Archive for July, 2011

AWOL Soldier Had Bomb Materials

Posted in News with tags on July 28, 2011 by punauni

 

FBI agents discovered a bevy of potential bomb-making materials in the hotel room of a missing Muslim American soldier who was arrested near Fort Hood, Texas, the military base where a 2009 shooting spree killed 13 people, an FBI spokesman said Thursday.  Pfc.   Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim American who refused to deploy to Iraq and later went AWOL after facing child pornography charges, was arrested at a traffic stop Wednesday by police in Killeen, Texas, just outside Fort Hood, said the FBI spokesman, Erik Vasys.  He is expected to face federal charges, possibly as early as Thursday afternoon, a federal law enforcement official said.  Killeen police received a call from a gun shop owner about a suspicious man in the store who was asking questions about .40-caliber ammunition and then bought three boxes of 12-gauge ammunition and a magazine for a pistol, a defense official said.  He paid cash, took a cab to a surplus store and allegedly bought a military uniform, the official said.After Abdo’s arrest, police searched his hotel room and found gunpowder, shotgun shells, 18 pounds of sugar, a pressure cooker, four magazines and ammunition, the defense official said.  A statement on the Fort Hood website acknowledged Abdo’s arrest but said it had no connection to the base.  “We are aware at this time that Killeen Police Department arrested a soldier yesterday.   The incident leading to the arrest did not occur on Fort Hood and the soldier was not a Fort Hood based soldier,” the statement said.Spokesman Chris Haug said base officials have no indication that Abdo ever tried to get onto Fort Hood between the time he went missing and the time of his arrest.  Abdo was assigned to Fort Campbell in KentuckyAbdo, who joined the infantry in 2009, refused to deploy to Iraq on grounds of his religion and had put in the paperwork to be discharged as a conscientious objector.   The Army approved his request, but on May 13, he was charged with possession of child pornography on his computer, a U.S. military official said.  At a June 15 hearing, Abdo was recommended for court martial, the official said.   He went AWOL almost immediately after that.  In an interview last year, Abdo said he refused to deploy to Iraq because he was a Muslim and had to remain true to his faith.”We have two things that I believe make us American, and that’s freedom of religion and freedom of choice,” he said.”I’ve come to the conclusion that the consequences I would face by refusing deployment are a lot less than the consequences I would face should I go.  I don’t think I would be able to live with myself if I deployed,” he said.  Another Muslim soldier, Maj. Nidal Hasan, could face the death penalty as the prime suspect in the 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood.  Hasan’s trial is set to begin March 5, 2012.  Witnesses at a preliminary hearing identified Hasan as the man who walked calmly through a medical building on the country’s largest military base, shooting and frequently reloading his handgun as he shouted “Allah Akbar,” which means “God is great” in Arabic.

Mom Faces Jail for Boarding School Bus to Save Son

Posted in News, Sad with tags , on July 27, 2011 by punauni

Last December Tara Keener did what most any mother would do when she thought her 5-year-old son was in trouble: She raced to help him. Only because it was onto a school bus that she raced, she now faces criminal charges that could potentially land her a year in jail, just for trying to save her son.

The emergency room nurse was walking down her driveway when she saw her son, Xander, slumped over in his seat and other children crowding around him. She says the children were yelling, “Help, he’s not moving. We can’t wake him up.”

When she attempted to board the bus, the driver informed her it was illegal, which is news to me, and did nothing to stop Keener from going to help her son. Wouldn’t you?

Fortunately, little Xander was just in a deep sleep, but there are plenty of things that could have been wrong to cause him to appear so despondent — choking, a concussion, or plenty of other unthinkable things. Despite her good and totally understandable intentions, the driver reported Keener to police. She was charged with unlawfully entering a school bus and is currently awaiting trial. While it’s a third-degree misdemeanor, it can come with a penalty of $2,500 and a year in jail.

Ridiculous, right? Not so. Perry County District Attorney Charles F. Chenot III told The Patriot-News:

The bus company’s main point is, we can’t let one person do this because pretty soon you’ll have all kinds of parents on there. Most parents aren’t a problem, but what do you do when a … sex offender wants to get on the bus and get his kids off? We need to have that protection in place.

Protection, yes, but a little common sense would be nice too instead of blanket policies and rules that take none into account. Hopefully a jury will see the ludicrous nature of this “offense” and realize Keener was just acting like a protective mother. I’d like to say I can’t imagine them doing anything else, but I also could have never imagined that someone would be charged just for trying to save her son.

Did you know it was illegal to board a school bus? Do you think this mother should be punished?

Calif school closed amid molestation investigation

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly, Sad with tags on July 20, 2011 by punauni

 

A California private school has been deserted and closed by the state as police investigate allegations that its principal inappropriately touched young girls for years and that at least one staff member was aware of activities but failed to tell authorities.

A complaint filed by the Department of Social Services stated that several female students said they had been touched by Robert B. Adams, principal and founder of Creative Frontiers School in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights.

“On numerous occasions, respondent Adams touched female children’s bodies under their shirts and down their pants,” the complaint said.

It went on to say that Adams — whom students referred to as “Mr. Bob” — also would “seclude female children under a computer desk and lie down with them on a mat in his office.”

Police said Adams was the focus of the investigation but had not been arrested.

“I have to point out Mr. Adams is not under arrest and an arrest warrant has not been issued,” Citrus Heights police spokesman Jon Kempf said. “Due to the sensitive nature of this investigation, we want to move slowly and cautiously.”

The campus was empty Tuesday, with a sign posted on the office saying the school had been closed by the state. Swim towels had been left hanging to dry on a wire fence near the pool, and a sign-in sheet for parents dangled on a clipboard.

Adams could not be reached at the school, or at his home in Folsom, where white garbage bags had been taped to windows on the side of the front door in an apparent attempt to prevent people from looking in.

Shades were closed at the yellow, two-story house with a wraparound front porch.

Kempf said there were more than 10 children involved but declined to say exactly how many or if they were part of the campus pre-school or elementary school.

He said police had served search warrants and seized evidence from Adams’ home and from the school that’s attended by about 180 students.

Some of the alleged incidents dated back 15 years, police said.

Adams’ attorney, Linda Parisi, said her client was saddened by the accusations.

“We’re absolutely shocked. These are completely unfounded and we’re confident that it will be clear when the investigation is over there is no foundation to the accusations,” Parisi said.

She said with the exception of one disgruntled employee, there has never been a sustained complaint made against Adams or the school, which he founded in 1975.

A former receptionist, Irma Mertens, 62, told The Sacramento Bee that she made five calls to the state before investigators took her complaints seriously. She said she quit her job in May and gave police a spiral notebook filled with notes of everything she had seen.

No one answered the door at Mertens’ home Tuesday afternoon when The Associated Press sought comment.

The Department of Social Services complaint listed an office administrator, Cynthia Higgins, as being aware of some of the allegations but failing to report anything to authorities. Attempts by the AP to reach Higgins were unsuccessful, and telephone messages left at the school over two days were not returned.

Parents said they were surprised by the allegations against Adams. Some were posting messages of support on the school’s Facebook page.

Parent Cristina Azocar said outside the school that she found the allegations difficult to believe.

“I didn’t have any bad feelings about him,” said the 43-year-old mother, whose 3½-year-old son had been in a summer daycare program at the site before it was closed.

“I actually thought he was pretty nice. The kids seemed to be attached to him and that was one of the things that sold me on the school,” she said.

Others said they were reacting cautiously until more information comes to light.

Shannon Panora was shocked to be greeted by police officers on Monday, when she arrived at Creative Frontiers to pick up her 5-year-old son from daycare. Even if the school reopens, she said she would not send her son back to the campus.

“Whether or not Mr. Adams is guilty or innocent, I can’t take that chance with my son. I can’t,” she said. “And it’s not fair to my son’s health and safety.”

Creative Frontiers School serves children in preschool up to sixth grade and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Tuition to attend for a full school year is $6,507, according to the website.

The campus is located in a middle class, suburban setting, about 20 miles northeast of the state capital has

A rally in support of Adams had been planned by his daughter Tuesday afternoon at the school, but it was postponed.

The school’s website says Adams was honored in 2008 as administrator of the year by the Professional Association for Childhood Education, a nonprofit organization for early childhood educators and professionals.

Worms With Teeth Attack Aussie Couple

Posted in News with tags on July 19, 2011 by punauni

An Australian couple is recovering after discovering they were being eaten alive by tiny worms with teeth.  The duo discovered the culprits after weeks of chronic illness, the Herald Sun reported.  They first became ill after cooking fish they had caught while camping in Western Australia, and ingesting the gnathostomiasis larvae.  It is the first time humans have been infected by the parasite in Australia.  The worms are less than 1 inch long, have sharp teeth and can work their way around the body until it dies or is killed by the immune system.  “They move under the skin and cause itchy lumps that can make you feel sick and it can be very hard to diagnose,” Dr. Andrew Fuller told the Herald Sun.   “They eat your tissues.  “The 52-year-old man told doctors he could even feel movement under his skin.  A course of antibiotics killed the parasite and the couple have recovered.

Meth lab explodes at Rock Hill home; Mother charged

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly with tags , on July 15, 2011 by punauni

A Rock Hill woman is in jail after a meth lab exploded at her home Friday afternoon.

Sonya Sloan Burton, 37, of 546 Brush Creek Road is charged with third degree arson, unlawful neglect of a child, three counts of unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine in the presence of a minor, and other charges related to the possession and manufacturing of drugs, according to a website maintained by the York County Sheriff’s Office.

A York County Sheriff’s Office report says that three suspects, including two men who later fled the scene, were allegedly cooking methamphetamine in the bathroom when the explosion occurred. The explosion caused $20,000 in damage to the mobile home, the report states.

Burton had burns on her right arm and was transported to Piedmont Medical Center where she was treated and arrested upon release, the report says.

Four teenagers aged 18 and younger were at the residence. Two of the teens were identified as the suspect’s children.

About three dozen responders arrived on scene to extinguish the fire and gather evidence.

Joining Sheriff’s deputies, personnel from York County’s multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement unit, fire marshall’s office, hazardous materials team, and the Newport and Bethesda Fire Departments responded to the scene along with emergency personnel from York County, PMC and the Fort Mill rescue squad.

Officials confiscated several prescription and illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia from the premises.

Burton is being held at the York County Detention Center. Her bond has been denies.

Pregnant woman shoots boyfriend near children

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags on July 15, 2011 by punauni

Police in Daytona Beach say a pregnant woman shot her boyfriend in an apartment full of children.Investigators said Patricia Jaggon, 27, got in a fight with Bobby Cord, 58, Saturday night at an apartment on Jean Street.

They said when he went looking for his belongings to leave fight broke out between Cord and Jaggon. Jaggon then pulled out a gun from under a pillow in the master bedroom and shot him. Cord was hit in the right arm and chest.

Jaggon called the police and when they arrived they asked where the suspect was, in which Jaggon said, “Here I am.”

Police said seven kids were inside the home at the time, ranging in age from one to 12 years old.

One of the children inside during the incident told police that Jaggon said, “after she kills him [Cord], she was going to put lemons in a sock and hit herself with them.”

Additionally, in the police report, one of the children told police Jaggon messaged them saying she was going to kill Cord because she is tired of him and she is with him because “he drives a nice car.”

Jaggon is six months pregnant. She’s now charged with attempted murder.

Cord was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center.

Posted in New Hampshire, News, Parents Behaving Badly with tags , , on July 14, 2011 by punauni

 

GILSUM — A day-long Amber Alert across New England ended peacefully Wednesday night after a New York man wanted for questioning in a deadly fire there surrendered at a Gilsum home without incident.

Matthew Slocum, 23, emerged from a home in Gilsum shortly after 10 p.m. and was escorted by officers to a waiting police cruiser, several hours after a patrolling trooper spotted his black Mustang parked in Gilsum.

New York and Massachusetts police issued the alert — a bulletin in suspected child-abduction cases — because it was believed Slocum abducted his son, 4-month-old Raymond Slocum, and the infant’s 25-year-old mother, Loretta Colegrove.

Slocum was arraigned this morning in the District Division of the 8th Circuit Court in Keene.

About 9:45 p.m., a barefoot Colegrove, carrying Raymond Slocum in her arms, appeared from the Gilsum home. The mother and infant were unharmed and were being taken to the N.H. State Police Troop C barracks in Keene, said State Police Col. Robert Quinn shortly after Slocum was arrested.

About 15 minutes before they appeared, police could be heard speaking to Slocum with a bullhorn, telling the man to answer a cell phone, that no one wanted to hurt him and asking him not to hurt anyone.

Lt. Chris Aucoin of N.H. State Police Troop B, who leads the state police SWAT team, said Slocum surrendered peacefully after successful negotiation. He declined to comment on whether police had talked to Slocum on the phone before his surrender.

“We continued to talk to him throughout the evening,” Aucoin said. “We attempted to reason with him on numerous occasions.

“Fortunately, he did listen to reason and he did peacefully surrender to the authorities.”

Police also declined to comment on whether Colegrove was being held against her will.

“The baby and the mother are fine,” Aucoin said. “They came out on their own, there was no violence, there was no resistance.

“They intentionally gave themselves up.”

Throughout much of the afternoon and into the evening, access was blocked to Alstead Hill Road and Banks Road in Gilsum, and a large portion of the downtown area was evacuated.

Area residents who were home received telephone calls telling them to leave their homes, and yellow police tape stretched across Main Street.

A command post for the authorities, including representatives from the FBI, N.H. State Police, Keene police officers and officers from the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Department, was set up in front of the town post office, about a block from the house where police focused their attention.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., a large brown State Police SWAT team vehicle rolled along the street and police-dog units were called into the area.

Police declined to comment on why Slocum would have fled to Gilsum, but neighbors said his uncle, Scott Slocum, lived with his family on Banks Road. Several neighbors said that Matthew Slocum’s black Mustang was parked on Maguire Drive, a small dirt road off Banks Road.

Despite being in the evacuated area of town, the Gilsum Village Store across from the post office remained open and employees brought snacks out to evacuated residents and a crowd of news crews gathered on the street.

After an evening thunderstorm passed, many evacuated residents lingered in the street, chatting and watching until Colegrove and the infant and later Slocum were seen coming down the darkened, rain-slicked road.

New York authorities wanted Slocum for questioning in connection with a fire early Wednesday morning in White Creek, N.Y. — about 35 miles northwest of Albany — in which three people died, the Associated Press reported.

Killed in the fire were Slocum’s mother, stepfather and stepbrother, the Associated Press reported.

It was believed that Slocum, a felon who was on parole after serving a prison sentence between 2006 and 2010 on a grand larceny conviction, fled the fire scene before it was discovered, according to the Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star.

Slocum’s vehicle was reportedly seen at about 5 a.m. in Adams, Mass., according to information provided by the Massachusetts State Police in the Amber Alert.

The Glens Falls paper reported this morning that Slocum will face a first-degree arson charge in New York. An arrest warrant was issued for Slocum at 2 a.m. Thursday in White Creek (N.Y.) Town Court, the Post-Star reported.

Slocum will be held without bail at the Cheshire County jail pending extradition to New York after he waived his right to an extradition hearing at his arraignment in Keene this morning.

He was charged with being a fugitive from justice.

New York officials are expected to take him to New York as early as this afternoon or Friday morning, Assistant Cheshire County Attorney David Lauren told the court.

Judge Howard B. Lane Jr. granted petitions by the state to seal the contents of Slocum’s file and transfer his car to the authorities in New York state as evidence.

Quinn, of the State Police, said Wednesday night that an investigation was being conducted in Gilsum.

“This investigation is ongoing, it essentially just started,” he said. “New York authorities are here and they’re going to continue their investigation.

“… We have a potential crime scene here in Gilsum, so the work has just begun.”