CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. March 26 2012
Two teenage girls face murder and robbery charges in the death of a Hickory cab driver.
Emily Starnes,16, and Consandra Tyree,16, are currently being detained in the Catawba County jail without bond.
According to investigators, the girls stabbed Adam Williams and stole $39 in cab fares back in October.
Three additional men are also being brought up on charges in the crime.
Midland TX March 26 2012 Members of a local youth group left their church Sunday night with hands in the air as SWAT team personnel waited with guns drawn.
Officials responded to a perceived hostage situation at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church around 6:15 p.m. after a call indicated that an individual walked into the church with what appeared to be an assault rifle.
Officials soon discovered the suspect was a member of the church’s youth group who had brought his paintball equipment to show friends during the church’s youth night. The owner of the paintball gun said he hoped to encourage other youth to play the sport as a fellowship event.
Five junior high school and high school students were gathered at the church during the incident, said youth coordinator Amy Bela. As the night was ending, one youth looked out the front windows to see a mass of arm-bearing SWAT team members waiting outside the church. About 24 personnel were present from Midland Police Department’s tactical unit, according to spokeswoman Tasa Watts, accompanied by about 20 patrol officers.
Those in the church were instructed to walk out with their hands in the air. Nobody was taken into custody.
Youth and representatives from the church were visibly shaken after the incident, using words like “overwhelmed” and “shocked” to describe their feelings.
“These were real cops pointing real guns at my kids,” Bela said while pulling two of the girls into an embrace. “Oh my word. Even when they were calling us out, I was like, ‘Is this real?’”
The Rev. Gilbert Bela was at home with his son when the incident occured, and rushed to the scene after receiving a call from a secretary at the church. The church is equipped with security cameras, and the main door automatically locks when closed, the pastor said.
“You just never know what could happen in this world we live in,” he said. “I’m grateful that our community members did their community service today; they might not go to church here, but they’re still looking out for us.”
As members of the church recounted the night’s events between bouts of nervous laughter, they decided they might have to rethink any future scheduling of a paintball outing.
Richland County sheriff deputies arrest man for shooting at nightclub security officers www.privateofficer.com
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC March 26 2012 - Richland County Sheriff’s Deputies have charged a man with several counts after shots were fired outside a nightclub early Sunday morning.
Deputy Curtis Wilson said 34-year-old Corey McConnell was escorted by security outside of Club Elements on Columbia Mall Boulevard at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. As he was driving away, Wilson says McConnell fired several shots toward the club.
Nobody was hit by the gunfire.
Deputies caught up with McConnell a few blocks away and he was arrested and taken to Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
McConnell is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, possession of drugs and driving under a suspended license.
Newark NJ March 26 2012 When police officer Christopher Matlosz was executed in broad daylight while on routine patrol on Jan. 14, 2011, shock and grief extended well beyond his family to the 119 members of the Lakewood Police Department.
“When you have an officer killed the way Chris Matlosz was — he was pretty much assassinated, he didn’t stand a chance — it’s just like a member of your family is killed,” Lakewood Police Chief Robert Lawson said.
The emotions go beyond grief and despair, he said.
“It shatters your own image of invulnerability, which you need, or you couldn’t do your job,” Lawson said.
Typically, police officers, to preserve their tough image, keep emotions to themselves, he said. But after Matlosz was executed, members of the Lakewood department were encouraged to open up and talk about their feelings to counselors from Cop2Cop, a Piscataway-based organization designed to help officers in crisis.
First in nation
Cop2Cop, the first program of its kind in the nation, is run by University Behavioral HealthCare at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The program operates a 24-hour crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline for law-enforcement officers.
The hotline is manned by retired officers, who are trained in stress management and who provide clinical assessments and referrals to those who call in. Some of the retirees are clinicians with degrees in social work or counseling.
The organization takes credit for preventing 189 police suicides since its call center opened in November 2000.
In addition, the organization – with a staff of 16 and an annual budget of $400,000 funded by forfeited bails and surcharges on traffic tickets — provides training to active law-enforcement officers on how to recognize whether their colleagues are suicidal or in crisis.
Cop2Cop runs a group for wounded officers. It also provides what is called critical incident stress management to officers and their families after traumatic incidents, such as a police shooting or an officer’s death. Since its inception, Cop2Cop has conducted more than 700 group debriefings, said Cherie Castellano, program director.
We send a team, a crisis response group, to talk and to help officers normalize their experiences with traumatic incidents,” Castellano said.
After Matlosz’s murder, Cop2Cop counselors descended upon Lakewood for a few weeks to counsel the grief-stricken police force, Lawson said.
Some of the emotions making the rounds in the department were anger and guilt, explained Lakewood officer Gary Przewoznik, president of Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 71. Przewoznik said many of his fellow officers were asking themselves, “Why couldn’t I be there to stop this from happening?”
What made the members of the Lakewood force more comfortable discussing their emotions about Matlosz’s death was the fact that they were talking to members the law-enforcement brotherhood, according to Lawson and Przewoznik.
“They made us feel more comfortable because they are cops,” Przewoznik said. “Officers put up a shield. We can’t let the public see that we’re human, but we are.
“We were talking to other cops about what we were going through,” Przewoznik said. “Everybody was feeling the same thing, but nobody else wanted to come out and say it. … It was good to be able to vent and talk about how you felt with your peers, and see that everybody felt the same way.”
Lawson said he mandated the group counseling for the entire department after Matlosz’s murder because police officers tend to have a “macho” attitude that they don’t need help, when they do.
“Who better to understand what a police officer goes through than someone who has done it?” the chief said, adding that he also availed himself of the counseling.
Matlosz’s killer – Jahmell Crockam, 20, of Lakewood – was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
“Now we can close that chapter and start the healing process,” Przewoznik said after the sentencing.
Cop2Cop is the only program mandated by a state law to provide suicide prevention and mental health services to the state’s more than 50,000 law-enforcement officers, according to Castellano. Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, sponsored the legislation that created the program in 1998 after a rash of police suicides in the Monmouth County area, Castellano said.
It became a model for programs like it, not only in the state, but throughout the country,” Kyrillos said, pointing out that the spinoffs in New Jersey include hotlines for veterans, mothers and a national hotline based in New Jersey for military personnel.
Kyrillos said he got the idea for the legislation from John McGuire, who retired as chief of the Shrewsbury police force in 1993 and was Cop2Cop’s first director.
McGuire said the hotline, at its inception, was a tough sell. He went to every police department in the state trying to market it and was told, “Nobody’s ever going to call your line,” he recalled.
“Cops only talk to other cops and bartenders,” McGuire explained. “Then you realize there are retired cops out there who are therapists.”
Since the call center opened, its counselors have fielded more than 30,000 telephone calls, said Castellano, an expert in crisis intervention for law enforcement and is married to a detective with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
Three callers committed suicide after calling the hotline. But, she said, “We have had 189 rescues, where officers had guns to their heads, overdosed or barricaded themselves.”
Joseph Orgo, a retired Newark police officer and licensed social worker who resides in Brielle, had a hand in saving two of those officers.
“One person called me and said, ‘I’m in the closet of this (police) department, and I have my gun to my head,’ ” Orgo recalled of a phone call he fielded in 2004.
Orgo said he contacted the caller’s captain, who went and found the suicidal officer in the closet.
“There he was with his gun, and he got the help he needed,” Orgo said.
Many of the people who call the hotline are not suicidal, according to Castellano. Some have had traumatic experiences on the job, disagreements with their bosses or their spouses, financial difficulties or drinking problems, she said.
Gun in mouth
Roy Diaz, a Millstone Township resident and retired lieutenant from the homicide unit of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, carried around a secret for decades, he said.
In 1988, while in the midst of a custody battle for his three boys, “I was sitting in an apartment in Elizabeth with a gun in my mouth,” Diaz said.
“I did try to call people’s beepers, but it was a Friday afternoon, and no one returned my calls,” Diaz said.
What stopped him from pulling the trigger, he said, was the thought of who would take care of his boys, whom he eventually got custody of.
Diaz, however, has had six friends in law-enforcement who succeeded in killing themselves.
“I don’t want any of my friends to die. I don’t want any cop to die,” said Diaz, who is another of Cop2Cop’s peer counselors.
“I think I have a lot to offer somebody who’s on the line. I suffered through depression, anxiety, and at 37, had a heart attack from the stress of the job. I think I have something to give back.”
He did several months ago, when he received his first call from a suicidal officer.
“He had a plan, and we talked ourselves through it,” Diaz said. “The person is still here and working. I didn’t foil a bank robbery, but I saved a guy’s life by being there.”
Temecula CA March 26 2012 Three suspects are on the run after shooting at security guards at a commercial building in Temecula in the early morning hours on Saturday.
Deputies responded to a report of a shooting on March 17 at about 2:30 .m. in the 33000 block of Temecula Parkway near Butterfield Stage Road in Temecula.
The victims reported they saw an older model, silver, two door, Toyota Corolla-style vehicle pull into the driveway of the business complex and stop.
A male passenger exited the vehicle and began to urinate in the middle of the driveway.
Additionally, a second male passenger exited the vehicle and observed the security officers standing nearby observing their behavior. The second male passenger began yelling profanities at the security officers.
At that point the first male passenger stopped urinating in the driveway, pulled out a gun, and fired several shots in the direction of the security guards.
Both victims dropped to the ground and were uninjured during the incident.
Both passengers returned to the waiting vehicle and fled southbound on Butterfield Stage Road from Temecula Parkway.
The victims described the suspects as:
» Suspect #1-Shooter: White or Hispanic man, mid 20’s, tall, last seen wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt.
» Suspect #2-Passenger: White or Hispanic man, short, last seen wearing dark-colored clothing.
» Suspect #3- Driver: White or Hispanic woman, wearing dark clothing.
This is an ongoing investigation, and investigators are actively pursuing leads. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-696-3000.
Roanoke Rapids NCMarch 26 2012 A former Halifax County Schools teacher arrested last year on felony indecent liberties with a student charges pleaded guilty this month to a misdemeanor charge and will serve probation.
The plea agreement is the result of a case where the teacher was accused of taking indecent liberties with two female students.
Court documents dated March 7 revealed Joe Edmondson Jr., 57, pleaded guilty in Halifax County District Court to a charge of misdemeanor assault on a female, receiving a sentence of 18 months of unsupervised probation and a $100 fine, plus $200 in court fees.
Edmondson was arrested May 31, 2011, at around 3:50 p.m., according to jail documents. He bonded out at 6 p.m. the same day, charged with two counts of felony indecent liberties with a student.
Court records indicate the two counts were consolidated for the plea agreement, which was signed by Halifax County Assistant District Attorney Vershenia Moody.
Halifax County Schools Public Information Officer Keith Hoggard said Edmondson’s employment as a teacher at Northwest Halifax High School was terminated the same day he was arrested.
Hoggard said the district had no further comment.
In addition to the fine and probation, Edmondson is forbidden from being on the property of any educational institution or having any contact with the two female victims for 18 months.
STARKVILLE, Miss. March 26 2012 (AP) – A 21-year-old student was shot to death in a Mississippi State University dormitory, though the killing appears to be isolated and there is no indication others may be in danger, officials said Sunday.
University president Mark Keenum said Sunday in a statement on the school’s website that the killing of 21-year-old John Sanderson of Madison, Miss., was the first time a student had been shot on the campus. Keenum said officials could reveal few other details because of the ongoing investigation.
University spokeswoman Maridith Geuder said police received a call about the shooting at Evans Hall around 10 p.m. Saturday. Sanderson was taken to Oktibbeha County Hospital, where he died.
Three male suspects fled the building in a blue Crown Victoria. No arrests have been made.
Shortly after the shooting, the university began sending a series of text message alerts to students. Police officers stepped up patrols to make sure the campus was safe, Keenum said.
The four-story Evans Hall holds about 300 male students and is located on the north side of campus. The campus of about 20,000 students is located in a rural area in the northeastern part of the state, about 125 miles northeast of Jackson.
The school’s website says the campus is located in a low-crime area, and that emergencies are rare.
HILLSBORO, Ore. March 26 2012– An 18-month-old Hillsboro boy has died after falling into a washing machine Friday morning, police said.
Medical crews were called just after 10 a.m. to the report that a child was stuck in a washing machine and was unresponsive, according to Lt. Michael Rouches of the Hillsboro Police Dept. He said due to the odd circumstances of the accident, police were also called to the scene.
Investigators said the boy apparently climbed onto a tub in front of the top-loading washing machine. He then climbed on top of the washer, lost his balance, and fell inside.
His mother told police she was in the living room, less than 25 feet away from the laundry room, and had just sat down to read a magazine. When she realized she had not heard from her son for a short while, she went to check on him and found him wedged into the washer.
She enlisted the help of a neighbor who runs a day care to get the boy out of the machine and perform CPR on him, Rouches said. His pulse had returned and he was breathing when medical responders put him in an ambulance, but he was still unresponsive.
He was taken to Tuality Hospital and then moved to Oregon Health and Science University. He remained in critical condition until was taken off of life support Saturday evening.
While the machine can reportedly operate with its lid open, Rouches did not say whether it was in operation when the boy fell in.
TAMPA Fla March 26 2012 — Deputies arrested a man they say bit a uniformed security guard at a nightclub early Sunday.
The incident happened just after midnight at Club Sensacion, 1450 Skipper Road, off Bearss Avenue near the University area.
It left the security guard with a bite mark on his right side and redness and bruising, according to an arrest affidavit. The affidavit did not explain what led to the incident.
The suspect later resisted arrest by pulling his arms away from a sheriff’s deputy trying to handcuff him, the affidavit said.
Clemente Maldonado Barron, 30, of Tampa, faces charges of aggravated battery on a specified officer and resisting an officer without violence. He remained Sunday in the Hillsborough County Jail on $15,500 bail.
Source:Tampa Bay Times
PAWTUCKET, R.I. March 26 2012 - Pawtucket Police are still investigating a stabbing incident that occurred early Saturday afternoon at the CVS at 425 East Ave.
According to police, the female suspect allegedly attempted to steal items and tried to exit the store when a security officer stopped her. The suspect then reportedly stabbed the officer with a pair of scissors, and the security officer subdued the woman until police arrived.
The security officer sustained a minor puncture wound.
Police have not yet released the name of the suspect.
HIGH POINT, N.C. March 26 2012— Several people face charges after High Point Police said they found about $40,000 in stolen merchandise that included many common household items.
Jodie Garrard, 55, of High Point, Ramona Welch, 36, of Trinity, and Paula Kindley, 39, of High Point, are charged with organized retail theft. They were each placed under $20,000 bonds.
Arrest warrants are out for at least four more people. One of those was identified as Brittany Marie Allen, 25. Detective Chris Weisner said they know there were many other players involved, and their investigation is ongoing.
Police said in a news release they searched 3603 Boles Ave. on Tuesday, as well as a storage unit at Community Storage on Julian Avenue in Thomasville.
About $40,000 worth of stolen merchandise was seized in a shed owned by Garrard, Weisner said. Items seized included large amounts of laundry detergent, razor blades, shampoo and small power tools, police said.
Weisner did an interview with FOX8′s Kristin Nelson Wednesday in a room with merchandise stacked all over tables and the floor. Weisner said that room contained only about a third of all the merchandise seized.
Police said the items were stolen from various stores, including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods.
Weisner said the ring involved shoplifting products and selling them on the black market.
“We call them boosters–basically professional shoplifters, for lack of a better term,” Weisner said. “They will go out every day and steal product, and then they will take that product to the ‘fence.’”
Weisner alleged Garrard was the ‘fence.’
“She did a business out of her storage shed in the back of her trailer, and in this trailer was a surveillance system so she could see who was pulling up in her driveway,” Weisner said.
Police had been investigating Garrard on an unrelated charge, but they said they quickly learned she was taking stolen merchandise from shoplifters.
Police believe Garrard was selling the stolen merchandise to someone else. That person, in turn, would take it to a flea market, where it could be sold for less than what it costs in a typical store, police said.
Weisner explained how the products were taken to the ‘fence.’
“We arrested people earlier who were bringing things in mesh bags. Other people have gone in and will take a pocketbook, line it with tin foil and duct tape it to the inside of their purse so that the metal detectors don’t go off at the door,” Weisner said.
Anyone with information about the ring is asked to call Crimestoppers at (336) 889-4000.
Seattle WA March 26 2012 A security guard was attacked by a group of teenagers when he tried to get them to leave Northgate Mall last week, according to the Seattle Police Department.
According to the police report for the incident, the security guard approached a group of seven or eight teens at a store in the mall around 9:15 p.m. March 15 when he recognized one of the teens as a woman who had been banned from the store.
When an argument ensued, the security guard took out his phone to call 911. But, one of the teens pushed the guard and knocked the phone out of his hand, according to the report.
While one of the teens grabbed the phone, another teen kicked the security guard, according to the report.
The teens left the mall before police arrived, but the security guard agreed to provide the banned teen’s name and security footage of the incident.
Police say ths incident is still under investigation.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.March 26 2012
DeKalb police are investigating the overnight shooting of an 18-year-old allegedly killed by apartment security guards.
The family of Ervin Jefferson said they don’t believe their loved one was killed by the guards at a nearby apartment complex because the teen was not only shot, but he was run over by a car.
The guards, who were on duty at The Village at Wesley Chapel Apartments, told police they were checking out a suspicious car at about 10:30 p.m. when they heard gunfire coming from Jefferson’s home on Pleasant Wood Drive, just a short distance away from the complex.
The guards told police they saw Jefferson exit the home, and walk toward them aggressively, while making threats to kill. That’s when the guards drew their weapons and fired at the teen, hitting him in the chest, police said.
The guards told police they heard more gunfire coming from the house, so they ran back to the complex, where they met police.
Investigators are still interviewing those guards, but the victim’s family insists that the so-called shooters did not kill the teen, whose family said was unarmed when the incident occurred. The family said if the guards actually did kill Jefferson, they are lying about what happened.
Albuquerque NM March 26 2012 Police arrested Arthur Valenzuela hours after a 17-year-old girl said he exposed himself to her at an Albuquerque grocery store on Saturday.
The girl was waiting outside in her car while her mother shopped inside El Mezquite on Isleta Boulevard.
Other customers said Valenzuela, 38, had asked for money, and yelled at them when they refused.
He then saw the girl in the car and reportedly exposed himself multiple times, even though the girl drove to different areas of the parking lot.
Gregorio Martinez was the security guard on duty.
He said there are security cameras inside the store, but none outside.
He said management plans to change that after Saturday’s incident.
Martinez said customers complained about Valenzuela’s behavior in the parking lot.
Valenzuela reportedly rode away on a bicycle toward Rio Bravo Boulevard.
Customers said he was intoxicated.
“They (El Mezquite) have another guy that is gonna start working in the afternoon that we can have the people safe in the store,” Martinez said.
Valenzuela has no sex crimes on his record, but online court records show he has been charged with aggravated DWI.
He is charged with aggravated indecent exposure.
70-year-old Gwinnett County man charged with murder in strangulation death of wife www.privateofficer.com
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. March 26 2012— A 70-year-old Gwinnett County man is facing murder charges for the strangulation death of his wife.
Jail records show Alex Blatt was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with the crime. He is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Blatt had been hospitalized at the Gwinnett Medical Center since Monday, when investigators discovered the body of his 62-year-old wife Eva Blatt at their home.
Authorities say Alex Blatt strangled his wife and attempted to kill himself but survived his injuries.
Police have not released details about a possible motive and an attorney for Blatt wasn’t immediately identified.