Tacoma WA July 16 2012 Starting Monday, anyone caught feeding wildlife in Tacoma parks will be issued a $532 citation.
Aggressive animals have become a bit of a problem at the park and in other parts of Western Washington. Last week a jogger was attacked by raccoons.
Park officials are trying to protect both the wildlife and people with increased enforcement.
“I’ve sat here in this park and had raccoons, wild raccoons, come just walk right up to me and sit at my feet,” said park visitor Vinks McIntire.
McIntire says he never feeds the animals, but he’s seen plenty of other people do it.
“I have gone out and pointed out the signs to people who do this,” he said.
The signs have been up for years, but the Metro Parks Tacoma is taking their enforcement to another level. They’ve contracted with Tacoma Police to put officers in the parks. People caught feeding the animals face the possibility of a $532 dollar fine, but police say that’s not the goal
“Mainly an educator, educating the visitors on the law the safety the dangers of it the hazards of it,” said Officer Gerry Turney.
It can lead to overpopulation and take a toll on the health of the animals.
“They’re supposed to be nocturnal but when people feed them during the day they break up their normal natural habits,” said Marina Becker, Parks Superintendent.
On Monday, off-duty police officers will begin to conduct focused patrols at random times, with special enforcement efforts in parks where chronic feeding and overpopulation issues persist.
Arrested were Cheryl D. Luck, 50, of Rahway and Carla D. Nulls, 43, of Newark. The incident took place Thursday, July 12 about 6:30 p.m. Hillside police responded to the drug store on a report of two women shoplifting. Sgt. Joseph Cocuzza observed one women detained by store personnel and another running away as she tossed an item away.
Cocuzza ran after the woman and apprehended her moments later. Police learned that a store employee watched Nulls loading her pockets with merchandise. As he approached her, she began to run for the door. The employee then attempted to prevent Nulls from leaving.
As he did, Luck jumped on his back while Nulls began to struggle with him, police said. When Luck heard the police were called, she began to run from the store when Sgt. Cocuzza arrived. Both were arrested and transported to Hillside police headquarters. Recovered from the women was $59.62 in merchandise.
Luck is charged with robbery and resisting arrest and Nulls with robbery. Each was being held at the Union County Jail on $50,000 bail.
The 26-year-old man died Friday night after he fought with security officers and fell down a flight of stairs.
Police said security called for help about an argument at 9:16 p.m. and a man was taken to the hospital.
An Emergency Medical Services supervisor said paramedics took the man, who is in his 30s, to the hospital in extremely critical condition.
The man was running from security when he fell down a flight of stairs and went into cardiac arrest.
One report stated that the man was wanted for shoplifting in the mall.
Police have not released the name of the man or other details at this time.
The men’s identities were not released early Sunday. Falls Church Deputy Police Chief Mary Gavin said the first man was shot about 10 p.m. as he emerged from his car near the Thuy Trang Hair Salon. He ran across the Eden Center parking lot, collapsed and died at the scene, Gavin said.
Police searched for the shooter for about an hour, and then found a man slumped inside a car outside the Cafe Metro, also in the Eden Center, a Vietnamese shopping and entertainment center near the Seven Corners area. He appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a gun was found in the car, Gavin said.
Gavin did not know if there were eyewitnesses to the shooting and she did not know the cause of the violence early Sunday morning.
New Orleans LA July 16 2012 Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas staunchly defends his department’s focus on collecting personal details at traffic and pedestrian stops, an approach that has created a mammoth database of information.
During the past year alone, personal information from more than 70,000 stops has been entered into a centralized data base. NOPD brass maintain that field interview cards, which contain information on everything from a person’s name and Social Security number to their tattoos and scars, are a smart investigative tool.
But where Superintendent Serpas and other top-ranking officers see a mine of intelligence data to help fight crime, civil rights groups and the Justice Department see potential violation of people’s privacy and possibly the law.
That’s deeply troubling, and while field interview cards — so-called FICs — might produce some leads in solving crime, the vast majority of people who are catalogued in the database have done nothing wrong. It’s difficult to see why the police should collect information about them.
Within the past 12 months, officers have conducted 71,507 field interviews, and 12,860 arrests resulted from those interactions. But the remaining number, nearly 60,000 FICs, were still entered into the database even though the people interviewed weren’t arrested.
There’s reason to believe that police officers, who write an average of 200 FICs per day, are being pushed to complete as many as possible. Under Superintendent Serpas, they have been used to measure officer and district performance, Deputy Superintendent Kirk Bouyelas told The Times-Picayune in 2010.
That kind of pressure could lead to abuses, like stopping people without a legitimate reason.
In fact, there are signs that is happening. Officer Larry Cager of NOPD’s training academy sent an April 16 memo to top-ranking officials that points out field interviews must be based “on reasonable suspicion” and any detention must be “justified at its inception.” That’s a pretty clear explanation about when it’s proper to fill out a card.
But apparently that’s not been obvious to everyone. “With this in mind, it has come to the academy’s attention that officers are being instructed to complete these F.I.C.’s whenever they come into contact with an individual, regardless of the reason. This is incorrect and (an) invasion upon that individual’s Fourth Amendment rights,” the memo said.
That seems like a pretty strong indication that officers are being instructed to ratchet up the field interviews — and in a way that violates the Constitution.
And then there’s Officer Darren Hartman, a 24-year veteran on the force. He says he got into trouble when he resisted pressure to fill out FICs that he deemed inappropriate. He raised questions because he was concerned that what officers were doing was illegal and improper, according to Eric Hessler, an attorney for the Police Association of New Orleans who represents the officer.
His client asked for the policy in writing but never received it, Mr. Hessler said.
In some cases, Officer Hartman filled out the cards but noted on them in writing that he was “ordered to do so by rank.”
He was disciplined just days after Officer Cager sent out the memo. Superintendent Serpas said that the reason was his failure to write tickets “on clear and obvious violations.” But Officer Hartman’s disciplinary citation notes that he failed to comply with orders to fill out FICs at all accident scenes.
That contradicts what was outlined as proper policy in Officer Cager’s memo. It specifically cited accidents, and it said that officers must be able to articulate reasonable suspicions “by showing that the complainant was, is or is about to be involved in criminal activity.” If not, the memo says, “the officer has no cause and should not be completing an FIC on that individual.”
Indeed, it would be absurd if every motorist involved in a fender-bender ended up with a dossier in a police database. It’s also puzzling that Officer Hartman got in trouble seemingly for adhering to policy. His supervisor even told him to seek counseling.
Superintendent Serpas points out that many stops don’t result in FICs, which he says shows they are using judgment “in accordance with the law and professional practice.” During the past year, FICs were filled out in about 41 percent of vehicle stops and 45 percent of pedestrian stops.
Superintendent Serpas also said that integrity control officers have been randomly reviewing FICs since April 2011 to make sure that officers are exercising judgment. In the first six months, he says that they reviewed 6,749 stops.
That would be more reassuring if the NOPD could say how many of those cases were flagged or otherwise highlighted.
The value of the data is also unclear. The Justice Department’s 2011 report notes that the FIC database doesn’t contain information on race or ethnicity. It can’t be used, then, to determine whether officers are stopping a disproportionate number of African-American people or other minorities. The data base also leaves out information that would be helpful in solving crimes, like whether a frisk or other search took place, whether contraband was discovered and even the disposition of the stop.
“It is clear that the Department is not collecting data in a sufficiently useful or complete way, and is conducting little or no analyses of the data it does have,” the report said.
In a written response to Times-Picayune questions, Superintendent Serpas said that the department’s policy regarding FICs and traffic stops is under review. It should be. Police must not trample on the constitutional rights of citizens, and officers certainly shouldn’t be pressured to do so.
The New Orleans Police Department should make sure that its policies are crystal clear and that its officers are following those rules — and the law — scrupulously when it comes to stopping and questioning people.
In an order filed Wednesday, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Hub Harrington said the Harpersville Municipal Court was running a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket.”
Harrington wrote that the court’s actions repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of defendants that appeared before it. The judge found that if defendants weren’t able to immediately pay court-imposed fines and fees, they were trapped into paying several times the amount when their cases were turned over to a private probation company.
Harrington has taken control of cases in Harpersville involving people jailed for failing to pay court fines and fees. He also ordered city and probation company officials to attend an Aug. 20 hearing.
LOS ANGELES CA July 16 2012 (AP) — A man whose prized sports car was stolen 42 years ago recovered the vehicle after spotting it on eBay, authorities said Sunday.
Robert Russell told the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that he had never given up searching for the 1967 Austin Healy after it was stolen from his Philadelphia home in 1970.
Russell recently spotted what he thought was his car on eBay and checked the vehicle identification number on the website with the one on the car’s title certificate, finding they were a match, the department said in a news release.
Russell, who now lives in Texas, contacted the department in May, and Detective Carlos Ortega tracked down the car in East Los Angeles.
“Detective Ortega located the stolen Austin Healey at the dealership listed in the eBay ad and confirmed that the car was the same vehicle reported stolen by Mr. Russell,” the department said.
After working with Philadelphia police to resolve vehicle identification issues, the department told Russell he could pick up his car.
He has since brought it back to Texas. His hometown wasn’t immediately available.
Russell told deputies that he bought the vehicle for $3,000. It’s now valued at $23,000.
He said “he continued his search for the vehicle, not for its monetary value, but because it had sentimental value to him and his wife,” the department said.
Cathedral City CA July 16 2012 Police have confirmed an unarmed security guard has been hospitalized tonight in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds suffered outside an office complex near Date Palm Drive and Ramon Road.
The shooting happened at about 7:45 p.m. in front of the Rancho Vista Plaza, 32-220 Rancho Vista Plaza, along Date Palm Drive, just south of Ramon Road.
Cathedral City police Sgt. Corwin De Veas said the security guard was patrolling the two-story building when he spotted a man sitting at the base of an outside staircase, drinking.
The guard approached the man to ask him to leave the premises. It is unclear if the two actually exchanged words, De Veas said, adding that at some point the man brandished a handgun and shot the guard multiple times.
He declined to say exactly how many times or where the bullets struck the guard, who is now in critical condition at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
The shooter fled west into a nearby neighborhood, and police are searching for him.
He is described as an Hispanic man, between the ages of 35 and 40, between 5-feet 7-inches and 5-feet 9-inches tall, weighing between 170 and 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants.
FAIRHOPE, Alabama July 16 2012 – Fairhope police arrested 26-year-old Brittney Leigh Meeker for theft of property after officers responded to a report of a shoplifter July 3 at a business on South Section Street. Officers also discovered several thousand dollars worth of jewelry Meeker had previously stolen.
At 3:30 p.m. a Fairhope business owner reported the loss of two cameo rings. Officers responded and, based on the description of the suspect, an officer was able to detain the suspect as she exited another business in the downtown area.
Meeker was arrested for theft of property and also had an outstanding warrant from the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Meeker’s vehicle was located in a nearby parking lot. After obtaining a search warrant officers searched the vehicle and found numerous pieces of jewelry with tags from area shops. Investigators were able to contact the business owners who identified the property as having been stolen from their stores.
In some cases, the shop owners were unaware that they had been victimized by a shoplifter until investigators contacted them. Investigators are attempting to determine the time frame during which the thefts occurred.
The total value of the stolen property is believed to exceed several thousand dollars.
The stolen property included silver brushes, silver candle holders, a silver Tiffany cup, silverware, jewelry with semi-precious stones and similar items.
In addition to the stolen property, investigators located numerous retail tags that had been removed from merchandise. It is believed that Meeker may have stolen additional items, but managed to dispose of them.
Additional charges are expected to be filed as additional victims are identified. Investigators are working with shop owners to return their stolen property.
Meeker was booked into the Fairhope Municipal Jail and has been transferred to the Baldwin County Corrections Center.
“Everybody liked her, she was outgoing,” said her fiancé, Justin Rogers. “She was a star performer at work.”
“If you could say soul mate, she was definitely my soul mate,” he said.
He was about to seal his long engagement to Aura with a wedding band.
“It was going to have four diamonds in it, because basically I waited four years before I married her,” he said.
But like many brides to be, Aura wasn’t happy with her body, so she paid a visit to the Sono Bello Body Contour Center in Bellevue. In its ads, on its Web site and in its brochures, Sono Bello promotes its laser-assisted liposuction as less invasive than traditional liposuction where patients are “put under” using general anesthesia.
“A microprocedure so tiny, it doesn’t even need stitches,” said one ad.
In written materials we obtained from patients, Sono Bello claims “we have ruled out the major risk and complications that existed with traditional liposuction by introducing the use of new micro-instruments and laser assistance!”
Those marketing materials say the procedures are “virtually painless” and “recovery is easy,” allowing patients to return to “work the same or next day,” feeling only “the aches and pains you have after a good workout.”
“They make it sound like snip, tuck, bam, hit you with a laser you’re done,” said Rogers.
Aura was generally in good health. But Rogers said last winter they both decided that they needed to lose weight and came up with a plan for diet and exercise. They briefly talked about surgical solutions like liposuction.
“In terms of, oh we would never do that,” Rogers said. “It’s an unacceptable way of doing things, it’s a cop out a shortcut we would never take.”
But Aura secretly changed her mind. On May 26, she dropped off Rogers at work saying only that she was leaving town on a business trip. Rogers didn’t know she was driving just a few miles to Sono Bello for a three-and-a-half hour liposuction procedure. He never saw her again.
“It’s still unreal,” said Rogers. “At the end of the day you’ve lost somebody who was your future, your life.”
Aura had fat removed from what her contract listed as her “abds, love handles, upper arms.” The cost – $8,000.
Then instead of going home, she checked into a Bellevue hotel. It was a Tuesday and Aura apparently planned to recover at the hotel alone, returning to the home she shared with Rogers by the weekend. But by Wednesday morning, Aura was dead.
Maids found her when they opened the door to clean the room.
Aura’s bed was soaked with bloody fluid that had leaked from the 11 puncture wounds left behind by the liposuction tubes. There were bloody bandages everywhere.
The investigating officers discovered deep purple bruises on Aura’s body.
The King County Medical Examiner ruled it was the cosmetic surgery that killed Aura. She died from “acute lidocaine intoxication.”
Lidocaine is a nerve blocker that’s pumped into the body to suppress pain during liposuction. Lidocaine intoxication is a rare, but known, complication of liposuction, one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States.
We asked Dr. Phil Haeck, the incoming president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, what questions it raises when someone dies of lidocaine intoxication.
“It raises the question of how much lidocaine was placed into the body at the time of the surgery, and whether there was an adequate way to monitor the patient after the surgery,” said Haeck.
The doctor who did Aura’s liposuction told police he was shocked to hear that she had died. The doctor wouldn’t return our calls, but Thomas Garrison, the Corporate Medical Director for Sono Bello, did. Dr. Garrison said that Aura’s death was “an unfortunate occurrence … we do not think there was any fault from the clinic.”
Garrison said that Sono Bello’s internal reviews found that lidocaine was used “well within accepted guidelines” and that the consent form Aura signed lists “death” as a possible risk/side effect of laser assisted body sculpting.
Garrison also sent us a written statement saying that some of the marketing materials that promised risk free liposuction “were not sanctioned or approved by Sono Bello.” In the statement Garrison says “we recently learned that a former employee may have provided certain patients with unauthorized statements and information regarding the risks, complications and benefits of laser assisted liposuction.”
Sono Bello’s Seattle based attorney, E. Pennock Gheen, told us that the company fired the employee who gave out the marketing materials containing the inflated safety claims. But Gheen would not tell us how many people got the materials or even how long the employee worked for Sono Bello.
No one will ever know what was going on in Aura Javellana’s mind in the 12 hours between leaving Sono Bello and when she died in her hotel room alone.
But the paperwork found near her body may have led her to believe there was no cause for alarm. Among other things it says that there is an “extremely low rate of complications” from laser-assisted liposuction. So low, that “Sono Bello” has never had a patient experience serious complication from Laser Body Sculpting.”
“She definitely underestimated the danger she was in,” said Rogers. “She’s extremely intelligent.”
Aura never called for help. By the time Rogers figured out where she’d gone and tried to stop her, it was too late.
“I’ve lost basically my best friend and for the longest time I felt like I had lost my future,” he said.
No one has determined that Sono Bello or the doctor did anything wrong. Bellevue Police concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing and the King County Medical Examiner ruled the death an accident. But the state’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission, which investigates doctors, opened an investigation late last week after we brought the case to their attention.
There is a list of risks and side effects on the consent form patients sign before having liposuction done at Sono Bello. But we wanted to find out what Sono Bello tells people who ask about risks and complications when inquiring about the procedure.
In late October, KING TV sent a producer into Sono Bello in Bellevue, which is where Aura had her liposuction done. The producer asked the patient care consultant, “Have you had serious complications?” The consultant replied, “no, no, no, not here.”
This was five months after Aura Javellana died.