Friday, July 25, 2014

Lorain auxiliary police officers to ticket for building, nuisance violations

LORAIN OH July 25 2014  — New rules will allow Lorain auxiliary police officers to write tickets for building and housing code violations.
On July 21, Lorain City Council voted for legislation to reorganize the Lorain Police Auxiliary. The unit keeps its objective of safeguarding and protecting the health, welfare, property and safety of Lorain residents.
However, the move adds to the power of police auxiliary officers, who now will be able to issue minor misdemeanor citations.
The new rules also create a special auxiliary member status for the sole purpose of enforcing the building and housing codes in Lorain. Members of the special auxiliary will be full-time building and housing inspectors in the city’s Building Department.
The auxiliary officers will be able to write tickets for infractions such as cars parked on lawns or having trash out at curbside, said Mayor Chase Ritenauer.
“Basically this is a way to, again, issue a citation there on the spot with a monetary dollar amount that’s a fee that will hopefully correct behavior that in my mind is serving as a negative in our neighborhoods and impacting the quality of life of the city,” Ritenauer said.
On July 21 council had relatively little discussion about the auxiliary and code enforcement, but council has talked about it many times in other meetings, Ritenauer said.
Ward 6 Councilman Rick Lucente asked if the auxiliary officers would be out on their own looking for violations or if they would issue citations based on complaints of building or health department inspectors.
“I think it would be both,” Ritenauer said.
The officers and inspectors will have more citation power as part of their daily duties, Ritenauer said. The city also will have more personnel qualified to respond when residents call to report code violations that need police attention, he said.
The city had to research the auxiliary police powers and Ritenauer credited the city Law Department for their help.
The citations also will have dates as allowed by law for residents to abate nuisance violations that easy to address, such as having a car parked on the lawn or putting out garbage too early, Ritenauer said. Lucente asked about the timeframes so cases don’t drag out in court.
Legally the tickets will be no different from traffic citations that set an appearance date in court, Law Director Pat Riley said.
“This was done as a result of one of the other problems that has arisen, and that is our inability to find the homeowners who are responsible for defective conditions in the housing stock in Lorain,” Riley said. “This could and should enhance our ability to serve those people, therefore getting them properly before the court to address the problem.”
Councilman-at-large Joe Koziura and Ward 2 Councilman Dennis Flores congratulated the mayor and law director for the changes.
“This is probably the most important piece of legislation since I tried to get the police to cite these same things over the years,” said Koziura, who also is a former mayor of Lorain.
“We’ve been waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing the citizens of the city of Lorain with the kind of help that they need,” Flores said. “I, as well, commend this ordinance in helping get the city back in order and cleaning up those neighborhoods that need enforcement.”
Ward 5 Councilman Eddie Edwards also thanked the administration for the ordinance and noted the inspectors would not issue tickets for traffic violations.

Hundreds of Nuclear security officers win settlement against G4S

OAK RIDGE TN July 25 2014 Hundreds of nuclear security guards have settled a lawsuit against their former employer for more than $2.6 million. They say that's good news for them and for other workers in East Tennessee.

This lawsuit was filed more than two years ago about overtime. The 358 guards say they were routinely not paid for some work they were required to do both before and after their shifts.
Their lawsuit against G4S, the world's largest security firm, was settled last week. After fees, that nets each plaintiff an average of more than $5,000 for unpaid overtime spanning three years.
"I think it's fair," said Randy Lawson, president of the International Guards Union of America. "We hope that what people get out of this is it doesn't matter if you have a union or not, if you're working and the compensable wages are not being paid by their employer, there is help and due process out there."

"It's wrong not to pay people for time they're at work. It's a basic premise. You go to work, you put your time in, should get paid for the time you work," said their attorney, Garry Ferraris. "Frankly the phone's been ringing off the hook from other employees in the area who have heard about this and are having similar problems."
This is a chance for Lawson and the other security police officers to show just how important their jobs are.
"We're protecting special nuclear material. Y12 is of course the Fort Knox of uranium, as has been said many times. A very important site, a lot of history there. I've been there 30 years and I'm very proud to be a part of securing that site," Lawson said.

2 arrested at University of Georgia arrested for illegal sale of hundreds of textbooks

Athens GA July 25 2014 
Two people at the University of Georgia are in hot water for allegedly selling hundreds of textbooks that University Police said were obtained illegally.
In the first of the two cases, which police said are unrelated, Julia Hannah Meranski, 27, was initially arrested April 1 and charged at that time with theft by taking.
Meranski, who was a university employee at the time, “had been reported as a suspicious person seen entering offices in Brooks Hall on campus,” according to a University Police release.
‘Investigation determined that Meranski was in possession of several textbooks belonging to faculty and staff members that had been taken without authority from offices and mailrooms in several buildings on campus,” police said.
A follow-up investigation found that Meranski had sold at least 783 textbooks to local bookstores and through on-line vendors since the beginning of 2011, “generating a total of $18,765.37,” police said. “Many of the books appear to have been examination copies sent to professors directly from the publishers, and were taken from mailrooms and office buildings around campus.”
Police last Friday issued warrants charging Meranski with 17 additional counts of misdemeanor theft by taking.
Also Friday, University Police issued warrants charging 34-year-old graduate student and teaching assistant Michael Raymond DeWitt with 77 misdemeanor counts of theft by deception in a case that University Police Lt. Eric Dellinger said is unrelated to Meranski’s case.
In late April, police began an investigation into a report that DeWitt, a graduate assistant in the Psychology Department, “had been obtaining examination copies of textbooks from various publishers under false pretenses,” police said.
“DeWitt was representing himself as an instructor within the department and requesting textbooks in order to review for possible use in class,” police said. “However, DeWitt was not authorized to teach any classes in the department.”
An investigation determined that DeWitt had sold at least 167 textbooks for a total of $8,906.14 between last October and April.
“It is suspected that DeWitt fraudulently obtained most if not all of the books he sold,” police said. “However, warrants were sought only when electronic or written documentation existed that showed he was requesting books from the publishers under false pretense.”
DeWitt was booked into the Clarke County Jail Sunday afternoon and released Monday on $1,500 bond.

Shoplifter faces extra charges for spitting and resisting

Shoppers Drug Mart file photo. (Postmedia News files)

Windsor CA July 25 2014 A 38-year-old female was arrested and faces multiple charges after assaulting a security guard during a shoplifting incident Wednesday night.
Brandi-Lee Blue, 38, from Windsor, is charged with theft under $5,000, assault with the intent to resist arrest and assault.
Windsor police were called to Shoppers Drug Mart located in the 1600 block of Wyandotte Street West shortly after 6 p.m. in relation to a shoplifter who was combative.
A loss prevention officer, working undercover as a shopper, informed officers of a female in the store placing items in her purse. The female left the store and made no attempt to pay for the items she had concealed, police said.
The officer approached her outside of the store, placed her under arrest for theft under $5,000 and escorted her back to the security office.
Once they were back inside the store, the suspect struggled with the officer to get away. The shoplifter spit and hit a security guard who came to assist. She was held on the ground until police arrived.
The total value of items taken by the suspect was $59.24, and included sunglasses and a variety of makeup.

Fort Collins man arrest in assault of security and police officer

Fort Collins CO July 25 2014 A Fort Collins man out celebrating his 21st birthday in Old Town was arrested early Wednesday after he reportedly shoved a bouncer at a downtown bar and then knocked an officer to the ground, sending him to the hospital.
Fort Collins Police Services responded to a disturbance at the Yeti Bar late Tuesday, around midnight. Upon their arrival, they encountered Juan Perez, who had pushed the bouncer and was causing a scene, said Rita Davis, Fort Collins police spokeswoman. Perez then “charged” a male officer and knocked him to the ground.
The officer, whose identity was not released due to privacy concerns, sustained a shoulder injury and was treated at an area hospital. Neither the extent of his injuries nor details about when he would return to duty were immediately made available.
After allegedly “thrashing” around and fighting against authorities, Perez was arrested on suspicion of second degree assault, harassment, resisting arrest and obstruction. Bond was set at $5,000. His next court date is scheduled for July 30.

Camp Coldbrook violence angers neighborhood residents

BARRE VT July 25 2014  — Residents who live near the Camp Coldbrook Golf and RV Resort told selectmen Wednesday night they are fed up with problems in the rural area where they live and they want something done.

Irene Stevens said she has lived near the campground for 54 years and has never had problems such as the ones the area has been experiencing recently, including shootings, stabbings, people speeding and general suspicious activity.

She and other neighbors said the campground lacks security, and while police have downplayed the possible connection between the violence and the campground, residents argued that the facility is "the common denominator."

On July 6, three men were stabbed at the campground in an early-morning dispute that Barre police Cpl. Timothy Ury said was "a domestic issue."

On Sunday, two people inside the campground were injured when someone fired shots into the campground, apparently from the gravel Old Coldbrook Road. Investigators recovered shell casings and two people were hospitalized.

Residents and campers who attended the meeting said there was also a shooting in June. They said a "festival" on Father's Day weekend was loud, out of control and disruptive into the wee hours of the morning.

Cpl. Ury said police were lied to about the festival and concert.

"They told us there would be a disc golf tournament with 400 people," he said, adding that the music could be heard miles away and police were scrambling to provide coverage to keep the event under control.

Selectmen said that they had no idea the event was being held and that there were more than 10 ambulance calls and several arrests made.

Jan Robidoux, who is a camper at Coldbrook, said she wants Barre residents to know the campers are "not riff raff." She said she's afraid to go to the campground now.

Selectmen said they will approach the owners of Coldbrook, Morgan RV Resorts.

"We will be meeting with Coldbrook," Selectman Richard Jankauskas said. "We'll do our damndest to get to the bottom of some of the problems."

Houston man charged in nightclub murder

Houston TX July 25 2014 Charges have been filed against a man accused of fatally shooting one man and wounding another outside an after-hours club in southwest Houston.
Bradley Garrett, 36, is charged with murder.
The shooting happened at the H2O night club in the 9400 block of Country Creek on June 22.
Police said the victims, Scott Clark, 44, and Edward Woodrow, 30, were seen going inside and outside the club several times.
As the club was closing around 7:40 a.m., both men attempted to return, but club security advised them to leave.
The situation began to escalate, and Woodrow began taking video with his cellphone.
At that time, Garrett, accompanying the club security guard, took the phone from Woodrow and then struck Clark in the face with a gun, as Clark attempted to help his friend get his cellphone back, police say.
Both groups then separated, and the security guard and Garrett went back inside the club. After several minutes, the guard and Garrett went outside to the parking lot and allegedly confronted the two men again.
Garrett, without provocation, shot Clark first. He then shot at Woodrow as he attempted to run away, police say.
Clark was pronounced dead at the scene. Woodrow was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital in stable condition.
Garrett fled the scene in a maroon Ford Expedition, but was arrested July 3 by Missouri City police without incident.

SC man arrested for taking gun into U.S. Capitol Building

July 25 2014— A Camden man was arrested Wednesday after authorities said they found a loaded 9 mm handgun in his bag as he tried to enter a congressional office building in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports.
The U.S. Capitol Police arrested Ronald William Prestage, 59, Wednesday morning after he was stopped at about 9:20 a.m. for a routine search of visitors at the Rotunda entrance of the Cannon House Office Building.
Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, a spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police, said officers found the loaded Ruger handgun in Prestage’s bag.
It is believed that Prestage was attending a meeting in the US House office building. Police would not comment on anything the suspect told them. He was being charged with carrying a weapon outside a home or office, a felony.
Many congressional staff including South Carolina U.S. Representatives Tom Rice, Mark Sanford, James Clyburn, and Jeff Duncan have offices in the building.
Prestage was part of a group scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon on the senate side of the US Capitol with staffers in Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) office, Graham spokesman Kevin Biship said.
Prestage is a veterinarian, poultry and hog farmer and the president of Kershaw County-based Prestage Farms.
In addition, he is a member of North Carolina State University's Board of Trustees, is a past president of the National Turkey Federation, has served on the executive committee of the Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, and has been an outspoken advocate of turkey and hog farming in South Carolina and related legislation, having written a guest opinion column for The State newspaper.
It is the second time in five days that police said they caught someone with a gun at the Cannon Building, though at different entrances.
On Friday, a press secretary for a Pennsylvania Republican was charged with a gun offense; his attorney said he forgot he had the weapon in a bag. Friday’s incident occurred at the southeast doors of the building.
Ryan Lee Shucard, press secretary for Rep. Tom Marino (Pa.), was charged with the same gun offense. He was released from jail on Saturday and scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court Aug. 7.
Police said that an officer saw a gun magazine with nine hollow-point bullets in a bag as it went through an X-ray machine and then found the unloaded weapon.
Shucard’s attorney said his client said taking the gun to work was a mistake and was “completely inadvertent.”
Shucard was put on unpaid administrative leave. Marino represents the Pennsylvania 10th Congressional District, which includes areas north of Scranton.
Prestage was taken to the Capitol Police Department’s Central Cell Block.

Read more here:

Virginia Commonwealth University Police scores first place in national ranking for traffic safety initiatives

VCU Police and Virginia Tech Police partner for first officer exchange ...
RICHMOND, Va. July 25 2014 — Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department ranks first in the nation among colleges and universities for traffic safety initiatives, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The school took part in the 2014 National Law Enforcement Challenge, which recognizes traffic safety programs that focus on areas like impaired driving, occupant protection and speeding.
Since 1992, the National Law Enforcement Challenge has evaluated thousands of programs; hundreds of agencies have been recognized for implementing innovative and effective traffic initiatives.
“An urban campus with increased pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic presents challenges that the department has responded to with education and enforcement programs that are unparalleled on other college campuses,” said Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the organization that coordinates the LEC program in Virginia. “Some of VCU’s best campus traffic safety programs now serve as models for other colleges and universities.”
VCU awarded for several initiatives, including (but not limited to):
  • Unveiling a Win or Lose cruiser, a police vehicle outfitted as half patrol car and half taxi cab with DUI messaging to promote the use of taxi cabs versus impaired driving.
  • Participating in multiple DUI checkpoints along roadways on VCU’s Monroe Park Campus with Virginia State Police and the Richmond Police Department.
  • Hosting safety talks on roadway safety, bicycle laws and safety, drunk driving and pedestrian safety that reached 11,600 students and parents and more than 5,000 VCU employees in 2013.
The VCUPD was involved in Mothers Against Drunk Driving programs, “Click It Or Ticket” seat belt enforcement checkpoints, offered a distracted driver simulator on campus and trained new officers on how to properly detect and test impaired drivers.
The department was also honored with the 2013 Governor’s Transportation Safety Award in the law enforcement category for its commitment to safety on the road.
The National Law Enforcement Challenge first-place award will be presented to Venuti at the IACP’s annual conference in late October.
VCU News

Cookie's Kids school uniform security officers stabbed

Kid's Store Robber Stabs Guards With Ice Pick: NYPD

Queens NY July 25 2014 A robber slashed two security guards with an ice pick as he tried to get away with stolen merchandise at a Queens children's uniform department store, police say.
The suspect was trying to leave the Cookie's Kids school uniform store in Jamaica with the stolen items Monday evening when the security alarm rang, according to police.
A security guard approached the suspect and tried to restrain him when the suspect pulled out an ice pick and hit him in the lip with it, police said. A second guard ran over to help, and the suspect stabbed in the left arm.
The robber then ran away.
Neither of the guards were hospitalized, and both are expected to be OK, police said.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

MD. Armored Truck Robber Pleads Guilty

GREENBELT, MD July 25 2014 —Adrian Baldwin, age 28, of Washington, DC, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit an armed commercial robbery in connection with the robbery of an armored truck.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to Baldwin’s plea agreement, between mid-November and November 21, 2012, Baldwin conspired with Damione Lewis, Delacey Brown, Taurian Miller, and others to rob an armored truck that serviced a bank branch in the 3400 block of Kenilworth Avenue in Hyattsville, Maryland. As part of the conspiracy, Baldwin was recruited to participate in the robbery, in exchange for sharing in the proceeds of the robbery.
On November 21, 2012, an armored car employee picked up $272,956.17 from the bank. Baldwin and other co-conspirators were in vans outside the bank. As the employee was taking the money from the bank to the armored truck, Baldwin and his co-conspirators approached the employee brandishing firearms, took the money bags to the vans and drove away. The robbery proceeds were later divided between the conspirators. Baldwin admitted that part of his share of the proceeds was used to purchase a 2002 Ford Explorer, which he must forfeit as part of his plea agreement.
Baldwin faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for November 10, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
Damione Lewis, age 35, of New Carrolton, Maryland; Delacey Kinte Brown, age 37, of Landover, Maryland; and Taurian Devon Miller, age 29, of Washington, DC; have all pleaded guilty to their roles in the robbery and are awaiting sentencing.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Bryan E. Foreman, who are prosecuting the case.

Sarasota County outsources crossing guard services

SARASOTA COUNTY FL July 25 2014 - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has hired a private firm to take over crossing guard duties at county schools.
The agency requested proposals in May, with a due date of June 18. Staffing Connection/Action Labor of Fort Lauderdale was chosen to oversee the services, according to the sheriff’s office.
The firm will assign crossing guards who are certified by the Florida Department of Transportation to sites before and after school in Sarasota County.
The contractor will recruit, retain, train and supervise the crossing guards.
Thirty to 35 crossing guards are needed each school day in the county. In the past, crossing guards were part-time employees of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. Those employees have been notified of the change and will be given the opportunity to transition and continue their roles as crossing guards, according to the sheriff’s office.
Wendy Rose, sheriff’s office spokeswoman, said the change is not a money-saving effort, but instead an administrative issue.
“If someone calls in sick or we have a vacancy, a deputy has to give up their regular duties to fill in as a crossing guard,” Rose said. “This won’t take deputies from their primary focus.”
As part of the two-year contract, the Sheriff’s Office will pay $251,280 annually to the firm. The contract has a two-year extension option, Rose added.
Crossing guards for schools within the Sarasota city limits are part-time employees of the Sarasota Police Department, overseen by a crossing guard coordinator.
Herald Tribune

Former Buffalo police officer sentenced to prison for selling marijuana

James Hamilton

Buffalo NY July 25 2014 James Hamilton Sr. will spend more than a year and a half in prison after pleading guilty to selling marijuana.
The 29 year old former cop pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison Wednesday, July 23rd in federal court.
Hamilton must also pay $50,000 to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Hamilton had only been a police officer for under a year when he was arrested on
November 20, 2013 for selling marijuana to an undercover agent on two occassions. Both transactions totalled $1100.
Investigators also say hamilton had marijuana plants worth $22,000 in his home basement.

Police seek suspects who placed white flags on Brooklyn Bridge

White flags on Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn NY July 25 2014 Infiltrators slipped past the NYPD’s anti-terror nexus before the dawn’s early light Tuesday, climbed to the tops of both Brooklyn Bridge towers — and swapped the American flags there for white banners in one of the most stunning security breaches in the city’s history.
“We’re lucky they just put flags up there — and not a bomb,” a law-enforcement source said. “It’s an embarrassment . . . It could have been terrible. Who knows how much how much damage it could have done.”
The four or five intruders, possibly working in two teams, went completely unnoticed by cops in the four patrol cars assigned to the bridge and nimbly climbed hundreds of feet on narrow main suspension cables, police sources said.
They then got past locked gates and climbed ladders to get to the top of each of the 276-foot towers.
To stay undetected, they zip-tied aluminum lasagna pans over the floodlights aimed at the flags — blacking out the Brooklyn side at 3:29 a.m. and the Manhattan tower 13 minutes later, cops said.
“This may be somebody’s art project, or it may be somebody’s attempt at making a statement . . . We haven’t seen a credible claim of responsibility,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller.
“For someone to compromise that gate by going around it and continue to the top of the tower, have the right size cover to put over the light, there’s some indication of some good deal of pre-operational planning, perhaps some indication that they have experience climbing in construction or in bridgework, or that they may have actually been up there before looking at the ­dimensions.”
A police officer finally spotted the 11-by-20-foot white flags — commonly a symbol for surrender — at around 5:30 a.m., as the sun came up, sources said.
Emergency Service cops clambered up the towers, pulled the banners down and folded them into tight triangles using traditional procedures at about 11 a.m.
Police are trying to figure out how the bridge, long a potential terror target, became so vulnerable.
Around-the-clock patrol cars are stationed on both sides of the bridge, and security cameras are focused on the towers.
Cops also park nearby on Tillary and Old Fulton streets in Brooklyn and periodically drive the span of the bridge to look for signs of trouble.
The squad cars on the span face the center — but there is not a clear view of the top of the towers, sources said.
“It amazes me nobody saw anything . . . I’m upset,” said cigar-chomping Department of Transportation bridge worker Nick Krevatas 49, who was called in to hoist replacement American flags.
“Our big boss called. He told us someone put white flags up and we had to replace them immediately. I said. ‘OK, no problem. We’re on our way.’
“Isn’t there a better way to express yourself? Couldn’t they have used social media?”
The NYPD’s Miller tried to make light of the breach, saying of the whited-out flags that he’s “not sure if this is Betsy Ross’ long-lost nephew doing extensive work.”
New York Daily News

Notorious Vegas casino cheat caught at Sands Bethlehem

Bethlehem PA July 25 2014 Convicted casino cheater Jubreal Chahine may have been slick enough to elude Las Vegas police, who have lodged seven arrest warrants against him for casino-related crimes in the Silver State.
But the 40-year-old Nevada resident wasn't smart enough to fool security at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem this week. Maybe he wasn't on his game.
Despite being listed on the Nevada Gaming Control Board's "Most Wanted" list, Chahine applied for a player's card using his correct name and birth date.
Sands casino officials quickly determined that he was wanted and alerted the Pennsylvania state troopers stationed at the casino. Officers approached Chahine on the casino floor Saturday afternoon and arrested him.
"Sands subscribes to various industry databases, through which they were able to see who he was," state police Sgt. Robert Caprari said. "The trooper confirmed his identity and found that he was also wanted on charges from two other Pennsylvania casinos."
Chahine was arrested without incident, Caprari said.
Las Vegas officials say that Chahine is one of the worst cheaters to stroll the strip.
Court records show he's been arrested 14 times since 1999, in gambling halls all over Las Vegas and Reno. Casino security officers have caught him slipping more chips on roulette tables after the wheel was spun, and surreptitiously upping his blackjack bet after seeing his hand.
There are seven active warrants out for Chahine, for allegedly failing to show up for trial in Nevada for casino-related offenses.
"He's a repeat offender," said Karl Bennison, chief of enforcement for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. "Guys like him, they get caught, and they just come back. He's gone to prison for this, but he keeps doing it."
Chahine was charged in Bethlehem with being a fugitive from justice and jailed in Northampton County Prison under $150,000 bail.
Bennison, who spent part of his childhood in Easton, said he was pleased to hear that Chahine was caught. Although Chahine is well known in Vegas casinos, he's been slick enough to get away with the same crimes over and over.
"Our casinos are pretty open, so it's not hard for people like this to get in," he said. "In some overseas casinos, players go through a turnstile, but we have multiple entrances. And it can get very crowded."
Dealers are trained to thwart scammers like Chahine, Bennison said, but sometimes they get distracted.
"That's why we have the eye in the sky," Bennison said, referring to the numerous security cameras in modern casinos.
Chahine is wanted on seven counts of attempting fraudulent acts in a gaming establishment, a felony. Court records say he uses numerous aliases, including Alexander Allen, Allen Gabriel, Gabriell Allen, Gabriel Alexander and Allen Allen.
If convicted in Nevada, he could face more than a year in prison for each crime, as well as fines exceeding $10,000.
While the casinos are the alleged victims in Chahine's case, Bennison said scammers often don't stop at stealing from the establishments — they target other players.
"They'll take your chips when you're not looking, or reach over and print out your winnings at a slot machine while you're distracted," he said. "Casinos do a lot to protect their guests, but you should definitely be aware of your surroundings and take precautions."


Man went to hospital for circumcision and awoke to find penis amputated

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama July 25 2014 -- A man says in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed this week that he went in for a circumcision last month at Princeton Baptist Medical Center and awoke to find his penis had instead been amputated.
The man and his wife filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court in Birmingham. He names the hospital, Urology Centers of Alabama, the Simon-Williamson Clinic and two doctors as defendants in the case.
The lawsuit says the patient was receiving medical treatment from a doctor at Urology Centers of Alabama. Another doctor performed the surgical procedure in June. The lawsuit does not give an exact date.
"When the plaintiff ... awoke from his aforesaid surgical procedure, his penis was amputated," according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs "never gave consent for the complete or partial amputation of (his) penis."
Efforts Tuesday evening to reach the man's attorney, John P. Graves, were unsuccessful.
Kate DeWitt Darden, vice president of marketing and communications at Baptist Health System, said they do not comment on who might or might not have been a patient and generally do not comment on pending litigation.
Officials with Urology Centers of Alabama had not immediately responded to a request for comment prior to publication of this story.
The lawsuit claims that the man was never provided with an explanation as to the medical necessity of an amputation nor was never warned the circumcision procedure could result in an amputation.
Defendants were negligent for failing to seek assistance from a consulting physician when problems or difficulties were noted during the circumcision procedure, the lawsuit claims.
The man has suffered additional/extended pain and suffering during his recovery, has spent additional time in the hospital recovering, and has been caused to spend more money. The man's wife also claims loss of consortium.
The lawsuit does not specify an amount of damages being sought.

3 Houston security officers shot in one week raise concerns

HOUSTON TX July 25 2014 -- It’s been a dangerous week for private security guards in Houston. Since last Thursday, three guards have been shot. For security officers, like police, training can make the difference between life and death.
It's Dorothy McClendon-Corbitt's first week training as a security guard and her first shots at Clear Creek Gun Range in League City gave her a bit of a shock.
But it's nothing compared to learning three officers in her new chosen profession were injured, shot on the job, in one week in the Houston area. One at an apartment complex Wednesday morning in NW Harris County, one at a convenience store last Friday in Montrose, and the third last Thursday at another apartment complex in West Houston.
Still McClendon-Corbitt said, "No, no second thoughts."
But training on a gun range is only half the job. Much harder is preparing students mentally to face life and death situations.
"Your safety is going to be at risk, at some point or another," said Romeo Gomez, Director of Training and Education for Top Gun Security and Investigations.
Gomez tells that to all his students. He trains them on how to protect themselves and the public on the private sites they patrol, like how to keep a criminal from stealing their guns, a common threat.
"If you lose your gun, you can pretty much lose your life," said Gomez.
This week's violence proves security officers do put their lives at risk, often without much recognition.
“I guess the primary thing is the respect you get from the public and from the criminals," said Gomez. "They understand that law enforcement can take you to jail, they can put you literally in handcuffs, in the car and you end up in jail within 30 minutes."
Security guards can only make a citizen's arrest, just like anyone else, then wait for police. But their training gives them an edge, and keeps the rest of us safer.
"You definitely have people out there that are trained and want to protect you so I would give them all consideration,” said Gomez.

Pa. McDonald’s Worker Was Selling Drugs While On The Job

RADNOR, Pa. July 25 2014 — A worker at a McDonald’s on the Main Line was serving up more than a happy meal, police say.
Investigators say what he is accused of doing in the parking lot was illegal and now he is facing serious charges.
According to investigators, the worker, identified by Radnor Police as 29-year-old Allen Trammell, was allegedly selling crack cocaine in the parking lot of the restaurant on Lancaster Avenue while he was on the clock.
Investigators say Trammell was a street level dealer who through word of mouth may have been making upwards of $1,500 a week by selling dime bags of crack cocaine.
Police say they made four undercover buys before taking Trammell into custody on numerous drug charges.
When he was arrested, police allege he had 57 bags of crack cocaine in his possession and more than $150 cash.
Radnor Police Lieutenant Andy Block says Trammell has been employed at the fast food restaurant for about two years.
“When not working as a crew and preparing food, he was out in the rear parking lot selling crack cocaine. So in a sense, it can give you a new definition of what may be considered a happy meal,” Block said.
During a news conference Wednesday, Block said there is concern that Trammell was working in food preparation while handling the drugs.
Block says there is no indication that drugs were sold either over the counter or through the drive-thru window.
Court records show Trammell, going back to 2005, had two drug dealing convictions and served time in prison. When we asked the owner-operator of the McDonald’s for comment on the arrest and whether background checks are performed, she emailed:
“As an independent owner/operator I take allegations such as these very seriously. However, it would be inappropriate for me to comment upon either a pending police matter or any employment-related matters.” 
Customers say they were shocked to learn about the drug charges. Neither the suspect nor his legal representative was available for comment.
Police say Trammell was employed at the restaurant for the past two years and his alleged drug dealing had been going on for the past six to eight months.
Trammell, of Philadelphia, was unable to post his $100,000 bail.

Former Waltham Police Officer Sentenced on Child Pornography Charges


BOSTON MA July 25 2014—A former Waltham Police Department police officer was sentenced today on child pornography charges.
Paul Manganelli, 48, of Waltham, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 60 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Upon release, Manganelli must register as a sex offender. In May 2014, Manganelli pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Manganelli was a police officer at Waltham Police Department until after his arrest in March 2013.
Manganelli possessed visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including females between the ages of approximately six to 10-years-old. Manganelli engaged in substantial trading activity via e-mail. In March 2013, federal agents discovered Manganelli in possession of more than 850 images and 40 videos containing child pornography, including the lewd and lascivious posing, sexual penetration, and bondage of minor girls, as well as a substantial collection of child erotica. During exchanges with at least 53 e-mail accounts, Manganelli and others discussed their mutual sexual interest in children. In other e-mail exchanges, Manganelli claimed that he sexually molested a prepubescent girl and also asked others how to groom a child to engage in sexual activity with him.
On March 25, 2013, FBI agents interviewed Manganelli when he admitted that he possessed, received and distributed child pornography. He falsely claimed that during the two to three years he collected and shared child pornography, he was doing research in an attempt to identify sexual predators online. Manganelli was never assigned or authorized by the Waltham Police Department to conduct an online investigation, nor did he ever report any criminal conduct he observed.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Walmart shoplifter charged with assault with deadly weapon in biting incident

American Canyon CA July 25 2014 A man caught trying to steal two cellphones from the American Canyon Wal-Mart bit a security worker before his arrest Tuesday night, according to police.
At 8:20 p.m., officers went to the store at 7011 Main St. after a report that Mario Orozco, 31, of Suisun City attempted to leave the Wal-Mart with two phones, together worth about $400, which he had unpacked and slipped into his pockets, according to American Canyon Police Chief Tracey Stuart. As store employees detained him, Orozco bit one of the workers on the arm, Stuart said.
Police arrested Orozco on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for the alleged biting incident, as well as for investigation of robbery and burglary. He was booked into the Napa County jail.
The injured Wal-Mart worker was not hospitalized, according to Stuart.

Employees sue Apple over labor code violations

California July 25 2014
Four employees suing Apple turned the case into a class-action lawsuit Tuesday, now involving 20,000 current and former Apple employees in the U.S. and China.
The lawsuit, originally filed in 2011, is claiming Apple failed to provide rest periods, meal periods, wages upon termination and wage statements, while also conducting “unfair business practices.”
TechCrunch reports Apple faced a class-action lawsuit in 2013 when employees claimed they weren’t being paid while waiting to clock out or go through security.
Earlier this year, Apple and Google settled a $325 million lawsuit over wage-fixing. Now Apple will be forced to deal with more unhappy employees — in fact, Apple will be dealing with all of them.
Tyler Belong, lawyer at the San Diego firm Hogue & Belong, told TechCrunch that because the case is now class-action, this will escalate consequences of the case.
“Just yesterday, after years of litigation, against Apple’s opposition, and after voluminous briefing and lengthy oral argument, the California Superior Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion and certified the case as a class action, appointing Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ counsel (Hogue & Belong) as the class representatives and class counsel on behalf of approximately 20,000 Apple employees,” Belong told TechCrunch. “In other words, as of yesterday’s ruling, Apple now faces claims of meal period, rest period and final pay violations affecting approximately 20,000 current and former Apple employees.”

Seattle bank security guard-suspect shot during struggle

SEATTLE WA July 25 2014

A security officer and suspect were shot Thursday morning at a Bank of America in Seattle’s Central District.

The shooting was reported at 11:06 a.m. at 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street.
Police said there was an argument outside the bank between the security officer, 46, and the suspect, 30. The suspect took the security guard's gun and shot him, police said.

The suspect was also wounded twice by the same gun, which investigators said was the only gun involved. 

Police said the suspect was shot once in the shoulder during the struggle and then turned the gun on himself, firing at his head.

The security officer was taken to Harborview Medical Center and was in critical condition.
The 30-year-old suspect also has life-threatening injuries and was initially said to have been shot in the face.

It was not clear what the argument was about, though a witness told KIRO 7 it did not appear to be a robbery. 

Police are still investigating whether or not there was a robbery. Police closed 23rd Avenue South between South King and South Jackson Street, but it reopened before noon.

The supervisor of the G4S security guard involved said the security guard is expected to survive.

Rockland shoplifter indicted for pepper-spraying security guard

Rockland NY July 25 2014 A Rockland grand jury has indicted a man accused of pepper-spraying the security guard who tried to stop him from shoplifting at the Palisades Center Mall.
District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe alleges that Joe D. Smith of Newburgh and a female shoplifted over $1,000 worth of cameras and jackets Sept. 26, 2013 from Dick's Clothing and Sporting Goods.
They were using a booster bag designed to block security sensors, Zugibe said.
According to the indictment, when confronted in the parking lot outside the store, Smith sprayed the loss prevention officer in the face with pepper spray. The guard was injured.
Smith, 60, is charged with second-degree Robbery, fourth-degree Grand Larceny and fourth-degree Possession of Stolen Property.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway arms security officers

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs CA July 24 2014 Security guards recently began manning a kiosk ahead of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway's parking lot, and visitors are noticing something they apparently haven't noticed before.
A reader told The Desert Sun this week that a guard was armed with a gun and she learned it was because they will be carrying money.
The kiosk, for those who don't know, was installed this year because Tram officials decided to charge out-of-town visitors for parking. That plan has been put on hold, though.
Rob Parkins, the Tramway's general manager, said the Tram began using the guards more than a year ago as a precaution to protect the facility's guests and finances.
He said there haven't been any problems with the armed guards, who are state-certified.
According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, companies that operate businesses in state parks may occasionally hire their own security guards.
On Wednesday, repeat Tramway visitors said they weren't alarmed by the guns.
Palm Springs resident Jack Gibson, 51, said guards have been around the months he's been frequenting the Tramway, but it was only recently he noticed a guard at kiosk carried a gun.
"As long as people don't do anything dumb, we're fine," Gibson said. "Don't give (guards) a reason to shoot. It's that simple."

Security officer catches couple in sex act at post office

Casper WY July 24 2014 Police arrested a man Tuesday night for allegedly having sex with a woman outside the downtown Casper post office, according to a police affidavit.
Andrew John Zuber, 49, of Bar Nunn, was arrested about 11:30 p.m. when a security officer saw him having sex with a woman on the east side of the post office building at 150 East B St., the affidavit states.
The security officer notified police he saw a vehicle taking up two parking spaces in front of the post office, according to the affidavit. He said there was a woman sitting in the vehicle and a man standing on the sidewalk and they were having sex.
Zuber told officers he had four or five beers and some shots of Fireball whiskey at the bar. He was on his way home with the woman when he got the “urge,” the affidavit states, and he wanted to be spontaneous.
A Breathalyzer indicated Zuber’s blood alcohol concentration was .16 at the time. He was arrested on suspicion of public indecency and public intoxication.
The woman Zuber was with, Dee Parks, received a citation for public indecency, detective John Hatcher said. Parks was not arrested because she did not reach the legal limit for public intoxication, Hatcher said.

Houston apartment security officer shot

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas July 24 2014 -- Two gunmen were on the run after they shot a security guard in front of a north side complex, deputies said early Wednesday.

It was reported at the Trails of Dominion Grove located in the 200 block of Dominion Park near the North Freeway around 2:35 a.m.

Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they arrived to find a 50-year-old man shot once in his abdomen. He was taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition.

Investigators said two young men apparently approached the guard, and some type of altercation ensued. Both men fired at the guard and then fled the scene.

A detailed description of the suspects was not available. Investigators said there is no surveillance video, and no witnesses available to provide more information.

Investigators said they recovered three shell casings, which they're checking to see if the guard returned fire.
Residents said the guard is an immigrant from Africa and that he had only been working at the complex for a couple of weeks.
“I’ve seen him plenty of times coming up here. He’s a real nice guy you know. I’ve never had any problem with him. And it’s sad it’s just real sad because I know there was just a shooting over here at these apartments, but it’s getting bad,” said Tonya Johnson.

Kraft Foods Group employees file lawsuit over wages for missed breaks

Sacramento CA July 24 2014 A California man hit Kraft Foods Group Inc. with a proposed class action alleging the company failed to pay wages for missed meal breaks to its hourly production employees, according to a complaint removed to California federal court on Monday.

Jose Rodriguez claims that Kraft didn’t provide its production employees who were paid hourly with duty-free meal and rest breaks or compensate them for not doing so, in violation of state labor law, according to the complaint originally filed in the Superior Court of the State of California on June 5.

Kraft “routinely failed to provide plaintiff and class members with a 30 minute duty free meal period prior to the end of their fifth hour of work, rest period, and/or to pay plaintiff and class members one additional hour of pay for each duty free meal and rest period that was not provided,” according to Rodriguez, who worked at Kraft as an hourly production employee until August 2013.

Rodriguez also accuses Kraft of failing to pay all wages owed in a timely way when the employees left the company, failing to provide accurate itemized wage statements and maintain pay records, and failing to pay all owed wages on designated regular paydays to its hourly production employees, violating state wage-and-hour laws.

Kraft willfully failed to pay wages to employees who quit or were fired when payable by state law, and, as a penalty, owes wages for up to 30 days from the date they were due, according to the complaint.

For Kraft's alleged failure to provided accurate itemized wage statements, Rodriguez seeks the greater of actual damages or $50 per employee per pay period for initial violations of state labor law and $100 per employee per pay period for each subsequent violation, not to exceed a total of $4,000 per employee, according to the complaint.

Kraft’s alleged violations of state labor laws also constitute unlawful and fraudulent business practices, the complaint states.

The proposed class would include hundreds of members, comprising all those who currently work or formerly worked for Kraft in California as hourly paid production employees during the prior four years, according to the complaint.

Kraft in its notice of removal said that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California had jurisdiction over the suit under the Class Action Fairness Act because there are at least 100 class members in the proposed class, the combined claims of the class members exceed $5 million, and Kraft is a citizen of a different state than at least one class member.

Kraft declined to comment on the case on Tuesday.

Representatives for Rodriguez were not immediately available to comment on Tuesday.

Rodriguez is represented by Cat-Tuong Nguyen Bulaon, Phillip R. Poliner and R. Duane Westrup of Westrup & Associates.

Kraft is represented by Douglas J. Farmer and Christopher M. Ahearn of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC.

The case is Rodriguez v. Kraft Foods Group Inc., case number 1:14-cv-01137, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

NJ paralegal sues law firm for discrimination

New Jersey July 24 2014 A one-time paralegal for a New Jersey law firm has sued her former employer for alleged disability discrimination, contending that the firm refused to accommodate a temporary leave that she was forced to take because of pregnancy complications.

Janet Covington claims in a July 10 suit against The Margolis Law Firm LLC, founder and managing member Martin G. Margolis and his wife and office manager Deborah Margolis that her allegedly unlawful termination was accompanied by false accusations that she stole from the firm and scrubbed files from her computer.

Covington's suit not only relies on the state Law Against Discrimination but also cites a recent amendment to that statute — the New Jersey Pregnancy Worker's Fairness Act. Signed by Gov. Chris Christie in January, the law prohibits workplace discrimination against women because of pregnancy and childbirth. Employers have to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, but the law also includes express language that it's not meant to increase an employee's rights to paid or unpaid leave.

“Margolis Law never engaged in any interactive process or constructive dialogue with plaintiff regarding her request for temporary disability leave,” the complaint said. “Margolis Law then terminated plaintiff as a result of her medical conditions related to her pregnancy and in retaliation for her request for a reasonable accommodation.”

Deborah Margolis told Law360 on Monday that the suit is “absurd and frivolous.”

Covington was hired by the firm in 2012 and announced her pregnancy around Christmastime in 2013, according to the complaint. This May, she told the firm — which has offices in Livingston, New Jersey, and Manhattan — that her doctor was placing her on disability and that she couldn't return to work, the suit says. According to the complaint, Covington was grappling with placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is too close to the mother's cervix or even covers it.

“Plaintiff's ongoing medical complications regarding her pregnancy were well-known to defendants, as she had kept everyone at work abreast of her medical status,” the complaint said.

While the firm submitted state-issued disability forms on her behalf, Covington was surprised later that month when she received correspondence mentioning her “termination of employment” and a letter from Martin Margolis claiming she stole a legal directory from her desk, according to the complaint. When she denied the allegations, Deborah Margolis emailed back that "it is safe to state that you no longer have a position with this firm,” the complaint says.

Martin Margolis in June also accused Covington of "cleaning and erasing [her] hard drive,” according to the complaint.

An attorney for Covington could not immediately be reached for comment late Monday.

Martin Margolis is a veteran of New York and New Jersey auto dealership law, though the firm practices in other areas, including family, real estate, bankruptcy, environmental and employment law.

Covington is represented by Joshua L. Weiner of the Law Offices of Weiner & Weiner LLC.

Counsel information for the defendants was not immediately available.

The case is Covington v. The Margolis Law Firm LLC, case number L-4851-14, in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Essex County.

Michigan attorney general's office recommends cutting prison staff

LANSING, MI July 24 2014  -- Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is reviewing a new report from the attorney general's office recommending the state revisit cost-cutting decisions to eliminate armed guards at prison towers and reduce perimeter patrols.
The report, released Monday, analyzed the February 2 escape from the Ionia Correctional Facility by convicted murderer Michael David Elliot, who abducted a female motorist before he was captured in Indiana a day later.
The Michigan Department of Corrections "must reconsider whether to station armed officers in the guard towers to achieve a sufficient deterrent effect on prisoners considering escape attempts," according to the report.
Democrats jumped on the recommendation -- one of 12 in the 24-page report -- pointing to past budget decisions limiting tower staffing and perimeter patrols. But Snyder, speaking with reporters Tuesday at an unrelated event, noted that prison towers had not been fully staffed since 2004.
"I don't think that was the sole cause of the situation," Snyder said. "I think the report points that out. There were some people failures and some system failures that are being addressed."
Attorney General Bill Schuette's report identified a total of six technology and personnel failures that led to Elliot's escape, including human error, along with a dozen recommendations. See all of the recommendations here.
"MDOC must consider restoring the perimeter patrol by an armed officer as a full-time position, rather than as a collateral duty of the front lobby officer, especially if the guard towers are not manned," it read.
Snyder said corrections is "going through all the analysis" and suggested he would "let the experts look at" the tower guard issue. He praised the department for taking a "proactive approach" to addressing security issues, including formation of a warden group that travelled the state reviewing various facilities.
MDOC is spending about $11 million this year on security improvements and is planning more projects.
"We've made additional investments already in security procedures through the budget to enhance those things, to address those problems," the governor continued. "So a lot has already been done, and as you see we haven't had any new issues."
The union representing prison guards said the attorney general's report made clear that staffing so-called "gun towers" and restoring full-time perimeter patrols would "deter escapes and prevent the introduction of contraband" at Michigan prisons.
There are five observation towers at the Ionia facility where Elliot escaped but MDOC eliminated armed guards from the towers in 2013, according to the new report.
A fiscal-year 2012 budget bill approved by Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature included a "prison savings" measure that reduced corrections spending by $15.6 million to reflect the elimination of 134.5 full-time guards who had been assigned to operate perimeter security vehicles around the state.
Democrats have proposed restoring funding. A fiscal year 2015 budget amendment offered by state Rep. Fred Durhal, D-Detroit, would have added $23.4 million for perimeter patrols and guard tower staffing, but the measure was defeated in a voice vote on the House floor.
"Republicans in Lansing have shown for years that they put corporate profits and cutting services ahead of people, and, this time, their obsession with cutting corners at prisons to save a few short-term bucks led to the escape of a convicted murderer," House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, said Monday in a statement.
"Now, even the Republican attorney general is suggesting that we need to reverse these funding cuts for the safety and well-being of our citizens, and I believe we should follow that recommendation."
In addition to prison security, the Snyder administration continues to review a prison food contract awarded to Aramark Correctional Services late last year in another cost-cutting measure.
The private company has come under fire for food safety and staffing issues. Maggots were found near food at a Jackson facility and four employees were recently fired due to sexual contact with inmates in Ionia.
Snyder, who has suggested the state could move to terminate the contract due to performance concerns, said a decision on that front could come in the near future.
"We're making a full review of that, and I would say that's over the next week or two," Snyder told reporters Tuesday. "We're having lots of discussions with the department on that issue."

Kroger customer pulls gun on Nashville store employee

Amy Jaudon is jailed after assaulting a Western Union employee at a Kroger store.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. July 24 2014  -- A customer got out of hand at a local Nashville store even pulling a gun during an altercation between the woman and an employee at the south Nashville Kroger.

Amy Jaudon, 43, is in the Davidson County jail after yesterday's incident at the Nashboro Village Kroger on Murfreesboro Pike.
She became upset with the customer service employee and reportedly used a racial slur at the female employee and slapped her while at the Western Union Services counter, prompting the employee to hit her back and put her on the ground, according to the affidavit.

Jaudon said she had a gun and would shoot the employee, then retrieved a weapon from her car and waved it around, the report said.
Police were called and Jaudon arrested.
The incident is caught on surveillance video and witnessed by other store employees and customers.

Jaudon faces one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.