The North Region Communications Center

Archive for 2012

December 31, 2012

Versailles Post Welcomes Three New Troopers

Versailles Native Assigned to ISP Pendleton District

Versailles: This morning three new troopers reported to Versailles District to begin their careers as Indiana State Troopers and a Versailles native reported to the ISP Pendleton Post to begin his career.  The four new troopers were among 48 graduates of the 72nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy which graduated Friday, December 21.  During the recruit academy, which began July 8, the recruits received approximately 930 hours of structured law enforcement training which included 80 hours of criminal law, 80 hours of vehicle operations training, and 47 hours of traffic law. They also developed skills in criminal investigation along with 47 hours of vehicle crash investigation and training related to impaired driver detection as well as numerous other law enforcement related subjects.

(l to r)-Tpr. Andrew Mitchell, Tpr. Jamey Sperle, and Tpr. Robert Hutson.

Reporting to Versailles this morning was Robert Hutson, Andrew Mitchell, and Jamey Sperle.  Tpr. Hutson is a Columbus, IN native having graduated from Columbus North High School in 2006.  He has attended American Military University and is an MP in the Army National Guard where he served in an “active duty” capacity from 2006 until earlier this year which included a tour of duty in Iraq from February-December, 2011.  Tpr. Hutson and his wife Lindsey have been married for six years and currently reside in the Columbus area with their daughters, Kaylynn and Molly.

Tpr. Andrew Mitchell is from Brownsburg, IN where he graduated Bethesda Christian High School in 2003.  After high school he attended Moody Bible College majoring in Youth Ministry.  Prior to attending the ISP recruit academy he served as a jail deputy for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Indianapolis and also served as a reserve officer for the Clermont Police Department.  Tpr. Mitchell and Emily, his wife of three years currently reside in Brownsburg but will be moving to Ripley County in the near future.

Tpr. Sperle is a 1998 graduate of Harding County High School in Buffalo, South Dakota.  After high school he attended Dakota Wesleyan University where he majored in Criminal Justice and Psychology graduating in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree.  For the last six years he has served as a Parole Agent for the Indiana Department of Correction in Indianapolis.  Tpr. Sperle is looking forward to moving to the Versailles District.

Raymond E. Otter, Jr.

Also graduating from the 72nd ISP Recruit Academy and reporting to the ISP Pendleton Post this morning was Raymond E. Otter, Jr.  Tpr. Otter is a Versailles native and 2008 graduate of South Ripley High School.  He has been a member of the Army National Guard since August, 2009. Prior to attending the recruit academy, he worked for Garda Cash and Logistics in Indianapolis.  Tpr. Otter and his wife Lauren have a 15 month old son.  Tpr. Otter is a third generation police officer.  His late grandfather, Raymond Otter was a police officer for the Town of Vevay Indiana serving many years as Chief of Police for that department.  He is also the son of ISP Versailles Assistant District Commander, First Sergeant Raymond Otter and his wife Connie.

All the new troopers reporting to their districts this morning will spend the next three months putting to work in the field the new skills they learned in the academy as they begin the field training process. During the field training process, the new troopers will be paired with experienced troopers or Field Training Officers specially trained to supervise and evaluate the transition from the academy to the field.

Upon successful completion of their field training later in the spring, the new troopers will receive their own cars and begin solo patrol responsibilities.

December 31, 2012

Champaign police: 2 dead in murder-suicide

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS — Two people are dead in what police believe was a murder-suicide in Champaign early Monday morning.

Champaign police responded to a 911 call about a shooting in the 1500 block of Honeysuckle Lane at 6:22 a.m. When they arrived, officers found a man and a woman with gunshot wounds. Both were later pronounced dead; one was pronounced dead at the scene and the other at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

No names are being released at this time. Police indicated the incident is believed to be a murder-suicide. Champaign Sgt. Robert Rea said police are not looking for any suspects and do not believe there is any danger to the community.

Three children — ages 12, 10 and 3 months — were taken from the house and placed in the custody of family members. Counseling services were called to the scene.

Police said the 911 call originated from the residence. The caller reported hearing an argument and then finding one victim. Shortly thereafter, the caller reported hearing another gunshot and finding a second subject with an apparent gunshot wound.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to call the Champaign Police Department at 351-4545, or callers can remain anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS). Information can also be provided at [2] or by texting CCTIP plus information to 274637 (CRIMES).

December 31, 2012

Death Investigation Underway in Milan (Update #1)

Ripley County: An autopsy was performed this morning on 68 year old Nancy Hershman, the victim in the ongoing death investigation in Milan.  The Ripley County Coroner’s Office has ruled the incident a homicide however at this time investigators are not releasing any details as to how Mrs. Hershman was killed.  This investigation is still ongoing and if any other new information or details are made available, an updated release will be forwarded.

Investigators are also requesting assistance from the public.  Anyone who may live in the area near the scene or who may have been driving through the area between 12:30 and 1:00 yesterday morning who may have seen any suspicious vehicles, anyone walking or running in the area, or any other suspicious activity is urged to contact the Indiana State Police Versailles Post at 812-689-5000 or 800-566-6704.

December 31, 2012

FHP trooper says illegal police searches led to her fear for her safety

By Lisa J. Huriash

The Florida Highway Patrol trooper at the center of firestorm after she pulled over a speeding cop at gunpoint said fellow law enforcement officers have created a "life-threatening" situation that caused her to be in such fear for her safety she has become a "hermit."

Trooper Donna "Jane" Watts' 69-page lawsuit, filed in federal court Friday, seeks more than $1 million in damages. She is suing more than 100 police officers and agencies, and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The suit alleges 88 law enforcement officers from 25 jurisdictions illegally accessed her personal information more than 200 times, violating her privacy.

Watts made national news in October 2011 when she pulled over off-duty Miami Police Officer Fausto Lopez for speeding in his marked patrol car on Florida's Turnpike in Broward County.

She followed him for seven minutes and later wrote in a report that he was darting in and out of lanes at speeds exceeding 120 mph. She approached his cruiser with her gun drawn, yelling, and then handcuffed him.

Lopez, who regularly averaged more than 100 mph on his drive between Miami and his home in Coconut Creek, was fired in September.

But in the months after the incident, officers looked up information such as her home address, picture, Social Security number, date of birth, and detailed vehicle description in a database available to police officers, according to her lawsuit.

The suit alleges the police agencies — including the Broward Sheriff's Office, Lauderhill and Hollywood Police — did not properly train their officers, who used the information they received to intimidate Watts. None of the agencies were able to comment Monday.

Other defendants in the suit include the Orange and Seminole County sheriff’s offices and Orlando police, all of whom Watts contends accessed her information in November 2011.

According to the lawsuit, Orlando Officer Maro Kim received an oral reprimand because he had no official reason to access Watts driver's license information. A police spokesman could not be reached.

Other agencies have already settled with her and so are not named in the lawsuit, according to Watts' attorney Mirta Desir. Margate, for example, settled for $10,000 after two of its police officers accessed her private information, said Margate city attorney Gene Steinfeld.

The two Margate officers each received a letter of reprimand as punishment.

"The law had indeed been broken," said Steinfeld on Monday.

Watts said after the incident she received random calls on her home and cell phones, some threatening. Pranksters ordered pizza delivery to her house, according to the suit. Watts, who lives on a cul-de-sac, said several vehicles would also stop in front of her driveway or idle on her street.

The suit states that Watts has been so upset about the privacy violations that she has "started to experience physical symptoms to include dry heaves and nausea when performing basic activities such as opening her mailbox, starting her ignition, or when being followed by a law enforcement vehicle for no apparent reason."

Watts began opening her mailbox from the side instead of from the front in case there was something in it.

The suit states that Watts' supervisors "do not believe that it would ever be safe for her to return to road patrol" and that Watts believes if she ever need police backup in an emergency, it would not be provided. More than a dozen troopers from her own agency also looked up her personal information.

She is also in the process of moving, according to the suit.

"This is an invasion of privacy," Desir said. "Law enforcement does have access to information most residents don't and with that level of access there should come a certain amount of care. ... This is something that is not supposed to be done."

When Watts pulled over Lopez, the incident was caught on the trooper's dashboard camera. "This is not a first-time occurrence with y'all," Watts told Lopez after pulling him over. "Y'all come from that way all the time, this Miami police car, and we never catch it."

Lopez apologized and tried to explain he was running late. "With all due respect ...," he said, but Watts cut him off. "You don't respect me, sir," she said. "You don't respect these people out here."

Staff writer Susan Jacobson contributed to this report. or 954-572-2008

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 31, 2012

Chief: Officer did 'right thing' giving up gun after bank robbery

Newport robbers still on lam

By Matt Lakin

Face-to-face with a gun-toting bank robber, the officer made a split-second decision.

He unloaded his gun and laid it on the ground.

"He could not have won that battle," Newport Police Chief Maurice Shults said. "He was overpowered and outgunned. It's easy to second-guess when you don't have a gun pointed at your head."

The search continued Thursday night for the two men who robbed the Tennessee State Bank the day before in Newport and disarmed a police officer at gunpoint in the parking lot. Witnesses last reported seeing the pair's getaway car, a silver SUV, headed east on Interstate 40 toward North Carolina.

"I don't think we've had any additional sightings since then," said Marshall Stone, spokesman for the Knoxville office of the FBI.

Shults said he stands by the officer's decision to hand the gun over.

He wouldn't give the officer's name.

"He's experienced and trained," the chief said. "He's in good shape and back on duty. He did the right thing."

A national expert on policing said he wouldn't criticize the decision, either.

"There's no 'always' and no 'never' in the real world," said Harvey Hedden, executive director of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, which organizes training for departments around the country. "If those two guys definitely had the drop on him, then he might have had no choice."

Wednesday's robbery happened around 3 p.m. when the men walked into the bank at 107 Epley Road, ordered everyone to the floor and demanded cash, Shults said. One of the men carried a high-powered rifle with an extended magazine.

"It was a takeover," the chief said. "We got a silent alarm. When the call came out, he was about two blocks away."

The officer drove to the bank, parked just outside the front door and walked inside by himself with his Glock service pistol drawn, Shults said. The officer had a bullet-resistant vest, but Shults said he didn't know whether the officer wore it when he walked into the bank and came face-to-face with the robbers.

"Most of the time the bank robbery's over before we get there," the chief said. "When he saw they were still inside the bank, he backed out."

The officer tried to take cover behind his patrol car, but the robbers ran out the door after him and cornered him, Shults said.

"He drew them out of the bank," the chief said. "They came right up over or around the car. They told him, 'Don't be stupid.' He felt like it was definitely going to go bad if he didn't comply. You expect them to flee, not to charge you."

The officer hit the pavement, emptied his clip and handed the gun over, Shults said. The robbers took the gun and sped away in the SUV, which witnesses described as either a Chevrolet Traverse or a GMC Acadia.

Police training experts called the officer's response maybe not ideal but still better than a hostage situation or a shootout with wounded bystanders.

"It's generally not a favored tactic to give your gun away, but it sounds like a decent resolution," said Hedden, the ILEETA director. "The suspects are on a hair trigger as well, and you know they're desperate people to do something like this. A long gun like that has more accuracy and greater firepower. We normally encourage officers to maintain control of the gun and not rely on the bad guy's mercy, but it's very difficult to second-guess when someone has a microsecond to make that kind of decision."

December 31, 2012

Pair arrested after fleeing from trooper in stolen vehicle

  VIGO COUNTY -Twenty-five-year-old Lee Bemis and Krsitna Gruner, 27, were arrested and charged Saturday after they led a Indiana State Trooper on a short chase in a stolen pickup truck.

It started just before 4 p.m. when Vigo County Central Dispatch reported a stolen pickup possibly southbound on State Road 63 from Vermillion County.

A few minutes later Indiana State Police Senior Trooper Jsaon Schoffstall spotted the stolen truck southbound on State Road 63 crossing the Wabash River. 

Trooper Schoffstall attempted to stop the truck on 3rd Street and 8th Avenue in Terre Haute. The truck turned onto 8th Avenue and continued westbound to 1st Street.  At 1st Street the truck continued westbound crashing through the fence of a nearby business and traveling through a wooded area near the Wabash River.

Additional officers from Indiana State University, Terre Haute Police Department and the Vigo County Sheriff's Office arrived on the scene to assist.

Officers found the truck abandoned and after nearly a 45 minute search of the wooded area on foot, found the suspects lying in the snow near the Wabash River.

Further investigation found the pair had allegedly driven a stolen van from Terre Haute to a business near State Road 63 and State Road 163 in Clinton (Vermillion County). The pair allegedly found the 2002 Chevrolet 2500 pickup running and unoccupied, then made their way southbound on State Road 63.

December 31, 2012

Harry Carey Jr. Dead at 91


Harry Carey Jr. (Associated Press/

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Carey Jr., a character actor who starred in such Westerns as "3 Godfathers" and "Wagon Master," has died. He was 91.

His daughter, Melinda Carey, said he died Thursday of natural causes surrounded by family at a hospice facility in Santa Barbara, Calif.

"He went out as gracefully as he came in," she said Friday.

Carey's career spanned more than 50 years and included such John Ford classics as "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," ''The Searchers" and "The Long Gray Line." Later in life, he appeared in the movies

"Gremlins" and "Back to the Future Part III."

His memoir, "Company of Heroes: My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company," was published in 1994.

While he lacked the leading-man stature of longtime friend and co-star John Wayne, Carey's boyish looks and horse-riding skills earned him roles in many of Ford's films.

He and fellow character Ben Johnson famously learned to stand simultaneously on two galloping horses — a trick known as roman riding — for the 1950 film "Rio Grande" starring Wayne.

"My journey has been that of a character actor," he wrote in his memoir. "I've worked with the great and the not-so-great. But mostly I've worked with men and women who loved their profession, and who like me, had kids to raise and houses to pay for."

Carey was the son of silent-film Western star Harry Carey Sr. and actress Olive Carey. He was born on May 16, 1921, on his family's ranch and graduated from Hollywood's Black-Foxe Military Institute.

During World War II, he served in the Navy and worked with Ford on films for the Navy.

He is survived by his wife, a son, two daughters, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

December 31, 2012

Kendallville Man Arrested by Off-Duty Trooper For OWI Meth and Reckless Driving

Kendallville, IN (Noble Co.)-An off-duty Indiana State Police Trooper arrested a 36 year old Kendallville man on numerous charges Saturday afternoon after observing the man drive his Dodge Durango at high speeds through the parking lot of the Cole YMCA and nearly hitting two young kids in the process. 

According to Trooper John Silver, at approximately 4:45 p.m. yesterday afternoon, he had just parked his marked Indiana State Police car in the parking lot of the Cole YMCA when a white 2000 Dodge Durango drove by him at a high rate of speed before going up and over an embankment, pile of snow and the sidewalk, narrowly missing two young children before speeding towards East Noble High School. 

Silver said that as he got back in his car to go after the Durango, it drove through the front lawn of the high school before traveling south on Henry Street. The Durango then drove into a vacant grassy area between some residences and continued driving recklessly doing numerous circles. As Silver caught up with his emergency lights and siren activated, the Durango stopped, appearing to be stuck. Silver gave numerous verbal orders to the driver and was able to take him into custody without incident. 

The driver, Andrew A. Kissinger, later tested positive for amphetamines and opiates at a local hospital. He was taken to and incarcerated in the Noble County Jail and was to be held on a $3,500 bond. Silver was assisted by Trooper Justin Snyder and the Kendallville Police Department. Formal charges will be levied by the Noble County Prosecutor’s Office. 


Andrew A. Kissinger, 36 of Kendallville, Indiana 

Operating While Intoxicated 

Operating While Intoxicated-Endangerment 

Criminal Recklessness 

Reckless Driving 

Criminal Trespassing 

December 31, 2012

Jim Hummell is also interested in a .380.  His email address is below.

From: James W. Hummell

Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2012 6:11 PM

To: Houze, Noel

Subject: Re: weapon


I too would be interested in a Beretta .380

Jim Hummell

PE 2046

December 30, 2012

Death Investigation Underway in Milan

Ripley County: Indiana State Police, Milan Police Department, Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office and Ripley County Coroner’s Office are investigating the death of a Milan woman.  According to investigators, at approximately 1:00 this morning a family member called 911 reporting they had found 68 year old Nancy Hershman of Milan deceased in her home at 607 West Ellis St. This is an active and ongoing investigation and the coroner’s office has not yet made a ruling on the manner and cause of death.  This is the only information investigators are releasing at this time.  As further information is made available, updated information will be released.

December 30, 2012

Wendell (Ray) Raney is in the market for an ISP Beretta .380. 

]See below for details and contact information.

From: Wendell Raney Jr []

Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 6:20 PM

To: Houze, Noel

Subject: weapon


Do you know of any ISP personnel that is trying to cell their Baretta .380?  I am searching for a like new to new one.  I can be contacted via this email or cell 317-489-7860.  Thanks for all the work you do for retirees throughout the year. Happy New Year!

Ray Raney PE3635


December 30, 2012

Retiring state trooper reflects on career of serving community

By Dan Cherry


Michigan State Police Sgt. Andy Lopez, a 1976 Sand Creek High School graduate, is retiring after 37 years with the state police.

Telegram photo by David Panian

ADRIAN — Though some people count down the last days until retirement, that was not the case with Sgt. Andy Lopez from the Monroe post of the Michigan State Police.

Lopez, 55, started his career in law enforcement on Jan. 17, 1982, at the Ypsilanti state police post, having graduated from the 97th Michigan State Police Recruit School. And as he concluded his last working day Friday, nearly 31 years later, he said he looked forward to each day.

“I didn’t count the days until retirement,” he said. “That is what folks do when they can’t wait to be done. For me, I’ve enjoyed going to work and serving the citizens of Lenawee County. It’s been an honor and pleasure to serve.”

After working at the Ypsilanti post, Lopez went on to serve in other capacities until he joined the governor’s security detail. He served under governors Jim Blanchard and John Engler before transferring to the Adrian post in the summer of 1998. He then transferred to the Monroe post after the Adrian post closed last year.

1st Lt. Tony Cuevas said Lopez has been a true asset to the post.

“It has been a pleasure to work with him. He is an administrative genius,” Cuevas said. “He has a  wealth of knowledge and experience — from the governor’s detail to investigative work — and he’s been instrumental in the MIS law enforcement detail. He is one of the nicest people you would meet. He believes in treating people the right way.”

Lopez said it all comes back to his roots and love of community. A 1976 graduate of Sand Creek High School, he married his wife, Caroline, at the beginning of his career. They have two children, John and Kate.

“She’s been with me the whole time I’ve been in law enforcement and has never complained,” he said of Caroline.

Overall, Lopez said, his career has seen many positive moments that balanced out the negative times.

“It is humbling to be able to bring resolution for victims and their families,” Lopez said. “That is why I got into this career: to help people. You do see some bad stuff, but you work through it.

“Overall, I am going to miss it,” he said.

Though Lopez has yet to finalize his retirement plans, he said he won’t be laying low for long.

“I will probably get involved in the community through volunteer work,” he said. “It’s important to have a purpose.”

December 30, 2012

Fatal accident accident closes all lanes of I-70 EB

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) - INDOT says all lanes of I-70 eastbound are closed due to a fatal vehicle accident. The lanes are expected to be closed for a few hours.

Officials say 56-year-old Phillip Jones' semi broke down late last night, and was parked off the side of EB I-70.

Early Saturday morning, a  PT cruiser hit the semi at high speeds and went under truck, crushing the car and killing the driver of the PT Cruiser. The driver has not yet been identified.

The incident occurred around 4:45 a.m. Saturday on I-70 eastbound at the 106 mile marker, near SR 9. I-70 eastbound is closed near the Greenfield exit while crew respond to the crash.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Stay tuned to for updates

December 30, 2012

Mike Auldridge, ‘hero’ of the Dobro, dies at 73

by Peter Cooper

Mike Auldridge, right, with bluegrass players John Starling, left, and Tom Gray.

Mike Auldridge, whose sophisticated musicianship secured a place for the resophonic guitar — popularly called the Dobro — in contemporary music, died Saturday, Dec. 29 after a lengthy cancer battle at age 73. He was in hospice care, near his Silver Springs, Md., home.

A featured musician on albums by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Patty Loveless and many others, and a founding member of pioneering progressive bluegrass band The Seldom Scene, Mr. Auldridge was a transformative figure in acoustic music.

Before Mr. Auldridge, the Dobro — an acoustic resonator guitar played with a slide — was often considered an inelegant instrument, imprecise in intonation and uneven in tone. He often played in silvered whispers rather than in the rambunctious clatter that characterized early Dobro recordings. He expanded the Dobro’s vocabulary, extended its reach and inspired each of the instrument’s modern greats, including Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. He was a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, in recognition of his contributions to musical culture.

“If it wasn’t for him, none of us would be here,” Douglas said. “Mike made it acceptable to play the instrument, and hearing him was where I got the idea that I could play different kinds of music, beyond country. He was a guy who could play one note that was worth a thousand. He’s my hero.”

With the Seldom Scene, Mr. Auldridge brought literate songs by Bob Dylan, John Prine, Paul Craft and more into the bluegrass canon and brought greater popularity to bluegrass in the Washington, D.C., area. Apart from the Scene (though usually in conjunction with some band members), he released a string of acclaimed, stylistically expansive solo albums that remain much studied by Dobro players.

He occasionally came to Nashville to record, but remained based in Maryland throughout his life, forgoing lucrative Nashville recording sessions in favor of the comforts of home.

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Auldridge formed acoustic band Chesapeake, recording three albums for Sugar Hill Records. He also was a major contributor to the Grammy-winning album “The Dobro Sessions.” And in the new century, he toured extensively with Harris, Lyle Lovett, Darren Beachley and others.

Mr. Auldridge recently completed recording a unique, genre-blurring Dobro trio album with Douglas and Ickes. His final stage performance was in October, at the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship concert.

Contact Peter Cooper at 615-259-8220 or

December 30, 2012

18 arrested in dog fighting investigation

Police found fighting ring, injured dogs

Rod Hissong

CHURUBUSCO, Ind. (WANE) - Police in Whitley County acted on a tip that led to the arrest of 18 people alleged to have taken park in a dog fighting competition.

Friday, police received a tip of a dog fighting contest that was set to take place Saturday at a home in Churubusco.

According to a police report, police investigated and obtained a search warrant for a home in the 900 block of East State Road 205.

At 11 p.m. Saturday, police raided the home occupied by 36-year-old Edward "Eddie" E. Smith, 36.

Smith and 17 additional individuals were taken into custody, according to the report.

Police said they found an injured and bloody pit bull type dog inside a fighting ring constructed of plywood in a garage. Two other dogs were located inside the home, including a second pit bull type dog that was injured and bleeding. A younger dog was found with no injuries.

All three animals were taken by the Whitley County Humane Shelter.

The following individuals were charged with attending an animal fighting contest, a class A misdemeanor. All are being held on $4,000 bond.

Marco C. Sole, 39, Chicago, IL

Alvegas R. Nelson, 31, Joliet, IL

Excell L. Hazzard, 44, Chicago, IL

John L. Patrick, 29, Joliet, IL

Chante L. Houlden, 33, Harvey, IL

Dwise R. Radcliffe, Sr., 41, Harvey, IL

Cortez A. Flowers, 37, East Chicago, IN

Kordi S. Williams, 41, Joliet, IL

John J. Abram, 32, Lansing, IL

Alden C. Parsons, 80, Evanston, IL

Robert A. Stouder, 32, Churubusco, IN

Donaver L. Jones, 42, Gary, IN

Darrell G. Thames, 50, Three Rivers, MI

Marlin L. Mitchell, 46, Matteson, IL

Rudolph H. Allen, 53, Chicago, IL

Mack A. Tucker, 41, Chicago, IL

Bambi Sue Langon, 46, Three Rivers, MI

Edward E. Smith, 36, Churubusco, IN

Police said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

All of the accused are due in court for an initial appearance Wed. January 3.

December 30, 2012

The LAPD Bought Back 'Rocket Launchers' That Literally Do Nothing

Paul Szoldra

Green useless tube

When I saw “Rocket Launchers Turned in During LAPD Gun Buyback” flash across my twitter stream Thursday I had to check it out. It’s not every day that a rocket launcher is paraded around outside a military base, let alone by police who picked one up for a gift card.

So of course, I clicked and read the story, written by Dennis Romero at LA Weekly.

“Cops picked up two -- count ‘em two -- rocket launchers!,” Romero writes.

In the story, photos show the police chief prominently holding up an AT-4 rocket launcher, which fires an 84mm projectile and is mostly used in anti-tank operations.

The problem is that it’s not a rocket launcher. It doesn’t launch rockets. It is a field handling trainer, as illustrated by the band around it along with “TRAINER” emblazoned across the side. Trainer AT-4s are non-functioning props, used to show soldiers how the weapon operates minus the big boom.

It is, quite literally, a long, green fiberglass tube that does nothing.

Instead of a weapon, it’s a paperweight the Los Angeles Police Department aquired in an event staffed with public employees. The LAPD, and much of the media, kind of got punked.

Romero goes on to write that they “propel rocket grenades, but the official called them ‘non-working’ because they did not have the ‘projectiles.’”

Another thing that I know firsthand — having myself fired two AT-4 rockets in the Marine Corps — is that working AT-4 launchers are fire and forget. They are not issued in the military in the traditional sense as a rifle or pistol would be, but instead as a single round of ammunition. They are one shot weapons. If it doesn’t have a projectile, then its no longer a weapon. 

Once it is fired, it doesn’t ever get reloaded. It gets thrown in a dumpster, or sometimes even taken home as a souvenir.

The turn-in of these expended rockets is the equivalent of me picking up empty shell casings that have been fired, and maybe even the ammunition box they came in, and turning it in for a free gift card.

The LAPD did end up getting legitimate weapons: over 900 handguns and almost 700 rifles, as LA Weekly reports. Officials have said that they will soon be destroyed. But parading around with photos of useless tubes doesn’t add to the case for gun-control, it makes you look like you don’t know what you are talking about.

December 30, 2012

Troopers Vehicle Struck While Working Crash; Vehicle Leaves the Scene 

Indianapolis, IN- An Indiana State Trooper and a female whose crash he was working were very lucky not to be seriously hurt when his patrol car was struck by a vehicle, and then left the scene. 

At approximately 3:45 p.m. this afternoon, Indiana State Trooper Jermael King was sitting in his patrol car, on the emergency berm, with the emergency lights activated, working a crash on I-70 EB to I-465 SB. A female that was involved in the crash was sitting in Trooper King’s front passenger seat. Both vehicles were completely off the roadway. 

According to a witness, a red Expedition SUV struck the left rear of Trooper King’s patrol car and continued without stopping. The witness called 911 while continuing to follow the vehicle. The suspect vehicle exited onto Pendleton Pike from I-465 and pulled into the Lawrence Crossing apartment complex. The witness reported that the suspect exited the vehicle, removed the license plate, and began walking EB on 42nd Street. 

Lawrence police officers were dispatched to the area and were able to detain the suspect until ISP officers arrived. 

Michael A. Masters Jr., 33, of Indianapolis, was arrested on two felony and one misdemeanor charge. He was transported to the Marion County Arrestee Processing Center without incident. 

Trooper King, a four year Indianapolis District veteran, was transported to Methodist Hospital to be treated for back pain. The female front seat passenger was checked at the scene and refused transportation to a hospital. 


Michael A Masters Jr. 33, 1223 N. Oakland Ave, Indianapolis, IN 

Leaving the scene of a crash causing injury, Class D Felony 

Driving While Suspended causing injury, Class D Felony 

Driving While Suspended Class A Misdemeanor 

Troopers Vehicle Struck While Working Crash; Vehicle Leaves the Scene 

Investigating Officer: Trooper Joseph Vela Braxton, Trooper Jason Allford, Indiana State Police. 

Assisting Agency: Lawrence Police Department. 

December 29, 2012

Jon Oldham PE1564 died today

Jon Oldham passed away this morning. Funeral arrangements are pending. 

As soon as I get information on arrangements, I’ll forward them along.

December 29, 2012

Indianapolis 500 Driver Salt Walther Dies at 65

By Mike Thomsen

Indianapolis 500 driver Salt Walther, who was badly injured in one of the most spectacular crashes in the history of the race, has died at the age of 65, WIBC has learned.

 Walther drove in the “500” six times, finishing last three times, including the first two times he started the race.

 Walther was best known for the devastating crash he was involved in at the start of the 1973 “500”. As the field came down for the green flag, Walther’s car touched wheels with another, sending the Ohioan’s car up into the catch fencing. The impact exposed Walther’s legs and sprayed fuel into the stands, injuring several spectators. Walther’s car finally ended up upside down.

 Walther received serious burns and had several fingers amputated.

 Walther returned to the “500” the following year, finishing 17th. His best finish in the “500” came in 1976 when he placed 9th.

 Walther also raced unlimited hydroplanes and competed in NASCAR.

 In recent years, the former driver has had several brushes with the law, and battled an addition to painkillers.

 Walther’s death was confirmed by the Montgomery, Ohio County Coroner’s Office.

December 29, 2012

Former Mass. chief named new South Bend police chief

By Adam Ziegler

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a conference call with the media Friday afternoon to address his appointment of Ron Teachman as the new Chief of Police. 

"This is a really great day for the police department and the future of the city," Buttigieg said.  The mayor said Teachman rose to the top of the list during a rigorous search to fill the position.  He says he'll task Teachman with "cultivating the next generation of leadership" within the department.  "There's no doubt in my mind he's going to do a great job."

FOX 28 has an interview scheduled with Teachman later this afternoon.  We'll bring you more on this developing story as it happens.

(12/28/2012) -- Mayor Pete Buttigieg has named Ron Teachman as the new chief of police for the City of South Bend.  Teachman is the former police chief for New Bedford, Massachusetts where he served the force for 34 years.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to continue as a public safety professional in service to others," said Teachman in a news release sent out Friday afternoon. "It is exciting to have been selected by Mayor Buttigieg, who has a great vision for the future of South Bend, and to become part of his team moving the city forward. The Mayor's passion for his hometown is infectious. I am also eager to work alongside the members of the of the South Bend Police Department and with the people of South Bend, from all walks of life and in every neighborhood, to lower crime and improve the quality of life."

Teachman replaces Interim Chief Chuck Hurley who took over in March after former-Chief Darryl Boykins was demoted.

"Chief Teachman is an experienced law enforcement professional with a proven track record of managing a large department and building strong partnerships to reduce violence," said Mayor Buttigieg. "I am confident he will be an energetic and effective leader for the South Bend Police Department and the South Bend community."

After rising through the ranks to become chief in New Bedford, Teachman worked for the Emergence Group, a Washington, D.C. based company specializing in criminal justice reform in post-conflict and emerging nations. He has a law degree from the New England School of Law in addition to two bachelor's degrees.

The city had announced three finalists for the position two weeks ago, saying Mayor Buttigieg would make a final decision quickly.

December 29, 2012

Police station shooting: person grabs gun and shoots 3 officers, is killed in return fire

The scene outside the Gloucester Township police station this morning

after three officers were injured by a gunman. The shooter was killed by police.

By Jessica Beym and Seth Augenstein

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP — A person being processed at the local police department after an arrest obtained a firearm, and shot three officers before being shot to death in return fire this morning, police said.

The person had been arrested on a domestic violence charge, but while being processed in the station, the person somehow grabbed a firearm during a "violent struggle" and began shooting, said Deputy Chief David Harkins in a brief statement to the media.

One of the officers was shot in the abdomen, just below their bulletproof vest, Harkins said. Two of the other officers were wounded.

The police returned fire and killed the assailant, the deputy chief said.

The officer who was shot in the abdomen was taken to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, and remains in stable condition.

The assailant's body is still inside the Gloucester Township Police Department's headquarters, while the investigation continues.

A dispatcher at the Gloucester Township Police Department said they were waiting to release information. The Camden County Prosecutor’s office could not be reached.

Gloucester Township is located in Camden County, about 10 miles south of Philadelphia.

December 29, 2012

State trooper struck on I-465

Jeremy Brilliant

Indianapolis - An Indiana State Trooper is recovering after been hit by a truck during a traffic stop. It happened this morning about 9:30 on eastbound 465, just east of the Allisonville Road exit.

Moments after Trooper Hank Kalina pulled over a car in the construction zone in 465 near Allisonville Road, a box truck careened into the stopped car. The impact send Trooper Kalina into a nearby ravine. He was able to radio for help.

"Tried to avoid it but for whatever known reason hit the violator vehicle and pushed the vehicle and pushed the trooper in to the ditch," said Sgt. Ray Poole, Indiana State Police.

A LifeLine helicopter took Trooper Kalina, 40, to Methodist Hospital, initially with what authorities thought was a broken leg. His injuries are relatively minor, police say, because he approached the car from the passenger side and therefore wasn't hit directly by the truck.

"Fortunately enough, nobody was killed and that's the bottom line," said Sgt. Poole.

Two women and a child in the car that was pulled over were taken to the hospital to be checked out and were later released. Katrina Bowen-Davis, 28, of Carmel, Indiana, was driving the car. The truck driver, 63-year-old Andrew Yoder of Geneva, Indiana was not hurt.

"From talking to him on the phone he seems like he's just kinda shook up and just trying to make it through," said Verena Sutton, the truck driver's daughter.

Police say drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the accident. Investigators inspected Yoder's truck to see if there were any mechanical problems.

"I don't know what was going on in his mind when things happened, I don't know for sure but I am relieved to know that the trooper is going to be fine. That's a very big relief," said Sutton.

The crash prompted a warning from police for drivers to be attentive at all times, but especially when they see a vehicle pulled over.

"When you see officers, emergency services workers, construction workers, wrecker drivers, anytime you see them on the side of the road, you have to give those people room to work. You have to slow down. If you can't move over, at least slow down. You need to pay attention. You need to not be on the cell phone. You need to put the cup of coffee down. Don't worry about your music. Your main focus when you're driving is to drive, and that's the bottom line," said Sgt. Poole.

Indiana is one of 40 states with a "move over" law. That means you must move to the left lane to give a police officer or road crew enough room for safety. If you can't move over, slow down to at least 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.

A recent survey found that 71 percent of Americans don't know about "move over" laws.

Trooper Kalina, an eight-year veteran, is normally assigned to the governor's security detail but was working special traffic detail Wednesday.

The crash caused significant traffic back-ups Wednesday morning.

Trooper Kalina was released from the hospital later in the day.

December 28, 2012

Ken Richcreek PE585 dead at 82

It is with a sad heart that I report to you that Ken Richcreek died on December 12, 2012, at age 82.  In August of 2010, he was diagnosed with 5Q deletion myelodysplasia (extreme anemia because his bone marrow no longer produced red blood cells).  His decline was gradual and without pain, but his lack of energy prevented him from doing many things he truly enjoyed such as playing his trumpet in several groups, mowing our lawn, fixing anything that was broken, fishing off our boat here at Lake Waukomis, being an active member of our church and community, and participating in fun times with our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Although he retired in 1972, Ken continued to stay connected, considering himself an Indiana State Policeman wearing with pride his caps, shirts, lapel buttons, etc. stating ISP “retired” on them.

Ken moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1982, and we met in our local community band and were married in 1987.  Two of Ken’s five children live in KC, others live in Morocco, IN, Bradley, IL, and San Anselmo, CA.  During our annual Richcreek family reunion, sometime in June 2012, we’ll celebrate Ken’s life and bury his ashes in the family plot in the cemetery in Kentland, IN.

Margie Richcreek


1063 South Shore Drive

Lake Waukomis, Missouri 64151

December 28, 2012

Stalking suspect dead after overpowering arresting officer, taking gun, wounding 3

A man who had been arrested for allegedly stalking an ex-girlfriend overpowered an officer inside a police station, grabbed her gun and shot her and two other officers before being killed by police early Friday, authorities said.

All three wounded officers were expected to recover.

Eddie Jones III, 39, of Willingboro, overpowered Officer Ruth Burns inside the station in Gloucester Township, a Philadelphia suburb, police said. He fired at her and two officers who had been in a nearby room and came rushing to aid their colleague. The two officers fired on Jones, killing him.

"This morning, the reality of a cruel world fell upon our doorstep," said Mayor David Mayer. "We thank God our officers are expected to fully recover."

Sgt. James Garber was shot multiple times and underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to the abdomen; his life was saved by a bulletproof vest. He also suffered a graze wound to the head.

Sgt. Kevin Thine suffered a laceration to his abdomen and a graze wound to the chin. Burns was shot in the foot.

Jones, a civilian employee of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, had been arrested for stalking the home of a former girlfriend after a caller told police they saw a suspicious man lurking at about 1 a.m.

He was brought back to police headquarters and when his handcuffs were removed for a brief period during processing, he lunged at Burns, knocking her down and taking her weapon, police Chief Harry Earle said.

The suspect "unleashed a barrage of gunfire" at the officers, Earle said. Jones was struck multiple times by return fire and was pronounced dead at the scene, the chief said.

The shooting will be reviewed by the state attorney general, as is customary with all shootings involving police officers. But Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk said initial evidence shows that the officers responded to gunfire that was initiated by the suspect, and returned fire to save their lives and those of other officers in the building.

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December 28, 2012

Retired trooper accused of shooting father, son in trespassing dispute

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. — A retired North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper is being investigated in Bladen County for shooting a father and son during a trespassing dispute.

Thomas David Daughety Sr., 64, of Parkton, and Thomas David Daughety Jr., 42, of Fayetteville, were shot Monday morning on U.S. Highway 701, near Beards Chapel Loop Road, in Elizabethown.

Bladen County sheriff's Capt. Rodney Hester said Herbert Paul Weissinger, 55, the son-in-law of a private land owner, confronted the pair about trespassing and that there was a "physical altercation" before the gunfire.

Investigators are still waiting to interview the younger Daughety, who is recovering from his injuries at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville.

A witness who was with the Daughetys, however, said the pair was running dogs to track bears on state game land that bordered the private property and that they never wandered onto it.

The witness said Weissinger approached them in an SUV, got out shouting obscenities and pulled a handgun on the Daughetys in a heated exchange.

Neither of the Daughetys were armed, the witness said, adding that their guns were in their truck.

Thomas Daughety Jr. was shot in the stomach and the arm, authorities said. His father was shot in the hand while trying to wrestle away the gun during the confrontation.

Weissinger, who hasn't been charged in the case, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

December 28, 2012

Suburban Chicago police chief arrested for DUI; 2nd time in 3 years

ROBBINS — The police chief of the Chicago suburb of Robbins has been arrested for drunken driving — for the second time in three years.

Authorities in the nearby suburb of Midlothian say Robbins Police Chief Johnny Holmes was pulled over Saturday around 10:30 p.m. after another driver called to report someone driving erratically.

The police report says Holmes made an improper turn and failed at first to stop when officers turned on their emergency lights and siren.

The report says Holmes had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit.

After a 2010 DUI arrest — also in Midlothian — Holms was suspended with pay and received a verbal warning from Robbins village officials.

A phone message left for Holmes at the police department wasn’t immediately returned.

December 28, 2012

Jon Oldham Health update

John Mann reported this afternoon that Jon Oldham has been moved into hospice care somewhere in Decatur County (not sure on the exact location).  Jon is not doing well at all and his prognosis is not good.  The family is requesting that there be no visitors or phone calls for now but just keep him and the family in your prayers.  I will send out updates as I receive more information.

December 27, 2012

An Ongoing Drug Investigation Leads to Two Arrests

Crawford County: An ongoing drug investigation by the Indiana State Police and the Dubois County Sheriff’s Office leads to two arrests.

Yesterday morning at approximately 9:10 officers went to the address of 9098 West State Road 64, Birdseye to execute a search warrant. Upon executing the search warrant, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia was located. The two residents of the address were arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, and maintaining a common nuisance. Both men were taken to the Crawford County Jail without incident.

Arrested and Charges:

Johnny K. Campbell, 24

9098 West SR 64, Birdseye, IN 47513

Possession of Methamphetamine, Class D-Felony

Possession of Paraphernalia, Class D-Felony

Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Class D-Felony

Trevor L. Weathers, 32

9098 West SR 64, Birdseye, IN 47513

Possession of Methamphetamine, Class D-Felony

Possession of Paraphernalia, Class D-Felony

Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Class D-Felony

December 27, 2012

Husband of slain Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena arrested 

Jennifer Sebena

Wauwatosa WI The husband of slain Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena has been taken into custody following his wife’s death and was transported to the West Allis Police Department, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Reports do not indicate if Benjamin Sebena has been arrested for the slaying and police are not commenting further.

Two Wauwatosa police officers and a state Department of Criminal Investigation agent transported Sebena from the Wauwatosa Police Department to the West Allis Police Department on Christmas Day. They turned Sebena over to a West Allis police sergeant at 8:01 p.m., according to a Wauwatosa police report. The sergeant locked Sebena in a cell without incident.

A West Allis police officer said just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday that the department did not have anyone in lockup at this time.

A news release shortly after noon said the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Wauwatosa Police Department continue to investigate the crime, with the DCI as the lead investigative agency.

The release said only that DCI “is working with a person of interest,” and that at this time, no charges have been filed.

The law enforcement agencies are continuing to pursue multiple investigative leads, they said. “We continue to believe that there is no immediate threat to the general welfare of the public,” they said.

WISN TV reported Wednesday afternoon that Wauwatosa officers and DCI agents executed a search warrant on the Sebenas’ Menomonee Falls home.

Jennifer Sebena, 30, died after she was struck by multiple gunshots early Christmas Eve morning. According to a police report, the last contact the department had with her was at 3:29 a.m.

Some time after that, dispatchers attempted to contact her and she did not respond. She was found at 4:38 a.m. on the north side of the Wauwatosa Fire Station No. 1, 1601 Underwood Ave. The station was taken out of service at 6:30 a.m.

According to the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial website, Sebena is the first Wauwatosa officer to be killed in the line of duty in the 96-year history of the department. Officer Abby Pavlik was shot and seriously wounded during a robbery investigation on Dec. 13, 2009. Pavlik recovered from her injuries.

Benjamin and Jennifer Sebena lived in Menomonee Falls. According to a report in JSOnline, Benjamin is a disabled Iraq war veteran.

Wednesday’s press release also said that funeral services for Jennifer Sebena are tentatively planned for Saturday, with further details to come.

The Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association has set up a memorial fund for funeral costs and a cause to be determined. Donations should be made out to the “Officer Jen Sebena Memorial Fund,” and can be dropped off at any Focus Credit Union branch:

3180 N. 124th Street, Suite A, Wauwatosa

1530 N. 68th Street, Wauwatosa

N88 W14930 Main Street, Menomonee Falls

December 27, 2012

FBI stats: Criminals killed 4 Ohio police officers in 2011

Four Ohio police officers were among the 72 officers who were killed by criminal activity in the United States in 2011, new FBI statistics show.

Last year’s national number of police deaths was the highest since 1995, and the four killings in Ohio were the most in the state since 1997, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis.

The national numbers have risen from 41 in 2008 to 48 in 2009 to 56 in 2010. Of the 72 killings last year, records show 63 of them came by firearms, mostly handguns.

Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims told the newspaper he is concerned about the rising numbers.

“Things are a lot different now,” Sims said. “It appears that people have less concern about taking the life of a police officer. There’s an increasing overall disrespect for laws and authority. It’s scary.”

The deaths in Ohio included sheriff’s Deputy Suzanne Hopper, who was shot to death in a New Year’s Day gunbattle at a trailer park near Springfield in Western Ohio. In March, Sandusky officer Andrew Dunn was shot to death after he stopped a convicted felon riding a bicycle.

The numbers do not include 53 accidental deaths of law enforcement officers in 2011.

From 2002 to 2011, FBI data show 543 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty, 500 by firearms, including 366 from handguns. There were 95 deaths from rifles, 38 from shotguns, 35 by vehicles and three from knives or other cutting instruments.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called the increase in law enforcement deaths “a devastating and unacceptable trend.”

Tom Diaz, senior policy analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said the increase of officers killed with firearms is due to multiple factors. He said it’s a natural consequence of the proliferation of firearms, more powerful and affordable semi-automatic weapons and a growing ideology of anti-government sovereign citizens.

Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said the increase in officer deaths “shows how violent we have become.”

December 27, 2012

Trooper's vehicle struck three times while working property damage crash

Trooper Stepon Mason, of the Indianapolis District, patrol car was struck three times while he was working a property damage crash on I-465 EB at the 29mm. (near township line road) 

There were no injuries reported in any of the crashes. Drivers are encouraged to stay off the roadways.However if you must travel, drivers are reminded to slow down and drive with caution. 

At this time, the Indianapolis District has responded to 170 callls for service which includes 159 crashes or slide offs. 

The entrance and exit ramp systems in the Indianapolis District remain extremley slick and hazardous and are becoming impassable as vehicles and semi trucks get stuck on them and block the ramps.

December 27, 2012

At Christmas, the gifts of help and hope


State trooper Kyle Deatherage, 32, of St. Jacob, Ill. was killed in the line of duty in

November when he was struck by a truck during a routine traffic stop. | Provided photo

A Christmas letter . . .

It’s CHRISTMAS AGAIN, thank God.

It’s also been a tough year.

While our country dangled from a “fiscal cliff” — and continues to — diplomats were slain abroad, a storm devastated the eastern shore, and innocent children and their teachers were slaughtered in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Yet in the midst of such horror and the limbo of agony, comes a letter from the wife of State TrooperKyle Deatherage, of Downstate St. Jacob, who was killed in November when he was struck by a truck during a routine traffic stop in Litchfield — shortly after lending a helping hand to New Jersey’s victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Written by his young widow, Sarah, the mother of his 4-year-old daughter, Kaylee, and baby son,Camden, it is a missive of hope transcending sadness and loss at this time of year.

So I thought I’d share the letter she wrote to her “Illinois State Police family”:

 “From the moment I was informed of Kyle’s death, my family and I were, and continue to be, embraced by the arms of the Illinois State Police.

I believe most spouses of law enforcement officers create an invisible wall to block thoughts of what could happen. I was no different. I understood and accepted the risks so Kyle could work his dream job, although not really thinking anything would happen.

On the morning of November 26, 2012, that wall came crashing down. It left me with the sickening reality that Kyle is not coming home. I know he would have done everything in his power to remain with me and our children; however, he simply did not have a choice.

In the words of a friend, “everything went perfectly wrong.”

My hope for all of you, Kyle’s law enforcement family, is that you move forward with your lives and careers with a new found appreciation for life.

Be grateful for each day God brings you safely home to your families. As for me and my children, we too will move forward. Think twice about your own mortality. Don’t take it for granted; it will humble you.

Most importantly, remember you are part of an amazing family. Director [Hiram] Grau and the men and women of the ISP have gone above and beyond, both personally and professionally, to guide me and my children through this transition and to give Kyle the goodbye he richly deserved.

The ISP Honor Guard was perfectly organized and professional, yet sincere. I know many of them stood watch with a heavy heart. I was honored to have them lead Kyle on his last journey. The motorcycles, squad cars, and officers from near and far were breathtaking, and Kyle’s rider-less motorcycle led them graciously on that last ride.

Our dearest friends in the ISP, and out of state Troopers and local law enforcement we have never met, made Kyle’s sendoff absolutely incredible. So whether you stood watch for my husband or sent loving thoughts and prayers our way, I thank you. As Kyle’s brother, Kenny, said at the funeral, Kyle was all about “lights and sirens” and the goodbye he was given, although much too soon, was perfect.

I pray that wall will never again come crashing down on the ISP. However, should that happen, I hope each of you will find peace in knowing that our families will be embraced and their loved one’s memory will be forever honored.

Love, Sarah, Kaylee, and Camden Deatherage”

December 26, 2012

Indiana state police shift patrols to new I-69

EVANSVILLE – As motorists in southwest Indiana increasingly use the newly opened stretch of Interstate 69, police have shifted their patrols accordingly.

Officers say traffic in the region has moved from old routes to the first section of the I-69 extension that opened Nov. 19.

The road is slated to eventually run from Evansville to Indianapolis.

Gibson County Sheriff George Ballard said that when he traveled Indiana 57 last week, the road was almost deserted.

“The things that were happening on Highway 57 are now probably happening on Interstate 69. There is very little traffic on 57 now,” Ballard told the Evansville Courier & Press.

Authorities in the region say they’ve had no problems staffing patrols of the new I-69 section that runs from Gibson County to near the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center southwest of Bloomington.

The Indiana State Police’s Evansville district covers the new interstate in Gibson and Pike counties.

“It’s not been difficult to patrol I-69,” spokesman Sgt. Todd Ringle said. “It hasn’t caused it any trouble or anything like that.”

The post is scheduled to add two new troopers early in 2013, he said.

Both will be assigned to Pike County.

Ringle said state police routinely work with other agencies to ensure patrols on all state and federal roadways are adequate.

“Communication is always there,” he said. “In southwestern Indiana, we all work together.”

State police Sgt. Chad Dick, a spokesman for the Jasper post, said troopers have simply added the new stretch of road to their patrols without any staffing issues. So far, he said, the traffic flow from Washington to Crane has been light.

Copyright 2012 The Journal Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 26, 2012

Two Detroit police officers, two others injured in car accident

By Tresa Baldas

Two Detroit police officers, a teenager and a woman were hospitalized today following a car accident that involved a vehicle blowing a red light and hitting the officers’ patrol unit.

All four of the injured are listed in stable condition.

The accident happened at around 2:45 p.m., when a 2002 Kia traveling eastbound on West Warren disregarded a red traffic light and struck the officers’ cruiser, which was heading north on Mansfield.

Police did not release the names of the injured. 

The female driver of the Kia, 35, was traveling with a 15-year-old male passenger.

Both Detroit police officers were male.

Detroit police did not say if any charges are pending.

December 26, 2012

Blizzard Conditions Anticipated in Central Indiana

Consult Local Media for Updates

Avoid Driving During Storm

Winter Storm Preparation

The first major storm of this winter season is anticipated to affect the vast majority of Indiana. Citizens are reminded to avoid traveling unless the trip is absolutely necessary.

Please keep these tips in mind:

•           Do not call city, county or state police to check on road conditions – police agencies across the state want to keep phone lines open for emergency phone calls

•           For up-to-date weather information the best source is your favorite TV or radio station or check the National Weather Service at

•           Visit or dial toll-free 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) for updated Indiana travel information, including road conditions, road closures, construction information, crashes and other traffic alerts

•           If you must drive during any period of the storm a fully charged and functioning cell phone is your best friend

•           If involved in a crash and no one is injured and the involved vehicles are still drivable, move to a safe area to exchange names, vehicle and license plate information, along with driver license number and insurance agent name and phone number with the other driver

•           During severe weather conditions law enforcement will be busy responding to emergency calls and will not be able to take reports of crashes where there is only damage to property

•           Vehicles left abandoned along interstate and state road right-of-ways are subject to immediate removal during inclement weather events

December 26, 2012

Washtenaw County sheriff's deputy injured in one-car crash on Christmas Eve


A deputy was injured in a crash Monday night while responding to a call involving a possibly suicidal person, according to a release from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputy was traveling on Maus Street in Ypsilanti at approximately 11:45 p.m. when he lost control of his vehicle due to snow and ice on the road. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree.

The deputy was transported to a local hospital and is being treated for his injuries. As of Tuesday morning he was listed in stable condition but details of the injury were not available.

Further information was not immediately available

December 25, 2012

Gunman who ambushed firefighters killed grandmother in 1980, police say

By Jason White

William Spengler

Updated at 11:20 p.m. ET: The gunman who ambushed four volunteer firefighters, killing two, in upstate New York had spent 17 years in prison for beating his grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980, police said.

William Spengler opened fire on the volunteers as they responded to a blaze just before 6 a.m. ET in a small cluster of homes along Lake Ontario in Webster, N.Y., police said, rocking this close-knit community.

The 62-year-old convicted felon had apparently set a trap, luring in first responders and then firing on them from atop an earthen berm.

"It does appear that it was a trap that was set," said Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering, his voice breaking at times. “People who get up in the middle of the night to fight fires, they don’t expect to get shot and killed."

Pickering lost a colleague in the incident: Police Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini, who was a volunteer firefighter. The other firefighter killed by Spengler was Tomasz Kaczowka.

Despite being shot, one of the injured firefighters was able to flee from scene under his own power. But the others remained pinned down on the narrow strip of land between Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay until a SWAT team arrived.

Webster Police Lt. Michael Chiapperini.

As police closed in, Spengler took his own life with a gunshot wound to the head, Pickering said. He was convicted of manslaughter in 1981 after the death of his grandmother, Rose Spengler, 92, and was paroled in 1998. He remained under parole supervision until 2006, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

Spengler's 67-year-old sister Cheryl Spengler is unaccounted for, Pickering said.

Spengler lived in the house with his sister and mother, Arline, who died in October at the age of 91. Arline Spengler's obituary asked that memorial donations be made to the West Webster Fireman's Association. 

Firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka in an undated photo.

A former neighbor told The Associated Press that Spengler "loved his mama to death" and that he "couldn't stand" his sister. The neighbor said he thinks Spengler "went crazy" after his mother died.

Prior to Monday's shooting, Webster police had not had any run-ins with Spengler since he was paroled, they said.

Although Spengler could not legally own firearms as a convicted felon, investigators told NBC 10 News in Rochester that he was equipped with four whiskey bottles of gasoline, a pistol and an AR-15 type rifle with 30-shot magazine capability. One of the four magazines had been used.  

The two injured firefighters, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter, were being treated for "significant injuries," according to Dr. Nicole Stassen, a surgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She said both were awake and alert and not on ventilators.

An off-duty police officer was also injured when he was hit by shrapnel after his car took bullets to the windshield and engine block, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. His condition is unclear at this time.

After the shooting, the fire grew to engulf at seven homes and one motor vehicle. 

“These firemen are part of our family. You go into a fire with these guys. To see them go down with something like this is totally unexpected. We are in shock,” Billy Gross, fire commissioner for West Webster, told the Democrat and Chronicle.

Dozens of area residents were evacuated, with police searching them as they left, the newspaper reported.

"Miserable thing to happen this time of year," Mark Johns, a state assemblyman who represents the area, told local NBC station WHEC. Johns said he knew some of the firefighters who were shot.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement after the shooting, offering his "deepest condolences."

“All of our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence," Cuomo said. “New York's first responders are true heroes as they time and again selflessly rush toward danger in order to keep our families and communities safe."

NBC's Tom Winter and Rosanna Arlia contributed to this report.

December 25, 2012

 Durning, king of character actors, dies in NYC


Charles Durning

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Charles Durning, the 2-time Oscar nominee who was dubbed the king of the character actors for his skill in playing everything from a Nazi colonel to the pope, died Monday at his home in New York City. He was 89.

Durning's longtime agent and friend Judith Moss told The Associated Press that he died Monday of natural causes in his home in the borough of Manhattan.

Although he portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to comic foils to put-upon everymen, Durning may be best remembered by movie audiences for his Oscar-nominated, over-the-top role as a comically corrupt governor in 1982's "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

Many critics marveled that such a heavyset man could be so nimble in the film's show-stopping song & dance number, not realizing Durning had been a dance instructor early in his career. Indeed, he had met his first wife, Carol, when both worked at a dance studio.

The year after "Best Little Whorehouse," Durning received another Oscar nomination, for his portrayal of a bumbling Nazi officer in Mel Brooks' "To Be or Not to Be." He was also nominated for a Golden Globe as the harried police lieutenant in 1975's "Dog Day Afternoon."

He won a Golden Globe as best supporting TV actor in 1991 for his portrayal of John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald in the TV film "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" and a Tony in 1990 as Big Daddy in the Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

Durning had begun his career on stage, getting his first big break when theatrical producer Joseph Papp hired him for the New York Shakespeare Festival.

He went on to work regularly, if fairly anonymously, through the 1960s until his breakout role as a small town mayor in the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play "That Championship Season" in 1972.

He quickly made an impression on movie audiences the following year as the crooked cop stalking con men Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the Oscar-winning comedy "The Sting."

Dozens of notable portrayals followed. He was the would-be suitor of Dustin Hoffman, posing as a female soap opera star in "Tootsie;" the infamous seller of frog legs in "The Muppet Movie;" and Chief Brandon in Warren Beatty's "Dick Tracy." He played Santa Claus in four different movies made for television and was the pope in the TV film "I Would be Called John: Pope John XXIII."

"I never turned down anything and never argued with any producer or director," Durning told The Associated Press in 2008, when he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Other films included "The Front Page," ''The Hindenburg," ''Breakheart Pass," ''North Dallas Forty," ''Starting Over," ''Tough Guys," ''Home for the Holidays," ''Spy Hard" and 'O Brother Where Art Thou?"

Durning also did well in television as a featured performer as well as a guest star. He appeared in the short-lived series "The Cop and the Kid" (1975), "Eye to Eye" (1985) and "First Monday" (2002) as well as the four-season "Evening Shade" in the 1990s.

"If I'm not in a part, I drive my wife crazy," he acknowledged during a 1997 interview. "I'll go downstairs to get the mail, and when I come back I'll say, 'Any calls for me?'"

Durning's rugged early life provided ample material on which to base his later portrayals. He was born into an Irish family of 10 children in 1923, in Highland Falls, N.Y., a town near West Point. His father was unable to work, having lost a leg and been gassed during World War I, so his mother supported the family by washing the uniforms of West Point cadets.

The younger Durning himself would barely survive World War II.

He was among the first wave of U.S. soldiers to land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion and the only member of his Army unit to survive. He killed several Germans and was wounded in the leg. Later he was bayoneted by a young German soldier whom he killed with a rock. He was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and survived a massacre of prisoners.

In later years, he refused to discuss the military service for which he was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.

"Too many bad memories," he told an interviewer in 1997. "I don't want you to see me crying."

Tragedy also stalked other members of his family. Durning was 12 when his father died, and 5 of his sisters lost their lives to smallpox and scarlet fever.

A high school counselor told him he had no talent for art, languages or math and should learn office skills. But after seeing "King Kong" and some of James Cagney's films, Durning knew what he wanted to do.

Leaving home at 16, he worked in a munitions factory, on a slag heap and in a barbed-wire factory. When he finally found work as a burlesque theater usher in Buffalo, N.Y., he studied the comedians' routines, and when 1 of them showed up too drunk to go on one night, he took his place.

He would recall years later that he was hooked as soon as heard the audience laughing. He told the AP in 2008 that he had no plans to stop working.

"They're going to carry me out, if I go," he said.

Durning and his first wife had three children before divorcing in 1972. In 1974, he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann Amelio.

He is survived by his children, Michele, Douglas and Jeannine. The family planned to have a private family service and burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

AP reporter Andrew Dalton contributed to this story.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 25, 2012

Jack Klugman, 90, dies in Los Angeles  

Jack Klugman

LOS ANGELES -Jack Klugman, who made an art of gruffness in TV's "The Odd Couple" and "Quincy, M.E.," has died at the age of 90.

The actor's son Adam says his father died Monday afternoon in Los Angeles.

In the 1970s sitcom "The Odd Couple," Klugman played sloppy sports writer Oscar to co-star Tony Randall's Felix, a fussy photographer. In "Quincy, M.E.," which aired from 1976 to 1983, Klugman played an idealistic, tough-minded medical examiner.

Klugman lost his voice to throat cancer in the 1980s but trained himself to speak again. He returned to acting in a 1993 Broadway revival of "Three Men on a Horse."

Klugman split his time between TV, movies and the New York stage. In his later years he guest-starred on TV series including "Third Watch."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

December 25, 2012

Posey County Man Arrested for Neglect and Shooting from his Vehicle 

Posey County – Sunday afternoon, December 23, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Detective Loren Brooks was off-duty and driving his department issued unmarked vehicle on Spring Switch Road when he observed a White 1992 Chevrolet pickup truck southbound near Springfield Road. Detective Brooks observed the driver of the pickup truck pull over to the side of the roadway and point a firearm out of the passenger side window. When the driver observed Brooks he pulled the weapon back into the vehicle. Brooks stopped his vehicle, identified himself as a trooper with the Indiana State Police and ordered him out of his vehicle. The driver was not cooperative. Brooks approached the pickup truck, opened the door and observed several weapons including a Ruger .22 caliber rifle that appeared to have been cut down and made into a pistol. Brooks also observed an eleven-month old child in a child safety seat. The weapon was loaded, the safety was off and a loaded 25 round magazine was on the floorboard along with spent shell casings. The driver was identified as Thomas Fuhs, 21, of Wadesville. Further investigation determined Fuhs was attempting to shoot crows from the roadway. He was arrested and taken to the Posey County Jail, but was later released after posting bond. 


Thomas J. Fuhs, 21, 3251 Springfield Road, Wadesville, IN 

Neglect of a Dependant, Class D Felony 

Possession of a Handgun without a License, Class A Misdemeanor 

Hunting on or near Public Highway, Class C Misdemeanor 

Hunting without a License, Class C Misdemeanor 

Arresting Officer: Detective Loren Brooks, Indiana State Police 

Assisting Agency: Posey County Sheriff’s Department 

December 25, 2012

Many freed criminals avoid deportation, strike again

The vast and secretive US prison system for immigrants, stymied

when it tries to deport some criminals, has quietly released

thousands, including killers, a Globe investigation shows.

By Maria Sacchetti


FLUSHING, N.Y. — Qian Wu thought the man who brutally attacked her was gone forever.

She was sure that Huang Chen, a Chinese citizen who slipped into America on a ship and stayed in the country illegally, would be deported as soon as he got out of jail for choking, punching, and pointing a knife at her in 2006.

But China refused to take Chen back. So, after jailing Chen on and off for three years in Texas, immigration officials believed they were out of options and did what they have done with thousands of criminals like him.

They quietly let him go.

Nobody warned Wu, or prosecutors, or the public. The petite, 46-year-old woman learned Chen was still here when he stormed into her unlocked apartment one day in January 2010 and announced, “I bet you didn’t expect to see me.” Terrified, she called the police, and he fled. But for two weeks, Chen was free to stalk her and finally, to catch her as she hurried home with milk and bread one afternoon.

Chen then finished what he had started earlier, bashing Wu on the head with a hammer and slashing her with a knife. As she lay crumpled in a grimy stairwell, he ripped out her heart and a lung and fled with his macabre trophies.

“She lived in horror in the last two weeks of her life,” said Yongwei Guo, Wu’s widower, through an interpreter in New York. “She knew there was somebody coming to kill her and we asked the police for protection, and also the government, but they did nothing.”


Yongwei Guo’s wife was killed in 2010 by a criminal who had been released by immigration officials.

Wu is just one casualty of an immigration system cloaked in a blanket of secrecy that the Founding Fathers could not have imagined, a blanket that isn’t lifted even when life is at risk. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its sister agencies have emerged as the largest law enforcement network in the United States since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and they are increasingly dealing with criminals, but they play by very different rules than the local police, prosecutors, or even the FBI.

A yearlong Globe investigation found the culture of secrecy can be deadly to Americans and foreigners alike: Immigration officials do not notify most crime victims when they release a criminal such as Chen, and they only notify local law enforcement on a case by case basis. And even though immigration officials have the power to try to holddangerous people longer, that rarely occurs.

The Globe also found that the pattern of secrecy extends to the treatment of immigrants who end up behind bars, though they have no criminal records. Foreigners in immigration detention have fewer rights than ordinary criminal suspects and limited ability to get word to the outside world about their plight. Even their names are kept secret, purportedly for their own protection, and many never get a public hearing to make their case.

Taken together, the system produces a litany of consequences: A young Lynn woman with no criminal record died in immigration custody from a heart ailment without a chance to ask a judge for medical help; a father of five in Texas disappeared from his family for several days after he was detained; a Cuban man in a wheelchair languished for an extraordinary 14 years in immigration detention, invisible to the world outside.

It is also a system in which — as Wu would learn in her final days of terror — Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, routinely releases dangerous detainees to the streets of America without warning the public. Over the past four years, immigration officials have largely without notice freed more than 8,500 detainees convicted of murder, rape, and other crimes, according to ICE’s own statistics, mainly because their home countries would not take them back.


Huang Chen’s mug shot from the El Paso Police Department. Chen was relesaed after deportation efforts failed, and he returned to New York to kill a woman he had threatened earlier.

Deporting illegal immigrants requires more than simply putting them on an airplane to their own country. People being deported need travel papers — such as a passport — like anyone else who travels abroad. If their native country refuses to issue the necessary papers , the United States cannot send deportees there. And the Supreme Court has said ICE cannot hold the immigrants forever; if immigration officials cannot deport them after six months, the court said, they should generally set the immigrants free.

When the Globe requested the names of the released criminals under the Freedom of Information Act, federal immigration officials refused, saying it would be a “clearly unwarranted invasion” of the immigrants’ privacy. Officials said public interest in their names was “minimal” anyway.

“In the absence of any identified public interest or explanation as to how the disclosure of the arrestees’ information will advance that interest, the personal privacy interests will prevail,” Matthew Chandler, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration, said in a written statement to the Globe.

But a disturbing number of foreigners have been arrested after their release, including some for heinous crimes. Abel Arango, an armed robber who was released when his native Cuba wouldn’t take him back, shot and killed a Fort Myers, Fla., police officer who responded to a report of a loud fight between Arango and his girlfriend in 2008. Binh Thai Luc, an armed robber from Vietnam, couldn’t be deported either, so he was released. In March, he allegedly massacred five people in a San Francisco home.

McCarthy Larngar, a Liberian national who served several years in prison for shooting and wounding a man in Rhode Island, was released in 2007 when Liberia would not take him back — even though a Boston immigration official had described him in court records as “a danger to the community.” After multiple brushes with the law, Larngar was arrested last year and charged with tying up and robbing a man and a woman in a bizarre kidnapping in Pawtucket. His lawyer said in court documents that he is not guilty, and he is now in a Rhode Island jail on a violation from an earlier crime.

In New England, immigration officials have released as many as 10 convicted murderers since 2008.

They include Hung Truong, a robber who repeatedly stabbed a bound and gagged 15-year-old Everett girl during a 1989 kidnapping that left the girl and her mother dead. Massachusetts released Truong on parole about 20 years into his life prison sentence in hopes that he would be deported to his native Vietnam in 2010. But ICE could not deport him because Vietnam has refused to accept deportees who came to the United States before 1995. Now, he’s back in prison after failing a drug test that was part of his release deal with the state Parole Board.

As part of its investigation, the Globe filed more than 20 different public records requests to obtain more detailed information about the people held — and released — by the immigration system. Many requests were rejected or the responses were heavily censored, prompting the Globe to file a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security in November. But this much is clear from the available documents: Federal officials are releasing people that they regard as dangerous and doing little to force recalcitrant countries to take their citizens back.

More than 20 governments from Jamaica to China routinely block deportation of their citizens, even dodging calls from US immigration officers seeking to expedite the process, and critics say they suffer few consequences. Some, such as US Representative Ted Poe, a Texas Republican, argue that the United States should stop accepting diplomats from countries who do not repatriate their citizens, but the State Department has shown little interest, preferring to work through diplomatic channels to deport immigrants. Federal officials have refused to issue visas to only one nation, tiny Guyana in South America.


The stairwell in Flushing, N.Y., where Qian Wu was killed by Huang Chen after being released by immigration officials, who had not been successful in deporting him back to China.

Even when foreigners cannot be deported, immigration officials, under a 2001 Supreme Court ruling, could seek to hold them longer on the grounds that they are a danger to the public. Immigration officials say the legal standard for holding an immigrant longer for that reason is very high, limiting their ability to use it. They point out that immigrants are detained for civil immigration violations and not crimes.

But the Globe found that immigration officials almost never try to declare a detainee dangerous: In the past four years, immigration officials have released thousands of criminals, but court officials say they have handled only 13 cases seeking to hold immigrants longer because they are dangerous.

Too dangerous to release

Immigration agent Earl DeLong and his colleagues wasted little time in trying to put Shafiqul Islam on a plane back to his native Bangladesh two years ago. As soon as he finished his prison term in New York for taking pictures of himself sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl when he was 17, immigration agents called the Bangladeshi consulate in Manhattan.

Initially, the Bangladeshis were reassuring and a consular official, Mamunur Rashid, said he sent the agent’s request for clearance to deport Islam to authorities in Dhaka. But as time dragged on, the cooperation waned.

Whenever DeLong and others called the consulate over the next few months, Rashid was increasingly unavailable. The receptionist said he was not in. He was on vacation or out to lunch. Sometimes, a person at the consulate answered the phone and just hung up. Other times, the phone rang but nobody answered.

“Spoke to a person at the consulate four different times, never able to speak with Mamunur Rashid,” one agent wrote in a secret federal log that became public as part of a lawsuit.

US officials had seen stalling tactics from Bangladesh before: The impoverished Asian nation typically took several months to provide passports for criminals being deported last year — if they provided the documents at all, according to federal statistics.

Foreign countries are understandably reluctant to accept criminals, especially those such as Islam who were raised in the United States, and they have little incentive to do so since the United States rarely takes action against them, such as refusing to issue them visas.

State Department officials acknowledge that they try to avoid reaching the point of sanctions with nations like Bangladesh, but insist that they do apply diplomatic pressure.

“It is a matter we take very seriously, and consistently raise it at high levels with all countries where this is a concern,” said department spokesman Ken Chavez.

Hoping Bangladesh would clear Islam’s return, US immigration officials told Islam in April 2011 that they were going to continue to hold him even though more than six months had passed since Islam’s sexual abuse sentence ended. Islam responded with a lawsuit, charging that immigration could not continue to detain him because it was unlikely that Bangladesh would take him back. In the lawsuit, he pointedly noted that the consulate appeared to be dodging the immigration agent’s calls.

Islam’s lawsuit made public a host of immigration documents that are normally kept secret. The documents revealed both immigration officials’ concerns that Islam is dangerous and their frustrating attempts to contact the Bangladeshis.

But there is no evidence in the file that immigration officials requested an immigration court hearing to determine if they could continue to hold him as a threat to public safety.

Instead, the records show that on Oct. 3, 2011, immigration officials gave up and released Islam.

Seven weeks later, Islam was at Lois Decker’s door.

Everyone loved the retired school lunch lady, a friendly 73-year-old grandmother who taught Sunday school and lived her whole life in Hillsdale, N.Y., a rural hamlet just across the border from the Massachusetts line. Decker raised five children, but she lived alone in the house her daughter bought for her on Cold Water Street.

Sheriff’s deputies say they are unsure what drew Islam to Decker’s house that day, but family members said she had planned to rent out an apartment in the basement. Islam had a construction job in the Berkshires.

Hours after Islam visited Decker’s house, police arrested him in a traffic stop in a nearby city. He had stolen Decker’s white Hyundai, crashed it, and then tried to steal the truck of good Samaritans who had stopped to help him. He finally stole yet another truck, but did not get far. When police arrested him, he was spattered with blood, and had Decker’s credit card in the truck.

Sheriff’s deputies discovered a gruesome scene at Lois Decker’s house. The woman had been strangled, court records showed, and her face and throat were slashed. Officials found Islam’s semen on a sheet in the house, though officials did not find bodily evidence that Decker was sexually assaulted.

Columbia County officials were incensed and demanded to know why ICE had let such a dangerous person go free. They had convicted the high school dropout on sex abuse charges in 2008. Now he’s serving 20 years to life for Decker’s murder.

Paul Czajka, the silver-haired district attorney and a former judge in Columbia County, said immigration officials should have argued that Islam was dangerous enough to hold longer.


Shafiqul Islam, a native Bangladeshi, was taken into custody after he killed an elderly Hillsdale, N.Y., woman in her home.

“He was a child abuser and registered sex offender, therefore by definition he was a danger to the community,” said Czajka. “It would not have been a difficult hearing to make that case.”

But ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein said the agency had little choice but to release criminals such as Islam and Chen because the courts have made it difficult to hold even mentally ill immigrants longer without new criminal charges against them.

“For this reason, the agency’s ability to utilize the continued detention of removable aliens . . . is extremely limited,” Feinstein said.

Lois Decker’s grieving relatives say they’ve been told very little about how Islam gained his release and was able to kill her. Until a Globe reporter contacted the family, they had no idea that Islam had filed a federal lawsuit to get out of jail.

“It’s crazy to me that we don’t know this information,” said Decker’s daughter Diane Demarest, a veterinarian who lives in Oregon.

Some US and Bangladeshi officials involved with Islam’s case did not even realize he had killed Decker until contacted by the Globe.

Gail Y. Mitchell, an assistant US attorney in New York who defended ICE against Islam’s lawsuit to get out of jail, said the case ended because immigration officials released him. She would not say why they didn’t pursue the case and did not know that Islam had gone on to murder Decker.

Bangladesh consul M. Shahedul Islam said he did not know that Islam had killed Decker either. “This guy?” the consul said, raising his eyebrows and pointing to four passport-sized photos of Islam in a file with letters from US immigration officials asking for help with deportation.

The Bangladeshi consulate said Bangladesh did not approve Islam for return because they could not verify he was a citizen of their country.

“We always cooperate with Homeland Security,” said the consul, who is not related to Shafiqul Islam, and he apologized if his staff hung up on ICE agents.

But, for Decker’s family, the conflicting explanations don’t help.

“How could someone not have stopped him along the way?” asked Demarest.

Light sentences for heavy crimes

The uncertainties of the deportation process have another little known effect: Some foreigners get reduced prison sentences when they are convicted of crimes because judges believe they are sure to be deported after their sentence is over. Federal immigration officials warn against the practice, saying that deportation is not a 100 percent certainty even for the worst offender.

No one knows that better than the man Antonino Rodrigues allegedly shot between the eyes this year.

Rodrigues, a convicted drug dealer in the country illegally from Cape Verde, was facing almost four years in federal prison in October 2010 for possessing a stolen, loaded weapon. New Bedford police had caught him: They knew Rodrigues had outstanding arrest warrants and they were pleased when a detective spotted him bar-hopping on the city’s south side.

When Rodrigues appeared for sentencing before US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock in Boston for the latest in a string of convictions, federal guidelines called for 37 to 46 months in prison.

But defense lawyer Syrie Fried argued that Rodrigues deserved a lighter punishment because he was going to deported anyway. She told the judge Rodrigues had “no prospect of release back into our society.”

Woodlock went along, giving Rodrigues just two years in prison with credit for time served, clearing the way for Rodrigues to finish his prison sentence in March 2011.

“Given the defendant’s near certainty of deportation, the sentence is sufficient but not greater than necessary,” the judge ruled.

But Cape Verde officials did not take Rodrigues back, so immigration officials released him late last year. The Cape Verde consulate in Boston did not respond to questions about why they did not accept Rodrigues.

On June 17, 2012, Rodrigues resurfaced outside an apartment on New Bedford’s Walnut Street, where police say he shot Monzes Goncalves in the forehead with a .22-caliber gun. Goncalves miraculously survived and identified Rodrigues as the shooter.

Rodrigues denied shooting Goncalves and turned himself in to police because he heard they were looking for him.

Fried, the lawyer who helped Rodrigues win a shorter prison sentence in 2010, said she was surprised to learn that her client was still in the United States. She said she did not stay in touch with him because, typically, foreigners who are convicted of serious crimes leave the country.

“I was under the impression . . . that he was going to go straight from serving his jail sentence and be deported,” she said.

The fact is, Rodrigues’ case is not unusual. In Massachusetts over the past four years, the Parole Board has granted early release to 22 immigrants convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter, several times stating that their willingness to free the prisoner was influenced by his expected departure from the United States. Some prisoners told the board they planned to leave voluntarily for a job in Sierra Leone or a place to live in Cambodia.

However, at least five of the 22 were still here as of July, and, it’s unclear what happened to the other 17. One of the five still here under state supervision is Hung Truong, the Vietnamese national who helped murder an Everett mother and her daughter. Truong had been disciplined more than 30 times in prison, but the board said his behavior had improved — and Truong was possibly leaving anyway.

“It is the judgment of the board that he should be paroled [to federal immigration officials] for possible deportation,” wrote the parole board in its unanimous vote on Sept. 24, 2010.

More than two years later, Truong is still here — in MCI-Shirley, a Massachusetts prison, after flunking a drug test he was required to take as a condition of his release.

No one has to tell Qian Wu’s widower about immigrants getting light sentences for heavy crimes. Yongwei Guo’s wife was killed by an illegal immigrant who prosecutors said was initially sentenced to only 30 days in prison for attacking her the first time. Immigration officials ultimately detained Huang Chen off and on for more than three years in hopes of deporting him, but it wasn’t enough.

“They are not taking responsibility,” Guo said. “They can’t let such a dangerous man free merely because China won’t take him.”

No warning for victims

Long after her assailant went off to prison, Qian Wu kept an eye out for him in her Flushing, N.Y., neighborhood, scanning the crush of pedestrians flowing into the markets, the take-out joints, and the massage parlors nearby. She quizzed the fruit vendors on the street. Nobody had seen Huang Chen. Nonetheless, Wu kept a restraining order out against him — just in case.

Wu had a tough exterior, but those close to her said her attitude masked her fear. She was thin and walked with a limp from injuries she suffered in a car accident years ago. She hardly spoke English, and she had fled political repression in China. And until she remarried in 2008, Wu was a woman on her own, running an employment service for immigrants.

“She was disabled, so she had to be tougher than the others,” said Guo.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country at a detention center in El Paso, federal officials were trying to figure out what to do with Chen, a man who could seem normal one moment and mentally unbalanced the next. Immigration officials continued to hold Chen for another year after his 30-day sentence ran out, holding out hope that China would take him back.

When that didn’t happen, an immigration agent dropped Chen off at a local homeless shelter, in April 2008.

But just two months later, El Paso police arrested Chen after he punched two men in a plaza downtown. Then, just days after Chen got out of jail for the assaults, police arrested him again on a disorderly conduct charge for attacking a man on a bicycle right in front of them. Police described him as “a danger” to himself and others in their report.

Chen returned to the El Paso detention center to await deportation, but again China refused to take him back, so in October 2009, immigration officials again released him. This time, he made it clear that he wanted to get back to New York. He blamed Qian Wu for his troubles, court records later showed, and he knew exactly where to find her: Apartment 3F in a building on 40th Road.

When Chen walked through Wu’s unlocked front door for the first time since 2006, she ran downstairs and begged neighbors to call 911. She asked police and prosecutors for help with a new restraining order, since hers had expired, but never managed to get one. Guo warned his wife to stay inside.

One desperate night, Guo recalled, he asked Wu what they should do, and she responded bitterly.

“She said we can just wait to die,” he said.

Most victims, including Wu, have no idea that the criminal who victimized them has been released, based on a Globe analysis of ICE’s little-known victim notification program and the number of immigrants released from its custody. Federal immigration statistics show ICE has released or deported more than 1 million criminals over the past decade, but they have made just 1,000 to 3,000 victim notifications.

Currently, only 336 crime victims are enrolled in ICE’s program, compared with 2.2 million victims in the Justice Department’s electronic notification system in 2010 alone.

Immigration officials say they want more crime victims to sign up for their system, but it’s up to the victims to register. Wu’s widower was unsure whether she had been offered the opportunity to enroll, though he knows she would have been interested.

The Queens district attorney’s office, which handled Chen’s attacks on Wu, said they were not aware of Chen’s release. ICE officials say they are under no obligation to contact law enforcement officials when civil immigration detainees are released, though they do so when officials request it.

In Flushing, court records show, Chen stalked the panicked Wu for days. He moved into the same building, a few doors down. He tried to reach through the metal gate on her door and unlock it. He even took the $200 her husband gave him to go away.

On Jan. 26, 2010, security camera footage showed Chen leaving Wu’s building, his green sweater soaked in blood. Police arrested him at a local hospital seeking treatment for a hand wound.

Chen, now 50, made no secret in court that he wanted to kill Wu as revenge for his long stint in prison. Justice Richard L. Buchter called the murder “cold-blooded and grotesque,” and especially senseless because Chen was not supposed to be here at all.

“I just — I am just disturbed by what you told me regarding the fact that this person should have been deported and was not,” said Buchter, who sentenced Chen to 27 to 29 years in prison.

Wu’s widower has filed claims against ICE and multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the New York City Police Department and Chen.

From his offices in Times Square, lawyer George W. Clarke said Guo’s case is one of the toughest he’s had in years, because immigration officials provide so little information. They ask him questions he said they should answer, such as when they released Chen, and refuse to provide documents.

“They’re not telling us anything,” Clarke said. Later, he added: “I think it’s just the immigration service doesn’t want to be bothered or exposed to liability for releasing people who may be guilty of crimes and who have no right to be here, such as Huang Chen.”

Officials at the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to e-mails and phone calls about Chen’s case.

The whole experience has shaken the Rev. Bill Morton, an El Paso priest who gave Chen a cleaning job when he got out of detention and sometimes drove him to meetings with ICE. Over time, he became concerned about Chen’s mental health and, looking back, he wonders why immigration officials didn’t express similar concerns, or warn volunteers like him.

“I’m totally pro-immigrant, but I’m certainly not pro-ignorance or indifference where you’re exposing criminal people or insane people on an unknowing public,” Morton said. “That’s not helping immigrants or the US or the person themselves.”

December 24, 2012

Greensburg teen arrested for impersonating a police officer

Frank Denzler 

RCSD deputy Steve Houston (center right) is pictured speaking to a 17-year-old female passenger and the teen’s

mother following a traffic stop on Flatrock River Road, The teen was released to the custody of her mother a short time later.

The driver of the pictured Ford Crown Victoria (foreground) was arrested on multiple felony charges.

Greensburg — A Greensburg teenager, Ryan A. Rouse, 19, was taken into custody shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday in the 1600 block of South Flatrock River Road following a pursuit that began in Decatur County.

Rush County Sheriff’s Department deputy Steve Houston said Rouse was behind the wheel of a Ford Crown Victoria and was tailgating another vehicle as he traveled northbound on SR 3. Rouse then passed the vehicle as passengers in the Rouse vehicle made what were described as obscene gestures to the other motorist and took off at a high rate of speed.

The unidentified driver of the second vehicle called 911 from a cell phone and gave the dispatcher information regarding the direction of travel of the Greensburg man’s vehicle as it continued traveling north on the state road at a high rate of speed.

During the trip toward Rushville, a number of accidents were narrowly avoided as other motorists got out of the way of the speeding Ford.

Multiple law enforcement vehicles from the RCSD and the Rushville Police Department attempted to locate the car after it turned west on CR 350S in Rush County.

The car was finally stopped in the 1600 block of South Flatrock River Road where Rouse was taken into custody.

He is charged with impersonating a police officer and disorderly conduct. A bond of $10,000 was set.

Two minor passengers in the vehicle were also detained at the scene.

A 17-year-old female was later released to a parent after the investigation was completed.   

Compounding the Greensburg man’s problems with law enforcement was the fact that the license plate on his vehicle did not match the registration paperwork and the Ford was fitted with lights and a working siren.

The vehicle was impounded and towed from the scene.

According to Houston, the investigation is ongoing and additional charges and arrests may be forthcoming.

December 24, 2012

IMPD officer arrested on domestic battery, burglary charges

byJill Disis

John Haggard

An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer was arrested late last night on domestic battery and burglary charges.

John Haggard, 40, is charged with burglary, criminal recklessness, criminal confinement, pointing a firearm, domestic battery and battery.

Details about the case are not immediately available. Police say the investigation is ongoing and a 72-hour hold has been placed on the case through the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. 

“This will allow detectives more time to complete their investigation before filing a probable cause affidavit,” police said in a news release.

No information is available yet about Haggard’s work status. He is a 14-year veteran with the department.

In the report, police say they confiscated a 40-caliber handgun and 16 live rounds.

December 24, 2012

Trooper Stops Truck for Defective Headlight and finds Marijuana 

Gibson County – Early Monday morning, December 24, at approximately 12:15 a.m., Trooper Paul Stolz was operating stationary radar on U.S. 41 south of S.R. 168 when he observed a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck traveling southbound with only one headlight. Trooper Stolz stopped the pickup truck near Coal Mine Road. After he approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver a strong odor of marijuana was detected inside the truck. The driver identified himself as Michael Broyles, 25, of Greenville, KY. While searching the truck officers noticed screws were missing from the middle console. After lifting the console they found two plastic baggies containing approximately 78 grams of marijuana. Broyles was arrested and taken to the Gibson County Jail where he’s currently being held on a $1,500 bond. 


Michael P. Broyles, 25, Greenville, KY 

Possession of Marijuana over 30 grams, Class D Felony 

Arresting Officer: Trooper Paul Stolz, Indiana State Police 

Assisting Officers: Officer Jeremy Volk, Haubstadt Police 

Deputy Brand Nixon and Deputy Bryan Smalls, Gibson Co. Sheriff’s Department 

December 24, 2012

Wis. Police Investigate Slaying of on-Duty Officer


Wisconsin authorities investigating after officer shot, killed on duty in suburban Milwaukee

A suburban Milwaukee police officer was found shot and killed on Christmas Eve a couple of hours after a police dispatcher tried unsuccessfully to reach her, and authorities said they were investigating the case as a homicide.

A dispatcher tried to reach Officer Jennifer Lynn Sebena, 30, for a call about 3 a.m. Monday, but she didn't respond, Wauwatosa Lt. Gerald Witkowski said. Officers began looking for her and found her dead with several gunshot wounds about 5 a.m., he said. He didn't know if she was found inside or outside her squad car or whether she tried to defend herself.

Investigators have no suspects, and Witkowski urged witnesses to come forward.

"Our hearts are really heavy," he said. "You just can't believe something like this occurs."

Sebena graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College's police academy, he said. She started solo work with the police department in Wauwatosa, a city of about 46,000 people just west of Milwaukee, in July and ended her probationary period in November. Witkowski said he's the field training coordinator and worked with her when she went through the department's program and even went to her graduation.

"Great person. Great officer," he said. "This is just an unbelievable act that has touched everybody at the department, especially at this time."

He said Sebena was married but he didn't know if she had children.

Witkowski didn't have details on the call that prompted dispatchers to try to reach Sebena or whether it could be related to her death. He said he didn't think there was a safety risk to the local residents.

The state Justice Department's criminal investigation unit is helping in the investigation.

Copyright © 2012 ABC News Internet Ventures

December 24, 2012

4 firefighters shot, 2 killed at Webster, N.Y., fire

Fires allowed to spread while gunman remains at large

A gunman shot and killed at least two firefighters responding to a house fire at a Rochester suburb early Monday.

Two other firefighters were in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds, according to a hospital spokeswoman, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier said the blaze was allowed to spread to two other houses until the area is secured.

Webster police Chief Gerald Pickering said "one or more shooters" fired at the firefighters when they arrived at the scene near the shore of Lake Ontario. The attacker was still at large at mid-morning.

WHEC-TV reported that by midmorning firefighters were attacking the blaze, which had spread to three homes and a vehicle.

The gunman open fire on the first firefighters to respond to the call around 5:45 a.m. ET, striking one in the backside.

A SWAT team escorted some residents to a bus that took them from the neighborhood.

A gunman shot and killed two firefighters and injured two others responding to a house fire in

Webster, N.Y., early Monday.(Photo: Rochester (N.Y.) Democrats and Chronicle)

Boutillier advised those residents who chose to remain in their homes to stay away from windows and doors.

"I'm not aware of anything like this happening in Webster, obviously not a firefighter being fired upon," Boutillier said.

Webster resident Michael Damico was among those neighbors who were evacuated.

"The whole strip's been evacuated," Damico said. "They're evacuating all of the houses and going through them."

(12/24/2012) The scene of the fire and shooting. A gunman shot and killed at least two firefighters responding to a house fire at a Rochester suburb early Monday. Two other firefighters were in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds, according to a hospital spokeswoman, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. The gunman was still at large at mid-morning. Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier said the blaze was allowed to spread to two other houses until the area is secured.(Photo: The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle)

Webster, N.Y.

Damico's son woke him up around 8 a.m. to tell him about the fire that was burning down the street.

"We looked out the window and we saw the SWAT team and everyone around," he said.

"Some people on this bus already watched their houses burn," Damico said. "They're not happy."

Webster, with a population of 5,000, is located northeast of Rochester and is bordered on the north by Lake Ontario.

WHEC-TV reported that one of the injured firefighters was able to drive his vehicle away from the scene.

Freile is a reporter for The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle

December 24, 2012


The following story seems to be a continuation of the dumbing down of America.

And we wonder why there are so many problems in the police family

Seattle PD Softens Hiring Stance on Past Pot Use

The Seattle Police Department said Tuesday that it will relax its hiring standards for officers in light of Washington's new marijuana-legalization law -- applicants will now be disqualified for past pot use within one year instead of three years.

The change, following passage of Initiative 502, stemmed from a policy review ordered last week by Police Chief John Diaz, the department said in a statement posted Tuesday on its news website.

"We are changing our policy as a direct result of the recent vote on I-502," Assistant Chief Jim Pugel said in the statement.

Pugel, who oversees the department's marijuana-related issues, reviewed the policy along with Assistant Chief Dick Reed, who oversees department hiring.

Reed said in the statement that the three-year restriction no longer made sense in light of the "changing cultural and political landscape," and that the department needed to find a "middle ground" that doesn't exclude viable candidates.

While noting the department will be the first law-enforcement agency in the state to soften its standard because of I-502, the statement said the new restriction will not represent a major shift because, according to Reed, it is not often an applicant is disqualified over marijuana use. Fewer than five candidates of nearly 500 were disqualified because of marijuana use, Reed said in the statement.

The department said it will continue to closely screen applicants, including for other drug use, as part of what is described as its rigorous hiring and testing process.

"We're on the forefront of change," Reed said, adding there is a lot more to re-evaluate.

Included will be a re-evaluation of other marijuana-related hiring policies over the next year, the statement said.

"We are deciding to take a much more worldly view of our applicants," Pugel said in the statement.

Last month, the city of Seattle reminded its 10,500 workers that, because it gets federal funding, and because federal law still considers marijuana a banned substance, it must maintain a drug-free workplace.

Copyright 2012 - The Seattle Times

December 24, 2012

Judge Nemeth gives his parting words

He pulls no punches about DCS, openness, and how we let our kids down.


St. Joseph County Probate Judge Peter J. Nemeth prepares to give the oath of office Friday

to judge-elect Jim Fox. (South Bend Tribune/SANTIAGO FLORES / December 23, 2012)

SOUTH BEND -- The teen was struggling as two guards pulled her down the hallway of the Juvenile Justice Center last week, crying and cursing as she unsuccessfully demanded her release.

Those sitting in the nearby offices of St. Joseph County Probate Judge Peter J. Nemeth -- the walls decked with various plaques from over the years and photos of a younger Nemeth with President Jimmy Carter and football star Joe Montana, among others -- watched calmly at the scene that unfolded after court.

Tears and anger are no strangers to the Juvenile Justice Center on South Michigan Street, which houses the county's probate and juvenile courts and the detention center for young offenders.

Nemeth's last day in the office was Friday, as he finished packing his books and mementos and prepared to hand over the reins to Probate Judge-elect Jim Fox.

Nemeth has spent nearly 20 years as a probate judge, ever since Gov. Evan Bayh appointed him in 1993 to fill out his father's term in that seat. He had earlier been South Bend's mayor from 1976 to 1980, a member of the common council and a deputy prosecutor.

The judge has been outspoken on many issues over the years, taking on county officials' attempts to cut his budget, for example, and criticizing state officials for their running of juvenile facilities.

In the past year, he has openly lambasted Indiana's Department of Child Services over the agency's many changes under Gov. Mitch Daniels, and the effects of budget cuts, altered policies and less local control.

Earlier this year, the judge announced his decision to retire from the bench. Now 71, he'll join his son's firm, Nemeth, Sweeney and Masters, working on economic development issues and seeking certification as a mediator of civil cases.

Nemeth sat down one morning last week for an interview with Tribune senior writer Virginia Black. It is edited only for length.

Have you been talking with the new judge about how things work?

Yes, Judge-elect Fox has been here at the court several times. He has sat in with me on a couple of delinquency sessions, and I know he's been meeting with various folks throughout the court, and I think he'll hit the ground running on Jan. 2.

In the days between now and then, what are you doing? What are you finishing -- some packing, huh?

(Laughs, looks over at half-emptied bookcase.) Cleaning out my shelves. I still have my pictures on the walls to take down, but basically court as usual, as you just heard (referring to the young woman screaming in the hallway). We've had a busier day today; unfortunately things seem to be spiking upward.

We've had about a three-, four-year run of things going down as far as kids in detention. All of a sudden, things have gone up.

More than what you'd normally see this time of year?

There's nothing normal. The only time of year that we can predict is that when it's a blizzard out there and 5 above 0 or lower, things are calm. But other than that, sometimes you think, "Well, when school lets out, things get worse" and then other times "When schools starts up, things get worse" -- but there's just no rhyme or reason.

Kids do things without a lot of logic, so it's pretty difficult to track it or predict it. As I said, the only thing that seems to be consistent is when the weather's really bad. In general, they tend to hunker down and not get into a lot of trouble.

We haven't had a lot of that, even last year, right?

We had a mild winter last year, the previous two were pretty bad, I thought. But so far this year it's been mild. I think the county's going to have to seriously consider starting to reopen some of the beds we closed down to budget cuts in past years. I think we were alerted to this a couple, three months ago. The incoming judge is aware of it. I think that may have to happen.

What do you mean by you were alerted to this?

Well, the numbers started going up last fall, and we started being at or near our capacity more often than we were prior, and in fact in recent days we've been over our capacity, so it's becoming a rather serious thing.

And you're talking about delinquency cases specifically?

I'm talking about the number of kids in detention.

Now do those numbers tend to rise and fall at all with abuse and neglect cases?

I don't think there's any connection to them. I've never seen anything that might indicate there's a link to that. Obviously, if you have dysfunctional families that get involved in abuse and neglect cases, the odds are that there's probably going to be delinquency, but the abuse and neglect cases are all kids from Day 1, kids who are not old enough to commit delinquent acts. Whereas delinquent acts are generally committed by kids who are at or near their teenage years. Occasionally we get the really young ones, but that's an exception, fortunately. Generally, we're dealing with teenagers.

I think we've talked before about the phenomenon of kids who are abused and neglected, if not properly treated early enough ...

They certainly wind up in delinquency courts, it's a natural progression.

So you see that, because you see both sides of that.

Sure do.

We've heard off and on from law enforcement that the JJC, because of funding fewer beds, has turned away some kids police would like to bring down or in the past brought down for lesser sorts of charges --

That's true.

-- maybe drug offenses --

That's true.

-- so the rise in the number of occupied beds now, that's still the higher levels of crimes we're talking about?

Right. When we had the budget cuts we were forced to close down 27 beds. We raised the bar, we used a point system to determine whether a child should be placed in detention, and we raised the points requirement, which ended up eliminating some of those marijuana-type cases, which did cause a fair amount of stress among policemen, school safety officers, because they liked the idea of being able to bring kids down and putting them in detention.

But by raising the bar, we did concentrate more on kids who were doing more violent things, personal crimes or serious property crimes. So that's not a good sign that we're now going above our limit. We don't have the light offenses that were eliminated at least from detention as a result of raising the bar.

And what year did that start?

Gosh, I'm thinking '08, maybe '09. At my age, I think it's happened last year, and it's five years ago. (Laughs.)

So if money were not a consideration, is it ideal to restore the previous bar?

Well, I think we wouldn't be restoring the previous bar if we opened a half-pod, which is nine beds, which would help us deal with our current situation. But if we wanted to go back and lower that bar, then we certainly would have to reopen the other pod of 18 beds. Our capacity is 90, and right now our capacity is 63.

It was built for 90, you mean?

Yes. We had over 90 at times, in the early years of the last decade, 2002 to 2004, I think we kind of peaked. There's been a kind of national trend that started in the last decade, and it could be that that has come to an end. I'm not sure what's going on nationally, but certainly locally it appears to be turning upward.

Is there the possibility that the move to not treat as seriously the lesser offenses is just ratcheting up --

It's certainly a possibility. I really believe in the broken window theory: I think back in the '80s the view was, "Well, truancy, that's delinquency lite, let's not worry about it." Schools got rid of their truant officers, and of course all hell broke loose.

That's why I established a rather firm truancy program 15, 16 years ago. The data shows that 96, 97 percent of children who commit delinquent acts have truancy in their background. ...

Some people laugh about it, that kids who are truant might be on probation longer than anyone else, because when we pick them up in junior high we follow them through high school, to make sure they stay in school and get their education.

(DCS) has obviously been a topic this past year, but it's been something you've been concerned about for a while.

I think everything I said years ago is coming to pass (when DCS centralized many operations and, later, when state government took over funding from the county level).

When they started making the changes?

Yes, what was I called, "Pat Bauer's stooge," or something? (Laughs.) But it was all political, and my concern was about the kids, because I don't think the changes have helped children in Indiana one bit.

What's happening now? Family and Children's Center is virtually going out of business, we have fewer and fewer options to place children, there are waiting lists for those that are available, having eliminated the ability of the court to place kids out of state. ... I'm hoping that the new governor will take a different approach.

Do you think some of the changes they've talked about so far, or that DCS has made so far and that the study committee has recommended --

I'm not clear what steps they've taken. They talk about doing things, but I'm not sure what's really happened.

I'm not a proponent of the central call center. I think, as I said at the hearing here, Illinois was the first state to do that, in 1980, and they're still having the same problems that we're having, that Indiana's been having, 30 years later. So I don't think they've ever corrected it. Certainly Illinois hasn't, and I don't think Indiana will, either.

There's a big flurry of activity when something happens, like happened with the death of the youngsters (publicized around the state in the last year, including South Bend 10-year-old Tramelle Sturgis), and everybody gets up in arms, and then time goes by and things settle back down.

For this community, it seems like the number of reports in this county are still high, CASIE Center says their caseload has gone up ever since Tramelle Sturgis died.

I think the DCS has responded because of what happened, because of the fury of the press, as well as the folks, and that's a good thing. But why weren't they doing that all along?

People didn't know about a lot of the changes before.

And that's the other thing, everything's confidential, so nobody really knows what's going on. I have said for years that I think the days of confidentiality should be gone.

I don't understand the reason for maintaining confidentiality in juvenile cases. Certainly in paternities, the only difference from a divorce is that there's no property settlements in paternities, divorces are public. Why shouldn't paternities be public? The days of the shotgun wedding and the embarrassment and so forth when 40 percent of the kids are born out of wedlock, I don't know that that justifies maintaining that confidentiality anymore.

And certainly with CHINS cases (when children are deemed wards of the state because of abuse or neglect allegations), I think if citizens knew what was going on in their community, they might be able to respond much better and prevent some of these problems that reach a tragic end. Certainly, I think it would be after a probable cause hearing; if probable cause doesn't exist, it would remain confidential. ...

I will say that once things become public, then the press loses interest. The press is generally more interested when something's confidential, and they want to know what's going on. You open it up, and after a time, then people become numb or immune, whatever. But I still think it would be a good thing. ...

I think the theory was to prevent the child from suffering some stigma, from peers being cruel, but I kind of think in our present-day society we've gone way beyond that point. I don't think the objections are as valid as they may have been 50 years ago.

I've sat in on a couple of hearings this year that were related to CHINS cases that were in your courtroom. I had to get your permission, but DCS objected pretty stringently under the confidentiality clause. ... With the Sturgis phone call, when we sought that, we believed that we might not hear anything that revealed anything about how that case unfolded or how it might have been prevented. As it turned out, we think it showed a great deal about maybe where there were some flaws in the system.

I think that tells you something: When DCS opposes the release on confidentiality, that's supposed to protect the children and families, not DCS. But yet DCS is the one that appears to be taking advantage of that.

We've never talked about the circumstances of that phone call. We had our day in court, and made our argument, and you ordered it released. But you knew they would be unhappy, and it wasn't redacted (confidential information had not been electronically removed from the recording, although The Tribune edited it greatly to protect the identity of the caller and others named in the call). There was information there I guess you trusted us to use our judgment with, but can you talk about what your thinking was? You thought it was an important record for the community to hear, or -- ?

I think it was. I think frankly that the way the state set up DCS, they're virtually omnipotent, there's no check on them. Courts have been the check for years, but basically we were reduced to almost a subsidiary. You can't place a child anywhere without their consent, you can't do what's in the best interest of the child because they don't agree to it. ...

That's crazy, that a bureaucrat is going to tell me how to decide a case. It's not a good thing.

The judges were portrayed to the legislature that we were a bunch of spendthrifts. Too much money was being spent, and they're going to take care of the judges by doing this. And that's nonsense, because my placements, particularly out of state, cost less than the ones we're placing them with now, and with poorer results. Our success rates in Arizona and Nevada were over 80 percent. Once we were not able to use those, that percentage rate dropped to 55, 59 percent. That's a big drop.

I'm paying more money for the in-state placements, paying more money and getting poorer results. It pops its head up down the road. Just like the truancy thing ... If you stop it there, chances are won't continue to the next level. If you don't stop it there and let it go, 96, 97 percent of them proceed to the next level. That's pretty strong evidence.

This whole DCS experiment has been unfortunate for Indiana, in my opinion.

I just hope that the new state administration will take another look at it and do what's right.

I think you can do what's right at reasonable cost. If you don't do what's right, the cost down the road ... This has been, I believe, the problem with local government in some cases, being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Like with building this building. Come into our lobby, and you've got paving brick, brick walls, and that's expensive stuff, more expensive than plaster walls would have been, or tile floor. But you walk in there today, and it looks brand-new. It's 151/2 years old. ... I think it saved the county money over time. ...

There are studies with children ... that have to do with the idea of "failing up." Many welfare departments around the country have taken this approach, and statute has language about the least restrictive placement, which public defenders jump on all the time in delinquency cases.

You hear it sometimes in the CHINS cases. "Put him back in the home" ... because that's what the Annie E. Casey Foundation wants, and Payne (DCS Director James Payne, who resigned a few months ago) gets his awards from them because that's what they want. And I think they're full of prune juice, because I don't think they know what's good for kids.

Half the programs they push are not good for kids. One of those is to get rid of a judge's ability to hold kids in contempt for being truant. You take away the power to contain the child, then you're in the same boat the schools are. All they can do is expel 'em. What kid of a remedy is that?

What's the theory behind that?

I have no idea what the theory is. Be nice to kids, I don't know. It's like parents will say, "My daughter and I are best friends." I'm sorry, but you're her mother, you're not supposed to be a best friend. Being a mother is a tough job. Being a friend is all pudding and cake.

I don't understand it, but there's that thinking out there. And there a lot of judges out there who think that way, not a majority, I don't think, but there are some who are pretty vocal about it. ...

The problems we're dealing with today, it's not the kid punching someone in the nose or throwing a rock through a window, or stealing a candy bar. We're dealing with sex abuse, all kinds of psychosocial disorders, it's not pretty. It's a reflection of what's going on in our society.

So you think it's growing worse, the number of mentally ill?

I don't think there's any question about it, and I think as long as the out-of-wedlock birth rate keeps going up, it's going to continue. Because children need stability, desperately. I think that's why marriage was created, because somebody figured out that was the best way to raise children, because it's stable. And somehow we've translated this today as about adult rights. And if two people want to co-habit, they don't need a marriage license to do that, which is becoming more obvious. ...

I'm sure you have cases where children have a good mom and a good dad in a good family and still end up here, but the odds are a lot less that that will happen. ...

I think the schools have become cowards, in terms of dealing with unruly children. They need to enforce discipline in the schools. And so long as they're not doing that ... I don't think anybody would want to know what goes on in school buses.

Oh -- you mean you hear a lot of those cases?

Well, I've seen some videos, some school videotapes. Talk about Freedom of Information, you ought to take a look at some of the videotapes from school buses and see what's going on.

We've tried to do that, and we've been denied.

I'm not surprised at that.

Well, what sort of things are we talking about? Violence, sexual assaults?

(Nods.) I had a case today, oral sex on a bus. Eleven-year-old girl, 13-year-old boy ...

In this county?

You bet. Don't try to blame the bus driver. I feel sorry for the bus drivers, because you can't touch anybody. A lot of these kids need a whack across the chops. I'm sorry, but that's what needs to happen.

And adults running around, saying, "You can't touch anybody," well, kids aren't stupid, they know that. The inmates are running the asylum.

Let's talk about corporal punishment, then, because in a year of covering child abuse issues, it seems like that's one thing that comes up a lot is, I have a right to discipline my child, and it's legal in Indiana, not in every state, but it's legal in Indiana still. But where does smacking across the chops turn into abuse? Where does using a belt on a little girl -- where's the line there?

It's kind of like Justice Potter Stewart's description of what is pornography: "I don't know how to describe it, but I know it when I see it."

I think that with corporal punishment, I've told the folks in court that certainly I don't oppose corporal punishment, I do oppose beatings. If corporal punishment becomes a beating, then you've got a problem.

But is that where marks are left?

That's an easy way to do it ... I'm not sure that's necessarily the right way to judge it. Certainly using cords, swinging cords around kids with a plug on the end, that doesn't make any sense, or beating a kid about the head doesn't make any sense, or hitting a kid in the head with an object doesn't make any sense.

But paddling a bottom, I had that experience on more than one occasion -- I think I turned out all right -- to say that's somehow making kids turn out bad is somehow missing the picture. And the days when the principal had the paddle in the principal's office, we didn't have a whole lot of problems in the schools then, did we?

Do you think there ought to be a better attempt to describe what that is in statute, or is that even possible?

I think that's part of society's problem. We've come to the place in our history that we have to have a law for everything. A law has to be passed. But laws don't do that. If laws were that great, why do we need courts to interpret them? ... What is needed is common sense.

And that certainly is needed on the part of the judges. I think when federal judges start telling schools that kids can wear arm bands in violation of school rules that breaks down discipline.

Children have no right to enter contracts, they have no right to drink, no right to vote. But they have a right to wear arm bands in school, or wear earrings, or any other of the crazy things that go on in the federal courts, the ACLU are going to allow them to do that. All that does is break down discipline, and things go up for grabs. It's nonsense. Maybe I'm an old fogy, but I think we're seeing results of that kind of thinking.

It sounds like you hear an awful lot of hard stories in the course of a day. How do you not take that home with you?

Well, I said perhaps early Alzheimer's helps.

But of course you're joking.

That's probably not a good thing to joke about.

But the thing that keeps me going, people ask that question, is the success stories. We have success stories. I was just out at the mall last weekend buying something, and the person who waited on me said, "You're Judge Nemeth." I said, "Yes."

You never know what's coming next when that happens. He said, "My son" -- son or nephew, I think son -- "was in your court. You scared the hell out of him, and we never had another problem with him after that." I thought, Great. That's always fun to hear that.

And that would keep you going, past the parents who were screaming at you ...

I've had that, too, where I've sent kids away, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and then they'll come back later and say, "You were right. It worked." That's a great feeling. ...

Even the Boys School, I hear people say -- I'm not going to argue with them; I think the state could be doing a heckuva lot better job on that score, too -- but, "You shouldn't be locking kids up," these groups nationally opposed to locking kids up say, "Well, that makes it worse." BS. It does, if you don't run the facility properly. But if you have a value system ...

The kids in our detention center get the stability they aren't getting at home. I think some of them enjoy being here: You don't have bullets whizzing around you, you don't have drug deals going on, you have a place to put your head down, not on a sofa or on a floor. It's a different ballgame if run properly, with a values system. It works.

Is there anything you leave undone? Are there things that you regret not having done, or finished?

I would say probably the additional courtroom down in the old CASA spaces. The council approved it twice, but it still didn't happen. But I think it needs to happen because I think the court needs to have that ability to utilize senior judges more fully.

Certainly, the land in the back ... My original idea for that was group homes for children, and of course the county fiscally was in no position to do that, so I've been waiting for the county to be in better fiscal position. Of course, I'm still waiting. Now Ivy Tech wants that land. I think it becomes very important for the county to keep that land, because with what's happened with DCS, with so many fewer options available to us, we need to somehow create our own options.

So, you're going to retire. A lot of guys would just be out playing golf at this point, right?

I'm not a golfer. I expect to have a little more time to play the piano.

But you don't want to give up on a meaningful role in the legal system.

No, I don't think I'm ready to head out to pasture yet. I may want to go out and take a little stroll through the pasture, but I don't think I want to stay out there.

Contact Virginia Black: 574-235-6321

Copyright © 2012, South Bend Tribune

December 24, 2012

Idaho Senator Charged With Driving Under The Influence

Idaho U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence in a Washington, D.C., suburb, authorities said.

Police in Alexandria, Va., said Sunday that the Idaho Republican was pulled over after his vehicle ran a red light. Police spokesman Jody Donaldson said Crapo failed field sobriety tests and was arrested at about 12:45 a.m. He was transported to the Alexandria jail and released on an unsecured $1,000 bond at about 5 a.m..

"There was no refusal (to take sobriety tests), no accident, no injuries," Donaldson said. "Just a traffic stop that resulted in a DUI."

Donaldson said he didn't immediately know what Crapo's blood alcohol level was, where he was coming from or the type of vehicle he was driving.

The 61-year-old Crapo has a Jan. 4 court date.

"I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance," Crapo said in a statement Sunday night. "I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me. I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter. I will also undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated."

A Crapo spokesman declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

Currently in his third term, Crapo has been in the Senate since 1998, and served for six years in the U.S. House of Representatives before that. He was easily re-elected in 2010, and won't have to run again until 2016.

In Congress, Crapo has built a reputation as a staunch social and fiscal conservative. It has been expected he would take over the top Republican spot next year on the Senate Banking Committee. He also serves on the Senate's budget and finance panels. Crapo was a member of the so-called "Gang of Six" senators that worked in 2011 toward a deficit-reduction deal that was never adopted by Congress.

A Mormon who grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Crapo was named a bishop in the church at age 31. He is an attorney who graduated from Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School. He has five children with his wife, Susan, and three grandchildren.

The Mormon Church prohibits the use of alcohol, as well as caffeine and other mind-altering substances.

December 24, 2012

Chicago police officer, 54, dies while off-duty

By Adam Sege

An off-duty Chicago police officer died late Sunday night, apparently of natural causes, authorities said.

The 54-year-old officer was discovered unresponsive in an apartment complex in the 700 block of South Wells Street shortly before 10:15 p.m., Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police will be conducting a routine investigation, but the death "doesn't appear to be suspicious in nature," Gaines said.

Security footage in the building showed the officer clutch his chest while walking down a first floor hallway and then fall to the ground, police said.

The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed that an off-duty officer had died and said further details would be released later this morning.

Police said the officer was a detective and a 30-year veteran of the police department.

As is customary for fallen police officers and firefighters, the officer's body was accompanied to the medical examiner's office by a procession of fellow officers.

Copyright © 2012 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

December 24, 2012

Greenfield police investigating stabbing fatality

byJill Disis

Greenfield police have identified a suspect in an early morning stabbing that left an Indianapolis man dead and two others injured.

The person is not in custody yet, Hancock County Prosecutor Tami Napier said, but police know where the person is.

At 6:49 a.m., police say they found Steven Rogers, 26, dead from apparent stab wounds at a residence at 14 N. Broadway Greenfield.

A Greenfield woman, Jessie Parsons, 27, was taken to Hancock Regional Hospital with similar injuries. An Indianapolis man, Colby McKneely, 26, was also taken to an Indianapolis-area hospital with apparent stab wounds.

Greenfield Police Chief John Jester said he didn't know where exactly McKneely was taken, and he was not sure what condition those two victims were in.

No one else is in custody, though Jester said police have served a search warrant at the scene and are still investigating.

Potential charges have yet to be determined.

Napier said the prosecutor's office is still looking for additional information, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Greenfield Police Department at (317) 477-4410.

December 23, 2012

Some stories just don't need words.

December 23, 2012

Head-on collision kills two

WABASH COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) - A head-on collision in Wabash County left two people dead Friday afternoon.

Police said the accident happened at around 5:00 p.m. on State Road 15, just north of 800 North.

According to police, Julia Brainerd, 49, of Warsaw, was driving southbound on S.R. 15. As she was passing another vehicle, Brainerd lost control of the car due to icy road conditions. Brainerd's car went left of the centerline and hit a northbound car head-on.

Police said the vehicle that was hit head-on was driven by John Arceneaux, 50, of Akron. Arceneaux was killed on impact.  His passenger, Brittany Arceneaux, 13, of Akron, was also killed on impact. Both died of blunt force trauma. Police said both people were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Brainerd was transported to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne and was listed in stable condition.

Police said they are still investigating the accident.

December 23, 2012

State Police Lieutenant struck by car trying to pass slower traffic

KENNER, La. - A State Police lieutenant working on a speeding enforcement detail was struck by a car that moved onto the shoulder of the road in an attempt to pass slower traffic, according to the State Police.

Lt. Robert Hodges suffered moderate injuries in the incident and he was taken to East Jefferson General Hospital for treatment.

The incident occurred around 7 a.m. on the 12-mile bridge between Kenner and LaPlace.

According to State Police, Lt. Hodges had stepped out of his vehicle and had the door opened when a Toyota Corolla driven by 20-year-old Kirby McCaskill was traveling in the left lane. State Police said the traffic in front of McCaskill's vehicle began to slow and he veered into the right lane in an effort to go around. His car also went into the right shoulder and struck Lt. Hodges and the front driver's side door of the vehicle.

 State Police said McCaskill voluntarily submitted to a breath test in which no detectable alcohol was found. Following too close and speed are considered factors of the crash and charges are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

December 23, 2012

Colorado Killer Had Just Been Released From Jail


LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — Investigators were unable to immediately determine when a shooter purchased a gun used to kill three people, including his ex-girlfriend, who was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher when she was killed.

The gunman who had just been released from jail on domestic violence charges then shot and killed himself Tuesday, Weld County Sheriff John Cook said. Investigators searching the gunman's home found the original box the handgun had been sold in, but they did not find a receipt, and it was unclear when he bought it, Cook said.

The victims included the ex-girlfriend's sister and the sister's husband. All were found dead in a home in unincorporated Weld County outside Longmont, about 35 miles north of Denver.

Cook identified the dead as 25-year-old Beatriz Cintora-Silva; her sister, Maria Cintora-Silva, 22; and Max Aguirre Ojeda, 32, who was Maria Cintora-Silva's husband.

The gunman was identified as Daniel Sanchez, 31.

Sanchez had just been released from jail on domestic violence charges.

Authorities said Beatriz Cintora-Silva called 911 shortly after 4 a.m. to report shots fired. The 911 dispatcher heard her cry, "No, no, no," followed by a gunshot.

Sanchez took the phone, told the dispatcher he had killed three people and that he was going to kill himself, authorities said. The dispatcher then heard a single shot followed by silence.

Cook said Sanchez had been arrested Saturday in Longmont on charges of domestic violence, kidnapping and false arrest for allegedly holding his ex-girlfriend against her will after their relationship ended.

Sanchez was released on bail from the Boulder County jail at 10 p.m. Monday and drove to the home where Cintora-Silva had taken refuge with her sister and brother-in-law, Cook said.

"He shot out the back door," Cook said. "He shot that out then gained entry into the house."

The bodies of Ojeda and his wife were found in one bedroom. His sister-in-law and Sanchez were found in another, Cook said.

Authorities found a .45-caliber Glock handgun near Sanchez's body and 16 spent shell casings around the house, Cook said, adding that investigators were still examining the house and might find more.

Cook said Sanchez had two magazines for the gun, and each held 13 rounds of ammunition.

Sanchez had been living in another house in the same neighborhood of tidy modular homes, winding walkways and parks.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 23, 2012

Caught On Camera: Police Officer Saves Baby’s Life In Runaway Shopping Cart Incident

by Anjali Sareen 

Watch the full clip below, via WQOW-News 18:

A Wisconsin police officer is a hero today for saving a baby in a shopping cart who was rolling into oncoming traffic. The events were caught on the officer’s dashboard camera and he tellsWQOW-News 18, “I believe I did the same thing any citizen or police officer would do.”

Officer Adam Brunclick says as he was driving, he saw a child in a bright yellow jacket sitting in the front of a shopping cart. The cart was traveling fast, straight onto a nearby highway. It had rolled out of a Dollar General parking lot. According to Brunclik, he knew there was no option to stop the cart, but had to do something. He activated his emergency lights and drove onto the highway, stopping traffic and saving the baby.

He says his emergency lights helped avert a crisis and credits being “in the right place” at the right time for the rescue.

December 23, 2012

Off-duty sheriff's deputy, brother shot at in Altadena

ALTADENA - An off-duty sheriff's deputy and his brother escaped injury early Saturday after they were attacked in a car-to-car shooting, officials said.

The shooting took place about 3:40 a.m. as the deputy was driving his personal vehicle in the area of Lincoln Avenue and Harriet Street, with his brother riding in the front passenger seat, Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Cynthia Gonzalez said.

"A dark-colored Lexus sedan pulled alongside the driver's side of the deputy's vehicle and a passenger from the suspect vehicle fired three rounds from a handgun at the deputy's vehicle before speeding away," Gonzalez said.

One bullet struck the deputy's car, she said, however neither he nor his brother were hurt.

Fellow deputies searched the area but did not find the attackers.

A motive in the shooting was unclear, Gonzalez said, and no further details were available.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff's Altadena Station at 626-798-1131.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously by contacting L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

December 23, 2012

Indiana police officer shot responding to robbery

Officer expected to recover from wounds

HAMMOND, Ind. - Northwestern Indiana police say a Hammond police officer shot three times while responding to a bank robbery remains in stable condition following Friday's attack.

Hammond police spokesman Lt. Richard Hoyda said Saturday the 34-year-old officer is expected to recover from his wounds. The Times of Munster and the Post-Tribune of Merrillville report the officer suffered three gunshot wounds to one of his legs.

Police haven't released the name of the officer, who's been on the force 13 months.

Two men believed involved in the armed robbery of a BMO Harris Bank branch and the officer's shooting were arrested Friday following a brief high-speed car chase.

David Hardin and Brealon Miller were charged with armed bank robbery Friday afternoon in federal court in Hammond. Both are 24 and from Gary.

December 23, 2012

Judge OKs request by former Ind. State trooper to interview prosecutors in murder trial

David Camm addresses a press conference with his sister, Julie Hogue,

outside of the Georgetown Community Church after serivces Sunday,

Oct. 1, 2000, in Georgetown, Ind. Camm has twice been convicted

in the murder of his wife and two children, but both verdicts

were subsequently overturned. His third trial is scheduled for August.

/ (AP Photo/Louisville Courier Journal, Pat McDonogh

ROCKPORT, Ind. -- A judge has approved a request by attorneys for a former Indiana state trooper charged in the slayings of his wife and two young children to question prosecutors involved in the man's first two murder trials.

Spencer County Judge Jon Dartt approved the motion Friday allowing David Camm's attorneys to obtain depositions from Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson and chief deputy prosecutor Steven Owen.

Camm attorney Richard Kammen tells the News and Tribune he wants to question the men about their conversations with Charles Boney.

Boney is serving a 225-year sentence in the 2000 killings of Camm's wife and two children. Prosecutors say Boney was Camm's accomplice.

Camm has twice been convicted in the killings, but both verdicts were subsequently overturned. His third trial is scheduled for August.

December 23, 2012

Wyandotte County sheriff deputy loses control on ice, dies

By DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager

By Alice Barr, News Reporter

Major Randy Edward Beery

KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -A Wyandotte County Sheriff's deputy was killed and his passenger injured when he lost control on ice late Friday night.

Neither Major Randy Edward Beery, 36, nor his passenger Katrina Ashley Kobe, 26, were wearing their seatbelts, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Beery died at the scene while Kobe was taken to KU Medical Center for treatment.

Kobe was seriously injured, but will survive. 

Beery was driving a 2006 Crown Victoria that was taken to Troop A's headquarters. The vehicle was Beery's county take-home vehicle, but he was not on duty when the crash occurred.

According to state troopers, Beery was driving south on Shawnee Drive just north of County Line Road when he hit "an area of packed snow on the roadway." Beery lost control, the vehicle went off on the right side of the road where it hit a tree and landed in a yard.

Beery worked for the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office for 12 years. He was promoted to major two years ago. He had previously worked at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and KCK Fire Department.

He is survived by his wife and four children ranging in age from middle school to toddler age. He was remembered for his dry sense of humor and good heart. 

Copyright2012 KCTV (MeredithCorp.)  All rights reserved.

December 22, 2012

A Proud day in the life of Steuben Counties newest Indiana State Trooper Joshua Thrasher.

Photos taken at the 72 Academy graduation ceremonies

and currently posted on a proud Mom & Dad's facebook page

The lovely lady says I am SO proud of this man!

Indiana State Trooper Joshua Thrasher (left), United States Marine Captain Christopher Thrasher

My wife made this for me

Governor Daniels speaking at Joshua's graduation! !

December 22, 2012

DEA Stymied Homicide Probe

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has refused for more than two years to allow its agents to cooperate with a Los Angeles Police Department investigation into the death of a drug suspect shortly after he was arrested in a DEA operation, according to LAPD records.

The LAPD's homicide investigation has effectively stalled, and officials said in documents reviewed by The Times that without assistance from the DEA they cannot determine how the man's fatal injuries were inflicted.

An autopsy found that the suspect's ribs had been fractured in 21 places and coroner's officials concluded that the injuries were caused by "blunt force." The fractures led to internal bleeding, which ultimately killed the man, the coroner found.

The LAPD believes DEA agents may have caused the injuries when they placed the suspect on his stomach while handcuffing him, according to the documents. But without being able to interview the DEA agents who made the arrest, it's impossible for the detectives to determine whether the excessive force was used.

December 22, 2012

Former South Carolina sheriff’s lieutenant charged in armed robbery in NM

SANTA FE, NM (AP) – A former South Carolina sheriff’s lieutenant is suspected of robbing a Santa Fe, N.M., pharmacy at gunpoint and trying to rob a second pharmacy of the potent narcotic Oxycodone.

Police in Santa Fe say 43-year-old George William Smith is also married to a Santa Fe prosecutor. They say Assistant District Attorney Dorie Biagianti-Smith called authorities and confronted her husband after recognizing him on a television news broadcast featuring the robberies that happened on Monday and Tuesday.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Smith fled the couple’s home after his wife confronted him and remained a fugitive Thursday night.

District Attorney Angela Pacheco says the alleged crimes show anyone can be affected by prescription drug addiction.

A Rio Arriba County, N.M., Sheriff’s Office spokesman says Smith listed South Carolina’s Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office as his previous employer.

December 22, 2012

Cops can't pull cars over because of new paint job

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A Florida appellate court says police cannot pull over a motorist just because the car has been repainted a different color.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee on Friday reversed a motorist's crack cocaine and marijuana convictions and six-year prison term.

An Escambia County sheriff's deputy stopped Kerick Van Teamer's Chevy because it was green, not blue as shown on registration records. The deputy then smelled marijuana. That led to a search and discovery of the drugs.

The appellate judges concluded that mismatching colors is insufficient reason by itself to suspect a crime. They also noted there's no way to change a car's color on registration records.

The panel, though, certified the issue to the Florida Supreme Court because of a conflicting appellate decision.

December 22, 2012

4 dead, 3 state troopers injured after Pennsylvania shooting


Local law enforcement blocked off road along Rt. 22 near the Canoe Creek State Park, Pa.

while they investigated a shooting today. The suspect fired at troopers responding to this morning's

shootings in Frankstown Township, about 70 miles west of Harrisburg. The fleeing gunman

then crashed head-on into a trooper's car, got out of his truck and shot again at police,

who returned fire and killed him. Blair County District Rich Consiglio says

the gunman killed two men and one woman.

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. »  A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children's Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in a rural township today before he was shot dead in a gunfight with state troopers.

Three troopers in patrol cars were injured in a pursuit that began after the gunman, driving a pick-up truck, fired at them, police said. One trooper injured a wrist and then was hit in the chest but was saved by a bulletproof vest.

The gunman was killed during a final exchange of gunfire after ramming his truck head-on into another police cruiser, authorities said.

The shootings began in Frankstown Township, in central Pennsylvania, at about 9 a.m., and investigators were processing five crime scenes within about a 1.5-mile radius, authorities said at a news briefing Friday afternoon. Troopers were responding to a 911 call of a shooting in the township when they heard calls reporting at least one other shooting elsewhere, state police said.

"It's going to take us some time to put this all together ... and know exactly what occurred," said Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy state police commissioner.

Authorities did not release the names of the victims or the shooter, though they did say the man lived in Blair County.

State police said they were still trying to piece together a timeline and motive. The gunman and the victims weren't related, though the victims may have been, at least distantly, Blair County District Attorney Rich Consiglio said.

Besides the woman, Bivens said, one man was shot at a residence, and the other man was shot at a crash site where the gunman "used his truck and also struck that vehicle much in the same manner that he did to our state police officer."

But family members of the victims said they were told the woman at the church was the first victim shot, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. The gunman then shot two men in the driveway of a home after a confrontation at a stop sign, one of the men's cousins, Marie Brenneman, told the newspaper.

"This person went to their driveway with a pistol, pointed at them and started shooting," Brenneman said.

She said both men were the shooter's neighbors in the tiny village of Geeseytown, about 70 miles west of Harrisburg, the state capital.

"They were uneasy around him," she said.

The woman at Juniata Valley Gospel Church had cooked food the day before for the funeral of the church's longtime pastor, said the Rev. James McCaulley, his brother. The church was still reeling from the Rev. David McCaulley's death when the woman returned to decorate its hall — named after the pastor of 58 years — and bullets ripped through a window, he said.

The gunman then entered and shot one of two women before he left, the reverend said.

Police identified the five crime scenes as the church; a home and ground around the home; a crash site where another victim was killed; the point in the road where the gunman opened fire on the troopers; and where the final encounter occurred after the truck collided with the police cruiser.

Bivens said investigators don't know if the victims were picked at random.

Besides the trooper wounded twice, a second trooper was injured by glass fragments in his eye and bullet fragments that hit him in the forehead, Bivens said. The third trooper suffered minor injuries from the head-on crash, he said.

"I think we have three very fortunate state police members tonight," Bivens said. "We are very thankful for the fact that they survived this attack. Someone was watching over them."

McCaulley, who is the pastor of another church about 50 miles away from the site of Friday's carnage, said his older brother began leading the Frankstown church in 1954.

"He preached his last sermon at the church in October before he fell ill," McCaulley said.

The church, which lists about 150 members in an online want ad posted this month for an associate pastor, is close-knit, and the woman killed Friday was among its more active members, McCaulley said. She had made food for him to take home Thursday since his wife had died this year, he said.

"The only thing I can say good at this time is that (the gunman) didn't do this 24 hours earlier when there was a big crowd in the church hall," McCaulley said. "We're devastated."

Friday's shootings were the second involving a rural Pennsylvania church this month.

An elementary school teacher is jailed on charges he fatally shot his ex-wife, a church organist, during a service in Coudersport on Dec. 2. The pastor and church members subdued him until police arrived.

December 21, 2012

One Killed in Semi Crash (Update)

The name of the driver of the semi involved in this morning’s crash was Lazaro A. Melendez of Antioch, TN.  Relative have been notified.

Jackson County: A 47 year old Tennessee truck driver was killed today in an early morning crash.  According to Trooper Matt Holley, at approximately 2:30 this morning a 2013 Peterbilt semi pulling a 53 foot box trailer was northbound on I-65.  As the semi crossed the bridge on I-65 over U.S. 31 the driver lost control on the snow and ice covered roadway.  The vehicle then struck the guardrail then drove between the guardrail and the concrete bridge barrier on the northbound side.  After leaving the roadway the semi went down the embankment and struck the concrete barrier separating the bridge from U.S. 31.  During impact the trailer detached and went thru the cab killing the driver.  The driver’s name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Tpr. Holley was assisted at the scene by Jackson County Sherriff’s Department, Vernon township fire Department, Jackson County EMS, and 31 Wrecker Service.  U.S. 31 remains closed at this time.

December 21, 2012

Chippewa County Driver’s Ed Teacher Arrested for Drunk Driving

Bay Mills Township MI---A Chippewa County driver’s education instructor resigned from his job following a drunk driving arrest earlier this month.

Police arrested David Barkley in Bay Mills Township, outside of Sault Ste. Marie on December 6th.

His blood alcohol content was at least .17.

Barkley works for Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools.

The superintendent tells 9&10 News Barkley told him about the arrest the next day, and resigned from the position.

Barkley is also a teacher at the high school.

His teaching position will not be affected by the arrest

December 21, 2012

State attorney clears officers in killing of naked woman in Spring Hill

By Danny Valentine

Inga Marie Swanson

SPRING HILL — The off-duty Tampa officer and off-duty Hernando deputy involved in the fatal shooting of a naked Hernando woman two months ago were justified in their actions, the State Attorney's Office has concluded.

Deputy Rocky Howard and Officer William Mechler only fired at 42-year-old Inga Marie Swanson after she pointed a firearm at Howard, advanced toward him and ignored repeated commands to drop the weapon, Assistant State Attorney Richard Ridgway wrote in a memo to State Attorney Brad King.

The memo, released Wednesday, shines more light on the bizarre circumstances surrounding the Oct. 20 shooting and gives more details regarding the events leading up to Swanson's death.

But it does not answer an obvious question: How did she get to that point in the first place?

The incident began at the home of Howard's in-laws at 9070 Orchard Way.

A friend of the in-laws, Eric Glass, was working on his truck, accompanied by his 5-year-old son.

While his son was sitting in the truck, he heard a woman yelling, "No, stop it," according to the memo.

Glass went to investigate and found Swanson next to the truck.

She opened the door and tried to get in, saying "I love you" repeatedly to the child, according to the memo.

Glass removed her from the truck, only then noticing she was completely naked.

As she walked away, she told him, "My daddy's going to kill you," the report said.

Howard and Mechler, who didn't see the incident, were told about it and went into the street to see what was going on. They saw Swanson walking down the street naked. At some point, she lay down.

Howard walked up to her to see if she needed help, and she started growling and making other noises.

Howard asked if she was okay. She said she was going to kill "that … Mexican." She then called Howard a name, got up and turned down a driveway.

At that point, Howard called the Hernando County Sheriff's Office's non-emergency line and asked that a deputy be sent to investigate. He said he thought the woman was either mentally ill or on drugs.

A short time later, Swanson returned and was carrying a weapon, the memo says.

She approached Mechler, Howard and a small group of others, including the child, who was still inside the truck.

"This is a heist," she said. "The kid is coming with me."

Howard and Mechler unholstered their weapons. They ordered her to drop her gun.

She didn't.

Continuing to walk toward them rapidly, she pointed the weapon at Howard.

They again ordered her to drop the gun, but she kept advancing toward Howard.

When she got within 20 feet, Howard and Mechler fired, striking Swanson.

She fell.

They gave her first aid and CPR until help arrived. She died at the scene.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said Wednesday that the entire incident — from the time Swanson left to the time she returned with the gun — unfolded quickly and that on-duty deputies arrived within a minute or two after the shooting.

"I think the law enforcement officers were confronted with an extremely unusual situation," Nienhuis said. "I'm sure neither of them wanted this to be the outcome. But I don't think they logically could have done anything differently. It's unfortunate Miss Swanson escalated the situation before deputies could get there."

A specific timeline of the day's events was not available.

Swanson's gun, authorities later determined, was a .22-caliber, single-shot, break-open pistol. It was unloaded and inoperable because it was missing parts.

"There was, of course, no way either Deputy Howard or Officer Mechler could have known this," Ridgway wrote in his memo.

The gun belonged to her boyfriend, David Simpson, with whom she lived just a short distance down the road from where she was shot. Simpson said it was an antique firearm that had been mounted on the second floor of his home as a decoration.

Simpson gave authorities an account of Swanson's behavior that was similar to what he had told the Tampa Bay Times previously.

Swanson recently had begun acting agitated and was concerned about the Nov. 6 election. She was having mood swings. Sometimes she would growl and curse at her boyfriend, according to the memo.

The day before the shooting, Simpson suggested Swanson go to the hospital. She refused.

A toxicology report found marijuana in her system, but no other drugs.

Earlier the day she died, Swanson was seen by three people walking down a nearby road. They asked if she was okay, and she said, "Yeah, just a little confused," the report stated. She continued to walk.

A while later, the three men ran into her again while looking at a home one of them was considering buying.

She held a crucifix over her head.

"This is the Antichrist; let's wrap this up."

She then left.

They didn't call authorities.

The strange behavior doesn't mesh with the woman described by family and loved ones.

Swanson was compassionate and devoutly religious, frequently attending a Wednesday Bible study. She loved Christian radio and studied the Bible. She was modest and dressed conservatively, and could be extremely shy.

The events leading to her death took those around her by surprise and left them with a lot of questions.

Staff writer Tony Marrero contributed to this report. Danny Valentine can be reached at or (352) 848-1432.

Copyright 2012 Tampa Bay Times

December 21, 2012

Teen Brings Gun, 50 Rounds of Ammo to School

Fresno County (Calif.) Sherrif's deputies arrested a 14-year-old Central High School student on Thursday for bringing a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition to campus.

Authorities say the ninth grader was carrying the weapon and bullets in his pockets, reports the Fresno Bee. The arrest occurred about a day after rumors spread on Facebook that someone planned to "shoot the place up." The news source says there is no evidence linking the student and the rumor.

Earlier this week, other threats were made via text message against another high school in the area.

December 21, 2012

New Indiana State Troopers Take Oath of Office

Indiana has 48 new probationary troopers assigned to state police districts across the state. Members of the 72nd Indiana State Police Academy took their oath of office on December 21, 2012 at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center.

Governor Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. and Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell, Ph.D., recognized the accomplishments of the class upon their graduation from the Indiana State Police Recruit Academy. Following the keynote address by Governor Daniels, Chief Justice Brent Dickson, Indiana Supreme Court, administered the oath of office to the recruits.

The recruits received approximately 930 hours of structured training in law enforcement techniques since July 8, 2012. Their curriculum included 80 hours of criminal law instruction, 80 hours of vehicle operations training, 47 hours of traffic law. They also developed skills in criminal investigation, along with 47 hours of vehicle crash investigation and training related to impaired driver detection.

“During the academy, these recruits have been equipped with the skills and knowledge required to be a trooper,” said Superintendent Paul Whitesell, Ph.D. “Now it is time to put those skills to work for the people of Indiana.”

Recruits come to the academy from different walks of life. Some had served in the military; many entered the academy directly after college. Newly sworn officers look forward to a future with the Indiana State Police.

December 21, 2012

One Killed in Semi Crash

Jackson County: A 47 year old Tennessee truck driver was killed today in an early morning crash.  According to Trooper Matt Holley, at approximately 2:30 this morning a 2013 Peterbilt semi pulling a 53 foot box trailer was northbound on I-65.  As the semi crossed the bridge on I-65 over U.S. 31 the driver lost control on the snow and ice covered roadway.  The vehicle then struck the guardrail then drove between the guardrail and the concrete bridge barrier on the northbound side.  After leaving the roadway the semi went down the embankment and struck the concrete barrier separating the bridge from U.S. 31.  During impact the trailer detached and went thru the cab killing the driver.  The driver’s name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Tpr. Holley was assisted at the scene by Jackson County Sherriff’s Department, Vernon township fire Department, Jackson County EMS, and 31 Wrecker Service.  U.S. 31 remains closed at this time.

December 21, 2012

I-65 update

I’ve just been advised northbound I-65 has been opened and is no longer being detoured.  However, U.S. 31 is closed both north and southbound near exit 36.  The crash went down an embankment from I-65 northbound onto U.S. 31 and that road is closed and estimated to remain closed until early this afternoon.  North and southbound traffic on U.S. 31 CAN enter I-65 either direction from the interchange however U.S. 31 is closed to THROUGH traffic at that location.  As soon as 31 has been re-opened and updated message will be sent.

December 21, 2012

Road/Weather update

I-65 has been closed just north of the Jackson/Scott County line since shortly after 3:00 this morning due to a fatal semi crash at the 36.5 mile marker.  Northbound traffic is being detoured off I-65 at exit 34 (Austin exit) and routed up U.S. 31 where traffic can re-enter northbound I-65 from exit 36 (Crothersville exit).  This road closure and detour is estimated to be in effect until about noon today.  As soon as I-65 is re-opened an updated notification will be sent.  I will have a release with details from the crash shortly.

December 21, 2012

Former Director of Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center Arrested For Theft

Richmond – This morning Tamyra Pressnall, age 44 of Greenville Ohio, the former director of the JACY House in Richmond, was arrested on 12 counts of theft as a result of an investigation that began in March of this year. JACY House is a center used by Law Enforcement in investigations for child abuse and neglect, and it provides support and counseling to victims and families of such crimes.

In March Investigator Scott Jarvis was assigned the case after Pendleton Post Investigators were contacted by the Wayne County Prosecutor. Staff at the house had found charges and activity on a bank statement for the house that didn’t seem appropriate, and they had turned the matter over to the Wayne County Prosecutor.

Pressnall was relieved of her duties at the JACY House as the investigation began. Preliminary investigation found that Pressnall allegedly made unauthorized purchases in Indiana and Ohio using JACY House accounts. The purchases totaled less than $5,000.

After the investigation was completed the case was turned over to special prosecutor Kenneth Faw. Faw was appointed to the case due to the fact that several Wayne County Law Enforcement Officials are on the JACY board of directors.

After Faw’s review a warrant for 12 counts of Class “D” Felony Theft was issued for Presnall. She was lodged in the Wayne County jail with a bond set at $7500. Pressnall had been the director at JACY House since 2010

December 21, 2012

Indiana law already allows teachers to carry guns

While legislators in other states are wrestling with the idea of allowing teachers to carry guns in school, those in Indiana already can.

A state law that makes schools gun-free zones exempts anyone who has been employed or authorized by a school “to act as a security guard, perform or participate in a school function, or participate in any other activity authorized by a school.”

School safety consultant Chuck Hibbert , a former Indiana state trooper, said he discussed the law with state Department of Education officials earlier this year, before a gunman went on a shooting spree last week and killed 26 people in Newtown, Conn. They concluded schools could designate teachers or other employees as security officers and allow them to be armed.

“I guess theoretically, the school district could designate everyone (as security officers) if they wanted to be that crazy,” Hibbert said.

Lawmakers in at least five states have proposed arming teachers so they can defend students following last week’s shootings in Newtown. Republican state Sen. Jim Tomes said Thursday that he had planned to introduce similar legislation in Indiana, but then he learned that state law already permits teachers to carry guns in some situations. 

“I guess it’s actually a policy decision,” Tomes said, adding that he believes the option is one that school officials around the state should consider.

“I believe it really has an immediate effect on these things happening, or at least happening to this degree,” Tomes said. 

Katie Stephens, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Education, said she didn’t know of any school district in the state that allowed teachers to carry guns, and other experts agreed.

“I have never heard of anybody doing that, other than the school safety officer,” said Jim Freeland, executive director of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents.

Tomes and other gun-rights advocates emphasized that they don’t think teachers should be required to carry guns, merely that they should be given the option. And, they said, anyone who carries a gun in school should be extensively trained.

“The last thing you want is untrained people with guns in schools,” said Guy Relford, who has filed lawsuits to make sure local governments and employers comply with state laws that allow concealed carry or let people keep guns in their cars at work.

Relford, who is also a firearms instructor, said in light of the Sandy Hook shootings he is offering free classes to people with proper gun permits who are authorized by a school to carry a weapon.

Others said having guns in school is a bad idea regardless of who is carrying them.

“I don’t think that proliferation of firearms on school property is good for kids,” said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Hibbert, the former state trooper, said arming teachers could have serious consequences. For example, he said, where would a teacher keep a gun — in his or her desk or in a holster? What if the teacher had to break up a fight? A student might be able to take the gun away. And if a gun is fired, where should the teacher aim to avoid a stray bullet hitting someone?

“I do respect the fact that schools feel they have to do something,” Hibbert said. But, he added, “Arming teachers to me would be the last step rather than the first step.”

December 21, 2012

Little-known Minnesota exemption allows guns in schools

Some say guns don't guarantee safety;

others say guns can enhance security, especially in rural areas.


For years, Greg Lund carried a loaded gun as a high school principal in northwestern Minnesota. Students, parents and most of the staff at Norman County East High School didn't know he was armed, but Lund said he couldn't leave his students' safety to chance.

"There's little you can do to prevent them from getting in the building," said Lund, a gun safety educator. "It was a small, rural school, and it would be 20 minutes or more before we would have police in the building."

Lund carried the gun with the permission of his superintendent -- and under the provisions of a little-known exemption to the state's general ban on guns in school. The rule says that any adults who have a state permit to carry a gun can bring the firearm to school once they obtain written permission from a principal or other school authority.

Since the Connecticut school massacre last week, some are urging a further relaxing of Minnesota's rules regarding teachers arming themselves, while others want to tighten rules banning guns at school.

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, said he plans to sponsor a bill allowing teachers to carry loaded weapons in the classroom, with special training for dealing with attackers. Meanwhile, a local gun advocacy group is offering firearms instruction for educators.

But Brenda Cassellius, the state education commissioner, "feels very strongly that we should be keeping guns out of schools," said spokeswoman Charlene Briner. Gov. Mark Dayton agreed, and he will look at tightening the state ban on guns in schools when the Legislature convenes in January, said his spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci.

Andrew Rothman, vice president of Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said that as a parent, "I want to know that the school is prepared and equipped to keep my children safe." Rothman said that there are already teachers carrying guns in Minnesota schools, although he declined to say how many.

Seward Montessori lockdown

Evidence for his view turned up Wednesday at Seward Montessori School in Minneapolis, which was locked down for much of the day after police discovered a teacher's aide had a loaded .357 Magnum handgun in her locker.

The gun was discovered about an hour into the school day. The weapon was confiscated and the teacher's aide was placed on administrative leave, but students were confined to their classrooms for the remainder of the day. Police are investigating whether the woman's action could result in a misdemeanor criminal charge, but school officials said district policy bans guns, with very limited exceptions, such as police or military use, color guards or staff training.

Joseph Olson, president of the alliance and a law professor at Hamline University, helped to write the exceptions to the law banning guns in schools as part of the 2003 negotiations over the state's permit to carry law. Their purpose, he said, was to allow for a raft of reasons guns might enter schools, for example, for historical and gun training lessons, plays and for self-defense.

"We knew we couldn't think of everything that would be a legitimate reason, so we put in the general permission provision, which of course covers a teacher or a parent who normally carries for self-defense," he said.

Survey of school districts

But Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St.Paul, incoming chairman of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy committee, said he didn't believe self-defense was the purpose of that 2003 exception. Many local educators and parents reject the suggestion to arm school workers.

"I cannot even imagine a situation where we would consider giving people permission to carry guns in school," Richfield Schools Superintendent Robert Slotterback said. "You're not going to have a gun drawn. If they walk up to you, point a gun and fire, it doesn't matter if you have a gun in your pocket or not."

A number of metro school districts contacted this week said no civilian staff carry guns. Schools in Osseo and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan have blanket policies barring guns on school property. In St. Paul and Anoka-Hennepin, petitioners must get clearance from the superintendent and no one has received that clearance. The state Department of Education does not track how many, if any, exceptions to the law have been granted statewide.

Introducing more guns to school security plans could cause new problems, said Dave Pecchia, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

"Once you do have weapons in the school, you have an issue with access," he said. "How can you ensure that the wrong people don't get access to the weapon?"

Security expert Steve Wilder said he's not opposed to the concept, if the guns are handled properly.

Wilder is president of Sorensen, Wilder and Associates, an Illinois-based security consultant with clients in 38 states.

Guns should not be in the hands of classroom teachers or others who are in regular contact with children, he said. Parents and community members should be informed. Armed staff members should be trained, qualified and certified to handle a weapon in school shooter situations.

Still, he said, there's a long list of measures schools can take before introducing deadly weapons into school buildings, including locking doors, beefing up lower-story windows and enforcing policies limiting access overall.

Lund has been retired a few years, but continues to believe there is a place for guns at school. His superintendent at the time he was a principal agreed reluctantly.

"His statement to me was, 'I want to know when you're carrying,'" he recalled, "and I said, 'Larry, I'm always carrying.'"

Maria Elena Baca • 612-673-4409

December 21, 2012

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris to shame retailers who don't prosecute shoplifters

By Eric Hartley

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris

LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA---Lancaster's outspoken mayor has another startling idea: He wants to send shoplifters into stores across the city, make a list of the best places to steal from, then announce the list publicly.

The goal, Mayor R. Rex Parris said, is to force the hands of retailers that don't call the police on some shoplifters.

Parris said Tuesday he plans to release such stores' names in about 90 days - essentially announcing to criminals that it's open season on their shelves.

If they refuse to change their policies in the meantime, that is.

"It's going to be real expensive if you do that, because I'm going to tell everybody, `If you want to get free stuff, this is the store to do it,' " Parris said.

He said some stores, generally big-box retailers, have policies against calling police on small-time shoplifters - under $100, say - because it takes too much staff time and money to have them arrested and go to court to testify against them.

If they catch shoplifters, those stores will take their stuff back, but let the crooks go.

Such businesses are "abdicating their responsibility to the community," Parris said. He added that "crime is contagious," so letting people get away with stealing simply encourages more stealing and can even lead to more serious crime.

"If you want rampant crime, just don't hold people accountable," he said.

Ramon Ortega, president of the Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce, said it's too early to say whether businesses will oppose the plan.

He said 10 to 20 percent of the chambers' 600 members are retailers, but he hadn't yet heard any reaction from them by the end of the day Tuesday. Most of his calls, he said, were from reporters.

Parris, a Republican, first mentioned the plan during a City Council meeting last week, but he sent out an announcement of it on Tuesday.

"I can see the mayor's point that (not prosecuting shoplifters) just encourages criminal behavior: `If I steal and you catch me, hey, you're just going to slap me on the wrist and send me on my way,' " Ortega said.

Parris wouldn't yet name any stores likely to be on his list.

He said he first wants the city's Criminal Justice Commission and the Sheriff's Department, which patrols Lancaster by contract, to figure out how to verify which stores don't prosecute.

Parris envisions teams of "undercover thieves" going into stores to see which ones call police.

As he put it: "We'll steal a bunch of stuff and then take it back."

A patrol supervisor at the Lancaster sheriff's station said he'd heard nothing about that plan, and a station spokesman couldn't be reached.

Parris said he wasn't concerned about any burden his plan might place on the Sheriff's Department or the courts.

Officials with the California Retailers Association and National Retail Federation, which represent stores, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. It's not clear whether Parris' idea has been tried anywhere else. The mayor said he wasn't aware of another city that's done it.

"Nope, it's another first for Lancaster," he said.

A 60-year-old personal injury attorney, Parris has shown no shortage of ambition since he was elected mayor of the Antelope Valley city in 2008. And he has cheerfully shrugged off criticism, saying he doesn't much care about it since he has no further political aspirations.

Parris sports a white beard and has the theatrical flair of a trial lawyer. He wore a head mic for one recent press conference, pacing around as he spoke, not unlike Britney Spears or a televangelist.

Some Parris plans are lofty or quirky.

His bio on the city website he says he wants to make Lancaster, which has 157,000 people, the "alternative energy capital of the world." In 2010, he announced plans to put solar panels atop the carport at Lancaster's minor-league ballpark.

Last year, he started piping music and the sounds of chirping birds out of speakers in the ground, giving downtown sidewalks the feel of an outdoor mall. Parris said the soundscape, created partly with his own money, was meant to relax people.

Other efforts have proven controversial.

In his 2010 State of the City address, as he urged passage of a measure allowing prayer at city meetings, he spoke of "growing a Christian community." After criticism, he said the remarks were taken out of context. But Parris resisted efforts to end explicitly Christian prayers at public meetings.

In August, he and sheriff's officials announced a surveillance plane had begun flying over Lancaster to prevent crime and catch criminals. Parris said he expected other cities to copy that move, which will cost the city about $1 million a year.

The mayor mocked civil liberties concerns by joking that he'd wanted a more powerful plane that could see inside people's houses, but no one else liked that idea.

Parris said he got his latest idea after reading an opinion piece in a local newspaper about a man aghast to see a woman shoplifting and not being charged. The resulting idea, Parris said, "just popped out of my head one morning."

Asked whether he expects pushback from retailers, Parris said, "Sure, when don't I get pushback?"

But he said businesses will come around.

"I think that if they ignore me, they'll go out of business," he said.

Copyright ©2010 Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

December 21, 2012

Man convicted of slashing SW Ind. sheriff's deputy

MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) — Jurors have convicted a southwestern Indiana man of slashing sheriff's deputy who was trying to arrest him on a warrant from Kentucky.

The Posey County jury reached the verdict Wednesday against 26-year-old Brandon McManomy of rural Mount Vernon for the March 2011 attack on Deputy Dan Montgomery.

Police say McManomy grabbed a knife when officers arrived at his home west of Evansville, stabbing himself in the face and neck before cutting Montgomery's face. McManomy was hospitalized for a time in critical condition and the deputy received about 30 stitches.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports McManomy faces 20 years to 50 years in prison on attempted murder and other charges. He is serving a 15-year sentence in Kentucky for a 2010 sexual attack on a Murray, Ky., woman.

Information from: Evansville Courier & Press,

December 21, 2012

Graduation of the 72nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy


WHAT:           Graduation of the 72nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy

WHEN:           10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 21, 2012

WHERE:         Zionsville Performing Arts Center

1000 Mulberry Street, Zionsville, IN 46077

WHO: Governor Daniels, Superintendent Whitesell, Chief Justice Dickson and 48 new troopers taking the oath of office as Indiana State Police Officers

Media Note:    The Event is Open to the Public

December 20, 2012

Trucker Stabbed in Utah Road-Rage Incident


WEST HAVEN -- A tractor-trailer driver was allegedly stabbed by another trucker in Ogden early Sunday morning in what is being described by authorities as a road-rage incident.

The incident began around 1 a.m. at the Flying J truck stop on 21st Street, said Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther.

The victim was pulling out of the truck stop's parking lot and another trucker went around him, apparently because he was driving too slowly, according to a sheriff's office report.

The victim then pulled into the Motel 6 parking lot next to the Flying J to park his semi and didn't notice the other truck had also pulled in behind him.

The suspect went up to the victim as he got out of his truck and stabbed him in the left chest area with a screwdriver, the sheriff's office report states.

The victim suffered a single puncture wound to the chest and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The names of the victim and suspect were not released.

Sheriff's office personnel were unable to locate the suspect but have information about the tractor-trailer he was operating and his employer, Lowther said. The incident remains under investigation.

Copyright 2012 - Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah

December 20, 2012

Attorney says Durham police officer shot himself

Officer Kelly A. Stewart

Carlos Antonio Riley Jr.

A gunshot wound that injured a Durham police officer was self-inflicted, an attorney for the man charged in the shooting said Wednesday during a first court appearance for his client.

Durham police say Officer Kelly A. Stewart was shot in the leg during a struggle at a traffic stop on Forest Road Tuesday morning.

Carlos Antonio Riley Jr., 21, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after a nearly three-hour manhunt and was later charged with assault on a law enforcement officer causing serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

But his attorney said Wednesday that Stewart, who was not in uniform, pulled up with his lights and siren on, got out of the car and was screaming expletives at Riley.

Stewart injured himself with his own gun, the attorney said.

Riley's father, who was present for the first court appearance, would not talk about specifics of the case.

"You heard the lawyer, his side of the story," Carlos Riley Sr. said. "The truth will prevail. It's in God's hands. That's all I can say."

Patricia Riley said her grandson has been trying to get back on the right path after a larceny conviction and several drug-related charges over the past few years.

"(I'm in) disbelief," she said. "That's not my grandson at all."

Carlos Riley Jr., meanwhile, remains in the Durham County jail under a $1 million bond.

Stewart, 26, has been a Durham police officer since July 2007, a police spokeswoman said.

Police are still looking for his badge and .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun, which were stolen in the shooting.

Anyone with information that could help lead to the recovery of the gun and the badge is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.

Reporter: Leyla Santiago

Web Editor: Kelly Gardner

Copyright 2012 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 20, 2012

Albuquerque Police Probe Officer Steroid Use

The Albuquerque (N.M.) Police Department has been intestigating several of its officers for illegal steroid use, the agency confirmed Tuesday during a press conference.

The department, which is facing a federal civil rights probe, acknolwedge the probe, after charging Officer Daniel Burge with receiving or transferring stolen property worth between $500 and $2,500, reports the Albuquerque Journal.

Burge allegedly kicked in the door of an apartment and stole the TV. The TV was owned by man who lived with another officer, Gregory Donofrio. Donofrio has been on paid leave since last month for allowing two men to settle their differences with their fists.

The steroid probe is being monitored by the FBI.

December 20, 2012

Kentucky Chief Stole $127K from Agency

A former Highland Heights (Ky.) Police chief who admitted to stealing more than $127,000 from his department was sentenced today to 45 months in federal prison.

U.S. District Court Judge Danny C. Reeves sentenced Carl Mullen, 49, for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Mullen, a longtime chief of the Highland Heights Police Department and the Southgate Police Authority, admitted he fraudulently obtained over $115,600 in cash advances for personal use, according to the FBI.

He acknowledged he used credit cards issued to the police authority and individual officers within his department to obtain the advances. Mullen not only used these credit cards improperly, he also falsely certified each month that the cash withdrawals were for legitimate police expenses.

Mullen also admitted to stealing over $11,700 from a police authority account designated for criminal investigation expenses.

Mullen's thefts occurred from January 2010 through November 2011. He was indicted in June 2012 and pleaded guilty in September.

December 20, 2012

School fires security guard for altercation with student

Retired police officer John Williams had worked at Washington High School for five years


SOUTH BEND — A retired police captain working as a security guard at a high school here has been fired for having a physical altercation with a student.

John Williams, a 34-year veteran with South Bend police, was terminated from his position at Washington High School on Oct. 9.

When contacted first by letter and then by phone, Williams said he had no comment on the matter. The Tribune filed a Freedom of Information request for his personnel records, including the factual basis for his firing.

The school corporation provided a letter from Curt Novotny, executive director of human resources, to Williams, dated Oct. 17.

It says Williams was suspended without pay on Oct. 9 pending an investigation into a physical altercation he had with a student at the school.

After the video evidence was reviewed, the letter says, a decision was reached.

“The purpose of this letter is to advise you that the investigation affirmed the physical altercation that occurred, to your own admission, could and should have been avoided,” it says.

Novotny cited in the letter the district’s policies on corporal punishment and child abuse and neglect, which outline the use of unreasonable force and reporting obligations.

The first policy, in part, says “When an employee inflicts unnecessary, unreasonable, irrational, or inappropriate force upon a student, s/he may be subject to discipline by this Board and criminal assault charges as well.”

The Child Abuse and Neglect policy of the district’s, says “Each staff member ... shall be responsible for reporting immediately every case, whether ascertained or suspected, of abuse, abandonment,

cruelty, or neglect resulting in physical or mental injury to a student by other than accidental means.

The staff member or appropriate administrator is to immediately call the Department of Child Services or local police.

In the case of Williams’ altercation with a student, Capt. Phil Trent, with South Bend police, said he could find no information on the matter.

“It doesn’t look like anybody filed an official police report. Somebody would have most certainly taken a report” if it had been requested, Trent said.

“No matter who the suspect is in the case,” he said, “it’s usually documented in some way, shape or form.”

Trent said perhaps the school resource officer at Washington handled the incident informally and a report was never filed with police.

Lt. Eric Crittendon, a South Bend police officer who is safety and security director for South Bend schools, said he was contacted after the incident and performed an “internal” investigation.

He also contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services, he said, and the student, the latter of whom did not get back in touch with him.

“It’s up the victim to press charges,” Crittendon said.

Williams, who retired from the South Bend Police Department in 2007 and began working at Washington the same year, did make one brief comment when reached by phone on Tuesday. He said “I just want it to go away.”

Staff writer Kim Kilbride: 574-235-6257

Copyright © 2012, South Bend Tribune

December 19, 2012

Pence selects former Hamilton County sheriff to lead state police

Indiana's next governor, Mike Pence, today picked former Hamilton

County Sheriff Doug Carter to head the Indiana State Police.

In other picks, Pence named City-County Council member Jeff Cardwell to head the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives; retained Rob Carter as director of the Department of Natural Resources; and chose Ryan Streeter to be a senior economic policy director. Streeter was a domestic policy adviser to President George W. Bush and currently is an adjunct professor at Indiana University's school of public policy.

Pence also named his campaign spokeswoman, Christy Denault, as communications director and hired Kara Brooks, currently the spokeswoman of the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, as press secretary. He named Zac Jackson as the Republican deputy budget director, while the incoming lieutenant governor Sue Ellspermann, said Dax Norton would head the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Doug Carter, who will take over the state police, is an 18-year veteran trooper. He replaces outgoing Supt. Paul Whitesell, who recently made news when he said he personally favored legalizing and taxing marijuana. Pence praised Whitesell and said he had taken his name out of consideration during the hiring process.

"The Indiana State Police is a success story," Pence said, saying he gives Whitesell "a great deal of credit" for that.

Carter, who retired from the state police in 2002 and served two terms as Hamilton County sheriff, "is a proven manager," he said.

Cardwell, who will take over the faith-based office, said he will resign from the City-County Council after the Jan. 7 council meeting. Cardwell is serving his second term on the council. Republican precinct committee members will choose his replacement.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said in a statement that in hiring Cardwell and Brooks Pence had made "two outstanding hires."

December 19, 2012

Dave Nugent posted in Indiana State Police Employees/Retirees

Hello Everyone

I hope this finds you well. I have sad news to share with you. Butch Alder 51, the son of retired Sergeant Ernie Alder, passed away after a sudden illness. Butch died this past Sunday morning.

The reason for this letter, is some of you may not realize Ernie is the founder of the ISP Summer Camp Program. And to this day, at the age of 80, he still is active with the program. Needless to say he really loves the department.

As expected this loss is very tragic to Ernie and his family.

To those that know Ernie, he is a legend within the department and his contributions are still being felt.

I wanted to extend a offer to you and your camp staff. To show support to Ernie and his wife Betty, I would like to let you know you can make a donation in memory of Butch. I know it would mean so very much to the Alder Family.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Butch Alder Memorial Fund, c/o Erlewein Mortuary, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. The family will forward all donations to many of Butch’s favorite charities.

Thank you,


Sergeant Ray Poole

Recruiter/Camp Coordinator

Office (317) 895-5138

Cell (317) 694-7229

December 19, 2012

Gary Woman Charged in Profiting from Adoption

Lake County-Today, First Sergeant Jeffery Matson, District Investigation Commander for the Indiana State Police Toll Road, charged Lynn M. Ellis (aka Lynn Smith), 42 of Gary with fifteen felonies and 16 misdemeanors after a criminal investigation discovered she was operating an unauthorized adoption facilitation web sites.

In January 2011, a criminal investigation began after receiving information that Ellis was advertising adoption services on the internet. Two web-sites, Tinkerbell Adoption Referral and The Pregnancy Choices were run by Ellis offering services for the facilitation of adopting children. Individuals (throughout the United States) seeking adoption would pay a fee believing they were beginning the process of being paired with an adoptive mother. No adoption was ever concluded from these transactions.

Further investigation revealed that Ellis is not a licensed Adoption Facilitator with the State of Indiana or her web-sites. Indiana State Law doesn’t allow a person to facilitate or be involved in adoption without being licensed.


Lynn M. Ellis (aka Lynn Smith), 42 of Gary, Indiana

One Count of Profiting from Adoption, Class D Felony

Fourteen Counts of Fraud, Class D felony

 Fourteen Counts of Unauthorized Adoption Facilitation, Class A Misdemeanor

Two Counts of Unauthorized Adoption Advertising, Class A Misdemeanor

Investigating officer: First Sergeant Jeffery Matson, Indiana State Police

December 19, 2012

Former Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter to head up ISP

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Former Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter will be named the next Indiana State Police superintendent Wednesday, 24-Hour News 8 news partnerThe Times of Noblesville reports, citing multiple sources.

The appointment will be one of several announced by Gov.-elect Mike Pence, the newspaper reports. A news conference is set for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Check back with for updates.

December 19, 2012

Two Brothers Air-Lifted from Crash

Portage, Porter County-A single vehicle roll-over, this afternoon, resulted in two brothers being air-lifted from the scene.

Preliminary investigation by Master Trooper Brian White revealed that, at approximately 2:38 p.m., a black 2003 Saturn Vue, driven by Salvador Paramo, 47 of Shelby Township, Michigan was east bound on I-94 at the 16.4 mile marker (this is 2 ½ miles west of the Portage exit) in the left lane when he stated a red car began to come into his lane. Paramo swerved to the left to avoid the red car, went off the roadway onto the inner shoulder across the rumble strips, over-corrected and lost control. The Saturn then began to roll-over.

The front seat passenger, Richard Paramo, 18 (son of Salvadore) was partially ejected and had to be extricated from the vehicle. He was air-lifted to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois with internal and head injuries.

The back seat passenger, Salvador Paramo Junior (son of Salvador and brother to Richard), 23 was ejected out of the vehicle and came to rest in the left lane. He too was air-lifted to Advocate Christ Hospital with head injuries.

All lanes east bound were closed and traffic was directed off at Ripley Street until approximately 4:00 p.m. for investigation of the crash, landing of two air ambulances, removal of the car, and clean-up of the roadway.

Agencies assisting: Indiana Department of Transportation Hoosier Helpers, Lake Station Fire and EMS, Portage Fire and EMS and Waffco Towing

December 19, 2012

She Walked Away

Lake County-A Bensonville, Illinois woman walked away, this morning, with no injuries

after her car rolled over three times, hitting a semi and concrete barrier wall twice.

Preliminary investigation by Master Trooper Steve Caylor revealed that, at approximately 10:56 a.m., this morning, a 2011 Hyundai, driven by Barbara Macikszek, 35 of Bensonville, was east bound on I-80 in the left lane when she swerved to the right to avoid semi tire tread. The Hyundai then hit a 2005 Freightliner pulling a box trailer in its driver’s side rear tire; this caused the Hyundai to go back to the left where it hit the concrete median barrier wall. After hitting the wall the Hyundai rolled over three times going airborne then hitting the driver’s side of the Freightliner’s box trailer putting a hole in it. The Hyundai then hit the barrier wall again where it came to rest upright facing west bound.

Macikszek who was wearing her seat belt refused medical treatment. Her vehicle was a total loss.

The Freightliner was driven by Randy Townsend, 36 of Hartford City, Indiana who was also not injured. The semi was owned by OJC Trucking out of Hartford city and was loaded with barbells. No load was lost. The semi and trailer sustained approximately $10,000 in damage.

Trooper Caylor stated, “With the holidays upon us this is a good reminder of how important it is to buckle up. Buckling up and all the air bags the car had inside saved this woman’s life. We just want everyone to be able to spend this holiday season with their loved ones”.

The left lane was closed for removal of the car and clean-up.

Agencies assisting: Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Gary EMS and Indiana Department of Transportation Hoosier Helpers

December 19, 2012

Search Warrant Leads to Felony Arrests

New Castle – Last evening around 8:30 p.m. Troopers and Meth Suppression Units from the Pendleton Post served a search warrant on a residence at 722 N. 24th St. here in New Castle. The warrant was the culmination of an ongoing investigation into the manufacture of Methamphetamine at the residence and led to a resident in the home being charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors.

Arrested was 39 year old Candace Hixon of New Castle. She is charged with Class “B” Felony Manufacturing Methamphetamine; Class “C” Felony Possession of Methamphetamine; Class “D” Felony Maintaining a Common Nuisance; Class “A” Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana, and Class “B” Misdemeanor Possession of Paraphernalia. She was lodged in the Henry County Jail.

Troopers were assisted in the investigation by the Henry County Prosecutor’s Office, the New Castle Police Department and the Henry County Drug Task Force. Signs to look for Meth manufacturing are a strong ammonia smell, or solvent smell like an auto body shop. Look for air line type rubber tubing, ether or camp fuel cans, plastic bottles, Pseudoephedrine packages, lithium battery casings, and propane tanks with a blue or green discoloration around the valve.

Anyone with information about illegal drug use may call the Pendleton Post at 1-800-527-4752, or the Indiana State Police Drug Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756. Tips can be made and kept anonymous. The Indiana Meth Investigation System or IMIS, can also take tips on meth labs. Just go to and click on the “Report Suspected Meth Activity” Link.

December 19, 2012

Arrest made in Chase Bank robbery

Dajuan Cooper

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  Fort Wayne police have arrested a man in connection to the robbery at the Chase Bank at 6704 E. State Blvd. on November 20.

Officers took Dajuan Cooper, 20, into custody Tuesday. He was taken to the Allen County Jail on a single count of robbery.

Shortly after the robbery, police released surveillance pictures of the suspect. According to police, the man didn't have a weapon and handed a bank employee a note demanding cash.

December 19, 2012



Liz Klimas

The little more than 26,000 citizens in an eastern Arkansas town could soon see city police patrolling the streets with assault rifles and asking them to show identification and answer questions as to why they’re out and about.

The martial law recommended by the mayor and police chief of Paragould, in response to recent property-related and violent crimes, has begun seeing some backlash from those believing it infringes upon their civil rights.

According to the Paragould Daily Press, Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall said in a town hall meeting last week that the initiative to battle street crime would begin in 2013:

“[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”

Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

“We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”

“They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it.”

The Daily Press reported Stovall saying that the crime statistics in the city were high enough to justify such action by law enforcement. It noted that an attorney was not consulted by the mayor or police chief before the street crimes unit plan was proposed.

The Daily Press though did contact the city’s attorney Allen Warmath who said the police will respond in the way proposed when they receive called-in complaints. The mayor said, backing off a little from the plan according to the Daily Press, that the city just wanted to make sure a law enforcement presence was felt in some areas. Warmath too told the Daily Press that the new unit would be less confrontational than was originally proposed.

“If they have a call that there’s some problems in the area, they’re at least going to talk to you,” Warmath said, pointing out to the Daily Press too that no one will be arrested for not providing I.D. when asked. “Maybe that person walking their dog saw something. It gives them some information and some leads to find out what’s going on.”

Following the Daily Press’ article, the police department issued a statement clarifying the proposed actions of the street crimes unit. Here’s how they explain the unit working (Editor’s note: emphasis added):

Once an area has been identified as a high crime neighborhood, the select group of officers will saturate the area in an attempt to curb the criminal behavior that is plaguing that particular neighborhood.  Officers will accomplish this in a variety of different methods.  Officers will be working to identify residents in the affected area so that we can better serve our affected neighborhoods.  Most often, this identification process will be nothing more than making contact with a subject, handing them a business card, and asking if they live in the area and if there’s anything we can do for them.  During hours in which crime seems to be more prevalent (i.e. between the hours of 11pm and 5 am), our process will become more stringent.  We will be asking for picture identification.  We will be ascertaining where the subject lives and what they are doing in the area.  We will be keeping a record of those we contact.

The statement goes on to say that the record will help them make sure they’re not overlapping contact of the same people and to provide more details when criminal activity does occur.

“An example of where this will be helpful is if a crime (i.e. burglary, breaking or entering) is reported the next morning.  We then have a list of “go-to” suspects to question regarding that incident or incidents,” the statement read.

Some have also expressed concern over the officers carrying AR-15s. This, the police department said, is nothing new for some of their officers who already carry such a rifle. The statement also said that the weapon won’t be carried by the street crimes officer at all times. Only when the officer is deployed to a high crime area where they might encounter many subjects will they have the AR-15 on hand.

Here’s more of the department’s response to citizens concerned about their rights:

Many citizens, through various media outlets, have expressed a concern about the police “violating rights” or “violating the Constitution”.  We have to abide by the same rules, regulations, and laws that our citizens do.  We are not out to violate anyone’s rights.  Once we have an area that shows a high crime rate or a high call volume, it is our duty and obligation to find out why this is occurring and what we can do to prevent the trend from continuing.  Therefore, identifying subjects in those problem areas help us to solve crimes, and hopefully to prevent future crimes.

More town hall meetings are being held in Paragould Tuesday and Thursday where residents can join in the discussion.

December 19, 2012

Georgia police officer, who had been on the job for 4 months, dies after being shot twice in the head

Sean Callahan died after being shot Monday during a shootout at a Motel 6. (

Police in Clayton County say one of their officer, who had only been on the job for four months, has died less than a day after he was wounded in a gunfight south of Atlanta.

Police said in a statement Tuesday morning that 24-year-old Clayton County Officer Sean Callahan died of his injuries around 5:16 a.m. Tuesday. Callahan suffered two gunshots to the head during the shootout at a Motel 6., reported. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where he underwent surgery.

"As a police chief, I take any incident seriously. However, when one of my own is involved in a situation, it seems like it hits home to me as a father, as a police chief, as a praying person," Greg Porter, the police chief in Clayton County said.

Clayton police said in the statement that Callahan joined the department about four months ago because he wanted to do something that he loved. Police asked for prayers for his family, the police department and the Clayton County community "as we endure the loss of a fallen comrade."

The shooting happened Monday afternoon after police were called to a domestic dispute near a motel on Davidson Parkway in Stockbridge -- about 20 miles southeast of Atlanta. The suspect died in the shootout.

SkyFOX 5 showed a woman being placed in handcuffs and taken into custody. Her name and the deceased suspect's name have not been released yet.

The incident is the second in a week involving a Clayton County officer. Police are continuing to search for 36-year-old Thomas Paige, who is accused of hitting Clayton County Police Officer Michael Hooks with his car last week during a burglary call at the old K-Mart on Old Dixie Highway.

December 19, 2012

Pennsylvania trooper stopped doing 90 in unmarked car


State police say an internal investigation is under way into why a plain clothes trooper in an unmarked cruiser was traveling 90 miles an hour or 35 miles over the speed limit on Route 220 in the western part of Williamsport mid-morning on Friday.

Williamsport police, who stopped the vehicle while conducting speed checks, said the unidentified trooper was not using red lights or siren. State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said she did not know if the cruiser was so equipped but it will be determined through the investigation.

The trooper was working on a case at the time but she would not elaborate further.

No citation was issued at the stop and Williamsport Police Lt. Brett Williams would not say if one would be but noted there is a 30-day period in which to do so.

What Williamsport police do will have no bearing on the internal investigation, Finn said.

December 18, 2012

South Carolina Highway Patrol dispatcher charged with bank fraud

Dominique Pearson (Source: Florence County Sheriff's Office)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – SC Highway Patrol dispatcher Dominique Dewayne Pearson lost his job after being arrested on bank fraud charges.

Pearson had been employed by the Department of Public Safety since 2006 before his termination on Dec. 7, working as a dispatcher in the Florence Telecommunication Center.

"Although our TCOs are civilian employees, they are expected to adhere to the highest standards of conduct and to protect sensitive information just as we would expect from a law enforcement officer," said Col. Mike

Oliver, Commander of the SCHP. "While our internal investigation continues in this matter, we want the public to be assured that this is not a systemic issue and we have strict safeguards in place regarding the use of

sensitive information. In this isolated case, an employee took information used during the legitimate course of his duties and used that to commit a criminal act.

"Because of the very serious implications of such a crime, however, we made the decision to swiftly terminate Mr. Pearson from the Department as soon as we learned of his impending arrest and we will be working with

local law enforcement to assist in the prosecution of this matter."

Major Carlos Raines says Pearson obtained the victim's personal information, using it to open a bank account and made an online transfer of approximately $37,000 to another account he opened.

Pearson turned himself in on Friday to face charges for financial identity fraud and bank fraud.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

December 18, 2012

Three Nabbed in Massive Canada Maple Syrup Heist

MONTREAL (AP) — Police in Canada say three people have been arrested in connection with a massive maple syrup heist from a Quebec warehouse, which put a dent in the global supply.

Quebec produces up to 80 percent of the world's maple syrup.

Authorities never disclosed the exact amount of maple syrup stolen in August. But the warehouse contained Quebec's maple syrup reserves, which were supposed to hold 10 million pounds valued at $30 million.

Those arrested are scheduled to face charges Tuesday of theft, conspiracy, fraud and trafficking in stolen goods.

Police also have seized vehicles suspected of being used in the illicit trafficking of the syrup.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 18, 2012

Three Miami County Residents Arrested on Meth Charges

three arrested, two photos submitted with no names attached

Miami – Last night, a two month long illegal narcotics investigation by Indiana State Trooper Wendell Beachy resulted in the arrests of Everett Phipps, 51, Julia Scott, 43, and Kelly Crouch, 45. All three were incarcerated in the Miami County Jail to face felony drug charges. 

Last night, at approximately 7:00 p.m., officers from the Indiana State Police and the Miami County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant on a home at 1955 W. 1050 South, Miami, IN. During their search, officers allegedly found methamphetamine and items commonly associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The home’s occupants, Everett Phipps, Kelly Crouch, and Julia Scott were arrested and incarcerated in the Miami County Jail. They face felony charges for manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine under 3 grams, and maintaining a common nuisance. The trio also faces a misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia 

Phipps and Scott are being held on a $48,000 bond. Couch’s bond is set at $5,000. 

The Indiana State Police encourages anyone with information about the possession, distribution, or manufacturing of methamphetamine to call the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756. Information can be reported anonymously. 

Trooper Beachy was assisted with this investigation by Trooper Mike Lorona, Trooper Lucas Bowyer, Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephanie Coppler, Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Freeman, and the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office. 

December 18, 2012

May 05, 2010

Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial

Preventing juvenile mass murder in American schools is the job of police officers, school teachers, and concerned parents

Editor's Note: Today we bring you the first in an occasional series of articles stemming from an extraordinary daylong seminar presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. In coming months we’ll discuss Grossman’s thoughts on the use of autogenic breathing, surviving gunshot wounds, and dealing with survivor guilt following a gun battle. We begin with violence among and against children in our schools. We would like to extend our special thanks to Gary Peterson, Mike Elerick, and the men and women of the California Peace Officers Association (Region II) for their warm invitation to this remarkable talk. On Saturday, May 8th, CPOA is holding its annual Memorial Run and Family BBQ, honoring California officers who died in the line of duty in 2009. Additional details are available here.

“How many kids have been killed by school fire in all of North America in the past 50 years? Kids killed... school fire... North America... 50 years...  How many?  Zero. That’s right.  Not one single kid has been killed by school fire anywhere in North America in the past half a century.  Now, how many kids have been killed by school violence?”

So began an extraordinary daylong seminar presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a Pulitzer Prize nominated author, West Point psychology professor, and without a doubt the world’s foremost expert on human aggression and violence. The event, hosted by the California Peace Officers Association, was held in the auditorium of a very large community church about 30 miles from San Francisco, and was attended by more than 250 police officers from around the region.

Grossman’s talk spanned myriad topics of vital importance to law enforcement, such as the use of autogenic breathing, surviving gunshot wounds, dealing with survivor guilt following a gun battle, and others. In coming months, I will present a series of articles addressing many of these subjects, but violence among and against children was how the day began, and so it is in this area I will begin my coverage...

“In 1998,” Grossman said, “school violence claimed what at the time was an all time record number of kids’ lives. In that year there were 35 dead and a quarter of a million serious injuries due to violence in the school. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. But we hear people say, ‘That’s the year Columbine happened, that’s an anomaly.’ Well, in 2004 we had a new all time record — 48 dead in the schools from violence. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. Let’s assign some grades. Put your teacher hat on and give out some grades. What kind of grade do you give the firefighter for keeping kids safe? An ‘A,’ right? Reluctantly, reluctantly, the cops give the firefighters an ‘A,’ right? Danged firefighters, they sleep ‘till they’re hungry and eat ‘till they’re tired. What grade do we get for keeping the kids safe from violence? Come on, what’s our grade? Needs improvement, right?”

Johnny Firefighter, A+ Student
“Why can’t we be like little Johnny Firefighter?” Grossman asked as he prowled the stage. “He’s our A+ student!”

He paused, briefly, and answered with a voice that blew through the hall like thunder, “Denial, denial, denial!”

Grossman commanded, “Look up at the ceiling! See all those sprinklers up there? They’re hard to spot — they’re painted black — but they’re there. While you’re looking, look at the material the ceiling is made of. You know that that stuff was selected because it’s fire-retardant. Hooah? Now look over there above the door — you see that fire exit sign? That’s not just any fire exit sign — that’s a ‘battery-backup-when-the-world-ends-it-will-still-be-lit’ fire exit sign. Hooah?”

Walking from the stage toward a nearby fire exit and exterior wall, Grossman slammed the palm of his hand against the wall and exclaimed, “Look at these wall boards! They were chosen because they’re what?! Fireproof or fire retardant, hooah? There is not one stinking thing in this room that will burn!”

Pointing around the room as he spoke, Grossman continued, “But you’ve still got those fire sprinklers, those fire exit signs, fire hydrants outside, and fire trucks nearby! Are these fire guys crazy? Are these fire guys paranoid? NO! This fire guy is our A+ student! Because this fire guy has redundant, overlapping layers of protection, not a single kid has been killed by school fire in the last 50 years!

“But you try to prepare for violence — the thing much more likely to kill our kids in schools, the thing hundreds of times  more likely to kill our kids in schools — and people think you’re paranoid. They think you’re crazy. ...They’re in denial.”

Teaching the Teachers
The challenge for law enforcement agencies and officers, then, is to overcome not only the attacks taking place in schools, but to first overcome the denial in the minds of mayors, city councils, school administrators, and parents. Grossman said that agencies and officers, although facing an uphill slog against the denial of the general public, must diligently work toward increasing understanding among the sheep that the wolves are coming for their children. Police officers must train and drill with teachers, not only so responding officers are intimately familiar with the facilities, but so that teachers know what they can do in the event of an attack.

“Come with me to the library at Columbine High School,” Grossman said. “The teacher in the library at Columbine High School spent her professional lifetime preparing for a fire, and we can all agree if there had been a fire in that library, that teacher would have instinctively, reflexively known what to do. But the thing most likely to kill her kids — the thing hundreds of times more likely to kill her kids, the teacher didn’t have a clue what to do. She should have put those kids in the librarian’s office but she didn’t know that. So she did the worst thing possible — she tried to secure her kids in an un-securable location. She told the kids to hide in the library — a library that has plate glass windows for walls. It’s an aquarium, it’s a fish bowl. She told the kids to hide in a fishbowl. What did those killers see? They saw targets. They saw fish in a fish bowl.”

Grossman said that if the school administrators at Columbine had spent a fraction of the money they’d spent preparing for fire — if the teachers there had spent a fraction of the time they spent preparing for fire — doing lockdown drills and talking with local law enforcers about the violent dangers they face, the outcome that day may have been different.

Rhetorically he asked the assembled cops, “If somebody had spent five minutes  telling that teacher what to do, do you think lives would have been saved at Columbine?”

Arming Campus Cops is Elementary
Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article called Arming campus cops is elementary. Not surprisingly, Grossman agrees with that hypothesis.

“Never call an unarmed man ‘security’,” Grossman said.

“Call him ‘run-like-hell-when-the-man-with-the-gun-shows-up’ but never call an unarmed man security. Imagine if someone said, ‘I want a trained fire professional on site. I want a fire hat, I want a fire uniform, I want a fire badge. But! No fire extinguishers in this building. No fire hoses. The hat, the badge, the uniform — that will keep us safe — but we have no need for fire extinguishers.’ Well, that would be insane. It is equally insane, delusional, legally liable, to say, ‘I want a trained security professional on site. I want a security hat, I want a security uniform, and I want a security badge, but I don’t want a gun.’ It’s not the hat, the uniform, or the badge. It’s the tools in the hands of a trained professional that keeps us safe.

“Our problem is not money,” said Grossman.  “It is denial.”

Grossman said (and most cops agree) that many of the most important things we can do to protect our kids would cost us nothing or next-to-nothing.

Grossman’s Five D’s
In the next installment of this series, I will explore what follows in much greater detail, but for now, let’s contemplate the following outline and summary of Dave Grossman’s “Five D’s.” While you do, I encourage you to add in the comments area below your suggestions to address, and expand upon, these ideas.

1. Denial — Denial is the enemy and it has no survival value, said Grossman.

2. Deter — Put police officers in schools, because with just one officer assigned to a school, the probability of a mass murder in that school drops to almost zero

3. Detect — We’re talking about plain old fashioned police work here. The ultimate achievement for law enforcement is the crime that didn’t happen, so giving teachers and administrators regular access to cops is paramount.

4. Delay — Various simple mechanisms can be used by teachers and cops to put time and distance between the killers and the kids.

a. Ensure that the school/classroom have just a single point of entry. Simply locking the back door helps create a hard target.
b. Conduct your active shooter drills within (and in partnership with) the schools in your city so teachers know how to respond, and know what it looks like when you do your response.

5. Destroy — Police officers and agencies should consider the following:

a. Carry off duty. No one would tell a firefighter who has a fire extinguisher in his trunk that he’s crazy or paranoid.
b. Equip every cop in America with a patrol rifle. One chief of police, upon getting rifles for all his officers once said, “If an active killer strikes in my town, the response time will be measured in feet per second.”
c. Put smoke grenades in the trunk of every cop car in America. Any infantryman who needs to attack across open terrain or perform a rescue under fire deploys a smoke grenade. A fire extinguisher will do a decent job in some cases, but a smoke grenade is designed to perform the function.
d. Have a “go-to-war bag” filled with lots of loaded magazines and supplies for tactical combat casualty care.
e. Use helicopters. Somewhere in your county you probably have one or more of the following: medivac, media, private, national guard, coast guard rotors.
f. Employ the crew-served, continuous-feed, weapon you already have available to you (a firehouse) by integrating the fire service into your active shooter training. It is virtually impossible for a killer to put well-placed shots on target while also being blasted with water at 300 pounds per square inch.
g. Armed citizens can help.  Think United 93. Whatever your personal take on gun control, it is all but certain that a killer set on killing is more likely to attack a target where the citizens are unarmed, rather than one where they are likely to encounter an armed citizen response.

Coming Soon: External Threats
Today we must not only prepare for juvenile mass murder, something that had never happened in human history until only recently, but we also must prepare for the external threat. Islamist fanatics have slaughtered children in their own religion — they have killed wantonly, mercilessly, and without regard for repercussion or regret of any kind. What do you think they’d think of killing our kids?

“Eight years ago they came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. Do we know what they’re going to do next? No! But one thing they’ve done in every country they’ve messed with is killing kids in schools.”

The latest al Qaeda charter states that “children are noble targets” and Osama bin Laden himself has said that “Russia is a preview for what we will do to America.”

What happened in Russia that we need to be concerned with in this context? In the town of Beslan on September 1, 2004 — the very day on which children across that country merrily make their return to school after the long summer break — radical Islamist terrorists from Chechnya took more than 1,000 teachers, mothers, and children hostage. When the three-day siege was over, more than 300 hostages had been killed, more than half of whom were children.

“If I could tackle every American and make them read one book to help them understand the terrorist’s plan, it would be Terror at Beslan  by John Giduck. Beslan was just a dress rehearsal for what they’re planning to do to the United States.”

A future feature will focus solely on the issue of the terror threats against American schools, but for the time being consider this: There are almost a half a million school busses in America — it would require every enlisted person and every officer in the entire Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps combined to put just one armed guard on every school bus in the country.

As a country and as a culture, the level of protection Americans afford our kids against violence is nothing near what we do to protect them from fire. Grossman is correct: Denial is the enemy. We must prepare for violence like the firefighter prepares for fire. And we must do that today.

Hooah, Colonel!

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 600 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street. 

Read more articles by PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie by clicking here

Contact Doug Wyllie

December 18, 2012

Daniel Inouye, Veteran and Statesman, Passes Away at 88

Among other military decorations he was awarded the Medal of Honor

By Ian Scheuring

Daniel Inouye

WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) -Daniel Inouye, a decorated and inspirational war hero who later became the highest-ranking Asian American politician in United States history by serving as the President pro tempore of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, died Monday in Washington.

He was 88.

Inouye had been hospitalized at the George Washington University Hospital since December 6, when he fainted in his office at the U.S. Capitol. He was then transferred to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center three days later so that doctors could monitor his oxygen intake.

His death was confirmed by Peter Boylan, the Senator's Deputy Chief of Staff.

Inouye passes away as the second longest-serving senator in United States history and had already told reporters that he was planning on running for an unprecedented tenth senate term in 2016, when he would have been 92.

A Nisei Japanese-American, Inouye was born on September 7, 1924 in Honolulu to Kame and Hyotaro Inouye, themselves children of immigrants to Hawaii from Japan. He was named after a Methodist minister who adopted his mother at an early age.

Inouye grew up in Moili'ili and attended McKinley High School in Honolulu, where he was a student at the time of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. He volunteered as a civilian medic for the Red Cross in the aftermath of the bombing, then joined the U.S. Army in 1943 after a ban that prevented Japanese-Americans from serving in the military was lifted.

He went on to become a war hero and decorated veteran during his service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, earning two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star Medal and numerous other commendations during his military career.

In 1943, Inouye spent three months with the U.S. Army North service command in the Rome-Arno Theater of Operation in the Mediterranean. A year later, he was moved to the Vosges Mountains in France, where he helped rescue the "Lost Battalion," a battalion of the 141st Infantry Regiment from Texas that had been surrounded by German forces. He was awarded the Bronze Star and a battlefield commission as a Second Lieutenant shortly thereafter.

Having returned to Italy in 1945, Inouye was leading a platoon attacking a heavily-defended hill in San Terenzo when he was shot in the stomach by an enemy sniper round. Undeterred, he advanced, alone, to within a few yards of two machine gun turrets, which he destroyed with grenades and small arms fire.

His right arm was completely shattered during an attempt to disable a third gun turret, when he was hit on the elbow by a German rifle grenade. Inouye managed to throw another grenade with his left hand and destroy the final turret before falling to the bottom of the ridge.

Shortly after the attack, having been given too much morphine by a field medic, the remainder of Inouye's right arm was amputated without the use of anesthesia out of fear that any more medication would lower his blood pressure to a potentially fatal level.

Following a reevaluation of the military accomplishments of Asian Americans in World War II, Senator Inouye was presented with the Medal of Honor by then-President Bill Clinton for his heroism in Italy more than 50 years earlier during a ceremony on June 21, 2000.

"By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army," reads Inouye's Medal of Honor citation.

Having lost his arm, Inouye, unable to pursue a career as a surgeon, returned to the University of Hawaii and decided instead on a career in politics. In 1950 he graduated from the university with a Bachelor's of Arts in political science, then completed work on a law degree from the George Washington University Law School in 1952.

He was elected to the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii in 1954, five years before the islands became the fiftieth state admitted to the Union, and served as the majority leader until he was elected to the territory's Senate in 1958.

Inouye's American political career began on August 21, 1959, the day Hawaii became a state, when the residents of Hawaii voted him their first Congressman. Voters then sent him to back to Washington after re-election in 1960.

He was elected to succeed former Territorial governor Oren E. Long in the United States Senate in 1962 and had served in the Senate ever since, an uninterrupted stretch of fifty years that spanned ten different presidencies.

Inouye was thrust into the political spotlight for the first time in 1968, when he was invited to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Though the Democrats lost the White House during that election, Inouye again gained national attention as a member of the Senate Watergate Committee in the early 1970s, presiding over hearings which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Well known as one of the most influential leaders in the Senate, Inouye became the first Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1975 and served separate stints as the Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs between 1987-1995 and 2001-2003.

Inouye chaired a special committee charged with investigating the Iran-Contra Affair during Ronald Reagan's administration in 1987, which saw senior-level cabinet officials sell arms to Iran in hopes that American hostages being held in Lebanon would be released.

Inouye played an instrumental part in ending the live-fire training on the Hawaiian island of Kahoolawe, sponsoring a measure in the Department of Defense's appropriations bill in 1993 that called for the return of the island to the State of Hawaii and ordered the removal of any unexploded ordnance from it.

Inouye and fellow Hawaii Senator, the outgoing Daniel Akaka, both voted against the Iraq war resolution in October 2002 and were among two of the 12 Democrats who voted for a 2006 resolution to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by July 2007.

In 2009, Inouye came to the aid of Filipino military members who had fought at his side during World War II, helping to appropriate $198 million dollars for lump-sum benefit payments to Filipino veterans more than fifty years after the end of the war.

Nearly ten years after the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, Inouye introduced a bill to Congress that called for the federal government to provide a third of the annual operating costs for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero, calling the bombing "the most horrific attack on America since the bombing of Pearl Harbor."

Inouye spent his 50 years in the United States Senate fighting to improve the quality of life for Hawaii's residents, helping bring bus service to Honolulu and various military construction jobs to Ford Island, Pearl Harbor and Schofield Barracks. He helped stimulate economic growth with projects like the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai and through support of research programs at the University of Hawaii.

In 2009, after Robert Byrd resigned from the post, Inouye became Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which allocates federal funds to the different agencies and departments of the government and is considered by many to be the Senate's most powerful committee assignment.

When Byrd died in office in June of 2010, Inouye inherited another distinguished title from the West Virginia Senator. Per Senate tradition, having become the most senior senator, Inouye was chosen as President pro tempore of the Senate and thus third in the line of succession for the United States presidency.

Margaret Awamura Inouye, Senator Inouye's wife of nearly 57 years, died in March of 2006 after a long battle with colon cancer. In 1964, the couple had a son, Kenny, who earned a bachelor's degree in political science from George Washington University, where his father earned his law degree. Kenny is married to Jessica Carroll, of Rochester, New York, and the couple have a daughter named Mary Margaret "Maggie" Inouye.

In May of 2008 Senator Inouye married Irene Hirano, then-CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles who now serves as the President of the U.S.-Japan Council.

Inouye would have succeeded Senator Robert Byrd as the country's longest serving senator in history on June 29, 2014, which would have been his 18,805th day in office.

Related: Sen. Inouye's office says his final word was 'Aloha'

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

December 18, 2012

Former Detroit police officer admits lying on time sheet to collect $30,000 in overtime

By Tresa Baldas

A former Detroit police officer pleaded guilty today to lying on her overtime sheets and collecting nearly $30,000 in overtime pay she never earned, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today.

Kim Mosby-Colbert, 52, a recently resigned Detroit police officer, pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding a federally funded program. Under the terms of her plea deal, she faces up to six months in prison. She also could be ordered to pay nearly $30,000 in restitution when she is sentenced in March before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman.

“We hope that prosecutions like this one will let public servants know that they will be held accountable for their conduct and will deter them from stealing public funds to which they are not entitled,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley added: “The falsifying of records for the purpose of stealing money from taxpayers is a criminal abuse of public trust.”

According to court documents, Colbert lied on her time sheets from October 2009 through June 2011.

Contact Tresa Baldas at (313) 223-4296 or

December 18, 2012

Two L.A. County deputies face assault charges in San Diego

Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies pleaded not guilty Monday in San Diego Superior Court to felony charges stemming from an off-duty street brawl in the Gaslamp entertainment zone.

Miguel Antonio Aguilar, 29, and Derek Robin Vonkleist, 28, face charges of aggravated battery and assault likely to produce great bodily injury. The two were arrested shortly after midnight Dec. 7 and booked into San Diego County jail.

Aguilar has been with the L.A. County department for five years, Vonkleist for four, and both were assigned to the downtown jail. Each is free on $35,000 bail.

Under department policy, both were suspended with pay after being arrested. Once arraigned on felony charges, that shifted to suspended without pay.

Steve Whitmore, spokesman for L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, said, "This is absolutely unacceptable behavior, and the sheriff takes it very seriously. No one is above the law."

The next court hearing is set for Jan. 2. If convicted on both counts, each man faces a maximum possible prison sentence of four years, officials said.

December 17, 2012

A tribute from the management team of the company Butch so proudly served

Dear Friends

I have been in touch with many of you over the past several days regarding Butch Alder.  I received word this morning from his son, Mike Alder that the Lord has called his dad home.  I am sure you are, like me, stunned at this news and the speed of this very sad occurrence.  

When I reflect on Butch, I immediately think of his enormous spirit for life and his positive outlook, no matter what the circumstances. Having met his parents and his older sister Barb, I am certain this came from his upbringing and his wonderful grounding in Christian faith.  Anyone that knew Butch, even briefly, would tell you that the number one thing in his life, after his faith, was his family.  He was so proud of his son Mike and his daughter Lauren, and justifiably so.  He was equally proud of his daughter-in-law Amye and his son-in-law to be, Bryce Miller.  His love for and true bond with his wife Carla was equally apparent.  She has been his guiding compass in both good and challenging times.

Butch has been a wonderful role model and will continue to be for each of us as we move forward.  Having lost my dad more than 20 years ago, I am still guided by his wisdom and values daily.   Mike McCann and I greatly appreciate Butch's enormous contributions in helping shape the growth and direction of Pepper Indiana over the past 13 1/2 years.  Perhaps even more important to us has been his friendship, leadership and counsel.  We will truly miss him. 

We will pass along final arrangements as these become available.  Please keep Butch and his wonderful family in your prayers.


Bill McCarthy | President

Pepper Construction Company of Indiana | *: 1850 W. 15th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202 | ( Office: 317-681-1000 | ( Cell: 317-439-2222 | 7 Fax: 317-684-9694

December 17, 2012

Waterloo deputy honored

Waterloo Marshal Jay Oberholtzer, left. presents Deputy Marshal Stephen Brady with a plaque from the American Police Hall of Fame, a Law Enforcement Purple Heart Award recognizing his “in line of duty injuries” received one year ago on Dec. 15, 2011. Deputy Brady has returned to work full-time after he was shot in the head while on patrol at 3 a.m. The presentation came at the annual Waterloo Marshal’s Office Christmas party Saturday. Attending were other members of the Waterloo Marshal’s Office, its reserve unit, families and representatives of the Waterloo Town Council

December 17, 2012

State Police veteran charged with DWI

State Police Sgt. Gregory Bennett, 39, was charged with driving while intoxicated after he

crashed his SUV on Interstate 90 early Sunday evening, Dec. 16, 2012, State Police said.

He was driving his personal vehicle at 6:38 p.m. when he veered off the highway while

driving westbound on the Exit 3 off ramp, troopers said. (STATE POLICE)

ALBANY, NEW YORK---An off-duty, 13-year veteran State Police technical sergeant was charged with driving while intoxicated Sunday after troopers said he crashed his car on Interstate 90.

Gregory Bennett, 39, was driving his personal vehicle at 6:38 p.m. when he veered off the highway while driving westbound on the Exit 3 off-ramp, troopers said.

At the time of the crash, Bennett had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 percent, nearly twice the 0.08 percent legal limit, troopers said. Bennett was treated for minor facial cuts at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Bennett, who works with the Division Headquarters' Communications Section, was charged with driving while intoxicated and released. He has been suspended without pay.

December 17, 2012

Highest-Paid California Trooper Is Chief Banking $484,000

By Alison Vekshin, Elise Young and Rodney Yap 

California Highway Patrol division chief Jeff Talbott retired last year as the best-paid officer in the 12 most-populous U.S. states, collecting $483,581 in salary, pension and other compensation.

Talbott, 53, received $280,259 for accrued leave and vacation time and took a new job running the public-safety department at a private university in Southern California. He also began collecting an annual pension of $174,888 from the state.

Union-negotiated benefits, coupled with overtime that can exceed regular pay and lax enforcement of limits on accumulating unused vacation, allow some troopers to double their annual earnings and retire as young as age 50. The payments they get are unmatched by those elsewhere, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on 1.4 million employees of the 12 states. Some, like Talbott, go on to second careers.

“I think some of our rules were negligent, and I think people were allowed to build up overtime pay who shouldn’t have been, who accumulated leave time and furlough time,” said Marty Morgenstern, a member of Governor Jerry Brown’s cabinet and secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency, which oversees labor relations, employment and unemployment.

‘Absolutely Inappropriate’

“Those kind of payments are absolutely inappropriate and we’re doing everything we can to see that does not recur,” Morgenstern said.

Brown, a 74-year-old Democrat, hasn’t curbed overtime expenses that lead the 12 biggest states or limited payouts for accumulated vacation time that allowed one employee to claim a $609,000 check last year for accrued leave at retirement. California’s liability for the unused leave of its state workers has more than doubled in eight years, to $3.9 billion in 2011, from $1.4 billion in 2003, according to the state’s annual financial reports.

Brown, who granted state workers collective-bargaining rights during his first tenure as governor more than three decades ago, made reducing pension costs for new state employees a priority after his return to the office last year. He left intact most retirement benefits for current workers.

“Governor Brown is busy fixing the many problems that he inherited from past administrations,” said Gareth Lacy, a spokesman for the governor. “California’s $26 billion budget deficit, and the decades-old structural imbalance, was eliminated in large part by cutting waste and slashing costs. The governor also achieved historic reforms to public pensions and workers’ compensation that will save the state billions of dollars.”

Inflated Earnings

California’s highest-paid state troopers make far more than those in other states, with overtime and lump-sum payouts that inflate earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. They also enjoy a retirement benefit that allows them to leave after 30 years with annual pensions totaling 90 percent of their salaries, a standard that became the model for police departments throughout the state.

While more than 5,000 California troopers made at least $100,000 in 2011, only three in North Carolina did, the data show. Talbott’s $483,581 in total pay -- adding six months of his $174,888 annual pension, based on his June 30, 2011, retirement date -- is almost four times as much as the $122,950 collected by the top-paid officer in North Carolina, a commander, the data show. Talbott declined a request to be interviewed, said Patty Zurita, communications manager at the University of the Redlands in Redlands, California, where he now works.

‘Supervisory Issue’

“It’s a supervisory issue,” said Lieutenant Steve Lockhart, the benefits officer for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, whose employees aren’t unionized. “We just don’t allow our employees to claim that kind of time. By giving them comp time, we give them their time off rather than paying them.”

The gold-standard payroll and pension packages for the California Highway Patrol date to the late 1990s and early 2000s. That’s when the department’s union lobbied for and won the 90 percent pension benefit and regular pay that, by statute, is linked to an average of the five largest law-enforcement agencies in the state, including Los Angeles.

The administration of Democratic Governor Gray Davis, who was recalled by voters in 2003, backed those changes. The biggest U.S. pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, also advocated for the pension upgrade.

‘Very Strong’

“You had very strong, influential unions that were very supportive politically, very popular to the public and were very effective at inside lobbying, making their case to the Legislature,” Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education inSacramento and a trade and commerce undersecretary for former Republican Governor Pete Wilson, said in a telephone interview.

The California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the troopers’ union, won additional concessions during the administration of Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who succeeded Davis.

Beginning in 2006, highway patrol officers were also granted a stipend equal to 3.5 percent of their base pay to compensate them for time spent on pre- and post-shift activities, such as donning protective gear and inspecting weapons and vehicles. That same year, the state doubled the amount of extra pay officers earned for working swing and night shifts.

The consequences today are payroll and pension costs that strain California’s budget.

Sergeants Team

Connie and Vincent Lambres, who were husband-and-wife highway patrol sergeants in Sacramento County, collected $745,947 in overtime from 2005 through 2011, data provided by the state show. Connie Lambres retired last year with a lump-sum payout of $64,729 and Vincent retired in 2010, collecting a lump-sum payout of $132,283 and another $45,727 in 2011. Reached by telephone, Vincent Lambres declined to comment.

Two other retiring officers last year, including Talbott, received portions of their regular salary, checks for unused vacation time and the first installments of lifetime annual pensions, even as they took new jobs outside government. Their earnings of about $484,000 and $392,000, including pensions, compared with about $276,400 in pay and retirement benefits for the top trooper outside California, a retiring officer inPennsylvania, John Rice. Rice, who took another job as safety director for a regional bus company, didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.

Over $200,000

Besides Talbott, 44 California patrol officers earned more than $200,000 in 2011, compared with nine in other states - five in Pennsylvania and four in Illinois, according to the data.

California Highway Patrol officers earned $82.4 million in overtime last year, almost triple the $27.5 million overtime paid in Texas, the second most-populous U.S. state. California Officer Bryce Perry topped the list with $93,795 in overtime, nearly as much as his $96,105 regular salary. Perry didn’t respond to messages left at his home seeking comment.

Boosting of pay and benefits was intended to attract candidates to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP union had pressed for an across-the-board pay increase while Davis pushed back, telling state workers raises would have to be postponed as he grappled with a ballooning budget deficit.

The union agreed to forgo an immediate pay boost in exchange for the Legislature requiring that pay be linked to an average of the state’s five biggest law enforcement agencies.

Compensation Jumps

Highway patrol compensation in California shot higher in the years that followed. Officers’ pay rose 2.7 percent in fiscal 2004, 12.1 percent in fiscal 2005 and 5.6 percent and 5.7 percent in the ensuing years, according to the independent Legislative Analyst’s Office.

“At the time we accomplished our biggest gains, I actually felt I was losing the recruitment war,” Jon Hamm, the union’s chief executive, said in a statement. “I think it is clear that when our biggest gains were negotiated I did not feel they were ‘excessive;’ in fact, almost the opposite was true.”

The 1999 pension benefit granting highway patrol officers 90 percent of their salaries after 30 years of service, signed by then-governor Davis and approved by the Legislature, was subsequently copied by cities and counties throughout California. As a result, many California municipalities are now hobbled by retiree obligations that consume 10 percent or more of their budgets.

‘Totally Supportable’

“I signed the bill because Calpers persuaded the Legislature and my administration that these benefits were totally supportable by projected investment earnings, there would be no increase in the contributions by the employer -- meaning the state -- and that Calpers was 90 percent funded and that’s well above full funding,” Davis said in a telephone interview.

In North Carolina, pensions are calculated based on a formula of 1.82 percent per year of service after 30 years of work -- leading to far lower costs than in California, the highway patrol’s Lockhart said. North Carolina state troopers aren’t represented by a union because collective bargaining isn’t permitted in the state, he said.

Retirement Formula

For the California Highway Patrol, the retirement formula will change for new employees starting in January, to a pension of 2 percent per year of service at age 50 or 2.7 percent at age 57. Current employees receive 3 percent at age 50, except those hired after Sept. 1, 2010, who get 3 percent at age 55, highway patrol spokeswoman Fran Clader said.

California’s pension benefits and top lump-sum payouts to retiring highway patrol officers dwarf those in other states for which Bloomberg assembled data. Yet troopers elsewhere do get such payments -- derided as “boat checks” by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie because some of them are big enough to buy yachts -- and retire young enough to take second jobs.

In Pennsylvania, Terry L. Seilhamer, 62, a former area commander, received $171,995 for unused sick and vacation days when he retired last year, the eighth-highest such payout among the 12 U.S. states in the Bloomberg data.

David L. McNulty, 57, a former administrator in New York’s plainclothes detective division, got a lump-sum payout of $33,565, according to the New York state comptroller. He got an annual pension of $112,400, to Seilhamer’s $75,494.

New Jobs

Now both men have new government jobs. Seilhamer is a police chief in the Pittsburgh suburb of Jackson Township, which pays him $74,595 a year, plus $625 a month for opting out of the municipal health-insurance plan. He didn’t return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

McNulty, President Barack Obama’s choice as U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of New York, was sworn in July 20, 2011, the day after he retired as a trooper. He is paid $95,000 to $98,000 a year, he said.

“I consider myself very lucky to have been able to move on and retire, but still keep busy and still keep employed, and have such a good job and work with such great people,” McNulty said in a telephone interview.

After California, Pennsylvania state troopers posted the largest lump-sum retirement payouts in data compiled by Bloomberg. They are entitled to cash out a maximum of 410 sick and 60 vacation days when they leave their department. In 2011, more than 200 Pennsylvania troopers were paid a total of $12.7 million in lump-sum payments, with an average payout of $62,254. Thirty-three officers received more than $100,000, and six got in excess of $150,000.

New York Limits

New York limits leave payouts to 30 vacation days and 200 sick days. Of the sick time, a maximum of 165 days may be converted to credits toward health-insurance costs, and the remaining hours are reimbursed at a reduced dollar amount. The policy kept a lid on 2011 lump sums, with $3 million going to 181 officers. The largest check was $40,678, data show.

In California, Talbott, who retired last June, took a job the following month as director of public safety at the University of Redlands. The university declined to release his pay.

Talbott’s former colleague James P. Leonard, 51, was the second-highest paid trooper in the country when he retired last year, collecting earnings of about $392,000, including salary, pension and a lump-sum payout of $201,555, according to data provided by the state controller and Calpers.

New Job

A month after retiring last June, Leonard took a job as an investigator at PG&E Corp. (PCG), owner of California’s largest utility, according to his LinkedIn profile. Brittany McKannay, a PG&E spokeswoman, declined to say what he earns or to provide an investigator’s salary range. Leonard didn’t respond to an interview request conveyed to him through McKannay.

Leonard in 2010 filed a workers’ compensation claim based on heart trouble from “28 years of cumulative stress and strain of employment.” He was awarded $21,965, less an attorney’s fee of $3,250, according to his claim paperwork.

Asked about the lump-sum payouts, Morgenstern, the state’s labor secretary, said such outsized checks based on unused leave and vacation time shouldn’t be permitted.

“There are rules that said they should be forced to use that time,” Morgenstern said. “They didn’t use that time. And over the years, controls did not exist or were not implemented to make them use that time and instead they took these huge and inappropriate payouts.”

Backlog Declining

The highway patrol’s backlog of vacation and leave time is declining, spokeswoman Clader said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“The department has continued to reduce vacation/annual leave accumulations, which may accrue over many years,” Clader said. “The department has seen a significant reduction in the number of employees over their cap in the last three years.”

Paying 1.5 times regular salary as overtime is less expensive than hiring new officers because those positions would include additional benefit costs, Clader said. The majority of overtime funded by the department accumulates during mandatory court appearances, she said.

An officer can’t work more than 16.5 hours straight, and daily limits are strictly enforced, according to the department.

Starting Pay

The base pay for a California Highway Patrol officer starts at $67,764 a year, with 5 percent annual increases until reaching $84,036, according to the agency’s website. In North Carolina, a trooper’s starting salary is about $34,000 a year, Lockhart said. All state employees got a 1.2 percent pay raise this year, the first in four years, he said.

America's Great State Payroll Giveaway: Read Bloomberg's full reporting on how out-of-control pay burdens states around the country.

California’s high compensation levels relative to other states are the fault of public officials who approved pay and benefit changes without adequately considering their long-term costs, said David Crane, a public policy lecturer at Stanford University and a Democrat who was an economic adviser to Schwarzenegger.

“It’s just a remarkable situation where they can make promises for things but not have to worry about the consequences,” Crane said. “It would be like you promising your child that you’re going to pay for their college but then knowing you’re going to be leaving in two to four years and you’re really not responsible for that.”

-- With assistance from Michael B. Marois in Sacramento, California, and Mark Niquette in Columbus, Ohio. Editors: Jeffrey Taylor, Pete Young

To contact the reporters on this story: Alison Vekshin in San Francisco at; Elise Young in Trenton; Rodney Yap in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey Taylor at

December 17, 2012

New radio network late and over budget


Riverside County’s upgraded radio network for police and firefighters is expected to cost an extra $7.5 million annually to run once it starts up next year -- three years later than first planned -- and the price tag for building the system is $24 million more than initially budgeted.

Officials insist the Public Safety Enterprise Communication System is needed to replace an outdated, ineffective network of radio towers. The expanded network, which includes 50 more towers, better protects police, firefighters and the public, they say.

The new system’s operating expenses are among the reasons the county executive office expects the sheriff’s and fire departments to have deficits when the fiscal year ends June 30. Last month, officials said they project a $9.2 million deficit for the sheriff and a $5.7 million hole in the fire budget.

Those deficits are not set in stone. Rather, they’re projections intended to give the county time to solve budget problems before they hit, County Executive Officer Jay Orr and Chief Financial Officer Ed Corser told county supervisors at a recent budget briefing.

The Board of Supervisors allocated $148 million to build the network of radio towers in 2007, and it was intended to be finished in 2010.

However, the slow pace of environmental reviews and longer-than-expected negotiations to acquire land for new radio towers pushed the timetable back, county officials said. Those delays, along with additional equipment costs, the need to buy another tower site and the need to keep a network-implementation team together longer than expected pushed the cost of the project to $172 million.

Most of the money is paying for the new towers, although a portion is going to new system-compatible radios for deputies, fire officials and other staff.

Because the new network won’t be active until 2013, the Sheriff’s Department can’t immediately recoup the increased operating costs from cities which contract with the county for police services.

The current radio network costs $6.7 million annually to run, and the upgraded network’s projected costs are $14.2 million a year. The extra money will pay for 38 staff members – some new, some existing – and for ongoing training and maintenance costs.

Major funding sources to build the network include $87 million in bonds, $53 million in cash and $2.7 million in developer fees. A $780,000 federal grant is paying to connect the network to San Diego County’s dispatch center.

The $24 million tacked on to the system’s construction budget is mainly being covered by general fund dollars, said county spokesman Ray Smith, who said he did not have an exact breakdown.

The network is one of several new spending obligations the county is incurring despite the loss of more than $200 million in ongoing revenue since the economic downturn hit the area in late 2006.

Officials are planning to expand the Indio jail to ease a shortage of beds that’s forced the release of more than 6,000 inmates since January. The expansion is expected to cost $237 million – $100 million is covered by a state grant – and cost $50 million a year to run.

By 2015, the county also will have to honor up to $188.3 million in raises guaranteed by labor contracts and granted to nonunion employees. Supervisors approved the raises so unions would go along with public pension changes expected to save $856 million over 10 years.

The county would have liked to have set money aside for the new radio system, but it couldn’t because the economic downturn dried up revenue, Smith said.

The enhanced network will add 53 radio towers to the 23 towers installed throughout the county. Once operational, the new towers should boost radio coverage from 63 percent of the county to nearly 100 percent.

Sheriff Stan Sniff said radio reception in the current system is so bad, deputies must use cell phones to talk, even in built-up areas. The county’s population growth and increased voice and data usage made the system even more obsolete, officials said.

Other county departments besides public safety will use the network, something that will come in handy during emergencies when, for example, the transportation department might be needed to clear a road, said Deputy County Executive Officer Christopher Hans.

And the new system is designed to improve communication between different public safety agencies during disasters by allowing them to share the same radio channels.

Sniff said his department will eventually ask the 12 cities it serves through contracts to chip in and cover the network’s operating costs. But those costs are factored into contracts retroactively.

Because the new system isn’t online yet, its costs can’t be recovered right away, Sniff said. In the short term, the county will have to foot more of the bill for the new towers before the cities pay their share, he added.

San Bernardino County also has started planning for a $175 million project to replace an aging emergency radio station used by most police and fire agencies in the county. Officials say the current system is so outdated, they have to hunt for replacement parts on eBay.

Last year, San Bernardino County began setting aside $24 million in each year’s budget with the goal of saving up to purchase a new digital radio communications system in five years.

Smith said San Bernardino County could use Riverside County’s radio network during emergencies if San Bernardino first-responders have compatible radios.

Also contributing to this report: Staff writer Imran Ghori,

December 17, 2012

Traffic Stop Nets 230 Oxycodone Pills and Meth 

Posey County – Early Sunday morning, December 16, at approximately 1:20 a.m., Trooper Korey Mauck and Trooper Lucas Zeien stopped the driver of a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser for making an unsafe lane movement on S.R. 62 near State Street in Mt. Vernon. The driver was identified as James O’Toole, 38, of Evansville. While talking to O’Toole, Trooper Mauck noticed a plastic bag containing pills in his front coat pocket. After O’Toole was ordered to exit the vehicle, Trooper Zeien observed a hypodermic needle lying on the driver’s seat. When troopers searched O’Toole they found a spoon in his left pants pocket with a white unknown substance on it. A search of the vehicle revealed a large unmarked prescription bottle under the driver’s seat that contained more pills. Between the pills found in the plastic bag and the bottle, troopers had 230 pills that were later identified as Oxycodone. Further investigation revealed the hypodermic needle and spoon contained meth. O’Toole was arrested and taken to the Posey County Jail where he’s currently being held on bond. 


James M. O’Toole, 38, Evansville, IN 

Possession of Meth, Class D Felony 

Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, Class D Felony 

Possession of Hypodermic Needle, Class D Felony 

Arresting Officer: Trooper Korey Mauck, Indiana State Police 

Assisting Officer: Trooper Lucas Zeien, Indiana State Police 

December 17, 2012

2 Kansas officers fatally shot outside market


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two Kansas police officers were fatally shot outside a grocery store Sunday while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle, authorities said.

Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller called the shootings of Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly"unspeakable." He said both Gogian, 50, and Atherly, 29, were shot in the head by a gunman who opened fire on them within minutes of their arrival to investigate the vehicle.

"It's clearly beyond words. It's unspeakable almost about why this happens and why this is happening in America at this stage in our history," Miller said.

Police were searching for a 22-year-old man believed to have been the one who fired on the officers from the vehicle. He remained at large Sunday night. Miller didn't know the motive for the shooting but said the suspect has a criminal history, though he wouldn't elaborate.

A third officer who went to the scene to check on the vehicle was not injured in the shooting.

Gogian and Atherly were taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead.

The call about the vehicle came shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, police said. Gogian and Atherly had arrived as backup for another officer when someone in the vehicle they were investigating started shooting.

"I don't believe they had any idea this situation was going to go this direction as quickly as it did," Miller said.

Police would not say whether the officers had reached the vehicle when they were shot or what kind of gun was used in the shooting.

Miller said there was more than one person in the vehicle, which later was found outside a house about 10 blocks from the grocery store. Officers searched the home but didn't find the shooting suspect.

The chief declined to say why officers were investigating the vehicle and why it was considered suspicious.

A small crowd met for a candlelight vigil Sunday night outside police headquarters after hearing about the shooting. As the group gathered, police officials announced to reporters nearby that the officers had died.

Gogian started with the Topeka Police Department in September 2004. Atherly had been with the department since April 2011.

Miller said Gogian was a retired military serviceman. It wasn't immediately clear what branch of the military. He has a son who's also a Topeka police officer.

"He had spent his life in service to his country and in the city of Topeka," the chief said.

Meanwhile, Atherly was "just getting started" in his career, he said.

The last time a Topeka officer was killed in the line of duty was 2000, and it's been longer than that — since 1995 — that one was fatally shot on the job.

December 17, 2012

Indiana man threatened killings at elementary school

By Rosemary Regina Sobol

A Cedar Lake, Ind. man who police said had 47 guns and ammunition hidden in his home was arrested after threatening to set his wife on fire and "kill as many people as he could" at an elementary school near his home Friday, police said.

Early Friday morning, police were called to the home of Von I. Meyer, 60, in 9300 block of West 133rd Avenue, after it was reported that he threatened to set his wife on fire after she fell asleep, according to a statement from Cedar Lake police.

Meyer also said he was going to enter the Jane Ball Elementary School – less than 1,000 feet from his home – and "kill as many people as he could before police could stop him," the statement said. Meyer's wife works at Jane Ball Elementary School near their home.

Police notified school officials and security measures were taken at all local schools on Friday, the statement said.

Hidden in his 2-story, "historic" home, authorities found 47 guns and ammunition with an estimated value of over $100,000, the statement said. Many of the guns seized during the search were collector's items, the statement said.

Saturday morning, formal charges were filed against Meyer, who police said is a known member of motorcycle gang, and a search warrant was issued.

That afternoon, West 133rd Avenue was closed while authorities entered Meyer's home, which is connected to the school by a series of trails and walking paths in a wooded area, and took custody of Meyer without incident.

Interim Cedar Lake Police Chief Jerry Smith said Sunday he believes Meyer was bluffing when he allegedly made the threat and that he doesn't think was serious.

He was charged with four counts of felony intimidation, one count of misdemeanor domestic battery, and two counts of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the statement said.

Meyer was taken to the Lake County, Ind., Jail where he was being held without bail pending an initial hearing. It was not immediately known when the hearing will be, police said Sunday.

Cedar Lake is about 45 miles south of Chicago near the Indiana-Illinois state line.

Associated Press contributed.

Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

December 17, 2012

I Am Adam Lanza's Mother':

A Mom's Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America

Written by Liza Long, republished from The Blue Review

"Michael," the author's son

Friday’s horrific national tragedy -- the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut -- has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

While every family's story of mental illness is different, and we may never know the whole of the Lanza's story, tales like this one need to be heard -- and families who live them deserve our help.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan -- they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

“You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork -- “Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…”

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying -- that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise -- in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill -- Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.

(Originally published at The Anarchist Soccer Mom.)

December 17, 2012

Clackamas man, armed, confronts mall shooter

Nick Meli

PORTLAND -- Nick Meli is emotionally drained.  The 22-year-old was at Clackamas Town Center with a friend and her baby when a masked man opened fire.

"I heard three shots and turned and looked at Casey and said, 'are you serious?,'" he said.

The friend and baby hit the floor.  Meli, who has a concealed carry permit, positioned himself behind a pillar.

"He was working on his rifle," said Meli.  "He kept pulling the charging handle and hitting the side."

The break in gunfire allowed Meli to pull out his own gun, but he never took his eyes off the shooter.

"As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them," he said.

Meli took cover inside a nearby store.  He never pulled the trigger.  He stands by that decision.

"I'm not beating myself up cause I didn't shoot him," said Meli.  "I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself."

The gunman was dead, but not before taking two innocent lives with him and taking the innocence of everyone else.

"I don't ever want to see anyone that way ever," said Meli.  "It just bothers me."

December 17, 2012

Indianapolis police shooting leaves gunman in critical condition

A man who police say emerged from a Southside home with a handgun after an attempted robbery is in critical condition after being shot by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer.

It is the second shooting by an IMPD officer in less than a week.

Police arrived in the 200 block of Bakemeyer Street about 10:50 a.m. Sunday after receiving reports of a green station wagon driving erratically.

Callers told dispatchers that the motorist drove through backyards before backing into a driveway between two houses.

By the time officers arrived, police said, callers had told 911 operators that the man had left the car and, while holding a handgun, had gone into one of the houses.

One officer saw him leaving the house, still holding the gun. He fired at the man and hit him.

The man , who has not been identified, was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital in critical condition and went into surgery. No update on his condition was available.

About 6:30 p.m. Sunday, police said they were still waiting to identify the wounded man. Detectives said they think he was trying to steal drugs from one of the homes.

The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

Police said an investigation is continuing and more information may be released.

Lenon Henry, 52, Indianapolis, was fatally shot Tuesday by IMPD officer Christopher Wilburn. He was a suspected burglar whom officers found in the basement of a house in the 3800 block of North Arlington Avenue after the owner called police.

The police report said Henry refused to follow officers’ commands and reached for his waistband before he was shot. No weapon was found on him.

Wilburn is on leave, and the shooting is still under investigation.

This story will be updated.

Contact Star reporter Jill Disis at (31&) 444-6137, or on Twitter: @Jdisis.

December 17, 2012

137 Police Shots, 2 Dead: Many Questions in Ohio


CLEVELAND---137 police shots end chase, killing 2, but raise community anger and questions in Cleveland

A chase that ended with 13 officers firing 137 rounds, killing two people, began with a pop — perhaps a gunshot or backfire from a car speeding past police headquarters.

For the next 25 minutes late in the night of Nov. 29, the car crisscrossed Cleveland tailed by officers, headed along Interstate 90 and wound up near the back entrance of a school in East Cleveland, where police opened fire.

Police don't know why the driver, Timothy Russell, 43, refused to stop. Russell had a criminal record including convictions for receiving stolen property and robbery. His passenger, Malissa Williams, 30, had convictions for drug-related charges and attempted abduction.

The fallout from their deaths has cast the Cleveland police department in an uneasy light amid community complaints about what's been called a racially motivated execution of two people with no evidence they were armed.

The state took over the case and families for both victims and civil-rights groups have demanded a federal investigation. They accuse officers of alleged civil rights violations in the pursuit and gunfire barrage.

"You just can't help but wonder how so many officers were able to shoot so many bullets at these two people in this vehicle," said Paul Cristallo, an attorney representing Russell's family.

Protesters yelled "execution" at a community meeting called by Mayor Frank Jackson to quell rising tensions. The city tried to defuse the outrage by reaching out to federal officials for help. There was no immediate federal decision to intervene.

The officers involved in the shooting have been assigned to desk duties, which is standard procedure after a shooting. They want to avoid talking to the media while subject to the state and internal investigations, their union president said.

The scene of the deaths has turned into a memorial, with small vigil candles arranged in the shape of a heart and the number 137 and stuffed animals piled together with a frost-encrusted poinsettia.

The chase began about 10:30 p.m. when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding by the police and courts complex in downtown Cleveland and jumped into his patrol car, made a U-turn and radioed for help.

The chase went through crowded residential neighborhoods, then reversed course, headed east onto busy I-90 and through parts of Cleveland and eventually East Cleveland, ending with the car blocked in the rear of a school.

By police accounts, at least 30 patrol cars were involved in the chase, including Cleveland and East Cleveland police, sheriff's deputies and state troopers.

As the chase ended along hillside driveways heading to the school in John D. Rockefeller's old neighborhood, Russell allegedly rammed a patrol car and drove toward an officer on foot. Then the gunfire erupted: 137 rounds, Russell shot 23 times and Williams 24 times and their car pockmarked.

Jeff Follmer, president of the police union, defended the officers' actions and said officers used force to confront a driver using his vehicle as a potentially deadly weapon.

That was an acceptable police response, said David Klinger, a former Los Angeles and Redmond, Wash., patrolman who teaches criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

"Police officers are authorized to use deadly force to protect themselves and others from great bodily injury or death," he said. "I don't know about you, but I'm not going to stand there and let somebody run me over."

While the driver may have endangered officers, Klinger questioned why the passenger was shot two dozen times, though he wondered whether officers missed while aiming at the driver.

Follmer said some officers in the chase believed both the driver and passenger were armed, and police radio chatter had numerous references warning about a weapon or gunfire from the fleeing car. "I guess he's waving a gun out the window pointing at the officers," one radio dispatch said.

But no weapon or shell casings were found in the fleeing car and the chase route was searched for any trace.

In a well-integrated police force, the makeup of the officers who fired raised the issue of race: 12 are white and one Hispanic. Both victims were black.

The police union president said race wasn't an issue and said the racial makeup of the pursuing officers was random.

But the NAACP called the shootings unacceptable and avoidable and called on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio went further, calling for a special prosecutor without ties to the northeast Ohio law enforcement community. The ACLU also asked the attorney general to remove East Cleveland police and the sheriff's department from the state probe because they were involved in the chase.

Cristallo said people who are part of Cleveland's black community are angry. "The people who live in the inner city in Cleveland, the black people in this community, feel that this was an assault on the whole community," he said.

Complaints about the relationship between police and Cleveland's black residents date back to the discovery of the bodies of several black women in a home in an impoverished neighborhood east of downtown in 2009. The man who lived in the home was sentenced to death last year in the killings of 11 women.

That case shed light on residents' complaints that reports of missing black women involved in drugs and prostitution were ignored, tarnishing the image of police.

"This most recent shooting is only the latest in a long line of incidents in Cuyahoga County that have tested people's faith in their public servants," said James Hardiman, a veteran civil-rights attorney and legal director of the ACLU of Ohio.

The shooting deaths have also strained the relationship between officers and city leaders.

The mayor offered an even-handed approach and said police would be backed if they obeyed procedures during the chase but would face unspecified consequences if that wasn't the case.

But the quick response by a glum-looking police Chief Michael McGrath that that the shooting was a tragedy upset rank-and-file officers who felt he spoke too fast without knowing the facts.

"Morale is down. There is no confidence that there's backing with the chief right now," union president Follmer said.

The internal investigation on whether officers followed departmental procedures could take six weeks or more, the chief said. The mayor said the state investigation could take months.

Copyright © 2012 ABC News Internet Ventures

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

December 16, 2012

Sunday update on Butch Alder


Karen Shelton reports the following info regarding Butch Alder.

Just spoke with Ernie ... Butch passed away about 30 min ago. 

They removed life support and he was gone on about 5 minutes. 

Ernie said "we know who is in charge and we are coping".

Pray for them...this is going to be tough.

10-0 info will be dispatched as soon as published.

December 16, 2012

Nashville drummer Willie Ackerman dead at 73

Ackerman also served as a reserve deputy with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

Willie Ackerman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville drummer Willie Ackerman, who played with artists such as Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Louis Armstrong, has died. He was 73.

According to an obituary from the Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home, Ackerman passed away peacefully on Thursday.

The obituary says Ackerman was a professional musician from the age of 17. He was a staff drummer for such country music institutions as the Grand Ole Opry, RCA Studios and "Hee Haw."

He played with numerous country stars, including Patsy Cline, George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins. He recorded classic hits such as "El Paso" and "Wings of a Dove."

Ackerman also served as a reserve deputy with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

Visitation is 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Marshall-Donnelly-Combs. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home followed by burial at Springhill Cemetery.

Memorials may be made in Ackerman's honor to the Opry Trust Fund.

December 16, 2012

Crowd attacked officers after robbery suspect shot, killed

Authorities say cops fired after violent confrontation with suspect

By Bridget Doyle, Deanese Williams-Harris and Liam Ford

A robbery suspect was shot to death by officers Saturday after a "very violent encounter" in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Chicago police said, sparking a mob scene.

The shooting happened just before 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the 1600 block of West Garfield Boulevard near a gas station, police said.

A melee erupted when a crowd gathered after the shooting and relatives of the dead man — identified as Jamaal Moore, 23 — accosted police officers and threw bottles, bricks and rocks, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said. A family member assaulted an officer and was arrested, McCarthy said at an unrelated news conference.

Eight people were arrested at the scene, McCarthy said, adding that he had no information about how many officers were injured in the confrontation.

The chain of events began when armed robbers held up a truck driver near 38th Street and Kedzie Avenue between 10 and 11 a.m., authorities said.

Several suspects in a silver SUV reportedly broke into a truck. The driver confronted the thieves, and they pulled out a weapon, said Patrick Camden, a police spokesman. The driver called 911 and told a dispatcher that the robbers were probably armed, Camden said.

Police chased the SUV until it lost control near Garfield Boulevard and Ashland Avenue and struck a light pole, authorities said.

About five suspects ran from the SUV, McCarthy said, and four remain at large.

One police car responding to the scene skidded and may have hit Moore as he tried to get away, McCarthy said.

A male and a female officer exited to confront Moore, who got into a struggle with the male officer, throwing the officer to the ground twice, McCarthy said. Moore is listed in court records as 6-foot-1-inch and 205 pounds.

While still struggling with Moore, the male officer yelled that Moore appeared to be holding something, McCarthy said.

"It was reported as a gunpoint robbery, so the officers had good reason to believe that there was a gun there," McCarthy said.

After throwing the male officer to the ground a second time, Moore charged the female officer, McCarthy said.

"Based on the male officer saying that (Moore) had a gun, she was in fear, and she fired twice, striking him," McCarthy said.

No weapon was recovered. Officers later learned that Moore had been holding a flashlight, police said.

Both officers were taken to Mercy Hospital & Medical Center with minor injuries. Moore was taken to St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:13 p.m.

Cook County court records show that Moore had been charged with crimes about a dozen times since 2006. In a 2007 case, he was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to six years in prison.

On Nov. 26, he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated fleeing, a charge related to an attempt to escape arrest. Further details on the crime were not available Saturday, but Moore received 24 months probation and was sentenced to 60 hours of community service plus fines, court records show.

At the scene of the shooting, the crowd that gathered afterward included people who identified themselves as relatives of Moore. Word spread quickly that Moore was shot while handcuffed, an account that bystanders heard from others who said they witnessed the shooting and that was shared by two people who called the Tribune.

McCarthy said he had no information about whether that was the case.

"To my knowledge, it's nothing about handcuffs," McCarthy said. "There is in-car video that is going to support this detailed story."

Camden said, "If he were handcuffed, we wouldn't have a reason to shoot him."

Sgt. Michael Martin, speaking near where the shooting took place, said people there were reacting with anger.

"People were throwing bricks and bottles at cop cars," Martin said. "A few squad cars are damaged."

Police responded by sending in several brigades of officers and closing off the area to traffic until the tensions eased and the damaged SUV was towed from the scene.

Tribune reporters Dawn Rhodes and Jeremy Gorner contributed.

Copyright © 2012 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

December 16, 2012

Spouses arrested apart on DUI

NORTH SCITUATE, R.I. - State police arrested a Warwick man on a DUI charge as he was on his way to a police station to pick up his wife - detained on suspicion of drunken driving.

Police said Saturday that 43-year-old Stephanie Souza was arrested Friday night after a car she was driving was stopped in Cranston.

Her husband, 44-year-old Michael Souza, was stopped for a motor vehicle violation while traveling to the Lincoln Woods station to pick her up.

He was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while drunk.

The wife's blood alcohol count test read 0.145 and 0.138. The legal limit is 0.08. Her husband's test read 0.191 and 0.191.

They will be arraigned on Dec. 18 and Jan. 4.

The Souzas did not answer their phone Saturday.

December 16, 2012

9-year-old named honorary police officer after raising nearly $3,000 for kids

Brenton Yarger with Santa Claus

WABASH, Ind. (WANE) - A Wabash boy was named an honorary police officer on Saturday after he raised nearly $3,000 for less fortunate kids.

Brenton Yarger, 9, raised money for the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 83's Shop with a Cop program in Wabash, which gives less fortunate children presents during the holiday season.

"He's all about helping others," Matt Benson, Sergeant at the Wabash Police Department, said.

This year, Brenton raised $2,953.04 and helped 29 different children receive gifts. Brenton's original goal was to raise $500.

"The kids that don't get Christmas presents, they might have a sad Christmas. I'm very, very excited to see the children's happy faces," Brenton said.

Benson said Brenton raises money by collecting aluminum cans, asking people for donations, and standing outside of Walmart, rain or shine.

December 16, 2012

Butch Alder health update

Saturday report

Butch is showing physical improvement. His strength and condition make that possible.

The big challenge is the damage to his brain. More tests will be done tomorrow.

Response and support has been unbelievable.;

Pray, Pray, Pray!

Betty and I are coping.

Ernie and Betty

December 16, 2012

Memphis police officer killed while serving drug warrant was mother of four

Memphis police officers were gathering funds Friday for an officer who was fatally shot while serving a drug warrant.

Officer Martovia Lang, a nine-year veteran of the force and her partner exchanged fire Friday morning with a suspect who was also struck.

Police Chief Toney Armstrong said Lang’s partner, William Vromah was listed in stable condition at a local hospital. The condition of the 21-year-old suspect was not immediately known.

Armstrong said a second person who was in the home was in custody, but no charges were immediately filed.

Authorities said the shooting was a reminder that police officers put their lives in danger every day they are on duty.

"Through it all, we appreciate deeply, beyond measure – words can't express the sacrifice they make for our city," Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said.

Wharton said the city's flags will be flown at half-staff to honor Lang.

"Kind-hearted person, very friendly, funny person, a great scholar, true encourager," Javauhn Tucker, a childhood friend of Lang told  

"She had looked into (being a police officer) as we were growing up as children," Tucker said.

A memorial fund has been set up for Lang's children, ages 14, 13, 12 and 2.

December 16, 2012

Police kill man accused of shooting officer, 2 employees at Alabama hospital

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man opened fire early Saturday at a hospital in Alabama, wounding a police officer and two employees before being shot and killed by another officer, authorities said.

Police were sent to St. Vincent’s Hospital around 4 a.m. to check on a report of an armed man inside the facility. Two officers who arrived separately converged on the suspect on the hospital’s fifth floor.

“When the officer encountered the suspect, there was immediate gunfire from the suspect,” Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams said. One police officer and two hospital employees who happened to be in the area were wounded.

A second officer shot back, mortally wounding the suspect.

Williams said detectives were still trying to determine Saturday why the armed man was in the hospital. Authorities did not immediately release the names of the assailant or the victims.

A handful of cardiac patients and several staff members were on the fifth floor, hospital spokeswoman Liz Moore told reporters during a news conference. She said the hospital is secure and stable, and patient care was not interrupted.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 16, 2012

Washington County, MO sheriff's deputy killed

Gary Sancegrow

Washington Co., MO-  A Washington County, Missouri sheriff's deputy has been killed after being shot early this morning. That's according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. It happened at 2:10 a.m. on Nugget Road in Mineral Point. Authorities say the deputy was responding to a 911 call for an unconscious person. While they were loading that person into an ambulance, the deputy was ambushed. One shot was fired, killing the deputy.

The suspect is described by police as Gary Sancegrow, 30, 6'2, 125 lbs, white male. He was last seen running into a wooded area near the scene. An active search is underway. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous. 

The deputy's name is not being released at this time.

Newschannel 5 has a crew on the way. We'll have much more on this breaking news throughout the day.

December 16, 2012

LaPorte County jailer charged with burglary

A LaPorte County Jail officer is accused of breaking into a home in the Michigan City area.

Brandon Walker, 33, is charged in LaPorte Superior Court 1 with two counts of Class B felony burglary.

According to LaPorte County police, officers on Dec. 10 responded to a burglary in progress in the 1600 block of East Coolspring Ave.

The homeowner discovered an intruder inside her residence and a man later identified as Walker fled.

A friend of the victim followed him and, eventually, held Walker until officers showed up, said police.

Walker was suspended and later terminated from his position that he had held for six years, said LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer.

"We are greatly disappointed by this situation but hold our employees to a very high standard. This behavior will not be tolerated by any employee," Mollenhauer said.

Mollenhauer said Walker was off duty at the time of the alleged crimes.

December 15, 2012

Ernie Alder reporting sad news

FYI - Our son, Butch, is in St. Vincent ICU. He is in a coma and not expected to live.

Caused by the flu, extreme dehydration and cardiac arrest resulting in extensive brain damage.

Butch is 51 years old.

Please share this with friends and contacts who may be interested.


 Ernie and Betty Alder

December 15, 2012

California Highway Patrol officer killed in crash

By Catherine Bowen

An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer was killed Friday evening in a head-on collision in Fairfield.

The crash occurred around 5:52 p.m. on Highway 12, just west Red Top Road, said CHP Officer Chris Parker, public information officer for the Solano office.

Authorities are not identifying the officer, pending family notification.

A Toyota pickup was traveling eastbound from Napa and was just coming into Fairfield when the driver attempted to turn into a residence, Parker said. Seeing an opening in westbound traffic, the driver accelerated making it across the first lane and partially into the second, where he saw the on-coming motorcycle. The driver attempted to accelerate further but was unable to clear the lane before being clipped by the victim's Kawasaki motorcycle, which struck the right rear of the pickup.

The impact threw the officer off the motorcycle into the roadway, where he was hit by an eastbound Honda CRV, Parker said. Fire personnel and medics were called to the scene, where the victim died from his injuries.

Highway 12 was immediately shut down in both directions, with traffic being rerouted through American Canyon, Parker said. The highway was still closed as of 9:30 p.m. and Parker said it was expected to remain closed for several hours.

Parker said the area was not officially declared a crime scene, but added that authorities are keeping it "clear" in the event that it is determined to be one, in keeping with department protocol anytime there is a fatality.

No other injuries were reported, Parker said. The CHP is continuing to investigate the crash, including whether alcohol may have been a factor.

No arrests have been made, Parker said, noting that, "If there are any charges going to be filed, it will be after the completion of the investigation."

December 15, 2012

Trooper helps save 2 Ulster County men in one day

Heather Yakin

Trooper Gregory Plitsch

Lloyd police Officer Eric Masten

HIGHLAND — State police say a trooper helped save two lives on separate calls on Thursday.

Trooper Gregory Plitsch heard a 911 call for an unresponsive man at a home off Route 208 in Gardiner. He went to the scene and found a 21-year-old man in an upstairs bathroom, unresponsive and not breathing, with a 68-year-old relative performing CPR. Plitsch took over CPR and rescue breathing with the relative's help. Mobile Life Support Services EMTs arrived and were able to fully resuscitate the 21-year-old. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

Later in the day, Plitsch went to a home after a woman reported that her husband wasn't answering their home phone, and she suspected he was having a diabetic emergency. When Plitsch got to the home on New Paltz Road in Highland, police said, the door was unlocked; he went inside and found the man on the living room floor, not breathing. Plitsch started rescue breathing. Trooper Maria Weber and Lloyd police Officer Eric Masten arrived and began helping; their efforts kept the man alive until EMTs arrived, police said.

The medics were able to stabilize the man there — he had very low blood sugar — and he was taken to Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie for treatment.

December 15, 2012

Grateful trooper gives thanks for support:'I can't say enough'

Out of hospital two months after being struck

 by John Hult

Trooper Andrew Steen, critically injured after a chase in October,

leaves Sanford Hospital on Friday. / Jay Pickthorn / Argus Leader

Rachel Coleman

A state trooper who was critically wounded after a high-speed chase in October was greeted in the lobby of Sanford Hospital by the cheers of more than 100 supporters.

Trooper Andrew Steen was on crutches as he left the building in his South Dakota Highway Patrol uniform, months earlier than expected, after sustaining a traumatic brain injury.

Steen thanked the thousands who had prayed for him and tracked his progress online. Then he got into a Highway Patrol vehicle at the start of the law enforcement caravan that would take him home.

“To everybody here who came to see me go home, I can’t say enough,” Steen said, his voice cracking with emotion. “I just want to say thank you.”

His father and mother, Dan and Tricia Steen, also thanked the state for supporting Steen since he was struck by a fleeing driver Oct. 17.

For Steen’s mother, the Friday homecoming was amazing.

“We didn’t know on Oct. 17 that we would be home by Christmas, but we have imagined this day,” Tricia Steen said. “We didn’t imagine all the support, so thank you to South Dakota.”

Steen’s family provided updates for the injured trooper at, and a Facebook page called “Praying for Andrew Steen” has more than 13,500 followers. A hair salon, personal trainer, bridal boutique and fast food restaurants have held fundraisers for him.

Parents 'consider moving to' S.D.

Steen’s parents live in Iowa but have spent much of the past three months at Steen’s side. Dan Steen said he’s been amazed by the atmosphere surrounding their son’s recovery, both in and out of the hospital.

“I think we’re gonna consider moving to South Dakota,” he said.

The trooper’s release came just nine days after a successful surgery that reattached a chunk of his skull. The piece had been removed to allow for swelling in his brain, and doctors had initially said he wouldn’t be well enough for the surgery until next year.

“We were told it was going to be a minimum of six months to a year,” Dan Steen said.

The patrolman still needs therapy, however, mostly for his ankle, which was badly broken during the Oct. 17 incident.

Rachel Lee Coleman, 28, is accused of hitting Steen with her vehicle after the trooper attempted to stop her for suspected drunk driving in western Sioux Falls. The ensuing chase led Steen, along with several other troopers and Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies, to the parking lot of a shopping center at 57th Street and Western Avenue after 2 a.m.

Car kept going after striking trooper

Coleman first struck Steen’s car, prompting him to exit his vehicle, according to law enforcement reports. Steen was firing on the vehicle and yelling “stop” as it sped toward him. Coleman reportedly ran into Steen and kept driving, eventually being shot by two deputies before speeding away on Western. She was apprehended at 47th and Western.

A report from Attorney General Marty Jackley last month cleared Steen and the deputies of any wrongdoing in the incident.

Coleman, who spent two weeks in a hospital, awaits trial in Lincoln County on alternate counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, as well as charges of aggravated eluding and hit-and-run causing death or injury.

Troopers lined up Friday to form a path for Steen as he exited the building, and deputies from the Lincoln and Minnehaha County sheriff’s offices, troopers from the highway patrol and officers from the Sioux Falls Police Department lined up behind the vehicle carrying Steen home.

“It just shows the amount of camaraderie among law enforcement,” said Col. Craig Price of the Highway Patrol. “We look forward to moving into the next phase of recovery with Andrew and his family.”

December 15, 2012

Police deputy injured while conducting search

ROSSVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) - A Rossville Police Department deputy marshal was injured while responding to a call this week.

According to Rossville police, around 6:40 a.m. Thursday, Deputy Marshal Joel Hargett responded to a residential alarm in the 7300 block of County Road N. 200 West in Clinton County.

While Deputy Hargett was searching the perimeter of a residence, he fell roughly 8 feet from a retaining wall.

Clinton County Deputy John Griener had also responded to the call and after repeated attempts to contact Deputy Hargett via radio, he began searching for him.

Deputy Griener found Deputy Hargett lying on the ground. He was taken to an IU Health Arnett facility via ambulance and due to internal injuries, was later airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

He’s being treated in the ICU unit and is stable at this time. 

December 15, 2012

Gov. Daniels to quadruple salary as Purdue president

by Mary Beth Schneider and Tony Cook

Gov. Mitch Daniels

Gov. Mitch Daniels will quadruple his salary next year under an incentive-based contract for his new job as Purdue University president.

Daniels will be paid $420,000 annually under the initial terms of the contract approved Friday by Purdue’s board of trustees compensation committee. As governor, he was paid $108,000 in 2011.

At Purdue, Daniels will be eligible for another 30 percent in pay if he meets certain performance goals. There will be no deferred compensation, but Daniels’ total pay could reach $546,000 annually.

The pay is in line with that of other Big 10 university presidents, who earned anywhere from to $401,886 (University of Wisconsin’s Kevin P. Reilly) to $1.9 million (Ohio State’s E. Gordon Gee) in 2011, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

But the performance-based incentives, common on Wall Street, are just beginning to catch on in academia.

“As far as we can tell, there is no other university out there that has that level of incentives and that compensation at risk,” said Keith Krach, Purdue’s board chairman.

The contract will not become final until the full board of trustees acts on it today, when Daniels as governor will oddly find himself delivering the winter commencement address at Purdue’s down-state rival, Indiana University in Bloomington.

As written, the Purdue contract will require Daniels to meet performance goals that he and the trustees will define each year. These annual benchmarks will include seeking affordability, keeping student debt lower than the national average, improving graduation rates, creating a way to measure overall academic excellence of Purdue and raising money from alumni, friends, corporations and others.

The performance pay will not start for Daniels until after June 30, but the trustees could decide a successful six-month transition deserves a bonus.

The annual benchmarks will play a big role in determining the university’s direction, said Lindalee Lawrence, president of Lawrence Associates, a compensation consulting company that advises universities and nonprofit organizations.

“One would expect that these benchmarks would be related to their strategic plan and vision for the organization, and would drive performance year to year,” she said.

At the maximum of $546,000 a year, Daniels’ pay would be just shy of previous Purdue president France A. Cordova, who was paid $475,997 plus deferred compensation for a total $555,000 in fiscal year 2011. Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie earned $625,910, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

In an interview Friday with The Indianapolis Star, Daniels agreed his contract is different from the norm in higher education.

“A very high percentage of the compensation (is) at risk or will be performance based,” he said.

The performance measures, he said, will include “student affordability, student success. Are they getting through in four years or closer to four years? How are they doing after they leave school? Are they getting jobs at a high rate? Are they earning good wages and good incomes?”

Daniels said he hopes the contract indicates Purdue is “really sensitive to the question of cost. And, second, that we have embraced the idea of being accountable and that this new hire’s own situation will be aligned with the interests of students and faculty and the success (and) contributions that the school makes to the state.”

Incentive pay for university presidents is unusual, but is likely to become more common as universities take heat for rising tuition, high student drop out rates, and mountains of student debt.

“It’s becoming more common,” said Jamie Ferrare, managing partner at AGB Search in Washington, which is affiliated with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

Lawrence said incentive pay can sometimes be a “sham” if the targets are easy, but that Purdue’s contract with Daniels appears to legitimately address many of the tough issues facing higher education.

“Higher education has not historically used these kinds of incentives to drive performance,” she said. “It sounds like they probably have picked the right things and the things a university should focus on.”

Daniels said the five-year initial length of the contract means he will not be a political candidate, nor involved in helping other candidates, in 2016.

Daniels had been encouraged to seek the Republican nomination in 2012, but ruled it out, citing family opposition. Instead, he accepted the presidency of Purdue.

He made it clear Friday that politicking doesn’t mix with the Purdue presidency.

“It would be inconsistent with the mission that I have,” he said.

Eric Weddle of the Lafayette Journal and Courier contributed to this report.

December 15, 2012

Hancock County Man Killed in Two Vehicle Collision 

Hancock County, IN- Thursday afternoon, December 13th, at 12:14 p.m., Indiana State Police responded to a two vehicle crash on State Road 9 at County Road 1000 N that killed a Fortville man. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that Logan R. Stafford, 19, of Fortville was driving a 2001 Dodge Stratus WB on CR 1000 N approaching SR 9. According to witness statements, Logan failed to stop at the stop sign and ran into the path of a 2003 Sterling INDOT dump truck, driven by Myron Matlock, 56, of Knightstown, NB on SR 9. 

Logan’s vehicle was struck in the driver’s door He was transported to Hancock Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Matlock was not injured. 

Investigators do not suspect alcoholic beverages as a contributing factor in either driver. 

Investigating Officers: Lt. Tom Dumavich, Sgt Jeff Zeiger S/Trp. Rob McKeeman, Trp. Kyle West, M/Trp. Alexander Willis, Indiana State Police. 

Assisting Agencies: Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, Green Twp. Volunteer Fire 

December 15, 2012

Loogootee Man Arrested after Attempting to Flee from a Trooper

Yesterday at approximately 3:52 p.m. Trooper Jarrod Lents attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a silver 2002 Toyota Corolla that he had watched nearly drive off the road on US 50 west of Sportsman's Road. As Trooper Lents attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver, Justin A. Cole, 30, Loogootee, fled southbound on Sportsman's Road. Approximately one mile later Cole pulled into a driveway and exited the vehicle as to flee on foot. Trooper Lents ordered Cole to stop, and the two female passengers in the vehicle to stay where they were. Off duty Daviess County Deputy Troy Fuhs arrived a short time later and assisted taking the subjects into custody. 

Through the investigation Lents determined that that the two females had not committed any crimes and they were released. Cole however was found to be operating while intoxicated as well as driving while suspended. Through the encounter Cole allegedly communicated several threats towards Trooper Lents and therefore was charged with intimidation. Cole was taken to the Daviess County Jail. 

Arrested and Charges: 

Justin A. Cole, 30 

5470 South County Road 1200 East 

Loogootee, IN 47553 

Intimidation, Class D Felony 

Resisting Law Enforcement, Class A Misdemeanor 

Driving While Suspended, Class A Misdemeanor 

Operating While Intoxicated, Class A Misdemeanor 

December 15, 2012

ISP Criminal Intelligence Analyst Speaks at National Academy of Sciences

Indiana State Police Criminal Intelligence Analyst Rachel Sitarz

Indianapolis, IN- Recently, Indiana State Police Criminal Intelligence Analyst Rachel Sitarz was invited to speak at the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, California.

Sitarz, a Criminal Intelligence Analyst for the Indiana State Police since September, 2010 was invited to speak in California after presenting her information on Cyber Forensics at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC last May.

The Purdue student received her Bachelor’s degree in Law and Society and a Masters in Cyber Forensics. She is currently working on a PhD in Cyber Forensics.

Sitarz said that the Distinctive Voices audience she addressed was approximately 40% retired and 60% working professionals with a majority from corporate employment and a significant minority from nearby University of California, Irvine. Three quarters of the attendees had education or employment background in science, medicine or technology.

“I research the psychology of online predators, stated Sitarz. My area of research goes hand in hand with what I do for ISP. I want to understand why these predators commit these crimes. I believe that research needs to be conducted on these individuals, to accurately profile, effectively investigate and ultimately arrest these predators. My presentation talks about current research that I have completed, and how this information impacts our understanding of these predators. Currently, I have researched the child pornographer’s use of the internet and their level of addiction to the internet and online chat rooms. I am also studying the number of female offenders and the influence men have on their criminal acts.”

December 15, 2012

Grundy County sheriff found dead in home

 Grundy County Sheriff Terry Marketti

MORRIS, Ill. — Family and friends are mourning the death of Grundy County Sheriff Terry Marketti.

County Coroner John Callahan says family members found the 56-year-old sheriff in his home and he was pronounced dead at about 8 a.m. Friday.

Callahan tells WSPL Radio that Marketti was being treated for medical issues and died in his sleep of natural causes.

Marketti had been with the sheriff's department for 34 years.

Grundy County is about 20 miles southwest of Joliet.

December 14, 2012

Arizona Police K-9, Suspect Killed in Shooting



A Tucson Police Department K-9 and a suspect were killed in a shooting late Wednesday night.

A man suspected in a carjacking and a Tucson police K-9 were shot and killed late Wednesday night.

A man called 911 at 10:47 p.m. to report that a gunman had stolen his pickup truck outside a Domino's Pizza at 5460 E. Speedway.

Minutes later a patrol officer spotted the truck near East 5th Street and North Alvernon Way and attempted to pull it over. Instead, the driver led the officer on a chase.

The man continued driving even after crashing into a fence in the 500 block of North Treat Avenue.

After pulling into an alleyway near East Second Street and North Stewart Avenue, the driver got out of the truck and fled on foot. He was chased by several officers and the police dog.

A confrontation in the front yard of a house in the 2900 block of East Second Street resulted in the suspect being shot multiple times by police.

The K-9 also was shot. While Tucson police have not identified the dog, the Tucson Police Officer's Association posted on its Facebook page that the police dog was named Ivan.

The alleged carjacker was pronounced dead at the scene.

He has not been identified.

The dog died at a veterinary hospital.

The entire incident took just eight minutes.

It is under investigation and police have not confirmed who shot the dog.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

December 14, 2012

Miami Cop Suspended In Gambling Protection Probe

A Miami police officer targeted in an FBI corruption probe denies she provided protection to a storefront gambling operation, and says she was only working approved off-duty security at the Liberty City barbershop, her attorney said Wednesday.

Investigators say that establishment, Players First Barbershop, doubled as a sports bookmaking business, where people could place illegal bets on football and basketball games. The barbershop closed last spring amid a separate gambling investigation that led to five arrests.

Now the FBI is investigating whether officers working off-duty security at the barbershop knew about the gambling business. At least six officers are under investigation, and one of them, Lashunda Hodge, has been placed on administrative leave. Arrests are expected next month.

December 14, 2012

4 Texas cops accused of helping move cocaine

Complaint said all four 'utilized their positions as law

enforcement personnel to escort and protect loads of narcotics'

McALLEN, Texas — Federal prosecutors announced charges Thursday against four officers from a South Texas anti-drug task force who they say took thousands of dollars in bribes to guard large shipments of cocaine.

The officers — two from the Mission police department and two Hidalgo County Sheriff's deputies — were members of the "Panama Unit," which is a joint task force between the two agencies that targets drug trafficking, according to prosecutors. Mission's police chief said one of the officers was actually part of a different task force, but a prosecutor's office official didn't immediately respond to an after-hours seeking clarification.

The case sent especially large shockwaves through the local law enforcement community because two of the officers accused are the sons of top local law enforcement officials.

None of the officers has been arraigned, but Mission police officer Alexis Rigoberto Espinoza, 29, made an initial appearance in federal court Thursday on charges of twice possessing cocaine with intent to distribute. U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos set Espinoza's bond at $100,000 and ordered him to remain under house arrest with electronic monitoring if he should make bond. She denied his request for a court-appointed attorney.

Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rodolfo "Rudy" Espinoza. He did not return calls for comment and none of the charges involve his department.

Also arrested was Mission police officer Jonathan Trevino, 29, who is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino.

Two of Lupe Trevino's deputies, Fabian Rodriguez, 28, and Gerardo Duran, 30, were also charged. All three were in custody Thursday afternoon.

Jonathan Trevino's attorney did not immediately respond to a call for comment and it wasn't known if the other two had lawyers. They were expected to appear in court Friday.

"It's been devastating to our family, devastating to the organization," said Lupe Trevino, who as sheriff has accused certain state officials of making Texas' border region sound like war zone. He said he is cooperating fully with the federal investigation and conducting his own internal review. But he added that he also has responsibilities as a father.

"I have to support my son because he is my son. But I will make sure that the right thing is being done and I'm meeting my obligations," Trevino said. "Nothing is being covered up. I'm being very open with everything."

Trevino said the FBI came to his office around 3 p.m. Wednesday to tell him two of his deputies were targets of an investigation and that his son was, as well. He said the Panama Unit was formed more than three years ago to help Mission clean up its street-level drug crime, and that he couldn't comment on the specifics of the case because it wasn't his investigation.

Federal prosecutors say the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department that conducts internal reviews received a tip in August about Espinoza and another task force member stealing drugs. Local police are often assigned to multi-agency task forces focusing on drug interdiction. Federal investigators set up a sting.

A confidential source working for the government told Duran in September that the drug trafficking organization he was working for needed corrupt law enforcement officers to escort drug loads. On October 19, Duran and another individual escorted a load of 20 kilograms of cocaine north from McAllen to the Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias about an hour away. Duran was paid $4,000.

They earned thousands of dollars more for escorting four more cocaine shipments in November that were part of the sting operation.

The complaint said all four "utilized their positions as law enforcement personnel to escort and protect loads of narcotics." Nothing in the charging documents accuses them of stealing drugs, which was the original tip.

Mission Police Chief Martin Garza said Thursday that Trevino was the only officer from his department assigned to the Panama Unit and that Espinoza was assigned to an ICE task force that had its own supervisor.

Garza said both officers were fired Thursday. The FBI visited his office late Wednesday afternoon to advise him of their investigation and to collect documents related to it. Garza said he cooperated fully and his department would conduct its own investigation.

If the allegations against his officers are proven, Garza said cases they worked on would have to be reviewed with the district attorney. "There's going to be a domino effect," he said.

Associated Press writer Nomaan Merchant in Dallas contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press

December 14, 2012

Laird family repays police honor guard

By Jennifer Carmack

The Indianapolis Police Honor Guard serves a vital role to the families of fallen officers by standing guard over their comrades, despite rain and snow.

When Mike and Debbie Laird's son, officer Jake Laird, was gunned down during a horrific shootout on the southside, the Indianapolis Police honor guard put their arms around the family, standing watch over Jake 24-7.

"This is more than a police officer to us," said Deb. "This is our child and that somebody was going to be with him to make sure he was okay."

For honor guard member Stephen Knight, it was a very personal assignment. Knight trained officer Laird when he was first hired on and was with Jake moments after the shooting. 

"I was actually in the shock room while he was there," Knight recalled. "Escorted him to the coroners office..."

He and others were there throughout the funeral, the procession and the burial. An honor guard member stood graveside until Mike and Debbie said their personal goodbyes.

"When we turned around and that was the first thing that we saw was him standing at complete attention. That will last in my memory forever," said Mike.

The family formed the Jake Laird foundation shortly after his death. When they heard the honor guard needed coats, they didn't hesitate.

The honor guard brought so much comfort to the Laird family in their deepest time of need. Now the Laird family will give some warmth back to them. 

The family gave members of the honor guard 13 custom fitted, all-weather, military-style coats.

"This group of individuals made a week of tragedy for my family an honorable week," Mike said. "It was one of the most comforting things we have ever done. We actually got to pay them back."

Don Weilhammer also serves on the honor guard, "Jake made the ultimate sacrifice and we're just humbled that they feel they need to say 'thank you' because they didn't. We did it because we wanted to do it. It's the least we could do to try to thank them for giving their son."

It's a gift that will carry on the legacy of an officer taken too soon from a family who can now wrap their arms around those who carried them through.

December 14, 2012

Ready, Aim, Ready?


Armed with cap guns and the usual apprehension, two recruits from the New York Police Academy knocked on the door of a set in the Bronx meant to resemble a down-at-the-heels apartment. They had just received a radio assignment from an instructor: 911 had taken a complaint about an “E.D.P.” — an emotionally disturbed person — in their sector. They were told to report to the location and advise.

As they entered the apartment last week — “This is the police!” — three more instructors in bluejeans started to enact a not-uncommon situation: The disturbed man, rejecting pleas to take his medication, suddenly pulled a knife on the officers and his own family. With hands at their holsters, the trainees had to improvise: They talked the armed man down, radioed for backup and hurriedly escorted the family out the door.

All the while, injecting real stress into the simulation, 30 of their classmates watched from above. Ringed around the railings of a balcony, their fellow cadets were looking down at them as if from the mezzanine of an Elizabethan stage.

The drill took place in what is called the Tactics House at Rodman’s Neck, the Police Department’s firearms training center in the Bronx, and it ended that day with nothing graver than a few bruised egos and some pointed words from the instructors. But in late September, a chillingly similar situation in the real world did not turn out as well.

An elite team of officers in Harlem responded to a call at the home of Mohamed Bah, a taxi driver holed up naked in his apartment with a 13-inch knife. When the officers forced the door, Mr. Bah attacked, the police said, stabbing two officers in their protective vests. The rest fought back with Tasers, rubber bullets and, eventually, their side arms. Mr. Bah, 28, was killed.

Although events like this receive outsize attention, police shootings — especially those resulting in fatalities — are rare. Last year, according to the department’s Annual Firearms Discharge Report, an exhaustive analysis of each police bullet fired during the year, the 35,000 officers on the force encountered an estimated 23 million civilians, and on 92 occasions, a bullet was actually fired. Of those shootings, 19 led to injuries and a smaller number, 9, resulted in a death. According to those odds, you are much more likely to be killed in New York City in a car crash or by a heart attack than you are by the police.

But shootings take a toll, on the public trust and on the officers themselves. As the 2011 discharge report says, “One of the most abrupt, dynamic and potentially traumatic incidents that can happen in a police officer’s career is the line-of-duty discharge of his or her firearm.”

This year, there has been an unusual string of questionable and highly public shootings. It began in February, when a narcotics officer in the Bronx chased an unarmed teenager namedRamarley Graham into his building and killed him in his bathroom. The most recent came in October, when a veteran detective shot Noel Polanco, an Army National Guardsman, during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens. In the intervening months, the police: fatally shot Darrius H. Kennedy as he waved a knife at tourists in Times Square; injured nine civilians near the Empire State Building while shooting Jeffrey T. Johnson moments after Mr. Johnson shot a former colleague; shot Mr. Bah; and accidentally shot and killed Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, a bodega worker who ran into an officer while fleeing from a robbery in the Bronx.

The department’s guidelines for the use of deadly force include a cardinal rule that allows the police to take a life if an officer believes that his or her own life, or that of another person, is in danger. Warning shots are not permitted, though officers are taught to shoot their guns to stop, not to kill.

Nonetheless, there have been other periods when the police have been involved in unusual numbers of deadly interactions. Over 13 months starting in 1999, the police fatally shot three unarmed black men — the most notorious episode involved Amadou Diallo — and because of the cases’ similarity, a narrative emerged that a largely white police force was acting too aggressively while patrolling minority neighborhoods.

But this time, officials say, there are no similarities and no emergent narratives.

“We learn from each shooting what could have been done differently, hindsight being 20-20,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said in an interview last week. “There’s always something that you might do differently in any situation, but based on the incidents of this past year, I don’t see a trend.”

Some of Mr. Kelly’s troops disagree, going so far as to approach reporters with unsolicited views. One officer, who joined the force with a military background and spoke anonymously because he feared reprisals, said the problem was training. The department has “a factory line” approach to weapons training in which officers “get the basics — breathing, trigger control,” but not much else, he said. “It’s very brief, minimal.”

“Firearms training is important — it’s very important,” the officer concluded. “And it’s something that is not taken seriously.”

There are seven firing ranges at Rodman’s Neck, from Adam Range to George Range, and on most days, they crackle with the reports of weapons shot by new recruits or by officers who must requalify twice a year with an accuracy rate of no less than 78 percent in target practice.

Far more helpful, experts say, is so-called scenario-based training: practice in tactics and role-playing games that draw on ripped-from-the-headlines situations, like the E.D.P. drill in the Tactics House. Each cadet at the academy gets 13 days of weapons training, most of which are given to handling and cleaning guns, along with keeping hold of guns during physical confrontations and target practice, said Inspector Raymond Caroli, the department’s chief firearms trainer. One full day is spent at the Tactics House and another at what is known as the Tactical Village, an outdoor cityscape of parked cars and bodegas where recruits with paintball guns run through challenging, real-world situations: stumbling, say, across an off-duty officer in civilian clothes making an arrest with a drawn weapon; or learning not to shoot too quickly when a partner opens fire.

An additional day of training is devoted to a firearms training simulator, a device called FATS, which offers recruits more than 200 scenes and situations. Armed with a laser-guided pistol and a canister of pepper spray wired to a computer, cadets are shown realistic footage of ferocious street fights or domestic violence in which husbands are beating wives. In a manner reminiscent of Choose Your Own Adventure books, an instructor manipulates the outcome of these scenes depending on how well or poorly a participant reacts.

It is almost impossible to comprehend the amount and the complexity of the rapid-fire information that a young recruit is asked to assimilate in seconds. In one FATS situation, “Drunk Man With Baby,” a weaving figure appears in an alley carrying an infant in a car seat. Within 10 seconds, he is already upon you, drawing a machete from the car seat. The man ignores all orders to stop and to place the baby on the ground. Then, with one hand, he suddenly lifts the machete to strike while holding tightly to the baby with the other. You have no choice but to shoot him and hope for the best.

Experts on the use of deadly force contend that only highly stressful training like this, which simulates the tunnel vision and the loss of time perception that often come with tension, can prepare recruits for the nerve-racking work of actual policing.

“Static target practice teaches you how to fire a gun, but it’s not really relevant to the real world,” said Geoffrey P. Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina. “You want officers in stressful situations to revert to their training, and unless you do scenario and role-play training, they’re not going to have the experience to fall back on.”

Few people criticize the quality of the training that New York City’s recruits and officers receive, but quantity seems to be a different matter. Beyond their classroom work, cadets practice real-world situations for only three days during their stint in the academy. Full-fledged officers go to Rodman’s Neck two days out of the year to shoot 150 rounds on the range and practice more dynamic techniques, like firing rapidly, to simulate the adrenaline rush of gunfights. The officers get a third day of training at the department’s Tactical Village.

“The truth is they should do a lot more,” said one former instructor at Rodman’s Neck, who spoke anonymously because he did not want to offend friends who were still on the force. “Target practice is meaningless — it’s not a moving person shooting back at you.”

The former instructor said that officers needed more instruction in realistic and dynamic shooting, or what he called running and gunning.

“You have them out on the streets with a weapon, possibly taking someone’s life,” he said, “and they’re not receiving all that much in terms of real training. The more you train, the better off you are. Dealing with dangerous situations is a perishable skill.”

The vast majority of officers in New York, and across the country, never fire their weapons in an average 20-year career. Because of this, the former instructor and others said, they believe that the department made an actuarial decision to limit the amount of firearms instruction.

“I can understand the bean counters’ point of view,” the former instructor said. “They have limited budgets. But I have to say, the best quarterbacks throw 300 footballs a day. That’s the bottom line: train, train, train.”

Commissioner Kelly was aghast at the suggestion that weapons training was purposefully curtailed because of budgetary concerns. At the same time, he pointed out that officers were regularly taken off patrol for sick days, court appearances, parade-protection details and other sorts of instruction, and that his chief responsibility was to protect the residents of New York.

“You can always train more,” he said. “We can train people 30 days a year, 40 days a year. But obviously we have an obligation to get people on the street. We’re down 6,000 police officers already. How much training do you do?”

In November 2006, a team of plainclothes officers in Queens shot and killed a 23-year-old former high-school baseball star named Sean Bell. Mr. Bell, after leaving a strip club with friends, accidentally crashed his car into an unmarked police van while trying to flee an undercover officer who had approached his vehicle with a gun. The five officers at the scene fired 50 bullets. It turned out Mr. Bell was to be married that day and the club visit had been for his bachelor party. Within two months, Mr. Kelly had hired the RAND Corporation to analyze the Police Department’s firearms-training regimen.

The resulting report, published in 2008, commended the department for giving its cadets lessons that were “heavily focused on workshops and practical exercises in policing.” It also praised officials for establishing rules of engagement that went beyond the New York State penal code (city officers are not allowed to use deadly force to protect property even though it is permissible under the law) and for putting in place an “exemplary” method of studying police shootings after the fact.

The RAND report was less congratulatory when it came to the efficient administration of firearms instruction. With 4,000 recruits and nearly 35,000 officers passing each year through Rodman’s Neck, the authors said, the department was rushing people through instruction without opportunities for adequate practice.

“The size of the class in attendance ... and the limited amount of time allocated to the role-playing exercises meant that no single recruit participated in more than one exercise and that approximately half of the recruits did not have an active role in any exercise,” the report noted, adding, “The number of trainees and limited time for the class meant that there was no time for ‘do-overs.’ ”

In a similar vein, RAND’s analysis concluded that while the department’s twice-yearly target tests for officers met state standards (the state requires only one day on the range), they did not “demonstrate that the officer has mastered his or her firearm and is ready for a shooting confrontation on the street.” In one particularly pointed passage, the authors wrote: “Given the number of officers who must requalify each year, the objective seems to be to get the officers through as quickly as possible rather than to have them master the art of realistic shooting.”

Mr. Kelly has promised to increase the amount of scenario-based training for recruits when the department opens its new academy next year in College Point, Queens. However, his efforts to improve the firearms proficiency of officers already on the job may be hindered by logistics. Even RAND acknowledged that the Police Department “faces a difficult task” in keeping a force as large as the population of some small suburbs in peak fighting form.

Back at Rodman’s Neck, Inspector Caroli, who runs the Firearms and Tactics section, put it this way: “We try to give the absolute best training we can, but they only come up here twice a year.”

He was standing at the front steps of the large construction trailer housing the FATS machine. Rodman’s Neck, with its prefabricated buildings and ambient pops of gunfire, has the feeling of a military base, and inside the trailer a company of 30 or so recruits was receiving yet another course of quasi-military training.

Under the instruction of Officer Tony Louis, two recruits with laser pistols holstered at their waists were running through a video scene of a robbery at a convenience store. There was the gunman pointing a revolver at the cowering cashier. “Police! Don’t move!” one of the cadets called out. A sudden shift in perspective revealed a second gunman in an aisle. Ka-blam! He fired his shotgun. Officer down.

Not long after, Officer Louis led the recruits through a critique. Did they see the second man come in? Did they notice he was walking with a stiff leg to hide his weapon?

Were there any other questions?

“Remember,” he reminded them, “at the end of the month, you guys will be real cops.”

Joseph Goldstein contributed reporting.

December 13, 2012

Gov.-elect Mike Pence announces more appointments for his administration

John Hill was picked to be executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security

by Mary Beth Schneider

Gov.-elect Mike Pence once again is finding in the Daniels administration just the folks he wants for his administration.

Pence today reappointed Michael Cline to remain as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation. And he will keep Major Gen. Martin Umbarger as adjutant general of the Indiana Army National Guard. In addition, Mark Newman will remain as head of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.

Recently, Pence announced he will keep Department of Administration Commissioner Rob Wynkoop and Department of Revenue Commissioner Mike Alley in those positions.

And other Daniels administration employees are simply moving to new jobs under Pence. Today, Pence said Virgil Madden, who currently works for Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, will become head of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

One new face was announced today. John Hill was picked by Pence to be executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Pence said that in 2006, Hill was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and from 1974 to 2003 Hill was a member of the Indiana State Police. He replaces the current homeland security director Joseph Wainscott.

New salaries for the appointees were not immediately available. Cline currently is paid $137,800 annually; Newman is paid about $85,000; Umbarger is paid about $134,465 and Madden about $55,000.

December 13, 2012

Alabama police officer charged with drug trafficking 

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A Montgomery Police officer arrested in Mobile County on charges of drug trafficking resigned from his position with the city on Wednesday morning, MPD released Wednesday evening.

MPD Cpl. Lyvanh Rasavong, 42, was arrested Wednesday after Mobile County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Deputies caught him delivering more than 3 pounds of high-grade marijuana while executing a search warrant at a home in Irvington.

MCSO say Rasavong is also associated with a marijuana bust on Oct. 19 in Chunchula.

Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy was notified of the arrest Wednesday afternoon by Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran.

Duckett said in an emailed statement that Rasavong resigned from his position on Wednesday morning due to an ongoing investigation.

Murphy said MPD is cooperating fully with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department will release any information regarding its investigation and Rasavong’s arrest, he said.

Rasavong worked the police desk at MPD headquarters. He had been employed by MPD since 1998.

December 13, 2012

Shopkeeper killer tells police he's CIA agent

Man suspect of three NY murders of shopkeepers claims he was ordered to by Palestinian CIA

BROOKLYN — The deranged Staten Island man accused of gunning down three Brooklyn shopkeepers execution-style bizarrely told cops he was a CIA operative ordered to kill Jews by Arab men who paid him for his role in the murders, explosive court documents revealed yesterday.

After his arrest, Salvatore Perrone, 64, told investigators he was working for the "Palestinian section of the CIA" and that he watched while two different Middle Eastern men he met at the Knights of Columbus shot and killed his first two victims.

All three victims were shopkeepers of Middle Eastern descent, and the stores were within a 5-mile radius. (AP Image)

Perrone even claimed that one of the Middle Eastern men — identified in court papers as "Mr. C" — insulted his masculinity and forced him at gunpoint to stab the second victim, according to court papers released after Perrone's arraignment in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

"He tells Sal that he is Arabic and he has balls, insulting him by saying that Italians have no balls," Perrone crazily claimed to cops, according to court papers.

"Mr. C tells Sal once more to finish it. Sal says now that Mr. C is pointing the gun at him. At this point Sal takes the knife and stabs the man in the neck at least twice," the papers state.

Perrone is accused of three counts of first-degree murder for the slayings of Mohammed Gebeli, 65, in Bay Ridge on July 6; Isaac Kadare in Bensonhurst on Aug. 2; and Rahmatollah Vahidipour in Flatbush on Nov. 16. Gebeli was Muslim and the other two victims were Jewish.

Perrone's court-appointed attorney, William Martin, entered a plea of not guilty and requested a mental evaluation to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

"I'm going to check off the box that says 'disruptive, confused, or bizarre behavior,' " said Justice John Marrus.

"I wanted to get my hands on him," Moe Gebeli, the son of the first victim, said after court.

Referring to his father, Gebeli said, "He was the best man in the world."

Perrone told investigators that he met Middle Eastern men at a Knights of Columbus Hall in Dyker Heights and that one — identified as "Mr. B" — drove him to shoot his gun near some woods in Long Island, sawed down the rifle, and gave him $500.

The man later took him to Valentino Fashions, Perrone claimed, where he said Mr. B shot and killed Gebeli, the court papers state. Perrone said Mr. B gave him $3,000 after they fled the scene.

Mr. C approached Perrone a few weeks later and, using "Long Island" as a code word, said that "they should go see the Jewish guy," and, "All the merchants are Jewish," the court papers state.

Perrone told investigators that Mr. C then shot and killed Kadare and forced him to stab him afterwards as a "true test."

Copyright 2012 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.

December 13, 2012

Domestic Disturbance Investigation results in Multiple Felony Charges

Bartholomew County: Monday, December 10 at approximately 5:15 p.m. Trooper Chris Lockman was dispatched to a report of a domestic disturbance in Jonesville.  Dispatch told Tpr. Lockman the female half of the incident was in a field near the scene awaiting his arrival.  The female, later identified as Charity R. Hiten, explained the situation to Tpr. Lockman and directed him to the residence located at 309 South Jackson St. in Jonesville where he could find her husband, 49 year old Kevin Hiten.  When Tpr. Lockman arrived at the residence he made contact with Hiten to interview him about the domestic disturbance. 

A few minutes later, Sergeant Jimmy Green of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene to back up Tpr. Lockman.  A white 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche was parked in the driveway of the residence and Sgt. Green told Tpr. Lockman he believed on an earlier date Columbus Police Department had investigated a report of a stolen vehicle involving a white 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche.  Tpr. Lockman ran the VIN on the Avalanche which came back as a stolen vehicle.  Tpr. Lockman then asked Kevin Hiten about the vehicle and Hiten claimed to have purchased the vehicle a couple of months earlier and had the title in his house.  Tpr. Lockman and Sgt. Green accompanied Hiten into the residence to obtain the title to the vehicle. Once inside the residence Tpr. Lockman observed what he believed to be marijuana, a scale, and pseudoephedrine packets on a desk.  Hiten was then detained by the officers and a search warrant was obtained to search the entire residence.  During the course of the search, officers discovered numerous firearms including a sawed off shotgun, marijuana, methamphetamine, thousands of pseudoephedrine pills, numerous methamphetamine precursors, numerous articles of drug paraphernalia, and a large amount of U.S. currency.  Hiten was taken into custody and transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where he was held on a preliminary charge of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, a Class D Felony.  Yesterday numerous other charges were filed against Hiten in Bartholomew County. 

Today he’s facing the following additional charges:

Possession of Methamphetamine with a Firearm – Class C Felony

Possession of Controlled Substance with a Firearm – Class C Felony

Possession of over 10 grams of Pseudoephedrine with a Firearm – Class C Felony

Possession of Two or more Methamphetamine Precursors with a Firearm – Class C Felony

Possession of Marijuana – Class D Felony

Maintaining a Common Nuisance – Class D Felony

Possession of a Sawed off Shotgun – Class D Felony

Possession of a Stolen Vehicle – Class D Felony

Possession of Paraphernalia-Class A Misdemeanor

As this investigation continues, other charges could be filed.  In addition to Sgt. Green,

also assisting Tpr. Lockman with the investigation is Tpr. Matt Powell.

December 13, 2012

Vocational grant established at Steuben Community Foundation

By Jennifer Decker

Martha and Don Rogers

are pictured and were Steuben County residents and owners of three automotive businesses.

The Donald W. Rogers Vocational Educational Grant Fund has been established at the Steuben

County Community Foundation through a $300,000 endowment. Photo contributed

Members of the Angola Elks and Rotary clubs gathered Wednesday at the Steuben County Community

Foundation to hear the announcement that a $300,000 new endowed fund has been established

named the Donald W. Rogers Vocational Educational Grant Fund. Gathering to get more information

on the grant process were, from left, Sandy Sandborn, Angola Rotary Club, Tim Bischoff,

Angola Rotary scholarship chair, Glenn Leach, Angola Elks Club, George Gear, trustee for the

Rogers’ endowment, Jennifer Danic, president and CEO Steuben County Community Foundation,

Ed Wise, Angola Elks Club scholarship chair and Hope Korte, vice chair

Steuben County Community Foundation Board of Directors. Photo by Jennifer Decker

ANGOLA — A $300,000 vocational education grant has been established at the Steuben County Community Foundation.

The Donald W. Rogers Vocational Educational Grant Fund is a new endowed fund to benefit Steuben County residents graduating from high school who will attend vocational training. The announcement came during a Wednesday press conference at SCCF attended by members of the Elks and Rotary clubs.

The $300,000 permanent contribution is from the estate of the late Donald and Martha Rogers. Annual earnings from the endowed fund will be split equally between Angola Elks Lodge No. 2398 and Angola Rotary Club for educational grants to be awarded through the clubs’ processes.

“Don Rogers recognized the need for continuing education and not necessarily a four-year college package.

There is a growing need for vocational trade and two-year associate degree training. These needed skills enhance the future success and earning power for graduating Steuben County high school seniors,” said George Gear, trustee of the testamentary trust that established the fund.

The Rogerses were Steuben County residents who owned three automotive businesses. Don was active with the Angola Rotary and Elks clubs.

“He felt these clubs would do an exceptional job administering educational grants to Steuben County residents,” Gear said. “Grades are not a high priority. Ambition, need and desire are the key factors that will be considered. As Don used to say often, ‘It is a tough, cold world out there with only minimum knowledge and training. Bear in mind, your future success and earning power will not result from what you earn now, but what you learn now.’”

Jennifer Danic, president and CEO of the Steuben County Community Foundation, said the foundation was honored that Rogers decided to use an endowment to support a cause he cared about so deeply — vocational training. Danic said the endowment becomes one of the foundation’s top five asset funds.

“Jobs that require vocational skills are not going away. There is a need for people capable of holding these types of jobs in Steuben County today,” Danic said. “This generous contribution more than doubles the amount of grant assistance provided to Steuben County students for vocational training.”

Starting this spring, the educational grants will become available, as money was set aside to award grants immediately.

Students wishing to pursue any type of vocational training after graduating from high school are encouraged to contact their school guidance counselor for more information.

December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

Driver Demands Money During Police Car Chase

Myrtle Beach, NC – A woman attempted to demand a $300,000 bribe from police when calling the 911 hotline. The kicker is that Jennifer Melissa Herring was calling 911 from her cell phone while in the middle of a police car chase.

About 11:30 PM Monday, North Carolina deputies in Brunswick County began to pursue Jennifer Melissa Herring’ vehicle in the area of Holden Beach Road and Oxpen Road in Supply. According to Myrtle Beach Online, Deputy Joe Cherry tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused, and she took off at high speeds.

The Myrtle Beach woman called 911 while being pursued to tell authorities there was no emergency. Instead, she claimed she would not pull over unless they gave her $300,000 dollars. Perhaps she was hoping that police would fear for the public’s safety and give up the chase, as was the case with Katt Willams and his three-wheeled motorcycle chase. The police obviously would not reward a reckless driver with a bribe in the face of blatant blackmail such as this .

Police Deputy Cherry chased the vehicle until it reached the end of Old Ferry Road, which was a dead end so Herring pulled into a private driveway. The police car chase took about 15 minutes and reached speeds of up to 70 mph in a 45 mph speed limit zone.

When Herring finally stopped, she was charged with driving while impaired, felony fleeing to elude arrest, driving while license revoked, careless and reckless driving and driving left of center, according to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

Herring is being held at the Brunswick County Detention Center pending a bond hearing. Herring also was charged in an unrelated case of failure to appear on a pending DWI case, which also was filed in Brunswick County.

What do you think of the audacity of this woman demanding a $300,000 bribe from 911 in order to pull over for a police car chase?

December 13, 2012

'Face of NYPD' sergeant dead in apparent suicide

She was found by her girlfriend with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in their Long Island apartment

By Larry Celona , Doug Auer and Kieran Crowley

NEW YORK — A pretty NYPD sergeant who once accompanied President Obama as he laid a wreath at Ground Zero killed herself yesterday morning in her Long Island home, law-enforcement sources said.

Stephanie Moses, 40, was found by her retired detective girlfriend at around 11 a.m. in the bedroom of her split-level residence in Baldwin with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, sources added.

"Oh my God! Oh my God!" shouted Melissa McCoy, who was last assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as she ran from the house.

Moses was an 18-year veteran who had spent a good portion of her career in the Ceremonial Unit.

On May 5, 2011, she joined Obama when he somberly placed a red, white and blue wreath at the 9/11 Memorial to mark the killing of al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden four days earlier by Navy SEALs in Pakistan.

"On behalf of the New York City Police Department, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sgt. Stephanie Moses, who was, on so many occasions, the face of the NYPD on the national stage, as well as routinely at police ceremonies," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.

"She epitomized professionalism in her appearance, conduct and dedication to duty. The department has suffered a great loss today that is felt personally by the many who knew and respected Sgt. Moses."

Throughout the day, numerous NYPD officers and detectives visited her home on the quiet block to pay their respects.

"It's a personal loss," said a saddened Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.

Mullins, who compared Moses' good looks to actress Halle Berry, recalled seeing Moses three weeks ago at the Police Academy.

"She was very well respected. All the cops who fell underneath her liked her as supervisor," he said.

The daughter of a retired NYPD detective, Moses was born and raised in Jamaica.

She joined the force as a freshman while studying for her associate's degree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Copyright 2012 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.

December 13, 2012

Deputy arrested for secret peeping

Harold Fletcher

NEW HANOVER CO., NC - A New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with two felonies.

On December 3, the sheriff’s office received a criminal complaint in reference to Harold Fletcher, 37. That information was turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation.

Monday, the SBI charged Fletcher with one count of secret peeping and one count of indecent liberties with a minor. No details were given about the nature of the incidents.

Fletcher has been terminated from the New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office and is being held on a $15,000 bond.

He had worked for the sheriff’s office since 2007. Source: WECT

December 13, 2012

Traffic Stop on I-64 Nets over 200 Grams of Marijuana 

Posey County – Tuesday evening, December 11, at approximately 6:10, Master Trooper Kevin Brown stopped the driver of a 2011 Dodge Ram pickup truck on I-64 at the 14 mile-marker for driving 84 mph. While Brown was talking to the driver and passenger he became suspicious of criminal activity and deployed his canine, Rydr. While walking around the pickup truck, Rydr alerted to an odor of narcotics in the bed of the truck. Brown searched a bag located in the bed and found three vacuum sealed plastic bags containing over 200 grams of marijuana. Further investigation revealed the bag belonged to the passenger, Connie Ward, 43, of Long Beach, CA. Ward was taken to the Posey County Jail where she is currently being held on bond. The driver was not arrested. 

Arrested and Charge 

Connie Ward, 43, Long Beach, CA 

Possession of Marijuana over 30 grams, Class D Felony 

Arresting Officer: Master Trooper Kevin Brown 

Assisting Officers: Senior Trooper Scott Qualls and Trooper Ted Clamme

December 13, 2012

Indiana State Police Investigate Body Found on White River Parkway Property

Indianapolis, IN- Wednesday evening, December 12th, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Indiana State Police officers were dispatched to the White River Parkway walking path to the report of a body found.

Officers located the body of a black female on the walking path near the intersection of Limestone and New York Street.

The investigation was delayed a short time while two K-9’s near the body were removed by Indianapolis Animal Control. The K-9’s appeared to be “protective” of the decedent and would not let investigative personnel approach. It is not known if the animals belong to the female.

Investigators are hopeful that an autopsy scheduled for tomorrow will assist with the investigation and cause of death.

I will release further information tomorrow as it becomes available.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Investigating Officers: Detective Jeff Stone, Wayne Billings and Lester Novell, Indiana State Police

Assisting Agencies: Indiana University Police Department, Marion County Coroner’s Office.

December 12, 2012

Indiana State Police Honored for Continued Support of the International Police Work Dog Association

Photo attached with original release, pictured from left to right is ISP Capt. Matt Bilkey;

Greenwood PD Lt. Richard McQueary, the President of IPWDA;

ISP Supt. Paul Whitesell, Ph.D. and ISP Sgt. Tony Knox. 

Indianapolis, IN- Earlier today, December 12th, the Indiana State Police Department was honored with three awards presented by Richard McQueary, President of the International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA). The awards were presented in recognition of the state police’s continued support of the IPWDA. 

Established in 1988, the IPWDA is committed to assisting law enforcement agencies in the training and continued improvement of police work dogs, to include the establishment of working standards for all work dogs, handlers and trainers through an accredited program.

Dr. Paul Whitesell, Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, accepted the Presidential Award on behalf of the Indiana State Police K-9 Division for the continued support and promotion of the IPWDA. 

Captain Matt Bilkey accepted the IPWDA award presented in recognition of all state police K-9 members. 

Sergeant Tony Knox, K-9 Program Coordinator for the Enforcement Division, was presented the Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented to a member who has demonstrated a pattern of service above that which is normally displayed, to the improvement and betterment of the International Police Work Dog Association. He was presented a plaque and uniform bar. 

Sgt. Knox graduated from North Side High School in 1983 and attended Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne and Trine University. He graduated from the Indiana State Police Academy in 1987 and was assigned to the Fort Wayne Post. Knox was promoted through the ranks at the Fort Wayne Post working at positions of Undercover Investigator, K-9 Handler, Corporal, District Squad Sergeant and Patrol K-9 Program Coordinator. A position he has held since 2006. 

Sergeant Knox lives with his wife and two children in Dekalb County. 

December 12, 2012

no names provided for these photos

Meth Lab discovered at Pleasant Lake home resulting in the arrest of 3 adults and 1 juvenile

On 12/12/12, at approximately 3:00 am, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police went to a Pleasant Lake residence attempting to serve an arrest warrant. While searching the residence for the wanted person, officers observed drugs and drug paraphernalia commonly associated with methamphetamine. Officers later discovered a meth lab in a camper that was occupied on the property. As a result, 3 adults and 1 juvenile were taken in to custody for various drug charges.

Arrested at the scene was the following:

Jared Pease, 20 years old of Fremont, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Paraphernalia

Tracia Handshoe, 33 years old of Pleasant Lake, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine & Manufacturing Methamphetamine

Joshua Crager, 42 years old of Corunna, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine & Manufacturing Methamphetamine

Assisting at the scene was the Ashley Police Department and Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Team.

December 12, 2012

Lawsuit over forced DNA in Phoenix officer’s death

A government watchdog group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three Phoenix police officers who were forced to give DNA samples during the investigation into the mysterious death of a fellow officer.

Judicial Watch announced the filing of its civil rights lawsuit Monday. It alleges that authorities forced the officers to surrender their DNA in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.

Officers Daniel Bill, Bryan Hanania, and Michael Malpass were among the first responders to the call the night Sgt. Sean Drenth was found fatally wounded near the state Capitol on Oct. 18, 2010.

Drenth evidently was killed by a blast from his shotgun, which was found resting on his chest with the muzzle pointing toward his chin. Medical investigators ruled last year that his death was believed to be a suicide.

Judicial Watch said the officers never came in contact with Drenth’s body, the shotgun or his handgun and should not have been forced to provide DNA.

“Simply because officers swear their allegiance to uphold the law doesn’t mean they surrender their rights to be protected under it,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “The Fourth Amendment cannot be selectively applied by the city of Phoenix. Citizens have a right to be secure in their persons — and this includes their DNA.”

Sgt. Trent Crump, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, said Monday he couldn’t comment on the pending litigation.

More than 300 people — including then-Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, other police officers, firefighters and capitol police officers — converged on the area after Drenth was found, according to Judicial Watch.

A month later, the police department began asking for DNA samples from all officers at the crime scene for “exclusionary purposes.” Those who declined were sent a memo requesting immediate compliance.

At the time, police officials said the decision to request samples of genetic material from other officers and personnel on the scene of an emergency wasn’t unusual.

According to the lawsuit, the investigative teams in which the three officers were included provided detailed reports as to their actions and whereabouts on the evening Drenth was found. However, the officers were detained under court order in August 2011 and DNA samples were taken.

The swabs were taken without obtaining search warrants and without probable cause, according to the lawsuit. 

December 12, 2012

Message in the sky

Amateur radio operators have fun, but provide important role too

By Chad Kline

Dave Spence of Kendallville, Noble County emergency coordinator for Amateur Radio Emergency Service,

dials in a frequency on a Yaesu radio that allows global communication during the annual National Association

for Amateur Radio Field Day on June 22 at the group’s campsite on the east side of

Bixler Lake Park in Kendallville. Radio groups across North America participate.


Hobbies come in all shapes and sizes. Some hobbies become a great benefit to the community.

Ham radio, also known as amateur radio, has become a popular hobby for people of all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities. They communicate in many languages. They all have an interest in what is happening in the world, and they use radio to reach out.

Tim Murray of LaGrange has been licensed as an operator for about 10 years. Murray started a Morse code practice tape and book as a teenager, but didn’t complete the testing. When his older brother got licensed, it sparked his interest again.

Although the main purpose of amateur radio is fun, it was created by the Federal Communications Commission to fill the need for a pool of experts who could provide backup during emergencies.

Ham radio operators can be seen out in some of the worst weather providing vital information to the National Weather Service as part of a volunteer program called SKYWARN.

Listening to SKYWARN got Don Ward of Churubusco interested in ham radio. He has been a ham radio operator for approximately three years.

“I heard the SKYWARN going on where they were following a thunderstorm,” Ward said. “It sparked my interest and so I asked about it. Found out it was a ham radio I was listening to.”

Ward has joined several groups related to amateur radio such as the Noble County Amateur Radio Emergency Service group of local volunteers who provide communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

David Spence of rural Kendallville is the Noble County ARES coordinator. He has been an operator for 11 years.

Spence works closely with Noble County Emergency Management director Mick Newton.

“We take care of any type of traffic (related to) health and welfare in and out of Noble County if need be. We help with EMA,” Spence said.

Countless lives have been saved from skilled hobbyists acting as emergency communicators to render aid.

If the need arises, “EMA activates the group or it can be self activated if anything is happening,” according to Spence.

To this day, Spence is unaware of the Noble County group being activated. That doesn’t stop them from being prepared however. The group participates in several training exercises throughout the year.

One of those exercises is a nationwide event. The American Radio Relay League sets up a Field Day that is held annually during the fourth full weekend in June.

The day is set up as a contest, an emergency preparedness exercise and a public relations demonstration.

“They set up radios and equipment under emergency power. They have a contest out of it to see how many contacts they can make,” Ward said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

How to get involved

So, how does someone get involved as a Ham operator?

“Right now it’s just a 35 question test,” said Spence. “You can study online or order a book. You can actually use your smart phone to study.”

The Northeastern Indiana Amateur Radio Club in Auburn hosts testing several times throughout the year.

“If people want to get involved in it, there is a lot to learn — a lot of different things to do,” Ward said.

The Northeastern Indiana Amateur Radio Club also hosts meetings every month on the second Saturday. The club discusses common interest topics and learn how to handle emergency situations, according to club president-elect Ron Grant of Auburn.

Grant has been an operator for over 20 years. “We have members spread out in all local counties and in Ohio,” Grant said.

Next comes buying a radio.

According to Spence, “You can buy a simple hand held radio at $80, and you can spend up to 10 grand just for one radio.” To talk to someone around the world, the average is about $1,000. Each radio has different functions.

Cell phone use hasn’t slowed the ham radio community. Ham operators can use cell phones outside of their normal use.

“There are people hooking cell phones up to their radios right now and using apps on their cell phones to communicate around the world,” Spence said.

“We always have a radio in our car during our travels. I have talked to people all over. It’s a great thing,” Grant said.

The International Space Station also carries a ham radio. Radio contact with the space station usually only lasts about 10 minutes, due to the orbital position of the station.

During the Field Day in June, a group of Noble County area amateur radio operators set up camp at the Bixler Lake Campground.

It’s not every day someone can pick up a radio and talk to someone in space. Being a ham radio operator lets that happen.

December 12, 2012

Richard Mourdock campaign blames media for Republican's loss

The e-mail was sent out as part of a new fundraising pitch to help Mourdock erase his campaign debt.

Richard Mourdock's campaign is pointing fingers following last month's loss in the race for Richard Lugar’s Senate seat.

Mourdock's camp sent an e-mail Tuesday, saying the quote "liberal media" is to blame for his loss to Democrat Joe Donnelly.

The e-mail was sent out as part of a new fundraising pitch to help Mourdock erase his campaign debt.

In the email says, “In our case, we found our campaign caught in the liberal media cross hairs.

“Never has Indiana seen a more obvious example of media bias by reporters more interested in defeating conservatives than reporting the news.”

Mourdock lost by five percentage points.

Copyright © 2012, WXIN-TV

December 12, 2012

Muncie officer, 911 director investigated for assault

911 director Joe Winkle and MPD officer Bret Elam were named in police reports

by Keith Roysdon

Joe Winkle, the former police chief

file photo

MUNCIE — City police are investigating reports that a Muncie police officer and a former police chief and current 911 director physically assaulted two men at a downtown Muncie bar over the weekend.

Joe Winkle, the former police chief and current Delaware County 911 director, acknowledged Tuesday afternoon that he is the subject of an investigation into reports he struck a man early Sunday morning at the Silo bar on Walnut Street downtown.

Winkle declined to confirm or deny that he struck Lucas Charles Boyer after a disagreement stemming from Winkle sitting next to Boyer’s girlfriend at the bar.

“I put everything in my statement,” Winkle told The Star Press on Tuesday.

Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold said Tuesday he was at the same bar that night as Winkle and the current MPD officer accused of assault, Bret Elam. But Arnold said he wasn’t aware of the incident until it was over.

In the separate but related incident involving Elam, another patron of the bar that night, Brad A. Bizzell, an acquaintance of Boyer, told a crowd of people on the bar’s outside patio that some “loser” had just struck his friend, Boyer.

Winkle’s son, Chase, reportedly told Bizzell that “loser” was his father and the two exchanged words before Elam “appeared and began punching him with a closed fist in the side and face, causing a busted lower lip, laceration to his left ear and redness to his face,” according to the report.

Bizzell told police that Elam kicked him in the stomach after he fell. According to police reports, Bizzell sought medical treatment at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital around 4 a.m. Sunday, a little more than two hours after police were called to the bar to investigate the incident. MPD officer Michael Watkins interviewed Bizzell at the hospital.

Muncie Police Chief Steve Stewart told The Star Press on Tuesday that police were taking the matter seriously.

“We’re looking into it,” Stewart said.

Eric Hoffman, a Delaware County deputy prosecutor, told The Star Press that he expected to receive police reports on the incident today or Thursday. At that time, a decision will be made about what charges, if any, would be filed, or if a special prosecutor would be requested.

Hoffman’s boss, prosecutor Arnold, said he had attended the same Fraternal Order of Police Christmas party — at the FOP lodge — as Winkle and Elam earlier that evening.

“I wasn’t with those guys and didn’t know that had occurred,” the prosecutor said. He said he took no role in the investigation that night and, because he was present at both the FOP party and the after-party at the Silo, would make no decisions about possible prosecution, leaving that up to Hoffman.

According to the police reports, the investigating officer that night, Watkins, was unable to talk to either Winkle or Elam because they had left the scene.

Winkle was police chief under then-Mayor Dan Canan from 1996 to 2008. He was named 911 director this spring.

Winkle said Tuesday afternoon he was unaware of any repercussions the incident and subsequent report might have on his 911 director position. Winkle is appointed by a board of supervisors, the members of which are appointed by local officials like the mayor and Delaware County commissioners.

County Commissioner Larry Bledsoe said Tuesday he had not heard about the incident although he had spoken to Winkle recently. Bledsoe declined to comment.

In a Tuesday afternoon interview with The Star Press, Boyer said that while he is operating a local lawn care business, he is from Michigan and didn’t know who Winkle or any of the other players were until well after the incident.

He said he asked Winkle to vacate the chair next to his girlfriend, where he had been sitting. Winkle had asked the woman whether he could buy her a drink and she declined.

“I said the same thing three times and by the end of the third time I was on the ground,” Boyer said. “He punched me in the face and ran out the door.” Boyer said Winkle was driven away in a car but not a police car.

Regarding the incident involving Elam that immediately followed, Elam did not return a message left for him Tuesday.

The allegations about the downtown incident went public five days after the Muncie Police Merit Commission fired a veteran MPD officer, Amy Fisher, after allegations she had sent a threatening text message to a woman with whose husband she was having an affair and then tried to interfere with the subsequent internal affairs investigation.

December 12, 2012

Two Vehicle Crash on I-69 Snarls Traffic and Injures Three

Fort Wayne, IN-Three women were injured and traffic was tied up on I-69 at the 314.5 mile marker for two hours this afternoon following a two vehicle crash involving a box truck and a passenger car.

According to Trooper Christopher Davis, at approximately 3:30 p.m. a 2007 International box truck driven by 66 year old Diana L. Hewson from Pendleton, Indiana was traveling southbound on I-69, in the middle lane, when she attempted to make a lane change into the right lane. The right lane, however, was occupied by a 2003 Cadillac passenger car driven by 25 year old Casey J. Frantz from South Whitley, Indiana.

The box truck collided with the Cadillac which caused both vehicles to spin out. The box truck rolled onto its driver’s side and came to a rest facing north in the southbound lanes. The Cadillac came to a rest facing south in the southbound lanes. Hewson, Frantz and Frantz’s passenger, 43 year old Tracey L. Reichart from Van Wert, Ohio were all transported to Parkview Regional Medical Center. Frantz and Reichart were treated and released and at last report, Hewson was still undergoing treatment for non-life threatening injuries. The southbound lanes of I-69 in the area were restricted to one lane until approximately 5:30 p.m.

Davis was assisted at the scene by the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, along with the Fort Wayne Police and Allen County Sheriff Departments.

December 12, 2012

Natchitoches Sheriff's Deputy killed in crash

By Brittany Pieper

Deputy Ricky Issac Jr.

NATCHITOCHES PARISH, LA (KSLA) -A Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputy died in a car accident on LA Highway 1 on Saturday.

Louisiana State Troopers investigated the single car accident. Louisiana State Police say they responded to the accident a 2:28 p.m. and found 24-year-old Deputy Ricky Issac Jr. had been driving his Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's unit in the rain when he hydroplaned and went off the road. 

Louisiana State Police say Issac was properly restrained. EMS transported him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived.

Deputy Issac was on-duty when the crash occurred. He is survived by his wife, who is pregnant with their first child.

This crash remains under investigation.

December 11, 2012

Off-duty officer carjacked on South Side

By Adam Sege

One night after an off-duty Chicago police officer was shot twice during an armed robbery, a separate off-duty officer was robbed of her SUV and several pieces of service equipment Monday night, police said.

The carjacking happened shortly after 9 p.m. in the 9000 block of South Crandon Avenue, in the Calumet Heights neighborhood on the South Side, police said.

Police said the off-duty officer was approached by three people, one of whom had a black handgun.

The offenders reportedly made off with the officer's 2012 Buick Enclave, her police ID, and two bulletproof vests.

The officer was not injured.

Sunday night, a 34-year-old off-duty police officer was shot twice during an armed robbery outside his vehicle on the Southwest Side. The officer sustained gunshot wounds to the wrist and chest as he exchanged fire with his attacker, but he managed to escape grievous injury.

Police are still searching for the offenders in both incidents.

Copyright © 2012 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

December 11, 2012

Police: Man Shot Dead By Officers Pulled Air Pistol That Looked Like Gun

Drug Dealer Arrested Separately Told Suspect Raising Weapon: 'They're Cops, You Idiot!'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -A man with a record of 39 arrests was shot and killed by police detectives in Queens overnight, after pulling what police thought was a gun, but turned out to be a compressed air pistol.

Police on Sunday afternoon continued to investigate the shooting that left Victor Santos, 42, dead.

Around 10:45 p.m. Saturday at Gates and Seneca avenues in the Ridgewood section of Queens, two male plainclothes NYPD detectives – ages 48 and 42 and both nine-year department veterans – had just had arrested a 33-year-old suspect — Nolan Rivera — in a buy-and-bust drug sting operation.

Rivera, the drug dealer who was arrested initially, said Santos with the air pistol “appeared out of nowhere,” and watched as the man pulled the weapon at detectives.

When he did so, the dealer said he told Santos, “They’re cops, you idiot!”

But Santos pointed the air pistol at the detectives anyway, and the detectives returned fire. They fired a total of six shots, striking the suspect three times in the leg and torso.

Santos was taken to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The Post reported Santos did not realize the two apparent drug buyers were undercover police officers, and that he hoped to rob them as well as the drug dealer.

A witness told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria the detectives were too hasty to open fire on Santos, given that the gun was not real.

“The guy, he had a fake gun and he tried to play around with the officer. The officer, he right away killed him. Five shots or six shots,” the witness said.

Witnesses said Santos had come out of what appeared to be a black livery cab, which pulled away as the man got out. Rivera told investigators he recognized Santos from the neighborhood, but did not know him personally, police said.

Rivera was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, and criminal possession of marijuana. He was also taken to an area hospital after swallowing what police believe was crack cocaine.

Santos had 39 prior arrests, including four by Miami-Dade police in Florida. He also had prior convictions in New York City, primarily for drugs, but also for robbery, weapons violations and assault, police said.

Santos’ rap sheet goes back to 1983. Among the New York cases were an auto theft in Queens and a robbery in Brooklyn in 1986, and robberies in East Harlem and in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in 1987 – the last of which resulted in a five-year prison term.

Santos has been in and out of prison throughout the past 25 years, and was arrested and charged dozens more times in New York and Miami – most recently for criminal trespass in public housing in Brooklyn just this past June, police said.

This was the each detective’s first police-involved shooting, and witnesses said they had their badges displayed at the time.

December 11, 2012

Suspect dead in officer-involved shooting  

INDIANAPOLIS -A suspect is dead following a police-involved shooting Monday evening on the east side.

At approximately 7:00 p.m., IMPD officers were dispatched to a home in the 3800 block of N. Arlington Ave. on a report of a possible residence burglary. The homeowner told dispatchers that she found an open window.

The homeowner told officers that there were several weapons and ammunition inside the residence.

Investigators say officers began searching the residence and encountered a suspect in the basement. Shots were fired, and the suspect was struck an unknown number of times.

EMS pronounced the suspect deceased at the scene. The suspect's identity has not been confirmed.

No officers sustained any injuries in the incident.

An IMPD spokesman identified the officers involved as Christopher Wilburn and Erik Keyes, employed by the department since 2006 and 2010 respectively. Both officers will be placed on paid administrative leave.

December 11, 2012

Overturned Tanker Closes SR 165 and Causes Power Outage for Hundreds

Posey County – This morning at approximately 9:00, Indiana State Police and Posey County Sheriff’s Department responded to an overturned tanker on S.R. 165 north of Poseyville near Mulkey Road.

Preliminary investigation revealed John O. Schmitt, 59, of Poseyville, was driving a 2006 Freightliner tractor and pulling a tanker full of fuel northbound S.R. 165 north of I-64. Schmitt was transporting fuel for Country Mark. For unknown reasons, the tractor and trailer left the roadway on the east side near Mulkey Road, struck a utility pole and overturned. The vehicle came to a final rest on its top and the tanker spilled fuel onto the roadway and into a nearby ditch. Trooper Jacobs and three Samaritans cut the driver’s seat belt and pulled him from the tractor before EMS arrived. Schmitt was transported to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville where he is being treated for a non-life threatening head injury. As of 2:30 p.m., S.R. 165 remains closed while crews clean up the site and remove the tractor and tanker. Nearby residents were not evacuated.

Investigating Officer: Trooper Matt Jacobs, Indiana State Police

Assisting Agencies: Posey County Sheriff’s Department and Poseyville Fire Department

December 11, 2012

Bell's Budget: Proposal would buy 100 new police vehicles, But you wouldn't see half of them

by Angi Gonzalez

TOLEDO, OHIO---Though still requiring the approval of Toledo's City Council before becoming a reality, which will be reviewed on Tuesday, Toledo Police are thrilled with the prospect of getting 100 new vehicles in 2013.

According to a Toledo Police Spokesman, Sgt. Joe Heffernan, the $680,000 Mayor Mike Bell has set aside for the purchase will go towards 45 marked units, 45 unmarked units, 5 police wagons and some specialty vehicles.

Meaning that while the public won't overtly see nearly half the vehicles in use, that TPD will be able to replace the vehicles they use the most and for the longest. 

"A lot of our patrol units are used 24 hours a day. Day shift hands them off to the afternoon shift, [they] hand them off to midnight shift and the cycle repeats itself . Because of that , they get used up pretty quickly," Heffernan said.

Heffernan adds that some of the detectives vehicles in use have been on the street for 16 years.

"They are breaking down a lot and it reaches that point that to maintain them is costing us more than just buying new ones," Heffernan said.

The spokesman went on to say that Toledo Police did not buy any new vehicles in the last year.

December 10, 2012

Former Florida Police Officer Scheduled For Execution


TAMPA, Florida (AP) — A decorated Florida police officer who killed nine people during a crime spree after he was fired for lying is scheduled to be executed Tuesday night.

Manuel Pardo's attorneys are trying to block his execution, arguing in federal appeals that he is mentally ill, something his trial attorney believed more than two decades ago.

"I think that anyone who would get up and ask a jury sentence him to death is insane," lawyer Ronald Guralnick has said.

Over three months in early 1986, Pardo committed a series of robberies, killing six men and three women. Most of his victims were involved with drugs, officials said, and Pardo contended that he was doing the world a favor by killing them.

Guralnick thought Pardo was insane and tried to use that as a defense, arguing he couldn't tell right from wrong.

Over Guralnick's objections, Pardo insisted on testifying, telling jurors that he enjoyed killing people and wished he could have murdered more.

"They're parasites and they're leeches, and they have no right to be alive," he said in court. "Somebody had to kill these people."

In a news conference following his conviction, Pardo said that instead of choosing to model himself after Hitler, he could have idolized Martin Luther King Jr. or John F. Kennedy.

"But they were pacifists," he said. "I'm an activist."

 Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 10, 2012

Henrico County sheriff’s deputy arrested with cocaine

Patricia R. Baran

Richmond VA---A Henrico County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with DUI, refusal to take a breath test and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, police said Saturday night.

Patricia R. Baran, 43, of the 2400 block of Three Willows Court, was arrested Thursday when officers responded to a two-vehicle crash at 12:47 a.m. at West Broad Street and Westerre Parkway, said Doug Perry, a police spokesman.

Henrico County Jail officials said she was no longer being held there.

Officials could not immediately provide details on her duties with the Sheriff’s Office but said the investigation was continuing.

December 10, 2012

Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

Jennings County: On Saturday, December 8 at approximately 11:00 p.m. Trooper Randel Miller stopped a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck on Buckeye St. in North Vernon for a traffic violation.  During the course of the traffic stop Tpr. Miller became suspicious of possible drug activity and requested assistance from a K-9 officer.  A short time later, Officer Andrew Richmond from North Vernon Police Department arrived with his K-9 partner, Heros.  During the walk around Heros alerted on a back pack in the bed of the pickup truck.  A subsequent search of the back pack revealed methamphetamine, marijuana, and paraphernalia.  The driver of the vehicle, 22 year old Thirld Ross of North Vernon was arrested and transported to Jennings County Jail where he is now facing charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Syringe, and Identity Deception (all Class D Felonies) and Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia (Class A Misdemeanors).   Also assisting Tpr. Miller was Tpr. David Owsley.

December 10, 2012

Off-duty officer shot; superintendent vows to catch attacker

By Adam Sege and Jeremy Gorner

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy talks to reporters outside Advocate Christ

Medical Center in Oak Lawn after visiting a police officer shot early Monday during an

attempted robbery. (Devlin Brown, for the Chicago Tribune / December 10, 2012)

A veteran Chicago police officer was shot twice early Monday during an attempted robbery outside his car as a young child sat inside, authorities said.

While the 34-year-old officer sustained gunshot wounds to the chest and wrist, his wounds did not appear to be life-threatening, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

The officer's wrist was broken, but the bullet that struck his chest inflicted only superficial damage, the superintendent said.

The wounded officer, Mohammad K. Shamah, has been with Chicago Police Department since 2002. 

Officer Shamah was one of about 70 award recipients at the department's annual recognition ceremony last month, earning the Superintendent's Award of Valor for fatally shooting a knife-wielding man who threatened to kill three children.

According to a news release announcing the award, a "man with a knife" call was dispatched, stating a person was threatening to kill three children inside an apartment building. Responding officers broke a ground-floor window while Shamah went to the second floor.He then entered one of the units and forced his way into a bedroom, when he saw a man holding a knife to one of the children restraining the others with his legs. "In fear of the safety of the children, Officer Shamah fired his weapon, fatally striking the offender," the released stated.

The release did not state when or where the incident occurred.

"He's obviously shaken up, [but] he's in good spirits," McCarthy said this morning, after visiting the officer at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. "Right now it's as good as it could possibly be."

The shooting happened about 12:30 a.m. in the 6300 block of South Nashville Avenue, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

The officer had just parked his car and was preparing to take a child out of a car seat when the attacker approached, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation.

The officer, who was off-duty at the time, fired in self-defense and may have struck his attacker, McCarthy said.

Early reports suggested the officer's wrist had sustained significant damage in the shooting, said the law enforcement source, who asked to remain anonymous.

Squad cars combed the area after the shooting, but police did not immediately take anyone into custody.

Despite some reports that police were looking for multiple suspects, police were searching for a single attacker, the law enforcement source said.

Police were reviewing video footage and robbery patterns in the area in hopes of identifying a suspect, McCarthy said.

"We're going to catch the guy [who did this]," the superintendent said.  "We're going to hold them accountable."

Several family members joined the officer in the hospital after the shooting, the superintendent said. The officer, whose name has not been released, also received a visit from Rev. Daniel J. Brandt, the police department's chaplain.

"I'll say this: God is good," Brandt said afterward. "It could have been a lot worse."

More than a dozen police vehicles responded to the area of the shooting, including a mobile command unit and squad cars from neighboring Oak Lawn.

As they stood across the street from the cordoned-off shooting site, neighbors awakened by the commotion said they had heard about a half a dozen gunshots.

A couple that lives nearby said the officer lives in the neighborhood and had been returning from work.

Copyright © 2012 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

Washington Man Arrested after Driving Off without Paying for $96 of Fuel

Gibson County – Sunday morning, December 9, at approximately 1:50 a.m., the driver of a silver Chevrolet Caprice drove off from the Shell gas station in Oakland City without paying for nearly $100 worth of gasoline.  Gibson County dispatch immediately broadcasted the vehicle description to area law enforcement.  Trooper Paul Stolz was on S.R. 64 two blocks away from the gas station when he heard the dispatch.  Within a few minutes, Trooper Stolz spotted the vehicle traveling northbound on S.R. 57 near the Pike County line.  The vehicle was stopped near C.R. 125 South in Pike County after the driver of the vehicle drove left of center.  The driver was identified as Michael Norrington, 18, of Washington.  Further investigation revealed Norrington allegedly failed to pay for $96.34 of gas after filling his vehicle and two gas cans located in the trunk. Troopers also found a metal smoking device in his glove box and determined Norrington had never received a driver’s license.  Norrington was arrested and taken to the Gibson County Jail where he is currently being held on bond.


Michael A. Norrington, 18, 510 Vine Street, Washington, IN

Theft, Class D Felony

Possession of Paraphernalia, Class A Misdemeanor

Operating a Vehicle without ever Obtaining a License, Class C Misdemeanor

Arresting Officer: Trooper Paul Stolz, Indiana State Police

Assisting Officer: Officer Tim Gaines, Oakland City Police

December 10, 2012

Bob Welsh

This trooper is a class act.

Bob Welsh Christmas Eve Video

Look over his website

December 10, 2012

Man hopes to change community after changing self

Charity gathers 1,138 toys for underprivileged kids

By Jack Molitor

ANDERSON, Ind. — When Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna arrested Kevin Hummel Sr., years ago, he never guessed they would become close friends.

What’s even more impressive to Hanna is what Hummel has accomplished.

The two met at Thursday at Operation Love at 21st and Noble streets to sort through 1,138 toys their charity Second Chance to Get It Right collected to donate to underprivileged children.

Second Chance completed its second Ride to Rock Christmas on Dec. 1, and Hanna, Hummel and other volunteers at Operation Love emptied boxes and arranged toys they plan to donate to at least 200 families. The charity collected toys from various locations around the city for the past month.

Hummel said the number is more than twice the toys they collected last year.

“It’s such a special feeling when you touch people’s lives,” he said. “It makes me feel good.”

Hummel has come a long way from terrorizing the county as a member of a biker gang, Hanna said. Thirteen years ago, he arrested Hummel, who was later sentenced to a prison term of up to 45 years.

Hummel told Hanna that when he got out, he wanted to change his ways. Hanna said he saw sincerity in Hummel, who started to write letters to Hanna from prison and constantly worked with a guidance counselor to try to improve himself.

The result was a reduction in Hummel’s prison term to 10 years. And once he was released, Hummel wasted no time trying to change the world around him.

“What he did in prison is pay back his debt to society,” Hanna said. “Now he’s trying to pay it forward.”

Hanna worked with Hummel to create the charity, and the two have worked with Operation Love for more than two years in various fundraising endeavors.

Second Chance renovated Walnut Street Park earlier this year. They arranged a Halloween party in October. Hummel said Second Chance has donated more than 70 bikes to area children. They also want to supply students with clothes, backpacks and other school supplies with a fundraiser planned for next year.

Hummel said he was so grateful to the people of Madison County for their generosity. He said he couldn’t have made anything happen without them.

“You can’t put a number on how many people you’ve touched,” he said.

Hummel and Hanna have run their charity with help from Operation Love. Director of Operations Joy Plummer said Second Chance embodies what community contribution should be and it fits with Operation Love’s goals.

“It’s easy to say something should be done, or that things should change, but it means so much more to actually do something, and that’s what we can see the community is doing,” Plummer said. “It’s amazing. It speaks to what everyone can do.”

Operation Love and Second Chance can also change the perspective of young people they influence, Plummer said.

“What we hope here is that we’re not just giving gifts, but also changing how people think,” she said. “Getting a toy or having someone care about you when you’re young can make the difference between staying in school or not later.”

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @J4keSteel on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

December 10, 2012

Wayne Township Fire Dept. vehicle vandalized by man with axe

INDIANAPOLIS - Metro police are investigating after a man vandalized a Wayne Township Fire Department vehicle with an ax.

Wayne Township EMS Operations Officer Shane Hardwick drove his staff car home Friday afternoon, and it was vandalized in his driveway in the 2300 block of North Alabama Street, a Wayne Township fire spokesman said.

Hardwick said he heard a commotion outside around 5 p.m., and when he went to investigate he saw a man striking his car with an ax.

The ax got stuck in the vehicle's door, and the man fled in his pickup truck, Hardwick said.

Hardwick said he'd never seen the man before.

The man is white and about 6 feet tall with a thin build and a salt-and-pepper "scruffy" beard.

The man was driving a mid-size pickup truck that was black or navy blue, and it had white spray paint writing on the sides and the word "think" written on the tailgate in spray paint.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

December 10, 2012

High-speed police chase ends in arrest

Brent Brown

Greensburg — A Cincinnati man led multiple law enforcement agencies on a wild police chase in Decatur County Thursday afternoon.

According to Decatur County Sheriff Greg Allen, police arrested Jerry Cantine, 38, following a police pursuit in which the suspect’s speed allegedly reached 120 miles per hour.

Sheriff Allen said his department received a call from a Sandusky homeowner at approximately 2:10 p.m. Thursday, claiming a man had knocked on his door and asked for money in order to get back to Columbus, Ohio.

The caller advised Sheriff’s Department dispatchers that the suspect, later identified as Cantine, was acting in a suspicious manner. The homeowner checked the license plate of the 2010 Ford Fusion being driven by Cantine and then reported it to the dispatchers who found the car had been reported stolen near Cincinnati.

Cantine then fled the home, heading north on State Road 3.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., Greensburg Police Department Captain Dennis Blodgett observed the suspect heading north on State Road 3, approximately two car lengths behind DCSD Deputy Eric Kramer.

Deputy Kramer slowed his vehicle and pulled to the side of the road, allowing Cantine to pass him at a speed of approximately 80 miles per hour.

Kramer then gave chase, following the speeding car into Rush County.

Members of the Rush County Sheriff’s Department set up stop sticks just north of County Road 450 South, but the suspect performed a u-turn prior to striking the sticks, and then headed south toward Decatur County.

Kramer remained in pursuit of the vehicle, which traveled into Greensburg at a high rate of speed before running over two sets of stop sticks deployed by DCSD deputies. The stop sticks flattened all four of the Fusion’s tires.

Police assert Cantine then drove the vehicle into Don Meyer Ford on Lincoln Street and attempted an escape on foot. He was apprehended without further incident at about 2:48 p.m.

Sheriff Allen said Cantine told police he ran because his license was suspended.

Cantine was arrested and booked into the Decatur County Jail Thursday afternoon on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, fleeing law enforcement with a motor vehicle, criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle, speeding and reckless driving.

The incident also led police to place North Decatur Elementary School and North Decatur Junior/Senior High School on a temporary lockdown for safety reasons. Much of the chase took place in the vicinity of both of those schools on State Road 3.

“We didn’t want to take any chances,” Allen said following the incident. “We just wanted everyone to be safe, and everything worked out great. The main thing was that nobody got hurt.”

In addition to the DCSD and GPD, members of the Indiana State Police from both the Pendleton and Versailles posts and the Rush County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the capture of Cantine.

December 10, 2012

Ohio Unions Often Save Bad Cops


Columbus firefighter Thomas Eckenrode was facing a misdemeanor charge of fondling a 16-year-old girl when he asked his supervisor whether pleading no contest to avoid a trial would cost him his job.

He was told that an employee has never been fired for a disorderly-conduct conviction. But after Eckenrode was sentenced to 30 days in jail and the Fire Division conducted an internal investigation, Fire Chief Ned Pettus fired him.

Eckenrode appealed his termination in 2008, and an arbitrator ruled that even though he never denied fondling the girl, the city failed to prove wrongdoing. Eckenrode got his job back.

More than half of such appeals have succeeded over the past decade, a review of the police and fire divisions' internal investigations shows. Arbitrators upheld just six of the 13 firings that police or firefighters appealed under their union contracts.

Many of those who won their appeals also were awarded back pay and lost benefits.

The Dispatch checked the records after finding last month that the Police Division has developed a list of officers who are still on duty even though they've been found guilty of internal charges of lying. Many of those officers were fired but got their jobs back through arbitration.

It's a record that doesn't sit well with Public Safety Director Mitchell J. Brown, who said he has zero tolerance for employees who lie or break the law. Brown said he does not comment to the news media about specific discipline cases, but he stands by his decisions to fire the officers and firefighters.

The reasons for overturning the terminations vary. Sometimes the city did not meet investigation deadlines agreed to in union contracts. In other cases, arbitrators found that the city did not meet the burden of proof to fire an officer, despite a criminal conviction, as in Eckenrode's case.

Eckenrode did not respond to a request for comment.

Union leaders say they are not always happy about representing those who are terminated in arbitration, but they are obligated to make sure an employee is being treated fairly. They say it's important to protect employees from office politics or witch hunts by disgruntled supervisors.

Jim Gilbert, the president of the city's police union, said there have been cases that the union refused to take to arbitration because the officer's actions were so egregious.

"That's happened about five times in the six years I have been president," Gilbert said. "I want the public to understand that it's my responsibility to make sure the process spelled out in the contract is followed, but I want to work alongside professional police officers, and we're not with you when you decide to violate policy."

Those officers whom the union declines to represent in arbitration have the option of a Civil Service Board hearing. It is rare for the board to reverse the termination, and officers say it's an option only for those desperate to get their jobs back.

The arbitration process is straightforward. The city and union present their cases to an arbitrator whose name is drawn randomly from among six who do the work.

The six arbitrators are lawyers based in Ohio with backgrounds in mediation and arbitration case law. They're paid $950 per hearing and up to $950 a day for work leading up to the hearing.

Charles Wilson, a lawyer and law professor at Ohio State University, is an expert in labor law and mediation. He said the most-important factor in an arbitrator's ruling is the terms of a union contract.

"An arbitrator is bound to follow what the contract says even if you don't like the contract or think one side or the other shouldn't have agreed to put that in the contract," Wilson said. "The second issue is, you have to have just cause to fire someone because that is what arbitrators consider the death penalty."

Police Officer Gregory Stevens got his job back after an arbitrator found that the city did not act within 90 days of his offense and did not ask for an extension.

Stevens was fired in 2008, a year after the investigation was launched. He was found to have illegally searched a confidential police database for information about his former girlfriend's new boyfriend. Investigators also determined that he harassed or stalked his ex-girlfriend even after she sought a protection order against him, a fourth-degree felony.

No criminal charges were filed against Stevens. He has since become a homicide detective. Stevens did not respond to requests for comment.

Wilson said arbitrators overturn some terminations because administrators are heavy-handed with offenses such as insubordination or missing work.

"One of the big things an arbitrator will look at is the employee being treated differently than employees who committed the same infraction in the past," he said. "Has a person ever been warned or served notification of the consequences for their actions, because progressive discipline is a big factor, as well."

In other instances, no warning or progressive discipline is necessary.

Police Officer Donny Smith was fired in 2007 after he told a woman he would overlook her boyfriend's criminal warrant if she exposed her breasts, according to police records. The woman, an Ohio State student, obliged Smith's request.

She told her mother about the incident, and a complaint was filed with police.

Smith told supervisors that the woman voluntarily exposed her breasts to avoid her boyfriend's arrest.

An arbitrator ruled that Smith's actions were egregious enough to warrant termination despite his clean but short employment history.

Other times, the arbitrator upholds the termination because of previous disciplinary problems.

Firefighter Lloyd Spencer was fired in 2006 because officials believed he faked a back injury to block a job transfer, according to fire-division records. The arbitrator agreed with the termination because Spencer had gone AWOL 11 times from 2002 to 2005 and had been suspended for those instances.

Spencer could not be reached for comment.

Jack Reall, the president of the city's fire union, said a grievance panel decides which terminations the union will protest. He said he tells the panel to "take the face out of the discipline" and look at only the facts of the case.

"But I tell all new recruits that I didn't get you this job, and it's not my job to keep you here," he said. "It's my job to make sure you're treated equally and fairly, and beyond that, it depends on what you've done to deserve that discipline."

Copyright 2012 - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

December 09, 2012

 DNR welcomes 8 new Conservation Officers

dnr facebook page

We congratulate these 8 young probationary Officers (Lt Col Hunter far left front row, Col Wilson far right front row,

Honor gaurd back row). Each of them graduated from the Indiana Conservation Officers recruit school today.

They have accomplished the toughest part. They will now be required to accomplish 16 weeks of the Law Enforcement Academy.

Congratulations gentlemen!!!

Corporal Erick Bolt, our current James D. Pitzer Outstanding Conservation Officer

of the Year, was honored by swearing in our new recruit school graduates today.

Indiana Conservation Probationary Officer Zach Carson sat among his many classmates

at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy graduation this past Wednesday.

Zach was honored with a prestigious award recognizing his professional

and ethical standards. Congratulations Zach and all the graduates.

Eight new Indiana Conservation Officers officially joined the DNR Division of Law Enforcement during graduation ceremonies today at the Indiana Government Center South.

ICO Cpl. Erick Bolt, recipient of the Pitzer Award earlier this year as Conservation Officer of the Year, administered the oath of office to the recruits.

The new officers underwent five weeks of basic training followed by 12 weeks of on-the-job field training with a veteran Conservation Officer. Their training continues with a 15-week course at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, after which they will report to their assignments to complete a one-year probationary period.

The DNR employs 214 Conservation Officers who in addition to enforcing state laws are often called upon to help during emergencies and natural disasters. They also engage in non-law enforcement activities such as outdoor instructional programs, including boater, hunter, snowmobile, and trapper education. River rescue, cave rescue, underwater search and recovery, and K-9 teams are specialty response units available statewide whenever needed.

December 09, 2012

Florida Highway Patrol officer who lost K-9 Officer Drake gets new partner


K-9 Officer Tony

There will never be another K-9 Officer Drake in the eyes of his human, Florida Highway Patrol Robert Boody, but a new partner, a two-year-old German shepherd-Malinois mix will be accompanying Boody as the two prepare to go on road patrol. On Friday, outside of his Greenacres home, Boody introduced his handsome new four-legged partner named Tony.

According to, Officer Boody will be training and forming bonds with his new K-9 partner. The ashes of K-9 Officer Drake in the trooper's home prove this special dog will always be missed. The five-year-old retired police dog demonstrated his bravery and devotion trying to protect his home, even after being shot multiple times.

Despite the most valiant efforts to save Drake, the dog's injuries were too severe, and five days later he was humanely euthanized.

Ivins Rosier, 16 remains in custody in the Palm Beach County Jail with no bond and allegedly admitted to shooting Drake. Rosier will be tried as an adult and has been charged with the burglary of a home with a firearm, cruelty to an animal using a firearm, and shooting into a building. All counts are considered felonies.

Best of luck K-9 Officer Tony, and may you and Officer Boody stay safe.

December 09, 2012

Sheriff's captain critically injured in car crash

A veteran Los Angeles County sheriff’s captain was critically injured Friday night when the county car she was driving collided head-on with another vehicle in the Santa Clarita Valley area east of Castaic Lake, officials said.

The driver of the other car, a 38-year-old man from Elizabeth Lake, suffered moderate injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol. He was not identified.

Capt. Carrie Stuart, 47, who is a unit commander of the Pitchess Detention Center South Facility, was being treated at an area hospital for multiple injuries, according to sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. Stuart, a 28-year department veteran, was driving an unmarked county-owned car but Whitmore said he did not know whether she was on duty or headed to or from work at the time of the 9:30 p.m. crash.

The CHP reported that Stuart was driving a 2009 Ford southbound on San Francisquito Canyon Road north of Stator Lane when her vehicle drifted into the northbound lane. It then collided with an 2010 Acura that then overturned onto its passenger side on the road’s dirt shoulder.

The CHP said no one had been arrested in connection with the crash. Whitmore said there were no indications that Stuart might have been under the influence of alcohol but he added that blood tests would be examined.

Stuart lives in the Los Angeles area and has four children.

December 09, 2012

Centreville assistant police chief put on leave

CENTREVILLE, ILL. — The mayor of the southwestern Illinois city of Centreville says the assistant police chief is on administrative leave with pay because he is under federal investigation.

Assistant Police Chief Corey Allen told the Belleville News-Democrat that he hasn't been arrested. He declined any other comment.

Centreville Mayor Marius Jackson released a statement Friday saying Allen had been put on administrative leave "to ensure a thorough and complete investigation ... without the perception of influence."

The 31-year-old Allen is former chief of the Alorton Police Department.

The newspaper says the U.S. Attorney's Office wouldn't comment on whether federal investigators are actively investigating Allen.

December 09, 2012

Grand Traverse sheriff's deputy arrested


TRAVERSE CITY —City police arrested a Grand Traverse sheriff's deputy after witnesses said he assaulted his girlfriend at a downtown saloon.

Officers arrested off-duty deputy Ryan Salisbury today at about 5:30 a.m. after an incident at Union Street Station several hours earlier. Salisbury was a suspect in an assault against another woman last year, but Leelanau County authorities declined to charge him with a crime.

City police and sheriff's officials wouldn't identify the deputy, but Grand Traverse Prosecutor Al Schneider and his attorney identified Salisbury.

City police Capt. Brian Heffner said officers went to the bar at about 12:15 a.m. on a report that a man assaulted a woman.

"We had allegations made that a man and a woman who reside together ... had what witnesses described as physical altercation," he said.

The woman denied being injured, Heffner said, but officers arrested the suspect at his residence. Grand Traverse Sheriff Tom Bensley said the deputy has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Defense attorney Craig Elhart said he will "vigorously defend" Salisbury against any charges that may arise.

"Mr. Salisbury did nothing wrong," he said.

Schneider said he will remove himself from the case because of a conflict of interest and will ask for a special prosecutor to be assigned.

Salisbury was investigated for domestic violence about a year ago. Leelanau County Prosecutor Joe Hubbell was assigned to the case after Schneider removed himself.

Assistant Leelanau Prosecutor Doug Donaldson handled that case, which he characterized as a "shoving match."

"It was not a significant assault," he said.

The female victim later decided she didn't want to press charges, Donaldson said, and none were issued. But the fact that Salisbury was arrested again for an alleged assault complaint made Donaldson think twice about the previous case.

"It gives me pause for thought regarding my prior decisions, but they are what they are," he said

December 08, 2012

A WWII story you won't find in books


WWII Veteran

Roy W Brown

During World War II, President Roosevelt ordered small units of the U.S. Navy to serve aboard merchant ships as their defense and communications. Merchant ships were authorized to carry weapons for defense. The U.S. Navy sailors were called the U.S. Navy Armed Guard. Navy Armed Guard units took part in every major invasion during WWII. (This writer served in the Armed Guard aboard a Liberty ship and a small tanker.)

Although U.S. Navy Armed Guard members served on more than 6,200 merchant ships during the war, they are an almost totally unknown, or "forgotten," part of the U.S. Navy. More than 710 of these ships were sunk and hundreds badly damaged.

Since almost all the vital supplies including troops, food, medicines, weapons, ammunition, required by the far-flung military forces were carried by merchant ships the war could not have been won without them. The following is an isolated incident that happened to some merchant ships and U.S. Navy Armed Guard sailors. Although it was one of the most disastrous bombing attacks against allied ships during the entire war, it was kept secret for many years, and few living today have heard of it:

Bari, Italy, is a seaport located on the east coast of Italy on the Adriatic Sea. A city of about 200,000 it dates back to the middle-ages. It was the main supply base for General Montgomery's Eighth Army, plus the new headquarters for the U.S. 15th Air Force.

It was absolutely crowded with 30 Allied ships on Dec. 2, 1943. They were loaded with many varieties of badly needed supplies for the fighting troops. Because of the urgent need, the unloading of the ships continued night and day. Consequently, on the evening of Dec. 2, 1943, the entire harbor was lighted as bright as a sun-shiny day.

Mustard gas was a poisonous gas used during WWI, first by the Germans against Canadian troops then by the other armies, also. It was suspected that the Germans would resort to the use of that terrible weapon in WWII. As a precaution, the Americans had mustard gas bombs ready ... "just in case." VERY few persons knew that fact.

One ship, the SS John Harvey, was carrying 2,000 mustard gas bombs each containg 100 pounds of mustard gas. (Remember, almost NO ONE knew she was loaded with such cargo.)

German pilots, flying JU-88 bombers, came in about 7:20 pm and were astonished to find the port "lighted up" for them!

The attack was deadly successful.

Five American ships were sunk, one damaged. The British lost four ships, two damaged. The Italians lost three, one damaged. The Norwegians lost three, one damaged. The Poles lost two. The Dutch had one damaged.

The SS John Harvey caught fire and without warning blew up. Everyone on board was killed instantly and pieces of her deadly cargo were hurled into the air. Mustard gas released from the broken bombs mixed with the oil on the surface of the water, and with the billowing clouds of smoke. Sailors who survived in the water were covered with the deadly mixture, and suffered from very serious burns and many died soon after. (None of the medical personnel knew about mustard gas and did not treat them for such injuries.

Hundreds of sailors, other military people, and an unknown number of civilians, suffered or died from the mustard gas. History books will not tell of this story.

Roy W. Brown is a World War II Navy veteran and retired lieutenant colonel for the Indiana Guard Reserve who now resides in Richmond, Ind. 

Jig How is the title of a book written by Roy W Brown and although out of print can still be found at Amazon and other outlets on the internet

December 08, 2012

Troopers Arrest, Spray Protesters At Michigan Capitol


State Police block protesters outside the Senate chamber at the State Capitol Building in downtown Lansing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders said Thursday they would press for quick approval of right-to-work legislation, an announcement that set off a confrontation inside the Capitol when police used chemical spray to subdue protesters trying to rush the Senate floor.

State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said eight people were arrested for resisting and obstructing when they tried to push past two troopers guarding the Senate door. He said the troopers used chemical spray after the people refused to obey orders to stop.

The Capitol was temporarily closed because of concerns for the safety of people and the building. Adamczyk estimated about 2,500 visitors were at the Capitol.

So-called right-to-work measures generally prohibit requiring unions from collecting fees from nonunion employees, which opponents say drains unions of money and weakens their ability to bargain for good wages and benefits. Supporters insist it would boost the economy and job creation.

Should it become law in Michigan, it would give the right-to-work movement its strongest foothold yet in the Rust Belt region, where organized labor already has suffered several body blows.

After repeatedly insisting during his first two years in office that right-to-work was not on his agenda, Snyder reversed course Thursday, a month after voters defeated a ballot initiative that would have barred such measures under the state constitution.

"This is all about taking care of the hard-working workers in Michigan, being pro-worker and giving them freedom to make choices," Snyder said during a news conference with House Speaker Jase Bolger and Senate Minority Leader Randy Richardville, both fellow Republicans.

"The goal isn't to divide Michigan, it is to bring Michigan together," Snyder said.

But the decision to push forward in the waning days of the Legislature's lame-duck session infuriated outnumbered Democrats, who resorted to parliamentary maneuvers to slow action but were powerless to block the bills that were expected to be introduced Thursday.

Hundreds of chanting, whistle-blowing union activists packed the state Capitol rotunda and hallways, chanting slogans such as "Union buster" and "Right-to-work has got to go."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

December 08, 2012

Patrolman Stilp defends action at hearing

Chief wants officer suspended 10 days


South Bend Patrolman Jack Stilp

SOUTH BEND — Emotions boiled over at times Friday as sides disputed whether South Bend Patrolman Jack Stilp violated department policy and deserves a 10-day suspension for releasing an officer’s report to the media earlier this year.

Stilp’s attorney, Tom Dixon, attempting to convince the South Bend Board of Public Safety the issue goes much deeper than simply releasing a report, said he was frustrated by not getting a chance to tell the whole story.

Dixon said Stilp was not only the victim of a threatening phone call from St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett — which led Stilp to file an officer’s report — but received very little guidance on whether releasing it was even a violation of police protocol.

However, much of the testimony — especially regarding Corbett — was limited by the board to just the release of the report, not what led to it.

The six-hour hearing, which included testimony from Corbett and Stilp, among others, concluded late Friday afternoon. The board will vote on Stilp’s suspension at a later date, likely at a regular board meeting in January.

“I had no idea I ever violated policy,” Stilp said during the hearing, in hopes of avoiding disciplinary action

During a phone conversation in April, Stilp claimed Corbett made threatening comments in relation to a federal investigation that led to Darryl Boykins being demoted as police chief. Corbett is rumored to have been recorded on phone lines at the South Bend Police Department. The phone tapes reportedly contain officers making racist comments about Boykins.

Stilp filed an officer’s report 17 days later to make note of the call and, about two week later, released the report to the media outside his home.

Andrea Beachkofsky, deputy city attorney, said Friday the charges were based just off the release of the report.

“There’s only one issue before the board today,” she said. “Only the chief of police or a designated person can release a report. There’s no doubt he took it upon himself to distribute it to the media.”

Dixon kept Interim South Bend Police Chief Chuck Hurley on the stand for about an hour and a half with questioning. It was ultimately Hurley’s decision to recommend the 10-day suspension.

Many of the questions had to do with Hurley’s relationship with Corbett and how that friendship may have motivated Hurley to recommend a lengthy suspension.

Dixon asked Hurley, if he had ever said that “Tim Corbett is better than anyone else on the face of the earth.”

“One of the best police officers I’ve ever known,” Hurley said.

Corbett received a five-day suspension from St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak on Aug. 29 for making the call to Stilp.

Dixon questioned why Hurley waited about four months to file charges against Stilp.

“Did you say you were going to give twice the punishment (that Corbett received)” to Stilp, Dixon asked Hurley.

“No I did not,” Hurley said.

The board made it clear that even if Hurley did have a specific motive, it was not relevant to the charges at hand.

When Corbett took the stand, almost all of Dixon’s questions to him were overruled and determined to be irrelevant to the charges against Stilp.

Stilp, meanwhile, said he had never been told he could not release an officer’s report and added there is no training on what reports can and can’t be released.

“You can’t hold someone liable for a policy that is not there,” Dixon said.

“He didn’t drive home saying, ‘I hope the press is at my house today so I can release the report.’”

Beachkofsky, though, said Stilp had plenty of time to think about his actions before releasing it to the media.

“He’s a grown man,” she said. “He’s responsible.”

Staff writer Tom Moor: 574-235-6234

Copyright © 2012, South Bend Tribune

December 08, 2012

Muncie police officer dismissed from force

The police merit commission heard allegations that Amy Fisher's

actions included interfering with an internal investigation

by Keith Roysdon

Amy Fisher

MUNCIE — A veteran city police officer has been dismissed from the Muncie Police Department following an investigation of incidents that grew out of an affair.

Patrol officer Amy Fisher was dismissed in a Thursday evening meeting of the Muncie Police Merit Commission, Police Chief Steve Stewart said Friday.

Fisher, an officer since 1998, had faced several rules of conduct violation charges filed by Stewart, who in documents said Fisher’s conduct had, “even without considering her past record, been a storybook example of what a Muncie police officer should not be.”

Fisher has been on unpaid administrative leave since May, Stewart said.

Among the allegations Stewart lodged against Fisher was that the officer interfered with an internal police investigation of her behavior after a threatening message was texted to a local woman. Stewart said Fisher was having a relationship with the woman’s husband and the text message read, “I hope you enjoy women’s prison, transporting cocaine in a school is a mighty hearty charge.”

The message had come from the cellphone of a relative of Fisher, police said. After the matter came under the scrutiny of police investigators, Fisher urged her relative to not cooperate with investigators, Stewart said.

The woman who received the text message filed a complaint against Fisher in December 2011, according to MPD documents, and Fisher was told she was under investigation. Subsequent questioning by police officers led to Fisher denying she sent the message from her relative’s phone, although the relative later testified that Fisher did send the message.

Stewart released reports from past incidents in which Fisher was given warnings or reprimands, including a traffic accident, an incident in which she didn’t respond to a call to assist officers and another in which she used profanity and incorrectly told the victim in a battery call that the suspect had been arrested.

Also included was a detailed report from September 2010, when Fisher — on duty and in uniform — went into the emergency department at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, ostensibly seeking treatment from injuries from frequent sex.

The police report said Fisher was “loud and descriptive” about what had caused the problem and the body part affected and “straddled” a woman in the emergency department, saying, “Oh yeah, baby, that is the way mama likes it.”

Stewart said Fisher received a suspension of two days for that incident.

Fisher did not attend Thursday evening’s merit commission meeting, the police chief said.

“These kinds of things aren’t fun,” Stewart said of the officer’s termination from the department. “But the merit commission has sent a clear message to the Muncie Police Department they will not tolerate this behavior, and I applaud them for that.”

Contact Keith Roysdon at 213-5828 and follow him on Twitter at @keithroysdon.

December 08, 2012

Lawrence police officer accused of using excessive force during shop-lifting arrest

Officer Gabriel Slaybaugh

Charges have been filed against a Lawrence police officer accused of using excessive force during a shop-lifting arrest outside a Wal-Mart.

Officer Gabriel Slaybaugh has been charged with battery and official misconduct by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

An officer for seven years, he has been placed on paid administrative leave through the outcome of the case.

“This was an isolated incident and should not reflect on the members of the Lawrence Police Department and their professionalism and dedication they exhibit each and every day,” said Chief of Police Michael L. Walton in a prepared statement. “The men and women of this department do not condone inappropriate conduct, and will continue to serve and protect the residents and visitors of the city of Lawrence.”

According to a police report, Lawrence police officer Jon Clark and his police dog stopped a shop-lifting suspect named Robert Reidling on Aug. 25 at the parking lot of Wal-Mart Supercenter, 10735 Pendleton Pike. Reidling refused commands to get on the ground, the report says, and Slaybaugh arrived to help.

“The subject Robert resisted and tried to stop officer Slaybaugh from cuffing him by pulling his arms and hands away from officer Slaybaugh,” the report stated. “After numerous commands and some time passing, Robert was placed into custody.” 

Reidling was transported to Wishard Memorial Hospital.

Police said about $520 worth of merchandise was recovered. Police also checked Reidling’s truck registration, and discovered the vehicle was stolen. He had additional warrants in Marion County for theft and burglary, and a prior conviction for auto theft.

He has been charged with theft, auto theft, resisting arrest and unauthorized use. 

Compiled by Star reporter Chris Sikich.

December 07, 2012

Pearl Harbor

Remembering December 07, 1941

over 2400 of our best died on this date at this place.

December 07, 2012

Three points to consider

Roy W. Brown

nrcc file photo

1. As a combat veteran of World War II, before my 18th birthday, I assure all of you that help could have been sent to the consulate in Libya. President Obama is commander-in-chief. He could have ordered help be sent immediately. He did not.

2. There is no good reason there should be a financial crisis at the end of this year. Few politicians on either side really want to do what is best for our nation. It certainly doesn’t take a Ph.D. to solve the financial “woes” we face. Simple cooperation will do it. They could do it, but will they?

3. Nothing says it better than the song from South Pacific: “You’ve got to be taught to hate.” Why not show that movie to students of most ages. Following the movie there could be two or three days during which a period could be devoted to discussions about that subject.

May our nation deserve God’s blessings.

Roy W. Brown,


December 07, 2012

Traffic stop leads to arrest of Logansport mayor's son

by Caitlin Huston 

MONTICELLO — An earlier version online incorrectly stated Franklin's age. He is 31.

Jeremy Franklin, the son of Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin, was arrested Wednesday after police reported finding three pounds of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.

Franklin, 31,  was the driver of a silver 2001 Oldsmobile and was pulled over at 10 p.m. on U.S. 24 east of Monticello for  speeding, according to a press release from the Lafayette post of the Indiana State Police. Reports indicate a Monticello police dog detected the presence of marijuana and other narcotics, and Franklin and his passenger, 28-year-old Edward R. Prince of Logansport, were arrested.

Both Franklin and Prince face the class D felonies of dealing in a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Trooper Tyler Stinson of the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post pulled Franklin over and was later assisted by Monticello Police K-9 Officer Tony Stroup.

The investigation is ongoing.

Franklin is awaiting trial in Cass County on charges on charges of possession and dealing in marijuana. He had been arrested in April after a drug buy involving a confidential informant .

Pick up Friday's edition of the Pharos-Tribune for additional details and reaction to Wednesday's arrest.

December 07, 2012

Indiana state police cite driver for carrying food in unsafe conditions

A commercial vehicle enforcement officer stopped a Mitsubishi refrigerated delivery truck for a routine inspection on Interstate 70 in Clay County.

During the inspection, the officer found that 40 dozen eggs had fallen onto the floor, broken open and spilled a large amount of yolk. Five pounds of mushrooms and ten pounds of broccoli had also fallen and spilled out of their containers.

The Clay County Health Department seized the produce and destroyed it. The rest of the meat and vegetable load was within code and was not seized.

State police cited the driver, Dong Xie, 40, of Fontana, Calif., for “transporting food not in compliance with health department rules,” a class A infraction. He was released after receiving the citation. 

Investigators said the delivery company was Eternal Trading Corporation of Cincinnati, Ohio. The load was bound for restaurants in Terre Haute.

Copyright © 2012, WXIN-TV

December 07, 2012

Spring Hill man guilty of attempted murder, home invasion charges

By Tony Marrero

Lucas Farrell, 23, right, is escorted from the courtroom by a Hernando County sheriff’s deputy after the verdict was read.

BROOKSVILLE — Lucas Farrell could not deny he was at a Brooksville apartment one summer night last year. The 23-year-old Spring Hill mechanic's blood was all over the place, including on a broken bedroom window and an interior door handle.

But Farrell denied he broke through an apartment window armed with an assault rifle and put a bullet in his drug dealer's foot.

"There's no way I did that," Farrell testified Thursday, looking over at the six Hernando County Circuit Court jurors.

They didn't believe him.

After deliberating for about 90 minutes, the jury on Thursday evening found Farrell guilty of attempted felony murder with a firearm and home invasion robbery.

He faces 25 years to life in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

On July 25, 2011, Farrell testified, he and a friend went to Candlelight Apartments about 1:30 a.m. to buy a few grams of cocaine from Evan Lethco. He said the friend arranged the meeting and that they had bought drugs from Lethco on a couple of other occasions.

This time, Farrell said, his friend waited in the car. When Lethco handed over the bag, the drug felt like sugar. Farrell said he asked for his money back, but Lethco said the sale was final, then started throwing punches, connecting at least once. Farrell said he swung a few times to defend himself, then fled to a red Mustang, where his friend was waiting.

The cocaine turned out to be real, but of poor quality, Farrell said. In addition to that drug, Farrell said, he drank vodka and took Percocet and Xanax. He then drove the Mustang back to the apartment, alone. Armed with a hammer, he said, he walked up to Lethco's bedroom window, took one swing and then fled.

Lethco's testimony earlier in the week contradicted Farrell's. He said his girlfriend went to bed about 10 p.m. and he followed her about an hour later. He woke up about 5 a.m. when a man armed with an assault rifle broke through the window and demanded money.

There was a struggle over the gun before the intruder pulled the trigger several times. One bullet hit Lethco in the foot; another grazed his hand. The intruder made off with about $100.

Investigators found Farrell's blood on the window, a chair on the patio and the fence surrounding it, and an inside door handle.

A friend of Farrell's testified that he told her he had been in a fight involving a gun and threw the weapon in the lake.

Farrell disputed that. He also testified that he cut his hand at work a couple days earlier and the wound bled during the earlier fight with Lethco and again when he returned and broke the window.

Farrell's story "almost shocks the conscience as being absolutely unbelievable," Assistant State Attorney Rob Lewis told the jury.

But Public Defender Devon Sharkey told jurors there was plenty of room for reasonable doubt.

Both Lethco and his girlfriend said the intruder had longer, curly hair.

Testimony indicated Farrell has worn his hair close to the scalp for the past couple of years.

Sharkey noted that there was no blood on a sheet or curtain that covered the bedroom window, nor in the bedroom where the struggle occurred.

Lethco testified the attacker gave him a fight. At the time, Sharkey said, he outweighed Farrell by some 100 pounds.

Perhaps most critical, Sharkey said: When police presented a photo pack of suspects, both Lethco and his girlfriend picked the same man. It wasn't Farrell.

The room was dark, Sharkey said, but there would have been enough light to identify an unmasked attacker during the struggle.

"This was mano a mano," Sharkey sad. "This was face to face. Why didn't Evan Lethco say, '(Farrell) is the guy who did this?' Because he wasn't the guy in the apartment."

Relaxed and smiling throughout the day Thursday, Farrell blinked rapidly a few times after the clerk read the first guilty verdict, then slowly lowered his head to the defense table, face first.

A moment later, he looked back at both his father and tearful mother before a bailiff led him away.

Reach Tony Marrero at or (352) 848-1431. On Twitter: @TMarreroTimes and @HernandoTimes.

Copyright 2012 Tampa Bay Times

December 06, 2012

Justice Dept. to Investigate the Police in Albuquerque


The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it was opening an investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department, after officers were involved in more than two dozen shootings, many of them fatal, over the past two years.

The investigation, which comes after a preliminary federal inquiry into the department, will focus on accusations that officers used excessive force, including unreasonable deadly force, when dealing with civilians.

“We will peel the onion to its core, and we will leave no stone unturned,” Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said at a news conference in Albuquerque.

“We will talk to department leadership and rank-and-file officers,” Mr. Perez said. “We will also actively engage with the community, a critical part of the process of determining whether systemic violations exist.”

Mr. Perez emphasized that the inquiry was civil, not criminal, and it was unclear if any charges would arise from the investigation.

Since 2010, the Albuquerque police have been involved in 25 shootings, 17 of which resulted in deaths. Critics had long been pushing for a federal inquiry into the department.

An outcry over the use of force erupted in March after The Albuquerque Journal reported that the police union was making payments to officers who had been involved in shootings to help them cope with the trauma. The union has since ended the practice.

The department has also been shaken by embarrassing episodes involving excessive force. In one case last year, a local television station reported that an officer who had been involved in a fatal shooting listed his occupation on Facebook as “human waste disposal.”

Prompted by mounting criticism, police officials have since put in place a number of changes, including requiring officers to carry stun guns and record all interactions with residents using cameras attached to their lapels. The department has also raised its hiring standards.

Mayor Richard J. Berry and Police Chief Raymond D. Schultz pledged that the city and the Police Department would cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation. Both men also expressed support for the city’s officers.

Chief Schultz said that since 2010, when the increase in violent encounters between the police and residents became noticeable, officers had been working to figure out ways to improve procedures.

“Our officers are of the highest quality and receive excellent training,” he said. “However, we know that we are not always perfect, and we know that there is always room for improvement.”

December 06, 2012

Connecticut trooper accused of stealing from dead motorcyclist

The trooper has been charged with two counts of third-degree larceny

Connecticut trooper Aaron Huntsman

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – A state trooper is being accused of stealing $3,000 in jewelry and cash from a motorcyclist after the victim was killed in a crash.

Connecticut trooper Aaron Huntsman, 43, was arrested and charged with two counts of third-degree larceny after investigating the death of John Scalesse, 49, who died when he hit the back of a truck with his bike, according to the Huffington Post.

Scalesse’s family reported that clothing, jewelry and cash were missing from the scene, which had not been logged by Huntsman into evidence.

Police found the missing jewelry and a large amount of cash in Huntsman’s cruiser, according to the article.

“We’re very disheartened by this, but we acted upon it immediately,” said Lieutenant Paul Vance.

“We find it very disturbing. Its an extremely isolated incident. We have policies and procedures in place that are filed everyday.”

Huntsman, an 18-year veteran and vice president of the Troopers Union, will be arraigned Dec. 10.

December 06, 2012

Family of South Carolina police officer who committed suicide files lawsuit

Cheraw SC---The family of David Watson filed a wrongful death lawsuit on November 2 against South Carolina Department of Public Safety and the Chesterfield Police Department in Watson’s death. He committed suicide on August 29, 2012.

He was arrested on June 2, 2012 for DUI . The suit specifically names the officers involved in Watson’s arrest. They are trooper Leslie Davis, Chesterfield police officer Robert Adams and Chesterfield Police Chief Eric Hewitt.

Watson was fired from his position as a detective with the Cheraw Police Department the day after he was charged with DUI. Watson’s family believes his arrest ended his career in law enforcement and was a major factor in his suicide.

The lawsuit says the officers conduct is found to have been outside the course and scope of their employment. It also says they lacked probable cause for the initial traffic stop and subsequent search warrant and arrest. Watson was in his white, unmarked patrol car parked outside the Bojangles in Chesterfield on June 2 using its free Wi-Fi.

According to the lawsuit, trooper Davis called the Chesterfield County 911 saying his grandmother called him asking for an officer to check out a white suspicious car in the Bojangles parking lot.

The lawsuit provides records in the form of online obituaries and an engagement announcement that say Davis lied about the call from his grandmother because it says both his grandmothers are dead. “Oh my grandmother just called me. She’s sitting in Bojangles and a white car with tinted windows come up and is parking outside. Nobody can see in and they just want somebody to come out and check it out,” Davis said to the 911 dispatcher. Dispatchers called officer Robert Adams, asking him to check out the situation.

In the 911 call between the dispatcher and Adams, the disptcher said “Leslie Davis just called me and said that his grandma’s in Bojangles and there’s a white four door car with tinted windows that’s out there in the gravel parking lot part.”

According to the lawsuit, Adams passed a white car matching the description, so he turned his car around to follow it. Adams reported that he noticed the car belonged to David Watson with Cheraw police, according to the suit. He followed Watson until Watson pulled in his driveway on West Main Street.

The lawsuit says Adams reported that Watson had slurred speech and there was an odor of alcohol coming from the car and on Watson. It goes on to say Watson admitted that he had been drinking earlier that day. At that point, the suit says Davis then pulled up. Watson went inside his home and locked the door and would not respond to unlock the door, according to the lawsuit.

It says he eventually came out, but refused to do a field sobriety test and was placed under arrest for DUI. Watson’s family is seeking actual, consequential and punitive damages. SC Highway Patrol and the Chesterfield Police Department won’t comment on pending litigation.

December 06, 2012

Traffic Stop Nets Marijuana Arrests

Pictured are articles discovered in the search. 

White County-Yesterday at approximately 10:00 p.m. on US 24 east of Monticello, IND a vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation and approximately three pounds of suspected marijuana was found. 
Trooper Tyler Stinson of the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post states that he was stationary observing traffic crossing the Washington Street Bridge when he stopped a silver 2001 Oldsmobile traveling above the posted speed limit. The driver identified as Jeremy A. Franklin, 31 years old from Logansport, IND and passenger, Edward R. Prince, 28 years old from Logansport were questioned by Trooper Stinson. 
After talking with the subjects, Trooper Stinson requested assistance from Monticello Police K-9 Officer Tony Stroup reference possible criminal activity. Officer Stroup walked his K-9 partner around the Oldsmobile and the K-9 alerted on the vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle netted approximately three pounds of suspected marijuana and other narcotics yet to be determined. Both Franklin and Prince were placed under arrest and transported to White County Jail on charges of Dealing in a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance both Class D Felonies. The investigation is continuing. 
This is another example of how a simple traffic violation can turn up criminals and or drug activity. If you have information of drug or criminal activity you can call the Indiana State Police Drug Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756. You need not give your name. All tips can be anonymous. 
Assisting with the stop was Trooper Jerrad Foutch and Probationary Trooper Weslee Ennis. 

December 06, 2012

Seatbelt Violation Leads to Six Pounds of Marijuana

Gary, Lake County-Yesterday evening a traffic stop for a seatbelt violation led a trooper to discover six pounds of marijuana in a vehicle. 

At approximately 10:44 p.m., Wednesday December 5th, Indiana State Police Trooper Josh Roa made a traffic stop on a tan 1997 Buick, driven by Jay L. Francis Junior, 23 of Gary, for a seat belt violation at 19th and Hayes Street in Gary. Further investigation revealed a drug store bag containing six individual plastic bags containing approximately one pound of a green leafy plantlike material per bag, which tested positive for marijuana, for a total of six pounds. 

Francis was arrested and taken to Lake County Jail for Possession of Marijuana over 30 grams, Dealing Marijuana and Operating While Intoxicated under a Controlled Substance. 

This stop is an example of how criminals and illegal drugs are often discovered on traffic stops for simple traffic violations. Anyone with information about illegal drugs can call the Indiana State Police Drug Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756. Tips can be made and kept anonymous. 

December 06, 2012

Sheriff’s Office received a citizen complaint of a suspicious looking vehicle

Scotty L. Miller

Jackson Township. The Sheriff’s Office received a citizen complaint of a suspicious looking vehicle that had driven back into the wooded area

When responding deputies arrived, they located a 1999 Chrysler Voyager minivan parked in the wooded area.

Also located in the wooded area was 33 year old Scotty L. Miller of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

During the course of the investigation, Miller was found to be in possession of suspected Methamphetamine and suspected Methamphetamine paraphernalia.

Sheriff’s detectives were then called in to assist with the investigation.

A subsequent search warrant was obtained for the vehicle and several items associated with the manufacturing of Methamphetamine were located inside the vehicle.

Sheriff’s detectives also located several firearms and other items that were reported stolen from a LaGrange County residence near Wolcottville, Indiana.

Miller was arrested and booked into the Steuben County Jail on one count of class C felony possession of Methamphetamine with a firearm and one count of class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges may be filed. Miller is being held in the Steuben County Jail in lieu of a $22,505.00 bond.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Hudson Marshals Office, the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, and the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section.

December 06, 2012

Sheriff's Deputy, wife hit by car in Mexico are cleared to return

LOS CABOS, Mexico -- The Sheriff's Deputy and his spouse that were seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in Mexico last Friday were cleared for transport back into the states, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Officials said that Deputy Drew Wattier was cleared to be airlifted from Los Cabos, Mexico to a trauma center in San Diego Wednesday afternoon. 

His wife, Michelle Wattier is scheduled to make the flight on Thursday.

Last Friday night, the couple was hit by a passing car while they were outside of their hotel in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office reported that both Drew and Michelle are in critical (but stable) condition. 

Drew and Michelle's family said they wanted to recognize all of the doctors who responded to the scene, providing assistance within minutes of the incident. The family said that the quick action of emergency responders was vital in saving the couple.

The Sheriff's Office said they will set up an assistance fund for the Wattier family at Selco Bank on Monday.

Both LCSO and the Wattier family thank Full City Coffee, Track Town Pizza, Papa's Pizza and Salon Delange for their contribution to the fund, as well as the countless other families who have graciously volunteered their assistance.

December 06, 2012

Anonymous woman’s thank-you card comes with $1,000 gift

Trooper receives holiday surprise

By Michael GootTatiana Zarnowski

State Trooper Christopher Maniscalco received a surprise Sunday when a woman came up

to him in Guilderland to thank him for his service and gave him a card with $1,000 in cash.

GUILDERLAND — State police have released information on a wanted woman, but she’s no criminal.

They want to thank a 40-something woman for an anonymous gift of $1,000 that she presented to a state trooper. But then they want to politely decline it and ask her to instead donate it to charity.

Trooper Christopher Maniscalco was responding to a call in the area of Elmtree Lane about 5 p.m. Sunday as part of a burglary investigation. A woman pulled up in a van and asked if he was on a call and had a moment. Maniscalco said he did, figuring she needed directions or something.

“She comes up to me and said ‘I see you around here a lot and appreciate what you do. I just want to say Merry Christmas,’ ” Maniscalco said Wednesday at a news conference describing the incident.

She then handed him a sealed envelope, which he slipped under the visor of his cruiser and thought of it again only at the end of his shift. When he opened up the envelope, he found a thank-you card and 10 $100 bills.

“I was shocked,” he said.

Maniscalco said troopers get cards during the holiday season, but something like this has never happened to him.

“Never in a million years would I have expected [it],” he said.

He immediately contacted his supervisor and followed proper protocol.

“We’re not allowed to accept gifts, period, much less $1,000,” said Capt. William Keeler, state police zone commander for Albany and Rensselaer counties.

Unfortunately, without being directed to donate the money elsewhere, it would be treated as lost-and-found property.

“After a certain period of time, probably a year, it just goes to the state general fund,” Keeler said.

So police are hoping the woman will come forward. They describe her as about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, in her early to mid-40s, with blond hair and possibly driving a blue or gray minivan.

The woman didn’t sign the card, which included a religious quote. Maniscalco did not want to disclose exact details of the card, so police will know if someone is telling the truth if she claims she sent it.

The trooper said he never met the woman before but would like to get a cup of coffee with her and discuss how she would like the money to be spent.

“I really didn’t have time to say an appropriate thank you,” he said.

Maniscalco said while the New York State Police does not solicit for donations, there are two organizations set to receive donations — the New York State Trooper Foundation and the New York State Signal 30 Fund, which assists law enforcement families in times of need.

Police ask the woman or anyone who knows her to call Troop G headquarters in Latham at 793-3211.

Maniscalco said he appreciated the act of kindness, especially during this holiday season.

“This woman is a hero to me. The fact that she took the time and she didn’t expect anything. She’s not doing this for recognition,” he said.

Though Maniscalco couldn’t remember coming into contact with the woman before, she said she had seen him around town doing his job. He is one of two officers who work in a Guilderland satellite office for the New Scotland barracks, Keeler said.

Maniscalco has been with the state police for six years and patrols Guilderland, Westerlo, Rensselaer, Knox, New Scotland and Altamont.

“It sounded like she had recognized him,” Keeler said. “It sounds like she was specifically targeting him.”

Maniscalco said he makes himself visible in the community.

“I make a point to get out of my car to let people know that I’m here,” he said.

In the meantime, the unusual story attracted nationwide attention after it was released Wednesday, appearing on websites for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Huffington Post.

It’s nearly unheard of for officers to be given cash like this, Keeler said.

“I’ve never heard of anything like that. I’ve been around for 30 years doing this.”

December 06, 2012

Woman killed by deputy's patrol car

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a central Florida woman died after being hit by a deputy's patrol car.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that 55-year-old Karen Kelly was walking across a four-lane street in Port St. Lucie

Tuesday night when the deputy's marked cruiser hit her. According to Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers,

relatives told investigators they didn't know why she was out on the road alone at night.

The deputy remains on duty, and no charges have been filed.

December 06, 2012

Cop drags woman, 77, from car after ID refusal

By Scott Gordon


Lynn Bedford

KEENE, TEXAS---A local Texas police department is standing by an officer who dragged a 77-year-old grandmother out of her car for speeding after she repeatedly refused to provide her driver's license.

The entire arrest was caught on video by the Keene Police Department.

The woman, Lynn Bedford, of nearby Cleburne, was stopped on Aug. 19 for driving 66 mph in a 50-mph zone.

 Bedford told Sgt. Gene Geheb that she had a bladder infection and had to go to the bathroom, but the situation quickly escalated when the officer asked several times for her identification and she refused.

"Just hurry up; I have to go to the bathroom," she said.

"Let me see your driver's license and insurance, please," the officer asked.

She declined several times.

"No, I want to see your driver's license and insurance, please, and then I'll listen to you," the officer said.

"I'll give it to you in a minute," she replied.

"No, you give it to me now, or I'm going to take you to jail," he said.

"Well, go ahead," she said.

The officer then pulled her out of her car and handcuffed her.

Bedford's attorney, Clay Graham, of Fort Worth, said the officer overreacted.

"The officer is not very interested in listening to what she has to say," Graham said. "She gets a little frustrated. And then he just overwhelms her. That's what I see. And then it goes from routine stop to ridiculous stop."

Graham said Bedford was injured during the arrest.

He said Bedford is not interested in filing a lawsuit right now but isn't ruling it out in the future.

The lawyer said the woman was returning home from playing the piano at church when the incident occurred.

In a statement, Keene Police Chief Rocky Alberti stood by the officer's actions.

"This incident has been reviewed thoroughly by the Keene Police Department and the City of Keene Administration," Alberti said in a written statement. "All parties have concluded that Sgt. Geheb did not violate any state laws or department policies, and in fact was following department policy in regards to violators not providing identification."

December 05, 2012

Marine special forces squad awarded Navy Cross, Silver Stars

Four members of an elite team receive the medals for their actions

during a firefight in July 2010 in Helmand province in Afghanistan.

Missing was Posha, a military working dog who died of cancer.

By Tony Perry


( Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / December 3, 2012 )

Marine Sgt. William B. Soutra, right, is congratulated by fellow Marines after being

awarded the Navy Cross during ceremonies at the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Pendleton.

Marine special forces squad awarded Navy Cross, Silver Stars

Award ceremony

( Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / December 3, 2012 )

Navy Corpsman Patrick B. Quill hugs his 2-year-old son, Zach, at the ceremony Monday.

Quill and fellow Marine Staff Sgt. Frankie J. Shinost, left, and Major James T. Rose,

second from right, each received the Silver Star. Rose risked enemy fire to direct a counterattack;

Shinost rushed directly at the Taliban positions and called in air support; Quill tried

desperately to save the life of a wounded Marine and helped carry

the wounded to the evacuation helicopter as the battle raged.


( William Soutra / December 3, 2012 )

Marine Sgt. William Soutra and his working dog, Posha, in Afghanistan. The German shepherd was with

the Marines when they landed in a helicopter-borne assault to clear out a Taliban command post and

quickly found two pressure-plate bombs on the main route to the Taliban compound.

Posha was later diagnosed with cancer and had to be euthanized last year.

CAMP PENDLETON — In a ceremony replete with praise for their courage and resourcefulness, four members of an elite Marine special forces squad received medals Monday for their actions during a lengthy firefight in Afghanistan.

But one key squad member, whose dedication and coolness under fire were noted in the official after-action report, was not in attendance: Posha, the military working dog.

The German shepherd was with the Marines when they landed in a helicopter-borne assault to clear out a Taliban command post and quickly found two pressure-plate bombs on the main route to the Taliban compound.

Once those two explosives were marked, the dog and his handler searched for booby traps around an enemy weapons cache. Posha also provided protection and "combat mentorship" to the Afghan army commandos who were teamed with the Marines.

And when Taliban fighters attacked from multiple locations with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, Posha did not flinch and instead offered comfort to wounded Marines and Afghan commandos.

Posha, who had also served in combat in Iraq, survived the daylong fight without a scratch. But after the Marine Special Operations Command unit returned to Camp Pendleton, Posha was diagnosed with cancer and had to be euthanized last year.

At Monday's ceremony Sgt. William Soutra Jr., 27, received the Navy Cross for his actions in July 2010, for handling Posha, carrying the fight to the Taliban and directing the Afghan commandos.

Maj. James T. Rose, Staff Sgt. Frankie J. Shinost and Navy corpsman Patrick B. Quill received Silver Stars.

Rose risked enemy fire to direct a counterattack; Shinost rushed directly at the Taliban positions and called in air support; Quill tried desperately to save the life of a wounded Marine and helped carry the wounded to the evacuation helicopter as the battle raged.

The awards were presented by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on behalf of President Obama. While the four were being singled out for their bravery, the awards, Mabus said, "are also honoring all of those with whom they have served."

In talking later to reporters, Soutra said Posha "made me the Marine I am today."

Posha, who was trained to sniff out bombs, "did his job the entire deployment. It's been a year now, but it still hurts when I think about how he got cancer and had to be put down."

Soutra said that Posha, during two combat deployments together, "was my best friend. He always reacted the same way. He saved my life."

Soutra's older brother, Joe, 30, an auto parts salesman, said that his brother enlisted in the Marine Corps to be near dogs. "Billy has always loved dogs, but mom never would let us have one," he said. "When he said he was enlisting in the Marine Corps, we knew why: So he could have a dog."

Rose said Posha and other working dogs "are combat multipliers and life-savers." Their role in the special forces command is particularly significant, given the intensity of the missions. Rose's unit had casualties in 18 of 19 missions.

"Every mission we went on was a gunfight from sunup to sundown," Rose said.

In 2009, Soutra and Posha deployed to Iraq, where the two did so well that Soutra was meritoriously promoted, a rarity in the Marine Corps. In 2010, Soutra and Posha deployed to Afghanistan to be part of a unit assigned to strike at high-value targets of the enemy in the onetime Taliban stronghold of Helmand province.

Now Soutra is training with another dog in hopes of redeploying to Afghanistan. But Posha will always be special — Soutra has Posha's ashes in an urn under his bed.

"When it's my time to go, I want us to be buried together," Soutra said, in a quiet voice with touches of his upbringing in Worcester, Mass. "That way we will always be together."

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

December 05, 2012

U.S. Marshal Accused of Blowing Fed Agent's Cover

A deputy U.S. Marshal has been arrested for allegedly disclosing the identity of an undercover agent who had infiltrated a Texas drug trafficking organization, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Lucio Osbaldo Moya, 29, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact and faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

A federal criminal complaint claims Moya revealed the identity of a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent to his father and a Starr County drug trafficking organization.

In June 2011, the HSI agent posed as a tractor-trailer driver and agreed to transport 1,800 pounds of marijuana for $50,000 for Francisco Javier Treviňo, 29, and Lauro Arturo Treviňo, Sr., 60. The shipment was eventually seized by agents, but Treviňo, Sr. later contacted the agent regarding the transportation of another load of marijuana.

Trinidad Dominguez, 43, and Juan Norberto Moya, 51, then allegedly asked Treviňo, Sr. to get more information concerning the undercover agent. Treviňo, Sr. asked Treviňo to get a copy of the undercover agent's driver's license. Treviňo, Sr. then got into an SUV and allegedly provided the license to its driver. A record check on the Texas license plate of that SUV showed that its registered owner was a brother of Dominguez.

On Oct. 5, 2011, Deputy U.S. Marshall Moya showed up at work with a copy of the undercover agent's driver's license. He had an analyst obtain a color copy of the license and showed it to another deputy U.S. Marshal, who told him the person was an HSI agent.

Subsequently, Deputy Marshal Moya was interviewed by agents with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General. He said the license was given to him by his father, Juan Norberto Moya. He said his father got the copy from someone he knew only as "Lauro" and that the reason his father gave it to him was so he could pass it along to another agency in an effort to become a confidential source.

During the meeting, agents allegedly told Deputy Marshal Moya the HSI agent was working undercover conducting drug trafficking investigations, and all agreed to keep the information secret for the safety and well-being of the agent.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Moya left the meeting and allegedly sent a text message to his father indicating that the person depicted in the driver's license was a federal agent.

December 05, 2012

Horry County police officer arrested, fired after fight with wife

Charles McLendon

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - An Horry County Police officer has been terminated after his arrest for criminal domestic violence.

The officer, 42-year-old Charles McLendon, was "agitated" when his brothers in arms arrived at his Whaler Harbour home Monday morning in response to a domestic situation.

He was taken out of the home in handcuffs while the officers spoke to his wife, whom he had separated from.

She reports that a male friend dropped her off at her home, which angered her husband, causing him to yell at her over the PA system in his car.

She claims in the police report he threatened to kill himself, saying "tonight was going to be his last night." 

McLendon's wife left the home, but admits that minutes later she found her husband following her, asking her over his PA system to pull over.

When she refused, she claims McLendon "used his emergency equipment, drove past the victim and forced her to stop in the road."

That's when she says he approached her with weapon drawn, taking off his wedding ring and throwing it in the car.

The report states McLendon then took the magazine from his gun, tossed it in his wife's car, and said, "he had one bullet left in his gun to do what he needed to do."

McLendon felt certain he was going to hurt himself, but says he then went back to the home and broke two doors off their hinges. She came home to find him ransacking her bedroom and they got in an argument.

During the altercation, the wife claims McLendon grabbed her and put her in a choke hold until she hit him with an air freshener can and he let her go.

After the fight, McLendon called for police to respond to the home. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and then transported to J, Reuben Long Detention Center where he is charged with misconduct in office and criminal domestic violence.

McLendon was released on bail before 5 p.m. Monday. 

According to Horry County officials, Corporal McLendon began his employment with the Horry County Police Department on May 11, 1999.

Corporal McLendon has been terminated from employment with Horry County.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

December 05, 2012

South Carolina Highway Patrol Officer Arrested

By Evetria Patterson

Christopher Lee Bridges

HORRY COUNTY SC Dec 5 2012   – The South Carolina Highway Patrol announced today trooper Christopher Lee Bridges was suspended on December 2 and has resigned.

Bridges, who has worked with the department since 2007, was under investigation by South Carolina Department of Public Safety and Horry County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the investigation by the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, it was around 3:19 a.m. on Sunday morning when Bridges struck three people on the side of Jason Boulevard, just off Highway 501, in his personal vehicle.

Afterwards he got out of his vehicle to check on pedestrians, and then left the scene of the accident.

Bridges was questioned later on Sunday by Horry County Sheriff’s Office, who determined it was Bridges driving the vehicle that struck the three pedestrians.

Warrants for Bridges arrest were obtained Monday morning and he turned himself in around 1:00 p.m. During the bond hearing, Bridges was charged with three counts of leaving the scene of an accident with minor injury.

Bridges was given $1,000 bond for each charge. He was released on bail just before 4 p.m. Monday.

December 05, 2012

Rush Hour Crash Stops Traffic

Hammond, Lake County-An early morning rush hour crash stopped

eastbound traffic on I-80 this morning when a mini-van hit a semi.

At approximately 5:18 a.m., Indiana State Police Trooper Gary Runde responded to a crash east bound I-80 just west of Cline Avenue. Preliminary investigation revealed that a white 2004 Mack semi pulling a box trailer was parked disabled on the outer shoulder with its emergency triangles out behind it. When a black 2000 Toyota Sienna mini-van that was in the far right lane for unknown reasons drove off the road, through the triangles, and struck the left rear of the box trailer.

The driver of the Mack, Zdzislaw Wojas (no relation), 56 of Palos Heights, Illinois was not injured. The semi owned by ZWW Trucking out of Palos Heights was loaded with over 60,000 pounds of cardboard and drums. No load was lost but the trailer had to be towed due to damage to its rear tandems.

The mini-van was driven by Joaquin DeJesus, 37 of Maywood, Illinois. He was taken to NorthLake Methodist Hospital in Gary with a laceration to his head and chest injuries. The mini-van was split in two by the impact and was loaded with car parts that were strewn across three lanes of east bound traffic.

A second semi, 1998 Freightliner pulling a box trailer, that was traveling in the right middle lane hit some of the debris and his driver’s side running board was damaged. The driver, Louis Trujillo of Miami, Florida was not injured.

All lanes of traffic except the left shoulder were closed until 5:58 a.m. for clean-up of the road, removal of the injured and vehicles. All lanes were reopened at 7:10 a.m.

Agencies assisting: Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Trooper Tom Devries, Indiana Department of Transportation Hoosier Helpers, Prompt Ambulance and Hammond Fire Department

Deputies: 2 thrown from car, 1 killed in crash after chase

Brian Corey Madden, 27, killed in wreck, coroner says

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. —A 27-year-old man is dead after a police chase in Anderson County, according to deputies.

Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said that deputies were responding to a report of a suspicious person near a school, and while on their way, they spotted a black Mustang on Flat Rock Road that matched the description of a stolen car they had been looking for over the past week.

Skipper said the deputies tried to pull the Mustang over, but the driver sped off.

He said the deputy realized the speed of 60 mph or more was too fast for a curve that was coming up, so he backed off.  Skipper said when the deputy rounded the curve, he found that the driver of the Mustang had lost control of the vehicle and it had left the road and flipped into a wooded area on Middleton Road.

Skipper said the driver was thrown from the Mustang and died at the scene. Coroner Greg Shore identified the driver as 27-year-old Brian Corey Madden.

A passenger, identified by troopers as Tasha Foster, 26, was also ejected from the car and was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries.

Shore said he think clothes found in the trees at the scene of the wreck were there because Madden was attempting to change his clothes while driving in hopes of making it more difficult to identify him if he was caught.

Madden, who was wearing only underwear when the vehicle crashed, died of blunt-force trauma, Shore said.

Linda Mullinax, Madden's mother, said,"This chasing stuff should be outlawed. I know my youngin' wasn't a saint. He did things and the law was looking for him, but you don't have to kill somebody."

"Corey was a very misunderstood person. He did a lot of things wrong. He was on drugs. We begged him and begged him to get off the drugs. I didn't want him on the drugs, but he didn't deserve to die by a bunch of county cops chasing him," she said.

Madden was married and had three children.

"He didn't deserve what happened to him. Corey was a good man. He loved his girls. He loved me and he loved his babies' mama," said Madden's wife, Mika.

News 4 has learned that Foster was a friend of Madden.

The Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck.  Skipper said the patrol car was equipped with a dash cam, so the video will be reviewed.

December 05, 2012

K-9 case dismissed against Plymouth

HAMMOND — Last Friday afternoon, a northern Indiana jury returned a verdict in favor of the City of Plymouth in a suit involving a 2008 traffic stop in which the City’s K-9 Unit performed a vehicle search. Kevin and Jamila Miller had sued the city, its K-9 officer, and Marshall County Sheriff’s Department personnel who participated in the stop, seeking monetary damages for alleged federal civil rights and state law claims.

The case was before the Honorable Joseph S. Van Bokkelen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in Hammond. An eight person jury heard five days of witness testimony before ruling in favor of the city and county officers on all of the Millers’ claims.

Attorney Steven P. Polick of Highland represented the city and attorney Ronald J. Semler of Indianapolis represented the County in the case.

The Millers had filed about 50 lawsuits against various municipalities that used K-9s trained at Vohne-Liche Kennels.

The Millers claimed the dogs were unreliable because of the training there.

Miller was cited for speeding during the 2008 traffic stop.

December 05, 2012

Father-son gun deaths probed as 2 suicides

Anne Gregory

A sequence of events Monday left an 18-year-old student and his father dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshots and every building on their Kosciusko County farm burned to the ground, police said.

Nicholas D. Lowry came home from the nearby Burket Educational Center at lunchtime and his father heard a sound in his son’s room, said Sgt. Chad Hill, spokesman for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department. When the father went in, he found the young man with a fatal gunshot wound, Hill said.

Deputies were called at 12:29 p.m. to the house in the area of 1400 S. County Road 800 West, north of Mentone, Hill said.

Officers and detectives arrived and determined that Nicholas Lowry died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

That evening, family members called police and asked for a welfare check on the boy’s father, Hill said. The spokesman said that officers spoke to the father, David D. Lowry, and that he said he was not suicidal and did not need further assistance.

Just a few hours later, at 11:42 p.m., the Kosciusko County Central Dispatch Center received a 911 call about a fire at the home. When firefighters and officers arrived, the house and all of the outbuildings were burning and the 53-year-old father was found dead at a picnic table, also from a gunshot wound.

Hill said the inquiry is in the early stages, but investigators said it appears David Lowry’s gunshot wound was also self-inflicted.

Firefighters from Mentone, Atwood, Etna Green, Burket and Claypool responded, but the house was engulfed in flames when crews arrived and fire consumed all of the buildings, the sheriff’s department said. Detectives from the county sheriff’s department, Indiana State Police and the Kosciusko Major Crimes Task Force were investigating.

December 05, 2012

Showgirl gets its liquor license

By Mike Marturello

ANGOLA — The Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission on Tuesday overruled the Steuben County ATC board and has granted a liquor license transfer for BBL Inc., the corporate entity over Showgirl.

Alva Butler, owner of BBL Inc., has been trying to open a Showgirl club in Angola after having purchased the Slider’s Grill and Bar building at 310 W. Wendell Jacob Ave. in August. Butler is the owner of Showgirl III in Fort Wayne and founder of the Showgirl clubs, of which there are now two.

Last Wednesday, before a packed Steuben Community Center Dale Hughes Memorial Auditorium crowd of approximately 500 people, the Steuben ATC denied the transfer of the Slider’s liquor license to BBL.

“It’s a bit of a slap in the face for the local board,” said Kim Shoup, Angola city attorney who has worked on city legislation that regulates sexually oriented businesses. “It kind of makes me wonder what the local board is for.”

The basic reason for the transfer denial locally was the negative impact a sexually oriented business could have on the community.

During the state meeting in Indianapolis, an ATC spokeswoman said the board reviewed the evidence presented from the local board and made its reversal. No members of the public attended the hearing.

“It’s going through the process and you have to respect the process,” Angola Mayor Dick Hickman said Tuesday night. “We’ll see where it goes from here.”

During the local meeting last week, Butler told the board he operates a gentlemen’s club in Fort Wayne that sells liquor.

“I’ve been in the liquor business 51 years,” Butler said last week about his business. “In those 51 years, I had four or five violations, but never had a liquor license revoked.”

An overflow crowd at the hearing forced the meeting to be moved to the Community Center. The petitioner, Butler, and his Angola-based attorney, Michael Morrissey, along with remonstrators spoke for and against the transfer.

Several local pastors were in the audience, including the Rev. Norm Fuller, of Fairview Missionary Church. Fuller and his congregation presented a petition signed by 2,470 people against the license transfer. Fuller also presented 2,000 pages of information and case law “where alcohol and sex don’t mix.”

Fuller said he was doing all he could to protect the community.

“The strip club is not just another business asking for a liquor license,” he said.

The vote was 3-1, with ATC administrator April Tackett voting no.

Attempts to contact Butler and Fuller were unsuccessful.

The reversal follows a week in which Butler’s liquor license transfer was first denied and his application for a license from the city of Angola to operate a sexually oriented business was denied because the former Slider’s is within 750 feet of two residences.

December 05, 2012

Wanted fugitive from Steuben County apprehened in Union County, Arkansas

Dwight McDowell

On 12/04/2012 at around 3:00 pm, 30 year old Joseph Dwight McDowell, formerly of Angola, was located and apprehended by the US Marshals Service in El Dorado, Arkansas on a Steuben County arrest warrant charging McDowell with class A felony child molesting. The warrant was issued on 11/15/2012 following a Sheriff’s investigation, but McDowell fled Steuben County, Indiana. Sheriff’s detectives reached out to the US Marshals Service Northern District of Indiana’s Sex Offender Investigations Coordinator Bill Boothe for assistance with the subsequent fugitive investigation. Through the investigative efforts of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office, Angola Police Department, and the US Marshals Service Northern District of Indiana, Western District of Michigan, and Western District of Arkansas, McDowell was located and apprehended without incident. McDowell is currently being held in Arkansas at the Union County Jail awaiting extradition back to Steuben County. The El Dorado Police Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Office also assisted the US Marshals Service with the apprehension of McDowell in Arkansas. The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank those who provided tips and information.

December 04, 2012

Ex-Dallas Officer Sentenced In Crime Stoppers Scam


Theadora Ross was sentenced Monday to almost four years in federal prison for taking money from the program and for tax evasion.

A former Dallas police official who headed Dallas Crime Stoppers was sentenced Monday to almost four years in federal prison for taking money from the program and for tax evasion.

Theadora Ross, 52, a former senior corporal in the Dallas Police Department, must surrender to prison officials Jan. 14.

Ross, of Rowlett, who pleaded guilty in August to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and tax evasion, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay $274,034 in restitution to the North Texas Crime Commission.

Ross resigned from the Police Department, but she still collects a city pension, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Crime Stoppers is a nationwide program that offers cash rewards for information from callers who can remain anonymous that leads to the arrest and indictment of criminals.

In Dallas, the office is funded by the NTCC, which collects fines levied by Dallas and Collin County courts, private donations and fund raising.

At the time of the crimes, Dallas Crime Stoppers was staffed by officers of the Dallas Police Department and deputies with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.

Co-defendant Malva R. Delley, 38, of Dallas, who pleaded guilty in May 2011 to making a false statement to a financial institution, is awaiting sentencing. She faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Ross worked in Dallas Crime Stoppers from 2003 to May 2010, and headed the office from Mach 2006 to May 2010, according to federal court documents.

Ross and Delley worked together to defraud NTCC from February 2005 to May 2010, federal agents said in court documents.

Ross determined which tips would be presented, prepared the list for Crime Stoppers and sent the lists to JP Morgan Chase Bank, according to the documents. The lists contained bogus tips.

Ross provided the bogus tip information to Delley, who then presented the information to the bank and collected cash rewards, agents said.

After getting the money, Delley, on Ross's instructions, divided the cash with the former officer, documents show. In many cases, Delley deposited Ross' share into her bank account, agents said.

From the five years that the scheme ran, Ross and Delley collected at least $250,000 in cash rewards, according to court documents.

Ross also admitted that from 2006 to 2009 she filed false income tax forms, agents said.

December 04, 2012

Riding in passenger seat, an off-duty Dallas County Sheriff’s

Department deputy was killed in crash Monday night

By Robert Wilonsky

Dallas Sheriff's Department's Sergeant Kenneth D. Riggins

Last night an off-duty Dallas County Sheriff’s Department deputy was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Hunt County, where it appears he was teaching a teenage relative how to drive.

According to a report from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred at 8:30 last night, on CR2538 — also known as Chapel Road — up in Quinlan. Fifty-two-year-old Kenneth Donnell Riggins, a 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, was riding in the passenger seat of a 2004 Ford F-150 pick-up truck. A 15-year-old girl was driving. At this morning’s meeting of the Dallas County Commissioners Court, Commissioner John Wiley Price identified the girl as Riggins’ daughter. The sheriff’s department says that is incorrect and asks the media “on behalf of the family during this difficult time to respect any further details about the teen.”

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Sgt. Riggins,” Sheriff Lupe Valdez said in a statement released this morning. “It is a sad day for us at the Dallas Sheriff’s Department. He will be missed dearly.”

According to the DPS report, Riggins and the girl were traveling west when the truck left the road and struck a tree. Both Riggins and the girl were taken to Hunt County Regional Medical Center in Greenville, where Riggins was pronounced dead. The girl has scrapes and other non-life-threatening injuries.

DPS officials say this morning they don’t know the relationship between the deputy and the girl; the trooper investigating the cause of the accident isn’t available this morning.

According to the sheriff’s department:

The sergeant most recently served in the Dallas Sheriff’s Department’s strategic planning section. Sgt. Riggins served 20 years with the Dallas Sheriff’s Department. He began his career as a detention service officer on February 17, 1992. He became a deputy in 1997 and served the department in various capacities.

December 04, 2012

Troopers Serving Arrest Warrant Discover Meth Lab

Allen County, IN-A 22 year old man from New Haven and his 24 year old friend from the Steuben County town of Ashley were both arrested early this morning at a rural New Haven residence after Troopers discovered a meth lab in a garage while serving an arrest warrant.

According to Trooper Jake Quick, at approximately 12:30 a.m. today, he and Troopers David Poe, Clint Hetrick, Mike Carroll and Carroll’s K-9 partner Deezle went to a residence in the 16200 block of Edgerton Road in rural New Haven in an attempt to locate 22 year old Michael Jay Neuenschwander. Quick said that arrest warrants were issued for Neuenschwander out of Steuben County for probation violation and LaGrange County for leaving the scene of an accident.

Troopers located Neuenschwander and a man immediately recognized by Quick as Jeremy L. Combs, 24 from Ashley in a detached garage. While Troopers were serving the arrest warrant, they smelled a strong chemical odor coming from the garage. As a result of further investigation, a one-pot meth lab was located and the Indiana State Police Clandestine Laboratory Team was contacted. Both Neuenschwander and Combs were taken into custody and transported to the Allen County Jail on numerous drug related charges.


Michael Jay Neuenschwander, 22 from New Haven, IN

Manufacturing Methamphetamine

Possession of Methamphetamine

Maintaining a Common Nuisance

Arrest Warrants from LaGrange and Steuben Counties

Jeremy L. Combs, 24 from Ashley, IN

Manufacturing Methamphetamine

Possession of Methamphetamine

Visiting a Common Nuisance

Possession of Paraphernalia

December 04, 2012

Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Recognizes Indiana State Troopers

no names or caption presented for these three photos

Indianapolis – The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute recognized several police officers statewide for their hard work and dedication to the Operation Pull Over efforts of 2012. Included in those recognized were three Indiana State Troopers from the Sellersburg Post, the Lowell Post and General Headquarters in Indianapolis.

Operation Pull Over is a combined public information and enforcement campaign, which aims to reduce impaired driving and increase seat belt use in Indiana. The campaign is structured in four quarterly blitzes or waves of education and awareness each year. Each blitz consists of four weeks of intense public awareness followed by two weeks of increased enforcement. The DUI Task Force is one focus of Operation Pull Over. Another is the "Click it or Ticket" program for seatbelt safety.

Those Indiana State Troopers recognized for their superior efforts during the 2012 Operation Pull Over period were as follows;

The ICJI Executive Director’s Award was awarded to Sergeant Eric Dunn, General Headquarters. Sgt. Dunn is a 19 year veteran of the Indiana State Police and serves in the ISP Training Division.

The ICJI Superior DUI Enforcement Award was awarded to Trooper Patrick Stinson and Trooper Brian Rubesha. Trooper Stinson is a 5 year veteran of the Indiana State Police and serves the Sellersburg District. Trooper Rubesha is also a 5 year veteran of the ISP and serves the Lowell District.

December 04, 2012

Angola teen arrested on child porn charge

FORT WAYNE — An Angola teenager who is a student at Ball State University has been charged with downloading and sharing child pornography.

Joseph Ryan Topp, who is either 18 or 19, was indicted in Federal District Court in Fort Wayne last week and arrested and arraigned Monday in court. He was charged with distribution and production of material containing visual depiction of (a) minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Topp faces a possible sentence of 5 to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Attorney Stanley L. Campbell has been appointed as counsel for Topp.

The charge alleges Topp, “knowingly distributed any visual depiction using any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce, and the production of such depiction involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and such a visual depiction was of such conduct.”

Topp allegedly downloaded videos and images depicting child pornography at the home of his mother in rural Angola. The videos were downloaded over the Internet through a file-sharing site known as Omegle.

After tracing the materials to the home’s Internet account and interviews with his mother, FBI officers set their sights on Topp at his dormitory room at Ball State, where he was interviewed last week.

Topp admitted to downloading child pornography and also told FBI investigators he has made child pornography and has downloaded it to others, court documents said.

The FBI investigation started in July before officers traced the materials to Topp in September, the documents said.

December 04, 2012

Clerk shoots suspect in Shelbyville gas station robbery

The wounded suspect was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in unknown condition

Braden Walker

A gas station attendant shoots one suspect during an attempted robbery in Shelbyville, Ind.

Shelbyville Police Lt. Michael Turner told Fox59 two men tried to take control of an employee during a robbery attempt around 9:20 p.m. Monday.

It happened at the Bonded CountryMark station located in the 200 block of East Broadway St.

During the struggle, the attendant was able to locate a gun and fire and injure one of the two suspects.

Both suspects ran away from the gas station after the attempted robbery. 

One suspect was found suffering from his gunshot wound short distance to the east of the gas station.

The second suspect was located about 45 minutes later with the assistance of several K-9 and other city and county officers.

The wounded suspect was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in unknown condition, while the second suspect was taken to Shelbyville Police headquarters for questioning.

Shelbyville Police expect to release more information Tuesday morning.

Copyright © 2012, WXIN-TV

December 04, 2012

Logansport High School grad David Hosier faces murder trial in Missouri

Hosier’s father, Indiana State Police Detective Glen Hosier,

was killed in April 1971 while in pursuit of a murder suspect.

by Caitlin Huston 

David Hosier

LOGANSPORT — The Missouri murder trial for a Logansport High School graduate may include witness testimony from Cass County.

Fifty-seven-year-old David Hosier awaits a Jan. 14 trial in the death of 45-year-old Angela Gilpin, and her 61-year-old husband, Rodney Gilpin in Jefferson City, Mo. Prosecutor Mark Richardson was in the Cass County last week to depose witnesses from a 1992 Logansport assault, for which Hosier was convicted.

Hosier was arrested in September 2009, about 8 hours after the death of his former lover and her husband. Hosier is accused of using a 9mm to kill the couple.

Hosier faces six felony counts: two counts of murder, two counts of armed criminal action and single counts of burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Richardson said the prosecution has filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty, partly based on Hosier’s last conviction.

“We filed it on the basis of the prior 1992 battery felony conviction from Indiana as well as the fact this murder involved two individuals,” Richardson said.  

The other sentencing option for Missouri murder cases is life in prison without parole.

In 1992, Hosier was convicted for holding a woman hostage and beating her for several hours. He served six years of an eight-year sentence.

Hosier’s father, Indiana State Police Detective Glen Hosier, was killed in April 1971 while in pursuit of a murder suspect.

On behalf of the defense attorneys, Richardson said he spent about two days in Cass County, deposing the victim of the battery and two law enforcement officers who were deputies at the time. He also deposed two other witnesses who were unrelated to the incident.

He said the both the state and the defense would likely use some of the witnesses in the trial.

“It is probable that two of them will be asked to testify in the trial,” Richardson said.

If Hosier is found guilty of the murder, the trial will progress into a second phase, during which time the state will ask the jury to impose the death penalty. The witnesses would likely play a role in the second phase of the trial, Richardson said.

Hosier has remained in jail without bond since his arrest in 2009, Richardson said.

Richardson said the case has been progressing but was encumbered by the court caseloads and the caseloads of the two public defenders who represent Hosier.

“The case has moved forward much too slowly for the victims’ family as they always do,” Richardson said.

The trial is set to take place in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City, where it is set to last two weeks.

December 04, 2012

Former Chandler Town Clerk Arrested for Embezzling over $23,000

Warrick County – Monday afternoon, December 3, an arrest warrant was issued for former Chandler Town Clerk Timothy Osha charging him with Theft and Fraud, both Class D Felonies. Osha’s arrest stems from an Indiana State Police investigation which revealed he allegedly made numerous unauthorized purchases from the town’s account for his personal use. Osha turned himself in at the Warrick County Jail at 3:00 p.m. and was released after posting a $1,000 cash bond.

Indiana State Police initiated a criminal investigation in September after being informed the Indiana State Board of Accounts discovered several suspicious credit card purchases made by Osha during a recent audit. During the investigation, Indiana State Police Detective Jan Kruse was able to determine Osha had made numerous unauthorized purchases during a nine month period in 2011. Osha allegedly used the town’s credit card to purchase unauthorized computers, iPads, golf cart batteries and components to build a home theatre system.

Arrested and Charges:

Timothy D. Osha, 44, 601 McCool Road, Chandler, IN

Theft, Class D Felony

Fraud, Class D Felony

Investigating Officer: Detective Jan Kruse, Indiana State Police

Assisting Agency: Indiana State Board of Accounts

December 04, 2012

Two Injured in Semi Crash

Bartholomew County: This afternoon a single vehicle semi crash sent two to the hospital and caused a major traffic back up on I-65.  According to Master Trooper Jason Duncan, at approximately 12:15 this afternoon a 2013 Peterbilt semi tractor pulling a container was northbound on I-65 near the 79 mile marker when the truck lost the drivers’ side front tire causing the driver to lose control and travel off the right side of the roadway and over a steep embankment where he struck several trees and a fence.  The driver, 53 year old Stevie Mack of Louisville was able to free himself from the wreckage and climb back up to the interstate.  Witnesses and other good Samaritans stopped and assisted the passenger of the semi, 34 year old Lakisha Todd of Louisville free herself and get back up the hill.  Mack and Todd were both transported to Johnson County Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. The crash caused one lane of I-65 northbound to be shut down and at the time of this release, the right lane remains closed as crews attempt to pull the wreckage back up the embankment so the vehicle can be towed from the scene.

M/Tpr. Duncan was assisted by other troopers, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputies, German Township and Columbus Fire  Departments, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Department of Transportation, and 31 Wrecker Service.

December 03, 2012

Maricopa County pastor accused of selling drugs 

Mark Derksen

Maricopa County AZ---A Fountain Hills pastor arrested Wednesday is accused of selling drugs to people to “bring them closer to God,” according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies received information that Mark Derksen, 63, was selling drugs out of his apartment to 30 people Tuesday, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.

A search warrant was issued for Derksen’s apartment where deputies found large amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and prescription drugs, Arpaio said.

Officials believe the Faith Mountain Christian Church, where Derksen is a pastor, is currently for sale. Arpaio said it is unknown whether or not Derksen ever sold drugs at the church.

A 36-year-old woman was also arrested at the apartment for outstanding warrants for drug-related activity and suspicion of possession, Arpaio said.

The drugs were seized at the scene along with a shotgun and a small caliber pistol, Arpaio said.

Deputies also seized Derksen’s phone and computer. Arpaio said he hopes a search of the phone and computer will reveal Derksen’s clients and possibly his supplier.

“I want to know all the people who went to his house to buy drugs,” Arpaio said.

Derksen admitted to giving drugs to people to “bring them closer to God,” Arpaio said.

Arpaio said what’s unusual about this case is that Derksen is giving drugs to people for free while selling drugs to others. Officials believe Derksen did this to get people hooked on the drugs so he could get more clients.

Derksen is a user himself and is currently in the hospital for an unknown illness, Arpaio said.

MCSO has had information about Derksen for two years but has not had enough evidence to arrest him until now, Arpaio said.

December 03, 2012

Body found in freezer at Kokomo residence

Walter Logan arrested for murder

KOKOMO - A body found in a Kokomo freezer may be that of a missing man.

Police say Rebecca Wolf had contacted police Saturday to report her 29-year-old son Alex Shipp as a missing person. She said she hadn't heard from her son since November 8.

Sunday, investigators received information that Shipp was last seen at a residence in the 800 block of East Elm Street in Kokomo and may be deceased. Police found a deceased body in a freezer in the basement of the residence.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday to try to determine the identity of the deceased.

As a result of the investigation, 51-year-old Walter Logan was arrested for murder. Anyone with further information about the investigation is asked to contact Detective Michael Banush at 765-456-7278, or the Kokomo Police Hotline at 765-456-7017. You can also call anonymous tips to Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS and possibly earn a cash reward.

December 03, 2012

Reposted from the Indiana State Police Employees/Retirees

The Evansville Area Retirees will gather for lunch on Tuesday December 4th at the Carriage Inn in Haubstadt beginning at 11:30 AM(Evansville Time).

They will be serving bean soup and hot cornbread which is a December tradition.

You can also order off the menu.

This is a chance for some of you to take a trip on the new I 69. Enjoy the ride and join us.

December 03, 2012

New Starke County Jail nears final approval

By Terry Turner

The Starke County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to purchase a 10-acre site at the intersection of Indiana 8 and County Road 550E, east of Knox, where the county will build a new jail.

The current jail, built in the 1970s, is the second oldest jail in the state. It is located in downtown Knox, just east of the County Courthouse.

Though the County Council must still approve a resolution to build the approximately $12 million jail, the council is expected to vote pass the measure at its meeting on Monday.

Construction is expected to begin in late winter or early spring start and take approximately 15-18 months. The county will pay approximately $550,000 for the property.

The commissioners, who went through a lengthy evaluation process, which included tours of other Indiana jails, a trip to a Colorado jail symposium, jail committee meetings and three public hearings, decided the so-called Bailey property best suited the needs of the county.

The property already has access to sewer and water, and includes a 10,000-square-foot building, which was originally part of the former General Woodworkers manufacturing facilities.

The building would be renovated for Sheriff’s Department offices and be added onto for emergency dispatch services. There is also room for a possible courtroom to be added later.

The preliminary plans for the jail, which would be connected to the Bailey building, include approximately 20,000 square feet with 108 beds, and an option of adding an additional 32 beds if necessary.

Last week, a commissioners meeting saw a large crowd of mostly residents of the area express concerns about public safety, traffic and decreasing property values, some of which the commissioners addressed before making their decision.

December 03, 2012

Nixle will become the primary means of media notification on January 01, 2013

Greetings media

Since early October the Indiana State Police Public Information Office began utilizing Nixle, a web-based notification service in addition to the standard email with attached news release document for media notification of newsworthy events in which the Indiana State Police are involved.  This serves as another reminder to the media that effective January 1, 2013 the Indiana State Police Public Information Office will no longer send news releases and information of media and public interest via email.  Nixle will become the primary means of media notification.  Media outlets and media personnel are encouraged to create a Nixle user account by visiting the Nixle website at to continue to receive news release information from the Indiana State Police.  Questions concerning Nixle should be directed to Sgt. Noel Houze at 812-689-8011 (Office phone) or 812-569-5264 (Cell).

December 03, 2012

Former WPD officer sentenced to 10 years

By Andrea McCann 

WASHINGTON, INDIANA---A former Washington police officer was sentenced Thursday in Daviess County Superior Court to 10 years executed in the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Harley D. Hagemeier, 39, of Washington, pleaded guilty on Nov. 15 to dealing in methamphetamine, a Class B felony. Charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of chemical reagents with intent to manufacture, maintaining a common nuisance, two counts of domestic battery, possession of paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

The presumptive sentence for a Class B felony is 10 years, but the judge has discretion to add up to 10 years for aggravating circumstances or subtract up to four years for mitigating circumstances.

“The sentence handed down by the judge reflects the seriousness of the offense and, in my opinion, took into account that the defendant was a former police officer who should have known better than to get involved with methamphetamine,” said Daviess County Prosecutor Dan Murrie.

Criminal charges were filed against Hagemeier on Sept. 17, 2010, after precursors were found at his home on Sugarland Road, in his truck and in a trailer he used on State Street.

The situation came to the attention of law enforcement when Hagemeier’s wife, Andrea, left him and he became aggressive at Griffith Elementary School and New Hope Christian Church while looking for his children. He was arrested at that time on the disorderly conduct and criminal mischief charges.

According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, after Hagemeier was taken to the Daviess County Security Center, Andrea informed deputies there might be drugs in their home. She asked officers to check the home and signed consent for a search. She also told Washington Police Department investigators she’d found powder and a glass pipe in her husband’s clothing the week before. In addition, according to the affidavit, there were descriptions of physical confrontations between the two.

Executing the search warrant on the home, Daviess County Sheriff’s deputies found an HCL generator and a pitcher with white powder and a smell of ether. Deputies also obtained a search warrant for a trailer Hagemeier used and a truck he owned. They found digital scales and a homemade filtering device in the trailer, and batteries, cash and several prescription medications in Hagemeier’s truck.

“The Washington Police Department and the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office did a tremendous job working together on this case,” Murrie said. “The conviction is a direct result of both departments’ excellent police work.

“I hope everyone involved can start to move forward with their lives.”

December 03, 2012

Police chief jogs, then runs down a burglar

DALTON, Ga. — Police Chief Jason Parker was out for his morning run when he noticed something unusual – a possible burglary in progress. It ended in a foot chase and the arrest of a man suspected of theft.

It started when Parker  spotted a man carrying a large bag of items across a neighborhood street. As the officer  approached the man,  the suuspect sped up, and cut through a yard.

The chief didn’t have a cell phone with him but asked a couple also out on a morning stroll to call police. Parker shouted out to the man, who quickly  dropped a few items and took off. But it was no match as Parker, an avid runner, soon caught up with the 48-year-old man and held him down until other officers arrived.

“I just reacted the way any of our officers would,” Parker said of the incident. “What started out as a chance encounter resulted in a great team effort.”

The man was charged with obstruction of an officer, burglary and theft.

December 03, 2012

U.S. Attorney Hogsett commends THPD for work with Federal agents

TERRE HAUTE — An investigation by the Vigo County Drug Task Force has been credited in the indictment of three people accused of trafficking illegal drugs in the Terre Haute area.

Joseph Hogsett, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, commended task force members Detective Denzil Lewis and Capt. Carl Green of the Terre Haute Police Department for a collaborative effort with federal, state and local law enforcement. He made the comments during a news conference Thursday morning in at the federal courthouse in Terre Haute.

Randy “Saw Dog” Sawyer, 42, of Putnam County, and Patricia Walters, 32, of Terre Haute, were both indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in the Terre Haute area from June 2011 through early 2012. Both also face charges of distributing methamphetamine, plus Sawyer faces two counts of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, which is a violation of federal law.

In a separate indictment, Choise Tools, 37, of Chicago, was charged with two counts of distributing cocaine in the Terre Haute area, and charges of possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana. Tools was allegedly trafficking drugs between the Chicago area and the Wabash Valley throughout this year.

“Drugs such as methametamine and cocaine do nothing but fuel a cycle of violence and tragedy in this community,” Hogsett said. “Together with our local partners at the Vigo County Drug Task Force, we are ensuring that every law enforcement tool available is being used to combat the scourge of illegal drugs and protect the Wabash Valley.”

Both Sawyer and Walters have extensive criminal histories that could result in life sentences if they are convicted, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthias D. Onderak, who is prosecuting both defendants.

Tools faces up to 40 years in federal prison if convicted on all counts, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Blackington, who is prosecuting that case.

Initial hearings for all defendants are planned in Terre Haute.

December 03, 2012

Indiana more likely to lessen penalties, not legalize pot

Marijuana acceptance not recommended by panel

By Maureen Hayden 

INDIANAPOLIS — The head of the Indiana State Police may have surprised legislators last week when he told a state budget committee that he personally favored legalizing marijuana, but the push to re-think Indiana’s pot laws isn’t new.

A legislative commission set up three years ago to review Indiana’s criminal code is recommending that the Indiana General Assembly overhaul the state’s drug laws to reduce penalties for low-level marijuana and other drug crimes.

The commission’s recommendations don’t include legalizing pot or even decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug. But they do call for reducing some felony-level marijuana crimes down to misdemeanors, which would significantly reduce penalties.

Under current Indiana law, for example, anyone caught for the second time possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana (about 20 to 30 joints) can be charged with a Class D felony, which carries a one-to-five year prison term. The commission calls for a second-time offense to be a Class A misdemeanor, with no more than a year’s jail time.

In addition to pushing for some less harsh laws for low-level marijuana offenses, the commission is also calling for Indiana legislators to create a new felony crime which would allow police to go after the ”grow houses” — large-scale operations where marijuana is illegally grown and manufactured in bulk.

The recommendations were crafted by a work group of the Indiana Criminal Code Evaluation Commission whose members included judges, legislators, prosecutors, public defenders, probation and prison officials.

The commission ended its work in October, but its recommendations are likely to be contained in a sweeping sentencing reform bill to be introduced in the 2013 session.

The proposed changes are finding some traction among the Republicans who control the Statehouse and who cite concerns about the rising costs of prosecuting and incarcerating low-level drug offenders. Drug offenses have accounted for much of the rise in Indiana’s prison population over the last 20 years, according to Department of Correction numbers.

“I think we have to do something different than what we’ve been doing,” said state Rep. Heath VanNatter, a conservative Republican from Kokomo. “We need to be spending our prison dollars more effectively than putting people away for minor violations like some kid caught with a joint in his pocket.”

Indiana doesn’t appear to be posed to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington, where voters passed measures in November to allow adults to have small amounts of marijuana.

After Indiana State Police Paul Whitesell made his surprise comments at a state budget committee hearing last week when he said that if it was up to him, he’d legalize marijuana and tax its sales. Indiana’s newly-elected governor slapped down the idea.

In a statement released to the Associated Press, a spokeswoman for Gov.-elect Mike Pence said Pence opposes decriminalizing marijuana.

That may put a damper on a proposal put forth by state Sen. Brent Steele, the powerful chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The conservative Republican wants to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, turning possession of 10 grams or less into an infraction, which is akin to a speeding ticket.

Steele is expected to carry the Senate version of the sentencing reform bill that will propose other changes to the state’s marijuana laws that may mirror much what the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission proposed.

For example, Steele has already indicated he supports the idea of doing away with the "drug zone"laws that enhance penalties for people caught with small amounts of marijuana or other drugs within 1000 feet of a school, day-care center or park.

Like VanNatter, Steele cites rising costs to the criminal justice system from low-level drug offenders who may be better served by community-based treatment programs.

Joel Schumm, an Indiana University law professor, said Indiana legislators may be emboldened by what other states have done in recent years to lower drug penalties. Both Ohio and Kentucky, for example, have lowered their penalties while giving prosecutors and judges more discretion to send drug offenders into treatment programs.

“They’ve seen that other states have loosened their laws and terrible things haven’t happened,” Schumm said.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at

December 03, 2012

Traffic stop leads to Meth lab found in Crooked Lake home

Garrett Ambler

Tabitha Ambler

An early morning traffic stop led to the discovery of a Methamphetamine lab at a Crooked Lake home in Steuben County’s rural Pleasant Township. On 12/02/2012 just before 2:00 am, Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by 25 year old Tabitha Ambler and occupied by 28 year old Garrett Ambler both of Angola, Indiana. A subsequent investigation resulted in the arrest of the Amblers on drug related charges. The drug investigation continued which led the Sheriff’s Office back to a residence on Crooked Lake. As the investigation continued, several items associated with the manufacturing of Methamphetamine were located. Sheriff’s detectives along with the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section’s Clan Lab Team were called to the residence to assist in the investigation. At the conclusion of an interview with Garrett Ambler by Sheriff’s detectives, Ambler was charged with one count of class B felony manufacturing Methamphetamine along with class D felony possession of Marijuana, class D felony possession of Methamphetamine, and class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Tabitha Ambler was charged with class D felony possession of Methamphetamine, class A misdemeanor possession of Marijuana, class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, and class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Garrett is being held in the Steuben County Jail in lieu of a $62,505.00 bond. Tabitha is being held in the Steuben County Jail in lieu of a $10,505.00 bond.

December 02, 2012

Former West Terre Haute Police Chief wanted for questioning in illegal killing of deer

Indiana Conservation Officers are asking the public's help to find the whereabouts of former West Terre Haute Police Chief, Mark Arnold. 

He is wanted for questioning in connection with an illegally killed deer.

Arnold was last seen in the area of Sanford Avenue and State Road 63 on December 1.

If you have any information on Arnold's whereabout's, please contact Indiana Conservation Officers central dispatch at (812) 837-9536.

Copyright © 2012, WXIN-TV

December 02, 2012

Cold Spring reels after hometown cop is shot to death

By John Brewer

Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker, 31, was shot and killed about 11 p.m.

Thursday near Winner's Bar on Main Street in Cold Spring, Minn., as Decker and

his partner conducted a welfare check at a nearby apartment.

Cold Spring, Minn., police officer Tom Decker's sister Shelly, brother Eddie, father John and mother

Rosella talk about him Friday, Nov. 30, at the family farm near Cold Spring. Decker was killed while

on duty while doing a welfare check. (Associated Press/St. Cloud Times: Jason Wachter)

Tom Decker had his dream job -- police officer in his small central Minnesota hometown of Cold Spring.

"He went into law enforcement to help people," said his mother, Rosella Decker.

About 11 p.m. Thursday, Decker was doing just that. The father of four was making a welfare check on Ryan Michael Larson, whose family had called the Stearns County sheriff's office, worried that the 34-year-old was suicidal.

Cold Spring officers had stopped at Larson's second-floor apartment in downtown Cold Spring less than two hours earlier, but he didn't come to the door.

So Decker and his partner returned, pulling their squad car into an alley behind Winner's Sports Bar & Grill on Main Street. Moments after getting out of his car, Decker was ambushed, shot twice and died at the scene.

An hour later, Larson was arrested on suspicion of killing the 31-year-old officer.

"We lost an officer; the community lost a citizen," Cold Spring Police Chief Phil Jones said during a Friday morning news conference in the city of 4,000, about 75 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

He called Decker a "chief's dream," a department jokester who was liked by everyone he met.

The use-of-force and firearms instructor with the department was wearing a protective vest when he was shot, authorities said. Police did not say whether he had time to draw his service weapon on his killer.

"From our preliminary investigation, it's apparent that the officer was ambushed at the scene," said

Assistant Superintendent Drew Evans of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.A manhunt ensued, and Larson was arrested just after midnight in his apartment above the bar.

Blocks surrounding the crime scene were cordoned off with police tape Friday, and officers -- some using dogs, others searching rooftops -- canvassed the area.

Several guns were found, according to the BCA, but the agency was searching for additional weapons.

Brian Moen, who lives about a block from the

Ryan Michael Larson, 34, was arrested at 12:15 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, on suspicion of murder in Cold Spring, Minn.

bar, said officers who came to his door told him they were looking for a sawed-off shotgun.

Larson was being held in the Stearns County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder. The county attorney's office was considering criminal charges.

Jones said one of his officers had previous contact with Larson, but he had no more information.

Records show that Larson was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Stearns County in 2009. As part of a plea deal, he served one day in jail and had a three-month sentence stayed. In addition, he agreed to undergo domestic abuse counseling. A no-contact order was issued. Court files indicated he violated his probation in 2010.

Larson is currently a second-year student in the machine tool technology program at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, said Heidi Everett, director of institutional advancement at the school.

Larson's relatives either couldn't be reached or declined to comment Friday to the Associated Press.

A friend, who also is his landlord and employer, said he is "not a monster."

Jeff Scoles, who owns the bar above which Larson has lived for the past two years, said Larson "was a normal person.

Larson also works as a bartender at Scoles' other bar in Sartell, near St. Cloud. Scoles said Larson was doing his homework at the Sartell bar Thursday and was in a "good mood" when he left.

He added that Larson took a concealed-carry class in January and that Larson owned guns, but "was cautious with

Cold Spring Police Chief Bill Jones, right, and Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner answer questions at a news conference at Cold Spring City Hall on Friday. (Associated Press/St. Cloud Times: Jason Wachter)


Decker, a Rocori High School graduate, earned his law enforcement degree from Alexandria Technical College in 2002.

His mother said he worked in Isle until he was seriously injured in a car accident.

"He was in the hospital for quite a while, recovering," Rosella Decker said.

He then worked in Watkins and Kimball before being hired in Cold Spring in March 2006.

He recently started his second marriage, his mother said, and had two sons, ages 5 and 6, and two daughters, ages 7 and 8.

His mother said she was asleep early Friday in the farmhouse where her son was raised when she heard a knock at the door.

It was Chief Jones.

"He was just a wonderful son. I was so proud of him. He was such a good, caring person," his mother said. "It's just horrible."

His younger brother said Tom Decker was bright and animated, someone who loved to travel and be outdoors.

Twenty-seven-year-old Joe Decker of Cold Spring said his brother was shy as a youngster but "the life of the party" as an adult.

He said his brother enjoyed fishing and pheasant hunting. He also said his family assumed his brother would be a doctor or pharmacist because he had so much medical knowledge, and they were surprised when he decided to become a police officer.

Decker's body was taken to St. Paul on Friday for a preliminary autopsy by the Ramsey County medical examiner. Funeral services had not been scheduled as of Friday.

Meanwhile residents of Cold Spring were focused on the officer's family.

A woman who said she didn't know Decker left a bouquet for his family at City Hall, where a heart-shaped balloon and candle were also left. A banner made at a local school was filled with dozens of colorful handprints cut from construction paper; it read: "We thank all of you for your service to our community."

Asked about the banner, Mayor Doug Schmitz was moved to tears. "It's tough," he whispered.

"A lot of people woke up this morning in shock, and we're still in shock," he said later. "We're a strong community. We just bind together here. It's going to be a tough few days and weeks to come, but we'll make it."

Cold Spring has known heartache before.

Rocori High School was the scene of fatal shootings in September 2003, when freshman John Jason McLaughlin shot and killed senior Aaron Rollins, 17, and freshman Seth Bartell, 14.

The last Minnesota law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty was Lake City police officer Shawn Schneider. Schneider died Dec. 30, 2011, 11 days after he was shot while responding to a domestic dispute.

In a statement, Gov. Mark Dayton said: "On behalf of the people of Minnesota, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and to the Cold Spring Police Department for their tragic loss of an outstanding officer, father and friend," the governor said.

"We're going to miss him," Jones said. "The community and all of law enforcement will miss Tom Decker."

This report contains information from the Associated Press. John Brewer can be reached at 651-228-2093.


Contributions to the Tom Decker Memorial Fund may be made at:

-- State Bank of Cold Spring, P.O. Box 415, Cold Spring, MN 56320

-- 1st National Bank of Cold Spring, P.O. Box 416 Cold Spring, MN 56320

-- Central Minnesota Credit Union, 202 Red River Ave. S., Cold Spring, MN 56320

-- Wells Fargo, all locations

Investigators search the area around Winner's Sports Bar and Grill in Cold Spring on Friday, near the scene where a

Cold Spring police officer was fatally shot late Thursday. (Associated Press/St. Cloud Times)

December 02, 2012

Former Nashville police officer indicted on child pornography

Nashville TN A former Metro police officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of possession and receipt of child pornography.

William J. Patterson, 40, was taken into federal custody on Tuesday after an earlier investigation by Metro police found him to be in possession of child pornography.

Patterson was initially arrested Sept. 9 on a domestic assault charge after police said he repeatedly pushed his girlfriend down.

During Metro’s investigation of the assault charges, Patterson’s girlfriend told police that he had a sexual interest in children and had pornographic images of children on his computer. She also told officers he dealt cocaine and marijuana

Sex crimes detectives then completed a search of Patterson’s home and personal computer, which revealed more than 100 pornographic images of adults and minors engaged in sexual activity.

The search also resulted in the discovery of various drug paraphernalia, many of which tested positive for cocaine, and a false computer tower, which housed a grow cabinet, warming light and instructions on how to grow marijuana.

Patterson was an officer for Metro police from 1995 to 2006. He resigned after an internal investigation showed he was using department computers to run a background check on a woman who was employed at his brother-in-law’s business.

December 02, 2012

Man Dies Following Crash With Ohio Police Cruiser


A 78-year-old East Side driver died Friday after a collision with a Whitehall police cruiser that was headed to help other officers pursuing a suspect.

Vernon Lightle was driving north on Beechwood Road when his car and a police cruiser, driven by Officer Enrique Ortega, collided about 4:30 a.m.

Lightle probably was headed to Jolly Pirate Donuts on E. Broad Street, as he did every morning, said his daughter, Sharon Lightle.

Ortega was driving with lights and siren on and heading west on E. Main Street, said Sgt. Dan Kelso.

Ortega was trying to join a pursuit; it ended when the crash occurred. Lightle died a short time later at Grant Medical Center. Ortega suffered broken bones and internal injuries and was taken to Grant, where he is expected to survive.

Police still are looking for the suspect, Matthew S. Jones, 29. Kelso said Jones was calling and harassing an ex-girlfriend at a house on Washburn Street near Beechwood Road.

The woman had a protection order against Jones and called the police non-emergency line to report the threatening phone calls.

Officers went to the house and overheard some of the threatening calls, Kelso said. They staked out the house for about 25 minutes to see whether Jones would show up. When he did, they attempted to arrest him, but he fled.

"By the nature of his threats and what he was saying and his past history, we thought this could be a real threat," Kelso said.

Jones has been charged with failure to comply, violation of a protection order, aggravated menacing and domestic-violence threats, Kelso said.

Whitehall police had issued a warrant for Jones on Sunday for violating a protection order. The Franklin County sheriff's office filed a warrant for the same charge on Nov. 5, plus a warrant for domestic violence and assault on Oct. 25.

Jones has served two prison sentences in the past 10 years. He was released in 2003 after spending five months on a drug-trafficking conviction. He also was locked up for two months in 2010 for domestic violence.

Columbus police are assisting in the investigation of the crash. Information about how the collision occurred was not available yesterday.

Sgt. Jim Gilbert, president of Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, said Whitehall police are allowed to pursue vehicles in situations such as this.

"This is clearly within the guidelines of the policy," he said.

Copyright 2012 The Columbus DispatchAll Rights Reserved

December 02, 2012

Inmate Freed At 11AM Due To Budget Cuts

Arrested For Bank Robbery

And Back In Jail In Time For Lunch

By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.

Christopher Franklin Weaver, one of 32 inmates released from Lane County Jail in Oregon as part of a budget-balancing plan, was let go at 11:00am local time and arrested 55 minutes later on a federal bank robbery charge.

According to the RegisterGuard, Weaver walked about a mile after being released, robbed a bank, was arrested and promptly returned to the county lockup - all in less than an hour's time!

Sheriff Tom Turner announced last month that he needed to close 35 jail beds because federal demand for reserved space in the facility had decreased unexpectedly in recent months.  Thursday's bed closure marks the second time this year the county has reduced jail space in order to balance the budget.

To accommodate the budget cuts, dozens of inmates have been released each week in order to make room for those who pose a greater threat to the community, reports the Register Guard.

Jail commander Greg Fox said, "As we get smaller, the people we release get more dangerous."

The 32 inmates released on Thursday have been accused of various crimes ranging from first-degree assault and second-degree assault to first-degree sexual abuse.  Three of the inmates freed Thursday are accused of Measure 11 offenses that will result in mandatory prison sentences if they are ultimately convicted.

After his release, Christopher Weaver allegedly presented a demand note to a teller before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash.  He was arrested at 11:55am by local officers and handed over to FBI officials who returned him to Lane County Jail.

Lane County sheriff's Sgt. Carrie Carver said, "This isn't necessarily a worst-case scenario, but it's a very bad case."

It does beg the question though: How could this have been worse?  I guess Weaver could have killed someone.

December 02, 2012

Rick Majerus, a proven winner as a college basketball coach, dies

By Dan Loumena

Utah Coach Rick Majerus instructs his players during a 1998 NCAA tournament game against Arizona. 

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / March 21, 1998)

Majerus, who had only one losing record in 25 seasons of coaching college basketball, has died. He was 64.

Majerus, a usually jovial and often brash coach, had a history of heart problems and said last month that he would not be returning to Saint Louis University because of his cardiac condition.

John Huntsman, a longtime friend of Majerus, confirmed in a statement that Majerus died of heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital.

"Majerus was one of the premiere coaches in college basketball history and a dedicated mentor to thousands of young men and women. We will miss him greatly," Hunstman said in a statement that he released to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

It was first reported by Porter Moser, a former assistant coach, on Twitter: "RIP to my friend and mentor coach Majerus. I learned so much about the game and life. We lost one of the best! My heart is heavy tonight."

Majerus had an overall record of 517-216 at four colleges, including a stellar 323-95 mark at Utah from 1989-2004. In five seasons at Saint Louis the Billikens were 95-69. He began his career at Marquette, his alma mater, in 1983 and also coached at Ball State from 1987-89.

His 1997-98 Utah team, featuring Andre Miller at guard, made it to the NCAA championship game against Kentucky, losing 78-69. The Utes finished that season with a 30-4 record, the second time Utah had won 30 games under Majerus.

A dozen times his teams advanced to the NCAA tournament and four others played in the NIT.

December 02, 2012

Elwood Mayor Arnold's son arrested in connection with blaze

By Jack Molitor 

ELWOOD, Ind. — Mayor Ron Arnold asked residents Saturday for their prayers as his family coped with accusations that his son was involved with an arson fire that raced through the former State Plating building Friday night.

Four teenagers, including Arnold’s son, were arrested in connection with the fire from earlier Friday night, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

The suspects are four juveniles, ages 17, 14 and two 13-year-olds. They were questioned, charged with arson and taken to the Madison County Juvenile Center, according to the release from Elwood City Hall.

The juveniles entered the facility, 11700 N. Indiana 37, through an open gate and door to the vacant building, according to statements taken by Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna and Assistant Police Chief Scott Bertram.

Police were informed that youths were seen entering and leaving the building for the past week, and that the four in custody were seen leaving the facility shortly before the blaze broke out, according to the release.

The suspects are to remain in the juvenile center through the weekend and could have a court appearance as early as Monday.

Hanna has contacted local, state, and federal arson investigators to assist in substantiating the cause of the fire, and the investigation will begin as early as next week.

“I want to commend Chief Hanna and his department for their swift action in this matter,” Arnold said in a statement. “As difficult as this situation is as mayor, it is made more difficult by the fact that my son is one of the juveniles involved. This revelation has been devastating to me and my family. We covet your prayers as we walk through this difficult time for our city and my family.”

Police received reports that the fire started at about 6:15 p.m. Friday and announced it was under control at 8:50 p.m.

A hazardous materials team from the Madison County Emergency Management Agency was sent to the scene and declared the area clear of hazards after taking air samples.

State Plating opened in 1962 and was shuttered in 2008. When it was in operation, the company plated metal products with nickel, nickel chrome and dual nickel chrome finishes.

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @J4keSteel on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

December 02, 2012

Sheriff's deputy struck by vehicle

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was struck by a vehicle and injured Saturday morning near the Gold Line tracks in East Los Angeles, sheriff's officials said.

At about 6:15 a.m., deputies were investigating a disabled or abandoned vehicle adjacent to the tracks near East 3rd Street and Downey Road, said Sgt. Bruce Thomas of the sheriff's Transit Services Bureau. One deputy was struck by a passing vehicle.

The deputy was taken by paramedics to a hospital, where he was being treated Saturday. The driver of the other vehicle stayed at the scene, Thomas said.

Authorities are investigating the incident, which "looks like it's being treated as a true, tragic accident," Thomas said.

December 02, 2012




by  Jason Howerton

Jim Penman, city attorney for San Bernardino (Credit: AP)

The bankrupt city of San Bernardino, Calif. is so cash-strapped it has been forced to slash public safety budgets just to stay afloat. That includes downsizing the police force.

During a city council meeting this week, Jim Penman, the city Attorney of San Bernardino, told residents to “lock your doors and load your guns” because they will need to start protecting themselves due to the diminishing number of cops on the streets, CBS Los Angeles reports. It is the perfect example of why self-reliance is so important — because when the government can’t protect you anymore, you have be able to protect yourself and your family.

Penman has been criticized by some for his brutally honest statement but he is standing by it.

“You should say what you mean and mean what you say,” he said.

The comments came after about 150 concerned residents attended a city council meeting to express their concerns about a number of recent crimes in the area, including the murder of an elderly woman last week.

“Well, if I remember right, I told them to ‘lock their doors and load their guns,’” Penman recounted.

Councilwoman Wendy McCommack said she could tell the “swell of frustration was coming over a lot of folks” at the meeting.

The city is working through bankruptcy and financial woes have forced San Bernardino to lay off about 80 police officers. As a result, police response times are delayed and people are not happy about it.

“Let’s be honest, we don’t have enough police officers,” Penman explained. “We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year…that’s far too high for a city of this size.”

The city attorney urged people to be responsible but said it is important for people to be able to protect themselves and their families.

“I’m not advocating that people go out, who don’t have any training, and buy firearms. I certainly strongly caution anyone who has children at home not to have a loaded gun in the house,” he added.

“San Bernardino has seen a 50 percent increase in murders this year comported to 2011,” CBS Los Angeles reports.

December 02, 2012

Rollover Crash Claims One Life

Warren County-Today at approximately 8:18 a.m, Indiana State Police at Lafayette was dispatched to US 136 near County Road 900 west in Warren County for a one vehicle crash.

Trooper Josh Edwards of the Indiana State Police has advised that a 2004 gold Kia Optima was westbound on US 136 when the driver Lisa S. Baldwin, 48 years old from Danville, ILL left the road on the right side.  She apparently over corrected to the left and went across the highway, struck the ditch on the south side of the roadway and started to roll.  As the Kia was rolling, Baldwin was ejected from the vehicle.  The Kia continued to roll and came to rest on its wheels on top of Baldwin.  She was pronounced deceased at the scene by Joe Gritten, the Fountain County Coroner.  Alcohol and or drugs do not appear to be a factor in the crash.  A seatbelt does not appear to have been used at the time of the crash.  The investigation is continuing.

“Wearing a seatbelt keeps you inside of the vehicle,” Trooper Edwards explains.  “It is usually the safest place to be in a crash!” 

Assisting at the scene were the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department, Perrysville Fire and Rescue and Covington Fire and Rescue.

December 01, 2012

Toll Road Drug Bust Lands Oregon Men in Jail 

Elkhart County - A routine traffic stop on the Indiana Toll Road Thursday morning led an inquisitive trooper to approximately 90 pounds of marijuana. Indiana State Police K-9 Trooper Nicholas Meade stopped a U-Haul rental truck for a traffic infraction near the Elkhart East exit around 9:40 a.m. on November 29.

The driver of the vehicle, Kelly Sullivan, 39, of Nehalem, Oregon was traveling in the small box type U-Haul truck from Oregon to New York. Trooper Meade became suspicious of the man’s story and ran his K-9 partner Sabre around of the outside of the vehicle. Sabre made a positive alert indicating that the vehicle may contain illegal drugs.

Trooper Meade searched the passenger compartment of the U-Haul truck and found a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He also noticed that the rear door of the truck was secured with a padlock. Sullivan said that he did not have a key and was unable to open the lock. Trooper Meade arrested Sullivan for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Sullivan was transported to the Elkhart County Jail where he is being held on bond.

Trooper Meade was in the process of completing a search warrant in order to gain access to the locked portion of the U-Haul when he received a telephone call from Brian Kraynik. Kraynik explained to Meade that he was the one who rented the truck. Kraynik said that he was driving to New York with Sullivan, following in another vehicle. He went on to say that he put several pounds of marijuana in the back of the truck without the knowledge of Sullivan. Kraynik turned himself into authorities at the Toll Road State Police Post. Meade accessed the rear of the truck to find 13 boxes that contained 90 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana has a street value of approximately $4,000-$5,000 per pound.

Brian Kraynik, 36, of Bandon, Oregon, was arrested on charges of dealing marijuana, a class C-felony and possession of marijuana, a class D-felony. He is currently being held in the Elkhart County Jail.

December 01, 2012

Detroit Halts Search for New Police Chief

The city's administration says it doesn't have enough money to pay firms conducting the search.

By Dorkys Ramos

The city of Detroit has announced that it will halt its quest to find a new police chief because it doesn't have enough funds to pay firms who are finding candidates. The cost of the search for former Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr.'s replacement is approximately $68,000, the Detroit News reports.

"Due to the financial condition of the city, we have not identified money to pay for the search, which was not anticipated and therefore not budgeted," says Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis. "But we will use all of our efforts to seek funds to support this process."

In the past, the mayor picked the new chief, but new policies now require that the Board of Police Commissioners submit a list for the mayor's consideration. The board chose firms Empco and TJ Adams Staffing Services for the job, but Mayor Dave Bing's administration refused to sign the contracts once they realized they didn't have the money for the search.

Godbee Jr. resigned in October when it came to light that he had an affair with lower-ranking officer Angelica Robinson. It was the second time he was accused of having an affair with a subordinate officer in his two years as chief. 

The previous police chief, Warren Evans, was also forced to leave his position for having a relationship with a lieutenant. Candidates for the position will now be asked about previous relationships with subordinates. Assistant Chief Chester Logan is currently serving as interim chief. 

December 01, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs Player Involved in Shootings


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs player shot his girlfriend early Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and turned the gun on himself as two team officials were confronting him, police said.

Kansas City police Supervisor Andrea Khan would not release the name of the player involved and the condition of the two parties was not immediately known.

Police spokesman Darin Snapp said authorities received a call Saturday morning from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles away from the Arrowhead complex. Snapp said a call was then received from the Chiefs' practice facility.

Upon arriving, Snapp said that police witnessed a black male in a car with a handgun to his head talking to two Chiefs officials. That's when police heard a gunshot.

Arrowhead Stadium has been lockdown since about 8 a.m.

"We can confirm that there was an incident at Arrowhead earlier this morning," the Chiefs said in a statement. "We are cooperating with authorities in their investigation."

The season has been a massive disappointment for the Chiefs, who were expected to contend for the AFC West title.

But they're just 1-10 and mired in an eight-game losing streak that has been marked by devastating injuries and fan upheaval, with constant calls the past few weeks for general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel to be fired.

Kansas City is scheduled to host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

The Chiefs have been ravaged by injuries, led the league in turnovers, can't settle on a quarterback and are dealing with a full-fledged fan rebellion. The Twitter account for a fan group known as "Save Our Chiefs" recently surpassed 80,000 followers, about 17,000 more than the announced crowd at a recent game.

Things have been so bad this season that Crennel fired himself as defensive coordinator.

December 01, 2012

Jeffersonville Police officers investigated for bar brawl

By Connie Leonard

Jeffersonville, IN (WAVE) - A fight at a bar has two Jeffersonville Police officers under investigation. Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore and the city's Police Chief Chris Grimm Friday sent a letter to the Indiana State Police asking for an investigation.

The two officers, who were off duty at the time, are accused of beating up a man inside the Lighthouse Restaurant and Lounge. The alleged victim talked to WAVE 3 News. He says it all started because he tripped and spilled a drink on the men.

"Everybody was just watching in shock," the alleged victim explained.

It all went down the night after Thanksgiving inside the well known Jeffersonville pub. The man who asked us not to identify him for fear of retaliation says he and two buddies were hanging out at the lounge when he accidentally had a run in with the two off-duty police officers.

"I guess I bumped into their table and spilled their drinks," he said, "He got up and got in my face and the next thing you know, he throws me to the ground and he's holding me down and I look up and some dude is just pounding me in my face!"

The man says he exchanged words with the officers after they yelled at him for bumping the table, but he claims he had no idea they would get so upset.

"I was like, what's going on, this is crazy," he said.

How bad were his injuries? "I had a black eye, a busted lip and my arm still hurts today," he said.

A woman inside the bar said the man who was beaten is a regular customer who doesn't cause problems. She said some employees were surprised that the two men beating the man were off-duty officers. She says they were also surprised after calling 911, Jeffersonville Police arrived and it seemed it was all over.

The alleged victim tells us, he was never interviewed about the attack by police but says he is now relieved the police chief and the mayor have asked Indiana State Police to investigate.

"It means a lot," the man said of the call for an investigation, "Something needs to be done to these cops."

What does he think should happen to the officers? "I think justice should be served, " he said, "some cops think that they're bad because they've got the badge and they can do whatever they want and it's not right."

This is only one side of the story. WAVE 3 News wanted to get the officers' side. But a representative for the city tells us, because the case is under investigation the officers cannot comment at this time.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

December 01, 2012

Greens Fork resolving audit issues

by Pam Tharp

GREENS FORK, IND. — Generosity recently got the Greens Fork Town Council in hot water with the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

Helping a man attend the police academy and donating a salt spreader to an area church are good deeds, but the town’s 2010-11 audit said the town council failed to follow state and federal law in those cases.

The town’s program to help potential law enforcement officers attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy ran into trouble when former town officer Aron Tutt asked to be paid for his time at the academy, as the law requires, Greens Fork Town Council President Buddy Strunk said.

The town lacked the cash to pay Tutt, so the council and Tutt agreed that giving him the 2002 Ford Crown Victoria the town owned would settle the debt, Strunk said.

The town clerk didn’t include the car’s value of $3,815 in Tutt’s W-2 or issue a separate Form 1099 for that amount, the audit said. All compensation must be included in the town’s salary ordinance and made in a way that complies with the state and federal accounting rules, the audit said.

Tutt also was driving a town vehicle to and from a job in Indianapolis, which was unrelated to his duties as a Greens Fork officer, another violation, the audit said. Greens Fork officials were cited in the audit for allowing assets of the government to be used in a manner unrelated to the function and purpose of the government.

The council wasn’t aware Tutt was using the town’s vehicle to drive to work, a practice that was halted when the town learned of it, Strunk said. No criminal charges have been or are expected to be filed as a result of the accounting errors.

Tutt is now Fountain City’s town marshal. He did not return a call for comment.

Greens Fork had a long history of helping area residents attend the police academy, Strunk said. The town would place the person on its payroll, so they’d qualify for the schooling, he said.

Academy students must be hired by a police department to attend the state’s law enforcement academy, which requires 600 hours of training, according to the state’s website. The state also offers a basic training program of 300 hours for town marshals.

“Several people are Wayne County deputies because of Greens Fork’s program. We paid them $100 or something like that,” Strunk said. “We thought we were doing a good thing. The car was to pay (Tutt) for what we owed him. We messed up because we didn’t report it as wages. We didn’t think of it as cash, I guess.”

Greens Fork has ended its academy program because it lacks the funds to pay officers the minimum wage while attending the academy, Strunk said. Greens Fork still has a marshal and a reserve marshal, but several of Wayne County’s small towns no longer have their own police protection and rely on the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement, he said.

The salt spreader the town donated to the Living Faith Church of God in January 2011 was headed for the scrap heap, Strunk said.

Someone suggested the church might use it for its parking lot, so the council agreed to give it to them, he said.

“But you can’t do that, either. We’ve learned a lot. Just ’cause you think something’s the right way, the state may have a different opinion. That’s why we have agencies like the State Board of Accounts, I guess,” Strunk said. “We’re a part-time council and money is very tight for us. We’re using the audit as a learning tool.”