YOUNGSTOWN OH Feb 2 2012 – A Mahoning County sheriff’s reserve deputy who worked security for years for a city school system collapsed and died while on duty Wednesday afternoon.
Sheriff Randall Wellington said Reserve Deputy Robert Conway, 56, of Youngstown, was working at Chaney High School when he collapsed with no warning while talking to someone.
School officials said they believe no students were in the area when Conway collapsed.
Wellington said doctors at St. Elizabeth Health Center said it appears Conway had a massive heart attack.
Conway had worked for years in the schools for the school board and had been with the Sheriff’s Office for 15 or 20 years, Wellington said. Conway was also a reserve officer for the city police department for several years, Wellington said.
”He was a good family man. A good father and husband,” Wellington said. ”Whenever you needed something, he was there at a moment’s notice.”
Sheriff’s Sgt. T.J. Assion, president of Mahoning County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 141, said Conway liked his job in the schools and the students liked him.
”He liked what he did,” Assion did. ”He loved those kids and those kids loved him. I’m going to miss him like crazy. Bob was just a great guy.”
Condolences also flooded in from Conway’s colleagues in law enforcement on his Facebook page, as well as some of the students he watched over.
”He was such a trustful guy,” Assion said.
Karen Ingraham, city schools communications director, said grief counselors would be at the school today, and for as long as needed, to meet with students and staff.
HATTIESBURG, Miss.Feb 2 2012 — The city of Hattiesburg and a former employee of the police department have settled a lawsuit for $55,000.
Former Hattiesburg Police Department Chaplain Richard Tapp filed the suit in March. Tapp claimed he was unjustly fired to avoid an investigation that may have uncovered alleged illegal activity within the police department.
The parties reached an agreement Jan. 18 in a settlement conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker.
V.K. Smith III, the city’s attorney, said the Mississippi Municipal Service Co. paid the plaintiff a $55,000 sum, but did so outside of the usual confidentiality agreement involved in such settlements.
Tapp’s attorney, Robin L. Roberts, told the Hattiesburg American he would not disclose the settlement amount, but that he and his client were happy with it.
V.K. Smith III, the city’s attorney, said the Mississippi Municipal Service Co. paid the plaintiff a $55,000 sum, but did so outside of the usual confidentiality agreement involved in such settlements.
INDIANAPOLIS IN Feb 2 2012 – The Kroger grocery store manager who fatally wounded a would-be robber inside an Indianapolis store on Dec. 26 has resigned.
North Putnam High School graduate Elijah “Levi” Elliott, 24, assured a news conference in Indianapolis Wednesday that he was not being pressured to leave Kroger, even though the grocery store chain has a policy prohibiting employees from bringing a handgun or any other weapon to work.
Elliott, a Wabash College graduate who had worked his way up the managerial ladder at Kroger, shot and killed a 26-year-old Indianapolis man after the intruder forced an employee of the West 71st Street store into the office and then charged Elliott.
“It’s a regrettable situation, and I do think about it every single day,” Elliott said of the fatally shooting of Jeremy Atkinson.
“I wish the situation never happened,” he added.
Elliott read a statement announcing his resignation, stressing that Kroger has been supportive and offered to let him keep his job.
Elliot said he has had a permit to carry a handgun for three years and knew he was violating a company policy banning employees from carrying weapons while on the job.
Nonetheless, Elliott said he feared for his life and does not regret his actions.
“I hoped I would never have had to use my weapon for protection,” he said. “But Mr. Atkinson chose to commit a violent and dangerous act.”
Witness testimony and surveillance footage indicate Atkinson stuck an object in the back of unarmed security guard, and ordered her into the office. A second Kroger employee saw Atkinson grab the security guard in a chokehold and shove her against a wall.
That employee hollered for Elliott, and when the store manager responded, the suspect reportedly let the guard go and lunged instead at Elliott, who fired his gun at Atkinson.
“At that point, he charged after me in an office where I had no position to retreat. That’s all it is,” Elliott added.
Under Indiana law, a shooting can be justified to prevent the commission of a forcible felony (robbery and criminal confinement) and for self-defense and defense of others.
Elliott, formerly of Bainbridge, said Wednesday that Kroger has been supportive of him. However, after talking with family and his attorney (David Seiter) he decided to resign to put the incident behind him.
At the time of the incident, Atkinson had an outstanding warrant out of Marion Criminal Court. In that case, he had been charged with robbery, as well as multiple counts of criminal confinement. He received a six-year executed sentence and had been released to community corrections.
But he violated community corrections, and last February a warrant was issued for his arrest. That warrant was still outstanding at the time of the Dec. 26 incident.
SHELDON, SC Feb 2 2012 The South Carolina Highway Patrol has confirmed a Yemassee woman was is dead and the three others went to the hospital in an ambulance crash.
Authorities said 56-year-old Bland Elle Gary was killed while riding as a passenger in the front of a Lowcountry Medical Ambulance. Her husband was the patient in the back with a medical worker.
The ambulance went off the road and crashed into a tree. The crash occurred about a half a mile down the road off of Highway 17 near curve. It happened around 11 a.m. Tuesday on Old Sheldon Church Road in Sheldon, S.C.
There were four people in the vehicle, including a driver and Gary were in the front. One person was taken to Beaufort Memorial and the other two were flown to another hospital.
SC Highway Patrol is investigating.
Sheldon is located along Highway 17 south of Charleston and north of Beaufort.
FITCHBURG, Mass. Feb 2 2012 (AP) — A Massachusetts mother says the FBI used a chain saw blade to cut through her door and held her at gunpoint for at least 30 minutes before agents realized they were conducting a raid at the wrong home.
Judy Sanchez, of Fitchburg, says she awoke to heavy footsteps in the stairwell on Jan. 26 and walked into her kitchen in time to see a blade chop through her door.
She says she was held facedown on the floor at gunpoint while her 3-year-old daughter cried in another room.
It turns out agents were after the other tenant on the floor of the multiunit building who is suspected of dealing drugs.
Sanchez says she and her daughter now have trouble sleeping.
The FBI has apologized and is paying for the damage.
NASSAU, Bahamas Feb 2 2012(WIS) – Authorities in the Bahamas have identified a 26-year-old South Carolina man who died aboard a Carnival cruise ship as Walter Bouknight of Batesburg-Leesville.
The cruise was delayed pending the investigation, but returned to Charleston on Monday.
Bahamas police said in a statement Saturday that Bouknight, 26, apparently jumped from one floor to another aboard the Carnival Fantasy ship that had docked in Nassau late Friday. He was declared dead at the scene.
Carnival issued a statement saying the guest apparently fell. They said the ship’s visit to Freeport on Saturday was canceled as the investigation continued.
Family and friends say Bouknight was a marine, full of life, and had a girlfriend he loved and adored. He had also recently been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
The ship departed Charleston on Wednesday for a 5-day Bahamas cruise. It returned to Charleston Monday.
COLUMBIA, SC Feb 2 2012 - A 22-year-old University of South Carolina student has been arrested and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails in downtown Columbia. That student is also the prime suspect in a fire that burned down the Salty Nut Cafe in early January.
USC police took Theodore Podewil into custody at his home at 934 Laurens St. Tuesday night after fingerprints on an un-exploded Molotov cocktail were found next to a dumpster behind a campus building on Main St. in late January.
According to arrest warrants, Podewil is suspected of building and throwing the fire bombs on at least three different occasions in January.
He’s also suspected of setting the Salty Nut Cafe on fire in early January. Surveillance video from outside the restaurant helped identify Podewil as the suspect, officials said.
Around 4:30 a.m. on January 6, firefighters were called to the Salty Nut Cafe on Greene St. When they arrived, heavy smoke was pouring out the top of the restaurant.
The blaze caused very heavy damage to the interior of the building, which did not have a sprinkler system, but general manager Phil Hopewell said he believes the structure is strong enough to rebuild. The building was built in the 1930′s and was not required to have a sprinkler system.
It’s possible the cafe could be open by St. Patrick’s Day.
Podewil is being held at the Alvin S. Detention Cente
TSA agent at Dallas/Fort Worth International airport arrested for iPad thefts www.privateofficer.com
DALLAS TX Feb 2 2012 - A TSA agent at Dallas/Fort Worth International airport was arrested for stealing iPads from checked luggage.
Police arrested Clayton Keith Dovel, who works in terminal E at the airport, but unlike the security checkpoints where passengers are screened, the 35-year-old TSA employee works in an out-of-sight position in what’s called the “Resolution Room,” where checked luggage is screened by hand.
That’s where police believe Dovel took iPads that travelers packed away.
“For me, it was like a zero chance of me thinking I’d get the iPad back,” said theft victim, Borna Mojra.
It was a long shot, but eight months after his new, 64 gigabyte iPad was stolen, airport police said they found Dovel with it at work.
They also found him with seven other iPads.
Another theft victim actually led police to Dovel when he tracked his stolen iPad to Dovel’s home.
“If they’re the guys who are protecting us and they’re not, who am I going to trust next?” Mojra asked.
In a statement, TSA said Dovel is on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
It’s uncertain how many cases Dovel’s arrest might solve or whether the TSA will let him return to a trusted position.
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. Feb 2 2012— Tuscumbia’s police chief will remain on the job despite being sentenced on a charge of driving under the influence.
Mayor Bill Shoemaker tells the TimesDaily the city will take no action against Police Chief Tony Logan. Shoemaker says there’s nothing the city can do until Logan’s appeal is resolved.
Mayor Bill Shoemaker tells the TimesDaily the city will take no action against Police Chief Tony Logan.
Logan was charged with DUI after allegedly crashing his personal vehicle outside his home in 2009. He was convicted, and a judge sentenced Logan on Tuesday.
Circuit Judge Gil Self sentenced the chief to a year in jail but reduced the time to the two days Logan has already spent behind bars. The judge put him under court supervision for two years and fined him $761, and Logan lost his license for 90 days.
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Feb 2 2012 (AP) — Authorities in southwest Florida say an autopsy is pending for an infant whose body was found in a freezer.
Punta Gorda police tell the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that detectives consider the baby’s death to be suspicious.
According to a police report, paramedics and police were called to the Punta Gorda home Sunday night for a medical emergency involving a 27-year-old woman, who was transported to a Port Charlotte hospital.
Police say the hospital on Monday gave them information that prompted officers to return to the woman’s home.
The police report says officers found the infant’s body in a freezer Monday night.
Detectives returned to the home Tuesday with a Sarasota police K-9 crew.
LOS ANGELES CA Feb 2 2012 - Don Cornelius, who with the creation of “Soul Train” helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of black culture with funky music, groovy dance steps and cutting edge style, died early Wednesday of an apparent suicide. He was 75.
Los Angeles Police Department officers responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Mulholland Drive home at around 4 a.m. He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound about an hour later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.
A police cruiser sat parked in the entryway of Cornelius’ home on a two-lane stretch of Mulholland Drive in the hills above Los Angeles. News cameras camped outside as drivers on their morning commute drove by.
Aretha Franklin, an early “Soul Train” performer, called the producer “an American treasure.”
“God bless him for the solid good and wholesome foundation he provided for young adults worldwide,” she said Wednesday, “and the unity and brotherhood he singlehandedly brought about with his most memorable creation of ‘Soul Train.’”
The Rev. Jesse Jackson told KNX-Los Angeles Cornelius “was a transformer.”
“‘Soul Train’ became the outlet for African-Americans,” Jackson said, adding that he talked to Cornelius a few days ago and there were no signs Cornelius was upset.
Others also expressed their grief.
I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius,” said Quincy Jones. “Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was ‘Soul Train,’ that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don’s family and loved ones.”
“I have known him since I was19-years-old and James Brown had me speak on Soul Train,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement from New York. “He brought soul music and dance to the world in a way that it had never been shown and he was a cultural game changer on a global level.”
“Don Cornelius’ legacy to music, especially black music, will be forever cemented in history,” said Clarence Avant, former chairman of Motown Records. “‘Soul Train’ was the first and only television show to showcase and put a spotlight on black artists at a time when there were few African-Americans on television at all, and that was the great vision of Don.”
“Soul Train” began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006.
It showcased such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White and brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed. Cornelius was the first host and executive producer.
“There was not programming that targeted any particular ethnicity,” he said in 2006, then added: “I’m trying to use euphemisms here, trying to avoid saying there was no television for black folks, which they knew was for them.”
Entertainers and music fans shared their thoughts about the show and its creator on Twitter, where both Cornelius and Soul Train were top topics Wednesday.
Singer-actor Genuwine remembered the smooth-voiced producer as “someone who paved the way for black music.”
“I still remember my first time on soul train,” he wrote, “what an experience.”
Music mogul Russell Simmons posted a blog about Cornelius, calling him “one of the greatest music legends there was.”
“Don Cornelius gave artists who had been segregated from most mainstream vehicles of expression a chance to perform in front of a huge national audience,” Simmons wrote. “It was a tremendous opportunity that changed their careers and the whole music industry. To win a Soul Train Music Award meant that the most sophisticated tastemakers in the world loved your work.”
“Soul Train,” with its trademark opening of an animated chugging train, was not, however, an immediate success for Cornelius, an ex-disc jockey with a baritone rumble and cool manner.
Only a handful of stations initially were receptive.
“When we rolled it out, there were only eight takers,” he recalled in a 2006 interview with The Associated Press. “Which was somewhere between a little disappointing and a whole lot disappointing.”
The reasons he heard? “There was just, ‘We don’t want it. We pass,’” he said, with race going unmentioned. “No one was blatant enough to say that.”
“Soul Train” had arrived on the scene at a time when the country was still reeling from the civil rights movement, political upheaval and cultural swings. It also arrived when black faces on TV were an event, not a regular occurrence.
“Soul Train” was seen by some at first as the black “American Bandstand,” the mainstay TV music show hosted by Dick Clark. While “American Bandstand” featured black artists, it was more of a showcase for white artists and very mainstream black performers.
“Soul Train” followed some of the “Bandstand” format, as it had an audience and young dancers, and Cornelius was its host.
But that’s where the comparisons stopped. Cornelius, the suave, ultra-cool emcee, made “Soul Train” appointment viewing by creating a show that showed another side of black music and culture.
When it started, glistening Afros dominated the set, as young blacks boogied and shimmied to the music of the likes of Earth Wind & Fire and other acts perhaps less likely to get on “American Bandstand.”
“May u rest in peace and thank u 4 ur platform,” rapper Q-Tip wrote on Twitter. “U will always be remembered.”
People tuned into to see the musical acts, but the dancers soon became as much of a main attraction. They introduced Americans to new dances and fashion styles, and made the “Soul Train” dance line — where people stand line up on each side while others sashay down to show their moves — a cultural flashpoint.
Though “Soul Train” became the longest-running syndicated show in TV history, its power began to wane in the 1980s and ’90s as the American pop culture began folding in black culture instead of keeping it segregated. By that time, there were more options for black artists to appear on mainstream shows, and on shows like “American Bandstand,” blacks could be seen dancing along with whites.
LAS VEGAS NV Feb 2 2012 - Metro Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting near Fremont Street and 21st Street.
The shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. Two Metro officers on patrol witnessed a man jaywalk in front of them and head toward a nearby Travel Inn.
The officers followed him into the office. Shortly after, he pulled out a knife and began brandishing it at the officers. Two witnesses say they saw the man swinging the knife. One of the officers fired several rounds at the suspect. He was transported to University Medical Center in critical condition.
“We have two independent witnesses observe the suspect pull a knife from his pants, move toward the officers, swinging the knife at the officer,” said Metro Deputy Chief Jim Owens. “Certainly, anytime an officer is faced with a deadly weapon, whether it’s a firearm or a knife, they have to be extremely careful and be able to react appropriately. In this case, the officer felt his life was in danger and reacted appropriately.”
Police are uncertain how many people were in the office at the time. Witness Dave Vermy was standing outside the office. He says he heard four shots and saw an officer emerge who appeared to be visibly shaken.
“I was standing outside here, the parts store right here, talking with one of the employees when we heard four shots fired just pop, pop, pop, pop,” he said. “My immediate reaction was to step in near the door, so in case any stray bullets came flying my way.”
Neither of the officers suffered any injuries.
This is the first officer-involved shooting of the year in Metro’s jurisdiction. It’s also the first Metro shooting since last month, when officers shot and killed Stanley Gibson – an unarmed disabled veteran.
That incident, which is still under investigation, prompted Sheriff Doug Gillespie to take a proactive role when his officers open fire. He promised to be more forthcoming about Metro shootings. Challenges to the coroner’s inquest have created a backlog of unresolved cases.
DeWitt NY Feb 2 2012– A 34-year-old Syracuse school teacher is accused of having sexual relations with a teen under the age of 17 back in September 2010.
Authorities say while teaching at the Justice Center, Jesus M. Rolon was recognized by a male inmate who said Rolon committed a criminal sex act on him at his DeWitt residence when he was less than 17 years old.
A second inmate also recognized Rolon and told authorities that Rolon had paid him cash to commit a criminal sex act on the victim. That incident, according to authorities, also took place at Rolon’s DeWitt residence.
Officials say Rolon did not meet the victims while working at the Justice Center. The incidents took place prior to his employment there. Rolon began working at the Justice Center in the beginning of January 2012.
Rolon has been charged with criminal sex act, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawfully dealing with a child and patronizing a prostitute.
HOUSTON TX Feb 2 2012– A 23-year-old teacher at YES Prep East End High School was facing charges Wednesday after investigators say he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old student.
Charges of sexual assault of a child and improper relationship between teacher and student were filed against Ajay Kumar Mangal on January 31, 2012.
According to court documents, Mangal befriended the victim in September of 2011, after he noticed her dancing at another teacher’s going away party.
The victim told police that she and Mangal began calling, texting and writing notes to each other.
She said they discussed the consequences of her being underage and him being a teacher, but they decided to meet outside of school on September 16, 2011.
The victim said Mangal picked her up that day and took her to eat at McDonald’s before bringing her to his apartment in Houston.
She said they had sexual contact in the apartment, then went out to buy condoms and candy. When they came back, the victim said they had sex again.
The victim’s mother told investigators that when she went out to greet her daughter as she returned home that night, Mangal drove away without speaking to her.
The mother said she checked her daughter’s phone and noticed emails from Mangal. The following day, the mother said her daughter told her about what happened at his apartment.
Investigators examined cell phone records and found 900 calls or texts between the victim and Mangal from September 8, 2011, to September 17, 2011.
Police said Mangal was arrested in his hometown in Mississippi on Wednesday.
Macon GA Feb 2 2012 Coliseum Health System CEO Allen Golson was killed after the twin-engine plane he was piloting crash-landed in Florida, reports the Macon Telegraph.
Golson initially survived the Friday crash of the Cessna 340, but was killed after a fire erupted. He was trapped in the cockpit and was overcome by smoke and flames, the newspaper reported.
His wife, Carol, escaped the fire, but suffered a back injury, authorities said.
Allen Golson, 55, had recently announced he was moving to Ocala to be CEO of a hospital there.
Five people accused of bilking nearly $700,000 from Wal-Mart by using bad check scheme www.privateofficer.com
Nashville TN Feb 2 2012 Five Nashville residents are accused of bilking nearly $700,000 from Wal-Mart by using bad checks to purchase prepaid debit cards from stores in Middle Tennessee and five other states.
Bernard Stanton, Connie Rena Stanton, Troice Leslie Stanton, Shawanna Nicole Bolden and Canisha Denise Alred were indicted last week on conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud charges.
All five had been arrested as of Tuesday, said Sandra G. Moses, an assistant U.S. attorney in Nashville. Bolden was released with conditions Monday pending trial.
According to the indictment, the group’s scheme involved presenting checks to Wal-Mart cashiers with a note attached to it directing the cashier to process the check as cash.
The note would be signed “CSM” to mislead cashiers into thinking it had been signed by a customer service manager.
The checks were stolen or written on closed accounts, according to the indictment, and were used to purchase prepaid debit cards, usually in the amount of $900.
The group targeted stores in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio, according to the indictment, and the scheme began at least as early as December 2008.
Moses said it took time to connect and investigate the conspiracy, which was reported to federal authorities by Wal-Mart.
Nashville attorney David Heroux, appointed to represent Alred, said he couldn’t make any comment on the charges while they are still pending. Federal public defender Dumaka Shabazz, appointed to represent Bolden, was not available Tuesday.
Ralston NE Feb 2 2012 Members of the Ralston Volunteer Fire Department are coping with the loss of their chief after his body was discovered hanging from a bridge Tuesday morning.
Fire Chief Kyle Ienn was a longtime firefighter, a national expert on fireworks safety and a well-known honor guard participant at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend over the last several years.
“It’s going to be tough,” Assistant Chief Joe Eischeid — who will take over for Ienn — told The Omaha World-Herald. “We train so that we know what to expect in a situation, but a lot of guys in there just don’t know what to say about this.”
Omaha police found Ienn’s body around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the bridge near 69th and Pine Streets and they are currently investigating the death as a suicide.
“It’s a really sad day for our community,” Ralston Mayor Don Groesser told the newspaper. “We’ve lost a dear friend; we’ve lost our fire chief. The city is just suffering a tremendous loss right now.”
Ienn is survived by his wife, Christine, who is an administrative assistant for the department, and their three children.
Firehouse.com Senior Staff Writer Susan Nicol had a chance to talk to Ienn at CFSI in Washington, D.C. last April about a team he established in his state to help departments and families of firefighters who suffer serious injury or die on the job.
“We offer any assistance we can,” he said. “We help plan the funeral, and most importantly tell the family what a firefighter funeral is all about and what they can expect.”
Under the leadership of the chief, volunteer department’s ranks swelled to an all-time high with 56 members at the end of 2011.
“Kyle has taken this department to a completely different level,” department spokesman and former chief Tom Negley said. “I was thrilled when Kyle said he’d take the job as chief, because I knew he’d do an excellent job.”
News of Ienn’s death also left a void in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
NFFF Executive Director Ron Siarnicki said Ienn was dedicated volunteer who always went out of his way to assist the families and colleagues of fallen firefighters.
In addition to being commander of the Nebraska (Local Assistance State Team (LAST) team, Ienn also was a NFFF advocate for the Everyone Goes Home Program.
Siarnicki added: “Chief Ienn was an ardent supporter of the Foundation’s mission to honor the fallen, to comfort and assist their survivors, and to work diligently to prevent and reduce line-of-duty deaths and injuries…”
Ienn was involved in a number of activities to promote firefighter safety, and closing the firehouse bar when he took over didn’t make him popular, he recalled in an interview last spring.
Siarnicki saluted him for his dedication. “Chief Ienn was steadfast to these efforts in his words and actions, and his performance as a fire chief was unparalleled. He will be sorely missed.”
Just as he did many times, Siarnicki said NFFF officials have reached out to Ienn’s colleagues to offer support during this difficult time. “It’s been tough. It’s sad for everyone…”
Dothan AL Feb 2 2012 A Dothan woman was arrested Monday and charged with second degree theft of property in connection with a theft investigation at Kohl’s at 4401 Montgomery Highway.
According to a release from the Dothan Police Department, Sanora Jacqueline Dowell, 21, of North Cherry Street, was charged after police spoke with loss prevention employees at Kohl’s.
The release stated an internal investigation revealed a series of fraudulent transactions between December of 2011 and January of 2012 conducted to gain cash and gift cards.
Dothan AL Feb 2 2012 A Dothan firefighter was arrested Thursday and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.
According to a release from the Dothan Police Department, Elmo Boyd, 39, of Rebecca Avenue, was arrested and charged along with Clarence R. Griffith, 42, of Darlington Circle.
Dothan Police said the investigation was launched after receiving a tip that methamphetamine was being kept and made at a residence on Rebecca Avenue. After getting a search warrant, police said investigators found material consistent with the manufacture of meth, including precursor chemicals as well as the finished product.
Police said Boyd was not on duty at the time of the arrest. Police said the Dothan Fire Department cooperated fully with the investigation.
Boyd is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, first-degree manufacturing and possession of precursor chemicals. His bond was set at $150,000.
Griffith faces the same charges. His bond was set at $200,000.
Dothan Police Chief Greg Benton and Fire Chief Larry Williams issued a joint statement following the arrest.
“On behalf of Dothan Police Department and Dothan Fire Department, Chiefs Benton and Williams would like to assure our community that we remain committed to the highest level of integrity of our members whether on duty or off,” the statement said.
U.S. Postal Service employee gets prison for stealing painkillers out of mail www.privateofficer.com
BANGOR, Maine Feb 2 2012 — A former U.S. Postal Service employee has been sentenced to three months in prison for taking powerful painkillers out of packages that were intended for veterans.
Federal authorities say 39-year-old Christopher McBride of Bangor used the stolen hydrocodone and shared it with a co-worker. He pleaded guilty in September to theft of mail by a U.S. postal employee.
As part of the sentence handed down Tuesday in federal court, McBride will be on supervised release for two years after his release from prison.
Authorities say McBride stole more than hydrocodone pills from the U.S. Postal Service Eastern Maine Processing and Distribution Center from June 2010 to November 2010.
His co-worker was sentenced to two weeks in jail after pleading guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge of obstruction of the mail.
Tempe AZ Feb 2 2012 The key to the burglary indictment of a longtime Tempe Union High School security guard was, in fact, a small brass key found in his Bible, a police report says.
A Maricopa County Superior Court grand jury on Jan. 23 indicted Kimmie Dwayne Baker, 47, in the September theft of more than $1,000 in football ticket proceeds.
Baker, formerly the school’s head security guard and assistant basketball coach,1/3 is accused of breaking into the school he is charged with protecting and pilfering the cash from sealed bags typically deposited in a bank, the report says.
Baker was arrested in October but not formally charged because the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office wanted more information, including DNA results tying Baker to the brass key – the key needed to unlock the doors to the where the ticket money was stored over the weekend.
According to the police report, lab results released on Jan. 20, three days before Baker’s indictment, showed the DNA was a mixture of Baker’s and another person’s.
“The mixture was consistent with the combined DNA profiles from Baler and another unidentified person.”
Also, the police report said Baker had the opportunity to steal the money over the weekend of Sept 23 and 24 because video surveillance showed him at the school on the Saturday after the game.
A re-enactment revealed Baker spent enough time in the building to commit the crime. And, the report says, Baker appeared to have a motive: He had been borrowing hundreds of dollars, at one time more than $2,000 from colleagues, shortly before the theft.
The report also said that only those in possession of a certain key could have gained entry to the location of the cash. Surveillance tape showed Baker going to the door, and it showed him with keys.
In interviews, Baker denied having such a key, even though he is the security head. He said he had lost some keys. He at one point said he had not been back at the school over the weekend.
When police executed a search warrant, and found the key in Baker’s Bible, he said it has been planted. He also complained that it took police a month to return his bible.
PITTSBURGH PA Feb 2 2012 – Across western Pennsylvania, an increasing number of school districts are hiring private contractors to take care of school security, but state law still requires districts to make sure those guards have clean criminal records.
An investigation by Channel 4 Action News’ Jim Parsons found at least two guards who did not.
With five felony convictions on his record — four of them since 2005 — Noble Ramsey should have never been hired as a security guard because state law prohibits it.
But Pond Security in Allison Park hired Ramsey last fall and placed him at Highlands Middle School in Natrona Heights last November.
“It’s not safe. There’s a reason these people aren’t allowed to work there,” said Eric Colamarino, who was a supervisor at Pond Security until he resigned two months ago.
Colamarino said he told company CEO Kelly Sieber he was concerned about Ramsey’s criminal record.
“The day I resigned, I did go straight to her and told her my concerns. But after I resigned, she promoted him to supervisor, and then he was in a lot of schools afterwards,” said Colamarino.
One of the schools Ramsey visited, supervising other Pond security guards, was Mars Area Middle School and Mars Area High School.
“It’s a big concern to me,” said Nathan Pierce, who works at Mars as a security guard for Pond. “I worked at Mars, so I saw him inside Mars High School.”
Pierce said he saw Ramsey inside the school and that he was in direct contact with children.
Sieber declined an on-camera interview with Parsons, but off-camera, she disputed knowing anything about Ramsey’s criminal record until Jan. 3 — five months after he was hired.
Sieber said that once she did find out, she fired Ramsey. She blamed a former Pond manager for hiring Ramsey despite his criminal record.
Parsons asked John Cook, a retired Pennsylvania State Police trooper and current director of security at Montour High School, if there was a good reason a company could give for putting a convicted felon inside of a school with kids.
“Well, if they are saying they didn’t know, that is a policy that should be changed,” said Cook. “The senior officers in that company should know everything that’s going on, no matter how many employees they have. I don’t care if it’s 200.”
Sieber said she also didn’t know her staff directed Dennis Claypoole to work at several schools.
Claypoole told Parsons he was surprised Pond Security hired him in 2010 because of his record.
“Really, they never told me. I asked them if it would be a problem,” said Claypoole.
Claypoole was charged as a juvenile with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and he was adjudicated delinquent.
The state rejected his application for Childline clearance, prohibiting him from working at schools
But Pond sent him to work at Dassa McKinney Elementary in the Moniteau School District and at Grove City High School.
Sieber said she didn’t know Claypoole was working in schools.
Pond provides security guards to locations other than schools.
Claypoole was fired last summer for tardiness.
Cook said there’s a good reason why the law prohibits former sex offenders and drug dealers from working in schools.
“Well, the worst-case scenario would be something like that would come about in the school or he makes some type of advance toward a student or even a faculty member. That’s the problem,” said Cook.
Because of Parsons’ investigation, the Grove City School District said it won’t use Pond Security any more this school year.
The Mars Area School District said it didn’t know anything about Pond sending a security guard with a criminal record into their schools.
The Highlands School District said it can’t comment on Pond Security’s employees.
Moniteau’s superintended did not return a phone call from Parsons.
Pond said it fired another supervisor on Tuesday after it was discovered he had a retail theft conviction
Employee of NY Catholic Church’s archdiocese charged in stealing about $1 million www.privateofficer.com
NEW YORK NY Feb 2 2012 (AFP) – An employee of the Catholic Church’s archdiocese in New York was arrested Monday on charges of stealing about US$1 million (S$1.25 million) from church funds.
Anita Collins, 67, has been working for the archdiocese since 2003, law enforcement and church officials said.
A spokesman for the archdiocese, Joseph Zwilling, said ‘it has been determined that the amount stolen is approximately $1 million.’
‘The theft that was uncovered was committed by the employee using a sophisticated fraud to manipulate the accounts payable system in the Department of Education Finance Office,’ Mr Zwilling said.
Sacramento man reports “Officer Down” for faster police response during landlord dispute www.privateofficer.com
Sacramento CA Feb 2 2012 A 44-year-old Sacramento man dialed 911 Wednesday morning to report an “officer down” – just to get officers to respond more quickly to an argument with his landlord, authorities allege.
He got a fast response, all right. He also got a trip to jail.
Police arrested Rayard Simmons Sr. on suspicion of falsely reporting an emergency, a misdemeanor, said spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit.
Simmons – whose aliases include “The General” – also was arrested on suspicion of violating the terms of his probation, a felony, according to Sacramento County Main Jail booking records. He was held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Simmons was on probation after a 2010 no-contest plea to a felony charge of threatening the life of a government official, and then violating a court order in 2011, according to Sacramento Superior Court records available online.
Wednesday’s call came into the California Highway Patrol dispatch via cellphone at 10 a.m., Pettit said. The call was transferred to Sacramento police dispatchers, who got on the radio to sound the alarm: “Officer down.”
It’s the kind of call cops dread – and which prompts an unparalleled police response, which Simmons apparently was counting on.
Pettit said he did not know exactly how many officers turned on their lights and sirens to rush “Code 3″ to the scene but said five cars – including one from the Sheriff’s Department – showed up before officers knew enough to slow down the response.
As the first officers arrived at Pell Drive, near Interstate 80 and Northgate Boulevard, they saw a man walking with a cellphone. They asked him if he had made the 911 call, and he said yes, Pettit said.
He also admitted he lied to dispatchers – punctuating his words with the question “Do you understand?” before hanging up – so the cops would come quickly, Pettit said.
Not to mention, “he wanted to beat (his landlord) from calling us first,” Pettit said.
Officers later learned that Simmons rents space for his business, apparently a recording studio, Pettit said. His landlord tried to evict him Wednesday, igniting the dispute.
It’s not the first time a caller has used a ruse to speed up response times. But Pettit said those callers usually exaggerate circumstances, such as reporting someone has been shot when there were only shots fired or the presence of a gun when none was actually seen.
Reporting an officer down – that’s a rarity, Pettit said.
Officers were relieved to find the call was unfounded, Pettit said, but also frustrated.
“Officers take this very seriously,” he said. “We usually drop what we’re doing to get to a call like this.”
He noted that officers will always respond to such a call rolling “Code 3,” driving at faster than normal speeds and clearing congested intersections.
Abusing the system in such a way, he said, “is just dangerous.”