The boy, who is charged as a juvenile with second-degree murder, told detectives that he hit Aniyah Batchelor “at least six times,” and the beating lacerated her liver, pancreas and adrenal gland, Assistant State’s Attorney Yvonne Cunningham said. Psychologists and psychiatrists who examined the boy found no apparent mental problems, Cunningham said, and concluded that he is “very intelligent.”
This suggests someone who absolutely knew what he was doing,” Cunningham said.
The details, which emerged during a Prince George’s County juvenile court hearing to determine whether to delay the boy’s case, provide the most thorough look yet into what could have motivated the attack. In essence, Cunningham told Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Herman C. Dawson that the boy was jealous of the toddler his family had been taking care of for months, and she questioned his parents’ ability to control him around his biological siblings.
The boy, shorter than 5 feet and wearing a hooded sweatshirt, said nothing at the hearing. The Washington Post generally does not name juveniles who are charged with crimes.
During the hearing, the boy was flanked by 14 family members and supporters, including a few children. As Dawson ordered that he remain held until his Sept. 4 trial, some family members sobbed and said: “It’s not right. He didn’t do it.” They declined to comment afterward.
Raouf M. Abdullah, the boy’s defense attorney, argued during the hearing that prosecutors’ evidence against his client was scant, and that their case would largely come down to statements the boy made to detectives after he endured several hours of “very offensive interrogation tactics.” He said the toddler’s injuries might have occurred during the boy’s father’s efforts to revive her, and that the boy initially denied involvement in the death.
“The injuries could very well have happened during the CPR,” Abdullah said. “There is no evidence that [the boy] is the person who caused this problem.”
He said the boy carried a 3.1 GPA and worked around his neighborhood picking up trash for $5 a week.
Police have said previously that the boy’s father called 911 the afternoon of July 3 after finding the toddler unconscious. The father had been “summoned home” by his biological daughter, 15, who had been watching the toddler and her two biological siblings — the boy and a 4-year-old girl, police have said.
A preliminary autopsy determined that the toddler died of blunt-force trauma, police have said. Cunningham said in court that investigators were awaiting a final autopsy, and that was why she asked to postpone the trial.
The toddler had been placed with the Fort Washington family in November, after she was removed from her home because of “allegations of physical abuse” related to one of her brothers, according to records provided by Maryland’s Department of Human Resources in response to a Public Information Act request.
Stephany Cunningham, the toddler’s mother, said in a previous interview that the incident was an accident in which someone — not her — put her 3-year-old son in a tub filled with water that scalded him during a bath.
Before the toddler’s placement, the Fort Washington family had successfully completed a “home study” in which foster-care workers reviewed family members’ criminal and medical records, interviewed references and conducted several home visits, according to Department of Human Resources records. The family also successfully completed foster-parent training, according to the records.
Foster-care workers visited the toddler’s foster home — meeting with the child and the family — seven times after she was placed there, most recently on June 21, according to the records. They also met with the family at the Prince George’s social services department’s office four times and accompanied the toddler and her foster parents during a doctor visit when she had a cold, according to the records.
In court on Thursday, prosecutor Cunningham questioned safety at the home. She said that prosecutors thought the boy’s father was “somewhere in the home when Aniyah was found unconscious” — a statement that drew vigorous head shaking from members of the boy’s family and contradicts the initial police account. That, combined with the seriousness of the crime, made prosecutors concerned that “the parents are not able to control the respondent,” Cunningham said.
Abdullah, who disputed the characterization, declined to comment after the hearing. Apparent members of the toddler’s family also declined to comment, referring questions to Cunningham.
LOUISVILLE, KY Aug 4 2012 – Metro police arrested a man accused of inappropriately touching himself in front of children and adults in broad daylight in downtown Louisville.
“It’s horrible. I mean there are kids walking around everywhere. There are field trips and people just trying to have their lunch in the park. It’s disgusting,” eyewitness Jessica Callahan said about what she saw at a downtown park at 7th and Main Streets.
She said Reginald Norwood, 43, has repeatedly been there, inappropriately touching himself in front of everyone.
“He never spoke a word to anybody. He was on his cell phone the whole time. He wasn’t stumbling around, he wasn’t in dirty clothes. He had on nice tennis shoes and blue and white plaid shorts and a white tee shirt,” she said.
Police said Norwood took it a step further Wednesday afternoon.
Officers said he committed the same lewd act at Water Front Park, right in front of multiple children from a daycare who were at the park.
Callahan said she’s called police before, after seeing Norwood in this park, but said officers would just miss him.
His luck ran out Wednesday.
“I called the cops again for the third time. They got there in time this time and two female officers walked over to him and one of them pulled out their taser and he took off running,” Callahan told WAVE 3′s Matt McCutcheon.
Police chased Norwood on foot and were able to arrest him at the corner of 7th and Market Streets.
But as it turns out, this isn’t his first offense for the same act, which makes Callahan worry it’ll happen again.
“Who knows what’s going to happen to him after all this ends. Is he going to be in jail for 10 days and then get out and go to his favorite spot?”
Norwood is charged with indecent exposure, fleeing and evading police and disorderly conduct.
FOX31 Denver went undercover in theaters across the metro area to find out if security has been beefed-up.
We took hidden cameras inside Colorado’s major cinema chains including Century which is also Cinemark, United Artists which is also Regal, Landmark theaters and AMC.
We saw no security guards or any additional security measures at the Century/Cinemark theater in Lakewood.
But an employee noticed our producer shooting video in the hallway, she asked him, “Can I help you with something?” He said,” I’m just looking,” and apparently his answer was good enough and there were no more questions asked.
At the United Artists theater on Colorado Boulevard and I-25 in Denver, no sign of security guards but an employee did ask to check Heidi Hemmat’s purse, “Mind opening your bag real quick?” he said. But he didn’t actually search through it and when Heidi said, “You didn’t look through my bag very well,“ he didn’t respond.
We saw no security guards, nor were there any bag checks at the Landmark theater in Greenwood Village, or at the AMC theater in Aurora.
We thought we might find more security around the exit doors.
After all, suspect James Holmes reportedly left the theater through an emergency exit, propped the door open and then used that open door to get his weapons inside.
But when Heidi Hemmat went out the emergency exit at the Landmark Theater and did it again at the United Artists theater, no alarms sounded, and no one noticed.
We contacted each theater company and asked them about their security. AMC, where we found no additional security, sent us a statement which says in part, “We’ve reinforced our security procedure with our theater teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious, safety reasons.”
Landmark said, “It has always been our policy not to disclose specifics in regards to security measures at our theaters and that policy still stands.”
Regal and United Artists sent us this statement: “We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary.”
We found a group of well-spoken kids outside the United Artists theater in Denver. 12-year-old Sarah Frosch told us, “I hope this never happens again because it was so terrible.”
Her 9-year-old friend Melissa Weiss said, “At the beginning of the movie I was holding the kids’ hands because I didn’t want anything bad to happen.” Weiss was surprised she didn’t see more security, “There should be more security there.”
But other movie-goers like David Unter disagree. “It’s one of those fluke occurrences that you can’t ever prepare for or be ready for,” he said. Denver Grandmother Patricia Knight told us, “I don’t think we need armed guards or security guards at a movie theater. This is not an army camp and we don’t need to live like that.”
Century/Cinemark would not comment on our story.
The president of the National Association of Theater Owners, which represents most movie theater owners across the country told us he has been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security, and they are “re-evaluating” security.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. Aug 4 2012 (AP) – The attorney for the city of Columbia said former police chief Joseph Bishop is due about $18,000 in back pay.
According to The Daily Herald, Bishop was not paid at the proper rate to reflect his master’s degree.
City Attorney Tim Tisher said Bishop is due the funds or the city could face a civil lawsuit. Bishop told city officials two days before his last official day that he was owed the back pay.
Some city council members argued that Bishop was not entitled to the back pay because he accepted the post and salary at a lower rate four years ago.
Bishop resigned to take a position with the Tennessee Department of Correction. He is former deputy chief with the Metro Nashville Police Department.
Former Dallas County deputy constable claims he was fired for blowing the whistle www.privateofficer.com
Lester Smith sued Dallas County, in Dallas County Court. The county is the only defendant.
Smith says he was fired in April by Derick Evans, Dallas County Constable for Precinct 1.
Evans was convicted in July of engaging in organized crime: running a raffle for six years to raise money for his campaign, according to CBS News. He was sentenced to 2 years probation and fined $10,000.
In his complaint, Smith claims Evans “has improperly applied rules, regulations and procedures of the county; has subjected the grievant to unfair treatment to include coercion, restraint and/or reprisal; has taken disciplinary action against him without proper cause; has subjected the grievant to an improper application of fringe benefits or improper working conditions; and has subjected the grievant to dismissal.”
Smith says he made those allegations in a grievance and appeal he filed with the county on May 3. The county rejected it.
Smith says he made several good faith reports of Evans’s misconduct to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Plaintiff’s good-faith report included improper influence, acceptance of honorarium, violation of civil rights, and interference with public duties,” the complaint states. “As a result of these reports and other reports, Dallas County continued investigating the actions of Constable Evans and concluded in the indictment, prosecution and guilty finding by a Dallas County jury.”
Smith seeks reinstatement to his job and benefits and damages for whistleblower violations.
He is represented by Lance Wyatt in Southlake.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday to determine if Evans will remain in office.
Frankfort KY Aug 4 2012 Kentucky is transitioning to a new tamper-resistant driver’s license that is expected to provide more security and protection of privacy.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced announced that the first counties to offer the new licenses include Jefferson (Dixie Highway branch), Anderson, Bourbon, McCracken, McLean, Pulaski and Warren. McLean begins issuing the new licenses Tuesday. The other five counties will start before the end of August.
Other counties will begin issuing the new licenses by October.
The license has multiple layers of security features, including a digital watermark imperceptible to the human eye, bank note-level fine line printing, dual-side lamination for greater tamper resistance and durability and a hologram with single-color, ultraviolet “ghost” image.
James Colie Harsey, 76, of Myrtle Beach, and Audra Elizabeth Rodriguez, 64, who was listed as homeless, were each charged with exposure of private parts in a lewd and lascivious manner after an officer found them in Balsam Park about 3 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
The couple also had several bottles of vodka in their possession and appeared to be intoxicated, according to the arrest reports
John Cross was charged on Thursday with the June 24 stabbing death of 84-year-old Page Arrington Cross.
John Cross was found in the couple’s home with what authorities said were a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and cuts on his wrist. He was treated at a hospital in Savannah, Ga.
Prosecutor Duffie Stone said Page Cross had stab wounds on her chest and cuts on her wrist.
Judge Carmen Mullen granted a $100,000 personal-recognizance bond for Cross on the condition he stay in the Savannah medical facility for treatment. Mullen says he doesn’t consider Cross a threat to the community.
The suspects are Timmie Williams, 25, and Robert Wagner, 48.
Williams faces charges of using a computer to commit sex offenses with a minor, attempting to commit a felony, carnal knowledge of a child ages 13 to 14-years-old and indecent liberties with a child under the age of 15.
Wagner is charged with aggravated sexual battery, indecent liberties with a child, contributing to the delinquency of minors, use of communications systems to facilitate certain offenses involving children and production of child pornography.
Police say both suspects had inappropriate sexual contact with the teenage victim, and in both cases the victim consented.
Williams was arrested after a parent’s complaint. The victim’s father told police Williams exchanged sexual messages with his daughter on the phone and online.
“They were viewing several things she was posting online and found that she was having inappropriate conversations with an older gentleman,” Sgt. Brandon Creswell with the Newport News Police Special Victims Unit said.
Police learned Williams had sex with the victim in a wooded area after the two met on the Web site tagged.com . Police say he wasn’t the only one.
“Speaking with the parents we found out that there was another investigation in York County involving Mr. Wagner,” Creswell said.
Court documents say Wagner promised to pay the girl $80 to allow him to perform oral sex on her. Police say the 14-year-old told Wagner she was 17. The victim told police Wagner picked her up in Newport News and drove her to Harwood’s Mill Park.
Two people reportedly saw Wagner and the girl walk into the woods together. One witness told police she followed them to a picnic shelter and saw Wagner performing oral sex. The witness says he was wearing a trench coat and the girl was wearing a skirt. The witness says Wagner ran when she confronted him.
“A lot of times these underage girls feel empowered when older men are speaking with them telling them that they’ll pay them for certain goods, take them out certain places,” Creswell said. “So they feel grown up in a way, even though she is 14-years-old and she has a lot more aging to do.”
Wagner posted bond at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail Thursday, so WAVY.com stopped by his home. No one came to the door.
Police were at the home last month to collect recording and storage devices along with Wagner’s computers. They believe he used the equipment to make child pornography with other victims.
At this time, police do not expect the 14-year-old girl will face any charges, partly because of her age. Consent does not matter when the victim is 15-years-old or younger. The state considers that rape.
Police are investigating if the girl or the two men had sexual contact with others they met online.
Smyrna TN Aug 4 2012 A Smyrna woman has been charged in connection with the Thursday deaths of her two children, ages 2 and 3, after police found them lying beside a parked car near their home.
Smyrna Police spokesman Sgt. Bobby Gibson said Samantha Harper, 25, is facing two counts of especially aggravated child abuse.
“It appears the children suffered heat stroke, that they may have been trapped inside the vehicle,” he said. “Their mother put them in the car. We have no idea how long they were left inside.”
Someone had pulled the children from the car before police arrived, but Gibson didn’t release any information about that person, citing the ongoing investigation.
When police arrived at 9584 Old Nashville Highway about 3:45 p.m., they found the children, a boy and girl, lying beside the red four-door car, Gibson said.
There was no information on where Harper was when her children were left inside the vehicle. The windows were up and the engine was off, Gibson said.
The high temperature on Thursday was 99 degrees in Smyrna and Nashville, tying a record set in 1988, said Bobby Boyd, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Nashville.
“Even with the windows down, it could easily hit 120 degrees inside a car on a day like today,” Boyd said. “With the windows up, I’d hate to even think about it. It would be much higher … between 140 and 150 degrees.”
It doesn’t take long for a car to heat up, said Janette Fennell, founder and president of the Kansas-based KidsandCars.org, an organization aimed at keeping kids safe in and around motor vehicles.
“In 20 minutes, that car’s temperature could have spiked 20 degrees,” she said. “Children up to the age of 10 have immature respiratory systems. They heat up three to five times faster than an adult and they do not have the ability to dissipate the heat very quickly.”
One of the first signs of heat stroke in children is disorientation, which quickly leads to loss of consciousness, Fennell said.
“Once their body temperature reaches 106 degrees, the internal organs begin shutting down,” she said. How fast death comes depends on a number of factors, including how much clothing the child is wearing, the color of the car and the last time the child had water, she said.
“Hundreds of factors play into this. Everyone wants to quantify it, but if you’re going to be accurate, you can’t quantify it,” Fennell said. “We’ve seen a baby left in a car for three hours and survive with severe brain damage. We’ve seen 2-year-olds die after an hour.”
Portland middle-schooler accuses Clackamas Kohl’s security guards of racial profiling, false imprisonment www.privateofficer.com
Portland OR Aug 4 2012 Malcom Williams was awarded a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors last spring for his scholarship, athleticism and good behavior at SEI Academy in North Portland. But when the 13-year-old football player took his new shoes to Kohl’s Department Store in Clackamas to exchange them for a different color, he apparently wasn’t treated like a scholar-athlete.
The boy was racially profiled, tailed by store security, accused repeatedly of fraud and wrongly detained in a back room for the better part of an hour, his father alleges in a lawsuit filed this week in Portland’s U.S. District Court.
Simon Williams, a 40-year-old single father who works as a chemical dependency therapist, accuses Kohl’s Department Stores Inc. and two unnamed security guards of falsely imprisoning his son and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
The incident occurred on June 8, when Malcom Williams and a friend went to Kohl’s to exchange his new, nectarine-colored shoes for red ones. He showed a store clerk the gift receipt and was directed to a spot where he could find replacements. As he walked through the store, he saw a man tailing him.
“Neither Malcom nor his friend had engaged in any improper or inappropriate conduct to warrant such surveillance,” the lawsuit says. “Instead, Malcom was almost immediately profiled and followed throughout the Kohl’s store by its agent because he was a young African American male, accompanied by another young African American male.”
The teenager soon spied some other gear — sandals, socks and a pair of shorts — and decided to use his gift receipt to get them. He brought the merchandise to a clerk at the front of the store, who told him his receipt was good only for another pair of Chuck Taylors. He returned the goods to their display and sent his friend to get the red Chucks.
The lawsuit alleges that the clerk had it wrong, because store policy allowed his son to apply the purchase price of his shoes for other merchandise.
Phone calls left Thursday at the media relations office at Kohl’s headquarters, in Milwaukee, Wis., were not immediately returned.
The middle-school student wrapped up his shoe exchange and walked to the exit with his friend, where he was approached by a pair of plainclothes security guards.
“Without making any inquiry of the Kohl’s employees at the exchange desk who had dealt with Malcom, or absent any discussion with Malcom about any of their suspicions, they required Malcom to accompany them to a back room at the store,” the lawsuit alleges.
A male security guard — the one who had tailed the teenager earlier — kept him in the back room, repeatedly accusing him of “exchange fraud” and preventing him from leaving, according to the complaint, filed Wednesday.
“Even though Malcom was only 13 years old, at no time during the unlawful detention did the security officer suggest or offer to allow time for Malcom to make a telephone call to a parent or guardian, or attempt to contact Malcom’s parent or guardian,” the lawsuit alleges. “After 45 minutes, Malcom was released from the back room and allowed to leave the store.”
The teen heard one of the security guards say, “This tactic usually works,” according to the complaint.
What should have been a positive and enjoyable experience for the boy — learning to handle a merchandise exchange on his own — turned into a humiliating, frightening and traumatic event, the lawsuit alleges. Instead, it states, the store’s actions left him with fears of unfounded race-based accusations.
Cincinnati Police officer indicted by Federal Grand Jury for possessing child pornography www.privateofficer.com
Cincinnati OH Aug 4 2012 A Cincinnati Police officer resigns after a Federal Grand Jury indicts him for possessing child pornography. 42 year old Officer Randolph Grote faces one count of possessing material that depicts a child engaging in sexually explicit activity.
Officer Grote worked in District Three, which covers neighborhoods like East Price Hill, West Price Hill, Lower Price Hill, East Westwood, North Fairmount, South Fairmount, Saylor Park, Sedamsville, and South Cumminsville. He resigned today.
Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated Grote. It is alleged that during the course of the investigation, agents traced access to child pornography back to Grote’s home address. In Oct. 2011, special agents, assisted by CPD’s Professional Standards Section executed a federal search warrant at the Grote’s home. During the execution of the search warrant, multiple computers and media storage devices were seized. Forensic examinations later revealed images of children engaged in illicit sexual activity.
The Cincinnati Police Department was aware of the federal investigation and suspended Grote’s police powers while as the probe unfolded.
Grote will appear in federal court on the charge next week.
St Paul MN Aug 4 2012 The St. Paul school district is keeping its security firm — though it offered a higher price tag than other bidders for the job this summer.
The district retained St. Paul-based American Security and Investigations, which will make up to $1.4 million this coming school year. The company’s rates for unarmed security guards, which make up the bulk of the positions, were higher than those pitched by the five other bidders.
A small but growing number of Minnesota districts from Still-water to Minnetonka contract with private security to screen school visitors, monitor parking lots and hallways, or respond to overnight alarms. The No. 1 reason they cite: It’s cheaper than relying on school staff or enlisting local police.
But St. Paul officials say when it comes to school safety, the price tag should not be the top concern: They say they stuck with American Security because of its extensive training, innovative use of technology and seven-year tenure with the district.
“They have the institutional knowledge,” said Laurie Olson, the district’s security and emergency management director. “They have the history.”
PARTNERS SINCE 2005
St. Paul school officials said American Security has been a solid partner since the district signed on for its services in 2005. Many of the company’s 32 guards deployed in the district last year have worked at St. Paul Public Schools since 2005.
“They know the students. They know what sports they play,” she said.
Last year, American Security stationed 29 unarmed guards at the district’s secondary schools to monitor comings and goings, keep the peace in hallways and lunchrooms, and handle other duties. Three armed guards patrolled school neighborhoods, overseeing on-site security personnel and offering backup.
The private guards worked in tandem with the district’s school resource officers, whose team expanded from seven to 10 last year.
Michael Baumann, the district’s deputy of schools and business operations, said staffing levels have stayed consistent recently.
In June, the St. Paul school board amended to the previous fiscal year’s $975,000 purchase order for American Security services to reflect an extra $325,000 in spending. District officials blamed a clerical error for leaving after-school and special event security needs out of the original purchase order.
That month, the district put the security job up for bid.
In the bids sought this summer, St. Paul requested extensive information: staff training, guard recruitment and background checks, employee benefits packages, company history — and rates.
The hourly rates American proposed to charge the district came in about $1.80 higher than the lowest bidder for entry-level guards and $2 for experienced guards.
The rates — $19.27 and $20.94, respectively — are slightly lower than what American Security charged the district last year, Baumann said. The district points out American’s rates were not the highest for other positions, such as security supervisor.
American noted in its proposal that the outcome of negotiations over its union contract, which expires in December, might affect its bill rates to the district.
Overall, American’s yearly proposal came to about $1.1 million. Last week, the school board approved a contract not to exceed $1.4 million. The difference, officials said, reflects ongoing work on school staffing levels for the coming school year.
The district partially covers American’s bill with money from its Safe Schools levy, which will bring in $1.3 million in taxes this year.
General Security Services of Minneapolis bid the lowest hourly rates for guards. The company is trying to get a better sense of why the district passed on its proposal, said its vice president, Jackson Hall.
“For the district not to go with the low bid is very disappointing,” he said.
Olson said the district scored the six bidders on all the elements of their proposal. American Security, the largest security firm in the upper Midwest, earned the highest score thanks to its “superior” training and progressive use of security technology, among other things.
Steven Klein, president and CEO of American Security, said he had not seen the other proposals the district received. But he said his company delivers for the institutions it works with: “We tailor our program to the needs of the individual school.”
Hall said General Security’s relationships with some of its dozen public and private school clients date to the years after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. And with a large pool of trained officers, schools don’t have to worry about lining up staff to fill in during vacations and sick time, he said.
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Wade Setter, former head of the defunct Minnesota School Safety Center, said the number of districts contracting security is small. Most still rely on staff working with school resource officers.
But using private companies can bring savings; besides, in these budget-crunched times, police departments cannot always spare officers to patrol high schools.
“It’s one of those things that will continue to grow as budgets continue to be challenged,” Setter said.
Next school year, the Mahtomedi district will have private guards rather than Washington County Sheriff’s deputies patrolling its high school — part of a package of cost-saving measures.
In Anoka-Hennepin, the state’s largest district, each high school principal decides how to staff security. Andover High, for example, relies on staff because officials like the control over duties and hours, district spokeswoman Ellen Perrault said. Anoka High has a $63,000 a year contract with local police to provide two officers.
John Phelps said that when he took over as principal at Blaine High last year, he looked at its contract with the private firm Avalon and “I thought, ‘Gee, why not eliminate the middle man?’ “
But he did the math and found that hiring paraprofessionals to replace the school’s three security guards would cost tens of thousands more than the $66,000 the school paid Avalon last year.
At Stillwater High School, three private security guards were on the chopping block last year. The district opted to keep them.
“It’s an efficiency in cost, but it’s not all about doing it on the cheap,” said Assistant Principal Mary Ticiu. “Our security people are trained observers, and they notice the smallest things.”
Kenneth Trump, a school safety consultant in Ohio, is not a fan of the practice. Although some firms have solid reputations, he said, the industry as a whole is plagued by high turnover and varying levels of training.
The lower pay and benefits that help districts save can mean lower commitment, he said: “The bottom line is you get what you pay for.”
Mila Koumpilova can be reached at 651-228-2171. Follow her at twitter.com/MilaPiPress.
Source: Pioneer Press
The Times-News reports Twin Falls resident Myrna Kirklin was arraigned in 5th District Court on Wednesday.
According to a police report, a woman called officers last month to say she believed her mother was using methamphetamine in their home. The report says that when police arrived, they believed Kirklin appeared to be under the influence, and that though she initially denied using drugs, she later offered to show the officers the meth.
Police say in the report that they found just under a gram of meth in a makeup bag and manicure set case. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 10.
An Orange County family just settled a major lawsuit against Simon Property Group and a security company after their son was killed outside the Waterford Lakes Town Center.
But it was the actions of two mall security guards that led to the teenager’s death.
Raheem Key, 15, was being chased by two security guards at the Waterford Lakes Town Center when he was killed.
Gregory Melvin and Rafael Casteneda tried to hold the teenager because his pants were sagging, which is a violation of the mall’s dress code.
Mary Dillard watched as the teenager was hit by the SUV in front of her.
“This person came flying from off the back of the wheels of the truck, and I screeched on the brakes and started screaming,” said Dillard.
The teenager was running through the back side of the mall, and he was likely headed home because he lived in the apartment complex right across the street.
It’s been two years, but the family just settled a civil lawsuit with Simon Property Group and Mydatt Services, which operates the security company.
The actual amount is sealed, but the family originally asked for $20 million.
The judge found there was enough evidence to show the security guards “acted with culpable negligence showing reckless disregard of human life.”
The same standard is used to justify manslaughter charges.
The security guards testified that the teenager had not committed any crime and admitted he was unlawfully detained.
“There appears to be an abundance of information to support probable cause for both false imprisonment and possibly manslaughter charges,” said WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
The Florida Highway Patrol, which was the lead agency, determined there wasn’t enough evidence to determine criminal charges and in a letter obtained by WFTV, the sheriff’s office said the same.
“Law enforcement’s duty is to find whether there is probable cause to bring a charge against the person and then send that to the State Attorney’s Office,” said Sheaffer.
The family said they want to know why neither security guard was charged, even though the judge in the case said there was enough evidence to show negligence.
Also named as defendants in the suit filed late Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court is the restaurant’s parent company, Carlson, and John D. Leck Jr., the driver of the Audi A6 that struck and killed Lorenzo on July 8.
Leck, 47, of Levittown, drank “at least 6 alcoholic beverages,” including three 22-ounce Coors Lights, two vodka drinks, and one 14-ounce at the T.G.I. Fridays on Street Road, according to the suit.
“Leck left the TGI Friday’s so drunk that he has no recollection of where he went afterwards, until he, with a blood alcohol level of .218, killed Officer Lorenzo,” the suit says.
Leck was driving south on northbound Interstate 95 at 3:13 a.m. when his Audi collided with a police motorcycle being ridden by Lorenzo, 48, just south of Cottman Avenue.
Lorenzo, a 23-year veteran of the force who was assigned to the elite Highway Patrol Unit, had just finished a work shift and was riding to his home in the Somerton section of Northeast Philadelphia when he was killed.
At 10 a.m. Friday, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will preside at an interfaith memorial service for Lorenzo at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Leck was charged with third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault while driving under the influence, driving under the influence, and involuntary manslaughter.
The suit says that T.G.I. Fridays violated the law and its state liquor license by serving a visibly intoxicated Leck.
A spokesperson for Carlson could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.
Lorenzo’s wife and three children have suffered “the loss of the pecuniary value of the services, society, comfort, companionship, maintenance, guidance, tutelage, support, protection and enjoyment” provided by Lorenzo if were still alive, the suit says.
The suit also identifies Lorenzo’s lost monetary support, as well as damages from expenses incurred from lorenzo’s funeral and burial, administrative expenses, medical expenses, and pecuniary losses recoverable under the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act.
Linda Lorenzo is being represented by James E. Beasley Jr. and Scott Bennett of the Beasley Firm, and by attorney James J. Binns.
Louisiana woman awarded $117 million verdict in lawsuit against ambulance service www.privateofficer.com
Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Jason Itkin and Mike Pierce from the Houston trial law firm Arnold & Itkin LLP represented Whitley Lacey and her family in the lawsuit against Louisiana-based Acadian Ambulance Service Inc. Ms. Lacey and her family also were represented by Tony Clayton and Mike Fruge of Baton Rouge-based Clayton & Fruge and the Law Office of William Gee III in Lafayette.
On Dec. 27, 2010, Ms. Lacey, who was 7 months pregnant, began suffering stomach pains and called an Acadian Ambulance to take her to the hospital.
During the routine trip to the hospital, the ambulance rear-ended a sugar cane truck on Louisiana Highway 1. Evidence at trial showed that the ambulance was traveling nearly 60 miles per hour without using its emergency lights and sirens.
“This was a horrific and preventable crash that changed the life of Whitley and her children forever,” says Mr. Itkin. “We trust ambulances to take us to safety, not put us in greater danger.”
Attorneys for Ms. Lacy told jurors in the 18th Judicial District Court in Iberville Parish that the ambulance driver negligently drove the vehicle and became distracted when he took his eyes off the road while reaching for a company-issued tracking device that fell to the floor.
Jurors heard about the driver’s prior accidents and consistent failure to meet Acadian’s minimum driving standards for more than 30 months during his employment. Acadian had internal policies requiring oversight, retraining and further education for drivers who failed these minimum standards, however trial testimony showed that Acadian failed to follow every one of its policies relating to this driver. Witnesses at the scene reported that the driver made no attempt to avoid the accident.
After the crash, Ms. Lacy prematurely gave birth to her daughter, who survived despite weighing only slightly more than 3 pounds. Ms. Lacey suffered a severed spinal cord that has left her with limited use of only one arm. Additionally, she suffered a traumatic brain injury and has remained in various hospitals since the accident. She was only 21 at the time of the accident and will have to live with her injuries for the rest of her life.
“Whitley has done everything she can to improve her situation since this accident, working hard to utilize the different facilities and therapies available to her,” says Mr. Arnold. “I think the most important thing is that this verdict gives her the opportunity to get the best medical care available so she can continue to improve. I thank the jury for making this possible.”
“This is a tremendous result for a young lady, who is doing everything she can to get better and be a mother to her children,” says Mr. Pierce. “I am honored that our firm was able to help her.”
The jury award of $116,939,241 in actual damages was handed down on August 1, 2012.
SAN ANTONIO TX Aug 4 2012 – A Walmart security guard is recovering after being hit by a suspected thief.
Police were called to the Walmart off of Vance Jackson and Interstate 10 around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. News 4 WOAI was told security tried to stop two suspicious people at the store. One of them hit the officer over the head and took off.
A third person was waiting for them outside in a white truck. The three suspects took off and have not been caught.
The security guard was treated at the scene.
GALVESTON TX Aug 4 2012 — Armed lifeguards, who became certified police officers, began patrolling the seawall and sand this year, acting as tourism ambassadors with the power of a badge.
Galveston Island Beach Patrol lifeguard officers Joe Cerdas and Austin Kirwin, who graduated from police academies, are part of the Tourism Oriented Policing program, which began this year.
The bicycle officers’ main concern, however, remains lifeguard duty, then to enforce beach ordinances, such as prohibition of glass containers and alcohol on the seawall beaches, Kirwin said.
“Our main job isn’t to take people to jail,” Kirwin said. “It’s to inform them of the rules, be seen and make sure everybody keeps the peace.”
Galveston police and the Park Board of Trustees have been unable to provide security on the seawall beaches for several years, Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis said.
“With little enforcement on these areas there is a danger that tourism could be affected,” Davis said. “Additionally, the undue burden falls on the lifeguards and lifeguard supervisors, who are ill equipped to handle the distraction from their primary duty that law enforcement issues present.”
The $154,000 cost of the program came from “trickle down” moneys, which are excess convention center funds, Davis said. The cost of the program, if approved again by the Galveston City Council, would drop next year to $126,000 because the officers are already trained.
Six officers were trained, but only two patrol at a time 10 months out of the year. December and January are reserved for training, maintenance and special projects, Davis said.
The officers have made contact with more than 8,000 tourists as of July 28 and taken 7,219 regular and environmental enforcement actions. They educate the public on the importance of protecting the coastal environment. They also have medical and lifesaving gear and carry a tourism tool kit with brochures about Galveston, water safety and stickers and stamps for children.
The first contact with ordinance violators is friendly and just a warning, Davis said.
“We’re not out there writing a bunch of tickets or making a bunch of arrests,” Davis said.
Those ignoring warnings might cause the officers to take it to the next level, Davis said.
“The goal is to have people who are out here want to come back and have a safe and enjoyable experience,” Davis said.
Source:the daily news
Amanda L. Deese, 38, of Virginia Beach, a former manager of a title insurance company pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of mail fraud.
Deese admitted in court to stealing $200,000 from the company and trying to cover her actions.
Deese was the office manager for the Virginia Beach office of Huntington Title & Escrow and during her employment she wrote checks to pay personal expenses including bills and her mortgage. The crimes went on for several years before they were detected.
She also admitted to making unauthorized wire transfers of Huntington funds into her bank account and the accounts of family members. Other checks she wrote were made out to companies that she claimed had performed services for Huntington, but they were actually companies she had set up that performed no work for Huntington. As a result of the scheme, the company lost $202,000, according to court filings.
When confronted by FBI agents, Deese said the company had authorized her to receive up to $3,500 a month for personal expenses, according to court records. She admitted she fabricated that story and emailed a phony agreement to the agents.
She faces up to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced Nov. 9. She remains free on bond.
Los Angeles CA Aug 4 2012 Police are asking for the public’s help in catching three men who shot and wounded a security guard after robbing a medical marijuana clinic.
It happened July 17 in the Rampart area near downtown L.A.
Police say 25-year-old Cornell White of South L.A. and two other men attacked a security guard at gunpoint, held him down and continued to ransack the business near Olympic Boulevard and Albany Street.
Authorities believe the men stole about $2,000 in cash — along with marijuana. Surveillance video recorded the crime in progress, and police are showing it to the public.
The security officer officer was not made known by police.
Deer Park NY Aug 4 2012 When security guard James Sodergren saw a bloody man about to take his own life in the men’s bathroom of the South West Department of Social Services Center in Deer Park, he put his life-saving skills into action.
“I was notified that someone was bleeding in the men’s room and when I went in, I saw blood all over the floor,” he said. “I radioed another guard to call 911 and pried open the stall. It looked like he was trying to take his own life, but I wasn’t going to let that happen,” said the security guard, who is also a 36-year fireman and commissioner with the Central Islip Fire Department.
On July 26, the president of the Board of Directors of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, Daniel Farrell, honored Suffolk County Sodergren for his recent heroism. The security guard, accompanied by his family, was presented with a proclamation, praised by Farrell and received a standing ovation.
Sodergren, who has been a Suffolk County security guard for more than 24 years, is one of the 30-plus security guards the County is planning to replace with outside contractors, the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees said in a statement.
“We are proud to have someone of Jim Sodergren’s experience and skill among our ranks,” said Farrell. “He responded like he was trained to do and his quick, knowledgeable actions helped save a man’s life.”
“We’ve argued from the start that public safety would be jeopardized by replacing our well-trained and seasoned security guards with low-bid contractors, and here’s your proof,” Farrell said. “They will never fill Jim’s post with anyone with his credentials, experience, training, and commitment to serving and protecting the people of Suffolk County.”
Sodergren was also named the first AME “Member of the Month,” a new feature started by union leadership.