Saturday, November 22, 2014

Line of Duty Death Sergeant Alejandro "Alex" Martinez

Sergeant Alejandro

Sergeant Alejandro "Alex" Martinez

Willacy County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch: Friday, November 21, 2014
 Bio & Incident Details
Age: 52
Tour: Not available
Badge # Not available

Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 11/21/2014
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Sergeant Alex Martinez was killed in a single vehicle crash near the intersection of FM 490 and FM 1425, southwest of Raymondville, at approximately 2:00 pm.

His Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicle overturned several times and came to rest in a nearby field. He suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

Sergeant Martinez had served with the Willacy County Sheriff's Office for 11 months and had previously served as the chief of the Raymondville Police Department.
 
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Sheriff Larry Spence
Willacy County Sheriff's Office
1371 Industrial Drive Drive
Raymondville, TX 78580
Phone: (956) 689-5576

Former Jarrell Police Chief Sentenced to Federal Prison privateofficer.com

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 21, 2014
  • Western District of Texas (210) 384-7100
PRESS RELEASE
 
In Austin today, 52-year-old former Jarrell (TX) Police Chief Andres Tomas Gutierrez was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for a wire fraud/theft of honest services scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman; Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent In Charge Janice Ayala in San Antonio; Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General– Investigations Special Agent In Charge J. Kirk Beauchamp in Houston; and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent In Charge Christopher H. Combs, San Antonio Division.
On February 7, 2014, Gutierrez pleaded guilty to the wire fraud/theft of honest services charge. By pleading guilty, Gutierrez admitted that from the Fall of 2011 to November 2013, he devised a scheme to defraud and deprive the citizens of Jarrell of their right to his honest services through bribery and concealment of information. Gutierrez solicited and accepted cash bribes—between $10,000 and $40,000—from several undocumented aliens in return for requesting and obtaining for the aliens limited immigration benefits that the U.S. government intended and designed for law enforcement purposes. Gutierrez falsely represented to the U.S. government that the undocumented aliens were assisting the Jarrell Police Department with ongoing investigations into narcotics trafficking and human trafficking.
According to court records, individuals unconnected to the City of Jarrell and its Police Department introduced Gutierrez to undocumented aliens who had money to pay for immigration benefits. Gutierrez or the individuals who made the introductions, or both, then met with the aliens and explained the benefits they could receive if they paid certain amounts of money. They lied to the aliens, telling them that the Jarrell Police Department would receive the money and use it to pay for law enforcement operations. They also told the aliens that they would provide information or assistance to the Jarrell Police Department, for use in criminal investigations, in return for the immigration benefits. That was also a lie. Gutierrez never asked the aliens to provide assistance or information in connection with criminal investigations. What Gutierrez asked for and received from the aliens was money.
Furthermore, with the help of the individuals who introduced him to the aliens, Gutierrez simply sold the aliens the benefits. After an alien paid his or her money, Gutierrez would submit to the U.S. government an application for the alien to receive what is known as a Significant Public Benefit Parole, which is a type of immigration status that federal immigration laws make available to aliens who actually assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Paroles authorize an alien to reside and work in the United States for up to a year, and they can be renewed. The applications that Gutierrez submitted said the aliens were providing assistance with ongoing criminal investigations by the Jarrell Police Department, which was false. Also, Gutierrez never disclosed to the United States government that he was selling the Paroles.
“The sentencing of Andres Gutierrez, the former Jarrell Police Chief, is the culmination of a long-term investigation into corruption and the violation of public trust,” said Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Antonio. “This case illustrates the ability of federal law enforcement agencies to leverage resources and work together to achieve justice.”
“Acts of corruption within law enforcement threaten our nation’s system of justice and undermine the honest and hardworking law enforcement personnel who consistently strive to keep that system the best in the world. The Department of Homeland Security will not tolerate corruption, and we will aggressively pursue those who choose to break the law,” stated DHS OIG SAC J. Kirk Beauchamp.
“The FBI will continue to utilize all resources to investigate those who have taken an oath to serve and protect our communities and use their position as a public servant to shield their criminal activities and violate the trust of those they serve,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.
This investigation was conducted by agents with Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General—Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Alan M. Buie and Gregg N. Sofer prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Natividad Medical Center security officer remembered one year after deadly crash privateofficer.com

SALINAS, Calif. - Nov 22 2014
Thursday night marks one year since a Natividad Medical Center security guard was hit and killed as she tried to help a patient out of the street. At an emotional remembrance in Salinas, Williams' best friends said she was a fun and energetic person.
Family and friends honoring Williams for the sacrifice she made said knowing it's been a year since her tragic death is difficult. The patient Williams tried to save was also killed by a suspected DUI driver. They're choosing to remember Williams with some special hand-written notes, attached to lanterns. Those who knew her best, gathered outside First Alarm in Salinas, to honor her life and dedication to the job.
"I love her and I miss her a lot," said Osbaldo Jimenez.
Williams had just been promoted to corporal. But before she could receive her brass badge, Williams and a woman who had just been discharged from Natividad, were hit and killed in front of the hospital where Williams stood guard.
On Thursday, Williams was honored as the company employee of the year. Her mother said she's grateful for the support from her daughter's former co-workers.
"A memorial to my daughter, I still have a lot of friends," said mother Lorena Rascon.
Police said Williams rushed to help the patient, Cynthia Lane, after she fell in the street trying to get into a random car near Constitution and Laurel. Francisco Miranda, who police said hit and killed the women while driving high, is awaiting a trial on murder charges. Williams' friends said seeking justice is helping them heal.
"Part of getting over the anger part for me is having someone responsible for this. Because its not okay that this happened," said Cynthia Ojeda.
During a preliminary hearing, Miranda admitted to investigators that he'd smoked marijuana three hours before the accident, after facing two DUIs in 2013.
While closure isn't a reality yet, Williams' friends said the hand-written messages are helping relieve some of the pain.
"It means a lot that they haven't forgotten. It's been a year and for a lot of people life goes on. but for us we think of her daily," said Ojeda.
Last month, both families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Natividad Medical Center, accusing the hospital of negligence for releasing Lane too early. As for Miranda, his case has been delayed because he faces other charges related to an attack on a jail deputy.
KION

Multiple security officers shot-other armed confrontations privateofficer.com

 
 
November 22 2014 

  

RICHMOND VA

 

Security officers in at least six states were either victims of shootings or involved in armed confrontations during the past twenty four hours.
Police in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Illinois all report overnight armed incidents involving security personnel.

Security officers responded to a mass shooting on the Florida State University in Tallahassee that left three people wounded and the gunman later killed by police.

A security officer in Philadelphia shot a 33-year-old man during the a robbery or shoplifting at the Rite Aid store at E Mount Airy and Stenton avenues in the city's West Oak Lane neighborhood just before 8:30 p.m., said investigators.
Police said the gunshot victim was carrying a knife when the guard shot him multiple times.
Medics rushed the would-be robber to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition.

A Virginia Beach security officer is in critical but stable condition after being shot outside a nightclub.
It happened around 2:15 a.m., just as Aqua Lounge was closing. The Website says the cigar bar and hookah lounge at 5476 Virginia Beach Blvd. closes at 2 a.m.
Police say the suspect got into an argument and was escorted from the building by security. Once outside, they say he got into the passenger side of a vehicle and then shot the security officer in the torso. The suspect is at large.

A security officer was also shot and is in serious condition in Chicago. Police say that it appears that it was a robbery attempt at a 24-hour diner in the Bridgeport neighborhood.
Two people walked into Kevin's Hamburger Heaven at Pershing Road and Wallace Street around 3:10 a.m., according to Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer.
The 36-year-old guard, who was inside the restaurant, got into a struggle with the two and was shot before the men fled.
The suspects have not yet been identified or arrested.

A second security officer reported being a victim of an armed robbery earlier in the evening at a different business in Chicago but police have made no arrests in that incident either.

A University of Cincinnati Medical Center security officer was also accosted by an armed man caught roaming a parking area of the medical facility.
UC police report that the security officer observed a suspicious person near the hospital at about 3 p.m. Thursday wandering around a garage across the street near the Burnett Avenue business building and confronted him.
Officials said the man pulled out a gun and pointed it at the security officer when he was approached.
The armed man soon fled the area and police are searching for him.

Also this week an Akron Ohio security officer was shot and an-off-duty police officer killed while confronting a disorderly man at a nightclub.
Police say that the man had been asked to leave numerous times when the police officer intervened and he shot and killed officer Justin Winebrenner and then security officer David Wokaty who is in serious but stable condition.


On Sunday in Cleveland Ohio, a security officer on duty at a mental health facility shot a man armed with a knife during a confrontation.
Police responded to the Tanaka House in the 8100 block of St. Clair Avenue where they found the man in serious condition.
The security officer stated that it was self-defense and police are continuing their investigation.
 

Additionally in Salinas California today Richard Gutierrez was sentenced by a Monterey County judge on to serve 26 years to life in state prison for stabbing a security guard to death in Salinas.
Victor Sosa, 57, was slain during a botched robbery attempt at a 99 cent store at 102 E. Laurel Drive during the violent summer of 2013.
Gutierrez was 22 years old at the time. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 1, 2014 to first-degree murder.
On Aug. 1, 2013, Gutierrez demanded that the 99 cent store's guard open a safe, police said. When Sosa said he did not have a key to the safe, Gutierrez stabbed him to death.

 

NOTE: Dozens of armed incidents involving private security are reported daily to our news desk as well as use of force incidents.

During the past 18 months, those reports have continued to increase and during the annual shopping/Christmas season, we usually see a substantial spike of these types of incidents including serious assaults committed on security officers. 

Newport, Rhode Island, police officer arrested for making fake 911 call privateofficer.com

Newport RI Nov 22 2014 A Newport, Rhode Island, police officer has been arrested and accused of making a fake 911 call.
The Newport Daily News reports that Sgt. Adam Conheeny was arrested Thursday for allegedly making false statements during a call he made on Halloween.
Police released few details about the call, but said it resulted in the dispatch of emergency services.
Conheeny pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge in District Court and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance.
He has been with the department for 16 years.
Lt. William T. Fitzgerald Jr. says he has been suspended with pay while the court case is pending and once that's done, an internal affairs investigation will be launched.
necn.com

Kingsville police officer facing serious charges in domestic violence privateofficer.com




KINGSVILLE TX Nov 22 2014  - A Kingsville Police Officer is behind bars after an investigation into claims of domestic violence.
Officer Joshua Grant was arrested this morning and charged with Obstruction or Retaliation, Assault Bodily Injury of a Family or Household Member and Tampering with a Witness.
According to a press release from the Kingsville Police Department, Grant has been employed with the department since 2009. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the results of its criminal investigation. The release also stated since Grant is an employee,no additional information will be released at this time.
Chief Ricardo Torres released the following statement "The City of Kingsville and the Kingsville Police Department will not tolerate any acts or threats of violence. The City of Kingsville and Kingsville Police Department will not tolerate any form of retaliation with regards to domestic violence and insure that victims are treated with dignity and respect."
kristv

New bomb-sniffing dogs working Sea-Tac security privateofficer.com



SEA-TAC AIRPORT, Wash. Nov 22 2014 -- Brand-new screening measures are in place at Sea-Tac Airport ahead of the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel rush. TSA is now using specially-trained bomb-sniffing canines at security checkpoints.
As passengers walk by with their luggage, the working dogs have the ability to sniff out explosives, including components to make a bomb. Then, the canines will alert their handlers if a passenger needs to be checked out for something suspicious.
"We know from intelligence and from experience that explosives are the number one threat against aviation, and so we can stop those from getting pass security check-points everyone can feel a little safe," said TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers.
Because they are working dogs, travelers are asked to not pet the dogs or give them treats.
Screening for and stopping prohibited items, especially knives of all sizes, continue to be an issue TSA agents see at checkpoints, which slows down the check-in process.
Among the items surrendered at Sea-Tac Airport checkpoints this week were a pair of 3-foot-long novelty scissors, blades that fold out from credit card-size holders, power tools and an ice axe.
To get through security smoothly and faster, TSA recommends dressing light and double-checking all carryon bags for any prohibited items.
The TSA still occasionally spots people trying to bring firearms through security. If you're packing a firearm, it must be unloaded and inside a locked, hard-sided container in your checked bag. You cannot carry a firearm, firearm parts or ammunition on the plane with you. Realistic replicas of guns are also banned from being carried on, but rifle scopes are allowed.
K-5

Smithton man arrested in assault of school principal and teacher privateofficer.com

Smithton PA Nov 22 2014 A 36-year-old Smithton man is accused of battering the principal and a kindergarten teacher at Smithton Consolidated School.
Ian M. Michalke, of 103 S. Saint Johns Drive, is facing two counts of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony, related to an incident at the school Tuesday, according to the charges filed Thursday by St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Michalke allegedly made contact with a kindergarten teacher at Smithton School, in that he grabbed her wrists with his hands and pushed her, court documents state. He also allegedly placed his hands on Vicki Norton, the principal at Smithton School.
Norton said she couldn’t comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.
Sue Homes, superintendent of Smithton Consolidated School District 130, said district officials are cooperating with the Smithton police and the state’s attorney’s office as they continue the criminal investigation.
“At no time were students at any risk,” Homes said. “When the situation occurred, we took immediate action to make sure the students and staff were safe.”
To further ensure the safety of students and staff, Homes said the district obtained an emergency order of protection against Michalke.
“We wanted to make sure we took the proactive steps necessary to make sure we were safe and our students and staff were safe,” Homes said.
The district will go back to court in early December to extend the order of protection, according to Homes.
In addition, Michalke was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. He allegedly drove a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado on South Street in Smithton while under the influence of alcohol.
The incident was investigated by the Smithton Police Department. “We appreciate their care and support in helping keep our school safe,” Homes said.
A representative of the Smithton Police Department could not be reached for comment.
Michalke is scheduled to have a preliminary court hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday. bnd.com

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/11/21/3524412_smithton-man-charged-with-battering.html?sp=/99/100/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

Manatee County FL schools get OK for armed guards privateofficer.com

Manatee County, Florida Nov 22 2014 -- The state attorney general has decided that the Manatee County school district has the right to hire armed private security guards, according to a letter Friday from the school board attorney.
Mitchell Teitelbaum, attorney for the board, released a letter that read in part, "The Attorney General concluded that a school district is allowed to retain privately armed and duly licensed security guards within a public school and the retention of such security is deemed a school sponsored event within the meaning of Florida Statute Section 790.115."
According to the letter, the Attorney General concluded:
"Thus, the Legislature has provided authority for school districts to work with local law enforcement in providing school resource officers and school safety officers, recognizing that in both instances such officers must be certified law enforcement officers. Both are allowed to carry firearms on a school campus. Section 790.115, Florida Statutes, operates as an exemption from the prohibition against the possession of weapons and firearms on campus when authorized in support of approved school-sanctioned activities. There is no restriction in section 790.115, Florida Statutes, that such authorized use may only be by certified law enforcement officers, school resource officers or school safety officers.[14] While the programs in section 1006.12, Florida Statutes, serve as a means to provide armed security personnel on a school campus, I cannot conclude that it prohibits a school board from making the determination that the hiring of armed security guards for school campuses within the district is in support of school-sanctioned activities.
"Accordingly, it is my opinion that a school district may exercise its home rule authority to determine whether the use of armed security guards may be "in support of an approved school-sanctioned activity.""
WTSP

Shoplifter attacks BonTon security agent privateofficer.com

Hamden CT Nov 22 2014   A shoplifter arrested in Hamden last night is accused of scratching a security officer who was trying to stop her from stealing hundreds of dollars worth of items from a local store.
At 4:30 p.m., a shoplifting with violence was reported at the BonTon, at 2300 Dixwell Avenue.
Police said store security staff had seen Crystal Austin, 43, of New Haven, leave the store with $408 in items she had not paid for, so a security officer approached her, police said.
Austin became combative and scratched the security officer in the face, police said, so officers arrested her and transported her to police headquarters, where she was charged with robbery in the third degree and larceny in the second degree.
Austin was detained on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on December 4.
nbc Connecticut

Philadelphia security officer shoots man armed with knife privateofficer.com

Philadelphia PA Nov 22 2014 Gunfire rang out during a knife point robbery inside a pharmacy Thursday night leaving a would-be robber in critical condition, according to Philadelphia Police.
A security guard shot a 33-year-old man during the heist inside the Rite Aid store at E Mount Airy and Stenton avenues in the city’s West Oak Lane neighborhood just before 8:30 p.m., said investigators.
Police said the gunshot victim was carrying a knife when the guard shot him multiple times.
Medics rushed the would-be robber to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition.
Police recovered the knife and kept the would-be robber under police watch at the hospital.
Police didn't initially say if the guard could face any charges.



 

Dunbar High School employee charged for sexually abusing student privateofficer.com

WASHINGTON  DC Nov 22 2014  -- D.C. police have arrested a man who they say sexually abused a student while working at Dunbar Senior High School.
Charles Allen Young, 34, of Northeast, is accused of sexually abusing a student in fall 2013. The student reported the abuse to a police resource officer on November 14, 2014.
Police say Young resigned from Dunbar in October 2014. He was arrested on November 21 and charged with first degree child sex abuse.
There may be other victims who Young abused or attempted to abuse during his time of employment, according to police. Detectives are continuing to identify and interview those persons with the assistance of DC Public Schools.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call Youth Investigations Division, (202) 576-6768, or police at (202) 727-9099.
WUSA9

Broward County police round-up nets dozens involved in organized retail theft privateofficer.com

Broward County FL Nov 22 2014 Dozens of crooks in Broward County paid the price for their retail-related offenses this week when authorities teamed up with local stores to crack down on organized retail crime.
The Broward Sheriff's Office, local police agencies, Homeland Security and the Secret Service partnered with nearly two dozen major retailers to kick-off the holiday shopping season with "Operation Holiday Steals," a three-day operation that ended Thursday.
The businesses, which included Macy's, Target, Walgreens and Sports Authority, sent their top loss prevention experts to work with law enforcement in identifying organized retail crime offenders operating in Broward, the operation's leader, Sgt. Rich Rossman, said.
Wells Fargo, Discovery, eBay and PayPal assisted with detecting stolen credit cards and fraudulent activity, Rossman said. As arrests were made, authorities at the Broward Sheriff's Tamarac district office ran credit cards the thieves were carrying to determine whether they were stolen.
Similar operations have been conducted across the country and in Florida, but this is the first of its kind in South Florida, Rossman said. The operation focused mainly on "boosters" or people who make a career out of stealing.
"There are shoplifters who steal out of necessity and others who steal as a form of income," Rossman said. Boosters "go out everyday like we go to work and steal from retailers for resale."
Authorities were able to identify several locations where boosters sell stolen merchandise, known as "fence locations," Rossman said. Investigators suspect the locations were connected to $4 million in lifted products.
"We've identified several organized retail crime groups as a result of the operation that will lead to ongoing investigations," Rossman said.
The total number of arrests was still being calculated Thursday night, but Rossman said there were dozens.
Among those arrested is David Aldridge, 49, whose extensive criminal history dates back to 1981 and includes 119 arrests in Florida, records show. Thirty-nine of those arrests were on felony charges, Rossman said.
Aldridge was caught Wednesday night by loss prevention officers at a Home Depot in Hollywood as he tried to steal a vanity, Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said. Hollywood police did not jail Aldridge, who has been convicted 57 times. Instead, they issued him a notice to appear in court.
sun-sentinel

Virginia Beach security officer shot privateofficer.com



VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. Nov 22 2014
A security guard was shot outside a Virginia Beach nightclub early Friday, police say.
It happened around 2:15 a.m., just as Aqua Lounge was closing. The Website says the cigar bar and hookah lounge at 5476 Virginia Beach Blvd. closes at 2 a.m.
Police say the suspect got into an argument and was escorted from the building by security. Once outside, they say he got into the passenger side of a vehicle and then shot at the guard.
The guard was struck in the torso and taken to the hospital and he's in stable condition.
Meantime, the search is on for the gunman, who drove off in a Dodge Charger. He's described as black, in his mid-20s, about 5' 8" tall and weighs about 140 pounds.
Anyone with information should call Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Chris Stuart, vice president of Top Guard Security, Hampton Roads' largest security firm with 625 security professionals in the region, said, "Due to the inherent and amplified dangers of mixing security officers with the general public actively involved in the consumption of alcohol, our firm chose over a decade and a half ago to not provide services to those types of locations."

Security officer wounded during robbery at Chicago diner privateofficer.com

Police officers gather outside of Kevin's Hamburger Heaven where a shooting happened Friday morning. (Alexandra Chachkevitch, Chicago Tribune)

Chicago IL Nov 22 2014

A security guard suffered a graze wound during a robbery at a 24-hour diner in the Bridgeport neighborhood on the South Side early Friday, police said.
Two people walked into Kevin’s Hamburger Heaven at Pershing Road and Wallace Street around 3:10 a.m., according to Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer.
The 36-year-old guard, who was inside the restaurant, got into a struggle with the two and was shot in the buttocks, police said. The robbers then grabbed a cash register and fled east in a car, police said.
The security guard was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where his condition stabilized, police said.
Darcell Igbo, 26, said he ran into the bathroom during the robbery and did not get a good look at the suspects.
“As soon as it started happening, I basically got out of there,” Igbo said.
In January 2013, two men were found shot to death in the entryway of the diner.
 

University of Cincinnati Medical center security officer confronts armed man privateofficer.com

CINCINNATI OH Nov 22 2014  -- A security guard is being lauded for his actions confronting an armed man at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
UCMC officials said the guard noticed a suspicious person near the hospital at about 3 p.m. Thursday.
The guard found the man wandering around a garage across the street near the Burnett Avenue business building.
Officials said the man pulled out a gun and pointed at the guard when he was approached. The guard said the man ran off after the incident.
Hospital officials said the “guard acted heroically.”
Administrators said they feel the guard prevented the man from carrying out a further act.
Surveillance video of the incident has been handed over to Cincinnati Police.
UCMC said the hospital is increasing security at the garage. That includes increased patrols, new lighting and new paint for the facility.
Officials said the guard has been with UCMC for about a year.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Line of Duty Death Police Officer Ronald A. Leisure

Police Officer Ronald A. Leisure | United States Department of Veterans Affairs Police Services, U.S. Government

Police Officer Ronald A. Leisure

United States Department of Veterans Affairs Police Services, U.S. Government

End of Watch: Friday, November 14, 2014
 Bio & Incident Details
Age: 66
Tour: 15 years
Badge # 3622
Military veteran

Cause: Heart attack
Location: California
Incident Date: 11/14/2014
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

 
Police Officer Ronald Leisure suffered a fatal heart attack while conducting a foot patrol of the VA Medical Center in Livermore, California, at approximately 11:15 am.

He was conducting checks of the large complex when he suddenly collapsed. Medical staff immediately initiated lifesaving measures but were unable to resuscitate him.

Officer Leisure was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnmant War and had served with the Department of Veterans Affairs Police for 15 years. He is survived by an adult daughter.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Director Michael Franklin
United States Department of Veterans Affairs Police Services
810 Vermont Ave NW
Office of Operations, Security
Washington, DC 20420

North Haven Housing Authority Chairman Arrested privateofficer.com

North Haven Housing Authority Chairman Arrested


NORTH HAVEN, Conn. Nov 21 2014– The head of North Haven’s Housing Authority has been arrested on sexual assault charges. Ralph Cook, the housing authority’s chairman and a Rotary Club volunteer, is still behind bars at the North Haven Police Department.
Residents say he would routinely have get-togethers at his home, and police say he sexually assaulted one of the men invited to his party.
“Everyone who’s arrested is presumed to be innocent,” said Cook’s attorney, William Dow. “We’re prepared to face these charges court. We look forward to doing so.”
We spoke to Dow on his way to meet with detectives and Cook.
“There was an arrangement for us to turn himself in today and they went out a made a big show of arresting him,” said Dow.
North Haven police say he was arrested Tuesday morning after an investigation that spans more than a year. In October 2013, Cook hosted a party at his home on Mountain Brook Road. Police say he forced a man to perform sexual acts. They say DNA evidence led them to make the arrest.
“DNA evidence is not dispositive of all cases and people know that,” said Dow. “I got an acquittal two years ago on a DNA case.”
Many in town know the 49-year-old charged with first-degree sexual assault and unlawful restraint. One woman at the housing authority says she couldn’t believe this, and that Cook has been very helpful to a lot of people in town. The town’s first selectman was caught off guard as well.
“I was absolutely surprised to hear this news,” said North Haven First Selectman Michael J. Freida. “The housing authority will be acting without him at this juncture.”
Cook is being held on $250,000 bond and will be arraigned in Meriden Superior Court.
WTNH

Washington, D.C., approves landmark civil asset forfeiture law privateofficer.com

District of Columbia  Nov 21 2014  District of Columbia lawmakers approved legislation on Tuesday that makes it harder for police to seize assets from people who are not ultimately charged with crimes, a bill that backers say is a model for the rest of the country.
The measure approved unanimously by Washington City Council prevents assets taken by police from going to the department, and instead earmarks them for the U.S. capital's general fund.
Forfeiture laws let police seize property from people they stop, regardless of criminal charges. Seizures can include cash, cars and homes, which police are permitted to keep or sell.
It has been estimated that up to 90 percent of civil forfeitures occur without a criminal charge, according to the bill's author, City Council member Tommy Wells. He also said the law wrongfully gave police a financial incentive to make seizures.
The legislation overhauls the current law and provides property owners more protection, providing due process before police or prosecutors can seize property.
"This is absolutely a model for other states and cities," said Darpana Sheth, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit civil liberties law firm in Arlington, Virginia.
"Ideally, it would be eliminated. But short of that, reform is welcome."
Critics say some law enforcement agencies abuse forfeiture laws, which were created to fight organized crime.
The value of seized assets grew to $4.3 billion nationwide in 2012 from $407 million in 2001, according to the Washington Post. Over that period, police seized $2.5 billion in cash from almost 62,000 people without warrants or indictments.
Asset forfeiture attracted media attention after a police department in Montgomery County, Texas, used funds to purchase a margarita machine for office parties. Police in Worcester, Massachusetts, purchased a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine with the funds.
Washington police have been criticized for earmarking $2.7 million for a “special purpose fund” in anticipated proceeds from future civil seizures.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a statement the department did not consider the funds as part of its budget.
She said the money was used to augment "confidential fund programs (witness protection, rewards for information in homicides).”

Indian River County teacher arrested privateofficer.com


Indian River FL Nov 21 2014
Detectives in Indian River County have arrested an elementary school teacher for lewd or lascivious exhibition.
Alfredo Leon, Jr. of Vero Beach is currently being held without bond.
A week ago, a student at Dodgertown Elementary claimed the sixty-year-old music teacher exposed himself in his office while other students watched a movie in the classroom.
After that incident Leon was put on administrative reassignment away from students
"Today, Detective Shepherd continued our fight against people who intend to harm the children of this community. We will aggressively seek out and arrest those who abuse kids,” Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said in a statement.
Leon denies intentionally exposing himself, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.
WPTV

Connecticut pair busted for Natick Mall thefts privateofficer.com

Onyx BarnettDavid Honegan


Natick NY Nov 21 2014

Two Connecticut residents accused of stealing from several stores at the Natick Mall on Tuesday are believed to be part of an organized theft ring, authorities said.
Natick Police arrested Onyx Barnett, 24, and David Honegan, 35, both of Hartford, at 3:17 p.m., according to a police report filed in Natick District Court on Wednesday.
Mall security told police they caught Barnett at an L.L. Bean kiosk in the middle of the mall stuffing $50 pairs of sandals into a large Neiman Marcus bag.
When police confronted her, Barnett had six pairs of sandals in her bag. She also had clothing from Macy's.
“At this time, I asked the female if she had a receipt for the other items that I could see inside the Neiman Marcus bag,” the report said. “She said, ‘No sir.’”
A Macy’s security officer identified a jacket, valued at just under $600 and a pair of jeans, valued at about $50, as being stolen from Macy's, the report said.
Police then questioned Honegan, who was with Barnett.
The officer wrote that he asked, “So you distracted the clerk while she stole,” and he said, 'I was talking to her, yes.'”
Honegan was also carrying a bag with two stolen items: a coat worth more than $125 from Limited and a $70 pair of pants from Express, the report said.
Honegan claimed he was a student at UMass-Boston and lived in a dorm. Told that UMass-Boston had no dorms, he admitted that he and Barnett were driven to Natick by a third person to steal
“This was clearly part of an (organized retail theft) group, and were simply sent into the mall to steal selected items,” the report said.
Police charged both Barnett, of 57 Oakland Terrace, and Honegan, of 46 Berkley Drive, with larceny of property worth more than $250 and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Barnett was also charged with receiving stolen property worth more than $250. Honegan was also charged with two counts of receiving stolen property worth more than $250.
Both Barnett and Honegan posted $350 bail after their arrests. Prosecutors did not request any additional bail at Barnett and Honegan’s arraignment on Wednesday. Judge David Cunis released both of them, ordering them not to go to the Natick Mall. They are both due back in court on Dec. 30.
wickedlocal.com

Franklin County bus driver accused of DWI while taking students to school privateofficer.com

Police have charged a Franklin County school bus driver with DWI while driving students.

The school district said Barbara Thorne was carrying students to Terrell Lane Middle School in Louisburg Thursday morning and was arrested after she completed her run.

No students were hurt.

Louisburg police said an officer found there was probable cause that Thorne was under the influence of alcohol.

She was put on paid administrative leave pending further investigation by the school district.

"The safety and well-being of our students is Franklin County Schools' first priority and we will continue to strive for excellence in all facets of our community. School officials work tirelessly to ensure the continued safety of every student - incidents such as this do not represent the dedication and integrity of Franklin County Schools' faculty and staff. We are fortunate to report no students were injured as a result of this incident," said the district in a statement.
WTVD

Salinas man who killed security officer sentenced to life privateofficer.com

 


SALINAS, Calif. Nov 21 2014  —Richard Gutierrez was sentenced by a Monterey County judge on Wednesday to serve 26 years to life in state prison for stabbing a security guard to death in Salinas.
Victor Sosa, 57, was slain during a botched robbery attempt at a 99 cent store at 102 E. Laurel Drive during the violent summer of 2013.
Gutierrez was 22 years old at the time. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 1, 2014 to first-degree murder.
On Aug. 1, 2013, Gutierrez demanded that the 99 cent store's guard open a safe, police said. When Sosa said he did not have a key to the safe, Gutierrez stabbed him to death.
Shoppers in the store tried to help the victim by throwing cans at Gutierrez, Officer Jeffery Gibson said. The Salinas man threatened customers as they pelted him with cans and attempted to run out of the store when he heard police sirens.
"He was met at the door by an incoming officer," Gibson said.
The security guard was rushed to Natividad Medical Center, where he died soon after.
Shoppers said Sosa was a friendly man who always greeted customers at the front door and offered to walk them to their cars when they had concerns about safety.

Houston area men plead guilty to armor car robberies privateofficer.com

Houston TX Nov 21 2014
Two Houston men have entered guilty pleas in two unrelated cases involving the robbery of local armored cars, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
William Williams, 28, was convicted for his involvement in the Oct. 7, 2013, attempted robbery of a Garda Cash Logistics armored truck at the Chase Bank located at 19747 N. US 59 in Humble. At the location, Williams approached an armored car guard who was in the process of filling an ATM machine. He asked the guard for money and shot the guard eight times in the back. No money was obtained. The guard survived and has since recovered.
Williams was also involved in a prior armored car robbery on Aug. 13, 3013, during which he pointed a gun at a Loomis guard at the Movie Tavern located at 15719 North Freeway in Houston.
Williams pleaded guilty to one count of discharging of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and two counts of interference with commerce by robbery at a hearing held yesterday before U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller. He is expected to face a 30-year-sentence at his sentencing hearing, set for Feb. 20, 2015.
In a separate and unrelated case, Effron Williams, 22, pleaded guilty to his role in the attempted robbery of an armored car operated by Garda Cash Logistics at the Chase Bank on 10411 North Freeway.
On March 10, 2014, Effron Williams approached the armored car guard, who was in the process of filling an ATM machine. Gun fire was exchanged, but no one was injured. No money was obtained.
Today, he pleaded guilty to one count of discharging of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and interference with commerce by robbery. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the robbery convictions as well as a minimum of 10 years for discharging a firearm. U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison has set sentencing for Feb. 17, 2015.
Both William Williams and Effron Williams will remain in custody pending their respective sentences.
Loomis Armored US Inc. and Garda Cash Logistics., who operated the trucks during the robbery and robbery attempts, maintain offices throughout the United States and was engaged in the business of secured armored transport of United States currency in interstate commerce and in picking up and delivering United States currency to financial institutions and check cashing businesses, both of which are industries which affect interstate commerce.
Others charged in both cases remain pending. They are considered innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
Both cases were investigated by the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force, Harris County Sherriff’s Office and Houston Police Department. The Humble Police Department also assisted in the investigation of the William Williams case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Basile is prosecuting both cases.

Family of slain NM man sues sheriff’s office privateofficer.com

 Lea County NM Nov 21 2014 The family of a New Mexico man who was abducted from his home and beaten to death in an attack that also left another man dead has sued the local sheriff’s office, alleging that deputies failed to protect their relative.
 Leon Sanchez’s family filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month against the Lea County Sheriff’s Office, accusing the agency of not properly investigating.
A security company notified authorities in November 2011 about an alarm at Sanchez’s home in Lovington, according to the lawsuit.
A deputy arrived to an empty house and saw unfinished meals but cleared the call, court documents said. Sanchez, 49, who owned a hair salon, and Frank McClain, 44, were later found dead in a pasture about 4 miles east of Lovington, authorities said.
The two men were kidnapped, beaten and stabbed, deputies said. Michael Newell, the family’s lawyer, said that if the deputy had issued an abduction alert, Sanchez could have been saved. “They (the family) feel that the sheriff’s department could have done a lot more,” Newell said.
 For instance, Sanchez lived five minutes away from the Sheriff’s Office, but it took a deputy 21 minutes to get there, the attorney said. Lea County Manager Mike Gallagher and Sheriff Mark Hargrove didn’t immediately return calls or emails from
The Associated Press seeking comment. Multiple arrests were made in the attack, but only one suspect was convicted. Francisco Muñoz, 22, was sentenced this year to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping and second-degree murder.
 Two other men were charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping, but those counts were later dropped by prosecutors. One of them sued the Sheriff’s Office for false imprisonment and defamation of character, and the sides settled out of court.
abqjournal.com

DC nurse charged for sexually abusing 3 patients privateofficer.com

Traveling Nurse Jared Kline, 37, Accused of Sexually Abusing Patients ...

WASHINGTON DC Nov 21 2014  A local nurse is accused of sexually abusing three different women who were patients at three area hospitals, D.C. police announced Wednesday.
The women named in the complaint were patients at United Medical Center, George Washington University Hospital, and at Medstar Washington Hospital Center.
Jared Nathan Kline of Falls Church, Va., faces three counts of second degree sexual abuse of patients. He was arrested on November 18.
The alleged abuse incidents happened on May 12, 2013, December 29, 2013 and August 23, 2014, according to police. All three victims were adult females.
The August 23rd incident took place at a hospital in Southeast D.C., the December 29th incident took place in the emergency room of a Northwest D.C. hospital, and the May 12th incident occurred in a different hospital in Northwest D.C., according to charging documents.
According to court documents, the victims say Kline groped them, kissed them, and forced them to touch his genitals. One also added she later received unwanted texts from Kline.
There is also a warrant for Kline's arrest on sexual assault related charges in Maryland. The warrant relates to an incident that occurred at a medical center in Prince George's County, charging documents said.
WUSA9

Miami-Area Hospital Chief Operating Officer Pleads Guilty in $67 Million Fraud privateofficer.com

PRESS RELEASE
WASHINGTON DC Nov 21 2014 —The former chief operating officer of a Miami-area hospital pleaded guilty today for his role in a mental health care fraud scheme that resulted in the submission of more than $67 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare by a state-licensed psychiatric hospital located in Hollywood, Florida, that purported to offer both inpatient and outpatient mental health services.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Derrick Jackson of the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Florida region made the announcement.
Christopher Gabel, 61, of Davie, Florida, the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hollywood Pavilion LLC (HP), pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga in the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks. Gabel was charged in an indictment returned on May 8, 2014.
According to Gabel’s admissions in connection with his guilty plea, between April 2003 and September 2012, HP submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for treatment that was not medically necessary or not provided to patients. As COO during that time, Gabel supervised HP’s staff at both its inpatient and outpatient facilities, where Medicare beneficiaries were admitted to HP regardless of whether they qualified for mental health treatment, and were often admitted before seeing a doctor.
Gabel admitted that HP obtained Medicare beneficiaries from across the country by paying bribes and kickbacks to various patient brokers. Gabel instructed the patient brokers to falsify invoices and marketing reports in an effort to hide, and cover up the true nature of the bribes and kickbacks they were receiving from HP. From 2003 through August 2012, HP billed Medicare approximately $67 million for services that were not properly rendered, for patients that did not qualify for the services being billed, and for claims for patients who were procured through bribes and kickbacks. Medicare reimbursed HP nearly $40 million for those claims.
Karen Kallen-Zury, Daisy Miller, Michele Petrie and Christian Coloma were convicted at trial in June 2013 for their roles in this scheme. Kallen-Zury, HP’s former chief executive officer, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Miller, the clinical director of HP’s inpatient facility, was sentenced to 15 years in prison; and Petrie, the head of HP’s intensive outpatient program, was sentenced to six years in prison. Coloma, the director of physical therapy for an entity associated with HP, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Kallen-Zury, Miller and Petrie were ordered to pay nearly $40 million in restitution, and Coloma was ordered to pay more than $20 million in restitution.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Nicholas E. Surmacz, Andrew H. Warren and L. Rush Atkinson of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

Privatization of school crossing guards saving city money privateofficer.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -Nov 21 2014   Officials say the pilot launched last year to allow All City Management Services, Inc to be the providers of school crossing guard services for the city of Grand Rapids has resulted in significant cost savings, increased efficiencies and maintained student safety.
In Michigan, the police departments are legally required to provide crossing guards at intersections deemed necessary based on traffic studies. Grand Rapids Police Capt. David Kiddle said the department still oversees the program, which consists of 23 posts across the city and 27 crossing guards, although contracting out the service to ACMS for the two-year pilot.
In a recent update to the City Commission, Kiddle and Mari Beth Jelks, director of Human Resources for the city, told commissioners about the first-year savings exceeding projections. In 2012-13, the program cost the city $244,996, not including such costs as supervision of a coordinator (a lieutenant), risk management, payroll processing, and equipment costs. Last year, ACMS' costs totaled $185,553. That's a savings of $59,443.
The initial projections were that privatizing would only save $20,000 to $25,000.
"We've saved money and have been able to put a police officer back on the street," said Kiddle, who said that $59,443 is not necessarily cash savings for the city because half of a police officer's salary is included in that amount. "During a time when the number of police officers have been significantly reduced, one additional officer back on the streets makes a difference."
Kiddle said they are currently in year two of the ACSM contract, to date, and are extremely satisfied. He said the contracted amount for the two-year trial period is a total not to exceed $189,925 per year.
Larry Johnson, assistant superintendent and executive director of public safety and security, said his department and building principals have also been pleased with the services provided by the ACSM.
"We have every reason to be supportive of this contract," he said.
California-based ACMS is the largest private employer of school crossing guards in the nation. A family-owned business since 1985, it employs more than 2,300 individuals.
Jelks said they looked at every aspect of the service and asked, can it be done better and more efficiently before bringing on ACSM? She said city leaders had a lot of questions before the move, so they were clear with ACMS that if it didn't work they would end the pilot before the two-year period because the children are too important.
"Our agreement concludes with them at the end of this school year," said Jelk, who said they will perhaps look at doing a bid for the service in the spring. "There were no companies in Grand Rapids or the surrounding region who do crossing guards, but there were some security firms who were interested in monitoring this.''
Crossing guards are part-time and receive $16 per hour. When ACSM took over, they received a $100 signing bonus.
Steve Howells, the local supervisor for ACMS, told City Commissioners that training consists of an across the table discussion with him about procedures, in addition to four hours on a corner with him standing beside the guard critiquing "every little thing they do."
"We also do a training in August every year where the entire group comes together and we go over little things and big things that I have noticed that they're doing or not doing and try to incorporate that into a uniformed crossing system for our city," he said Wednesday, Nov. 15, at a special briefing.
Kiddle said the Traffic Safety Department conducts a "gap'' survey where they measure the amount of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic at a specific location and analyze the data to determine if the gaps are sufficient to safely allow pedestrian traffic to cross the street.
MLive.com

Man who killed self after Matteson bank robbery former police lieutenant privateofficer.com

 
This BMO Harris Bank branch Matteswas robbed Friday. The suspect later fatally shot himself during police chase police said. |
 
Matteson IL Nov 21 2014 The man who robbed a Matteson bank of $4,200 last week and then fatally shot himself during a high-speed chase was a former Atlanta Police Department lieutenant, Matteson police said Wednesday.
Maurice Chester Dodd, 44, was fired from the Atlanta Police Department on Jan. 22 after being charged with drunken driving, Officer Ralph Woolfolk of the department’s media relations department confirmed Wednesday in an email to the SouthtownStar. Dodd had been with the department for 12 years, Woolfolk said.
Matteson Police Deputy Chief Rob Debeikis said police were surprised when the suspect was identified as a former police official.
“It threw us all for a loop, to be honest with you,” he said. “I’m over 25 years (as a police officer), and this is a first for me.”
Dodd is not suspected in any other bank robberies, Debeikis said.
Dodd was visiting relatives in the area, Debeikis said, when he robbed the BMO Harris Bank branch at 4940 W. Lincoln Highway about 11 a.m. Friday.
Police have not determined a motive for the robbery, nor do they know why Dodd killed himself as he was being chased on Vollmer Road, just east of Cicero Avenue, Debeikis said.
Dodd’s death was ruled a suicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Dodd’s car veered into a utility pole and fence after he shot himself. No one else was hurt.
“I’m grateful he did this on his own terms and that nobody else was harmed,” Debeikis said. “We were very fortunate that his car veered to the right (off Vollmer). Had it gone to the left, he may have hit someone head-on.”
A police officer making a village deposit at the bank made eye contact with a man carrying a wad of cash as he walked away from the counter, police previously said. A teller who had fallen to the ground and begun hyperventilating told the officer the suspect had robbed the bank, police said.
The man took off in a 2003 Nissan, leading police on a chase from westbound U.S. 30 to northbound Interstate 57, then eastbound on I-80 before pulling a U-turn to head south in the wrong lanes of I-57, police said.
The robber then exited onto eastbound Vollmer Road, and as he passed Cicero Avenue, an officer saw him put a handgun to the right side of his head, police said. The officer heard a gunshot, and the driver’s side window of the car broke out before the vehicle veered into a field, flipping into a utility pole and fence, police said.
southtownstar.chicagotribune.com

Houston security guard-bartender arrested in prostitution sting privateofficer.com

Houston TX Nov 21 2014 At least four Houston residents have been charged with crimes in connection with an alleged prostitution operation at Papagayos Bikini Bar, police said.
As part of a months-long undercover investigation, an officer on March 19 visited the bar at 8110 Southwest Freeway and met a security guard and bartender, both of whom later were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
In subsequent visits, two undercover officers met at least three women and discussed prices for sexual activity as well as the cost to obtain permission to take the women from the bar to a hotel room.
Police later identified the security guard as Ovidio Lara, 55, of Houston, and the bartender as 39-year-old Eladio Cesar Vera, whose address was not listed in online law enforcement records.
Two women have been charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution - Alejandra Lopez, 22, and Rosalinda de Ubeda, 54, according to online law enforcement records.
Lopez on Monday remained in the Harris County Jail in lieu of $35,000 bail. The other three defendants were free on bail amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 and were scheduled to return for court appearances scheduled for Dec. 17 in the 232nd State District Court, according to court records.
In June, an HPD officer received a "table dance" from a woman known as "Cindy," police said. During the dance, the woman exposed her body under her bikini to indicate her willingness to engage in sex with the officer, investigators said.