Springfield Police Department, Massachusetts
End of Watch: Monday, June 4, 2012
Bio & Incident Details
Age: Not available
Tour: 36 years
Badge # 7
Incident Date: 6/4/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Not available
Police Officer Kevin Ambrose was shot and killed while responding to reports of a domestic disturbance at the Lawton Arms Apartments on Lawton Street shortly after 1:00 pm.
The subject also killed a female at the scene before committing suicide.
Officer Ambrose had served with the Springfield Police Department for 36 years. He is survived by his wife, two children, and one grandchild.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet
Springfield Police Department
130 Pearl Street
Springfield, MA 01105
Phone: (413) 787-6302
CARIBBEAN SEA June 5 2012 - A U.S. Navy frigate hides in the darkness just over the horizon, its Seahawk helicopter’s turbines fired up, ready for liftoff.
Some 30 miles away, Colombian sailors on patrol boats hug the South American coast as they covertly close in on a motorboat suspected of ferrying cocaine. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in the air on a P-3 plane capture everything on radar, part of an orchestrated multinational trap to nab bulk loads of drugs long before they make it to the United States.
While America has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into securing the U.S. border across Texas and elsewhere, the mammoth sea still beckons with possibilities, absent the sensors, cameras, massive manpower and fences found on land.
Fortified as never before, drug traffickers increasingly are bypassing the heavily guarded land crossings for the comparatively naked seas and 367 miles of shore where they are more likely to cross paths with fishermen than federal agents – and where snagging smugglers is a puzzle based on intelligence, surveillance, patience and luck.
“I think we’ve got a guy coming out of the bay now, this could be our boy,” said a veteran CBP officer flying in the P-3 at about 12,500 feet over choppy waters.
But it wasn’t. Not this time.
“You get information from a confidential informant. Maybe somebody stubbed their toe, or the wind wasn’t right,” the agent joked of the litany of things that could have delayed the journey. “Mañana,” he said, using the Spanish word for tomorrow. “We refer to it as ‘doper time.’ ”
‘Going to get worse’
The Caribbean is a long way from the shores of Texas, but this is where the smuggling begins, where huge loads of cocaine are slipped out of the jungle-lined coasts and jumped to Central America, or the Caribbean Islands, then methodically moved toward the United States.
Today, bundles of marijuana and cocaine are drifting onto Texas beaches as a result, loads likely abandoned or lost before they could be intercepted.
“I don’t see it getting any better; if anything, it is going to get worse,” Travis Poulson, chief ranger for the Padre Island National Seashore, said of traffickers turning to the coast. “There is money in it.”
Authorities still make many more busts on the land border between the United States and Mexico than along the beaches, but concede they don’t know exactly what is happening on waters that stretch far and wide, and lap the Third Coast of the United States.
“As we make the land border more secure, they will find any way they can to get in,” said U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, an Austin-based Republican who heads a committee that oversees the Department of Homeland Security. “They will certainly turn to the sea to get their product in.”
McCaul, who represents part of Harris County, is to preside over a hearing June 21 in Washington to examine the maritime threat posed by drug traffickers.
He noted that 165,000 metric tons of illegal drugs were seized in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Gulf of Mexico last year, up 36 percent from 2008.
In April, 55 pounds of cocaine washed up on San Jose Island in Aransas County.
In other recent incidents, U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers searching for nesting turtles found 23 pounds of pot on Matagorda Island; and 1,186 pounds of marijuana were seized near Corpus Christi aboard a boat making its way up the Intracoastal Waterway.
They are among at least 15 known “wash ups” and seizures along Texas’ coast this year, but given the number of counties and jurisdictions involved, there could be many more.
In southern California in May, 8,000 pounds of marijuana were found floating off the coast.
Part of federal law enforcement’s fighting fleet is the 39-foot Midnight Express.
“Coming up,” a U.S. CBP boat pilot shouted on a recent evening as he hit the throttle on the Midnight Express. It has 1,200 horsepower and the CBP contends it is the fastest law enforcement boat in the world.
The boat slices through the choppy waters and darkness as agents look for boaters that could be smugglers off Port Aransas.
Sometimes, drug loads can be lost when a boat sinks; the stash is dumped overboard in rough water or jettisoned from a boat or plane to evade arrest.
There also are reports of loads being dropped along the beach at night, and buried in sand dunes until they can be picked up by four-wheel drive vehicles.
It’s nearly legend along the Texas coast.
“Me and my buddies talk about it, running up on a load of cocaine,” said Dwight Sykora 25, as he took a break on the Padre Island National Seashore.
Smugglers in darkness
He described a night spent on a remote stretch of beach, watching in the darkness as a boat ran up on shore where men quickly offloaded bundles.
Traffickers were quickly snared by police, he said.
“There are people watching, apparently; the government caught them.”
A 2012 report by Houston’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a coalition of federal, state and local police agencies that includes all but six counties of the Texas coast, warns the coast is unguarded.
“The vast expanse of remote and largely unmonitored coastline, coupled with an insufficient presence to adequately detect and investigate maritime smuggling activities in the Houston HIDTA, provides (drug traffickers) with an advantage that they are clearly exploiting,” notes the assessment.
“You are going to see more and more ‘end-a-rounds,’ ” said Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner over air and marine operations for Customs and Border Protection.
To counter the threat, the agency has deployed boats along coastal and border waterways as well as beefed up the use of drones to aid the hunt.
CBP-operated P-3 aircraft coordinate with the Navy, Coast Guard and security forces from Latin American governments as they fly missions over the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
They have consistently seized or derailed more cocaine than is caught annually on the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
COLLEYVILLE, TX June 5 2012 – Days after being named teacher of the year at Texas’ Colleyville Middle School, band director John McDaniel was arrested on accusations that he sexted with a 15-year old-student.
McDaniel, 32, is charged with online solicitation of a minor, a third-degree felony, and improper relationship between educator and student, a second-degree felony.
When he was brought in for questioning, McDaniel, confessed to exchanging nude photos with a girl who was in his class last year, Grapevine police said.
“The information we have is that there was some sexting going on, by way of the cellphone and some explicit emails,” Sgt. Robert Eberling said.
According to the arrest affidavit, McDaniel and the girl began chatting on Facebook two years ago.
The victim told investigators that McDaniel told her she was pretty and wondered what she looked like naked.
The affidavit goes on to say that she shared topless photos with him and he responded with a photo of his genitals.
The victim’s brother discovered one of the emails over the weekend, according to the affidavit.
“When you send your child to school, you hope they are placed in a safe stable environment,” Eberling said. “It’s unfortunate that this happens.”
He is out of jail on a $10,000 bond, although police said he could be arrested again if they find other victims.
“Unfortunately, when you are dealing these type of offenses and the people that perpetrate these offenses, generally there are other victims,” Eberling said.
McDaniel has been placed on administrative leave.
He has served as head band director at Colleyville Middle School since July 2009.
“If the police investigation substantiates the allegations, the district will immediately proceed with termination procedures,” the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District said in a statement.
Prestonburg KY June 5 2012 A South Floyd Middle School special education teacher has been arrested, accused of being in a Prestonsburg business under the influence.
The Floyd County Times reports 37-year-old Michelle Hall faces a series of drug charges, including public intoxication of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. It happened at a Pizza Hut.
According to the paper, police say during a search at the jail, they found pills on Hall.
The attempted carjacking occurred around 4 a.m. at the intersection of Norwalk Boulevard and Cyclops Street, according to officials at the Norwalk sheriff’s station.
Officials said the officer slowed his private vehicle when two Hispanic men stepped out into the lane he was traveling in, and one pointed a handgun directly at the officer.
The off-duty officer quickly drove around the two men and called 9-1-1 for help, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies rushed to the scene and saw three males running east on Cyclops Street. The area was searched and one suspect, identified as Nicholas Andres of Norwalk, was found behind a home in the 12200 block of Cyclops Street. He was arrested without incident.
The off-duty officer identified Andres as the suspect who had pointed the firearm at him, and search dogs discovered a pistol in the area, officials said.
No other suspects were located.
Andres was booked at the Norwalk Station for assault with a deadly weapon. He was held on $50,000 bail.
But CPS and Chicago teachers, who make up its biggest union, remain far apart at the negotiating table, with teachers planning a strike authorization vote for Wednesday,
The proposed three-year contract with the SEIU includes a “reasonable wage increase” and an assurance that no more union jobs would be outsourced, said SEIU Local 73 Vice President Taalib-Din Ziyad about Sunday’s announcement.
The deal also “keeps health care costs down and maintains fair discipline language,” Ziyad said.
But nothing in the agreement specifically makes up for scheduled wage hikes that were frozen by CPS in the last year for all its unions.
SEIU is recommending that its membership ratify the proposed deal.
Less County Fla June 5 2012 Miss Lee County 2013 Heather Stephens is on a quest for a crown. But it’s really the adrenaline she’s after.
A runner, the Cape Coral 20-year-old will compete in Hollywood for the title of Miss Florida in July. That thrill-seeking nature she describes led her to leap from a job at an athletic shoe store to one as a security guard.
And there the path grew temporarily dark.
Five months ago, Stephens was on bicycle patrol at Edison Mall and a first responder in late December when Thomas Goodman, 25, died in the parking lot from gunshot wounds.
“He was lying on his face, so I turned him over. He couldn’t comprehend what I was saying, telling him ‘You’re going to make it,’” Stephens said.
“That’s when I saw him take his last breath.”
It wasn’t exactly what she bargained for when she left Kids Foot Locker to work in security, now the only female in a 15-crew force at the Fort Myers mall.
She’s the only security guard to compete in a pageant organized by director Sandi Spahn, who also runs the Miss Fort Myers and a couple of other contests.
“The west coast produces the most interesting candidates, though,” she said. Among them have been a professional BMX racer and the current Miss Fort Myers, who is going to teach sign language to monkeys, Spahn said.
Stephens’ adrenaline high carried her through basketball and track at Mariner High School before leading to life as a mall guard.
Although she’s happy for the work and the ability to put her criminal justice studies — toward a general associate’s degree — at Edison State College to use, Stephens prefers motivation of a gentler kind.
About three months ago, it propelled her down the runways during New York City’s Fashion Week as a model for Ted Kim. “I loved it,” she said. “I didn’t want to come home.”
Stephens said she spends nearly every evening after work, from 10 p.m. to midnight or so, combing the Internet for overseas modeling opportunities. “I’ll pick a country a night and send out photos,” she said.
“In another country, an American is exotic. New York is looking for girls from Russia and Poland right now.”
Stephens’ goal is high-fashion modeling, “but I always have a back-up plan.” Toward that, she hopes to enroll in Florida Gulf Coast University once the associate’s degree is in her pocket and study communications, perhaps working someday as a public information officer in law enforcement or even the FBI.
“She’s very aggressive, very goal-oriented,” said her father, Craig Stephens, who is in sales.
He attends as many of her official Miss Lee County appearances as possible, and even added one to the family agenda recently.
Heather and her father have attended the Cape Coral Yacht Club father-daughter dance since 1987, when Heather was 7 years old. This year, he encouraged her to wear her crown and sash.
“And all these little girls were coming up to get their pictures taken with the queen,” she said, smiling.
Just one goal is on hold at the moment: marriage.
Stephens is engaged to Colt Masters, whom she describes as her “high school sweetheart.” He’s a police aide on Sanibel with a goal of his own, to be a law enforcement officer.
The couple particularly enjoys fishing. Masters seems to understand her multifaceted personality: He recently gave her a black and pink rod with a ladyfish design.
But for now the two are wading solo.
The titles Stephens seeks begin with “Miss.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn.June 5 2012 – Police are searching for a gunman who shot an employee during a robbery at a Dollar General in Antioch.
Police said the man entered the store on Bell Road around 1 p.m. Monday with a .22 caliber rifle. That’s when he allegedly fired off a couple of shots in the clothing department, and demanded money.
Police said the suspect told one of the employees to “hurry up or I am going to shoot you”. She allegedly told the man that he wouldn’t, and that’s when he shot her in the calf.
The robber fled the scene with money from the register and safe in a silver Nissan Murano.
The manager of the store was taken to Southern Hills Medical Center. Her condition was unknown.
Sgt. Shawn Freeman of the Redondo Beach Police Department said that Alejandro Avina, 30, of Carson was arrested about noon Saturday, hours after he and another man allegedly attacked the bouncer at Pat’s II Cocktails after the club employee denied them admission to the bar at 1:47 am.
Witnesses told police the two men attacked the bouncer, who has not been identified, and fled in a white Audi. The car was recovered Saturday. Avina was booked on suspicion of murder.
Freeman said authorities were searching for the second man, who they say is 35-year old Francisco “Frank” Cobarruvias Jr. of Redondo Beach. He is believed to be traveling in a black BMW with his three young children, Freeman said.
Covina police Lt. Holly Francisco says when police arrived Friday afternoon, they found the suspect restrained by store security and he appeared to be in medical distress.
Officers called paramedics and the suspect was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Francisco says the petty theft was less than $950. The man had attempted to steal clothes and body wash.
Wal-Mart, Inc. spokeswoman Dianna Gee says the loss of life is a sad situation but there are many unknowns at this time, including cause of death.
An autopsy is being conducted.
WASHINGTON DC June 5 2012 – Five Transportation Security Administration workers at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers have been fired and another 38 suspended after an internal investigation found they failed to perform random screenings last year.
The 43, a combination of front-line screeners and supervisors, represent about 15 percent of the roughly 280 TSA employees at the airport. The number of workers involved makes it one of the largest disciplinary actions TSA has taken in its 10-year history, TSA spokesman David Castelveter confirmed.
The workers were notified of their punishment Friday and are being given an opportunity to appeal, he said. The agency has brought in screeners from other airports to fill in.
During a two-month period last year, as many as 400 passengers who underwent routine screening at Southwest Florida International Airport never got additional random checks, Castelveter said. About 3.8 million passengers flew through the airport last year.
Castelveter said TSA officials were alerted by a “fellow employee” at the airport who reported at least one violation during the two-month period. The agency then conducted its own probe and found other violations.
“That investigation just recently concluded, and those employees that were involved in these violations were notified of their (discipline) last Friday,” Castelveter said.
Castelveter declined to go into details about security procedures, including how TSA chooses passengers for additional screening. He did not release the names of those disciplined but said some are front-line officers who operate checkpoints and some are supervisors.
Castelveter said it’s important to note that every person who flew through the airport was screened.
“It’s the random secondary (check) that did not happen,” he said. “At no time was a traveler’s safety at risk and there was no impact on flight operations.”
But one aviation security expert said random checks are a crucial part of the security network, especially since TSA Administrator John Pistole has shifted from one-size-fits-all screenings to those that focus more on riskier passengers.
“If someone is gaming your system and knows pretty well what your procedures are, they will send agents to try to get things through on the basis that they can beat the system in place,” said Billie Vincent, a former security director for the Federal Aviation Administration. “The random (check) then adds an element of unknown to the process which makes it more difficult to defeat … It’s an essential part of the process.”
As an example of the shift in TSA procedures, the agency allows travelers 12 or younger and 75 or older to keep their shoes on during screening — although they still may be selected for random checks.
In addition, the agency’s PreCheck program, which is expanding to 35 airports this year, allows frequent fliers on certain airlines to provide more information about themselves and get expedited screening with possible random checks. At seven airports, pilots in uniform with work identification can bypass screening and head straight to their planes under a program called Known Crewmember.
Florida Republican Rep. John Mica, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called the episode a “meltdown” by TSA. He said the incident was similar to others at Honolulu, Charlotte, N.C., and Newark, N.J., in which the agency disciplined workers for poor performance.
Mica supports returning many of the government’s airport screening duties to the private sector, which handled security checkpoints before the 2001 terrorist attacks.
U.S. Security Holdings Inc. recently bought out Andrews International, which provides guards to the county administration building and the county courthouses. The board will discuss reassigning the contract to U.S. Security Holdings for the first of two one-year contracts until June 30, 2013. The administration building has three guards on duty while Superior Court and the justice courts use two guards each.
In other action, the supervisors will look to accept almost $44,000 in donations to the senior centers in Golden Shores, Kingman and Lake Havasu City. Also before the board is revising the budgets for the three senior centers by $24,000.
The board will look at requiring approval from the supervisors for any communications between the county manager or deputy county managers and other government officials.
The supervisors will also be asked to approve an agreement with Suddenlink Communications for cable television system for service in unincorporated areas of the county for a 10-year term.
The board will be asked to approve a request by the county school superintendent to allow the election’s department to conduct regular and special elections for county schools for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The board will also discuss a new permit for an existing child care facility off Harbor Avenue near Vacation Drive in Mohave Valley. The permit that expired a couple years ago would allow a maximum 10 children for child care.
The supervisors will also look to reschedule the Oct. 1 board meeting because of the conflict with the County Supervisors Association legislative summit being held Oct. 1-3 in Cochise County.
The board will hold its meeting at 9:30 a.m. today in the board of supervisor’s auditorium at the county administration building, 700 W. Beale St., Kingman.
LA MESA, Calif. June 5 2012 – A security guard at an East County mall is recovering Monday morning after being beaten while on foot patrol.
The guard was walking on the second level of a parking structure at Grossmont Center Mall around 10 p.m. Sunday night when he attacked by at least two men.
The guard was able to use his radio to call for help. La Mesa police and the La Mesa fire department responded to the scene and found the guard on the ground near a wall.
The guard was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.
According to La Mesa police, the guard was unable to give a description of his attackers because he was caught off guard and the attack happened so fast.
Estranged husband kils wife in Nasvhille dental office before committing suicide www.privateofficer.com
Nashville TN June 5 2012 A man suspected of killing his estranged wife at a Green Hills dental office died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on I-24 near Paducah, Ky.
Gilbert Devon Pearsall, 51, was discovered by Kentucky State Police on the side of the interstate in a silver Mercedes. Metro detectives had been searching for him since Monday morning.
Vickie Pearsall, who was found dead at the dental office where she worked, sued him for divorce in Davidson County in October. The divorce was still pending.
Gilbert Pearsall was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault in 2009 and served a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days. He was arrested again on charges of domestic assault in 2011, days before his wife filed for divorce. Those charges were dismissed.
Dr. John Williams discovered Pearsall’s body at his 2325 Crestmoor Road office behind a receptionist area when he arrived for work just after 7 a.m.
A patient had entered the office just prior to Williams, but did not see Pearsall. Police believe Pearsall was killed shortly after she arrived at the office.
PORT ANGELES WA June 5 2012 – Police in Clallam County say the man accused of killing two sex offenders may have been planning at least one other in a neighboring county.
Clallam County Detective Sergeant Lyman Moores said Patrick Drum, 34, shot and killed the two men at two different homes sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Police said Drum, a convicted felon, was spotted around 6:30 Sunday morning, in an area around Blue Mountain Road near Port Angeles. A homeowner had called police to say Drum was on their porch and acting strange.
The call came around the same time the wife of Gary Blanton called police to say she feared for her husband’s well being. Blanton, a registered sex offender, had recently moved in with Drum.
After a massive manhunt involving dozens of deputies in the dense woods near Port Angeles, police captured Drum. They say he admitted shooting killing Blanton and another registered sex offender named Jerry Ray outside Port Angeles.
Moores said Drum admitted he killed both because of their sex offender status.
“He has made a statement to detectives that these two were sex offenders and that was the motivation,” said Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict.
Detectives said Drum intended to kill a third sex offender in Jefferson County, but they gave few clues as to why he chose the men. Detectives were looking for a computer Drum may have recently sold to see if he was researching his victims.
Moores said a rental car, registered to Drum, was found on Blue Mountain Road. It contained an empty box of 9mm bullets and a note expressing he was “sorry for the disturbances.” Police said there were empty 9mm casings near Blanton’s body, and Drum was carrying a 9mm handgun at the time of his arrest.
Neighbors of both the murdered men in the rural part of the Olympic Peninsula were reluctant to say what they thought of the vigilante action, but the county’s top cop dismissed any other notion besides cold premeditated murder.
“Anyone who is taking justice in to their own hands and attacking sex offender in this community, we’ll take care of them very, very strongly,” said Benedict.
Drum has a lengthy criminal history, which includes drugs and assault. He is being held on $2 million bail, pending likely murder charges later this week.
Tracy CA June 5 2012 Police were called to the West Valley Mall, 3200 Naglee Road, for a fight involving several teenagers at 7:33 p.m. Friday, June 1. The caller who reported the fight said it started with a small group and escalated to include possibly 100 teens.
Mall security reportedly used pepper spray on the aggressors, and an ambulance was called. An off-duty highway patrolman described the incident as a gang fight.
The fight was broken up quickly, according to mall General Manager Mike Donaghy, and no property or people at the mall were injured.
Police are investigating.
Tracy police received 511 calls for service Friday, June 1, through Sunday, June 3. The following is a sample of those calls.
Jovita Arzapalo, 26, was stopped by a Sears security guard as she exited the store near Southern Avenue and Power Road around 7:15 p.m. with unpaid merchandise, police said.
Arzapalo turned and pepper-sprayed the security guard in the face before trying to run, police said. The security guard tackled her and then was bitten on the arm by Arzapalo, according to police.
She was handcuffed by mall security and taken into custody by Mesa police.
Arzapalo said she shoplifted the swimsuit because she needed it for her daughter’s birthday celebration Sunday, police said.
Arzapalo has been arrested for shoplifting three times in the past two years, according to police reports.
She was booked on suspicion of robbery and aggravated assault.
Kovsh was arrested by Ptl. Jacqueline Crocker on May 27 for robbery by force.
Kovsh was stopped by ShopRite security during a shoplifting investigation and he began to attack the security officer.
Police said that Kovsh is accused of stealing a Red Bull drink.
Kovsh was charged with robbery for using force during a theft. He was lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility on $50,000 bail.