DECATUR, Ga. May 3 2013 — You may remember the line from the movie Casablanca: “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
This story is a reminder of just how beautiful friendships can be.
First, meet Tad Landau; he has been a firefighter for ten years for DeKalb County Fire Station #1.
“People call us in their worst hour,” says Landau. “We see people when they don’t want to be seen.”
But, he notes, “Once you do the job, that’s the end of it. You wonder about people; you wonder how people are doing.”
Two summers back, Landau’s station received a medical call. An elderly woman had fallen at her home. Landau did not yet know it, but he was about to enter, not a one-time job, but that beautiful friendship.
At the home off Clairmont Road, he found a irrepressible character named Mary Wood.
A former employee with the city of Atlanta, Wood lives alone in DeKalb County. She has a non-stop motor and, while she rarely moves, she loves to chat.
Landau saw this immediately, but he also saw a woman with no air conditioning, no living family, and little help.
“She was afraid to let people help her,” Landau said. “I never thought our relationship would get to where it is today.
And where is that?
“Well, she’s part of my family now.”
Every third day, if they are not answering a call, Landau and his team drop in to see Ms. Wood.
“Even her neighbors now know, if they see a fire truck in the street, there’s nothing wrong,” Landau says. “We’re just here to check in on Mary.”
In the past two years, Landau has fixed Wood’s air conditioning and bought her a television. As Wood said, he has also become her best friend.
Late last month, with Wood’s 90th birthday approaching, Landau prepared a special present: a party at her church of more than 50 years.
To watch Ms. Wood at this party was to see a personification of happiness, gratitude, and friendship. She greeted old friends from the church and new friends who now provide her with additional help.
Of course, she saved a special place for Landau.
“She will talk about today probably for the next six months,” the firefighter said. “This is special. I know she’s really happy.”
He was used to finding stuff in carts that customers had somehow forgotten — keys, credit cards, wallets. And he turned them in to customer service. But this particular item stood out. It was a white envelope with a clear window in the middle, bulging with what was inside, a lot of cash. Around $20,000, it turned out. Because of what he did that afternoon, Mensah now is in possession of a plaque that names him the winner of the retail giant’s national 2013 “Integrity in Action Award.”
Mensah is 32 and he remembers the exact date — Feb. 8, 2012 — on which he arrived in the U. S. of A., at JFK International Airport, from Ghana. He has a photo of that occasion: standing in an airport parking lot, wearing a cap and scarf in the Ghanaian national colors of red, gold and green, an optimistic smile on his face. He has dreams; you know, the perennial ones that immigrants through generations, and from countries all over the world, have told and still tell. They don’t mind sounding naive about America being the land of opportunity. For Mensah that meant get a job, go to college, study business administration, eventually return to Ghana to expand the five little shops that his mom, Irene, had started from her work as a seamstress.
Source: Seattle Times
DUNWOODY, GA Feb 15 2013
A first grader at Chesnut Charter Elementary is thankful that an alert crossing guard pushed him away from an approaching pickup truck.
Red Heneghan, 7, of Dunwoody, told CBS Atlanta News he was scared, but he’s feeling better now.
“My bookbag doesn’t work now,” said Heneghan. “My back could have a big bump on it.”
Crossing guard Lorraine Knox pushed the boy to safety.
According to the police report, the first grader’s roller book bag was hit and dragged 10 feet by a pickup truck outside the school on Thursday. The driver stopped and was later ticketed.
The boy’s father is Dunwoody City Councilman John Heneghan.
His wife, Kristin Heneghan, told CBS Atlanta news that he’s always been a proponent for safety.
“I’m not surprised that he [John Heneghan] is now going to push for safer crosswalks,” said Kristin Heneghan.
The councilman plans to propose that all major roadway crosswalks serving Dunwoody schools be outfitted with in ground lighting.
Meanwhile, Red is focusing his energy on what to say to the quick acting crossing guard.
“I would want to say thank you for saving me,” said Red.
Source: CBS ATLANTA
WEST VALLEY CITY UT Feb 4 2013 — Two teens were arrested Saturday in connection with a series of bank robberies over the past 48 hours in Salt Lake County’s west side.
Pete Mafua, 19, of West Valley, and Taumafakav Tuifua, 18, of West Valley, were arrested for investigation of four bank robberies or attempted robberies since Friday. The latest incident happened about 1 p.m. Saturday at U.S. Bank, 4135 S. Redwood Road. A man walked in and handed the teller a note that demanded money and insinuated that he also had a gun, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.
The man left and got into a waiting green Pontiac Grand Am. A witness, however, followed the car to a residence at 1618 W. Shelly Ave. (2870 South). UPD already had extra officers in the area because of an earlier bank robbery. Hoyal said they quickly responded to Shelly Ave. and set up a containment around the house. Four people were eventually talked into coming out and surrendering, Hoyal said.
All four were questioned by investigators. Mafua was identified as the main suspect and was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on a federal hold for investigation of bank robbery. Tuifua was arrested for investigation of two counts of aggravated robbery and obstructing justice. The other two were released.
The duo’s alleged crime spree began at First Utah Bank, 4900 West 3500 South. A man walked in about 10 a.m. Friday and told the teller he needed money, according to West Valley Police Sgt. Jason Hauer.
“She asked for his account number. He said, ‘No I just need money,’” Hauer said.
After a bank manager was called over, the man left without any cash.
About 1:30 p.m. Friday, a man matching the description from the previous incident entered Zion’s Bank, 8375 W. 3500 South. This time he presented a note demanding money and claimed to have a weapon, Hoyal said. A green Pontiac Grand Am was seen driving away from the scene.
About 10 a.m. Saturday, a similar scenario happened at America First Credit Union, 4976 W. 3500 South. A man handed the teller a note demanding money and claiming he had a weapon. He also left in a waiting green Pointiac Grand Am.
Jennings LA Jan 26 2013 A Louisiana police officer has gone above and beyond the call of duty by making a mentally disabled and autistic boy’s dream come true.
Blaize Richard’s life dream has been to be a police officer, said his mother, Angie Richard, so for his 18 th birthday on July 28, 2012, she coordinated a visit from one of the Jennings, La., Police Department’s officers, who presented Blaize with his own police uniform. Several weeks later, Blaize also was able to visit to the department.
After word of Blaize’s dream spread within the department, Officer Mike Hill took the boy under his wing – visiting him often and even coming by the family home when Hill received a new squad car.
“He calls Blaize his back-up,” said Richard. “He just comes and checks on him. It really makes Blaize’s day. I think Mike enjoys it just as much as Blaize does.”
Hill has shied away from media attention.
“He’s kind of overwhelmed,” said his boss, Jennings Police Chief Todd D’Albor, who spoke with pride about Hill making Blaize feel like a part of the police department.
“Police officers sometimes get a bad rap for the things that go wrong, but people don’t generally see that they [police officers] do have compassionate hearts and they do care about making a difference, and Mike Hill exemplifies that.”
D’Albor said Hill was one of many outstanding officers in his force.
“He’s one of the highly respected officers in my department because of the things that he does, and he goes above and beyond,” D’Albor said.
That commitment earned Hill an “Officer of the Year” award last year.
The attention the story has drawn to this small town that sits 40 miles west of Lafayette, La., has taken Angie Richard by surprise. It began when Richard recently uploaded photos of Blaize and Officer Hill to her Facebook wall. From that point on, the story went viral, drawing attention from all over the world, Richard said.
“Since I posted the story, it’s been kind of crazy,” she said. “So many good things are happening.”
With the all attention Blaize is receiving, it will be hard to keep secret D’Albor’s plan to commission the 18-year-old as an honorary Jennings police officer on Feb. 2.
“My police officers embrace what it’s about, which is to serve the community, not just protect it,” D’Albor said. “When you touch a life, that’s what it’s all about.”
Richard is looking forward to the day.
“My little boy doesn’t know they are going to do that, but ever since he was a little boy he’s wanted to go to the police academy,” she said. “It’s going to be awesome.”
Two teenagers are safe thanks to some quick thinking by two off-duty firemen and a hunter.
Both boys were rescued from the water near Coldwater Point in Tate County, Miss. on Monday.
One teenager was caught in a tree, the other stuck in eight feet of water in a sunken boat.
Just off the main road towards Arkabutla Lake there’s a dirt road that’s a little less traveled.
It leads back to a sportsman’s paradise, where Horn Lake Firefighter Michael Mueller was hunting on Monday.
“I heard some yelling over there, and I thought they were yelling at a dog, but they kept yelling,” he said.
Mueller instinctively went to check out the commotion with another hunter.
“I saw two kids that fell in the water, and they were soaking wet and one of them was hanging in a tree, and the other was barely in the boat. The boat had sunk down,” he said.
Mueller was able to get the two boys out. He said neither had life vests on, and that the cold water was about eight feet deep
“They were shaking pretty bad, they had some cramping in their arms,” he said.
The boys thawed out in Mueller’s car while he called former Horn Lake firefighter and current Memphis firefighter Cody Jenne.
He’s training to be a paramedic.
“He told me to tell them to get down in their thermal gear, and get all the heavy clothes off that were all waterlogged,” said Mueller.
There’s no telling how close the two teens came to hypothermia.
Mueller insists he isn’t a hero.
And even though he was off duty, he said helping people in need is a full-time job
“I’d like to say that everything worked out for the best,” he said.
The two hunters lost their guns while they were stuck, but Mueller told me they were able to fish out the weapons and return it to the boys on Tuesday.
Anchorage AK Jan 20 2013 Merrill Lake never heard the bank manager call for help. He read her lips.
“She was saying, ‘Stop him. Stop him,’ ” Lake said.
A 22-year-old from rural Alaska, Lake recently finished serving four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He had been walking near the Egan Convention Center on Wednesday, his headphones blaring “A-Team” by Ed Sheeran, when he first noticed the woman banging hysterically on the window of the Key Bank branch at 601 W. Fifth Ave.
He spotted a man with a bag walking quickly toward F Street. Lake said he knew something was wrong. What he didn’t know was that the man, 61-year-old Alan Bronson Rice, had just robbed the bank with a hammer, stealing more than $1,000, according to charges filed Thursday in federal court.
Lake said his military training — a kind of hard-wiring to act decisively, he said — clicked on when he saw the bank manager mouth the word “robber” or “robbery.”
“I just thought, he’s got to be stopped,” he said.
Here’s how it all happened, according to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Jason Cheney, and interviews Friday with Lake.
‘I’M GOING TO HIT YOU WITH THIS HAMMER’
Rice was the only customer in the bank when a teller offered to help him at her window. He walked up and placed his bag on the floor. Then he removed the hammer, setting it on the counter, the charges say.
What was he going to do with that, the teller asked.
“I need your money,” Rice said, according to the charges. He picked up the tool. “Give me your 100s and your 50s. I’m going to hit you with this hammer. Hurry up!”
The teller handed Rice cash from her top drawer, including five $20 “bait bills,” the FBI agent wrote. All told, Rice received $1,039.
“Hurry up. That’s good,” Rice told the teller. As he left the bank, the teller yelled to the branch manager.
It was 2:40 p.m., about five minutes after Rice first arrived at the bank, according to the charges.
The branch manager ran to the window and saw Rice walking toward F Street, the charges say.
Lake said he was walking in front of the bank when he saw the manager manipulating the blinds. She started saying something, telling Lake to stop Rice.
“I glanced over and said, ‘Sir, she’s calling you,’ ” Lake recalled.
Everything was fine, Rice assured him, Lake said. “He comes up with some excuse, saying that he would return (to the bank).” Lake looked back at the window. The bank employee continued to bang on it. He could tell she was saying something about a robbery.
I was like, ‘Oh crap.’ “
Rice started jogging, he said. Lake ran after him.
‘SIR, I’M A U.S. MARINE’
“He disappeared around the corner, through an alley. I sprinted out in front of him,” Lake said.
Lake recalled walking backward, trying to keep pace with Rice, watching his hands. One hand was on the backpack. Lake said he didn’t know if the man was carrying a weapon.
Rice asked Lake to follow him to the bus station, where he would explain everything. He had simply overdrawn on his bank account, Rice told him.
“It clicked right then and there,” Lake said.
” ‘OK, sir you’re robbing a bank,’ ” he recalled telling the older man. “You need to turn around and go back to the bank.”
Upon hearing the word “robbery,” Rice became agitated and tried to walk past Lake, Lake said.
At some point in the encounter, Rice asked Lake if he was making a citizen’s arrest.
“He was like, ‘Who are you?’ “
“I told him right then and there, ‘Sir, I’m a U.S. Marine. You need to turn around and go back to the bank,’ ” Lake said.
Rice didn’t say anything for about 10 seconds. Then: “I need to sit down.”
Lake said he followed the man to a bench next to the Egan Center where Rice dropped the bag on the ground.
Lake looked to his left and saw an Anchorage police cruiser emerging from an alley across the street. Lake waved at the police car. The officer pumped the brakes, he said.
According to the FBI, Anchorage Police Sgt. Roy LeBlanc had been a couple of blocks from the scene and already knew about the robbery. Lake flagged him down, the charges say.
Police searched Rice, finding the tool and stolen cash, according to the charges. The teller later identified him as the man who robbed the bank.
Police took Rice into custody. He’d been charged with smaller crimes before, court records show. Rice pleaded guilty to a third-degree theft charge in May and pleaded no contest in December in a misdemeanor shoplifting case.
In this case, Rice was taken to the FBI office in Anchorage. When he learned where he was, he told investigators he wanted to make a statement, according to the charges.
“He said he wanted to be released so that he could leave the country to serve his God,” the charges said.
Rice was instead taken to Anchorage jail, where he faces a felony robbery charge.
Lake said he’s going back to taking classes at the University of Alaska Anchorage and looking for a job. He’s not sure what he wants to do, he said.
“I’m trying to take my background with the military, in whatever way possible, and utilize it with the real world,” he said.
PORTLAND OR Jan 14 2013 — A couple received what they called a modest inheritance, and instead of spending it on themselves, they headed to a local auto dealership and bought a van for a recently paralyzed police officer.
The couple, who wished to remain anonymous, bought the van for Portland police officer Paul Meyer and his family after seeing news about the officer’s freak accident.
Meyer, a 20-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, was paralyzed from the waist down after a tree fell on him during police training on Hayden Island last November.
The man who contacted the Dick Hannah Toyota dealership in Washington last week told the manager he watched the news about Meyer’s injury and recognized the officer.
He said he’d spoken with Meyer once during a traffic stop, but outside of that short encounter, he didn’t know him.
Nonetheless, the man and his wife donated more than $40,000 Toyota Sienna minivan to Meyer and his family.
“I’m not at a loss for words very often…but these people don’t have a lot of money. I don’t know what to say,” said Brian Sanders, general manager of Dick Hannah Toyota.
Meyer was unavailable for comment today, but the dealership’s general manager said he was incredibly touched by the move.
The dealership put this story on its Facebook page to spread the news of this pay-it-forward donation.
Thousands of people have been pouring out emotional online comments thanking the giving couple.
NYPD officer photographed giving boots to barefoot homeless man melts icy hearts online www.privateofficer.com
PORTLAND, Ore. Aug 30 2012– Local lifeguards are being honored for their bravery, after their heroic efforts saved a 13-year-old girl who drowned in a Portland city swimming pool.
It was back in July when they pulled the girl from the bottom of the pool — and saved her life on the spot.
This group of 17- and 18-year-olds became life savers that day. And for that they received a well-deserved standing ovation Tuesday morning, at Wilson Pool in southeast Portland.
Portland’s Aquatics Director Nancy Roth calls the staff at Portland’s Wilson Pool “heroic” — acting “above and beyond.”
That heroic act happened on a picture-perfect Portland day: 80 degrees Fahrenheit, blue skies. The Wilson Pool was crowded on July 19th, when lifeguard William Meier spotted something 12 feet under.
“I kinda saw something by the bottom by the diving board,” said lifeguard Garrett Wyman. “And then I heard a little girl say, ‘My sister’s at the bottom of the pool!’”
The 13-year-old girl at the bottom of the pool had been adopted from China just weeks before.
Immediately the 17-year-old says he blew his whistle and jumped in.
“I had a little trouble getting to her,” Wyman told KOIN, “because she was literally laying on the bottom of the pool so its like 12 feet.”
He pulled her to the top, laid her on his float and tilted her head back to open her airway.
“The second I hit the water, adrenaline pumping,” he said, “I just kind of went through the steps and I knew what to do.”
Wyman was doing rescue breaths in the water. He put the backboard in and pulled her up, basically extricating her in the pool. That’s when four other lifeguards jumped in to get the girl onto the pool deck.
“As soon as she started breathing,” said one of the lifeguards, William Meier, “it was relieving to know she was conscious again.”
EMTs say the lifeguards’ speed played a role in her survival: “They said the oxygen levels in her blood were pretty high,” Meier said.
As for Wyman, who blew that first whistle, “I’m glad she’s alive. I’m really glad I knew what to do.”
“I’m glad I can rely on everyone that I work with,” he told KOIN. “It’s nice to call for help, and turn around, and help’s already there.”
NEW YORK CITY NY Aug 9 2012 — Jay Ruiz’s cellphone rang about 3:30 a.m. on a stifling Saturday.
It was a woman. As usual, she wanted Ruiz to meet her within the hour and take her home.
Ruiz hauled himself off the sofa where he’d been watching TV, jumped onto his bicycle and pedaled swiftly through Brooklyn to the subway station where the caller was due to arrive. Then, after walking her safely to her door, he rode back home, back to his wife of 19 years, and waited for the next call.
This is how Ruiz’s weekends have been since last fall when he saw a video of a shrieking woman fighting off an attacker, which was aired on local TV as police searched for a predator stalking Brooklyn neighborhoods. “That video — I really don’t know why it hit me so hard, but it changed my life,” said Ruiz, who decided to do something.
The next night, he went to a nearby subway station with a friend, held aloft a sign offering to chaperon women home, and waited for customers. The Brooklyn Bike Patrol was born, and 11 months later it has evolved into a borough-wide service with 13 volunteers on call seven days a week, and clients who include doctors, lawyers, tipsy revelers and waitresses working the night shift.
“It’s a real anomaly to have a service like this,” said Elyse Neiman-Seiter, a television producer who first called upon Ruiz in the spring, after she heard about it from someone else, and has used it at least three times. “I think that’s why people at first didn’t believe it.”
Indeed, business was slow at first. “Not a lot of people trusted us,” said Ruiz, who recalled that first night last September, waiting at the station with his friend and hoping for clients. “We stood there for a couple of hours. People thought we were crazy.”
Given the attacks, Ruiz could understand why the women of Brooklyn would be wary of a strange man with a powerful build, a Batman tattoo on his chest and a Kryptonite bike chain around his waist offering to walk them home for free.
But Ruiz, 47, got a lucky break. The Daily News came upon him while reporting on the Brooklyn attacks and did a story on the Bike Patrol. A local news station followed up. Ruiz made fliers, recruited volunteers and set rules: no dating, no taking tips, criminal background checks for every volunteer.
“You have to always have a smile on your face and be over 21,” added Ruiz, who set up a Facebook page with his email and phone number on it and a list of the neighborhoods his volunteers serve, from pricey Park Slope to working-class Crown Heights.
Now, Ruiz and his volunteers, who include a chaplain, a social worker, a college student and a photographer, wear neon-yellow T-shirts that read Brooklyn Bike Patrol, which were donated by a local church, and picture IDs around their necks. A New York senator gave them jackets, and the Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, has publicly praised the effort.
“You can never have too many extra sets of eyes and ears on the streets,” Markowitz said.
A police spokesman, Paul Browne, said the local precinct had a good relationship with Ruiz and had vetted his volunteers.
Fans have suggested expanding the service to other boroughs. For now, though, Ruiz is sticking to Brooklyn, which like most of New York has seen crime decline but which remains haunted by the 2011 attacks. Browne said police eventually charged three men in connection with the 21 incidents, which spanned from March to October 2011.
New York’s subway runs 24 hours a day, offering cheap transport to the workers and tourists who keep the city humming around the clock. But some of the loveliest neighborhoods during daylight hours can turn frightening in the dead of night, when canopies of leafy trees and shadows of old brownstones turn dimly lit avenues into dark tunnels.
Ruiz was home with his wife, Stacey, when the video of the woman fighting off her attacker, a struggle that lasted more than 30 seconds, appeared on television. The attacker fled.
“I got very angry,” said Ruiz, who by day works as a dispatcher for a bicycle messenger service. “I thought if people had a chaperon from the train stations it would help. Nobody wants to mess with two people. Then it hit me. I could do it on my bike.”
Stacey didn’t object.
“I thought it was a good idea. I just didn’t know if it would work,” she said, joking that if nothing else, it would get Ruiz out of the house so she could have the TV to herself. “I didn’t realize how far it would go — I thought it would just be a little local thing. I’m really proud of how far he’s taken this.”
The system is simple. People call or text Ruiz, whose cellphone shines a picture of his dog, Roxy, when it’s not buzzing, and tell him where and about when they will be leaving a train. Ruiz bikes to the station to wait for the customer or dispatches a volunteer.
One night, he got 17 calls. Some evenings, nobody calls, a sign that reports of street crimes have fallen and people feel safe walking alone.
About the only thing that scares Ruiz, it seems, are rats. “I’d fight Mike Tyson, but I can’t handle a rat,” he said, moving away from a bench after spotting a rat scurrying into a park.
Jumping onto his bike to race across Brooklyn at late hours doesn’t faze the former bicycle messenger, who also spent nearly 20 years coaching Little League and did an Army stint in the mid-1980s. He credits his late father, Ruben, who he says was a wrestler, with instilling in him a sense of chivalry and determination.
Unlike the Guardian Angels or the police, Ruiz and his volunteers do not patrol or carry weapons. Officially, they are on duty from 8 p.m. until midnight on weeknights and until 4 a.m. on weekends, but they try to accommodate people whenever they call. Most customers are women, but at least one man has called for a chaperon.
On Halloween, Ruiz escorted two women — one dressed as a box of cookies, the other as a milk carton — who felt vulnerable because their costumes limited their arm movements. Many of his regulars, who are listed in his phone by their first names and their usual subway stations, are waitresses who work late and who don’t want to spend $20 or so for a cab ride home.
On a recent Sunday, a 21-year-old au pair named Monica Suarez staggered up the steps of a subway station dragging a suitcase and two shoulder bags at 1:15 a.m., about 45 minutes after alerting Ruiz she was en route.
“I was kind of embarrassed to call,” said Suarez, who had just arrived home from visiting Miami and who has been in New York about one year, from her native Colombia. But Suarez knew of Ruiz through a friend and decided to play it safe, rather than make the 10-minute walk through the dark streets on her own.
Ruiz said neither he nor any of his volunteers has been attacked on duty. He credits their bright yellow T-shirts and badges with giving the men an official look that deters troublemakers.
When he started out last September, Ruiz did not envision the service becoming a permanent fixture. But it has taken more than 100 calls since it began, and he expects things to get busy again as summer fades and the days grow short.
“I promised myself I’d do it for a year,” Ruiz said. “I think we have to go beyond that.”
Clarendon County SC Aug 7 2012 The actions of a Manning teen likely saved the life of a complete stranger.
While others stood and watched in horror, 19-year-old Lamar Weldon sprang into action.
Weldon used what he learned in a volunteer fire fighters class to free a 54-year-old woman trapped in her burning car over the weekend.
A charred path on Highway 301 in Clarendon County is all that’s left behind by Brenda Leonaerd’s car.
If it hadn’t been for Weldon coming down the road, who knows what would have happened.
“She said somebody’s in there, somebody’s in there,” said Weldon.
Those were the first shouts Weldon heard from the crowd gathered near what’s now the charred remnant of the crash on Highway 301 just outside Manning.
“The car was lying on its side, like you lay and sleep on your side, it was laying on its side right here and the fire was started here in the back,” said Weldon, as he describes what happened.
Leonaerd was trapped inside as the teen and another man went to work.
“I ran back to my car, I got a crow bar and so he met me at the same time,” said Weldon. “So me and him were working on the front window to get her out.”
“In the firefighter class they tell you what kind of sounds you’re going to hear when it’s about to blow,” Weldon added.
While the other man ran for water, Weldon knew there wasn’t enough time, so he cleared the windshield with his grandmother’s walking stick.
“When I grabbed both of her hands, I pulled her,” said Weldon. “As soon as I pulled her out, about two minutes, boom, the whole car in flames.”
Why risk his own life for a perfect stranger?
“That could have been my momma in that car, that’s how I look at it,” said Weldon.
It’s an act his family is proud of him for doing, and calling heroic.
“God blessed me, I just knew God had me, on my side, I knew he wouldn’t let me get hurt trying to save another person,” said Weldon
While Leonaerd survived this crash, she’ll also face charges of DUI from the Highway Patrol in Clarendon County.
COLLEGE PARK, Ga.Aug 2 2012 – A good Samaritan died Tuesday afternoon after trying to help an elderly man involved in a car crash.
Amonrasi quickly pulled over and jumped out of his car to help the man, but lost his footing and slid down the hill, landing directly in the path of an oncoming train. He couldn’t get up fast enough; the train hit him and severed both legs. Amonrasi died four hours later at Grady Hospital.
The driver, Sinkfield, suffered several broken ribs but his family expects him to be released from the hospital this week.
“I’m at a loss for words,” said Sinkfield’s son Moya. “He was just an angel today. He lost his life being an angel.”
“That is DeKai. I could believe that,” said Alberto Roberts, Amonrasi’s cousin.
“We knew that if he left this world, it was going to be doing something for someone.”
Moya Sinkfield said his father “blacked out” during the accident and couldn’t remember much of what happened. He did not know why he ran off the road.
In honor of their heads-up help, Northville Township Public Safety Director John Werth presented both with civilian citations at the Board of Trustees meeting on July 19.
Werth said Mary Guibord and her daughter Gabrielle were at the TCF Bank at Six Mile and Haggerty roads around 1:40 p.m. Sunday, July 1 when Mary observed a suspicious-looking female enter the bank, go up to the teller and then quickly leave the building and drive away.
The robbery suspect had asked for $6,000 and left with over $5,000, according to Werth.
According to Lt. Michael Wildt, the Guibords followed the suspect in their own vehicle while contacting the police. They continued to update the police on the suspect’s location. Eventually, Livonia police deployed stop sticks, disabling the vehicle and arrested the suspect.
Werth said both “were very accurate in giving us information.”
“This is what we call in public safety ‘the best witnesses,’” Werth said.
Because the case/trial is ongoing the police would like to keep some of the Guibords’ personal information private.
Werth read from the certificate and said both were courageous in helping with the apprehension of a bank robber as well as the recovery of $5,342.
“By your act a dangerous criminal was taken off the street minutes after the robbery occurred,” Werth read. “This serious crime would not have been solved so quickly without your assistance.”
According to Wildt, the suspect is Kristie Lynn Smith, 35, of Redford Township, and she is charged with one count of bank robbery, a felony charge with up to life in prison.
Florida man who shot suspects during Internet cafe robbery will not face charges www.privateofficer.com
Marion County Fla July 21 2012 The 71-year-old Florida man who fired his gun at two men trying to rob a crowded Internet café will not face criminal charges, an assistant state attorney general told FoxNews.com
Bill Gladson, the attorney, said he reviewed the security video from the Palms Internet café in central Florida.
The video shows patron Samuel Williams pulling a handgun and shooting. He continues firing while the suspects fall over each other as they run out the door.
Gladson said in the memo Williams’ use of force was lawful under Florida’s statutes regarding individuals rights to use deadly force when resisting a forcible felony, like a robbery.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports one robber pointed a gun at customers while the other swung a baseball bat.
Williams said in a post-incident interview, that he and his wife were at the cafe to play “sweepstakes,” Gladson’s memo said. He heard the commotion and, when given an opportunity, fired his weapon to protect his wife and other patrons, the memo stated.
Duwayne Henderson and Davis Dawkins, both 19, were later arrested and face attempted armed robbery with a firearm and criminal mischief charges. They were transported to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Dawkins had a superficial wound in his left arm, but Henderson was shot in two places: his left buttock and his right hip.
Both posted bail and were released.
Williams has a concealed weapons permit. Bill Gladson of the Marion County state attorney’s office says the shooting appears justified.
Neither of the men have a criminal record, authorities said
NYC bus driver hailed as hero after catching 7-year-old girl who fell 3 stories from building www.privateofficer.com
“I just prayed that I’d catch her,” Stephen St. Bernard recalled after rescuing the child on Monday.
A seven-year-old autistic girl climbed out on to a window ledge of her Brooklyn apartment. Cell phone video captured the girl’s fall in the arms of people standing below.
“’Please let me catch her, please let me catch her.’ That’s all I could say,” he added.
St. Bernard said he was walking home from work when he observed a commotion outside the Coney Island housing complex. He saw the girl standing on the air conditioning unit, seemingly unafraid and moving about.
It wasn’t clear how she got there, but witnesses told the Daily News that she crawled out by pulling aside the unit’s accordion-like plastic partitions that keep the air conditioner secured in the window.
An amateur video shows St. Bernard yelling up to the girl, telling her to go back inside when she suddenly falls and he catches her in his arms.
“I picked her up and carried her. … She kept looking around. She never closed her eyes. She never lost consciousness,” he said.
The girl was taken to a Coney Island hospital with minor injuries. St. Bernard, a father of four, suffered a torn tendon in his shoulder.
Neighbors said the girl was a special needs child.
Police said no charges were filed against the parents.
CORBIN, KY July 12 2012 – A former Kentucky state lawmaker and high school teacher injured last year when he tried to break up a school fight has died.
DeWayne Bunch taught math at Whitley County High School in Williamsburg for 17 years. On April 12, 2011, Bunch suffered a brain injury when he tried to break up a fight between two students in the school cafeteria. Bunch hit his head on the cafeteria floor and was knocked unconscious.
A Republican member of the Kentucky House of Representatives elected in 2010, Bunch, 50, spent 23 years in the Kentucky National Guard and served a tour of duty in Iraq.
Bunch resigned from the House on October 26, 2011 due to his injuries. His wife Regina was elected to replace him by the voters of District 82, which covers Whitley County and part of Laurel County.
The two boys involved in the fight, who were 15 and 16 at the time, were charged with assault. It is unknown whether the charges will be upgraded now that Bunch has died.
Funeral arrangements for Bunch have not been released.
INDIANAPOLIS IN July 11 2012 - An Indiana cheerleader came to the rescue when the coach of a minor league football team collapsed on the field.
The coach for the Indianapolis Tornadoes fell ill during Saturday’s game. Luckily, team cheerleader Jessica Anderson, an emergency medical technician and firefighter, was on hand to administer CPR.
The coach was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with high blood sugar and high blood pressure.
Anderson is credited with saving the man’s life.
“It’s nice to get the recognition from the crowd and the players and my teammates,” Anderson said.
Unemployed Brooklyn man misses job interview to save 9-month-old boy who was blown into path of oncoming subway train www.privateofficer.com
Brooklyn NY June 28 2012 An unemployed Brooklyn man missed a job interview Tuesday for the best of reasons: He was saving the life of a 9-month-old boy who was blown into the path of an oncoming subway train by a gust of high wind.
Like a superhero without a cape, Delroy Simmonds jumped onto the elevated tracks and hoisted the bleeding child — still strapped into his stroller — to the safety of the platform as the J train bore down on them.
The father of two then shrugged off his courageous, selfless act.
“Everybody is making me out to be some sort of superhero,” the father of two told the Daily News on Tuesday night. “I’m just a normal person. Anybody in that situation should have done what I did.”
He said he wasn’t looking for praise. What he really wants is a regular paycheck.
“I’ve been looking for a job for a year and change,” Simmonds said. “I’m looking for something to support my family.”
The Brooklyn native was on his way to apply for a maintenance position at a warehouse when the unthinkable happened at the Van Siclen Ave. station in Cypress Hills at 12:45 p.m.
“A strong gust of wind blew. It had to be 30, 40 miles an hour,” he recalled. “There was a woman with four kids. One was in a stroller. The wind blew the baby onto the tracks.”
Witnesses looked on in horror as the child’s mother, identified by sources as Maria Zamara, stood frozen in shock. In the distance, they could see the train rounding a bend, headed into the station.
“I jumped down and I snatched the baby up,” Simmonds said. “The train was coming around the corner as I lifted the baby from the tracks. I really wasn’t thinking.”
He hoisted the stroller to the platform as the train came in, the operator blasting his horn. He pulled himself up just as the train jerked to a stop halfway into the station, witnesses said.
Khalima Ansari, 21, who was waiting for the same train, was stunned by Simmonds’ heroics.
“The baby had a big gash on his forehead. You could see his skull,” said Ansari, who called 911.
The child was taken to Brookdale University Hospital and treated for cuts to his face and head. “He’s okay. . . . We are thankful,” the boy’s father said at the hospital.
Simmonds didn’t stick around after the rescue.
“It was the fatherly instinct. I have two daughters of my own — 8 and 5. I was being a father. I would have done it for any baby,” he said.
Those instincts meant he missed his train — and the interview that might have led to his first job since he was a laid off as a vocational trainer for the mentally disabled.
He said he had another interview scheduled for Wednesday and was just hoping he could get there without any drama.
“What I really need is a job,” he said.
MORGANTON, NC June 23 2012 - “Could you imagine being a four year old, and not knowing if you were going to have to grow up without your daddy?”
Morganton Public Safety Officer Felicia Ennis knows what it’s like to think your daddy is going to die, and that’s why she decided to do everything she could to keep four-year-old Adam Christy from experiencing that grief. Felicia decided to do something that most people would never consider; she donated a kidney to Adam’s daddy, Public Safety Sergeant Bryan Christy.
Morganton Public Safety Chief Mark Tolbert presented a Medal of Valor to Felicia Ennis during the June 18 Morganton City Council Meeting to recognize her distinguished service.
“Most acts of valor are a one-time event that leaves little to no time to think of one’s actions, PSO Ennis had months to change her mind about donating her kidney, but she remained steadfast in her care and commitment to her fellow law enforcement officer and gave of herself, literally, to provide life to Sergeant Bryan Christy,” the commendation read.
Ennis said she was honored by the medal and thankful to be able help her fellow officer. Ennis understands that many people will wonder, why? For her, the answer is that her father was saved from a deadly illness, and she decided she wanted to help someone else’s father, if she was able.
Christy said he had a lot of time to talk with Ennis about her decision on road trips back and forth to the hospital in Chapel Hill. He said he only wanted Ennis to be sure of her decision.
Ennis said it wasn’t only her decision.
“The ultimate decision was left to God,” Ennis said. “My prayer was, ‘God, you spared my daddy. If it be your will, allow me to be a match. God use my kidney to be a help to someone else and their family.’”
Ennis said God answered her prayers. She was amazed that she was such a good match for Christy. The transplant surgeries went smooth and both Ennis and Christy were allowed to return home just four days after the surgeries. Ennis is back working light duty at the Public Safety Department and all of Christy’s tests are looking excellent.
“I was only a helper in prolonging the life that God has given him,” Ennis said about her donation. “I would do it all over again. Every pain and every ache I have had has been worth it to me – to see one more daddy spared and get to grow old with his children, with his family at home and with family here at Public Safety.”
WINCHESTER, KY May 19 2012 - It may be spring, but one man is already playing the role of Santa for one Kentucky town.
A man purchased the remaining inventory at a Clark County Kmart and proceeded to donate the goods to a local charity.
Businessman Rankin Paynter was at the Kmart in Winchester a few weeks back buying things for his business.
“I said to the lady ‘what are you going to do with all this stuff that’s leftover two days before you close,’” said Paynter.
They told him everything goes to Kmart power buyers, so he went and became one. Six and a half hours and four cash registers later, Paynter had his fortune.
Instead of selling it and making some cash, he donated everything Wednesday to a Clark County charity. The charity is excited to have enough hats and gloves to give away this winter for the first time.
IRMO, SC May 15 2012 – As co-owner of Anytime Fitness in Irmo, Radley West makes it her job to help clients look and feel better. But this week, she’s taking that idea to a whole new level.
Radley is giving a kidney to one of her customers.
“I have two,” Radley said. “It’s not vital. I have a spare. Just giving one of my spare parts.”
The man lucky enough to have met Radley West is 33-year-old Ryan Brooke. West and her husband and business partner Andrew got to know Brooke late last year. They knew he was on dialysis and could see he was struggling.
“Sooner or later you’re not going to have a way to stick, so you can do dialysis and eventually the person will die if their kidneys don’t work,” Andrew said.
“I guess my thought process was, if I have to go through a little discomfort in the procedure and recovery in order to improve his quality of life in the long term, that is what’s important,” Radley said.
Both of the Wests began exploring the concept of living organ donation. It turned out only Radley would be a match for Brooke.
“I’ve always said through this whole process and pretty much my entire life that you can’t go through life with what-if’s. I mean you just do what you do. And this entire process I put in God’s hands,” Radley said. “From the beginning to every step I took.
Brooke is already in Augusta preparing for the surgery. Radley will travel there Tuesday with the operation scheduled for Wednesday.
Friends and other customers have offered to help run the fitness franchise while the Wests are gone. And the rest is all a matter of faith.
“Again, it’s all in God’s hands,” Andrew said. If she is to pass away under the knife and Ryan is still able to have a kidney, great.”
“At’s just putting yourself out there and helping somebody else out with something that you don’t really need,” Radley said. “I don’t need that extra kidney.”
Baltimore MD May 1 2012 Police on patrol at about 1 a.m., spotted a crowd outside the Paradox nightclub south of M&T Bank Stadium and saw a 25-year-old woman lying on the sidewalk unresponsive as security personnel from the club performed CPR.
She was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center where she was pronounced dead at about 2:20 a.m.
Police identified the woman as Karen Huskey, of Tennessee. There were no signs of foul play, and the body was taken to the medical examiner’s office for further investigation.
Police say that the death is being investigated as an unclassified death at this time.
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC May 1 2012
MIAMI Fla Dec 15 2011 – A woman who received a new kidney after posting a plea for help on Craigslist is recovering in a Miami hospital, and so is the donor.
Selina Hodge posted a plea online in July asking for someone to donate a kidney. The 28-year-old then turned to Craigslist.
She told WPTV she “didn’t know where else to turn.”
Hodge received more than 800 responses from all over the world from her Craigslist ad. One came from 23-year-old Stephanie Grant, who lived just a few miles (kilometers) away from Hodge in Palm Beach Gardens.
The two drove together to the University of Miami Medical Center Campus several times for evaluations. The women underwent transplant surgery Tuesday.
The women’s families tell the TV station that both patients are doing fine after surgery.
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Dec 5 2011 Two Good Samaritans ran down a thief who allegedly tried to steal $10,000 worth of high-end purses from Nordstrom in Walnut Creek on Saturday night.
Officers went to 1200 Broadway Plaza after several people called 911 to report a robbery and people running out of Nordstrom at about 8:30 p.m., according to Walnut Creek police.
Witnesses told arriving officers that a male and female suspect had entered the store and grabbed armloads of purses and handbags, police said.
The store alarms were activated and the suspects pushed customers out of the way to run out of the store, police said.
One customer apparently tried to grab the male suspect’s arm, police said. The suspect, later identified as Bryan Black, 42, of Oakland, sprayed the customer in the face with pepper spray.
A second customer tackled Black outside the store as he was running toward a waiting vehicle, police said.
Black allegedly tried to pepper spray the man, but the good Samaritan was able to hold him down until security guards and police arrived to take him into custody, police said.
The female drove off in a beige-Ford Fusion.
Black was arrested for robbery, burglary, assault, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and violating parole.
One of the good Samaritans was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
The handbags were returned to Nordstrom.
NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio Sept 8 2011 — Police said a man’s attempt to rob a North College Hill bank failed before he could even leave the building.
Investigators said Michael Pryor, 28, walked into the Greater Cincinnati Credit Union at 6899 Hamilton Ave. on Wednesday morning and demanded $100 bills from a teller.
When the teller refused and called 911, police said Pryor jumped the counter and unsuccessfully tried to take money from the teller, then went to another teller and took cash that a customer was depositing.
Police said Pryor jumped back over the counter and tried to leave but was tackled by a customer, who held him until police arrived.
“Based on what they observed, it wasn’t like the guy was displaying a firearm or a knife. They stepped in and stopped him,” said Detective Dan Fritz with College Hill Police.
Fritz said officers had become very familiar with Pryor throughout the day Wednesday.
At about 7 a.m., Fritz said Pryor was arrested on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct. He was cited and released.
After his release, Fritz said Pryor had to be escorted away from the credit union “for causing some problems.” That was a short time before the attempted bank robbery, Fritz said.
Pryor is being held pending an arraignment hearing. No injuries were reported.