FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. June 18 2013
By- Jodie Fleischer
A Channel 2 Action News investigation found private security guards pulling over drivers in several local neighborhoods.
They use lights, sirens, and even write traffic tickets, but they aren’t real police officers. Channel 2 producers went undercover to catch the activity on video.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer received calls and emails from drivers complaining about security guards running radar and staking out stop signs in several neighborhoods.
In the gated St. Marlo community in southern Forsyth County, a security officer pulled over our producers for rolling through a smaller version of a stop sign. (Channel 2 producers first consulted our attorney and law enforcement, then drove below the speed limit. They also made sure there were no children or pedestrians around before carefully driving through, to document a traffic stop.)
The security officer issued a $100 fine traffic citation, payable to the neighborhood’s homeowners’ association, which employs the guards.
“If I was to stop a motor vehicle with lights in my car, I would be on my way to jail,” said resident T.J. Ward.
Ward believes the security officers are impersonating real ones. He has been a certified police officer for 40 years.
“A private individual can’t make a traffic stop and security officers are private individuals. The only person that can stop a motor vehicle is a law enforcement officer,” said Ward.
Ward got pulled over a few years ago, which launched a heated exchange with his HOA. In a letter, the neighborhood’s property manager wrote in part, “The decision by individuals to stop for security personnel is purely voluntary, given their understanding of homeowner responsibility to comply with all rules promulgated by the association.”
The neighborhood already installed speed bumps and posted the speed limit and stop signs.
“I think it has nothing to do with safety. It’s a money maker, and they know it,” said Chip Terrell, who got a $50 ticket in the St. Ives neighborhood in Johns Creek.
“If you don’t come to that head-jerking stop, they are coming out and trying to write you a ticket,” said Terrell.
Our cameras also caught security trucks in both neighborhoods rolling through stop signs.
Terrell believes his pest control truck made him a target. He said drivers working in the neighborhood frequently receive tickets.
“They are taking advantage of people that can’t defend themselves. There’s no legal system in here. You pay the ticket or your company doesn’t work in here anymore,” said Terrell.
“I don’t know that they’re necessarily targeting anybody,” said Tom Bartolozzi, an attorney who has represented hundreds of homeowners associations.
He said neighborhoods have the right to enforce their own rules on their streets.
“If they see a stop sign, they should just stop,” Bartolozzi said.
He added, “All it takes is one incident of a small child coming through, because you’re rolling, looking to the left, and someone comes out there. I think they would rather err on the side of caution.”
He said that guests consent to the traffic stops when they enter the gated community, and homeowners agree to live by association rules when moving in.
“It’s just the same thing like they can’t paint their house a certain color or they have to keep their lawn maintained,” said Bartolozzi.
“I think it’s absurd. It certainly seems to run afoul of state laws,” said constitutional law professor and former U.S. Attorney Bob Barr.
Barr published a column on the topic years ago, and said most homeowners don’t want the trouble or expense of battling their HOA, or they think the officers are real police officers.
“I pulled over thinking I was yielding to an emergency vehicle,” said attorney Ken Poris, who fought a traffic stop in his neighborhood outside Chicago.
The Court of Appeals wrote, “The security officers are without legal authority to stop and detain drivers for violating association rules.”
But Poris lost in the Illinois Supreme Court earlier this year.
“I felt that they were dead bang wrong,” said Poris, whose community was not gated.
He said the private security officer used a radar gun with no calibration or training.
“It’s vigilante law. He was making what amounted to a citizen’s arrest without the authority,” said Poris.
Back here in Georgia, the St. Marlo officer advised our producer that she would not be allowed back in the community until the ticket was paid.
The officer said, “We’re here to make sure no one speeds and everyone is safe.”
Critics like Ward worry about the safety of the officers and their neighborhoods.
Ward said, “God forbid that a child gets hit by a car. I understand there are a few people who speed through here, but there’s other ways of doing it. They can target a car, see the car, send them a ticket by mail.”
Bartolozzi said in most neighborhoods, the HOA board is willing to hear appeals from drivers who want to fight a ticket, but that’s the same board that collects the money.
The citations do not affect drivers’ state maintained records, and there is no criminal penalty for non-payment. However, if the driver lives in the neighborhood, the HOA can place a lien on the owner’s property for non-payment. It can also hold homeowners responsible for tickets received by their visitors, because the guards document the guest information when they enter the neighborhood.
Because a homeowner in the St. Marlo community allowed our producers through the gate, the HOA can fine that homeowner if the ticket goes unpaid. Channel 2 Action News plans to pay the fine.
Representatives from several law enforcement agencies have contacted Fleischer saying they are outraged over the issue. Many pointed out that traffic stops are one of the most dangerous parts of their job.
CLEVELAND OH June 18 2013 — A man was shot following an incident with security officers, during which he allegedly drove his car at one of them when he was asked to move his vehicle, the Cleveland Division of Police said.
Are’es Richards, 20, of Cleveland Heights, was found unconscious at the Marathon Gas Station at East 40th Street and St. Clair Avenue around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
He had a gunshot wound to his leg and was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center where he later died.
According to Sgt. Sammy Morris, the preliminary investigation revealed security officers with Kingdom Warrior Protection were working a private party that was held at the Braxton Building on East 40th Street.
As they were working to clear the area of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, one reportedly asked Richards to move his vehicle.
He allegedly did not comply, prompting the security officer to knock on the vehicle’s window and ask again.
According to police, Richards opened the door and hit the security officer with it, who then slammed the door closed, but Richards forced it open again.
Richards got out of the vehicle, police said, and a physical struggle followed.
When Richards was pushed back into his vehicle, he allegedly drove onto the sidewalk and over a curb toward the security officer.
The security officer ran away, at which time three other security officers fired their weapons at Richards’ vehicle.
Police said a total of 27 rounds were fired by three of four armed security guards.
Five security officers were interviewed by Homicide Unit detectives and were cooperating with the investigation. None of them suffered injuries.
No arrests have been made. When the investigation is over, the case will be taken to the prosecutor’s office to determine if the shooting was in self-defense.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Cleveland Division of Police Homicide Unit at (216) 252-7463.
Source- FOX8 Cleveland
SAN BERNARDINO CALIFORNIA June 16 2013
A civil court jury voted to award $55 million to a Rancho Cucamonga man who lost his legs because a private security firm’s security guard failed to protect him from a gang member who shot him at the Fontana apartment building where he lived in 2006, the panel decided.
The negligence lawsuit said a guard from Stratus Security Services neither broke up a late-night outdoor drinking party of about 10 men associated with the Crips gang, nor told shooting victim Antonio Steward and his two friends who were sitting outside on a nearby apartment stairwell to go back inside their own homes because it was dangerous. Jurors decided the case Thursday, June 13.
Steward, who was 17 when he was shot, is 24 years old now and in constant pain from the nine gunshot wounds he suffered, his attorney Gary Dordick of Beverly Hills said Friday, June 14.
Steward lives with his parents Steve Steward and Annie Camp in an apartment unequipped for his disabilities. Despite his wounds, he was able with prosthetics to walk across stage in his delayed graduation from Alta Loma High School in 2009. An article about the event called him “Miracle Man Walking.”
Steward volunteers at Loma Linda University Medical Center where he counsels new amputees. His prosthetic legs broke in a fall a few years ago, and no longer fit. They have not been replaceable since an insurance change with his 21st birthday.
The law firm representing Stratus relayed a message from its insurance adjuster on Friday that “the process is not over and we are not in a position to make a comment at this time.” Defense attorneys can seek a new trial, ask for the judge to overturn the jury’s verdict, or appeal. Dordick said defense attorneys indicated in court they plan to do use all three options if needed. The trial judge also can reduce the award.
In earlier court actions, Stratus claimed that the security guard believed the men were going back inside the apartment where they had been invited as guests, and there was no evidence of imminent danger.
Steward’s negligence lawsuit said the guard employed by Stratus Security Services should have ordered dispersal of a group of men who were drinking and partying outdoors at 12:30 a.m. Aug. 26, 2006 at the apartment house complex on Arrow Boulevard in Fontana. Instead, the guard told the men about a noise complaint and then walked away, testimony and court documents said.
The security guard said he was reluctant to do much more than that. “If you’d been there, you wouldn’t have wanted to be there,” court records said the man testified in an early hearing in the case. “It was about 10 of them and one of me…it was just a situation I didn’t want to be in.” One of the men from the group shot Steward shortly after the guard went to his car to write a daily activity report.
If the security guard did not feel safe dispersing the large group of men, he should have told Steward and his friends to go back inside their apartments and called police the lawsuit said. Dordick said there was testimony that Steward obeyed security guard orders in the past because he didn’t want his family to get evicted.
But that night, Dordick said, the security guard did not issue any warnings to Steward or his friends. Shortly after the guard went to his car, Roosevelt Turner broke away from the group of men, tried to bum a cigarette off Steward, and then shot him.
Only about half the $55 million will actually be available to Steward, if it is not reduced further by either post-verdict action or appeals, Dordick said.
Even before any possible reduction of the jury’s award by the trial judge or from appeals, the actual amount is already reduced to 49 percent Dordick said . Jurors assigned 49 percent responsibility of the shooting to Stratus Security Services, 49 percent to Turner, and 2 percent to Steward.
Steward is not liable to himself. Turner, who is currently serving two consecutive life-with-possibility-of-parole prison sentences stemming from the shooting, also is not a source for paying damages. “I don’t know how many license plates he can make,” Dordick said.
But at $26.9 million, “People hear a number like that and they think it’s extraordinarily large – and it is,” Dordick said “But it is a reasonable number, given the catastrophic nature of the injury and damages. Both of his legs were amputated above the knee. He has had 56 surgeries and will need at least 40 more in the future. More than 40 percent of his stomach was removed.”
Dordick said Steward will need constant care for the rest of his life and will battle an array of infections. The quality of that care will determine how long Steward will live. He lost his legs to gangrene which was caused by a lack of blood flowing to the limbs, a complication of the gunshot wounds, court records said.
“I was pretty shocked at the amount,” Steward said Friday in a phone interview. “Now I just want to get it over, move on, and try to be a productive member of society.” He said he plans to use whatever money he actually gets to get a handicap-equipped home for himself and his parents, and to make donations to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was treated and underwent physical rehabilitation.
Steward said he is not angry. “It was just tragic. People were not in their right minds. It was just a shock; I remember I just hit the ground and it was, ‘are you serious? The guy just shot me.’ I’m still here, and I am grateful for that, so I can’t be mad at the guard or the shooter.”
“God has a reason that he saved me, but He won’t let you know that; you have to find that out for yourself…I don’t cry about it, I just take a breath and do what I have to do,” Steward said in a phone interview. He said he tells new amputee patients that he counsels, “If you are a man, you need to man up and if you are a woman, you need to woman up. We are here for a reason, because we were all saved.”
Freemont CA June 15 2013 June 15 2013 A 15-year-old boy gave a career college a scare when it looked like he was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle while walking outside the Fremont school Tuesday evening, a Fremont police spokeswoman said.
Officers responded to the Medical Career College at 41300 Christy St. when there were reports of a male with an AK-47 assault rifle walking outside the school and pointing the weapon at windows around 7:30 p.m., police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said. The juvenile suspect with the gun was found at a nearby business that his family owned and it was discovered that he had three realistic-looking airsoft guns, Bosques said.
The three replicas were confiscated, she said.
The boy was reprimanded and told that it is illegal to display a replica firearm and to alter an imitation gun make it look more realistic, Bosques said.
He was released to his father, she said.
Source- Freemont Patch
HOLDEN MA June 15 2013— An Assumption College campus police official accidentally shot himself in the foot this morning while at a shooting range in Holden.
Deputy Chief Keith S. Hough, 55, received a bullet wound to his right foot when his handgun went off as he was placing it in his holster, according to District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office, which investigated the 8 a.m. shooting.
The deputy chief was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center — University Campus, where his condition was listed as good.
The shooting occurred inside a mobile firing range parked in front of the old fire station on Main Street, according to Police Chief George Sherrill.
“It appears to be accidental,” Chief Sherrill said.
The district attorney’s office said the deputy chief was participating in a live-fire police training program provided by Blue Line Corp., a private vendor.
The 48-foot mobile range trailers are used by police departments to train in various simulated scenarios. They are soundproof, bulletproof and built by a Department of Defense contractor.
Source: news telegram
SAN DIEGO CA June 13 2013 — A security guard opened fire during an attempted bank robbery in University City Tuesday, wounding the fleeing thief, San Diego police said.
A man who was driving by saw the injured man as he ran, took a cellphone picture and helped police track him.
Police responded about 5 p.m. to a report of a man using a demand note who tried to rob the Wells Fargo Bank on Genesee Avenue and Nobel Drive in the Costa Verde shopping center. A woman was with him.
A guard inside the bank fired at least one shot at the man, striking him, San Diego police Capt. Brian Ahearn said. The guard took the woman into custody. She was injured, but not shot, and was taken to a hospital, Ahearn said.
Witnesses saw the man get into a vehicle and flee, and the wounded suspect was later pushed from a car at a hospital, police Lt. Kevin Mayer said. He was taken into custodyAhearn said the car was a teal-colored older-model Honda Civic four-door with a paper plate that said VTEC.
An update was not available on the condition of either injured suspect. A third suspect is being sought.
John Ellis, a contractor, said he had just finished a service call at Westfield University Towne Centre across the street when he saw the man running “at a pretty good clip” and wearing what appeared to be Latex gloves. He took a picture on his cellphone and saw the man flee in a Honda.
Ernesto Arredondo, community banking president for Wells Fargo, said no employees or customers were injured. He said counselors would be available immediately for employees. “We will definitely take care of them,” he said.
Source- UT San Diego
Berks County PA June 13 2013 A security guard from Berks County who shot an unarmed, aspiring rapper to death in an Allentown after-hours club received the lowest prison sentence permitted by law.
Andrew Gesslein II, 43, of Tilden Township received five to 10 years in prison Tuesday for voluntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Maurice “O Head” Randolph on April 29, 2012, at the North End Republican Club.
Gesslein has maintained he acted in self-defense when he shot Randolph three times.
He claimed Randolph, 23, reached for a gun moments before he was shot, but police found no gun on his body.
During sentencing, Lehigh County Judge Robert Steinberg said the victim and shooter “couldn’t be more different,” and that if Gesslein were a police officer rather than a security guard, he believes he would not even have been charged.
The judge said that while Gesslein has no prior record, maintained employment and provided for his family, Randolph had a long criminal history and wrote rap songs that glorified violence and drug use.
“Michael Randolph bears some responsibility here,” Steinberg said. “Let’s not say Michael Randolph was this wonderful citizen, because he’s not.”
Gesslein could have received as much as 20 years in prison. He was convicted by a jury on April 4 following a four-day trial.
Randolph’s family members, many of whom testified that Randolph had never been in a fight in his life, were angered by Steinberg’s ruling.
Some left the courtroom in the middle of Steinberg’s comments. Those who stayed appeared angry when the judge allowed Gesslein to hug his wife before being taken away.
Gesslein testified in his own defense, saying statements by the Randolph family that he had shown no remorse offended him.
“There’s not a time I close my eyes and try to get some sleep that I don’t see his face,” Gesslein said. “That day changed my life.”
Randolph worked for the Whitehall Township-based Eye in the Sky security firm at the time of the shooting. He was licensed to carry a gun, but was not supposed to be armed for that job.
Steinberg said he will suggest Gesslein spend his sentence in a minimum-security prison, but that will ultimately be up to the state Department of Corrections.
Security guard arrested after allegedly firing at man trying to escape assault www.privateofficer.com
New Orleans LA June 13 2013 A woman claiming to be a private security guard was arrested Sunday and booked with attempted murder after she allegedly fired a shot at a man attempting to escape from an assault in the 7th Ward Saturday night. New Orleans police said Charlene Wilson, 42, fired a gun at a man who had already been shot at eight times by another person.
According to police reports, the victim was walking in the 2500 block of Pauger Street when he was jumped. While he was fighting with his attacker, another man, said by police to be 23-year-old Joshua Joseph, appeared at the corner of Pauger and North Derbigny Street and began shooting.
Police said Joseph fired eight shots in all. He was also arrested Sunday and booked with attempted second-degree murder. His bail was set at $215,000.
In the arrest report, the victim stated that as he tried to escape the scene, he saw both of his male attackers flee northbound and enter an apartment on the corner of Pauger and North Roman Street. It was then that Wilson allegedly came out of that building and fired a shot.
The victim identified Joseph in a lineup as the man who fired the weapon from the corner of Pauger and North Derbigny.
While police were questioning Joseph on Sunday morning, Wilson emerged from the same residence, allegedly still wearing the same red shirt as the day before.
According to police, Wilson said she admitted to firing the gun when she saw her daughter fighting with unknown people. She also told police that as a security guard she was trained not to fire her weapon and that she “knew better.”
A search of Joseph’s car uncovered a 7.62×39-caliber assault rifle containing 26 rounds of ammunition, police said. Joseph is a previously convicted felon and is on probation for cocaine possession.
Wilson, who had a forgery charge expunged from her record in 1999, was booked with attempted second-degree murder and illegal use of a firearm. Her bail was set at $160,000.
AUSTIN TX June 13 2013 – Two men were arrested after a fight at The Heights Apartments led to an attack on a security guard, according to an affidavit released Tuesday.
The security guard said he saw a man later identified as Kevin Michael Zehnder, 23, punching a woman in the face around 4 a.m. Sunday at the apartment complex on 4404 E.Oltorf St.
The security guard was patrolling the area as part of his nightly duties, the affidavit said, when he heard the woman screaming and saw a man take her to ground.
According to the report, there were two other men watching the fight. One of them was later identified as Kevin Zehnder’s brother, 21-year-old Dakota James Zehnder.
The security guard reportedly called for police and EMS after seeing blood on the woman’s face.
While waiting for police, Dakota Zehnder whispered something to his brother, and then Kevin Zehnder punched the security guard in the face, the report says.
The security guard was taken to the ground and the younger brother grabbed his gun and ran off, according to the affidavit. The older brother stayed and pinned down the security guard, whom he allegedly bit on the lip, piercing the skin.
After an officer arrived on the scene, Kevin Zehnder allegedly tried to run off. The officer tazed him and took him into custody.
Officers say they found Dakota Zehnder and the gun about a half mile away at the 2500 block of Sheringham. Both brothers were taken into custody and questioned about the event.
According to the affidavit, Kevin Zehnder said he was too drunk to remember but thought he was involved in a fight with a security guard. His brother reportedly admitted to taking the gun and said he planned on giving it to someone to get rid of.
Both men were being held at the Travis County Jail. Kevin Zehnder is charged with assault on a security officer with a $50,000 bond. Dakota Zehnder is charged with taking a weapon from a commissioned security officer with a $30,000 bond. Both charges are third-degree felonies.
New York NY June 11 2013 Terror-targeted JFK Airport has become a giant slumber party for some of its security guards — who regularly doze on duty at key posts, according to a former boss and damning photos obtained by The Post.
Although the airport has been at the center of at least one terror plot — and an embarrassing security snafu involving a jet skier last summer — these disturbing infractions seem to mean little to the cadre of guards who catnap on the job, says the ex-boss, Stephen Jackson, 39.
“It was a regular occurrence finding the guards sleeping,” said Jackson, a former manager for FJC Security, which employs about 300 security guards at JFK Airport.
Jackson, an ex-Marine, began working at FJC in August 2011 and became a security-guard supervisor at JFK in December. He was fired May 28 after what he calls a campaign of harassment over everything from his whistle-blowing to his being Hispanic.
The married Staten Island father of four said he typically supervised between 58 and 65 guards over an eight-hour shift at JFK — and regularly caught about six sleeping on duty.
FJC guards earn starting salaries of $17.23 an hour with benefits — nearly $36,000 yearly, or about $6,000 less than the $41,975 annual starting salary of a rookie NYPD cop.
One FJC worker who allegedly found it difficult to keep his eyes open was Suhas Harite, 68. Jackson claims to have caught him sleeping twice while assigned to a remote post not far from Jamaica Bay.
The post is about 150 yards from where a stranded jet skier last August breached a 6-foot-tall fence that was part of the vaunted $100 million Perimeter Intrusion Detection System bought by the Port Authority from defense contractor Raytheon.
The hapless skier sauntered unchallenged across two airport runways and wasn’t detected until he approached someone for help.
That fiasco, revealed by The Post, led the PA to authorize hundreds of thousands of dollars in police overtime to beef up patrols. FJC added four posts in the area, Jackson said.
The remote location, however, proved irresistible for sleepy guards such as Harite, Jackson said.
In a 36-second cellphone video Jackson took in March and provided to The Post, a man he identified as Harite can be seen at the wheel of an FJC vehicle sleeping contentedly.
“Come on, buddy. Wake up!” Jackson is heard saying to the man as he repeatedly honks his horn.
“Beeping the horn, nothing. A plane’s taking off,” Jackson says in the video while still honking as a jet is seen and heard overhead.
Jackson said that he told management about Harite’s napping at the post but that they kept him there — and he photographed Harite sleeping at the same spot several weeks later.
That nap, Jackson said, cost Harite a one-week suspension without pay.
Jackson claims he photographed another FJC guard, Tiana Small, in March as she dozed in a company car.
Harite did not immediately return a call for comment. A woman answering Small’s phone said she was busy and might call back. She didn’t.
Jackson also provided The Post with a third photo of what appeared to be yet another sleeping FJC guard — this one taken at a security booth near the postal-service facility in JFK.
Jackson said management gave him grief when he reported such lapses.
“If you fire someone, you have to do paperwork, hire someone new and place others on overtime until you can find somebody else, so a lot of managers wouldn’t want that placed on their shoulders,” he said.
“I’d be told, ‘Jackson, why do you have to make more work for us by exposing these people for sleeping? You should just wake them up and give them warnings.’ ”
Asked about the video and photos of sleeping guards, PA spokeswoman Lisa MacSpadden said, “FJC guards should do their napping at home, not on the job.”
On Friday, the PA rapped the three FJC employees caught sleeping in photos made available to The Post, banning them from working at PA facilities.
MacSpadden suggested FJC’s handling of dozing guards could affect how new security contracts, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, would be awarded.
“We consider past and current performance of our vendors in any future contract awards,” she said.
FJC has multimillion-dollar contracts with the PA at all three area airports, at bridges and tunnels and at the World Trade Center due to expire in January 2015.
Jackson said he was fired on a technicality after letting a worker who didn’t have his ID into a restricted area he normally had access to. Jackson said a supervisor had advised him to let the guy in.
FJC would not comment on why Jackson was fired.
Mike McKeon, an FJC spokesman, dismissed Jackson’s claims about the guards as “sour grapes.”
“The first we heard about this was after he was disciplined,” McKeon explained.
“He said, ‘If you fire me, I’m going to take this to The Post.’ I’ll give him this: At least he was a man of his word with regards to this.”
“Had he done this while on the job, he would have been commended. But he didn’t do this.”
Jackson said evidence, including e-mails and memos, proved McKeon’s assertions untrue.
EUGENE, Ore. June 7 2013– Some University of Oregon students are hiring private security to cover the door at their house parties, hoping to avoid the up to $1,000 fine from the social host ordinance.
UO student Armon Petrossin says he’s paying a private security company 25 dollars per hour to prevent hefty fines of hosting an “unruly gathering”.
“I mean, I don’t know if they want to end our parties just because they don’t want us to have fun … but it doesn’t work,” said Petrossin.
Since the “Social Host” ordinance went into effect April 1 Eugene police have cited 11 people for partying too hard. That’s why hosts like Petrossin have started hiring private security to make sure their gatherings don’t get out of control.
Eric Hartman, a state-certified security guard with Oregon Event Enterprises said he’s seen nearly an 80 percent increase in house party patrol over the last two months.
“A lot of parties are choosing to be responsible, hiring security help to keep a cap on the party if it gets out of control. We let them know if it’s approaching that (level),” said Hartman.
It’s a price that Petrossin says is well worth it, as he has yet to have police interfere with his partying.
“We’ve had hundreds of people coming through (our) door – in and out – a couple times and we’ve never had issues with the police,” Petrossin said.
With all those people coming and going, Hartman said that Oregon Event Enterprises prefers to monitor inside house parties. While that allows them the opportunity to check IDs and make sure everyone is of age, Hartman said security isn’t always allowed inside.
“It’s really up to the client, as to of they need that or want that,” Hartman said
Eugene Police substation manager Kelly Putnam said that even if they have private security covering the door, officers can still issue citations for unruly gatherings.
“If they’re observing criminal behavior but it falls outside of what their client is asking them to do, they may be in a tough position,” Putnam said.
Putnam added that party security guards have to be state certified and are required by law to report all crimes.
DORCHESTER, Mass. June 5 2013 – A two car collision in Dorchester led to shots being fired, all while kids were nearby.
There was a car accident inside the Harbor Point project that involved two cars, one with an older man in it and the other with four people in it, including one child. The man took off and the Harbor Point security guards, who were armed, confronted the man on Mount Vernon Street. That’s when police said a single shot was fired.
“The suspect in the vehicle came at a security officer with his vehicle. As a result, one shot was fired at the motor vehicle and the individual received a minor non-life threatening wound to the head,” said an officer.
The shooting happened on Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester, between two schools, McCormick School and the Harbor Point community.
Many witnesses’ children said they heard two shots but as far as police have investigated, there was just a single shot from one of the security guards.
Mount Vernon Street remains blocked off as police continue to investigate whether the shooting was justified. All of the injuries in the accident and the shooting are minor.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. June 5 2013 AP — Police in Hagerstown plan to step up efforts to pursue landlords who rent to drug users and dealers.
Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson tells the Herald-Mail of Hagerstown (http://bit.ly/11z0OsM ) that in one year, the police department served about 50 drug-related search warrants “to make it uncomfortable for the dealers.”
With the nuisance abatement (ordinance), you take it one step further and you make it uncomfortable for the land owners who don’t oversee their building … and, with a wink and a nod, allow them to become drug-infested ratholes,” he said.
It can be difficult to prove a landlord has failed to stop known drug activity, but if it is proven, courts can make landlords take remedial actions, such as installing security cameras.
Most landlords who receive notices are responsive and the problem is often solved by evicting the tenant, said Police Chief Mark Holtzman.
“We have had a good response from almost every landlord that we’ve sent a letter to (notifying them) that illegal drug activity is taking place,” he said.
Landlords can reduce the risk of legal troubles by being proactive, including performing background checks and visiting properties, Holtzman said.
“You can’t be an absentee landlord and expect the property to manage itself,” Holtzman said.
Councilwoman Penny Nigh, a longtime proponent of holding landlords accountable for renting to drug users and dealers, said she supports the idea.
“That’s what needs to be done,” she said. “I have no problem with the police going after landlords.”
DENVER CO June 2 2013 – The Denver Public library says it will retrain security guards and review details of unreported crimes, after 9Wants to Know discovered staff at the Central Library failed to report sex crimes – including child porn – to police.
9Wants to Know obtained internal security logs showing approximately 60 incidents of sexual misconduct at the library in 2013. Most of those incidents involved patrons looking at porn. However, nearly a dozen incidents involved apparent criminal behavior. The crimes included indecent exposure, sex in the bathroom and viewing child porn on library’s computers. Library security guards were aware of the incidents, but failed to notify Denver Police of most of the crimes.
The Denver Public Library’s security manager told 9NEWS his staff should be reporting crimes to police, and if they haven’t in the past, it was a mistake. Security Manager Bob Knowles says after an unreported child-porn incident in April, he did review protocol for reporting illegal activities on May 19 during a staff meeting.
9Wants to Know started investigating after a tipster emailed. She said she was the victim of indecent exposure in the library, and she was upset by the library’s response.
“I was told to my face by a supervisor of security, ‘Well if you don’t feel safe here you should just leave.’ I found that really sad,” she said. 9NEWS is not revealing the tipster’s identity because she is concerned the perpetrator would try to find her.
City Librarian Shirley Amore told 9NEWS in an emailed statement that Knowles spoke with the Denver Police area commander to “discuss/coordinate our actions and support” in dealing with crimes in the library Thursday.
Amore added library security guard will undergo more training next week to “emphasize response priorities, customer care, and the criticality of reporting illegal activities to the police.”
“We are also conducting a review of incidents to determine if any past criminal activities should be reported,” Amore said.
“That’s great,” the tipster said. “If they have some sort of plan to deal with future incidents, i think that really was the goal of me writing that initial email.”
9Wants to Know asked the Denver Police Department what should be done to ensure families visiting the library are safe and sexual deviants inside the library are stopped.
“They have a very difficult situation,” police spokesman Sonny Jackson said about library security. “They have a very diverse clientele, so therefore they have a lot of to contend with. Any way we can assist them, we are willing to do.”
Jackson said a police commander already has monthly meetings with the library security manager. Jackson added it is unlikely a uniformed officer would be assigned solely to the library, due to DPD staffing constraints.
CORPUS CHRISTI TX June 2 2013 -
A jury has awarded a $25 million dollar lawsuit to a man who was nearly beaten to death while working as a security guard in downtown Corpus Christi.
The multi-million dollar verdict was made yesterday in favor of 69 year old Leonardo Davila.
In September of 2008, he was working as a security guard at the American Bank Plaza on North Caranchua, when he was attacked by a homeless man trying to get into the building.
Davila suffered serious injuries from the attack including brain damage, hearing loss, total blindness in his left eye and partial in his right.
He lost his sense of taste and smell. We’re told he has memory issues and needs help walking.
His attorneys, Thomas J. Henry and Bob Hilliard, say this all could have been avoided.
According to them, Davila told his employer to install a gate that would block an alleyway leading into the plaza, the same alleyway the homeless man used to get into the bank.
They tell us it was one of the toughest legal battles they’ve faced.
“There were good lawyers on the other side. They are a big company who did not want to be found responsible. So every single day was a battle,” Hilliard says.
“The main message was that this jury understood that employees deserve a safe work environment. The verdict sends a resounding message to employers, ‘Provide a safe work environment’,” Henry added.
The case (Cause No. 10-60874-1) was tried in Nueces County Court at Law No.1 before Judge Robert Vargas.
When asked about the verdict, Thomas J. Henry stated, “This verdict represents an issue in the State of Texas. Employers need to ensure that all employees, even third party employees, have safe working environments so they don’t get injured on the job.”
Source- NBC Washington
SEATTLE WA May 30 2013
A security guard shot a man Tuesday night after the guard tried to break up a fight in a shopping center parking lot and the man allegedly pulled out a gun, police said.
The man was taken to Harborview Medical Center where he later died, officials said.
Witnesses say dozens of people scattered across the parking lot at 23rd and Jackson when shots rang out just after 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Investigators say an armed, uniformed security guard was working the shopping center when he saw an altercation near the corner of Starbucks.
He asked the group to leave the parking lot, and the security guard told police that one of the men pulled a handgun and left him no choice but to open fire.
This parking lot and this Starbucks has long been a neighborhood gathering spot; it is always packed, a lot of people around.
Police say it is amazing no one other than the suspect was hurt.
The suspect is listed in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center with life threatening injuries.
Neighbors here say the violence has to stop.
“It’s a shame. It happens all over but when it happens this close to your home you fear it because you don’t know if it’s gang related or you never know if you’re going to walk out the house and never make it back home,” neighbor Greg Beavers said.
Police are asking anyone who saw the shooting or who has any information about what happened to call 911.
Chicago IL May 25 2013 A former prosecutor representing a Chicago family said he anticipates criminal charges will be filed against a school security officer who was captured on cell phone video being aggressive with a student.
Chicago Public Schools officials said they removed the employee from duty following the Tuesday incident. Video appeared to show him throwing the female student down the stairs at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy and punching her in the face.
“Seeing this video, it boiled my blood,” said attorney Mark Sutter. “[It] made me wish I was a prosecutor again because I would love to prosecute this man for doing what he did to this young child.”
The video was first published to the website WorldStarHipHop.com with the title “Caught On Cell Phone: Chicago School Security Guard Pushes Female Student Down Staircase & Then Decks Her In The Face For Allegedly Putting Hands On Him!” In it, 16-year-old Lauren Goodlow is seen lying on the floor. She was approached by a woman who appears to be a teacher or administrator at the South Side school. Goodlow then stood up and moves toward the guard. The guard appears to punch Goodlow in the face.
“I broke down crying because I couldn’t believe that a staff member at a school would treat a child like that,” said the girl’s mother, Pershaun Goodlow.
A second video showing more of the scuffle was released Friday.
Other students said they believed the safety official was trying to intervene in a fight between two students, one of whom was Goodlow. Witnesses said the girl began hitting the guard about the head and chest as he tried to separate her from an altercation.
“He grabbed her arms to stop her. And she was like, ‘Don’t touch me,’ and she started hitting him. She hit him in his chest. He got mad. He just picked up her arm and threw her down the stairs,” said freshman Antonese Brown. “She was laying on her side. Then he tried to help her up and when the girl got up she went to hit him and he pushed her by her head and pushed her back down to the ground.”
“He was wrong, but then again, if you’re trying to attack this man, why are you trying to attack the man when he grabbed you and told you to calm down,” added student Breana Jones.
Pershaun Goodlow said her sophomore daughter went to the emergency room immediately after the scuffle. Days later, she said the teen was still in pain and hadn’t yet returned to school.
“She’s upset. She’s right now complaining about a great deal of pain,” the mother explained.
School officials said they do not condone such behavior and turned the case over to the Chicago Police Department.
“The safety of our students is our top priority,” CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said. “CPS takes matters of employee misconduct very seriously, especially when it involves an employee whose job it is to ensure the safety of students.”
Both CPS and CPD officials said interviews and the investigation were ongoing. It wasn’t known by Friday afternoon if charges would be filed against anyone involved.
ST. LOUIS MO May 23 2013 – Students were pepper sprayed Tuesday by a security officer at Clyde C. Miller Academy, a Saint Louis Public School.
Students say the food fight, which prompted the incident, was harmless.
NewsChannel 5′s Ashley Yarchin was at the school Tuesday afternoon as students were released from class, and it seems that’s all they were talking about.
“If it’s a food fight, you shouldn’t open mace. They’re gonna stop eventually, so just let them do the crazy stuff they were gonna do. Just end it with security guards like they normally do. They didn’t have to open mace,” said sophomore Alfreda Roberts.
That was the general consensus from students.
The food fight started during the first lunch of the day, just before 11 a.m. Students say it wasn’t a real fight, just a friendly one since school ends this Thursday.
Several explained that the security officer only sprayed because he slipped as he attempted to break up the food fight. It is not known whether any students were treated for getting pepper sprayed in their eyes and mouth, but many students say that certainly happened.
The pepper spray did end up getting students back under control.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to St. Louis Public Schools, and got a statement simply saying this incident is under investigation.
Riverside CA May 19 2013 An altercation outside a marijuana dispensary targeted for closure by the city of Riverside left a driver with a bullet in his neck Friday, May 17, and a security guard injured after being struck by the SUV.
Both unidentified men were taken to Riverside Community Hospital, police Sgt. Dan Russell said. Their conditions were not immediately available.
About 3:30 p.m., the guard, who Russell said works for Inland Empire Cannabis Club, and the driver of a black GMC got into some type of altercation in the rear of the parking lot at 7580 Indiana Ave. The disturbance then moved toward the front. It was then that the SUV struck the guard, and the guard responded by firing a single gunshot through the windshield, striking the driver in the neck.
Police arrived to find the guard on the ground and the driver still inside the SUV, Russell said. The guard’s belt, gun and Taser lay on the asphalt, and a pair of shoes sat outside the SUV as detectives interviewed witnesses and photographed evidence.
The dispensary is one of 10 that City Attorney Greg Priamos vowed this week to shut down after the state Supreme Court ruled May 6 that local governments can ban the dispensaries. The city’s ordinance came in response to complaints about crime near clinics such as armed robberies, sales of marijuana to minors and people driving under the influence of marijuana.
“A serious incident such as this and the ongoing public safety risks associated with these illegal enterprises continues to validate the city’s ban,” Priamos wrote in an email Friday night.
Advocates of medicinal marijuana say the dispensaries provide a legitimate medical service, rent retail space that might otherwise remain vacant and often provide security guards who deter crime.
The Inland Empire Cannabis Club website lists 33 products, and many of the 60 reviews on the website praise the quality of the marijuana and the professionalism and friendliness of the employees. No one there answered the phone Friday afternoon. Police turned away several people attempting to walk to that area of the cluster of businesses.
The other shops in the small center across the street from Malcolm Smith Motorsports are Redline Choppers, Home Made Sandwiches Deli, Indiana Liquor and Market and Beauty and Barber Musica Latina. Employees of the shops were stuck inside the yellow crime scene tape until some were escorted out. Others had to wait until police interviewed them.
BRUNSWICK, GA. May 18 2013 | In what appeared to be an episode of the hit show “Breaking Bad,’’ Glynn County-Brunswick narcotics officers found a methamphetamine lab in a motor home.
Brunswick police answering a call to a fight at a Player Street residence about 7 p.m. Thursday learned that two men had been fighting in beside a motor home in the driveway, the Glynn/Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team said in a prepared release.
The owner of the house and motor home asked police to check out the camper because he had seen suspicious activity in and around it, the release said.
When officers entered the motor home, they found what appeared to be an active methamphetamine lab, the release said.
The narcotics enforcement team, the Brunswick and Glynn County fire departments and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation responded and investigated, the release said.
Because of the possibility of dangerous chemicals, the Brunswick Fire Department decontaminated the first three city officers who entered the motor home without protective clothing and six other individuals who had been inside it.
Officers arrested Shawn Gailey, 28, and Dara Holder, 21, both of Brunswick, on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine. They are being held without bail in the Glynn County jail.
In the AMC series “Breaking Bad,’’ main character Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher, produced methamphetamine in an old motor home.
RIVERSIDE CA May 18 2013—A security officer shot a suspect Friday afternoon during an attempted robbery at a liquor store in Riverside.
Indianapolis airport security guard left concourse unprotected during fire alarm www.privateofficer.com
INDIANAPOLIS IN May 16 2013 – A new security guard left his post unattended at Indianapolis International Airport during a fire alarm, prompting his security access to be suspended and forcing police to conduct a sudden security sweep of an entire airport concourse.
It started when a fire alarm started ringing near a restaurant, but when police responded on Saturday after 11 p.m., they found the passenger exit to Concourse A was entirely without the required guard.
Guards are required at all times that an airport is open in the spots where passengers walk out of the secured area for arrival and departure gates. They’re intended to prevent people from walking into the secured gate areas without going through screening by the Transportation Security Administration .
As the fire alarm was ringing, airport police said they looked around and couldn’t locate the guard who was assigned to the Concourse A exit. He was later located walking back to his post through a bypass that connects concourses A and B.
Officers reviewed security video and they wrote in their report that he had actually left his post twice, leaving the exit without a guard for at least four minutes.
The 51-year-old security guard was employed by Securitas, which has the contract to cover that guard position and others throughout the airport. He had only been on the job two months, having been issued his security badge on March 15, police said.
The ordeal prompted a Securitas supervisor to immediately relieve the guard of duty, suspending his security access card.
Police then started a full security sweep of the entire concourse that had been left unguarded. The five airport officers also swept the U.S. Customs area, but they reported finding no evidence that anyone had entered the area without being screened.
Police said that when they asked the security guard why he had left his post, he told them that he had no idea what to do when the fire alarm was going off.
The Indianapolis Airport issued a written statement, pointing out that it happened during an actual fire alarm, and highlighting that overlapping security helped to protect passengers.
The statement, from airport spokesman Carlo Bertolini read:
“This incident occurred during a time when an actual fire was in progress and its scope was not yet known to all personnel, creating short-term challenges to routine airport operations. However, the multi-layered approach to airport security, which includes video surveillance and law enforcement vigilance, functioned as designed, including during the brief time when a guard left the immediate area of the concourse exit during the confusion caused by the fire alarm.”
Securitas, which is based in suburban Atlanta, did not respond to requests for comment or the current duty status of the guard.
MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. May 16 2013 –
Police and family members want to know what happened that caused the death of a Virginia man after struggling with a campground security officer.
Edwin Barry Hughes, a registered guest at the Middle Peninsula campsite resort and a security officer were involved in an altercation Saturday night at the end of a popular dance held at the site.
Sheriff David Bushey said that deputies responded to Bush Park Camp Resort and when his officers got to the scene they found a breathing, but unresponsive Hughes on the ground next to a guard shack. He was put in an ambulance to be taken to the Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester, but died on the way there.
Security officers allege that Hughes had been drinking and when he left the campground driving a golf cart with no headlights on, a security guard stopped him for it.
The manager of the campground claimed Hughes charged the security guard, who then radioed the others who were near the front entrance. At the gate by that entrance is where the rest of the story gets murky.
Investigators say word of Hughes’ death spread around the tiny close-knit community very fast. “It’s a small community and when something like this happens there is a buzz. The rumor mill takes over but I want to encourage people not to ad lib, not to embellish this story anymore the manager said.
Friends told CBS 6 News that Hughes lived in the Bush Park Mobile Home Park next to the camp site for about three years. They say he also worked as an electrician for Henrico County.
Investigators say word of Hughes being hit in the head with a steel pipe isn’t true. They are now waiting on the Medical Examiner’s office to declare a cause of death.
When that information comes in, investigators will confer with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to see if an arrest and charges are warranted.
“This is still an ongoing investigation and our guys are still running down leads, interviewing people in and out of the area,” Major Mickey Sampson explained.
Private Officer International
Private security companies in three states have come under scrutiny in recent months for trying to enforce civil laws and using force to do it.
In January, a Tuscaloosa Alabama property management company assigned a security officer to help evict a tenant from an apartment for being late on her rent. The property manager had posted a notice on the door of the tenant the previous day and twenty four hours later showed up with the security guard to evict the woman. Police were called and the apartment complex, although they had filed an eviction with the court, did not have the final order in hand. Even if they had police said, private security officers have no legal authority to remove property, force or threaten residents to leave the property. Only the county sheriff’s department has the right to enforce a court ordered eviction.
In Sacramento California an apartment complex hired a private security firm to “force” nine residents from a condo as part of a foreclosure.
The heavily armed security team stormed the condo at 3AM, surprising the residents and committed a burglary in doing so according to police.
The residents are suing the private security firm and the homeowners association, claiming that none of the residents knew about the impending foreclosure and that they hadn’t received service of the lawsuit before the guards barged in.
A Rockville Maryland couple is suing another security company after their vehicle was towed by a security officer at an apartment complex because he had previously been told that there was a “mechanics lien” placed against the vehicle for an outstanding debt at the repair shop. The security officers spotted the vehicle, called a wrecker and now face criminal and civil charges for auto theft.
Security officers are also being used to collect outstanding fines and other imposed fees by homeowner associations, apartment and condominium complexes and management firms while circumventing the “due process” of the tenant or other violator by not filing a civil lawsuit. Even when the company has a judgment against a tenant or third party, private security officers cannot be used to enforce or collect them and using private security for this duty in some states violates both state and federal laws.
While some retailers also have a practice of assessing civil penalties and demanding payment from shoplifters, enforcement is through the civil court process and company attorneys, not through their security staff.
Security officers have no authority to enforce civil court orders or non-criminal violations.
While client’s often use security officers to enforce property regulations such as loud music, parking restrictions or swimming pool hours, forced compliance is not an option that private security personnel have.
However, in situations where a tenant has been lawfully evicted but either fails to leave or returns to the property, or where a person has unlawfully entered a dwelling and has set up residency, private security officers may immediately take the person into custody because now there is a violation of criminal law; trespassing and/or burglary.
While the duties and some legal authority of private security worldwide continue to expand, it is imperative that both the security company and the officer know the criminal and civil laws of your state and tread lightly, being trained in the task at hand, prudent in your decision and respectful in your actions.