Posts tagged: beyond the Inland Northwest
Here's a useful tip:
If you're being stupid and the cops cut you a break, it's probably best to avoid making the officers regret it by mocking their leniency on YouTube.
The following article that just moved on the Associated Press wire, if you stick with it to the end, shows what happens when you don't follow the above advice.
BC-US —Rocket Launcher-Hoax/150
Phoenix filmmaker jailed for rocket launcher hoax
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix police say they've arrested a man after he reportedly dressed a teenage relative in a sheet and sent him into a street to aim a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher at passing cars.
Police spokesman officer James Holmes says 39-year-old Michael Turley was arrested Monday on charges of knowingly giving a false impression of a terrorist act, endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Holmes tells KTVK-TV (http://bit.ly/PmtGRg ) Turley filmed the teen pointing the fake grenade launcher at passing cars on July 28.
Responding police didn't make any arrests after Turley told them he was making a movie.
Police made the arrest after the self-described filmmaker reportedly posted a video on You Tube that said he was testing how fast Phoenix police responded to the mock terrorist.
This photo provided by Sean McAfee from Aug. 2 shows a dead raccoon that McAfee saw with the road dividing line painted over it before he stopped his motorcycle to take the picture on Franklin Rd. in Johnstown, Pa
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The “squirrelly” configuration of a western Pennsylvania road helped cause a state road crew to paint a double-yellow line over a dead raccoon.
Motorcyclist Sean McAfee snapped a photo of the mistake before it could be cleaned up and submitted it to the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown (http://bit.ly/MkHa1K).
He says he almost crashed, he was laughing so hard.
PennDOT spokesman John Ambrosini says paint crews usually have a foreman on the job who clears away any dead animals before the paint-spraying truck equipment passes by. This crew didn't have a foreman and the equipment was too big to turn around in traffic, remove the animal and repair the paint. He says the “the squirrelly geometry” of the narrow road didn't help.
But the crew did try to stop the paint gun.
This image provided by KVVU-TV shows a billboard with a mannequin dangling from a hangman's noose near The Strip in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/KVVU, Peter Dawson)
By MICHELLE RINDELS,Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Even by Las Vegas standards, it was a shocking billboard: A mannequin dangling on a hangman's noose below a black sign with the ominous words “Dying for Work.”
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott says the 911 calls started coming in as the sun came up early Wednesday, with drivers worried the stiff, black-suited dummy swaying at the end of a rope along Interstate 15 near Bonanza Road was a real person.
“It's a publicity stunt, obviously done in bad taste,” said Elliott, adding that officials were focused on getting it down quickly to avoid distracting drivers during the morning commute.
The graphic display along the interstate was one of at least two unauthorized signs spotted Wednesday morning in the Las Vegas area. Another found on Highland Avenue and Desert Inn Road was white with black lettering that read, “Hope You're Happy Wall St.,” and a similar mannequin hanging off the edge.
A woman who answered the phone at Lamar Advertising Co., which owns one of the billboards, labeled the act vandalism and said the display was being removed. She did not provide her name.
Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns another sign that was affected, said they pulled the display immediately and plan to work with law enforcement to punish whoever is responsible.
“We condemn the destructive behavior against one of our billboards because it is illegal and punishes our advertisers,” Clear Channel Outdoor spokesman Jim Cullinan said in a statement. “This is not an innocent protest, but it is illegal and dangerous behavior that Clear Channel Outdoor and the industry will not accept.”
Although the billboard alarmed drivers, it's unclear whether regulations in the area ban roadside signs with graphic depictions of suicide. A spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation said there didn't appear to be state regulations on the matter, and a spokeswoman for Clark County was also not aware of rules against the subject matter.
While nobody has publicly claimed responsibility for the signs, the Occupy Las Vegas group, which is affiliated with the larger Occupy Wall Street movement, posted photos of the displays on its website. Its caption says the Nevada governor's budget has slashed social programs and aid to suicidal adults.
Sebring Frehner, an Occupy supporter who posted the photos, told The Associated Press he didn't know who put the hangmen up, but applauded the message behind it.
“People saying it's in bad taste are living sheltered lives and don't pay attention to what affects the working class,” he said.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital says he will sleep aboard a bus on the streets of San Juan to prove they are safe.
Jorge Santini said Thursday that he and his family will spend several nights on a bus parked in different neighborhoods. He also plans to cook a typical rice-and-beans dish for residents of those communities as part of his re-election campaign.
Santini said he wants to prove that crime has not taken over San Juan, though many of the island's 1,117 homicides last year occurred in the metropolitan area.
Santini spokesman Ramon Alejandro Pabon did not respond to requests for more details.
Santini is known for occasional quirky acts. He recently sent out a holiday postcard that featured his family along with a taxidermied leopard sinking its teeth into an antelope.
Santini said his wife and three children also will participate in the sleepover.
Santini has been mayor since January 2001 and faces a challenge from local Rep. Carmen Yulin Cruz in the November elections.
VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — A woman accused of leaving the scene of a minor traffic crash in western Arkansas told police she did it because she didn't want her ice cream to melt.
Van Buren police say one vehicle rear-ended another on Arkansas Highway 59 on Sunday evening, but that the driver of the second car didn't stop to check on the vehicle she had hit. The other driver called police and set off in pursuit.
Fort Smith television station KHBS reports (http://is.gd/GSXrgK ) that Flora Burkhart told police she didn't think there was enough damage to merit stopping — and that she didn't want her ice cream to melt.
Burkhart was cited for following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident.
BEAVER, Pa. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies say a western Pennsylvania county jail inmate wearing an orange-and-white striped uniform tried to hail a taxi to escape from a hospital where he was taken for medical treatment.
The Beaver County Times (http://bit.ly/OipJ1g ) reports Tuesday that 23-year-old Holden Wooley was taken to Heritage Valley Beaver Hospital on Saturday night after a reported seizure. Deputies say at one point during his four-hour hospital visit, Wooley went outside to hail a cab — but the driver refused to pick him up.
When hospital security officers tried to grab him, Wooley ran into the woods. Police say he was arrested a couple hours later when officers used a dog and a stun gun to subdue him. He was treated for a dog bite at the hospital and returned to jail.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Wooley.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Two Missouri women are accused of showing off more than their putting skills at a southwestern Illinois golf course.
Madison County Sheriff's Capt. T. Mike Dixon says investigators responded to complaints of lewd behavior Monday at the Woodlands Golf Course in Foster Township and saw the women displaying their breasts.
Now, authorities in Madison County have charged 45-year-old Shelly Lewis and 43-year-old Alicia Binford of O'Fallon, Mo., with public indecency.
Binford and Lewis couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. Binford's home telephone number has been disconnected. Lewis hasn't returned a message left at her home. Court records don't show if they have an attorney.
Both women are free on bond.
SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio tourism board tweet meant to promote a Father's Day deal in the Lake Erie town of Sandusky instead directed followers to news about the sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The tweet was sent out this week by the Lake Erie Shores & Islands tourism office. It included the hash tag “Sandusky”.
Hash tags are created by Twitter users to help others find tweets on specific topics.
Anyone who clicked on the “Sandusky” hash tag got the latest updates from the Pennsylvania trial, not the town known for its waterfront location and the Cedar Point amusement park.
Tourism office director Joan Van Offeren says they won't be using the Sandusky hash tag again until well after the trial ends.
Law enforcement officers search the at home of Dr. Timothy Jorden in Hamburg, N.Y., Thursday. Jorden is sought in connection with the hospital shooting death of his ex-girlfriend at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y. on Wednesday.
Update from the AP: A body found in thick brush Friday morning is believed to be that of a special forces soldier-turned-trauma surgeon who was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after the killing of his ex-girlfriend at a hospital, police said.
CAROLYN THOMPSON,Associated Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Surgeon Timothy Jorden saved the lives of patients with gunshot wounds, lived in a big home by Lake Erie and owned four vehicles. He was a product of a working-class neighborhood who became an Army officer before coming home to earn his medical degree.
Now the healer is linked to a killing.
Police across the country were on the lookout Thursday for the 49-year-old trauma surgeon in connection with the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend in a building at the Buffalo hospital complex where they both worked. Police say the former Army weapons expert may be armed and should be considered dangerous.
“He was an excellent surgeon. He saved so many lives. For him to take one is unreal,” said a stunned June DuPree, a neighbor of Jorden's in an exclusive cluster of homes on a lakefront bluff.
But she and others also said the affable and accomplished doctor seemed different lately — thinner, not quite as friendly and less meticulous about appearances. Friends of the victim, meanwhile, offered glimpses of a much darker side.
“I saw him at the beginning of the season and noticed how much weight he had lost,” DuPree said. “He said, 'Yeah, I lost a little bit.' But it was more than a little bit. It was a lot. He wasn't too friendly that time I saw him. He just didn't want to talk.”
The search for Jorden began Wednesday morning when 33-year-old Jacqueline Wisniewski was found shot to death in a stairwell on the campus of the Erie County Medical Center. Police say she was shot four times.
Heather Shipley, a friend of Wisniewski, told WIVB-TV that Wisniewski feared Jorden and that he wouldn't let go after she left him because she believed he was having affairs with other women.
She said Wisniewski told her the doctor had put a GPS tracking device in her car and once held her captive in her home for a day and a half, wielding a knife.
“She told me if anything happened to her, that it was him,” Shipley told the station.
Jorden had been involved in two domestic incidents in neighboring Cheektowaga in 2003, police Capt. James Speyer said. He said he couldn't release details but that the incidents did not involve Wisniewski.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda on Thursday called Jorden “a person of interest” in the administrative assistant's death and said a nationwide alert had been issued advising police agencies that he was wanted for questioning. Officers combed through the grounds outside his home and for a second day, an Erie County Sheriff's helicopter circled overhead.
At one point, police dogs were seen near a ravine and neighbor Tom Wrzosek told The Associated Press he'd reported hearing a single shot around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, which he initially dismissed.
“Then my girlfriend mentioned if he committed suicide, someone would have heard it,” he said. “That kind of rang a bell.”
Derenda said all of Jorden's vehicles were accounted for and investigators were certain he had not crossed the nearby border into Canada.
“He's out there somewhere,” he said.
The search comes after a lifetime of achievement for the divorced father of a grown son.
Jorden had been profiled in The Buffalo News as a homegrown success story in 1996 and was among those honored with Buffalo's Black Achievers in Industry award in 2002. As a surgeon at the city's main trauma hospital, he worked long hours and was always ready to respond to a hospital emergency when his cellphone rang.
In his Lakeview neighborhood south of Buffalo, Jorden was described as a friendly neighbor with a busy schedule. Neighbors said he clearly spent a lot of money to keep the grounds of his white, gabled home by the lake manicured and lush.
Things changed dramatically this spring.
Jorden's bushes became overgrown, his grass grew knee-high and a kitchen remodeling job was halted. Jorden, a big man, had lost dozens of pounds. Neighbors thought he was sick.
“He had a lot of money invested in his house and the landscaping. And when I came back from Florida in May, it was really neglected. I was just shocked,” said Wrzosek, the neighbor.
“We presumed he was sick, that maybe he had some sort of major ailment,” Wrzosek said.
“He was sick,” he said. “But not in the way we thought he was sick.”
Jorden joined the National Guard in high school, went into the Army after graduation and served with the Army's Special Forces, first as a weapons expert, then as a medic, according to the News.
“Everybody's been made aware of his training and background,” Derenda said, “so when individual officers approach him, they'll take proper precautions.”
Jorden later attended the University at Buffalo's medical school and did residencies at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., and the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Derenda declined to speculate on whether he may have returned to those areas.
Associated Press Writer Michael Hill in Albany, N.Y., contributed to this report.
OAK LAWN, Ill. (AP) — A wig-wearing man broke into a suburban Chicago bank vault and nearly made off with $100,000 but got stuck in an air duct and had to be cut out hours later, authorities said Sunday.
Charles Estell, 38, was found early Sunday hiding in an air duct in an office next to the bank, according to Oak Lawn police spokesman Michael Kaufmann.
The Chicago man had allegedly robbed the suburban bank Saturday afternoon, and pointed a gun at bank employees who confronted him in the vault, according to the FBI.
“I don't want to kill or hurt you,” Estell said, according to the criminal complaint. “I just want the money.”
He allegedly stuffed $100,000 in a backpack and fled. Employees told authorities it appeared he escaped through the ceiling.
Authorities spent hours searching for him and located him around 1 a.m. Sunday. But before they could cut him loose from the air duct, they had to remove a wig of long, beaded dreadlocks he was wearing.
According to the criminal complaint, Estell told investigators that he got into the vault through the ceiling.
Estell was charged Sunday with one felony count of bank robbery and could face up to 20 years in prison. He has not entered a plea, and is due back in court Tuesday. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer. A phone message left Sunday at a number listed as his wasn't immediately returned.
MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — Manchester, Conn., police are investigating the theft of an American flag from a man in a chicken suit.
The Hartford Courant reports (http://cour.at/ML9gUJ ) that Eric Didio was waving the flag and dancing outside a newly renovated Boston Market restaurant Wednesday as part of his job, when a man jumped from a car, grabbed the flag and took off.
A customer who witnessed the theft called police.
The newspaper reports that the dispatcher had a hard time relaying the call to officers, breaking into laughter while trying to say “chicken suit.”
Nathan Atwood, the restaurant's general manager, says he stood beside the 23-year-old Didio for the rest of his shift to provide security.
No arrests have been made.
SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) — Police say a drug dealer mistakenly sent messages to a California central coast police officer in an attempt to sell methamphetamine.
The Santa Maria officer notified Santa Barbara County sheriff's detectives about the errant text messages early Tuesday. The officer and detectives then set up a meeting with the alleged drug dealer.
Sheriff's spokesman Drew Sugars says they arrested 39-year-old Reymundo Carlos Escobedo and seized about 2 grams of methamphetamine.
A news release says 37-year-old John Martin Silvera, who is Escobedo's suspected methamphetamine supplier, also arrived and was arrested with about 7 grams of methamphetamine.
Escobedo and Silvera remain held on drug charges, including criminal conspiracy. Bail is set at $30,000 each.
ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Police in suburban Cleveland say a woman who owns a cleaning service broke into a house and washed the dishes, took out the trash, and vacuumed before leaving a handwritten bill with her name on it.
And police say it might not be the first time.
The woman, Sue Warren of Elyria, is in jail on a burglary charge.
Police in Westlake say Warren broke into a home last week and began tidying up, but she didn't take anything. They say she then wrote out a bill for $75 on a napkin and included her name and address.
One officer says Warren told him she does it all the time.
A call to Warren's cleaning business was not answered Thursday. It's not immediately known if she has an attorney.
In this image taken from video, Miami police officers stand watch near a naked man, second from right, who was shot dead by a police officer when he refused to stop chewing on the face of the naked man next to him, partially obscured by a railing, in Miami, Saturday. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald)
By JENNIFER KAY,Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — It is being called one of this city's goriest crimes: A naked man was on top of another nude man along a busy highway, biting into the man's face, tearing it to pieces. A police officer arrived to help, but the mauler growled at him and continued to chew away, stopping only when he was shot to death.
Miami police said little Tuesday about the attack, which took place Saturday afternoon in the shadow of The Miami Herald headquarters. Surveillance video from the newspaper's security camera showed cars, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists passing by.
The victim, identified as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo (left), was in critical condition, with only his goatee intact on his face, the newspaper reported.
Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said it was one of the bloodiest “and goriest scenes I've ever been to.”
“It was not only grotesque, it was just very sad, the amount of blood. It was very sad to see what happened to this gentleman that had his face eaten,” Ortiz said.
It's not clear what led Rudy Eugene (right), 31, to attack Poppo. Eugene's ex-wife, Jenny Ductant, told WPLG-TV, said he was somewhat paranoid.
“I wouldn't say he had mental problem but he always felt like people was against him … No one was for him, everyone was against him,” she told the station. She and Eugene's mother declined comment when reached by The Associated Press.
Larry Vega was riding his bicycle off the causeway, which connects downtown Miami with Miami Beach, when he saw the attack.
“The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'” Vega told Miami television station WSVN (http://bit.ly/L6kwWt). “The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin.”
Vega flagged down the Miami police officer, who can be seen exiting his car on the Herald video. Vega said the officer repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off. Eugene just picked his head up and growled at the officer before continuing to maul his victim, Vega said.
The officer shot Eugene, but he just kept chewing, Vega said. The officer fired again, killing Eugene.
Vega refused to comment when reached by The Associated Press, saying he wanted to put what he witnessed behind him.
Detective William Moreno would not release details about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. The Miami-Dade County medical examiner declined to provide any information until after the autopsy, which was scheduled for Tuesday.
Ortiz said the officer, who is part of a crisis intervention team and trained to deal with the mentally ill, had no choice but to fire.
“He's clearly shaken up,” Ortiz said, adding that the officer had been administratively reassigned pending an investigation, as is standard after an officer-involved shooting.
After the shooting, the Herald's video zooms in on the scene. Most of it is blocked by an overpass, but two sets of uncovered legs can be seen. One set never moves, while the other twists and turns as if the person is in pain.
“It was just a blob of blood,” Vega said. “You couldn't really see, it was just blood all over the place.”
Court records show that Poppo has several arrests for public intoxication.
According to Miami-Dade court records, Eugene had been arrested for multiple misdemeanors, mostly marijuana-related charges. The most recent arrest was in 2009. The Herald reported that he played football at a Miami area high school in the late 1990s.
Ives Eugene, who identified himself as Rudy Eugene's uncle, described his nephew as a “nice and hard-working” man who washed cars at a local dealership.
He said his nephew had asked his girlfriend to borrow her car, but she said no. “So he rode the bicycle, and he never came back home,” he said.
Associated Press reporter Suzette Laboy contributed to this report.
BOXFORD, Mass. (AP) — Police say a roving group of cows crashed a small gathering in a Massachusetts town and bullied the guests for their beer.
Boxford police Lt. James Riter says he was responding to a call for loose cows on Sunday and spotted them in a front yard.
Riter says the herd high-tailed it for the backyard and then he heard screaming. He says when he ran back there he saw the cows had chased off some young adults and were drinking their beers.
Riter says the cows had knocked the beer cans over on a table and were lapping up what spilled. He says they even started rooting around the recycled cans for some extra drops.
Riter says the cows' owner and some friends herded the cows back home.
By DINESH RAMDE,Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin man whose camcorder was briefly stolen has found a way to get back at the suspected thief: He uploaded to YouTube a video that the suspect took with the camera, a clip in which the man reveals his name, shows his face and admits he stole the camera.
Chris Rochester, 25, of La Crosse, said his camera was stolen a few weeks ago from the car of his boss, Republican state Senate candidate Bill Feehan. Police eventually arrested the suspect and returned the camera to Rochester, who set it aside.
Then, when Gov. Scott Walker made a recent visit to La Crosse, Rochester used the camera to film the event. When he went back to retrieve the video, he found 20 other segments the suspect apparently recorded.
Most were uneventful, generally 15- to 20-second clips of television screens. But one video caught Rochester's eye.
“This is my house, yes, and a stolen camera that I stole. But it's OK, the cop won't figure it out,” the suspect says in the 79-second video, as he pans around a home and points out the kitchen and bathroom. Later he adds, “Oh yeah, to introduce you, my name is Houaka Yang. So yeah, how do you do.”
Finally, he turns the camera to reveal his face and says with a smile, “And this is me. Hi.”
The 20-year-old Yang was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Wednesday, but the judge recused himself because he knew one of the victims. A new court date wasn't immediately scheduled.
Yang was charged with two counts of being party to misdemeanor theft and one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon. The charges carry a maximum penalty of two years and three months in jail and a $30,000 fine.
A message left with Yang's public defender Wednesday was not immediately returned.
Rochester said he almost disregarded the videos on his camera, thinking maybe he'd accidentally hit the 'record' button.
“Then it hit me pretty quickly as to what it was,” he said. “I was astounded. I was like, 'Wow, I can't believe this.'”
Yang was already in custody, but Rochester decided to have fun with the video by sharing it with friends. So he uploaded it to YouTube under the title “Confessions of a stupid criminal: Thief is sure he won't get caught.”
As reporters began asking him about the video he began to realize it was more entertaining than he first thought, he said.
Police recovered the videocamera after investigating a number of other thefts in the area. Rochester said he didn't think Feehan had been targeted as a Republican political candidate.
Security videos at Feehan's home showed two suspects rifling through the car in his driveway. Investigators showed the footage to officials at a local high school, who identified one suspect, La Crosse police Sgt. Randy Rank said. The 14-year-old in turn identified Yang, he said.
Rank said police weren't concerned that Rochester uploaded the video even though Yang's case is still pending.
“It's his recorder, those are his images on there,” Rank said. “I don't see an issue with it.”
WINDSOR, Ontario (AP) — Police in Canada say they are waiting for a man accused of stealing a $20,000 diamond and swallowing it to produce the evidence.
It has been nearly a week since Richard Mackenzie Matthews, 52, is alleged to have switched a diamond at Precision Jewellers in Ontario and swallowed the real one.
Matthews is being held at police headquarters while investigators wait for the 1.7-carat stone to pass through his system. Sgt. Brett Corey said Thursday that Matthews has gone to the washroom numerous times, but the diamond hasn't passed.
Corey says a recent X-ray showed a pair of fake diamonds, or cubic zirconiums, stuck in the man's intestines but because a diamond is translucent, it isn't visible. He says the suspect is eager to get the ordeal over with and is co-operating.
In the early stages, Corey says Matthews was being given laxative type foods, but is now being fed whatever he wants, in an effort to get things moving.
Matthews is charged with theft and breach of court conditions, and is also wanted on warrants in Toronto
STOCKHOLM, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a northern New York man had his friend shoot him in the leg with a rifle because he wanted to know what it feels like to be shot.
State police in St. Lawrence County say the shooting occurred around 5 p.m. Sunday in the rural town of Stockholm when 25-year-old Shawn Mossow of neighboring Norfolk relented to his friend's repeated requests and shot him once in the right leg with a .22-caliber rifle.
The 24-year-old man from Norfolk is expected to make a full recovery. Police haven't released his name.
Mossow was charged with reckless endangerment. He's being held in the county jail on $10,000 bail. It could not be immediately determined if he had a lawyer.
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — A man charged in an undercover sting operation in Northern California that ended in gunfire has been ordered released on bond on the condition that he read and write book reports.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers allowed 23-year-old Otis Mobley to be freed Monday, although she delayed an order to allow prosecutors to appeal her decision.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that under the bond order, Mobley would be required to spend an hour reading and a half hour writing each day as he awaits trial on robbery and assault charges.
Mobley and two others are accused of arranging to sell a grenade launcher for $1,000 to an undercover federal agent in Richmond, Calif. Hutcherson was shot and wounded by agents during the alleged meeting.