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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: jail

Man charged for refusing to leave NC jail

WENTWORTH, N.C. (AP) — A man who'd just been released from jail in northern North Carolina was arrested again for refusing to leave the jail after authorities wouldn't give him a ride to a motel.

The News & Record of Greensboro reports ( that 37-year-old Rodney Dwayne Valentine was charged with trespassing.

Valentine was released from the Rockingham County jail Saturday morning after being behind bars since May 22. The sheriff's office says he asked them to drive him to a local motel and they refused. Deputies charged Valentine with second-degree trespassing when he had refused to leave the jail by Saturday afternoon.

He's being held on $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 9. It was not clear if he has a lawyer.

Jury: Lawyer stole jail phone services

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A judge has found a Yakima defense lawyer guilty of stealing phone services from the Yakima County Jail.

Visiting Judge Brian Altman found Kimberly Grijalva guilty Monday of second-degree theft, saying he believed the lawyer knew her free phone privileges were being misused by a housemate and friend. The Yakima Herald-Republic says the theft charge is a felony.

The judge noted the volume of calls — more than 900 over a six-week period. He also found the lawyer guilty of a misdemeanor charge of introducing contraband into the jail, saying she let an inmate use her cell phone during a visit.

The lawyer has said she was unaware the private line was being used improperly and thought it was OK for an inmate to use her cell phone during a visit. She left court without comment.

$260k to woman strip-searched in jail

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The city of Olympia has agreed to pay $260,000 to a woman strip-searched and zapped with a stun gun in the city jail.

Cynthia Brown's lawyer Edwin Budge calls the agreement “vindication to some degree.”

While settling, the city denies liability. Its outside counsel for the case, Donald Law, says the city accomplished its primary goal, which was to “reach a fair settlement with Cynthia Brown.”

Brown had sued the city in September, alleging her civil rights were violated and that the strip search was illegal.

The Olympian says public documents show Brown was arrested and taken to the jail on Aug. 19, 2008, on a misdemeanor trespassing accusation, which was later dismissed. Records show Brown refused an order to strip to her underwear without a female officer present, then was shot with a Taser. She then removed her clothes.

The newspaper says the city changed jail booking procedures related to strip searches as a result of the case.

Woman duped in ‘grandparents scam’

Law enforcement is again warning of a swindle known as the grandparents scam after a 79-year-old Spokane Valley woman sent money to a con man claiming to be her grandson.

The woman called Crime Check on Monday and said a man claiming to be her grandson called on Dec. 9 and asked for money to bail out jail in Canada.

The victim believed him and sent a $2,750 money order to a man named “B” in New Jersey, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. She later realized it was scam.

Similar scams were reported last spring and in fall 2009. Anyone with an elderly relative should warn them of the scam.

“Citizens in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s grew up in a more trusting era and are particularly susceptible to this type of fraud,” according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. “Suspects can pick their victims from obituaries where the children and grandchildren are occasionally listed by name.”

Pancake giveaway earns early release

CINCINNATI (AP) — A judge has granted early release to an inmate who was fired from a jail’s kitchen for handing out too many pancakes — earning himself the nickname Mr. Pancake.


Heriberto Rodriquez was fired while serving a 180-day term for stealing money from a concession stand at the Cincinnati Reds’ ballpark. The kitchen job allowed Rodriquez, 44, to get three days credit for each day in jail, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Authorities said Rodriquez was supposed to give inmates two pancakes each but sometimes gave them four, an act the newspaper said helped the judge decide to take pity on him and grant the early release.

“Mr. Rodriquez, you’re just one generous soul, aren’t you?” Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh said in court Wednesday before granting his request to be released after 73 days.

The judge had sentenced Rodriquez after he pleaded guilty to theft Aug. 24. Rodriquez, of Cincinnati, stole a money bag containing $3,000 from a concession stand at the Great American Ball Park after a Reds game and was caught on his way out.

With a grin, the judge told Rodriquez on Wednesday that he could go home.

“Get your big box of Aunt Jemima and eat all you want, Mr. Pancake,” she said.

Each pancake served at the jail costs 6 cents, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Barnett said, meaning Rodriquez cost taxpayers 12 cents each time he gave an inmate four pancakes instead of two.

“He just didn’t do what he was supposed to do,” Barnett said.

Rodriquez, who was fired from the kitchen job Sept. 23, told the judge Wednesday that his shift started at 10 p.m. to help get the food ready for breakfast the next morning. He said when he was doubling up on pancake servings he didn’t think he would be “jeopardizing my job.”

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