December 21, 2008 in Nation/World

Councilman calls slashing accidental

 

A New York City councilman accused of intentionally slashing his girlfriend in the face with a broken glass called it an “unfortunate accident” on Saturday.

“I have been charged with offenses that I did not commit and am not capable of committing,” Hiram Monserrate, a Democratic councilman and state senator-elect, said in a statement a day after he was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Monserrate got into an argument with girlfriend Karla Giraldo, 30, early Friday at his Queens house, according to a criminal complaint. Giraldo said Monserrate, a former police officer, broke a glass in his hand and cut her face with it, causing her to need 20 stitches around her left eye.

Mansfield, Texas

School bus driver accused of threats

A school bus driver in Texas has been accused of brandishing a knife and threatening to cut three sixth-graders who left Oreo crumbs on a seat.

Officials say police confiscated a pocket knife from 66-year-old William Allen on Friday in Mansfield. He was taken into custody on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Two students told their parents Allen removed them from the bus Wednesday at Mary Orr Intermediate School. They say he threatened to cut their wrists if they didn’t admit to spilling crumbs.

Detroit

Mayor orders steep budget cuts

The mayor of Detroit has ordered all departments to reduce their budgets by 10 percent as the city deficit approaches $300 million.

Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. said in a statement that new problems are being discovered daily regarding the finances and reporting practices of the administration of his predecessor, Kwame Kilpatrick.

He said the discoveries confirm that Kilpatrick “misled Detroiters and misled City Council.” Cockrel was promoted to mayor from the City Council when Kilpatrick resigned in a scandal in September.

Cockrel has said he will release a deficit elimination plan in January.

Rubidoux, Calif.

Pit bulls kill 60-year-old man

A 60-year-old man was mauled to death by a pair of pit bulls Friday in the backyard of his rural Southern California home.

The man was taking a cigarette break when the male and female pit bulls attacked him shortly after noon, said Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The man, who was the grandfather of the dogs’ owner, died at the scene.

County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said the dogs were euthanized later in the afternoon. He said it was unclear why the dogs suddenly attacked the man, who was familiar with them and had played with them before.

From wire reports

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