Friday, October 24, 2014

Two dead in shooting at Ben Taub Hospital

officers stand outside Ben Taub General Hospital following a shooting ...

HOUSTON TX Oct 24 2014  – Two people were killed in a murder-suicide at Ben Taub Hospital Wednesday.
The shooting happened about 2:15 p.m. in the hospital's outpatient pharmacy.
Police say a pharmacist and pharmacy tech were shot behind the glass.
HPD spokesperson John Cannon said surveillance video shows the female pharmacist was at her work station when the pharmacy tech walked up and shot her from behind.
The 58-year-old tech then shot himself. He died immediately, and she died about 15 minutes later. The names of the gunman and victim have not been released.
Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots.
"There were at least eight shots," said a witness. "The only thing we could hear was big shots: Boom! Boom! Boom!"
About a dozen people were on the other side of the glass when the shooting happened. No one else was hurt.'
The hospital was put on lockdown and patients were told to lock their doors, according to people inside the hospital. The lockdown was later lifted.
Police say the tech might have been angry because the pharmacist rejected his advances.
"Well, we're learning that only in recent days did the male make some advances or saying that he wanted to get into a relationship of some kind, asking her out, that type of thing," Cannon said.
Ben Taub released the following statement Wednesday evening:
"The Ben Taub campus is now safe and secure, and the hospital and clinics are open. The outpatient pharmacy remains closed until further notice.
At this most difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two staff who lost their lives as a result of this senseless violence, as well as to every Harris Health System employee and the members of our medical staff."

Three charged in murder of security officer

Dallas TX Oct 24 2014 Three men were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the fatal shooting of a security officer last month, police announced at a news conference today.
Rickey Varnell Manning, 19; Brandon Okeith Small, 23; and a juvenile male face capital murder charges in the case.
Rodney Rone, 46, was employed as a guard at the Bruton Food Deli in the 2000 block of North Masters Drive.
The night of Sept. 30, investigators say, a group of robbers rushed Rone and two female clerks inside the store, shooting the guard.
Rone was taken to Baylor University Medical Center, where he died.

Student accused of punching school safety agent at Port Richmond High School

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. Oct 24 2014  — A Port Richmond High School student allegedly assaulted a 41-year-old school safety agent during an altercation Tuesday at the school.
Jada McCombs, 16, from St. George, punched the male victim in the face while he was breaking up a fight between the defendant and another student, according to allegations in court documents.
The man suffered bruising and swelling to the right side of his face, the criminal complaint says.
Ms. McCombs, police said, then spit in the face of another school safety agent.
She was charged with assault in the second degree, a felony, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and assault in the third degree, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan's office.

Private Investigator, Ex-Cop Charged In Alleged Bribery Deal

NEW YORK NY Oct 24 2014  A private investigator and a former NYPD officer were charged Wednesday in connection with an alleged bribery deal for confidential information from a law enforcement database.
Private investigator Joseph Dwyer was arrested on Wednesday. Former NYPD officer Ronald Buell also was charged.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan accused Dwyer of bribing Buell while Dwyer was working for court-appointed attorneys and Buell was still on the force.
They said between 2011 and 2013, Dwyer paid the officer $9,000 to get the criminal histories of potential government witnesses in federal cases. Court papers also accuse Dwyer of submitting invoices for reimbursements from taxpayer money for the cost of paying Buell.
There was no immediate response to phone messages left Wednesday for defense attorneys.
CBS New York

Domestic dispute leaves 2 people dead at Lansing hospital

Lansing Police and investigators on the scene of a

LANSING MI Oct 24 2014  – A domestic dispute in a hospital parking lot left two people from Lansing dead Tuesday morning.
Police are calling the incident a murder-suicide. They said Johnnie Conner Jr., a 44-year-old Lansing man, killed Bessie Saline Rodriguez, a 43-year-old Lansing woman, shortly after 7 a.m. and then killed himself in a rear parking lot at McLaren Greater Lansing's orthopedic hospital off South Pennsylvania Avenue. Police recovered a firearm at the scene.
Rodriguez worked at the hospital. On its Facebook page, the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 459 Nurses group sent "thoughts and prayers ... to the family of our member who was tragically killed."
Few other details were released, such as the relationship between the two or what sparked the domestic incident. But Lansing police Public Information Officer Robert Merritt said more information may be released Wednesday.
"Detectives are still trying to work through some things," Merritt said Tuesday afternoon. Earlier, he said police are not looking for other suspects.
"We're confident that we have all accounted parties involved," he said.
Police were called just after 7 a.m. and found both individuals unresponsive in the parking lot. Conner was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman died later at another local hospital.
Hospital officials also released little information.
McLaren Greater Lansing spokesman Brian Brown said the hospital was briefly locked down after the shooting was reported, but no patients were in jeopardy and no patients had to be relocated. There were 35 employees and 21 patients at the hospital at the time of the shooting.
In a statement Tuesday, McLaren Greater Lansing President and CEO Rick Wright said counselors and crisis support was available "to help our employees and others affected."
"As we continue our mission of healing the public, we will also be working to heal internally after this significant loss," Wright said in the statement. "We ask that you join us in keeping the family in your thoughts at this difficult time."
The murder-suicide was Lansing's third shooting incident in four days.
Police are looking for two male suspects in connection with the shooting of a 25-year-old man Saturday evening near a gas station in the 3400 block of South Waverly Road.
The victim was shot in the stomach and arm after two men approached him as he waited in his car, police said. He was reported in stable condition at a local hospital.
On Sunday afternoon, a 25-year-old Lansing man was found lying in the 4900 block of Woodlyn Drive, near Jolly Road, with a gunshot wound to the chest.
A 30-year-old Lansing man has been charged with attempted murder, carjacking and three other felony charges in that incident.

Humble delivery man becomes reluctant hero after dramatic fire rescue

Fresno, California (CNN)-- It is sheer panic in the woman's voice on the cell phone video as the flames shot out of the windows of the wood frame home

Fresno, California Oct 24 2014 (CNN) -- It is sheer panic in the woman's voice on the cell phone video as the flames shot out of the windows of the wood frame home: "There's a man in there!"

The next sound on the video is a loud explosion, likely the propane tank of a barbeque grill.

"We gotta get the dad," screams the woman.

The explosion forced two men who were trying to reach the trapped man away from the home. Seconds later, a man in a blue Los Angeles Dodgers cap jogs out with a 73-year-old man slung over his shoulder.

"Oh thank God!" says the woman who is recording the video, her relief as striking as her fear just seconds earlier.

The elderly man is stunned as the man in the blue cap lowers him. He's wearing tubes that appear to help him breathe. We later learn he was attached to an oxygen tank, highly explosive in a house fire. On the video, you can see other people on the street run up to assist him.

What you don't see is the moment the man in the blue cap disappears, vanishing before firefighters arrive or anyone gets his name.

"I didn't see him," says Beth Lederach, the woman who recorded the dramatic weekend fire and rescue on her cell phone. "He went on his way, just disappeared."

Lederach, as she reviewed her video, saw something even more extraordinary. In the seconds before the explosion of the propane tank, you can see the man in the blue cap calmly walk towards the burning home, flames nearing 20 feet high. The explosion that forced others away from the house didn't stop the man in the blue cap.

"He calmly walks in there, calmly. Then here he comes, carrying the dad," recalls Lederach.

Then he vanished.

For 48 hours, the Fresno fire department and local reporters hunted for the mysterious hero, flashing his image all over area news outlets. Who was he? Why would he dive into a burning home, save a man and then not stay long enough for even a simple "thank you"?

"There's over half a million people in Fresno and this guy's picture is all over the news and nobody could find him," says Fresno fire department spokesman Koby Johns. While the fire department urges people to not dive into the middle of a fire for their own safety, Johns can't help but be impressed by seeing ordinary people at their best. "For a civilian to do that, it's truly remarkable. There are some people, wired in such a way that when that moment presents itself, they don't think about self-preservation. They think about help. That's what makes them heroes."

Several men appeared to help the elderly man, all of whom came forward in the first 24 hours. But the mystery lingered... who was the man in the blue Dodgers cap?

Perhaps the man who wanted to know most was Robert Wells, the 73-year-old man who was carried to safety on the man's back. "He snatched me up and away we went. Bouncing on his back, hands like this, wow. That was one helluva ride."

I met Wells at the Red Roof Inn, the day before he and his were going to have to leave. Out of money and distraught about where to go, Wells, his daughter and granddaughter said the fire destroyed everything they owned.

Wells has only about 25% lung capacity, as the result of COPD and emphysema. They are clearly struggling. But Wells was quick to point out he didn't lose his life, thanks to a heroic act of a man he'd never met. What he hoped for most was to say thank you to the mystery man.

"He's gonna be on my mind the rest of my life," says Wells.

It appeared the man would never be found, that this might become Fresno folklore.

But in this age, social media has a way of making sure all secrets are uncovered.

It's a little unclear exactly how it happened, but a Facebook post from a relative of the man in the blue cap mentioned he knew the hero. Local reporters pounced.

Tom Artiaga groaned as the reporters starting banging on his door.

"I didn't want the glory," he says sheepishly, wearing the same blue Dodgers cap he had on as he walked calmly towards Wells' burning home. "I don't want it."

Artiaga can barely look at me as I prod him, so uncomfortable is he talking about himself.

Artiaga says he was driving by when he saw the fire and heard the screaming about the trapped man inside. He parked his white truck and walked slowly towards the fire. The 49-year-old devoted husband, father of three and grandfather of five didn't think about what he had to lose. A man who spends his free time helping out elderly people in his neighborhood with their gardens naturally thought about what he could do to help.

"That's when the explosion went," he says. "I just ducked, and seen the old man in the yard. He was on that machine. He couldn't walk." Artiaga, whose stocky and muscular frame still reflects his younger years as an athlete, knew he could easily carry the elderly man out.

"I put him on my shoulder. Picked him up. Let's go."

As Artiaga lowered Wells from his shoulder, he saw Beth Lederach recording the rescue on her cell phone. In the same way his instinct was to walk towards Wells, Artiaga decided to walk away.

Artiaga saw his picture in the paper and the video on the local news. He couldn't escape the video that was flying across Facebook and Twitter. He hoped his wife wouldn't find out because he didn't tell her. He hoped the story would fade and he could go back to his job as a delivery man for a liquor company, without anyone connecting the video to him.

"Why," I ask. "Most of us liked to be thanked."

Artiaga's eyes begin to fill with emotion. "We have to help each other out. We kill each other. We fight. We gotta help each other out. I don't feel like a hero. If it was someone else, I'd help them, too."

Minneapolis nightclub murder suspect hid gun in crotch

MINNEAPOLIS MN Oct 24 2014  -- The suspect in a strip club killing snuck the murder weapon past security by hiding it near her crotch, according to the club's owner, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Jasmine N. Jones turned herself in to police, according to CBS Minnesota, after shooting and killing 32-year-old Lakisha Marie Neal, just after 1 a.m. Saturday.
The owner of Augie's Cabaret, Brian Michael, told the Star Tribune that although the club has security personnel, extensive video surveillance and a metal detector, Jones apparently evaded detection "by concealing her firearm in her crotch area."
"There are gender sensitivities when searching a woman. ... She took advantage of that. [How she hid the gun] was outside of our imagination," Michael told the newspaper.
Michael said Jones, 29, set off the metal detector and she was asked whether she had a fiream.
"We did not grab her crotch area," Michael said.
After entering the club, Jones and Neal allegedly had a brief altercation before Neal was shot once in the head.
Jones is charged with second-degree murder.

Cook County Jail guard smuggled sandwiches stuffed with marijuana

CHICAGO IL Oct 24 2014            He went by the street name “Murda,” the feds say.
If so, it wasn't a good look for a Cook County Jail guard.
But Jason Marek, 29, was allegedly living a double life — using his day job to smuggle sandwiches stuffed with marijuana into the county jail, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
A federal complaint unsealed Tuesday alleges he teamed up with three inmates, including one, Lavangelist Powell, who was awaiting trial for solicitation of murder, to smuggle the weed.
The plan allegedly called for “Jim Shoe” sandwiches — a classic mutli-ethnic Chicago sub stuffed with corned beef, Italian beef and gyro meat — hollowed out so that baggies of marijuana could be hidden inside.
Marek was arrested early Tuesday morning and, wearing a brown hoodie and military-style boots, made a brief appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert in court alongside three co-defendants Tuesday lunchtime.
The complaint says he was stopped carrying two sandwiches stuffed with nearly three ounces of marijuana, plus a bag full of contraband cigarettes in June last year. He took a $200 bribe to make the delivery, it's alleged.
According to the charges, an ounce of marijuana, which sells for approximately $200 outside the jail, could be sold for five times as much, or $1,000, inside the jail.
Powell and fellow inmates Thadieus Good and Price Johnsons had pre-sold the expected delivery to other inmates and were upset when Marek did not deliver it, it's alleged. Good's wife Pearlisa “Wang Wang” Stevenson had made the sandwiches and delivered them to Marek for smuggling, it's alleged.
With the help of Powell's girlfriend, Natosha McCollum, Powell, Good and Johnson allegedly recruited Johnson's girlfriend, Stephanie Lewis, 40, to use her job as a supervisor at Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications to run Marek's license plates and find out where he lived, so that they could threaten him to deliver more contraband.
Johnson was allegedly recorded in a jail phone call saying, “N—–, just so long as I got my sandwich, you know I don't care.”
Lewis was arrested Monday night and charged with one count of illegally accessing a law enforcement computer to assist the alleged extortion and drug distribution conspiracy.
Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart initially called a news conference to discuss the arrests Tuesday afternoon, but later cancelled it. He issued a brief statement, saying, “Rooting out corruption in the Cook County Jail is a top priority of mine.
“I'm thankful to our federal partners at the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for working closely with my staff to conduct such a thorough investigation and to charge this far-reaching case.”
 Sun-Times Media Wire

Sedgwick County jail corporal charged with theft

WICHITA, Kan-Oct 24 2014 - A ten-year Sedgwick County jail employee is accused of stealing money from a co-worker and money box inside the facility.
The employee, who was a corporal in the detention facility, is charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft. The corporal is no longer employed by the Sheriff's office.
"I can't control the actions of others. What I can control is how we address those issues and we address those issues by investigating them to the furthest extent," said Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter. "If there is probable cause to believe that an employee has committed a crime, we take that over to the District Attorney's office and seek charges."
On September 12, a contract employee got home and then reported money had been stolen from her purse. During the investigation, it was discovered that money was missing from a notary services money box.
The name of the employee has bot been released.

Man accused of sexually assaulting others at haunted house

Daniel Rosmann

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. Oct 24 2014Some people got more than they bargained for while visiting a local haunted house over the weekend.

Police arrested a man accused of randomly sexually assaulting men and women inside the popular attraction.

The owner of the Abandoned Haunted house said several people were assaulted by a man while they were walking through Sunday night.
Daniel Rosmann, 52, has been arrested.
"We were made aware that someone had been touching people inappropriately in the haunted house, so immediately I called out to the security guard," Abandoned Haunted House owner Corey Stephens said.
Stephens said Rosmann is not an employee. He paid to get in like everyone else Sunday night.
Stephens said numerous workers and patrons complained about being inappropriately touched by Rosmann.
"I believe there was around eight people that came forward and said that they were assaulted by this gentleman," Stephens said.
Stephens said he has team leaders and security guards throughout the haunted house who were immediately contacting each other on their radios about locating Rosmann.
Surveillance cameras captured at least one of the assaults.
"We do see that the girl who was assaulted was in contact with her team lead. I'm assuming that was the radio contact that we received, and as soon as that happened, we were able to ID him and detain him," Stephens said.
Stephens said he's never seen Rosmann before and is upset that people had to experience that type of behavior.
"The Haunted House has been around for three years now. Nothing like this has ever happened, and one guy can totally mess it up for everybody else, Stephens said.
Rosmann currently is in the Racine County Jail, facing numerous charges including three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Kansas City Woman Pleads Guilty in $3 Million Fraud Scheme That Forced Employer to Close

KANSAS CITY, MO Oct 24 2014 —Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to a nearly $3 million fraud scheme that forced her employer out of business.
Irene Marie Brooner, 52, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to bank fraud.
Brooner, a certified public accountant, worked at Galvmet, Inc., a sheet metal fabrication facility and steel service center located in Kansas City, from 2001 until her termination in February 2014. At its peak in 2008, the company had 26 employees and $14 million in annual sales. Galvmet filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in 2014. At the time of closing, the company had 18 to 20 employees and $10 million in annual sales.
Brooner’s duties as controller included managing payroll, accounts receivable and payable, and maintaining the ledger at Galvmet.
Brooner admitted that, over a period of more than 10 years (January 2004 until February 2014), she created a total of 389 unauthorized Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions from Galvmet’s bank account to her personal bank accounts. (An ACH is a batch-oriented funds transfer system that includes direct deposits of payroll from companies.) Those unauthorized ACH transactions included 148 payments to her checking account and 133 payments to her savings account. Brooner also defrauded Galvmet by inflating her salary. From March 2004 to December 2011, Brooner manipulated the payroll account to increase her net pay on approximately 108 payroll checks.
Brooner’s fraud scheme resulted in a loss of at least $1,863,914 to Galvmet. As a result, Galvmet ceased operations. While reviewing bank records during the filing of Galvmet’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy in February 2014, the company’s president noticed unauthorized transfers from Galvmet’s payroll account to Brooner’s personal account. He reported the apparent embezzlement to the FBI.
To keep the scheme going, Brooner also falsified documents to support Galvmet’s operating loan with Missouri Bank & Trust, causing an additional loss to the bank of $1.1 million. The total loss from Brooner’s fraud scheme was at least $2,963,914.
Brooner spent the embezzled funds on personal items. According to today’s plea agreement, Brooner spent some of the proceeds to remodel, stock, furnish and decorate the ornately-finished bar in the basement of her new home. The bar, which she called “the Dirty Duck,” includes seating for approximately 15, a granite bar top, four or five tap lines, a refrigeration system, three flat-screen televisions, a smoke machine at the entrance, two couches and stained wainscoting around the room approximately eight feet tall. Mannequins, positioned throughout the bar, are outfitted with authentic U.S. and German uniforms and weaponry from the World War II era, including a Thompson sub-machine gun and multiple M-1 Garands with attached bayonets. Brooner told FBI agents that her husband, a carpenter, remodeled the bar in 2003 and 2004. From 2004 to 2014, Brooner spent $18,383 on alcohol.
Brooner’s spending included paying off her mortgage for $289,290, buying $81,686 in jewelry, and spending at least $400,392 on clothing and other retail, $97,180 on restaurants, $78,439 on vehicles, $169,389 on furniture and home decor, $62,003 on travel, $38,317 on electronics, $21,346 in ATM withdrawals, $59,571 on spa visits and beauty items, $68,745 on tuition for her children, $18,383 on alcohol, $104,060 to her children, $216,377 in assorted checks under $500, $64,557 in donations, $254,168 in other credit cards, and by purchasing other items.
Brooner purchased a 2004 Lexus R33 sport utility vehicle, on which she made 64 payments totaling $51,813. Brooner also bought 69 pieces of jewelry and accessories from Meierotto’s Midwest Jewelers totaling approximately $29,701 and 82 pieces of jewelry and accessories from Tivol Jewelers totaling approximately $51,984.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Brooner must forfeit to the government her personal residence, a 2004 Lexus, numerous assorted jewelry and a money judgment of at least $2,963,914, all of which represent the net proceeds obtained and loss caused by Brooner’s scheme.
Under federal statutes, Brooner is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million, and an order of restitution of $2,963,914. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel M. Nelson. It was investigated by the FBI.

Washington D.C. substitute teacher had sex with student first day on the job

Symone Greene, a Washington D.C. substitute teacher had sex with a high school football player on her very first day on the job, cops say.

Washington DC Oct 24 2014 A Washington D.C. substitute teacher had sex with a high school football player on her very first day on the job, police said.

Symone Greene performed oral sex on the 17-year-old behind her teacher's desk after he asked her to have sex with him seven times — the same number that is on his football jersey, police said.

The 22-year-old sub was charged with first-degree sexual assault against a minor for the Friday incident. She is due in court Wednesday, WUSA reported.

Police said Greene taught an English class at Options Public Charter School Friday. It was the first time she worked at the school, and the 17-year-old was an office assistant who helped in the class, police said.

The teen told officers he flirted with the teacher throughout the class.

At some point, they exchanged phone numbers, he said.

The two started texting. The 17-year-old asked if she was "kinky," police said. She allegedly replied: "I don't tell I show."
At the end of the school day, while other students attended a pep rally, the 17-year-old went back to Greene's classroom.

He asked that she perform a number of sex acts on him that would match the number on his high school football jersey: seven. While she performed oral sex on the teen, the victim recorded it on his cell phone, police said. Greene did not know she was being filmed.

After the encounter, the teen showed the footage to his football teammates.

The school told NBC Washington that Greene was hired as a substitute through a Delaware-based contracting company. She will not be rehired at the school, the principal said.

Las Vegas police officer arrested for distribution of child pornography

LAS VEGAS NV Oct 24 2014  - A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested for possession and distribution of child pornography.
Metro announced that investigators arrested 37-year-old James Henry, who has been with the force since 2002. Henry surrendered to investigators Thursday morning. He faces 10 counts each of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
He is a patrol officer with the Convention Center Area Command. Metro placed him on unpaid leave.

Student allowed to bring religious knife to class

UBURN, Wash. Oct 24 2014 — Like all religions, the Sikh faith is steeped in tradition. One of the most revered is the carrying of a Kirpan, a sword or dagger, at all times.
"People will even wear it in the shower. It's kind of hard for others to understand," said Jaswinder Singh, spokesman for the Gurudwara Sikh Center of Seattle.
The concept of the Kirpan, considered an instrument of social justice, is taught to children at an early age.
"For the people who are formally initiated to the Kirpan, it's very near and dear," said Singh.
But some question whether it is appropriate to bring to school.
A few weeks ago at Auburn's Gildo Rey Elementary, a Sikh family approached the school telling them their little boy would be carrying a Kirpan every day.
That didn't sit well with some.
One school volunteer named Shelby, who asked her last name not be used, said respecting religion goes too far if it compromises student safety.
"There's no way I'd go back until the knife was gone," she said.
Shelby does not volunteer at Gildo Rey.
"They can't take that thing into the airport. TSA would be all over it. Why is a school any different?" she asked.
District administrators are citing state and federal guidelines that allow certain exceptions to Washington's "zero tolerance" for weapons policy.
They say there are plenty of Sikhs, both students and staff, who have carried Kirpans to school for years without incident.
In this case, the knife is to be kept under the child's clothes at all times.
"The knife can't come out. It can't be shown around. It needs to be underneath their clothing," said Auburn Assistant Superintendent of Schools Ryan Foster. "That allows them to express their religion without jeopardizing anyone's feeling of safety. If there are any problems, we will take it to the family, but we don't expect any."

Knoxville officers deploy Taser on fleeing shoplifter

Joseph David Pack (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)KNOXVILLE TN Oct 24 2014  A man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after being accused of shoplifting from Walmart on Millertown Pike and running across Interstate 640 in Knoxville.
Joseph David Pack, 37, is charged with shoplifting, fleeing, resisting arrest and criminal trespass.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office says deputies were in the middle of a traffic stop in the Walmart parking lot when security officers began chasing a shoplifting suspect through the parking lot.
A KCSO officer then began chasing the man, later identified as Pack, through the parking lot and across I-640. The officer deployed his TASER weapon on Pack beside the interstate and took him into custody.
Officials say Pack has a criminal history in Knox County that includes theft, theft by shoplifting, driving without a license, resisting arrest, simple possession, evading arrest, vandalism, burglary, assault and aggravated robbery.

Albuquerque man arrested for theft of more than $30,000 worth of brass

Joseph Ross, 30Albuquerque NM Oct 24 2014  Police have arrested a man wanted for costing the city thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs by allegedly stealing brass fittings that fire trucks use to connect to water supplies, APD spokesman Tanner Tixier said.
According to a criminal complaint Joseph Ross, 30, took galvanized cap covers that are part of the fire sprinkler system at a city parking garage at 400 Copper. A city worker told police that four other city parking structures had been similarly hit. He estimated the cost to replace the parts and repair the damage at more than $33,000.
A witness who spotted Ross removing the caps notified a city security officer who saw a man fitting the description sitting in a car nearby. He was able to give police the license plate number.
Police tracked the plate information to Ross and using the same information they discovered he had recently brought 442 pounds of brass to recycling centers in Albuquerque, Wise Recycling and Earth Day Recycling, according to the complaint.
Wise Recycling is a national company with three locations in Albuquerque that buys and recycles metal collected by members of the public, according to its website
The price they pay for brass ranges from $1.65 to $1.70 per pound, said Bill Karr, a Wise Recycling manager in Albuquerque.
Karr said customers who want to sell metal must produce identification and the business also receives alerts from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries about metal stolen within a 200 mile radius.
“You’ve got to be able to read your customer to see if the scrap belongs to the customer,” Karr said, “This stuff this guy had was a red flag.”
But the brass valves he brought in had not appeared on any alerts, Karr said.
However, as soon as police inquired about items Ross had brought in, they were immediately able to identify them,  Karr said.
According to the complaint, Wise Recycling still had 147 pounds of brass valves Ross brought in. The detective showed one of the valves to the contractor hired to repairs for the thefts and he was able to identify it as one taken from one of the parking structures.
Ross was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Tuesday on felony charges of receiving stolen property and fraud.
Gene Atencio, a security advisor with Armed Response Team, a security company, said his business saw a spike in demand for their services related to metal theft when the economy went sour a few years ago.
As of early September, police had responded to around 300 calls related to metal thefts, some with an estimated value of up to $85,000, according to information provided by police.

York Central School study hall monitor arrested for supplying alcohol to students

Livingston County NY Oct 24 2014

A study hall monitor in Livingston County is accused of providing alcohol to minors.
Twenty-five-year-old Amber Burdick is charged with unlawfully dealing with a child, endangering the welfare of a child and tampering with a witness.
Livingston County sheriff's deputies say Burdick, who works at York Central School as a study hall monitor, supplied alcohol to several minors -- including students at the school. Investigators say Burdick also provided them with a place to drink.
The school district and sheriff's office both say this incident did not occur on school property. Burdick had been at the district less than two years as a study hall monitor in York.
Superintendent Dr. Daniel Murray of the York Central School District says, "I was disappointed honestly."
Dr. Murray says he wants parents to know he has their children's best interest at heart. So when he learned that a parent had gone to the school resource officer about one of his faculty members, Murray says he took immediate action.
He says, "We heard some allegations of some behavior we didn't think was appropriate for our school and we took action to cease that employment as soon as we heard of those allegations."
Burdick is also facing charges of  tampering with a witness.
Captain Brian Applin, of the Livingston County Sheriff's Office says, "After our deputy interviewed Amber, she made contact with some of the students and basically asked them not to talk about the situation or try to get her in trouble."
Investigators say Burdick admitted to the crimes in a written statement. We went to her home to try to speak with her, but no one was there. Authorities say they continue to interview more students to determine how many may have been provided alcohol and whether it occurred on more than one occasion.
"It's a place of learning," says Dr. Murray. "It's not a place for this type of alleged behavior to be. We don't want any role model like that for our students."
The superintendent says they routinely have conversations about appropriate teacher-student boundaries and have polices to address that. As for Burdick, she was released without bail being set and will return to York Town Court next month.

3 Dead, 2 Injured in Mid-Air Collision Near Frederick Municipal Airport

Three people have died after a mid-air collision between a helicopter and small aircraft near Frederick Municipal Airport Thursday afternoon.Frederick MD Oct 24 2014
Three people died and two others suffered injuries in a mid-air collision between a small helicopter and a single-engine plane Thursday afternoon in Maryland.
The crash was reported around 3:40 p.m. near Monocacy Boulevard and Bucheimer Road just north of Interstate 70 in Frederick, Maryland.
According to the FAA, the plane, a fixed wing, single-engine Cirrus SR 22, was en route to the Frederick Municipal Airport while the R44 helicopter was conducting a training exercise when the two collided mid-air.
The crash site is less than a mile from the airport. The two people hospitalized at Meritus Medical Center's trauma center in Hagerstown were released just hours after the crash. One of them, according to the NTSB, was not injured.
According to records, the airplane involved is owned by Graeves Auto & Appliance Inc. in Olney, Maryland. The company's website says it's a family-owned business in operation since 1952.
Many photos of the scene taken by witnesses show the plane's large orange and white parachute that deployed.
Frederick County Fire Department officials remained on scene, along with Maryland State Police. The FAA and NTSB are conducting an investigation.
The municipal airport got a control tower in 2012 after several near-crashes in the area.

Employee of Memphis City Court Clerk’s Office Indicted for Theft of Money

MEMPHIS, TN Oct 24 2014 —Tammy Brooks Carpenter, age 41, of Memphis, TN, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on the charge of embezzling monetary payments from customers who had been issued motor vehicle citations by the City of Memphis, announced Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
“As the indictment alleges, Tammy Brooks Carpenter orchestrated a scheme to enrich herself by embezzling and converting thousands of dollars of traffic ticket payments intended for City of Memphis coffers,” stated United States Attorney Stanton. “She then allegedly took her brazen scheme one step further by targeting and preying upon vulnerable members of the Hispanic community. As today’s arrest makes clear, we will not tolerate corrupt public officials, and will do everything in our power to hold them accountable.”
The one-count indictment alleges that beginning in December 2012 and continuing until December 2013, Carpenter, an employee of the Memphis City Court Clerk’s office whose duties included accepting payments from customers who had been issued motor vehicle citations, would accept payment and enter the transactions into the Electronic Ticket Information System (ETIMS) which created a record of the payment. Carpenter would then void the original payment and enter a smaller amount into the ETIMS system, converting the remaining funds for her personal use.
During the course of one year, Carpenter allegedly voided approximately 188 citations and embezzled approximately $24,000. Of the 188 citations voided by Carpenter, approximately 183 of the victims had a Hispanic surname.
The federal statute, Title 18 United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A), Carpenter has been charged with violating makes it a crime to embezzle money from a local government entity that receives federal assistance in excess of $10,000 during a 12 month period. If convicted she faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Memphis Police Department and the Tarnished Badge Task Force. This case is being prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Coleman.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Brooklyn security officer thwarts armed robbery

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Brooklyn NY Oct 24 2014 A Brooklyn jewelry store owner has a gem of a security guard.
Three men began to enter Scott Jewelers on Kings Highway near E. 13th St. in Gravesend around 3 p.m. Wednesday when one pulled out a gun, according to the store's owner, who declined to give his name.
The security guard, a former police officer who the owner also declined to name, foiled the holdup by smacking the man's hand and knocking away the gun. The surprise maneuver caused the gunman to fire one round.
"He saw him come in, slapped the guy's hand and knocked the gun away," the owner said. "(The bullet) went into the wall."
The hapless would-be crooks turned tail and ran, the owner said.
No one was injured.
NY Daily News

Deputies arrest Spokane VA doctor accused of child rape

STEVENS COUNTY, Wash.Oct 24 2014 — Child rape accusations landed an emergency room doctor with the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in custody. On Monday, Craig Morgenstern was arrested and court records were filed in Stevens County that detailed what lead his arrest. The Stevens Co. Sheriff's Office confirmed that Morgenstern posted bail on Tuesday and was released from custody.
Court records claimed that Morgenstern, 45, engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor around October 18. The victims was described as a 13-year-old boy.
VA leaders confirmed Wednesday that the 45-year-old doctor has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation by VA police and the Inspector General.
Megan Crowley, Director of Public Affairs from the VA CW Health Network, said when an employee is arrested for any reason they are put on administrative leave. The VA investigation will make sure no criminal wrongdoing took place within the confines of his job at the Spokane VA Medical Center according to Crowley.
911 CALL:
The investigation began Oct. 18 when authorities received a 911 call from a teenage boy who claimed he ran away after being molested at a Nine Mile Falls home.
The teenager stated a family friend, Morgenstern, began undressing him as they watched movies according to authorities. The teen had stayed at t Morgenstern's house before and was set to stay the night on Oct. 18.
The teenager told deputies that Morgenstern gave him cocoa, then the 13-year-old said he felt weird and fell asleep. Records showed that the teenager described being carried into a room, placed on a bed and undressed by Morgenstern. He said the room had lights and cameras on the walls, sex toys in the room, lotion bottles and disks. The teenager told deputies that Morgenstern then began to molest him as he pretended to be asleep according to the documents filed on Monday.
Eventually, the teenager pretended to wake up, Morgenstern went to the bathroom and the teen fled. The teenager called 911 when he reached a neighbor's house.
Stevens County Sheriff's deputies found the boy at home near Morgenstern's house along W. Shore Road. When deputies arrived, Morgenstern's vehicle pulled into the driveway behind them according to court documents. Deputies stated that Morgenstern asked if they had found a young boy. He claimed the boy had walked away from his house and he was trying to find him. Court records stated that is when the neighbor opened the door and indicated that Morgenstern was the man who had allegedly molested the teenager.
Deputies claimed they read Morgenstern his rights and the doctor agreed to describe what happened earlier in the evening. Court paperwork stated that Morgenstern admitted to deputies that the boy was staying with him and watching movies. Morgenstern said the teen had fallen asleep. He admitted to carrying the teen to a bed on the floor according to court records. The doctor claimed he was on his iPad while the boy slept. The doctor said he went to the bathroom and the boy was gone. Morgenstern told deputies that he was concerned for the boy. He claimed the boy might have been sleep walking and left according to his conversation with authorities.
Morgenstern denied any inappropriate touching and said there was no room in his house with lights and cameras. The doctor then gave the deputies permission to search his nearby house.
Deputies searched the home and found it filled with multiple arcade games, thousands of DVDs, storage bins filled with toys and video games.
The searched uncovered a bed on the floor in the master bedroom as Morgenstern had described. Court records also stated that a Go Pro style camera in the room and other electronic equipment. Deputies stated they found other cameras and digital equipment throughout the house. However, the suspect was not willing to turn his iPad over to authorities. Deputies did not arrest the doctor following the search.
Following the 911 call, the teenager was taken to a hospital to be checked out. Toxicology reports from the teen's exam came back positive for sedatives according to court records.
The teenager told hospital staff about the alleged molestation. He believed Morgenstern took photos and/or video of the events and tossed his equipment into a duffle bag when he pretended to wake up.
Deputies returned to Morgenstern's house on Oct. 19. They found the house "significantly cleaned" as stated in court records. Deputies stated that Morgenstern had removed several pieces of evidence including the Go Pro style camera, memory cards, flash drives and bedding.
Court records revealed that authorities found eight boxes of photographs of shirtless young boys.
A neighbor stated that Morgenstern had put his SUV in his garage and closed the doors the night before after deputies left. The neighbor said it was uncommon for Morgenstern to put his SUV in the garage.
Authorities arrested following the second search. Morgenstern faces life in prison if he is found guilty on the charge or Rape of a Child in the Second Degree.

Former Kailua Intermediate School security guard sentenced to prison for sex crimes

school security guard sex assault

Honolulu HI Oct 24 2014

A former school security guard was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for having sex with an underage student.
Anthony Romualdo pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault.
He met the victim when she was a student at Kailua Intermediate School. The girl’s family found out about the relationship when she was more than five months pregnant.
“I’m sorry for my actions and I made a mistake,” Romualdo said in court, “and after all this is over, I will not put myself in a predicament like this again.”
“Given the complaining witness’ age,” deputy prosecutor Kristen Yamamoto said, “she was a child and the defendant was an adult. Regardless of whatever he may try and blame the victim for the way she dressed, the way she acted towards him, he was the adult in this relationship.”
The state was asking for an open 20-year term, but the judge granted the defense’s request for youthful offender consideration.
Romualdo was 20 years old when the assaults happened.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

4 Dead in Shootings at 2 Hospitals

Rick McCann
Private Officer International

 October 23 2014

HOUSTON TX Four people are dead at two separate hospitals located almost thirteen hundred miles apart but there are common threads in their deaths.

Police in Houston Texas rushed to the Ben Taub Hospital, located in the middle of the Texas Medical Center, a large, sprawling campus like facility for a report of a shooting.
There they soon found two people shot at the hospital's outpatient pharmacy.
The 2:15 p.m call reported that an employee had been shot.
Officers arriving on scene quickly determined that it was in fact, two employees shot but not
by a robber or a crazed gunman.

Houston police spokesperson John Cannon said that surveillance video shows that the female pharmacist was at her work station when the pharmacy tech walked up and shot her from behind.
The 58-year-old tech then shot himself. He died immediately, and the pharmacist died about 15 minutes later. The names of the gunman and victim have not been released.
Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots.

"There were at least eight shots," said a witness. "The only thing we could hear was big shots: Boom! Boom! Boom!"

About a dozen people were on the other side of the glass when the shooting happened. No one else was hurt.'
The hospital was put on lockdown and patients were told to lock their doors, according to people inside the hospital. The lockdown was later lifted.

Investigators now know that in recent days the male had made some advances or said that he wanted to get into a relationship of some kind, asking her out, that type of thing," Cannon said.
The tech might have been angry because the pharmacist rejected his advances.

Earlier in the day, Lansing Michigan police were investigating their own double shooting at a hospital.
Shortly after 7a.m. shots rang out in the parking lot of the McLaren Greater Lansing's orthopedic hospital. Police said these shots left two people dead. One was a victim of murder and domestic violence, the other a murder suspect who ended his own life.

Johnnie Conner Jr., a 44-year-old Lansing man, killed Bessie Saline Rodriguez, a 43-year-old Lansing woman, and then killed himself in a rear parking lot of the orthopedic hospital off South Pennsylvania Avenue. Police recovered a firearm at the scene.
Police say that Rodriguez worked at the hospital.

Few other details were released, such as the relationship between the two or what sparked the domestic incident. But Lansing police Public Information Officer Robert Merritt said more information would be released soon.

Often times, workplace and domestic violence go hand in hand.

The personal issues of a separated, divorced or estranged couple experiencing marital problems, going through divorce or child custody battles often find their way onto the properties of employers.
Former boyfriends or girlfriends also use the job site as a place to track down the other person and try to reconcile or even retaliate for the break-up.

While a person may move out of their shared home during the divorce or break-up and not divulge their new address to their ex-partner, they usually don’t change jobs unless they’re afraid of imminent harm.

This leaves the scorned lover, ex-spouse or stalker, an opportunity to plan and execute any level of attack including murder.

Workplace violence resulting from domestic or relationship issues is on the rise and there is no easy way to combat or be prepared for all of the variables that come with this violence.

However, having strong relationships with employees may open avenues of communication that would help an employer to have advance information about possible threats or situations that could be perpetrated by an ex-spouse or someone who may be stalking or threatening an employee.
Additionally, a workplace violence training program for supervisors and managers that includes knowing the signs of domestic violence and abuse will also strengthen awareness, preparation and response to such incidents.

Sears distribution center employee charged in theft of stealing $3.7 million worth of goods

    News video: Sears Employee Accused of Stealing $3.7 Million in Goods
Logan Township NJ Oct 23 2014

A New Jersey woman was arrested for allegedly stealing $3.7 million worth of goods at a Sears warehouse and sold them across multiple states.

Kim Watson, 37, of Clementon, was charged with theft after police allege she ran a ring to sell the goods for cash or barter, Logan Township police said in a statement.

Watson worked as an inventory clerk at a Sears distribution center and for the past two and a half years she placed fabricated orders for multiple goods, including high-end electronics, appliances and bedding, and then sold the merchandise.

Sears lost about $2.6 million worth of goods that had a retail value of $3.7 million

Arkansas Attorney General creates school safety division

LITTLE ROCK, AR Oct 23 2014 - Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced the creation of a school safety division to train districts for active shooter scenarios.

McDaniel says the office has hired two investigators to help train employees against an armed intruder.

The four hour course "Civilian Response To Active Shooter Event" or CRASE teaches employees to avoid threats, deny an intruder access where possible and if that is not possible defend themselves and their students.

"I fully expect phones in our special investigations division to ring with calls from superintendents and police chiefs who see the clear benefit of this free specialized training," McDaniel says.

McDaniel says the training is based on the ALERRT program developed at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, considered the "gold-standard" for active shooter training.

The Berryville School District in Carroll County received the training Monday.

The Arkansas Department of Education says it will receive the training later this week.

A spokesperson for the attorney general says the training will be a mix of classroom instruction and real-world scenario demonstrations.

West Africa travelers must enter 1 of 5 US airports

WASHINGTON DC Oct 23 2014  — The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that all travelers from Ebola outbreak countries in West Africa will be funneled through one of five U.S. airports with enhanced screening starting Wednesday.
Customs and Border Protection within the department began enhanced screening — checking the traveler's temperature and asking about possible exposure to Ebola — at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Oct. 11.
Enhanced screening for travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea was expanded Oct. 16 to Washington Dulles, Chicago O'Hare, New Jersey's Newark and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international airports.
Those airports were supposed to screen 94% of the average 150 people per day arriving from the three countries. Lawmakers from other states asked for enhanced screening at their airports, too.
Some lawmakers have called for more restrictions, such as suspending visas or denying entry at ports for citizens from the three countries.
Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, announced that travelers from West Africa must arrive at one of the five airports starting Wednesday.
"We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption," Johnson said. "If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking as needed."
The enhanced screening will apply to anyone who traveled recently to, from or through the three outbreak countries, according to the department's announcement to be published Thursday in the Federal Register. Customs and Border Protection will work with airlines to identify potential travelers before they board, but airlines will be obligated to comply with the rule for carrying to the USA any passengers who recently traveled through the region, according to the filing.
The restrictions should affect only about nine travelers per day who would have arrived at other airports. Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, which serves Europe from hubs such as Philadelphia and Charlotte, said the airline has no concerns about the change.
"We have been tracking that, and we don't have any concerns because the numbers are so small," Cody said.
British Airways, which serves a variety of U.S. destinations other than the five targeted airports, said it would comply with the measures.
"Customers affected will be offered a refund or will be rerouted if there is availability," spokeswoman Michele Kropf said.
Republican lawmakers offered muted praise but pressed for stricter travel restrictions.
"In addition to requiring all travelers from at-risk countries to fly through airports with enhanced screening measures in place, I continue to call on the administration to suspend all visas from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the head of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The head of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said a "real solution" is to deny entry to anyone from the three countries under a provision of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act.
"President Obama has a real solution at his disposal under current law and can use it at any time to temporarily ban foreign nationals from entering the United States from Ebola-ravaged countries," Goodlatte said. "The vast majority of Americans strongly support such a travel moratorium, and I urge the president to take every step possible to protect the American people from danger."
Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said steering travelers through the five airports is a sensible precaution.
"As agreed upon by experts in both the public health and transportation communities, issuing a blanket travel ban would not only be counterproductive, but it would also irresponsibly impede getting much-needed supplies and relief to the countries that need it most," Conyers said.
Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group for all aspects of travel, praised the move to calm travel concerns while avoiding a travel ban.
"The Obama administration continues to heed the counsel of an overwhelming consensus of health and security experts and resist calls for any sort of travel ban on the grounds that it will be counterproductive to efforts to contain Ebola," Dow said.
A Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan, who became the first person diagnosed with the disease in the USA after arriving in Dallas on Sept. 20, had a temperature of 97.3 degrees but didn't tell airport officials in Monrovia, Liberia, that he had cared for a pregnant woman suffering from Ebola. He died Oct. 8, and two nurses who treated him have become infected.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the enhanced screening adds a layer of protection against Ebola entering the country.
"The Department of Homeland Security's policy to funnel all passengers arriving from Ebola hot spots to one of these five equipped airports is a good and effective step towards tightening the net and further protecting our citizens," Schumer said.
Obama and Johnson have said they will continue to monitor travel restrictions for possible changes.
"We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly," Johnson said.USA Today

The Spot strip club is accused of hiring a 17-year-old dancer

AKRON, Ohio Oct 23 2014 — A bartender at The Spot strip club is accused of hiring a 17-year-old dancer.
Cashameka A. Pate, 36, faces a third-degree misdemeanor charge of hiring an entertainer who is less than 18 years old. Pate is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in Akron Municipal Court. Pate admitted to police on Sept. 26 that she hired the girl, according to court records.
Akron police found the girl about 10:53 p.m. sitting at the strip club's bar wearing a thong and bikini top, according to court records.
Police have been called to the bar seven other times in 2014. According to police records:
  • March 18: A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of shattering mirrors, throwing glasses and trying to pick fights with customers. The man was kicked out and broke side mirrors off three cars before police arrived.
  • Later in the night: Another fight broke out in the bar, this time over a woman, and a 26-year-old bouncer kicked several people out. A group of men returned later and attacked the bouncer. They knocked him to the ground and struck him with a bar stool. They also stole $200 and the bouncer's cellphone.
  • June 6: A 33-year-old woman reported someone stole her cellphone and three credit cards from her purse at the bar.
  • July 20: A fight broke out between a boyfriend and girlfriend at the bar. Both people were drunk and police were unable to determine exactly what happened.
  • Sept. 7: Two women told police that a group of women and a man attacked them inside the women's restroom. The man punched the 23-year-old woman in the face, chased her with a knife and slashed her tires.
  • Sept. 14: Someone fired at least two gunshots inside the crowded club. Police found another fired round outside in the parking lot. No one reported being shot. Police patted down several patrons, including a 34-year-old man who tried to run from officers. They eventually found the man with a loaded .38-caliber gun in his pocket.
  • Sept. 21: Police and emergency personnel went to the bar after a 20-year-old woman became belligerent and her boyfriend became scared for her health. The woman was aggressive towards police and was eventually cited for underage drinking.

ABM Security continues to fight $$90 million lawsuit awarded to security officers

Los Angeles CA Oct 23 2014 ABM Industries Inc. urged a California appeals court Tuesday to reverse the “absurd” $90 million judgment that a lower court awarded a class of thousands of security guards for being “on call” during breaks, arguing the trial court severely misinterpreted California's rest break requirement.

The damages award was granted on summary judgment in a set of consolidated class actions alleging the facilities management company's policy of requiring security guards to carry a radio during their breaks effectively put them on call during said breaks, and therefore violated California law.  
Roughly 15,000 security guards were awarded nearly $90 million in a class-action lawsuit against their employer, ABM Security Services, which had allegedly denied the workers proper rest breaks.

Security guards were required to remain on duty during break periods with their cell phones or pagers turned on, according to court papers about the case. But Superior Court Judge John Wiley ruled Friday that the policy did not give the guards legitimate rest breaks and therefore violated California labor laws.
"Put simply, if you are on call, you are not on break," Wiley said during his ruling. "That has been the law for many years."
Instead, Wiley said, workers must be relieved of all duties in order for rest breaks to be considered legally valid.
Drew Pomerance, one of the lead attorneys for the guards, said he was "obviously thrilled" with the ruling.
"We've been prosecuting this case for seven years, and every step of the way, we believed that we were correct," Pomerance said in a Tuesday interview. "My feeling is that the way the security guards were handled is really the poster child for what businesses should not do."
California labor laws entitle most workers to a 10-minute break every four hours, Pomerance said, adding that these breaks should free workers of all duties and should not require them to keep their radios, phones or pagers accessible.
But representatives from ABM said the company "strongly disagrees" with the ruling and plans to appeal the case.
"We will vigorously pursue our right to appeal because we firmly disagree with today's ruling, its interpretation of California rest period law and California class certification standards," said ABM General Counsel Sarah McConnell in a written statement. "We contend that we provide our workers with rest breaks conforming to both the letter and spirit of the law."
ABM attorneys said imposing a multi-million dollar judgment against the company because it "required security guards to carry radios is a request whose absurdity speaks for itself," according to a 28-page April 2012 filing of the case.
Still, Pomerance said ABM could have abided by labor laws by hiring a "rover" -- a worker who could fill in for a security guard taking a rest break -- or extending an exemption that would allow the company to mandate that guards be on call during their rest periods.
ABM had previously obtained such an exemption from the Department of Labor Standards Enforcements, but it had expired.
The two sides will reconvene in a court hearing this year on Sept. 6, when attorneys representing the guards plan to address attorney fees.

Classes disrupted at North Central Michigan College after pepper spray incident

Pepper Spray at NCMC

PETOSKEY MI Oct 23 2014 — Classes and other activities at North Central Michigan College were disrupted briefly today, Tuesday, when authorities say it appears someone sprayed what they believe was pepper spray on a bathroom wall in the main classroom building.
Petoskey Department of Public Safety Director John Calabrese said emergency crews were called to the main classroom building at about 12:20 p.m. to a report of some kind of chemical release in the women's bathroom.
Two people were taken to McLaren Northern Michigan hospital by Allied EMS to be treated for burning sensations consistent with pepper spray exposure in connection to the incident.
Calabrese said initially the upper floor of the building was locked down and students told to stay in their classrooms until the fumes could be ventilated.
Emergency crews allowed normal operations to resume in the building a short time later. Public safety crews were on the scene for a little more than an hour.
Calabrese said it was unclear whether the spray was released accidentally or intentionally.
The incident remains under investigation.
Petoskey News

Firefighter, soon-to-be cop arrested in Miami Beach robbery

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Oct 23 2014  
A Miami-Dade firefighter and a soon-to-be cop with the city of Miami Police Department were arrested Sunday after robbing three women in Miami Beach, police said.
According to the arrest report, one of the victims told police she and her friends were having a verbal argument when they were approached by Jason Hibbert, 38, and Matthew Navarro, 22, who claimed to be police officers.
One of the women said Hibbert placed her in a choke hold, twisted her right arm behind her back and stole her watch, bracelet and earrings. Another victim said she was punched in the face by Navarro, who told her to calm down.
When the victims asked the men to show identification proving they were police officers, Hibbert showed them his phone which contained a photo of him in a police uniform, they said.
Shortly after the assault and robbery, Miami Beach police tracked down the men westbound on the MacArthur Causeway in a Nissan Altima.
Police said Hibbert, who is a Miami-Dade firefighter, was taken into custody after he pulled out the victim's watch from his pocket. As Navarro was being taken into custody, he told police he really is a cop. Further investigation revealed Navarro is in the process of being hired with the Miami Police Department. A sergeant with the department was called to the scene.
The men are charged with robbery, battery and impersonating a police officer. Another man who was in the car, Barry Hunter, was also arrested.
One of the victims suffered bruising and swelling to the left side of her forehead and scratches and small cuts to her right wrist. The second victim suffered cuts and swelling to the right side of her face. The third woman was not injured.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino said in a statement Tuesday that Hibbert, who has been employed since January 2004, was "relieved of duty pending formal charges and investigation."