Wednesday, April 23, 2014


APRIL 22 2014

April 22 2014



Private Officer International, a security and law enforcement association and national provider of training and support services is celebrating 10 years of service.

Starting as National Association of Private Officers, a national association for private security personnel, the organization has blossomed over the past ten years to include members in 29 countries which led to its present name.

The organization has expanded into six divisions including a cutting edge, nationally recognized news and content provider service offering the latest news and information pertaining to all areas of private security and public safety through blogs, eAlerts, newsletters and digital magazines.

Other components of POI include training, awards and recognition, consulting, compliance and management services and the only organized national benevolent service for private security officers injured or killed in the line of duty in the world!

Private Officer International has been recognized through awards, letters and accommodations by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Chiefs of Police Association, City of Atlanta, and other organizations and has been featured in dozens of newspapers, general media and magazines.

In 2010, the organization also acquired a college and completely restructured the curriculum to serve the public safety community and Armour College was born.
The public safety school now offers courses on-line, on campus and at your office including programs in Fire-EMS, Law Enforcement and Private Security, Medical and Legal and all areas involving public safety and protection practitioners.
Though still in its infancy, the college has plans for substantial growth with new campuses in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida.

The Founder, Mr. Rick McCann continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.

Kyle T. Greene
Vice President
Operations-Media Services
Private Officer International

Family sues N.J. district over 'under God' in pledge

FREEHOLD, N.J. April 23 2014— A family is suing the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District and its superintendent, seeking to have the phrase "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance that students recite every day.
A lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County on behalf of the family, who wish to remain unidentified, and the American Humanist Association claims that the practice of acknowledging God in the pledge of allegiance discriminates against atheists, in violation of New Jersey's constitution.
But the school district's attorney says the district is simply following a state law that requires pupils to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily.
"All we are doing is abiding by requirements of state law, we and approximately 590 other school districts in the state," said the attorney, David Rubin, to whom Schools Superintendent David M. Healy referred questions about the lawsuit.
"If the group who's brought this lawsuit questions the wisdom of that policy or the legality of it, we believe their arguments are much better directed to the state Legislature who's imposed this requirement on us, rather than suing an individual school district on this matter," Rubin said.
The American Humanist Association is a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit organization that works to protect the rights of atheists, humanists and other nonreligious Americans.
While atheism addresses only the issue of the existence of a deity, humanists take a broader view that, in addition to rejection of the existence of deities, includes "values that are grounded in the philosophy of the Enlightenment, informed by scientific knowledge, and driven by a desire to meet the needs of people in the here and now," according to the lawsuit.
The American Humanist Association has more than 24,800 members and 180 chapters and affiliates nationwide, including seven in New Jersey, the suit said
"Among these members and supporters are numerous parents of children who are, or will be, attending New Jersey public schools, including some who attend or will be attending the public schools of the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District," it said.
The prekindergarten through 12th-grade district has five elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. Rubin said that although the law requires recitation in schools of the Pledge of Allegiance, students within the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District are not required to recite it if they object. And federal courts determined years ago that students cannot be forced to do so, he added.
But the lawsuit alleges that the daily recitation of the pledge in the school district "publicly disparages plaintiffs' religious beliefs, calls plaintiffs' patriotism into question, portrays plaintiffs as outsiders and second-class citizens, and forces (the child) to choose between nonparticipation in a patriotic exercise or participation in a patriotic exercise that is invidious to him and his religious class."
The daily affirmation of God in public schools reinforces a prejudice against atheists and Humanists, the suit said. The suit claims that studies show atheists are the most disliked and distrusted minority group in the country, ranking below recent immigrants, Muslims and gays.
"While plaintiffs recognize that (the child) has the right to refuse participation in the flag-salute exercise and pledge recitation, the child does not wish to be excluded from it, and in fact wants to be able to participate in an exercise that does not portray other religious groups as first-class citizens and his own as second-class," the suit said.
The suit does not name the child or the parents of the child, referring to them and John and Jane Doe and Doechild.
David Niose, an attorney for the American Humanist Association, declined to provide any specific information about the family, including what school the child attends and what grade he or she is in.
"Anonymity is very important," he said, explaining that families involved in these types of lawsuits often are exposed to "great hostility."
In fact, the suit alleges that the child in question "has been personally confronted and shouted at in response to his openly identifying as an atheist." When questioned, Niose would not say whether the child was actually confronted in school or by whom the child was confronted.
The lawsuit claims the practice of using the words "under God" is in violation of the equal protection clause of the New Jersey constitution, which states: "No person shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil or military right, nor be discriminated against in the exercise of any civil or military right, nor be segregated in the militia or in the public schools, because of religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin."
Niose said the suit seeks a declaration from the court that reciting the words "under God" as part of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools is discriminatory and unconstitutional. He said if that happens, the court could either order that the Pledge of Allegiance not be recited in the schools, or that the words "under God" be excluded from it. He said those words were only added to the pledge in 1954, although it was originally written in 1892.
"The language 'under God' was added to the pledge at the height of the McCarthy era and the Red Scare, after strong lobbying by religious groups at a time when many felt it would help to distinguish America from the communist Soviet Union," the lawsuit said. "The Soviet Union fell in 1991, and the need, if there ever was any, to distinguish America in this manner from communist adversaries no longer exists."
The Massachusetts Supreme Court is considering a similar issue in a suit against the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, according to a news release issued by the American Humanist Association.
"It's not the place of state governments to take a position on God-belief," Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the association, said in the news release. "The current pledge practice marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots, merely because they don't believe the nation is under God."

Brazoria County fire chief dies battling a fire

The chief of a volunteer fire department collapsed and died while battling a fire last night in Brazoria County.
According to the Brazoria County fire marshal, the fire broke out at around 11pm at a single-story structure in the down of Damon. The Damon Volunteer Fire Department responded.
"While on the scene, during suppression, the fire chief was assisting and establishing water supply and was discovered by fellow firefighters," said Martin Vela with the Brazoria County Fire Marshal's Office.
Without warning the fire chief, 52-year-old Hugh Ferguson collapsed. His son, who is also a Damon volunteer firefighter, was on the scene.
Officials say CPR was started immediately. Ferguson was transported by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"It's still almost impossible to believe. No one ever expects this overnight," said Damon volunteer firefighter Roger Partain.
The pain and hurt is being felt by just about every person in the small town, including Ferguson's lifelong friend of 40 years.
"It's just unbelievable," said Ferguson's friend Oscar Clement. "He was always a happy cheerful fella, always greeted people, polite, and nice to everyone."
Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison released a statement on Ferguson's passing. It reads, "Our Thoughts and Prayers go out to Chief Ferguson's family, friends and co-workers. As difficult of a time that this is, perhaps we can be comforted knowing he died doing what he loved, serving the public."
At this point, we don't know what led to the chief's death, nor do we know what started the fire.

Indiana man kills wife outside school-commits suicide

A woman is dead after her husballegedly shot killed her parking lot  St. Mary Catholic School 525 N. Broad
GRIFFITH, Ind. April 23 2014— A Chicago woman is dead after her estranged husband shot and killed her in a grade school parking lot Monday afternoon — in front of their two children — and then killed himself minutes later near his house in Gary, according to police.
Officers responded to a call of “shots fired” outside St. Mary Catholic School, 525 N. Broad St., about 4:30 p.m. and arrived to find a woman identified as Nina Castro lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound, Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance said.
He said her husband, Remanard Castro, sped from the scene on a motorcycle, and Griffith police notified Gary police that he might be headed back to his residence in the 600 block of Roosevelt Street in Gary.
A Gary police officer spotted Castro minutes later, alerted police and followed him to his house, where he found Castro with a handgun in the garage at the rear of the house, police said.
The officer ordered Castro to drop his weapon, but Castro shot himself, Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram Sr. said, adding that he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mance said Nina Castro was picking up her 14-year-old son from an after-school program after having picked up her 16-year-old daughter from Bishop Noll High School in Hammond. The two children witnessed the shooting, he said.
Nina Castro and the children had moved out of the Roosevelt Street home and into her mother’s home in Chicago in recent months, Mance said.
The couple were divorcing, with a final hearing scheduled for June 10, according to Lake County court records.
Earlier this year, Castro was charged with rape and criminal confinement; he was accused of sexually assaulting his wife at his home last year. She had gone to Castro’s home to retrieve some belongings, and Castro pointed a handgun at her forehead and forced her to have sex with him, then threatened to beat her with a crowbar, according to prosecutors.
The chief said Monday’s incident is a “sad reminder that no community is immune to domestic violence.”
Children participating in St. Mary’s after-school program were secured and unharmed, police said.
The Rev. Theodore Mens, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church, said St. Mary School was not in session because of the Easter holiday but that after-school programs were being held. He said teachers and counselors will be made available to St. Mary students Tuesday when they return.
Griffith resident Daniel MacFarlane was working in his garage across the street from the school when he heard a few bangs about 4:30 p.m. Monday He peered outside the garage but didn’t see anything. Shortly afterward, he saw one police car arrive, followed soon by several more.
“The kids in an after-school (catechism) class were on lockdown,” MacFarlane said. “My neighbor was kind of freaking out, so she went to pick up her kid.”
He said another shooting occurred in a nearby alleyway last summer, but no one was injured.
“It’s definitely kind of scary, especially since it happened around the time kids were out playing before the weather turned,” he said.
Chicago Sun Times

Fla. security guard charged with pointing laser at plane

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. April 23 2014 -- A Wellington man pleaded not guilty on Friday to a federal charge of pointing a green laser light into the cockpit of an airplane as it was about to land at Palm Beach International Airport.

Michael Ryan Fischer, 26, of Wellington, is accused of intentionally aiming the beam of a laser pointer into an AirTran Boeing 717 flight shortly before midnight Dec. 20, 2012. Fischer was initially arrested on a state charge, but federal authorities took the case. It was unclear why there was a delay in filing the charge.

Fischer, who has no prior criminal record and works as an unarmed security guard at a gated community in South Florida, pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. He was released on a $100,000 personal surety bond.

Authorities said he admitted to "fooling around" with the laser when they tracked it to him.

Fischer would likely face a maximum sentence of six months in federal prison if he is found guilty of the offense, prosecutors said.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office reports lasers are an ongoing problem for pilots landing at PBIA. Anyone who witnesses misuse of a laser pointer should report it immediately to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the nearest law enforcement agency, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS or email

Boston police detective sues to get job back after forced retirement

BOSTON MA April 23 2014 — A 19-year veteran of the Boston Police Department who says she was forced to retire because of a hearing impairment she suffered 14 years ago has filed a lawsuit seeking to get her job back.
Detective Delores Facey said in her complaint she is able to do her job with the help of hearing aids. Her lawsuit, which was filed against the city and its municipal retirement board, alleges discrimination based on disability.
On March 31, Facey's supervisor ordered her to turn in her handgun and the federal credentials she used to work with the FBI in the Joint Terrorism Task Force, to which she had been assigned just five months earlier. She was then escorted out of the unit's downtown office.
"I just started crying," Facey, a married mother of three, told The Boston Globe ( ). "I was hurt. I was embarrassed."
The Police Department said it could not comment on pending litigation. City officials said they could not comment because they had not seen the complaint.
Facey suffered hearing loss in 1999 when she practiced at the department's firearms range without ear protection. Hearing aids helped her hear at normal levels and she was able to stay on the force for years.
She returned to work in March 2013 after an extended leave for an unrelated back injury.
But department officials filed an "involuntary accidental retirement petition" with the city's retirement board, stating that Facey had to retire not because of her back, but because of her hearing.
A three-doctor panel hired by the state examined her and unanimously agreed that her impairment qualified her as too disabled to perform her duties. Facey countered that she was not tested while wearing her hearing aids.
On March 18, the board informed Facey that it had voted to force her retirement.
Her lawyer, Harold Lichten, said there is nothing forbidding Facey from wearing hearing aids on the job.

Indiana Grand Racing and Casino security help police nab burglar

Shelbyville IN April 23 2014 Police arrested a man accused of breaking into a vehicle and stealing items at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino.

Police were called at about 8 p.m. Friday about a "smash-and-grab" style car break-in.

The vehicle's owner reported a purse containing cash, credit cards, checks and other items missing from her vehicle. One of the vehicle's windows was broken out.
according to security, had acted suspiciously that night. He was seen in the vicinity of the car on security cameras and had been seen trying vehicle doors and was asked to leave the premises.

Security saw him not far away after the break-in incident.

Police tracked him to his Shelbyville address the next morning.

"I asked Jonathon if he would come to the station for a recorded interview and he told me that he would not," reports said. "Jonathon said the last time he did that he went to jail, and that he just didn't want to go back to jail."

But Bartlett, after being read his rights, agreed to talk anyway and even allowed police to search his residence.

Police said that a woman was missing $1,000 in cash.

"Jonathon said 'I don't remember taking that much,'" according to police reports. "I asked Jonathon how much he remembered taking and he told me that he didn't take anything."

Officers found in the residence a purse matching the description of the stolen purse and other items missing from the vehicle.

He was arrested and charged with theft and is held in the Shelby County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.

Naval officer shoots wife, kills self in west San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO TX April 23 2014-- Local investigators were called to the scene of a fatal double shooting on the west side early Tuesday morning.

Police said a man shot his wife in the chin during a dispute inside their home in the 2200 block of Muuga Manor. The husband then walked into another room and shot himself to death, according to the San Antonio Police Department.
The man's wife was transported to an area hospital and is expected to survive the attack, police said.
Four children were reportedly inside the home when the shooting happened, around 12:30 a.m. Police said one of the children called police and reported that her 'step dad' had shot her mom.

Family members identified the suspect as Senior Chief Petty Officer Paul Zurita Ramirez. Investigators said the man was an officer in the Navy.
Ramirez's mother told KENS 5's Marvin Hurst that Ramirez served in Afghanistan. She believes her son was suffering from PTSD.
"You see it all the time but you never think that it's going to happen to you, to the person that you love," said Yolanda Zurita Donnias, the supects mother. "He had so much. He loved his boys and his beautiful wife. A beautiful family. He had everyhting going for him. But something happened. Something happened."
Police said officers would look into the PTSD claim as part of their on-going investigation.


Harrah's, Revel fined for security, self-exclusion and other violations

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey April 23 2014  — New Jersey has fined two Atlantic City casinos more than $107,000 for a series of violations including improper use of security guards, allowing people who had banned themselves from casinos to gamble, and other transgressions.
In a decision made public Monday, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement fined Harrah's Resort Atlantic City $70,000 for improper security staffing levels.
It also issued four fines totaling $37,500 against Revel Casino Hotel for allowing self-excluded gamblers to make bets, failing to collect cards properly after a blackjack game, and violating security rules regarding the collection of cash boxes.
The casinos declined comment on the fines; they reached settlements with the state on each one.
Harrah's was accused of failing to meet minimum staffing requirements on numerous occasions from Nov. 2012 through May 2013. According to state casino regulators, Harrah's gave security officers duties other than what they were supposed to be doing and assigned roving security guards to fixed locations. The casino also failed to replace security officers who called in sick.
Revel was accused of letting two people on New Jersey's self-exclusion list gamble in its casino in2013. The state lets people who fear they have a gambling problem sign up for a list that bans them from gambling at any of the city's 11 casinos.
On six dates between July 13 and Aug. 3 last year, a gambler identified only as "PY" was able to gamble at Revel for 27 hours. "PY" had signed up for the self-exclusion list, but Revel misspelled his name when entering information into its computers about self-excluded gamblers.
In a separate case, Revel was accused of letting a patron identified only as "AD" play blackjack on July 13, 2013, for nearly three hours before being detected.
Revel also was fined for improperly clearing and collecting the cards after a game of blackjack at which a patron was playing three hands at a time, betting $2,000 on each hand. When the customer disputed the outcome of one hand, the dealer wrongly reassembled the hand in question. That caused the patron to receive a win instead of a loss.

Mall security chases done wayward donkey

SAN ANTONIO TX April 23 2014 - What an unusual way for the staff at Ingram Park Mall to start their day.

A donkey wandered its way onto mall property Tuesday morning and was spotted by drivers.

Mall security officers managed to get a hold of the donkey, but it eventually slipped away before staff members from Animal Care Services could arrive and pick up the animal.

'Jimmychanga' - as he's been named by ACS staff - was eventually corralled and taken to the animal shelter to be examined.

ACS says he seems to have a sweet disposition, but would still like to reunite him with his rightful owners.

If you know where Jimmychanga's owners can be found should call 311 to speak with ACS staff members.'Jimmychanga' the donkey heads to S.A. mall

Man accused of video voyeurism at Bakersfield College

Bakersfield CA April 23 2014 A man was arrested at Bakersfield College Monday morning on charges of voyeurism.
A student reported to officials that she was the victim of an act of video voyeurism in the bookstore at Bakersfield College's Panorama Campus in northeast Bakersfield. 
Based on the victim's description, the suspect, who is not a student at Bakersfield College, was located in another area of campus, and detained by Bakersfield College Public Safety.
During the course of interviewing the suspect, the suspect admitted to the crime of Video Voyeurism, and admitted to two other instances of video recording on the Bakersfield College campus since the start of April, officials said.
The Video Voyeurism Prevention Act makes it a misdemeanor for a person having the intent to capture an image of a private area of an individual without their consent.
While interviewing the suspect, Bakersfield College Public Safety officers reviewed the suspect's cell phone, and found two additional videos of Bakersfield College students, officials said.
No students are identifiable in the videos.
The suspect has been arrested by the Bakersfield Police Department, and transported to the Kern County Central Receiving Facility for processing. As the suspect has been arrested and removed from campus, there is no expectation of a continued threat to the safety and well-being of students.

North Bay police charge shoplifter after assaulting security agent

North Bay Canada April 23 2014 A security officer at a local grocery store observed a man leaving without paying for his groceries Thursday around 2:15 p.m.
According to North Bay Police Service, the suspect resisted arrest and assaulted the security guard.
North Bay police responded and arrested a 23-year old male from Montreal.
Further investigation revealed that the accused was placed on a probation order by a Montreal judge for the offence of theft under $5000.
North Bay Police charged the suspect with one count of theft under $5000, one count of assault and two counts of breach of probation.
He is to appear in court for a bail hearing.

Biloxi man stole trailer, left wallet behind

ST. MARTIN, MS April 23 2014           
James Thomas Hudson, 27, is charged with grand larceny and faces 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)A Biloxi man is accused of stealing a trailer full of tools from a construction site in St. Martin. Investigators said it wasn't too hard to track him down - he left his wallet at the crime scene.
James Thomas Hudson, 27, is charged with grand larceny and faces 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Saturday, a 2006 Challenger enclosed trailer was taken from a construction site on Washington Avenue. Investigators found Hudson's Mississippi driver's license and his Transportation Worker Identification card at the construction site.
Jackson County Sheriff Charles Britt said when his deputies went to the address listed on the license Monday, they found both their suspect and the missing trailer.
Hudson was being held at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center pending an initial court appearance.

Cypress security officer nabs construction site thief

Nicosia-South, Cyprus April 23 2014 A 33-year-old man from Paphos was arrested on Monday after he was allegedly caught stealing by a private security officer at a construction site in the Yeroskipou area.    Electric wires and pieces of copper pipes were reportedly found in his possession.
The 33-year-old was spotted at the site by the security guard at around 7pm, along with a second suspect.  The employee immediately notified the police who went to the site but it was the security guard that managed to catch the alleged thief.
Police said a quantity of electric wires and copper pipes, which the construction site valued at around €500 were in his possession. An inspection later by the site’s manager estimated the damage caused by removing the wiring would cost around €10,000 to repair.
The second suspect managed to get away, according to police. A search of the first suspect’s home turned up nothing, police said.

Disorderly group scuffles with Inner Harbor security-police officers

Baltimore MD April 23 2014 An altercation over the weekend between Baltimore City police and three young people at the Inner Harbor was captured on film by a witness who claims it was a case of police brutality. Police are refuting her account.

According to charging documents two officers were on foot patrol when they were notified about a "situation" inside the Light St Pavilion by a security officer. Police said they saw three individuals waving and yelling at another security officer once they arrived at the location. Police identified the individuals as Calvin Wilkes, 25, Niesha Chapman, 22, and Maya Hankins, 19.  The security officer told police that the three had jumped over a gate with an "out of order" sign at the top of the escalator and shouted obscenities when they were asked to return back over the gate for their safety.

A city police officer advised the three that if they returned to the property they would be subject to arrest. According to charging documents, 10 minutes later officers responded back to the location for reports of more fighting and found Wilkes and Chapman back inside the pavilion. While trying to arrest Chapman police say she resisted and tried to fight with an officer. Charging documents say the officer "used arrest and control techniques," to take Chapman to the ground and place her in handcuffs. The charging documents also state that during this arrest Wilkes pushed an officer as he attempted to interfere with the arrest, at which point an officer used "arrest and control techniques" to take Wilkes to the ground. Police say he was tazed "multiple times" after continuing to struggle and attempting to bite an officer's hand. Hankins was also arrested for attempts to interfere with the arrests, police documents state.

The witness, a resident of the Inner Harbor, told FOX45 she was shocked when she saw police "tackle" the young adults. "He attacked the girl from behind," witness Jennifer Bartley said.

But police say the woman attempted to bite the officer and the two other males tried to interfere with her arrest. Police say the entire incident could have been avoided had the three heeded the warning from Harborplace security guards. 

"They were given the opportunity to leave in the first place, they had been told not to come back to the pavilion, they chose to engage in that verbal confrontation, they chose to attempt to become involved in a physical fight with somebody who was just there to do their job," said police spokesman Eric Kowalczyk.

Hankins has been charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting and interfering with an arrest. Chapman has been charged with the same in addition to trespassing on private property. Wilkes is facing charges of first and second-degree assault, trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting and interfering with arrest.

Woman shot to death at Cumberland Mall -shooter commits suicide

COBB COUNTY, Ga. April 23 2014 
Police investigate shooting at Cumberland Mall galleryPolice say a woman is dead in a shooting at Cumberland Mall in Cobb County.
A police spokesman said the shooting happened shortly after 3 p.m. in the parking lot outside Macy's.
Violet Lambert, 55, was shot multiple times. She was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital where she died from her injuries.
Another shot was directed at a good Samaritan who was running to her aid. Police said the gunman left in a white van.
"Apparently one of those shots people heard was a shot at (the good Samaritan) as he came to her," Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce said.
Police said witnesses heard a man and woman arguing before shots were fired.
Several people heard the gunshots at a bus stop across from the mall.
"I didn't know it was gunshots at first. It sound like some firecrackers, so I didn't pay any attention to it," one person said.
Another bystander described the scene as chaotic.
"Chaotic, crazy, people running everywhere, cops everywhere; crazy," he said.
One witness said the shooter was calm and collected before he drove off.
"He looked like he was in no hurry, it was like something he did every day," a witness said.
Police said the van was found on Monday at a home in East Point, where detectives found the body of Danny Wray Brown, 59.
Police said Brown shot himself. He has been identified as a suspected gunman.

Port St. Lucie High School coach/counselor arrested

St Lucie County Fla April 23 2014 The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Port St. Lucie High School coach and guidance counselor for interfering with the custody of a minor after an investigation revealed the teacher had allegedly kissed and "cuddled" with a 17-year-old female student.
According to a release from the sheriff's office, detectives met with 29-year-old Cecilia Alvarez at the school this morning and conducted an interview after they learned of the alleged incident from the student's mother on Friday.
The teen told detectives the two had kissed and "cuddled up together" and would go to CityPlace in West Palm Beach so they could "walk around and stuff without anyone seeing us together."
According to the report, the teen told investigators she and Alvarez would often cry when speaking about the fear of getting caught and that they "knew it was wrong but couldn't help their feelings for each other."
After the interview with detectives on the school grounds, Alvarez was transported to the Sheriff's Office and placed under arrest.
"Our investigation revealed that the teacher, Cecilia Alvarez, had been sexually involved with a 17-year-old female victim for about a month," Sheriff Mascara said. "Our School Resource Deputy at Port St. Lucie High School became aware of the relationship, as did the victim's mother, and we began our investigation Friday."
As to why the charges wouldn't be lewd and lascivious instead, the Sheriff's office says the facts of the case and the age of the victim indicated that the custodial interference charge was the most appropriate criminal charge under Florida law.
The case will be referred to the State Attorney's Office.
Tammy Feller of the St. Lucie County School Board issued this statement, "The consistent and primary concern of Saint Lucie County Public Schools is always the safety, security and welfare of the students we serve. This is a criminal law enforcement investigation and employees will proceed through the established process. The active investigation prohibits school officials from comment."
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office issued a clarification to an earlier news release that described the relationship between Ms. Alvarez and the girl.
"The investigation did not indicate that there was sexual involvement between the adult and the juvenile. Neither party admitted to any sexual acts as defined by Florida law. That is why the charge of custodial interference was the appropriate charge," Mark Weinberg, Public Information Officer with SLCSO said.
People who know Alvarez were surprised by the news.
"I was shocked," says former student Frank Monteleone, "She was a nice lady. She never really looked at kids like that."

Private security officer helps nab burglar

FREMONT CA April 23 2014 -- A 54-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary in connection to a break-in at an acupuncture business in the city's Central Downtown district over the weekend, police said.
Officers responded at 3:05 a.m. Sunday to security guard's report of a burglary at a commercial complex in the 39000 block of Paseo Padre Parkway, said police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques.
Police said the suspect, later identified by officers as Dale Moon, of Oakland, cut a hole through drywall to get inside Joy Acupuncture, then reportedly pilfered items from the business.
Officers found the suspect hiding on the second floor of the complex at another business, Fuddeno Bros. Inc., then surrounded the building and ordered the suspect to come out.
At first the suspect refused to leave a locked office inside Fuddeno Bros., but he later came out of the business without incident, Bosques said.
Officers arrested Moon, who reportedly had a bag full of items that included a gold chain, gift cards, a pocket watch and origami-folded dollar bills.
San Jose Mercury News

Texas Attorney General OKs Armed School Employees

AUSTIN, Texas April 23 2014 — It is not against the law for employees at Texas school districts to carry handguns to protect students at school sporting events or during school board meetings, Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in an opinion released Friday.
The safety measure, known as the guardian plan, provides armed protection for smaller, rural school districts that cannot afford to hire security. Guardian plans require employees to obtain a concealed handgun permit, American-Statesman reports.
Abbott released the opinion after Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) asked the attorney general last year if guardian plans conflict with state law that bans concealed handgun license holders from bringing weapons to high school sporting events or meetings of a governmental body.
In the opinion, Abbott also suggested that districts consult with a lawyer before drafting guardian plans.
Opponents of the plan argued that putting more guns on campus could be more dangerous because if police have to respond to a school shooting, they could mistake a guardian for a suspect, Houston Chronicle reports.
Meanwhile, members of the National Rifle Association said the guardian plan would have little effect, they only expect a handful of districts to take advantage of the laws.
Currently, about 10 rural districts have created guardian plans.

Princeton High School teacher arrested for relationship with student

Princeton, Texas -April 23 2014  A teacher at Princeton High School was arrested Thursday for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Princeton ISD confirmed it is cooperating with the investigation into 30-year-old Saralyn Portwood. She was suspended from her position as a special education teacher and assistant softball coach.

Portwood is accused of being involved with a 17-year-old male student. He was a teacher’s aide and was not in her special education classes, the district said.

Portwood reportedly first told the student she thought he was handsome in January. The student said that in February, things escalated.

According to court documents, Portwood began “brushing against him” and touching him inappropriately. The student also said Portwood was contacting him via an app called Snapchat, and said that he did not want to be involved with her and told her so.

The district sent a letter a letter home to parents alerting them of the case.

“It's scary and you just hope it's not true,” said Princeton High parent Tina Cooper.

Portwood is currently free on a $10,000 bond.

She has only worked for the district for a year.

Portwood’s husband is a high school history teacher and assistant football coach. The couple has a young son.

Santa Cruz family helps nab shoplifter

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - April 23 2014
A Santa Cruz man was arrested Saturday afternoon after he apparently stole from a grocery store, fought with a security guard and took off.
Around 5:30 p.m., a family of three was at the Safeway store on Morrissey when they noticed the suspect, identified as James Wentworth, fighting with a security guard over an apparent theft.
Wentworth broke free, fleeing through the neighborhood with the family chasing after him through backyards and over fences. One person knocked him down, and the other family members held Wentworth until police arrived.

Sweetwater police detective guilty of fraud-identity theft

 Miami FL April 23 2014
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce the conviction of William Garcia, 39, a detective with the Sweetwater Police Department.
On April 21, 2014, a jury in U.S. District Court found Garcia guilty on 12 counts. Specifically, the defendant was found guilty of one count conspiring to produce, use, or traffic in one or more counterfeit access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; one count of use of a counterfeit access device, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(1); and ten counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). Garcia faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years’ imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.
At trial, the United States presented evidence documenting Garcia’s improper friendship with a former confidential source. The confidential source, a convicted felon, provided Garcia and another former South Miami Detective Richard Munoz with counterfeit credit cards. During the trial, the source, Munoz, and others testified about Garcia’s possession and use of those cards during shopping trips to Miami-Dade County shopping malls in 2010 and early 2011. During a meeting in late December 2010, Garcia was recorded providing his own personal credit card for use in stealing account numbers and manufacturing counterfeit cards.
Additional evidence at trial showed that Garcia was caught on videotape bringing eight counterfeit credit cards to the residence of the confidential source. During that and other recorded meetings, Garcia explained that he had taken the counterfeit cards from work and that he would share them with the confidential source. During the next two weeks, Garcia was recorded discussing his use of the cards at restaurants, movies, and a mall. Garcia’s presence during the transactions was further documented through use of phone records, placing Garcia’s cell phone in the area of each transaction at the time it occurred.
After the verdict, U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno remanded Garcia pending sentencing on June 26, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. in Miami. Munoz, who himself pleaded guilty on March 13, 2014, to related fraud charges, is presently set for sentencing in front of Judge Moreno on May 9, 2014.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force, the FBI Miami Cyber Task Force, and the Sweetwater Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Lacosta and Sarah Schall.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Courthouse violence unpredictable despite security

Federal Courthouse employees evacuate as police investigate a shooting inside the Federal Courthouse, Monday, April 21, 2014, in Salt Lake City. The shooting has left at least one person injured, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney said.   SALT LAKE TRIBUNE OUT;  MAGS OUT Photo: Hugh Carey, AP / The Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY UTAH April 22 2014  (AP) — When Utah's new federal courthouse opened last week, it came with security improvements that are becoming standard around the country: separate entrances and elevators for judges, defendants and the public; bullet-resistant glass and paneling; and vehicle barricades to keep car bombs at bay.
Even the design of the courtrooms, with plenty of sunlight and space, can help calm witnesses or defendants in high-stress cases, some judges believe.
But nothing can prevent every violent courtroom outburst. Authorities said that when a 5-foot-11, 230-pound, pen-wielding defendant rushed a witness during his racketeering trial Monday, a more old-fashioned form of security left him dead: an armed U.S. marshal.
Siale Angilau, 25, was shot several times in front of stunned jurors, lawyers and courtroom watchers. He was one of 17 people named in a 2010 indictment accusing "Tongan Crip" gang members of assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offenses.
The unidentified witness, who was unhurt, had been testifying about gang initiation when Angilau charged him, said Perry Cardwell, who was in the courtroom. Cardwell was there to support his mother, Sandra Keyser, who was punched in the face during a holdup in 2002.
Shootings at federal courthouses are rare, though not unheard of, around the country.
Last year, a former police officer who told friends he was dying of cancer was killed by law enforcement after he sprayed bullets into a federal courthouse in West Virginia. In 2012, a man committed suicide at a federal courthouse in Alabama, and in 2010, a man started shooting in the lobby of the Las Vegas federal courthouse, killing a court security officer and wounding a deputy U.S. marshal. The gunman was killed in a shootout.
Shootings in courtrooms themselves are even less common, largely because metal detectors ensure armed spectators don't reach them.
But defendants usually are not shackled when they appear at trial, absent extraordinary circumstances, making their outbursts unpredictable. Courts have held that it's unfair to defendants for jurors to see them restrained. It's unclear whether the U.S. Marshals Service, which provides security for judges and federal courthouses, had any unusual concerns about security in Angilau's case.
Prosecutors say Angilau, also known by his street name "C-Down," was a member of the Tongan Crips, a group of men of mostly Tongan descent that are aligned with a larger Crip culture in the Western United States. They have rivalries with "Blood" gangs and a gang of ex-members known as the "Tongan Crip Regulators," court records show.
The last defendant in the case to stand trial, Angilau was accused of robbing convenience stores and assaulting clerks in Salt Lake City on five occasions from 2002 to 2007. A clerk was shot in the final robbery. He was also accused of assaulting a federal officer with a weapon on Aug. 11, 2007.
Angilau's trial was among the first at the new $185 million federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City, next door to the century-old federal facility it replaced.
U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell declared a mistrial after the shooting, noting in her order that jurors were visibly shaken and upset. She issued a separate order extending the jurors' term of service "until counseling is no longer needed."
Angilau's attorney, Michael Langford, declined to take questions as he left the courthouse.
Angilau was arrested in August 2007 for a probation violation and pleaded guilty a year later to obstruction of justice and failure to respond to a command of a police officer, court records show. He remained in Utah state prison until he was handed over to U.S. marshals on Friday, said Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams.
Marsha Pechman, the chief U.S. district judge in Seattle, noted that although state courts handle many of the most emotionally charged cases, including family-law matters, security is never far from the minds of federal judges.
In 2005, six weeks after Seattle's federal courthouse opened, Seattle police shot and killed a man who walked into the lobby with an inert grenade.
That same year, a delusional man angry over the dismissal of his medical malpractice case shot and killed the mother and husband of Chicago U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow at the judge's home.
Pechman said she believes the stately, quiet, light and spacious feel of newer federal courthouses like Seattle's can calm people down much more effectively than the atmosphere of older, crowded ones. Devoting plenty of time and attention to cases to ensure defendants believe they are treated fairly also can help, she said.
And when all that fails, she noted, "we have a very highly trained police force in the marshals."
"You can't be a judge very long without having a trial that presents concerning situations," Pechman said. "We handle them by talking them through with the marshals. ... This sounds like something that could have happened at any courthouse, at any time."

Gun Battle Outside Local Nightclub Leaves One Man Injured

WACO TX April 22 2014  One man was shot early Sunday morning during what Waco police are calling a gun battle outside a local night spot.
The man, identified as Marcus Dewaine Long, 31, was shot in the leg.
He was taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Monday, but his condition was not known.
Officers who were patrolling in the are heard the gunfire at around 2:25 a.m. Sunday as the fight erupted in the parking lot of Club Crush at 1014 North 25th St.,
When officers got to the scene they found the injured man, several spent cartridges on the ground and several vehicles with bullet holes in them.
No one was arrested and police have not yet identified the gunmen, Swanton said.
In early February, an off-duty Marlin police officer who was working as a security guard was involved in a shooting at the club.
Someone fired a gun inside the club during a disturbance and while the off-duty officer was dealing with that incident, another disturbance started outside of the club, police said.
When the off-duty officer, whose name was not released, went outside to check on the second disturbance, he saw a man firing at several other men, police said.
The off-duty officer fired at the gunman, who fled, along with the men at whom he had been shooting, police said.
Shortly after that, police were advised that a man had turned up in the emergency room of Providence Health Center with a gunshot wound to his leg, police said.

Teen shot after cutting in line to buy sneakers

Brooklyn NY April 22 2014 A Brooklyn 15-year-old was shot in the foot after cutting a line of customers waiting to buy a pair of coveted $250 sneakers Saturday morning, police say.

The boy was shot outside a Foot Locker on Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick about 6 a.m. as he and other customers waited outside the store for the chance to buy a pair of Nike Foamposite Pro Premium "Yeezy" shoes, named for Kanye West, police say.

After the boy cut in line, one of the customers left and returned with a handgun, police say. The shooter fired the gun four times, with one of the bullets hitting the 15-year-old in the foot.

The boy was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive, according to the NYPD. The shooter has not been arrested.

Earlier this month, there was nearly a riot after hundreds of people lined up outside a Soho sneaker store for the debut of a different model of Nike Foamposite sneakers, according to the New York Post. The store canceled the sale after customers got unruly.

Employee sues Pier 1 Imports for putting her on involuntary unpaid pregnancy leave

San Jose CA April 22 2014 A San Jose employee is the named plaintiff in a class action against Pier 1 Imports Inc. that alleges the retailer denied reasonable accommodation for her pregnancy and put her on involuntary unpaid pregnancy leave — four months before her baby was born.
Fort Worth-based Pier 1 has about 100 stores in California, including six in the Sacramento region. A typical store has at least 15 to 20 employees, court documents allege.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court by the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, seeks new policies that conform to California law; wages, benefits and other compensation denied the plaintiff and others in a similar situation, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs.
“As a company policy, Pier 1 does not comment on specific legal matters,” Pier 1 spokeswoman Jennifer Engstrand said.
Kimberly Erin Caselman, the named plaintiff, worked as a sales associate for Pier 1 in San Jose when she got pregnant. In November 2013, her doctor told her she should not lift more than 15 pounds or climb ladders during her pregnancy. Pier 1 placed her on an eight-week light-duty assignment.
That light-duty assignment expired in January 2014, almost six months before her July due date.
When Caselman asked for an extension so she could continue to work, Pier 1 allegedly put her on concurrent medical leave and California Pregnancy Disability Leave for four months. Under Pier 1 policy, she is required to return to work in May or provide a doctor’s note about why she can’t.
Caselman never asked for a leave of absence — she repeatedly told Pier 1 that she wanted to continue working, court documents allege. But Pier 1’s light-duty policy puts women with pregnancy-related conditions on light duty for a maximum of eight weeks and then automatically places them on unpaid pregnancy leave if they continue to need accommodation.
This approach will force Caselman her to exhaust her four months of disability leave before her baby is even born.
“All I want is to keep working as long as I am able to before my baby is born, and to have a job to return to afterward,” Caselman said in a news release. “More than anything, I hope to change this policy so other women aren’t forced out of their jobs or made to stay home without pay at the time they need their income the most.”

Stamford Agrees to pay $230,000 for Incident of Police Brutality

Stamford CT April 22 2014 The City of Stamford has agreed to pay a Norwalk woman $230,000 as the result of a 2009 case of police brutality.
Atty. Antonio Ponvert III, of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, today announced that the $230,000 out-of-court settlement resolves a lawsuit filed against the City of Stamford and Stamford police officer Greg Zach on behalf of a longtime Norwalk resident.
According to the Complaint filed in Stamford Superior Court in June 2009, Brenda Mazariegos was attempting to enter the parking lot of her employer, The Palms Nightclub, a longtime downtown Stamford business co-owned by her husband, when, with no justification whatsoever, Stamford Police Officer Greg Zach ordered her out of her car, punched her in the face with a closed fist, then left her bleeding, crying and shackled in a swelteringly police cruiser. Finally, other officers took Ms. Mazariegos to the Stamford Hospital Emergency Department, where she was treated for serious wounds to her head and face. 
Ponvert filed the lawsuit in Stamford Superior Court in 2011. A trial in the case resulted in a hung jury at the end of 2013. A second trial was slated to begin this month.
According to the Complaint, Brenda Mazariegos and her friend and fellow employee Sandra Solis were attempting to park in The Palms parking lot when Officer Zach refused to grant them access - even after Sandra's husband Nelson Solis told the officer that he co-owned The Palms with Brenda's husband and that the women had the right to park there. Sandra had been driving when Officer Zach first stopped them, but she left the car to find her husband.
After ordering Brenda to get behind the wheel, the Complaint alleges, Officer Zach demanded to see Brenda's driver's license, which she had left at home. When Brenda failed to produce her license, Zach ordered her out of the car and brutally assaulted her. Brenda is five feet tall. Officer Zach is six feet.
With a closed fist, Zach viciously and repeatedly punched Brenda in the head, face, neck and shoulders, the Complaint alleges. 
"This vicious and unjustified assault is every citizen's worst fear about a police force run amok. Officer Zach's excessive force against a tiny woman should have landed him in jail. Instead he is back on the job, wearing a uniform and carrying a gun, being paid at taxpayer's expense. It's a travesty," Ponvert said.
"It is only a matter of time," Ponvert added, "before the Stamford Police Department's failure to properly train and supervise its rogue officers costs another law-abiding citizen her health and safety, maybe even her life, and costs the city's residents another quarter million dollar legal settlement."
The lawsuit alleges that Zach's assault caused Brenda to suffer a "hematoma on her forehead the size of an orange."
"For months after Zach's violent assault," the lawsuit said, "Brenda could not stay in her house alone for fear that Zach might come to hurt her."
"Due to Officer Zach's false statements about Brenda's behavior on the day he beat and arrested her, she was wrongfully charged with breach of peace, interference with an officer, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer," the lawsuit said. All those charges were subsequently dropped.
The lawsuit accused the Stamford Police Department of inadequately training its officers and supervisors, failing to "properly evaluate and assign Officer Zach in light of previous incidents and complaints" and failing to terminate Zach as a result of previous incidents and complaints. Specifically, according to the lawsuit, prior to his assault on Brenda, Zach had a well-documented history of sustained citizen complaints for verbal abuse and other threatening misconduct toward Stamford citizens, including women and children. He remains an officer with the Stamford Police Department.
Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has offices in Bridgeport, Danbury, New Haven and Stamford. The nationally known law firm has achieved record-breaking verdicts for people who have suffered serious personal injuries and economic harm from medical malpractice, violation of their civil rights, dangerous products, negligence, drunk drivers, corporate and governmental abuse, and commercial misconduct.

Gang leader convicted in Fla. armored car killing

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. April 22 2014 (AP) — The leader of a violent gang involved in the 2010 killing of a South Florida armored car guard during a robbery could get life in prison following his convictions on several federal charges.
Sentencing is set for July 1 for 41-year-old Terrance Brown. He was convicted last week of federal robbery and firearms charges. The actual shooter in the case pleaded guilty earlier and was sentenced to life in prison.
Authorities say Brown's seven-member gang tried unsuccessfully to rob two other armored cars before the fatal shooting of a Brink's guard at a Bank of America branch in Miramar. One robbery failed because the armored car failed to show up on time and the second plan was aborted when a police car drove into a bank parking lot.

U.S. Marshal shot defendant at Salt Lake City courthouse

SALT LAKE CITY UTAH April 22 2014  (AP) -- Authorities say a U.S. marshal shot and critically wounded a defendant in a federal courthouse who rushed a witness stand with a pen at his trial in Salt Lake City.

FBI spokesman Mark Dressen said Monday that Siale Angilau was hospitalized with at least one chest wound.

Authorities say the shooting occurred in connection with a gang-related trial.

No other details were immediately available.

The case was being heard in U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell's courtroom.

Illinois State Trooper charged with felony after conducting strip search

BELLEVILLE, Ill. April 22 2014-- An Illinois State Trooper has been charged here with felony aggravated battery over an alleged strip search of a man last year in East St. Louis.
Corey A. Alberson, 32, of Swansea, was arrested by fellow troopers on Tuesday and charged that day in St. Clair County Circuit Court. He was released after posting $20,000 bond.
Prosecutors allege that Alberson assaulted Anthony Campell on Jan. 24, 2013 on North 9th Street during a traffic stop.
According to charging documents, Alberson "made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature" when he allegedly pulled down Campbell's pants without his consent and "examined with a flashlight the naked buttocks" of Campbell.
Campbell was not charged.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the state police said Alberson, a seven-year veteran of the department, was arrested following an internal investigation and relieved of duty pending outcome of the charges.
"The Illinois State Police takes this matter seriously and will not tolerate misconduct on any level," ISP Director Hiram Grau said in the statement.
St Louis Post Dispatch