Burlington VT July 7 2012 The Vermont State Police, who have now been barred along with other police agencies from using vacant houses near Burlington International Airport for training, had invited SWAT teams from several New England states to the South Burlington neighborhood for such exercises this spring, records show.
The decision by the State Police to invite outside troopers for training was revealed in email correspondence obtained by the Burlington Free Press from the airport under provisions of the state’s public records law. Earlier, the State Police did not mention the training for out-of-state troopers when they responded to a separate Burlington Free Press records request for details of their use of the house.
After the Free Press learned of the training for out-of-state SWAT teams from the airport email records, State Police Capt. Robert Evans was asked specifically about that training. Evans replied that troopers came from “Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.” He added: “I am not going to get into specific tactics or operations … as these are law enforcement sensitive issues. I have given you what I am comfortable giving you.”
The failure of police to coordinate their training with South Burlington, with neighbors and with the airport led the airport official with immediate responsibility for the houses, Facilities Foreman Matt Harding, to complain internally June 5 that the police presence was turning into a “free-for-all.” Houses were being left unlocked after training, said Harding, who indicated he was often left in the dark about when training would take place.
His complaint came the same day as a noisy training exercise that prompted neighbors to complain about gunshots, explosions and aggressive police tactical maneuvers. There was at least one account of an automatic weapon left unattended on the trunk of a police vehicle. The next day, South Burlington ordered the training stopped. Police Chief Trevor Whipple, acting at the direction of City Manager Sandy Miller, notified the airport and police agencies that training in the houses was no longer allowed.
“It is the city’s position that these actions need to immediately stop,” Whipple wrote to the airport and police agencies according to documents provided by South Burlington to the Burlington Free Press. “Residents do not feel safe, are afraid to use the dog park and have described events that have caused them great alarm.”
The training for the outside SWAT teams was coordinated by Adam Crogan of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration at the airport. In an April email, Crogan told airport facilities foreman Harding that about 28 troopers would be involved in the training from May 7-11.
Crogan told Harding the State Police were “very excited” about the training, because “some of these guys will go 20 years as a trooper and never have a realistic training venue like this.” A request to Crogan for more information was referred to a federal freedom of information officer at the Department of Homeland Security. That information officer did not respond to emailed questions.
Evans of the State Police told the Free Press that the State Police bomb squad used the houses for four exercises in 2011 and on May 24 this year. SWAT teams trained twice in 2011 and on May 9 and May 24 this year, Evans said.
He said the bomb squad training “would have involved robot operations, use of portable X-ray equipment and some render safe operations,” while the SWAT training included “responses to hostage situations, high-risk warrant entries, responses to suicidal/barricaded subjects and other SWAT-related tactics.” Crogan, from the TSA, coordinated the training for the state police and notified the South Burlington Police dispatch center. “Since this is a local law enforcement jurisdiction,” Evans told the Free Press, “it was left up to the SBPD to make appropriate notifications that they felt needed to be made.”
Whipple, the South Burlington police chief, told the Free Press last week that while police dispatch was told of training “from time to time,” they were never told explosives would be used. “The detonation of explosives without any prior notice…would be unacceptable,” he said in an email. “The fact that training was taking place that put neighbors in fear is unacceptable, with or without a phone call to our dispatch.”
He said that if training is allowed in the future, he would insist that notification be at the police “command staff level.”
City Manager Miller told the Free Press in early June the training without notification was “grossly disrespectful of our residents and neighbors and inappropriate,” and he said it was “disappointing” the airport failed to communicate clearly with the city about the training.
In his June 5 internal email, Harding, the airport facilities foreman, told other airport officials that police were improperly using buildings on Dumont Avenue. Harding said that training was moving out of areas previously used which had been selected “to keep the training away from the houses that were still occupied.”
The training, he said, “is becoming a huge effort, especially because I don’t know who’s supposed to be there or not. It is becoming a free-for-all. Now training is being done right next to the occupied houses.”
The airport correspondence obtained by the Free Press makes reference to military training in the vacant houses.
Vermont National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow told the Free Press the Guard’s 15th Civil Support Team had trained with local police once in 2010 and four times in 2011. Those soldiers, he said, deal with “Chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear or explosive threats. They maintain a 24/7 status year-round and are one of 57 civil support teams in the United States.”
Event Staffing Inc. of Norfolk, Va., filed a formal response to his lawsuit in U.S. District Court earlier this week.
Daniel Weaver of Hudson, N.Y., sued several companies for negligence in May. They include Marvin’s Mountaintop campground and the event producer, Maryland-based Walther Productions.
Walther has also denied responsibility and filed counterclaims against Event Staffing and two other companies it hired to handle security.
Weaver says event staff chased him as he ran naked through the campground near Masontown last July, and employees found him lying in a swampy area.
He says he was carried by his arms and legs, and deliberately dropped.
Thieves hit Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport stealing catalytic converters www.privateofficer.com
Atlanta GA July 7 2012 Atlanta Police said it’s been quiet since they arrested a man accused of breaking into cars parked at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and stealing catalytic converters.
Shawn Wilson, 25, faces possession of tools to commit a crime, criminal trespass and prowling or loitering charges.
Police said they had noticed a rash of break-ins in all the parking lots. They said they had 37 since the beginning of the year.
Officers said the crook, or crooks, were mostly after catalytic converters.
“We noticed that there was a very similar method used to enter these vehicles and also similar things such as catalytic converters were taken,” airport Maj. Lane Hagin told Channel 2′s Tom Jones.
Police set up an operation where they had officers stake out the parking lots at night.
They said they noticed Wilson climbing a fence entering one of the parking lots.
Police said he had a bag of tools that would quickly remove a converter.
“He had a drill. He had a crowbar, some screwdrivers, things of that nature,” Hagin said.
Officers said Wilson told them he was at the airport to meet a cousin but they say they didn’t find the relative.
Travelers who parked at the airport said they’d be very upset if they arrived from a long trip and found out their catalytic converter was stolen.
“I’d be very disappointed. I want my car to be alright when I get back,” Earnest Hall said.
“When you pay $9 or $12 a day you want to have that guarantee that your car is in a secured environment,” traveler Tim Tate said.
They both were happy police sprang into action to stop the thefts.
Police said they don’t know if Wilson was responsible for all the thefts, but they say it’s been quiet since he was arrested.
They also point out the airport is very safe and 37 break-ins isn’t a lot for the volume that comes through the world’s busiest airport.
There has been an increase in catalytic converter thefts around the country. The converters contain valuable metals that crooks like to steal and sell to scrap shops.
The converter reduces vehicle emissions and your car may make a loud noise if the converter is missing.
ATLANTA GA July 7 2012
A teenaged girl said a former employee of Zion Hill Baptist church molested her.
The girl’s mother told Channel 2′s Ryan Young the family is dealing with pain and betrayal.
Channel 2 Action News is not identifying the mother in order to protect the identity of the child.
“He inappropriately touched my child. She went to another adult because I stopped them from communicating. According to my daughter it happened three or four times,” the mother said.
“The mother filed a report about molestation at a church on Campbellton Road in Southwest Atlanta and at the suspect’s home,” Sgt. Curtis Davenport of the Atlanta Police Department said.
Shortly after Channel 2′s story aired Friday, Atlanta police told Young they caught Eric Brown in North Carolina.
“The suspect we are seeking has an active warrant for child molestation and then has an active warrant from South Carolina as well,” Davenport said.
The police department is looking into how many other children Brown may have had contact with at the church.
The mother of the 13-year-old girl told Young she wants to help protect her daughter while also making sure other kids haven’t been affected.
“I’m very concerned by his actions and his behavior. I want to make sure it doesn’t happened to any other children,” the mother said.
St. Louis MO July 7 2012 A mentally-ill Missouri woman snatched a police officer’s gun and shot herself in the head while being transported to the hospital in the back of a cop car, her family said.
Stephanie Hicks, 20, was stopped by authorities as she walked over a bridge on her way to get medical help Wednesday morning, FOX2now reported.
A 13-year-veteran officer, who hasn’t been identified, put her in his vehicle to take her to BJC Christian Hospital in St. Louis — but the 20-year-old managed to kill herself on the journey using the officer’s own gun.
“She got that gun and there’s no way she should have got that gun,” the victim’s tearful mother, Robin Hicks, said outside the police precinct. “And I’m angry, and I’m pissed, and this is not right!”
Hicks’ former boyfriend, Eric Perry, told KDSK-TV that the young woman was bi-polar and had been struggling in the days before her death. She was walking to the hospital from his house in a bid to get help when the officer pulled up to give her a ride, Perry told the television station.
The officer picked up Hicks while she was crossing the bridge to give her a courtesy ride to the hospital, Police Chief David Hayes told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Hayes said that the officer was not violating department procedures in giving Hicks a ride. She was riding in the front of the car next to the officer because she was not in custody at the time and the back of the car is not air conditioned, he said.
“For some reason that we’ll never know, only God will, she decided to disarm the officer by surprising him,” Hayes told reporters Thursday, according to Fox2now. “It was an unexpected move by her. The officer didn’t perceive her as a threat.”
The St. Louis County Medical examiner’s preliminary report found that Hicks’ death was suicide, according to the Post-Dispatch.
The officer involved in the incident was “distraught” and police were investigating the sequence of events, officials said.
Hicks’ grandmother, Joan Singleton, was also struggling to understand how the 5-foot-1-inch woman, who weighed less than 100 pounds, could have gotten the gun away from the cop.
“How did that little girl get that gun?” Joan Singleton asked Fox2now. “How?! Tell me how she could just get a gun from a police officer?”
Des Plaines IL July 7 2012 Illinois teacher Jack K. Pickup was arrested for “sexting” with a former middle school student. Pickup, 34, allegedly sent the female student a photo of his genitals which was discovered by her parents.
According to police report excerpts republished by The Daily Herald, Pickup met the 15-year-old teen girl while teaching at Chippewa Middle School in Des Plaines. He allegedly began sending her text messages after she graduated from the eighth grade and then initiated an online relationship with her beginning in 2011.
Pickup, 34, was arrested at his parents home where he now resides earlier this week. The teacher was charged on grooming and sexual exploitation of a child charges by local law enforcement officers. Grooming is defined under Illinois law as the act of befriending a child in order to prepare the child for sexual exploitation, sex or pornography. The charge is a class 4 felony and carries a possible sentence of three years in prison. Sexual exploitation is a class A misdemeanor with a possible prison sentence of up to one year in prison.
Mintues from the Des Plaines District 62 Board of Education meeting in March 2011 note that Pickup was “scheduled to resign” the following June but did not list a reason for his change in employment status, according to The Daily Herald. Pickup was able to post the 10 percent of the $10,000 bond mandated by the court and released from McHenry County Jail yesterday. The teacher is scheduled to appear in court on July 9, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Houston TX July 7 2012 Kathryn Camille Murray was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a child back in February. Murray is 29 and is a former teacher from Houston, Texas. Murray is now facing more charges that allege she had sex with her 15-year-old student in her classroom twice.
The first charges filed against Murray said that she had sex with the teenage student in his home back in February when his parents were away on vacation. Murray worked as an eighth grade teacher and is now facing two counts of sexual abuse of a child and one count of improper relations with a student.
Chuck Brawner, the city police chief, said that the department kept investigating after the first round of charges were filed because they thought there was much more to be found.
“And we will not stop until we get to the end of it,” Brawner said.
There were reports that Murray closed out her bank account and was planning to flee to Mexico prior to her first arrest in the case. Murray is out of jail on bond but has been ordered to wear a GPS device and follow a restraining order against her regarding the teenage boy. Murray is scheduled to make a court appearance next week. Murray worked for the Spring Branch ISD.
The sexual incident came to light when the boy informed his parents that he and Murray had sex three times prior to incident Murray was originally charged with. The initial incident occurred on February 11. According to court documents, the boy told his parents that he had sex with Murray twice in the classroom at Memorial Middle School and once at a hotel room on February 10. The boy said, “the night a dance was held for eighth grade students” at the school, the two went to a hotel. The court documents show that the boy was dropped at the school by his father and then met Murray at a church. Murray drove the two to a hotel, which she paid for in advance, and the two had sex. After the night was over, Murray drove the boy “the vicinity of the school.” The boy then walked the rest of the way back to the school.
Court records also explain that a police officer from Spring Branch ISD saw hotel security footage that shows the teacher and the boy entering and leaving the hotel with each other.
A statement was issued by the school district regarding the incident:
The safety of every SBISD student is our very highest priority. We are deeply shocked and outraged by this alleged conduct. We will never tolerate any teacher or other employee who takes advantage of and harms a student. This allegation, if true, represents a complete breach of the trust that our children and our community place in our educators every day. We are saddened by these allegations, and we are very concerned about the well-being of the student and his family.
The police report says officers were called to a home on Mathis Street in Sumter where 24-year-old Alphonso Jasper had reportedly stabbed himself in an attempt to commit suicide.
Authorities say the first responding officer discovered Jasper struggling with a family member in a bedroom of a home. Jasper charged the officer.
After a struggle, Jasper was able to take the officer’s gun and turn it on himself. Jasper shot himself in the head and died at the scene as a result of the injury, according to officials with the department. No one else was injured in the incident.
Family members told officers and EMS that Jasper suffered from mental health issues.
The incident is under investigation by the State law Enforcement Division.
DUNDEE, Ore. July 7 2012– Grief counselors were sent to a grade school in Dundee Friday to help friends of two children who were found dead Wednesday along with their mother in a murder-suicide committed by the father.
Randall Engels, 37, Amy Engels, 35, their son Jackson and their daughter Bailey were found shot to death after officers forced their way inside the home just before 5 a.m. on July 4, police said.
Amy Engels, and the two Engels children each died from gunshot wounds to the head, an autopsy showed Friday. Randall Engels died of a single gunshot to the head that was determined to be self-inflicted, according to investigators.
In a May divorce filing, Amy Engels asked for an emergency custody and parenting order, saying her husband had threatened to steal the kids. The order was denied. She had moved out of the home in April.
Counseling support was to be on hand at Dundee Elementary from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday and from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Counselors will also be available during those Monday hours at Chehalem Middle School.
A friend had alerted police after seeing something alarming on social media, according to Newberg-Dundee Police Capt. Jeff Kosmicki.
Police have not released details about that specific message, but KGW did find a comment that was posted on Randall’s Facebook page around 4:30 a.m., Thursday which said, “If she’s gone, I can’t go on.”
The friend requested a welfare check at the home, located near the intersection of 13th and Charles Street, Kosmicki said, and “when the officers arrived, they saw some evidence there had been a crime. That’s what led them to force open the door.”
A former neighbor of the family told KGW that she had witnessed the couple in heated arguments.
“It’s just very sad. It’s terrible. There were two small children,” said former neighbor Rose Stephens. “It was a beautiful family. It’s very heartbreaking,”
The family had lived in the town of Dundee for several years, according to Kosmicki.
Among the people who came by the home to pay their respects Thursday was an 11-year-old boy who said he went to school with Jackson.
“Jackson was a good friend, I will always miss him so much, I’ve known him since second grade,” said Trevor Keely. “He lived a good life. God Bless.”
”It breaks my heart to think that people would do this, It’s very sad,” added Gloria Miller, who also knew the family. “I have four children of my own, I could never ever think of doing something like that.”
The fire broke out in a silver Acura on the first level of the Old Lancaster Avenue parking garage about 8 a.m. Bryn Mawr firefighters responded and asked Ardmore firefighters to stand by.
“The engine compartment of the car was well involved,” Maguire said.
Bryn Mawr firefighters used air packs and hose lines to quickly knock down the fire and push the car out of the garage where it was towed away.
No one else was injured in the fire and fire units were clear of the scene by 8:45 a.m.
FDLE and Winter Springs police searched Michael C. Anderson’s home today and found the illegal images on his computer.
He is facing three counts of possession of sexual performances by a child.
In early June, FDLE started the Orlando Regional Operation Center with the help of local law enforcement agencies and the Department of Homeland Security.
“It’s already yielding good results,” said Gretl Plessinger, FDLE spokeswoman.
For tips on how to keep children safe, visit FDLE’s Computer Crime Center website.