Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Deputies seize Etowah County Rescue Squad equipment

Etowah County AL July 1 2015 Deputies with the Etowah County Sheriff's Office and the county's Emergency Management Agency today seized equipment from the Etowah County Rescue Squad, driving off from the squad's headquarters with spotlights, thermal imaging equipment and two trailers.
Three members of the agency also had to turn in their deputies' badges.
It was the latest body blow to the rescue squad, which has been working with law enforcement in the county for more than 50 years. A rescue squad member, Vicky Ryan, died in April during a search for a drowned kayaker on Big Wills Creek. Three other squad members were hospitalized, after two of its boats overturned on the creek.
That incident is currently under investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
But since then, the squad has been notified by several agencies that it is not permitted to operate with them. That includes Gadsden Fire, the Etowah County Fire Association and EMA. Rescue Squad Capt. David Kelton, who has only been in his position for less than a month, said today that the squad is no longer receiving 911 calls.
When a search began earlier this month for a drowning victim in the Coosa near Southside, ALEA called the Cherokee County Rescue Squad to assist in the search rather than Etowah County.
Other entities, such as the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., have informed the squad that it is not allowed to participate in events, and both Gadsden and Rainbow City have denied the squad permits for fundraising roadblocks.
The seizure, Sheriff Todd Entrekin said, involved equipment from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Chief Deputy Michael Barton said once the squad could no longer use the equipment in Etowah County, it had to be reallocated to agencies that could deploy it, due to federal regulations.
Kelton said he was notified on Friday that he had four days to prepare paperwork and turn the equipment over. The trailers were hitched and driven off this afternoon.
"I want to do what's required," Kelton said. "I want to move forward."
Entrekin said he had worked with the rescue squad for all of his 33 years in law enforcement and has been "involved in hundreds of missions," from helping in searches to recovering evidence.
"In its day, it was the best thing in the county," he said. "But times have changed and needs have changed." With volunteer fire departments and more access to equipment and training, he said, the squad is not as needed.
Three years ago, the rescue squad approached the Sheriff's Office about working cooperatively, sharing equipment and training, Entrekin said. This would have made the agency an auxiliary, like the mounted unit or crisis chaplain counseling, he said, meaning the rescue squad would control any money raised for its activities. However, the squad's board of directors decided against this.

The investigation into the Big Wills Creek incident will likely head to a grand jury in September.
Kelton said the rescue squad members, who are volunteers, will continue to undergo training over the next few months. Its remaining equipment can be loaned out to neighboring agencies, he said.
"There's a 50-50 chance we'll get our equipment back," Kelton said. "Since the accident, they've put a hold on our activities, but we're still here. We'll survive and we'll be back. We need the people's support more than ever."
Still, losing the equipment was hard to take, he said.

"My dad was a charter member in 1961," Kelton said. "I was there when they brought the first piece of equipment."

Former security officer sentenced on child pornography charge

AUSTIN TX July 1 2015 – A former security officer with the Texas Attorney General's Office was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison on Monday after pleading guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.
According to a release by the Department of Justice, 60-year-old Jose Luis Gardea uploaded explicit images of girls under the age of 18 to Tumblr. A search of Gardea's workspace at the Texas Attorney General's Office uncovered a USB drive with more than 150 images of girls.

In addition to the 90-month prison term, Gardea will be on supervised release for the 10 years following his prison term. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Orlando Macy's shoplifter head-butted loss prevention agent

Loi D. HoangOrlando FL July 1 2015 A 43-year-old homeless man suspected of shoplifting remains behind bars today after he allegedly head-butted a loss-prevention officer at a Macy's in Orlando on Monday.
The suspect, Loi D. Hoang, is charged with robbery, trespassing and battery after the attack at Orlando Fashion Square Mall, records show.
Hoang suffered a cut above his left eye that required stitches after his fight with loss-prevention officer Shawn Terry.
Terry had abrasions on his left cheek and middle finger of his right hand.
Hoang is suspected of putting two pieces of jewelry in his pants pocket before leaving the store at 3505 E. Colonial Drive without paying, according to an Orlando police report.
Terry recognized Hoang because of a previous arrest for theft at the store, the report said.
Terry watched him pocket the jewelry and leave the store sometime before 11 a.m., police said.
Terry approached Hoang, identified himself and told him he was being detained.
Hoang refused to return the merchandise – identified only as jewelry for women — and the officer took him by the arm to escort him to the loss-prevention office in Macy's, a report said.
Hoang kicked the officer in the leg as they walked through the lingerie department, prompting the officer to use an "arm-bar takedown" move to bring Hoang down to be handcuffed.
As they approached the loss-prevention office, Terry was attempting to remove his keys to unlock the door when Hoang "intentionally drew his head back and thrust it forward," striking Terry in his left cheek just below his eye, the report said.
Terry performed another takedown and held Hoang down until police arrived.
"The defendant was handcuffed and was bleeding from a laceration above his left eye," the police report said. "The defendant made several spontaneous statements that he did not hit anyone and that … Terry had struck him."
Hoang was treated at a local hospital before he was taken to jail without additional problems.

Orlando Sentinel

Man faces multiple charges after escaping custody at hospital

Jared Marshall Weatherly, 29

PRINCETON WV July 1 2015— A Mercer County man faces multiple charges after pulling a knife in a local hospital and forcing a truck’s operator to drive him away.
Jared Marshall Weatherly, 29 of Kellysville faces misdemeanor charges of unlawful restraint, brandishing a deadly weapon and assault, according to arrest reports filed by Patrolman J.E. Malm of the Princeton Police Department.
Weatherly allegedly pulled out a knife and left Princeton Community Hospital Sunday afternoon.
“After speaking with parties, it became clear Jared Marshall Weatherly had pulled out a knife in an attempt to get out of there,” Malm said in his report.
Weatherly got out of his wheelchair and pulled out a brass knuckles switchblade, Malm said. The nurse with him ran down the corridor. She turned left where the corridor stopped, and Weatherly turned right and ran to an exit. He then ran into the parking lot, jumped into a truck, put the knife to the driver’s stomach and told him to start driving, Malm said.
Weatherly made the driver stop near Resthaven Cemetery and exited the vehicle, Malm stated. The driver returned to the hospital and informed hospital security. Weatherly was apprehended without incident soon afterwards by the Princeton Police Department.
Magistrate Susan Honaker arraigned Weatherly Sunday and set a $2,500 personal recognizance bond. There was no record of him at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver Monday afternoon.
Assault carries a possible penalty of one year and up to five years in prison. Brandishing has a term of up to 90 days in jail, and unlawful restraint carries a term of up to a year imprisonment.

Malm did not state in his report why Weatherly was at the hospital. 

Oakland Parolee Arrested After Safeway Store Robbery, Assault on Security Guard

Oakland Parolee Arrested After Safeway Store Robbery, Assault on Security Guard

Oakland CA July 1 2015 An Oakland parolee was arrested Monday after an early morning robbery at a Fremont Safeway store, according to police. Officers were called to the Safeway at 39100 Argonaut Way at 4:55 a.m. on a report that a suspect had assaulted a security guard and stolen merchandise from the store.
The suspect was seen driving away in an older-model gold Toyota Camry. Officers located a suspect and suspect vehicle a few minutes later in a parking lot at Mowry Avenue and Blacow Road. An officer attempted to stop the vehicle and began a pursuit, but the pursuit was stopped almost immediately when the suspect drove the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of Mowry Avenue, according to police.
The suspect crashed into the center median at Mowry Avenue and Farwell Drive and then fled on foot toward Interstate Highway 880. After a search, a suspect was found hiding in a parking lot on Farwell Place and taken into custody with the help of a police dog, officers said.

Police arrested Darryl Garner, 24, on suspicion of robbery, evading arrest, resisting arrest and an outstanding burglary arrest warrant as well as for being a wanted parolee at large.

Private surveillance helps Detroit police nab two in Greektown shootings

DETROIT, MI July 1 2015 -- Police made two arrests related to separate shootings, one fatal, in the area of Detroit's Greektown.
The use of surveillance cameras from private businesses were instrumental in each arrest.
The first shooting involved an 18-year-old woman shot multiple times while parking with friends in Detroit about 11:30 June 20. She survived.
The victim told police she saw people running, heard a loud noise and realized she'd been shot.
Police arrested the suspected shooter during the execution of a Raid about 4:30 p.m. Monday.
The second Greektown shooting occurred about 11:45 p.m. June 21. Two 19-year-old men were struck by gunfire. One survived the other died. Police tracked the suspect in that shooting to Westland, where they arrested the 22-year-old man after a short foot chase.
Both cases are under review by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's Office for criminal charges.
"We appreciate the community stepping up and helping our investigators identify these shooters," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said in a prepared statement. "The collaboration we see between business owners who have installed video cameras, the community at large who calls with tips, along with the hard work of police investigators, help bring these criminals to justice.
"It doesn't matter what neighborhood a crime occurs in, when our partners all step up, we all benefit with a city that is safer for everyone."
Detroit police have complained about a lack of community cooperation related two three separate shootings at neighborhood gatherings in recent weeks, one at Webb and Dexter in Detroit June 20 that resulted in one death and 11 injuries; the second at block party near Chandler Park resulting in four shooting victims; and the third during a party at a car wash Sunday that resulted in five injured.
Police haven't announced arrests or suspects in those cases.
Between Friday and Monday, Detroit police said there were 20 nonfatal shootings at 17 different crime scenes.

Despite the recent surge -- Detroit police say shootings are currently up about 9 percent -- overall crime continues to trend down. Part 1 crimes, those property and violent crimes tracked by the FBI, are down 13 percent this year compared to last, Craig says.

Three woman charged in Owensboro shoplifting and assault

Owensboro KY July 1 2015 Three women are in jail after police say they shoplifted and shoved a security guard.
Amanda Long, Christian Johnson and Kiersten Degraff are being charged with second degree burglary.
Officers say they walked out of Kohls on Highway 54 with over $1,000 worth of shoes.
When a security guard tried stopping them, police say they shoved him and took off.
They were later stopped by Daviess County sheriff deputies on the Natcher Parkway.
They're all in the Daviess County Jail.

Sacramento security officer under investigation after shooting that injured 2

Image result for Sacramento Police Determining Whether Security Guard Was Justified In ShootingSACRAMENTO COUNTY CA July 1 2015  A Sacramento County security guard claims he used his gun to shoot back after someone shot at him. The guard wasn’t hit, but two people including a woman inside her home were.
Sacramento Police are trying to piece the shooting together—what did the guard see before he fired his weapon and was he justified?
The exchange of gunfire hit a woman inside her Mack Road apartment, and another gunshot victim showed up at the hospital.
Former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness says security guards to not share the same protections as police when using a weapon with deadly force. They can only fire in self-defense.
“A peace officer may use deadly force on a fleeing felon, if that felon has engaged in violent conduct,” he said. “A private citizen does not enjoy the benefit of that right which is a product of case law Supreme Court Tennessee v Garner.”
The California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. CBS13 has learned the security guard in the Mack Road shooting investigation works for a company called Initial Response.
Public records show the company has held a license since December of last year, just six months, and that its license status is clear.
CBS13 also learned the owner of Initial Response is a former employee at a company called Cal Force. The state canceled Cal Force’s license after finding its owner engaged in repeated acts involving dishonesty and fraud against his employees.

The case is now in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s hands to determine if charges will be filed.

Smash and grab at Houston Dollar General investigated

The break-in was reported around 6 a.m. at 1420 W.

HOUSTON TX July 1 2015 – Police are searching for burglars who crashed a vehicle into a north Houston Dollar General store early Tuesday.
The break-in was reported around 6 a.m. at 1420 W. Gulf Bank Road.
Workers arrived to find the front of the store smashed in, but the suspects were already gone.
 Employees are not sure what was taken from the business but said they will be conducting an
audit to find out.
The cleanup process got underway and police began looking for suspects.

Woman charged in luggage theft at Austin airport

Natalie AbramsAUSTIN, Texas July 1 2015 -- A woman is accused of stealing bags from baggage claim at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, according to Travis County court documents.
According to an arrest affidavit, 37-year-old Natalie Abrams was seen taking a travel bag from an American Airlines baggage claim and then run into the restroom. An airport worker saw her come out of the restroom without the bag. A few minutes later Abrams returned to the front of the baggage claim and took another travel bag, and then ran into the restroom. The worker called police.
Police confronted Abrams outside the terminal at a bus stop. An officer asked where she got her bag and she said she found it outside the terminal near the street. Then, the officer asked where she got the Garmin GPS navigation system that was in her bag and she said she got it from one of the bags she stole.

Abrams was arrested for theft. She has two prior theft convictions in 2014. Her bond is set at $5,000.

Teens Charged With Using Stun Gun At Stamford High Summer School

Isiah Velez, 19, of 20 Daly St., was arrested after a stun gun went off during summer school at Stamford High, police said.

STAMFORD, Conn. July 1 2015  -- Two teenagers are facing charges after a stun gun was used during summer school at Stamford High on Friday, police said.
Isiah Velez, 19, of 20 Daly St., was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm on school grounds and second-degree breach of peace. A 15-year-old male is facing similar charges but his name was not released because he is a juvenile, police said.
Two school security officers heard what seemed to be a stun gun in use in the school at about 10 a.m., police said. The two security guards responded and saw Velez holding the stun gun and a 15-year-old standing nearby, police said.
Both teens fled the scene when the security guards arrived, police said.
The security guards found Velez in his classroom, police said. Velez told them the stun gun was with the 15-year-old student, police said.
They located the 15-year-old and the stun gun in another classroom, police said.
Police said Velez maintained he didn't know who owned the stun gun and said it went off accidentally.
"He said he grabbed the taser to take a look at it and that's when it went off," Sgt. Kelly Connelly said. "He doesn't know who gave it to him, it was just handed to him."
Velez told officers that when he saw the security officers, he fled and handed it back to the 15-year-old, police said.

The 15-year-old denied ownership and said Velez had handed him the stun gun, police said.
Stamford Daily Voice

Independent Police Review Authority recommends firing of Chicago officer involved in shooting

Chicago IL July 1 2015 The city agency that investigates the most serious misconduct allegations against Chicago police officers has recommended for the first time in its nearly eight-year history that an officer be fired for shooting someone.
The Independent Police Review Authority found that the off-duty officer was "inattentive to duty" when he fired 16 shots at the wrong car moments after a drive-by shooting outside a Mexican restaurant in the East Ukrainian Village neighborhood in 2011. The officer was working security at the restaurant.
The case against the officer hinges largely on video footage obtained from a surveillance camera at the restaurant that IPRA said clearly showed a red Mitsubishi Galant had fled the drive-by shooting by the time the officer opened fire at a blue Chrysler 300M car, wounding its driver.
Even after viewing the video earlier this year, the officer stuck by his original statement that he had fired at the red car, prompting IPRA to recommend that he be fired as well for making false statements to investigators.
In addition to the video evidence, IPRA said the officer called in by police radio to report the shooting. Then within 37 seconds he was recorded giving a description of the suspect car: "Blue Chrysler. Southbound. Came and shot some guys that were standing out front."
When IPRA confronted him with the recordings, the officer claimed that bystanders had given him the description of the blue Chrysler after the shooting had occurred. But IPRA said the video showed the officer ran to his vehicle to retrieve his police radio immediately after the Chrysler drove away and no one was observed approaching him as he called in by radio.
The driver of the blue Chrysler was shot in the back and underwent surgery to have the bullet removed. The bullet narrowly missed hitting his heart, IPRA said.
IPRA recommended in April that the officer be fired, but IPRA records made public in May did not identify the officer by name. Internal IPRA records obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request Monday identified the officer as Francisco Perez.
The Chicago Reader first reported online Monday that IPRA had recommended that Perez be fired.
Daniel Herbert, whose law firm represented Perez during his interviews with IPRA, declined immediate comment Monday.
Perez, who has been with the Police Department since 1999, was stripped of his police powers in April and placed on paid desk duty, said Jennifer Rottner, a police spokeswoman. She declined further comment.
Perez received only one complaint during a four-year period ending in mid-December 2014, police records show. He was accused last year of failing to submit proper reports, but he was never disciplined after the complainant did not sign a sworn affidavit as required by state law.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will decide if he agrees with the IPRA recommendation. If McCarthy goes along, the Chicago Police Board will decide if Perez will be fired, but Perez can go to Cook County Circuit Court if he is dissatisfied with the outcome.
IPRA was formed in 2007 after its predecessor, the Office of Professional Standards, came under increasing fire from critics for its poor handling of police misconduct cases, including the videotaped beating of a female bartender by an off-duty police officer.
A Tribune review of IPRA's public records shows that the agency recommended once before — in 2011 — that a Chicago police officer be fired for a shooting a person, but that person was himself; the off-duty sergeant had failed to properly secure his own weapon and shot himself in 2007.
According to authorities, the carnage outside La Pasadita restaurant in the 1100 block of North Ashland Avenue took place when an occupant of the red Mitsubishi Galant opened fire after pulling up beside the blue Chrysler double-parked in front of the restaurant. It was 3:48 a.m. Nov. 5, 2011.
Three people standing outside the restaurant were shot, one fatally.
It wasn't until last year that Jose C. Perez, 32, was charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with the drive-by shooting, Cook County court records show. He is still awaiting trial.
After the Galant had fled the scene, Officer Francisco Perez was seen moving toward the Chrysler, firing his weapon at the rear of the vehicle, according to IPRA. The officer continued to fire as the driver of the Chrysler took off, it said.
The driver of the Chrysler told IPRA that he had ducked for cover when he heard about six gunshots as a car drove by. He then sat up in the driver's seat when he heard more shots coming from behind him, shattering his rear window and wounding him in the back. In an effort to escape, he drove off a few blocks and called 911 for an ambulance.
Two witnesses said they saw Officer Perez fire at the red vehicle, but IPRA said the video footage clearly showed him firing at only the Chrysler.
The Illinois State Police crime lab later confirmed that the bullet that struck the Chrysler's driver was fired from the police officer's 9 mm semiautomatic pistol.
In November 2013, Officer Perez told IPRA that he saw a "dark-colored, midsized vehicle" shooting in the direction of several citizens in front of the restaurant. When the shooting began, Perez said he announced he was an officer and began to fire at the vehicle.
But he admitted that he may have informed the emergency dispatcher that the gunshots he saw came from the Chrysler.

Officer Perez stood by his statements to IPRA in a second interview last January. He was also shown the surveillance video during the interview, but he contended that he was shooting at the Mitsubishi instead of the Chrysler.
Officer Perez reiterated those claims during his final interview with IPRA in March, except this time he told an investigator that he did not recall telling the emergency dispatcher that the initial gunshots came from the Chrysler. He could not explain, however, how the Chrysler had been struck by his gunfire or how its driver got shot.

"The video speaks for itself," IPRA said the officer replied when shown the video again.
Chicago Tribune