Richmond VA Jan 9 2012 Virginia gun sales surged to a record high in 2011, fueled in part by holiday shoppers buying more firearms in December than ever before.
Gun transactions in Virginia totaled 321,166 last year, with a single-month record of 41,957 in December, according to the latest Virginia State Police figures of mandatory criminal-background checks of gun buyers.
Virginia gun transactions rose 16 percent from 2010 to 2011 — the second-largest percentage increase in a decade and the most since Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. That year, Virginia recorded 268,136 gun transactions.
Neither the FBI nor state police would offer a theory on the spike in gun sales. But those involved in the firearms industry attributed the increase to a fear of crime during a bad economy, expanded concealed-carry rights, increased supply and affordability of guns, and perceptions of possible federal intervention under Obama. Meanwhile, gun-control advocates question whether the federal numbers present a misleading, if not distorted view of booming gun sales.
The state’s soaring gun sales in 2011 seem to mirror the nation as whole: A record 16.4 million firearms background checks were conducted in the U.S. last year through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, up from 14.4 million in 2010.
And like Virginia, gun transactions across the country set a national record in December, with 1.8 million gun checks.
There is not a one-to-one correlation between background checks and the number of guns sold because some customers buy multiple firearms, and some of the checks involve people reclaiming a firearm they previously had pawned. Exact sales of firearms in Virginia are neither reported nor recorded.
And although the large majority of prospective gun buyers pass the background checks, about 1 percent of the searches in Virginia typically result in people being denied permission to buy a weapon. Nationally, the rejection rate is about 1.3 percent.
Unlike Virginia, the overall federal background check numbers are partially skewed by some states using the NICS system to run checks on concealed-carry permit holders. That includes states like Utah and Kentucky, the latter of which runs a background check each month on every gun owner with a concealed-carry permit.
Federal authorities couldn’t immediately say what percentage of the 16.4 million background checks processed nationally in 2011 involved checks of concealed-carry holders. A chart on the FBI’s website that shows each state’s cumulative firearm background checks from 1998 through 2011 indicates that 23 percent of the checks were for concealed-carry permits.
There are many reasons behind the surge in gun transactions, Richmond-area firearms dealers and gun-rights organizations said.
“I think it’s a multifaceted answer,” said Stephanie Samford, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association. “Part of it is certainly that people are placing a high premium on personal safety. We’re reminded on TV and in the news that with the economic downturn, criminals are being furloughed and police officers are being laid off.”
Aside from self-defense, the NRA believes more people are buying guns for recreational purposes and shooting sports, including a growing number of women, Samford said.
“We’ve seen a large increase specifically with women signing up to take classes over the past couple of years, compared to what our numbers were a decade ago,” Samford added. “But that increase has also been across the board, both men and women.”
J.D. McEwan, who manages the firearms department at Southern Police Equipment in Chesterfield County, said his sales for 2011 were up in the midteens over the previous year, which tracks closely to Virginia’s 16 percent rise in gun transactions.
“I think finally the supply chain has caught up with demand; we’ve seen prices come down to general retail pricing,” McEwan said. “Availability has been as good as it has been in the last five years for us, as far as new gun models.”
With more people getting concealed-carry permits, new gun models — such as compact 9 mm pistols — have become available to accommodate that demand, McEwan said. “And all of that has helped bolster sales,” he said.
Dave Hancock, a manager of Bob Moates Sports Shop in Chesterfield, said sales over the holidays were up 40 percent over 2010 and customers were primarily buying handguns.
“Some were for collection purposes, some for target shooting and more were for self-defense than any other single factor,” Hancock said.
“With the economy the way it is, and unemployment the way it is … people just feel more of a need to protect themselves,” said Hancock, who added some people also fear that anti-gun legislation will be proposed this year if Obama is elected to a second term.
Neil Atkinson, co-owner of DeGoff’s Firearms in Mechanicsville, said he has seen a rise in people buying guns for self-protection, and many of them are first-time buyers.
“We do have repeat business, but I’ve had an increase in new people coming into the store,” Atkinson said. Although some people are acquiring guns for recreation use, most are “buying for self-protection.”
Josh Horowitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a gun-control organization, said it’s crucial to examine the overall federal background-check number to understand what, aside from gun purchases, it includes.
That number in recent years has been inflated by a number of states that now use the system to run checks on concealed-carry permit holders, he said. He believes 5 million of the 16.4 million checks processed nationally last year were concealed-carry checks.
Horowitz said states like Utah submitted about 1 million inquiries in 2011 but only about 70,000 were for gun purchases. People who pawned and then later reclaimed their firearms also have inflated the numbers, he said.
Horowitz said the background-check numbers also have to be adjusted for U.S. population increases, which when correlated show a more modest rise in gun sales. The numbers rose from 2.8 background checks for every 100 people in 1999 to 3.2 checks in 2011, he said.
“So yes, 2011 is going to be a big year, but it’s not a giant year,” Horowitz said. “The story (line) that we’re awash in guns and this is an unprecedented high level” is not accurate on a national level. “The reality is there’s been a modest uptick in gun sales over the last decade.”
Horowitz cited a recent general statistical survey conducted by the National Research Center at the University of Chicago that concluded that the number of households with firearms has actually declined since 1972 as a percentage of the population.
Caroline Brewer, a spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, recently told CNN that repeat gun buyers are likely responsible for the recent uptick in gun sales. She suggested that those who already own weapons were simply hoarding more of them because of “fear-mongering” by the NRA that Obama and the Democrats will restrict their gun rights.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights organization, scoffed at the notion that fewer Americans are buying or own guns.
“The Brady Campaign is trying to marginalize all this, because they are really trying to build a foundation that gun owners are outside the mainstream and not a big part of the population, and that legislators should not be listening to these people because they don’t represent America. And the truth is just the opposite of that.”
Van Cleave contends that interest in firearms has been on the upswing for more than a decade.
“I think you will continue to see that rise down the road,” Van Cleave said. “So it is by no means a peak. There have been a lot of articles on guns in the press, which in turn has been, I think, sort of tweaking interest in it.”
In addition, Internet discussion groups about guns have helped fuel “an awareness of self-defense and firearms,” he said.
More people are buying firearms for self-defense, including a growing number of women, Van Cleave said.
“You can see this with manufacturers,” Van Cleave said. “More and more are coming out with guns tailored toward the more feminine perspective — basically in colors and maybe in size. That’s a (segment) of the population that’s largely been untapped in the past.”
Maricopa County AZ Jan 9 2012 A Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy was slain early Sunday after a burglary suspect opened fire at him at an Anthem medical plaza, sheriff’s deputies said.
The burglary suspect, whose name was not released, was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy after he opened fire, according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Deputy William Coleman, 50, a 20-year veteran, the first deputy killed since 1995, was one of three who responded just after 4 a.m. Sunday to a report of a burglary in progress on Anthem Way just east of I-17, Arpaio said.
“Unfortunately, one of our deputies was killed in the line of today,” Arpaio said. “It is extremely sad, for everyone. He was an excellent officer.”
A minivan was parked outside near one of the medical buildings at the plaza when the three Sheriff’s deputies arrived. The MCSO patrols Anthem, a master planned community roughly 20 miles north of central Phoenix.
“The suspect came out and started shooting at our deputies,” said Arpaio, speaking from John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital. One of the deputies, Arpaio said, “returned fire and killed the suspect.”
The suspect carried a semiautomatic rifle, Arpaio said. Coleman wore a vest, but such vests are no match for such weaponry, he said.
“Not when the (bad) guys carry semiautomatic weapons,” Arpaio said.
Deputies said they could not yet comment on how many times and where Coleman was shot.
Nor do they know, yet, what the suspect had stolen, if anything, and whether he has a criminal record. It’s difficult, at best, to know what was in the suspect’s mind, authorities said.
“Number 1, there’s a war on against police,” said Arpaio. “We live in a violent world.”
Coleman leaves behind several children, including a 4 and a 7-year-old and a few who are older and have left the nest, Arpaio said.
Arpaio said deputies took a pit bull that was sitting in the suspect’s van.
“We are pretty sure this is just an isolated incident,” Arpaio said.
Chicago IL Jan 9 2012 An Army National Guardsman on his way home from his job as a security guard Saturday evening chased and held three suspects in a robbery at the North and Clybourn CTA Red Line station, police said.
About 6:35 p.m., three males — two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old — tried to take a 21-year-old man’s iPhone, according to police News Affairs. One of the teens brandished a weapon that turned out to be fake, according to police.
The victim ran away and sought help from a security guard he saw nearby.
That security guard was Spc. Paville N. Simpson of Chicago, a military police officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Chicago, according to a release from the National Guard.
The 21-year-old Simpson works security for World Security Agency and was waiting for a train at the North/Clybourn station while on his way to work, the release said. He was flagged down by the robbery victim and after receiving the description of the suspects, he quickly went into action, chasing the three suspects up the stairs of the station, police said.
Simpson seized two of them, both 16 years old, on a storage bin. The third suspect, a 17-year-old male, attempted to run back down the stairs. When Simpson caught him, the suspect pulled out a replica gun. Simpson then drew his own gun, which as a security guard he has a permit to carry, the release said. The suspects surrendered, and Simpson kept them there until Chicago police officers arrived.
The 17-year-old, Donte Jackson, of the 4700 block of South Wabash Avenue, was charged with felony attempted aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and was wanted on a robbery warrant, police said.
During a court hearing Sunday, Jackson was ordered held on a bond of $100,000.
“It was just instant,” Simpson said. “The guy needed help so I helped him.”
Police placed the three teens — two of whom were wanted on warrants for offenses that include burglary, aggravated battery, and robbery — under arrest and recovered a replica firearm from the three. The iPhone was also returned to the robbery victim.
The victim was not injured, police said.
Two of the unsuccessful robbers are 16 year olds who were charged as juveniles and referred to juvenile court, police said. One of them was charged with felony attempted aggravated robbery, and on warrants for aggravated battery and burglary. The other juvenile was charged with felony attempt aggravated robbery
Simpson says he’s no hero, though. “It’s not about me being a hero. It’s about me doing the right thing at the right time,” he said.
“One of the values that the Army and the Illinois National Guard instills in our Soldiers is personal courage. Spc. Simpson certainly displayed that courage in helping a fellow Chicago citizen last night,” Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, said. “We are proud to have such courageous men and women in our ranks.”
Lt. Col. Maurice Rochelle of Flossmoor, the Officer in Charge for the 404th, said this is what having citizen-Soldiers in our communities is all about. He said the unit had just completed Army combatives training that day, which teaches the art of self defense.
“That very evening Spc. Simpson put those skills into action,” Rochelle said. “I think this is tremendous. What he did is amazing.”
Source:Chicago Sun Times
Concord CA Jan 9 2012 A 53-year-old Concord man killed himself on Saturday night, just a few feet away from Concord Police Officers who were conducting a welfare check at his apartment.
According to Sgt. Matt Morrissey with the Concord Police Department, Officers were dispatched to an apartment in the 1100 block of Marilyn Way to check the welfare of the man, who had a history of depression and had not been seen for the past week.
Officers knocked on the sliding glass door and the victim opened the curtains to see the officers. The victim then closed the curtains without saying anything and went back into the apartment.
Officers then heard a single gunshot from inside. Forced entry was made and the victim was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A revolver was found next to his body, according to CPD.
The Coroner’s Office responded. The victim’s name has not been released to the press because next of kin is still being determined.
Three people are dead and at least 10 others wounded in shootings and stabbings in Chicago www.privateofficer.com
Chicago ILJan 9 2012 Three people are dead and at least 10 others wounded in shootings and stabbings throughout the city this weekend.
Early Saturday in the Northwest Side’s Craigin neighborhood a 17-year-old boy was critically wounded when he was shot in the head.
He was in an apartment in the 2200 block North Lawler Avenue when shots were fired from outside about 3:05 a.m., police said. Police said the shots were not stray gunfire. He was struck in the head and taken in critical condition to Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
A man from the Austin neighborhood died Saturday morning after he was stabbed in the chest during a possible domestic conflict on the West Side.
Craigory Clark, 22, of the 900 block of N. Waller Avenue, was pronounced dead at 8:01 a.m. at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.
Officers responded about 6:45 a.m. to a report of a domestic dispute at Clark’s home, police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said. Police found him there, stabbed in the chest.
Authorities took a woman into custody and were questioning her in connection with the death, Zala said.
On the Northwest Side Saturday afternoon, one man was killed and another was critically injured in a stabbing, police said.
Numerous people approached a pair of 24-year-old men outside in the 4000 block of West Melrose Street about 3:45 p.m. and stabbed them, police said.
Anthony Diaz was pronounced dead at Illinois Masonic at 3:57 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.
The other man was listed in critical condition at the same hospital, police said.
One man was shot in the face and two other men suffered less serious wounds during a Saturday afternoon shooting in the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood.
The three men were standing in the front of a house in the 6600 block of South Langley Avenue when a man with a handgun approached at 3:23 p.m. and opened fire, police said.
An 18-year-old man was shot in the face and taken in critical condition at University of Chicago Medical Center, police said.
The other two men, both 22, were shot in the right foot and right ankle, respectively, and initially taken in good condition to the medical center, police said.
The fire department said all three people took themselves to the hospital.
Three people were stabbed during a noise dispute about 4:15 p.m. in the 1300 block of East 71st Street. A 40-year-old man and 34-year-old woman were stabbed in the head and hospitalized in critical condition, while a 14-year-old girl suffered a stab wound to the hand and was in good condition.
Saturday evening, a woman was shot dead near her home in the Englewood neighborhood.
The 32-year-old woman was shot in the chest at 5:54 p.m. in the 5600 block of South Justine Street, police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said.
Soraya A. Gibson, of the 5600 block of S. Justine Street, was pronounced dead at Cook County Hospital at 6:32 p.m., after being found shot in an alley behind her house, according to the medical examiner’s office.
A 25-year-old man was shot Saturday night in the South Side Grand Crossing neighborhood.
The shooting occurred at 10:20 p.m. in the 1000 block of East 73rd Street, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.
A 25-year-old man was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with a gunshot wound to the lower back.
A man was shot in a Chicago Housing Authority apartment complex early Sunday in the Far South Side Altgeld Gardens neighborhood.
The man in his 20s was shot in the chest and arm about 12:50 a.m. in the 600 block of East 133th Street, Alfaro said. The shooting occurred in a Chicago Housing Authority apartment complex with multiple buildings.
He was taken in good condition to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, Alfaro said.
Redlands CA Jan 9 2012 Police arrested a 44-year-old personal trainer for the alleged sexual assault of a teen.
Officers arrested Mauricio Mario Ortiz of Redlands Friday after a 16-year-old girl reported he sexually assaulted her at his training gym, according to a police news release.
Police say a second victim, who was 17 when she was assaulted has since reported a similar incident.
Ortiz was arrested after investigators served search warrants at his house on Brookside Avene and his place of business at 390 Alabama Street.
Ortiz has operated his business at various locations in the area including Citrus Avenue in downtown Redlands and Mountain View and Barton Road in Loma Linda. He has been at the Alabama Street location since October 2010, according to police.
Investigators seized cameras, computers and photos during their searches.
Police investigators believe there may be additional victims and are asking anyone with additional information to call Detective Andy Capps at 909-798-7642 or Redlands Police Dispatch at 909-798-7681. Anonymous tips can be provided by texting 274637 using the keyword “REDTIP.”
Santa Rosa CA Jan 9 2012 A man killed himself as police attempted to disarm him after an apparently failed robbery in Santa Rosa Friday afternoon, according to Santa Rosa police.
Around 3:20 p.m. officers were called to the 600 block of Cherry Street for an apparent armed robbery attempt between two roommates.
The attempted robbery victim, who police identified as 46-year-old Santa Rosa resident Mark Hampton, had gotten into a wrestling match with the suspect and had been injured by the gun, which was not discharged during the attempted robbery, according to police.
The suspect left after failing to rob his roommate and was last seen allegedly waving the gun in a threatening manner before putting it into his pocket while leaving the residence and heading west on Cherry Street, according to police.
As officers approached the residence they were told the suspect had left on foot with the gun, described as .38 caliber revolver, and was walking toward Mendocino Avenue.
While officers searched the area for the suspect they observed a man matching a description who was walking northbound on Mendocino Avenue just south of Nason Street on the east side of the street.
Officers parked south of the suspect and told him to stop and show his hands as he approached the intersection of Mendocino Avenue and Nason Street, police said.
At this point the suspect was walking away from officers with his back toward them. Police said he was attempting to pull an item from his right front pants pocket as they ordered him to show his hands.
The suspect then pulled out the gun from his pocket and shot himself in the head, police said.
Officers requested medical assistance and the suspect was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead within an hour, police said.
Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call the Santa Rosa Police Department’s violent crimes team at (707) 543-3590.
Source:Bay City News
San Antonio CA Jan 9 2012 A man reportedly involved in a disturbance at a popular downtown nightclub died early Sunday after being escorted out of the establishment then handcuffed by security.
Lt. Matthew Podwika said San Antonio police officers were called for a disturbance around 2:15 a.m. at the Bonham Exchange, at Houston and Bonham streets. Gilbert Garza, 46, was handcuffed and on the ground when the officer got there, Podwika said.
Thinking Garza looked ill, the officer requested EMS; paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. Podwika said Garza wasn’t under arrest or being detained by SAPD when he died.
No further details were available about the alleged disturbance inside the club or what occurred between Garza and security.
An autopsy conducted Sunday was inconclusive, according to the Bexar County medical examiner’s office, which is now awaiting results from toxicology and other tests.
New York City NY Jan 9 2012 A city school employee scammed a week off for a Costa Rica vacation by staging the mother of all hoaxes — convincing her bosses she couldn’t work because her daughter had died.
Joan Barnett, a parent coordinator at the Manhattan High School of Hospitality Management, was so determined to make the spring break jaunt that she:
* Had one of her daughters call the school to say that her sister had suffered a heart attack in Costa Rica.
* Had another daughter call the school later that day to say that the sister had died and that about a dozen relatives, including Barnett, were traveling to the country for a funeral.
* Faxed a forged death certificate of her daughter “Xinia Daley Herman” to school as proof of the death. The document is required if a city school employee asks for bereavement days.
Thanks to the scam, Barnett, 58, was able to spend 21/2 weeks in March 2010 — including her school-sanctioned spring break — in the tropical paradise, city investigators said.
But the fun in the sun didn’t last long.
A school official quickly grew suspicious of the death certificate because it contained “slightly different fonts which were not aligned properly,” according to a report by special schools investigator Richard Condon.
Costa Rican government officials later confirmed to a city investigator that the certificate was a fake, noting the document had identification numbers that actually corresponded to a man and had been issued in 2005.
Costa Rican officials also told the investigator it “does not issue death certificates five years prior to a person’s date of death,” according to court records.
Investigators also were able to determine that Barnett booked the tickets for her vacation more than three weeks before she left — long before she claimed her daughter croaked.
When confronted with the forgery evidence, Barnett insisted the death certificate was real and that her daughter “died of a heart condition,” investigators said.
Barnett even submitted another death certificate — this time with the month and year changed to March 2010, according to court records.
The morbid plot cost Barnett her $37,000-a-year job at the school. She also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor over the forgery in Manhattan Criminal Court this fall, records show.
Barnett could not be reached for comment. Her lawyer declined to comment.
GAINES TOWNSHIP MI Jan 9 2012– Authorities in West Michigan are seeking eight men in the shooting of the director of a youth event near Grand Rapids.
WOOD-TV and The Grand Rapids Press reported Saturday that the man was shot in the back of his head late Friday night after he told the group they couldn’t come inside the event hosted by Streams of Hope in Gaines Township.
The man’s wound was not considered life-threatening. His name and condition were not released.
Kent County sheriff’s Lt. Marc Burns said the victim did not know any of the men, who are believed to be in their late teens and early 20s.
Police say 25 shots were fired from several weapons. About 150 people were at the event.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. Jan 9 2012 After more than 20 people caused a fight inside the Macy’s store in Springfield, Eastfield Mall says the disturbance is an isolated incident.
It all started Saturday night, just minutes before 8 p.m. when according to Springfield Police more than 20 people started a fight.
“There was an incident that took place with a group of kids inside of Macy’s. Luckily there was very minimal damage and no injuries,” said Jillian Gould, Eastfield Mall’s senior marketing manager.
When police arrived the crowd was nowhere to be found. According to the police report, a Macy’s representative told police that, during the fight, an estimated $300 worth of jewelry and store fixtures were damaged.
The incident comes one year after the Eastfield Mall revised its youth escort policy; which called for adult supervision after 5 p.m., for all teenagers under the age of 16. Now, the mall’s code of behavior policy asks all patrons to avoid walking in large groups as it could disrupt the flow of foot traffic.
But Gould told 22News its security team could not have avoided the incident because Macy’s is its own entity; the mall’s security officers don’t service the store.
“They own their own building and they control all of the operations inside of that building. It’s not Eastfield Mall property. On an average day we do trust the teens that are here and value what they are spending here at the mall. It’s an isolated incident which doesn’t normally happen with the youth that shop here at the mall,” Gould told 22News.
So far, Macy’s has not returned our call for comment.
COLDWATER, MI Jan 9 2012 – A former Branch County woman who graduated from Coldwater High School in 1996 was arrested yesterday in connection with the shooting last month of a police officer in Northeast Indiana.
Thirty-Three-year old Julie Marie King from Auburn was taken into custody immediately after she was discharged from a Fort Wayne hospital. She’s being held without bond at the DeKalb County Jail on counts of felony murder and conspiracy to commit murder as well as aiding in attempted murder.
The officer survived, but King’s boyfriend was later shot to death by police. The felony murder count was applied because King is charged in connection with a crime during which someone was killed.
Indiana State Police say that in the early morning hours of December 15th, King and 41-year old Ralph Hardiek o fAuburn went to a home just north of Waterloo to ask for help for a car they said was stuck along a muddy road. Two Waterloo officers were sent to find the pair and that’s what 47-year Deputy Marshall Stephen Brady did. The 13 year veteran of the Waterloo Police Department encountered the two near the Amtrak Station inWaterloo, where Brady was shot in the face, allegedly by Hardiek.
About 3 hours later, around 6 a.m., a call was received from a nearby resident that there were some people hiding under his deck. When officers arrived, that’s where they found King and Hardiek. After refusing to obey the officers’ commands, a taser device was deployed but police say Hardiek displayed a hand gun and pointed it at officers. Fearing for their safety, they fired an unknown number of rounds hitting both King and Hardiek, who died at the scene from his wounds.
According to court papers filed Friday, King and Hardiek had made plans to travel to Utah so Hardiek could avoid a prison sentence on meth charges. Investigators said the couple had designs to travel door-to-door and rob people to raise money for their trip out West.
Detectives said in the week before the Waterloo incident, the couple stayed for several days at a home near Coldwater where one of King’s friends lived and sought assistance to reconfigure their guns so they’d be easier to fire. Deputy Marshall Brady continues to recover and has been able to speak with investigators.
Fayette County KY deputy constable arrested on charges of promoting prostitution www.privateofficer.com
Lexington KY Jan 9 2012
A Fayette County deputy constable has been arrested on charges of promoting prostitution of two or more prostitutes, permitting prostitution, and first-degree official misconduct, and the elected official who appointed the deputy constable says there are no plans to suspend him.
Deputy Constable Dannie R. Pendygraft, 58, is accused of trading rent for sexual favors from two prostitutes who lived at his property at 737 Maple Avenue and a third woman who lived in an apartment at 567 North Upper Street.
The prostitutes told police that when they got behind in their rent, Pendygraft gave them extra time to pay if they would perform oral sex on him, according to criminal complaints filed in Fayette District Court.
He also encouraged them to “turn tricks” to earn rent money, the documents stated.
One of the prostitutes told police that she performed oral sex on Pendygraft “to waive the $100 ‘moving in fee,’ ” according to the documents.
Pendygraft eventually evicted at least one of the women for being behind on rent, the documents said.
A third woman who lived in an Upper Street apartment over which Pendygraft was the landlord told police on Dec. 22 that he gave her “the choice of having sex with him or be evicted.”
Over a two-year period, that woman “had a multitude of sexual encounters with Mr. Pendygraft in order to not be evicted from her apartment,” the criminal complaint stated.
“At one point, Mr. Pendygraft placed a fraudulent seven day to pay rent notice on her door for $1,800. This was to coerce her into succumbing to his sexual advances,” the complaint said.
All three of the women said Pendygraft always wore his constable badge around his neck and had his gun in his holster; the complaint said he “used his constable badge and gun to invoke himself as an authority on all the listed victims to benefit from them sexually.”
The criminal complaint said official misconduct “refers to an official benefitting from not performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office. In this case, Mr. Pendygraft has personally benefitted by permitting prostitution at the residence of 737 Maple Avenue. Not only in sexual favors, but the rent money he was paid by subjects he knew were prostituting themselves on the property.”
Joyce Clater, Fayette County’s elected constable for the First District, said she appointed Pendygraft as a deputy constable about two years ago, and she has no plans to suspend him.
Fayette County has three elected constables, who serve papers notifying people to appear in court. They may appoint deputies to help them with the job.
Clater said that as far as she is concerned, Pendygraft can continue to work as a deputy constable.
“I’ve never had it happen before,” she said of the charges against Pendygraft. “I really don’t know any of the particulars about it at all. … It could be something that’s not really what it seems to be.”
Clater said she has known Pendygraft for 15 years or more, because her office has often served eviction papers for him at the properties he manages.
“He’s an excellent worker,” she said. “I don’t have any problem with him at all.”
She said Pendygraft works “pretty much full-time” serving court subpoenas and other such documents for her office.
She said each deputy receives $20 of the $40 her office receives each time papers are served.
It was not clear Saturday night who in city government has ultimate authority over deputy constables. Pendygraft did not immediately return a telephone call to his home.
He was arrested Friday but later released on bond from the Fayette County Detention Center.
Pendygraft is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Fayette District Court.
BOARDMAN OH Jan 9 2012
A father and son accused in a robbery will be back in court Tuesday.
Charles R. Parisi Sr. 52, and Charles R. Parisi Jr. 23, both of Niles, are charged with complicity to robbery and robbery, respectively. Both men did not enter a plea Thursday at their arraignment, and bond was set at $12,000 for each.
Police said they were called to Home Depot on Southern Boulevard about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday when a shoplifter fought with store security.
The security officer told police two men entered the store, one wearing a tan jacket and another wearing a black jacket, and proceeded to steal from the tools section, taking two rotary tools valued at about $200 and 28 nine-inch saw blades valued at about $112, according to reports.
When store security approached the men as they attempted to leave, the man wearing the black jacket grabbed the security officer and shoved him out of the way, police said.
The man wearing the black jacket ran to a car driven by an older man, and the car drove northbound on Southern Boulevard, reports state. The man with the tan jacket fled on foot toward U.S. Route 224 and Southern Boulevard, police said.
Parisi Sr. and Parisi Jr. were arrested about 6 p.m. Wednesday at their Niles residence.
All three were charged after a 9:20 p.m. incident on Tuesday, when security officers at the Macy’s department store reporting seeing three people take clothing off display racks in the store and hiding the items under their own clothes. Police said the three left the store without paying and left the area in a car.
A description of the three and their car was broadcast over police radio and the vehicle was stopped a short distance away from Macy’s. However, police said that when the car was stopped two of the occupants fled on foot. They were caught by police on Route 303.
— Michael Polite, 26
— Ovell Levine, 23
— Jaheem Simmons, 30
After their arrest, all three were later released pending a Feb. 8 hearing in Clarkstown Town Court in New City on charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, both felonies.
Clarkstown NY Jan 9 2012 On January 3, 2012 at approximately 7:00pm the Clarkstown Police responded to Office Depot Nanuet on a report of employee theft.
The complainant (manager) reported they conducted an internal investigation on an employee identified as Cassandra Arias age 22 from Spring Valley.
The investigation revealed that Arias had taken approximately $800 from the cash register she was working at from November 6, 2011 to this date.
Arias was arrested and released on an appearance ticket to appear in Justice Court January 18, 2012 to answer the charges of Petit Larceny (misdemeanor) and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 5 degree (misdemeanor)
Locustwood Memorial Park employee charged in thefts of more than 200 brass flower vases www.privateofficer.com
CHERRY HILL NJ Jan 9 2012 — A 23-year-old employee of Locustwood Memorial Park was arrested Friday and charged in connection with the thefts of more than 200 brass flower vases from the cemetery, police said.
Matthew D. McGrenehan was arrested at work late Friday morning. He later confessed to stealing the urns from the gravesites, said Cherry Hill Police Lt. Sean Redmond.
McGrenehan, a resident of the Malaga section of Franklin in Gloucester County, was charged with one combined second degree theft charge. He was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance after Percocet pills were found on him when he was arrested.
Camden scrap dealer Tom Fanelle said he called Cherry Hill Police Friday morning after seeing a Courier-Post story on the thefts of graveside materials from the Route 70 cemetery.
“(McGrenehan) had been coming in to my shop for about the last year and a half with vases. He was always in a Locustwood truck,” Fanelle recalled. “At first, we refused to buy them and I told him we’d need authorization from the cemetery.”
Fanelle said McGrenehan then returned with a letter on Locustwood stationery.
“It said they were working on a project and he was authorized to sell (the vases). We were led to believe that this was all legitimate.” Fanelle said Friday he could not locate the letter.
After Fanelle’s phone call, township detectives soon arrived at the Ferry Avenue scrap yard. Fanelle said he handed over his records of the transactions he had made with McGrenehan.
“Then it got weird,” Fanelle said, “because after the cops left, the kid (McGrenehan) came in. He showed me photographs of two women and a man and said his boss told him to tell me they might be possible suspects in the thefts. Unbelievable.”
After McGrenehan left, Fanelle said, township police called looking for the caretaker. “They were at the cemetery and I told them he just left.”
McGrenehan was arrested when he returned to Locustwood. He remains in Camden County Jail on $35,000 bail. A preliminary court date is set for Jan. 17.
Fanelle said McGrenehan would make periodic stops at the scrapyard to sell the vases.
“He would bring five, 10, 15 at a time. Depending on its size, the vases would sell for about $15. And I really thought he was legit. He seemed like an intelligent, responsible kid.”
Pine Hill resident Barbara Myers discovered missing vases and disturbed markers at the graves of family members at Locustwood in mid-December. She said Friday she was relieved an arrest had been made.
“Thank God, he was caught. But I can’t see a reason for him doing that. It sounds like the same kid I met at the cemetery who was fixing the disturbed markers of my family. He seemed to be a nice, clean-cut kid.
“I wasn’t going to replace the vases,” Myers continued. “But since he’s an employee I may ask the cemetery to replace them. I don’t know if I’ll sue them. I’m not a sue-happy person.”
Repeated calls Thursday and Friday to Locustwood seeking comment from manager Dennis Cangiarella were not returned.
Last June, three South Jersey women were arrested by Cinnaminson police for allegedly stealing hundreds of military grave markers from area cemeteries.
The women were caught after the tried to sell 380 bronze markers and flower urns to a Philadelphia scrap yard. The owner became suspicious over where the markers came from and alerted police. The women are awaiting trial on charges of theft and fencing stolen property.
Township police said bronze veteran’s flag stands have also been stolen from Locustwood, although McGrenehan was not charged in those thefts.
A tour of the grounds Thursday revealed American flags pushed into the ground waving over the graves of veterans. There were no stands to be seen.
Police have not recovered any of the stands and have not made any arrests in those thefts.
Washington DC Jan 9 2012 A former Sirius XM Radio administrator has been convicted in a scheme to pilfer nearly $1 million from the D.C. office of the satellite radio company.
Brenda L. Jones, 46, of Lothian, Md., pleaded guilty in federal court to one count conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the theft of more than $900,000.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Jones likely faces two to two-and-a-half years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. No sentencing date was set.
She also must make restitution, prosecutors said.
In 2005, Jones began working at what was then called XM Satellite Radio as an administrator in the accounts payable department in Washington.
Her duties included being responsible for payments to the business commercial vendors.
Shortly after her first day on the job, Jones and another XM Radio employee began to embezzle large payments that were supposed to be paid to XM vendors, but instead were paid from to Jones’ personal bank accounts.
Jones then gave a portion of the monies to the other XM employee, identified as an unindicted co-conspirator with the initials “V.P.”, according to court papers.
The duo covered up the scheme by altering data in the company’s accounting system.
Prosecutors said Jones resigned from XM Radio in July 2006, indicating to management that she got a job somewhere else.
But the checks continued to go to Jones, long after her leaving, prosecutors said.
In fact, most of the money, more than $690,000, went into Jones’ bank accounts after she no longer worked for the company, prosecutors said.
The theft was discovered when vendors complained that they had not received their payments. A company investigation revealed that employees paid themselves instead of cutting checks to vendors, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Greenbelt in 2010.
The New York-based company sued Jones and another former employee, Valencia P. Person, of Anne Arundel County. In June, the company won a $2 million judgment against the women.
Person has not been charged, according to a review of federal records.
The investigation is continuing, prosecutors said.
Two former Alabama Sheriff’s deputies sentenced to prison for beating of handcuffed man www.privateofficer.com
WASHINGTON DC Jan 9 2012–Two former Alabama Sheriff’s deputies were sentenced Friday in federal court for participating in the beating of a handcuffed man who was taken into custody.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller sentenced Kirby Dollar, 37, to 46 months in prison and Timothy Watford, 42, to 34 months in prison.
Dollar pleaded guilty on Aug.11 to willfully depriving the victim of his constitutional right to be free from the use of excessive force. Watford was convicted of the same charge by a federal jury sitting in Opelika, Ala., on Sept, 1, 2011, following a three day trial.
Evidence presented during the court proceedings established that Dollar and Watford, while acting in their capacity as law enforcement officers, punched, kicked and slapped the victim, who was lying on the ground in handcuffs and offering no resistance. The victim suffered multiple lacerations, facial fractures and a ruptured eardrum. Dollar admitted, and witnesses during Watford’s trial confirmed, that the attack was entirely unprovoked.
“These convictions and sentences demonstrate that the use of excessive force cannot be tolerated,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The vast majority of police officers do an outstanding job in protecting both the community and the rights of the accused, even in stressful situations. But when police officers use excessive force topunish arrestees, they will be held accountable.”
“As well intended as some officers may be, police activity must remain within constitutional bounds,” said George L. Beck Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. “Let these two convictions and sentences serve as examples of bad conduct that will be prosecuted by this office. Emotions cannot overcome good judgment. Zealousness cannot overcome good training. And brutality can never be a substitute for effective law enforcement.”
FBI’s Special Agent in Charge Lewis M. Chapman stated, “Today’s sentencing of former Russell County Deputies Kirby Dollar and Tim Watford brings some closure to a breach of trust by law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officers must always act within the bounds of the law under any circumstance and particularly while safeguarding our communities and citizens. The investigation of Civil Rights violations continues to be one of the FBI’s top priorities; and, these sentences reaffirm our commitment to enforcing those standards on ourselves and the law enforcement community.”
The case was investigated by the Mobile Division of the FBI- Montgomery Office and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Russell County Sheriff’s Office, the Lee County Alabama Sheriff’s Office and the Columbus, Ga., Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathan D. Stump and Jared H. Morris and Trial Attorney Benjamin J. Hawk of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
KNOXVILLE Tn Jan 9 2012 — Authorities are investigating a stabbing at a Bearden area nightclub that sent one man to the hospital overnight.
Knoxville Police Department officers responded to the reported attack at 1:07 a.m. at LaRumba, 4900 Chambliss Ave., according to Lt. Savannah Ayub.
The male victim, who was not identified by police, was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. His condition was not immediately available this afternoon.
A male suspect attempted to flee the scene, but was detained by club security until officers arrived. Information on whether the suspect was arrested and charged was not available today.
New Orleans LA Jan 9 2012 Eleven-year-old Keian Ester was happily playing his Xbox inside his godbrother’s apartment in Jefferson Parish Friday night when three bullets fired from the street ripped through the front wall. One took out his eye and exited the back of his head, said his mother, Tameka Johnson-Ester.
Doctors at University Hospital declared Keian dead Saturday afternoon, making him the third fatality in the New Orleans area within a bloody 24-hour period.
Keian, a fifth grader at George Cox Elementary School in Gretna, liked to play football and basketball. But in order to keep him safe, Johnson-Ester kept him inside at night playing video games. On Friday afternoon she dropped Keian off for a sleepover at the apartment on Beechgrove Boulevard in unincorporated Westwego. Then she went to work as a home health aide, a job that keeps her busy seven days a week.
A day later, with her husband and 10-year-old twin daughters by her side, Johnson-Ester said goodbye to her only son, kissing his still body, crying over him and telling him she loved him.
Between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, three people were killed including Keian, and 10 wounded in a spate of unrelated shootings. Four of those wounded were teenagers hit by bullets fired into a crowd after a high-school basketball game.
All but two of the shootings occurred in Orleans Parish. The other two killings were in the 9th Ward and eastern New Orleans.
Michael Johnson, 21, died of multiple gunshot wounds shortly after midnight in the 8500 block of Curran Road in eastern New Orleans.
His family gathered Saturday at a home in the Lower 9th Ward to share memories of their loved one. Their eyes red-rimmed from tears, family members said the incident was so recent they couldn’t yet talk about it.
The third murder victim had not been identified by authorities Saturday night. According to a release from the New Orleans Police Department, he was shot multiple times and his badly burned body was found early Saturday morning in an overgrown lot in the Upper 9th Ward.
Police discovered him at the edge of a lot at the corner of North Rocheblave and Independence streets after fire officials responded to a report of a car fire nearby in the 2100 block of Pauline St. Officials believe the car and murder are related.
Neighbors say they have been trying to get the city to mow the lot for more than a year, said neighbor Walter Jones, 62. He said most of the people who live in the area are retiree homeowners. “It’s nice and quiet and peaceful, and we all know each other,” he said.
A double shotgun once stood on the corner lot where the body was found, but it was damaged by floodwaters and demolished a few years ago, Jones said. While the vacant lot has not caused any problems until now, neighbors have been concerned for some time because it stands next to a house where two elderly sisters in their 80s live.
“If we hadn’t seen the fire so quickly, it could have burned their house down,” Jones said.
Nearly half of the shooting victims were shot on Friday night as they left a Warren Easton High School basketball game. The victims included a man and four teenage boys, although none of their injuries appeared to be life-threatening, said NOPD spokesman Frank Robertson III.
Friends of one victim said they thought only one Easton student, a junior, was among those injured. He remained hospitalized with a stomach wound as of Saturday evening, they said.
After the basketball game, police received a call around 9:30 p.m. about the shooting on North Gayoso Street near Canal Street. Witnesses who were at the event said the shooting happened after a nail-bitingly close women’s varsity basketball game between two longtime rivals: Easton and McDonogh 35.
After Easton won, the crowd rushed the court — as is tradition — causing some sort of tiff. Those involved were escorted out by school officials and Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputies, who typically provide security for Easton games, according to the observers, who asked not to be identified.
While emotions were definitely high, police and witnesses said they didn’t know what prompted someone to fire into the crowd.
Neighbors who live near the apartment where 11-year-old Keian was murdered say they woke up to small white signs placed by police detectives marking seven different bullet holes in the front of the wooden apartment building. Like most of the large complex, the building was largely vacant, they said.
Tyrone Coston, 57, said elderly neighbors heard gunfire, hit the floor and spent the night sleeping on the carpet, in fear.
His wife, Shirley Coston, 56, said her daughter called them to tell them to stay safe. “It brings back memories of the little girl killed in New Orleans right around Christmas,” she said. “But at the time, I thought, ‘That’s more of an Orleans thing. I’m here on the West Bank.’”
Now people felt shaken on her side of the river as well, Shirley Coston said. She even wondered if it might be worse on her side. “If you’re not safe in your own home, you’re not safe nowhere,” she said.
Additional shootings include:
– An unidentified male shot in Hollygrove around 9 p.m. on Friday. Police said the shooting occurred in the 3500 block of Gen. Ogden Street.
– A 53-year-old man shot in the foot in Central City in the 1400 block of Magnolia St. around 7 p.m. The man was standing outside a store when a black SUV pulled up and someone inside the vehicle began shooting, Robertson said.
– A man shot in the 1500 block of Montegut St. around midnight. He suffered a gunshot wound to the ear and drove himself to the hospital.
– A man shot on the Westbank Expressway in Jefferson Parish around 9:30 p.m.
– An adult male shot in the leg around noon on Saturday near the intersection of Magnolia Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
The toll of too much gunfire was evident in downtown Orleans on Saturday morning as two large processions followed murder victims in hearses to their final resting places.
On Franklin Avenue in the upper 9th Ward, a large crowd gathered outside Abundant Life Tabernacle to pay final respects to the year’s first shooting victim, Harry “Hack” Howard, 34, who was shot dead New Year’s Day on North Villere Street in the 7th Ward.
Just a few minutes’ ride up Claiborne Avenue, another family eulogized the last murder victim of 2011 at Charbonnet-Labat-Glapion Funeral Home.
Friends said they have heard that Melvin James Jr., 37, the son of Melvin James, Sr., a well-known 8th Ward mechanic who has a well-known shop on Almonaster Avenue, was killed in the St. Roch neighborhood as the result of an argument about payment for automobile rims. Last week, police say, Romero Rouser, 35, turned himself in to the NOPD and confessed to the shooting during an interview.
As Jones stood by the overgrown lot in the 9th Ward, he pointed at a stream of funeral-goers heading to another service at nearby St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church. Those people were going to celebrate the life of his neighbor, Louise Davis-Oliver, who lived to be 99, he said.
If only that were the norm, Jones said. “All these lives cut too short. It’s sad.”