VIRGINIA BEACH VA Dec 6 2011
Detectives have charged an 18-year Virginia Beach police officer with aggravated sexual battery after a child reported at least one assault during the past three years.
The Police Department received a complaint Friday, and its Special Victims Unit investigated, arresting Officer Michael Alan Chilldres, 45, on one count each of aggravated sexual battery and taking indecent liberties, Officer Grazia Moyers, a department spokeswoman, said Monday.
Chilldres works for the Police Department’s Services Division, which maintains records, Moyers said. He’s been with the department since November 1993, according to a police news release.
The department has suspended Chilldres without pay while Internal Affairs officers investigate, Moyers said. He remained in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center on Monday without bond and is due in court today for a bond hearing.
The child in the case is younger than 15, according to Chilldres’ arrest warrant.
LAFAYETTE, Ind. Dec 6 2011 – A Lafayette man is behind bars facing charges of embezzlement.
Police tell NewsChannel 18 25-year-old Arnold Jones was arrested Sunday at Macy’s in the Tippecanoe Mall.
He’s an employee accused of stealing cash from the registers.
Police said the crimes took place between November 26 and December 1 and the store’s security cameras caught everything on tape.
Police are not releasing the amount of money taken.
Jones remains in custody at the Tippecanoe County Jail on a theft charge.
Evansville IN Dec 6 2011 City police are investigating a Sunday afternoon armed robbery in which a loss prevention officer at the Eastland Mall JC Penney store saw two suspects leave with items after one threatened him with a gun.
The store employee was outside smoking a cigarette at about 12:20 p.m. when he saw a male leave the store with a mesh bag full of items with security tags, according to a police report.
The employee identified himself and followed the suspect to the get-away vehicle, a gray Mercury Sable with a temporary tag in the window, the report said.
There, the employee grabbed the bag as the suspect got into the vehicle, but let go when a second man, the driver, displayed a handgun and said, “What! What!” before driving off, the report said.
COLUMBUS OH Dec 6 2011 – Three people are recovering Monday, just days after a shooting at the Private Dancer strip club on Trabue Road in West Columbus.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says it could be still be a few more days until charges in the case are announced. He says deputies are looking into what happened immediately preceding the shooting early Sunday morning.
Witnesses told them that a fight started outside of the club before spilling into a parking lot next door. ABC6/Fox28 News’ Steve Levine reports a club security guard had asked both groups involved in the dispute to leave the strip club.
“While he was outside, one group, the more aggressive group, got into the vehicle, and looked straight at him, while shooting at him and exchanged gunfire.”
An armed security guard was hit by a vehicle fleeing the scene. Moments later, gunshots were fired.
“I don’t expect him to be charged at this time. [I’m] not hearing from detectives he is going to be charged.”
While the club security guard is not expected to charged, the people who fired the gunshots will not be so fortunate.
Police say the charges go back to September with numerous customers. Both Porter and Bradley are due back in court next week.
Virginia Beach, Va.Dec 6 2011 – Virginia Beach police have arrested a Portsmouth couple for embezzling about $2.5 million from a local business.
Terri Nagy-Phillips has been charged with Embezzlement, Credit Card Fraud, and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony and her husband Craig Phillips has been charged with Embezzlement and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony.
The couple is currently being held in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond.
Fraud The initial embezzlement was reported by Continental Realty Services on November 19th. The company reported approximately $2.5 million was stolen from January 2007 to October 2011.
The Phillips were arrested on December 1 after a search of their Portsmouth home resulted in the seizure of substantial property linked to the embezzlement.
A second search of a warehouse storage facility on London Bridge Road in Virginia Beach turned up thousands of dollars’ worth of property, including seven luxury vehicles, jewelry, a Harley Davidson motorcycle and one transport trailer.
This case remains under investigation by the Department’s Economic Crime Unit with Detective Annette Molleen as the lead investigator.
The burglar used his crowbar to open the door to the grocery store’s second-floor offices and went up the stairs to find three safes, the video showed. While he was breaking into one of the safes, the store’s security guard, who can be seen on the store’s surveillance video asleep on a couch five feet behind the safes, woke up from the noise but, pretended to sleep while the burglar took $250 in cash and change, said Ricky Widdi.
The burglar noticed the security guard sleeping on the couch after he had been in the office for a few minutes. He was startled but waited to make sure the guard was asleep before grabbing a register filled with the money, said Wakeem Widdi.
This is the first major crime that Wakeem Widdi, Ricky’s father and a former owner of the store, can remember since the family opened the store in 1967.
“I’m just glad nobody got hurt,” said Wakeem Widdi. “I always tell them to scream if they hear anything. He could have gotten hurt.”
The hole in the ceiling cost more than $1,000 to fix, said Wakeem Widdi. Ricky Widdi said that he also installed a new bolt lock on the inside of the office door that can be locked from the inside. The security guard, who worked part-time at the store, quit shortly after the burglary, telling the owners he was afraid to work at night, according to Wakeem Widdi. The store owners did not release his name.
Horry County SC Dec 6 2011 One of the suspects involved in nightclub shooting Sunday has been arrested and taken into custody at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
William Tykee Boyd, 27, of Tabor City, N.C., was one of two suspects involved in the incident that occurred around 4:35 a.m. Sunday.
Officers with Horry County Police Department’s Uniform Patrol Division went to the G-Spot Night Club on S.C. 90 in reference to a shooting.
While at the club in the Longs community of Horry County, they discovered the club was closed.
They were told armed security officers were trying to clear people from the parking lot when the shooting took place. It was during this time when one of the suspects took a semi-automatic rifle from a vehicle and aimed at the crowd. The man then pointed the weapon at a security officer after being asked to drop it. The security officer fired at the suspect and struck him in the torso area. Boyd, the second suspect, then retrieved the rifle and aimed it at the security officer. Once again, the security officer took aim and shot Boyd, hitting him in the arm area.
Both suspects then fled the scene in a vehicle and shortly thereafter arrived at a local hospital.
Detectives with the Horry County Police Department’s Violent Crimes Section went to the hospital and launched an investigation, which resulted in Boyd’s arrest. The other suspect is expected to be arrested today once released from the hospital.
SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY Dec 6 2011 – Authorities say that more than two dozen workers at the Zappos.com warehouse were taken to the hospital overnight because of a reported illness.
Emergency workers at the warehouse treated the employees said Mike Phillips with Bullitt County’s Emergency Management Agency with flu-like symptoms early Monday morning, and were taken by ambulance to area hospitals.
Phillips says they don’t know if the cases are connected, or if those who got sick even worked in the same part of the plant.
Health workers are looking at some food that had been served to the employees as well as some environmental areas as the caus eof the sickness.
Workers are still at Zappos, and shifts changed around 5:00 a.m. Monday morning.
The Bullitt County Health Department and EMA officials are meeting shortly with our crew on the scene.
Authorities say that 26 workers have been treated so far.
NEW YORK Dec 6 2011 — Earlier than ever store openings and steep discounts helped retailers notch record sales this Black Friday weekend, according to early reports.
Total spending over the four-day weekend following Thanksgiving reached a record $52.4 billion, up 16% from $45 billion last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation released Sunday.
A record 226 million consumers shopped in stores and online between Thursday and Sunday, up from 212 million last year. Individual shoppers spent more too, the NRF said. The average holiday shopper shelled out $398.62, up from $365.34 in 2010.
Earlier openings at big-box retailers like Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), Toys R Us and Target’s (TGT, Fortune 500) was one factor boosting sales — particularly among men and young adults, according to the early tally. Nearly one-quarter of Black Friday shoppers were at stores by midnight on Black Friday, up from only 9.5% in 2010, the NRF said.
“I would say that means we will have to be on the look-out for a new tradition and that is more and more stores will be opening on Thanksgiving night next year,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, said in a statement.
In a separate survey released Saturday, ShopperTrak said retail sales on Black Friday alone climbed 6.6% this year to an estimated $11.4 billion.
Online retailers also played a bigger role this year with a slew of deep discounts and promotions well before Cyber Monday. Online sales were up 39.3% on Thanksgiving Day and 24.3% on Black Friday compared to the same days last year, according to IBM’s (IBM, Fortune 500) Coremetrics, which tracks real-time data from 500 retailers in the apparel, department store, health and beauty and home goods categories.
Cyber Monday could also notch a new record, according to online tracking firm ComScore. Online sales for 2011 are projected to hit $1.2 billion, up from $1 billion last year, Andrew Lipsman, ComScore’s industry analyst, said.
I braved Black Friday!
While Black Friday marks the unofficial start of the holiday season, it is still too early to say whether this consumer spending momentum will continue until Christmas, noted NRF spokeswoman Ellen Davis.
“Clearly people came out in droves and that’s good news, there’s no question — but it’s only part of the story” said Sherif Mityas, partner in the retail practice of A.T. Kearney, a New York-based consulting firm. “We still have more than a few weeks to Christmas and if everyone is done shopping, the holiday will be a failure.”
Overall, the NRF is still forecasting overall holiday retail sales to increase a modest 2.8% during the months of November and December to $465.6 billion.
PANAMA CITY BEACH FLA Dec 6 2011 — A Kalamazoo, Mich. man died after he apparently slipped off a seventh story balcony Saturday night, beach police said Sunday.
The events that led to 22-year-old Aaron Scott Thompson’s death began in the bar of the Holiday Inn at 11127 Front Beach Road.
According to an incident report Thompson told his family members that he had been attacked by two strangers in the bathroom of the bar.
Thompson and his group left the bar and went to their rooms but Thompson remained upset, got very loud and eventually became involved in a physical altercation with members of his family, the report states.
A security guard was called to the area and Thompson attempted to leave the scene by climbing down the railing on the seventh floor, according to an incident report and a follow up investigation.
“A security guard asked him to stay and he took off,” Chief Robert Harding said.
The security guard then heard “what he thought was a bag hitting the floor,” according to an incident report.
Thompson fell from the seventh floor to the rooftop portion of the second floor, officials said. Thompson was retrieved from the roof by the fire department and transported to Bay Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, officials said.
Foul play is not suspected in the death but the investigation is ongoing, Harding said.
“On the surface it appears to be just an accidental death,” Harding said. “We will wait to see if the Medical Examiner comes up with something.”
The circumstances surrounding Thompson’s death has left his mother, Shelly Beduna, “devastated.”
“The news of Aaron’s death has come to a great shock to us, his family and friends,” Beduna said when she was reached by phone in Michigan. “We are very confused as to how and why that happened.”
Beduna described her son as “a Native American,” who was a “very adventurous, free spirited person who just loved people,” she said. “He loved music, hunting, fishing, sports anything to do with the outdoors Aaron loved. Most of all he loved his family and friends.”
Beduna, who wept through most of the interview, said Thompson moved from Michigan to Tampa to look for work about two months ago.
“Since he moved to Florida his newest hobby was walking along the beach picking up sea shells,” she said.
Thompson found a job but was in the process of moving again when he, his uncle and a co-worker decided to take a short vacation in Panama City.
“We will be bringing his body hack to Michigan and we will be having funeral services back here,” Beduna said. “He will be forever missed by his family and friends.”
ST. IGNACE, Mich. Dec 6 2011- An executive with Amazon.com died Sunday in a small-plane crash on the shore of Lake Huron.
Tom Phillips, 52, of Kirkland, was a general manager with Amazon Web Services, the Seattle Times reports. He was flying to a home he owned on Mackinac Island when the crash occurred.
Phillips was on the board of several area organizations, including Sacred Heart School in Clyde Hill.
“Tom’s a family man, puts his family first, and he’s very involved and committed to our community here at our school and at our parish, and he’s one of the first people, if anything ever is needed they call Tom,” said friend Julie Prince.
Search and rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., were contacted by a Michigan State Police 911 dispatcher at 10:07 p.m. Saturday, after the dispatcher was called by a concerned family member reporting Phillips and 29-year-old Joe Pann overdue, the Coast Guard said.
The men had departed St. Ignace en route to Mackinaw Island in a Piper Saratoga and were expected to arrive at about 8 p.m. The flight is only about 4.5 miles and should have taken only about six minutes.
Shortly before noon Sunday, a Coast Guard aircrew involved in the search effort received a signal from a 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitter. When they investigated the transmitted signal, they found the plane wreckage about 100 yards from the shore and about three miles north of St. Ignace, Mich.
Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane was owned by the charter company Great Lakes Air Inc.
Federal investigators are expected to arrive Monday.
KNOXVILLE TN Dec 6 2011 - A former worker for the Knox County Clerk’s office was sentenced Monday after she was charged in April in a theft and misconduct investigation.
Phylicia Dorishele Washington received three years probation and was ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution.
Washington was charged with two counts of theft and two counts of official misconduct for incidents between April 1, 2007 and May 19, 2010. The money ranged between $1,000 and $10,000.
Washington was accused of trying to register a car reported stolen earlier in the year in Kentucky.
She had worked for the clerk’s office for 14 years.
New York City NY Dec 6 2011 With President Obama in town last Wednesday, things were busy for the New York Police Department’s Harbor Unit. Federal security agents were disseminating lists of city locations that had to be swept for bombs, cleared and guarded.
That meant that coastal areas near touchdown points for Marine One, the presidential helicopter, demanded extra inspection. Police divers splashed down to scrutinize underwater sections of piers and seawalls for improvised explosive devices. Radiological sweeps were done. Each of the bridges spanning waters that Mr. Obama’s motorcade might cross got a top-to-bottom going over.
All of that underwater security has resulted in an increasing reliance on a relatively new tactical weapon for the police: an unmanned submersible drone, often referred to as a remote-operated vehicle, or R.O.V.
It is the Harbor Unit’s version of the mirrored device used by their colleagues on land to check for explosives under vehicles’ chassis. The department has six of these underwater drones, similar to those in use by the United States military and by oil companies with offshore operations.
Four, valued at $75,000 each, were acquired by the police in 2007, with federal grant money from the Urban Area Security Initiative. The police acquired two more sophisticated drones a year later with federal port security grant program money, for $120,000 apiece.
On Thursday, aboard the Anthony Sanchez, the largest of the Harbor Unit’s 34 vessels — it is named for a police officer killed on duty in 1997 — Capt. Anthony J. Russo directed his six-member crew to demonstrate the abilities of one of the drones, affectionately and perhaps unimaginatively called “No. 1” by the officers.
To do it, Detective Robert Harris, a boat pilot and diver, steered the 55-foot boat away from its dock at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. He passed some industrial sites and a derelict building at the water’s edge. He stopped alongside the rusted hull of a mammoth tanker, which is moored there and is now used to mix concrete. The little yellow R.O.V. — a 16-pound submersible with lights and sonar — was plopped into the 50-something-degree water, and off it went, tethered to a 100-foot cable running into the boat’s cabin.
There, Detective William P. Devine, a tall, lanky officer who is a scuba diver and the unofficial master of the R.O.V., sat at a table in the cabin, with a black briefcase before him that serves as the drone’s control pad and brain. He worked a toggle to maneuver the device and watched the images its camera beamed back, showing the barnacled bottom of the ship. The tether, or umbilical cord, carries 12-volt electricity to the R.O.V. and transports data and video images (in color) back up from the depths.
“This comes natural,” Detective Devine said, describing how he “flies” the R.O.V. along, almost like a helicopter but underwater. Sometimes if the currents are swift, the officers navigate their boat alongside the drone, moving in tandem as they sweep an area.
Detective Devine stares into the water, then back to the computer. His face is weathered, and somewhat tan even in late fall, like those of the other Harbor Unit officers who spend time outdoors. These officers are more fit than a typical officer and keep up rigorous training exercises. Their jobs demand they be dropped out of helicopters. They must be able to swim, manage themselves and their gear, help a partner and a possible victim and keep their head all at the same time. Many run triathlons while off duty.
Detective Devine has studied what biological or radiological weapons might look like, or where underwater explosives might be hidden under a boat. And if the problem is not explosives, it might be narcotics: traffickers will attach a load of drugs in PVC pipe and clip it along the keel under a giant tanker.
These days, counterterrorism duties make up about 50 percent of the Harbor Unit’s work, which has increased exponentially since 9/11. The unit still carries out rescue and recovery operations: aiding distressed boaters or retrieving bodies that float to the surface. The officers search for evidence in the silky muck of the river bottoms ringing the city. There, with usually zero visibility, they feel around for a gun or knife that some accused suspect has told a detective he tossed into the water to hide.
“I close my eyes, and your hands become your eyes,” Detective Harris said of those types of evidence searches.
But more and more, Detective Harris and others said, the mission is counterterrorism. These days, the briefing papers pour in from the Police Department’s Intelligence Division, through its Special Operations Division, sometimes at the rate of several bulletins a day: Check a suspicious boat under the Brooklyn Bridge; sweep an incoming cargo ship’s hull at the Coast Guard’s request; steam around by the Statue of Liberty to check on what a caller to 311 has described as an unidentified floating package. The officers of Harbor devise plans to deal with the myriad threats.
The officers realize just how critical they are in the defense of a port whose terrorism vulnerabilities have been well chronicled; roughly 10,000 cargo ships a year come into the port, with millions of containers landing on the Brooklyn piers.
In 2005, a Pakistani man, Uzair Paracha, was convicted in federal court of providing material aid and financial support to Qaeda terrorism. A law enforcement official said a concern arose during that investigation about a desire to establish a business in the city’s garment district as a way to ship items through the port to the city.
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, even before he took over for a second stint as commissioner in 2002, was concerned about the adequacy of the port’s contraband detection system — whether for drugs or the tools of terrorism. He cited the drones in a speech in April 2009 to the Council on Foreign Relations.
“We have a little submarine that we use to go under and take a look at ships that are coming in,” the commissioner said at the time. “We even board the Queen Mary, believe it or not, when it’s coming into the harbor.”
So far, the R.O.V.’s have never hit on a bomb. If they did, they would call in the Navy, said Detective Devine, a former Navy sailor himself. “We mark the location, get out of the water and call them,” he said.
Police say the 26-year-old man was shot in the neck just before 6 a.m. at The Pit Lounge at 266 White Plains Rd. in the Bronx.
Witnesses told the New York Post the bullet was meant for another bouncer who had been involved in breaking up an earlier fight inside the nightclub.
“He was just standing by the doorway and boom, it happened,” a witness told The Post.
He “was gurgling, he couldn’t talk,” the witness said.
Two bystanders tried, unsuccessfully, to revive him with CPR, witnesses said.
Emergency responders arrived on the scene and transported the victim to Jacobi Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The victim has not been identified, and no arrests have been made. Police said the investigation was ongoing.
NEW YORK NY Dec 6 2011 — The Transportation Security Administration says that explosives experts at Newark Liberty Airport discovered five grenades in a passenger’s bag on Saturday.
The TSA said the grenades were determined to be “inert” and that the Belgium-bound passenger surrendered her items to officials. There was no impact to airport operations, the agency said.
Officials with the agency also announced that they discovered yet another credit card knife in the wallet of a passenger headed to Los Angeles on Saturday. The knife, the TSA said, was similar to one confiscated on November 22 during the Thanksgiving travel week.
In a news release regarding the grenades, TSA officials reminded passengers to review a list of prohibited items on the agency’s homepage or download the free My TSA app.
Despite the finds, the TSA has been under scrutiny lately following accusations by a pair of elderly women who claimed they were violated during TSA screening checkpoints at John F. Kennedy Airport late last month.
Lenore Zimmerman, 85, claims she was strip searched after asking for a patdown due to her defibrillator. The TSA released a statement Sunday, apologizing to Zimmerman, who lives most of the year in Long Beach, but disputing her story.
“TSA contacted the passenger to apologize that she feels she had an unpleasant screening experience; however, TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols and a strip search did not occur in this case,” the statement read.