Line of Duty Death Texas Trooper Javier Arana, Jr.
Javier Arana, Jr.
Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Highway Patrol, Texas
End of Watch: Saturday, March 24, 2012
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 2 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 3/24/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available
Trooper Javier Arana was killed in an automobile accident as he responded to assist a vehicle pursuit in El Paso at approximately 1:30 am.
During the response Trooper Arana’s vehicle collided with a pickup truck near the intersection of Joe Battle Boulevard and Bob Hope Drive. Trooper Arana’s patrol car burst into flames upon impact.
Trooper Arana had served with the Texas Highway Patrol for two years. He is survived by his wife and children.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief Luis Gonzales
Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Highway Patrol
5805 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78752
Phone: (512) 424-2000
HARTFORD, CT March 24 2012 Three people have been charged in connection with a rash of car break-ins in garages and neighborhoods in downtown Hartford .
Police said in the past five days, they have arrested three men – Jose Camacho, Cecil Williams and Kenneth McFarlin – in connection with many of the cases.
Eyewitness News was there when officers picked up Camacho near the Gold building garage on Friday when he was seen trying to get into cars while he was on a bike.
Police said McFarlin had an interesting way of staying under the radar by dressing like a security guard.
McFarlin was supposed to be in court on Tuesday, but was brought to the hospital for a medical issue.
Police credit the security guards at several garages for helping catch the suspects.
They warn people to put their junk in the trunk and get valuables out of the way of potential thieves.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. March 24 2012– A former U.S. Postal Service employee has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor embezzlement for stealing more than $11,000 at the post office in Rio Linda, north of Sacramento.
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that Denis Tyannikov took small amounts of money from the post office’s cash reserve, from merchandise sales and by incorrectly reporting stamp sales and refunds.
The small change added up to $11,282 that went missing between October 2009 and September 2011.
The 25-year-old Sacramento man was arrested in December in North Dakota.
He’d moved to a Fargo hotel room after authorities told him he would be charged with the theft.
He faces up to a year in prison when he is sentenced June 25. He pleaded guilty Monday.
DETROIT MI Mar 24 2012 - Two armed robbers entered the Dollar General store on East Lafayette near Orleans Street early Friday morning and was cleaning out the registers and a store safe while holding employees at bay when the store security officer arrived for work.
As the robbery suspects were fleeing the store, the security officer, a retired police officer, confronted the men and a gunbattle ensued leaving one robber dead.
The other robber escaped on foot and police are still looking for him.
Police have not released any names in the incident and said that the investigation into the robbery is ongoing.
Fired KS postal worker admits she failed to deliver thousands of pieces of mail www.privateofficer.com
Topeka KS March 25 2012 A 77-year-old former mail carrier has admitted in court that she failed to deliver thousands of pieces of mail on her 115-mile northeast Kansas route.
Dixie Bontrager, of Whiting, pleaded guilty to mail theft Thursday in federal court in Topeka.
Bontrager told The Associated Press last month she didn’t believe she had stolen mail, but simply failed to deliver it. She also said that much of the undelivered mail consisted of advertising.
In her plea deal, Bontrager admitted that agents searched four nonworking vehicles on her property in 2010 and found 496 first-class items and more than 2,700 standard mail items dating back to 2002. They also found periodicals and telephone books.
Bontrager was fired from the Holton Post Office in November 2010 after 30 years on the job.
ARLINGTON TX March 24 2012 – A former Arlington high school teacher arrested in February on two charges of having an improper relationship with students now faces two charges of sexual assault of a child after police learned of more alleged victims.
Arlington police arrested Brandon Ashley McDaniel, 36, on Thursday on suspicion of having sex with two students starting when they were 14 and 16, according to arrest warrant affidavits.
McDaniel, who already faced two charges of improper relationship for having sex with two 18-year-old students, now faces a third charge of improper relationship as well.
McDaniel, who resigned as chairman of the Sam Houston High School English department this month, remained in the Arlington Jail on Thursday afternoon, with bail set at $105,000.
All the sex acts were consensual, according to the affidavits. All four students had McDaniel as a teacher at some point.
Parking lots, classrooms
In the new cases, McDaniel is accused of having sex with the students in parking lots, at his home and in at least one case in his classroom, and the encounters continued after they graduated from high school.
The sexual relationship with one girl started in 2001; the other started in 2009. Both lasted until this year. One is now in her late teens and the other in her mid-20s.
After the 14-year-old turned 15, she once spent the night at McDaniel’s house when his wife was out of town, according to the arrest warrant affidavits. Another time, McDaniel was with the teen on her bed when her mother came home. He jumped out a window, the affidavits state.
“They would call each other when they wanted to have sex,” the affidavits say.
The student told police that she visited McDaniel at school this year and that the two exchanged text messages afterward expressing their love for each other. On her cellphone, detectives found several messages sent to and from McDaniel’s cellphone Jan. 26.
McDaniel’s sexual relationship with the 16-year-old began in 2009, when she was a sophomore and participated in an after-school program that he led, according to the affidavits.
She told police that McDaniel gave her marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes and that besides oral sex acts, they had phone sex and exchanged sexually explicit messages and photos.
She told police that she tried to end the relationship in fall 2009, the affidavits say, but that “the suspect was persistent and manipulative; therefore their sexual relationship continued.”
In April 2011, according to the affidavits, McDaniel bought her a plane ticket to Orlando, Fla., as a graduation gift and gave her other items.
The student told police that she was a virgin throughout high school and that the pair didn’t engage in intercourse until this January at his house.
After she learned that police were investigating McDaniel, she deleted all e-mails between them and told no one about the relationship, according to the affidavits. She did give detectives a detailed statement as well as other evidence, the affidavits say.
McDaniel, whom the Arlington school district placed on administrative leave Feb. 8, resigned effective March 6, district spokeswoman Amy Casas said.
He was arrested for the first time Feb. 28 and posted $20,000 bail, according to jail records.
In the previous cases, McDaniel is accused of having sex multiple times with two 18-year-old students. Police say he took one to Austin on Nov. 11 under the pretense of a college visit. The pair had sex in a hotel room, according to affidavits.
McDaniel is accused of having sex with the other student in his classroom, the affidavits say.
McDaniel’s attorney, Lex Johnston of Hurst, said Thursday that he was gathering information on the new charges.
“Mr. McDaniel faces five charges that were the result of anonymous phone calls to the Arlington Police Department,” he said. “We will fight each one and hopefully clear his name.”
Anyone with information about this case or similar situations involving McDaniel is asked to call 817-459-5352 or submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS (8477).
RICHMOND, Va. March 24 2012 – A federal judge has denied the city’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed last year by three former Richmond Sheriff’s deputies.
As a result, the city may have to pay back overtime pay to more than 500 retired and active officers.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he defended a state law, disputing the city’s claim that federal wage law pre-empted a state law that closed the gap in overtime pay for officers.
Cuccinelli said that under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the city is required to pay overtime pay to officers for time worked in excess of 86 hours in a 14-day period. However, state law requires compensation for all time beyond that which is regularly scheduled.
Cuccinelli argued that the two laws are not in conflict.
“We never contended that the city did not comply with federal law regarding overtime compensation,” said Cuccinelli in a news release. “However, they were not complying with state law, and the city has to abide by both federal and state law as long as they are not in conflict with one another.”
The 18-page suit filed in November of 2011 accuses Sheriff C. T. Woody of violating both federal and state law regarding overtime pay. It claims the deputies were required to report to work 15 minutes before their shift, attend monthly training meetings, make court appearances on their days off and deliver documents after their shift ends.
Under federal law, deputies cannot work more than 171 hours in a four-week period. Additionally, state law says deputies working 40-hour workweeks must be paid time-and-a-half after reaching 160 hours.
The deputies are seeking back pay, a penalty of double that amount and attorney’s fees.
HOUSTON TX March 24 2012 – Police confiscated almost $7 million worth of counterfeit purses in a raid at two businesses in southwest Houston Wednesday afternoon, and only KHOU 11 News was at both scenes as the simultaneous busts went down.
The raids happened in the 9800 block of Harwin and the 5800 block of Corporate.
KHOU 11 News cameras were rolling as the HPD Major Offenders Division and ICE worked together to recover the illegal merchandise.
From the outside, one of the businesses looked like a furniture store. But police said what was really inside was part of a million-dollar, counterfeit-purse-selling operation.
The purses, which were found in hidden rooms, had fake tags resembling high-end brands like Gucci, Prada and Coach. Police said the sellers were very cautious and would only invite select customers into the back rooms to view the purses.
Police wasted no time packing up the fake handbags and hauling them away.
Just at the Corporate address, authorities confiscated 11,000 pieces, worth an estimated $6.7 million. Police have not released the amount or value of the merchandise discovered at the Harwin address.
Jose Armando Andrade, Leticia Cruz and Mariano Rufino Pretzantzin were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Each suspect was given a $470,000 bond.
Source: KHOU 11
SEATTLE WA March 24 2012 (CN) – A man who says billionaire Paul Allen hired him for an “executive protection team” claims in court that he was not paid the salary he was promised, was stiffed for overtime, and quit after he was ordered to participate in “illegal activities” and was sexually harassed by Allen’s sister, the CEO of Allen’s Vulcan Inc.
Ramon Sandoval sued Vulcan Inc., Paul Allen and Jody Allen, in King County Court.
Sandoval says he was forced to resign due to “misrepresentations and other unethical conditions” at Vulcan and now works as a U.S. air marshal “at drastically reduced pay.”
Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates and now chairs Vulcan, a company he founded to manage his investments. His sister is president and CEO, according to the complaint.
Four other security guards, including the former security director for Vulcan, filed similar lawsuits in September 2011. All of the complaints allege misconduct by Paul and Jody Allen and Vulcan, but none of the allegations of misconduct are elucidated in precise detail.
Sandoval’s attorney, Rebecca Roe, responded to an email inquiry from Courthouse News by saying she could not comment about the alleged illegal activities, but she could say that Sandoval worked with the four other security employees who filed complaints. Roe represents three of the litigants. One complaint was voluntarily dismissed.
Vulcan said it could not comment on the case except to say that “the claims are baseless, and we’ll prove that in court if necessary.”
Vulcan’s former security director Kathy Loedler and security guards Jeff Benoit and Thomas RoseHaley all seek damages for constructive termination, fraud, hostile work environment and defamation.
Leodler alleged “constructive termination, defamation and fraud” in her complaint. In a motion to disqualify Loedler’s counsel, Vulcan said Loedler asserted claims for “constructive termination based on illegality and unprincipled corporate activities.”
Although neither the original complaint nor Vulcan’s response is specific, Vulcan’s motion to disqualify Loedler’s original attorney, for alleged wrongful possession of Vulcan’s confidential documents, sheds some light on Leodler’s claims.
“The conduct that Leodler has put in issue in this case includes: (1) efforts to reorganize EP [Executive Protection] operations around a ‘flexible work week’ schedule; (2) efforts to ensure access to and proper protocols for dispensing prescribed medications for individuals under EP protection, (3) issues arising from the foreign travel of one or more of the defendants; (4) efforts to address and resolve claims against Vulcan asserted by certain former EP team members; and (5) follow-up efforts to negotiate releases, arbitration provisions, and further assurances of confidentiality from EP team members,” the motion states.
Roe took over representation after the original attorney, Jerald Pearson, withdrew.
Sandoval, the most recent security guard to sue, was working in Afghanistan when Vulcan recruited him for a security job in Seattle, promising a salary of “$52.88 per hour and time-and-one-half for overtime,” according to the complaint.
After Sandoval accepted the offer and began making plans to move, he says, Vulcan changed the terms to a “fluctuating workweek” that would result in overtime pay of only one-half his regular rate of pay.
The corporate recruiter, Stephani O’Brien, told him “not to worry” because Vulcan would not implement the new system, so Sandoval went ahead and moved, according to the complaint.
“Within hours of reporting for work at Vulcan, Ms. O’Brien informed plaintiff that if he did not sign the fluctuating workweek offer he would have no job. Plaintiff felt he had no choice as he had a family to support. He signed the agreement but immediately started looking for different employment,” the complaint states.
“In the short time plaintiff was employed at Vulcan, he and other members of the Executive Protection team were ordered to participate in illegal activities to benefit Paul and Jody Allen.”
Sandoval says he was also asked to lie about how many hours he worked.
“On a trip to the Antarctic, plaintiff was instructed to limit his reporting of time worked to 16 hours per day, no matter how many he worked, which usually exceeded that amount,” according to the complaint.
Sandoval adds: “Defendant Jody Allen, president and CEO of Vulcan, made repeated inappropriate and sexual comments to, about, and in the presence of plaintiff.
“Because of the misrepresentations and other unethical conditions in the workplace, plaintiff felt he could not continue working for Vulcan and resigned April 8, 2011.
“Plaintiff accepted a new position as a US Air Marshall at drastically reduced pay.”
Sandoval seeks damages for breach of contract, misrepresentation and minimum wage violations and sexual harassment.
He is represented by Rebecca Roe and Kathy Goater, with Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender.
CARY NCMarch 24 2012 – Authorities have arrested a Wake County man after they said he put a hidden camera inside a restaurant bathroom.
John Michael Wronski of Cary was arrested Friday morning.
According to an arrest warrant, the 40-year-old put the camera inside the woman’s bathroom at Papa Murphy’s Pizza Place in Cary.
It also said the camera was in the bathroom while two unidentified victims were inside.
It is unclear if Wronski has any connection to the restaurant, other than putting the camera in the restroom.
Wronski has been charged with secret peeping and has been placed under a $3,000 bond.
Massachusetts, 13,000 police officers will carry secure standardized identification card www.privateofficer.com
Boston MA March 24 2012 In Massachusetts, 13,000 police officers will be carrying a secure, standardized identification card — replacing a hodgepodge of old IDs that varied depending on the jurisdiction.
To make the cards, the state is contracting with MorphoTrust, which makes most U.S. passport cards and state drivers’ licenses, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association announced this month. Each police station in Massachusetts must pay $300 for start-up costs and the IDs themselves cost $9.50 apiece. The state is paying for both costs with federal homeland security funding.
Security features of the new cards include statewide standardization; unique serial numbers; an “optical variable device” similar to what’s found on a driver’s license or passport; ghost images and overlapping data.
The state also began MassPoliceID.com, a website donated by Boston Web Designers that provides information about the new IDs to educate citizens about the change. The secure ID card program is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the website says.
Previously police ID cards in Massachusetts varied in appearance. Security features were generally limited to a signature and a photograph of the officer. Counterfeiting was easy because the old cards were simplistic and the average citizen had no way of knowing what an authentic police ID was supposed to look like, said William Brooks III, deputy police chief of Wellesley, Mass.
“We see people impersonating police officers all the time in dealing with the public,” Brooks said. Security personnel at large venues or citizens may not be as astute when it comes to sniffing out a fake, he said.
“Back in the day, officers used to carry badges and their possession of it would indicate who they were,” Brooks said. “Then I think the feeling was that a picture ID was probably more secure, so departments began issuing those. And then, in reality, with the development of technology and off-the-shelf software and card printers, they are actually easier to manufacture than a badge would be.”
The public might be surprised to learn that most police departments across the U.S. don’t have a uniform, secure ID card, Brooks said “I think it’s overdue; I think it was well worth it,” Brooks said about the new secure identification.
In addition to improved security, the new cards bring other benefits — like not having to keep a dedicated computer, printer, software and blank cards stocked at the station, said Jamie Gagnon of MorphoTrust.
“I think there’s an acknowledgement that standardized credentials would be a good thing, but unfortunately I think it’s more of a ‘would like to have’ as opposed to a ‘really necessary,’” Gagnon said. Massachusetts made statewide standardization of police IDs a priority — the first state to do so, Gagnon said.
The difficulty is getting everyone in a state on the same page and motivated to make it happen, Gagnon said. “A policy decision has to be made statewide,” he said.
The future of secure identification could be outlined in HSPD-12, a U.S. Homeland Security Presidential Directive that creates the need for sophisticated and standardized identification cards for federal contractors and employees. HSPD-12-compliant card systems use biometric data like fingerprints, and make use of smart card technology, as well as additional certifications. This type of card is much more expensive than what Massachusetts currently has, Gagnon said, and would have been much too large of a step away from using an inkjet printer.
Massachusetts may be a trendsetter in this arena, as New York state Assemblyman Felix Ortiz announced Assembly Bill 8542, which calls for standardized identification for all police and peace officers in the state.
WOODVILLE, MS March 24 2012 (AP) – Woodville Police Chief Jesse Stewart has been convicted of simple assault and ordered to pay a $500 fine plus court costs.
The attorney general’s office says in a news release that the 62-year-old Stewart was convicted Thursday in Wilkinson County Justice Court.
According to the complaint, Stewart allegedly slapped a probation officer on the buttocks while she was at the police station.
Stewart has been on unpaid administrative leave since last October, when the complaint against him was filed. Stewart had been the chief for about three years at the time of his suspension.
Calvin Gaines was appointed as the interim chief in 2011.
Investigators from the attorney general’s office handled the case after local prosecutors and judges recused themselves.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.March 24 2012 — Virginia Beach police say the gun that a robbery suspect was wielding when officers killed him was a toy.
Police spokesman Officer Jimmy Barnes tells media outlets that 33-year-old Daniel Guy Newcomb of Norfolk pointed a toy submachine gun at officers during a chase on Saturday.
One officer shot Newcomb. He died Sunday.
In 2009, Norfolk officers shot and wounded Newcomb after he wielded a starter pistol and threatened them. He wasn’t charged in that incident.
Barnes says the three Virginia Beach officers involved in the latest incident are on administrative assignment pending completion of the investigation.
Kansas City, Kan., woman accused of leaving three children alone in a car in 40-degree weather www.privateofficer.com
Kansas City, Kan. March 24 2012— A Kansas City, Kan., woman has been accused of leaving three children alone in a car in 40-degree weather while she gambled in a casino.
WDAF-TV reports that Katrina Denise Roades is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Police said Roades left the children, ages 9, 8 and six months, in a parked car while she went into the casino on March 3. A security officer found one of the older girls wandering in the parking lot. The child led the officer to the family’s car, where he found the other children.
Police believe Roades was inside the casino for about an hour and a half.
Roades also faces a trespassing charge because her name was on voluntary self-exclusion list designed as a tool for compulsive gamblers.
NORMAL IL March 24 2012 – Illinois State campus Police and the McLean County Coroner’s office are investigating a pair of deaths on the ISU campus Thursday night.
ISU Spokesman Jay Groves said the first was reported about 9:30 p.m. Thursday inside Manchester Hall, the second was reported after 12 a.m. at Hewitt Hall, but said they are unrelated. Groves said this is a very unusual circumstance.
“So, this morning at 7 a.m., Dr. Al Bowman sent an e-mail to all students, faculty and staff, as well as out on social media assuring them that these were incidents that were not connected and that there was no foul play whatsoever involved, no criminal activity involved,” Grove said. “Usually with a student’s death, we would notify the campus community in other ways, but because of the unusual circumstances of proximity and timing, we did not want misinformation spread, particularly throughout the social media, so Dr. Bowman made the decision to send the e-mail.”
McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling said the Manchester Hall death was a 19-year-old sophomore from Schaumburg and the Hewitt Hall death was a 19-year-old male freshman from Wilmette. She confirmed the two were unrelated and did not know each other.
Kimmerling said autopsies may be done Friday.
Groves said there are counselors on campus.
Ross Park Mall, Valor Security being sued by man assaulted by security officer www.privateofficer.com
Pittsburgh PA March 24 2012 A Ross man and his wife claim in a federal lawsuit filed today that a bored, cold and tired security guard at Ross Park Mall assaulted him without cause on the day after Thanksgiving in 2010.
John Kaminski, 28, says in the lawsuit that he edged his vehicle past Gregory Lattera, 26, who was directing traffic at the intersection of Old McKnight Road and Cheryl Drive after Lattera failed to signal him forward.
Lattera pursued the vehicle and slapped it, screaming profanities, and then radioed a report claiming he had been struck by the vehicle, the lawsuit said.
When Kaminski and his wife, Kellie, 28, came out of Toys R Us with their infant son, Lattera identified himself as a police officer and told Kaminski he was under arrest, the lawsuit says. When Kaminski asked for identification, Lattera attacked him, put him in a chokehold and forced him to the ground, the lawsuit says.
Ross Officer Joseph Serowik, who was working security for the mall, showed up and Tased Kaminski even though he wasn`t resisting and was already immobilized on the ground, the lawsuit says.
After investigating, Ross police released Kaminski and subsequently charged Lattera, the lawsuit says.
Lattera, who has since moved to Philadelphia, pleaded guilty Sept. 14 to unlawful restraint, simple assault, false imprisonment, impersonating a public servant and making a false report, according to court records.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Williams sentenced him that day to one year and six months of probation, according to court records.
The Kaminskis are suing Lattera, Valor Security Services of Marietta, Ga., mall owner Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, the township and Serowik.
There was no phone listing for Lattera. Simon Property Group declined comment. Representatives of Valor Security Services and the township couldn`t immediately be reached for comment.
ANAHEIM CA March 24 2012 – A security guard was stabbed early Friday morning while trying to break up a large fight outside Ember Cafe and Music Club in downtown Anaheim, police said.
Shortly before 2 a.m., officers responded to the club at 401 N. Anaheim Blvd. over a report of 50 to 80 people fighting in the southeast parking lot, Anaheim police Sgt. Robert Dunn said.
Arriving officers were directed to the parking lot, at Anaheim and Sycamore Street. A security guard told them someone approached him and said there was a disturbance, Dunn said.
“When he responded, a large number of subjects attacked him,” Dunn said. “After the attack he realized he had been stabbed in the back.”
The security guard was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was treated for a non-life-threatening wound.
Two people were arrested for public intoxication and a third was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the security guard, Dunn said, but the stabber remains at large.
“We were unable to identify any suspects because of the large number of people involved in the assault,” Dunn said.
The club opened in June 2008 and features valet parking, VIP lounges, three bars, balcony dining, indoor and outdoor spaces and a wide range of musical options.
Anyone with information about the assault was urged to call the Anaheim Police Department at 714-765-1900.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. March 24 2012 - A former attorney from Auburn has pleaded guilty to taking more than $2 million from loan closing and refinancing deals that his firm handled from 2005 until late last year.
Disbarred lawyer James Boyd Douglas Jr. apologized for his actions during a hearing in federal court in Montgomery on Thursday.
The Opelika-Auburn News (http://bit.ly/GNRPxU ) reports that the 42-year-old Douglas accepted full responsibility for what he did.
Douglas pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors for a reduced sentence, but a judge has yet to schedule a sentencing date.
Douglas admitted taking more than $2 million in proceeds from residential mortgage loan closings and refinances overseen by his law firm. Clients and lenders were told wrongly that loans had been repaid.
SANTA ANA CA March 24 2012 – An Anaheim man is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of molesting two boys and videotaping the sexual assaults, and of having graphic amateur and commercial child pornography featuring young boys stored on his computer.
Oscar Manuel Vaquera, 37, faces up to 45 years to life in state prison if convicted of the charges, which stem from an investigation that began last year when Anaheim police detectives traced a download of commercial child pornography to his home.
According to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the sexual assaults of the boys, ages 9 to 11, were discovered during the course of the child-porn investigation, which is continuing.
Vaquera is charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14, two felony counts of possession of child pornography and one felony count of distributing child pornography with sentencing enhancement allegations of lewd acts against more than one victim and substantial sexual conduct with a child.
He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Central Jail in Santa Ana.
Vaquera lived in a bedroom in an Anaheim house that he shared with other people not related to him when the boys were molested, prosecutors said.
He is accused of drilling a hole from his closet into a bathroom and surreptitiously photographing and videotaping young boys as they used the restroom and showered, according to the news release.
On one occasion between 2007 and 2008, Vaquera is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy who was staying overnight in the home visiting a family member. Vaquera is accused of touching the boy while he slept and of videotaping the sexual assault. The case went unreported at the time, according to the news release.
On one occasion between 2009 and 2011, Vaquera is accused of sexually assaulting another boy when the victim was between 9 and 11 years old. Vaquera is accused of touching the victim while he was awake and videotaping the sexual assault. That case also went unreported.
On March 1, 2012, Anaheim police detectives searched Vaquera’s home in relation to the child pornography probe and arrested him after finding videos and photographs of graphic child pornography on his computer, the news release said.
HONOLULU HI March 24 2012 – It got personal for a judge in Honolulu when he put a man in a chokehold for jumping onto his bench and breaking a flagpole bearing the state flag, authorities said.
District Judge Lono Lee knocked down Steven Michael Hauge and restrained him Monday after the man caused a ruckus in Lee’s courtroom, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/GFfNuA).
Hauge had been going from courtroom to courtroom in the Honolulu District Court building screaming, State Sheriff Shawn Tsuha said. “He was quite upset about something,” Tsuha said.
It was not clear why Hauge was in the building. Court records show a criminal record dating to 1977 with more than 50 convictions on charges including, burglary, fraud and assault.
Hauge was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction of government operations and fourth-degree criminal property damage. Tsuha said Hauge allegedly broke the flag’s staff while swinging it.
Hauge couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday at Oahu Community Correctional Center, where he was being held on $1,500 bail.
Lieutenant with Hamby Volunteer Fire Department faces charge of first-degree arson for setting church on fire www.privateofficer.com
Hamby TX March 24 2012 A lieutenant with the Hamby Volunteer Fire Department faces a charge of first-degree arson after allegedly setting a church on fire, authorities said.
Taylor Dupree Partain, 24, of Abilene, was arrested about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, about eight hours after a fire was started at the Hamby United Methodist Church, 128 CR 503, according to the Taylor County Sheri’s Office.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, Partain admitted to starting the blaze.
No motive for starting the blaze was oered by the department. It was unknown Tuesday afternoon whether Partain is the only suspect.
Stan West, a trustee of the church congregation, said Tuesday that Partain was not a member of the church and “as far as I know there was no animosity between us.”
West said the north wall of the church was damaged around a window; damage to part of a carpet and charred ceiling tiles amounted to a total of $25,000 in damages, he said.
Church services will continue as scheduled Sunday, said West.
According to the sheriff’s department, Partain admitted starting the blaze. Hamby VFD Chief Ray Watson said the fire is devastating to his department of 12 firefighters.
“Me and my whole bunch are hurt,” he said. “We pride ourselves as being the premiere firefighting department in our area.”
Partain, he said, has been volunteering his services since May 2008. Starting off as an officer, Partain most recently held the title of command line lieutenant.
Custody records as of Tuesday afternoon show Partain is being held at the Taylor County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
Source: Abilene Reporter-News
PITTSBURGH PA March 24 2012 — The parents of the armored car guard who is accused in the death of his partner and stealing more than $2 million are pleading for their son to surrender.
Flanked by the suspect’s father and mother, Kenneth and Renee Konias, the lawyer representing the parents of Ken Konias Jr. read from a brief, prepared statement during a news conference Wednesday evening, making a direct appeal to the 22-year-old Dravosburg man.
“Your parents have been through enough, everyone involved has suffered greatly,” said Charles LoPresti, the family’s attorney. “The time to come home is now.”
Konias is facing charges in connection with the shooting death of his armored truck partner back on Feb. 28 and the subsequent $2.3 million truck robbery.
“Too much time has passed now,” said LoPresti. “You must do the right thing for your sake, for your family’s sake and for the sake of all of the people that you know.”
Investigators have emphasized that the suspect has an especially close relationship with his mother.
She spoke only 10 words during Wednesday’s news conference, reiterating what their lawyer said about their desire to see Konias give himself up.
“Ken, we want you to come home,” said Renee Konias. “Please contact me.”
Also present at the news conference were several members of a special task force that was set up in hopes of tracking down Konias.
“Hopefully, Ken will see this or someone that knows Ken will see this,” Det. Peg Sherwood, of the Pittsburgh Police. “So, we think seeing his mom on the TV, we hope that it will make him realize that, you know, his parents are suffering.”
Prince George’s County VAMarch 24 2012 Police charged four barbers with theft Wednesday for selling stolen toiletries and counterfeit clothes and shoes out of the Chillum shop where they all worked, authorities said.
At Noveau Hair on New Hampshire Avenue, customers could get a bottle of Tide laundry detergent, a tube of toothpaste or even a pair of knock-off Dolce & Gabbana loafers with their haircut, authorities said. Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County police department, said officers seized $125,000 worth of either stolen or counterfeit merchandise when they raided the shop Wednesday and charged four employees who worked there.
“They were selling this stuff out of the barbershop,” Parker said. “Among other things, you have liquid Tide, you’ve got probably 50 to 100 tubes of toothpaste, dozens of bottles of Dove body wash. . .basically like this mini pharmacy.”
The raid, Parker said, was the culmination of a two-month investigation by the department’s organized retail crime unit, which works with storeowners in Prince George’s County to investigate and deter crime that affects business. Parker said a tip led detectives to the operation involving stolen goods at Noveau Hair.
Police identified those charged as William Smith, 36, of D.C.; Damien Marbury, 33, of Clinton; Gerard Brunn, 31, of Silver Spring; and Samuel Afoakwah, 41, of Germantown. Parker said detectives had confirmed by working with legitimate retailers that the toiletries and other items were either counterfeit or stolen.
Parker said glass cases with some of the stolen merchandise were set in the back of the barbershop, though they were visible to customers who walked in. She said the toiletries were kept in a locked back office, though they were apparently available to anyone.
The investigation is ongoing, and it is possible others could be charged, Parker said. She said detectives also found shipping containers and were probing whether the barbers might have sent some of the stolen and counterfeit merchandise overseas.
Adena OHMarch 24 2012 A founding member who also headed his Ohio fire department died Tuesday while on a water delivery detail.
Former Adena Fire Chief Edward Richard Bernosky, 79, died of an apparent heart attack while wrapping up from a water detail.
Medics and fellow firefighters administered CPR, but Bernosky didn’t respond, according to Terry Marshall, assistant fire officer.
He said Bernosky had been with the fire company for more than 50 years, and served as its chief for two decades or longer.
“He saw it progress from shovel until now,” Marshall said. “It’s a big loss for us.”
Marshall explained that the fire department shuttles water to areas where it isn’t available. On Tuesday, they had made a delivery to a storage tank for a remote camping area.
“We help people who don’t have access to potable water.”
The department has one tanker, one engine, a brush truck and a support vehicle. Marshall added that they’re always looking for volunteers.
Friends will be received at The Borkoski Funeral Home located on Bridge Street in Adena, OH on Friday, March 23 from 7-9 p.m. with fire department services at 7:30 p.m..
The viewing will be held on Saturday from 11a.m. to 1 p.m., when a memorial service will take place.
Donations may be made to The Adena Volunteer Fire Company.
Montgomery County MD March 24 2012 As many as 40 motorists stopped their cars and helped themselves to cash that fell out of an armored truck Friday morning along Interstate 270 in Montgomery County, according to authorities.
A total of $5,795 fell out of an unsecured door of the truck, said Maryland State Police Sgt. Mark Cummings. As of 12:45 p.m., only $100 had been turned in to authorities, Cummings said. State police are offering amnesty for anyone who returns the money to the Rockville Barracks at 7915 Montrose Road in Rockville.
“No questions will be asked,” Cummings said.
One reason so many people may have scooped up cash is that the armored truck had continued down the road, and they may have considered it lost or abandoned money, Cummings said. The bills fell out in two plastic bags, which broke apart when they hit the road, he said.
The Associated Press reported that attorney Heather Kelly, driving on Interstate 270 to her office in Frederick, saw two bags of currency and people frantically trying to collect the money.
“It was in the traffic lanes and on the shoulders and just generally kind of like a snow globe of cash,” she told AP.
Oklahoma City police investigating possible excessive force incodent at airport www.privateofficer.com
OKLAHOMA CITY OKMarch 24 2012 - Police announced an on-going investigation Friday into one of their own after a rough arrest in February at Will Rogers World Airport.
Police used a taser then dragged a man across the floor. Airport security cameras caught it all.
“What we have seen on the video caused us some concern,” said Captain Dexter Nelson with the Oklahoma City Police Department. “That’s why we launched the investigation.”
A police report from February 20 showed James Heidebrecht tried to enter a secure area. When an officer confronted Heidebrecht, the suspect claimed he was part of the CIA and was at the airport to meet presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
The man can be heard in the security footage claiming, “I’m with the CIA.” In the police report, officers described Heidebrecht as combative. The security video shows one officer shoved Heidebrecht to get the man away. That was then an officer fired his taser, striking Heidebrecht. The audio from the recordings revealed that officers repeatedly commanded the suspect to “put your hands behind your back.”
Nelson says officers fired the taser multiple times during the arrest, which is part of their standard training.
“He’s a big man and they’re trying to get him to put his hands behind his back,” said Nelson. “What we’re trained is, if you’re dealing with somebody with a taser and their hands are still up underneath them, they’re still considered a threat.”
When the officers finally gained control of Heidebrecht, they each grabbed a leg and dragged him, face down, across the floor to a police area inside the airport.
Oklahoma City police said after the department reviewed the video, it placed one of the arresting officers was put on restrictive leave, which means he does not interact with the public.
Heidebrecht was originally charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Captain Nelson said those charges have all since been dismissed.
HOOVER, Alabama March 24 2012– The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is looking for anyone who might have fallen victim to a mortgage and real estate fraud scheme after arresting a Hoover man on Thursday in connection to the case.
A statement from the sheriff’s office released today provides this account:
On Wednesday, investigators received a complaint that an individual in north Shelby County was using deceptive and fraudulent business practices to defraud investors and homeowners in mortgage and real estate deals.
Sheriff’s investigators discovered that there may be a number of victims in the Birmingham area and alerted the Alabama Securities Commission. On Thursday, a search warrant was served at a home in the 4000 block of Milner Road, in the Greystone Farms neighborhood, and investigators “seized evidence in this case,” the statement read.
Kevin Jerome Brown, 41, of Hoover, was arrested and charged with theft by deception, which carries a $30,000 bond, and resisting arrest, with a bond of $500. Brown is in the Shelby County Jail today.
Investigators said they believe Brown has produced fraudulent promissory notes, created fictitious real estate opportunities and issued fake land titles in a scheme that targeted retired people and senior citizens.
Anyone who believes they may be a victim of Brown’s or who has information about the case should call the sheriff’s office at 669-4181 or through the Secret Witness line at 669-9116. Information can also be submitted at the sheriff’s office website by clicking on the “Report Criminal Activity” link and choosing the “General Information” category.