Orange County California Deputies Attack Autistic Child With Taser Weapon

June 7, 2009

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – Orange County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday defended their decision to use a stun gun on a 15-year-old autistic boy who ran away from his parents and later dashed into traffic.

Using the Taser in this case “was the right thing to do,” said Jim Amormino, a sheriff’s spokesman. “If that were your son, would you want him Tased or hit by a car? The deputy made the right decision. . . . It could have saved [the boy’s] life.”

But Doris Karras, mother of Taylor Karras, said deputies did not need to use the Taser gun, particularly because she had called various police agencies to alert them that her son was missing. She said her son would have followed deputies’ directions if he hadn’t felt threatened.

“This was a very aggressive response,” she said. She said her son “didn’t have any weapon on him. He didn’t even have a pencil.”

Taylor fled during a visit to the Regional Center of Orange County in Westminster about 11:30 a.m. Monday. The family had gone there for counseling, which the boy did not want.

About nine hours later, his mother saw him about one block from their home — 16 miles from the center — on the ground and handcuffed by deputies.

Amormino said Tustin police called the Sheriff’s Department after a pedestrian reported a suspicious person. Taylor was pushing a shopping cart down Newport Avenue near La Loma Drive, near his home in North Tustin. With no money, he apparently had walked home.

Doris Karras said her son, who is 5 feet 10 and has a beard, looks older than 15.

Amormino said Taylor yelled something when approached by a deputy, then ran across Newport Avenue, causing two cars to swerve. It was then that a deputy shot him with a Taser gun.

The deputy handcuffed the youth to keep him out of traffic, Amormino said.

Taser guns use compressed nitrogen to propel two darts that attach to the body. The darts are connected to the gun by a wire and deliver a 50,000-volt shock at five-second intervals to incapacitate a suspect.

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McDonough Georgia Police Chief Preston Dorsey Can’t Figure Out Why Thief Targeted His Police Station’s Evidence Room

June 3, 2009

HENRY COUNTY, GEORGIA – Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents were at the McDonough Police Department all day Tuesday — trying to determine who broke in to the building.

Investigators said someone pried open a window at the police department and then pried open the door to the evidence room. Once inside, the person tampered with evidence and they may have taken something, officials said.

Officers said they will not know exactly what was taken until they complete an audit.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Jones went to the police department Tuesday while GBI agents were on the scene gathering evidence.

McDonough Police Chief Preston Dorsey told Jones he didn’t think it was an inside job, but the person was familiar with the building because he knew where the un-marked evidence room was.

“I (have) been in this business for about 25 years and I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a police department being broken into,” said Dorsey.

The crime has some residents astonished.

“Oh my God. That is crazy,” said resident Aniya Williams.

“That’s just completely and totally nuts,” said business owner Scott Evans.

Officers said they are checking surveillance cameras from surrounding businesses to see if their cameras caught the person on tape. Agents said they are also interviewing staff members.

The McDonough Police Department closes its administrative side at 5 p.m. Dorsey said officers to come in and out after 5 p.m. to write reports or to interview people. For the most part, though, the building remains empty after hours.

“It appears they came and hid behind these bushes and pried that lock open or that window,” said Dorsey.

When Jones asked Dorsey why someone would want to break in to the evidence room, he said he didn’t know but would find out.

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Kid Escapes From Brand New $45 Million Maryland Youth "Anti-Prison" The Day After It Opens

June 3, 2009

LAUREL, MARYLAND – Sources said Monday afternoon that the youth who escaped Saturday from the New Beginnings Youth Center in Laurel, Md. — embarrassing the $45 million juvenile facility that just opened on Friday — finally was recaptured Monday.

The escape of a juvenile inmate from a new “anti-prison” leaves officials embarrassed.

The sources said the juvenile was found in northeast Washington by a youth rehabilitation department employee. The juvenile is now back in custody with D.C. Police.

The New Beginnings Youth Center in Laurel, Md., was described as an “anti-prison” in many of the warm and fuzzy stories written about it leading up to its opening on Friday. How apropos, because how can it be a prison if it can’t keep the inmates inside.

On Saturday the kid escaped by scaling a fence. It appears officials knew that fencing would be a problem, according to the Washington Post. The old Oak Hill facility had razor wire on its fence, but that wasn’t part of the new home. It turned out to be a bad move.

A day before the facility opened, Schiraldi and David Muhammad, chief of committed services, said they had brought in young men to try to scale the fences and made modifications based on what they observed. Schiraldi said he planned to place prickly shrubbery, possibly rose bushes, near the fence so inmates would not be tempted to flee.

Prickly shrubbery? Something tells us the kids in this facility have seen far worse in their lives than a little prickly shrubbery.

So after Saturday’s escape, razor wire was added to the new facility’s fence.

So much for the anti-prison.

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Cattaraugus County New York Deputies Lose Horse And Buggy Driver After 3 Mile Pursuit

June 3, 2009

CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, NEW YORK – The driver of a horse and buggy led Cattaraugus County sheriff’s deputies on a three-mile pursuit through fields and woods early Monday morning, eventually abandoning the buggy and escaping on foot.

It happened on Frank Road in Napoli, where deputies were investigating underage drinking.

Deputies reported they tried to stop the driver of the horse and buggy, but he drove the rig through fields and into the woods before jumping down and taking off on foot.

After searching without success for the driver, deputies took the horse and buggy back to a nearby home, and a young man was taken into custody.

Jonas J. Hershberger, 20, of Frank Road, was charged with overdriving of animals, reckless endangerment and obstructing governmental administration. Following arraignment in Little Valley Town Court, he was sent to the county jail in lieu of $250 bail.

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Death Sentence: Woman Dies After Being Left In An Outdoor Cage In The Hot Sun By Goodyear Arizona Prison Guards – Had This Been A Dog, It Might Have Gotten More Attention

June 3, 2009

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – Arizona is ending its use of outdoor prison cells after an inmate died in triple-digit heat last month, the corrections department said Tuesday.

Corrections spokesman Barrett Marson said in an e-mail that the decision came after consulting with Gov. Jan Brewer’s office.

Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said “the governor made a judgment that she didn’t desire this usage.”

“It’s certainly to prevent any future exposure out in the elements,” he said, adding that Brewer believes indoor cells would be a good replacement for the outdoor ones.

The department said last week it was temporarily halting use of the cells to add shade and water. Corrections Director Charles Ryan planned to discuss the change on Wednesday.

Marcia Powell, 48, died from heat-related complications hours after she collapsed May 19 in an uncovered outdoor cell. She had been in the cell for nearly four hours, despite a policy that set a two-hour limit.

Ryan has said Powell’s cell was 20 yards from a control room where officers were supposed to be watching her. Three prison employees were suspended pending an investigation.

The chain-link holding cells were used to house inmates being transferred between various sections of the prison. Powell was placed in one at the Perryville prison in Goodyear after seeing a psychologist.

She had been serving a 2-year sentence for prostitution. A string of convictions left Powell in jail or prison for most of the past decade, according to court documents.

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6 University Of Florida Police Cars Show Up To Investigate The Theft Of A Single Book From Someone Studying In Library

June 3, 2009

FLORIDA – Six University police cars sat outside Marston Science Library and at least six officers searched the area for a suspected criminal Monday afternoon.

The crime: book theft.

Maria Hicks, a food and resource economics undergraduate, left her table on the fourth floor to answer her cell phone.

When she returned, a man at her table was zipping his backpack up, but she thought nothing of it, she said.

Then she noticed her $200 “Data Analysis” book was missing.

She searched for the man with the backpack, who she described as wearing an orange UF Gators shirt.

“I tried to chase him,” she said. “He disappeared so fast.”

UPD responded by searching the area for people matching the thief’s description. Officers searched the bags of several people and questioned them about the crime.

Hicks had borrowed the textbook from a friend and will have to pay her back, she said.

Pam Bonner, a UPD spokeswoman, offered a moral to the story.

“Don’t leave your stuff; take it with you if you go somewhere,” she said.

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Crazed Former Miami Beach Florida Police Officer William Thomas Skinner Arrested, Charged With Attempting To Murder His Wife

June 2, 2009

FLORIDA – William Thomas Skinner used to put criminals away who acted like he did on Monday.

Skinner, a 23-year veteran of the Miami Beach Police Department, was arrested outside the home of his estranged wife in the Upper Keys for shooting at the woman and her male roommate and chasing the couple out of their home. He faces attempted murder charges.

The shooting was sparked by a dispute over Skinner seeing his 3-year-old son, who also had to duck bullets. Indira Skinner refused to let her husband see their 3-year old because he didn’t call first, according to the police report.

The Miami Herald reported one of the bullets from the .357 revolver hit Jesus Ruvalcaba in the leg. Ruvalcaba is the roommate who came to the aid of Indira Skinner after he overheard the shouting match happening on the front porch.

Indira and William Skinner are separated and were headed for divorce court. Now William Skinner is probably headed to the slammer for a long time.

Skinner, 53, was a captain on the Miami Beach force before retiring in 2003.

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