Federal Reserve Loses “Large Amount” Of Newly Designed $100 Bills – “Substantial” Number Of Bills Were Not Intended For Circulation Until 2013

October 14, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Unknown thieves stole a “large amount” of newly-designed $100 bills bound for a Federal Reserve facility in New Jersey on Thursday, the FBI said.

Frank Burton, Jr., spokesman for the FBI’s Philadelphia division, said the theft occurred at some point between when the shipment of bills landed at the Philadelphia airport on a commercial flight from Dallas at 10:20 Thursday morning, and when the shipment reached its New Jersey destination around 2:00 p.m., when the courier service transporting the bills reported some missing.

Burton declined to comment on the amount taken, but said it was substantial.

The missing bills carry a design that is not slated to reach circulation until 2013. They feature a large gold “100” graphic on the back, and an orange box on the front with a faint image of the Liberty Bell.

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Douchebags Rally In Support Of Like-Kind Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Lt. Jonathan Josey After He Was Caught On Video Beating Woman At Parade – Suspended As City Works To Fire Him

October 12, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Members of the city’s police union are planning a fundraiser for a lieutenant who is being fired for punching a woman at a parade, an encounter caught on video.

Earlier this month, the city’s police commissioner announced that Lt. Jonathan Josey was suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

Mayor Michael Nutter apologized to the woman, saying he was “appalled,” ”sickened” and “ashamed” by the video. It shows 39-year-old Aida Guzman being struck in the face and falling to the ground, her face bloodied, and then being led away in handcuffs during a street festival associated with the city’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported ( http://bit.ly/WZImtO ) that union members are supporting Josey and holding a five-hour, $30-a-person fundraiser for him on Oct. 28. Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby said the proceeds will go toward Josey’s living expenses.

“It was inappropriate for the city to apologize to this woman and drop the charges until the investigation was complete,” McNesby said. “And we still don’t believe it’s a fireable offense.”

The fundraiser isn’t an official union event, McNesby said. But the newspaper reports it’s being advertised on union letterhead and on the union website.

City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez said she was disappointed because the fundraiser makes it appear that officers condone Josey’s actions.

“While I understand that the FOP has to defend one of its own, I am extremely disappointed because this will appear that they are condoning the very visible actions of Josey, which hurts the image of their good officers,” said Sanchez, who represents the district where the encounter occurred.

Guzman’s attorney said he had no strong objection to the benefit.

“We don’t think he should be reinstated, that’s for sure,” attorney Enrique Latoison said. “But as a defense attorney, I understand that his people are going to defend him and look out for him.”

A disorderly conduct charge against Guzman has been withdrawn.

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Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation Employees Arrested For Stealing Metal Grates Along Interstate 95 – State Claims They Are Worth $1000 Each…

October 10, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – An Eyewitness News Exclusive – thieves leave potentially dangerous road hazards around Philadelphia and PennDOT is shocked to learn who is accused of doing the stealing for scrap metal.

When you’re driving on a highway, you probably don’t even realize they’re there: drainage grates found along the shoulder.

According to PennDOT, they have been “mysteriously disappearing” over the last year, putting drivers in danger.

Then came news of an arrest on Tuesday of four men, subcontractors hired by PennDOT to maintain the highways.

PennDOT spokesman, Gene Blaum, said in a statement:

“We are stunned by this arrest. Drainage grates are a critical component of our highway system. Once removed, it becomes a safety hazard and safety is of our utmost priority.”

Lt. Michael Gross with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Northeast Detectives Division said, “Probably most people wouldn’t even turn their head.”

We’re told, if not for an alert and experienced Philadelphia police officer driving on I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon, the thieves in this case would have gotten away.

“He had spent many years in Highway Patrol and also in Traffic. At about Academy Road, he observed four gentlemen putting it into an unmarked van, which aroused his suspicion. He realized that was a PennDOT job to be removing, replacing, manipulating and repairing grates,” Lt. Gross explained.

So while off-duty in his own car, the officer called police radio and followed the van off the Bridge Street exit.

Lt. Gross said, “At 4900 Aramingo, uniformed police converged on him, stopped the car, they recovered two grates. One was the one the officer observed being taken and one had apparently been taken somewhere further north.”

Officials say the metal grates are worth about $1000 each and so far, sources say PennDOT had to replace more than 60 stolen grates along I-95.

The four men charged are Norberto Rivera, 24, of the 2000 block of E. Allegheny Ave. in Philadelphia; Raul Rosario, 56, of the 400 block of N. 7th Street in Camden, NJ; Carlos Villegas, 54, of the 600 block of E. Willard Street in Philadelphia; and Edgar Manon, 24, of the 500 block of Alcott Street in Philadelphia.

“There’s always a possibility there are more incidents of grate thefts. Obviously there were more grates taken at various points. Whether they’re involved, we just don’t know yet. Still the early stage of the investigation,” Lt. Gross said.

PennDOT officials say they will work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department to gather more information and provide any assistance needed as their investigation continues.

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Savage Black Beast Arrested After Unprovoked Sucker Punching Of White Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Schoolteacher – Caught On Video, Laughing Afterwards

October 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – A teenager who sucker punched a schoolteacher in a downtown alley – an attack caught on surveillance video – apparently picked the victim at random, police and school officials said.

The attack happened last Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. The surveillance video, which Pittsburgh police used to make an arrest Tuesday, shows the 15-year-old suspect walking with several other youths past 50-year-old James Addlespurger. Addlespurger, who teaches English at an arts high school, was walking in the other direction and did not appear to interact with the youths in any way.

The suspect suddenly approached Addlespurger and punched him in the head. The teacher fell hard onto a curb as the teen and the others continued walking.

“We don’t know the mind state that that young man was in, but there’s something very terrifying about it,” said Pittsburgh Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, whose district includes downtown. “In the video it appears he was laughing afterwards, which is very disturbing.”

The suspect was taken to a juvenile detention center on a charge of simple assault but was not identified because he’s charged in juvenile court.

City schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said she can’t comment on any discipline the student may face and isn’t sure school officials will exercise any jurisdiction because the attack happened off school grounds and after the school day had ended.

The suspect attends a school for troubled youths in another part of the city. Police said there’s no evidence the suspect, or his friends, knew Addlespurger or exchanged words with him.

Addlespurger didn’t immediately return a call for comment, but has said on Facebook and in brief comments to reporters that he’s recovering and that “the video pretty much speaks for itself.”

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Former Pennsylvania State Football Coach Sandusky Sentenced To Just 30 To 60 Years In Prison After Sex With 10 Boys Over 15 Years – Faced 400 Years, But Minimum 30 May Be Enought That He Dies In Prison

October 9, 2012

BELLEFONTE, PENNSYLVANIA – Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, after a judge sentenced him Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison for sexually abusing boys entrusted into his care.

Judge John Cleland ordered Sandusky, 68, to spend no less than 30 years and no more than 60 years in prison — meaning he is not eligible for parole for 30 years. He is being given credit for 112 days already served.

Sandusky faced a maximum of 400 years in prison for dozens of charges stemming from his sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. He was convicted in June.

During Tuesday’s hearing, some of Sandusky’s victims addressed the court, while others had statements read by prosecutors, all in an effort to persuade the judge to impose a harsh sentence.

“The pain is real and it will be inside me forever,” said a man identified as Victim No. 5.

He added that he will never forget the image of Sandusky “forcing himself on me and forcing my hand on him.”

Another victim, No. 6., described the “deep wounds” that left him praying for help. “It’s time for you to admit your sins,” he said.

But Sandusky did the opposite.

“I did not do these disgusting acts,” he told the court several times, calling his situation “the worst loss of my life.”

“I will cherish the opportunity to be a candle for others,” he said, adding that “somehow, some way, something good will come out of this.”

Sandusky addressed the court for about 13 minutes. His wife, Dottie, had tears in her eyes.

The judge acknowledged Sandusky’s “positive work” — an apparent reference to his charity for young people — but said it served only to hide his true character.

“All the qualities that make you successful concealed your vices,” Cleland said. “This, in my view, makes you dangerous.”

He also noted the long-term damage Sandusky inflicted on his victims.

“This crime is not only what you did to their bodies, but their psyche and souls.”

Some victims “have had their innocence taken” and “their sense of community shattered,” Cleland said.

The judge also addressed the victims: “The fact that you were assaulted is no cause for shame… It is for your courage that you will be remembered.” And, he said, they will heal.

After the sentencing, defense attorney Joe Amendola insisted that if the team had had more time to prepare for the trial, Sandusky would have been acquitted.
Allred: Sandusky statements ‘desperate’

Cleland also designated Sandusky as a sexually violent offender, which will partially determine where he will be housed in prison, and which programs he will be required to participate in, according to Jean Casarez of HLN’s “InSession.” Sandusky told the judge he did not oppose the status, but maintained his innocence.

One of his attorneys told CNN before the hearing that Sandusky’s legal team would not contest the classification, but would stipulate that they disagree with it.

Sandusky entered the courthouse Tuesday wearing a red jumpsuit with a bullet-resistant vest underneath. Though he was handcuffed, he clutched a manila envelope and smiled briefly as he got out of a police vehicle. His wife, Dottie, arrived in the parking lot moments earlier.

After the sentencing decision was announced, the university’s president released a statement.

“Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said. “While today’s sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it will provide comfort to those affected by these horrible events and help them continue down the road to recovery.”

A day before the hearing, Sandusky pleaded his case in an audio statement leaked to the media in which he protested his innocence and insisted he was falsely accused.

“They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart,” the former assistant coach said in the recording. “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.”

He accused the judge of bringing the case to trial too quickly, the victims of conspiring together, and the attorneys of trying to make money in future civil suits.

Forging a new meaning for the rally cry ‘We Are…Penn State’

Tom Kline, an attorney for the person identified in court as Victim No. 5, called Sandusky’s recording “preposterous.”

“If you are to believe Mr. Sandusky, then we have the grand conspiracy, which his lawyers attempted to play out in the court, which involved 10 young men, a janitor, Mr. (Mike) McQueary, the press, the lawyers and everyone else who’s involved,” Kline told CNN.

“The fact of the matter is that there was no collusion whatsoever. My client came forward only after there was a knock on the door by the police, which led him to a grand jury room. He had never spoken to anyone. He told his story.”

McQueary, a former Penn State assistant football, testified that he saw Sandusky in a shower with an underage boy. He filed a whistleblower lawsuit last week against the university, according to a court document from Centre County, Pennsylvania.

Sandusky co-counsel Karl Rominger said of his client’s audio recording, “If he wants to say that, God bless the First Amendment.”

Penn State University’s ComRadio first aired the audio clip on its website Monday evening.

‘Victim 1’ sues Penn State over Sandusky abuse

It has been nearly a year since the Penn State scandal erupted, leading to the firing of iconic head football coach Joe Paterno and the ouster of the university’s longtime president, Graham Spanier.

Jurors determined in June that Sandusky, who retired from Penn State in 1999, used his access to university facilities and his foundation for under-privileged youth to sexually abuse the boys.

On June 22, Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse, ranging from corruption of minors to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, which were laid out in graphic testimony by his accusers over the course of the less-than-two-week trial.

Penn State fans vow to support team

During the trial, which garnered national attention and cast a shadow on Penn State’s heralded football program, the 23-year-old Victim No. 4 testified that he was only 13 when Sandusky sexually abused him in a university shower.

That account is separate from a 2001 incident that McQueary testified about, saying he saw the former coach pressed up against the back of a boy in the shower room of the Lasch Football Building.

Prosecutors described how Sandusky showered with the boy, using locker room “soap fights” as a pretext for abuse.

Sandusky’s attorneys argued that the jury’s opinions in the case were tainted by a prosecution reference to a disturbing interview their client did with NBC’s Bob Costas prior to the trial.

But CNN legal contributor Paul Callan called Sandusky’s audio statement Monday night another “horrible mistake” akin to the Costas interview and one that likely wouldn’t sit well with the judge.

“If Sandusky wanted to give a press interview and tell his side of the story after sentencing, believe me, everyone is looking to talk to him,” Callan said. “So why wouldn’t you wait, do this in a dignified way, hope for the lowest possible sentence and then take your case to the public?”

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

Less than a month after Sandusky’s conviction, former FBI Director Louis Freeh released his university-funded report that blamed Paterno, Spanier, suspended Athletic Director Tim Curley and ex-Vice President Gary Schultz for taking part in a cover-up to avoid bad publicity.

When a hero falls off a pedestal

Freeh also said Paterno could have stopped the attacks had he done more, though neither McQueary, Sandusky nor Paterno — who died in January — were interviewed by his investigators.

Attorneys for Spanier blasted the review, calling it a “blundering, indefensible indictment” and “a flat-out distortion of facts” that was “infused with bias and innuendo.”

In July, the NCAA imposed sanctions against Penn State, including a $60 million fine, scholarship reductions, the vacating of 112 wins of the football team, five years’ probation and a bowl ban for four years.

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Savage Black Beast Knocks Out White Teacher In Unprovoked Attack In Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

October 9, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – Police are looking for the attacker who injured a CAPA teacher in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Investigators said the attack on James Addlespurger, 50, in an alley off of Liberty Avenue on Thursday afternoon was captured by several surveillance cameras.

The video shows Addlespurger walking by a group of teenagers when one of the teens abruptly hits him. Addlespurger falls and hits his head on the curb as the teens walk away.

Addlespurger teaches 10th and 12th grade English at CAPA, police said. He was recovering from the attack at home, police said.

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Teacher Compares Student’s Romney T-Shirt To “Wearing A KKK Shirt” – Savage Black Beast Tried To Write On Shirt With Magic Marker, Told Her She Goes To A “Democratic School”, And To get Out Of Her Classroom

October 4, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A Philadelphia high schooler says she was humiliated after her teacher told her to lose her Gov. Mitt Romney T-shirt comparing it to “wearing a KKK shirt.”

Samantha Pawlucy, a 16-year-old sophomore at Charles Carroll High School in the Port Richmond section of the city, says she wore a pink Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan T-shirt last Friday during the school’s dress down day.

No one made an issue of Samantha’s political T-shirt until she got to geometry class.

“The teacher told me to get out of the classroom, I said no,” Samantha said.

“She told me to take off my shirt and said that she has another one if I need one. And then the teacher asked me… ‘are your parents Republican?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ She said that’s like her wearing a KKK shirt.”

Samantha was so embarrassed by the public criticism in front of her classmates that she told her parents she didn’t want to return to school.

“I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t think it was right at all.”

They requested a meeting with the principal and the teacher. The teacher apologized to Samantha and her parents saying that the statement was meant as a joke.

“It was funny to her but I was really embarrassed,” Samantha said.

“If it was a joke between two adults, I can take a joke like that but (Sam) didn’t know how to take it, she doesn’t understand, she actually thinks she did something wrong,” father Richard Pawlucy said.

“I can just picture her sitting there feeling ashamed for just wearing a T-shirt,” said her mother Christine Pawlucy. “That someone could spin that and throw it back on a 16-year-old child and make her feel so terrible.”

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia School District tells NBC10 the teacher was transferred to another classroom as the district investigates the incident.

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Pack Of Savage Black Beasts Violently Attack White Shopper In Philadelphia Pennsylvania Grocery Store And Rob Him

October 3, 2012


Philadelphia Police are looking for a group of four suspects investigators say beat a Pathmark shopper and stole $100 from him.

Four people were seen on video walking to the frozen food section of the Northeast Philadelphia Pathmark, surrounding a man with a shopping cart, attacking him and stealing his money.

Shoppers there say they’ll have to be more careful.

The group made off with $100 in cash.

If you know who they are, call Philadelphia police.

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Douchebag Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Lt. Jonathan Josey Notified He’s Fired After Video Catches The Savage Black Beast Sucker Punching Random Woman From Behind At Puerto Rican Day Celebration

October 3, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Fox 29 has learned the police officer who was seen on video hitting a woman has been notified that he will be fired.

Lt. Jonathan Josey of the department’s Highway Patrol was captured on video striking a woman Sunday during Puerto Rican Day Parade festivities Sunday.

Fox 29 reporter Dave Schratwieser reports that police sources have confirmed that Lt. Josey must appear at police internal affairs Thursday morning. Sources say Josey learned he would be terminated Wednesday afternoon.

The woman, later identified as Aida Guzman of Chester, told Fox 29 she wants justice.

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced charges would be dropped against Guzman.

Commissioner Ramsey appeared on Good Day Wednesday morning and said he would take whatever action he needed to take.

Ramsey was in San Diego, California at a conference at the time of the incident.

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Dumbass Pennsylvania Judge Robert Simpson’s Ruling Removes Legal Barrier That Would Have Prevented Dead People And Illegal Immigrants To Vote In Upcoming Presidential Election

October 2, 2012

HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA – A judge on Tuesday blocked Pennsylvania’s divisive voter identification requirement from going into effect on Election Day, delivering a hard-fought victory to Democrats who said it was a ploy to defeat President Barack Obama and other opponents who said it would prevent the elderly and minorities from voting.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said in his ruling that he was concerned by the state’s stumbling efforts to create a photo ID that is easily accessible to voters and that he could not rely on the assurances of government officials at this late date that every voter would be able to get a valid ID.

If it stands, it is good news for Obama’s chances in Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s biggest electoral college prizes, unless Republicans and the tea party groups that backed the law find a way to use it to motivate their supporters and possibly independents.

Simpson’s ruling could be appealed to the state Supreme Court, although state officials weren’t ready to say Tuesday whether they would appeal. He based his decision on guidelines given to him days ago by the high court justices, and it could easily be the final word on the law just five weeks before the Nov. 6 election.

Simpson’s ruling will allow the law to go into full effect next year, though he could still decide later to issue a permanent injunction.

Election workers will still be allowed to ask voters for a valid photo ID, but people without it can use a regular voting machine in the polling place and would not have to cast a provisional ballot or prove their identity to election officials afterward.

One lawyer for the plaintiffs called it a “win,” while the Advancement Project, which aided the legal challenge, expressed concern that a new public education campaign would be needed to ensure people without photo ID know they can vote.

Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican who helped champion the law, said the state’s lawyers were still analyzing it.

The state’s Republican Party chairman, Rob Gleason, said he was disappointed and stressed that the law is a “common-sense reform” that is supported in public polling across the political spectrum.

“Despite the empty rhetoric to the contrary, this legislation is still about ensuring one person, one vote,” Gleason said.

In a statement, the Obama campaign said the decision means that “eligible voters can vote on Election Day, just like they have in previous elections in the state. ”

Simpson’s ruling came after listening to two days of testimony about the state’s eleventh-hour efforts to make it easier to get a valid photo ID. He also heard about long lines and ill-informed clerks at driver’s license centers and identification requirements that made it hard for some registered voters to get a state-issued photo ID.

The 6-month-old law — now among the nation’s toughest — has sparked a divisive debate over voting rights and become a high-profile political issue in the contest between Obama, a Democrat, and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.

It was already a political lightning rod when a top state Republican lawmaker boasted to a GOP dinner in June that the ID requirement “is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania, traditionally considered one of the most valuable presidential swing states, is showing a persistent lead for Obama in independent polls. Pollsters had said Pennsylvania’s identification requirement could mean that fewer people ended up voting and, in the past, lower turnouts have benefited Republicans in Pennsylvania.

But Democrats have used their opposition to the law as a rallying cry, turning it into a valuable tool to motivate volunteers and campaign contributions while other opponents of the law, including labor unions, good government groups, the NAACP, AARP and the League of Women Voters, hold voter education drives and protest rallies.

The law was a signature accomplishment of Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature and Corbett. Republicans, long suspicious of ballot-box stuffing in the Democratic bastion of Philadelphia, justified it as a bulwark against any potential election fraud.

Every Democratic lawmaker voted against it. Some accused Republicans of using old-fashioned Jim Crow tactics to steal the White House from Obama. Other opponents said it would make it harder for young adults, minorities, the elderly, poor and disabled to vote.

A wave of new voter identification requirements have been approved in the past couple years, primarily by Republican-controlled Legislatures.

Earlier this year, a federal court panel struck down Texas’ voter ID law, and a state court in Wisconsin has blocked its voter ID laws for now. The Justice Department cleared New Hampshire’s voter ID law, and a federal court is reviewing South Carolina’s law.

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Video Catches Savage Black Beast Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Lt. Jonnathan Josey Punching Young Woman In The Face

October 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Cell phone video that appears to show a woman being struck by a police officer at the Festival de la Americas following the Philadelphia Puerto Rican Day Parade is getting hundreds of views on YouTube and is generating comments and questions about the officer’s actions.

The video shows several police officers at Sunday’s festival and a crowd of people. The woman is hit by one of the officers and falls to the ground.

Sources have identified the officer as Lt. Jonathan Josey.

Officer Josey’s History

Philadelphia Police told NBC10 the woman was cited for spraying silly string at officers who were conducting a vehicle stop at North 5th Street and Lehigh Avenue.

Internal Affairs is investigating the incident, according to police.

Lt. Josey has made headlines in the past. He was exonerated in the shooting death of a Philadelphia man shortly after the man robbed a convenience store in Lower Merion in March 2010.

In July 2010, Lt. Josey was stabbed in the back while trying to break up a fight outside a West Philadelphia bar.

Several NBC10 viewers have emailed links to the video shot on Sunday to NBC10 and have expressed concern about the incident. NBC10 investigator Harry Hairston and reporters Deanna Durante and Christine Maddela are currently working the story to find out more information about the circumstances that led to the incident and what happened to the woman after she was led away from the scene in handcuffs.

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Pack Of Savage Black Beasts Attacked Random Woman Sitting On Her Front Steps In Chester Pennsylvania, Beat here There And In Her Home – Vicious And Brutal Attack Recorded And Posted On Facebook

September 27, 2012

CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA – A group of teens violently attacked a woman at random in Chester and recorded the entire incident on tape.

During the vicious attack, which was later posted on Facebook, the teens could be heard screaming obscenities and even laughing.

Police say on Thursday morning, an anonymous Chester resident alerted police of the taped incident that was apparently posted on Facebook.

The video starts as the group of teen girls are walking down Morton Avenue. Several seconds into the video, one of the girls casually walks up to the 48-year-old victim, who was sitting on her front step, and begin to punch and beat the victim.

The attack then leads inside the woman’s home, at which point several other teens join in on the attack.

In the video, it appears the teens are laughing throughout the entire ordeal, but instead of stopping, they complain of how much the woman’s home “stinks.”

Investigators say the attack lasted about 90 seconds. The video then shows the teens running out of the victim’s home.

Police say the victim did not notify authorities after the assault, but did seek medical treatment. She is being interviewed by investigators.

Police say they have identified three of the six girls involved in the violent attack.

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Dumbass Veteran Forks Township Pennsylvania Police Officer William Mills Quits/Fired After Stream Of Bogus Claims That Included Terminal Cancer, Yellow Fever, And Grandmother’s Death – Checks Into Alcohol Rehab

September 26, 2012

FORKS TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA – When Forks Township police officer William Mills announced he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his colleagues were visibly shaken.

Mills, who had been taking sick days frequently, was placed on leave with pay. A month later, Mills’ brother contacted the department to break the news about the six-year member of their force.

Mills had checked into an alcohol rehab center.

The turn of events was part of a series of alleged lies Mills told his superiors, leading to his firing in July. Mills, who was scheduled for a hearing before the township board of supervisors Wednesday night, has dropped his appeal and resigned.

Attorney Donald Russo said he was prepared to defend Mills against the township’s allegations that the officer fell asleep on the job, faked cancer and yellow fever, and lied about his grandmother’s death. But Mills, 34, of Upper Nazareth Township, decided to resign.

“Common sense would dictate the conclusion that one would prefer to just move on with one’s career rather than have a possibility of an adverse finding on that record,” Russo said. “There’s never going to be any findings on these charges.”

Mills was fired for continuing violations of the department’s code of conduct, neglecting his duties and conduct unbecoming of a police officer, according to his 12-page notice of termination. Russo said Mills maintains the township’s allegations are false.

According to the notice of termination:

The first sign of trouble began in 2010 when Mills’ attendance for assigned duties declined. He exhausted all allotted sick time and called on several occasions requesting emergency personal time off for a variety of “unexpected” issues. He also admitted drinking a bottle of vodka a day when he was not scheduled to work.

In 2011, Mills at best completed the bare minimum expected from a patrol officer and his attendance for assigned duties continued to decline. He exhausted all sick time and continued to call in sick without providing medical excuses to show justification. By June 2011, he had used twice his allotted sick time.

Mills had what appeared to be a seizure in the police garage June 24, 2011, and was hospitalized for four days. He said this was a result of alcohol withdrawal but declined further assistance even though the department strongly suggested it.

About a month later, Mills told Chief Greg Dorney and several other officers he had terminal cancer. Upon returning to work in late September 2011, Mills admitted his cancer was a “complete fabrication.” He continued to take sick days, even though he had no remaining sick time, and his performance declined.

During a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift Dec. 10, 2011, Mills told a detective about 11:45 p.m.: “You just woke me up. I was at Forks Elementary School sleeping.” About 5 a.m., another officer found Mills parked at the Wells Fargo Bank. He didn’t respond until the fifth attempt to contact him on his phone, finally answering: “I just woke up and needed to get the cobwebs out of my head.”

Nine days later, Mills said he wouldn’t report to work because his grandmother died and he was taking 24 hours of bereavement as allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. An internal investigation revealed it was actually Mills’ former girlfriend’s grandmother who died, according to the township.

Mills requested time off for “stress and anxiety issues” on Christmas Eve 2011 after he arrived at the station disheveled and had difficulty walking and maintaining balance. He missed a physical in February, claiming his truck had flat tires and his cellphone wasn’t working. The department discovered he was in a drug and alcohol rehab program and suspended him for 14 days.

Dorney told Mills the department would let him return to full-time duty if he met recommendations of a licensed psychologist, according to the township. He also had to pass required firearms evaluations. Mills was told verbally and in writing he could be terminated if all of those requirements were not met.

Mills failed to attend two scheduled evaluations for required firearms qualifications, saying he had health problems. On June 15, Mills told Dorney and Human Resource Manager Barbara Bartek he was diagnosed with yellow fever and prescribed an antibiotic. Alarmed by the seriousness of the illness, the township investigated whether there were any cases of yellow fever diagnosed in the area.

Forks determined there no were no diagnosed cases, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be involved if Mills had yellow fever.

“Officer Mills’ actions placed himself and others, including his fellow officers, in positions where they could be compromised,” the township wrote in the notice of termination. “Officer Mills repeatedly provided false and inaccurate information to his superiors and other representatives of Forks Township.”

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Dumbass Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Can’t Unload A REVOLVER, Shoots Wall In City’s International Airport

September 24, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – It appears it was an unintentional act, but police say a handgun found inside the bag of a flight attendant at Philadelphia International Airport turned into a big deal this morning.

Action News has confirmed Republic Airlines flight attendant Jaclyn Luby was carrying a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver in her carryon.

She was making her way through security in Terminal C around 6:30 a.m. this morning to work a flight to Denver when TSA spotted the weapon in the X-ray machine.

“Why would a flight attendant bring a gun, why would she carry a gun, I don’t know,” US Airways passenger Devrim Eren said.

Republic Airlines operates flights for US Airways which told Action News Luby was immediately taken into another room.

A Philadelphia police officer was trying to unload the .38 when it accidentally fired a round into the wall.

Investigators say Luby said she forgot the gun was in her bag.

“You would expect she would be more vigilant about the fact she travels so much that it should be second nature to her to basically check it out and check her bags out before coming to the airport,” traveler Brian Saldanha said.

Investigators say Luby who’s from West Goshen Township, Chester County had a valid concealed weapons permit.

She was charged with a summary offense of disorderly conduct and released.

We’ve learned Luby has been a flight attendant for Republic Airlines for more than five years.

“We are human and everybody does make mistakes and I understand that even though she’s a seasoned veteran she needs to be careful and I’m sure it will be a great learning opportunity for her,” US Airways passenger Andrea Burger said.

Republic Airlines couldn’t be reached for comment today.

No one was injured when the gun went off, but Philadelphia police will launch an internal affairs investigation over the handling of that gun by their officer.

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Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Hostage-Taker Is Savage Black Beast That Roamed Building Looking For A Victim – Made Facebook Posts Throughout Ordeal – Received Slap On The Wrist In January For 2011 Carjacking

September 22, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – Pittsburgh police said they had serious concerns when an armed man took a business owner hostage in a downtown high-rise office building — and not just because he had a knife.

The suspect, 22-year-old Klein Michael Thaxton, made Facebook posts during the five-hour ordeal Friday, authorities said, and they feared that responses from friends, family and others might goad him into violence.

In the end, police say, Thaxton surrendered peacefully and released businessman Charles Breitsman.

Now police believe that Thaxton might have chosen Breitsman because he spotted a smartphone and computer in his office and saw a high-profile opportunity to express himself on the social networking site, Chief Nathan Harper said.

Thaxton was arraigned early Saturday on felony charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Harper said authorities might never know the reason Thaxton decided to take a hostage.

“We will leave that to the mental professionals to figure that out and get the man some help,” Harper said. Thaxton will automatically receive a mental health review because of the charges.

Thaxton told police he left a halfway house about 3 a.m. Friday carrying a kitchen knife, hammer, cellphone and charger. After meandering through various neighborhoods, Thaxton arrived downtown at about 7 a.m. and briefly considered attacking two separate traffic officers with the hammer so he could steal their guns, police said.

“It makes me feel powerful when I have a gun,” Harper said Thaxton told police.

Deciding he might get shot in the process, Thaxton instead sat and munched on a candy bar and noticed women streaming into a 24-story high-rise, police said. Without any particular goal, Thaxton took an elevator to two upper floors, found he couldn’t get around without an electric key card and went down to the 16th floor.

That’s where Thaxton saw the financial firm CW Breitsman Associates and the owner’s name on the door. He also saw a smartphone, TV and computer and “felt this was the office where he needed to be,” Harper said.

Except for the electronics, Thaxton’s choosing the office was “totally random,” Harper said, noting Thaxton didn’t know Breitsman or his firm, which handles union pensions and insurance funds.

Police initially believed Thaxton had a gun because he told police negotiators he was going to shoot the victim. Instead, he threatened Breitsman with the knife, sat across a table from him breathing threats and, otherwise, used Breitsman’s phone and computer to post mostly forlorn Facebook messages, police said.

“i cant take it no more im done bro,” said one post.

“this life im livin rite now i dnt want anymore,” another post said. “ive lost everything and I aint gettin it back.”

Thaxton has been in legal trouble in recent months, pleading guilty in January to robbery for a carjacking last year. That crime was apparently on his mind, Harper said, because his carjacking victim was a woman and Thaxton told police the only other reason he picked Breitsman was that “he didn’t want to victimize another female.”

Thaxton was sentenced to six to 12 months in jail by the county’s newly established court to help veterans with mental health and substance abuse issues. It wasn’t immediately clear how Thaxton’s service record contributed — if at all — to his mental health problems because he never saw active duty.

Instead, records show Thaxton served as a private in the U.S. Army from December 2008 to June 2010. The Army said he trained at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri before being assigned to Fort Riley in Kansas.

Whatever the motivation, Thaxton felt a need to call attention to his feelings through Facebook and told police he watched coverage of the hostage situation on his victim’s TV.

Initially, police wanted the Facebook page kept open, hoping to gain useful information, but they later asked Facebook to take it down so that Thaxton could focus on conversations with police negotiators.

Most of the 700 or so responses to Thaxton’s posts were from friends or family expressing their love. But a few were “ridiculous” and others were “outright distasteful,” Harper said. Police were still sifting through them Friday, but Harper said any posters who authorities determine urged Thaxton to harm Breitsman or himself could eventually face charges, too.

Thaxton eventually told police negotiators he wanted to speak with an ex-girlfriend whom he hadn’t seen since 2008. After shutting down the Facebook page and getting the woman on the phone to speak with Thaxton, he surrendered peacefully.

Breitsman was interviewed by detectives at police headquarters but left through a back door to avoid the media. He didn’t return calls to his home Friday. Harper said the man was doing fine though “quite shaken.”

Facebook didn’t comment on the hostage-taking but referred reporters to a Web page that says it sometimes shares information with law enforcement if necessary to “prevent imminent bodily harm” to someone.

Some of the social network’s nearly 1 billion users boast about their criminal exploits on Facebook, making it easier for law enforcement to catch them. Just last month, a woman charged with posing as a nurse and kidnapping a newborn at a Pittsburgh hospital was tracked down using messages she posted about her faked pregnancy on Facebook.

In Thaxton’s case, Facebook didn’t completely explain his actions nor would he as he was led past reporters at police headquarters.

Instead he grinned and ignored their questions saying, “I can’t hear you, bro.”

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Philidelphia Pennsylvania Threatens Business Owner With Legal Action After He Spent 20 Grand Of His Own Money Hauling Away 40 Tons Of Debris And Landscaping Vacant City Lot

September 19, 2012

PHILIDELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – The City Owned lot, neighbors say, was in deplorable shape, thick with weeds and trash. So when a business owner cleaned it up last month, spending more than $20,000 and removing, by his count, more than 40 tons of debris, Point Breeze residents went out of their way to pass 20th and Annin streets to see the changes.

“This was a lot of garbage,” Elaine McGrath said as she took in the carefully tended plantings and wooden benches. “Now it’s gorgeous. I’m excited.”

But not everyone is happy with the alterations – namely, the lot’s owner, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.

Paul D. Chrystie, director of communications at the Office of Housing and Community Development, said it’s a simple matter of trespassing. In an email, he said: “Like any property owner, [the authority] does not permit unauthorized access to or alteration of its property. This is both on principle (no property owner knowingly allows trespassing) and to limit taxpayer liability.”

Ori Feibush, the real-estate developer who cleaned the lot and whose coffee shop backs onto the now-controversial plot, said the authority is making a big deal about this because it doesn’t like him or the properties he’s developed in the neighborhood.

“They don’t like nice things,” he said. “For a private developer to create a garden, it’s a question of who gets credit. To do it without their blessing, you’re basically insulting them.”

In letters and emails, the authority has threatened to take legal action against Feibush. Chrystie said the agency “is actively reviewing its options at this time.”

“They said we need to return it to the condition we found it in immediately,” Feibush said.

That shocks McGrath, who has lived in the neighborhood for four years.

“They liked it filled with garbage and broken glass?” she asked. “I can’t imagine why the city would be upset.”

The Redevelopment Authority owns 1,500 lots, most of which are for sale. The one at 20th and Annin has been available “for a significant period of time,” Chrystie said. The authority has no record of Feibush expressing an interest in the property, he said.

Feibush, owner of OCF Realty, counters that he has submitted seven written requests for either owning or leasing the parcel, has called the authority 24 times and has visited its office four times.

Both sides agree that Feibush went to the authority in early August and said the state of the lot was a threat to him and his neighbors. He was told not to go forward with his plans for the parcel. A few days later, he did anyway.

“Finally out of frustration, I said, ‘I’m going to clean it,’ and that’s when I rustled every possible feather there,” said Feibush, who previously angered some longtime neighborhood residents who fear that gentrification will push them out.

Feibush’s team removed tons of debris, evened out the soil and had the area landscaped by South Philly’s Urban Jungle garden store. They added benches, fences and cherry trees, and redid the sidewalk.

“It looks like it’s Rittenhouse in comparison to what it was,” Feibush said.

Doesn’t matter, the authority says; Feibush was clearly told not to access and alter the lot.

“Mr. Feibush continued his efforts even after PRA told him both verbally and in writing that a) he did not have permission to undertake any such work and b) he ran the risk of losing whatever funds he expended on the work,” Chrystie said in an email.

Here’s what Feibush finds funny about the situation: In the past few years, he’s received three citations from the city fining him for not removing the snow from the sidewalk in front of this lot. Last August, he received a citation for the trash on the lot.

But he doesn’t own the lot. He never did. And now that he’s cleaned the lot, he’s been threatened with legal action.

“They’ve been bad stewards for so many years and suddenly it’s the most critical lot in the world,” he said. “I’m not looking for a thank-you, but I’m not looking for a big F.U.”
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EPA Rule Changes Results In Coal Producer Cutting Production And Elminating 1,200 Jobs In Virginia, West Virginia, And Pennsylvania

September 18, 2012

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it was cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, laying off 400 workers immediately by closing mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield said. In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha’s 13,000-person workforce.

Alpha said it was closing four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. They are a mix of deep and surface mines, and all are non-union operations.

Alpha didn’t immediately name the mines because it wanted to inform all the workers first.

Company spokesman Ted Pile said most of the displaced workers may eventually be rehired, either assigned to new jobs in other locations or replacing outside contractors. Only 150 workers in West Virginia and three in Pennsylvania will not have any other employment opportunities with the company, he said.

Though some miners will stay on to seal the operations, most will either be reassigned or laid off immediately.

Support positions will also be cut proportionally as Alpha reduces its operating regions from four to two, Crutchfield said, and two executives will retire Nov. 1.

It wasn’t immediately what other states would be affected by the layoffs.

Crutchfield said the shutdowns and layoffs are a necessary part of ensuring Alpha survives in what has become a difficult U.S. market, where coal companies face a dual challenge: Power plants are shifting to cheap, abundant natural gas, while companies like his face “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.”

“We think the actions we’re taking are aimed at getting ahead of this on a proactive basis and getting set up for 2013 going forward,” he said.

Bristol, Va.-based Alpha will cut production 16 million tons by early 2013 and reduce overhead by $150 million as it shifts away from thermal coal used in domestic power generation to concentrate on metallurgical coal used in steelmaking overseas.

Globally, “there remains a structural undersupply” of metallurgical coal, Crutchfield said, and Alpha expects to see demand grow by more than 100 million tons by the end of the decade.

Alpha’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Massey Energy helped create “one of the most valuable met coal franchises in the world,” Crutchfield said, effectively doubling its production potential. Alpha now has the world’s third-largest supply of coal.

Alpha has 25 million to 30 million tons of export capacity through the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, giving it the ability to scale up exports quickly, he said. The global sales and marketing initiatives will be led by Brian Sullivan, the current president of Alpha Australia LLC. He’s transferring to the U.S. to fill the vacant post of chief commercial officer.

About 40 percent of Alpha’s production cuts will come from high-cost eastern mines “that are unlikely to be competitive for the foreseeable future,” Crutchfield said, while about half will occur in the Powder River Basin, the largest coal-producing region in the U.S. The basin is located in northeast Wyoming.

Alpha’s Wyoming operations, Alpha Coal West, consist of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayre surface coal mines. Together, the mines have about 650 employees and produce about 50 million tons of coal a year, according to the Wyoming Mining Association. The number of layoffs that might occur there was unclear.

“We’re still trying to figure out, with the reduction in production, what our operations will look like,” said Mike Lepchitz, spokesman for the Belle Ayre Mine.

Crutchfield said “the elimination of jobs on this scale is something I take very seriously.”

“Unfortunately,” he said, “we think we have to do it to set the company on the right foot going forward.”

In the long run, the new strategy will create a leaner, more agile company that can readily adapt to changing market circumstances, he said.

Alpha will try to find openings for some of the laid off workers in other locations or in contractor positions, but that will take time.

Some politicians were quick to pounce on the announcement as further evidence that President Barack Obama’s administration is waging a “war on coal” through new air-pollution standards, but many U.S. power companies have long planned to close or convert some of their aging, inefficient coal-fired plants.

Crutchfield acknowledged that natural gas is currently a less expensive option for those utilities but predicted that will change. Eventually, the price of gas will rise, he said, and in the long term, so will Americans’ power bills.

“I absolutely, unequivocally believe that,” he said, citing coal prices that have been historically “relatively flat” and natural gas prices that have been “very volatile.”

Although Alpha stock had dropped more than 5 percent by midday, at least one analyst commended the new corporate strategy. Sterne Agee’s Michael Dudas said believes the market is underestimating Alpha’s value.

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Judge Robert Mulgrew, His Wife, And Aide To State Legislator Arrested By Feds And Charged With Fraud And Filing False Tax Returns

September 13, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — A Philadelphia Traffic Court judge, his wife, and a Pennsylvania state representative’s aide were arrested this morning on charges of defrauding the state out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Assistant US attorney Paul Gray says Judge Robert Mulgrew, his wife Elizabeth, and Lorraine Dispaldo, an aide to a Pennsylvania legislator, schemed to illegally obtain funds from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

“Mr. Mulgrew and Ms. Dispaldo are charged with receiving and misusing state grant funds that were granted to two nonprofit groups with which they were associated,” Gray disclosed today. “They’re charged with a number of mail and wire fraud counts regarding the misuse of those funds.”

The two nonprofit groups are Friends of Dickinson Park and Community to Police Communications. Gray would not say how the value of the alleged fraud, but said the two groups obtained more than $800,000 from the state. He adds that all three defendants are also charged with filing false tax returns.

“He will aggressively defend these charges,” says defense attorney Angie Halim, representing Robert Mulgrew, “and looks forward to the opportunity to defend himself against these charges. (There are) a lot of baseless allegations in this indictment.”

“We will vigorously defend against these charges and look forward to our day in court,” said defense attorney Catherine Recker, who represents Dispaldo.

Defense attorney Robert Lynch, who represents Elizabeth Mulgrew, said, “These are vague and baseless allegations that at most involve Mrs. Mulgrew allegedly signing tax returns that were filed. We’re talking about minimal de minimis allegations at best here.”

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Veteran Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officers George Suarez And Lt. Aisha Perry Arrested, Face Laundry List Of Charges For Defrauding Utility Companies

September 13, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Two Philadelphia police officers have been arrested and charged with Theft of Services from three Philadelphia utility companies.

Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Aisha Perry and Police Officer George Suarez were arrested on Tuesday after an investigation by the Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office showed that the two had been stealing service from PGW, PECO and PWD.

Lieutenant Aisha Perry was charged with: 6-counts of Theft of Services, Conspiracy and Rising Catastrophe. Officer George Suarez was charged with: 10-counts of Theft of Services, 6- counts of Conspiracy and 10- counts of Rising a Catastrophe.

Lieutenant Perry is 53-years-old and a 31-year veteran of the department in the 39th District. Officer Suarez is a 54-year-old assigned to the 14th District. He is a 25-year veteran.

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Pennsylvania Banking Department Targeting Tiny Neighborhood Bank That Isn’t Out To Steal From Customers – Owner Unhappy After His Big Bank Screwed Him With $1600 In Fees For $200 In Overdrafts

September 13, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – The teller window at Whalebone Cafe Bank in Shadyside looks a lot like an ice cream counter.

That’s because it is.

The start-up operation is the brainchild of Ethan Clay, the owner of Oh Yeah! ice cream and coffee shop on Highland Avenue, where he recently started his own version of a community bank.

Mr. Clay, who sees his bank as a way to offer local residents low-cost banking services, doesn’t have many depositors yet. But he has drawn the attention of state banking regulators, who late Wednesday said they’ll be moving to shut him down.

The store owner says he has been working for about two years on a way to stick it to the big banks following some unpleasant experiences, including racking up some $1,600 in overdraft fees after overdrawing his account by $200.

“I’m just really clear that the retail banks in Pittsburgh are not out in the best interest of small businesses or individuals,” he said.

Promotional materials for his new bank are sweeter than a scoop of cake batter ice cream. “Whalebone is a friendly ‘bank’ creating a low cost and non-punitive form of banking,” a flier states.

A sign on the front door urges customers to “Skip the Banks” and deposit money with Whalebone, which touts “5%+ Oh Yeah interest” per month on simple savings accounts, “beat the fee” loans and check-cashing services.

“Just got my paycheck cashed today and I’m planning on opening an account very soon,” said a post on Whalebone’s Facebook page last week.

So far, Whalebone has attracted a handful of depositors and made three loans, according to Mr. Clay, who opened his ice cream business five years ago.

His “working prototype” for a bank appears headed for a showdown with regulators, however.

Places that accept deposits or make loans have to be licensed or chartered by state or federal regulators. Whalebone is not.

“We’re not OK with what he is doing. We’re [going to be] telling him to stop,” Pennsylvania Department of Banking spokesman Ed Novak said late Wednesday. He said that because the business falls in a gray area, “We don’t have the authority to punish him, but the DA does.”

“If he doesn’t stop, I think he will be hearing from the district attorney,” Mr. Novak said.

Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Clay had said bank charter requirements don’t apply to him because Whalebone actually is a gift card program. “We created a gift card savings account,” he said.

Customers who deposit a minimum of $100 earn interest in the form of a made-up currency called “exclamation” dollars, which can be used to buy ice cream or other items at the store. Every $1 in exclamation bucks is worth $1.10 in regular dollars, Mr. Clay said. A customer with $200 on deposit currently would earn “about 5.5 percent” per month, or roughly 11 exclamation dollars, he said.

Still, it’s not an accident that Whalebone Cafe Bank is being promoted as a bank.

“Quite frankly, it is a bank,” Mr. Clay said. “It really is a creative solution to banking in a new economy.”

He said he wanted to create “a truly local, local bank where people who drink coffee together … were actually sharing each other’s money. And I wanted people to be able to borrow money at a reasonable rate.”

The Oh Yeah! accounts are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

“I don’t intend to be insured unless our shareholders would like us to be,” Mr. Clay said.

Newly chartered banks are required to apply for FDIC deposit insurance.

Mr. Clay said he had his first contact with state banking regulators two weeks ago.

“They said this is very innovative and we like it,” he said early Wednesday. “I’ve been in communication with an officer there. She said, ‘I don’t think you fall under the banking category, technically speaking.’ “

Mr. Novak of the state banking department said he wasn’t permitted to comment on regulatory discussions.

“I’ve seen their Facebook page. They are advertising themselves as taking deposits, and they need a charter for that,” he said. “We’re not in the Wild West any more.

“If they want to say this is an innovative gift card program, maybe that is what they should say,” Mr. Novak said.

Mr. Clay said he manages customers’ deposits and calculates interest with a database he created. “That’s what took me so long to get it started,” he said.

So where does he keep depositors’ money?

“In a savings account with First Commonwealth,” he said.

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Bristol Borough Pennsylvania Officials Waste Time Considering A Plan To Piss Away Tax Dollars Streaming Live Video Of A Vacant Building

September 12, 2012

BRISTOL BOROUGH, PENNSYLVANIA – There are hundreds of television channels out there, but in one Bucks County community, there could soon be another. People may soon be able to watch a video feed of a police security camera — from their couch.

“I personally don’t like being viewed as I’m coming out my door,” said Bashean Baxter of Bristol Borough.

Police surveillance cameras are constantly watching you.

“Doesn’t bother me one way or the other,” said Mary Ann Smoyer.

But what if you had access to what police are viewing?

Right now Bristol Borough council members are considering a proposal that would allow regular people to watch a vacant building at Pond and Wilson Streets, which is owned by the borough.

If the proposal is passed, residents could keep an eye on the building via the web or the local government access channel.

“It’s not really a high crime area in Bristol Borough, so I don’t see the significance of letting the community look at the building,” said Baxter.

“When you have an abandoned building, it’s good to know what’s going on over there,” said Bristol Borough resident Kimberly Bliss.

The idea is that the public could watch video surveillance and report a crime as it’s happening. But then again, the Bristol Borough Police Chief Arnold Porter says those calls could be more of an annoyance.

“My only concern would be being inundated by calls such as there’s kids riding bicycles across the lot,” said Porter.

Chief Porter says there are roughly a dozen surveillance cameras throughout the small borough to help solve their top two crimes: theft and vandalism.

He says the borough will likely vote on the issue next month.

It’s a different form of reality T.V. that doesn’t pay to be a part of the program.

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Veteran Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Andre Daniels Arrested, Suspended, And Charged With Illegally Obtaining Drugs

September 9, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – ANDRE DANIELS rose from his seat at the defense table Thursday afternoon and told U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Perkin that he was employed by the “city of Philadelphia.”

Daniels’ attorney, Nicholas Guarente, described his client as a public servant who could lose his job because of the federal drug charges he faces.

No one acknowledged the elephant in the courtroom: Daniels is a cop – the 49th Philadelphia police officer arrested since 2009.

Daniels, 41, a 15-year veteran of the department who is assigned to the 22nd District in North Philadelphia, was indicted Thursday on 14 counts of illegally acquiring prescription painkillers.

“We believe he was passing fraudulent prescriptions to obtain oxycodone,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Hsia said after Daniels’ initial appearance.

Hsia said that the alleged scam involved about 1,000 pills, likely for personal use. Prescription opiates can be highly addictive if abused.

Guarente said Daniels was aware that he was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Asked if Daniels intended to fight the charges, Guarente would only say, “I anticipate a trial in this case.”

Hsia said that others could be charged but that no other police officers were under investigation in the case. The pills were allegedly obtained at Rite Aid, ShopRite, Walgreens and other pharmacies in Philadelphia.

Daniels, who had been taken off street duty before Thursday’s indictment, will be suspended by Commissioner Charles Ramsey with the intent to dismiss.

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US Government Screws Dead Man’s Grandkids Out Of $80 Million In Rare Gold Coins

September 6, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA – In yet another example of why it’s kind of crappy to be a grownup, the rule of “finders, keepers” doesn’t work beyond the playground’s boundaries. A federal judge ruled recently that 10 rare gold coins valued at about $80 million that had disappeared from the Philadelphia Mint decades ago belong to the U.S. government, and not a family that found them in a safety deposit box. Bummer.

Courthouse News says the 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle is like the be-all end-all for awesome coins. They were originally valued at $20, but one recently sold for more than $7.5 million at auction. There were 445,500 double eagles struck during the Great Depression, but the Philadelphia mint took them back weeks after they were in circulation when U.S. banks abandoned the gold standard. Most were melted into gold bars, and the Smithsonian was of the view that there were only two left.

But it turns out a sneaky cashier at the Philadelphia Mint managed to smuggle some out to a local coin dealer. In 2003 that dealer’s grandkids drilled open a safety deposit box and found the 10 valuable coins wrapped in tissue paper. The family did what anyone would likely do in that situation — they handed them over to the Mint for authentication. Instead, the government took them and said “Gee, thanks for finding our valuable coins, we’ve got it from here,” without handing over a dime in compensation.

Since then the family has been battling the courts, saying that it wasn’t their fault the coins were taken from the Mint and besides, it could’ve been during a legitimate transaction. They tried to prove as such, but jurors sided with the government.

“The Mint meticulously tracked the ’33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred,” the judge wrote. “What’s more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the ’33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate ’33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions.”

If there was ever a time to shake a fist in frustration at an ancestor, now would probably be the time.

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Savage Black Beast Kidnapped Disabled White Man Off The Street And Kept Him Captive In Basement For Months To Collect His Social Security Checks

September 6, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA  – Philadelphia police are investigating disturbing allegations of abuse after detectives freed a disabled man who was allegedly being held captive for his social security checks.

The 63-year-old victim is deaf and mute, so through his brother he explained to Eyewitness News how he says he was abused by 56-year-old Dwayne Young for months — a man the family describes as an acquaintance.

Robert Richardson, the victim’s brother said, “He was physically abused. No scars, but the body was being beaten. He said he was getting no food and he was urinating in a bucket.”

Police confirm they arrested Young after they found the victim locked inside the basement of a Southwest Philadelphia home on Sunday. Investigators say the victim was held against his will after he was abducted off the street at 18th and Washington in April.

Richardson explained, “A lot of things were taken from him, his wallet, his ID.”

In addition, the family says his social security checks were cashed by the suspect. Police say that was the motive behind this heinous crime which is similar to another, unrelated case involving Linda Weston where police allege Weston kidnapped and assaulted her mentally disabled victims in a Tacony basement to profit from her victims’ social security benefits.

“I was angry. It’s enough to make anybody angry,” Richardson said.

In this case, police say Young kept the basement relatively clean but kept the door locked from the outside and the windows boarded up so that the victim couldn’t see out and no one could peek in.

Richardson concluded, “I hope he doesn’t see sunlight again. He needs to rot in jail. I just hope he never comes out. He needs to get what he deserves.”

Richardson believes his brother’s social security checks came out to at most $600 a month.

Young was charged Kidnapping, Aggravated Assault, Forgery, Receiving Stolen Property and related offenses. As of Wednesday night, Young remained in jail with his bail set at $1,000,000.

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police, Feds, And Airline Fall For Hoax Phone Call – Commercial Airliner Diverted For Nothing

September 6, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A US Airways flight on its way to Dallas returned to Philadelphia on Thursday for security reasons, which later turned out to be a hoax, authorities said.

Investigators took a passenger into custody, but police later said that an investigation determined that there was no security threat.

“All indications are that this was hoax and a pretty nasty trick was played on this passenger,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan.

He said someone called Philadelphia police and identified a passenger who the caller said was carrying a potentially explosive substance. No dangerous material was uncovered, police said.

Flight 1267 landed at Philadelphia International Airport, and authorities began a security check while passengers remained on the plane, airline spokesman Davien Anderson said.

Richard Quinn, assistant FBI special agent in charge, told reporters that making false calls affecting a commercial airline is a federal offense and it is expected that the caller will be prosecuted.

Authorities say the Airbus A319, which was carrying 69 passengers, was cleared after all passengers were removed.

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Nutcase Former Chalfont Pennsylvania Police Officer Jon Cousin Released From Prison And Headed To An Inpatient Mental Health Treatment Facility – Falsely Claimed People In A Suspicious Vehicle Did It

August 30, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA – Jon Cousin, the Chalfont police officer arrested late Tuesday and charged with lying about being shot on duty, is out of prison and headed to a mental health treatment facility.

Cousin, 30, posted 10 percent of his $150,000 bail Thursday afternoon after agreeing to several bail modifications requested by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

Cousin must check into an inpatient program at a mental health clinic of his choosing within 12 hours, and notify prosecutors of his progress. He has already cleared an initial mental health evaluation done by prison doctors, and has turned over all his weapons to county detectives.

Deputy District Attorney Robert James said the modifications were necessary to protect the public.

“The nature of the offense indicates that he’s a danger to himself and others,” James said.

Cousin’s attorney, Michael Applebaum, declined to discuss specifics of his client’s alleged crimes.

“At this point we are concerned about his mental health,” Applebaum said. “If things occurred the way the police say they occurred, we will want to find out why. At this point, we just don’t know.”

Police say Cousin, a three-year veteran of the force, called dispatchers about 3:16 a.m. Monday morning and said he was checking on a suspicious vehicle parked at the Lenape Valley Swim Club on Westview Avenue.

Moments later, Cousin got back on the radio, shouting that he’d been shot. He described the fleeing gunman and two other people in the car, sending law enforcement on a frantic search throughout the area for the brazen cop-shooters.

Detectives investigating the shooting soon became suspicious. Cousin stated that his bulletproof vest saved his life, but he didn’t have severe chest bruising consistent with similar shootings.

By late Tuesday, detectives said they determined that Cousin was lying. He was arrested and charged with making false alarms to agencies of public safety, making false reports to law enforcement, disorderly conduct, official oppression, possession of an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.

Cousin spent nearly two days in the county jail before being bailed out Thursday. Applebaum said Cousin’s wife and extended family are being very supportive.

“They are extremely concerned about him and are doing everything in their power to help him,” he said.

Cousin and his wife have four children, including newborn triplets. Applebaum said the family has been “traumatized” by reader comments on online news stories.

“The ugly comments from the public are not helpful,” he said.

Applebaum said he would leave it up to experts to determine whether Cousin was in the throes of some sort of mental breakdown when the alleged hoax occurred.

“I think there’s a logical explanation for what happened. At some point, everyone will get the answers they want and this case will be resolved,” he said.

Cousin’s next court date, a preliminary hearing, is tentatively scheduled for Thursday.

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Bogus Charges Against Teens Dropped After Dumbass Doylestown Pennsylvania Police Finally Realize That Chalk Drawings Of Whale And Sea Turtles In Parking Lot Aren’t Vandalism

August 18, 2012

DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA – Police in Bucks County have dropped charges against two teens who doodled on the street with chalk.

Doylestown police Chief James Donnelly tells The Intelligencer ( http://bit.ly/NJJorr) that the drawings didn’t break the law.

He said Thursday that the images have to be “indelible and financially costly to remove.”

Police had issued citations to 18-year-old Connor Logan and a 17-year-old friend earlier this month for drawing a whale and sea turtles on a street downtown.

Logan has said he found the chalk in a parking lot and thought the drawings were “harmless.”

Donnelly said last week that police filed charges because it was an attempt at vandalism. He also said the doodles might link the teens to chalk graffiti on local businesses and buildings.

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Rookie Wyoming Pennsylvania Police Officer John Urbanski Arrested And Suspended After Drunken Wreck

August 16, 2012

WYOMING, PENNSYLVANIA – A rookie cop’s career is on the rocks amid allegations he got boozed up and plowed his car into a pair of parked vehicles while off-duty near his home in Nanticoke.

John Urbanski, 20, has been suspended from a part-time position with the police force in Wyoming and has resigned from a “fill-in” role with the department in Newport Township, according to officials in those communities.

“We’re waiting to see the outcome,” Wyoming Mayor Bob Boyer said Tuesday after details of the June incident were made public.

Urbanski did not return a telephone message left at his home.

Urbanski, of 424 E. Grand St., told officers he slugged two beers and drank from a bottle of Coca-Cola that “must have had a mixed drink in it” before driving his car into a parked GMC Sierra pickup and a Honda Civic about 5:30 a.m., police said.

Police said the off-duty officer had a blood-alcohol content level of .16 at the time of the crash – twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania and eight times the limit for a person under 21.

The crash happened June 13, police said, but the charges, which include driving under the influence and underage drinking, only became public this week after Urbanski answered a summons mailed to his home.

Urbanski faces up to six months in jail but will likely be eligible for an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which is reserved for first-time offenders or defendants who have had clean criminal records for at least 10 years before their arrest. Completing the program would allow Urbanski to retain his police officer certification.

Urbanski also faces a suspension of his driver’s license.

Urbanski joined the Wyoming force after graduating from the Lackawanna County police academy in December 2010. After Urbanski’s arrest, the borough removed him from its work schedule, placed him in an employee-assistance program and ordered him to submit to a drug and alcohol evaluation, Boyer said.

Urbanski had only worked in Newport Township “one or two weeks” before the crash, Chief Rob Impaglia said. Urbanski immediately resigned and wrote a letter of apology, pre-empting potential disciplinary action by the township.

“He took the right steps,” Impaglia said.

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Carlisle Pennsylvania Puts Fox In Charge Of Hen House, Acts Surprised When Their Savage Black Beast Tax Collector Kept Money He Collected Prior To His Arrest For Dealing Drugs

August 13, 2012

CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA – Carlisle has more tax issues as an audit of the tax collector’s office found $18,000 missing.

The audit came weeks after police arrested Tax Collector George Hicks Jr. on drug charges.

Cumberland County Controller Al Whitcomb said the tax collector had so far collected only a fraction of the taxes paid in cash that the borough collected last year.

“That’s a real red flag for us. That’s why we wanted to get the audit started to find out what was going on there,” Whitcomb said.

When he did more digging, and contacted taxpayers known to pay in cash, Whitcomb said records showed they still had to pay, but they told him they already paid and had receipts.

“There’s no question with a receipt that it was paid, but no record of it being deposited,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb said he sent a letter to Cumberland County, the Carlisle Borough and Carlisle School District to let them know that at least $18,000 appears to be missing.

Hicks was immediately barred from doing his job after his drug arrest, but will continue collecting his salary until the case is resolved.

Police said they don’t believe Hicks used taxpayers money on drugs.

An initial audit only shows money is unaccounted for. Whitcomb said it may have been put in a different office account.

“We let the record speak for itself. We’re only concerned that the people who paid get credit and we’re going to do what we can to make sure that’s the end result,” Whitcomb said.

So far, Whitcomb said he has only found discrepancies in tax bills paid in cash.

The controller is requesting Carlisle Borough officials check with all of its taxpayers to see if anyone else may not be getting crediting for paying.

Hicks’ attorney did not return calls requesting comment.

Results are being turned over to the Cumberland County district attorney.

Read more: http://www.wgal.com/news/susquehanna-valley/cumberland/Carlisle-audit-finds-money-missing/-/9704098/16757188/-/7l5n4uz/-/index.html#ixzz27gLiAQj5

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Doylestown Pennsylvania Police, With Better To Do, Cite Kids For Chalk Drawings Of Turtle And Whale In Parking Lot – Being A Child In America Now “Criminal Mischief”

August 11, 2012

DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA – On the streets of Doylestown, Connor Logan never expected his artwork would get so much attention.

“I kind of started to draw a shape and it looked like a turtle, so I just went with it,” said Logan.

When the Central Bucks West graduate and his 17-year-old buddy spotted some chalk on the side of North Clinton Street Tuesday night, their teenage imagination took hold. They drew outlines of a whale and sea turtles on the street.

But their fun did not last. Just before midnight, police officers spotted Logan and his friend, and the two were ticketed for criminal mischief.

“I’ve seen the graffiti around town. It’s a problem. But I think the fact that I got a ticket for drawing sidewalk chalk might be a little much,” said Logan. “I’m just going pay the fine and it’s not going to be a big deal.”

Doylestown Borough Police Department did not return our phone calls. Neighbors spotted the two drawing, and thought nothing of it. They say police have more important crimes to worry about.

“I thought it was pretty whimsical and fun. I got a kick out of it. They were very pleasant people,” said Mike Cosdon, “and I think you would be hard pressed to find a neighbor who was offended by what they did.”

“Absolutely ridiculous,” said a frustrated Carl Ohrberg. “It makes no sense at all, and Doylestown has some crime now unlike in the past. For them to worry about stuff like that, it’s ludicrous.”

Logan says he will pay the fine and move past this as quickly as he can. He says his days as an artist are over. Instead he will focus on engineering in college.

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Pack Of Pre-Teen Savage Black Beasts Invade 51 Year Old Disabled Philadelphia Pennsylvania Woman’s Home, Brutally Beat And Rob Her After Following Her Home From Doing Laundry

August 7, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – An Eyewitness News exclusive — a violent home invasion has Philadelphia police hunting for some preteen suspects.

Authorities say they beat a 51-year-old woman with some unusual items, including a plunger.

Police say it happened around 3:30 p.m. on Monday in the 1200 block of Luzerne Street.

Authorities say a family friend found the victim in the backyard, on her knees, crying and begging for her life to be spared.

When police arrived, they found her room ransacked, cabinets emptied and the victim, an Asian female with mental disabilities, beaten and robbed.

“They hit her in the face with a rock, they used rope and also sticks and a potted plant,” Lt. John O’Hanlon explained.

Police say the three suspects, described by the victim as black juveniles, ran away with the victim’s purse. Police were eventually able to identify the suspects as 7, 10 and 12-year-old boys.

“It’s amazing that these kids so young can be so violent,” Lt. O’Hanlon added.

We talked to the victim’s family friend who asked that we don’t identify her. “They just followed her. She just got back from doing laundry. When she got home, they beat her and threw stuff into the house.”

The victim was rushed to Temple University Hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises to her face and knees.

The family friend added, “They kept asking for money and they took her purse with some important paper in there.”

Neighbor Edward Pastoriza said, “It doesn’t surprise me. A lot of these kids, they hang around with older kids and they learn how to do things like this.”

It turns out, the 10-year-old suspect was a neighbor of the victim. He was arrested almost immediately.

The victim’s family friend explained, “The parents came to apologize and after they saw what happened, they said to call the police.”

Lt. O’Hanlon added, “The mother knew something was wrong when she saw the police and she basically came outside and said, ‘Here he is.’”

As of late Monday, police say they believe they have identified the remaining two suspects as 7 and 12-year-old boys. Police expect to arrest them shortly and charge the 10 and 12-year-olds with Home Invasion Robbery and related offenses.

By law, we are told, the 7-year-old is too young to be charged with a crime.

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Aisha Indicted After Biting Atlantic City Police Officer In 3am Casino Incident

August 4, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – New details were released today in the indictment of a Philadelphia police officer by an Atlantic County grand jury.

According to prosecutors, Officer Aisha Pleasant, 36, was arrested at Caesar’s Atlantic City casino early on the morning of March 4 after an altercation with Atlantic City police.

Pleasant, a three-year veteran, had refused a 3 a.m. request by security to leave the casino. Police responded and were escorting Pleasant off the property when she assaulted one of the Atlantic City officers, biting him on the hand, said Jim McClain the acting Atlantic County Prosecutor.

Pleasant struggled with the officers until she was subdued and handcuffed. She was charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, obstructing and trespassing. On June 19, the grand jury was charged with assault of a police officer and related counts.

Philadelphia police announced Wednesday that Pleasant would be suspended with intent to dismiss, but had released no further information.

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12 Year Old Black Savage Beast On A Bicycle On An Armed Robbery Spree In Philadelphia Pennsylvania – 5 Victims In Less Than 24 Hours

August 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A violent crime spree has police on the hunt for a young suspect.

Police say the gun-toting suspect kept busy, victimizing five people in less than 24 hours.

But that’s not the most shocking part of this crime spree. What has everyone talking is how young the suspect looked.

“About 12 years old? Quite young. Very young.”

Eyewitness News spoke to one of the victims. For her protection, we are not identifying her.

“Suddenly a guy comes up to me from behind on a bicycle, a school kid in fact.”

She says it happened to her in broad daylight, the suspect demanded money.

“I mean I was stunned. I said ‘no’ and then he pulled out a gun and pointed it towards me.”

We’re told the suspect struck on 46th and 47th Streets between Chestnut and Market Streets. Police say the first report came in at 9:45 p.m. Monday, the latest at 3:12 p.m. Tuesday.

Lt. John Walker explained, “Approaches the victims, asks what time it is, at which time, he pulls out a gun and asks for money and in all five cases, believe it or not, the victims said they don’t have any money and the male rolled off.”

“I could have easily handled him, but because of the gun he had in his hand, I couldn’t do anything.”

The victim we talked to says the suspect was scared off by a passing car.

Police worry if the suspect is not caught soon, his nervousness could lead to something more disastrous.

“Our concern is the victims have all described the gun, he does pull out. So we’re concerned that now he has five victims in a short period of time, he hasn’t received any money and is he or is he not going to get any more aggressive?” Lt. Walker said.

The victims told police, the suspect looked between 12 to 14 years-old. In three out of the five cases, the suspect was seen riding a green or blue bicycle.

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Two Savage Black Beasts Break Into Apartment, Beat And Ron Man In Wheelchair

July 30, 2012

UPPER DARBY, PENNSYLVANIA – Police in Delaware County are searching for one of two suspects who were caught on surveillance video assaulting and robbing a wheelchair-bound man inside his apartment.

The incident happened at about 5:30 a.m. on July 26th inside an apartment in Upper Darby.

According to investigators, the two suspects entered the victim’s apartment and pulled the victim, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, out of his wheelchair and began to beat him.

The suspects left the victim on the floor and actually stood on him at one point.

The suspects then ransacked the victim’s apartment, taking several items, including a flat-screen TV.

Investigators say the suspects were apparently after Oxycodone, which the victim takes to deal with his pain.

“There’s somebody who physically disabled because of muscular dystrophy and these bums walk in and do what they did. It’s cruel and inhumane … (if) they get convicted, they should throw them away forever,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

One of the suspects, 23-year-old Dominic Henderson, was arrested the same day. He is being held on $50,000 cash bail. A second suspect, identified by police as 21-year-old Keenan Smith, remains at large.

Anyone with information on Smith’s whereabouts is urged to contact police.

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Lawsuit Filed After Point Marion Pennsylvania Police Arrested Man For Recording Officer Harassing His Quadriplegic Friend – Charges Were Dropped And Cellphone Returned, Minus His Recording

July 24, 2012

POINT MARION, PENNSYLVANIA – The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Pennsylvania resident Gregory Rizer, who was arrested in January for recording a police officer aggressively questioning his quadriplegic friend. The officer also confiscated Rizer’s cell phone.

When Rizer complained to the mayor’s office about the arrest, the Point Marion Police Department arrested him at home and charged him with violating Pennsylvania’s wiretap law, which bans audio recording unless all parties consent. The district attorney has since removed the charges and returned Rizer’s cell phone – without the recording. The ACLU argues that Rizer was within his rights to record the officer because “the state’s Wiretap Act does not apply if the person being recorded does not have a reasonable ‘expectation of privacy.’” ACLU cooperating lawyer Glen Downey explained,

“The explosion of technology that allows almost every citizen to document and record the interactions between police and civilians makes it incumbent that both the officers and those seeking to record them understand that officers cannot shield themselves from public scrutiny by invoking wiretap laws. Police officers performing their official duties do not possess the requisite reasonable expectation of privacy necessary to be covered by the statute.”

There have been reports from across the country of police officers interfering with cell phone recording of their actions. Earlier this month, the New York City Police Department put out a flyer warning against a couple who record “stop-and-frisk” searches in the city. New York’s ACLU chapter released a phone app, “Stop-and-Frisk Watch,” to help New Yorkers hold police officers executing these controversial searches accountable.

Last week, New Jersey’s ACLU chapter released a similar app, “Police Tape,” an Android phone app that allows users to discreetly videotape and record police officers. The app also explains American civil rights and allows users to send recordings to ACLU databases for backup storage.

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Veteran Lower Heidelberg Township Pennsylvania Police Officer John Masciotti Charged With $4,900 Theft From Police Officer’s Association

July 21, 2012

READING, PENNSYLVANIA – Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say a longtime police officer stole nearly $5,000 from a local law enforcement association.

Berks County detectives arrested Lower Heidelberg Township police Officer John Masciotti on Thursday.

The district attorney says Masciotti faces theft charges for $4,900 in recent unauthorized withdrawals from the officers’ association. Masciotti was secretary and treasurer of the fund.

The officer had been on the force at least 15 years. He had turned in a letter of resignation on Tuesday, the day before the withdrawals came to light.

Masciotti did not give a statement when he surrendered to authorities. His attorney, Allan Sodomsky, says he doesn’t believe Masciotti had any criminal intent.

Sodomsky also says the money has been returned.

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Trial Begins In Federal Court For 3 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Officers Who Wrongfully Arrested And Brutally Beat Violinist Who Was Walking To His Mother’s House With A Soda Bottle In His Pocket

July 14, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA — Pittsburgh police are no strangers to civil rights controversies.

The city was forced to hire more women and minority officers after a 1970s lawsuit. And in 1997, it became the first U.S. city to agree to Justice Department-enforced reforms to curb a “pattern and practice” of civil rights abuses, including improper arrests, brutality and a backlog of hundreds of cases before a panel investigating citizen complaints of police abuse.

But a federal trial that begins Monday in a police brutality lawsuit isn’t the latest chapter on how Pittsburgh officers treat young black men — even though all three officers accused of wrongfully arresting and beating the 20-year-old black plaintiff, Jordan Miles, are white, his attorney said.

“I don’t think this case is the kind of case that’s a bellwether,” said Miles’ attorney J. Kerrington Lewis. “I think this is the kind of case that happens when you have policemen who are cutting corners and are actually rogue-type cops.”

Jordan Miles was an 18-year-old violist at the city’s performing arts high school when he was beaten and arrested walking to his grandmother’s house in his crime-ridden neighborhood the night of Jan. 12, 2010. Officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak contend Miles was acting suspiciously and they thought a bulge in his coat pocket was a gun. They later said they found only a soda bottle.

Miles acknowledges running, struggling and kicking, but only because the officers didn’t identify themselves as they rushed from an unmarked cruiser on a detail aimed at identifying suspects about to commit drug or weapons crimes. He was charged with resisting arrest, prowling and other crimes.

The police union attorney, Bryan Campbell, contends the plainclothes officers clearly identified themselves and used only the necessary force to answer Miles’ ”donkey kicks” and what they believed was a gun.

Campbell said the jury, to be selected Monday, must determine whether the tactics the officers used in subduing Miles were reasonable based on their training and, more importantly, the information the officers had about Miles at that time.

Lewis argues the police went too far because Miles weighed about 140 pounds while the officers weighed a combined 600 pounds, and two had martial arts training. Miles’ dreadlocks were pulled from his head and, Lewis said, evidence from a city panel that probes misconduct allegations showed the officers feared Miles was so badly beaten he might die.

Miles was left with a brain injury and resulting short-term memory problems — a recent test showed his math work was at a 5th-grade level — that Lewis contends derailed Miles’ plans to escape his surroundings by getting an arts education. The city has paid $75,000 to settle his claims against the police department itself and could pay more if the jury decides the officers violated Miles’ civil rights.

Miles denies having the soda bottle, much less a gun, though the officers are expected to call as a witness a friend who told the FBI Miles acknowledged having a bottle. The FBI closed its civil rights investigation last year without criminally charging the police.

Miles’ friend has recanted, Lewis said. U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster has yet to rule on whether the officers can even mention the soda bottle at trial. Miles’ attorneys argue the officers “spoiled” that evidence by claiming to have thrown the bottle away, even though it’s listed in court papers as the reason they stopped him.

A district judge dismissed all criminal charges against Miles after a neighbor testified at a preliminary hearing that she knew him, and police never asked her if he could be near her property. The police claimed otherwise in an affidavit filed with the charges.

In a ruling on evidence last week, Lancaster said Miles may offer evidence of the officers’ alleged “prior bad acts” if they claim to have always done their jobs by the book. A police commander has given a sworn statement that the officers have lied to justify stopping suspects, and Chief Nathan Harper said the officers are the target of more community complaints than others on the same detail.

Campbell, the police union attorney, says such a high volume of complaints would be normal against officers who do the best work.

But Lewis said the complaints have done what they’re designed to do: single out officers with a penchant for bending the rules who, in this case, hurt an innocent young man.

“This kid was a jewel,” Lewis said. “He had a great future and that’s been taken away from him because these officers got carried away, because these officers took shortcuts and violated the law, and in the end they violated him.”

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania IRS Mailroom Clerk Used Position To Steal Her Landlord’s Identity

July 10, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A former IRS employee who allegedly used her position to steal her landlord’s identity faces up to 46 years in prison and a fine of $1.2 million following her indictment on charges of identity theft.

Domeen Flowers, 48, was hired as a mail room clerk in 2007 at the Internal Revenue Service’s offices in Philadelphia. In June 2009, the Kensington woman used IRS computers to get information that allowed her to apply for credit cards under her landlord’s name, prosecutors said. When she attempted to use one of the cards to pay a $1000 gas bill, the company put a hold on the account. Using IRS letterhead, Flowers allegedly threatened her landlord with an audit unless she faxed copies her driver’s license and Social Security card to a machine at the IRS which Flowers could access.

Investigators from the Treasury Inspector General’s office eventually caught wind of the scheme. Flowers was arrested Thursday in Maitland, Florida. A preliminary hearing was held in Orlando and Flowers was released on bail pending an appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

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Broke: Scranton Pennsylvania, Down To Just $5,000 In Bank, Cuts All Employee Salaries To Minimum Wage, Cuts Off Overtime, Workers Compensation, And Disability

July 9, 2012

SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA – Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty cut everyone’s pay — including his own — on Friday, saying the state’s sixth-largest city is broke because the City Council blocked his proposed tax increase. Doherty, a Democrat, warned nearly 400 police officers, firefighters and public works employees about his doomsday plan, prompting a Lackawanna County judge to order the city to pay full wages to all employees, citing that it is a violation of their contracts. Hours later, the payday envelopes went out, and, despite the judge’s order, they were light.

“This needs to be resolved,” Scranton firefighter and president of the local firefighters union John Judge told FoxNews.com. “My members are getting a check for $7.25 an hour. These are people that are the head of their households. They have mortgages. They have other living costs. They are now going to have to throw their bills in a hat and randomly pick what gets paid on time.”

The judge was not in his chambers Monday, but attorneys for the local city workers’ unions were planning to go to court Tuesday morning to ask him to hold Doherty in contempt of court for violating the injunction.

In addition to scaling back wages, Doherty’s move cut off overtime, worker’s compensation and disability.

The city of Scranton has battled budget woes for years, but the problems reached a boiling point after the City Council blocked Doherty’s plan to raise taxes to cover a $16.8 million shortfall, opting instead to borrow money to cover the budget gap.

“The mayor is trying to strong-arm the council into doing what he wants, but it’s the city’s employees that are paying the price,” Judge said, adding that the workers in his department saw their paystubs go from about $1,500 every two weeks after deductions to a gross pay of about $600. “This is not a case of no cash. It’s a cash-flow problem.”

The cuts were sudden, as city employees were only given eight days’ notice. Doherty also claimed last week that there is only $5,000 left in the city’s accounts.

“The employees are the ones in the middle of this battle between the mayor and the council,” said Sam Vitris, president of the public works union. “We’ve had four or five recovery plans over the years and none of them seemed to have worked. The stalemate between them has led the city to run out of money.”

Doherty has maintained for months that if the City Council had not refused his 2012 budget proposal, which included a 29 percent tax hike, the city would not be in a dire situation. Doherty did not return repeated calls for comment.

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Laws Aimed At Making Life Hell For The Homeless Are Now Also Targeting Those Who’s Charity Efforts Feed Them

July 6, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A growing number of cities want to tackle the problem of homelessness by outlawing what are known as “acts of daily living” — sleeping, eating and panhandling in public. In Philadelphia, a new rule is targeting not the homeless but those who feed them.

When Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced the ban on serving food in public parks last March, he said moving such services indoors was part of an effort to raise standards for the homeless.

“I believe that people, regardless of their station in life, should be able to actually sit down, at a table, to a meal inside, away from the heat and the cold, the rain and the snow, the vehicle exhaust and all the other distractions of everyday city life,” Nutter said at a press conference.

Indoor facilities, Nutter says, also make it easier to connect homeless people with other supportive services.

But many advocates for the homeless are skeptical. “We at the national level see this as a trend much more about restricting activities that really define the homeless experience,” says Neil Donovan, the executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.
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Fumes? – Former FBI Employee Saw “Angels” Guarding Flight 93 Crash Site…

July 3, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A former police officer who retired from the FBI due to post-traumatic stress disorder linked to her role in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks has written a book about seeing legions of angels guarding the Pennsylvania site where a hijacked airliner crashed.

Lillie Leonardi served as a liaison between law enforcement and the families of the passengers and crew members killed in the United Airlines Flight 93 crash. She arrived on the scene about three hours after the crash.

Although Leonardi’s book, “In the Shadow of a Badge: A Spiritual Memoir,” centers on her vision of angels, she argues her life has been changed more by what she didn’t see that day.

“The biggest thing for me is that that there were no bodies,” she said.

Leonardi, 56, remembers the burning pine and jet fuel stinging her nostrils. She said she also remembers a smoldering crater littered with debris too small to associate with the jetliner or 40 passengers and crew on board.

“I’m used to crime scenes but this one blew me out of the water. It just looked like the ground had swallowed up” the plane, Leonardi said.

“That’s when I started seeing like shimmery lights … and it was kind of misty and that’s when I first saw, like, the angels there,” Leonardi said. “And I didn’t say anything to the guys because you can imagine if I would have said, ‘I just saw angels on the crash site,’ they’d have called the office and they’d have said, ‘She lost her mind and tell her to go home.'”

Instead, Leonardi kept it to herself for the better part of two years. As emotional and physical ailments surfaced that she would later learn were post-traumatic stress disorder-related, she began telling a close circle of friends and colleagues what she saw, including Kenneth McCabe, her former supervisor.

McCabe, 59, now retired near Cocoa Beach, Fla., was chief of the FBI’s operational response section, which sent laboratory teams to gather evidence from each of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror sites. A year or so later, he became the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office, making him Leonardi’s boss until he retired from the bureau in 2004.

“I believe her. I read the whole book,” McCabe told The Associated Press. “I know she believes 100 percent that’s what she saw. I know she’s a sane person so I’m not going to discount what she says she saw.”

McCabe said he also understands why the Flight 93 crash site was different than the other attack scenes.

“I was there one day when they brought a busload of family members to overlook the site … and I teared up,” McCabe said. “Just because these people had the thousand-yard stare. They didn’t have any closure. They didn’t have any bodies to look at. They didn’t have anything to look at. At least in New York and Washington, there was the devastation (of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon) but here, except for seeing someone off in the distance, in the woods, looking for things, there was nothing.”

Leonardi has befriended some Flight 93 family members, though none consented to be interviewed for this story. Asked about the book, the spokeswoman for the Families of Flight 93, Lisa Linden, issued a statement lauding the “extraordinary work” done by the FBI that also said, “The crash site and sacred ground — now central to the Flight 93 National Memorial — is a place that elicits powerful reactions from those who work at the site and who visit.”

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New Castle Pennsylvania Police, With No Other Crimes This Decade, Investigate Kids Drive-By Squirt Gun “Attack” With “Chlorinated Water”

June 23, 2012

NEW CASTLE, PENNSYLVANIA – Four western Pennsylvania teens have been charged in a drive-by squirt gun attack, and police say the parents of one teen will also be charged with disorderly conduct for yelling at officers who were investigating the incident.

The New Castle News reports Friday that the incident happened just after midnight early Wednesday.

Police say a woman and her brother were squirted with chlorinated water and called police who traced the license plate to one of the suspects.

Police say the four teens in the car acknowledged wetting the others with squirt guns and were charged with harassment and disorderly conduct.

The parents of one of the teens cited will also be charged for allegedly yelling at and insulting officers who were questioning the teens.

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Note to self: Call it “chlorinated water” instead of tap water and most readers will think for a moment that it was a chemical attack…

Veteran Jermyn Pensylvania Police Officer Turique Patrick Quits Amid Suspension – Everything Except Suspension And His Quitting Kept Secret – Also Works ForLackawanna County Sheriff’s Department And Archbald Police

June 23, 2012

JERMYN, PENNSYLVANIA – A long-standing part-time officer with the Jermyn Police Department verbally resigned Friday morning after having been suspended for one day by Mayor Bruce Smallacombe earlier this month.

Officer Turique Patrick is expected to deliver a letter of resignation and turn in his equipment to the borough on Monday, though the reason for his initial suspension – the subject of an interdepartmental investigation – was not made clear by officials on Friday.

Mr. Smallacombe ordered the discipline in early June, and Officer Patrick served the one-day suspension on June 9, the mayor said.

Officer Patrick was then reinstated to the department during the June 14 council meeting, Councilwoman Katie Hosie said.

But on Friday, Ms. Hosie closed a special council meeting by reporting that Officer Patrick had offered the borough his verbal resignation that morning with plans to submit a formal letter and return his equipment on Monday.

The meeting was not scheduled to address Officer Patrick’s work status, borough solicitor Albert Nicholls said. Rather, the meeting was convened to finalize a budget report to be submitted to the state as well as for Mr. Nicholls to brief the body on imminent changes to the state borough code, he said.

Ms. Hosie said she did not know why Officer Patrick ultimately decided to resign. She said he had been with the borough for about eight years.

Contacted later Friday, Mr. Smallacombe said he suspended Officer Patrick earlier this month over “something that he did in the department that we wanted to investigate.”

Mr. Smallacombe would not elaborate on what that was other than to say that it was not criminal in nature.

“We felt that it was serious enough that we needed to take a look at it,” he said.

The Lackawanna County district attorney’s office was not brought in to conduct an investigation, nor were state police, Mr. Smallacombe said.

Mr. Smallacombe said such an investigation was not warranted – that the infraction was “just an interdepartmental problem.”

Reached Friday, Officer Patrick declined to explain the reason for his suspension as he had not discussed releasing that information with his attorney, Paul Walker.

Officer Patrick did say that, during an executive session with council before his reinstatement with back pay, it was found that his alleged violation of departmental polices and procedures was “baseless.”

Officer Patrick said he decided to resign from the Jermyn Police Department – where he worked only two days a week – to focus on his full-time position with the Lackawanna County sheriff’s office, where he works as a deputy sheriff, his part-time position with the Archbald Police Department and his family.

Mr. Smallacombe said Officer Patrick was one of about a dozen part-time officers with the borough Police Department. Police Chief Dan Zellers is the department’s only full-time officer, he said.

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West York Borough Pennsylvania Police Officer Bridgette M. Wilson Wants Trial For Illegally Taping Conversations With Her Lesbian Lover – Also Charged With Receiving Stolen Property (Police Equipment) Elsewhere

June 22, 2012

YORK, PENNSYLVANIA – A West York Borough Police officer accused of illegally taping conversations with her domestic partner without the woman’s knowledge has withdrawn her petition for a pre-trial disposition.

Officer Bridgette M. Wilson, 42, who has been suspended without pay since March 2011, had been accepted into the York County District Attorney’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for her charges of intercepting communications, third-degree felonies.

Wilson allegedly made the illegal recordings in December 2010 and January 2011.

At her ARD hearing Friday, Wilson withdrew her petition and opted to go to trial, which now is scheduled for July 8 in York County court.

Her attorney, Korey Leslie, said Friday he was left “with the impression” she did not want to comply with the requirements of ARD. The program typically includes a supervision fee, community service, possibly some counseling, and the directive not to commit any other crimes.

Successful completion of ARD can result in the criminal charges being expunged from public records.

“The only thing she told me was she thinks she doesn’t need to do ARD,” Leslie said.

Wilson, of Mountville, also is charged with receiving stolen property in Lancaster County.

Manor Township Police seized a walkie-talkie and “other police related items” belonging to the Susquehanna Township Police Department inside Wilson’s home in March 2011. Wilson had worked as an officer for Susquehanna Township Police, leaving the department in December 2007.

No date is set for her Lancaster trial.

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Officer Jonathan Garcia Arrested, Charged With Selling Heroin While In Uniform – Faces Life In Prison And Minimum Of 30 Years In Prison

June 21, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -FOX 29 News has learned that the FBI arrested a Philadelphia police officer overnight for allegedly selling drugs to an undercover agent.

A police official confirmed the arrest Wednesday morning. FOX 29’s Dave Schratwieser reported that, according to sources, the officer is from the police department’s 17th District.

On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney’s Officer for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania identified the officer as 23-year-old Jonathan Garcia, 23, of Philadelphia.

According to a news release, Garcia has been charged by indictment with four counts of distribution of heroin and two counts of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

According to an affidavit attached to the arrest warrant, Garcia sold bundles of heroin to a source cooperating with the FBI. The source was posing as a drug buyer.

The affidavit also details several incidents between May 2012 and June 5, 2012 where Garcia sold the FBI source bundles of heroin, including two occasions when he was in uniform.

If convicted of all charges, Garcia faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years imprisonment.

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Retired Norristown Pennsylvania Police Officer Det. Sgt. Jack Pennington Arrested, Charged With Trafficking Methamphetamine

June 21, 2012

NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA – A retired police officer, still carrying his badge, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine in and around the Norristown area, and using his power to control prospective buyers, the district attorney announced Thursday.

Standing before a table littered with illegal narcotics, handguns, law enforcement IDs and cash, District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman explained how Jack Pennington, a former detective sergeant with the Norristown Police Department, allegedly spent time at local watering holes and other locations distributing drugs.

Ferman said Pennington used his past position of authority to protect himself.

“It suggests to the community, when they get away with it, that they are protected,” she said during a press conference Thursday morning.

“This man acted as if he was protected. He acted as if the rules did not apply to him – that the law did not apply to him – and he used this badge for cover. That affects both law enforcement and the community very negatively.”

Montgomery County Detectives investigated an anonymous tip made in March and located Pennington Tuesday at the Plymouth Meeting Mall around 4:30 p.m., where he was allegedly meeting his supplier. Members of the DA’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) followed him throughout the day and reportedly watched as he met with “customers” in the area of the mall, driving a silver Cadillac sedan, which had a law enforcement insignia in plain view.

Investigations reportedly saw Pennington reach both arms into another vehicle in the parking lot of the mall and make a delivery. Detectives then took Pennington into custody.

At the scene, police found a paper bag, which was later determined to contain three ounces of crystal methamphetamine and almost $7,000 in cash. Officers also found $9,470 in cash on Pennington’s person with a retired Norristown police badge and other credentials in his pockets.

“The advantage that it gives him is that people are afraid to report him, afraid to tell on him and afraid to take action,” said Ferman.

“And they believe – not accurately – that nothing will be done because he carries this badge. It’s a ruse.”

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Savage Black Beast Attacked And Beat Random White Man Sitting Near Her On Philadelphia Pennsylvania Bus

June 20, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Philadelphia police are searching for a woman who was caught on surveillance camera assaulting a man on a SEPTA bus last month.

The incident happened on May 31st on a Route 23 SEPTA bus on the 5700 block of Germantown Avenue.

Police say a little before 2:30 p.m., a woman described as black female, 5’5” with a stocky build boarded the bus and right after sitting down, she suddenly got up, approached a man sitting a few rows behind her and began assaulting him.

Police say she punched and slapped the victim, causing injuries to his head and face. The woman then exited the bus at the Germantown and Shelten Avenue stop and fled on foot in an unknown direction.

She was wearing a pink shirt, dark jeans and white sunglasses.

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Nutcase Clifton New Jersey Police Officer Richard Klementovich Arrested After 10 Hour Standoff And Charged With 13 Counts Of Attempted Homicide

June 19, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA – The off-duty New Jersey police officer arrested at his estranged wife’s Philadelphia-area home faces 13 counts of attempted homicide following a 10-hour standoff in which he opened fire with a high-powered rifle.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what sparked the standoff in Doylestown involving a Clifton Township, N.J., police officer.

Forty-two-year-old Richard Klementovich was taken into custody late Sunday night. The standoff started just before 2 p.m. after police were called to the home over a neighborhood dispute.

Authorities say officers were under fire as soon as they arrived at the home. One officer suffered minor injuries from shrapnel.

Officials say Klementovich eventually surrendered to negotiators. He was arraigned early Monday on dozens of charges including aggravated assault. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.

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Clifton New Jersey Police Officer Richard Klementovich Nuts Up And Starts Shooting At Pennsylvania Police Officers

June 18, 2012

DOYLESTOWN TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA – An off-duty police officer opened fire Sunday at Pennsylvania authorities dispatched to address a “neighbor dispute,” wounding one officer and pelting several police vehicles with bullets, authorities said.

Doylestown Township police received its call around 1:44 p.m. ET about an apparent quarrel in the community of about 17,500 people, which is located about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, Pennridge Regional Police Department Chief David Mettin told reporters.

About 15 minutes later, a man inside a residence began shooting at approaching authorities.

“One officer has been injured by shrap metal and two police vehicles have been shot,” Mettin said late Sunday afternoon. “And an armored personnel vehicle also was struck.”

Mettin did not give details on the condition of the wounded officer. But he did identify the alleged shooter as Richard Klementovich, a 42-year-old Clifton, New Jersey, police officer.

Sgt. Robert Bracken with the police department in Clifton, which is about 15 miles northwest of New York, confirmed one of its officers is involved in the incident. But he did not identify the department member by name.

He added that Clifton police are on the scene in Doylestown, about 75 miles to southwest, working with authorities there on the matter.

The man was barricaded inside the residence Sunday night, with law enforcement authorities from a host of agencies stationed nearby. Mettin said crime scene and negotiations specialists are among those on site, as are members of the local district attorney’s office and county detectives. He urged local residents to stay inside their homes.

“This is an ongoing incident right now, it changes every few minutes,” Mettin said.

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TSA Agents Bribed TSA Training Instructor So They Could Pass TSA Proficiency Exams – 3 Quit And 7 Fired

June 16, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA  – The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that they intend to fire seven of their employees following the discovery of a bribery scandal at the Philadelphia International Airport.

After an eight month investigation, authorities say a TSA training instructor who was responsible for administering annual proficiency exams was found to have accepted payment from TSA security officers to ensure passing grades.

A total of ten employees were removed from security duties when the investigation began in November of last year. Since then, three employees have resigned and the seven others were notified by the TSA that they will lose their jobs.

The training instructor pleaded guilty in February to a charge of bribery.

The TSA released a statement on Friday:

“TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace. The agency takes prompt and appropriate action with any employee who does not follow TSAs procedures and engages in misconduct. The decision to propose the removal of the seven TSA employees affirms our strong commitment to the safety of the traveling public and to hold all our employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability.”

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