MONTGOMERY, Ala.Dec 3 2011 (AP) — A 29-year-old postal employee was charged with two counts of attempted murder Friday after authorities said he used two guns to fire shots inside the main post office in Alabama’s capital city.
No one was injured in the shootings Thursday night. Officials weren’t disclosing a motive or whether the employee was targeting any specific employee.
Officials said the employee, Arthur Lee Darby Jr., was in the Montgomery County Jail with bond set at $1 million.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Clark Morris, said the man showed up for work in the mail sorting area and began firing shots about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Witnesses said a supervisor yelled that a man had a gun, and employees scurried outside.
Police took the man into custody within 10 minutes of getting a 911 call from the post office.
Police Chief Kevin Murphy said many officers were able to respond quickly because they were on holiday patrols at a nearby mall and shopping centers and many had special training on how to handle such incidents.
“The best news is that nobody was hurt and the local police responded quickly,” Postal Service spokesman Tony Robinson said Friday. “Management quickly had the building evacuated, which helped minimize the potential threat to the people.”
The post office, located on the city’s east side one block away from Auburn University Montgomery, reopened Friday morning with counselors available to talk to employees, Robinson said.
SHAWNEE, Okla.Dec 3 2011 — A McLoud teacher who resigned Monday amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with her students was arrested by Shawnee police Thursday afternoon after authorities retrieved deleted photographs from her cell phone depicting juveniles wearing bras and panties, prosecutors said.
Kimberly Crain, 48, was arrested at her Shawnee home, 4312 Faith Blvd., and taken to the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center. She was booked into jail on complaints of lewd acts with a child and possession of child pornography, jail records show.
The investigation is ongoing and formal charges have not yet been filed.
After police arrested Crain at her home Thursday afternoon, officers secured the scene to serve a second search warrant at the residence.
She will appear before a judge for a bond hearing Friday, where prosecutors will ask a judge to hold her on a $1 million bond.
Crain was accused of inappropriate conduct when allegations were made that she had students dress in bras and panties to decorate a Christmas tree while attending a party in her home on Nov. 11. Students told police photographs and video were taken. Shawnee police obtained a search warrant Nov. 17 to seize Crain’s computers, cell phones and all storage devices.
District Attorney Richard Smothermon said one of his investigators on Thursday morning was able to use technology to retrieve deleted photographs of the party from Crain’s seized cell phone, with authorities quickly responding and serving an arrest warrant.
“It was photographs from the Christmas party with five to six young girls in bras and panties in various poses,” Smothermon said about a retrieved photo, adding the images could only be described as “sexual in nature.”
Other images not from the Christmas party also were lifted from the phone, he said, calling those “graphic-in-nature.”
Smothermon said this case has now become a joint investigation between Shawnee police and the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s office, state officials and his office.
While the photos retrieved Thursday were on a cell phone, Smothermon said the FBI is still analyzing Crain’s computers that have been seized as part of the ongoing investigation.
“I anticipate federal charges on top of whatever we pursue,” Smothermon said Thursday, adding, “This was not an isolated incident.”
According to the original search warrant, Shawnee Detective Ethan Rieves conducted an interview with one of Crain’s students and her parent and learned that girls attending the pizza party at their teacher’s home were told to go into a bedroom, one-by-one, and dress into Christmas-themed bras and panties that allegedly had words such as “Ho! Ho! Ho!” written on them.
While decorating the tree in the attire, the girls reportedly did a cheer dance, with photos and videos allegedly taken.
Smothermon, who said investigators have been busy interviewing Crain’s recent and former students as part of this case, said he will meet with federal officials once this probe is completed to determine what charges will be best prosecuted locally and which charges should be pursued at the federal level.
Allegations also have been made that Crain, while teaching in her classroom at McLoud, was using Skype over the Internet to have her students visit with an older man known as “Uncle G,” and that Crain allegedly took photos of students posing on desks in the classrooms.
Smothermon said authorities are trying to find out who “Uncle G” is to determine if any images were sent to him.
“You send children to school and expect them to be safe and educated…she had a different lesson plan,” Smothermon said.
This investigation was first launched by Shawnee police Nov. 14. Crain submitted her letter of resignation to the McLoud Board of Education this past Monday.
A civil case connected to these allegations also is pending. According to Pottawatomie County court records, a civil lawsuit has been filed against Crain, but the contents of that petition have been sealed by a judge.
The Plain Dealer report the Cleveland school district on Thursday laid off 75 safety and security guards as part of $13.2 million in budget cuts the school board approved in October.
The cuts primarily affect part-time officers. The full-time security workforce remains mostly intact.
District spokeswoman Roseann Canfora tells the newspaper the district will have at least one officer at every school covering kindergarten through eighth grade and will have an average of five officers in high schools.
The district also won’t fill 18 vacant security positions.
District spokeswoman Roseann Canfora tells the newspaper the district will have at least one officer at every school covering kindergarten through eighth grade and will have an average of five officers in high schools.
She says the schools take other steps to protect students, including requiring identification badges and using metal detectors.
McRoberts Protective Agency expands west coast presence with aquisition of two companies www.privateofficer.com
According to a statement, SecureTrans and Reliant provide security personnel to marine cargo facilities, cruise lines, warehouses, residential communities, manufacturing facilities, as well as federal and state government agencies.
“We are pleased to be able to expand the McRoberts brand and operating model to our valued cruise clients in Seattle and we are thrilled to add the other SecureTrans and Reliant clients to our portfolio. This acquisition completes our geographic capability in all deep-water port areas of the country and propels McRoberts from a multi-regional company to a national and full-service provider,” said Meredith McRoberts, CEO of McRoberts Protective Agency. “The internal clients that we are acquiring with the deal, particularly the managers, Matt Cooper in Portland and Erik White in Seattle, understand and share the McRoberts commitment to service and are very welcome additions to the McRoberts family.”
For more information about McRoberts Protective Agency, visit http://www.mcroberts1876.com.
Lawrence Foster, 41, allegedly took money from other officers, telling them it would be invested into a company he ran. He then reportedly used the money for personal purposes and never refunded the investors.
Foster faces seven counts of felony theft.
The investigation was led by Secretary of State Ross Miller’s Security Division. Anyone that may have had interaction with Foster regarding investments is asked to call the division at 800-758-6440.
QUINCY MA Dec 3 2011 — A 23-year-old Weymouth man will be charged with assaulting a nurse and two security guards at Quincy Medical Center early this morning.
Shawn Boyle of 34 Granite St. in Weymouth attacked hospital staff in the emergency room shortly after 1 a.m., police Capt. John Dougan said.
When police arrived, Boyle was said to be kicking and attempting to punch hospital staff who were trying to restrain him. Boyle, who was a patient in the emergency room, allegedly struck one security guard in the face with a door and punched him in the eye. A second security guard suffered shoulder and forearm injuries, and a nurse was scratched on the arm, Dougan said.
Police filed criminal complaints against Boyle for assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
He was arrested about 8:30 p.m. Monday in the area of 25 Prospect Street and charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.
Hill was arrested after police in the area spotted what appeared to be a gun under his windbreaker. Officers recovered the weapon on his belt.
Charlotte County school resource officer resigns for sending improper texts to 14 yr old student www.privateofficer.com
Deputy Gordon Eldridge resigned his position at L.A. Ainger Middle School on Nov. 28 and was not interviewed, the report said.
About two weeks earlier, the report states he had sent the girl a message that read, “Start stripping and dance on the tables . . . and send pics!”
That message was among multiple others that officials characterized as inappropriate.
The girl reported to another school resource officer that Eldridge made her feel uncomfortable when he put his hand over her mouth “in a playful manner” at an Oct. 18 Police Athletic League event in Englewood. Eldridge was given a warning by his supervisor.
Days later, Eldridge picked up the girl from the Police Athletic League, took her to dinner and then drove her to the Lemon Bay High School football game, where he was working an off-duty detail. He was alone with the girl during the dinner and car trips, the report said.
Eldridge told his supervisor he reported having a juvenile with him but had not asked the girl’s mother for permission. He also said the girl paid for her own meal.
After that, his sergeant ordered him not to have further contact with the girl.
The girl revealed on Nov. 17 several more text messages from Eldridge.
Eldridge posted a warning for parents on his school resource officer website that “Sexting is a new epidemic, and it could be on your child’s cell phone.”
The investigator substantiated charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and violation of official order.
New York City NY Dec 3 2011 The NYPD provides Fox News’s midtown Manhattan studios 24/7 protection, The Daily Beast reports, more than any other media organization in the city.
ABC, NBC and CBS pay for their own private security details whereas, according to one security expert, Fox News’s around-the-clock protection by the boys in blue costs city taxpayers at least $500,000 a year.
Reached for comment, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told The Beast “Each of the networks gets police coverage to varying extents based on threat information.” But the other major New York-based media outlets had no knowledge of the offered protection, and one employee at ABC commented, “I would love the special favors.”
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, also recently had bombproof windows installed in his office and is “convinced he’s been targeted by Al Qaeda for assasination.”
FERNDALE, Wash.Dec 3 2011 — A bomb scare caused some tense moments at the Lummi Nation’s Silver Reef Casino yesterday.
Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo says a man in the casino south of Ferndale told security guards yesterday afternoon he had a bomb in a suitcase.
Tribal spokesman AJ Barse says Lummi officers followed emergency protocols in responding to the threat, and soon called in other agencies for assistance.
The Bellingham Police bomb squad responded and found the suitcase had only a laptop computer inside.
Elfo says the man was arrested and taken to Peace Health Saint Joseph Medical Center for a mental evaluation.
His name was not released.
WHEELING WV Dec 3 2011 – West Virginia State Police arrested Wheeling Police Officer Matthew Kotson Thursday on sexual assault charges after he was allegedly seen peering in the window of a local Catholic grade school where one of the alleged witnesses in the case is employed.
State Police Sgt. Scott Adams said troopers arrested the 31-year-old Kotson, who has served with the city’s police department for eight years, near St. Vincent de Paul Parish School in Elm Grove at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Authorities responded to the scene upon receiving word that Kotson allegedly was peering through a window at the school.
One of the witnesses in the case is a school teacher. The officer was caught looking in the window at the school,” Adams said.
One of Kotson’s alleged victims arrived at the West Virginia State Police Wheeling detachment Thanksgiving Day, claiming she was sexually assaulted by the officer earlier that morning.
The alleged victim said Kotson was at her Wheeling residence when he began making unsolicited sexual advances, reaching under her shirt. The woman’s repeated refusals did not deter Kotson and he continued to place his hands on her body, she said. She made her way to the bathroom, where Kotson followed. He then pushed her against the wall and sexually assaulted her.
Reports further state Kotson admitted in an interview with state police to being at the woman’s residence and touching her in a sexual manner.
During the investigation, Adams interviewed several females who had prior relationships with Kotson. Every woman alleged Kotson had made persistent, aggressive sexual advances toward them on different occasions.
One of the females interviewed accused Kotson of holding her down and forcing her to engage in unconsensual sex on three separate occasions. On one of those occasions, she said, her juvenile daughter was present.
Wheeling Police Chief Robert Matheny said his department has been aware of the situation involving Kotson, and the officer was placed on unpaid administrative leave on Monday. He said the department is in the process of taking disciplinary action against Kotson, but could not be more specific.
“Nothing that we are aware of ever happened while the officer was on duty,” Matheny said. “We ask that the public not judge the good, hardworking men and women of the Wheeling Police Department on this incident. This should not reflect their character or work ethic.”
Matheny said his department will continue to cooperate as State Police troopers investigate Kotson, noting he is concerned for those whom the officer allegedly assaulted.
Ohio County Magistrate Patricia Murphy arraigned Kotson on four counts of second-degree sexual assault Thursday. He was released after posting $40,000 bond.
A special magistrate is expected to be appointed to the case because of Kotson’s status with the Wheeling Police Department.
source:Intelligence Wheeling WV
Hundreds of security guards manning gates of US military bases in Korea refusing to work www.privateofficer.com
According to a labor union representing these guards, about 750 of its 850 members have refused to sign the deal with the British firm G4S. The U.S. Army recently signed a deal with the company, ending its five-year tie with a Korean company named Joeun Systems Corps.
These guards held protests in front of U.S. bases such as Camp Red Cloud here, north of Seoul, Yongsan Garrison in Seoul and Camp Carroll near Daegu, southeast of Seoul. The labor union said the guards plan to stage their protest for a month.
About 100 G4S security guards plus some U.S. soldiers manned the gates. Contracted civilian security guards take care of entry points at U.S. bases so that troops can focus on their military duties.
The U.S. 8th Army selected G4S through an open bidding process last September. G4S said it would hire new guards and lay off about 120 of the current guards. The company also demanded the hours per week increase from 40 to 60, while slashing up to 450,000 won (US$398.60) from monthly wages and laying off about 120 guards.
The company and the guards’ union had two rounds of negotiations but failed to narrow their differences. Park Deok-seo, head of the union, charged that G4S won the bid with about 124 billion won, about 500 million won less than what Joeun had paid when the Korean firm first signed the contract in 2006.
“They won the bid with such a ridiculous price, and they’re passing the entire burden to the security guards,” Park said.
An official with G4S said the company was trying to go back to the table with the guards, but it will have little choice but to hire new guards if they continue to protest the deal.
The 8th Army maintained that G4S was entirely responsible for the employment of guards. One official said, “We picked G4S considering its capabilities, ethics and other terms of the contract, and so there is no problem.”
About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, rather than a peace treaty.
Easton PA Dec 3 2011 Easton police officer Joshua Marvin, 26, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Pocono Township police said today.
Marvin was found dead Tuesday by a family member in his home in Tannersville.
An autopsy was performed today. The cause of death was ruled suicide.
Family and friends told police that Marvin, a two-year member of the force, had been depressed about a failed relationship.
Easton police Capt. Carl Scalzo said Marvin joined the force in 2009 and worked as a patrolman. Scalzo lauded Marvin’s recent handling of a man who broke into an Easton police car outside the city’s headquarters, ripping a shotgun rack out of one car in the process.
Marvin, who was alone at the time, was able to safely deal with the man until backup arrived, according to police.
Although he only had two years on the force, Marvin recently applied to join some of the department’s specialty units and was interested in detective and investigative work, Scalzo said.
“He was a real good guy, unfortunately we didn’t see anything like this coming,” Scalzo said.
The department has made a hiring push in recent years, resulting in a younger force overall. The loss of Marvin will especially touch many of those officers, Scalzo said.
“We’re a young department, so there was a lot of young guys with him,” Scalzo said.
Scalzo said the city is bringing in grief counselors to make sure “everybody has all the assistance they need.”
Marvin recently played in the annual flag football game between the Easton and Phillipsburg police departments. Scalzo said Marvin played well and ended up dislocating his shoulder following a block that went awry.
Scalzo said he was notified Wednesday afternoon by Pocono Township police of the incident. After getting more details, he began to notify members of the force.
“I called the entire department in and I let them know what happened,” Scalzo said. “We made sure that every single employee of the Easton Police Department we spoke to personally.”
Scalzo would not speak in detail about what happened to Marvin.
Members of the city’s police union reached out to Marvin’s family, and the city contacted Bethlehem police Capt. David Kravatz about organizing grief counseling for any city employee who requests assistance, Steckman said. Police officers operate as a team, working closely and depending on each other, he said.
Counseling is being provided through Family Answers’ Critical Incident Stress Management program.
Police Chief Larry Palmer was out of town Wednesday when he was notified of Marvin’s death. He returned upon hearing the news, according to Steckman.
“Our concern is to make sure our officers are supported in their time of grief and obviously the chief wants to be here,” he said.
Prior to joining the Easton police force, Marvin spent two years as a corrections officer at Monroe County Correctional Facility.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Marvin will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Church, Canadensis. Burial will follow in Seese Hill Cemetery, Canadensis.
Grand Prairie police say the man was moving a 40-foot-tall aluminum ladder when it fell onto power lines Friday morning. He had been standing on the ground but was still holding onto the ladder.
Police say 51-year-old Jens “Renee” Gardner died at a hospital, where he was taken after emergency personnel started CPR at the scene.
Grand Prairie is about 15 miles west of Dallas.
A website for the Historic Anderson Building shows photos from previous holidays. Red and clear lights outlined the windows of the two-story structure built in 1915, and a Christmas tree with sparkling lights was atop the canopy at the entrance.
BAY CITY, Texas Dec 3 2011– Two days after police say a Bay City father shot his wife and killed his four kids, the tight-knit community of 18,000 was still in shock.
“If I sneeze, somebody on the other side of town is going to know about it,” Johnathan Dobbs, youth minister at the Nichols Street Church of Christ in Bay City, said.
So when someone fatally shoots four children, tries to kill their mother and then takes his own life, everyone knows about it.
Immediately after it happened, neighbors and friends started dropping off candles, balloons and stuffed animals outside the trailer where Jose Avila, his wife Laura Gonzales and their four young children lived.
“I just don’t understand why he would do that, especially to the kids,” friend Zeke Martinez said.
“This is so devastating,” Dobbs said.
Police said the couple had been having marital problems, and Avila had recently lost his job. But on November 30, something went terribly wrong during a fight between the parents.
Investigators said Avila shot Gonzales three times, then shot each of his children in the head before turning the gun on himself. He died at the scene.
The rest of his family was rushed to Matagorda Regional Hospital, where Gonzales underwent surgery. The children were airlifted from there to hospitals in Houston, where they all died on Thursday. Gonzales was also airlifted to a Houston hospital Thursday, where she remained Friday in critical condition.
Immediately after the shootings, community members jumped into action, starting up a fund to pay for funerals just after the tragedy.
But the Bay City mayor said he saw a greater need, so he asked Dobbs and others to organize a community gathering where people could come grieve together.
“I didn’t know the family, but it has deeply affected me. There are thousands of people in this community who feel the same way,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said there will be a candlelight vigil for the family outside the Bay City Courthouse at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7. It will be a three-hour program, and all residents are encouraged to attend.
The memorial fund was set up at Wells Fargo under the name Bay City Tragedy Benefit. Anyone who would like to donate can make contributions to account No. 94119446972.
Police weren’t releasing the name of the man, who showed no weapon.
Sarna said the man entered the bank about 3:30 p.m. and demanded money from a teller, who gave it to him.
The robber then left the bank before an off-duty officer providing security there captured him after a brief foot chase.
Lawrence police were working with the FBI to continue to investigate circumstances of the robbery, Sarna said.
Norfolk VA Dec 3 2011 Vanessa Gibbs, 17, said officials with the Transportation Security Administration at Norfolk International Airport stopped her during a security screening because they said her handbag — which has the shape of a gun designed on it — was as a security risk, WJXT-TV reported.
According to the TV station, Gibbs said she had no problem going through TSA screening at Jacksonville International Airport but was stopped as she was headed home from a holiday trip in Virginia.
“It’s my style. It’s camouflage. It has an old western gun on it,” Gibbs told the TV station. “She was like, ‘This is a federal offense because it’s in the shape of a gun.’ I’m like, ‘But it’s a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?’”
Gibbs said after agents figured out the gun was a fake, she was directed to check the bag or turn it over.
However, because of the TSA delay, the teen said she missed her flight, and had to fly to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was waiting in Jacksonville.
“Oh, it’s terrifying. I was so upset,” Tami Gibbs, the teen’s mom, told WJXT-TV. “I was on the phone all the way to Orlando trying to figure out what was going on with her. It was terrifying. I don’t ever want to go through it again.”
What upsets Gibbs the most is that she said she has taken the purse on planes before and that no one else has mistaken the tiny gun design as a real weapon.
However, TSA officials stressed that the gun purse could be considered a replica weapon, which have been prohibited since 2002.
A TSA official at the airport in Jacksonville told the TV station that passengers should check the prohibited items list, which can be found online or at the airport, before going through security.
LEBANON, Tenn.Dec 3 2011 – A jury has found a Mt. Juliet pediatrician guilty of first degree murder of 4-year-old adopted daughter.
The jury spent nearly four and half hours deliberating the case. In the end Dr. Deborah Mark was found guilty of murder and will serve a life sentence in prison.
Attorneys presented their closing arguments Friday at the Wilson County Criminal Justice Center in Lebanon.
The trial began earlier this week.
The prosecution presented a taped interview where Marks admitted to tossing the child onto her bed, and in the process hit her head on the wall. Kairissa died two days later.
There was also an incident when the Kairissa apparently was holding her breath. The Marks apparently tried to pry open her mouth with a toothbrush and knocked out a couple of teeth.
Defense attorneys had argued that the interview should not have been allowed in court because Dr. Mark had not been properly Mirandized first. However, detectives said Mark had not yet been charged when the interview took place.
Dr. Mark’s husband, Steven Mark, was also charged in the case. He is facing felony charges including child abuse. His trial was expected to start after the first of the year.
SEYMOUR, Tenn. Dec 3 2011 — A former bus driver faces multiple charges, including Driving Under the Influence, after the students and adults on the bus at the time said he ran several and crossed the center line several times before finally stopping at a Dandridge convenience store Thursday evening. Jerry Carr, Jr. is also accused of kicking a hospital security guard in the groin after he was taken to the hospital for a legal blood draw.
An attorney for the Sevier Co. School Board, Chris McCarty, Carr was fired that night and the board intended to send the letter confirming his termination on Friday. He also commended Coach Daniel Rucker for his swift action in getting Carr to stop the bus, which was transporting Seymour High School’s freshmen basketball team.
According to police reports, an officer responded to the Weigel’s around 6:30 p.m. to meet the bus and found Carr in the driver’s seat with the motor running. The officer described Carr as appearing “heavily intoxicated” with bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and a strong smell of alcohol. He stated that Carr told him he “had been drinking beer.”
Carr performed poorly during field sobriety tests, according to the officer, who added the bus driver was very unsteady and almost fell down as he got off the bus.
When the officer told Carr he was being arrested for suspicion for driving under the influence and attempted to place his hands behind his back, the officer reported that Carr pulled them away and took an “aggressive position with a clutched fist.” The arresting officer, who by this time was joined by another officer, managed to wrestle Carr to the ground, where he continued to resist by putting his hands underneath him, according to police reports.
When they arrived at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Carr allegedly kicked the security guard before stumbling and falling. After refusing to submit to the test Carr was taken to Jefferson Co. Justice Center.
Carr has been charged with Driving Under the Influence, Violation, Resisting Arrest, and Reckless Endangerment.
Sacramento CA Dec 3 2011 The Rev. Uriel Ojeda, a young priest lauded for his work in the community and for his aid to the poor, faces arraignment Friday in a Sacramento courtroom on multiple counts of molesting a 14-year-old girl.
The 32-year-old priest surrendered to authorities Wednesday night after members of the Diocese traveled to Redding and brought him back to Sacramento.
He is being held in the county jail in lieu of $5 million bail.
The Diocese announced the charges today and said Ojeda has been placed on paid administrative leave, meaning he may perform none of the duties of an ordained Catholic priest.
Bishop Jaime Soto, head of the Sacramento Diocese, told reporters that the church received the complaint of the alleged molestations on Tuesday night from a member of the child’s family and, within the hour, contacted county Child Protective Services and county prosecutors.
He said the Diocese is giving its full cooperation to law enforcement authorities.
But he called the case disheartening.
“For people who work very very hard to earn trust, it takes our breath away,” Soto said at a news conference. “It’s devastating.”
Ojeda, 32, was assigned to Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Redding from July 1, 2009, until Wednesday.
Ojeda was assigned to Holy Rosary Parish in Woodland about a month after his June 29, 2007, ordination. He remained in Woodland until his transfer to the Redding parish.
He is one of the youngest priests in the diocese. His youth is evident in his wearing of Converse tennis shoes, love of Spider-Man comics and bass-playing in a church band.
It was at Woodland’s Holy Rosary, one of the largest churches in the diocese, that he became known for his involvement in the community. He also offered free guitar and drum lessons to parishioners, even buying instruments for needy congregation members.
Soto said word of the case will be shared with communities in Woodland and Redding and that other possible victims are encouraged to come forward.
“I have personally spoken to the family involved,” Soto said. “They are in great pain. What they endured has been difficult. I grieve for what they have suffered and what they are suffering.
“Yet, I also admire the courage with which they have come forward to bring this to my attention so that we can bring this to the attention of authorities.”
Florida man given life in prison for kidnapping- rape of Target store shopper www.privateofficer.com
Orange County Fla Dec 2 2011 The man found guilty in late September of raping a young woman he kidnapped from a Target parking lot was sentenced to life in prison this morning.
An Orange County jury found Steve Cahanding guilty of eight violent crimes — three counts of sexual battery, carjacking with a firearm, robbery with a firearm, kidnapping with intent to do bodily harm or terrorize while using a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm and fleeing law enforcement.
Cahanding, 42, will not be eligible for parole.
The prosecution presented a case earlier this fall showing that Cahanding abducted the woman at gunpoint while she was sitting in her car and then demanded money and took her to his apartment for sex before trying to get more money out of her bank. She was made to wear specially painted sunglasses to block her vision.
Cahanding attacked the woman, who was 20 during the trial, after carjacking her in May 2010 as she sat in her parked car at the Target store parking lot, wrapping a gift for her mother.
Cahanding’s father and younger brother made pleas for leniency on his behalf, asking that he have the opportunity to one day be released from prison to reconnect with his family.
His crimes were completely out of character coming from the man they knew and loved, his family members stressed.
“My brother Steve made some bad choices that day,” said Allen Cahanding, Steve’s brother.
The prosecution read an impact statement from Cahanding’s victim. “I no longer feel comfortable going out day or night … ” she wrote. “I will never be the trusting person I was before.”
Cahanding himself made a brief statement, apologizing for his actions. “I’m not the same person I was that day.”
In passing sentence, Judge Jenifer Davis noted the family’s pain, and Cahanding’s service in the Navy. But she also noted the suffering of the victim, and strenuously objected to talk of the crime being an isolated incident or Cahanding having simply made a bad decision.
“To hear now the defense say this was one act on one day, it is a series of acts,” Davis said. “There were many decisions that were made that led to a very dark place.”
Oklahoma City third-grade teacher resigns amid lingerie and photographing accusations www.privateofficer.com
Kimberly Crain, 47, was arrested at her home in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and will face charges of manufacture of child pornography and lewd acts with a child, said District Attorney Richard Smothermon.
He said she will be arraigned Friday and that he plans to request $1 million bail.
Crain had been an elementary teacher for six years in McLoud, Oklahoma, about 30 miles east of Oklahoma City, when she allegedly invited third- and fourth-grade girls to her home last month for a Christmas party. She is accused of having the girls dress in holiday-themed bras and panties and photographing them.
The FBI has seized computers used by the suspect and recovered deleted files from her cell phone, said Smothermon.
A phone call to Crain’s attorney was not immediately returned.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama Dec 2 2011 — Birmingham police have arrested and charged a mother in the death of her 1-year-old son, who died April 24.
The mother, 30-year-old Joanna McCay, was under the influence of narcotics at the time the child died in the bathtub, according to Birmingham Police spokesman Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr.
Police were called to 1365 Paragon Parkway to investigate a report of a deceased child. The child was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital East where he was pronounced dead.
McCay is charged with reckless manslaughter and is in the Jefferson County Jail. Bond is set at $30,000.
Deborah Ralph, 57, was arrested in early November for allegedly sexually assaulting a male student when she was teaching at James Kennedy Elementary School in Walnut Grove. The incidents allegedly took place between Dec. 1998 and June 2001.
Langley RCMP said the male victim — who was not identified — contacted police on Nov. 8 and said he was sexually assaulted by Ralph when he was in elementary school.
Supt. Derek Cooke of the Langley RCMP said that Ralph, who taught at James Kennedy for more than 20 years, had taught the male victim before, but she was not his teacher at the time of the alleged incidents. The alleged assaults also happened outside of school grounds and school hours.
Cooke said police launched an investigation immediately after the alleged victim came forward on Nov. 8. Ralph was arrested the day after, and she was released on the condition that she does not contact the victim, certain witnesses, or anyone under the age of 16.
“At this time there’s no evidence that there was more than one victim,” Cooke told reporters yesterday. “However, we are not prepared to rule out possibilities, and we are asking that any former students or other persons who may have information that would be of assistance to this investigation, or may have been victimized themselves, to contact the Langley RCMP.”
In Sept. 2010, Ralph went on to teach Grade three at Langley Fundamental Elementary School. She was removed from her teaching duties on the day she was arrested, said Cooke.
School principal Alan Wiebe could not be reached for comment.
According to the website ratemyteacher.com, while Ralph was teaching at James Kennedy Elementary School in Langley, she was described as “caring, creative and encouraging,” and had told her students, “my door is always open.”
Langley schools superintendent Cheryle Beaumont said the allegations against Ralph came as a complete shock.
“The school district has taken decisive action as soon as these allegations came to our attention,” she said, adding that the school district has never had similar complaints or allegations in the past. “Safety is of paramount importance and we certainly have put that first. We are co-operating fully with the RCMP.”
Beaumont said Ralph is still in the employment of the school district and is under pay, but she is not in the classroom and not teaching children.
According to B.C. Assessment Authority records, Deborah Marion Ralph, teacheris part owner of a property on 30 Avenue in Langley.
Police are now investigating whether there are more victims or incidents involving Ralph.
“If you suspect your child may have been victimized, it is requested that you not attempt to interview your child,” Cooke said. “The RCMP has support personnel and specially trained investigators to interview children when conducting investigations of this nature.”
Anybody with information can call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.
York County SC middle school teacher charged with assault and battery after spanking students www.privateofficer.com
LAKE WYLIE, S.C.Dec 2 2011 — A York County middle school teacher is being charged with assault and battery after three students say he spanked them.
The 12-year-old boys at Oakridge Middle School in Lake Wylie accused seventh-grade math teacher Chris Petrasek of spanking them earlier this year.
Clover schools’ policy does now allow the use of corporal punishment. The students said the spankings were punishment for getting a low grade, missing a question or talking out of turn.
School spokesman Mychal Frost said Petrasek is on administrative leave with pay.
The 48-year-old teacher also coaches wrestling. He’s been a teacher in the district since 2007.
It was unclear if Pastrasek has an attorney.