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Video shows Calif. in-custody death

PoliceOne - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:03

Nate Gartrell and Aaron Davis East Bay Times

PITTSBURG, Calif. — A Bay Point man who died in police custody was put in a neck hold for at least 50 seconds after he ran from officers, according to body camera videos released last week.

The footage, released to this newspaper in response to a records request, shows officers chasing Humberto Martinez, 32, into a Pittsburg home, struggling to handcuff him, employing a neck hold as Martinez screams, then administering CPR and other medical assistance after they realize he’d stopped breathing.

Martinez’s July 2016 death has become the subject of a federal civil lawsuit, filed by his family, against the city of Pittsburg and several officers. The Martinez family’s attorney called the footage “sickening” and likened it to the high-profile death of Eric Garner, who died after NYPD employed a controversial chokehold on him.

By contrast, Pittsburg police released a two-page statement saying the footage corroborated officers’ accounts that Martinez violently resisted arrest and that his death was a tragic accident. They also released a report from Contra Costa deputy district attorney Barry Groves, who investigates matters involving police, that says officers used “lawful, non-deadly” force in attempting to detain Martinez.

Martinez died on July 26, 2016, after officers attempted to pull him over for an expired tag, following him in a circle until he stopped and ran into a garage in the 4200 block of Hillview Drive. Police say they were in the area to investigate “suspicious narcotics activity.”

The footage shows multiple angles of officers chasing Martinez into the home, and attempting to handcuff him in the kitchen while he is on the floor. They’re heard yelling commands to stop resisting and at one point an officer yells, “He’s still trying to (expletive) bite me.”

In one officer’s body cam, a 1-minute, 44-second video shows an officer chasing Martinez into the garage, stun gun in hand, then following him into the kitchen. The video ends as he begins to employ the neck hold.

Another video shows more officers rushing into the front door to assist two others attempting to arrest Martinez. When they arrive, an officer has Martinez in a neck hold as he lies on the floor and another is sitting on his back. The officer releases his neck about 50 seconds later, after Martinez is handcuffed and another officer says, “Get off.”

The other officer continues to sit on Martinez’s back for another minute.

During the struggle, police are heard yelling “Stop resisting” and “Give me your arm.” Another asks him, “What is your problem, dude?” After Martinez is cuffed, the officer who put him in a neck hold is told to go outside and relax.

As Martinez remains on the floor, an officer pats him on the face and says, “Wake up.” One asks whether Martinez is breathing and another replies, “Yeah, he’s breathing.” About a minute later, they realize he is “going purple” and call for medical help, while removing his handcuffs.

The footage shows several minutes of officers conducting CPR on Martinez, yelling, “Come on, bud,” and telling him to “Breathe” and “Wake up.” Another can be heard saying, “Please, don’t croak.” One says he thinks they’re bringing him back, but Martinez is led out on a stretcher minutes later and a family member can be heard asking if he’s not breathing.

Police say the officers and AMR personnel were able to bring back a pulse but that Martinez died at a hospital later that day. The medical examiner listed cause of death as “probable mechanical obstruction of respiration complicated by carotid sinus reflex stimulation,” due to the carotid hold. Methamphetamine in his system could have made him more prone to death, the coroner’s report says.

“While we believe that the involved officers here acted lawfully, appropriately and consistent with training and expertise, it is always tragic when an individual loses his life, whether in a confrontation with the police or in other circumstances — and this is certainly no exception,” Pittsburg police Cpt. Steve Albanese said in a statement to this newspaper.

The officer who employed the neck hold is not identified, but Pittsburg Officer Ernesto Mejia has testified that he put Martinez in a carotid hold during the struggle. He is named as a defendant in the suit. After the incident, an unidentified officer interviews Mejia while another officer who participated in the struggle stands a few feet away.

“He kept on trying to bite me, so I put him in a chokehold,” Mejia says, demonstrating with his arms.

“You mean the carotid?” the unidentified officer says.

“Yeah, the carotid,” Mejia says, adding that Martinez was trying to “punch me and head-butt me” throughout the incident.

A coroner’s inquest jury, which carries no civil or criminal liability, found Martinez’s death to be an accident. His family sued in July, alleging police had beaten up Martinez and used an illegal chokehold. Michael Haddad, a civil attorney representing the Martinez family, said Martinez suffered injuries to his windpipe and throat that showed police hadn’t used a proper carotid hold, which is intended to restrict blood to the brain, not the airways.

“The officers work as a team to keep him in a chokehold and then press down on his back until they suffocated him,” Haddad said.

Police departments rarely release body camera footage from fatal incidents; the footage can be found exempt from mandatory disclosure under the state’s Public Records Act if it is the subject of an active investigation, or if it relates to a complaint in an officer’s personnel file. In this case, Pittsburg police had shown the footage to a member of the public — Haddad — which bars them from refusing other members of the public to view it. The police statement says the department released the footage “in the interest of transparency.”

The carotid hold involves the use of both arms to squeeze certain arteries in a person’s neck. It is employed by many U.S. police departments but has drawn criticism because it can sometimes cause arteries to close and not re-open. Some police departments that allow carotid holds also restrict officers from employing them except in life-or-death situations.

©2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

Categories: Latest News

Vehicle terror attack suspect plotted rampage for 2 months

PoliceOne - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 09:06

By Colleen Long and Larry Neumeister Associated Press

NEW YORK — The suspect in the deadly New York City truck rampage was inspired by the Islamic State group's online videos and plotted his attack for two months, renting a truck ahead of time to practice turning it, federal authorities said in bringing terrorism charges against the Uzbek immigrant.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Sayfullo Saipov "SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!"

Saipov chose Halloween for the attack because he figured there would be more people on the streets, according to the criminal complaint. And after his trail of terror was halted by a police bullet, he asked to display the Islamic State flag in his hospital room, saying "he felt good about what he had done," authorities said.

Brought to court in a wheelchair, Saipov was held without bail on charges that could bring the death penalty. Separately, the FBI was questioning people who might have information about his actions before the attack, including a second Uzbek man.

The charges against Saipov, 29, came just a day after the attack near the World Trade Center killed eight people. Investigators in multiple states raced to retrace Saipov's steps and understand his motivations, which they said were illuminated by a note he left by the truck: "Islamic Supplication. It will endure." The phrase "it will endure" commonly refers to the Islamic State group, and Saipov had a cellphone loaded with the group's propaganda, an FBI agent said in the criminal complaint.

Handcuffed and with his legs shackled, Saipov nodded his head as he was read his rights in a brief court proceeding that he followed through a Russian interpreter. Outside court, his appointed lawyer, David Patton, said he hoped "everyone lets the judicial process play out."

"I promise you that how we treat Mr. Saipov in this judicial process will say a lot more about us than it will say about him," Patton said.

The FBI released a poster saying it was looking for one of Saipov's associates, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, only to announce less than 90 minutes later that it had found him. A law enforcement official said Kadirov was a friend of Saipov's and may not have any role in the case. Saipov didn't have many friends, the official said. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

A married father of three and former commercial truck and ride-hailing driver, Saipov began planning an attack a year ago and settled on a truck assault a couple of months ago, according to the criminal complaint.

During the last few weeks, Saipov searched the internet for information on Halloween in New York City and rented a truck to practice turns. He chose a route along a lower Manhattan highway and initially hoped to continue to hit more pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge, the complaint said.

Ultimately, Saipov sped down a bike path on a riverfront esplanade in a rented truck for nearly a mile Tuesday, running down cyclists and pedestrians, before crashing into a school bus, authorities said. He was shot after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns and yelling "God is great!" in Arabic, they said. Knives were found in a bag he was carrying. A stun gun was found inside the truck.

In the past few years, the Islamic State group has exhorted followers online to use vehicles, knives or other close-at-hand means of killing people in their home countries. England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks since mid-2016.

The fact that a note was left at the scene was significant, because it showed he was following their instructions to the letter, NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism head John Miller said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."

"He was following the ISIS instructions which says if you're going to do this you need to claim credit for ISIS or we won't know you're one of us and to yell it out, post it online or their magazine even suggested leaving leaflets and this seems to touch on that last piece," he said.

Saipov's court appearance came just hours after President Donald Trump said he would consider sending Saipov to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba — an idea the White House reinforced by saying it considered Saipov to be an "enemy combatant." Detainees at Guantanamo accused of supporting militants have faced military tribunals, rather than trials in the U.S. legal system.

By afternoon, though, Saipov was in federal court facing charges that include providing material support to a terrorist group. Trump's administration could, at least in theory, still send the suspect to the U.S. base in Cuba later, though such a step would be unprecedented.

The president took to Twitter on Wednesday, saying Saipov should get the death penalty. He repeated the call Thursday, saying he'd love to send the "NYC terrorist" to Guantanamo, but that process would take longer than going through the federal system. Trump said there was something "appropriate" about keeping Saipov where he committed the crime, and tweeted, "Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!"

Trump also has called for eliminating the 1990s visa lottery program that Saipov used to come to the U.S. in 2010.

Miller said Saipov had never been the subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI or New York police, but appears to have links to people who have been investigated. He wouldn't elaborate. Miller said Thursday he appeared to be the only suspect, but he cautioned the investigation was relatively fresh.

In a report by Radio Free Europe on Thursday, Saipov's family, which lives in Uchtepa, on the outskirts of Tashkent, was described as very secular and ordinary, and living a comfortable life. Citing neighbors of the family, the report says Saipov's parents run a small clothing stall in a local market, and own a car and their own house.

The attack killed five people from Argentina, one from Belgium and two Americans, authorities said. Twelve people were injured.

City leaders vowed New York would not be intimidated and said Sunday's New York City Marathon would go on as scheduled, with increased security.

Categories: Latest News

NJ officer shot point blank, suspect arrested

PoliceOne - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 09:03

Associated Press

CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey police officer is in stable condition after he was shot in the thigh at point-blank range while trying to apprehend a suspect in Camden.

Camden County police say the officer approached three people who were acting suspiciously just after 10 p.m. Wednesday when one ran away. Police Chief Scott Thompson says the officer caught the suspect, who pulled out a gun and fired during a struggle.

Camden Co Police stand at Cooper Hospital ER entrance where cop was taken after being shot in leg. @NBCPhiladelphia

— Brandon Hudson (@BHudTV) November 2, 2017

The suspect was apprehended and fellow officers applied a tourniquet to the wounded officer's leg.

Authorities have not released the name of the officer, who has been on the police force for a year.

The name of the suspect has not been released.

Categories: Latest News

Mass. officer helps save family from burning home

PoliceOne - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:57

By Jessica Trufant The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY, Mass. — Quincy K9 officer Dan Parisi was on patrol Tuesday afternoon when he heard reports come over the radio of a house fire on Norfolk Street with several people trapped inside.

Brewster Ambulance paramedics Hugh Devlin and Rick Weitsen – both off-duty firefighters in other communities – heard the calls too, and happened to be right down the street.

Parisi, Devlin and Weitsen pulled up at 107-109 Norfolk St. at the same time and found flames engulfing the roof and exterior of the two-family home. They rushed in to the first floor, where they found an elderly man, a woman and a young boy. A fourth person had already gotten out of the home.

"You go into firefighter mentality, and just focus on going in and getting them out," said Weitsen, a Natick firefighter.

Devlin, a Cambridge firefighter, said the residents seemed unaware that the house was on fire until he, Parisi and Weitsen ran in to get them. Devlin and Weitsen carried the elderly man out, and Parisi led the woman and child to safety. They then checked with second floor, which was unoccupied at the time.

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the blaze, which broke out just after 1 p.m. No one was injured in the blaze.

Deputy Chief Jack Cadegan said he declared a second alarm before getting to the scene due to reports that several residents wee trapped inside. Firefighters did a second sweep of the building and confirmed everyone had gotten out by the time they arrived.

"This is a perfect example of a team effort between Brewster Ambulance and Quincy Police were quick on the scene to help evacuate people and Quincy Fire shortly after that," Deputy Chief Jack Cadegan said. "It was a great job. (Firefighters) knocked it down quick and held the extension to the front part of the building with not too much damage up into the second floor and the attic."

Parisi said it felt good to help, but that he and the paramedics were simply doing their jobs.

Fire Chief Joseph Barron said a firefighter who is fluent in several Asian dialects spoke with the residents of the home, and the fire prevention office is investigating the cause of the fire. He said the department also notified the Red Cross to assist the residents with temporary housing if necessary.

Copyright 2017 The Patriot Ledger

Categories: Latest News

Fla. off-duty officer killed in car wreck

PoliceOne - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:23

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — An off-duty police officer in Florida was killed after his pickup truck flipped over and hit a tree early Thursday morning.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Officer Josh Calverley, 29, was driving on a highway when he lost control of his truck and went onto the median. Troopers said the officer over-corrected, left the road and flipped over before he hit the tree. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

“The members of the New Smyrna Beach Police Department are heartbroken to report the loss of one of our family members,” department spokesman Lt. Shane Riggle said in a statement. “Josh Calverley was a soft-spoken officer with a big heart.”

Calverley, who was also a U.S. army veteran, has been a part of the New Smyrna Beach Police Department since December 2015.

The crash remains under investigation.

Categories: Latest News

3 killed in Colo. Walmart shooting, suspect arrested

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 23:11

By P. Solomon Banda Associated Press

THORNTON, Colo. — A man suspected of walking into a suburban Denver Walmart and immediately opening fire with a handgun, killing two men and a woman, was arrested Thursday, about 14 hours after fleeing the store.

Police used surveillance video to identify the suspect as 47-year-old Scott Ostrem. Television footage showed officers taking him into custody about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away from the Walmart after pulling over his car.

The shooting appears random and there are no indications that it was an act of terror, Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila said Wednesday night.

The motive was unknown, Avila said.

DEVELOPING: 'Multiple parties down' after gunfire reported at a Walmart in Thornton, Colorado

— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) November 2, 2017

Two men died inside the Walmart, which is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Denver in a busy shopping center. The woman died later at a hospital.

Authorities did not immediately release any other information about the victims.

Aaron Stephens, 44, was in the self-checkout line when he heard a single shot followed by two more bursts of gunfire before people started running for the exits.

"The employees started screaming. Customers were screaming. They were running like crazy, and I ran out too because I didn't want to get killed," he said.

Guadalupe Perez was inside the store with her young son when she heard what she thought was a balloon popping. A Walmart employee told her someone was shooting, and then Perez saw people running away yelling, "Let's go. Let's go. Leave the groceries."

"You see all these things in the news and you go through it, it's scary," she said. "But thank God we're OK and nothing happened to us."

Investigators, including special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were reviewing security video and interviewing witnesses.

— William (@TheWilliamCrail) November 2, 2017

Ragan Dickens, a Walmart spokesman, said the company is working with investigators.

Categories: Latest News

Texas officers wounded, suspect killed in gun battle

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 20:26

By Claire Z. Cardona and Naheed Rajwani The Dallas Morning News

ARLINGTON, Texas — An Arlington man who opened fire on police serving a search warrant at a suspected drug house Tuesday was no stranger to authorities and had attacked an officer before, police said.

Vincent Hall, 22, was killed Tuesday in a shootout that seriously wounded one officer and grazed another at a home in the 4300 block of Kelly Hill Road.

Police SWAT teams were at the home about 4:30 p.m. to serve a no-knock narcotics warrant, meaning they didn't have to announce they were there, and had divided into front yard and backyard teams.

Someone inside the duplex peeked out a window, saw officers approaching and alerted the other people inside, Lt. Christopher Cook said.

Before the shooting started, police detained four people, including 22-year-old Billy Nevels, who was arrested on misdemeanor warrants out of Dalworthington Gardens.

Hall then opened fire on officers with an AR-15 rifle as they tried to enter the home, Cook said.

One officer, an 11-year veteran whose name was not released, was dragged to safety after being shot multiple times in the lower extremities.

He was in "great spirits" a day later as he recovered at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, police said.

A second officer, who appeared to be grazed by a bullet, was treated at the scene.

"We're very lucky, honestly, that our officers were not more injured and that nothing else tragic occurred," Cook said.

Five officers returned fire, striking Hall, and then used a robot to determine that no one else was still inside, police said.

Shortly before 9 p.m., officers shot gas into the home and, within the hour, confirmed Hall was dead near the front door with a rifle under his body.

"At the end of the day, we're happy because this could have gone in a different direction for us," Cook said Wednesday.

Streets around the area were closed as police investigated. Several residents in the immediate area were evacuated for their safety. Others were being kept from going to their homes, and people who were in their homes were asked to shelter in place.

Known suspect

Police had interacted with Hall before Tuesday's shooting, and he had a lengthy arrest history, court records show.

He'd been arrested before on charges of drug possession, evading arrest, attempting to take a police officer's weapon and resisting arrest.

In 2016, Cook said, the suspect wrestled with an Arlington officer and tried to snatch her gun before escaping.

Detectives requested the recent search warrant knowing Hall's criminal history, which Cook said might explain why a no-knock warrant was issued for the suspect's home.

Police found the AR-15 next to Hall's body Tuesday night. Four types of drugs, including cocaine, were found inside the home.

Police didn't know Wednesday whether any of the detained people would face criminal charges tied to the drugs.

On-duty shootings

Tuesday's shooting is among several in recent years in which an officer was killed or injured in North Texas.

In April 2016, Arlington Officer Eddie Johnston was shot while helping serve a warrant for a man suspected of killing a Saginaw teenager.

On July 7, 2016, a gunman ambushed and killed four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer in downtown Dallas.

In September 2016, two Fort Worth police officers were wounded when they responded to a call at a home. Shots were fired as they approached a backyard shed. Police later found one man dead in the shed and the man's father dead inside the home.

In May, Dallas firefighter-paramedic William An was wounded when he tried to help police engaged in a standoff with a man who had killed his godfather and shot a neighbor in Old East Dallas.

©2017 The Dallas Morning News

Categories: Latest News

Calif. K-9 killed by stabbing suspect

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 20:23

By Robert Salonga The Mercury News

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — A German Shepherd named Jax has been identified as the police dog reportedly stabbed to death by a suspect who was later shot and killed by an officer Tuesday afternoon, according to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

“It is with great sorrow that we announced the line of duty death of our beloved K9, Jax,” Chief Phan Ngo said in a Twitter post Wednesday. “Our hearts are heavy and broken as we mourn his loss.”

It is with great sorrow that we announce the line of duty death of our beloved K9, Jax. Our hearts are heavy & broken as we mourn his loss.

— Phan Ngo (@SunnyvaleChief) November 1, 2017

Jax was part of a police response to a report of a stabbing at a high-end apartment complex on East Weddell Drive off Fair Oaks Avenue around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers arrived at the Encasa property and found a victim outside suffering from stabbing injuries that were not life-threatening, police said. The victim told them that the suspected attacker was still inside one of the apartment units.

Official details were vague about what happened next, but at some point a man armed with a knife stabbed Jax. At least one officer then opened fire at the suspect, who later died at the hospital.

©2017 the San Jose Mercury News

Categories: Latest News

Shootout critically wounds San Francisco officer, suspect

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 20:20

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco police officer and a suspect were both critically wounded in a Halloween night gunbattle in a popular neighborhood for holiday celebrations, officials said Wednesday.

Shots erupted when the 41-year-old officer approached a parked car in the city's Castro neighborhood to check on reports of a suspicious vehicle, San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

The neighborhood is a popular Halloween night gathering spot that has attracted as many as 250,000 people in the past to city-sanctioned parties. But San Francisco stopped sponsoring Halloween events in the Castro after nine people were shot in 2006, a culmination of other violent incidents over the years.

The neighborhood is loaded with popular gay bars and other nightspots and still attracts many Halloween revelers. It's unclear how many partyers were in the area during the shooting that occurred shortly after midnight, Andraychak said.

He declined to release the names of the suspect or the officer, a nine-year veteran of the department who was undergoing surgery. The officer is a crime-scene investigator who was assigned to patrol on a busy Halloween night, the sergeant said.

Categories: Latest News

NY truck attack suspect charged with terrorism

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 14:43

Colleen Long and Jennifer Peltz Associated Press

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors brought terrorism charges Wednesday against the Uzbek immigrant accused in the truck rampage that left eight people dead, saying he was spurred to attack by the Islamic State group's online calls to action and picked Halloween because he knew more people would be out on the streets.

The charges against 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov could bring the death penalty.

Even as he lay wounded in the hospital from police gunfire, Saipov asked to display the ISIS flag in his room and said "he felt good about what he had done," prosecutors said in court papers as Saipov was brought to court in a wheelchair to face the charges.

Meanwhile, the FBI said it wanted to question a second Uzbek — 32-year-old Mukhammadzoir Kadirov — and had found him.

Saipov, accused of driving the rented Home Depot pickup truck that barreled down a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, was charged with providing material support to a terrorist group and committing violence and destruction of motor vehicles, resulting in death.

His lawyers did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Prosecutors said he had 90 videos and 3,800 photos on one of his two cellphones, many of them ISIS-related pieces of propaganda, including images of prisoners being beheaded, shot or run over by a tank.

Saipov left behind knives and a note, in Arabic and English, that included Islamic religious references and said, "Islamic Supplication. It will endure" — "it will endure" is phrase that commonly refers to ISIS, FBI agent Amber Tyree said in court papers.

Questioned in his hospital bed, Saipov said he had been inspired by ISIS videos that he watched on his cellphone and began plotting an attack about a year ago, deciding to use a truck about two months ago, Tyree said.

During the last few weeks, Saipov searched the internet for information on Halloween in New York City and for truck rentals, the agent said. Saipov even rented a truck on Oct. 22 to practice making turns, and he initially hoped to get from the bike path across lower Manhattan to hit more pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge, Tyree said.

He even considered displaying ISIS flags on the truck during the attack but decided against it because he did not want to draw the attention, authorities said.

John Miller, deputy New York police commissioner for intelligence, said Saipov "appears to have followed, almost exactly to a T, the instructions that ISIS has put out."

In the past few years, the Islamic State has exhorted followers online to use vehicles, knives or other close-at-hand means of killing people in their home countries. England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks since mid-2016.

A November 2016 issue of the group's online magazine detailed features that an attack truck or van should have, suggested renting such a vehicle and recommended targeting crowded streets and outdoor gatherings, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a militant-monitoring agency.

Carlos Batista, a neighbor of Saipov's in Paterson, New Jersey, said he had seen the suspect and two friends using the same model of rented truck several times in the past three weeks.

It was not clear whether Saipov had been on authorities' radar. Miller said Saipov had never been the subject of a criminal investigation but appears to have links to people who have been investigated.

In Tuesday's attack, Saipov drove his speeding truck for nearly a mile along a bike path, running down cyclists and pedestrians, then crashed into a school bus, authorities said. He was shot in the abdomen after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns, one in each hand, and yelling "God is great!" in Arabic, they said.

In addition to those killed, 12 people were injured.

The aftermath took a political turn Wednesday when President Donald Trump slammed the visa lottery program that Saipov used to come to the U.S. in 2010. Trump called the program "a Chuck Schumer beauty," a reference to the Senate's top Democrat.

The program dates to 1990, when Republican President George H.W. Bush signed it as part of a bipartisan immigration bill. Trump called on Congress to eliminate it, saying, "We have to get much tougher, much smarter and less politically correct."

Schumer, who represents New York, said in a statement that he has always believed that immigration "is good for America," and he accused the president of "politicizing and dividing" the country.

Assailants in a number of other recent extremist attacks around the world were found to have been "lone wolves" — inspired but not actually directed by the Islamic State. In some cases, they never even made contact with the group.

On the morning after the bloodshed, city leaders vowed New York would not be intimidated, and they commended New Yorkers for going ahead with Halloween festivities on Tuesday night.

They also said Sunday's New York City Marathon, with 50,000 participants and some 2 million spectators anticipated, will go on as scheduled.

"We will not be cowed. We will not be thrown off by anything," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

While the mayor said there have been no credible threats of any additional attacks, police said they were adding more sniper teams, bomb-sniffing dogs, helicopters, sand-truck barricades and other security measures along the marathon route, in the subways and at other sites.

The attack killed five people from Argentina, one from Belgium and two Americans, authorities said. Nine people remained hospitalized in serious or critical condition, with injuries that included lost limbs and wounds to the head, chest and neck.

A roughly two-mile stretch of highway in lower Manhattan was closed for much of the day for the investigation. Authorities also converged on Saipov's New Jersey apartment building and a van in a parking lot at a New Jersey Home Depot.

Runners and cyclists who use the popular bike path were diverted from the crime scene by officers at barricades.

"It's the messed-up world we live in these days," said Dave Hartie, 57, who works in finance and rides his bike along the path every morning. "Part of me is surprised it doesn't happen more often."

The slight, bearded Saipov is a legal, permanent U.S. resident. He lived in Ohio and Florida before moving to New Jersey around June, authorities said.

Birth records show he and his wife had two daughters in Ohio, and a neighbor in New Jersey said they recently had a baby boy.

Saipov was a commercial truck driver in Ohio. More recently, he was an Uber driver.

In Ohio, Saipov was an argumentative young man whose career was falling apart and who was "not happy with his life," said Mirrakhmat Muminov, a fellow truck driver from heavily Muslim Uzbekistan.

"He had the habit of disagreeing with everybody," Muminov said.

He said he and Saipov would sometimes argue about politics and world affairs, including Israel and Palestine. He said Saipov never spoke about ISIS, but he could tell his friend held radical views.

Categories: Latest News

Utah nurse reaches $500,000 settlement over arrest caught on video

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:11

Lindsay Whitehurst Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah nurse who was arrested for refusing to let a police officer draw blood from an unconscious patient settled Tuesday with Salt Lake City and the university that runs the hospital for $500,000.

Nurse Alex Wubbels and her lawyer, Karra Porter, announced the move nearly two months after they released police body-camera video showing Detective Jeff Payne handcuffing Wubbels. The footage drew widespread attention online amid the national debate about police use of force.

The settlement covers all possible defendants in a lawsuit, including individual police officers, university police and hospital security guards. The payout will be divided among the city and the University of Utah.

Wubbels plans to use part of the money to fund legal help for others trying to get similar body-camera video. She said that in cases like hers, video is essential to being heard and believed.

"We all deserve to know the truth, and the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage, and that's what happened in my case," she said. "No matter how truthful I was in telling my story, it was nothing compared to what people saw and the visceral reaction people experienced when watching the footage of the experience I went through."

She said she also plans to give a portion of the $500,000 to a nurse's union and help lead a campaign to stop physical and verbal abuse of nurses on the job.

University of Utah hospital officials said in a statement they support Wubbels and have changed their procedures and training on how police and health care workers interact to ensure nothing similar happens again.

A spokesman for Salt Lake City didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Wubbel was following hospital policy when she told Payne he needed a warrant or the consent of the patient to draw blood after a July 26 car crash. The patient was not under arrest or suspected of wrongdoing.

Payne had neither. He eventually dragged Wubbels outside and handcuffed her as she screamed that she had done nothing wrong.

She was released without being charged but has said the incident left her feeling terrified and bullied. In a call for changes, Wubbel and her lawyer released the video they had obtained through a public records request.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown has since apologized and fired Payne after an internal investigation found he violated department policies.

Brown said in a disciplinary letter that he was "deeply troubled" by Payne's conduct, which he said brought "significant disrepute" on the department.

Payne is appealing that decision, saying the firing was an unfair reaction to the negative publicity.

The patient was an off-duty Idaho reserve police officer driving a semitrailer when he was hit by a man fleeing police in a pickup truck. He later died of his injuries.

Lt. James Tracy, a police supervisor who ordered the arrest of the nurse, was demoted to officer and also is appealing. He said he suggested Payne consider handcuffing the nurse and that his superiors had never informed him of the hospital's blood-draw policy, according to appeal documents.

Wubbels said she was relieved at the discipline and would be disappointed if it's overturned, though she stressed that decision is out of her control.

"The police have to police themselves," she said. "This is something I never would have expected to happen, but I'm also honored by the weight of it."

Categories: Latest News

NYPD officer praised for stopping terror during vehicular attack

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:14

Ellen Yan Newsday

NEW YORK — What more mayhem the terror suspect could have committed, nobody knows — thanks to an NYPD officer from Long Island.

Officer Ryan Nash, 28, fired at the driver, who had just killed eight people and mowed down several others, hitting the man in the abdomen.

Although Nash’s name wasn’t mentioned by city officials at a news conference, he was praised as the hero of the day.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said he “stopped the carnage moments after it began.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio singled the Medford resident out in honoring the army of first responders.

“I want to thank everyone at the NYPD, all our first responders, for their extraordinary efforts in the midst of this tragedy,” the mayor said, “starting with the officer who stopped this tragedy from continuing — all the first responders who came to the aid of those who were injured.”

Nash’s girlfriend declined to speak Tuesday night, except to say she had heard from him and that he was OK.

Nash, a First Precinct officer, was patrolling his regular beat near the scene when he shot the suspect soon after the attack began, O’Neill said.

He is a five-year veteran of the NYPD and serves in the First Precinct, a square mile at the southernmost tip of Manhattan that is home to the World Trade Center, SoHo, TriBeCa and Wall Street.

Scores of police officers descended Tuesday night on NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, where Nash was being treated for tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

He has two awards for Excellent Police Duty and one for Meritorious Police Duty from the NYPD.

©2017 Newsday

Here’s the hero cop the world should be talking about. Police Officer Ryan Nash risked his life to save others. Thank u Ryan, thank u #NYPD

— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) November 1, 2017
Categories: Latest News

NY gov: truck attack suspect was radicalized in US

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:08

Colleen Long and Matt Sedensky Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Uzbek immigrant accused of mowing down people along a bike path near the World Trade Center left a handwritten note referring to the Islamic State group and had been radicalized in the U.S., New York's governor said Wednesday.

Investigators, meanwhile, were at the hospital bedside of 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, working to extract information about the truck attack Tuesday afternoon that left eight people dead and 11 seriously injured, a law enforcement official said.

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Saipov was lucid after surgery for wounds suffered when he was shot by police.

Authorities found a note inside the rented Home Depot pickup truck.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the suspect was a "depraved coward" who tried to create terror. Cuomo gave no details on the note except to say it referred to the Islamic State.

"He was associated with ISIS and he was radicalized domestically," he said on CNN. "It's not the first time. It's a global phenomenon now."

In a number of recent extremist attacks around the world, the assailants were found to have been inspired but not actually directed by the Islamic State, and in some cases never even made contact with the group.

In Tuesday's attack, Saipov hurtled down the bike path, running down cyclists and pedestrians, then crashed into a school bus, authorities said. He was shot in the abdomen after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing air guns and yelling "God is great!" in Arabic, they said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called it "a cowardly act of terror."

A roughly two-mile stretch of highway in lower Manhattan was shut down for the investigation. Authorities also converged on a New Jersey apartment building and a van in a parking lot at a New Jersey Home Depot.

Police and the FBI urged members of the public to come forward with any photos or video that could help.

In the past few years, the Islamic State has been exhorting followers to use vehicles or other close-at-hand means of killing people in their home countries. England, France and Germany have seen deadly vehicle attacks in the past year or so.

President Donald Trump railed against the Islamic State on Twitter and declared "Enough!" and "NOT IN THE U.S.A.!"

On Wednesday, the president took a swipe at the Senate's top Democrat, saying Saipov came to the U.S. under a visa lottery program — "a Chuck Schumer beauty." He urged tougher immigration measures based on merit.

Schumer, who represents New York, said in a statement that he has always believed that immigration "is good for America."

The victims reflected a city that is a melting pot and a magnet for visitors: One of the dead was from Belgium. Five were from Argentina and were celebrating the 30th anniversary of a school graduation. The injured included students and staffers on the school bus.

New Yorkers woke to a heavy police presence Wednesday outside the World Trade Center and at other locations around the city.

Runners and cyclists who use the popular bike path for their pre-dawn exercise were diverted away from the crime scene by officers stationed at barricades just north of where the rampage began.

Dave Hartie, 57, who works in finance, said he rides his bike along the path every morning.

"It's great to be in the city and have that kind of peace," he said. As for the attack, he said, "It's the messed-up world we live in these days. Part of me is surprised it doesn't happen more often."

Law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity said the slight, bearded attacker is from heavily Muslim Uzbekistan and came to the U.S. legally in 2010. He has a Florida driver's license but may have been staying in New Jersey, they said.

Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio. He had also driven for Uber.

Mirrakhmat Muminov, 38, of Stow, Ohio, said he knew Saipov because they were both Uzbek truck drivers. He portrayed Saipov as an argumentative young man whose work was falling apart and who "was not happy with his life."

Muminov said Saipov lost his insurance on his truck after his rates shot up because of a few traffic tickets, and companies stopped hiring him. Muminov said he heard from Saipov's friends that Saipov's truck engine blew up a few months ago in New Jersey.

Muminov said Saipov would get into arguments with his friends and family, tangling over even small things, such as going to a picnic with the Uzbek community.

"He had the habit of disagreeing with everybody. He was never part of the community. He was always alone, no respect for elders, no respect for community," Muminov said.

He said he and Saipov would sometimes argue about politics and world affairs, including about Israel and Palestine. He said Saipov never spoke about ISIS, but he could tell he held radical views.

Categories: Latest News

Ala. deputy killed in traffic crash

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 08:39

Ben Benton Chattanooga Times/Free Press, Tenn.

DEKALB, CO., Ala. — A 56-year-old DeKalb County, Ala., deputy was killed Tuesday in a traffic crash, according to officials with the department where he worked.

"Our hearts here at the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office are saddened this morning when we learned that one of our deputies, Daniel Matthews was in a car accident that took his life," DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said Tuesday in a news release. "Daniel was 56 years old, was with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Reserves for two years before becoming a deputy."

Matthews had been a deputy for four years and also was employed by the Fort Payne Housing Authority, Harris said.

"I have worked with Daniel for many years. He was a good person and deputy," Harris said. "We are deeply saddened to have lost one of our deputies and it is hard for us because we are like family here at the Sheriff's Office. Our thoughts and prayers goes out to his family."

Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson echoed Harris' sentiments.

"We are a close-knit family and we are saddened about this tragedy," Edmondson said. "We are praying for his family and close friends. We also ask for the citizens to pray for his family and work family in the days to come."

©2017 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)

Categories: Latest News

NYC truck attack: Investigators scour driver's background

PoliceOne - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 23:25

By Colleen Long and Matt Sedensky Associated Press

NEW YORK — Investigators worked through the night to determine what led a truck driver to plow down people on a riverfront bike path near the World Trade Center, brandishing air guns and yelling "God is great" in Arabic as his deadly route of terror ended with a crash, authorities said.

Eight people were killed and 11 seriously injured in a Halloween afternoon attack that the mayor called "a particularly cowardly act of terror." The driver — identified by officials as an immigrant from Uzbekistan — was in critical condition but expected to survive after a police officer shot him in the abdomen.

A roughly two-mile stretch of highway in downtown Manhattan was shut down for the investigation. Authorities also converged on a New Jersey home and a van in a parking lot at a New Jersey Home Depot store. Authorities were scrutinizing a note found inside the attacker's rented truck, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Police and the FBI urged members of the public to give them any photos or video that could help. The attack echoed a strategy that the Islamic State group has been suggesting to its followers. While police didn't specifically blame any group for the strike, President Donald Trump railed against the Islamic State and declared "enough!" and "NOT IN THE U.S.A.!"

The victims reflected a city that is a melting pot and a magnet for visitors: One of the dead was from Belgium. Five were from Argentina and were celebrating the 30th anniversary of a school graduation, according to officials in those countries. The injured included students and staffers on a school bus that the driver rammed.

"This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat.

Officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity identified the slight, bearded attacker as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old who came to the U.S. legally in 2010. He has a Florida driver's license but may have been staying in New Jersey, they said.

Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio. He had also driven for Uber, the ride-hailing company said. An Ohio marriage license shows that a truck driver with one of Saipov's addresses and his name, spelled slightly differently, married a fellow Uzbek in 2013.

During his time in Fort Myers, Florida, several years ago, Saipov was "a very good person," an acquaintance, Kobiljon Matkarov, told The New York Times.

"He liked the U.S. He seemed very lucky, and all the time, he was happy and talking like everything is OK. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside," Matkarov said. He said Saipov later moved to New Jersey and began driving for Uber. San Francisco-based Uber said he started over six months ago.

Police said the attacker rented the truck at about 2 p.m. at a New Jersey Home Depot and then went into New York City, entering the bike path about an hour later and speeding toward the World Trade Center, the site of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history.

He barreled along the bike path in the truck for the equivalent of about 14 blocks, or around eight-tenths of a mile, before slamming into a small yellow school bus.

"A person hopped out of the car with two guns and started yelling and screaming," said a 12-year-old student who had just left a nearby school. "They were yelling 'Allahu Akbar.'"

The student, whose mother asked that his name be withheld, said he ran back into the school, where students cried and huddled in a corner.

Video shot by bystanders showed Saipov walking through traffic wielding what looked like two handguns, but which police later said were a paintball gun and a pellet gun. A police officer shot Saipov when he wouldn't drop the weapons, police said.

The mayhem set off panic in the neighborhood and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered with sheets.

"I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground," said Chen Yi, an Uber driver.

The note inside the truck was handwritten in a foreign language, according to one of the two law enforcement officials who spoke about the document. Both said its contents were being investigated but supported the belief the act was terrorism.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called Tuesday's carnage a "lone wolf" attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

New York and other cities around the globe have been on high alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. England, France and Germany have seen deadly vehicle attacks in the past year or so.

VIDEO of the scene.

— Buffing Actions News (@BuffingActions) October 31, 2017

PHOTO: Scene of incident in lower Manhattan, where multiple people are injured

— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 31, 2017

Witness describes what he saw in Lower Manhattan

— Myles N. Miller (@MylesMill) October 31, 2017

Multiple People shot Downtown Manhattan near Chambers street. At a high school. West side Highway being closed

— Buffing Actions News (@BuffingActions) October 31, 2017

The vehicle struck multiple people on the path. There are several fatalities and numerous people injured.

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 31, 2017

John Williams heard at least five gunshots. Then he saw a totaled Home Depot truck and one man get arrested after a shooting in Manhattan

— Madison Mills (@MadisonMills22) October 31, 2017

BREAKING: Law enforcement official: 6 people dead, 9 hurt as vehicle drives onto bike path in lower Manhattan. (Corrects number of injured)

— The Associated Press (@AP) October 31, 2017

Map of the Lower Manhattan area where police are responding to the reported incident

— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 31, 2017

BREAKING: Eyewitness Video Appears To Show Suspect In Deadly Manhattan Attack

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 31, 2017

Categories: Latest News

Ghost patrol: The scariest things cops have seen on the beat

PoliceOne - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 22:11

Author: P1 Community Q&A

Most cops will tell you they’ve seen it all. It’s the nature of the job to be exposed to virtually everything America has to offer – from the weird to the hilarious to the disturbing. But what about the paranormal? We asked our audience to share the scariest, strangest, or most unexplained thing they’ve seen in their career, and their stories were downright spooky. Check out our roundup of the best responses, and if you think you can top these, share your story with us.

A different kind of evil

Several years ago, I took a 911 call for a family reporting their teenaged daughter was possessed. They claimed no possibility of drugs or history of mental health issues (which I, of course, didn’t believe for a second). Family members were holding her down and I could hear two people screaming at each other in the background. I asked the caller to tell whoever was yelling at her to stop. The caller said “it’s her.” I responded that I knew it was her but whoever was yelling at her at the same time to stop. The caller again said “It’s her. Both voices.”

I kid you not, it was the creepiest thing I have ever heard. I have been doing this for 25 years and have heard many things, I know of man’s inhumanity and the horrible things people do to each other, but this - this was a different kind of evil. I was clearly hearing a young girl screaming at the same time an adult male was yelling back. I couldn’t understand either language but they were clearly two different voices. The family swore both voices were coming from her, at the same time. It made my skin crawl. The lieutenant listened to the tape later and he looked at me and said “Do you ever wonder...” Yes. Yes I do. — Meredith Scheirman

cell #1 is empty

I’ve seen a lot of things in my career, things that would make a citizen doubt my sanity. From being dispatched to chase a UFO to responding to calls of ghosts. But the most unusual thing that happened to me was witnessed by several officers and a dispatcher. One evening I had brought in a guy for domestic violence and as he was a bit rowdy I was joined in booking by the sergeant and another patrolman. I’m in the process of booking Mr. Tuffguy when I glanced into cell #1. There was a guy in there, short haircut, glasses, and white t-shirt just staring at us. I ignored him because I didn’t want him to start banging on the window demanding a phone call or something.

So I finish the booking process and escort Mr. Tuffguy to his cell, walking past cell #1. Guy in the cell just stood there never saying a word or moving. We all then leave booking and go about our business. Some time later sergeant asks me to check the paperwork for the prisoners to see if any were ready to transport to county jail. I grab the paperwork and go into booking to do a headcount. Cell #1 is empty. I panic and tell the sergeant who also panics and he and I begin to make phone calls to the detectives to see if they had moved the guy or had released him. They all say they didn’t go into booking at all. I then checked the computer and paperwork again and the headcount was accurate, no one had been placed in cell #1.

We go to the dispatch office to check the surveillance video for booking. We rewind the footage to where I can be seen booking my prisoner. We fast forward to the point in the video where we all walk out. As soon as we walk past the door the guy in #1 "blinks" out of existence. We were all freaked out by the occurrence believe you me! When we tried to transfer the video to a DVD and USB drive the guy in the cell did not appear. We still hear and see stuff every now and then and prisoners in the detox tank can be seen talking to someone in the direction of cell #1 even though it appears empty. To this day I’m wary of going into booking alone. — Marco Castillo

welfare check

Answered a welfare check call one night late, between 0230-0300 on an elderly woman who lived next door to the caller and had not been seen for some time. This night we were having a bad thunderstorm without the rain. I get to the complainant’s house to speak to her first, wondering why she called at this time. She tells me the lady next door is in her 90s, lives alone and she has not seen her in weeks. She explained that she has called, went over and knocked on her door but the lady will not answer. I start thinking she is probably deceased and has been for some time. The car has a 3-inch layer of dust on it, the mail is piling up and no lights are on. First I walked to the side door and knock on the door with my flashlight, knocking loud enough an elderly person with some hearing should hear it. After a few minutes of no response I turn around and walk to the backyard looking at the windows and find everything okay. The complainant is with me and is saying she doesn't know of any relatives of the lady. I'm sure by now that she is probably deceased.

I walk to the front of the house and notice that her blinds are up on the front windows and I can see a glow from inside. I am however not tall enough to look into the windows which are probably 7 feet off the ground. The complainant runs next door and grabs a bucket for me to stand on. I get on the bucket and bingo I can see the living room. The glow was from the TV which was on a blue screen and is bright enough I didn't need my flashlight to see in. I looked first at the floor to make sure she had not fallen there, couch, recliner, everything was empty. The telephone home base was blinking red with the missed calls and voicemails. From the living room was a hallway that was dark and I couldn't see down. Using my flashlight I could only see an open door down the hall. Still no signs of life.

I turned around and told the complainant that everything looked ok and nothing was disturbed. I turned back around and an elderly woman is looking back at me with her face right up next to the glass. I couldn't breathe; it felt has if I had been hit in the chest by a bat. I fell backwards and off of the bucket. I hit the ground hard and the complainant rushed to me. I pushed her off as she was trying to help me up and I ran back up on the bucket. My heart was pounding but I had to see. Instinct had my hand on my gun the other was up on the window. I looked back inside and saw a frail elderly woman standing in the hallway wearing a long night gown with her back to me. She turned her head to the side and looked at me out of the corner of her eye and the slowly walked out of view and down the dark hallway. That unnerved me.

I got down and looked at the complainant who was standing there with a puzzled look on her face. All I could say was I saw her. By now the wind had picked up and it began to rain. I began to walk back to my car by the road and I turned back to the complainant and said, don't come back here. I got into the car and drove to the PD. I never found out about the lady who lived there, the complainant didn't call back and the house now has different tenants inside. Some things are better left alone. — Chuck Pheil

no Scent

Over twenty years ago I took an alarm call at the old PTA building across the street from a courthouse in Austin, TX. The alarm had already gone quiet when I showed up with a senior officer. We found an unsecured door slightly open on the east side, so he posted me there while he finished the perimeter and other officers arrived. I was staring right at the door when the alarm activated again and the door slammed shut in my face, loudly. The senior officer ran back to my position and asked why I closed the door. I told him I didn't.

We called for K9 and the dog arrived shortly. I went in with K9 to clear the building. We found nothing, but the entire time the dog was acting very hinky, like someone was in the building but he wasn't picking up a scent. We secured the building and a keyholder showed up. He said, "Well you know the place is haunted, right?" There was a secretary that worked there about thirty years and after she died, she keeps showing up for work. Papers fly off the desks, doors close, sightings, the works. We both told the keyholder the next alarm call there was all his. — Joel Pridg

clark hall

I was working at a college that claims to be haunted. Me and my partner didn't believe any of it. We go into Clark Hall which has classrooms and start propping doors open with desks. This is around 0200 hours. We already walked through and made sure the building was empty. Only two stairwells donut wasn't hard to do.

We are on the third floor. I finished my door and wedged a desk in between the door and the frame. When I finish I shake it to make sure it's in there pretty secure. I go over to help my buddy with his door when behind me the door I was working on opens up and the chair desk combo flings across the room and the door slams. He takes off running, jumping landing to landing. I still don't think he's ever gone in that building again. — Walter Sonnenberg

burglary in progress

Called to burglary in progress (day time). Owner was in kitchen and heard someone run upstairs to third floor (old house and wooden stairs).

Set up perimeter around house. I came up with K9. Just as I gave K9 warning a perimeter officer saw a hand pull a curtain back on the top floor and relayed the info to me.

Thinking surely we would be making an apprehension with K9, sent my partner in. Long story short nobody found.

Officer was 100 percent certain he saw what he saw. Home owner was confident he heard the running up of 12 steps... — Josh David

just saying 'hello'

A couple years back I was patrolling around 0300-0400. I drive by a small airport in my jurisdiction that is in the middle of the woods which has several hangars and one main office building. I drive by it a few times a night, as it has been burglarized in the past. On this particular night I’m driving by and hear an audible alarm sounding from inside. I was not dispatched and did not receive any other calls about it. I call it in and walk up to the building which is completely dark and not occupied. Every point of entry is secure so I am now waiting on the key holder to let me in to clear the inside. I figure a loose door, the wind, etc. tripped the alarm. The key holder comes out with his wife in a couple of minutes and they open up the door for me. I clear the entire office, a garage, etc. Nothing is disturbed. The key holder is confused, as the alarm is not a motion alarm nor an alarm system.

The key holder explains to me that the alarm is coming from a cash register that was opened inside of the office. The cash register could only be opened by pressing a hidden button, which I’ll say was extremely well hidden without going into too much detail. The only people who knew where the button was located was he, his wife and his deceased father. He told me the cash register closes and locks and without pressing this button, it couldn’t possibly open. It was not an oversight neither, as I had driven by several hours before and heard nothing. The money was not disturbed, however the register was all the way opened.

The key holder smiled and told me that his father had created and owned the airport before he passed away and that airplanes and this place in particular were his passion and life’s work. The key holder told me that he believes his father does things like that to bring his family to the airport just to say ‘hello’ and make his presence known. I don’t have any other explanation for it. — Billy Bravo

all alone

I was the Sgt working overtime graveyard at a now demolished sub... it was my lunch break and I heard someone open the door at the other end of the sub and heard footsteps. I had the light off in my office because the hall lights more than lit it up. I saw someone in the door and when I turned to look, it was a shadow figure standing in the doorway as if to say “Hi Sgt!” It wasn’t something I saw out of the corner of my eye and it was there for a couple of seconds and then went on towards the lieutenant’s office. Later when I asked the guys if they have ever experienced anything strange at the sub, they responded “that’s why we don’t come back until the sun comes up.” I found out about other experiences that others had and it was similar...I’m still a skeptic , but I can’t explain what I saw. — Paul Jacobs

good conversation

I was working at our jail and while doing my watch tour I was heading into medical and heard two people having a conversation and thought it was two inmates in a cell talking. I went to the first cell and no names on door so I didn’t look in. I went to the next door and had one name on it. I opened the hatch to look in and there was a guy in there. I didn’t say anything at first to him and as in closing his hatch he asked me if I could move his neighbors over because he was alone and would like some company. I then went over to the previous door and checked in the window just in case someone didn’t put the names on the door. I looked in and nobody was in the cell. I went back to the guy in the other cell and asked him if he had heard people talking and he stated yes they had been talking a lot. I informed him that there was nobody next door and got out of there. — Scott Rowlison

the boy on the bench

Worked security in a med center after retirement. Opened the place one morning at 0500. As I passed an alcove, for an instant saw a boy about 9 years old, barn hair, striped shirt sitting on a bench then he was gone. Anyway out of embarrassment I never told a soul about it. I had eight retired detectives working for me and one day I was having a conversation with one of them. Very sheepishly he asked me if I ever saw anything strange in the place when I opened in the morning. When I asked him why he said that he saw a young boy wearing a striped shirt sitting on a bench then he was gone. The same location where I saw the kid. Other things that happened were coffee pots being knocked over and footsteps late at night when closing. Later found out that the med center was located adjacent to the most haunted cemetery on Staten Island. — Buddy Smith

rural encounter

I work on county roads and I had a Signal 100 at 03:00 and my closest bathroom was 30 minutes out. So, I pulled down a dark gravel road and started my business. I felt like someone was watching me. Look toward the rear bumper of my unit and approximately 20 feet beyond my rear bumper I saw a shadowy figure standing there. I stop and zip up (not finished) and yell out to what I thought was a person. I got no reply from the figure. I start to apologize to the figure – thinking this was the land owner coming to see who was peeing on their driveway – but no response.

I then go into tac mode and demand them to show their hands and identify themselves. But no answer. I finally get smart and use my light to see who it was and as light passes over the area the figure was gone. Keep in mind this conversation was about 20 seconds long and I just saw something there. I look around and I hear no running through the brush. I turn to get make into my unit and I take one more look back and see a shadowy figure move towards me from where I last saw it. Needless to say, I got in my unit and sped off because bullets were not going to stop this spirit. — T.J. Riggs

sound the alarm

The jail had a notorious ghost, Sara Ware, who would play with the lights and set off alarms. Most of the alarms are panic alarms in locked offices where switches actually had to be pushed and slid into a slot to activate. It got to the point where the officers were afraid to go into the courthouse for an alarm. — Aimee Reynolds

secret friends

A little kid on a custody exchange kept telling me about her “secret friends” standing near me. Not really too scary – but creepy, especially when she’s telling me one doesn’t like me. — Jimmy McNulty

hind legs

One year our department started receiving complaints of headstones being knocked over in the city cemetery, around Halloween. The chief advised us on midnight shift to spend our extra time around the cemetery to catch the person(s) causing damage. Me being sneaky, I found a good hidden observation point about a block away. There were two major well-lit streets providing fair lighting in the cemetery. For several nights I would from time to time stop and check the cemetery with my binoculars and only patrol the cemetery at the start and end of my shift (as usual).

One time checking the cemetery I spotted something that looked like a cat walking on its hind legs. I watched it walk approximately 10 feet between headstones and lost sight of it. I rushed over to the area in my patrol car turning on my spotlight, alley lights and takedown lights. Couldn't find a thing but a track through the dew on the grass that dead-ended at a headstone. To this day I can remember how it moved and its outline in my binoculars. Creepy. I'm an avid hunter and I’ve done plenty of hunting at night. I am very familiar with all the animals in my neck of the woods and I have never seen anything like it. — Arthur Rigsby


Several years back, me and my partner were looking for a kidnapping suspect in some abandoned houses. Around 0330 we go to check a house in a very rural and remote part of the county. The house is extremely large and creepy looking. We make entry and find the inside of this house is like something out of Tim Burton's nightmare. There are walls going halfway up and stopping. There were doorways barely big enough to stick your head through and opening up into massive empty rooms. Every time we thought we'd made it to the top floor, we'd find another staircase leading up. Finally we make it to the attic and find all kinds of crazy stuff drawn on the walls. Needless to say we finished clearing the house and got out of there. — Kevin Thompson

entry tools

I responded to a suicide as the co-lead detective. A male had hung himself in the tree in the backyard. We checked the residence and it was locked with deadbolt thrown on both entry/egress doors. I called for entry tools and a supervisor for a breach because the decedent’s girlfriend was not accounted for and they lived together (possible murder/suicide).

Several patrol officers and I were standing at the back door of the house (south side) which had been checked multiple times waiting on entry tools. I look at the door and there’s a gap in the frame and see there’s no deadbolt thrown anymore. I check the door and it’s now open.

We clear the residence and no one is inside. I even had them clear the attic space.

Inside the door that “magically” opened were multiple notes to family members from the decedent.

We all walk outside and are waiting on NOK to arrive and try to walk back in. The door is secured again with deadbolt.

It should be noted no one had keys and there were key locks on both sides of the door.

The lead and I were now discussing how we were gonna have to call for entry tools and again the door was open. No one going near it.

I again had the residence cleared and no one inside.

The lead detective and I did not go back into that house that day. — Rob McGinley

a call for help

Calls for service coming from a vacant household twice a night for about a week. The voice on the phone sounded like an elderly at-risk lady with Alzheimer’s barely audibly saying “Please help. Please help.” with coughing. Totally unresponsive to our calls. Confirmed with my shift sergeant that the house’s last resident was a daughter taking care of her mother who was dying from stage two lung cancer. Definitely sent a shiver down my back. — Dalton Hostetler


One cold winter night around 0300 I was parked in the dark doing paper behind a Kmart. Suddenly someone or something banged on my driver’s side window 2-3 times, obviously scaring the hell out of me, but it happens. Except there was nobody there. Business wall 8-15’ to my right, 10’ solid fence to my left, and 100’ open space front and back. Nothing but my own tire tracks in the blanket of fresh snow and no marks on my window or ground indicating a snowball or such. I even got down in the snow and looked under my car. Still a bit anxious whenever I drive back there. — Troy Peterson

he's staring at you

One of our “regular” callers was a lady in her 80s. When she wouldn’t take her medicine she would hallucinate and see children in her house and she would call us to report the children were moving her belongings around, making noise, etc. I’ve been to her house several times for these calls but on one occasion I was talking to her in the dining room of her home and she was getting aggravated because she could “see” the children but I couldn’t. She looked at me with a concerned voice and loudly said, “You can’t see him? He’s been staring at you for 10 minutes now and grinning.” While saying this she was pointing to a spot about 5 feet from me. I know it was only a hallucination but the way she spoke about it with such concern was extremely creepy. — Kyle Broadus

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Free Course - Responders at Risk: Protecting First Responders From Opioid Exposure Risks

PoliceOne - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 22:00

Author: P1 Community Q&A

The far-reaching consequences of the deadly opioid overdose epidemic are putting emergency responders at risk of injury and illness. A panel of EMS and law enforcement experts will explain the actual versus perceived risks of opioid exposures to emergency responders, how to recognize a scene contaminated by fentanyl and describe appropriate PPE for emergency responders to protect themselves from acute illness or injury.

Course objectives: How to protect emergency responders from opioid exposure risks

After attending this presentation, the participant will be able to:

1. Explain the risks of opioid exposures to emergency responders

2. Explore clues of a scene contaminated by fentanyl

3. Describe appropriate personal protective equipment for emergency responders

To take this free course, please register now or login using your existing P1 Academy account.

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What police need to know to protect themselves from fentanyl exposure

PoliceOne - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 22:00

Author: P1 Community Q&A

By Greg Friese, P1 Contributor

The opioid crisis is better understood as a fentanyl crisis with real dangers to emergency responders, according to an expert-panel presentation convened in Las Vegas at EMS World Expo 2017.

The panel discussion, sponsored by Bound Tree Medical, included a Drug Enforcement Administration chemist and an EMS medical director, and focused on the risks to fentanyl exposure and contamination to EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and police officers.

The top concern of the panelists was the availability of and proper use of personal protective equipment to protect emergency responders from exposure to fentanyl. Their top PPE recommendations were:

    Dust mask to protect against aerosolized fentanyl inhalation. Nitrile, single-use examination gloves to protect against skin exposure and transdermal transmission. Safety glasses are additional protection from mucosal membrane absorption. Immediate washing with soap and water of any exposed or contaminated skin. Remove and clean any uniform clothing that might have been contaminated by fentanyl, blood or other potentially infectious material during patient assessment and care.

James DiSarno, senior forensic chemist, DEA, provided important historical context to the opioid epidemic. DiSarno explained that the epidemic is a result of pain management practices and flawed promotion of opioid pills as non-addictive. He recalled the growth of pain clinics for the increasing number of patients seeking pain management.

"These people were in pain," DiSarno said. "But then what happened is these people got addicted."

Those patients, now addicted to opioids, sought out illegal pills, heroin and fentanyl as the DEA put pain management clinics out of business. Drug dealers took advantage of this population of addicts by lowering the price of heroin.

"People who were never intending to use heroin turned to heroin because they were addicted," DiSarno said.

Fentanyl, because it is a synthetic, factory-made drug, is of increasing concern to the DEA and public safety leaders. Fentanyl is mostly manufactured in China and directly shipped in small qualities to buyers who find and purchase fentanyl from internet sellers.

A kilogram of fentanyl is more powerful than heroin and a tenth of the cost. One kilogram of fentanyl costs about $8,000 compared to $80,000 per kg for heroin.

Memorable quotes on protecting emergency responders from opioid exposures

Here are memorable quotes from the panelists on the opioid epidemic and protecting emergency responders from the risks of opioid exposures.

"65,000 deaths last year were attributed to drug overdoses – more than gun violence and auto accidents in a year. The opioid epidemic has impacted every community in the country. It does not discriminate."

Dan Neill, Assistant Special Agent in Charge – Las Vegas District Office, DEA

"The fentanyl epidemic has changed how the DEA has done business. It is a total game changer in the forensic world and for law enforcement."

"Mostly our laboratory is seeing fentanyl, drugs that mimic fentanyl, fentanyl derivatives and fentanyl analogs and fentanyl mixed with almost every drug out there."

"We consider carfentanil to be a weapon of mass destruction. That's how dangerous it is."

James DiSarno, Senior Forensic Chemist, DEA

"Opioid addiction is a disease. As each disease process presents itself, we need to look at new ways to combat the disease."

"What we all miss is plain old, boring heroine. The clinical presentations are becoming more and more complicated."

Jeremy Cushman, MD, MS, EMT-P, FACEP

"It's easy to get caught up in the media hype. The media wants to sell this as a heroin crisis. It's not. I would submit that we are dealing with a fentanyl crisis."

"We can't sleep walk to preparedness. We have to be smart. We have to be strategic."

Paul Maniscalco, InterAgency Board charter member, PhD(c), MPA, MS, EMT/P, LP

"The risk (of fentanyl exposure) is something you have to take into consideration and you have to balance that with the likelihood that a delayed response could be fatal to the (overdosed) individual."

"A toxicologist recommended (to me) you treat these drugs like they are blood. If you see a big pile of something that looks like white powder, don't go splashing around in it."

Dan Swayze, Public Health PhD, MBA Top takeaways on fentanyl dangers to emergency responders

The expert panel was convened in the wake of increasing reports of emergency responders, including police officers, paramedics, and correctional officers being sickened after assessing and treating opioid overdose patients. In addition, the panel sought to bring the best available guidance from the InterAgency Board, CDC, NIOSH and DEA on how to safely handle patients, avoid fentanyl exposure and manage a crime scene that may also be a hazmat incident.

Here are the top takeaways from the session, which will also be available for free viewing to any registered member of the PoliceOneAcademy or EMS1Academy.

1. Opioid crisis is really a fentanyl crisis

Fentanyl is cheaper and stronger than illicit opioid pills or heroin. Fentanyl derivatives and analogs come in different strengths and formulations to avoid federal regulation. DiSarno described how there are many types of fentanyl and that U4770, a fentanyl mimic, attaches to the same receptors as other opioids, but attaches more strongly.

U4990, another fentanyl mimic, came out of China a couple of months ago in response to new regulations banning U4770 production. A small change in the drug’s molecular structure makes it legal even though it has never been tested on humans.

Cushman explained that it's important to assess patients for the classic opioid toxidrome signs and symptoms of respiratory depression, reduced level of consciousness and pinpoint pupils, but because of how fentanyl is synthesized, responders might not see the classic toxidrome. The stronger binding of fentanyl derivatives to opioid receptors may require higher doses of naloxone to reverse the overdose and restore adequate respirations.

2. Assess the scene for exposure risks and crime evidence

Use dispatch information to assess the risk for fentanyl exposure through inhalation or contamination to skin or clothing. Use the scene size-up to make decisions about PPE usage and requesting additional resources.

Every overdose incident is a potential crime scene. If EMTs, paramedics and firefighters arrive before law enforcement and notice evidence of drug use or paraphernalia, they should follow local protocols to request police response.

Evidence of drugs, drug manufacturing equipment and drug administration supplies should not be touched or moved. Call local law enforcement. Moving any actual or potential evidence can compromise the investigation's chain of custody.

3. Pre-plan and train for fentanyl recognition and exposure

Because fentanyl derivatives are known to more strongly bind with opioid receptors, responders are reporting an increasing need to stock more naloxone on the ambulance and in the emergency department. Cushman also reminded attendees about the importance of BVM proficiency to ventilate any apneic patient.

The InterAgency Board has recommended PPE for to prevent exposure to synthetic opioids after a detailed examination of available evidence. Maniscalco encouraged all public safety leaders to review the IAB matrix as part of a comprehensive update of policies and procedures.

4. Respiratory PPE is best protection against aerosolized fentanyl

The DEA is seeing fentanyl cut into every drug, including heroin and cocaine, and assumes all drug samples it is testing include fentanyl. When powdered fentanyl, as well as other drug powders, is known or suspected of being aerosolized, respiratory PPE is important since inhalation is the easiest route for accidental fentanyl exposure.

Cushman is much more concerned about fentanyl inhalation because mucousal absorption is 30 times faster than transdermal absorption. Wearing a mask is the best initial protection. DiSarno highly recommended a "dust mask" as the most important PPE and protection against aerosolized fentanyl.

5. Additional PPE for fentanyl overdose responses

In addition to a mask, the panel recommended nitrile, single-use examination gloves and safety glasses, for most responses. When there are larger amounts of hazardous material or fire risk, the InterAgency board has additional recommendations for higher levels of protection.

It's especially important to use simulation training to be proficient in opioid patient assessment and care with a mask, gloves and eye protection. Cushman encouraged attendees to practice skills like intubation and ventilation while wearing a dust mask, N100 mask or additional PPE they may be using based on the potential threat and their level of training.

6. Wash fentanyl-contaminated skin with soap and water

Responders should always wear gloves, but if they have a fentanyl skin exposure, they should first wipe the visible contamination from their skin. Next, wash skin thoroughly with soap and water, including a second water rinse.

Don't use any alcohol based sanitizers on fentanyl-contaminated skin. Alcohol increases the rate of transdermal transfer by 100 times. Use water, not an alcohol-based hand cleaner for cleaning an unknown substance off of your skin.

7. Recognize other threats, dangers

Swayze reminded attendees that IV drug users regularly engage in other high-risk behaviors. The long-term threat of hepatitis or HIV/AIDS to emergency responders has to be kept in mind because of life-changing consequences of those diseases.

Every organization has to have an exposure control plan and be committed to training personnel in how to avoid exposures, reporting exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials, and providing testing and follow-up care when indicated by state and federal law and regulation.

Emergency responders are also at risk of compassion fatigue from the growing number of responses for opioid overdose, especially for patients who have overdosed multiple times. Recognizing the potential for compassion fatigue, which leads to burnout, and providing training on the science of addiction is important for every public safety organization.

Media-hyped accounts of police officers or paramedics who are alleged to have been overcome by fentanyl after caring for a patient might be causing responders to worry about their own safety. Education about potential routes of exposure, enforcing policies and procedures, making PPE available and distributing medical intelligence about the opioid epidemic are all important to giving responders peace of mind while performing their lifesaving duties.

Final recommendations

Chris Cebollero, Inside EMS podcast host and event moderator, asked each of the panelists for their final recommendations to EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and police officers.

"We are not going to arrest or seize our way out of this. We have to start with youth and have conversations at an early age to talk about the issues and cycle (of addiction). Safety and prevention is really the key."

Dan Neill, Assistant Special Agent in Charge – Las Vegas District Office, DEA

"Illicit tablet makers have gotten so good, the DEA labs can't visually tell the difference between a fake oxycodone tablet and a real tablet. Fake tablets are being produced by hundreds of thousands per day."

James DiSarno, Senior Forensic Chemist, DEA

"Follow an all-hazards approach – scene safety, PPE and ABCs before N (naloxone)."

Jeremy Cushman, MD, MS, EMT-P, FACEP

"Download the 14-page (InterAgency Board) document. It will guide you through the policies and training, which we cross walked with NIOSH and DEA procedures for personal protection. Be smart, be clinical, be professional – we'll get through this."

Paul Maniscalco, InterAgency Board charter member, PhD(c), MPA, MS, EMT/P, LP

"Take care of yourselves and colleagues. We can't tackle this issue just by administering more and more Narcan. Reach out to drug and alcohol addiction folks, police brothers and sisters to work together to reduce supply and reduce demand."

Dan Swayze, Public Health PhD, MBA Learn more about opioid safety Read the InterAgency First Responder PPE and Decontamination Recommendations for Fentanyl Fact or fiction: Transdermal fentanyl exposure Researchers: OxiClean effectively cleans fentanyl spills How a partnership between police and EMS cut opioid overdose deaths in half How the NYPD is fighting to end the opioid crisis IACP Quick Take: Why the fight against the opioid crisis can’t stop with naloxone 8 deadly forms of fentanyl Why every cop should carry naloxone
Categories: Latest News

Police: Parent holding teacher hostage in Calif. school

PoliceOne - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:16
Author: P1 Community Q&A

Associated Press

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A parent barricaded himself inside a Southern California elementary school classroom Tuesday and is believed to be holding a teacher or other school staff member hostage, police said.

Riverside Police were called to the Castle View Elementary School around 11 a.m. Tuesday for a report of a disturbance involving a parent, said Officer Ryan Railsback, a police spokesman. When the officers arrived, they found the parent barricaded inside a classroom and he refused to come out, he said.

Police believe the man is holding a teacher or other school staffer hostage and it wasn't clear if the man had a weapon, Railsback said. Hostage negotiators and the police department's SWAT team were at the scene, he said.

School officials said all students have been accounted for after the shooting and were safely evacuated. The Riverside Unified School District said in a Facebook post that the students were being reunited with their parents at a nearby park.

The school district said police were "working to resolve the situation."

Riverside city fire Battalion Chief Tony Perna said they treated one person for injuries at Castle View Elementary. Not hospitalized.

— Brian Rokos (@Brian_Rokos) October 31, 2017

Categories: Latest News

Police fatally shoot armed former deputy outside Colo. office

PoliceOne - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:41
Author: P1 Community Q&A

By Kathleen Foody Associated Press

DENVER — Colorado sheriff's deputies shot and killed a former deputy outside the agency's headquarters after he pointed a gun toward them, officials said Monday.

Former Deputy Mark Bidon parked in front of the exit to the employee parking lot Sunday night, according to a statement released by the Arapahoe County sheriff's office.

A deputy noticed Bidon parked there, went to speak with him and saw he had a gun. Two other deputies arrived "almost immediately," and Bidon turned the gun toward them, authorities said.

"When the man turned the gun toward one of them, deputies discharged their weapons to stop the threat," the sheriff's statement said. "CPR was administered at the scene, without success."

Bidon received "multiple gunshot wounds" to his left arm and chest, Arapahoe County Coroner Kelly Lear said. Lear classified his death as a homicide.

Bidon, 50, was an Arapahoe County deputy from 2000 until he resigned in 2010, according to the statement.

It's not clear if any of the deputies who opened fire worked with Bidon or why he resigned in 2010. The names of the deputies were not released.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Julie Brooks said she could not respond to those questions.

"This is a difficult day for our entire agency," Sheriff Dave Walcher said in a written statement. "Not only are we needing to support our deputies who have been involved in this critical incident, we also want to provide support to those employees who previously worked with the suspect and may be affected by these events."

The statement says the deputies involved are on administrative leave or assigned to other duties while the shooting is reviewed. Arapahoe County is in the 18th Judicial District, which uses a critical response team to review shootings by law enforcement officers.

Categories: Latest News