AURORA CO. July 22 2012 Three survivors of the Colorado movie-theater massacre escaped with minor wounds, but were left with broken hearts because their heroic boyfriends died saving them.
In final acts of valor, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves used their bodies to shield their girlfriends as accused madman James Holmes turned the Aurora cineplex into a shooting gallery.
Blunk’s girlfriend, Jansen Young; McQuinn’s girlfriend, Samantha Yowler; and Teves’ gal pal Amanda Lindgren made it out of the bloodbath — but they would have been killed had it not been for the loves of their lives.
“He’s a hero, and he’ll never be forgotten,” a tearful Jansen Young told the Daily News of Blunk. “Jon took a bullet for me.”
She was too distraught to speak more, but her mother called Blunk, 25, who had two young children from a previous relationship, “a gentleman.”
“He was loving, the kind of guy you want your daughter to be with, and ultimately, she’s alive because of this, because he protected her,” Shellie Young said.
She said Blunk, a security guard, had served in the Navy and had recently filled out papers to reenlist with a goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. “To her, he was a hero anyway because he wanted to serve his country,” she said of her daughter, who was left with shrapnel wounds to her side. “He said that all the time: ‘I was born to serve my country.’”
Jansen Young, 21, said Blunk took her to see Friday’s midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” to celebrate her graduation from veterinarian school. As the black-clad killer burst into the theater and unleashed tear gas and a torrent of indiscriminate gunfire, Blunk selflessly protected his girlfriend.
He pushed Jansen on the ground and under her seat, then threw his body on top of her, the mother said. “He was 6-feet-2, in incredible shape, which is why he was able to push her down under the seats of the theater,” the mother said. “He pushed her down on the floor and laid down on top of her and he died there.”
She said her daughter instantly fell in love with Blunk when they met at a local mall, where he worked as a security guard. “She just plain fell in love with his good looks,” the mother said. “She walked up and handed him a piece of paper and said, ‘Here’s my number.’”
“She just found it incredible that someone would spend eight years of their life in the Navy.”
Blunk’s estranged wife, Chantel Blunk, 26, of Reno, Nev., said he died fulfilling a lifelong dream. “He always wanted to be a superhero, he’s wanting to save someone or do something greater,” said the mother of Blunk’s kids, Hailey, 4, and Maximus, 2.
Jansen Young told her mother she could feel Blunk holding her tight as chaos reigned in the movie theater. She said she heard a woman nearby screaming, “I’ve been shot!” and recalled the “boom, boom, boom” of gunfire and smelling gunpowder.
“There was kind of a break in between each gunshot,” Jansen told the “Today” show. “Every gunshot, I was like, ‘This is it . . . I’m done for.’ Jon gave me one good push against that concrete again and then . . . I didn’t really feel his arms against my back anymore but I knew he was still there.”
When the shooting subsided, she realized Blunk was shot. “I started shaking him and saying, ‘Jon, Jon, we have to go . . . it’s time for us to get out of here,’” she said, adding that she tried to pull Blunk by the shoulder, but he didn’t move.
Constable Derek Pineo
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
End of Watch: Friday, July 20, 2012
Tour of Duty: 5 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: Friday, July 20, 2012
Incident Location: Saskatchewan
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Constable Derek Pineo was killed in a single vehicle crash when
his patrol car struck a moose on Highway 14, near Wilkie, Saskatchewan, at approximately 2:00 am.
Constable Pineo had served with the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police for five years. He is survived by his wife, three children,
Agency Contact Information
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
1200 Vanier Parkway
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R2
Phone: (519) 640-7267
Please contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
NASHVILLE, TN July 22 2012 - A Nashville woman is accused of raping two children and exposing them to HIV.
Metro sex crimes detectives said Shaniqua Morris, 22, of Almeda Street, allegedly raped two boys, ages 11 and 16.
Morris is familiar with the boys, according to investigators, and their mother woke up to find Morris with one of the children before Morris fled the home.
Officers later arrested Morris when they said she was panhandling and disturbing customers at the McDonalds in the 4700 block of Charlotte Avenue.
Morris faces additional charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, and she was jailed on a $25,000 bond.
Anyone with knowledge of additional criminal exposure activity by Morris is urged to contact the police department’s Sex Crimes Unit at 862-7540.
McMINNVILLE, TN July 22 2012 - The son of a Middle Tennessee animal control director is behind bars after sheriff’s deputies found marijuana plants growing at the animal control building.
To many, McMinnville is considered the “Nursery Capital of the World,” but the drought has been tough for growing just about anything green except, apparently, for marijuana.
Warren County sheriff’s deputies said 34-year-old Jonathan Smith was tending to marijuana plants growing behind the county’s animal control building.
“It’s a well-worn path where they have been watering the plants, and hoses and tools to tend to the crop are there,” said Sheriff Jackie Matheny.
The sheriff said Smith is the son of Animal Control Director Tammy Webb.
County Mayor John Pelham said Webb notified him on July 9 that marijuana was found on the property, and Webb said she knew nothing about it.
“It’s still under investigation. We’re still looking for some possibilities there. We want to make sure we’re very thorough in it,” Matheny said.
Webb has been put on paid administrative leave, and the 36 marijuana plants have been confiscated by the sheriff’s department.
Now, residents like Wanda Smith are left shaking their heads in disbelief. Animal control is just across the street from the sheriff’s department.
“And we’ve got little ones like this growing up here, and it’s a shame because they want to take them out of this town and raise them somewhere else,” Smith said.
A Worcester Superior Court jury on Thursday convicted 39-year-old Jason Briddon of rape and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for the May 2007 sexual assault in Worcester.
Briddon, a former part-time officer in Rutland, is already serving prison time for a separate rape conviction.
Prosecutors say he offered the then-27-year-old woman a ride home from a bar but instead took her to another building and raped her.
His defense lawyer said there was no physical evidence in the case and told The Telegram & Gazette ( http://bit.ly/LC99dc) there will be an appeal.
The victim said she felt “vindicated.”
Detroit MI July 22 2012 A 9-year-old boy committed suicide when he fell nine stories to his death, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Friday.
An official with the office said information gathered from police was used to make the determination.
The boy’s grieving family held a candlelight vigil Friday night to remember the life of the child who was described as a good kid who loved macaroni and cheese, skateboarding and playing video games.
His death comes about two months after a 7-year-old boy who complained about being bullied at school was found hanging by a belt from his bunk bed. The Free Press is not naming the children involved.
“This came unexpected,” the 9-year-old child’s mother told the Free Press on Friday.
The child, who relatives say would have been a fourth-grader in the fall, plummeted Wednesday from the window of his apartment in the Young Manor complex in the 2500 block of West Grand Boulevard.
“I don’t believe my baby wanted to hurt himself,” the boy’s mother said. “He loved life.”
She said she was in the apartment taking a nap at the time and isn’t sure what happened.
“I can’t even tell you because I really don’t know,” she said before stopping the interview. The child had threatened suicide in the past, police said, declining to say when those threats occurred. No further details about the investigation were disclosed Friday.
Court records show the family was troubled.
Before the 9-year-old was born, his mother lost custody of her three young children, court documents show. Her oldest three children were raised by another family member, but the children’s biological mother maintained a relationship with them, and no hard feelings existed, said Pastor Barak Holmes Jr., a cousin of the boy’s family.
“She was in a rough place in life at the time,” he said. “The family had made a decision that it would be in the better interest of the children.”
In 1998, the mother had no income, home or medical insurance. She needed help with parenting skills, although she was affectionate toward her children, according to court records. She admitted to using crack cocaine and alcohol in the past.
Her parental rights were terminated when she failed to visit the children weekly, complete parenting classes, submit to drug and alcohol screens and provide proof that she had housing suitable for the children, the records showed.
Michigan has a birth match system in which birth information from the Department of Community Health’s database coordinates with information kept by the Department of Human Services and flags parents who have previously had parental rights terminated, said Colin Parks, manager of the Children’s Protective Services Program Office. It was implemented in March 2001.
“Whenever we have a parent who has had their rights terminated giving birth to a new child, it is an automatic complaint investigation for our department,” said Parks, noting that DHS cannot provide information on specific cases.
But that doesn’t mean the newborn will be removed from the home.
“We really always need some evidence of current risk of harm to that child to lead to a decision to substantiate abuse or neglect,” he said.
The 9-year-old’s death occurred after his 15-year-old sister discovered he stole water balloons from a store and told him he would be spanked when they got back to the apartment, a relative said.
The boy’s funeral is set for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, 9000 Woodward Ave. in Detroit. A fund has been set up with Peace Funeral Home to help the family pay for the service.
“He was a great, great young man,” the boy’s mother said Friday.
Commerce GA July 22 2012 Tonya Ann Fowler had already been in trouble with the law. But in her mind she had become the victim. That’s when the Georgia woman called 911 to complain about her police mug shot.
The good news: Fowler got a new mug shot. The bad news: It’s because police arrested her again for misusing the 911 emergency system.
The Smoking Gun published the police report along with the most recent mug shot that Fowler, 45, was subjected to. We don’t know what the original mug shot looks like but it couldn’t have been much less flattering than this one. And now that her story is making the rounds across various media outlets far more people will see Fowler’s unfashionable police photo than if she had just kept quiet. That’s probably of little comfort to Fowler, even if it’s a better mug shot than the original.
The original mug shot was published in Bad & Busted, a local Georgia publication that features police mug shots.
In the police report, officer R. Wheeler notes that Fowler called “in reference to being upset about a picture,” specifically stating her objection to “how she looked on the front page of the Bad and Busted printing.”
INKSTER, Mich. July 22 2012 - Roughly three weeks ago Inkster canine officer Dan Schewe lost his job on the police force after years of service. But even more painful than that was the threat of losing his best friend and partner.
Officer Schewe was told that in order to keep his canine partner Xander, he would have to pay $2,000.
Unable to do that, that’s when Dan and his friends put out a plea for help.
Tonight there is a storybook ending to this tale.
It is a special time for the former Inkster canine police officer and his partner.
“I love him like he is one of my kids,” says Schewe . “He goes with me everywhere. he sleeps right next to me at night.”
They have been police partners and best friends for four years now, ever since Xander was just a puppy and they have become incredibly close.
“You know, he’s protecting my life on duty and I’ve done the same for him,” says Schewe . “It’s just a partnership and a bond that can’t be broken.”
But on June 30th this year that unbreakable bond between policeman and police dog was ripped apart when the Inkster Police Department fired Officer Schewe, one of 39 officers laid off since last November.
But worse than all of that, than losing his job, was that Dan was told in order to keep Xander, he would have to pay the Inkster Police Department $2,000. $2,000 he did not have.
“I was completely heartbroken,” Schewe says. ”I mean, I couldn’t believe it because I had been working with him so closely for the last four years.”
That’s when Dan and his friends put out a call for help on Facebook.
Last night, 7 Action News reporter Kimberly Craig did a big story on what was happening to Dan and his dog . At that point, friends of Dan linked that story to a very special fundraising Facebook page.
By 2:00 p.m. today, dozens and dozens of metro Detroiters had contributed money online – raising a total of $2,180, more than enough to make it possible for Dan to buy Xander free and clear once and for all from the Inkster Police Department.
All of which means Dan and his best friend will be together for many, many, many years to come.
“I really appreciate what channel 7 has done for my family,” Dan says. ”I just can not believe the outpouring of support from the community.”
Blaine Peltier, 30, was arrested Thursday. He has resigned his position with the Lafayette Parish School System, Superintendent Pat Cooper tells The Advertiser. (http://bit.ly/MsZvZU )
The student’s mother complained Wednesday to the school system, and the district contacted police Thursday. Officials say the relationship, lasting March to July, appears consensual.
Peltier was arrested for sexual conduct between an educator and student, under a 2007 law that bars educators from engaging in sexual acts with their students between the ages of 17 and 20. Younger children are covered by other laws.
Cooper says there’s no evidence others at the school knew about the relationship. He says the student is being counseled.
The security told police that several subjects were inside of the school.
Officers responded to the scene and set up a perimeter.
Officials say the subjects were located a short time later, and were taken into custody at a nearby residence.
Huntsville Police say they juveniles entered the school through a broken window.
Christopher Guardado was taken into custody after two girls, under the age of 14, contacted police and said he molested them repeatedly over the course of two years.
Guardado, 48, volunteered as a bible studies teacher at the Calvary Chapel Pacific Coast in Westminster for the past couple of years.
Guardado was charged on Monday with two felony counts of lewd acts with a minor. He is being held on $1 million bail.
His arraignment is set for Aug. 3.
Anyone with information to call detectives at (714) 741-5800.
High Point, NC July 22 2012 – Sheriff BJ Barnes confirmed that on Thursday, July 19, 2012, The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office assisted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security in a North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigation at a residence on Westfield St, in High Point.
Officers conducted a “knock and talk” at the residence and interviewed the homeowner, David Marc Rich. During the interview, Rich admitted to possessing child pornography and informed officers that he is currently employed with Westchester County Day School as a High School History teacher. Officers conducted a search of Rich’s laptop and located multiple images depicting child pornography.
Today, Rich turned himself into the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and was charged with 10 counts of Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Mr. Rich received a $50,000 secured bond and is currently incarcerated in the Guilford County Jail.
Richard Holmes is in critical condition at The Med after being shot several times, and police are asking for your help to catch the people responsible.
“It’s sad,” said family friend Keven Burress, “our condolences go out to the Richard’s family.”
Burress was inside his business on Tchulahoma (The B & N Grill) when he heard gunfire across the street in the parking lot at Piggly Wiggly just after 3 am.
“If I would have been able to get there ahead of time, I probably could have helped prevent the situation,” Burress said.
B & N’s security guard Richard Holmes was lying in the parking lot shot several times.
A witness who didn’t want speak with us on camera told us Holmes was in the parking lot when two people in different cars started arguing then shooting at each other. Holmes jumped in between them to protect a woman and that’s when he was shot.
Holmes was rushed to The Med as police investigated. Burress says his bar was closed but there were still people around. It is not clear what the people on the Piggly Wiggly lot were arguing about. Friends say Holmes has worked at B & N as a security guard for about 3 years and was very well liked.
“He was a well likeable guy”, stated Burress. “If you met him you’d like him yourself, that’s the kind of guy he is. He is a real nice guy.”
Memphis police say the suspects are 3 to 4 men in a gold or champagne colored Pontiac or Toyota Camry, possibly a 1996 model. Police are hoping someone will come forward with information.
Tulsa OK July 22 2012 Police have named 26-year-old Davano Pouncil as the suspect in Thursday’s robbery and shootings in east Tulsa.
Investigators tell KRMG that Pouncil had what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. Pouncil’s body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s office for further investigation.
Sgt. Eric Sokoloski, 41, a 13-year TPD veteran and K-9 Officer Shayne Thomas, 39, a 15-year TPD veteran, are currently on routine paid administrative leave
Vallejo CA July 22 2012 Police arrested three Contra Costa County residents on suspicion of using counterfeit money to buy merchandise at Kohl’s Department Store, Sgt. Herman Robinson said.
A Kohl’s security guard told officers that at about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday several individuals bought clothing with numerous $10 and $20 bills allegedly considered counterfeit, Robinson said. They then jumped into a vehicle, which was later found outside a nearby Marshall’s store, Robinson said.
Officers arrested Billie Hardy, 30, of Antioch; D’Anthony Hamilton, 23, also of Antioch; and a 17-year-old young man of Pittsburg, Robinson said.
The 17-year-old allegedly had six $20 counterfeit bills, and three $10 counterfeit bills while the other men allegedly had in their wallets a total of 39 counterfeit bills of $20s and $10s, he said.
Using fictitious currency is a felony, Robinson said. The adults were taken to Solano County Jail and the 17-year-old to Juvenile Hall.
CUMMING, Ga.July 22 2012 – Police say a Johns Creek man has been jailed after he tried to bomb a car dealership in metro Atlanta.
Authorities tell the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( http://bit.ly/LDuwKU) that 34-year-old Quinton Gregory Smith hurled a homemade explosive device onto the sales lot of RBM Mercedes of Atlanta-North earlier this week.
Smith was arrested Thursday and charged with possession an explosive device and second-degree property damage.
Sheriff Ted Paxton says the device appeared to be lit by Smith but never detonated. It became hot enough to damage the car and melt some asphalt nearby.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Karleen Chalker says GBI explosives specialists are analyzing the compounds found in the device.
Authorities say investigators searched Smith’s home and arrested him. Smith is being held without bond in the Forsyth County Detention Center.
BOISE ID July 22 2012 – A local gymnastics instructor has been arrested on charges of sexual battery of a minor.
Derek Q. Nesbitt, 22, of Boise, was arrested early Friday afternoon. The arrest is a result of an investigation that began after Ada County Sheriff’s deputies received information about alcohol provided to teens at a party at Nesbitt’s home in the 2200 block of North Bluewater Place in Boise.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives learned Nesbitt has provided multiple teenagers with alcohol at numerous parties at his house. The investigation also revealed the gymnastics instructor had sexual contact with at least two females between the ages of 16 and 17.
Detectives say Nesbitt met the teenagers while assisting the Borah High School cheerleading squad and through his work as an instructor and coach at a Meridian gymnastics facility.
Nesbitt was booked into the Ada County Jail on two charges of sexual battery of a minor between the age of 16 and 17. Detectives say additional charges are pending.
Anyone with information about Nesbitt, parties at his home or sexual contact he had with teenagers is urged to contact Ada County Sheriff’s Detective Ryan Pacheco at 208-577-3734 or Boise Area Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.
The fired Palms Casino Resort host, Jessica Hemingway, told a judge she hadn’t distributed the information that she sent to her personal computer so she could do her work at home.
“I was using it for the Palms, to market people to come to the Palms,” Hemingway said in a court hallway minutes before Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a permanent injunction ordering Hemingway and her fiance not to distribute the information.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the resort against Hemingway alleges she misappropriated trade secrets.
Hemingway accused casino officials of firing her on July 9, two days after she filed a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission alleging that she had been sexually harassed by a male supervisor.
Hemingway and fiance Scott Yelton appeared before the judge without a lawyer. They did not contest an order to give casino officials access to her computer, but they rejected a proposed agreement with Palms attorneys that would include dropping the sexual harassment claim.
Citing first reports about the case in the Las Vegas Sun on Thursday, Yelton, 32, a retired Oklahoma City fire paramedic, said he and Hemingway, 31, wanted to clear her name.
The casino believes more than 50,000 files relating to thousands of people were involved in the emails but Social Security numbers were not included, Palms attorney Elizabeth Nelson said.
Nelson said she couldn’t comment on pending litigation, including the sexual harassment claim and details of the lawsuit filed Tuesday against Hemingway in Clark County District Court.
The forwarded files included “valuable non-public, confidential and trade secrets information” belonging to the Palms Casino Resort, the court filing said.
“Palms tracks and records activities of its regular players, including what they play, when and how frequently they do so, their spending patterns and their credit lines,” company attorney Elayna Youchah said in the document.
Hemingway began working as a casino host in the table games department in September 2011, signing a confidentiality agreement, the lawsuit said. Her primary responsibility was ensuring the comfort and enjoyment of casino customers by making sure appropriate complimentary services were received and reasonable requests fulfilled.
After learning in June that Hemingway was looking for another job, company officials checked her work emails and found confidential information had been compromised, the lawsuit said.
The information included lists and player information for more than 500 of the resort’s high-roller customers, and for 6,000 people who qualified for invitations to the casino’s coveted Super Bowl party, according to the lawsuit. Hemingway also was accused of emailing herself a spreadsheet detailing the casino’s 2011 marketing strategy for out-of-town guests.
Palms referred a report about Hemingway’s conduct to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, where Mark Lipparelli said its status was not immediately known.
Officer Jose Hernandez, a Las Vegas police spokesman, said he did find that a police report had been filed.
Morgan Joan McMahon, 20, of Lititz, stole cash from unattended wallets and purses belonging to other staff members and patients, Ephrata police Sgt. Philip Snavely said.
McMahon took a total of $1,055.69 from six people between January and May, while she was working as a nurse’s aide at the hospital, Snavely said.
She admitted to police that she committed the thefts.
“They were crimes of opportunity,” Snavely said. “When she saw unsecured wallets and belongings, she took the opportunity to go through it and steal.”
McMahon stole from co-workers’ wallets or purses in a break room, he said, and stole from patients’ belongings in their rooms.
In one of the thefts, McMahon took a patient’s debit card and used it at a local grocery store, Snavely said.
The store’s surveillance system captured McMahon’s image and hospital staff helped police identify her from the video.
Police on Friday charged McMahon with one count of access device fraud and six counts of theft by unlawful taking.
McMahon was no longer employed at the hospital after it was determined she had committed the thefts, Snavely said. He did not know if she resigned or was fired.
Hospital spokeswoman Joanne Eshelman declined any comment on Friday because she said it is a police matter.