Former Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill indicted on 37 counts of fraud and abuse www.privateofficer.com
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. Jan 19 2012
A grand jury indicted former Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill on 37 counts, alleging he used county cars for getaways and county credit cards for shopping sprees.
Hill’s charges include theft by taking, making false statements and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, wrapping up a nearly year-long investigation.
A hearing was immediately held for Hill where a judge set bond at $50,000 and ordered the former sheriff to surrender his passport, remain in Georgia and not to contact any witnesses. Hill was still behind bars the next morning. His attorney said bonding companies want no part in the case.
“I’ve had them tell me they will not for fear that they will be decertified from being able to have bonds at the Clayton County Jail in the future,” attorney Musa Ghanayem said.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne talked to Hill before he addressed the grand jury panel Wednesday. Hill maintained his innocence and said he still plans on running for sheriff again.
“Looking forward to defending myself. I think everyone knows it’s politically motivated and we’re ready to get back on the campaign trail,” Hill told Winne.
The grand jury started an investigation into Hill in April, and prosecutors finished their presentation on Wednesday afternoon. Hill then had the option to make a final statement before the panel voted on the charges.
Sources told Winne the special grand jury looked at the use of county credit cards, the handling of campaign finances, if there was personal travel using county equipment, if county employees engaged in campaign or personal business for Hill.
Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough has been critical of Hill, whom he won against in 2008. Kimbrough said he takes no joy in Hill’s downfall but considers it vindication.
“It is not politically motivated. It is all about accountability and the integrity of the offices we hold,” Kimbrough told Winne.
Kimbrough said he would be ready for Hill in another face-off.
“This is how I’m going to campaign against him,” Kimbrough told Thomas, holding a copy of the indictment against Hill. “Not only was he a poor sheriff, but he broke the law.”
Beatrice Powell, a former Clayton County corrections officer, was also indicted on perjury and theft by taking charges in connection with Hill’s case. Investigators said they contacted her last summer about her friendship with Hill.
Investigators said they wanted to know if Powell campaigned for Hill on county time and whether he allowed her to get paid on the county’s dime. Powell told investigators she committed no crime.
Hill’s attorney, Steve Fry, said he will fight the charges and Hill has not violated the law.
Hill is currently being held in the Gwinnett County Jail instead of the Clayton County Jail for security reasons.
Adams County PA Jan 19 2012 A 19-year-old firefighter with the United Hook and Ladder Company No. 33 in Adams County, Pa., was killed as he responded to a house fire this evening (Jan. 18), according to television station Fox 43 WPMT.
According to the news report, the young firefighter, identified as Brandon Little, crashed at about 6:30 p.m. in Berwick Township near the Lincoln Speedway. The victim was reportedly in a privately owned vehicle and may have been ejected in the violent crash in route to the scene in Hamilton Township.
Police are investigating and say speed may have played a factor in the wreck.
Norfolk VA Jan 19 2012
A man who threatened to assault a hospital security guard was arrested.
Norfolk police responded to a trespassing complaint at Faith Regional Health Services at 7:25 p.m. Tuesday.
Upon arrival, officers were advised by the security guard that Darryl Moroz, 45, had been causing a disturbance in the reception area.
Moroz appeared to be intoxicated and had been asked several times to leave the hospital, said Police Chief Bill Mizner.
Moroz had refused to leave and had threatened to assault the security guard, he said.
Officers asked Moroz to comply with the request that he leave the property. Moroz refused and began to confront the security guard again, Mizner said.
Moroz was arrested on suspicion of second-degree trespassing and booked into the Norfolk jail.
Randall L. Benoit
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana
End of Watch: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 18 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 1/18/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available
Deputy Sheriff Randall Benoit was killed in an automobile accident at the intersection of Highway 27 and Red Rose Drive in Carlyss at approximately 8:00 am.
His patrol car was struck head-on by another vehicle, causing fatal injuries.
Deputy Benoit had served with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office for 18 years and was assigned to the Civil Division.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Sheriff Tony Mancuso
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office
5400 E Broad Street
Lake Charles, LA 70615
Phone: (337) 491-3600
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 24 years
Badge # 15963
Incident Date: 1/18/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Shot and wounded
Agent Francis Crespo-Mandry was shot and killed as he and another officer responded to a panic alarm at a gas station at the intersection of PR-3 and PR-758 in Patillas.
As they arrived at the scene they encountered two subjects robbing the gas station at gunpoint. The suspects opened fire on the officers, fatally wounding Agent Crespo-Mandry. One of the suspects was wounded in the ensuing shootout and taken into custody. The other suspect remains at large.
Agent Crespo-Mandry had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 24 years and was assigned to the Patillas District. He is survived by his wife and two children. He is also survived by four brothers, two who serve with the same agency, and one sister.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Superintendent General Emilio Diaz-Colon
Puerto Rico Police Department
PO Box 70166
San Juan, PR 00936
Phone: (787) 792-1234
Somerville MA Jan 19 2012 Police officers were dispatched to the Target store on Somerville Avenue last Wednesday to investigate a reported case of employee theft.
Upon arrival, the officers were met by loss prevention personnel and advised that an employee of the store, Jamal Crews-Williams, 20, was being held on suspicion of stealing items from the store, according to reports.
Police were reportedly told that items taken from the store were placed in a backpack owned Crews-Williams and that it was located in the employee area on the coat rack.
The witnesses, with the aid of the surveillance system, were able to see the Crews-Williams place items in his backpack that was then taken, by the defendant, to the employee area and placed on the coat rack, which is located beyond any point of sales, police said.
Crews-Williams was reportedly approached by the loss prevention officer and taken into the office to wait for the police.
Police and store personnel searched the backpack and reportedly found numerous MP3 players, video games, a portable gaming system, a memory card and three ear bud type head phones, which totaled $769.90 in value, according to police.
Crews-Williams was placed under arrest and charged with larceny over $250 and shoplifting by concealing merchandise.
ST Charles IL Jan 19 2012 Police have arrested two Wal-Mart employees for allegedly not ringing items during checkout.
Devonda L. Patterson, 24, of 624 N. Lincoln Ave., Geneva, was arrested on Jan. 12 for retail theft, according to St. Charles police.
An employee at the store, located at 150 Smith Rd., told police they video taped Patteron scanning several bottles of alcohol and beer, lotion, hairbrushes, perfume and clothing, totalling $360.01. She then accepted $13.11 in payment for the transaction.
A second employee, Olga Maria Pena, 20, of 614 S. Neltnor Blvd., West Chicago, also was arrested for retail theft on Jan. 12, according to police. Police allege she was “under ringing” items—$202.54 in makeup, baby formula, perfume and other cosmetics—and paid a total of only $2.54.
An employee told police that eight employees in total at Wal-Mart were under investigation for theft.
Gainesville FL Jan 19 2012 Police arrested two Jacksonville women and a teenager late Tuesday who are suspected of working as a statewide shoplifting team specializing in apparel.
Investigators said the women would shoplift from chain stores in several Florida cities and then take the clothes to retail outlets in other cities to exchange the items for cash.
According to the Gainesville Police Department, the three-member shoplifting team was stopped after they attracted the attention of an alert Victoria’s Secret employee at The Oaks Mall around 3 p.m.
Those arrested were identified as Sheree Renae Jackson, 27, Cheryl Tharlane Neal, 41, and a 17-year-old girl.
In arrest reports, Officer Derek Tirado said that, based on statements by the suspects, it appears the trio had gone to stores in Tampa, Orlando, Brandon and Jacksonville, as well as The Oaks Mall. One person would steal clothing, according to police. Then the group would go to stores in other cities, and another person would claim she did not want the items and would receive cash for the merchandise.
Items found inside a rental car the women used to drive to Gainesville on Tuesday included $271 worth of clothing stolen from Victoria’s Secret and $123 worth of clothing stolen from American Eagle, according to Tirado’s report.
A search of the car also turned up a purse that had been modified to thwart anti-shoplifting devices and several anti-shoplifting sensors that appeared to have been removed from clothing, Tirado said.
The teen was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice following her arrest.
Jackson was charged with using an anti-shoplifting device, grand theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Neal was charged with three counts of organized dealing in stolen property and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Both women were being held Wednesday at the Alachua County jail.
CHESHIRE CT Jan 19 2012 - A Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan employee has been charged with the theft of $253,000 from customers.
Sarah Kwasinskas, 30, of 49 A Cherry St. in Naugatuck, was charged with first-degree larceny. Cheshire police detective Kerry Nastri said that Kwasinskas turned herself in after her lawyer informed her there was a warrant for her arrest.
Kwasinskas worked as a teller for Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, 1699 Highland Ave. Bank officials noticed irregularities in some of their customers’ accounts. The investigation lasted about two months and revealed Kwasinskas had been taking money for over a year.
Nastri said that the bank has already reimbursed the accounts affected, 17 in all. Kwasinskas is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 16.
Athens GA Jan 19 2012 A shoplifting suspect has been charged with armed robbery after he pulled a box cutter on a security officer who confronted him Monday outside the Walmart on Epps Bridge Parkway, Oconee County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Lee Weems said today.
Raymond Roy Hunt Jr., 46, described in an incident report as a man with “violent tendencies,” was confronted about 3 p.m. when he tried to leave with about $100 worth of steaks, according to the sheriff’s report.
Hunt pulled the box cutter on the security officer, an action observed by two other people, Weems said.
He escaped in a older model Honda driven by another man, according to the report, which noted that Hunt had previously been served with a notice to stay out of Walmart stores and also was wanted on an active warrant in Athens.
Hunt was arrested Tuesday in Athens by a Clarke County sheriff’s deputy. He remains in jail without bond.
Walmart loss prevention officers confront shoplifters on a regular basis, Weems said, “but that’s taking it to another level when you pull out a box cutter on people over steaks.”
Originally, Walmart officers planned to charge Hunt only with shoplifting.
“We called and said ‘Hold on’,” Weems said, explaining that deputies secured an armed robbery warrant instead.
Capital One Bank employee indicted for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft www.privateofficer.com
HOUSTON TX Jan 19 2012 - Jamal Gerard Mose-Burrel, 22, of Houston, has been arrested following the return of a 17-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
The indictment, returned under seal Jan. 11, 2011, was unsealed following the arrest of Mose-Burrel by U.S. Secret Service agents this afternoon. Mose-Burrel is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy tomorrow.
Mose-Burrel, a former employee of Capital One Bank, faces one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, nine counts of bank fraud and seven counts of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges that beginning on or about July 1, 2011, Mose-Burrel conspired with others to defraud Capital One Bank and obtain money and other property owned by, and under the custody and control of, the bank by submitting counterfeit checks and fraudulent counter withdrawal slips.
According to the indictment, Mose-Burrel committed aggravated identity theft when he unlawfully accessed and obtained the personal and account information of eight Capital One Bank customers and then turned this information over to a co-conspirator in return for cash payments. With the information provided by Mose-Burrel, co-conspirators allegedly committed bank fraud by entering Capital One Bank branches posing as bank customers using fake Texas driver’s licenses, forging signatures and withdrawing at least $85,929 from the unsuspecting customers’ bank accounts over a two-month period.
A conviction for conspiracy to commit bank fraud or bank fraud carries a potential sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment and fines of up to $1 million. The minimum sentence for a conviction of aggravated identity theft is two years imprisonment to run consecutive after any sentence imposed for the underlying felony.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the United States Secret Services. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.
Houston TX Jan 19 2012 A former church employee is behind bars, accused of bilking a Cypress church out of more than $150,000 over a three-year period, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s office.
The suspect, Rebekah M. Talley, 33, of Magnolia, is charged with felony theft in connection with the case, court records show.
The alleged scheme began to unravel in September 2008, when a church official discovered a forged $5,473 check that was written on the account of St. John Lutheran Church on Spring Cypress Road, and subsequently deposited into Talley’s personal bank account at First Community Credit Union, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.
Investigators uncovered 26 additional forged checks written on a Prosperity Bank account registered to the church, and deposited into Talley’s bank account at the credit union from September 2008 through May 2011, prosecutors said. The deposits totaled more than $151,000.
“The defendant facilitated the thefts by generating fictitious bank statements related to legitimate accounts of St. John Lutheran Church,” the complaint states.
When church officials questioned Talley about the accounting irregularities in May 2011, she replied that she didn’t notice any discrepancies in the bank records.
“Later that same day, defendant Talley left the church claiming she was sick and took a trash bag with her,” the complaint states. “Defendant Talley did not tell (the church official) that she was leaving for the day. Defendant Talley never returned to work at the church since May 23, 2011.”
Talley was being held at the Harris County Jail under $302,000 bond, court records show.
Orangeburg SC Jan 19 2012
To hear 25-year-old Elvis Prince tell the story, he would tell you he was fulfilling his destiny.
“I needed a way to call attention to myself for a certain purpose, and I didn’t know any other way to do it and that’s the method I chose to take,” said Prince.
The method Prince used took him to the South Carolina Bank and Trust in Orangeburg.
Tuesday afternoon, police say Prince jumped over a bank counter with three knives and held one to a bank teller’s throat.
“I had no intention of harming anyone,” said Prince. “I told them that when I took them hostage.”
Chief Wendall Davis says Prince never demanded money.
“He was extremely agitated when he went into the bank, to the point that we needed to alter our techniques until we could take him down,” said Davis.
Davis says they negotiated with Prince for almost an hour. They got him to release some of his hostages. Ultimately, Davis says a tazer put Prince down.
Prince faced 13 counts of kidnapping Wednesday afternoon. Each charge carries a possible 30-year sentence.
With some of the victims in court, Prince told a judge they had nothing to do with it.
“This had nothing to do with these people, this didn’t have anything to do with the police, this is about me fulfilling my destiny as the Lord has called me to,” said Prince.
Until Wednesday, the 25-year-old had no criminal history
Fayetteville NC Jan 19 2012 Andre LeMar Walker needed help when he went to the emergency room of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville complaining of voices only he could hear.
Within hours, the 27-year-old was dead, strangled as he was restrained by hospital police officers in a psychiatric unit known as the “red zone.”
Security camera footage of the April 17, 2011, altercation and medical records obtained by The Associated Press provide a window into missteps that have brought one of North Carolina’s largest medical centers to the brink of losing $23 million a month in payments from Medicare and Medicaid.
Cape Fear Valley administrators have until Thursday to convince federal regulators that they can fix serious violations found during a series of reviews triggered by Walker’s autopsy report, which was completed in September. If they can’t, federal funding will be terminated at midnight.
Fayetteville Police detectives opened a homicide investigation after the medical examiner sent them his report. Hospital administrators said they had seen no need to report the death to law enforcement.
Valerie Walker says her son’s death was avoidable. A retired Army sergeant, she works in the accounting department at Cape Fear Valley.
“My son died horrifically,” Valerie Walker said. “What happened to him was wrong.”
Administrators at the hospital say they cannot discuss the details of what happened that night, citing patient privacy rules and a pending lawsuit. None of the staff on duty when Walker was killed has faced disciplinary action, they said.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Walker struggled with hallucinations and paranoid delusions. Unable to work or live on his own, he focused on his music.
Walker rapped in local clubs under the stage name Tré Day and was recording a studio album. Among the 12 songs finished before his death is “Take a Dosage,” in which Walker compares the side effects of his antipsychotic meds to being abducted by aliens.
Medical records show Walker had stopped taking his medication after the drug’s manufacturer changed the color of the pills and packaging. After a brief visit to the emergency room at Cape Fear Valley, he was sent home.
Seven days later, Valerie Walker called 911 again. Her son had jumped out of the second-story window of their apartment.
When police officers and paramedics arrived, Walker agreed to go back to Cape Fear Valley. An ambulance report lists his condition as uninjured and says he was cooperative and nonviolent.
Arriving at Cape Fear Valley shortly after 4 p.m., Walker was escorted to the ER’s locked nine-bed psychiatric unit. His mother said she was told to return the following morning.
Over the past decade, North Carolina has attempted to reform its mental health system while cutting costs and downsizing state-run psychiatric hospitals. The results have been widely criticized, with patients unable to find adequate outpatient treatment often facing days-long waits in the emergency rooms.
At Cape Fear Valley, administrators have seen a 49 percent increase since 2005 in the number of people coming to the ER with a primary diagnosis of mental illness. The hospital now treats more than 500 such patients a month.
The response has been to staff the “red zone” with uniformed security officers supplied by a private contractor, AlliedBarton. The hospital also operates an internal police force supplied by the security company.
Under North Carolina law, these private police are granted the same authority to wear a badge, carry a gun and arrest citizens as government law-enforcement officers.
Security cameras in the psychiatric unit record much of what happens there. The lawyer for Walker’s family, James Rogers of Durham, provided the AP with hours of footage from the night of the death. Rogers would not disclose how he obtained the video, which includes no audio. The footage provided by the attorney matches written moment-by-moment descriptions of the video’s contents included in a federal report.
The video shows Walker pacing in a corridor as he waited. Around 7 p.m., records show, a staff psychiatrist interviewed him and prescribed him a combination of drugs intended to calm his nerves. Though Walker came to the hospital voluntarily, records show the doctor also initiated legal paperwork to commit him against his will.
Over the next two hours, video footage and medical records show Walker grew more and more anxious. He repeatedly asked for his mother and said he wanted to go home.
Shortly after 9 p.m., two armed hospital police officers entered the darkened room where Walker was waiting and switched on the lights. They were accompanied by two security officers and a nurse.
Walker asked for a cup of water, according his medical records. After taking a few sips, he threw some of the water at the police officers and tried to leave through the door.
The nurse turned her back and walked away as one of the police officers grabbed Walker and wrapped his arm around the patient’s neck, according to the medical examiner’s report. The four uniformed men then tackled Walker and pinned him to the ground.
After about 3 minutes Walker stopped moving. The officers lifted his body onto the bed and secured his arms and legs with wide leather straps.
Another 3 minutes passed before anyone began measures to save Walker’s life, according to his medical records. He was officially declared dead at 10:11 p.m.
As required when someone dies while in restraints or in the custody of law enforcement officers, Walker’s body was sent to the medical examiner’s office in Chapel Hill. Rogers, the family’s lawyer, said he provided the security camera video to the medical examiner.
After reviewing the footage and finding physical evidence that included hemorrhages in the tongue and larynx, the medical examiner ruled Sept. 6 that Walker died of asphyxiation due to restraint.
On Oct. 17, regulators from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services went to Cape Fear Valley to review records from Walker’s death and other instances in which the hospital’s police and security officers restrained patients.
Following the state’s report, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued an immediate jeopardy finding against the hospital, indicating inspectors found conditions so deficient as to put patients in immediate threat of physical harm.
Among the federal agency’s findings was that Walker had been improperly restrained and that the hospital’s police officers had never received critical training in methods for safely restraining psychiatric patients or de-escalating confrontations without resorting to force. The regulators also cited the hospital’s medical staff for not adequately supervising the security officers to ensure patient safety.
As the hospital worked to resolve the issues cited in the Walker case, a second notice of violation was issued against Cape Fear Valley on Dec. 5, after relatives of a 30-year-old cancer patient said hospital staff discharged him against his will and he died on his way home. Regulators returned Dec. 22, issuing a third immediate jeopardy notice. Federal officials have not yet released their findings from the most recent violations.
Cape Fear Valley administrators said they do not expect to lose the $275 million in federal funding they get each year. They said significant improvements have been made following Walker’s death, including a new requirement that all medical and security personnel working in the “red zone” be trained in nonviolent crisis intervention techniques.
Officials for both the hospital and the security firm stressed they are fully cooperating with the ongoing criminal investigation.
“We share his mother’s sadness over the loss of her son but have a different understanding of the events surrounding his death,” said Mike Nagowski, the hospital’s chief executive officer.
Valerie Walker has watched the video of her son’s final moments.
“I miss his presence,” she said last week. “When I come home, it’s to an empty house.”
She sometimes breaks the silence by playing her son’s music. On one track about what it’s like to be schizophrenic, he raps, “I ain’t dead, I ain’t dead.”
Rather than be haunted by the chorus, Valerie Walker is working with her lawyer to find a music company interested in releasing the songs.
KNOXVILLE TN Jan 19 2012- A part-time Knox County Schools security officer was injured this morning at Ball Camp Elementary when he was hit from behind as he directed traffic by a parent dropping off a student.
The officer, Larry Woods, was taken to Parkwest Medical Center, where he was treated and released, said Steve Griffin, Knox County Schools’ security chief.
The accident happened about 7:20 a.m.
Griffin said Woods has been an officer with the district since 2009, and is one of seven people employed at different campuses to help direct traffic in the morning and afternoon.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office was called to the school, where they cited the parent for reckless driving, he said.
RAYTOWN, Mo.Jan 19 2012 – He was a father, husband and son. That’s the way Robert Long’s family knew him.
Long, a Iraqi war veteran, was shot and killed by a Raytown police officer on Thursday, after police say he threatened them with a rifle when they arrived on scene.
It’s behavior that has been seen before with someone suffering from depression, according to counselor Deanna Brauer, who doesn’t know the family.
“There’s acting in and acting out behaviors and a lot of people do a combination of both,” Brauer said.
Long’s family said he was a conflicted soldier. They say Long had just gotten word he was headed to Afghanistan. He had worked hard to transfer to the U.S. Air Force Navy Reserves as a corpsman, or medic, so he could make a bigger impact. His family says in Iraq, he was mostly in transportation and restocking. But even though he was excited, his family says there were also troubled memories of his previous deployment in Iraq. He was there for six months in 2007 and 2008. They say his haunting memories were overwhelming and difficult to express.
Brauer says it’s feelings that happen to more than just Long.
“The desire and duty to serve and obligation and so forth, but also dealing with a lot of trauma that they incur,” she said.
But it’s not depression Long’s family remembers about him. They say it’s the genuine man, with a sense of humor, musical talent and strong determination they’ll not forget. They say while serving in Iraq, he worked extra hours at the military hospital, even after a full day of his normal duties. They wrote in a statement, “His selflessness and generous spirit, fun sense of humor, unending loyalty to family and friends, and of course, the love he showed for his country, made him and easy man to love.”
The family is holding a private funeral for him on Wednesday.
Long was shot by police in the front yard of a home in the 9000 block of East 79th Street around 3:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. According to police, Long had been drinking all day long, and had actually been taken home from a bar by police a few hours earlier after he was kicked-out of a bar for being too drunk.
Officers were called back to the home on 79th Street after Long fired a pistol into his house. Police say that when Long’s roommate returned home, he found him in the front yard with the pistol. The two men fought over the gun, but after Long gave up the pistol he got out a rifle and threatened to kill his roommate and himself.
Police say that Long was shot once because he threatened officers with the rifle after they arrived on the scene. He was taken to an area hospital where he died of his wounds a few hours later.
Police say the shooting is still an ongoing investigation. The officer who pulled the trigger is on administrative leave, as standard procedure.
Temecula CA Jan 19 2012 A Temecula middle school teacher today admitted to carrying on a yearlong sexual relationship with a teenage girl and was immediately sentenced to a two-year prison term.
James Seishin Pinckard, 56, pleaded guilty to one count each of unlawful intercourse with a minor, oral copulation with a minor and meeting with a minor at an arranged time or place for the purpose of engaging in lewd or lascivious behavior.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Rushton dismissed a dozen other felony charges as a result of the plea deal. Pinckard, a married math instructor at James L. Day Middle School, quit his job after the charges were filed.
According to Murrieta police Sgt. Phil Gomez, patrol officers were sent to 41771 Corporate Center Court on the night of Nov. 9 to check out a burglar alarm at a business. Officers spotted a van parked at the location and questioned the driver, Pinckard, discovering a 17-year-old girl “hiding in the rear of the van,” Gomez said. “Investigation revealed Pinckard and the juvenile … (had) been involved in an ongoing sexual relationship for over one year,” the sergeant said.
The judge issued a criminal protective order earlier this month prohibiting any contact between the defendant and the girl, who had attended his class.
Boston — NEWTON Mass Jan 19 2011 — A second-grade teacher at Underwood Elementary School in Newton was arraigned Tuesday in Brighton District Court on two counts of possession of child pornography and held on $10,000 bail.
Prosecutors said they found hundreds of child pornography images and files on computers that were taken from the home of David Ettlinger, 34, of Brighton.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley’s office reports that among those files found were images of a girl whose identity is known to investigators. Prosecutors say she was a family friend and not a student. Prosecutors said they found videos of Ettlinger assaulting a 14-year-old girl, according to our news partner The Boston Channel.
Ettlinger, who has taught in the Newton schools for 12 years, was arrested Tuesday morning in his Brighton home, according to Newton Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman. The arrest came on a warrant, executed by the Massachusetts State Police.
The warrant, issued amid an ongoing federal investigation, led to the recovery of multiple image files depicting children under 18 in sexualized contexts.
Fleishman said Ettlinger spent most of his professional career at Newton Public Schools and was hired in September 2000 at the Peirce Elementary School.
Ettlinger faces additional charges on Wednesday in West Roxbury District Court, according to a press release from Conley’s office. Assistant District Attorney David Deakin, chief of Conley’s Family Protection and Sexual Assault Bureau, recommended that he be held on $250,000 cash bail; Judge Franco Gobourne set bail at $10,000 on this case and ordered him held without bail on a related warrant out of West Roxbury District Court. At Deakin’s request, Gobourne ordered that Ettlinger have no contact with that child or her family while his case is pending.
“We’re stunned,” Fleishman said in a phone interview with the Newton TAB. “Our concern, as always, is for the safety of our children. We want to provide whatever support we can to the children, faculty and staff and to the families.”
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Fleishman added that Ettlinger was CORI checked (Criminal Offender Record Information) checked last year. He said teachers are checked every three years, and that Ettlinger was a well-respected educator.
“It’s so sad. It’s so upsetting on so many levels. Our concern right now is with the Underwood community,” Fleishman said.
He said Ettlinger was in school last Friday. The Newton Police Department informed administrators on Tuesday that he had been arrested, and the school brought in a substitute teacher to cover Ettlinger’s 27-student classroom.
Fleishman said Ettlinger also served as an advisor for a community service program at the school.
Fleishman said the Underwood Crisis Team was meeting Tuesday, and would be sending a notice home to families. He said the district has no reason to suspect any of Ettlinger’s students were victims.
Ettlinger is a 1995 graduate of Newton South High School, according to The Boston Channel.
Conley’s office has been coordinating on the local investigation with Boston Police, State Police, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, and the United States Attorney’s office. The investigation remains open and active.
SPOKANE COUNTY WA Jan 19 2012—The Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man after he apparently cashed the check he was issued from the Spokane County Jail for a fraudulent amount.
Police said John P. Oak, 44, faces felony counts of Forgery and Theft 2nd degree.
Oak, who had been arrested for a minor traffic warrant, received the check on January 8th from Spokane County Jail staff when he was released from custody. The $15 check issued from a Spokane County Sheriff’s account covered the remaining funds in his inmate account.
On January 11th as the jail financial staff reconciled accounts, they noticed the original $15 check issued to Oak had been changed and cashed for $3,042.21. Reportedly when Oak cashed the check, he received approximately $1000 in cash and deposited the remaining amount in his personal account.
Banner Bank notified police when oak attempted to withdraw more cash from his account. Oak was denied funds and left the location in a car. Authorities quickly tracked down the car and arrested Oak who was a passenger. Oak was arrested and once again transported to the Spokane County Jail where he was book on the new felony charges.
Two other passengers in the vehicle, John M. Hamilton, 49, and Amanda M. Powers, 28, were arrested and booked on outstanding warrants. The driver of the vehicle was released shortly after the traffic stop and was not charged.
Police arrested Peoria residents Mark Villagomez, 20, and Douglas Tongen, 25, last month on suspicion of twice sawing off and stealing several exterior water valves and copper pipes at Desert Harbor and Lake Pleasant elementary schools and once at Sundance Elementary School.
The district said some of the damages caused large amounts of water to leak onto fields and playgrounds.
Last week, district staff informed the school board about the suspects’ arrests and board President Hal Borhauer asked whether they plan to work with police to press charges.
“Absolutely,” Chief Financial Officer Michael Finn responded.
Two other schools in the Peoria district were vandalized about the same time.
In late November, a few classroom laptops and some projection equipment were stolen during a break-in at Sky View Elementary School. The district is still waiting for the replacements to come in, officials said.
Several door locks were damaged beyond repair at Kachina Elementary School in mid-December. The locks have been replaced, officials said.
It is unknown whether Villagomez and Tongen were involved in the Sky View or Kachina incidents, police said.
Borhauer said vandalism and theft happens every now and then at schools, but this particular string of activity in such a short period was unusual. He hoped Peoria would get some restitution as it has in the past.
“The district suffers losses just like any other businesses do,” Borhauer said.
Villagomez and Tongen, who face multiple felony charges including theft, burglary, possession of burglary tools and possession of dangerous drugs, are accused of selling the stolen parts for about $100 each to buy heroin and methamphetamines, police said. The schools were left with roughly $1,100 each in replacement costs, police said.
Damages at Desert Harbor and Lake Pleasant schools from the first time thefts in November totaled $4,500 at each campus, district officials said.
A total figure for all damage, repair and replacement costs at all five schools was unknown because various items are still on order or still need to be ordered, officials said.
The district is not responsible for covering those expenses as it is fully covered by the Valley Schools Insurance Trust.
“We’ve gone in and put caging around the pipes,” which also have locks, at Desert Harbor, Lake Pleasant and Sundance, said district spokeswoman Danielle Airey.
Portland OR Jan 19 2012 In November of 2009, Portland, Ore. skateboarder Brian Baca and friend Clyde King were skating in Pioneer Square, when they were assaulted by security guards after being asked to leave the spot they were skating at. Following the incident, footage of the assault went viral on the Web, and both Baca and King decided to sue all three guards and the company that employed them, Pacific Patrol Services (PPS), for a combined $1.35 million in damages, according to court records obtained by the Portland Mercury. Earlier this month, Baca and King settled for an undisclosed amount of money, bringing the ordeal to an end, and making Baca and King the first skateboarders to even win a civil suit against security guards. Recently, Baca sat down to discuss the incident, the legal hurdles experienced along the way and the eventual result.
ESPN.com: Back in November of 2009, you decided to go skate at night and try to film a trick at Pioneer Square in Portland, Ore.?
Baca: Yeah some friends and I were skating at the Department of Skateboarding and we randomly decided to go get a clip on this brick set at Pioneer square. I had it in my mind that I would bail a couple of nollies, then just try to stick one quick, get out of the cold weather and try to avoid getting the boot.
How long were you there before the security guards told you to leave?
We had been there for about ten minutes or so. After two or three rushed tries, the first security guard came up and told me to get the hell out of there. The security guard was being a jerk from the beginning — he started to make fun of me right from the start.
Be honest, did you give these guys some lip for telling you to go skate somewhere else? Or were they jerks right from the start?
There were all jerks right from the start. I asked the guy nicely for one more try to test the waters and he wasn’t into it at all. Before the other security got there, the first security guard and I had been talking from where I was getting speed from. He was at the top blocking the stairs with his arms crossed. At that point, I pretty much gave up and skated towards where he was to walk down the stairs and leave. As I did, he bumped into me with his shoulder when I walked past him. When I got to the bottom, my friends and I were kind of figuring out our next move and talking. The security guard, who hadn’t said a word or even seen me on my board, started telling us to move on and that we were excluded from the square.
I remember you telling me these guys were shoving cameras in your face and taunting you?
Yeah, that was the guard who actually hit me after we had been kind of talking crap to each other. This guard was only, like, 22 at the time, and he was making fun of all of us too. We turned to leave and I felt something right next to my face — he was trying to focus his busted little camera. I nicked it with the tail of my board and he freaked, instantly threw the camera down, and punched me in the face. That’s when the 17 second or so altercation happened.
How did you guys end up fighting? Did you throw the first punch or did they?
He did. I came back at him and got all wrapped up with my buddy Clyde King. Clyde tried to grab the dude off of me after I got punched, and he got put in some UFC choke hold and dropped his skateboard right next to the guard attacking me. The guard let me go when he heard the sound of Clyde’s board by his feet, and right when I looked up he was already bending over to grab the board. Then it was lights out for about half a second. I tried to deflect his board with mine, but I was a little too late and fell to my tailbone… When I realized that he had hit me over the head, I was mad. I got up for more and got a little slap, and maybe a punch before I got attacked by a third guard, who had witnessed a little of what was happening. The new guard ran into us like a bull — throwing knees into me and forcing me into the street. The original guard who talked to me on top of the stairs had been yanking on the guards, urging them to stop. The guard who hit me was unlicensed and had no training at all. It was his second day on the job. Maybe that guy’s not meant to be a security guard.
Why did you guys leave the spot after the security guard hit you with Clyde’s board? I’m guessing you didn’t think the local police would see your side of the story?
Exactly. It was pretty intense, and definitely not the usual run-in when you go skating in Portland. We were all kind of scared, to be honest with you. When the Police showed up that night after doing some interviews, they said that if we hadn’t left they would have arrested the guards for being the aggressors, and not us. But somehow I’m not buying that story.
Then the TransWorld Skateboarding site posted the video footage from the fight, local news stations starting covering the story, newspapers starting calling you for your side of the story and for a minute you almost got into some legal trouble for the altercation. How did you get to be such big news?
Yeah, before “Right Foot Forward” came out, I had sent some clips of Pete Eldridge to Chris Ray that my friend had filmed when he was in town. I met Chris from trips he was on while he was in the Northwest. I told him what happened and asked if he wanted me to send that clip as well so he could watch it. Five minutes or so go by then he responds saying he wants to put the clip up, then local news stations picked up the stories and tried to get Chris to comment on where the footage was from. He later told me that the video footage we sent him has had the most hits on the TransWorld site even to this date.
I remember you saying that you and Clyde King were both worried about having criminal assault charges brought against you. I remember all the local news stories were spinning the story and footage saying that you two actually assaulted the officers.
Yeah, they picked the story up and had reporters down at the scene saying eleven street kids were involved, and that the security guards were out-numbered and just defending themselves. They also were trying to figure out who we were. Portland is pretty small, so I thought someone would recognize me and the cops would show up at my door. I was pretty spooked, just trying to wait till it all went away.
How did you go about getting a lawyer?
I had been doing summer skate camps (as a skate instructor) at the Department of Skateboarding prior to the incident and ended up meeting two cool little rippers named Luke and Jake Rossiter. They had heard what happened to me and told their mother, Wendy Chung, who happened to be a lawyer who handles these kind of cases. She introduced me to Tony Schwartz and they both let me know they would do it for free and I decided to start the process.
How did the police handle the case when you were trying to press criminal charges?
Well, the first time I went to the police station after the incident, a detective tried to convince me that I didn’t get hit in the head and I was blowing the situation out of proportion. He said we were in the wrong and I think he was just trying to scare me so I would drop the case. We showed him the DVD of the incident — we had to walk all over the building trying to find even one of their crappy computers that would even play it and he wasn’t very impressed… He told me to have all the people involved call him to give him statements. So later in the process we figure out that half of the statements weren’t in the report the detective handed over to the D.A.. After we got denied on the criminal side of things, we figured out that the guard who hit me wasn’t licensed and the company knew it the whole time. If we would have known that, we would have won the criminal case.
Didn’t the city argue that Pioneer Square is highly illegal to skate even though they’ve had two skateboarding contests at that venue?
Yeah, it’s hilarious. I skated in one of the contests at Pioneer Square after the incident, and the same company had their finest there. Someone gave one of them the mic and he was saying how hyped he was to be there. It was lame.
Also, even though the video footage clearly shows you being hit in the head by a skateboard, didn’t the prosecution argue that you weren’t hit in the head because the video footage was fake?
Yeah, that was the detective and original D.A. They thought we “edited it” like George Lucas or something. They both insisted I wasn’t hit in the head and were trying to turn it around and say I had hit the security guard with my board.
What did you think would have happened if you were to have hit the security with your skateboard instead of him hitting you?
I would probably be in jail and that dude would probably still be a security guard instead of a farmer. He quit three days after the incident.
So after two years of fighting in court, you and Clyde King recently settled for undisclosed sum. Why did you decided to settle outside of court? I’m guessing after two years of court dates, you guys just wanted everything to be over with?
Yeah, that’s just it. I really appreciate the work my counsel did to the fullest, but the stress was not only on me, but on them too. Life’s too short. This is still a win for us! I’m hyped for sure.
I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but you guys are the first skateboarders to ever win a court case such as this. How do you feel about that?
I’m hyped! We hung in there for sure. It was definitely the representation we had, though. They put a lot of hard work into it, I just had to sit back. Plus I made two more good friends. Don’t let anyone push you around!
RIVERSIDE, Calif. Jan 19 2012 – Police arrested a man Tuesday after he allegedly pulled a knife on a security guard Riverside shopping mall before leading officers on a short foot chase.
Officers responded about 3:35 p.m. to the Galleria at Tyler to a report that a security guard was keeping tabs on a man who pulled a knife on him earlier in the day, according to a news release issued by the Riverside Police Department. When police arrived to confront him, the man, identified as Guy Reed, 31, of Riverside, took off running.
Reed ran across Tyler Street, through traffic, and made his way to an adjacent Target store, police said. There he stopped and turned to face the officers, still holding the knife.
Officers ordered Reed to drop the knife but he refused. Instead, he held the knife to his own throat.
Reed allegedly began cutting his own throat with the knife and officers shocked him with a Taser, immobilizing him. The officers then rushed in and took him into custody, according to the news release.
Police recovered the knife and found several other knives “…secreted in various places on (Reed’s) body,” according to the news release.
Paramedics took Reed to a nearby hospital where he was treated for self-inflicted, non-life-threatening wounds, officials said. Officers then arrested him on suspicion of carrying a concealed knife, brandishing a knife and resisting police.
He was booked at Robert Presley Detention Center in downtown Riverside.
Armed 65-year-old woman taken off American Airlines plane at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport www.privateofficer.com
FORT WORTH, Texas Jan 19 2012— Authorities say that a 65-year-old woman was taken into custody Wednesday after carrying a gun on to an American Airlines plane at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
An airline spokesman said Wednesday that the plane was headed for the runway when it returned to the gate and was met by airport police.
Security screeners detected a handgun in the woman’s carry-on bag, but she “picked up the bag and left the checkpoint before the screening process was over,” said Greg Soule, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, which operates the checkpoints.
Soule said he didn’t know if the gun, a .38-caliber revolver, was loaded. He said that when TSA screeners spot a gun in a bag, they are supposed to seize the bag and notify police.
It was not clear how authorities tracked down the woman’s flight. It was about an hour and 40 minutes later that she was taken into custody by DFW Airport police, Soule said.
Airport officials declined to talk about the incident but issued a brief written statement saying that the woman would be charged with carrying a gun into a place where weapons are prohibited, a third-degree felony in Texas and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
People who bring a gun to an airport checkpoint are subject to civil penalties. It’s up to local law enforcement agencies to decide whether to lodge criminal charges, according to the TSA.
American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said the woman was removed from Flight 2385, scheduled to fly to Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. The flight was delayed for just over an hour and other passengers were screened again before the plane took off, he said.
About 10 other flights were also delayed up to 25 minutes after the TSA closed DFW’s Terminal D, Smith said. The terminal, one of five, is used for international flights and some domestic flights.
The incident comes amid heightened criticism of TSA.
A soldier arrested on Dec. 31 at the Midland, Texas, airport with C4 explosives in his bag said he probably carried the bomb material on a flight from North Carolina to Texas. Screeners delayed him after finding and confiscating a smoke grenade, but let him on that first flight.
In other cases, screeners have been overzealous. TSA Administrator John Pistole said in letters made public this week that screeners at New York’s Kennedy Airport violated procedures this fall by asking 85- and 88-year-old women to show them medical devices concealed under their clothes. The women said they felt as if they had been strip-searched.