Archive for January 21st, 2011

Killer of Miami-Dade Officers Is A Career Criminal With ‘Savage’ Tattoo

January 21, 2011

By David Ovalle, Kathleen McGrory And Adam Beasley / Miami Herald

Hunting a violent career criminal wanted for murder, Miami-Dade police detectives knocked on the door of a Liberty City duplex Thursday morning. The man’s mother let them in.

   Johnny Simms, 22, had an extensive criminal record that included selling marijuana in high school, cocaine trafficking after getting out of jail, armed robbery and a homicide.
Johnny Simms, 22, had an extensive criminal record that included selling marijuana in high school, cocaine trafficking after getting out of jail, armed robbery and a homicide.

But Johnny Simms, a tattooed thug fresh off his most recent prison stint, refused to face justice, jumping out from another room with his pistol blazing at point-blank range.

Police bullets felled the fugitive — but not before he shot and killed veteran detectives Roger Castillo, 41, and Amanda Haworth, 44.

The career criminal’s bloody last stand rocked South Florida’s law enforcement community, which has counted six other officers killed in the line of duty in the past five years.

“I know I’m supposed to say we’re all children of God and that things happen,” said an angry and tearful Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus. “But that guy is evil. He murdered two of my people today.”

The shooting was the first double police murder in South Florida since Miami-Dade detectives Richard Boles and David Strzalkowski were gunned down at a trailer park in 1988, and the first time a female officer was shot to death on the job in Miami-Dade.

Detective Deidre Beecher survived the ambush with a minor knee injury. Detective Oscar Plasencia emerged unscathed, shooting Simms dead just outside the front door of the duplex.

The shock of the bloodletting melted into a heart-wrenching memorial hours later, as somber officers began honoring Castillo and Haworth, who boasted a combined 44 years of police experience. Both their flag-draped bodies were escorted in Fire-Rescue ambulances from the Ryder Trauma Center to the Miami-Dade Medical

Examiner’s Office, a block away.

A chaplain and police Honor Guard accompanied Castillo’s body to the morgue. For Haworth, against the glow of red-and-blue police lights, dozens of officers on motorcycles and foot formed a neat procession — black bands over their badges — to accompany the ambulance, led by an officer carrying a folded flag.

Castillo, a 21-year veteran, was married to a fellow officer, Debbie. The Davie couple had three boys, ages 9, 11 and 14. Haworth, with 23 years on the force, was the single mother of a 13-year-old son she was raising in Miramar.

Both officers were part of a fugitive task working with the U.S. Marshal’s Service. They had targeted Simms, who had been on the lam from Miami police since he was named in a murder warrant for the slaying of an Overtown man in October.

According to interviews with law enforcement officials, and police and court records, Simms, 22, had been in trouble since he was a teen. Officers first arrested him at 14, for larceny. In all, Simms was arrested 11 times before he was an adult on charges including burglary and auto theft, state records show. He received house arrest in some cases, while others were dropped.

His tattoos mirrored his lifestyle: a gun, flames, and the words “savage” and “10-20 Life.”

In October 2005 and December 2005, Simms was arrested for separate armed robberies, one with a pistol and the second with a rifle. Prosecutors did not file charges in either case.

In 2007, Simms — who also goes by “Sims” — went to state prison for a different 2005 armed robbery and auto theft. He was released in February 2009 on probation.

Simms violated his probation when he was again arrested in June 2010, this time for robbery with a deadly weapon and selling cocaine. He pleaded guilty and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Julio Jimenez sentenced him to one year in prison plus five years’ probation.

But Simms served only one month because he had earned credit for time served earlier in a Miami-Dade jail. He was released in September 2010 on five years of court-mandated “administrative probation,” a low-level form of supervision that does not require regular check-ins with authorities.

Simms hadn’t been out a month before he was again implicated in a violent act.

According to Miami homicide detectives, Simms shot and killed Cornelious Larry, 27, on Oct. 16 in the parking lot of an Overtown apartment complex, 1535 NW First Pl.

Miami police say Simms shot Larry to death after the man began yelling and cursing at Simms’ sister. Simms fled on a bicycle. Detectives searched for him for 12 days before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Diane Ward signed an arrest warrant. The charges: first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Simms had been on the lam since.

Miami police last week spotted him driving a rented car in Allapattah, according to law enforcement sources. He bailed out of the car, which was traced back to his family.

Detectives had been in touch with his relatives, trying to get him to turn himself in.

Tipsters had placed Simms in several houses in Liberty City. Miami homicide detectives turned to the county police warrants bureau, which has a squad specially trained to arrest fugitive career criminals, Loftus said. He said the assignment was routine.

“These are warrants people,” he said. “They do this everyday. They have an elevated level of expertise.”

Miami police Cmdr. Delrish Moss, a spokesman, agreed: “It’s not unusual for us to be assisted by county warrants in arresting the most dangerous criminals. The criminals we’re dealing with don’t see the difference between the uniforms or jurisdiction — they just see cops.”

Castillo’s and Haworth’s squad, wearing body armor labeled “Police,” were dispatched to a duplex at 6112 NW Sixth Ct., in a gritty section of Liberty City just west of Interstate 95.

To get to the front door, detectives needed to walk down a narrow pathway bordered by a wire fence on one side and the duplex on the other.

Simms’ mother lived at the home with some of his siblings. Sources familiar with the investigation said the detectives knocked on the door, and Simms’ mother let them inside.

Just inside the living room, investigators believe Simms jumped out of another room, firing his gun.

Just inside the living room, investigators believe, Simms jumped out of another room, firing his gun.

Haworth was shot in the head inside the home. Beecher was not hit. Castillo was shot dead just outside, in the walkway.

Plasencia, who had been behind the duplex, ran back around and — under fire — shot Simms dead in front of the door.

Witnesses said they heard three or four gunshots. “It was like `Pow, pow, pow, pow,’ ” said T’Shai Bey, who was at an auto body shop beside the building. “I could see smoke. I thought it was fireworks.”

Bey walked over to the duplex and peered through the wire fence. It was partially blocked by plywood, she said. In the yard: two bodies pointing in different directions.

“Women were screaming. Babies were crying,” Bey said. “A lady came running out of the house asking for a cellphone. She kept saying “I don’t want my son to die. I don’t want my son to die.’ ”

Emergency calls immediately went out. Ambulance crews rushed

to the scene, followed by detectives and top police brass from Miami and Miami-Dade, as well as elected officials.

“Unfortunately, no matter how well prepared you are, when there’s a person who’s willing to give their lives, they’re going to have the advantage,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, former director of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Paramedics pronounced Castillo and Simms dead on the scene. Their bodies were covered in plastic sheets as news helicopters hovered overhead.

Haworth was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial, where she was pronounced dead at about 1 p.m. Miami-Dade homicide detectives whisked away Simms’ relatives to interview them; it was not immediately clear if they could face charges in connection with the shooting, or with his time as a fugitive.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez announced the tragedy to the stunned audience at a commission meeting. Condolences — from Gov. Rick Scott, police union boss John Rivera, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski and others — poured in.

Loftus, a longtime Miami-Dade cop and first-year director, fought back tears as he explained that he hoped to serve out his tenure without attending another police funeral.

“The fact of the matter is, our worst nightmare was visited upon us again,” he said.

Miami Herald staff writers James H. Burnett III, Daniel Chang, Diana Moskovitz, Fabiola Santiago, Andrea Torres, Michael Vasquez, Christina Veiga and Luisa Yanez contributed to this report.
  
For Photos and Video Pertaining to This Subject Click The Link Below:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/20/v-fullstory/2026296/our-worst-nightmare-two-officers.html#
  
 

 

Advertisements

Cop-Killer’s Tearful Mom: I didn’t Know My Son Would Open Fire On Police Officers

January 21, 2011

BY WALTER MICHOT AND ADAM H. BEASLEY / Miami Herald

The tearful mother of the Liberty City man who gunned down two Miami-Dade police officers Thursday pleaded for forgiveness Friday, but added she had no idea her son would open fire when she let the officers into her home.

“I am very sorry for the officers that were killed,” an emotional Lorraine Simms said Friday, less than 24 hours after her home turned into a bloody crime scene. “I lost my son too,”

“He said open the door; I never thought he would come out with a gun. It happened so fast. Before I knew it, there was gunfire from both sides.”

When the shooting ended, Johnny Simms, a 22-year-old career criminal wanted for murder in Overtown, was dead. But not before he mortally wounded veteran detectives Roger Castillo, 41, and Amanda Haworth, 44, who along with two others were serving him a warrant for the killing.

But Simms had no intention of going back to prison, and instead chose to shoot it out in the living room of the family’s small apartment.

A day later, his family was left to pick up the pieces. Lorraine Simms spoke briefly with reporters before allowing them inside her home, which, aside from traces of blood seeping through her tile floor, was remarkably intact.

For all the shots fired, the walls were not pocked with bullet holes.

“I’m still in my house cleaning up blood,” Lorraine Simms added. “My son’s blood, the officers’ blood … all over my house, on my porch.”

Lorraine and Johnny Simms weren’t the only owns home when the officers arrived around 11 a.m.

Lorraine’s teenaged daughter Sharease Simms also was there. She looked away when the gunfire erupted, she saw three bodies on the ground when she turned around: Castillo, Haworth, and her brother.

Lorraine Simms repeatedly apologized for her son’s actions, but took exception with the words of Miami-Dade Director James Loftus, who Thursday called Johnny Simms “evil.”

“My son was not an evil man,” she said. Immediately after the shooting, she rushed outside to her son’s side.

“As I watched my son laying outside dying, my son told me, `Mom, they were going to kill me anyway.’ He felt like he had no choice.”

For photos and video pertaining to the mother of the man that killed the officers click the link below:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/21/2027038/cop-killers-tearful-mom-i-didnt.html#

Miami-Dade Police Officer Roger Castillo ‘Was Passionate About His Job’

January 21, 2011

Friends and relatives remembered Roger Castillo as a fun-loving father who was passionate about policing and was always willing to help.

BY DANIEL CHANG, ROBERT SAMUELS AND ELINOR J. BRECHER / Miami Herald

To the residents of his well-kept Davie street, fallen Miami-Dade police Detective Roger Castillo was the type of neighbor you wanted to have around.

He was the dad you’d see on the front lawn, tossing around a football with his boys. The one who brightened up the cul-de-sac with Christmas lights and inflatables. A helping hand if you were struggling with a fix-it job.

“If I’m fixing something, if he passes by, he will ask if I need help, do I need to borrow tools?” said Andre Jean-Louis, a real estate broker. “He gives me some advice about my pool. He will tell me what to do and where to go.”

Wednesday night, Castillo and Jean-Louis had a chat — like they did often. The 41-year-old police officer told him he was feeling a little low.

Jean-Louis offered simple advice: “Stay strong.”

On Thursday, Jean-Louis had to remind himself of those words. It was early afternoon when Castillo’s wife of nearly 16 years, Debbie, stopped by and delivered haunting words: Roger had been killed.

Within hours, the calm Lancelot neighborhood was flooded with police cars and officers. Some came in uniforms, some wearing everyday clothes. Outside the Castillo’s brown ranch home, they held each other and cried.

Sobs of a mourning wife echoed onto the street.

“Why?” Debbie cried. “Why?”

Just after 3 p.m., the new widow greeted a visitor. It was Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who formerly headed the Miami-Dade Police Department, coming to offer his condolences.

Family members said Castillo loved two things most: his family and his job. In fact, he met his wife on his job. She also is a Miami-Dade officer.

“That was his life,” said Nancy Flaherty, his cousin. “He was so passionate about his job, and was always talking about it.”

Together the couple was raising their three boys — 9-year-old Brian, 11-year-old Michael and 14-year-old Anthony — and a small dog named Lola.

Flaherty said the Castillos were part of a big, close family who loved getting together. Neighbors remember Christmas gatherings in particular.

Roger would often be the center of attention, playfully teasing his in-laws and always making people laugh.

“He was so fun and full of life,” Flaherty said. “He didn’t drink but had this natural energy. He was such a great character in the family.”

He also enjoyed the outdoors, neighbors and relatives said. They’d catch him paddleboating and canoeing on the lake behind his house. He loved to jump on a jet ski, and talked about taking his family to the Bahamas.

On the job, Castillo was a respected officer of 21 years. Thursday was far from his first dangerous mission.

In 1993, four years into his police career, an officer named Roger Castillo responded to a crowbar-wielding man causing a disturbance outside Skyway Elementary School in Miami Lakes. The man charged at Castillo, who shot and killed him.

“The cop had no choice but to shoot him,” a witness told The Miami Herald at the time.

Miami-Dade police spokesman Detective Roy Rutland said Thursday that he remembers Castillo being involved in a shooting, but could not confirm that was the same officer.

On Thursday, as the tragedy unfolded in Liberty City, Castillo’s relatives and neighbors monitored the news and hoped he was safe. Slowly, through phone calls and text messages and hesitant knocks on the door, they learned that their friend was gone.

“They stole him,” neighbor Lisa Tuffy said. “He made this world a better place.”

For Photos and Video Pertaining to This Officer Click The Link Below:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/20/2026295/officer-roger-castillo-he-was.html#

Miami-Dade Police Officer Amanda Haworth ‘Was Just A Beautiful Person’

January 21, 2011

She was a veteran officer who had dreamed of joining the force. The only thing Amanda Haworth loved more than her job was her son.

By Julie Brown / Miami Herald

When Amanda Haworth announced that she wanted to become a police officer, her father Robert was distraught.

   his photo shows police officer Amanda Lynn Haworth, 44, who was slain on Thursday, Jan. 20 in the line of duty.
This photo shows police officer Amanda Lynn Haworth, 44, who was slain on Thursday, Jan. 20 in the line of duty.
COURTESY OF MIAMI-DADE POLICE

“He always had a fear of her getting killed,” Diane Haworth, Amanda’s stepmother, sobbed Wednesday.

Twenty-three years after she joined the Miami-Dade Police Department, Amanda Lynn Haworth, 44, was fatally wounded, along with another detective — both of them members of an elite team that served arrest warrants on violent suspects.

Haworth, a single mother and police detective, loved her job, but was most devoted to her 13-year-old son, her stepmother said.

“She took him everywhere she went,” said Diane Haworth, 66.

She last spoke with her stepdaughter on Monday, she recalled.

“She was just so sweet, so very sweet,” her stepmother said.

Amanda Haworth lived in a single-family home in the Silver Springs section of Miramar, where she often played baseball with son, Austin, in their backyard, neighbors said.

“Her son and her work were everything to her,” said neighbor Bernardo Gonazalez.

She was a big fan of the Weston Red Hawks — the team her son played for — and attended all of his games.

“She was just a beautiful, beautiful person,” Gonazalez said.

Indeed, many said the petite blonde was as lovely on the inside as she was on the outside.

Meanwhile, at Robert and Diane Haworth’s home in Miami Springs, a family friend said the couple was still in shock.

Other family members were flying in, and some still didn’t know what had happened, said the friend.

“Right now, we’re waiting for the pastor to come.”

Miami Herald staff writer Elinor J. Brecher contributed to this report.

For more photos and video pertaining to this officer click the link below:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/20/2026300/officer-amanda-haworth-she-was.html#

Los Angeles Unified School District Police Officer Shot, Saved By Vest

January 21, 2011

Police point gun at a suspect following the shooting of a school police officer near El Camino Real High School, Wednesday, January 19, 2011. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer)

From www.mercurynews.com

WOODLAND HILLS – A 30-year-old Los Angeles school police officer was shot near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, but the bullet struck the officer’s body armor and he was not seriously injured.

Police set up crime scene tape following the shooting of a school police officer near El Camino High School

The 11:40 a.m. shooting on Manton Avenue just south of Burbank Boulevard prompted a massive manhunt in the area, with more than 350 officers and sheriff’s deputies hunting for the suspect and nine schools placed on lockdown.

According to School Police Chief Steve Zipperman, eight-year veteran Officer Jeff Stenroos approached a suspect just northeast of El Camino Real High School.

“He was confronted by a suspect that we know, based on a call, appeared to be possibly breaking into some cars,” Zipperman said. “As a result of that contact with that suspect, a shooting occurred in which Officer Stenroos was hit once in the chest. … Officer Stenroos was wearing his ballistic vest, and thankfully, we thank God that that vest obviously saves his life.”

Zipperman noted that Stenroos normally works at Cleveland High School in Reseda, but was filling in today at El Camino Real.

A man is questioned by police following the shooting of a school police officer near El Camino

Stenroos was taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center in fair condition. Dr. Stephen Jones at Northridge Hospital Medical Center said the officer was “a lucky man,” suffering only a chest bruise and minor injuries to his head and back when he fell.

“The vest did its job and stopped the bullet,” Jones said. “It did not penetrate the chest itself, but instead it bounced off the chest and caused a bruise to his chest. He also suffered a fall, understandably, when you’re hit by a bullet, and he suffered minor injuries to his head and back in the fall itself, but nothing that is serious.

Police gather gather at the command post at Hale Middle School following the shooting of a school Police Officer

“His condition is stable and we anticipate that he may be discharged later this afternoon to his home,” Jones said.

Zipperman said Stenroos’ wife was at the hospital, and the officer “is conscious and alert, and again our hearts and prayers go out to his family and we hope for a speedy recovery.”

Police fanned out through the neighborhood in search of a suspect. The suspect was described as a man, possibly in his 40s, with long brown hair pulled into a pony tail, with gray sideburns and wearing a bomber jacket and blue jeans. He was believed to be armed with a 9mm semiautomatic weapon.

Officers detained a man at the scene not long after the shooting. By early afternoon, several people were being questioned, but LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the suspect remained at large.

“Many possible suspects will be contacted, questioned, some may even be taken into custody to be eliminated,” Beck said. “This will be an ongoing police operation for quite some time.”

The California Highway Patrol closed the Valley Circle

Boulevard ramps from the Ventura (101) Freeway as police set up a massive perimeter.

By mid-afternoon, police had a perimeter that stretched from Oxnard Street to the Ventura (101) Freeway, between Platt Avenue/Valley Circle Boulevard and Fallbrook Avenue, according to LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese.

As the search unfolded, El Camino Real High School and neighboring Hale Middle School were placed on lockdown, as were Welby Way, Woodlake, Calabash, Pomelo, Haynes and Lockhurst elementary schools and Miguel Leonis Continuation School. About 9,000 students were affected, according to the LAUSD.

As police cleared particular neighborhoods, students were slowly released from campuses. By late afternoon, only El Camino Real High School, Hale Middle School, Woodlake Elementary School and Leonis Continuation School remained under lockdown, but plans were already being made to release those students as well.

LAUSD officials said all of the schools would operate normally Thursday, and counselors would be made available to students at each campus that was locked down.

John Deasy, incoming LAUSD superintendent, told ABC7 students at the schools would remain on the campuses until police tell the district it is safe to release them. District officials advised parents to stay away from the campuses.

A parent information hotline was set up at 818-654-3600.

Beck noted that a resident who saw the injured officer came to his aid shortly after the shooting and called for help.

“Our best information is that the officer stumbled or made it back to his car, at which time a good Samaritan, local resident, went to offer aid to the officer, got on the radio and put out the officer-needs-help call,” Beck said.

Beck gave a slightly different version of events leading up to the shooting, saying the officer noticed a suspicious person in a vehicle near the school and approached him.

“The individual exited the car and fired multiple rounds in the officer’s direction, striking the officer at least once in the chest,” Beck said.

The shooting came one day after a student brought a gun in a backpack to Gardena High School, and the weapon accidentally discharged and injured two students, one of whom was shot in the head. Both students were recovering, one in good condition, but one still critical.

“I am shocked and saddened by the news that a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer has been shot in close proximity to El Camino High School,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement from Washington, D.C. “Two shootings in as many days on or near two separate L.A. Unified campuses is cause for grave concern and a re-examination of our school and campus perimeter security policies. My thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer, the officer’s family and colleagues.”

Earlier in the day, LAUSD spokesman Robert Alaniz told KTLA-TV, Channel 5 that similarities should not be drawn between the Gardena High School shooting incident that took place Tuesday and the El Camino incident.

In the Gardena shooting, two students were injured, one critically, and three students have been arrested, according to district officials.

“We want parents to know that their children are safe, in this incident no student was involved, the only victim in this case was the police officer,” Alaniz told the station.

Parents will not be able to pick up their children until the lockdown process is completed, Alaniz said.

El Camino parents were slated to get a phone message from the school district this afternoon, giving them more details on the incident.

Linda Del Cueto, the local district superintendent who oversees El Camino Real High, asked parents to resist the urge to come to the campus and pick up their children.

“At this point, after speaking to the school and police, I can say that everyone is safe inside,” Del Cueto said. “But the campus is locked down until we can asess the situation, so we cannot let anybody out yet.”

Del Cueto could not say when the lockdown of the campus would be lifted.

Visit the LAUSD police Web-Site By Clicking The Link Below:

www.laspd.com

Goldsboro, NC Police Say Sex Offender Tampered With GPS Tracking Unit And Disappeared

January 21, 2011

 From http://www.wbtv.com

A sex offender tried to remove his GPS tracking unit and is now facing charges, Goldsboro police told WRAL-TV. 

Jeremy Allen Bryant (Source: WRAL) Jeremy Allen Bryant (Source: WRAL)

The offender had a GPS unit assigned to him and was listed in the state Sex Offender Registry after he completely a nearly year-long sentence for misdemeanor sexual battery and felonius restraint in 2008, WRAL reported, citing NC Dept. of Correction records.

The suspect “interfered with the GPS unit’s tracking function” seven times from last May to January, the NC Division of Probation and Parole told Goldsboro Police on Tuesday, WRAL reported.

During those times, police said that probation officers could not locate him, WRAL reported. Officers who arrested him Wednesday found the device had been tampered with, WRAL reported.

 Jeremy Allen Bryant, 28, of 1904 Lt. 13 N. William St., was charged with seven counts of tampering with a device and placed in the Wayne County jail under a $100,000 secured bond.

Morganton, NC Grocery Store Clerk Fights Armed Robber & Gets His Gun

January 21, 2011

By Steve Ohnesorge / http://www.wbtv.com

An armed robber who wasn’t satisfied with just taking the money got a taste of his own medicine when the store clerk fought back and took the gun away.

To watch video of the incident click the link below:

The robber, wearing a hooded jacket to hide his face, went into the Shop and Save on West Union Street in Morganton just after 9:30 Thursday morning. He pointed a gun at Vaishali Patel and demanded money.

“I was not scared, ” she said an hour after the incident. She turned the money over but instead of running out the door, the robber grabbed Patel, put the gun to her side and started to push her towards the back of the store.

At the same time, Daryl Ward had pulled up outside to get some gas. The robber turned to look at him and Patel took that moment to strike back by grabbing the gun and trying to wrestle it away from the robber.

The two tangled for a few seconds and Patel finally got the pistol. The robber ran out one side of the store, Patel ran out the other into the arms of Ward.

“She was saying Oh, Oh, and was terrified and I just told her it was okay, it was okay, he’s gone.”

Police determined that the robber had gone to a parking lot down the street and left in a car. A description of the car and the robber’s clothes led them to Edwin Lashone Hood.

Hood was charged with armed robbery and second degree kidnapping.

A second armed robbery charge involving a case in Burke County two weeks before was expected later Thursday night.

Police say Patel was lucky. “We don’t recommend fighting with an armed suspect but every situation is different,” said Captain Karl Walden. “She co-operated but he took it to another level.”

No one was hurt and the store reopened for business by lunchtime.

Iredell Co., NC Deputy Makes Marijuana Arrest Following Traffic Stop

January 21, 2011

From http://www.wbtv.com

A Rowan County man was arrested for drug possession during a traffic stop in Iredell County.

According to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. T.D. Miller of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team stopped a 2003 Lexus on Winthrow Creek Road for an equipment violation.

Mark James Labretone, 24, of Cleveland, was driving the car.

While speaking with Labretone, Miller noticed an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

Labretone was asked to step out of his vehicle and was questioned about the odor.

Labretone admitted to having a partially smoked marijuana joint in the center console of the vehicle.

Miller seized the marijuana.  Labretone was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Armed Robbers Target Victims At Car Washes In Southwest Charlotte, NC

January 21, 2011

By Jeff Rivenbark / http://www.wbtv.com

Police are investigating two separate incidents which involved victims who were robbed at gunpoint at car washes in southwest Charlotte this week.

The first incident happened Tuesday around 2:42 p.m. at a car wash at 453 Clanton Road.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, a gunman stole $508 from a 37-year-old man who was washing his car. 

The police report says the suspect also pointed his weapon at the man’s three children who there with him.  None of the four victims were hurt. 

A similar crime happened Wednesday around 8:25 p.m. at the Seasons Car Wash at 4220 South Tryon Street.

The victim told police he was approached by two men who pointed a gun at him and took his wallet.

The victim was not hurt.

64 Year-Old Man Brutally Beaten While Waiting for Public Transit Bus in West Charlotte, NC

January 21, 2011

By Jeff Rivenbark / http://www.wbtv.com

Police say a man waiting for a public transit bus was beaten and assaulted during a robbery in west Charlotte Monday night.

The incident happened along the 2600 block of Marlowe Avenue.

Police say Charles Scott, 64, was waiting for a bus around 7 p.m. when he was assaulted and robbed. 

Three men attacked Scott from behind.  The suspects kicked and punched the victim before stealing $40 from his wallet.

Scott suffered serious injuries, including facial swelling and possibly broken ribs, police said.