Austin TX June 28 2012 A Travis County grand jury this afternoon returned an indictment charging software engineer Brandon Daniel with capital murder in the April shooting death of Austin police officer Jaime Padron at a North Austin Wal-Mart.
The indictment means that grand jurors found probable cause that Daniel, pictured, committed the crime and clears the way for the case against Daniel to move forward in the courts. Capital murder is punishable by life in prison or death.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has not announced whether she will seek the death penalty against Daniel.
Typically, Lehmberg has a panel that includes some of her top assistant prosecutors review each capital murder case and recommend whether the defendant should be punished with the death penalty if convicted.
Lehmberg said this afternoon that should would likely convene the committee within the next several weeks.
Lehmberg said the final decision, which is hers alone, would come sometime after that.
Daniel’s lawyer has said his client, a Colorado native who worked for Hewlett-Packard in Austin, is sorry for his actions.
“He is sick beyond belief by the heartbreak he has caused,” lawyer Bill White told the American-Statesman in April, a week after Padron was shot. “He knows he has taken somebody else’s life, that he has taken somebody’s husband and father. He has destroyed his own life and broken his parents’ hearts.”
Daniel, 24, remains in jail pending trial.
Daniel shot officer Jaime Padron about 2:30 a.m. April 6, as the two struggled on the floor of a North Austin Wal-Mart, according to accounts by police officials and an arrest warrant affidavit. Padron, who had responded to a 911 call about an intoxicated person, had chased after Daniel when he caught the man trying to hide merchandise in his backpack, the affidavit said.
Daniel’s mother, Mary O’Dell, of Colorado, has told reporters in the past that when she spoke with her son before the incident, he had been taking the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and drinking tequila.
Robert David Tanel, 22, of Winona was arrested at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The Winona State University (WSU) student is facing third degree burglary charges for allegedly breaking into Mandala Wellness Center at 51 West 4th Street sometime late Thursday or early Friday.
According to the police report, Tanel smashed an inside door at Mandala to gain entry and took $327 in cash, exercise equipment, a Garmin GPS system and a protein supplement.
Tanel also allegedly broke into the Huff Street visitors center, Zoborowski Financial and Winona National Bank.
Police sent out security camera stills of the suspect and a WSU campus security officer recognized Tanel. He was arrested at his off campus apartment.
The cash, Garmin GPS system, and protein supplement were recovered.
Tanel is being referred to the county attorney’s office. Other charges could be filed pending blood tests of bodily fluid found at the bank and visitors center.
Source: Winona Post
TAUNTON, Mass. June 28 2012
A Taunton High School teacher accused of statutory rape is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing next week.
Patrick Doyle, 33, appeared in court for the third time in less than a week Tuesday for the hearing, but it was postponed until Monday.
Doyle was arrested last week for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl at his Seekonk home and sending her sexually explicit text message photos.
The history teacher was arrested again Monday on additional charges. He is accused of performing a sexual act in a classroom with another 14-year-old girl during a free period. Police also said Doyle sent a text photo of his genitals to the girl.
In light of the new charges, Taunton’s school superintendent is trying to remove Doyle from the faculty at the high school.
Dr. Julie Hackett said in a letter to parents, “Processes have been put in place to remove the employee from the payroll, and a termination hearing will be set.”
Lefteris Travayiakis, Doyle’s lawyer, said the teacher is innocent.
“He’s cooperated 100 percent with authorities, with the police, with the court at every stage. He looks forward to his day in court, challenging the allegations,” Travayiakis said.
The case was the headline on the front page of the paper and the topic of conversation around town.
“It’s unbelievable. We’re supposed to be trusting teachers with our kids, now you never know who to trust,” said Jackie Menear of Taunton.
“They pay their taxes to have teachers teach them and this is how it ends up,” said Henry Fortier, of Taunton. “Not good.”
Doyle originally posted $100,000 bail, but he was arrested again on the new charges and is being held until Monday when prosecutors make a case to hold him for 90 days.
“At a time when homeowners across the nation are struggling to keep their homes, Shmuckler actively targeted the most vulnerable of them with his mortgage modification scam,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). “Shmuckler exploited homeowners desperately seeking support through federal housing programs such as HAMP by essentially guaranteeing the homeowners mortgage modifications in exchange for an upfront fee. Shmuckler performed little if any service in return for the fees, and in many cases, the homeowners’ properties fell into foreclosure. SIGTARP and its partners in law enforcement will aggressively shut down these scams and hold their perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”
On April 10 of this year, Shmuckler pled guilty to six counts of wire fraud. According court records, Shmuckler, a convicted felon and disbarred attorney, owned and operated a Vienna, Va.-based mortgage rescue business known as The Shmuckler Group (TSG). From June 2008 through March 2009, TSG took in nearly $2.8 million from approximately 865 clients whose mortgages were in distress and who came to Shmuckler looking for relief. Shmuckler aggressively recruited new clients and pocketed their money while pretending he was successful, was an attorney, and that the business had restructured hundreds of mortgages, stopped hundreds of foreclosures, and negotiated hundreds of short sales. In reality, TSG was able to obtain relief for approximately 4.5 percent of its clients.
Court records indicate that Shmuckler instructed clients to terminate contact with their mortgage companies and to stop making payments to their lenders. TSG never facilitated a modification of the mortgages referenced in the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement.
Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police seeking tougher background checks on firearms buyers www.privateofficer.com
RICHMOND, Va.June 28 2012 (AP) — The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and other law enforcement organizations are seeking tougher background checks on firearms buyers.
The association and the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence have scheduled a press conference in Richmond on Tuesday to deliver that message. Representatives for both groups said they were to meet earlier in the day to discuss their push with the two candidates for U.S. Senate — Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine.
The law enforcement professionals said they want to ensure that criminals and other dangerous people already prohibited by law from possessing guns are prevented from obtaining them.
The chiefs say Virginia’s upcoming budget contains more funding to improve the state’s background check system.
SOMERVILLE, AL June 28 2012 - A Morgan County man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for child pornography charges.
Danny Wilkes of Somerville pleaded guilty in April to producing a video of a nude 10-year-old girl in 2008. On the videotape, Wilkes directed the girl to make graphic anatomical gestures.
Officials said Wilkes was dating the girl’s mother at the time the tape was made. The tape was not discovered until 2010.
A U.S. District Judge sentenced Wilkes to 30 years in prison. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
“The allegations unsealed today chronicle a breathtaking spectrum of cyber schemes and scams. As described in the charging documents, individuals sold credit cards by the thousands and took the private information of untold numbers of people,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement released Monday. “The defendants casually offered every stripe of malware and virus to fellow fraudsters, even including software enabling cyber voyeurs to hijack an unsuspecting consumer’s personal computer camera.”
In the United States, the investigation resulted in the arrests of 11 people on Monday and Tuesday, although four people named in related complaints–unsealed Tuesday in federal court–remain at large. The arrested defendants range in age from 18 to 25, although the Justice Department said that as part of the investigation, two minors–not named in the indictment–had been arrested by local authorities in Long Beach, Calif., and Sacramento, Calif.
As part of the investigation, 13 people were arrested in seven other countries as part of investigations started after the countries received information from the FBI: the United Kingdom (6 arrests), Bosnia (2), Bulgaria (1), Germany (1), and Norway (1). Meanwhile, one person was arrested in Italy, and another in Japan, as part of provisional arrest warrants obtained by the United States. In addition, the Justice Department said that “Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Macedonia conducted interviews, executed search warrants, or took other coordinated action” in support of the international investigation.
“The coordinated law enforcement actions taken by an unprecedented number of countries around the world today demonstrate that hackers and fraudsters cannot count on being able to prowl the Internet in anonymity and with impunity, even across national boundaries,” said Bharara.
The FBI said that it also seized Web servers for two online forums used by carders: UGNazi.com and Carders.org. Both sites are now offline, and resolve to a page that reads: “This site has been removed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with law enforcement action.”
As part of the investigation, the FBI–led by its New York Cyber Crime Task Force–proactively contacted affected organizations to help them mitigate the effects of the data breaches spotted by the bureau. “In so doing, the FBI has prevented estimated potential economic losses of more than $205 million, notified credit card providers of over 411,000 compromised credit and debit cards, and notified 47 companies, government entities, and educational institutions of the breach of their networks,” according to the Justice Department.
The complaints read as a primer to carding practices, including attack techniques and the functioning of the carding economy. For example, the complaints accuse Michael Hogue (a.k.a., “xVisceral”) of selling malware, including remote access tools, to remotely control exploited PCs. “Hogue’s RAT, for example, enabled the user to turn on the Web camera on victims’ computers and spy on them, and to record every keystroke of the victim-computer’s user,” according to the complaints. “If the victim visited a banking website and entered his or her user name and password, the key logging program could record that information, which could then be used to access the victim’s bank account.” Authorities said Hogue typically sold his RAT software for $50 per copy.
Also charged was Jarand Moen Romtveit (a.k.a., “zer0″) for using “hacking tools to steal information from the internal databases of a bank, a hotel, and various online retailers,” and then selling the data to others, according to the complaint. It also noted that “in February 2012, in return for a laptop computer, Romtveit sold credit card information to an individual he believed to be a fellow carder, but who in fact was an undercover FBI agent.”
Meanwhile, authorities charged Mir Islam (a.k.a. “JoshTheGod”) with selling information relating to more than 50,000 credit cards. Authorities said Islam was a self-professed member of the UGNazi hacking group, which the FBI said “has claimed credit for numerous recent online hacks,” as well as a founder of the online carding forum “Carders.org.”
The FBI said it arrested Islam Monday night, after an undercover agent–posing as a fellow carder–delivered what had been billed as counterfeit credit cards loaded with stolen credit card data. “Islam was placed under arrest after he attempted to withdraw illicit proceeds from an ATM using one of the cards,” said the bureau.
Beyond detailing those attack techniques, the complaints also abound with carding terminology, such as the practice of selling “fulls”–”full credit card data including cardholder name, address, social security number, birth date, mother’s maiden name, and bank account information,” as well as selling “CVVs,” referring to “credit card data that includes the name, address, and zip code of the card holder, along with the card number, expiration date, and security code printed on the card.” Meanwhile, the complaints also charged two people with selling “dumps,” which refers to “stolen credit card data in a form in which the data is stored on the magnetic strips on the backs of credit cards.”
As part of the investigation, the FBI also busted two men on charges of selling “drop” services to carders, defined in the complaints as “addresses with which they have no association, such as vacant houses or apartments, where carded goods can be shipped and retrieved without leaving evidence of their involvement in the shipment.” In the course of the Operation Card Shop investigation, authorities said that shipped items included high-end electronics, jewelry, clothing, sunglasses, air purifiers, and synthetic marijuana.
PORTLAND OH June 28 2012 –Portland police arrested a man Tuesday evening in connection with an earlier hit-and-run at the Rose Quarter that left a security guard seriously injured.
Marc Lacy was being held in the Multnomah County jail on accusations of second-degree assault, first-degree criminal mischief, DUII and failure to perform the duties of a driver. He was expected in court Wednesday.
Portland Police were tipped to his location and arrested him about 8:30 in the 4500 block of N. Vancouver around 8:30pm.
Police were dispatched about 6:21 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a hit-and-run on North Benton Avenue and Winning Way in the Rose Quarter complex, said Sgt. Pete Simpson.
They found Elizabeth Forcia, 44, suffering from non life-threatening injuries. She was taken quickly to a hospital and released later Tuesday morning.
Forcia told police she saw a white Ford Explorer in a lot that was supposed to be secured. She saw that a chain had been cut or broken. She walked up to talk to the driver of the SUV, who was standing away from the Explorer.
Forcia said he ran to the vehicle, drove towards her and struck her with the SUV, Simpson said. She was able to photograph the man before he got into the car. (See photo above) The vehicle went on to slam into a TriMet bus shelter and then was later found abandoned.
Simpson praised her for having the presence of mind to snap the surprisingly clear photograph. “That’s a great piece of evidence,” he said. “People who know the suspect will recognize him in the photo and call police.”
The driver fled northbound on Winning Way, tried to turn left onto Williams Avenue but crashed into a power pole, then the bus shelter.
CHICAGO IL June 28 2012 — A Chicago Police officer is being sued for alleged brutality and is under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority, two years after an incident on the Northwest Side.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, it has taken two years for Luis Cordero Jr. and his girlfriend, Heather Rzany, to put a name with the face of the off-duty officer whom they claim terrorized them.
The incident happened in 2010 outside the Pavilion Apartments, in the 5400 block of North East River Road, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The officer allegedly stormed out of a car with a beer bottle in his hand and pistol-whipped Cordero repeatedly, and then stuck a gun in Rzany’s mouth and ordered her to “shut the f**k up, bitch, or I’ll blow your brains out,” the Sun-Times reported.
Cordero and Rzany said they were asked to leave the apartment complex by a private security guard who was responding to a noise complaint, and were leaving as asked, the Sun-Times reported.
But the off-duty officer, now identified by attorneys for the couple as Englewood District Officer Chris Gofron, stumbled out of the security guard’s car, tossed the beer bottle, and flashed a Chicago Police badge in one hand as he assaulted them, the Sun-Times reported.
The guard said he was giving the officer a ride and did not know him, the Sun-Times reported.
The Sun-Times says the guard persuaded the off-duty officer to get back into his car, at which point the officer said of the beating, “That’s how we do it in Englewood.”
A lawsuit filed by the couple said the officers who responded just talked to Gofron and left the scene, the Sun-Times reported.
The Sun-Times says Gofron was previously sued for allegedly using excessive force on two Englewood juveniles whose theft charges were later dropped. The city settled with the youths’ families, the newspaper reported.
Unemployed Brooklyn man misses job interview to save 9-month-old boy who was blown into path of oncoming subway train www.privateofficer.com
Brooklyn NY June 28 2012 An unemployed Brooklyn man missed a job interview Tuesday for the best of reasons: He was saving the life of a 9-month-old boy who was blown into the path of an oncoming subway train by a gust of high wind.
Like a superhero without a cape, Delroy Simmonds jumped onto the elevated tracks and hoisted the bleeding child — still strapped into his stroller — to the safety of the platform as the J train bore down on them.
The father of two then shrugged off his courageous, selfless act.
“Everybody is making me out to be some sort of superhero,” the father of two told the Daily News on Tuesday night. “I’m just a normal person. Anybody in that situation should have done what I did.”
He said he wasn’t looking for praise. What he really wants is a regular paycheck.
“I’ve been looking for a job for a year and change,” Simmonds said. “I’m looking for something to support my family.”
The Brooklyn native was on his way to apply for a maintenance position at a warehouse when the unthinkable happened at the Van Siclen Ave. station in Cypress Hills at 12:45 p.m.
“A strong gust of wind blew. It had to be 30, 40 miles an hour,” he recalled. “There was a woman with four kids. One was in a stroller. The wind blew the baby onto the tracks.”
Witnesses looked on in horror as the child’s mother, identified by sources as Maria Zamara, stood frozen in shock. In the distance, they could see the train rounding a bend, headed into the station.
“I jumped down and I snatched the baby up,” Simmonds said. “The train was coming around the corner as I lifted the baby from the tracks. I really wasn’t thinking.”
He hoisted the stroller to the platform as the train came in, the operator blasting his horn. He pulled himself up just as the train jerked to a stop halfway into the station, witnesses said.
Khalima Ansari, 21, who was waiting for the same train, was stunned by Simmonds’ heroics.
“The baby had a big gash on his forehead. You could see his skull,” said Ansari, who called 911.
The child was taken to Brookdale University Hospital and treated for cuts to his face and head. “He’s okay. . . . We are thankful,” the boy’s father said at the hospital.
Simmonds didn’t stick around after the rescue.
“It was the fatherly instinct. I have two daughters of my own — 8 and 5. I was being a father. I would have done it for any baby,” he said.
Those instincts meant he missed his train — and the interview that might have led to his first job since he was a laid off as a vocational trainer for the mentally disabled.
He said he had another interview scheduled for Wednesday and was just hoping he could get there without any drama.
“What I really need is a job,” he said.
TUCSON AZ June 28 2012– Authorities have obtained an arrest warrant for a woman accused of robbing two banks in Tucson last week.
Tucson police say 34-year-old Melissa Ann Green is wanted for two counts of robbery.
Police say Green allegedly robbed a Tucson Healthcare Affiliates Federal Credit Union on June 18 and a Bank of the West branch two days later.
In both instances, police say the robber presented a demand note to the teller and fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
EVANSVILLE IN June 28 2012 — Shots rang out Tuesday morning inside Casino Aztar and a gunman was taken down in a practice disaster drill that involved casino security, Evansville police and the fire department.
Andy Herbertz, public relations manager for Casino Aztar, said this is the biggest disaster drill the casino has ever staged.
“We do a drill every year. We’ve had drills with fires, we’ve had some with bombs,” Herbertz said. “But this is the first of its kind.”
The drill situation was a disgruntled employee who had smuggled a gun inside and opened fire in the hold of the casino’s riverboat. Herbertz said there are four levels on the ship, three for patrons and the hold that houses the employee’s break room and the offices. The hold and the first level of the ship were quarantined for about an hour and a half while the police and SWAT team dealt with the situation.
Herbertz said the casino has done drills before that let paramedics deal with injuries and acquaint employees and patrons with evacuation procedures. They chose this specific scenario because of the real-life possibility it presents.
“Unfortunately, (shootings) are something you see every day,” said Paul Keller, captain of the riverboat and coordinator of the disaster drill. “We started thinking, ‘What if something like that happens here?’”
Keller said he was very satisfied with how the drill turned out. He applauded the communication between the casino’s surveillance team and the security forces trying to take down the gunman.
David Gartner, a deck hand who works on the riverboat, played the gunman for the drill.
“It was a very realistic situation,” Gartner said.
He was wearing plenty of protection for the drill and ended up being “disabled” with a nonlethal shot to the arm by the police with a rubber bullet.
“Those guys are pretty accurate,” he said after being led out of the riverboat by paramedics. “You could tell they were trying not to create any casualties, unlike me.”
Gartner said taking part in this situation and experiencing firsthand how quickly the police work made him feel safer on the boat.
“It wouldn’t take them long to take down an assailant if this were a real-life situation,” Gartner said.
The drill also offers a chance for emergency response units, such as the Evansville Fire Department, to get training in real-life scenarios. In this situation, the fire department was responsible for setting up in a secure location and helping the wounded.
Ken Zuber, the chief of planning and special teams for the fire department, said they usually participate in drills like this a couple times a year. But the Aztar drill presents a specific type of training.
“This helps us with communications with the police department who we have to work with a lot,” Zuber said. “But we also have to communicate with a private partner in the Aztar staff.”
Source:Evansville Courier and Press
Phoenix AZ June 28 2012 Three Phoenix Police officers have filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Arizona and the City of Phoenix, claiming they experienced financial losses and mental health issues as a result of a theft investigation into their off-duty security work.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs, Steven Peck, Aaron Lentz, Ben Sywarungsymun, and Lentz’s wife, Shannon, filed the suit Tuesday.
The suit also names specific individuals who worked for the City of Phoenix or the State of Arizona during the time of the investigation, including Attorney General Tom Horne.
In November 2010, Peck, Lentz, and Sywarunsymun were indicted after they were accused of accepting payments for off-duty security work they didn’t complete at a townhome complex in southeast Phoenix in 2005 and 2006.
In 2011, the charges against the three officers were dropped.
Tuesday’s lawsuit alleges the officers’ Constitutional rights were violated during the multi-year investigation. Lin Wood, and Steve Serbalik, attorneys who represent the three officers, say the officers’ reputations were damaged as a result of the case and the subsequent media coverage.
“You can’t unring the bell,” said Wood. “When you put them in rogues gallery of criminals with their mug shots, and you have them spread across the media and the front page as accused felons – when they don’t get re-indicted it’s what I would consider the whisper of innocence,” he said.
The attorneys say they are prepared to take the case to a jury trial.
According to a spokesperson for Attorney General Tom Horne, Amy Rezzonico, “The complaint refers to events that occurred prior to Horne taking office.”
Rezzonico told the ABC15 Investigators she would not be commenting further about the suit.
The ABC15 Investigators also reached out to former Attorney General Terry Goddard, who is also named in the suit. He did not respond by our deadline.
A spokeswoman for the City of Phoenix, Toni Maccarone told ABC15, the City’s law department had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit when we contacted them for a comment.
Waukesha County WI June 28 2012 With warning signs of increased crime at the Waukesha Public Library, the Waukesha Common Council is allowing library staff to hire security guards to monitor activity through the rest of the summer.
The funding wasn’t in the library’s budget, so the council unanimously voted Tuesday night to pay almost $8,000 for the security guards from the city’s contingency fund.
The library has had security guards during the school year, but not during the summer.
“In addition to a safe place for people coming in to use the library, I think we owe it to the employees of the library to make sure that we provide a safe work environment,” said Alderman Andy Reiland.
A nonscientific poll on Waukesha Patch showed as of 8 p.m. Tuesday that 90 percent of people taking the poll supported the library spending $7,920 to keep the security personnel throughout the summer. The Waukesha Public Library was named Library of the Year in 2011.
“This is a building that we need to keep safe,” said Joe Pieper, Finance Committee chairman and council president.
Library Director Grant Lynch said the library would like to be proactive and maintain the security level, citing the increased security and drug-related incidents. Additionally, more children will be coming into the library this summer as the reading program is about to hit record numbers.
“There is not a whole lot we can do if we don’t have a safe and secure facility,” Lynch said.
Alderman Duane Paulson noted what he considered a key word from a presentation from Lynch and that is “minor.” Paulson said the library’s safe and maintaining the security staffing levels will help ensure it remains that way.
Alderwoman Joan Francoeur echoed his comments when she said that the council’s action was “to make sure that the environment remains as safe as it is.”
Library Not Immune to Heroin Increase in City
Officers are on target to have a record number of calls at the library, according to Police Capt. Ron Tischer. The library has not been immune to the influx of heroin in Waukesha during the recent years. Gang activity plays into the problems as well, according to Tischer.
“The criminals and drug dealers like to go where it is cool, too,” Tischer said when asked why the library is seeing increased criminal behavior.
“It is an easy for people to have a central meeting point,” he added. “We try to break up those little groups when they start forming.”
The Waukesha Police Department has done some proactive measures by having undercover officers walk through the library and even had the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 Unit do a sweep of the library.
“If people don’t feel safe at the library, they won’t go there,” Tischer said. “It is such a gem in the city that we can’t afford to let that happen. We would love to have an officer there all the time, but we don’t have the manpower to let that happen.”
FAYETTEVILLE, AR June 28 2012 (AP) – A coroner says a 39-year-old has died from heat stroke after working in the extreme heat this weekend at the University of Arkansas.
Washington County Coroner Roger Morris says the man had an internal temperature of 109 degrees when he was taken to the hospital on Sunday.
Morris says he died Monday evening. The man’s name hasn’t been released yet.
Morris says the man was working at the University of Arkansas campus on Sunday when he became disoriented and had a headache.
Temperatures reached into the upper 90s in Fayetteville on Sunday
Newark NJ June 28 2012 Eight airport screeners in Newark were fired this morning, after being caught sleeping on the job or failing to follow other guidelines for screening checked bags, the Transportation Security Administration said.
The TSA said the firings stem from an ongoing investigation led by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, which began looking into security operations at Newark Liberty International Airport following a string of security breaches early last year. Newark’s federal security director at the time of the breeches was replaced in April 2011.
The eight screeners fired after reporting for work this morning were all transportation security officers, or TSOs, rank-and-file employees who make up the bulk of the 1,400 TSA employees in Newark, the TSA said. The TSOs, who were not identified, worked in a bag room at Terminal B, the TSA said. All eight are barred from future employment with the agency.
All eight of the TSOs plan to appeal their terminations and seek to be reinstated, said Mecca Scott, a national organizer with the Association of Federal Government Employees, the union that represents the screeners.
“An attorney will sit down with each and every one of them,” Scott said.
The employees were captured on videotape failing to follow standard operating procedures for screen checked bags, the agency said, adding that some of the screeners were videotaped sleeping in the bag room. Unlike security checkpoints where passengers are screened, bag rooms are out of public view.
The investigation is continuing, and action may be taken against additional employees, the TSA said.
A TSA spokeswoman, Lisa Farbstein, released a statement on the dismissals.
“TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” the statement read. “Accountability is an important aspect of our work and TSA takes prompt and appropriate action with any employee who does not follow our procedures and engages in misconduct. The decision to take disciplinary action, including the proposed immediate removal of eight individuals from the TSA reaffirms our strong commitment to ensure the safety of the traveling public and to hold all our employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability.”
It all started at about 9am at the Wilshire Place apartment complex on Hollister near West Little York, and came to a crashing end a short distance away. The shooting chaos ended at Highway 290 and Hollister. Police spent the better part of the day investigating the multiple scenes.
Eyewitnesses describe what happened in the area earlier as violent and crazy.
Eyewitness Marianne Chernau said, “It was just like going crazy shooting people.”
Investigators say an unidentified gunman went on a shooting spree, attacking a security guard, a maintenance man and an innocent bystander moments after the guard asked him to leave the property over a disagreement.
“Had it been 30 seconds sooner, I would have been one of the people that were shot,” Chernau said.
Frightened tenants called 911, telling police the gunman was walking toward a different apartment complex. That’s where police say the man carjacked a woman, stealing her blue SUV. They say he fired several shots at police who tried stopping him.
“We are very lucky that officers were not killed. Officers, plural, that’s how dangerous this situation was,” said HPD spokesperson John Cannon.
Police say the gunman fired dozens of rounds on at least six policemen, in at least five different locations.
Cannon said, “Our officers say the guy wasn’t going high speed. He was just crazy. He kept stopping and throwing his car in reverse and firing shots at everything and everybody that moved.”
The pursuit ended at Highway 290 and Hollister. Police say the gunman crashed into several vehicles stopped at a red light.
“I saw him coming, so I tried to get over to the right as far as I can, and then he just took out all these people right here,” said eyewitness Stacy Irelene.
At least five motorists had to be rushed to the hospital. Police say the gunman suffered one bullet wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after being handcuffed.
Police say the security guard and maintenance man have gone through surgery and are expected to be OK. The injured motorists are being treated at two local hospitals. Their conditions vary. No officers were injured.
A police investigation remains underway.
Agent Victor Soto-Velez
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 13 years
Badge # 27163
Incident Date: 6/26/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: At large
Agent Victor Soto-Velez was shot and killed from ambush along PR-491, in Camuy, while driving to his home while off duty.
Occupants of another vehicle intercepted him and opened fire at his car, firing at least 15 rounds into his vehicle before fleeing. Despite being severely wounded, Agent Solo-Velez was able to provide a description of the vehicle. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The suspect vehicle was found fully engulfed in flames a short time later and the suspects remain at large.
It is believed that Agent Soto-Velez was specifically targeted due to his work as a narcotics agent.
Agent Soto-Velez had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 15 years. He is survived by two children.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Superintendent General Emilio Diaz-Colon
Puerto Rico Police Department
PO Box 70166
San Juan, PR 00936
Phone: (787) 792-1234
MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass.June 28 2012 (AP) — Several dozen people have held a profanity laced rally to protest a Massachusetts town’s bylaw allowing police to hand out $20 tickets for public swearing.
Some people shouted curse words while others carried profane posters supporting free speech at Monday’s rally in the rain on the Middleborough Town Hall lawn. People who support the bylaw also showed up.
The protest rally was organized by Adam Kokesh, a libertarian who publishes podcasts online from a Virginia studio. He says police can “steal from you if they don’t like what’s coming out of your mouth.”
But police won’t be issuing any tickets until the state attorney general determines if the bylaw making public cursing a civil offense is constitutional. The bylaw was passed overwhelmingly two weeks ago at a town meeting.
Public swearing was a crime under a seldom-enforced 1968 bylaw.
MEADVILLE, Mississippi June 28 2012– A Mississippi Department of Transportation contractor was killed in Franklin County when he was struck by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 84.
Dr. Elmo Gabbert, Franklin County deputy coroner, says 42-year-old Joseph Allen Woodward Jr., of Edwards, was pronounced dead on the scene about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Authorities tell The Clarion-Ledger Woodward was hit by a car driven by 19-year-old April L. Watson, of McCall Creek, who was headed westbound on U.S. 84.
As the car approached the work area, authorities say Watson became distracted and veered into the right lane, where Woodward was standing next to a pickup owned by Lane Line LLC of Flowood.
Watson was taken to Franklin County Hospital with minor injuries.
The cause of the wreck is under investigation.
Alabaster AL June 28 2012 A shoplifting suspect suffered no serious injuries after police said he “jumped onto a police car” while fleeing officers in the parking lot of the south Colonial Promenade shopping center on June 25.
The incident happened at about 7 p.m. when Alabaster officers responded to a shoplifting report at the store. When police arrived, the suspect attempted to flee the scene and “jumped onto a” police cruiser, said Alabaster Deputy Police Chief Curtis Rigney.
“He ran from police and he was boxed in. He ran into a police car, basically is what happened,” Rigney said on June 26, noting the suspect’s name had not yet been released, pending a formal filing of charges.
After the collision, paramedics and firefighters arrived on the scene to examine the suspect. Rigney said the suspect suffered no serious injuries in the collision.
Police said the suspect allegedly stole about $66 worth of merchandise from the store, which will result in a misdemeanor theft charge.
“It looked like a bigger deal than it was,” Rigney said.
Source:shelby county reporter
ATLANTA GA June 28 2012
Few details are being released after an Atlanta police officer opened fire on a person in the parking lot of the Mall West End.
Late Wednesday night, the only thing police would confirm to Channel 2′s Tony Thomas is there was a fatality and it was not a police officer.
The shooting was called out at about 9 p.m.
As of 11 p.m., homicide investigators and other detectives remained at the scene, trying to figure out what sparked the shooting.
A witness said it was a chaotic situation.
“I just saw the truck at the front, and then the police pulled in, I think maybe three, and they jumped out and yelled, ‘Freeze,’ and a little after that, I heard the shots and people started running towards us,” witness Andrew Smith said.
An APD representative said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in because of the complexity of the crime scene, the number of officers involved and because there was a fatality involved in the situation.
APD is referring all other questions to the GBI.
Police said they have busted an embezzlement scheme at a local community college.
Police said it was the colleges’ bursar who orchestrated the entire thing by altering computer programs to make it appear cash was deposited into Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.
Police said they’ve been investigating since February. That’s when they said the college first noticed discrepancies in its bookkeeping after a student questioned a balance he said he had already paid in full.
Theresa Pelow turned herself in Wednesday morning after police said she admitted to stealing more than $150,000 from the community college in Richland Township.
“She was in the position, acting as a bursar, which is the intake person for all the monies that are coming in on tuition and lab fees and so forth,” said Detective Thomas Keirn of the Richland Township Police. “She had good opportunity to be able to transfer and make it look as though things were running business as usual.”
Police said a forensic audit showed that thousands of dollars of cash were never deposited into college accounts.
“This is public money. This is public trust,” said Keirn. “So it’s something that police would be involved in right up front.”
Police said Pelow took the money over a span of five years by altering the college computer system.
“It’s involving money that’s been taken for a long time,” said Keirn. “It looks as though is started back in 2007, and she was terminated at the end of February, so over that course of time, you can tell there was a lot of money that was taken.”
The community college released a statement Wednesday that said in part, “This individual, employed by the college at the time of the theft, was immediately terminated. Pennsylvania Highlands is committed to constant review and improvement of all fiscal processes and has taken this opportunity to examine procedures and protocols in all departments.”
According to both court documents and police, Pelow has admitted to taking the money but said she intends to return it.
On Wednesday, a judge said Pelow did not appear to be a flight risk, so she was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.