Sunday, February 19, 2017

Briarwood Presbyterian Church asks for its own police department

Image result for Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Briarwood Christian School

Birmingham AL Feb 19 2017 Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Briarwood Christian School want their own police department and a bill proposing it passed 9-2 in the House Public Safety Committee on Thursday, Briarwood's attorney said.
The same bill passed last year but got to the governor late and never received a signature, said attorney Eric Johnston, who drafted the bill for the church.
Johnston said he expects the bill to again pass both the House and Senate and believes Gov. Robert Bentley will sign it into law.
Some critics of the bill have questioned why the church and school need a police department, but it's essentially a way of hiring a police officer full-time, as opposed to relying on off-duty police officers to assist the church, Johnston said.
"We've got over 30,000 events a year that take place at Briarwood - going on all day, all night, at the school, at the church, at the seminary," Johnston said. "We have to hire policemen all the time. It would be so much easier to have someone on staff."
Johnston said he doesn't know of any other churches in Alabama that have their own police departments, but he said it's more similar to a small college having its own police department. "Briarwood is larger than most of the colleges that have police," he said.
The language of the bill echoes the language of the law allowing colleges to have their own police departments, he said.
Briarwood has two large campuses, with the church and Birmingham Theological Seminary off Acton Road at Interstate 459, and at the affiliated Briarwood Christian School on Cahaba Valley Road.
"It would only be for patrolling the campuses, north and south," Johnston said. "There wouldn't be any patrolling of neighborhoods."
The church currently hires off-duty officers from area police departments, but there aren't always enough officers available, Johnston said. "They get short-handed," he said. "We have one guy that we have to have almost full-time supervising security," he said.
The police department would essentially be that officer in a full-time position working for the church, he said.
It would not involve a jail or other facilities - basically an officer and an official car, he said. "I couldn't imagine it would be something more than that," Johnston said. "If there is an arrest on campus, the local jurisdiction would be called and they would come pick the person up."
Questions were raised in committee about a drug investigation at the Briarwood Christian School in 2015 and whether a private, internal police department would cover up a drug problem.
"No, it didn't have anything to do with that," Johnston said.
"There was a drug investigation at the high school," Johnston said. "Like most schools, you've got students doing things you shouldn't do. The school cooperated with law enforcement. They didn't cover up anything."
Briarwood Presbyterian Church Administrator Matt Moore released a statement on behalf of the church saying that Code 16-22-1 of Alabama law provides for the employment of one or more persons to act as police officers at colleges and other private educational institutions. "The church seeks to mirror that provision," it says.
After obtaining legislative permission, the personnel employed by the church will meet all requirements and be certified by the Alabama Peace Officer Training Commission, the statement said.

"The sole purpose of this proposed legislation is to provide a safe environment for the church, its members, students and guests."

Pratt Community College security aid police in drug bust

Image result for pratt community college

Pratt KS Feb 19 2017 
Three persons have been arrested during a drug deal shortly after midnight on Friday, Feb. 17 in a parking lot at Pratt Community College.
Arrested were 20-year-old Austin Douglas Garibaldi, 20-year-old Angel Renee Gonzalez and 19-year-old Kyleigh Mae Forsberg, all of Salina.
According to a Pratt Police Department report, the three are not attending PCC and are not residents of Pratt.
At 12:08 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, PCC security officers summoned officers from the Pratt Police Department to the college after they discovered the suspects conducting an unlawful drug transaction.
Upon arrival at PCC, police officers made contact with the security officers and the three suspects. The investigation revealed an alleged drug transaction was in progress among the three suspects, a male and two females. Officers seized approximately a half pound of marijuana, 21 unlawfully obtained prescription medications and $1,650 in U.S. currency.
Charges against the three include: Distribute certain substances within 1,000 feet of a school; Use communication facility in the commission of a felony drug transaction; Use/possess with intent to use drug paraphernalia into human body; No drug tax stamp payment for marijuana or controlled substance; Possession of opiate, opium, narcotic or certain stimulant; Distribute marijuana 25 grams to greater then 45 grams.

As of press time, Garibaldi remains in jail on a $26,000 bond. Gonzalez and Forsberg have both bonded out on a $20,000 each. Bond amounts were set by the Pratt County District Court Judge.
Pratt Tribune

Washington DC Special police officer shot

Washington DC Feb 19 2017 Police responded to assist a special police officer Saturday after shots were fired.
When police arrived, they found that the female officer had been shot and that the suspect fled.
The officer was shot in the leg in the 2300 block of Green Street SE, D.C. police said.
Police are looking for an older model white Ford Expedition.
Officers investigating the shooting say that there was a confrontation and the officer was shot.
She has non-life threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

Special Police officers have full police authority in Washington DC. 

Man dies after breaching security at Honolulu International Airport

Image result for Man dies after rushing security at Honolulu Airport

HONOLULU HI Feb 19 2017
A man in his 40s died Saturday morning after breaching a TSA security checkpoint at the Honolulu International Airport.
It happened just after 5:45 a.m. at the commuter terminal where Island Air and Mokulele airlines operate.
Department of Transportation officials said the suspect forced his way through the exit lane of the security checkpoint and gained access to an area where ticketed passengers were waiting to board.
"All of a sudden this man, a very large man, ran through the terminal and started ramming himself through the doors," said Hawaii News Now's Mahealani Richardson. She was at the airport with her son waiting to board their plane to Molokai. "He looked like he was trying to get out to the runway where the planes are."
The suspect managed to make it outside to the Airport Operations Area, before he was placed in custody.
"Even after he was detained, there was still a struggle and the suspect remained combative and at that point is when he became unresponsive," said Tim Sakahara, DOT spokesperson.
First responders performed CPR before transporting the suspect to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A male Securitas law enforcement officer suffered head injuries in the process and was also taken to the hospital for treatment.
Passengers who witnessed the chaos unfold were frightened and confused.
"It was really scary during those moments, we had no idea what was going on," said Richardson. "We just had to duck down and cover ourselves because we didn't know if the suspect was going to come at us. We had to protect ourselves."
DOT officials said security checkpoint operations at the commuter terminal were briefly suspended during the incident.
No flights were impacted, but detectives stayed on scene for more than five hours to investigate.
The Honolulu Police Department has opened an unattended death investigation.

The suspect's identity has not yet been released.

Woman shot to death in Ashland Va. Walmart parking lot

Ashland Walmart Parking Lot (SOURCE: WTVR CBS 6 Chief Photographer Brad Wilson)

ASHLAND, Va. Feb 19 2017— Police are investigating a deadly shooting in the Ashland Walmart parking lot Saturday night.
Ashland Police were dispatched to reports of a shooting in the area of 100 Hill Carter Parkway around 11 p.m.
When officers arrived, they found a woman fatally wounded inside a car. Officials said the victim suffered a single gunshot wound and died at the scene.
Investigators are not yet releasing the victim’s name pending next-of-kin notification. However, officers said she is about 25 years old.
A photo from a WTVR CBS 6 News crew on the scene shows part of the parking lot sealed off with crime scene tape and investigators gathered around a car.
An officer on the scene said burglary may have been the motive, but said that the shooting remains under investigation.

Officers are looking for suspects and asking any witnesses to call 804-730-6140. Additionally, officials said they do not believe the suspects worked at any of the stores in the shopping center.

Nyack Hospital security assaulted by man used a phone as a weapon

ORANGEBURG NY Feb 19 2017 – The Orangetown Police Department reports the arrest of a New City man on assault and weapon charges.
Police said Robert Hicks, age 58, was in Nyack Hospital on Midland Ave in Nyack when he allegedly began to cause a disturbance in the hospital.
It is also alleged that Hicks attempted to use the hospital staff telephones without the permission of the staff.
Security approached Hicks about the incident and it is alleged Hicks then became violent and began to strike the security guard numerous times using the phone as a weapon.
The security guard was injured during the incident and received treatment for his injuries at the hospital.
Hicks was arrested and transported to Orangetown Police Headquarters where he was processed and charged with 2 counts of Assault 2nd degree (felony), Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree (felony), Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree (misdemeanor).

Hicks was arraigned by the Honorable Judge Lewis and was then remanded to the Rockland County Jail and given a court date of Feb. 23, 2017 to answer the charges.
Hudson News

Former Franco Althetic Club employees embezzled $1.7 million


Madisonville LA Feb 19 2017 Two former employees of Franco's Athletic Club near Madisonville were indicted Friday (Feb. 17) in a scheme that bilked the club out of more than $1.7 million, the North Shore district attorney's office said. Emily L. Davis, the club's former finance director, and Jennifer E. Thompson, the former human resources director, were to be arrested on charges of racketeering, theft, identity theft and money laundering.
Davis, 42, of Ponchatoula, and Thompson, 45, of Mandeville, are accused of conspiring to steal cash and electronic funds between March 1, 2008, and July 31, of 2016, prosecutors said. They allegedly took more than $1.4 million in cash for their personal use, and redirected to themselves more than $165,000 in personal, in-house credit account charges through the use of fictitious bank accounts. They are also accused of "erasing" more than $19,000 in personal loans from their employer's 401K retirement fund.
Davis and Thompson were charged with racketeering, money laundering and three counts of theft. Davis was charged with an additional count of theft and two counts of identity theft, for allegedly using the name of the club's owners to obtain $1,000 without authorization on two different occasions, according to the district attorney's office.
Both women, who were dismissed from the jobs at Franco's last year, were to be taken into the custody of the Sheriff's Office. The charges are based on an investigation by the joint financial crimes task force, headed by Sgt. Stefan Montgomery and detective Jason Mire of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office and Assistant District Attorney Butch Ward.
The privately owned Franco's has been a mainstay in the west St. Tammany area for decades. Its main club is at 100 Bon Temps Blvd., off Louisiana 22 between Mandeville and Madisonville. It also operates a Crossfit studio in Mandeville and has a club at 2116 Magazine St. in New Orleans.The club has more than 14,000 members and 300 employees at its three locations.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, owners Ron and Sandy Franco, along with club management, said they are cooperating fully with the investigation and have trust in the judicial system.

"It is most unfortunate that we have experienced a breach of trust from individuals who were a part of Franco's for many years," the statement reads. "In spite of the shock and disappointment that this experience has caused, we believe strongly that this was an isolated incident and will not allow it to deter our faith in humanity. Franco's has never been more committed to our employees, our members, and our community."

Armed Robbery At Two Mobile Walmarts, 2 Arrested

walmart-perp-walk19-year-old Raquel Cunningham is charged with robbery first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Mobile AL Feb 19 2017 The Mobile Police Department arrested a man and woman Friday morning after two robberies at separate Walmarts in the Mobile area.
24-year-old Jamie Grimes and 19-year-old Raquel Cunningham were arrested after robberies at the Walmart on Schillingers Road and the store on the I-65 Service Road.
According to police, the robbery at the Schillingers Road Walmart occurred first. Grimes and Cunningham walked into the store, filled a shopping cart full of goods, and walked out of the store. They threatened employees who questioned their actions.
When they got into the car, the passenger in the car shot towards the occupied business and struck the glass.
Later Friday morning, another robbery was reported at the Walmart on I-65 Service Road. Grimes and Cunningham once again filled a shopping cart full of goods and attempted to walk out of the store. This time, they were stopped by Walmart employees and Cunningham proceeded to pull his handgun and threaten the employees.
After they left the store, authorities were able to get a vehicle description and put out information to locate them.
A short time later both Grimes and Cunningham were in custody and on their way to Mobile Metro Jail.

Grimes is charged with shooting into an occupied business and Cunningham is charged with robbery first degree.

Amtrak officer charged with killing unarmed man in Chicago

CHICAGO IL Feb 19 2017  An Amtrak police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed Minneapolis man outside Chicago's Union Station was ordered held on $250,000 bail Friday.
LaRoyce Tankson, 31, is charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 8 shooting of 25-year-old Chad Robertson, who died Wednesday, the Cook County state's attorney's office said.
Robertson was taking a bus from Memphis, Tennessee, to Minneapolis and was on a stopover in Chicago when the shooting occurred. Robertson and two friends went to Union Station to stay warm while they waited for their onward bus. But two officers confronted them, so the three friends got up to leave, according to Robertson's sister, Nina Robertson,.
The officers confronted them again outside the station and accused one of them of smoking marijuana. An officer searched the men and when he put his hands in Robertson's pockets, he ran, the sister said. That's when one of the officers opened fire. Chicago police say they found cash and narcotics on Robertson, but no weapon.
Tankson's attorney, Will Fahy, said Friday that Tankson saw Robertson turn and reach for what the officer thought was a gun. Fahy said Tankson "reasonably believed he was about to be shot." Fahy said Tankson is a father of three and is married to a firefighter.
Robertson was black, as is the officer.
Robertson's family said outside court Friday that they were upset with the bail amount set by the Cook County judge.
"It should have been millions," Robertson's father, Leroy Taylor, said.
Robertson's family attorney on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the then-unknown officer and Amtrak seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the shooting.
The lawsuit described Tankson and another officer as disrespectful and aggressive and said they used profanity. Robertson "feared for his life," according to the lawsuit.
Amtrak officials said they are cooperating with Chicago police and prosecutors but that they can't comment further. Amtrak has put the officers involved on administrative assignment.

Civil rights activist Mel Reeves said the charges filed against the officer indicate "something went wrong severely that night. That clearly (the officer) had no reason to shoot Chad Robertson."

Seabrook Station cited for ex-guard's action

SEABROOK NH Feb 19 2017 — The Nuclear Regulator Commission issued a mid-level violation to NextEra Energy Seabrook nuclear power plant over a 2015 incident in which a security guard put a foam earplug and paper down the barrel of a rifle used by guards.
The violation could have carried a $140,000 fine, but that was waived because of NextEra’s response when the tampering was discovered.
According to the NRC notice sent to NextEra Energy Seabrook on Feb. 15 by Regional Administrator Daniel H. Dorman, the determination to impose a Severity Level III violation over the Aug. 14, 2015, incident came after a review by the NRC’s Office of Investigations.
 NRC Region I spokesman Neil Sheehan said there are four levels of severity for this class of violation, with Level I being the most serious.
“Even though it was an individual guard who is no longer employed at the plant who was responsible for the weapon tampering in August 2015, NextEra is ultimately responsible for the actions of all of its employees and contractors as the licensed operator for the facility,” Sheehan said.
Seabrook Station contracts with G4S Security Services, which provides guards to private companies across the country.
According to NextEra Energy Seabrook spokesman Alan Griffith, the company takes the incident “with the utmost seriousness,” because nothing is more important to the company “than protecting public health and safety.”
“... Seabrook Station’s highest priority is to ensure the safe and secure operation of our facility,” Griffith said in a written statement. “It is worth noting that the NRC recognized Seabrook Station’s ‘prompt identification and comprehensive actions taken, and planned, to address this matter.’ . . . It was fully investigated and determined to be caused by one contracted security officer who is no longer employed at the plant.”
According to Dorman’s letter, the “underlying technical concern would have been evaluated as having very low security significance,” but because the act was willful, the NRC increased the violation’s significance.
“Willful violations are of particular concern because the NRC’s regulatory program is based, in part, on licensees and their employees acting truthfully and with integrity,” Dorman wrote.
The base level fine for a Level III violation is $140,000, Sheehan said, but the fine was waived because of several mitigating factors relating to NextEra’s response.
According to the NRC, NextEra identified the problem during routine weapon cleaning shortly after it occurred, immediately notifying the NRC. The company also initiated its own investigation, concluding the tampering was an isolated and intentional act by one individual, and the company implemented corrective actions.
Dorman wrote that among those corrective actions are field inspection of the company’s firearms once per shift, as well as using the incident in its annual training for security personnel and supervisors.
Such a response showed Seabrook Station officials took the situation “very seriously,” Sheehan said.
According to the “factual summary” issued previously by the NRC, the one rifle in question was at a Seabrook Station security outpost on Aug. 2, 2015, and returned to the armory on Aug. 21, 2015 for routine cleaning, when “the armorer found a foam earplug insert and two pieces of rolled up paper had been stuffed in the barrel.” NextEra quickly notified the NRC’s on-site inspectors at the plant, who called the regional staff.
Beginning on Aug. 24, 2015, NRC investigators started interviewing security guards. One said he stood watch at the post where the rifle was kept on two occasions between Aug. 2 and Aug. 21, but denied putting anything in the barrel. Afterwards, he told coworkers “the interview made him feel like he had something to do with the tampered weapon” and might have been involved in “tampering with the rifle.”

In a subsequent interview, the guard told investigators “he believed he placed the material in the weapon,” but didn’t know why. He said he wasn’t “trying to hurt anyone or to assist anyone with gaining access to the site.” NRC investigators determined the guard deliberately placed the material in the rifle barrel.
Daily News

Former Las Vegas hotel security guard convicted of sexually assaulting tourist

Image result for Former Las Vegas hotel security guard convicted of sexually assaulting tourist

Las Vegas NV Feb 19 2017 A former Las Vegas hotel security guard was convicted of sexually assaulting a tourist but was acquitted of another allegation Friday.
Prosecutors alleged that Jerry Earl Johnson took advantage of two drunken women within a month’s span in 2009.
Johnson, now 48, lowered his head slightly as the guilty verdict was read. Facing 10 years to life in prison at an April sentencing, he was taken into custody without bail.
Johnson’s defense attorneys argued throughout the trial that he had been twice falsely accused.
The first allegation was made in February 2009, when a woman said she returned drunk to the Wyndham Grand Desert hotel, near Harmon Avenue and Koval Lane, and a security guard helped her up to her room. She told police the guard then raped her. The jury of five women and seven men deliberated about four hours before acquitting Johnson of that charge.
A month later, another woman reported similar allegations and said her assailant resembled LL Cool J, prosecutors said.
Both women were “so intoxicated they can’t stand up,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Sam Martinez told jurors.
Defense attorney Conor Slife dismissed the charges as “false accusations,” saying Johnson never even attempted to have sex with the first woman and that the second encounter was consensual.
“Just because these (allegations) were brought in the same case does not make them individually stronger,” Slife told jurors. “You can’t convict just in case you think it happened. … The state is ignoring evidence that doesn’t fit their charges.”
In the second incident, the woman testified that she had drifted in and out of consciousness while telling the man, “No,” after he escorted her to her room.
In the midst of the assault, the woman accidentally called her mother, who overheard her daughter struggle and a man’s voice.
Detectives recognized similarities in the two allegations, prosecutors said during the trial before before District Judge Kenneth Cory.
“How can two women who’ve never met have the same stories?” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Bluth said.
To Johnson, the victims were “the path of least resistance,” the prosecutor continued. “They are drunk. They either won’t remember or won’t report, and if they do, who will believe them?”
Authorities later tied Johnson to both cases through DNA evidence found in the second encounter.

Johnson was originally charged with two counts of sexual assault in 2010, and the case lingered in the court system for more than seven years before going to trial.
Review Journal 

Augmented Reality Training Brings Nuclear Security to the Next Level

Albuquerque, NM Feb 19 2017 For most, augmented reality is a type of game—one where they can fight bad guys, fly spaceships, or catch Pok√©mon in a hybrid environment made up of both virtual and real-life elements.
But at Sandia National Laboratory augmented reality has a much bigger purpose—nuclear security.
Computer scientists Tam Le and Todd Noel have adapted augmented reality headsets—originally designed for gaming—as part of the physical security training curriculum Sandia provides in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) International Nuclear Security programs.
“This technology really enhances our mission, which is to increase and improve the international nuclear security training for those who deal with our nuclear stock piles and weapons and materials,” said Le in an exclusive interview with R&D Magazine. “It really does help to increase and improve this training in so many ways.”
Le and Noel have been incorporating augmented reality elements into Sandia’s nuclear training programs since March 2016. Most notably, they’ve updated the International Training Course on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities (ITC), a three-week training session for nuclear materials and facilities professionals worldwide.
Trainings are held at Sandia’s Integrated Security Facility, which was originally designed to protect Category I nuclear material, but now serves as a venue for hands-on physical security training. The incorporation of the augmented reality headsets at the facility allows students to peer through walls and see all the processes needed to handle and protect nuclear material, without having to access actual hazardous material.
“It allows us to give the user a lot more information that is not normally possible with books and paper,” said Le. “These trainings deal with materials that are either dangerous or difficult to get your hands on. This allows us to do training that we never been able to do before, where the user is handling these types of materials and receiving information that they wouldn’t normally be able to do to easily and safely.”
The team also created a camera placement tool that lets users add virtual sensors and cameras, and then see what their fields of view would be in real time in the actual space. This is a very helpful tool for those training to learn how to set up cameras for physical protection in a nuclear facility, explained Le.
The augmented reality headsets also made it easier to gauge if students in the training are understanding and remembering the information they are being taught, said Le.
“It allows us this whole layer of being able to communicate and have students be able to show their ideas as well,” he said. “For a lot of the stuff we teach, you can’t measure these concepts with a grade on a test. The communication that comes out of this approach is a way more valuable way to be able to capture what the students learned.”
It didn’t require a significant investment in resources for Sandia to update its training program to incorporate augmented reality. The team uses the same software as small game development companies to develop many of their training and analysis tools without having to create everything from scratch.
So far, students that have undergone the course with augmented reality training have had positive feedback, said Le.
The team plan to incorporate even more augmented reality elements into their program in the coming year.

“We did the initial first look at it, but I think it is going to be applicable in a lot more of a training,” said Le. “There are a lot of areas that this can be very advantageous. It is really up to our imaginations. This type of technology really opens up the door for the types of training we can do.”

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Gardena police assisting security during disturbance shoot-kill armed man

Image result for gardena police shooting

GARDENA CA Feb 18 2017 A suspect was shot and killed by Gardena police officers Thursday night following a disturbance, while a second suspect was taken into custody unhurt, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reports.
Gardena police officers shot and wounded the man at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday in the 14100 block of Van Buren Court. Police were patrolling in the 1000 block of West Rosecrans Avenue when they noticed a disturbance in the parking lot of a business, according to LASD. Officers were assisting a security guard with the disturbance when one of the suspects involved in the disturbance fired at least one round and ran from the parking lot, LASD reports.
During the ensuing attempt to capture the suspect, officers shot him at least once in the torso. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died, the sheriff’s department said. He was not immediately identified. The exact circumstances that prompted the shooting were not confirmed. No officers were hurt.
Two handguns believed to belong to the suspect were recovered by police.

A second man, whose identity has not been released, was taken into custody. LASD homicide detectives were assisting the Gardena Police Department with the investigation.

Ralphs ordered to pay Torrance employee $800,000 after theft accusation

Image result for ralphs store

Torrance CA Feb 18 2017 A Ralphs supermarket employee who claimed he was defamed as a thief and fired from his job at a Torrance store following a false allegation that he stole $18 worth of lemonade was awarded more than $800,000 from the company, attorneys said Friday.
Troy Williams, who worked as a receiving clerk at the Ralphs on Pacific Coast Highway and Calle Mayor for 27 years, won his defamation lawsuit against the supermarket chain on Monday following a four-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“Hopefully, this sends a message to Ralphs and companies like them that they cannot treat loyal, hardworking employees such as Mr. Williams in this manner,” his attorney, Carney Shegerian, said in a statement. “Our client dedicated more than half of his life working for this company, who he thought of as family.”
Williams, 49, of Carson sued the Ralphs Grocery Co. in 2012, alleging he was fired from the job he held since he was 15, following a false accusation that he walked away from the store with six bottles of raspberry-flavored Simply Lemonade on Nov. 12, 2010, said attorney Anthony Nguyen, who represented Williams.
Williams, who had purchased Gatorade or Powerade earlier in the day, testified that he put a dozen bottles in a shopping cart at the end of his shift, handed one to a cashier to scan and told her he had 12, Nguyen said.
The refreshment was destined for Narbonne High School, where his son quarterbacked the Gauchos football team. Also named Troy, his son now plays for the Utah Utes.
During his trial last month, the cashier testified that Williams told her to ring up six bottles, which the register recorded. Williams paid $18, believing the drinks were on sale, and went on his way.
Nguyen said another employee, who was working nearby at the front courtesy desk, reported the theft allegations. She and Williams weren’t speaking at the time because Williams had previously complained about her to management.
Testifying during his trial, Williams said he did not realize he had not paid enough for the lemonade until store officials confronted him about it 10 days later. Security video showed Williams at the check stand, the basket containing the lemonade covered with a flattened cardboard box.
In an interview Friday, Ralphs attorney Daniel Kessler said the video showed Williams purposely hiding the number of lemonade bottles in the cart to steal them.
Williams, however, testified during the trial that he was taking the cardboard home to collect oil under a car he was working on and was not trying to deceive anyone.
Kessler described Williams as a “good performer,” but said the supermarket chain has a large number of employees and a zero tolerance for theft. Employee theft, he said, is a significant problem in the entire retail industry, not just at Ralphs.
Williams, Kessler said, changed his story a couple of times when loss prevention employees questioned him and was unable to remember how many bottles he purchased and how much he paid.
Kessler said Williams was treated the same as any other union employee and was legitimately terminated.
Williams, who is black, initially sued Ralphs and three employees, alleging discrimination based on race, age and disability, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation.
During two years of litigation before the trial, Ralphs defense lawyers successfully persuaded a judge to dismiss most of the claims, but the defamation charge remained.
Nguyen said word spread quickly through employees and store managers at Ralphs and other supermarkets that Ralphs management considered Williams dishonest. During the trial, other employees called him a “smart thief” and a Ralphs vice president testified that it was good for the company that Williams was being used as an example for other employees to know that they would be terminated for theft.
Williams, who started a home-painting business following his firing, testified his career in the grocery field was over.
“I was probably the top or the second best receiver in the district,” Williams said. “It’s terrible to be labeled a thief.”
On Monday, jurors ordered Ralphs to pay Williams $504,000 in economic damages and $300,001 in noneconomic damages, for a total award of $804,001.
Kessler said Ralphs will appeal. Nguyen said he was pleased the jury sided with Williams.

“I feel so bad for the guy. He was there for so long,” Nguyen said. “That’s not how you treat a 27-year employee.”

Longtime Houston police officer charged with insurance fraud

HOUSTON TX Feb 18 2017 A longtime Houston police officer has been relieved of duty after being charged with a felony crime, according to state investigators.
Omarr Derwin Lewis, 49, was charged with felony insurance fraud on Tuesday. A day later, he was relieved of duty from the Houston Police Department. Beginning in March 2014 and lasting for two years, Lewis filed false medical claims with his insurance company, AFLAC, court documents stated. His alleged scheme made him as much as $30,000.
Lewis has been with HPD since 1994 and is assigned to the Vehicular Crimes Division. He is out of jail after posting a $2,500 bond.
If convicted, Lewis could spend up to six months in jail and have to pay up to a $10,000 fine.
He declined to comment when Eyewitness News went by his home Friday night.

The Texas Department of Insurance investigated his case.

Harris CountyTX mother-teen daughter charged after stealing cart full of merchandise

HOUSTON TX Feb 18 2017 A mother and daughter ended up under arrest after deputies say they tried to steal a cart full of merchandise from a Target store in north Harris County.
The incident took place in the early evening on Monday at a store in the 19500 block of the North Freeway. According to the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, a mother and daughter were spotted filling a cart with items and then reportedly pushed the loaded basket past checkout counters without paying.
After passing all points of sale, Target loss prevention officers tried to stop the pair. The daughter was detained without incident, but the mother reportedly began throwing items from the basket at loss prevention officers as they detained the daughter. Authorities say the mother then approached one of the store officers and struck her in the face. The mother fled to the parking lot and her parked car, where she was approached by deputies before she could leave.
The mother, identified as Xiomara Quintanilla, 44, was arrested at the scene on robbery charges. She was booked into the Harris County Jail with a $10,000 bond.

The daughter, identified as Jennifer Quintanilla, 17, was arrested at the scene on theft charges. She was booked into Harris County Jail and later released on a $500 bond.

South Hackensack Adult Club Bouncers Busted In 'Vicious Attack'

Andrew Allegro, Paul Mogilevsky

SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. Feb 18 2017-- Two bouncers at a South Hackensack adult club attacked a patron, fracturing his skull and opening a gash from his hairline to the bridge of his nose, said police who arrested them.
Players Club bouncers Andrew Allegro, 39, of Old Bridge, and Paul Mogilevsky, 42, Woodbridge, were each charged with aggravated assault, in what one ranking police officer called a "vicious attack" on the 55-year-old victim from Lodi, who needed 14 stitches.
Allegro was released pending a court hearing. Mogilevsky -- who police said was carrying Xanax, Oxycodone, Oxycontin and amphetamines for sale -- was ordered held in the Bergen County Jail pending a bail hearing.
The Players Club on Huyler Street "has been a problem location for us," said Capt. Robert Kaiser, citing an incident last July in which a bouncer was shot.

The victim in this case "was non-confrontational and was attacked by the two bouncers," he said.

Prescott Walmart's security nab 500 shoplifters annually

The new Walmart on Glassford Hill Road in Prescott Valley shows evidence of employees preparing inside for the store’s opening, slated for Jan. 15. The corporation first proposed the store well before the recession hit in 2007.<br>
Trib Photo/Briana Lonas

Prescott AZ Feb 18 2017 With two stores in Prescott and one in Prescott Valley, police spend a lot of time responding to Walmart.
Certainly, shoplifting is a major reason, but there are others.
PVPD Sgt. Jason Kaufman said police make more than 500 arrests every year at the Walmart in the 3400 block of Glassford Hill Road.
Prescott Police spokesman Dave Fuller said that there had been about 230 calls for service at the Walmart in the 3000 block of Highway 69 and more than 260 to the one in the 1200 block of Gail Gardner Way.
Fuller said that shoplifters try to get away with different hauls, depending on the store.
At the Highway 69 location, the most common things thieves take include television, camping gear, baby formula, food, beer, wine, and energy drinks.
At the Gail Gardner store, beers, wine and energy drinks top the list, followed by blankets, candles, groceries, and the like.
Kaufman said the items taken at the Glassford Hill Walmart are different from the others, with the most common including hygiene products, video games, DVDs, clothing, fishing tackle and knives.
He pointed out that theft of another sort goes on as well.
“Sometimes, people go into Walmart with a whole bunch of old receipts and grab a shopping cart,” he said. “Then they walk around the store … locate items on the old receipts, then go to customer service, and return the items they did not buy” for cash or credit.
“This is beyond shoplifting,” Kaufman noted. “It is fraud.”
“No retailer is immune to the challenge of crime,” said Walmart corporate spokesman Ragan Dickens. “We recognize the importance of this issue at the highest levels of the company, and we are investing in people and technology to support our stores.”
One way they’re doing that, Dickens said, has been to implement programs like one Walmart calls Restorative Justice. It’s in effect in more than 1,500 stores, working with two Restorative Justice providers -- the Corrective Education Company and Turning Point Justice, who in turn partner with NASP (National Association for Shoplifting Prevention). The program offers first-time, low-risk offenders a second chance to make things right by participating in an educational course in lieu of prosecution. The recidivism rate among those who go through Restorative Justice is just 2 percent to 3 percent, Dickens said.