Newport Beach CA March 10 2012 A Newport Beach police officer who arrested 306 people for DUIs in 2011 was honored today with a Century Award from the Orange County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Newport Beach Police Officer William Hume was honored at the MADD chapter’s 25th Annual Law Enforcement and Prosecutor Recognition Luncheon at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.
The Century Award is presented to officers who arrest more than 100 drunk drivers within a one-year period, according to a Newport Beach Police Department statement.
MADD is a nationwide, non-profit organization that works to stop drunken driving, support victims, survivors, and families affected by drunken driving, and prevent underage drinking, the statement said. The Orange County chapter formed in 1981.
This annual recognition luncheon honors officers and prosecutors “who have helped to reduce and prosecute the number of drunk drivers who are arrested on California’s roadways,” the statement said.
BANGOR, Maine March 10 2012— The Holden man who in November pepper-sprayed a Sears security guard following a shoplifting spree was sentenced Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to two years in prison.
Joseph Demmons, 27, pleaded guilty to Class A robbery and Class C theft by unauthorized taking, according to Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County.
The prosecutor said Friday that a misdemeanor drug charge was dismissed.
Demmons has been held at the Penobscot County Jail since his arrest, unable to make bail. That time will be applied to his sentence.
Roberts also said the theft charge was unrelated to the robbery. By pleading guilty to the theft charge, Demmons admitted shoplifting from Kohl’s Department Store on Nov. 11, eight days before the robbery at Sears.
Demmons’ accomplice in the Sears robbery was Brittany Holland, 20, of Hampden, according to previously published reports. She pleaded guilty to the robbery last month, Roberts said. Her sentencing was deferred until August while she undergoes treatment for substance abuse, the prosecutor said Friday.
Sears employees called police on Nov. 19 after noticing Demmons and Holland concealing items, and Bangor police officers were dispatched to the store, according to a previously published report. Before they arrived, one store employee was assaulted and Demmons sprayed Mace at the store’s security officer. The couple left the store and ran toward Interstate 95 and Staples, police said.
Demmons and Holland jumped a fence — dropping stolen items as they went — and then unsuccessfully attempted to hide in the high grass. They were quickly located by Bangor police.
Nearly $1,000 in stolen merchandise, mostly jewelry, was found on the shoplifters or on the ground between Sears and where they were located, police said in November. Officers recovered about $913 worth of stolen items, which were returned to the store.
The duo faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the robbery charge. In addition, Demmons faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on theft charge.
Dallas TX Maech 10 2012 An American Airlines flight attendant disrupted a flight Friday morning as it was about to take off from Dallas-Fort Worth en route to Chicago, saying over the aircraft intercom system that the plane was going to crash, alluding to 9/11 terrorist attacks and ranting about the airline’s bankruptcy reorganization, passengers said.
Passengers ended up restraining the female flight attendant in a forward seat of the cabin until the plane returned to the gate and airport police arrived.
Two flight attendants were injured in the incident and were taken to a local hospital. No passengers were injured, and they were never in danger, an airline spokeswoman said.
The flight attendant who caused the commotion shrieked as she was handcuffed by police and placed into a police car, passengers on the flight told the Tribune after they exited the plane at Chicago O’Hare.
“I will never get that sound of her screaming out of my head,” said Bethany Christakos of Plano, Texas. “It took a good 10 minutes, it felt like, to get her off of the plane.”
Other passengers said the incident ended after about 15 minutes, but it made them nervous. “We were pretty frightened,” said Elmhurst resident Greg Lozano. “I was glad we weren’t in the air. That was the primary thing I was thinking.”
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed there was an “altercation” involving American Airlines Flight 2332, which eventually landed at Chicago O’Hare at 11:46 a.m., more than an hour late.
According to reports by passengers, the trouble began Friday morning as the plane taxied to the runway for takeoff. A flight attendant who had been giving preflight safety instructions began speaking incoherently over the intercom system, confusing and startling passengers.
The attendant said the plane had a mechanical issue and was going to return to the airport gate. However, other flight attendants interrupted and said there were no mechanical issues and that the plane was preparing for takeoff.
The upset flight attendant then said over the public-address system that it would not be her fault if the plane crashed. She began speaking in incomplete sentences, using the words “bankruptcy” and “American Airlines,” passengers said. She also referred to the 9/11 terrorist attacks at one point, passengers said.
Some passengers then began using mobile phones to call 911.
Other flight attendants on the plane attempted to calm the woman, but she continued to be agitated. Three or four passengers then left their seats and went to the front of the plane to help restrain her as the plane returned to the gate, a move requested by the pilot, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed.
Brad LeClear of Fox Lake was among the passengers to help. He was returning to Chicago from a business trip. He and several of his Sam’s Club colleagues helped restrain the flight attendant. “She was making erratic statements over the PA and mentioned that everybody was going to crash,” LeClear said. “That’s when it really got out of control.”
Steve Termunde, also returning from the Sam’s Club business trip, said passengers thought at first that the flight attendant didn’t realize she was speaking over the public-address system. But as she continued a rant, they realized something was wrong. “When she said ‘crash’ twice, we knew something was wrong,” he said. “That’s when everyone started to undo their seatbelts, and we were ready to take action ourselves.”
A pilot who was catching a ride on the plane in first class approached the woman, who was standing near the pilot’s cockpit door, along with other flight attendants. “He got up and tried to subdue her, tried to take the mic away because she kept talking on the mic and getting everybody a little nervous and upset,” Termunde said.
That’s when other passengers came to help. “It was a good wrestle to get her to her seat,” he said. “There were about five people holding her down.”
Some passengers said the woman appeared to be having a mental breakdown. One passenger said the flight attendant mentioned that she suffered from a bipolar condition and that she had not taken her medication.
“She was in a manic-type state,” LeClear said. “I tried to talk her down and calm her down a little bit. She said she was bipolar. We continued to hold her until authorities arrived and when they showed up we helped get the cuffs on.”
A flight attendant who appeared to be injured while attempting to restrain the woman was placed on a gurney and taken away in an ambulance.
An American Airlines spokeswoman said two flight attendants were taken to local hospitals for treatment. “We will ensure that the affected flight attendants receive proper care, and we commend our other crew members for their assistance in quickly getting the aircraft back to the gate so that customers could be re-accommodated,” the airline said in a statement. The original cabin crew was replaced with another one before take-off, the airline said.
“Our customers were not in danger at any time,” the airline said, adding that it was continuing an investigation into the incident. “We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers, and we appreciate their patience and understanding.”
The airline did not release the name of the flight attendant who caused the disruption or the names of the injured flight attendant.
The Transportation Security Administration also said it was aware of the incident but referred questions to American Airlines and airport police.
The flight was originally scheduled to take off from Dallas at 8:25 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 10:40 a.m. But the flight didn’t leave until 9:46 a.m. and arrived in Chicago at 11:46 a.m., according to the American Airlines website.
The event is somewhat similar to a famous flight attendant incident in August 2010, when JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater used the plane’s intercom system to curse out an unruly passenger. Then he grabbed a two beers from the beverage cart and deployed an inflatable emergency escape slide on the runway of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. He jumped onto the slide, only to be arrested shortly after.
American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on Nov. 29 but has continued flying, as many airlines have during their reorganizations.
Volusia County Beach Patrol Officer pleads guilty to unlawful sex with a minor www.privateofficer.com
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.March 10 2012 – In a surprising turn of events, former Volusia County Beach Patrol Officer Robert Tameris pleaded no contest to two charges of unlawful sex with a minor.
A judge decided Tameris will spend 18 months in prison and will serve 4 years probation. He’ll also have to register as a sex offender.
“This plea happened because of the extensive investigation and prosecution by the State Attorneys Office in conjunction with FDLE and Volusia County authorities,” State Attorney RJ Larizza said in a news release.
In 2009, authorities said Tameris had sex with a teenager more than 20 times over a one-year period. The teenager was 16 years old at the time, and Tameris was 42 years old.
Tameris also allegedly videotaped the teenager on one occasion without her knowledge and sent an inappropriate image of himself to her via e-mail.
Investigators said the teenager came forward while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. They investigated the claims against Tameris and two other beach patrol officers.
Florida law states that it’s a felony for anyone over 24 years old to have sex with a person who is 16 or 17 years old, whether or not the sex is consensual.
WARWICK, GAMarch 10 2012 – A Warwick police officer is arrested after Moultrie police say she stole just over $600 worth of merchandise from Belk on Saturday.
The police report says a loss prevention officer noticed Charlette Anne Jennings – a Warwick police officer – removing tags from several items and that she changed purses while inside the store. The police report also states Jennings was resisting and fighting with the loss prevention officer. Moultrie police were called to assist, and later arrested Jennings for felony shoplifting.
The Warwick Police Department Attorney Tommy Coleman says Jennings has been placed on administrative leave without pay until a hearing next Tuesday.
According to the police report, $388 worth of jewelry/precious metals and $220 worth of other items were among the stolen merchandise.
MONTESANO, Grays Harbor County WA. March 10 2012— The Grays Harbor County Courthouse is on lockdown after a sheriff’s deputy was shot and a judge was attacked.
Grays Harbor Undersheriff Rick Scott told KING-5 that a search is on for the suspect, a white male, who is believed to be armed and on foot.
Scott said it’s not believed the suspect was scheduled to be in court.
A woman who answered the phone at the Montesano Fire Department tearfully said that two people were transported to a local hospital. She said medics were dispatched to the courthouse at 12:10 p.m. The condition of the deputy and judge were not released.
“You have to call the police department,” the unidentified woman said emotionally.
The possible suspect in the incident was named Michael Thomas, with no age or address provided, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Russ Winger. He was described as a male with short sandy-colored hair, wearing blue button-down shirt, black pants, and possibly carrying a black briefcase and a pistol.
The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and Montesano police confirmed there was an incident at the courthouse, but declined to provide details.
MOBILE, Alabama March 10 2012 – A man arrested on an outstanding murder warrant was arrested Tuesday with two other men during a traffic stop, Mobile police said.
Hiram Stores, 30, was arrested Tuesday along with two other men. All three men face drug possession charges. Stores was wanted for the shooting death of 17-year-old Keonte McCants that occurred Nov. 28 as McCants sat in a car on Circle Drive in Prichard.
Mobile police Capt. Eddie Patrick in an email provided details of Stores’ arrest.
About 2 p.m. Tuesday, an officer around Navco and McVay, stopped a car for a minor traffic violation. When the officer got out of his cruiser and walked toward the stopped car, the driver took off. After a chase that lasted several minutes, the suspects fled and left the vehicle abandoned on Gimon Circle, off Dauphin Island Parkway near near Hurtel Street, Patrick said.
A Mobile police K-9 unit captured one suspect. Another suspect threw out a gun after getting out of the vehicle.
A second suspect was found hiding in some trees. Patrick said that officers found a “substantial
amount” of crack cocaine hidden on him.
The third suspect was found hiding under a house a few doors away from where the vehicle was abandoned. Officers also found “a very large amount” of crack cocaine hidden near the suspect, next to his cell phone.
Officers also found more crack cocaine, and digital scales inside the vehicle, Patrick said.
“This is a prime example of why our officers make traffic stops for what may seem like a minor offense to the average citizen. The traffic stop often leads to much more, especially when it is being done by an attentive and conscientious officer,” Patrick said.
Stores remains in Mobile County Metro Jail without bail on the murder charge, according to jail records. He faces additional charges for obstructing justice using a false identity, trafficking cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, records show.
Michael Cunningham, 29, of Mobile, was arrested Tuesday and charged with attempting to elude police, failure to obey police, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, records show. Cunningham was released Wednesday with a total bail of $5,000, records indicate.
Jeremy Love, 18, of Prichard, was arrested Tuesday and charged with failure to obey, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia, records show. Love was released from jail late Tuesday with total bail set at $4,250, records show.
Chicago IL March 10 2012 After a two-year hiatus, the South Side Irish Parade returns Sunday with fewer floats, greater security, a crackdown on booze and, organizers hope, smaller crowds and less rowdiness than in the event’s previous incarnation.
Organizers say the goal is to bring back the family atmosphere that prevailed when the parade began back in 1979. The last parade, in 2009, was marred by fights and 54 arrests as a crowd of 300,000 descended on the Beverly neighborhood.
It spun out of control,” said Bob Figel, spokesman for the parade committee. “It was never intended to turn into spring break.”
Organizers raised money to bring the event back in a manner that would be palatable to city officials and said the $40,000 bill they got from the city for things like trash pickup, street sweeping and barricades is well within their budget.
The parade will kick off at 11 a.m. Sunday from 103rd Street and Western Avenue. About 1,000 private security officers and members of the Chicago Police Department will enforce rules against open containers of alcohol at 46 checkpoints along the parade route.
In addition, the parade committee worked with Metra officials to ban open alcohol containers at nearby train stations and on trains heading to Beverly from downtown. Police officers will be assigned to Metra stations in an effort to nip any trouble before it gets to the parade.
North Side bars are being discouraged from chartering buses to the parade, a common promotion in past years that was blamed for building untenable crowds of inebriated merrymakers. Any buses destined for the event will have to park at either Evergreen Park or Merrionette Park, about a mile away from the parade.
“We’re not going to put up with vandalism and public indecency,” said police Cmdr. Bob Hargesheimer of the Morgan Park District. “It’s a disservice for the community, and CPD is committed to curtail them.”
Some things won’t change, like the traditional bagpipe bands and Irish dancers. The number of floats will be cut in half, however, and the parade will last only two hours instead of its previous three, Figel said.
A short ceremony before the celebration is planned to honor Marine Cpl. Conner Lowry, 24, who was killed in Afghanistan on March 1, and other war veterans.
The expected crowd is 150,000, Figel said, half as many as three years ago.
The parade is being welcomed back by business owners like Jean Marie Quigley, whose Beverly Bakery will be serving up corned beef sandwiches, Guinness stew and shepherd’s pie.
“It’s a great event for the neighborhood as a whole,” Quigley said. “It’s not the same without it.”
Memories of the 2009 debacle, however, remain. Yorell Demetrius, 30, who has lived in Beverly for six years, called the last parade “the worst one,” recalling how she witnessed parade-goers relieving themselves and vomiting outside her apartment, which faces the parade route.
Some people just take it too far,” she said.
“You’ll always have drunken idiots,” said Brian Rotter, 31, a Beverly resident who nonetheless thinks the parade never should have been canceled and is excited for its return. “It just got too big for its own good.”
Rotter, who plans to spend the day celebrating with friends and family, said his concern is that the promised security will be too tight.
“It will be interesting to see how they’ll handle it,” he said.
A separate event, the South Side Irish Family Fest, is set for the Beverly Arts Center, a paid event that will start at the same time as the parade, 11 a.m., and continue until about 5 p.m. The center will offer traditional Irish food, family activities and entertainment.
Farther south, the 13th annual Downtown Tinley Park Irish Parade, which grew in popularity after the South Side Irish Parade was canceled, will kick off at 2 p.m. Sunday. Figel had no concerns about competition, saying the two parades will complement each other.
Madison WI March 10 2012 One of three women arrested for shoplifting Thursday night at a west side store told police she was addicted to stealing and the addiction was “worse than crack.”
Charissa Williams, 25, Madison, made her comments to Madison police as she was arrested at about 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Old Navy store on Junction Road.
Also arrested were Shyvia Robinson, 18, Madison, and Precious Williams, 22, Madison, all three tentatively charged with retail theft and resisting/obstructing.
Madison police said the three were running through the parking lot toward two parked cars, one car containing three kids, ages 1, 2 and 3.
Officers and security guards recovered hundreds of dollars in stolen merchandise, taken from four west side stores, including Old Navy, Burlington Coat Factory, Victoria’s Secret and Charming Charlie.
According to the police news release, an officer asked Charissa Williams if she had been arrested in the past for retail theft.
“She replied ‘I sure have, I’ve been stealing since I was 13,’” said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. “She added ‘I’m addicted to stealing, it’s worse than crack.’”
A fourth woman was in the car without the kids in it. She was not cited or tentatively charged. She apparently was watching the kids while the other women allegedly hit the store.
The security guard at Old Navy told police he had been working at an Old Navy store in Milwaukee but was sent to the Junction Road store here because of the shoplifting losses being suffered by the store.
“He watched two of the suspects stuffing clothes into bags while a third suspect acted as lookout,” DeSpain said. “Police were called while the thieves were still inside the store.”
An officer also noted there was loud music playing in the car with the kids, and there was an alcoholic drink in the cup holder between the two front seats of that car.
Other adults, including the mother of one of the suspects, were called to the scene to take the kids home, while the suspects were taken to jail.
CHESTERFIELD, VA March 10 2012 - A Chesterfield doctor has been arrested in a federal internet sex sting. The FBI nabbed 57-year-old Paul David Hite. He’s accused of wanting to meet up with children for sex.
Dr. Hite is a licensed anesthesiologist in Virginia and had privileges at Johnston-Willis Hospital. The federal criminal complaint against him is so graphic. We can’t even share most of the details. The allegations made his neighbor cringe.
The internet sex crime allegations against Midlothian Dr. Hite, not only shocked but sickened Doug Sinclair who lives on Old Gun Road not far from Hite’s house.
“Here’s a man who’s a doctor. What was he thinking,” said Sinclair.
So disgusted, Sinclair couldn’t finish reading a sexually explicit search warrant affidavit.
“Oh man, talk about detail. That is very disturbing,” said Sinclair.
The six page federal complaint is far worse. It outlines an alleged internet chat last month between Hite and an undercover Washington, D.C. officer who asked Hite if he’d ever had sex with a minor.
According to the complaint, Hite replied “Years ago, none in ages.”
It said the two chatted for days about having sex with two children, including the officer’s 3-year-old nephew.
Hite wrote “Would love to help you with him sometime.”
They discussed using Benadryl to make the sexual playtime easier and to distort the boy’s recollection.
Hite pressed for quote “Real time with him.”
On Valentine’s day, the two spoke by phone agreeing to meet. Hite was arrested days later in D.C.
“I don’t have any children, but if I did I’d be very concerned about that for my children and I am for anyone else,” said Sinclair.
Back on February 17th, the feds went in to Hite’s home on Old Gun Road with a search warrant. According to court documents they left with a computer, camera and soiled children’s clothing.
I wanted to see if anyone else lived at Hite’s home. I knocked on the door with no luck.
Johnston Willis Hospital revoked Hite’s privileges after hearing about the charge from his now former employer, Commonwealth Anesthesia Associates. Hite is charged by the feds with attempted enticement of a minor.
Right now, he’s being held in the D.C. Metro jail awaiting his court date which has not yet been set.
Hawaii officials apologize to tourists after they were forced out of airport into stormy night by security guard www.privateofficer.com
HONOLULU HI March 10 2012 (AP) — Hawaii officials said Friday that a security guard’s decision this week to kick a group of stranded tourists out of an airport and into the stormy night was an embarrassment to the state.
Parts of Hawaii have endured almost a weeks-worth of relentless rain that has closed schools, blocked roads and overflowed sewers. When heavy rains canceled flights out of Kauai after midnight on Tuesday, about 20 passengers were stuck at the airport.
The small airport in Lihue normally closes overnight and the guard told the passengers — including a pregnant woman and a disabled man — that they needed to leave immediately.
“Everybody is flabbergasted that the security guard wouldn’t let them stay at the airport,” Department of Transportation spokesman Daniel Meisenzahl said. “He basically put them out on the curb in this terrible rainstorm.”
The Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hawaiian Airlines have been trying to help state officials contact the kicked-out passengers so they could get personally apologize. The state’s lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, managed to reach one couple by phone at their Littleton, Colo., home on Thursday.
“I said we’re sorry and we wanted to express our aloha,” Schatz said of the 15-minute phone call. “There’s nothing that can be done to undo this mistake. I imagined myself, and my wife, being treated like this. I thought it was important to try to make it right.”
Michael Young, who was on Kauai with his wife celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, described the apology from Schatz as “heart-felt.”
Young, 71, told The Associated Press that the security guard had threatened to call police if the passengers didn’t leave. Young and his wife were among about eight people who couldn’t get a hotel room. Other passengers managed to get rooms and rental cars, but many hotels were booked or inaccessible because of flooded roads.
Meanwhile, Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, was stuck at the Honolulu airport, trying to return home, when she heard there might be problems at the airport in Lihue. She asked her husband, an off-duty fire captain, to drive over.
That’s when a five-day vacation full of mostly rainy days turned around for the Youngs.
“There was this kind, Hawaiian fireman. Bless his heart,” Young said. “He had to be an angel. He commandeered a taxi that took us to a shelter.”
At the crowded shelter, the soaking wet Youngs had to sleep on a concrete floor but were welcomed with the hospitality Hawaii is famous for, including a woman who brought them bananas from her yard.
“They were so gracious. They were such kind representatives of Hawaii,” Young said. “Thank God for the shelter.”
They headed back to the airport at 5 a.m. and caught a 35-minute flight to Honolulu and then to Denver.
The security guard works for Securitas, a company contracted by the state, and has been reassigned, Meisenzahl said.
Sanj Sappal, an area vice president for Securitas, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser an investigation into policies and procedures is under way.
The state and Securitas normally have a good relationship, Meisenzahl said, adding that the guard “wasn’t following rules of common sense” and should have notified a supervisor and the state about the situation. He said the airport would have opened a room for the passengers and made restrooms available.
“The travel industry and tourism is our No. 1 industry,” he said. “The airport is where everyone has their first and last impression of Hawaii.”
Unarmed security officers among victims of Western Psychiatric Institute shooting www.privateofficer.com
Pittsburgh PA March 10 2012 A man entered Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC in Oakland shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday armed with two semiautomatic handguns and started firing.
Within minutes he was dead after a gunbattle with University of Pittsburgh police, but not before one Western Psych employee was shot to death and seven other people were injured.
All but one of the injured suffered gunshot wounds, including a Pitt police officer who was grazed by a bullet, but officials at UPMC Presbyterian said they expected all would survive.
Three Pitt police officers, who were close to Western Psych when the call came, traded gunfire with the man, though Pittsburgh police did not immediately know which of the officers’ bullets struck him.
City police who arrived shortly after the Pitt officers described a chaotic scene in the hospital lobby, with blood-splattered floors and people running in different directions amid gun smoke.
Officers said they saw two men dead in a first-floor hallway, where one of the walls was riddled with bullet holes. A third man was clutching his ankle, saying he had been shot. A frightened woman fell and broke her arm.
Near the gunman’s face-down body were two semiautomatic handguns and a box of unused ammunition. He and the other man, a Western Psych employee, were lying near each other and facing the same direction in the hallway, which is about 8 feet wide.
Police believe the gunman was roaming the first floor before he was killed. There were dozens of shell casings in the area.
Officials said they believed the shooter had never been a patient at Western Pysch. Police had difficulty in identifying the man, who was not carrying identification. Detectives were working to learn more about his background and motivations late Thursday.
Claudia Roth, president and CEO of WPIC, said at a news conference Thursday evening that UPMC officials are reviewing surveillance footage of the lobby to see if cameras captured the incident. In addition to the Pitt police officer, five of the injured victims are clinic employees, she said; a sixth shooting victim was a visitor.
All of the injured were taken to UPMC Presbyterian across the street. Two were treated and released.
UPMC said Thursday night that the hospitalized victims were a 46-year-old male, gunshot wound, fair condition; a 64-year-old female, gunshot wound, serious condition; a 54-year-old female, gun shot wound, fair condition; a 35-year-old male, gunshot wound, fair condition; a 49-year-old male, gunshot wound, serious condition.
Ms. Roth said fewer than 30 people were evacuated from an unspecified unit in the hospital, which has 17 floors, 10 of which house patients. There were 289 patients in the hospital when the shooting started, none of whom was hurt.
Kathryn Leight of Shaler, a receptionist at Western Psych, was among the injured. The 64-year-old was out of surgery and in the intensive care unit Thursday night, according to her daughter-in-law.
John Leight Jr., Mrs. Leight’s stepson, was at his parents’ home late Thursday night to fetch some clothes. His father, John Sr., was watching his son’s 11/2-year-old daughter during the day, waiting to pick up Mrs. Leight from work.
John Leight Jr. said his mother was shot four times and remained in the intensive care unit but had been taken off a ventilator and was breathing on her own.
He didn’t have a lot of information about her, but he went around the neighborhood anyway, telling friends what he knew.
“I couldn’t fill them in on much information,” other than to say she was expected to survive, he said.
One Western Psych employee said one of the five employees was a second female receptionist who worked on another floor and apparently just happened to be in the lobby when the shooter entered. She was not critically wounded, the employee said.
PG VIDEOThe same employee said he believes one of the other wounded employees is one of Western Psych’s unarmed security guards who was stationed in the lobby. That employee’s primary duty is not to guard the lobby, but to monitor traffic in and out of the emergency room entrance that runs off of the main lobby. His condition was not available.
“This is a sad time to actually have to spread news like this,” said Donald Yealy, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, at the news conference. All of the injured are expected to survive, he said.
“This was a tragic day, a sad day, a senseless day in many ways,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who praised the bravery of public safety employees as well as Western Psych staff. Mr. Ravenstahl said the Pitt police officers’ “quick response saved lives today.”
“It’s going to be a very long investigation,” said Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper, who did not speak at the news conference. He said his detectives were trying to determine the shooter’s motives and how he got inside the building.
He described the efforts of many law enforcement agencies as “teamwork” and said of the shooting only, “It’s a tragedy.”
The call comes in
Police were called shortly before 2 p.m. After the Pitt officers responded, scores of city police officers arrived and were reinforced by FBI agents, sheriff’s deputies, state police troopers and members of the city, Allegheny County, Port Authority and South Hills SWAT teams, as well as bomb-sniffing dogs.
As the wounded were taken away, police worked to secure the chaotic scene and determine whether there was still a threat.
UPMC hospitals in Oakland were put on a bronze alert at 1:58 p.m. for someone with a weapon in Western Psych. The alert requires employees to stay where they are and respond to the alert with their exact location.
A message sent to Pitt employees at 2:08 p.m. said that several people had been injured and “lockdown [is] recommended until further notice.”
It also said, “If safe to do so, tell others of this message.”
Pitt is on break, so there are few students there this week.
Pittsburgh Public Schools, several Oakland banks, Carlow University, Oakland Catholic and Central Catholic high schools and several other local institutions issued notifications of the incident. Several schools and institutions went on lockdown. Streets around WPIC were closed and buses rerouted.
Rich Mellen said he was working on a roof of a nearby hotel when he saw dozens of police cars converge on the area.
It was “cops, cops and more cops,” he said.
A large crowd was drawn to the scene near the shootings, but onlookers were kept away by scores of heavily armed police and SWAT team members who set up a perimeter around the hospital.
Police blocked off the area near Bouquet, DeSoto and O’Hara streets.
Sweeping the building
Once police confirmed the two fatalities and took the injured to UPMC Presbyterian, they moved “nonessential” employees from Western Psych while others were allowed to stay to tend to patients. Then they began a methodical sweep of the facility.
The teams spent nearly three hours after the shootings going through the building floor by floor and unit by unit, checking for the well-being of staff and patients, for other injured people, and confirming that there was not another shooter, as had been rumored. In some of the locked units, police had to determine whether those inside were safe.
Evacuation of staff and some patients, including children, continued until just before 4 p.m. Children, many of them shoeless, were carried by staff members and loaded into the back of an armored SWAT vehicle. Those who were not injured were taken to Petersen Events Center, where families were also directed to go.
Western Psych security
Mr. Ravenstahl said the shooter entered through a public area.
Security is normally very tight at Western Psych, according to those who work there. The facility at 3811 O’Hara St. is a 60-year-old building that is officially called Thomas Detre Hall, named after the late, former head of UPMC.
While it is most well-known as the home to the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, the building is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to UPMC’s psychiatric and research units, it also houses the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry.
In it, the Western Psych portion of the building houses Western Pennsylvania’s largest psychiatric facility, with 250 to 300 patients daily.
Although there are a number of locked units with very tight security, the lobby is open to the public and no security checks are done before entry.
Man arrested at Palm Beach International Airport with fireworks, knife, ammo and stun gun www.privateofficer.com
Palm Beach Fla March 10 2012 A passenger trying to board a flight at Palm Beach International Airport on Feb. 28 was arrested after trying to carry four rounds of ammunition, a Taser, M-80 fireworks and a four-inch martial arts knife through airport security, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman confirmed this evening.
TSA officers discovered the prohibited items in the passenger’s carry-on bag, spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said. The passenger was trying to board a Delta flight that morning to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, she said.
It was not clear why the passenger – whose identity was not immediately available – was trying to board the flight with the items.
“Unfortunately, passengers still bring thousands of prohibited items to our checkpoints at PBI every year,” Koshetz said. “But our officers are diligent and experienced at intercepting them.
“You would not want the person sitting next to you on the plane to be in possession of these items.”
PORT ST. LUCIE Fla March 10 2012 — A Manatee Academy teacher arrested in a January online predator operation after investigators say he traveled to Kissimmee to meet detectives posing as a mother and her 13-year-old daughter, now faces a federal enticement of a minor over the internet charge, according to recently released records.
Alexander Michael Roy, of the 2300 block of Southwest Fern Circle in Port St. Lucie, was arrested Jan. 13 as part of a crackdown known as Operation Red Cheeks in which suspects agreed to show up at various locations under the pretense of having sex with a teen. Roy, who taught eighth grade at Manatee Academy, was taken into custody after arriving at a restaurant in Kissimmee.
Sumter and Osceola county sheriff’s detectives worked to post an ad on a website with the heading, “We are staying near Disney if you seek family intimate fun activities. Only serious interests please!”
In less than 30 minutes, a reply was received from a person who signed his name “xoxoxoxo alex.”
“i’m a middle school teacher in port saint lucie, fl so i need to be discreet. i’ve got lots of pictures and i will share more of them once i know you are both for real,” the e-mail stated in part.
Roy eventually agreed to meet the 30-year-old mother and her daughter — in reality the two detectives — at a Waffle House in Kissimmee where he was arrested on five charges.
On Wednesday, Roy was arrested at his listed address in Port St. Lucie on the federal charge.
Roy is on administrative leave from the school district with pay, away from students, as the case moves through the legal system, said Janice Karst, school district spokeswoman.
Long Island NY March 10 2012
A substitute teacher on Long Island was arrested early Friday morning for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student.
Police arrested Kaitlin Grant, 23, of Elmont at 2:17 a.m.
Grant is accused of having a five month long sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl she met at the Freeport School District.
The victim’s family became aware of the situation and called the Nassau County Police Department.
Grant is being charged with criminal sex acts and endangering the welfare of a child.
She was to be arraigned on Friday in Hempstead.