Chicago IL Feb 24 2012 Former Lombard police commissioner Ken Poris knew to pull over when he saw a vehicle’s flashing lights behind him while returning to his home in LaSalle County’s Lake Holiday subdivision.
But he quickly realized the person who’d pulled him over, taken his driver’s license back to his squad car and written him a speeding ticket wasn’t a police officer.
In fact, the man wearing a uniform, duty belt and badge was a homeowners association employee with little police training and no state certification. The security force has been pulling drivers over for years and also boarding boats on the development’s man-made lake. But nobody had ever challenged the practice until Poris, a former DuPage County prosecutor, was pulled over.
His case –– a type that lawyers rarely take up because they don’t pay — shines a light on what experts say can be a problem with the proliferating private security teams that now patrol large subdivisions, apartment complexes and even a Chicago neighborhood that taxes itself extra to pay for it.
“It’s a massive, ad hoc privatization of government services,” said Evan McKenzie, a University of Illinois at Chicago associate professor of political science and critic who has written two books on the topic. “That’s why you get these weird situations.
“It makes sense to (homeowners groups) from a property-management perspective,” he said. “But if you view it another way, the actions of any government are supposed to be limited by concepts of civil liberties. Civil liberties don’t always apply here.”
An Illinois appeals court in a strongly worded ruling last month found that Lake Holiday’s practice of stopping and detaining drivers for violating homeowners association rules was unlawful. The court also found that the association’s use of amber-colored flashing lights on its vehicles was unlawful and that the association could be held liable for Poris’ false imprisonment claim.
A LaSalle County judge had previously ruled in favor of the homeowners association.
“I think they went overboard, and I think that they decided they could do pretty much what they wanted to,” said Poris about the homeowners association. “I was told by some other people that nobody’s ever beaten Lake Holiday.
“Lake Holiday told me from day one –– they told me this was going to be a fight, and I would have to surrender,” said Poris, who handled his own case with help from several other attorneys.
The appellate court found nothing wrong with the subdivision’s speed limits, but with how they were being enforced. Poris said he wouldn’t have complained if a sheriff’s deputy had pulled him over or if the subdivision used automated speed cameras and sent tickets in the mail.
Private security guards, like any member of the public, generally only have authority to detain someone who violated state laws until sworn police officers arrive –– the so-called citizen’s arrest made famous by the “The Andy Griffith Show.”
This includes store security officers holding an alleged shoplifter until police arrive.
Bruce Lyon, an attorney for Lake Holiday, said there is a “high likelihood” that the association will ask the state Supreme Court to hear an appeal. He declined to comment further, saying the case was pending.
In oral arguments, Lyon told a panel of judges that the case involved a contract rather than a police-powers issue. He also argued that security hadn’t detained Poris.
“Mr. Poris chose to live here –– he chose to live by the rules and regulations of Lake Holiday,” he said. “The majority of the residents like the rules.”
“Under (Poris’) argument, enforcement would be impossible,” Lyon said. “If you went and put graffiti all over a clubhouse of Lake Holiday, (we) can’t enforce it because then you’d be exercising police powers.”
The appeals panel disagreed.
The last three decades have seen the rise of subdivisions and other residential developments with infrastructure, like privately owned streets, that are patrolled by security contractors.
Private security sometimes also patrols public roads, such as in a section of Chicago’s Marquette Park community where residents tax themselves extra for the service. Two squad cars marked “Marquette Park Security” patrol a roughly one-square-mile section of the neighborhood.
No one really knows if, or how often, private security forces are pulling people over, though experts don’t believe it’s unusual. In Will County, sheriff’s police said they have spoken with private security guards in a Plainfield subdivision about their practices.
Records show the LaSalle County sheriff had previously told the Lake Holiday homeowners association to stop using white flashing lights on its squad cars, which are also equipped with audio and video recorders. Sometime after that, the association switched to amber lights.
In Marquette Park, leaders of the special taxing district, which is administered by the nonprofit Lithuanian Human Services Council of the USA, say their officers don’t do traffic stops unless assisting Chicago police.
But the group didn’t respond to a 3-week-old public-records request for enforcement data, saying it still was awaiting clearance from Chicago officials.
The district spends about $340,000 annually paying a Lynwood security company to patrol an area that stretches south from 67th to 75th streets and from Kedzie Avenue east to Bell Avenue, according to city records.
“It does seem to be that the area is a little safer,” said executive director Juozas Polikaitis. The district, which he says has a total budget of about $430,000, also plans to install 13 outdoor security cameras by May 1 that will be monitored by private security.
Polikaitis said most of the work done by the company, Illinois Homeland Security Services Inc., involves breaking up groups of teens or young men loitering on street corners. The service logs between 700 and 1,100 total “incidents” per month, he said.
He said about half of the firm’s employees are armed, off-duty police officers and that they monitor police radio traffic to assist Chicago police officers in the patrol area.
Commissioner Jonas Miglinas, who owns a TV-repair shop in the neighborhood, said residents appreciate the extra security.
“Most people seem to think it is working,” he said. “The vast majority of the people we talk to actually like having two numbers to call if something goes wrong.”
Out in Lake Holiday, Poris said he has paid a social price for fighting his $50 ticket, including a loss of referrals to his law practice and glares at public events.
“It’s been very lonely the past three years,” Poris said, driving his pickup through the subdivision, saying several residents had confronted him for bringing the case.
“Nobody understands what I’m really fighting about,” he said. “They all think I don’t want to pay a $50 ticket and I’m causing all this problem.
“That’s where this type of stuff perpetuates itself, because no attorney is going to take the case,” Poris said.
Washington State Patrol, Washington
End of Watch: Thursday, February 23, 2012 Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 16 years
Badge # 557
Incident Date: 2/23/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Committed suicide
Trooper Tony Radulescu was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on a driver of a pickup truck on State Route 16 at Anderson Hill Road, in Gorst, shortly before 1:00 am.
He had radioed in his location and the pickup truck’s license plate and description to dispatchers. When dispatchers were unable to contact him for several minutes, a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy was sent to check on his status and discovered him laying wounded outside of his patrol car. He was transported to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.
The vehicle that Trooper Radulescu had stopped was found abandoned on a country road approximately three hours later. A SWAT team deployed to the registered owner’s home and as they approached, the suspect committed suicide.
Trooper Radulescu was a US Army veteran and had served with the Washington State Patrol for 16 years.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief John R. Batiste
Washington State Patrol
General Administration Bldg.
PO Box 42600
Olympia, WA 98504
Phone: (360) 596-4000
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. Feb 24 2012– A 44-year-old North Las Vegas man is accused of sexually assaulting victims while claiming to be a doctor.
Police say Juan Alberto Ruan-Rivera drugged his victims and assaulted them after they were sedated. They say he was a charismatic charmer.
“He would treat his victims with medications,” said Officer Chrissie Coon with North Las Vegas Police Department. “It appears that he targets victims that don’t have health insurance, that have either been diagnosed as chronically ill or seriously ill and are looking for some other means of cheaper medications and that sort of thing.”
Ruan-Rivera is accused of claiming to be a doctor, chiropractor or therapist who was licensed in Mexico. Police say his primary target has been Hispanics with no health insurance. The suspect is also a distributor of Omnilife Natural Supplements.
The alleged victims are a 5-year-old boy, 51-year-old woman, and 27-year-old woman. According to North Las Vegas Police, the abuse occurred in the suspect’s home from 2006 to the present. The victims came forward after they heard that Ruan-Rivera had been arrested on a domestic battery charge. Coon says the victims were afraid to come forward earlier.
Fake doctors can kill. Last April, a woman died while getting a buttocks enhancement surgery in a back room.
Police are also concerned about so-called botanicas that advertise herbal products. Metro Police busted a shop in May that allegedly sold prescription drugs and operated a make-shift doctor’s office in the back.
The Mexican Consulate understands phony physicians and illegal clinics have become dangers that hurt immigrants.
“I know the local authorities and the Consulate have also been concerned about this situation,” said Octavio Perales with the Mexican Consulate in Las Vegas. “They can also approach the Consulate, in the case of Mexican nationals, and we can refer them to established clinics.”
Nevada is launching a new campaign “No to Fake Doctors” that aims to spread the word that not everyone wearing a white coat has a license to practice medicine.
Ruan-Rivera is in custody at the North Las Vegas Detention Center and facing sexual assault charges. Bail is set at $173,000. As this case unfolds, he could face more charges.
Detectives say there is the possibility of other victims because Ruan-Rivera spent time in Blythe, Calif., Victorville, Calif., Chula Vista, Calif., Anchorage, Alaska, Texas and Nevada.
Detectives are looking for additional witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call the North Las Vegas Police Department at (702)633-9111 or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (702)385-5555.
Yuma AZ Feb 24 2012 Seven U.S. Marines were killed after two military helicopters collided near Yuma on Wednesday night, military officials said.
Six of the seven Marines were based at Camp Pendleton, which is north of San Diego, and one Marine was based in Yuma, according to officials from the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California. The Marines had been scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.
The Yuma Marine was a captain, instructor and pilot, according to Col. Robert Kuckuk, Air Station Commander for the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma.
The captain had “risen to the pinnacle of Marine aviation in his field,” Kuckuk said at press conference in Yuma on Thursday afternoon.
Identities of the Marines will not be released until 24 hours after the next of kin has been notified.
The AH-1 W Cobra and UH-1 Huey were both carrying explosives and were training together, along with at least two other aircraft. The Huey and Cobra collided 65 miles northwest of the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Kuckuk said.
The crash site was in the Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range, which is used for explosives training, Kuckuk said.
Aerial views of the crash Thursday afternoon showed several trucks amid the charred remains of the helicopters.
Capt. Staci Reidinger, director of public affairs at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, said that the crash area is not a populated area.
Kuckuk said that the rugged desert mountain terrain “simulates Afghanistan very, very well.”
The Marines were likely using standard night-vision goggles during the mission. Kuckuk said that the goggles limit depth perception and don’t allow for a clear horizon.
“We train to those limitations … we understand those risks. We take steps to mitigate those risks,” he said.
The Navy has since 1980 recorded 33 aviation incidents with seven or more fatalities, according to April Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Navel Safety Center in Norfork, Va.
Only two of those incidents occurred in the past five years, both involving the collision between a Cobra and another helicopter, according to Phillips.
Yuma’s most notable incident was in 2000, when 19 people were killed in a crash of an MV-22 transport aircraft, Phillips said.
Sen. John McCain released a statement on Thursday saying his thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Marines.
“This tragedy is a grave reminder of the sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces make to keep us safe – both in training here at home and in combat abroad,” McCain said.
Gov. Jan Brewer also released a statement Thursday, saying “we must never take for granted nor forget these soldiers’ sacrifice and service to the United States of America.”
Typically the Cobra aircraft carries a pilot and a copilot and is used by the U.S. Marine Corps. The twin-engine aircraft has been used in combat in the Vietnam War by U.S. forces, as well as in Grenada.
The helicopter is known for its capability to operate during the day and night, in land- and sea- based operations, and in adverse weather conditions. Its ability to withstand desert conditions protected the aircraft during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Cpl. Steven Posy, stationed at Miramar, said Thursday that the weather “was pretty mild last night.”
The Huey is a twin-engine helicopter that is part of the U.S. Marine Corps’ H-1 upgrade program, and replaced the aging UH-1N Twin Huey helicopters first introduced in the 1970s. The medium-size utility helicopter carries one or two pilots, plus a crew chief and other crew members, if needed.
The Yuma Training Range is almost 1.2 million acres of land in southwestern Arizona and southeastern California that is used primarily for military flight training and is secured from public access.
There have been other military accidents in the area.
In May 2008, a Marine Corps Harrier attack jet crashed while on a training mission on the Barry M. Goldwater Range southeast of Yuma, but both pilots ejected safely, officials said.
Another Marine Harrier jet crashed in November 2007 near the Goldwater Range while on a routine training mission about 40 miles east of Yuma. The pilot successfully ejected himself from the aircraft.
In August 2007, four were killed and one survived when a Marine Corps search-and-rescue HH-1N Huey helicopter went down during a training exercise near the Colorado River about 20 miles north of Yuma.
Also, several accidents have happened in the past year involving Marine Corps training in Southern California.
In September, a helicopter went down during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, killed the two Marines onboard and set off a fast-moving brush fire at Camp Pendleton.
In August, two Marines were ejected from their F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet as it plunged toward the Pacific Ocean. The two Marines spent four hours in the dark, chilly ocean before they were rescued. Both suffered broken bones but survived.
In July, a decorated Marine from western New York was killed during a training exercise when his UH-1Y helicopter went down in a remote section of Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.
Another Hornet sustained at least $1 million damage when its engine caught fire on March 30 aboard the USS John C. Stennis during a training exercise about 100 miles off the San Diego coast. Eight sailors, a Marine and two civilians were injured.
A decade ago, in February 2002, a helicopter crash in the Chocolate Mountains in eastern Imperial County, Calif., killed two Camp Pendleton Marines and injured two others. The UH-1N Huey was on a routine training mission in the Naval gunnery range.
CINCINNATI, OH Feb 24 2012 - An actor who played on Seinfeld died early this morning after attempting to commit suicide.
Daniel von Bargen shot himself in the head Monday morning inside of a Cincinnati apartment complex.
Von Bargen, 61, was transported to a nearby hospital and later died.
According to information Von Bargen told the dispatcher, he was supposed to have some toes amputated.
He is best known for his role as Mr. Kruger on Seinfeld and Mr. Grady in Super Troopers.
Von Bargen is also known for his roles in “Malcolm in the Middle” and “The West Wing.”
CAYCE, SC Feb 24 2012 - A Midlands man is in jail accused of working with two other people to defraud an insurance company by intentionally cutting a person’s hand off with a pole saw and then filing an insurance claim.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Gerald B. Hardin, 34, of Cayce, was arrested on charges that he and two other people committed mail fraud in May 2008.
Prosecutors said, while living in Sumter, Hardin and another person devised a plan to use a small chain saw attached to a pole to cut the third person’s hand off.
The three participants, according to a six-count indictment, then submitted claims against a homeowner’s insurance policy and three accidental death and dismemberment policies and received over $671,000.
Neither the other person who helped or the person whose hand was severed are identified in the indictment.
The maximum penalty Hardin could receive on each count is 20 years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines.
Hardin made his initial appearance in federal court on Feb. 21. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Dean A. Eichelberger of the Columbia office for prosecution.
EVANSTON, Ill. Feb 24 2012 – Seven north suburban high school students were arrested after police broke up a fight at the school on Wednesday morning.
The fight broke out between two students about 11:49 a.m. in a hallway at Evanston Township High School, according to Evanston police.
Additional students got involved in the fight, which occurred just outside of the main office area, according to the parent of a high school student, who said parents received recorded phone messages about the incident.
School security initially responded, but Evanston police were also called in the, according to a statement on the Evanston Township High School District 202 website, which said the fight “was quickly contained” after police arrived.
A police spokesman said all the participants were boys.
Several of them were arrested and have also been suspended from school, the school district statement said. The school will take further disciplinary action “as warranted.”
School officials said the fight is believed to have stemmed from an incident away from school over the weekend.
A school security officer suffered minor injuries to his arm, and was treated and released at a hospital, Evanston Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther said.
He said no weapons were used and none of the students were injured.
Charges against the seven arrested students are pending, Guenther said.
Sierra CA Feb 24 2012 Inyo National Forest law enforcement personnel have once again started their snowmobile patrols for the 2012 season. In a continuing effort to protect congressionally designated wilderness within the Inyo National Forest from illegal snowmobile use, law enforcement patrols will be routinely patrolling problem areas both on skis and snowmobiles and through aerial reconnaissance. The patrols will be looking for people whose snowmobiles have strayed into “off-limit” areas of the Forest, such as designated wilderness and other areas specifically closed to snowmobiles. Areas that will be regularly patrolled include: designated wilderness and Research Natural Areas, the Mammoth Lakes Basin, Obsidian Dome cross-country ski trails, Shady Rest cross-country ski trails and the area west of the G-trail from June Lake Junction south to the Glass Creek Hill. Free Winter Recreation Trail maps that display where the motorized restricted areas are located can be picked up at the Mammoth Welcome Center.
During the week of February 13, six local residents were cited for trespassing in the Owens River Headwaters Wilderness, in the area known as the Slash Pit. Unfortunately reduced snowpack this year has led to a concentration of use in this area. Law enforcement officials would like to thank the public for information that they have provided regarding snowmobile trespass, and they encourage anyone witnessing violations to call the Interagency Dispatch Center at 760-873-2405. For more information, please contact Lisa Walker, Recreation Specialist, at 760-647-3031.
The nation’s federally designated wilderness areas have prohibited motorized use since the passing of the 1964 Wilderness Act, making them off limits to all motorized vehicles. Despite these prohibitions snowmobile tracks and public reports indicate that numerous riders venture into these closed areas every winter season. Riding in a congressionally designated wilderness or other closed area is a Federal and state offense carrying fines of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail, in addition to possible seizure of the snowmobiles used in the commission of the crime.
It is the rider’s responsibility to know where these closed or restricted areas are located and their boundaries. Major winter trailheads and launching points have kiosks with maps showing the restricted areas; maps are also posted online at http://www.mammothweb.com/scripts/usfs/snowcat.cfm.
If in doubt, you should check with a local Ranger Station or visitor center.
The Forest Service recognizes that in this low snowpack year that roads, trails and areas to ride snowmobiles are less available than in normal snow years. This does not, however, change the boundaries of the closed areas. It is important that riders know where the open snowmobiling areas are located, and that they stick to these areas for their snowmobile riding.
NEW ORLEANS LA Feb 24 2012 – A New Orleans police officer was suspended without pay after being arrested Wednesday morning for illegally having a gun in a French Quarter bar, according to a police spokesperson.
State troopers contaced NOPD officials after responding to the incident, and officers arrested 34-year-old August Michel at about 2 a.m. at a bar in the 600 block of Bourbon Street. He and another officer were off-duty and not in uniform at the time.
Public Integrity Bureau investigators said Michel got into a fight with other customers inside the bar. The bar’s security broke up the fight and disarmed Michel in the process, according to the report.
Security contacted the troopers who were nearby.
Michel was accused of violating a state law that prohibits officers from carrying their weapons in an alcoholic outlet unless they are in an official capacity. Departmental rules also prohibit officers from entering alcoholic outlets on duty without notifying the Communications Division.
Michel is a 14-year veteran of the NOPD.
The incident was under investigation.
Port Angeles WA Feb 24 2012– A man wanted in connection with two homicides in Clallam County apparently killed himself during a standoff with police today in Port Angeles.
45-year-old John Loring was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at about noon today at an apartment complex at 16th and “N” streets.
Officers had surrounded the apartment complex this morning where Loring had been located.
A State Patrol SWAT team began talking with Loring soon after arriving. Those talks apparently broke off by mid morning and police fired tear gas into the apartment. Shots were also reported at the scene by late morning.
Residents of the apartment complex were evacuated earlier.
Loring was suspected of shooting 19-year-old David Randle on Tuesday morning at a home at Woodcock Road and Andrew Myers Lane in Sequim. Loring also is suspected in the death of a 65-year-old man whose body was found Tuesday afternoon.
He had eluded police all day Tuesday. Clallam County sheriff Bill Benedict tells KONP authorities gathered intelligence late last night that lead them to Loring at the apartment complex this morning.
Active duty soldier arrested after running down security officer at nightclub www.privateofficer.com
SAN ANTONIO TX Feb 24 2012 – An active duty soldier was arrested early Thursday morning after police say he ran over a security guard in a club’s parking lot and crashed into a wall.
Police said the suspect, an active member of the Army, was picking fights in the parking lot at Graham Central Station nightclub around 2:20 a.m. When things escalated, the suspect got in his Cadillac and drove into the fighting crowd.
The suspect hit a security guard with his vehicle and then sped away, police said.
With another security guard in pursuit, police said the suspect crashed into a median and a wall before stopping in a shopping plaza parking lot at Callaghan and Babcock.
Nearby officers saw the crash and were told by the pursuing security guard of the hit and run. The suspect was arrested and is expected to be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon-vehicle.
The security guard suffered minor injuries to his ankle and arm.
ONSLOW COUNTY, NC Feb 24 2012 – Three children were killed Thursday morning in a house fire in Onslow County.
According to Sheriff Ed Brown, Tabitha Pittman, 12, Elijah Pittman, 8, and Gabriel Pittman, 6, were on the first floor of the home. It is possible the oldest child was trying to help the other two get out.
According to authorities with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a fire in the 2100 block of Wilmington Highway Thursday morning around 5 a.m.
When deputies and fire crews arrived, the house was completely engulfed in flames, and they were met by the home’s injured residents who had escaped.
Deputies and firemen attempted to enter the home to rescue the remaining family members, but were unable to due to extreme smoke and flames.
As soon as possible, firemen went inside the home and discovered the victims who were killed in the fire in the house’s living room.
Authorites say the home belonged to Samuel and Johnetta Pittman.
According to WITN, Johnetta and her five other children were injured in the fire. She and her daughter Hannah, 10, were taken to the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill. The other children injured are Samantha, 16, 15-year-old twins Adrianne and Gabrielle, and Johnathan, 4.
According to officials at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Samantha, Adrianne and Gabrielle were all in good condition Thursday evening. Johnetta, Hannah, and Johnathan’s conditions are unknown at this time.
Authorities told WITN the twins suffered impact injuries after they jumped from a second floor window.
WITN is reporting that Samuel Pittman was working overnight and not at home when the fire started.
When fire crews arrived to the scene, flames and smoke were shooting from the home. It took officials about 45 minutes to contain the fire.
It is unclear what caused the fire at this time. Officials told WITN they are still trying to make sure the house is safe enough for investigators to begin their probe.
According to the media outlet, this is not the first time Pittman lost their home in a fire. A friend of the family said their house in Richlands caught fire eight years ago.
I wanted to give you a quick update on how the Red Cross is assisting the Pittman family from the Onslow County fire this morning. Because of the magnitude of this event, we have several chapters and regions involved in the response.
According to officials, the American Red Cross has stepped in and is providing temporary housing, food and clothing to the family.
“Although we are unable to release specifics due to confidentially laws, Red Cross volunteers and mental health professionals will continue to assist the families through the coming days as requested,” said officials in a statement.
Anyone who wishes to help the Pittman family during this time can contact Walter Scott with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-989-4008 or 910-389-4685.
Gloria Joles, the Sheriff’s Administrative Secretary, is also helping and can be reached at the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-989-4001.
Receipts for all donations will be given at the time a donation is received.
For those who wish to donate clothing to the Pittman family, the following is a list of clothing sizes:
• Size 31 x 32 pants
• Size medium shirts
• Size 12, 14 pants – teenagers
• Size 3,5,7 pants – teenagers
• Size 16 pants – mother
• Size XL tops – mother/teenagers
• Size small tops – teenager
• Size 10/12 pants
• Size 10/12 tops
• Size 4/5 pants
• Size 4/5 shirts
GREENSBORO, NC Feb 24 2012 (AP) – Police in Greensboro say a 102-year-old man shot and wounded his 84-year-old wife before killing himself.
Authorities said in a statement that officers responded to a report of shots being fired at a home on the northeast side of the city around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
When they arrived, they found Theodore Delano Larkin Jr. dead at the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot. Police said Gloria Laurette Larkin was suffering from gunshot wounds, and was taken by ambulance to Moses Cone Hospital where her condition is described as non-life threatening.
Investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting and are continuing to look into the incident.
LAS VEGAS NV Feb 24 2012 - For the first time in 30 years, more teenagers think there’s nothing risky about driving while high.
“A lot of my friends, they’re like, ‘Oh, we went to a party. I drove home high. It wasn’t that bad. I didn’t die,’” said teen Taylor Ferrell. “I don’t see why people make such a big deal out of it, even though it’s like really dangerous.”
“I’ve heard people talk about it when they go to parties,” teen Delisha Rubio said. “‘Oh, I’ve done that. Oh, I’ve gone behind the wheel high.’ I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
A study by Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual says marijuana use is on the rise among teens. Nineteen percent of teen drivers report they have driven under the influence of marijuana.
Erin Breen with UNLV’s Safe Community Partnership is disturbed by the latest findings that also reveal many teens don’t consider marijuana use a distraction to their driving.
“I thought we had gotten smarter than that,” Breen said. “We need to not be complacent and think that kids are getting the message. I think adults are getting the message pretty well, but obviously kids are not.”
Breen says 16 and 17-year-old drivers in Nevada are faring better than their counterparts in most other states. Nevada experienced zero fatalities among that age group last year. For older teens, however, the statistics change.
“When you look at the 18, 19 and 20-year-olds, especially 20-year-olds, we see that number skyrocket,” Breen said.
Some teens, however, know the difference between right and wrong.
“They shouldn’t do that, because I think they’re dumb,” teen Agustina Garcia said. “You don’t want to risk someone’s life or your own. They should think about it if they do that.”
“I don’t think it’s smart,” added Ferrell. “I’m not going to say I’m perfect, but I’ve never done it before. People, they just make bad decisions.”
The study also found 13 percent of teens surveyed reported driving after drinking.
BREMERTON, Wash.Feb 24 2012 – An 8-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot Wednesday afternoon at Armin Jahr Elementary School in Bremerton, allegedly by another student.
Harborview Medical Center says that the girl, Amina Bowman, is undergoing exploratory surgery at this time. The Bremerton Schools superintendent’s office has said the girl was shot in the abdomen.
Cyndy Kocer, Bowman’s grandmother, told KING 5 that she was watching TV of the shooting just before learning her granddaughter was involved.
“[Amina] “She will pull through,” said Kocer. “If I can make a plea to all my CFC [Couples for Christ] families, please pray for her. That’s all I need. That’s all we need.”
A teacher working in the office said the shooting happened in a classroom around 1:30 p.m.
Lt. Peter Fisher said another student was taken into custody and a gun was recovered. He would not confirm any information about the suspect, but a Bremerton School District spokesperson said suspect is 9 years old and also in the third grade.
The district spokesperson said it was believed the shooting was an accident, but Lt. Fisher said it was too early in the investigation to speculate.
The school was placed under lockdown. Fisher said police did a sweep of the school after taking the student into custody, then worked with the district to reunite students and parents.
“There’s been a shooting. They’re on lockdown.”
That’s what parent Kerri Johnson was told when she learned about the shooting. Her fourth grade son said he heard the shot.
“He’s really scared, but he’s fine,” said Johnson.
Armin Jahr Elementary is named for Armin G. Jahr, who was superintendent when the school was built in 1968.
Los Angeles Unified high school teacher arrested for having sex with several students www.privateofficer.com
MONTEBELLO, Calif. Feb 24 2012– A female Los Angeles Unified high school teacher has been arrested after two male students said they had sex with her.
KTTV-TV reports Thursday that 42-year-old Gabriela Cortez of Montebello was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of two felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. It’s the latest in a series of such arrests in the district.
Montebello police Lt. Louis Lopez tells KTTV that an 18-year-old youth told police last week that he had a sexual relationship with Cortez while he was a student in her Spanish class at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles.
During the investigation, Lopez says they uncovered another boy who said he had had sex with Cortez at her suburban Montebello home.
Cortez, who was suspended, could not be reached for comment.
Portland man accused of posting ads on Internet inviting men to have sex with ex-girlfriend www.privateofficer.com
PORTLAND OR Feb 24 2012 - A Portland man is charged with identity theft after his ex-girlfriend told police he put ads on Craigslist, asking men to come over and have sex with her.
Andre Flom, 31, was arrested Tuesday after police said they verified more than 40 postings on Craigslist and other media sites came from him between November 2011 to January 2012.
The posts appeared to be from Catlin Moser herself, but they were not. They listed her name, phone number and address and invited men to contact her for sexual encounters. She told KGW as many as 50 men came to her home each night, knocking on her door on the days the postings with her address appeared. She said others would call or text.
One of the ads said “Having a party tonight at my house! Encourage single guys to come…”
“It made me really worried for my safety because, you know, what am I going to do if a few of them show up at a time? You know there’s always the possibility of being raped,” Moser said.
She has changed her phone number four times and fears she will have to move.
The Craigslist posts also invited people to dig up her landscaping plants, plus disassemble and remove a play structure in her yard.
A detective on the case said the posts began after Flom was convicted in October of domestic violence against Moser. She told KGW Flom tried to strangle her and then she filed a restraining order against him. But the computer crimes did not fall under prohibited contacts.
Police do believe he’s violated other laws. Flom was charged with 10 counts each of computer crime and identity theft. He was being held at the Multnomah County Jail on $30,000 bail.
The victim has taken safety precautions as a result of the situation.
Tempe AZ Feb 24 2012 A 23-year-old band instructor at Tempe High School accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl has been arrested and now is facing charges of sexual conduct with a minor.
Andrew Islas, the band instructor, was arrested on suspicion of 16 counts of sexual conduct with a minor about 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Chandler after school administrators were made aware of the alleged relationship and contacted police.
School officials informed the girl’s parents of the alleged sexual relationship, which reportedly began in August 2011 and ended in November. The relationship included encounters at Islas’ home in Chandler, and police are investigating to determine whether any of the alleged crimes happened on the school’s campus, according to Tempe police.
School officials also are meeting with parents of the band students to inform them of the alleged relationship, police said.
The 16-year-old girl is the only victim who has been identified at this time and police do not believe that there are any other victims, according to Tempe police Lt. Mike Horn.
Horn said that Islas was employed by the school part-time and had taught the band students for a little more than two years, and worked with them for about two hours a day.
If anyone has any information on any other similar alleged incidents, they can call Tempe police at (480) 350-8311.
Hendersonville NC Feb 24 2012 A special education and math teacher at The Mountain Community School has been charged with sexually exploiting a 12-year-old girl.
Deborah Lee Tipton, 45, of 162 Long John Dr. in Hendersonville was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
An arrest warrant says Tipton videotaped a girl’s genitalia and then disseminated the video “for the purpose of producing material containing a visual representation depicting this activity, the defendant knowing the character and content of the performance and material.”
The date of the offense occurred between Aug. 1 and Feb. 21.
Tipton is being held under $50,000 bond.
Mountain Community School’s website says Tipton is a special education and eighth-grade math teacher who volunteers for the Special Olympics, Games for the Physically Challenged and Horses for the Handicapped.
Source:blue ridge mountain news