Archive for July, 2010

Father Leads Police on Chase, 8 Year-old Son Dies

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly with tags , , on July 29, 2010 by punauni

SEASIDE, Calif – 8 year-old Isaiah Solis Becker is dead after his father allegedly led police on a high speed chase on Highway 1.

Shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday a Cal State Monterey Bay police officer saw a 1993 Lexus GS 300 sedan, driving in excess of 120 miles per hour. The officer was unable to catch up with the car when the Lexus tried to exit the freeway at the Fremont / Del Monte Blvd exit in Seaside. The car crashed into the guardrail, splitting the car in half, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver, 32 year old Zabdiel Arciga of Marina, was taken to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for minor injuries. His son, Isaiah, was flown to Valley Medical Center in San Jose where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

According to court documents obtained by Central Coast News, Arciga had been convicted of at least one prior DUI in 2002 and was sentenced to 5 days in jail and 5 years of probation. In 2007 he was charged with spousal abuse and child endangerment, however, those charges were later dropped. Police suspect that Arciga was under the influence of alcohol when he crashed the car.

Shawn Mills, a close friend of Arciga went to the accident sight Tuesday where he told Central Coast news that he, “found [Isaiah’s baseball] bat”, and said he had seen it before and recognized it.

Mills lent Arciga his car about a year ago, and when police arrived at Mills home at 3 o’clock this morning, Mills told Central Coast News that police were surprised to find him at home, “they were having some rough times so I lent him my [Lexus].”

Mills described what happened today as, “a very sad story for [Arcigas] family… he leaves several children behind…there is no happy ending for anyone on this one.”

According to Arciga’s family, he had sole custody of Issiah and he was a good father to all of his children. His family says that Arciga had fallen on hard times after loosing his mother and his job in the past few years.

Officers arrested Arciga and booked into Monterey County Jail for vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, and child endangerment.

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Mom threw newborn out of window

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly on July 29, 2010 by punauni

REISTERSTOWN, Md. – A disturbing story out of Baltimore County. Police say a 21-year old woman delivered her own baby in her Reisterstown home, and then threw the newborn from a second-floor window.

Police say it happened last Thursday at a home on Virginia Avenue just off Reisterstown Road.

The infant is listed in good condition at GBMC. ABC2 is not revealing the name of the baby’s mother because she is not currently charged with a crime.

However that could change. Police and Maryland’s Department of Social Services continue to investigate the case.

Investigators say a 9-1-1 operator received a call that someone had found a baby in a bag. That call led police to the Virginia Avenue home.

“When the officers went up to the bathroom, they found blood everywhere in the bathroom and the indicators that she had had the baby,” said Baltimore County Police spokesman Lt. Robert McCullough.

Police say the woman lives at the home with her mother and a sister.

“The mother indicated to officers at the scene, that she had no knowledge that her daughter was even pregnant,” according to McCulloh.

After delivering the baby, police say the 21-year old mother placed her in a plastic bag and threw the newborn girl out of a second-floor window. Apparently, the child didn’t fall all the way to the ground, but landed in some bushes.

Medical personnel took the mother and baby to GBMC.

The baby is in the hospital and under the care of the Department of Social Services.

Polices say the 21-year old mother also has a 4-year-old. And that child remains with its mother.

There is a law that exists that allows mothers who don’t want to maintain custody of their children to bring those children in to a law enforcement facility or to a hospital; they can give that child up, no questions asked

Grandmother of 1-year-old who tested positive for drugs charged

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly with tags , , , on July 28, 2010 by punauni

The grandmother of a 1-year-old boy has been charged with endangering the life of a child after authorities determined the boy ingested and tested positive for PCP and cocaine, Chicago police said.

Yolanda Beck, 37, of the 3600 block of West Fifth Avenue in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, was arrested Monday and charged with endangering the life of a child, a misdemeanor.

The boy was at home Sunday when a person there saw him chewing on a piece of foil, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Melvin Branch.

When the boy started “acting lethargic” he was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital; there he tested positive for the two drugs, the officer said.

The hospital called police at about 1:18 a.m. reporting an incident of child abuse. Investigators searched the home and found various drug paraphernalia, police said.

The boy later was reported in good condition.

Beck has several previous drug arrests, but her lone conviction was for prostitution in 2008, according to court records.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family services has opened a neglect investigation against the family, but had no previous interactions with them, a spokesman said.

After he was released from the hospital, the boy was handed over to a relative outside of his immediate family, DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said.

Employee Killed In Paper Roller Machine Accident

Posted in News on July 28, 2010 by punauni

An employee of a Claremont paper company was killed after he was pulled through a paper roller machine on Monday morning, fire officials said.  Leo P. Gonyea, 34, of Enfield, N.H., was found under the machine at APC Paper Company on Sullivan Street.  “On arrival, firefighters determined the worker was not in the machine but had somehow gone through the machine,” said Claremont Fire Chief  Peter Chase.  Emergency officials responded to the accident at 8:49 a.m. and provided life support at the scene and on the way to the hospital.Gonyea was pronounced dead at 10:08 a.m. at Valley Regional Hospital.

APC Paper Company

Fire officials said the man was found by a co-worker. It appears no other employees witnessed the accident.The New Hampshire Occupational Safety and Health Administration was on scene to investigate.  APC Paper said Gonyea was a temporary employee. Operations at the mill were shut down for the day and grief counselors were on-site.  Supervisors said Gonyea was well-liked and his death is devastating to the 60 employees who work there.  Gonyea was due to get married next month and was a father of two children.

FBI Scrutinized Over Test Cheating

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly, Police Behaving Badly with tags on July 28, 2010 by punauni

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating whether hundreds of FBI agents cheated on a test of new rules allowing the bureau to conduct surveillance and open cases without evidence that a crime has been committed.

In some instances, agents took the open-book test together, violating rules that they take it alone. Others finished the lengthy exam unusually quickly, current and former officials said.

In Columbia, South Carolina, agents printed the test in advance to use as a study guide, according to a letter to the inspector general from the FBI Agents Association that summarized the investigation. The inspector general investigation also was confirmed by current and former officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

“There are similar stories for practically every office, demonstrating the pervasive confusion and miscommunication that existed,” Konrad Motyka, the association’s president, wrote May 13 in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, agents could be disciplined or even fired.

FBI Director Robert Mueller was scheduled to testify Wednesday before Congress, where the new guidelines and the cheating scandal were expected to come up.

The inquiry threatens to be another black eye for the FBI as it tightens controls after years of collecting phone records and e-mails without court approval. The brewing scandal has already upended management at one of the largest field offices in the U.S.

The FBI had no comment on the investigation late Tuesday.

Motyka’s letter urges the inspector general to focus instead on what he called the “systemic failure” of administering the test without consistent rules.

FBI agents should not be punished “because of a failure to effectively communicate the rules,” he wrote.

Such testing is unusual. FBI agents are required to take online training courses to stay current on bureau policies, but pass-fail tests are rare. In 2008, however, when the FBI received more leeway than ever in conducting surveillance and opening investigations, it assured Congress that it would train and test its agents to make sure they knew the rules.

The Domestic Investigations and Operation Guidelines allowed the FBI, for the first time, to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without evidence of a crime. Agents were also allowed to consider race when opening early inquiries. For instance, the FBI could look into whether the terrorist group Lashkar-e Taiba had taken hold in a city if it had a large Pakistani-American presence.

The new rules gave agents more flexibility to identify and prevent terrorist attacks. They also raised concerns that the FBI would use their new powers to monitor religious organizations or single out certain ethnic groups.

The FBI has a checkered past when it comes to conducting surveillance. From the late 1950s though the early 1970s, the bureau opened hundreds of thousands of files on Americans and domestic groups, including anti-war organizations, civil rights groups and women’s movements. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the bureau collected U.S. phone and computer records without court orders.

Lawmakers and civil liberties groups were concerned that the new rules would allow racial profiling and other abuses. The FBI assured them they would not.

“We share the concern and have devoted considerable time and effort to educating our employees regarding how race and ethnicity can — and cannot — be used,” FBI counsel Valerie Caproni told Congress in December 2008.

But problems with the training and testing programs surfaced quickly. Last year, Assistant Director Joseph Persichini, the head of the FBI’s Washington field office that investigates congressional wrongdoing and other crime in the U.S. capital, retired amid a review of test-taking in his office.

Persichini took the test alongside two of his most senior managers and one of the bureau attorneys in charge of making sure the exam was administered properly, current and former officials said. The two agents who took the test with him have been moved to headquarters while the investigation continues.

At the time, the inquiry appeared limited to the Washington field office. But investigators have broadened their inquiry to cover the entire FBI. Among other things, they are focusing on agents who took the test particularly quickly, officials said.

Husband Charged in Marriage Counselor’s Stabbing Death

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly with tags , , on July 28, 2010 by punauni

Tonya Hunter tried to help many couples save their marriage, but apparently she couldn’t help her own.

The 42-year-old Bedford Heights, Ohio, marriage counselor was stabbed to death in her home; her husband, 38-year-old Maurice Lyons, has been charged with aggravated murder.

Hunter’s 4-year-old son was dropped off near a bar after she was killed Sunday night in the Cleveland suburb, according to media reports. The boy led police to his mother’s body.

“He was able to tell the police his address and where his mother was,” Leroy Hunter, the victim’s uncle, told Cleveland TV station WKYC-Ch. 3. “So the violent act had to have happened in front of this child so we know that this child is traumatized.”

Lyons was arrested Monday in downtown Cleveland and charged with aggravated murder and domestic violence, the TV station reported.

The couple had been married only seven months. Hunter met Lyons in an anger management class, according to a report in The Plain Dealer. Police also told the newspaper that the 4-year-old was not Lyons’.

Hunter had filed two domestic violence reports against Lyons, The Plain Dealer noted, citing a recent police document that said: “The defendant (Lyons) who appeared high on drugs moved close to Tanya Hunter/spouse demanding money in an intimidating manner. The defendant then pushed Hunter/spouse against the kitchen sink.”

Lyons has a criminal record in Missouri, Illinois and Ohio, the paper said.

Hunter earned a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in social science and started her own counseling practice in 2007, Success 1 Services, according to the company’s website.

“My goal is to help individuals, couples and families restore to peace, happiness and harmony,” she wrote on a Psychology Today website advertising her services.

Dallas mom, Saiqa Akhter, killed her two children because they were autistic:

Posted in Autism, News, Parents Behaving Badly with tags , , , on July 27, 2010 by punauni

A woman accused of killing her two young children did so because they were autistic, authorities say.

The Dallas mom allegedly murdered her children on Monday, and made the shocking confession to a 911 operator, according to recordings released by police on Wednesday.

“I killed both of them. I told you,” Saiqa Akhter can he heard saying to 911, CBS News reports.

“They’re both not normal, not normal,” she said during the conversation with the operator. “They’re autistic. Both are autistic… I don’t want my children to be like that. … I want normal kids.”

Akhter admits during the call she first tried to poison the children with bathroom cleaner, but they wouldn’t drink it. She then opted to choke them with wire.

“They are not doing anything,” she said, after explaining they were on the bed in the master bedroom. “They are just blue and they are not taking any breaths and … their heart is not beating.”

Police can be heard arriving at the end of the recording.

Akhter has been charged with capital murder of Zain, her 5-year-old son, who was dead at the scene. The younger child, Faryaal, 2, died the following day, which will likely earn her mother a second capital murder charge.

Zain was autistic, Wasimul Haque, Akhter’s uncle, told the Dallas Morning News. He had a speech impediment and was undergoing therapy.

“It is very, very tragic,” Haque said. “We are in the deep sadness.”

It is unclear why the 30-year-old mother thought her 2-year-old daughter was not “normal.”

If convicted, Akhter could face the death penalty.

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