Dwayne Charles Hester
Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina
End of Watch: Friday, June 8, 2012 Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 5 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 6/8/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available
Deputy Sheriff Dwayne Hester was killed in a vehicle collision while responding to an assault in-progress call.
Deputy Hester had served with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office for one year and had previously served with the Elizabethtown Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Sheriff Prentis Benston
Bladen County Sheriff’s Office
201 King Street
Elizabethtown, NC 28337
Phone: (910) 862-6960
Upton County Sheriff’s Department, Texas
End of Watch: Friday, June 8, 2012 Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 2 years, 6 months
Badge # Not available
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 6/8/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available
Deputy Sheriff Mike Smith was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a fire at an oil tank battery just before 7:00 a.m.
He was traveling northbound on Route 349, north of Rankin, when an oil-field truck crossed the center line and struck his patrol car head-on.
Deputy Smith had served with the Upton County Sheriff’s Office for two years. He is survived by his wife, three sons, and a daughter.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Sheriff Dan Brown
Upton County Sheriff’s Department
PO Box 27
Rankin, TX 79778
Phone: (432) 693-2422
They do say there is no threat to the community and the death is not being investigated as suspicious.
The NBC29 newsroom received the following email UVA police distributed to the university community:
At approximately 7:54 this morning, emergency service providers were notified of a deceased individual found on Observatory Hill. The preliminary investigation showed that the death might not have been from natural causes. Though the investigation is continuing, there is, at this time, no apparent threat to our community.
If you have any information regarding this case, please call 924-7166.
Michael A. Gibson
Chief of Police, University of Virginia
U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles and FBI Special Agent in Charge David A. Thomas announced Wednesday morning that hundreds of officers arrested approximately 20 individuals Wednesday after the return of a 91-count indictment charging members and associates with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy.
The arrest warrants were served along with the execution of 23 search warrants around 6 a.m. in North and South Carolina. During the operation, law enforcement seized methamphatamine, cocaine, marijuana, pills and approximately 100 firearms, including 2 automatic machine guns.
Prosecutors said in an 80-page indictment that members of this “criminal enterprise” engaged in money laundering, arson, and drug selling.
Federal authorities would not release exact locations of the raids. WIS confirmed that one of those raids happened in Gilbert on Summit Estates Ct. Agents on the scene would not comment, but there was significant damage to a mobile home on the property. Neighbors in that area reported being awakened by a loud blast in the early morning.
According to the indictment, The Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter of the Hells Angels had a support motorcycle club named the Red Devils Motorcycle Club (RDMC). The RDMC River City Chapter utilized a clubhouse at 5622 Highway 302 in West Columbia. Support clubs, according to prosecutors, are feeder clubs for the main Hells Angels chapters.
Those arrested were:
•Daniel Eugene Bifield, a/k/a Diamond Dan (Leesville)
•Somying Anderson, a/k/a Ying (West Columbia)
•Bruce James Long, a/k/a Bruce-Bruce (West Columbia)
•James Frederick Keach, Jr., a/k/a Big Fred (Pelion)
•Lisa Ellen Bifield, a/k/a Lisa Ellen Meyers, Lisa Ellen Stockton (Leesville)
•Trent Allen Brown (West Columbia)
•Bruce Ranson Wilson, a/k/a Diesel (Swansea)
•Mark William Baker, a/k/a Lightning (Lancaster)
•David Channing Oiler, a/k/a Gravel Dave (Lancaster)
•Richard Thrower, a/k/a Little Mark, Rat (Lancaster)
•David Pryor, a/k/a Yard Owl (York)
•Frank Enriquez, Jr., a/k/a Big Frank (Rock Hill)
•Donald Boersma, a/k/a Brooklyn Donnie (Clover)
•Johanna Looper, a/k/a JoJo (York)
•Thomas McManus Plyler, a/k/a Uncle Tom (Rock Hill)
•Jamie Hobbs Long (Lancaster)
•Kerry Chitwood (Gastonia, North Carolina)
•Carlos Hernandez (Charlotte, North Carolina)
•Ronald Dean Byrum, Jr., a/k/a Big Ron (Gastonia, North Carolina)
“The significance of the extensive and long-term investigative efforts that resulted in the arrests today represent the FBI’s continuing commitment to the dismantling of organized criminal organizations,” said Thomas. “By working in a joint environment with federal, state and local counterparts, we send a clear message that such pervasive criminal activities will not be tolerated.”
The arrests follow a two-year interagency investigation by the South Carolina Hells Angels Task Force (SCHATF). Assisting in the investigation and Wednesday’s operation were the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Columbia and Charlotte Field Divisions, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington Police Department, Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff’s Office, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, State Law Enforcement Division, Gastonia, Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Gaston County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
“Today’s arrests and seizures are an important step in our ongoing fight against criminal gangs operating in South Carolina,” said Nettles. “This investigation is also another example of what can be accomplished through a close partnership among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.”
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay N. Richardson.
PARSIPPANY NJ June 9 2012— Employees at an office complex off Route 10 had a surprise visit Thursday from a small black bear.
The male bear was spotted roaming the grounds of the Octagon 10 Office Center around 9 a.m., police said. Parsippany police officers and rangers from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene.
Rangers estimated that the bear weighed approximately 154 pounds and was between 18 and 19 months old, the typical age when mother bears send their offspring out on their own.
Rangers cornered the bear in a courtyard area between two office buildings and shot the animal with a tranquilizer gun. They then waited about 15 minutes to ensure that the bear was fully asleep before proceeding to tag and tattoo the bear with an identification number.
The rangers also took measurements and a blood sample while a small crowd of employees from the adjacent office building gathered to take photographs on their cellphones. A few of the onlookers even reached down and touched the bear after it had been tranquilized.
“I live in Sussex County, where there are a lot of bears, but this is the first time I’ve seen one like this,” said Alison Glazer-Baurenfind.
When the rangers finished their work, they carried the bear on a tarp and placed him inside a cylindrical bear trap in the bed of a pickup truck.
Rangers said they planned to transport the bear to Black River County Park in Chester Township, where they would release him.
“We’ll let him sleep it off this afternoon,” said Kelcey Burguess, principal biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife, on Thursday. “He’ll be fine.”
In a study conducted a few years ago with East Stroudsburg University, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection found the black bear population in northwest New Jersey to be around 3,500.
DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese said the department’s black bear management plan includes research, education, trash management and habitat study. The plan also calls for bear hunts, which have taken out 1,100 bears in the last two years, he said.
“So far this year, we’ve seen a marked reduction in sightings, nuisance complaints, and bear-human encounters,” Ragonese added.
Ragonese said that New Jersey black bears do not normally pose a threat toward humans: “They’re just looking to eat, sleep and get a little exercise.”
SPARTANBURG, SC June 9 2012 - Spartanburg County deputies said it’s a case of a repo guy with a fake badge.
Deputies said the repo guy had no right to the car he was trying to take or the badge he was carrying. Stephen Bruner, 43, of Boiling Springs was arrested and charged with impersonating a deputy sheriff and trespassing after warning.
Deputies said they were called out to a home on Mayview Street in Spartanburg County Tuesday afternoon. That’s where they said Bruner was trying to repo a car he had no papers for.
“The deputy began to investigate and found out a little bit, and found out that the recovery agent did not have any paperwork authorizing a recovery, no claim and delivery papers or paperwork from the finance company, nothing,” said Lt. Tony Ivey of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said when asked to take the car off the tow truck and leave the property, Bruner would not cooperate, telling officers the truck was broken.
As deputies continued to order him to remove the car from the truck, deputies said Bruner refused, stating he used to be a police officer and he knew the law. Deputies told Bruner since he had caused a disturbance on the property, he would need to leave because he was trespassing, but he refused to lower the vehicle and demanded to speak with a supervisor.
Then the officers noticed something.
“So, as they were having this discussion, the original deputy saw that hanging from the rearview mirror in full frontal display to the public was a badge that looked very much like our sheriff’s office badge,” said Ivey.
Deputies said there was also a pair of handcuffs hanging from the tow truck’s rearview mirror. They said as Bruner continued to be uncooperative and would not lower the vehicle off of the tow truck, they advised him that he was trespassing and under arrest.
Another man inside of the tow truck got out and lowered the truck without trouble, deputies said. Bruner was arrested and has since been released from jail on bond.
Deputies said repo companies should always have claim and delivery papers issued by the magistrate court.
MEHLVILLE, Mo.June 9 2012 (AP) — A Wal-Mart store in south St. Louis County is opened again after it was evacuated when police found a “one-pot” methamphetamine bottle inside a woman’s purse.
St. Louis County police say the woman was arrested for shoplifting Thursday night. Security officers then allegedly discovered a 20-ounce bottle of cooking meth in her purse.
The store was evacuated because of the potential for an explosion or dangerous fumes from the bottle. No one was injured.
The woman and a male companion were arrested. Their names have not been released.
Police say the woman was not trying to steal ingredients for meth but they found several items related to the drug, such as medicines, pills and chemicals, in the suspects’ car.
ATLANTA GA June 9 2012 – A government survey shows more teens are now smoking pot than cigarettes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 23 percent of high school students said they recently smoked marijuana, while 18 percent said they had puffed cigarettes. The survey asked teens about a variety of risky behaviors.
For decades, the number of teens who smoke has been on the decline. Marijuana use has fluctuated, and recently rose. At times, pot and cigarette smoking were about the same level, but last year marked the first time marijuana use was clearly greater.
An earlier survey by the University of Michigan also found that pot smoking was higher. A Michigan expert said teens today apparently see marijuana as less dangerous than cigarettes.
Bend OR June 9 2012 A custodian was arrested and charged with the theft of thirteen iPads from a Central Oregon Community College office.
Nathaniel Isaac Estrada was hired as a custodian for COCC in February 2011. He was placed on administrative leave on May 29, according to Eric Buckles, director of Human Resources.
The iPads, tablet computers valued at $500 each, were reported missing Friday, May 25 from the Licensed Massage Therapy offices. The iPads were behind two locked doors and in a locked cabinet.
“There were no signs of forced entry,” said Jim Bennett, interim supervisor of Campus Public Safety at Central Oregon Community College.
The LMT department had 15 iPads total. One was stolen last month, the other was offsite getting an update according to Stephanie Manriquez, director of the LMT program.The thefts impact the department.
“It was devastating,” said Manriquez. “We used them every day.”
When Manriquez first discovered that the iPads were missing, she remotely accessed them from her computer and locked them down. She was able to do this on all but five, which had already been accessed and reset.
Campus Public Safety took the report and contacted Bend police department. They checked local pawn shops. A Criminal Justice cadet found a Craigslist posting listing an iPad for sale.
The Campus Public Safety decided to contact the seller and arrange a meeting to act as a potential buyer.
“Initially the meeting was to determine if this was one of our iPads,” said Bennett. “If it was, we would proceed further.”
The plain-clothes Campus Public Safety officer identified the iPad as one belonging to the LMT department. Other officers were present and observing the situation. While the suspect chatted, Bend Police arrived and made the arrest.
Estrada was arrested on May 29 off of Century Drive on the west side of Bend.
“The investigation at this point is confident in the charges of Burglary II and Aggravated Theft I,” said Sergeant Brian Beekman from the Bend Police Department.
Aggravated theft I is charged when “the value of the property in a single or aggregate transaction is $10,000” or more according to ORS 164.057. The 13 stolen iPads were valued at $6500. As of press time, there was no information available for the reasons behind the Aggravated Theft I charge.
Some of the stolen property was recovered at the time of arrest according to Sergeant Beekman. Manriquez is still waiting for word on the other iPads.
Estrada was released on bail on May 30.
Source: The Broadside
The month-long investigation — called “Operation Orion” — was conducted in May by special agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit.
The operation targeted individuals who “possessed, received, transported, distributed, advertised or produced images or videos of child pornography,” ICE officials said in a press release Friday.
The investigation led to the arrests of 190 alleged child predators. The majority of the arrests were made in the U.S., though authorities said individuals in Spain, the Philippines, Argentina and the United Kingdom were also taken into custody.
“With the advent of summer vacation, children may have more time and access to the Internet, making this a good time to talk to them about online dangers,” ICE Director John Morton said in a statement. “Many of the child exploitation cases under Operation Orion began with a child or teen chatting with someone he or she met online.
“Let this operation be a warning to anyone who would think they can use the Internet to exploit children: we are out there looking for you, we will find you, and you will be prosecuted,” he said.
The sweep included the arrest of 28-year-old Andrew Hallock, of Sebastian, Fla., for possession of child pornography and the “illegal sexual enticement of a 15-year-old victim he met online,” according to authorities. Another suspect, 35-year-old Cedric Conner, of Lafayette, La., was arrested May 4 for allegedly producing child pornography and sexually assaulting a 7-year-old victim whom he babysat.
A Connecticut man accused of attempting to rob a woman at knifepoint in an elevator at the Mohegan Sun casino says he was sleepwalking at the time.
Attorney Nicholas D’Amato told a judge Wednesday that he plans to use a medical defense for Winston Riley based on that claim, the Norwich Bulletin reported.
The Bridgeport man was arrested on March 18 after the woman told police he had flashed a large knife and tried to grab her purse while the two were alone in a parking garage elevator, police said.
Riley said he was awakened by the woman when she ran away in confusion and fright, D’Amato said.
The lawyer said he’s confirmed with Riley’s family that the 27-year-old has had a problem with sleepwalking since he was a child. The lawyer said he’s in the early stages of gathering medical records in his attempt to convince prosecutors they should take the claim seriously.
“It is the first time we’ve encountered this,” D’Amato said. “This is a legitimate medical condition.”
Riley’s bail was lowered Wednesday to $85,000 from $100,000. He is due back in court July 17.
Police said Riley confessed to the crime after he was arrested and told them he “just wanted some money.”
D’Amato said the facts don’t add up, since his client has no criminal record and is married.
“I told the judge and prosecutor … ‘Do you honestly think he woke up one morning, drove across the state and decided to rob a woman in a place full of security cameras?”‘ D’Amato told the newspaper. “It doesn’t make sense if you think about it rationally.”
OXNARD, Calif. June 9 2012 – A 24-year-old substitute teacher in Oxnard was arrested for “sexting” an underage boy.
Police say the texts between Vanessa Tsakrios, a 24-year-old Camarillo resident, and a 17-year-old student were exchanged while she worked at Pacifica High School. They allegedly included inappropriate photos.
Tsakrios was taken into custody on Wednesday and is being held at the Ventura County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Oxnard Police Department at (805) 385-7740.
After putting her two and a half-year-old daughter and 10 month old son in her car, Sunnie Krenicky closed the passenger door.
She never expected to hear what she described as an explosion. She said she looked in and saw a cloud of white smoke covering the inside of the car.
“They [her children] both started freaking out, both started screaming and hollering,” she said.
It took a moment for her to realize what happened but figuring out why it happened took a lot longer.
Krenicky did some online research and found out that she’s not the first person to close a car door and have the airbags deploy. She discovered that it’s happened to other makes and models.
Krenicky’s children were checked out by paramedics who determined they were not hurt by the airbags.
In Colonial Heights, at Battlefield Park Body Shop, owner Wilson Abernathy said he knows airbags can deploy when a car hasn’t been in an accident.
About three months ago, while repairing a car that had been wrecked, an employee was welding on a car–with the car battery disconnected for safety–when the cars airbags deployed.
Abernathy said it sent a shock wave through the body shop and filled the car with powder.
It was determined that a wire had been crimped and a spark during the welding process set off the airbags.
Abernathy said he did some research online and also found where airbags had deployed in parked cars.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration encouraged anyone who has experienced an airbag deploying when not in an accident to send them a detailed email so they can keep it in a data base.
Industry leaders said if this happens to you, take your car back to the nearest dealer.
The charges were issued against security guard Lukace Kendle, who claimed he was threatened by 31 year old Michael Smathers and 29 year old Kijuan Byrd while he was working as a security guard at Club Lexx on NW 27th Avenue and the two men were patrons of the club.
The Miami-Dade Homicide Bureau said police responded to a 911 call just before 11 p.m. on June 1st. They found the two men with gunshot wounds, and both were taken to Ryder Trauma Center.
Smathers survived and is recovering, but Byrd died of his injuries.
Kendle was not charged by police in the shooting, and reports that he would make a claim that the shootings were justified under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law brought an angry response from Byrd’s parents.
Byrd graduated from Miami Norland High School in 2001 where he played on the football team. His family says he worked as an electrician and leaves behind two children.
Monday, they joined Attorney Benjamin Crump, who also represents the family of Trayvon Williams, in demanding Kendle be charged.
“It’s senseless, I don’t understand why and I don’t know what I’m going to tell my grand babies when they say Grandma where’s my Daddy?” said Kijuan Bird’s mother Arlene Byrd.
The family says Byrd and Smathers were getting out of a car in the parking lot when the fatal shooting happened. They also say neither knew the guard, and neither man was armed.
“It’s very sad to know the shooter is being protected by the stand your ground law and that’s not right,” said Byrd’s Grandfather, Conley Johnson.
“How many more of these stand your ground claims have to happen with these outrageous facts and nobody arrested,” Crump asked.
While the attorney and the parents were meeting with reporters, the arrest warrant was issued for Kendle. Police found his location and arrested him without incident.
Investigators offered nothing more about the delay or why a decision was made to arrest Kendle today while Byrd’s parents were facing reporters.
It is expected any effort to use the Stand Your Ground law will come before a judge, who can make a determination under Florida law.
“Whether it’s paper, wood, cloth or any other material, X-Acto knives let you cut through almost anything with precision and ease,” X-Acto’s website reads.
Detective Bill Veteran told the San Francisco Chronicle that the man, whose name is being withheld, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But he’s (unsurprisingly) undergoing a psychological examination.
The man’s motivation for removing his own genitalia is currently unknown. However, since drugs have been removed as a factor, bath salts–the synthetic substance known to trigger extreme and often violent hallucinations–can likely be ruled out.
Authorities located the severed organ in question and doctors are working to re-attach it.
Cutting off one’s own penis, a practice called autopeotomy, is not quite as uncommon as one would think, although in certain cases it can prove fatal. An Indonesian man did it in 2010 after discovering his girlfriend planned on dumping him and marrying someone else. A similar incident occurred in the Philippines the following year when a 39-year old man severed his penis after stabbing his wife.
However, the most striking event in recent memory occurred in London, when a Polish man dashed into a crowned restaurant on The Strand, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, jumped up on a table and sliced off his own penis in full view of all the customers.
EDMONDS WA June 9 2012
An Edmonds police officer was arrested Thursday morning for investigation of having on-duty sex with a woman he’d detained.
The Edmonds Police Department asked Everett police to investigate allegations that stemmed from a May incident involving a Seattle woman, 28.
Everett investigators are recommending criminal charges against Edmonds police officer Daniel Lavely, Everett police officer Aaron Snell said.
Edmonds police learned of the allegations on May 9.
Snell said the investigation looked into Lavely’s actions while he was on-duty May 6.
He allegedly stopped the woman for jaywalking on Highway 99 in Edmonds. She was released, but Lavely allegedly contacted her later that evening.
“During this second interaction it was alleged that Lavely took temporary custody of the female, put her in his patrol car and drove her to a remote location where the two had sexual intercourse,” Snell said. “The female reported the incident a few days later to law enforcement.”
Lavely was booked into the Snohomish County Jail around 11 a.m. Thursday.
The investigation has been forwarded to prosecutors.
First-degree custodial sexual misconduct is a Class C felony. According to state law, it can occur “when the victim is being detained, under arrest, or in the custody of a law enforcement officer and the perpetrator is a law enforcement officer.”
Edmonds police Sgt. Mike Blackburn said Lavely was immediately placed on administrative leave and his law enforcement authority was suspended after the allegations surfaced.
He said Lavely, 46, has been employed with the Edmonds Police Department for seven years and was assigned to the patrol division.
DALLAS TX June 9 2012 - It was an emotional first day in court for the trial of a man accused of killing a bank security guard.
Prosecutors said Courtland King terrorized customers while robbing a Bank of America in Oak Cliff last August.
There was tearful testimony from bank teller Lucy Shifflet.
The jury watched as she described how she called for help while she watched King fight with security guard Lionel Newell and take the gun out of his holster.
The 911 call picked up the shots as they were fired.
“He shot the security guard. He already shot him,” Shifflet told the operator.
Newell’s common law wife also took the stand.
“I couldn’t do nothing but scream. Screamed so hard, I screamed so hard that day,” Jannett Gray said.
King has pleaded not guilty.
A conviction would mean an automatic life sentence with no parole.
Drug Enforcement Agents dismantled a drug trafficking ring involving airport workers www.privateofficer.com
MIAMI Fla June 9 2012 — The United States has dismantled a drug trafficking ring in which airline workers used their security access to smuggle drugs out of Puerto Rico on US-bound flights, according to officials.
Some 45 alleged members of the drug trafficking network have been indicted, including some who were employees or contractors of American Airlines, US officials said on Wednesday.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Puerto Rico police arrested 23 people on Wednesday at San Juan’s international airport, a busy Caribbean hub.
“Today’s arrests at one of the nation’s busiest airports reflect our relentless commitment to working with our partners to aggressively fight drug trafficking, not only at our nation’s points of entry, but at source, transit, and arrival zones throughout the world,” DEA deputy administrator Thomas Harrigan said in a statement.
Agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also took part in the operation to take down the drug ring at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport on Puerto Rico, which is a US commonwealth.
The indictment charged that members of the drug trafficking cartel hid cocaine in luggage, backpacks or on their bodies while driving official vehicles into the airport via a secured employee entrance.
Once in the secured area, they would enter a designated restroom where they would transfer kilos of cocaine to couriers who would then board flights departing to the US mainland.
An American Airlines spokesman, Edward Martelle, stressed that the company has “a zero-tolerance policy for any employee when it comes to this type of activity.”
“The actions of a few employees should not reflect negatively on the tens of thousands of ethical American Airlines employees who work hard to serve our customers each and every day,” Martelle said.
Charges against the suspects, which included conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, were filed under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
“The defendants in this investigation not only utilized their positions and security access to smuggle large quantities of illegal narcotics, but they also compromised the safety and security at one of the Caribbean’s most vital airports,” said Pedro Janer, the DEA’s Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Caribbean Division.
“DEA will continue to dismantle these organizations that think they can blatantly use legitimate entities to carry out their smuggling operations,” Janer said.
Kevin Barchett, 37, of Benton Township was in jail Wednesday facing several charges related to the assault of Ron Tungett, a guard at the health department’s substance abuse treatment office on Pipestone Street.
Tungett, who works for Andrews International, a security company with an office in Benton Harbor, was at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph, Wednesday, recovering from head and facial injuries.
Tungett has worked at the health department for seven or eight years and is very close to the staff, said Mike Mortimore, director of the health department.
“In all my 20 years at the department I’ve never seen anything this severe,” said Colleen Lerret, program manager for the substance abuse treatment office.
Lerret said Barchett had just finished a counseling session and was waiting in the parking lot with his mother while his sister remained inside talking with the counselor.
Barchett, who one person at the scene estimated to be 225 pounds, became irritated and began yelling and then throwing pieces of asphalt at his mother, Tungett told Lerret Tuesday. The guard stepped in to protect the mother and asked Barchett to step away.
Barchett said “Yes, sir,” and that’s the last thing Tungett remembers before being attacked, Lerret was told.
Nurses from the treatment office’s sexually transmitted diseases unit were the first on the scene, keeping Tungett still and trying to slow the bleeding before Medic 1 arrived.
Gwen Agens, a nurse at the health department and a former sheriff’s deputy, was called to the scene with other nurses from the main building after the assault occurred. Dr. Rick Johansen, medical director for the health department, also responded.
Barchett was sitting in his car smoking a cigarette when police arrived, Agens said.
Benton Harbor Public Safety Director Roger Lange said police were called to the health department building at 756 Pipestone St. around 3 p.m. on a report of a disturbance. Patrolmen Dustin Blaskie and Steve Bobo responded and found Barchett sitting in a car outside the building.
Lange said the patrolmen asked him to step out of the vehicle, which he did. When an officer asked Barchett to put his hands behind his back, he refused and started mumbling to himself, Lange said.
Barchett then yelled something and, after being asked several times to put his hands behind his back, made an aggressive move toward one of the officers, Lange said.
“Officer Blaskie deployed a Taser, which did not appear to have any effect on (Barchett),” Lange said. “The man then charged the officer, started swinging and attempting to hit the officers. While they were wrestling with him the Taser got knocked out of officer Blaskie’s hand and a worker there assisted in recovering it.”
Agens, who had been a Berrien County sheriff’s deputy from 1985 to 1990, said Barchett’s mother or sister picked up the Taser as she reached for it and immediately turned it over when Agens asked for it.
Barchett just ripped the Taser prongs from the first shot out of his chest and continued to fight with the police, Agens said. “I knew they could be in trouble and they needed help, that he could injure other people.”
She asked, “Do you want me to tase him?”, and someone answered “Yes,” she said.
Agens ended up straddling Barchett’s legs and firing the Taser directly into his stomach, but this failed to fully subdue him, and she fired again. Agens said she did not know how many times she fired the Taser.
Lange said he had no knowledge of a health department worker using the Taser on the man.
“I’m not aware of that,” Lange said. “But I’m sure it was to assist the officers. I’m just not aware of it, specifically.”
Barchett was still lifting her up with his legs, and Dr. Johansen jumped in and sat on his legs, the nurse said.
Lange said Barchett appeared to have had some mental health problems going on during the struggle, which he said lasted about 15 minutes. Lange said Blaskie and Bobo had called for backup and, by the time it was over, there were seven or eight officers, including Lange, on the scene.
Barchett is charged with aggravated/felonious assault, obstructing police and nonaggravated assault, Lange said.
Agens told the board of health at its Wednesday meeting that Tungett suffered broken cheekbones and a broken nose, and the bones around his eye sockets were also fractured. The good news is there had been no bleeding in the brain, said Agens, who spoke with him Wednesday morning. Agens, a Stevensville resident, has been with the health department since 2007.
Mortimore said the department planned to send a letter to the security company commending Tungett for acting above and beyond the call of duty.
According to BPD spokesperson Sgt Mary Kusmiss, the guard sustained some pain and swelling to his head but declined any paramedic treatment. The bank itself, which is at the intersection with Parker, was not the victim of a robbery or robbery attempt. There were a number of witnesses to the crime.
The City of Berkeley Police Department is investigating. Some community members believe the suspects got into a light blue pickup in the 2500 block of 10th Street (one block west of the Bank) that was driven by a white woman. Preliminary descriptions of the suspects, as described by witnesses and the victim, are “two black males, 19-20 years old, wearing black hoodies, blue jeans and white tennis shoes”
The bus drivers aren’t the highest paid city employees but for the next three weeks they have one of the most challenging jobs in town to move a large amount of people having a very good time,” Joe Hall said. “I felt for their safety and for their sanity that some form of security on the bus would help temper the negative behavior that could cause a safety problem that could distract the driver or unruly things happening on the bus.”
The three weeks he referred to are Memorial Day through the third week in June when the Maryland State Fireman’s Convention hits town. During this time, Ocean City is flooded with high school graduates along with their family and friends.
Joe Hall suggested that the town contract a specialized security firm to place security guards “of large stature”, uniformed in bright yellow shirts labeled as security, on Ocean City’s buses. He added that the security could be paid for out of the transportation department’s funds’, pointing out that the bus fare was recently raised and the extra revenue could be used.
“I would look at this as a large special event, a three-week event. We don’t need to hire a new staff for us or utilize our current resources of police officers who are overburdened now,” he said. “If we had extra police officers, we could use them in more productive areas of public safety than riding the bus.”
Also, if an incident were to occur on the bus and a security guard would need assistance, then the bus could pull over and call for the help of police officers whom are positioned all along Coastal Highway.
Mayor/Interim City Manager Rick Meehan responded to Joe Hall’s concerns reminding him that a portion of the bus riders at this time are Play It Safe participants, referring to the high school graduate program that offers free and safe activities and events as well as wristbands for participants to ride the bus for free.
Joe Hall said the Play It Safe participants play a little part in the crowds on the buses at this time. He added that to date there has been 3,000 Play It Safe wristbands given out compared to the tens of thousands of bus riders.
Joe Hall said he plans on bringing the matter up during next week’s Mayor and Council meeting and hopes to institute security on the buses this summer.
“A lot will have to do with what we experience this weekend whether the council makes action but these firms are available to have the staff available. It can be done as quickly as we say we need it to be done,” he said. “I think it is a good investment for the town, and I think it will be proven to be effective.”
Councilman Doug Cymek and City Manager David Recor, who assumed his post next week, also responded to Joe Hall’s concerns.
“Fundamentally, I believe an off-duty officer in full uniform would be the most effective deterrent,” Recor wrote in an email. “There are certainly bargaining unit contract implications that must be considered. If data for wristband users is available, I can provide the council with several alternatives for comparison and to evaluate which option would be the most expedient and cost-effective manner to address this concern.”
Cymek respectfully disagreed with Joe Hall on placing security on the buses.
“If our OCPD officers, wearing an official uniform and armed are challenged and often assaulted by unruly bus riders, undoubtedly an individual ‘wearing bright yellow shirt stating security’ would likely fall victim to them as well,” he wrote.
Cymek was in favor of Meehan’s suggestion to charge Play It Safe participants $5 for a wristband, which is still a deal compared to the $1 per ride or $3 all-day-pass bus fare.
Upon receiving Joe Hall’s concerns, Mayor Rick Meehan responded as well as immediately set up a meeting with Police Chief Bernadette DiPino and Jim Parsons and George Thornes of the transportation department.
As a result of that meeting, it was determined that there has not been an overabundance of Play It Safe participants riding the bus, and that the crowds are mostly riders paying the $1 per ride fare.
“We looked at the comparison of events that happened the same week last year compared to the same week this year and really buses have been quiet as far as incidents are concerned,” the mayor said. “There haven’t really been a lot of problems. I think it looks that way because they are so crowded that it gives the impression that it could be more problems than have actually been occurring.”
The deployment of police officers was also reviewed. The police department is currently positioning officers on the buses. In the current year’s budget, $26,000 has been allocated to pay the police department overtime for officers who ride the bus.
“We do have police officers riding the buses, and they haven’t witnessed any significant problems to date so we have had a few minor events but nothing that is excessive at all to this point,” Meehan said. “They are going to continue to add officers as needed to the buses and continue to add additional buses to relieve some of the congestion and continue to monitor.” Meehan added that Chief Bernadette DiPino is not in favor of hiring security for the buses because they are not familiar with the ins and outs of Ocean City.
“She would rather stick with the deployment as it is right now and if in fact there needs to be additional officers we would allocate them,” he said.
As far as the charging $5 for Play it Safe wristbands, the mayor said he has proposed the idea in the past and is hoping for the same discussion in the future. He explained that if 10,000 wristbands were distributed that would be $50,000 to allocate toward additional police enforcement and overtime costs to ensure safety on the bus system.
“I strongly support it [Play It Safe] and strongly support everything we do,” the mayor said. “I just want to make sure that if the kids are allowed to ride the bus and we give it to them free, or a good deal, that the buses are safe and we are able to have the additional security and the additional man power we need to make sure that it is a safe environment.”