HUNTSVILLE, AL Sept 12 2012 - Amy Bishop, the former professor accused of killing three people and wounding three others in the 2010 University of Alabama at Huntsville shooting, has pleaded guilty to murder.
Bishop pleaded guilty to one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder.
Bishop was stone-faced as she entered Judge Alan Mann’s Madison County courtroom Tuesday afternoon. She agreed to a plea deal with the district attorney’s office, but because of a gag order, details of the agreement have not been released.
Legal experts said, hypothetically, the only way to get Bishop to plead guilty to capital murder was to take the death penalty off the table and give her life in prison without parole.
Judge Mann took several minutes to make sure Bishop fully understood what she was agreeing to. She had previously entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect. During Tuesday’s hearing, Bishop’s defense team told the court she was in contact with a psychologist as late as Sunday.
Bishop will go to court on September 24th to plea before a jury. The gag order in the case will remain in place at least until that time.
Bishop only spoke yes or no when asked questions by the judge. Prosecutors said Bishop’s plea confirmed the facts of the case – that she stood up in a faculty meeting with a 9mm pistol, shot and killed three biology professors and wounded three others. She left the scene and was arrested a short time later.
Gopi Podilla, Maria Ragland Davis, and Adriel Johnson were killed in the shooting. Stephanie MOnticciolo, Dr. Joseph Leahy and Dr. Luis Cruz-Vera were wounded.
Bishop of Huntsville also is charged with killing her brother in Massachusetts in 1986. The shooting of 18-year-old Seth Bishop had been ruled an accident after Amy Bishop told police she shot him in the family’s Braintree home as she was trying to unload her father’s gun.
But the Alabama slayings led to a new investigation and charges.
In the university shooting, police and people who knew Bishop have described her as being angry over the school’s refusal to grant her tenure, a decision that effectively would have ended her employment in the biology department at UAH.
Debra Moriarity was in the faculty meeting at the time of the shooting and is now biology chairman at the school. Prosecutors who met with potential witnesses last Friday said there was a possibility of a plea agreement before the trial began on Sept. 24, she said.
“So I’m not totally surprised by it, but I am surprised it happened this soon,” she said.
After Bishop was indicted, prosecutors said Braintree police in 1986 failed to share important evidence, including the fact that Bishop, after she shot her brother in the chest, tried to commandeer a getaway car at gunpoint at a local car dealership, then refused to drop her gun until police officers ordered her to do so repeatedly. Those events were described in Braintree police reports but not in a report written by a state police detective assigned to the district attorney’s office.
Moriarity said she was relieved that victims wouldn’t have to sit through a trial to see whether jurors convict Bishop.
“I’m glad it’s a recognition of the crimes she committed and not trying to get get out of something through claiming a mental defect,” she said.
Personally, Moriarity said she was relieved that the case is nearly over.
“I had a horrible dream about the trial last night,” said Moriarity. Bishop pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger but it failed to fire.
Moriarity said Leahy, who was shot in the head, returned to teaching a full load of classes and conducting research this fall at the school. The only lingering effects he suffers are reduced eyesight, she said.
“Mentally he is on top of things,” she said. “It’s an absolute miracle. He’s a miracle.”
Leahy recently spoke at the Diamond Jubilee dinner for St. Joseph Catholic Church where he recalled the shooting.
“The scene in the conference room was a scene of carnage. My wonderful boss Dr. Gopi Podilla, Adriel Johnson and Maria Davis lay dead on the floor.” said Leahy.
Leahy talked about how life is getting back to normal for his family. He’s teaching again at UAHuntsville and he said he’ll never forget that day when Anderson opened fire at the faculty meeting.
Well, I really try not to think about her. I mean she perpetrated a horrible crime and you know, we have a wonderful court system and I have no doubt that she’ll receive a just penalty,” said Leahy.
Wichita KS Sept 12 2012 A Wichita man is appealing his nearly 27-year federal prison sentence for enticing a 14-year-old girl into texting him a nude photo of herself.
Twenty-six-year-old Shane McClelland filed a notice of appeal in the sexting case Monday with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
A federal jury convicted McClelland in May of obtaining the picture via cellphone from the girl, who lives in upstate New York. He was acquitted of a similar count involving another teen.
U.S. District Judge Monti Belot sentenced him last month under enhanced penalties as a repeat sex offender.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.Sept 12 2012 - A man who worked for the Metro Nashville Police Department for 11 years has been charged after more than 100 images of child pornography were found on his home laptop computer.
Police said 40-year-old William J. Patterson, of Buck Run Drive, was arrested Sunday on domestic assault charges after his girlfriend reported that he had pushed her down and into walls and furniture during an argument inside the residence earlier in the day. During an interview, Patterson’s girlfriend told officers that Patterson also had child pornography on his laptop and dealt in cocaine and marijuana.
After an investigation of Patterson’s home, police found more than 100 explicit images of adults engaging in sexual activity with minors on a computer in Patterson’s bedroom. Officials also discovered a safe with sandwich bags inside, one of which tested positive for cocaine residue.
They also found a false computer tower that was actually a grow cabinet for marijuana.
Patterson worked as a Nashville police officer for eleven years, from 1995 to 2006. He resigned, not in good standing, during an internal affairs investigation into his use of the police computer system to run a background check of a woman employed by his in-law’s business.
Patterson was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, two felony drug offenses, and two misdemeanor possession offenses.
Customs Border Protection Officer arrested for allowing fugitive brother-in-law into US www.privateofficer.com
Thomas Silva, 33, was arrested Friday while working at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on charges of concealing a person from arrest.
Two years ago, the CBP claimed the nine-year veteran officer was allowing people with fake immigration papers to pass through the port of entry. That allegation launched an investigation by the FBI Border Corruption Task Force (BCTF).
In April, Silva allowed Julio Cesar Landaverde Valdez, a convicted human smuggler and federal fugitive to enter the U.S. agents said. Valdez is Silva’s brother-in-law according to officials.
A person was hidden in the dashboard inside the vehicle carrying Valdez and another person agents said.
Silva also faces charges of wire fraud for a 2011 claim regarding the theft of his personal vehicle. Agents said Silva was part of a scheme to defraud Farmers Insurance of $7,329.
He appeared in federal court Monday afternoon and was ordered held without bail.
The BCTF is composed of the CBP-Internal Affairs, CBP-Field Operations, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), USAO, and the FBI.
Source: NBC 7 San Diego
Police have identified the victim as 43-year-old Paul Martinez.
Martinez was an officer with the Casa Grande police department since 2002 and a deputy with the Pinal County Sheriff’s office before that.
PCSO is still investigating what they say looks like a suicide.
No one else was injured during the shooting.
The home is in a normally quiet neighborhood in the 2000 block of North Wildflower Lane.
Neighbors told FOX 10 that a police officer, his wife and two children live at the home.
Martinez was taken to a nearby school and flown to a hospital after the incident.
New York NY Sept 12 2012 The exclusive Upper East Side Nightingale-Bamford School for girls has been rocked by scandal after married teacher Jonathan Fuller was suspended amid allegations he had an affair with a student, The Post has learned.
The popular, 55-year-old science and psychology teacher was hauled out of class Friday after a complaint was made that he was allegedly involved with a former pupil who is now “18 or 19” years old, according to several sources connected to the school.
They canceled his classes and pulled him out,” said one source.
“We were told that she graduated last year.”
The school’s headmaster appointed an independent investigator to probe whether the teen was underage when the alleged relationship began — and whether the teacher had affairs with any other young women, according to sources and a letter sent by school officials to parents.
“A complaint was made about him having an affair with a former student, but they are investigating if he has been involved with any other students,” a source said.
The investigation could lead to his being fired, documents show.
Fuller’s dramatic removal — just two days into the school year — stunned parents and staff at the elite Upper East Side academy, which costs nearly $40,000 per year and is the model for The CW’s “Gossip Girls” television show.
“This came out of nowhere and everyone is shocked,” a school insider said. “They’re handling this by the book; they’re keeping the girl’s name confidential internally.”
Daughters and relatives of the powerful Tisch and Bronfman families, as well as the children of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, have attended the school.
Fuller’s suspension was revealed in a letter sent Friday to parents from Nightingale’s new head of school, Paul Burke — the institution’s first male chief.
“I am sorry to have to tell you that this morning I suspended an Upper School faculty member in light of reports received over the past two days that, if true, describe behavior that is not only inappropriate, but also completely inconsistent with our rules and values,” Burke wrote in the three-paragraph letter.
“With the help of independent counsel, we have begun a full investigation and have spoken to all parties involved. We will continue to pursue the facts and will take all appropriate steps going forward, including the teacher’s dismissal, if necessary.”
The letter did not name the teacher or the specific nature of the “inappropriate” behavior.
But Fuller, who was on sabbatical in the spring 2012 semester in Colorado, was named by school officials during a staff meeting yesterday to discuss the brewing scandal.
He wasn’t in school yesterday, students said, and his name, fall class schedule and syllabus were scrubbed from Nightingale’s Web site.
He was a favorite among doting Nightingale students. Some girls went so far as to create fan pages for him on MySpace and Facebook.
“What’s your fave thing about him? Comment PLZ,” read one such post.
In 15 years at Nightingale, Fuller, a former dean of students at Connecticut’s Woodhall School, gained high marks from parents, too.
“Mr. Fuller is one of the most beloved teachers on the staff,” said one source. “He is well known for being a fantastic and dedicated teacher.”
He lives on Long Island but was almost always at school by 7 a.m. to give students extra help and mentoring, sources said.
He did not come to the door at his Long Island home and did not return phone calls. A woman who answered his cellphone declined to comment and said, “I’m sorry. He’s not available.”
Cameron Village shopping center shooting leaves employee dead- shooter commits suicide www.privateofficer.com
RALEIGH NC Sept 12 2012 – Raleigh police have identified the man who killed a woman in the Cameron Village shopping center Monday morning and then later committed suicide.
The first shooting happened around 9:30 a.m. on Daniels Street.
“It sounded between six, and I want to say eight rapid fire gunshots,” said John Pharr who has an office right next to where it happened.
A 911 caller reported a woman lying in a parking lot.
“It looks like she’s dead,” said the caller.
Pharr said he did not hear any yelling or commotion before the gunfire broke out. Witnesses reported the shooter arrived in a white car that was parked next to where the woman’s body was found.
Police immediately began an intensive manhunt for the shooter who witnesses said left Cameron Village on foot.
Then, just before 2 p.m., a man’s body was found in the 1000 block of Wade Avenue.
“I think the suspect that you’re looking for – from Cameron Village – just shot himself in the head,” a 911 caller from a nearby apartment complex reported.
Tuesday, police identified the shooter as 42-year-old Christopher John Bertrand of Hoover, Alabama. They identified the dead woman as Bertrand’s ex-wife, 41-year-old Kathleen Ann Bertrand of Cary. The couple had three children who are now with other family members.
Police said the woman was an employee at Pier 1 in the Cameron Village shopping center.
The schools included Broughton High, Wiley Elementary, Partnership Elementary, Daniels Middle, Underwood Elementary, Lacy Elementary, Martin Middle, Olds Elementary, Morrisville Elementary, East Cary Middle, Cedar Fork Elementary, Root Elementary, Project Enlightenment, and Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
Muskogee OK Sept 12 2012 A Muskogee man accused of shooting his girlfriend with a rifle is expected to be charged today.
Sammy Michael Clark was arrested Saturday after a Muskogee Regional Medical Center security guard saw Clark bring Autumn Snyder into the hospital.
Muskogee County Assistant District Attorney Dan Medlock said he expects Clark to be charged with:
• Shooting with intent to kill.
• Animal cruelty.
• Domestic assault and battery.
Snyder had been shot multiple times with what Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office investigators said was a .22-caliber rifle. Clark told authorities that he was moving a box that contained the rifle, and it discharged accidentally.
Investigator Faye Banks said Clark and Snyder were ending their relationship.
Banks, who interviewed Snyder on Monday, said Snyder was in a lot of pain but was doing well.
“She’s had multiple surgeries and is hurting bad,” Banks said. “But she was able to do the interview. She said she would tell me everything that happened.”
Banks said Snyder had injuries to multiple internal organs and that a bullet just missed striking Snyder in the heart.
“There was a bullet hole in her chest that I was sure would have hit her heart,” Banks said. “It’s miraculous, really.”
Clark could be charged with animal cruelty because Snyder’s dog — a daschund named Oscar — also was shot and killed.
Snyder said during the interview that she was holding the dog when he was struck.
“So the bullet went through the dog and into her,” Banks said.
Banks and District Attorney’s Office investigator Richard Slader originally believed the dog was shot intentionally, she said.
The sheriff’s office has had no previous run-ins with Clark, she said.
“All he’s got is some traffic stuff, as far as we can tell,” she said.
EAST LANSING, MI Sept 12 2012 – If Travis Bove was a one-man police department, he’d still have more arrests last year than more than 400 law enforcement agencies in Michigan.
More than all of Flint’s police officers, total. More than the entire Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department.
More than all 117 officers in the Ann Arbor Police Department.
But Bove is not alone. East Lansing’s 54 officers arrested 620 drunken-driving suspects in 2011, third most in the state – trailing only the police departments for the state’s two largest cities.
Bove arrested 111 of the suspected lawbreakers, the most of any East Lansing officer. But he deflectsany acclaim.
“When I was hired in, I was the low guy for just under three years and so I had a lot of guys that were my senior officers,” Bove said. “I picked up positive influences from all of them. They were all guys I rode along with or doubled up with frequently, and I learned a little bit of their work ethic and what they do. I just took a little bit from each of them and made it my own thing.”
Bove, 31, is in his sixth year with the department. The 111 drunken-driving arrests last year made for a career high — helping push the department to No. 1 in the state in arrests-per-officer for the 100 largest departments.
The arrests far surpass his previous high of 65. So why the explosive increase?
“I have no idea,” Bove said. “I think sometimes it’s just being in the right place at the right time.”
Lt. Larry Sparkes, who supervises the patrol division, said Bove is too humble.
“He has a lot of drive, a lot of energy,” Sparkes said. “Our department has always had a strong tradition of strict alcohol enforcement. It’s part of our culture, it’s what we do. Officer Bove is a prime example of someone who takes that to heart. He goes out every day, does what he needs to do, and then some.
“He’s not satisfied with the bare minimum. He’s always overachieving, going above and beyond.”
This summer, Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored Bove among several police officers from across the state for drunken-driving enforcement.
Sgt. Chad Connelly said it was a fitting distinction for his department’s leading drunken-driving hound.
“One of the things with Travis that really makes him stand out is just his work ethic,” Connelly said. “Travis is the type that at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, when things are shutting down, he’s still out there working.
“With drinking and driving, it’s kind of a myth that it only exists between 10 at night and 3 in the morning. They’re out there 24/7, and Travis is just a hard worker consistently out there pushing himself. He stumbles across a lot more because of his work ethic.”
Bove dismissed such praise.
“I’d like to think that the majority of our department has a solid work ethic,” he said. “I’m no different than anybody else.”
Bove works the night shift, 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. He spent his first two and a half years with the department working nights, then went undercover for narcotics work in 2008 and 2009. He went back to the night shift in 2010.
Bove will mark his seventh year with the department in January. Before coming aboard as a police officer, he served as a cadet in 2001 and 2002 while a student at Michigan State University. He graduated in 2004, then worked as a jail officer for the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office for six months before being hired into the East Lansing department.
Sparkes said Bove’s experience with the department and its tradition of focusing on traffic enforcement are reflected in his drunken-driving arrest statistics.
“He’s alert and he knows what’s going on around him,” he said. “You might be following a drunk driver and may never notice it. But a simple thing like maybe not using a turn signal or swaying back and forth ever so slightly or driving just over or under the speed limit — little things like that he would look for and other people wouldn’t notice. He’s very attentive to that.”
Bove also focuses on obvious things, such as driving without headlights on, mundane matters motorists sometimes overlook because intoxication “takes away from your senses.”
Broken headlights and taillights also often lead to drunken-driving arrests, as do calls for service, Bove added.
“Sometimes you’ll have contact with people on a call for whatever reason,” he said. “You’ll know they’re intoxicated. As soon as you get in your car, they get in their car and decide to drive.
“Sometimes when you’re just patrolling downtown, you’ll unfortunately see an intoxicated person stumbling over their own feet, showing obvious signs of intoxication,” he said. “Then they get behind the wheel of a car.”
Bove has fallen well off pace from 2011, with just a handful of DUI arrests so far in 2012.
He said that’s due in part to a sense that there are fewer drunken drivers. Bove and Sparkes credit that to the dividends of strict enforcement and other improvements, such as a nightly taxi line that builds up along Albert Avenue
That’s the ultimate goal of the police department, so that people don’t drink and drive,” Bove said.
“We’d rather not have to arrest people for drinking and driving. I don’t know if it’s finally hit home for people to stop drinking and driving.”
Now a department veteran, Bove is trying to pass on the same kind of tutelage to younger officers that he was afforded when he was a newcomer.
“I try to take some of the new guys who are willing to learn from the old guys under my wing and teach them what I’ve learned, to pass it down,” he said.
Acting Scranton police Capt. Glen Thomas said George Ramos II, 22, of North Scranton, was involved in a fight at the Zone Club, 1826 N. Main Ave., and security took his gun while he was leaving.
Mr. Ramos – who is licensed to carry the weapon – got it back, but only after security at the club forced him to hand over $500, Capt. Thomas said.
Capt. Thomas said city detectives are investigating the incident.
Former Eugene police Lt. Pete Deshpande this week joins former EPD Lt. Carolyn McDermed and former EPD Capt. Chuck Tilby in the evolving campus agency.
In addition, former EPD officer Sean Brathwaite is one of the 25 sworn police officers that the agency plans to deploy, agency spokesman Kelly McIver said. Also, former EPD drug team supervisor Lee Thoming is now the campus detective.
The push toward a campus police force came in the wake of the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech University that killed 32 people and wounded more than two dozen others.
The UO decided the contract it had with EPD for years — to supply three armed police and a sergeant to back up campus security — was no longer sufficient. In June 2010, the university dropped the contract and began working toward creating its own police force.
The next step is for Jamie Moffitt, the university’s vice president for finance and administration, to hire a new chief to lead the agency. Moffitt’s office is convening a police chief search committee, McIver said.
The goal is to get a chief on board “as soon as possible,” McIver said. “But it’s (the speed) possible in a glacial university environment,” he said. “We’re probably looking around the start of the next calendar year, and that might be ambitious.”
The new chief would succeed Doug Tripp, who resigned in June, citing plans to return to the Midwest to move closer to his extended family. Tripp has been serving in an advisory capacity, assisting Moffitt with transition planning.
Next spring, the agency will seek permission from the Board of Higher Education to arm its growing force of officers, but, in the meantime, it will seek the approval of faculty and students, some of whom have opposed arming officers in the past.
Reports of on-campus crimes, meanwhile, remained fairly steady from 2008 to 2010, the last year for which figures are available.
There were no murders in those years, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Rape reports went from eight in 2008 to seven in 2010; robbery went from zero to one; aggravated assaults were two in both years; burglaries were 14 in both years; and car thefts went from 10 to two. But arson went from one case to 18.
Campus police must cope with a host of complicated enforcement duties, from wrangling drunken students to managing mentally ill nonstudents who hang around the campus, to reacting to periodic student protests.
Deshpande, who will earn a $98,325 annual salary in his new position, has experience with the UO campus culture.
Deshpande’s father, Nilendra, taught in the UO physics department for more than three decades. His mother is a UO graduate.
Deshpande attended the UO, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1983 and an MBA in 1986. He was married at the Collier House on campus.
Two of his children attended the UO.
During his 22 years on the Eugene force, Deshpande worked a wide range of community policing issues, including the Occupy Eugene encampment earlier this year, a sweep of drug dealers out of the Park Blocks downtown, and strategy development for handling homeless and mentally ill residents.
Mobile AL Sept 12 2012 Jonathon Hadley and friends had just crossed the railroad tracks near their home, when they were stopped by a man who flashed a badge.
“He told us to pull everything out of our pockets,” said Jonathon,”and we didn’t have anything he wanted, I guess, and told us to keep going.”
Jonathon and his buddies just assumed the man was a police officer.
Still, Jonathan was a bit uneasy.
“Yeah, I mean, I couldn’t tell if he was a real cop or not. He just had a badge,” he said.
But the man Jonathon thought was a police officer wasn’t finished.
The badge toting man worked his way back to Jonathon’s apartment complex later that day .
And there, say Mobile police, he confronted a resident.
Identifying himself as a police officer, he confiscated the man’s wallet and then, drove away.
By now, it should be obvious this mysterious man was not a police officer.
And Mobile police say he was about to take his charade one step further.
“A short time after that, it happened again,” said Cpl. Chris Levy. “A man on old Pascagoula Road said that, in this particular case, a man approached him, handcuffed him as if he was under arrest, and was checking him for warrants, when he then took his wallet and then left. The descriptions were the same, the vehicle descriptions were the same.”
Levy says the victim had to use a hammer to break free from the handcuffs, and then flagged down a passing police officer. A real one this time.
It was also a real police officer that spotted the suspect’s car on Highway 90 Sunday and arrested 26 year old Gary Wayne Olsen of Grand Bay.
Cpl. Levy says if you have any doubt about an officer’s authenticity, ask to see his ID and badge.
MPD requires officers to present both upon your request.
Not a bad idea, said Jonathon.
“I wouldn’t have a problem asking a cop to prove they were actually a cop,” he said. “I wouldn’t want somebody that’s not a police officer to have my information.”
Gary Olson has been charged with two counts of impersonating a peace officer, one count of burglary 3rd and one count of robbery 3rd.
Olsen already has some experience with law enforcement.
He’s previously been arrested four times, twice for attempting to elude police and twice for possession of bad checks.
He had returned to his patrols along 14th Street NW, a constant presence on foot, bicycle and Segway. He had enthusiastically tackled even irksome nuisance complaints, earning him accolades from residents and his bosses.
But then Pedrozo died Aug. 25 after falling ill at his Silver Spring home. Family members say he thought he had bronchitis, until he collapsed with severe stomach pains and suffered two heart attacks in an emergency room.
Now Pedrozo’s family is faced with the unexpected death of a 37-year-old husband, father and son; the force is contending with the loss of a well-regarded officer and former Marine; and the community he patrolled is missing a familiar presence.
Grieving relatives, police commanders and the District’s mayor now await word from Maryland’s medical examiner on whether Pedrozo’s death can be linked to complications from the April 20, 2007, stabbing.
The ruling, expected in four to six weeks, has implications beyond whether another name will be etched onto memorial walls. It also has possible ramifications for the man convicted in the attack and for the benefits the family will receive — all of which is on the minds of those left behind.
“Oh my God, I just want to know,” said his 68-year-old mother, Candida Estela Pedrozo, who emigrated from Paraguay in 1969, her eyes filling with tears during a recent visit with her daughter-in-law. “I hope soon. Until then, we can’t sleep.”
Pedrozo’s wife, Lorena, said that since he was a young boy growing up in Virginia, “he said he wanted to be a police officer. He said he wanted to help people. I always begged him not to do it. I was scared. But it’s what he wanted. He said nothing is going to happen to him.”
If his death is ruled a homicide, Oscar Pedrozo would be the 116th D.C. officer to have died in the line of duty since the department was formed in 1861 and the first to have been killed as a result of violence since 2004. The five officers who have died since then were killed in car accidents or succumbed to duty-related illnesses or heart attacks.
Prosecutors say a finding of homicide could bring a murder charge against the attacker, who is serving an eight-year sentence for aggravated assault while armed. It also makes the Pedrozo family eligible for a significant boost in benefits — a possible $50,000 lump sum payment and the officer’s full salary paid to his wife each month.
“If it does turn out the death is duty related, we will do everything we possibly can to make sure his family gets all the benefits they deserve,” said Pedro Ribeiro, spokesman for D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), who knew the officer and attended his funeral. “And we’ll be able to keep the attacker locked up for a long, long time.”
If Pedrozo died of natural causes, his widow gets about 40 percent of her husband’s salary. The attacker, Jose Villalta, 34, who lived in Columbia Heights not far from where the stabbing occurred, is scheduled to leave a medium-security federal prison in Petersburg, Va., in June 2014.
For now, Pedrozo’s mother drives most days from her home in Northern Virginia to Silver Spring to help with chores and the children, three boys and a girl ages 2 through 12. The youngest, Yeriel, has no idea that his father is gone; 7-year-old Brianna repeats, “I miss Papi”; the oldest, Oscar, found his father on the floor and called 911.
One corner of the house has been turned into a shrine, a table covered with photos of Pedrozo graduating from McLean High School in 1992, as a new Marine that year, as a groom in 1999 and as a rookie police officer in 2006.
After leaving the Marines in 1999 — he was based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and served briefly in Japan — he worked with his new wife answering phones at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and with computers at the World Bank. But years behind a desk didn’t suit Pedrozo, and he joined the D.C. police, graduating from the academy on March 3, 2006, with honors in marksmanship.
Assigned to Columbia Heights, he embraced his job,returning home each night with stories about domestic assaults, drunks and miscreants. Pedrozo’s wife said he professed love both for the job and the people he met.
He purposely sought assignments that didn’t require a patrol car, and one of his first supervisors, Inspector Angel Medina, said he first thought Pedrozo didn’t have a driver’s license. Instead, Lorena Pedrozo said, “he wanted to be close to people.”
On the night of Aug. 20, 2007, Oscar Pedrozo was off duty when he joined fellow officers at Solo’s restaurant on 14th Street in Columbia Heights to pay tribute to a colleague who had died nine days earlier in a traffic accident.
Police said Pedrozo saw a man hit someone over the head with a bottle and helped the bouncer throw the attacker out. A few minutes later, police said, the man argued with Pedrozo and then stabbed him. A security guard and another witness chased down two suspects, and one of them, Villalta, was charged and convicted in the attack.
Pedrozo spent the next 18 months recovering from his injuries.
Candida Estela and Lorena Pedrozo sat through every day of Villalta’s trial in D.C. Superior Court and scoffed at the end result. “Eight years is nothing,” the mother said.
Oscar Pedrozo healed and went back to the police force, rejecting an offer for a desk job. “ ‘Why do you want to go back?’ ” Lorena Pedrozo said she pleaded. “ ‘Don’t go, for your child.’ But he said ‘no.’ He said, ‘I want to be a policeman.’ And now we lost him.”
Oscar Pedrozo’s latest ailments began, his mother and wife said, on a rainy night on Aug. 18, when they met at a restaurant in Columbia Heights. The next day, the officer had a cold, which grew worse as the days went on. He became quiet, didn’t eat and complained of pains similar to the hernia he had after the stabbing. The diagnosis, from doctors and clinics, was bronchitis.
By Aug. 24, he was feeling better, and his mother and wife headed to Ocean City with some of the kids, leaving the oldest son behind with his father. The next day, Pedrozo collapsed, fell down a set of stairs and died a few hours later.
D.C. Police Cmdr. Jacob Kishter, who ran the 3rd District station where Pedrozo had been assigned, said he liked the officer’s discipline, which came from military training. “The one word to describe him was service,” said Kishter, who spoke at the funeral Mass at St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring. An overflow crowd of 500 mourners packed the pews.
Pedrozo’s former boss, Medina, called him his “go-to guy.”
“I could say, ‘Go through this alley, because I’m getting complaints about people there,’ ” Medina said, “and the only thing I’d hear back was from residents who said, ‘Thank you.’ ”
Cecilia Jones, president of the Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association, recalled how Pedrozo handled the simple tasks. When a neighbor’s car was broken into, she said, he stayed with the owner until an insurance agent arrived to make sure a proper report was taken.
“We are very happy he was in our neighborhood,” she said.
Now Pedrozo is interred in Silver Spring’s Gate of Heaven Cemetery as his family waits for word on how he died, and how he will be remembered.
Officer Christopher Pasley was assigned to the Central Patrol Division after joining the department in January 2007.
The officer “died as a result of an apparent accidental discharge while cleaning his weapon at home today,” Brown said in the news release.
The chief added that the department’s Employee Relations Team was activated to “coordinate assistance to the family during this traumatic time
“I request the citizens of Dallas keep Officer Pasley and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, ” Brown said.
Columbia Borough PA Sept 12 2012 Firefighters in Pennsylvania will remember one of their own this weekend.
Capt. Steven Henry Sr., of the Columbia Borough Special Fire Police, answered his final alarm on Sept. 5.
He felt ill while on a call with the Columbia Consolidated Fire Dept. He went to his primary care physician.
The following day, he suffered cardiac arrest. Henry was 52.
Henry started out his volunteer career with the Maytown – East Donegal Township Fire Department in 1978 and later joining the Shawnee Fire Company. During his tenure, he served in the capacity of Chief Engineer, Captain, 2nd and 1st Assistant Fire Chief, Deputy Chief, Fire Chief and finally President.
The Shawnee Fire Company was formally dissolved in 2000, when the newly formed Columbia Consolidated Fire Department (CCFD) was created with the merger of Vigilant Fire Company, Shawnee Fire Company, and Keystone Fire Company.
At that time, Henry had served as the chief for over seven years. Since 2000, he had also served as chief engineer, assistant fire chief and chief of CCFD.
After serving as a firefighter for more than twenty-five years, he became very active with the Columbia Borough Special Fire Police and has served as the captain for the past two years.
Services will take begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 15 at Station 807 in Columbia. The family and department
will be receiving friends from 10 until noon.
A procession will then proceed past the Shawnee Fire Company and Columbia Borough Fire Police buildings, ending at Laurel Hill Cemetery for the funeral services.
A gathering to celebrate Henry’s decades of service will then take place back at the CCFD station for family and friends.
Struthers OH Sept 12 2012 It only took 110 years, but the Struthers police force now has its first full-time female officer.
Emma Brenoel, 22, was sworn in Thursday morning at the city building:
“I will be fair and just in all my dealings with people…
“I will not use the powers invested in me in any way except for the best interest of the public …,” she repeated after Mayor Terry Stocker.
So, what took the city so long?
Stocker said it was simply thatthough women applied to be in the city’s police reserves, none ever applied for a full-time position.
There were two full-time positions open, and the timing was right, he said, adding he believes Brenoel will be an asset to the city.
“I’m very proud to be the chief when we were able to hire a female,” said Police Chief Tim Roddy.
While the swearing-in of a woman police officer is new to the city, police work is not brand new for Brenoel, who lives in Poland with parents Phil and Amy Brenoel.
She has been a reserve officer for Struthers for a month, and she began as a part-time officer for Poland village in June. She has also been a part-time officer in Craig Beach since February and has been a reserve with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office since January.
She graduated from Poland Seminary High School in 2008 and is attending Youngstown State University for a degree in criminal justice.
She completed the Ohio police Officer Training Academy in March 2011.
Brenoel said she can’t see herself as anything but a police officer.
“I think it just fits me,” she said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I really like helping people solve their problems. It’s not just finding bad guys.”
“I love this place,” she continued. “I like working here. I feel like I fit in. This place will advance my education. The guys I work with — they’re just good guys.”
Looking on while Stocker administered the oath to Brenoel were her parents and her grandmother, Barb Ciccone of Struthers.
“We are very proud of her. She set a goal and met it,” said Amy Brenoel.
“She’s where she wanted to be,” said Phil Brenoel.
Brenoel’s first day on the job is today.
Stocker will swear in another full-time and two part-time officers today.
Ryan Kolenich is the new full-time officer. The new part-timers are Jeremy Cramer and Mark Mehley.
Struthers has 14 officers now, including the chief. The city will give a civil-service test for a police captain. Capt. Tom Skovira retired Aug. 31.
Austin Kristopher McKee, 23, was arrested after the incident about 10:30 p.m. Monday, according to Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe.
McKee was in the emergency room when he assaulted the security guard, Lowe said. He was taken into custody on suspicion of battery.
A motive for the alleged attack was unknown.