators were still questioning the younger man Friday evening.
Chicago IL Oct 30 2011 Choking back tears, Wilda Garcia told a crowded Cook County courtroom Friday that the hardest thing for her since the fatal shooting of her brother, Chicago police Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez, was knowing that his son and namesake, born after the murder, will never get to know him.
“My brother would have been such a wonderful father, and I can just picture him goofing around with his little boy,” Garcia testified during the sentencing hearing for Shawn Gaston, convicted last month of the murder.
Minutes later, the reputed gang member sat expressionless as Judge Jorge Alonso imposed the maximum sentence possible — 125 years in prison.
Valadez, 27, who had been a cop for less than four years, worked nights in the high-crime Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods on the South Side. He and a partner had responded to a report of shots fired in the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue just after midnight on June 1, 2009.
Ironically, prosecutors said, the target of that shooting had been Gaston and other alleged Gangster Disciples. Out for revenge, Gaston, who’d fled the scene, returned in his mother’s car a few minutes later and fired several shots, killing Valadez, prosecutors said.
A jury convicted Gaston last month of Valadez’s murder and the attempted murder of a witness who was talking to the officer when the shots rang out. Two other defendants, Kevin Walker and Christopher Harris, are awaiting trial in connection with the slaying.
Gaston’s lawyer, John Paul Carroll, was animated and often times shouted during the hour he argued for a new trial, complaining how the large number of officers in support of Valadez during the weeklong trial created an atmosphere that he said was unfair to Gaston.
“Police officers can come in here,” Carroll, himself a former Chicago police detective, told the judge. “But they took (away) the fairness of the trial.”
Carroll also compared the case to the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in which a black man was falsely accused of raping a white woman in the South.
But the judge dismissed that analogy to Gaston, who is African-American.
“Apparently I saw a different trial than Mr. Carroll. I read a different book than Mr. Carroll,” Alonso said. “(There was) nothing improper in the way the trial proceeded.”
In brief remarks, Gaston apologized to his own family for the “pain I’ve put them though” but continued to maintain his innocence.
“I’m not going to stop until my innocence is proven,” he said.
State Police Spokesman David Sneed says Timothy Johnson was wanted on a warrant for attempted murder. He reportedly was involved in a domestic dispute at his home in Kentucky around eight Friday morning where his wife was shot in the leg.
Police were looking for Johnson’s pickup after receiving a tip that Johnson may be in the Mt. Vernon area. The truck was initially spotted near mile post 90 south of Mt. Vernon. The trooper followed the vehicle until more police units were in place. The vehicle was eventually stopped at 12:45 Friday afternoon by officers from several police agencies.
As police were exiting their vehicles, they heard what was believed to be a gunshot coming from inside Johnson’s pickup. Officers then found Johnson had shot himself. They broke out a window to render first aide. Johnson was taken to Franklin County Hospital in Benton, where he later died.
RICHFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH Oct 30 2011 – A beloved teacher and volunteer firefighter is dead after she stopped to help at the scene of a car accident.
That accident happened around 7:30 this morning at the intersection of US 20 and Fulton-Lucas Road in
Richfield Township. Police say a semi rear-ended a van making a turn onto Fulton-Lucas Road.
That’s when Charlotte Adair, 45, teacher, a firefighter, and a mother, stopped to help.
She was directing traffic when she was hit and killed by a Ford Escape driven by Richard Bigras.
No charges have yet been filed.
Adair remembered as someone who was always willing to help.
“Known as Charlie to friends, Mrs. Adair to her sixth grade students, Charlotte Adair had worked here at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Assumption for seven years. Tonight this entire community is mourning,” said Linda Justen, Holy Trinity Catholic School Principal.
Grief counselors were on hand today at Holy Trinity Catholic School.
“She really cared, she cared deeply for her children,” said Linda Justen, Holy Trinity Catholic School Principal.
Adair’s current and former students are distraught.
“My daughter had her last year and she’s devastated,” said Christina Krempec, a Holy Trinity Parent and Adair’s Friend
After learning that Adair had been killed in a car accident, Chief Ronald Tate of the Richfield Township Fire Department, said he was going through an, “extreme amount of shock, disbelief.”
The Richfield Township Fire Department, where Adair volunteered for nearly six years, responded to the scene.
“[She was a] very spunky kind of person that just lit up the room,” said Chief Ronald Tate of the Richfield Township Fire Department
Krempec said the way Adair died showed the kind of person she was.
“I just think about her smile and how much the kids loved her because she was so happy,” said Krempec. “You can tell from how this happened that she gave her life for other people.
Neighboring fire departments have volunteered to cover. As Adair’s colleagues deal with her loss and a school community counts on its faith to get through.
Miami Fla Oct 30 2011 A Miami police officer was arrested at gunpoint and charged with reckless driving after going 120 mph on Florida’s Turnpike in Broward County earlier this month while on his way to his second job, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
A highway patrol trooper, with her gun drawn, arrested Fausto Lopez, 35, who ignored repeated warnings to stop, according to authorities.
Neither Lopez nor representatives of the Miami Police Department could be reached for comment.
A spokesman for the FHP in Broward, Sgt. Mark Wysocky identified Lopez as a Miami police officer.
The incident, first reported by Univision 23, started at 6:28 a.m. Oct. 11 on the southbound turnpike at Commercial Boulevard, when a trooper, identified as D.J. Watts, saw a Miami patrol car switching lanes in a dangerous manner, according to the report.
Watts turned on her lights and siren but couldn’t reach Lopez, who was driving more than 120 mph, the report said.
At about 6:33 a.m., Watts caught up to Lopez. When she pulled in back of Lopez’s car, she once again activated her lights and siren, but Lopez ignored the warnings, according to the report, and kept going.
Finally, at 6:35 a.m., seven minutes after the start of the high-speech chase, Lopez stopped his car near Hollywood. An FHP video given to Univision shows how Watts approaches Lopez’s car with her gun drawn.
“She drew her gun for her own safety based on the actions of the driver,” Wysocky said.
Watts ordered Lopez to step out of the vehicle, handcuffed and detained him. As he was getting out of his vehicle, Lopez explained to Watts that he was driving so quickly because he was late to his off-duty job, which started at 7 a.m.
Lopez was released, but was criminally charged with reckless driving, which is considered a second-degree misdemeanor.
Authorities on Friday arrested two Virginia Beach men on charges of selling 20 machine guns and 15 improvised explosive devices to an undercover agent.
A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was surprising to find such a high volume of high-caliber weaponry in this area.
Leonard Clarence Davis, 42, and Christopher Aaron Phillips, 50, made initial appearances Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court. Magistrate Judge Tommy E. Miller ordered them jailed pending bond hearings on Wednesday.
According to a court filing, the men are accused of manufacturing machine guns and IEDs at Phillips’ business, Combat Weapons Coatings on Pleasure House Road, and selling them from Davis’ home in the 3800 block of Sunstream Pkwy. Both locations are in Virginia Beach.
Davis and Phillips are charged with conspiracy to possess and transfer unregistered machine guns. More charges are expected.
They said little in court, other than to answer the judge’s questions with “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir.”
According to the ATF, an undercover agent purchased 20 machine guns and 15 IEDs from the two men in two transactions over the past month after weeks of planning and negotiations.
The agent paid more than $20,000 for the weapons, telling the sellers that he planned to resell the weapons to drug dealers, according to a court affidavit filed by an ATF agent.
ATF spokesman Mike Campbell said the agency was fortunate to dismantle the enterprise early.
“We don’t normally see this amount of weapons,” Campbell said.
“Then again, too, luckily we got some information and were able to get the undercover agent in there early and were able to stop them.”
The machine guns were manufactured at Phillips’ business by converting rifles from semi-automatic to fully automatic, the affidavit says. The IEDs were described in the court papers as pipes filled with gunpowder, designed to create shrapnel upon detonation.
The transactions occurred on Sept. 27 and Oct. 12 at Davis’ home, the affidavit says. Authorities said they recorded numerous phone calls before and during the transactions involving both men.
According to the affidavit, Davis at one point appeared concerned about not knowing the undercover agent well enough, but then proceeded to show him that extensive damage and death could be caused by filling the IEDs with BBs and other projectiles.
He even showed him how to design an IED that could be dropped into a gas tank to blow up a vehicle, the papers say.
During the second transaction, the undercover agent also received three machine-gun silencers and two pairs of night-vision goggles, the affidavit says. In all, the agent paid more than $33,000.
During one transaction, Davis told the undercover agent that members of his family were part of a California motorcycle gang and that he needed to make sure none of the weapons would fall into the hands of rival gang members, the affidavit says. Davis was wearing body armor during the transaction, the records say.
It was not revealed where the machine guns originated from. The affidavit says that surveillance of Phillips’ shop showed that he received numerous shipments of large crates.
The prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherrie Capotosto, declined to comment.
According to the website for Combat Weapons Coatings, the company offers painting and detailing services for customers’ weapons. The business does not have a firearms dealer license, ATF said.
Authorities said they also found marijuana and other firearms at Davis’ home. They said he is a convicted felon and is prohibited from having guns.
Lawsuit filed against Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and security for patient’s death www.privateofficer.com
The hospital never reported the April 17 death of Andre Walker to Fayetteville police, who say they found out about it only after the state Medical Examiner’s Office contacted them Sept. 6.
Now police are investigating Walker’s death as a negligent homicide, and Walker’s mother has filed a lawsuit, alleging that the hospital and the security guards acted negligently.
The lawsuit, filed by Valerie Walker of Fayetteville, said the health system, AlliedBarton Security Services, five security guards and four emergency room staff members are culpable in the death of her 27-year-old son.
The lawsuit says that as her son lay dying, emergency room staff did not attempt to resuscitate him quickly enough.
Cape Fear Valley officials declined to comment Friday on Walker’s death or the lawsuit. A representative of AlliedBarton responded to phone calls Friday but did not provide a comment.
Police spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said the department would not release surveillance video from the hospital because it is considered evidence while the investigation continues.
The lawsuit was filed Sept. 29 in Cumberland County Superior Court. According to the suit:
Andre Walker, who suffered from schizophrenia, had been taken to the emergency room by an ambulance a little after 5 p.m. on April 17.
Walker had been acting strange that day, possibly because he had stopped taking his medications. Valerie Walker called 911, and an ambulance arrived to pick him up.
Ambulance workers said Walker had not experienced any hallucinations on the ride over, and he voluntarily agreed to go to the hospital.
Notes by rescue workers indicate that he “seemed quiet and paranoid” during the ride.
When he arrived at the hospital, medical records noted that he was “agitated, nervous and paranoid.”
One of the doctors on staff ordered medication for Walker and decided to commit him to the first mental hospital with space.
But as time went on and no hospital with a room was found, Walker became increasingly agitated and aggressive with the staff.
Walker tried to leave and was restrained by security guards.
The medical staff left the area after realizing that the security guards might need to use force.
One of the guards put Walker in a choke hold and pulled him to the floor.
Three other guards grabbed parts of Walker’s body and got on top of him.
A surveillance video from the hospital showed that Walker became nonresponsive after a few minutes of struggle.
After that, two security guards appeared to check Walker’s vital signs. Medical records indicated the security guards told the attending nurse that he was no longer resisting.
For about 90 seconds after the struggle began, security guards hovered over Walker, and hospital staff and security guards continued to enter and exit the room.
At 9:17:51 p.m., the security guards placed Walker on a stretcher. Nurses and guards undressed him and secured leather restraints to his arms and legs.
At 9:21 p.m., medical staff checked Walker’s vital signs. A nurse brought a “resuscitation bag” to the room at 9:23:15 p.m., and handed it to a security guard. (A resuscitation bag is a hand-held device used to provide ventilation to someone who is not breathing, or not breathing adequately.)
The security guard attempted to resuscitate Walker using the bag, but was unsuccessful.
Walker was then taken to another room, where a futile attempt was made to resuscitate him at 9:23:31 p.m.
A nurse noted in medical records that the resuscitation bag was being used or placed on Walker as he was taken into the room, but that he was without a pulse when he arrived there.
But the surveillance video showed he “was not bagged” on his way to the resuscitation room.
Friday afternoon, James E. Rogers, a Durham lawyer representing Valerie Walker, said he was in discussions with health system officials. He declined further comment.
WASHINGTON IN Oct 30 2011 — A grand jury Friday indicted Daviess County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ronald “Ron” Wayne Morgan, 47, of Washington, on charges of bribery and assisting a criminal, both Class C felonies.
Morgan was arrested by Indiana State Police at approximately 4:30 p.m. Friday after turning himself in at the Daviess County Security Center. He was later released after posting 10 percent of a $7,500 bond.
ISP Detective Brad Chandler initiated a criminal investigation Sept. 13, following an allegation of official misconduct by Morgan. The allegation surfaced during an earlier drug investigation by the sheriff’s department when, on Sept. 6, deputies served a search warrant for the home of a 29-year-old Washington woman suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine.
According to an ISP news release, during the investigation they received information indicating the female had been able to avoid arrest in the past because she’d been tipped off by Morgan, who allegedly asked her to perform sexual favors with him in return for his ability to protect her from arrest. Further investigation revealed Morgan allegedly shared privileged information with her on several occasions between August 2005 and July 2009 in exchange for sexual favors. The woman’s name is not being released because she’s considered a witness in the ongoing investigation.
Vanderburgh County Special Prosecutor Stan Levco presented the case to the grand jury.
ISP currently is releasing no further information about the case, and Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit had little comment.
“We left it up to the grand jury,” Harbstreit said. “We’ll go from there, I guess.”
Morgan was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 7 and relieved of all command and police powers pending completion of the investigation. Harbstreit, who was not a part of the investigation or grand jury proceedings, said he has a call in to sheriff’s attorney Howard Williams of South Bend to determine how the department must proceed at this point. He said he and Williams will review the situation and determine what needs to be done.
A person answering the phone at Morgan’s residence refused comment Friday evening.
A Class C felony carries a sentence of two to eight years.
NEW ROCHELLE NY Oct 30 2011 — A bar bouncer detained a man who had robbed two gold bracelets worth $2,000 from a man in the bathroom of Don Coqui bar and restaurant, police said.
Robert Soto Santiago, 31, of 60 Horton Ave., New Rochelle, told the 22-year-old Bronx victim at 1:06 a.m. today that he had a knife in his jacket and would use it if he did not hand over the jewelry, police said. He did not show a knife.
After taking the bracelets he tried to leave the 115 Cedar St. bar, but the victim notified a bouncer, who stopped Santiago and turned him over to New Rochelle police, police said.
Santiago was charged with third-degree robbery, a felony.