Archive for January, 2011

10 Arrested After Fight At Charlotte, NC’s Vance High School

January 31, 2011


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte police have arrested 10 people after a fight broke out Monday morning at Vance High School.

 Charlotte Mecklenburg School officials are still investigating what caused the fight, but they said it is thought to be the result of an incident that started over the weekend off campus.

 CMPD was called to the school around 6:55 a.m. after a fight broke out in the cafeteria.

No injuries have been reported.

 Stay with throughout the day for updates on this developing story. No injuries have been reported.

Stay with throughout the day for updates on this developing story.


NC Woman Bitten, Scratched By Friend’s Monkey

January 31, 2011

REIDSVILLE, N.C. — A monkey is behind bars after a Reidsville woman says it bit and scratched her while she was trying to change the water in its bowl.

Rockingham County sheriff’s deputies say the incident occurred Sunday, while 43-year-old Patricia Knight was taking care of a friend’s pet Capuchin.

Knight says the monkey, named Joe, jumped on her head, bit her on the hand and scratched her face when she tried to change his water bowl.

She was treated for her injuries and returned home.

Animal control authorities have Joe confined to his cage while they continue to investigate what happened.

Rowan Co., NC Sheriff’s Deputies Arrest 2 On Drug Charges

January 31, 2011

By Steve Lyttle / Charlotte Observer

Rowan County authorities have made two arrests in connection with what they say was a drug operation near Salisbury.

The sheriff’s office says detectives arrested Dawn Alexander, 34, and Andre Marese Brown, 29, on Friday. They lived in the 1000 block of Twin Chapel Drive.

Dawn Alexander, 34, of Salisbury, was arrested Friday in Rowan County on drug charges. (Rowan County Sheriff’s Office)

  • Andrew Brown, 29, of Salisbury, was arrested Friday in Rowan County on drug charges. He also was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. (Rowan County Sheriff’s Office)

  • Investigators say they received complaints that the residents of the house were selling drugs. The sheriff’s office says that during a search, detectives found 7 grams of crack cocaine, 650 grams of marijuana, more than $300 in cash, and a .38-caliber handgun.

    Alexander and Brown each was charged with felony cocaine and marijuana charges; a felony charge of maintaining a dwelling to keep, store and sell a controlled substance; and other charges. Brown also was charged with felony possession of a firearm by a felon, the sheriff’s office says.

    Former USC Student Body President Shot in Washington, DC

    January 31, 2011

    By News Cnannel 36 Staff /

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A former University of South Carolina student body president is recovering in a Washington, D.C., hospital after being shot in the back.

    Police say Andew Gaeckle was the victim of a robbery early Saturday morning.

     The 2009 USC graduate was walking near his home at about 3 a.m. Saturday when he was attacked.

    An armed robber told him to hand over his cell phone, money and his car keys. Police say Gaeckle obeyed and the robber shot him. 

    Gaeckle was able to run to a nearby restaurant for help.

    The robber has not been caught.

    Defense Attorney Wants “First 48” Tapes

    January 28, 2011

    By Beth Shayne / NewsChannel 36 (

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.–At a murder scene, you’ll see their cameras behind the yellow crime scene tape.  The production team, ITV Studios, working for the A&E show “the First 48” documents everything that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detectives do in the first two days of a homicide investigation.

    The crew has been filming in Charlotte since last year under a special one-year contract the show has signed with CMPD. The episodes have been airing on A&E for several months.

    The question before Judge Eric Levinson in Charlotte this week is whether the footage that ITV Studios shoots could be considered “evidence” in the murder cases the Mecklenburg District Attorney has brought against the suspects involved in those murders.

    “Under the contract they have unfettered access to everything,” attorney Jeremy Smith said. “They’re acting basically hand in hand with the police department.”

    Smith represents Jonathan Fitzgerald, accused of the 1st degree murder of Oscar Chavez. Investigators believe Fitzgerald and his girlfriend stabbed Chavez during a heroin drug deal gone awry.

    In his legal brief, Smith argues that “The First 48″‘s agreement with CMPD makes it a “prosecutorial agency.”

    The legal team for ITV Studios dismisses that claim, asserting journalistic privilege. “ITV obtained its footage on its own behalf, to serve its own interests in creating a television series, not to further the police’s interest in solving Mr. Chavez’s murder,” their brief reads.

    ITV’s attorneys also point out that their video is of no value to Mr. Fitzgerald, who, according to the brief, confessed on official police videotape.

    Though the issue has been challenged in other states, no North Carolina court has ever heard such a case.

    Smith has three clients suspected in murders filmed by “The First 48.” Other local defense attorneys with similar cases also sat in on Friday’s proceedings.

    “It’s troublesome that non-police personnel are allowed to act as police officers in crime scenes,” Smith said, “And the rules that apply don’t apply to them.”

    Judge Levinson heard from witnesses included Chief Rodney Monroe Friday. He’ll continue hearing arguments Thursday Feb. 3.

    LAUSD Police Officer Arrested in Connection With Shooting Hoax

    January 28, 2011

    The shooting reported by Officer Jeffrey Stenroos shut down 9 schools.

    LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The LAUSD police officer who said he was shot and wounded in a confrontation with an armed suspect outside a Woodland Hills high school has been arrested, accused of making up the whole story. School officials say the officer will be fired.

    LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines told KTLA on Friday that he is “outraged” at the developments and would fire the officer.

    “I intend to relieve this employee this morning,” Cortines said.

    Cortines also issued an apology to the public.

    “I just want to apologize that one of our employees played a hoax on the city of L.A. and especially our schools and our staff and their families,” he said.

    “But I also don’t want anybody to think that this one individual reflects the high standard and regard I have for the men and women in blue that protect our schools, our students and our staff every day,” he added.

    LAPD Chief Charles Beck on Thursday announced the arrest of Officer Jeffrey Stenroos on one felony count of filing a false police report.

    On January 19, the LAPD responded to and launched an extensive investigation after Officer Stenroos reported a burglary suspect attempted to murder him by shooting him in the chest while he was on patrol near El Camino High School in the San Fernando Valley.

    The police response was massive. The incident prompted a manhunt that included 350 police and deputies, and the lockdown of nine different schools in the area.

    Residents were unable to return to their homes and more than 9,000 LAUSD students were locked in the classrooms for hours without access to food or bathrooms.

    After the incident, Stenroos was said to have been saved by his bullet-proof vest. Stenroos reportedly had a large bruise on his left chest that was supposedly caused by an assailant’s bullet.

    Beck would not comment on Stenroos’ injury.

    An LAPD source told the Los Angeles Times that Stenroos’ protective vest showed obvious signs of having been struck by a bullet, and the officer also suffered bruising on his chest. Detectives reportedly raised questions about whether Stenroos accidentally shot himself and then fabricated the story.

    According to Chief Beck, “the current state of the investigation refutes Stenroos’ initial account of the incident and we are now certain that there is no outstanding suspect in this shooting.”

    Beck added that detectives worked tirelessly to ensure the case was thoroughly investigated and the community was never at risk.

    Detectives followed up on more than 350 clues, conducted a number of neighborhood canvasses, made hundreds of community contacts and distributed countless Community Alert Notices in hopes of gathering any valuable leads in the case.

    “While I understand the media and the public’s intense interest in this investigation, and the desire for answers to the many questions that will be asked with this new development of the Officer’s arrest, I cannot provide more detailed information at this time,” Beck said.

    In the meantime, Los Angeles Police Protective League president Paul Webber released a statement calling Stenroos, “an embarrassment to law enforcement.”


    Shelby, NC Man Charged With ‘Facebook Prostitution’

    January 28, 2011

    by Alicia Banks / Gaston Gazette

    A Shelby man faces a prostitution charge for allegedly offering sex on Facebook.

    Jason Turner, 29, of the 1400 block of West Dixon Boulevard, was charged Thursday with making a sexual offer using a social website.


                           Jason Turner
         Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office
    An arrest warrant states Turner created and maintained a profile under the name “Blazin Jayzin” on Facebook. The warrant also lists Tuesday as the offense date.  Shelby police and Cleveland County sheriff’s deputies collaborated to make the arrest.

    Turner was booked into the Cleveland County jail under a $25,000 secured bond.

    Concord, NC Man Accused of Possessing Weapon Of Mass Destruction

    January 26, 2011

    by NewsChannel 36 Staff /

    CONCORD, N.C. — A 43-year-old Concord man is behind bars after police say they found illegal and dangerous weapons at his home.

    Frank Andrew Mitchell is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

     Mitchell was arrested Tuesday night at his home on Swink Street.

    Concord Police Sgt. Jimmy Hughes  said officers searched Mitchell’s home and found potentially illegal and dangerous material, but he did not specify what weapons were found.

    Mitchell is being held at Cabarrus County Jail under $110,000 bond.

    Spate of Police Shootings Raises Alarm

    January 25, 2011

    Officer Deaths in Florida Cap Deadly 24 Hours For Police Departments Across the United States

    By TAMARA LUSH and MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writers

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The slaying of two police officers as they helped serve a warrant stunned a state already mourning police deaths in Miami and capped a bloody 24 hours nationwide that saw 11 officers shot in five states.

    SWAT team members roll a stretcher after the suspect in the shooting of three law enforcement officers was found dead Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 in south S AP – SWAT team members roll a stretcher after the suspect in the shooting of three law enforcement officers

    “That’s not normal,” said Steven Groeninger, a spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks police deaths. “It kind of seems like law enforcement, because of their uniform, have a target on their back.”

    So far in January, 14 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Two of the 11 shot between Sunday and Monday have died.

    Hydra Lacy Jr.  

    This July 20, 2009 Pinellas County Jail booking photograph shows Hydra Lacy Jr. Lacy is said to be the gunman that shot and killed two St. Petersburg, Fla., police officers attempting to serve an arrest warrant early Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. He also shot and wounded a deputy with the U.S. Marshal’s service.

    (AP Photo/Pinellas County Jail)

    They were St. Petersburg Police Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz, gunned down Monday while helping other officers serve a warrant on a man with a long criminal history.

    Jeffrey Yaslowitz  K-9 officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz

    This undated photo released by the St. Petersburg Police Dept. photo shows K-9 officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz. Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas Baitinger were killedduring a standoff while trying to serve an arrest warrant Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Fla. A third officer was injured.

    (AP Photo/St. Petersburg Police Dept.)

    Shortly before 7 a.m., a U.S. marshal, a Pinellas County deputy and an undercover St. Petersburg detective went to a home to arrest Hydra Lacy Jr., 39, on an aggravated battery charge. When they learned he was in the attic with a weapon, they summoned backup.

    Officials said Yaslowitz, who was just getting off his night shift, and Baitinger responded.

    Thomas J. Baitinger  

    This undated photo released by the St. Petersburg Police Dept. shows Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger. Baitinger and K-9 officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz were killedduring a standoff while trying to serve an arrest warrant Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Fla. A third officer was injured.(AP Photo/St. Petersburg Police Dept)

    Twenty-two minutes later, gunfire broke out.

    When it was over, Baitinger and Yaslowitz were dead and Lacy — the brother of Jeff Lacy, former International Boxing Federation super middleweight champion — lay dead as well, either by his own hand or police bullets. A U.S. marshal whose name was not released was shot twice but was doing fine, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Tom Figmik said.

    Armed St. Petersburg, Fla., police officers walk ... 

    Armed St. Petersburg, Fla., police officers walk away from the area where three members of law enforcement were shot while trying to serve an arrest warrantMonday, Jan. 24, 2011 in south St. Petersburg, Fla.

    (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

    Officials said Lacy had a long record, with convictions for armed robbery and sexual battery. He was listed with the state as a sex offender and had failed to register with authorities in December as required.

    Deputies had been seeking him since.

    “In my mind as a police officer, this crook, this criminal, this murderer, cop-killer, whatever you would like to call him, did a terrible injustice to two of my people today and two of the people that served this community,” Police Chief Chuck Harmon said during an afternoon news conference.

    Police officials salute as the funeral procession carrying two Miami police officers passes. (AP/J Pat Carter)


    The officers’ deaths came just four days after two Miami-Dade County detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest. That suspect was killed by another detective.

    Those officers were remembered Monday at a funeral where news of the St. Petersburg shootings added to the grief already palpable among the thousands gathered at AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami.

    The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said the 14 January deaths came after a “devastating spike” in law enforcement deaths last year, when 162 officers were killed in the line of duty, up from 117 in 2009. Of the 162 officers, 61 were shot, an increase of 24 percent from 2009.

    “I have never seen anything like it,” Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd said in a news release. “The violent events of the past 24 hours in Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Oregon and Washington have been detrimental to America’s peace officers, taking the lives of two and injuring several others. We must do everything in our power to stop these senseless and heinous crimes against our law enforcement personnel.”

    On Sunday, a man opened fire inside a Detroit police precinct, wounding four officers including a commander before he was shot and killed by police. The officers’ injuries were not considered life-threatening, Police Chief Ralph Godbee said.

    Also on Sunday, two sheriff’s deputies in Washington state were shot at a Walmart while responding to a call reporting a suspicious person, according to the memorial group. Police officers in both Indianapolis and Lincoln City, Ore., were critically injured in shootings during traffic stops.

    Foul-Mouthed Murderer Gets 107 Years In Jail For Shootout, Tells Judge ‘Suck My Dick’

    January 25, 2011

    BY Oren Yaniv /

    A foul-mouthed murderer who made a raunchy request to a Brooklyn judge before his sentencing on Monday received plenty of prison time to rethink his choice of words.

    Zaire Paige, 24, was hit with 107 years to life for killing Lethania Garcia and wounding four others in a brazen October 2008 Fort Greene shootout.

    Foul-mouthed killer tells judge: 'Suck my d---' 

    But before getting the maximum possible sentence, Paige tried to get one last dig in at the judge, Vincent Del Giudice, telling him, “With all due respect and from the bottom of my heart, suck my dick.”

    Without missing a beat, Del Diudice fired off a comeback and then tough justice.

    “I respectfully decline your offer,” the judge dead-panned. “You are a danger to all civilized members of society.”

    Paige was convicted of teaming up with Robert Crawford in a lunchtime attack on Garcia, 20.

    The pair tracked him down as he left a state court, opened fire and continued to shoot inside a hair salon, killing their target and wounding four others, including off-duty cop Andrea Cox.

    Crawford was sentenced to 53 years in prison last month.

    Del Giudice and Paige had a prickly relationship.

    The defendant named the judge in a rambling 128-page federal lawsuit that was dismissed. Del Giudice also barred Paige from the proceedings after he screamed at a testifying cop.