Corpus Christi police were called Friday afternoon to a department store in the 5400 block of South Padre Island Drive where security provided them a license plate number for the woman’s Pontiac sedan.
Security officers said the woman stole a cap and fled, striking an officer with her car in the process. The security officer suffered minor injuries, police said.
A police officer recognized the name of the vehicle owner and police went to the woman’s home and arrested her on suspicion of robbery, a second-degree felony.
The woman was taken to the Nueces County Jail. Her bail had not been set by a magistrate late Friday. The woman has theft convictions from 2004 and 2005, according to Nueces County court records.
According to the police report, Steven Douglas Madewell was arrested at about 9 a.m. and booked into the Sallisaw Jail on charges of possession of a controlled, dangerous substance and paraphernalia.
The officer reported the security guard found a prescription bottle without a lid on the casino floor. The bottle held a small plastic bag with a white crystalline substance, which later tested positive as methamphetamines.
The officers identified Madewell by his Players Club card, and found him playing a casino machine.
The officer reported Madewell started sweating and trembling during the interrogation. His eyes appeared dilated, and his appearance was in disarray. The lid to the prescription bottle was found in Madewell’s pocket.
Madewell then agreed to a search of his vehicle, according to the report. In the 1997 green Chevrolet van the officers found two glass smoking devices containing a burnt residue.
A check of Madewell’s criminal history showed more than three possession charges. Madewell also told the officer he had served a prison term for possession of a controlled, dangerous substance
Source: Sequoyah County Times -
Maui HI April 29 2012 A former ‘Iao School band teacher on Maui was arrested today after being indicted for allegations of sex assault involving a former female student.
Jim Alan Balicanta, 40,was being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center in lieu of $750,000 bail.
The allegations include 27 counts of sex assault in the first degree, and 25 counts of sex assault in the third degree.
According to Maui Police, the allegations continued for more than a year, begining sometime during the student’s eighth grade year.
Further details are pending release.
Danny Romanowicz II, 31, of New Bedford, was released on personal recognizance after being arraigned Thursday before Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh on 10 counts of larceny over $250 and seven counts of fraudulent use of a credit card as well as possession of a Class B substance, a class that includes cocaine.
Prosecutors with Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office began its investigation after being called in by the New Bedford Police and the state Inspector General’s Office.
Romanowicz was a senior project manager of modernization, planning and development for the New Bedford Housing Authority.
The investigation began when New Bedford police arrested him after allegedly observing him buy drugs in that city, police report.
Investigators allege he submitted fraudulent expense vouchers and also was fraudulently using credit cards possessed by a friend.
Romanowicz is due back in court on June 21 for a pretrial conference.
A security guard at the event reported a student had assaulted him.
Officers found Faber restrained by event security, according to police.
Police alleged Faber was uncooperative, struggled and refused to comply with verbal commands during his transfer into custody.
Police measured Faber’s blood-alcohol level at 0.203 percent. Police said Faber had a previous civil conviction for underage drinking. Police therefore also cited him with a criminal count of drinking underage.
Hany Abdalla, 35, a special-education aide at P.S. 84 The Lillian Weber School for the Arts on West 92nd Street, was arrested Wednesday after allegedly making the remark to a female student, police and the Department of Education said. The charges were later updated to include an allegation of inappropriate touching, a department spokeswoman added.
Abdalla was charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, cops said. Officials noted the incident occurred on school grounds.
Abdalla, who has been working at the school since May 2007, has been suspended without pay, a DOE spokeswoman said.
He was suspended Monday after the allegation was made, according to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who visited P.S. 84 Wednesday in response to the incident.
“We’ll be getting information out to the parents. This is the normal process we have to follow,” he said, addressing concerns from parents at the school.
“It’s not an ongoing thing in this city. But one incident is one too many.”
Walcott said Abdalla had no prior record and that all teacher’s aides are subject to background checks.
Shekeithra Foster, the mother of a first- and second-grader at P.S. 84, said her son was briefly in the same class as Abdalla but doesn’t recall the aide showing signs of inappropriate behavior.
She added that state testing currently taking place at the school shouldn’t obscure incidents of this nature.
“When they try to hush everyone up about the testing, saying that’s the most important thing right now, well that’s actually not the most important thing,” Foster said. “There should have been notes about this going home.”
The arrest is the latest in a string of incidents at city public schools, including another male teacher’s aide arrested at the highly regarded Upper West Side school P.S. 87 in February for allegedly touching an 8-year-old student inappropriately.
Four other school employees were also arrested in February for incidents involving students.
A teacher’s aide in Queens was charged with inappropriately touching six female students, a Bronx substitute teacher was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a Queens teacher was charged with sex abuse, and a former teacher’s aide in Brooklyn was charged with making child pornography.
Adam Jones, a science teacher who turned 40 in March, admitted to police he had texted sexual messages to the female student, who is 18, according to the arrest affidavit.
Both told investigators that their physical relationship advanced no further than hugging.
Jones faces a charge of delivering a controlled substance, an aggravated misdemeanor, authorities said.
Jones wears black-rimmed glasses, has curly dark hair, a slight beard and a large wedding band.
Reached at his apartment Friday, he said he only “gave her one” pill, a statement disputed in court records.
Xanax is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. It can be addictive. Jones told investigators he had been prescribed the drug.
School officials and police began investigating Jones on Monday morning after reports of impropriety surfaced, said Council Bluffs Superintendent Martha Bruckner.
Jones remained on administrative leave Friday from his teaching job.
“We investigated … and by Monday afternoon we had him on administrative leave, pending information from police authorities what their findings were,” Bruckner said.
Police interviewed Jones at school that day. According to the affidavit, Jones told them the girl was a student of his during the second trimester, ending in February.
After that, and after her 18th birthday, they became friends, texting each other about having a relationship after she graduated.
The report states that Jones sent a text saying he had thought about having sex with her. He also texted, “I want you,” and told investigators he “didn’t think it was a big deal.”
The pair provided slightly different accounts to investigators as to how the girl acquired the Xanax. Both agree that she saw the pills, asked if she could have some and Jones agreed.
“I told him I was having a hard time and I needed something to make me happy, so he gave me some, gave me a couple,” the student told investigators.
Her mother, 36, said she was glad Jones had been arrested, saying he had taken advantage of a vulnerable teenager.
“It’s disgusting, you know what I’m saying? It’s frustrating,” she said in a tearful interview outside the family’s home in north Council Bluffs. “I don’t understand it. I stayed in my room for two days (except for work) because. . .as a mother, you can’t imagine something like that.”
Jones has been a Thomas Jefferson teacher since the 2008-09 school year, according to information from Bruckner. She believed him to be teaching environmental science classes. Jones posted $2,000 bail and was released immediately, authorities said.
Jones referred further questions to his lawyer Friday afternoon when reached by The World-Herald.
Said Bruckner: “If it’s true it would certainly cross the line…as to what we think relationships between students and teachers should be.”
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA April 29 2012- A day-long manhunt for a shooting and carjacking suspect Friday started with a shoplifting incident at a West Sacramento Walmart.
West Sacramento police said 38-year-old Jimmy Lee Graves was suspected of theft, but got away before police arrived. Then, police said, he went to a nearby machine shop, where he fired on arriving workers and stole a high powered hunting rifle similar to a police sniper weapon.
That is why authorities did not want traffic moving on the freeway.
“Absolutely, the subject had already fired on citizens in our community, had fired on police,” Sgt. Nathan Steele said. “We needed to ensure he wouldn’t shoot at motorists.”
Apparently, the suspect did not have any ammunition for the rifle and later ditched it. It also turns out, there was another carjacking before the white pick-up was taken that was later crashed and abandoned on the causeway. When the suspect fled that first car, a police officer saw him take the pick-up and tried to stop him.
“The suspect attempted to ram the officer,” Steele said. “The officer fired on the suspect, missing. The suspect actually struck the officer pinning him against his patrol car and the door.”
The officer was not seriously injured. The second carjacking also provided a clue that led authorities to the suspect’s identity, he had dropped his jacket with his driver’s license in a pocket.
The manhunt ended when the suspect is said to have started a fire in an apartment in the Arden Arcade area and was killed by police gunfire after barricading himself inside.
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC April 29 2012 - 14 high school students in Columbus County are suspended and facing charges for a fight that happened at West Columbus High School in Cerro Gordo.
According to Jeffrey Greene, the principal at West Columbus, the fight took place Tuesday.
“I think this was based on a joint effort of facebook and maybe an incident that happened over the weekend,” said Greene. “Between people away from school. One thing led to another. I don’t think the students involved thought it would go this far. They made some bad choices.”
He says the fight happened in the school’s patio area after lunch.
According to an incident report, the school’s resource officer sprayed pepper spray in the air to break up the fight, and Greene said administrators were able to get things under control without calling in additional officers.
However, Greene added that days after the fight, extra officers were on campus to make sure things remained calm.
The resource officer charged 14 students with fighting, and Greene suspended them for 10 days.
“If some situations warrant to go beyond 10 days, yes, it will be a superintendent and school board matter,” he said.
He says the students involved belong to two large cliques, but maintains that it was not a gang fight.
“Most of them are involved in school activities,” said Greene. “They know they did something wrong. I want parents to know this is a safe school. We have an open school. They can stop by anytime. We’re a safe place, where students can learn.”
Sheriff’s deputies say the fight is still under investigation.
Greene says that depending on the outcome of that investigation, some suspensions could be shortened
Oak Creek WI April 29 212 A 23-year-old Cudahy woman is facing charges after she allegedly embezzled money while working as an assistant manager at an Oak Creek pizza restaurant.
Stephanie M. Zahn was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Tuesday with theft of more than $2,500. If convicted, she could face up to 3 ½ years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
In March, the general manager of Papa John’s Pizza noticed Zahn made a high number of transactions in which orders were “zeroed out,” which means someone has an issue with their order and can get a new item or free meal from the store. He also noticed Zahn gave larger orders 100 percent discounts when the customers came to the store, 8645 S. Howell Ave.
He called some of the people who made those orders, and they said they got food from the restaurant and paid cash. When the general manager confronted Zahn about the high number of “zeroed out” orders made in December, the transactions stopped for several weeks, only to begin again.
The total loss through the transactions by Zahn was estimated at $3,400.
Zahn admitted to cancelling out the orders so she could take the money at the end of her shift, so the cash drawer would remain balanced and no one would catch on to the theft. She told police she took the money because she fell behind on rent and had a difficult time making it as a single mother.
Zahn also told police she had planned to stop stealing the money in April or May because she planned to get a second job.
She will make her initial court appearance Thursday.
College Station TX April 29 2012 A Walmart employee who shot and killed an armed shoplifter after the suspect fired his gun during a scuffle has quit his job, company officials said Tuesday, four days after the incident in College Station.
Dustin Batson, a 25-year-old who worked as a loss-prevention officer, was not asked or encouraged to resign, according to Walmart spokesman Greg Rossiter.
Batson, a former U.S. Marine who served in the Middle East, couldn’t be reached for comment.
He had escorted accused shoplifter Michael Bradshaw to a private office inside the Walmart at Brothers Boulevard and F.M. 2818 just after 4 p.m. Friday when Bradshaw tried to leave, then tussled with Batson as well as at least two other Walmart employees, police said.
Two of those in the room told The Eagle last week that Bradshaw pulled a gun from the pocket of his pants and fired one shot, which hit a file cabinet as the employees wrestled with him. The pair said they took off, leaving Bradshaw and Batson.
The loss-prevention officer later told police that he was able to get the gun from Bradshaw but that Bradshaw quickly pulled out a knife, prompting Batson to turn the suspect’s gun on him.
Bradshaw, who was shot once in the mid-section, died several hours later at The Med. The Robertson County resident was 47.
The sound of gunshots sent hundreds of anxious customers out the exits, including many who rushed to the back of the store, witnesses said.
College Station officers have not revealed what type of gun or knife Bradshaw was carrying. Nor have officials made public whether security cameras captured the incident. Detectives have turned the case over to the Brazos County District Attorney’s Office. Officials there said it’s standard procedure to review such shootings to determine if charges are warranted and whether Batson acted in self-defense.
The front page of the College Station police report, which is public record, states that Batson said he shot Bradshaw out of “fear of serious bodily injury or death.”
A Walmart policy, which isn’t much different from those of many large retail chains, states that loss prevention officers — who do not carry guns and are not law enforcement officers — should apprehend shoplifters but may not use force to defend themselves, except as needed to get out of the situation.
Last week’s shooting in College Station puts Walmart’s policy of dealing with shoplifters in the spotlight.
An incident in early 2011 in Utah involved a man who was being detained by a Walmart loss-prevention officer and two other employees pulling out a gun and threatening to use it, court documents state. The suspect was disarmed by the employees and taken into custody by police, according to the documents, which outline how authorities told the employees they did a good job.
However, the following week the three were terminated.
Utah Attorney Lorraine P. Brown filed a wrongful termination lawsuit on behalf of those former employees.
“They practiced their right to self-defense,” she said. “As loss-prevention officers, those workers had an obligation to apprehend and detain shoplifters. That’s their job. They do it all day long. When, along the way as they’re doing their jobs, they interface with someone with a dangerous weapon, they have a right to act in self-defense.”
Brown declined to comment on the College Station case, saying she didn’t know the details.
She has two other lawsuits filed in Utah against Walmart. Court documents say that two employees from a different store were terminated after attempting to detain a shoplifter, who then pulled out a knife, prompting employees to hold her arms while a customer at the McDonald’s inside the store came to the rescue by plucking the knife from her hands.
The other case involves a Walmart manager who helped a fellow employee being shoved by an irate spouse, Brown said, adding that the manager physically removed the man from the store and soon after was fired.
Those cases spanned a matter of months between late 2010 and early 2011.
Attempts to reach Bradshaw’s family have been unsuccessful. A private family service will be held at a later date, according to Callaway-Jones Funeral Home and Crematory, which is handling arrangements.
Boston MA April 29 2012 A Boston College student was found dead in his dormitory on Saturday afternoon, university officials said.
Michael Gannon, 20, a sophomore from Lake Forest, Illinois, was found in his room in Walsh Hall, a dormitory primarily used to house sophomores, said Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn. Gannon was enrolled in the Carroll School of Management.
“The cause of death has not yet been determined, but police do not suspect foul play,” Dunn said.
Boston police responded to the dormitory at 150 St. Thomas More Rd. in Brighton around 2:31 p.m., said Boston police spokeswoman Officer Nicole Grant. Police are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause and manner of death, Grant said.
“Counselors are available to students this evening, and throughout the weekend,” Dunn said. “Members of the residential life staff, and campus ministers, will be walking through the sophomore dormitories this evening to provide assistance as needed.”
Gannon’s sister, Michelle, is also a student at Boston College, authorities said.
The incident is the most recent in a string of student deaths in the Boston area this month.
A 22-year-old Harvard College senior, Wendy Chang, was found dead in her room on April 21. The death was ruled a suicide.
Days before, Boston University graduate student Kanagala Seshadri Rao, 24, was found shot to death on a street in the Boston neighborhood of Allston.
Around the same time, a Suffolk University senior died after apparently jumping from a campus building.
On Saturday, Patrick Rombalski, the Boston College vice president for student affairs, informed students, faculty, and staff of the BC student’s death in a letter that was also posted to the school’s website.
“We ask you to pray for [Michael’s family] and his many friends on campus as they come to terms with this news,” Rombalski said.
Gannon’s family did not immediately return calls for comment.
Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the agency that oversees the medical examiner, said Thursday that the cause of death of Wendy Chang, 22, of Irvine, Calif., has been ruled as asphyxia by hanging.
In a statement, Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal said Chang’s death was a tragedy for the entire campus.
“The safety, well-being, and health of our students, including their mental health, are critically important to us,’’ Neal said. “Harvard has a comprehensive system in place to support student mental health, and we have reached out to students repeatedly to let them know that services are available to them, particularly after the loss of any member of our community.’’
Evelynn M. Hammonds, dean of the college, told students last week that Chang was an English major who had just completed an honors thesis on Edith Wharton. She was also a member of the Crimson Key Society, a student group that gives tours of campus, wrote for the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, and worked as a designer for the Harvard Advocate, a college literary journal, Hammonds said.
In a message to students on Thursday, she reminded them that mental health counselors are available on campus.
“As with any tragic loss within our community, everyone may be affected, including close friends, teammates, colleagues, and even those who didn’t get the chance to know Wendy,’’ Hammonds wrote.
Friends remembered Chang last week as a warm and engaging woman who combined academic excellence with a love for painting and cooking, the Crimson reported.
Her death is the latest tragedy involving Boston-area college students. Two MIT undergraduates took their own lives in the fall, and a Suffolk University senior died last week after apparently jumping from a campus building. Earlier this month, a Boston University graduate student died in an apparent suicide after ingesting a toxic chemical in her South End apartment.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention estimates that 1,100 college students commit suicide each year, and the vast majority have an underlying mental health disorder at the time of their death.
About 85 percent of all victims do not seek help because they are either reluctant to discuss their problems with a stranger, fear the judgment of friends, or do not know where to turn, according to the foundation.
A 2011 survey by the American College Health Association found that 45 percent of college students and almost half of female students had “felt things were hopeless’’ at some point in the past year. More than 16 percent said they had felt that way in the past two weeks. Thirty percent had “felt so depressed it was difficult to function,’’ the association said.
Dan Reidenberg, a psychologist and executive director of the Minnesota-based group Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, said several factors, including the difficult job market, can put some college students at risk of harming themselves as graduation approaches.
“It’s harder to find jobs right now, and they need to know that it’s not about them personally,’’ he said, adding that students are not always prepared for the realities of paying bills and loans.
He said colleges across the country could do more to help students with the transition to life after graduation, including recommending meetings with career and financial counselors.
“I think sometimes the schools are so focused on getting the kids in that they miss that there are these incredible stresses for students leaving,’’ he said.
New Port Richey Fla April 29 2012 A Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy died Friday after a motorcycle crash in New Port Richey, the sheriff’s office announced.
Deputy Jason Allen Shoulta was off duty when he crashed into a car that had made a left turn at the intersection of Perrine Ranch Road and Seven Springs Boulevard, also known as County Road 77, in New Port Richey. Shoulta was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson, where he was pronounced dead at 1:23 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.
Shoulta, 43, of Oldsmar, joined the sheriff’s office in 1999. He currently worked in the patrol operations bureau. He had worked as a bailiff in court security and a member of the SWAT team.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason’s family and friends,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri in a prepared statement. “There is no sense that can be made of such a tragedy and no words that can make this easier on anyone.”
Around 12:15 p.m., Shoulta was heading south on Seven Springs Boulevard on a 2010 Harley Davidson Street Glider, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
As Shoulta approached the intersection of Seven Springs Boulevard and Perrine Ranch Road, Taylor Anne Vanderbilt was heading north on Seven Springs Road in a 2006 Chrysler Sebring.
Vanderbilt, 20, of Tampa, entered into the path of Shoulta’s motorcycle when she made a left turn into a 7-Eleven gas station at the intersection, the patrol said.
Shoulta, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, hit the brakes and tried to avoid the vehicle, but he struck the rear of the car, the patrol said.
The crash remains under investigation. Results of alcohol tests taken from Vanderbilt are pending, the patrol said.
Tigard WA April 29 2012 Tigard police are seeking the public’s assistance in finding two men suspected of stealing more than $8,000 worth of designer jeans from a Nordstrom store at the Washington Square Mall.
The department’s commercial crimes unit has been investigating an April 17 robbery where two men ran out of the store with more than 40 pairs of denims. Witnesses said the men ran across the mall’s parking lot, then went down an embankment onto Oregon 217 where a maroon sedan picked them up and continued northbound.
The men are described as appearing to be in their 20s. A surveillance video shows one man wearing a jacket that says “Olympic Ski Bowl Ski School” and the other man wearing an Oakland Raiders hat.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the Tigard police department at 503 718-2473.