Archive for the ‘Sheriff’ Category

Suspect’s Release Prompts New Sex Crimes Rules In Allegheny Co., PA

May 25, 2010

Paperwork Error Raises Possible Changes



The release of a Wilkinsburg rape suspect following a paperwork error has prompted a change in how police and prosecutors in Allegheny County deal with sex crimes.

 District Attorney Stephen Zappala is requiring departments to get approval from prosecutors before charges are filed. Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel approved the new rules last week.

 Zappala said the new rules ensure that prosecutors know when a felony sex crime arrest is coming.

 The change was prompted by the dismissal of rape charges against David Bradford. He was freed last year after a paperwork glitch kept prosecutors from acting on his case in a timely manner. The records from his preliminary hearing in Wilkinsburg District Court on Oct. 9, 2008 never made it to the county’s Department of Court Records. This error caused Bradford to spend more than a year in jail while no work was being done on his case.

 Zappala said the new system means prosecutors will know about a case before it reaches the courts.

Police Seek Help in 14-Year-Old Case of Murdered Jonesvilee, NC Officer

May 23, 2010

Sheriff: Grandmother Allows Man To Have Sex With Granddaughter, Age 7

May 23, 2010


Posted: 8:38 pm EDT May 21, 2010

DUQUESNE, Pa. — Allegheny County Sheriffs located a most wanted fugitive Friday. Glenn Hicks, 55, of Duquesne, was wanted on charges of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old.

 The victim’s grandmother was also arrested in connection with this incident because police said she knew what Hicks had done but she did not report the incident.

 According to the criminal complaint, the grandmother told the victim to keep quiet because “Glenn would go to jail for the rest of his life.”

 Detectives were able to locate both individuals in an area near Camden, New Jersey.

 Police entered his apartment with a warrant and found Hicks in bed with a 17-year-old.

 The grandmother was brought to Allegheny County and placed in jail. Hicks remains in the custody of police in New Jersey, awaiting extradition.

5th Officer Charged in Katrina Shootings Cover-up

May 21, 2010


NEW ORLEANS – Another former police officer has been charged in connection with the cover-up of the deadly shootings of unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge in the days after Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announced on Friday that 33-year-old Ignatius Hills was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and misprision of felony.

Police officers shot and killed two people and wounded four others on the Danziger Bridge less than a week after the August 2005 storm.

Four other former New Orleans police officers have pleaded guilty to charges related to the cover-up, which authorities say included a planted gun, phony witness statements and falsified police reports.

Hills’ attorney, Robert Jenkins, did not return several phone calls.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Arrest Four in Shooting Death

May 21, 2010

2 Arkansas Police Officers Killed During Traffic Stop on I-40

May 20, 2010

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. – Two police officers doing anti-drug work were fatally shot by two men with AK-47s along a busy Arkansas interstate on Thursday, and the suspects later died in a shootout that injured the local sheriff and a deputy in a crowded Walmart parking lot, authorities said.

WEST MEMPHIS SHOOTING AP – Map locates section of West Memphis, Ark., where two police officers were killed during a traffic stop.

Officers pulled over a white minivan with Ohio license plates while “running drug interdiction” on Interstate 40 in east Arkansas, said West Memphis Police Inspector Bert Shelton. Two men got out of the van with the assault rifles and opened fire on the officers, he said.

Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, the son of West Memphis’ police chief, died at the scene and Officer Bill Evans, 38, died at a hospital, authorities said. Evans made the initial stop, and Paudert arrived moments later as backup, Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen said.

“In what was probably only a few minutes, Officer Evans was shoved to the ground and the men in the minivan started shooting at both officers,” Allen said late Thursday. Investigators believe the van then sped away, he said.

Authorities declined to say why Evans stopped the minivan or what was found inside.

Traffic stopped as authorities searched vehicles on Interstate 40 looking for the suspects, who were spotted about 90 minutes later in the parking lot of a nearby Walmart, officials said.

Dozens of officers swarmed the vehicle after a wildlife officer rammed the minivan with his car, and both suspects were shot and killed, authorities said.

Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby was shot in the arm and his chief deputy, W.A. Wren, was shot in the abdomen. Wren was in critical but stable condition and Busby was listed as stable at the Regional Medical Center in nearby Memphis, Tenn., authorities said.

The two suspects haven’t been identified. Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler declined to say whether investigators knew anything about the men, but said authorities don’t believe others were involved in the shooting.

The shootout occurred not far from the Walmart, and Sadler said it was fortunate that others weren’t hurt.

“With this many people present, somebody was watching over them,” Sadler said.

Johnna Long said she was inside the Walmart with her 14-year-old son when she “heard quite a few loud pops.”

At first, she thought something large had fallen from an upper shelf. But she’d gotten a call a few minutes earlier about a police shooting, and made the connection. She then heard more pops and people screaming, she said.

“I couldn’t see what was going on,” Long said, adding that she and other shoppers were confused because no one knew if the shootings would move inside the store.

Stacy Gilchrist said the scene on Interstate 40 was “chaos.” She said she saw a police officer lying in the road when she pulled up.

“It was a disaster, cars were just going everywhere,” Gilchrist told Memphis television station WMC.

Hours later at the Walmart, an unmarked, blue police car was parked near the white minivan. The car’s doors were open, with blood on the bumper and the asphalt below and bullet holes in the windshield.

Outside the West Memphis Police Department station, officers went in and out, some hugging each other as they passed.

Shelton said the two slain officers were doing the “most dangerous job” in the department because they dealt with drug traffickers.

“They were both very friendly, outgoing, dependable people, and I was proud to call them friends,” he said.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said the killings were a reminder of the risks that police face.

“I have reached out to express my condolences to the entire West Memphis Police Department, including Sergeant Paudert’s father, Chief Bob Paudert,” Beebe said in a statement. “This is a loss shared by all Arkansans.”

Chicago Police Officer Back From Iraq is Killed

May 20, 2010
By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press Writer  2 hrs 40 mins ago

CHICAGO – A 30-year-old Chicago police officer who recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq was shot and killed when several people approached him outside his family’s home and tried to steal his new motorcycle, authorities said Thursday.

Chicago police officer back from Iraq is killed Play Video Iraq Video:Chicago police officer back from Iraq is killed AP

Thomas Wortham IV’s father — a retired Chicago police officer — came to his son’s aid and shot two of the attackers, killing one of them late Wednesday, police said. Retired police officers are allowed to keep guns.

Chicago Cop, Iraq War Vet Slain Over Motorcycle Play Video Iraq Video:Chicago Cop, Iraq War Vet Slain Over Motorcycle CBS 2 Chicago

“This is a tragedy. This young man survived two tours in Iraq, and came home and got murdered on the streets in front of his house that he grew up in. In front of his father, it’s just unbelievable,” said Chicago Alderman Freddrenna Lyle.

She said she knows the family, who has lived for about three decades in the Chatham neighborhood on the city’s South Side.

Wortham was a member of the Wisconsin National Guard, said spokeswoman Capt. Joy Staab. He enlisted in April 1999 and was last promoted to 1st lieutenant in August 2008, she said.

Wortham and his family had been vocal in efforts to curb street violence — a particularly hot-button issue in Chicago where two Illinois lawmakers recently asked the governor to send in the National Guard to patrol the streets.

“It’s starting to feel like it’s expected in this community,” the younger Wortham told the Chicago Tribune in an interview earlier this month. “When people think of the South Side of Chicago, they think violence. In Chatham, that’s not what we see. It’s happened, and we’re going to fix it, so it doesn’t happen again.”

Wortham had been on an advisory council for a park in his neighborhood, and worked on making it more safe for children, Lyle said.

Wortham joined the Police Department in June 2007, according to Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis.

“Officer Wortham was a true guardian to those he served and an inspiration to his friends and colleagues,” Weis said in a statement Thursday. “The entire city of Chicago has suffered a tragic loss.”

Bob Alberts, the assistant principal at Brother Rice High School, from which the slain officer graduated in 1998, said Wortham ran track for four years and played football.

“He had a great personality. He was bubbly, he was funny,” Alberts said. “We’re pretty depressed around here.”

On Thursday, Lyle visited with the family, who has declined to comment.

“They are distraught. It’s got to be the most horrible experience that a father could ever have,” she said. “We appreciate everyone’s concerns, but it’s very difficult for the family right now.”

Earlier this month, Wortham attended a memorial in Washington, D.C., for police officers killed in the line of duty. Members of Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department also attended, said the group’s president, Joe Bowes.

“Our prayers go out to the family of Officer Wortham,” the group’s Facebook page read Thursday.

Charges were pending against the injured suspect, who was hospitalized, police said.

Weis said a third suspect turned himself in Thursday and police were still searching for a fourth. Authorities said both fled after the shootings.

The Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates all police-involved shootings, has been notified, said spokesman Curtis Travers.

“The entire city of Chicago extends condolences and prayers to the family,” Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said at a news conference. “We think of him serving not only our city, but our country.”

Teen Arrested in Rape of 83-Year-Old

May 20, 2010

A teenager who police say broke into a north Charlotte home and raped an 83-year-old woman Wednesday night was arrested after police were called about a break-in around the corner 16 hours later.

Robert Lamar McFadden, 16, was in Mecklenburg Jail Thursday night charged with rape, kidnapping, two counts of breaking and entering and one count of breaking into a car.

The 83-year-old called police around 10 p.m. Wednesday and said the teen forced her inside her apartment and raped her.

She lives in northern Charlotte, west of North Graham Street and north of Interstate 85.

News of the assault quickly spread through the small community, frightening residents.

“I was sad. I had to cry about that because what was done to her, it wasn’t meant to be,” Mary White told WCNC-TV, the Observer’s news partner.

Sex assault investigators worked through the night to find the assailant. Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, officers received a second call about a break-in in progress in the same community, said spokeswoman Officer Rosalyn Harrington.

The break-in happened around the corner from the site of the first crime.

Officers called in the police helicopter and search dogs to try to locate the suspect.

McFadden, who has a prior criminal record, was arrested after a short foot chase.

Before Thursday, he was awaiting trial on false imprisonment and simple assault charges from March, according to a search of N.C. criminal records. Earlier this year he was also found guilty of stealing a car.

He’s not listed in the N.C. sex offender registry.

Gastonia, NC Officer Injured in Collision with Van

May 19, 2010

Justice Dept.: Drug-Related Kidnappings Rampant in Arizona

May 19, 2010

The violence associated with drug smuggling has spilled across the Mexican border to such an extent that last year there was a drug-related kidnapping every 33 hours in the city of Phoenix alone.

That’s one of the eye-opening disclosures from the National Drug Threat Assessment for 2010, published by the National Drug Intelligence Center, a division of the U.S. Justice Department.

“Although much of the violence attributed to conflict over control of smuggling routes has been confined to Mexico, some has occurred in the United States,” according to the Justice Department report, issued shortly before Arizona passed a tough new immigration law targeting illegal aliens in the state.

“Violence in the United States has been limited primarily to attacks against alien smuggling organization members and their families — some of whom have sought refuge from the violence in Mexico by moving to U.S. border communities such as Phoenix.

“For example, in recent years, kidnappings in Phoenix have numbered in the hundreds, with 260 in 2007, 299 in 2008, and 267 in 2009.”

The 267 kidnappings in Phoenix last year equal one kidnapping every 1.4 days, or every 33 hours.

The kidnapping victims often have a connection to drug trafficking activities or are innocent relatives of traffickers, the report states.

“An individual or individuals may be kidnapping because of a lost drug load or failure to pay a drug debt.

“The number of U.S kidnapping incidents is most likely underreported because many victims’ families are unwilling to report the crime for fear that the victim will be killed, the kidnappers will retaliate against the family, or law enforcement will discover the family’s drug trafficking activities or illegal alien status.”

Other disclosures of the threat assessment:

  • On average, three Border Patrol agents are assaulted each day at or near the Mexican border.
  • Last year, mid-level and retail drug distribution in the U.S. was dominated by more than 900,000 criminally active gang members, representing approximately 20,000 gangs in more than 2,500 cities.
  • In addition to vehicles, Mexico drug smugglers use “cross-border tunnels, subterranean passageways, and low-flying or ultralight aircraft to move drugs from Mexico into the United States.”
  • Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) smuggled tens of billions of dollars from the U.S. through the Southwest border into Mexico in 2009.
  • Mexican DTO members or associates acquire thousands of weapons each year in Arizona, California, and Texas and smuggle them into Mexico.

The outlook, according to the report: “Without a significant increase in drug interdictions, seizures, arrests, and investigations that apply sustained pressure on major DTOs, availability of most drugs will increase in 2010, primarily because drug production in Mexico is increasing.”

The complete report can be obtained by contacting:

National Drug Intelligence Center

319 Washington Street, 5th Floor

Johnstown, PA 15901-1622

(814) 532-4601