ABC Digital News
(FRESNO, Calif.) -- Accidentally butt dialing someone is embarrassing or inconsequential to most, but for two Fresno, Calif., men, their cell phone mishap landed them in jail.
The call, which went to 911, started like any other call to the police dispatcher, with the operator asking, “What is your emergency?”
But when no one answered, the operator didn’t hang up, instead staying on the line and listening to the pair, who police identified as Nathan Teklemariam and Carson Rinehart, both 20, as they talked about wanting to do drugs. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to breaking into a car.
“Get the bolt and give me the hammer just in case,” one of the two voices on the phone said.
Shortly after that statement, the dispatcher heard a window shatter and the people on the phone started yelling that they found prescription drugs.
As the two were driving away, police were already in the area searching for the men based on clues that the 911 dispatcher was feeding to them.
The police finally tracked the suspects down and pulled them over. The suspects acted confused and questioned what why they were being pulled over, police said.
“Oh, he’s following me, dog,” one of the suspects said in the recording. “Wow, what the [expletive] did I do?”
As they were being questioned, the suspects allegedly denied any wrongdoing, but after searching the car, police said they found items that allegedly were taken from the burglarized vehicle.
After being cuffed, the suspects were finally told how they were caught.
“This fool really called 911?” one of the suspects said. “Damn.”
“I have never heard of something like this,” Sgt. Jaime Rios of the Fresno Police Department told ABCNews.com. “There have been times where the dispatcher hears something like this, but never has a call come in before a crime being committed and staying on all the way to the end.”
Rios said the suspects are being charged with burglary, conspiracy and possession of stolen property.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/19/2013 12:23:31 PM
(NEW YORK) -- New York City police say a deadly shooting that took place in Greenwich Village Saturday was an anti-gay hate crime.
32-year-old Harlem resident Marc Carson and his companion were just blocks from the famous Stonewall Inn when a group approached them, making anti-gay slurs.
Police say that one member of the group, Elliot Morales, asked the two men if they were “gay wrestlers," and later asked “do you want to die here?"
Morales then pulled out a gun and shot Carson in the face, according to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. He died in the hospital soon afterwards.
An officer arrested Morales a few blocks away from where the shooting took place.
This is the latest in a series of bias attacks on gay men in the area, and police are investigating to see if there is any connection between this incident and earlier ones.
“It's a really sad affair,” said Sean Williams, a friend of Carson.
“I mean, come on. This is 2013. Who's killing people for being gay nowadays?”
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/19/2013 11:28:20 AM
(HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.) -- The Hofstra University junior killed during and armed home invasion of her off-campus house on Friday was accidently fatally shot by the responding officer, forensic investigators have concluded.
Police say Dalton Smith, a wanted man with a lengthy criminal history, was masked when he entered 21-year-old Andrea Rebello's home Friday, demanding money and valuables from Rebello and her three roommates. When police arrived, Smith used Rebello as a human shield in an attempt to escape.
“He's still got the gun to our victim's head,” Nassau County Homicide Squad Police Lieutenant John Azzata explained. “Eventually menaces our police officer, points his gun at the police officer and at that point, the police officer fires several rounds.”
The officer, a 12 year decorated veteran of this department who served more than 7 years with the NYPD, fired eight shots. Seven of them hit Smith, but the eighth bullet hit Rebello in the head. Both were killed.
The officer is currently on sick leave.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale drove to the Tarrytown, New York, home of the students' parents to tell them how she died.
"I felt obligated as a police commissioner and as a parent to inform them as soon as all the forensic results were completed," said Dale.
Now, instead of celebrating Sunday’s graduation festivities at Hofstra University, friends and classmates held a memorial for Rebello.
“It's really sad. She's a very sweet girl, she doesn't deserve this,” one student told ABC's Linzie Janis. “I really have no words for this. It is so unbelievable. I didn't think it was real.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/19/2013 10:41:53 AM
(DENVER) -- Colorado’s recently approved gun control laws, passed in response to the Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., massacres, are being challenged by a delegation of sheriffs who say the laws are unconstitutional.
In March, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed off on some of the toughest gun control legislation in the country, including a law mandating universal background checks for the purchase of firearms and another restricting the size of high-capacity magazines.
A lawsuit was filed on Friday in Colorado’s U.S. District Court on behalf of 54 of the state’s sheriffs in an effort to block the laws from taking effect.
“This lawsuit is for your rights and for your safety,” Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said at a news conference on Friday.
“These bills do absolutely nothing to make Colorado a safer place to live, to work, to play or to raise a family. Instead these misguided, unconstitutional bills will have the opposite effect because they greatly restrict the right of decent, law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, their families and their homes,” he said.
All but 10 of the state’s 64 sheriffs, who are elected officials, signed their names to the lawsuit.
Tom Sullivan, who lost his son Alex Sullivan in the Aurora movie theater massacre, told ABC News’ Denver affiliate he didn’t understand the backlash to the laws.
“I do not understand why these politicians are picking guns over people,” he said, “and why they want to make it easier for criminals to get guns and for other families to go through what we did.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/19/2013 09:54:40 AM
(SMYRNA, Tenn.) -- Bob Robertson is 77 years old and a faithful golfer in more ways than one.
The Tennessean plays golf four days a week and says he asked God to let him score a hole-in-one for a good cause. Robertson not only got a hole-in-one last month, he shot a hole-in-one three times in 29 days on the same hole.
He’s an Air Force veteran who had a stroke six years ago, which left him blind in one eye.
Robertson says the improbable golf shot wasn’t by chance. He planned it.
“I told God if he let me that win that money, that I’d donate that money to mission work and he let me win it,” Robertson said. “I know it might be hard to believe, but it’s true.”
Robertson’s granddaughter is studying to be a missionary and is leaving Saturday for a mission trip to Indonesia.
Robertson plays in a senior golf league at the Smyrna Golf Course every Tuesday. Two of his hole-in-one shots were during league play, making him the winner of a $500 pot to which 75 seniors contributed.
“After I got the hole in one for the prize money, one of my friends got awfully close to a hole in one, so I decided if they were going to slice up the prize money I wanted a second slice of it,” Robertson said.
He says even after a stroke and five heart-bypass surgeries, he wants to improve his golf game.
“What I’ve been trying to do is smooth out my golf swing. I was reading an article just now about how to get it right and yesterday I broke 80 for the first time since last summer,” Robertson said.
For all of the people who look to him for inspiration, “I tell them that I didn’t do it alone. Faith did it.”
The director of the Smyrna Golf Course, Hal Loflin, told ABC News that he can’t believe Robertson’s accomplishments.
“I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been a PGA pro for 23 years,” Loflin said. “I’m jealous and envious because I’ve playing since 13 and never made one.”
Loflin said Robertson is a celebrity on the golf course. The hole where Robertson has hit his multiple hole-in-one shots is a par 3 and roughly 109 yards. Robertson plays off the tee designed for older golfers.
As for another hole-in-one, Robertson says just wait and see.
“I’ve got some more coming,” he said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/18/2013 16:20:18 PM
(NEW YORK) -- As the countdown ticks on to Saturday night's record Powerball drawing, the jackpot has swollen to over $600 million, largely due to California's participation in the game, lottery officials said.
In the one month since California joined the list of 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands in playing, Powerball fever has swept across the Golden State.
California, the country's most populous state, has skyrocketed to the top three states in terms of ticket sales, alongside Florida and New York, according to lottery officials.
"Once California joined the Powerball family, we helped change the dynamics to this game because of the mere size of the state and the number of players that we have," a California lottery spokesperson told ABC News.
The size of the jackpot has created a frenzy that has also driven ticket sales, according to lottery officials. The previous record for a Powerball jackpot was $587.5 million on Nov. 28, 2012.
Tickets sold at a rate of 600,000 per hour in New York on Friday, New York lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Hapeman told ABC News.
It's expected that tickets will continue to sell at a rapid rate until the 10 p.m. ET cut-off time Saturday night. The winning numbers will be drawn at 10:50 p.m. ET, perhaps minting a few new millionaires.
However, if no one matches all five numbers plus the Powerball, the jackpot will continue to balloon.
Kelly Cripe, media director for the Texas Lottery, which is one of the states in the Powerball lottery, said the next drawing would be May 22 and estimated the pot would be at least an astonishing $925 million. The frenzy of such a massive jackpot would likely push it even closer to $1 billion.
The odds of winning the grand prize are one in 175,223,510, according to the Powerball website.
While Saturday's jackpot is a Powerball record, it's not the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. That honor belongs to the Mega Millions, which paid out a record $656 million on March 30, 2012.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/18/2013 14:27:45 PM
(NEWARK, N.J.) -- A U.S. Airways official confirmed that a turboprop plane carrying 31 passengers and three crew members was forced to make a belly landing in Newark, N.J., early Saturday morning due to a problem with the jet's landing gear.
The jet, operated by Piedmont Airlines, left Philadelphia before 11 p.m. on Friday.
According to U.S. Airways Spokesman Davian Anderson, tower operators attempted to help the pilot troubleshoot after the plane's landing gear remained retracted. After multiple attempts, they decided to execute a belly landing.
When the pilot attempted to land the plane without the use of landing gear, sparks flew, but he managed to keep the plane steady and on the runway.
All 34 people on board were taken off the plane and bused to the terminal.
U.S. Airways believes the issue was an isolated mechanical problem. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/18/2013 13:30:43 PM
(FAIRFIELD, Conn.) -- Federal transportation officials began their investigation Saturday to determine what caused two commuter trains to crash head-on in Connecticut during the Friday rush hour.
At least 70 people were injured Friday when a Metro-North train derailed and barreled straight into the path of another train headed in its direction just outside Bridgeport, Conn.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene Saturday morning to begin surveying the twisted rail cars that remained on the tracks.
"We'll be looking at how the crew behaved and how the crew operated the train," NTSB member Earl Weener said.
During the investigation, which is expected to last seven to 10 days, officials will also examine the braking performance of the trains and the conditions of the wheels, cars and track to see if they played a role in the crash, Weener said.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said three people remained in critical condition on Saturday, while six others also remained hospitalized for their injuries. Many of the injured suffered bruises, cuts and minor fractures and were able to be treated and released, according to officials at two area hospitals.
A Metro-North train was traveling east from New York City's Grand Central Station to New Haven, Conn., when it derailed at 6:10 p.m., Weener said.
The jolt of the impact was so strong, passengers said it caused bodies to be flung around the cars.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., was among the elected officials who surveyed the damage and called the scene "absolutely staggering."
He said the injuries could have been much worse and lauded the investment in infrastructure for saving lives.
"Investment in quality of transportation is probably one of the lessons we will learn from this accident," he said.
While the wreckage remains on the tracks, transportation in the Northeast Corridor is expected to be crippled.
Two of the tracks on the line were already out of service for a project, and the remaining two tracks were damaged in the collision, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the Metro-North Railroad.
Amtrak's service between New York City and Boston, which operates on the tracks where the accident occurred, was also suspended indefinitely.
Commuting could be a challenge on Monday for those around Bridgeport who rely on Metro-North to get to and from work in New York City.
Malloy said a system was being set up to move people from Bridgeport to nearby train stations.
"This is going to be with us for a number of days," he said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/18/2013 12:20:47 PM
(MOUNT VERNON, Wash.) -- Police believe a Washington woman used her toddler to steal an antique violin from a teenager Wednesday afternoon at a local restaurant.
Mount Vernon Police Lt. Chris Cammock told ABC News that 17-year-old Kalob Tatum entered a McDonald’s with his backpack and violin after school. When he went up to the counter to order a burger, he turned around, and his 100-year-old Czechoslovakian copy of a Stradivarius violin was missing.
“When I saw the violin gone, my heart just dropped,” Tatum told ABC affiliate KOMO News. “I had this feeling that something terrible just happened.”
Tatum has been playing the violin since kindergarten, according to Lt. Cammock. The teen earned a scholarship to perform in New York this summer.
“I got a scholarship to a two-week camp and… I do not have a violin and I don’t have the money to get a new one right now,” Tatum told KOMO.
Officers searched for the violin immediately following the theft.
“On the security video that’s inside the McChevron (McDonald’s there is attached to a Chevron gas station), it showed a young girl who picked up the violin and left the restaurant with her mother,” Cammock said. “By depiction, it looks like the mother would have been aware that her daughter was taking it.”
Officers then took the footage obtained from the store and circulated the girl’s picture.
On Thursday, Cammock says an officer on patrol spotted the mother and daughter walking near a school.
“The officer stopped her, had a conversation with her and asked for the violin,” Cammock said. “The violin was then returned to the victim.”
The mother, who was not identified, faces possible charges of theft, Cammock says.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/18/2013 10:36:25 AM
(FAIRFIELD, Conn.) -- Approximately 60 people were taken to hospitals this evening – five with critical injuries – when a New York-area commuter train derailed near Fairfield, Conn., knocking a second train coming the other way off the tracks, officials said.
Amtrak train service between New York and Boston was suspended indefinitely, as was service on the Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven commuter line in Connecticut, amid an investigation, and damage to the Metro-North trains and tracks.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy estimated normal service would not resume until at least Monday.
“These tracks have been torn up,” he told reporters. “There’s been extensive damage.”
The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate the crash, and was to be the lead agency in the investigation.
Local police initially put the number of injured between 20 and 25, but several hours later Malloy said 60 people had been taken to hospitals. Five of those 60 had critical injuries, he said, including one person who was considered “very critical.”
The accident occurred just east of the Fairfield metro station at approximately 6:10 p.m., when trains heading in opposite directions between New Haven, Conn., and New York’s Grand Central Terminal collided, officials said. The collision occurred after the New York-bound train derailed, knocking cars from the second train off the tracks.
Rob Oliver, a passenger on board the train that was struck, said he heard “a tremendous amount of metal and just an extremely loud sound.”
“We suddenly were screeching to a stop, but you knew it wasn’t a screech-normal stop … because there was just an awful burning smell and the cabin was filling with smoke,” he said.
He saw people being removed on stretchers with apparent neck or back injuries.
“I know some people breathed in some smoke, including myself, and I’m sure there’s people who have those sorts of [smoke] injuries,” he said. “Other people got injured coming off the train, because it’s a big jump down to the tracks and people were scrambling to get off the tracks as quickly as possible.”
Multiple reports of injuries initially prompted officials to scramble ambulances from all over the region to the site, police said.
The train cars involved were M8s, which were fairly new to the New Haven line. This was the first serious accident involving the new cars, considered state-of-the-art.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 22:19:06 PM
(NEW YORK) -- The former Chechen rebel who said his home was searched by the FBI in connection to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation said in a letter Friday he has "nothing to do with the terrible act in Boston."
"I would like to state that I barely knew the Tsarnaev family, and only met them for the first time after we moved to the U.S.," 35-year-old Musa Khadjimuradov said in a letter handed to media outlets. "During the very few encounters, which were initiated by Tsarnaev, we have never discussed political or religious issues, so I could never guess what ideas were in their minds."
"Should I have any suspicions I would do my duty to prevent what happened at the Boston marathon," he added.
Khadjimuradov told Voice of America Thursday he met with Tamerlan Tsarnaev less than a month before the bombing. He said he has been repeatedly interviewed by the FBI and agents searched his Manchester home and took DNA and fingerprint samples Tuesday.
Tamerlan and his younger brother Dzhokhar are accused of setting off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. Tamerlan was killed in a firefight with police, but Dzhokhar survived and was later captured.
A neighbor of Khadjimuradov's, Troy Boudreau, said he noticed sedans with tinted windows and Massachusetts license plates near his home two weeks ago and finally asked one of the occupants for identification.
"They showed me their FBI badge,'' said Boudreau, 36. "I asked them why they were there and they would only say, 'it's a private matter.'"
Days later, Boudreau saw roughly a dozen investigators go into Khadjimuradov's home. He said for most of the day crime scene technicians and FBI agents came in and out of the apartment carrying electronic equipment. "They were moving furniture in, moving furniture out. They didn't leave until after 10 pm."
Boudrea said it was "unsettling" to think Tsarnaev had walked past his door to visit his neighbor.
In the VOA report, Khadjimuradov said he moved to the U.S. from Chechnya in 2004 and met Tamerlan at a gathering for Chechens in Boston in 2006.
Khadjimuradov told VOA he felt like he was being treated like a suspect by the federal agents, but said they told him not to worry. In the new letter, which is dated May 16, he said he understands why they were focusing on him.
"… I fully cooperate with the federal investigators, and I understand that these guys need to do everything they can to solve this case, so they can prevent anything like this horror from happening again in the future…" he says.
Khadjimuradov said in the letter he and his family are exhausted from stress and asked for privacy.
"I am sincere in saying that America has become a new, beloved home for me and my family, and we appreciate the freedom and peace this country gives us," the letter says.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 20:08:15 PM
(PITTSBURGH) -- The husband of a Pennsylvania doctor who died with "toxic levels of cyanide" in her system is being investigated as a person of interest, his attorney told ABC News Friday.
Autumn Klein, 41, collapsed at her home in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood and later died on April 20 at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where she was chief of the division of women's neurology and an assistant professor of neurology, obstetrics and gynecology.
Her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, 64, is a professor of neurological surgery at University of Pittsburgh. The couple has a 6-year-old daughter named Cianna.
"There's no question he's a person of interest and that's really all I can go into now," William Difenderfer, Ferrante's attorney, told ABCNews.
"He's under investigation, as any case like this would be, and that's about all we know from the standpoint of the government and he has retained me and we have some experts on board too," Difenderfer said. "We're looking into things as well."
He "adamantly" denied that Ferrante was responsible for or in any way was involved in his wife's death.
"We're going to anxiously defend the case at this point," he said. "I don't want to even get in on a debate with this case now until we see what the commonwealth does."
Difenderfer said he was not aware of police talking to his client recently.
When asked about reports that Ferrante may have purchased cyanide with a university credit card, Difenderfer said, "I can't confirm or deny that. I don't know."
A source briefed on the case told ABC News that investigators believe Ferrante ordered cyanide prior to his wife's death. Detectives have not questioned the doctor about that, but are aware that his attorney has told others that the chemical was used in Ferrante's research.
Ferrante is currently the only person under suspicion in connection with the death of his wife.
"No one else is being looked at," the source said, insisting that that could still change if new leads are developed.
Pittsburgh police again declined comment when contacted by ABC News on Friday.
Authorities have said that Klein's death is being investigated as a possible homicide and a possible suicide.
The FBI is working to assist the Pittsburgh police in the investigation. Earlier this month, police executed a search warrant to search the couple's home.
Investigators removed three vacuum cleaners, a computer tower, and towed the couple's cars.
Warrants were executed for "PITT and/or UPMC," where Ferrante and Klein worked, respectively, according to authorities.
Veteran forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht told ABC News recently that he has been retained to consult in the investigation of Klein's death, but did not say who hired him.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 20:07:55 PM
(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A member of the elite team that killed Osama bin Laden donated a knife he carried on the historic raid to a charity auction recently, raising $35,400 for the family of another Navy SEAL who perished in a training accident in March.
Mark Owen, the pseudonymous author of No Easy Day, which detailed the bin Laden mission, told ABC News he was approached by a friend who was setting up the auction and volunteered to part with the combat knife he’s carried with him on missions for over eight years.
“If there was something I could do, I wanted to be involved,” the former SEAL Team Six member said.
The auction in all raised more than $75,000 for several special operations charities, but the proceeds from the knife sale will specifically go the family of Brett “Shady” Shadle, according to Matthew Griffin, a former Army Ranger who helped organized the event. Shadle, who served in SEAL Team Six with Owen, was killed in late March in a training accident in Arizona.
Owen’s knife, a folding Emerson knife that Owen said was his secondary blade, was one of several items in the charity put on by The Macalan Group along with Combat Flip Flops and Intelligent Waves IW simultaneously online and at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference and Exhibition (SOFIC) hosted this week in Tampa, Fla. The auction began May 1, exactly two years after President Obama announced the death of the al Qaeda leader.
Griffin, the co-founder of Combat Flip Flops, told ABC News that when the bids for the knife jumped in the last minutes of the auction, the audience at SOFIC was ecstatic.
“People were cheering, folks were in tears,” he said.
Griffin said he and the other organizers threw the auction together in just a couple weeks and sought out people like Owen willing to donate items. Since there was no overhead, Griffin said 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the special operations charities.
The winning bidder for the knife has not been identified, but will also be presented with a letter of certification from Owen.
Click the links below to find out more about the organizations Griffin said were supported in the auction:
- The Green Beret Foundation
- The Lead the Way Fund
- The Tommy V Foundation
- The Station Foundation
- The Team 5 Medical Foundation
To learn more about Combat Flip Flops and its work in Afghanistan, click here.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 15:14:48 PM
(BOISE, Idaho) -- An Uzbekistan national living in Idaho pleaded not guilty Friday to terror charges.
Fazliddin Kurbanov pleaded not guilty to three counts that charge him with giving cash, computer software and other resources to a recognized terror group in Uzbekistan.
The 30-year-old truck driver was arrested Thursday at his apartment in Boise where federal prosecutors had been watching him for some time. They say he's a supporter of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, whose stated purpose is the overthrow of the Uzbekistan government -- but it had not been thought of as a direct threat to the United States.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 12:36:43 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Sixteen tornadoes ripped through North Texas on Wednesday, the National Weather Service confirms, killing six people and injuring dozens more. But the severe weather that also destroyed more than 100 homes in Granbury, Texas, may not be over.
More twisters could erupt throughout the weekend, as ABC News Anchor Sam Champion explains.
"Saturday, as a cold front sits in the middle of the country, you've got that cold air clash with warm humid air, the jet stream pulling up right through the center will build those storms even taller and higher and that's what you need for very powerful thunderstorms and the possibility for tornadoes," he says. "Chicago, Kansas City, Oklahoma, you're all in line -- Minneapolis even -- by the time we get to Sunday and this kind of lingers in that part of the country for Monday."
The tornado outbreak that tore through Texas mid-week included an EF-4, with winds up to 200 miles per hour. That was the first EF-4 tornado in the state since 1994.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 11:49:31 AM
(PORT ANGELES, Wash.) -- Newly released 911 tapes from a panicked homeowner in Washington state give a detailed play by play of a neighbor’s alleged bulldozer rampage that destroyed four homes, a boat and a truck.
“You better get some cops up here with some guns because this son of a gun is crazy,” Dan Davis told a 911 dispatcher last Friday from his Port Angeles home. “He totally wrecked my property altogether. He just totally wiped it out. He’s smashing my house plum to pieces!”
Barry Swegle, 51, is charged with assault, burglary and malicious mischief for his alleged role in damaging four homes with a bulldozer during a rampage over a property line dispute with a neighbor, police said. Swegle allegedly destroyed a boat, truck and knocked over a power pole, causing a power, cable and Internet outage to a few thousand in the surrounding area.
Clallam County Police Under-sheriff Ron Peregrin told ABC News on Tuesday that the dispute was likely over a fence that Davis built on the property line next to Swegle’s property.
Police released Davis’ 911 call this week as he watched the bulldozer destroy his property.
“There’s a guy with a T9 bulldozer that just come onto my property, knocked my fence down and knocked my house down,” Davis told a dispatcher.
Davis identified the man driving the bulldozer as Swegle when the dispatcher asked him if he knew the driver.
“He’s heading right over my new diesel pickup. Right over the top of it! Now he’s going to the cab running it over,” Davis said. “Now I don’t have a house, I don’t have a truck, I don’t have power on my property. He totally destroyed my place. Totally.”
Swegle’s lawyer said this all boils down to a fence-related property-line dispute.
“I have known [Swegle] for many years. He has no history of anything like this. Nothing even close,” Karen Unger said. “Apparently he was not interested in hurting anybody because nobody was hurt, and given the proximity to his neighbor it would seem violence against others is not part of his plan.”
Swegle is still being held in jail with a bail of $1 million. He has pleaded not guilty and is expected to appear in court later Friday when a date for the trial could be announced.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 09:47:08 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Televangelist Pat Robertson is under fire once again after telling the wife of a cheating husband to get over the infidelity and provide a better home so he doesn’t “wander.”
Robertson was responding to a letter from a woman identified as Ivy during Wednesday’s episode of The 700 Club.
Ivy wrote, “We have gone to counseling, but I just can’t seem to forgive, nor can I trust. How do you let go of the anger? How do you trust again?"
Robertson’s co-host began to answer the letter when the one-time Republican presidential hopeful interjected with the “secret” to getting past the cheating.
“Stop talking about the cheating. He cheated on you. Well, he’s a man. O.K.,” Robertson said.
Robertson suggested the wife forget about the incident and focus on why she married her husband in the first place, advising she try to fall in love with him again. The televangelist rolled out a series of questions for Ivy to think about.
“Does he provide a home for you to live in? Does he provide food for you to eat?” Robertson asked. “Is he handsome?”
But it was the way Robertson ended his response that set off a firestorm.
“Males have a tendency to wander a little bit, and what you want to do is make the home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander,” he said.
The Christian Broadcasting Network released a statement, saying, “As a first step in the process, Dr. Robertson stated that she should stop dwelling on the cheating. Next, he recommended that she remind herself of all the reasons she fell in love with him in the first place so that she might try to fall back in love with him all over again.”
“Lastly, his point was that everyone is human and there is much temptation outside of the home, so she should do whatever she can to strengthen their home and relationship. His intent was not to condone infidelity or to cast blame. We regret any misunderstanding,” the statement concluded.
The Internet went on overdrive as negative comments poured in on Twitter and on YouTube videos of the segment. Robertson’s advice provoked outrage not only from women, but his fellow Christian leaders.
“I think it’s outrageous. Historically, Christians take personal responsibilities for our actions and immoral choices and don’t blame those on other people,” said Gabe Lyons, author of The Next Christians.
Robertson, 83, gave a similar answer when he spoke about Gen. David Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell last year.
“The man’s off in a foreign land and he’s lonely and here’s a good-looking lady throwing herself at him. I mean, he’s a man,” Robertson said on an episode of The 700 Club.
Earlier this year, Robertson was criticized when he suggested a woman’s looks might be to blame for her marital problems. Robertson told a story about a woman who asked a reverend how to stop her husband’s drinking problem.
“She was awful looking. The preacher looked at her and said, ‘Madam, if I was married to you I’d start to drink too,’” Robertson said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 07:33:54 AM
(NEW YORK) -- A display of photographs by Arne Svenson at the Julie Saul gallery in New York has become a source of fury for residents in a luxury Tribeca apartment building.
Shot from a second-floor apartment across the street from the luxury residence, the photographs show neighbors living their lives inside their apartments.
No faces are shown, but the residents claim they were not aware they were being watched and photographed.
A resident, who spoke to ABC News on the condition of anonymity, said several rooms of his apartment were displayed in the Julie Saul show.
“There are some [photographs] where you can’t see the face, so it’s anonymous to a degree. There’s lot of neighbors whose likenesses are visible, and some are young children. Everyone is very, very concerned,” the resident said.
Another resident who has lived in the building for years told ABC News she couldn’t believe what had happened at her building.
“It’s absurd and totally unacceptable. The idea, which I find kind of creepy, is that he didn’t just snap them, he … watched them,” she said.
She said many of those photographed recognized rooms and seasonal items in the pictures, and believe the photographs were taken over a long period of time.
“The entitlement that he thinks he has. ...I wish I could turn it on him and go to his opening and take pictures of him,” she said.
Tribeca is known for housing many celebrities, and one building resident told ABC News there was a reason many who recognized themselves had not come forward in a public way. She declined to go into detail on any action her fellow residents might take.
“From famous, rich, house moms, everyone, people are in unison as neighbors, and we were not in unison about what they did. You don’t have to be famous. You should still have your privacy,” she said. “We’re behind the neighbors whatever they need.
“There were children running around in diapers. Even the people that don’t have children, how much did this guy sit and look at? Like the teddy bear on the chair picture. It’s invading their privacy, violating them. It just gives that stalking feel,” she said.
Svenson declined to comment to ABC News, and referred calls to gallery owner Julie Saul, who has represented his work for more than 20 years. When reached by ABC News, Saul said her gallery was not seeking sensationalism and was not out to offend anyone, but loved the photographs for their aesthetic.
“The whole notion of privacy is a very interesting conversation, but it’s not the thing that interested me about the show,” she told ABC News. ”It’s the photographs universality, and [they're] very painterly.”
Saul told ABC News that Svenson had sought legal counsel before displaying the photographs, and they were considered fine, but ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams said the neighbors could have grounds for a civil case, but the photographer could have a defense as well.
“I think that if their faces had been shown, this would be an easy civil case,” Abrams said. “The best argument is ‘I didn’t show their faces. How can you argue their privacy was violated?’ But the subjects would have a pretty good shot suing in a civil action saying that even though their faces weren’t shown, their privacy was violated by the act and the photos.”
Abrams also said that the use of a zoom lens could make the case stronger for the plaintiffs.
“The more you zoom into someone’s home, the more you are invading their privacy. The claim could be, ’Look, I could see you from my window,’ but when using a zoom lens, the case becomes stronger,” Abrams said.
Svenson’s display runs through June 29.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 06:40:41 AM
(HOUSTON) -- A Houston property owner has installed headstones to help keep vagrants from loitering on his land.
Three headstones were installed about a year ago in a grassy lot of land that sits in the shadow of Houston’s skyscrapers, at the corner of Houston Avenue and North Memorial Way. Fernando Villa, a tow truck driver, told ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV that he witnessed the installation of the phony headstones.
“I saw them putting a fence up, and about maybe two to three months later, the headstones are put up,” Davilla said. “I knew what it was. I didn’t see any burials or anything. There were no bodies there. But it’s to keep the vagrants out of here because they were always sleeping right there.”
But it turns out the headstones, which were rejects from a local monument company inscribed with “Johnny Mack Chappell,” “Dee Brown Hancock, 1922-1973,” and “Sandra Ruth Howen, 1939-1986″ -- were for real people.
The owner of the property, who spoke anonymously with KTRK, said that he was unaware that the tombstones were of real, deceased people. He said that he regrets it.
Wayne Chappell, the brother of Johnny Mack Chappell, told ABC News that the remaining family members are tickled by the news of the fake tombstone. He said his brother would get a kick out of the whole situation -- though Johnny Mack would likely befriend the vagrants.
“He would get his friends and have a beer party next to it or something,” Wayne Chappell said.
Johnny Mack, who his brother said died on Dec. 23, 1986, of hardening of the arteries, was a high school fullback who went on to coach. The two grew up only three miles away from where Johnny Mack’s phony tombstone sits.
Wayne, who now lives near Fort Hood, Texas, said that he has noticed that his childhood neighborhood on the outskirts of downtown Houston, amidst the roping highways and interchanges heading out of town, has changed over the years since he and his brother grew up there.
Wayne said the only issue he does have with the tombstone is what it’s being used for.
“You’re kind of underneath the highway there. That’s always been the hobo area,” he said. “I can understand wanting to clean up your area. I’m just curious what [the property owner] might have done to help the vagrants.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 06:11:05 AM
(FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.) -- An Army lieutenant colonel in charge of the sexual-assault prevention office at Fort Campbell, Ky., has been removed from his job after his arrest for allegations that he violated a protection order filed by his former wife.
It is the third high-profile incident in 10 days involving alleged misconduct by a military official charged with preventing sexual assaults.
A statement by the Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office confirmed that Lt. Col. Darin Haas was immediately removed from his position in charge of the post’s Fort Campbell Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention/Equal Opportunity office.
Haas’s removal was prompted by an investigation by the Clarksville Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office into alleged violations of a protection order requested by his former wife.
"From our understanding, Lt. Col. Haas is in a conflict with his ex-wife based on a contentious divorce, and both have mutual orders of protection against each other. The ongoing investigation is to determine whether or not he violated the actual provisions of the Order of Protection that applies to him,” Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office said in the statement.
Haas was to retire soon and his replacement will assume his duties immediately, the statement said. A telephone listing for Haas could not immediately be found.
“Because the investigation is being conducted by a civilian law enforcement agency, Fort Campbell is not the lead investigative agency for this case and will await the results of civilian court proceedings before taking action,” the statement read.
The development came just hours after President Obama met at the White House with top Pentagon officials to discuss sexual assault in the military. Present for the meeting were Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the service secretaries and the senior enlisted advisers for each service.
Obama said there is “no silver bullet” to solving sexual assaults in the military, but vowed to leave “no stone unturned” in order to fix the problem.
The president said the senior military members he’d met with were upset by what Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey has recently labeled “a crisis.”
“They’re angry about it, and I heard directly from all of them that they’re ashamed by some of what’s happened,” Obama said.
Hagel Tuesday ordered the immediate retraining, recredentialing and rescreening of all sexual-assault prevention and response personnel and military recruiters after two high-profile incidents that sparked outrage on Capitol Hill.
A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Thursday that would take the prosecution of sexual assaults in the military out of the chain of command and place it under the jurisdiction of military prosecutors. It would also prevent military commanders from handling the cases of their subordinates.
“The issue of sexual violence is not new. It has been allowed to go in the shadows for far too long,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the bill’s sponsor, said in a news conference Thursday. “Enough is enough. It’s time to change this system that has been held over since George Washington that is simply not working today for the men and women who are serving.”
Survivors of sexual assault in the military have long advocated for such action because they believe the system prevents some from reporting their assaults out of fear of retaliation.
“When any single victim of sexual assault is forced to salute her attacker, clearly our system is broken,” Gillibrand said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 06:10:00 AM
(CLEVELAND) -- Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping three women and keeping them imprisoned in his home for a decade, stalked the neighborhood where his daughters lived and preyed on the girls' friends, his daughter says.
Two of his alleged victims, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, went to school with Castro's two daughters and the four girls all knew each other, his daughter Emily told a private investigator in a recorded jailhouse interview obtained by ABC News.
"It couldn't be coincidence," Emily Castro told private eye Chris Giannini of her father's decision to allegedly target two girls his daughters knew.
Emily Castro is serving a 25-year prison sentence for stabbing her own infant daughter in 2011.
At the time of her 2003 abduction, Berry lived just a few houses down the block from the home in which Castro's daughters lived with their mother and stepfather. And Emily's sister Arlene was the last person to see DeJesus before she disappeared.
Berry, now 26, and Emily, now 25, attended school together. "I went to Wilbur Wright [Middle School] with her," Emily Castro told Giannini.
She said she was bothered that her father allegedly "used" her and her sister to look for victims on their street where they lived and played.
"He would come to his own kids' neighborhood, not his own. I'm not saying he should have done it all. I'm saying he didn't consider anything about us being his kids. He didn't consider that he's not only doing [kidnapping children] but he's hurting us," Emily Castro said.
She said she had seen DeJesus, a close friend of her younger sister, "a couple times" and spoke to her on the phone on the night before she was abducted.
Arlene Castro was the last person to see DeJesus on the day in 2004 that she vanished. The two wanted to go home together after school, and DeJesus lent her friend 50 cents for a pay phone call to ask her mother for permission, which was denied. DeJesus would normally have used that money for the bus, but instead she walked. It was on that walk she was allegedly abducted by Castro.
"I didn't want to believe they were connected," Emily Castro said upon learning that both girls she knew growing up had been living in captivity in a home owned by her father.
She said her father was routinely abusive of her mother Grimilda Figueroa, even beating her once while her mother was recovering from brain surgery. During the incident Emily Castro said she jumped on her father's back, stabbing him with a pencil in an effort to get him to stop.
Ariel Castro was arrested following that incident, but the charges were later dropped.
Despite the violence Castro alleged aimed at her mother, Emily Castro said her father never abused her or her siblings. She said Ariel Castro doted on his daughters and was overprotective. He insisted the girls cover up in public, wearing shorts under their skirts, T-shirts over their bathing suits and never change in front of him.
Castro, she said, even insisted his daughters shower "with underwear on" when he was in the house.
Emily said she had no knowledge of her father's alleged crimes and would have called the police herself had she known anything.
"I didn't know, I didn't have any knowledge at all. It is unbelievable," she said.
Along with Berry and DeJesus, Castro allegedly kidnapped a third woman, Michelle Knight, in 2003. The three women escaped last week when a neighbor heard Berry screaming and helped kick in the home's front door.
Castro has been charged with kidnapping and rape. Additional charges are expected, including counts that could carry the death penalty. He has not entered a plea.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 05:17:29 AM
(NEW ORLEANS) -- Two brothers are under arrest in connection with last Sunday's Mother's Day parade shooting in New Orleans that left 19 people wounded.
Shawn Scott, 24, was taken into custody on Thursday while his 19-year-old brother, Akein Scott, was apprehended late Wednesday. Each faces 20 counts of attempted murder and both are being held on $10 million bond.
Meanwhile, four other people were arrested and charged with hiding the two suspects from police.
Police say the Scott brothers opened fire during a second-line parade that follows a brass band. Approximately 400 people were taking part in the event when gun shots rang out, causing a stampede.
A video taken at the scene apparently showed Akein Scott fleeing the scene following the shooting.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Akein Scott has previous arrests on gun and drug charges and was already free on $15,000 bail when he allegedly opened fire on the parade.
Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioPublished: 5/17/2013 04:24:30 AM