<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:25:03 -0500 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:25:03 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Judge OKs Oklahoma's Lethal Injection Protocols]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:55:19 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Oklahoma-Injections-Execution.jpg

A federal judge says Oklahoma's lethal injection protocols are constitutional and that the state can proceed with the scheduled executions of four death row inmates early next year.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot on Monday ruled against a group of condemned inmates who say the state's use of the sedative midazolam in a three-drug method presents a risk of cruel and unusual punishment.

They sued after the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney, mumbled and lifted his head during his 43-minute execution that the state tried to halt before it was over.

The state has purchased new medical equipment, adopted new protocols and ordered more training, and prison officials say they're ready for the next execution on Jan. 15.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dramatic Photos: 2 NYPD Officers Killed in Ambush]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:05:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shot+cop+scene.jpg A gunman ambushed and fatally shot two NYPD officers in their squad car Saturday, an act that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton condemned as an "assassination."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 07:22:00 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/AP572949450377.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NY Congressman Expected to Plead Guilty to Tax Fraud: Official]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:19:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/michael+grimm1.jpg

New York Rep. Michael Grimm is expected to plead guilty to a single count of tax fraud Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court, a law enforcement official familiar with the case tells NBC 4 New York.

Grimm, a Republican who represents Staten Island, was elected to a third term in November.

In April, Grimm was arrested on federal charges, including tax fraud and mail fraud, for allegedly concealing more than $1 million in sales and wages at a Manhattan restaurant he owned before he was elected to Congress.

A 20-count indictment unsealed that month accused him of under-reporting the payroll and earnings of the Upper East Side restaurant, Healthalicious, which he ran from 2007 to 2010. He pleaded not guilty in federal court and was released on bond.

Grimm, a Republican, said at the time he was being wrongly accused and said he had no plans to step down. Nevertheless, Grimm asked House Speaker John Boehner to be taken off the House Financial Services Committee until his federal case was resolved.

Prosecutors alleged Grimm employed a number of immigrant workers who did not have legal status to work in the U.S., and paid them in cash -- wages that were not reported to the government. He also allegedly "substantially under-reported" the restaurant's gross receipts, lowering its taxes.

Grimm, a former FBI agent and U.S. Marine, sold his stake in the restaurant before running for office in 2010.

Grimm's lawyer, William McGinley, could not immediately be reached for comment on NBC 4 New York's report Monday, but suggested at the time of his client's arrest earlier this year that the charges were "politically driven." 

Photo Credit: Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed in Robbery Wanted to Buy Gifts for Daughters with Money: Family]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:53:27 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Miguel-Haro.jpg

An Illinois man shot and killed in a robbery Sunday had just gotten paid and was planning on using the money to buy Christmas presents for his young daughters, family members said.

The daughter of Cicero resident Miguel Haro said her dad promised he'd buy her a tablet for Christmas. But now all the fifth-grader wants is "for him to come back."

"He didn't harm anybody," Janny Haro said. "He had a lot of friends who cared about him and he cared about them."

Haro, 44, was doing contract work on the 7200 block of South Hermitage Avenue at about 5:40 p.m. when he and another man were approached by two robbers. The robbers ordered Haro and his co-worker to kneel, police said in a report. The co-worker complied and the robbers took his money and cellphone before striking him with the gun.

But Haro, of the 3200 block of South 54th Avenue in Cicero, was slow to hand over his wallet and was shot. Haro spoke Spanish and may not have understood the robbers' demands, community activist Andrew Holmes said. Family said he was reluctant to hand over his wallet.

Haro was taken to Holy Cross Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m., according to a spokesperson with the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A family member on Monday said Haro had just gotten paid and was going to use his newly-earned money to buy Christmas presents for his 4-year-old and 10-year-old daughters.

Janny Haro recalled the last words she said to her dad before he left that day.

"I love you," she said.

No one was in custody in connection with the shooting as of midday Monday.

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<![CDATA[New NY Subway Ads: No Manspreading]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:00:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/223*120/manspreading.png

The MTA is taking a stand against manspreading.

The subject of angry blog posts and tweets, "manspreading" is just what it sounds like: The act of a man spreading his legs wide on the subway, often taking up more than one prized seat in the process.

The MTA will release new public service ads next month asking men to keep their legs in a more modest position on crowded subway cars.  

The "Courtesy Counts, Manners Make a Better Ride" campaign will also give gentle reminders about proper subway etiquette.

Signs will be placed in subway cars in January, and buses and commuter railroads in February, bearing statements such as, “Poles are for your safety, not your latest routine," and "It's a subway car, not a dining car." 

The manspreading ads will read, "Dude... Stop the spread, please."

<![CDATA["No Interaction": Texas Meteorologist Describes Shooting Outside Station]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:48:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Patrick+Crawford.jpg

A meteorologist shot outside a Waco-area TV station last week spoke to the media Monday afternoon at Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, where he continues to recover.

Patrick Crawford, the morning meteorologist for KCEN-TV, said he is “slowly getting better” after the Dec. 17 shooting.

“My main focus is just to get better, to get healthy and to get home for me and my family,” he said.

Crawford said he did not know his attacker and there was "no interaction" before the shooting. Buthe said he hopes that the description he provided to police will help them track him down.

“The man that shot me didn’t say any words to me,” he said. “There wasn’t any interaction.”

Crawford was shot in the abdomen and arm in the station's parking lot. He underwent surgery at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, and a surgeon who appeared with Crawford at Monday's press conference said he has been an "ideal patient" and is "doing very well."

No arrests have been made in the shooting, and Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson said Saturday that they have no credible leads on the gunman or a motive in the shooting.

The Falls County Crime Stoppers is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the gunman. Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 254-883-3104.

The law enforcement tip line is 1-800-863-8558.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Driver Beat Model: Lawsuit]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:54:32 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Uber-Generic.jpg

A Philadelphia model says an Uber driver beat her in the face over a traffic jam, according to a lawsuit filed in civil court.

Lorraine Delp was stopped in her car along the 1300 block of Sansom Street just after 3 p.m. on July 17 when Djamel Khelife, a driver for the popular black car service, started banging on her window trying to get her to move, the suit filed in Philadelphia Civil Court last week stated.

Khelife was cursing at Delp and spit at her window after she mouthed the words "Do not touch my car," the complaint said.

When she got out of the car, court documents claim, Khelife punched the woman in the face — the force dislocating cartilage in Delp's nose. She also suffered a puncture wound to the neck after Delp's earring was pushed through her skin, bruising, a scratch to her inner arm and had her shirt torn, the complaint stated.

The assault was stopped after two bystanders stepped in, court documents said. Police were called and Khelife arrested. He was later charged with Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Aggravated Assault, criminal court documents show. The criminal case is set to go to trial in January 2015.

The civil lawsuit names both Khelife and Uber and seeks damages in excess of $50,000 on counts of battery, assault, emotional distress and negligent hiring on Uber's part.

Debra Rainey, Khelife's criminal attorney, said the man was not on duty at the time of the alleged attack and that she does not believe the facts support the charges. Rainey said she is still awaiting a copy of Delp's statement to police, her medical records and other discovery materials and had not seen the civil complaint.

However, she doubts the medical records will support the victim's claims.

“My client is not a small man, so if he did attack her as she claims in the complaint her injuries would be much more severe," Rainey said adding that Khelife stands 6-feet tall and weighs 180 lbs.

Uber would not comment on the case citing the pending litigation, but a spokesman said safety is the service's top priority.

The extent of the company's safety practices and specifically screening of drivers has come under scrutiny recently.

Uber's Head of Global Safety, Phillip Cardenas, defended the company's record earlier this month after a driver in Massachusetts was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a passenger. Prosecutors in California filed a lawsuit saying the company's claims that it safety screens drivers is misleading since they do not fingerprint them.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority has been fighting to keep Uber's ride-sharing service, UberX, from operating in the city claiming it's a safety hazard to passengers. UberX is allowed to operate in other parts of Pennsylvania.

In a blog post, Cardenas said that the service would be building in new safety mechanisms for screening drivers in 2015.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[BMW Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:44:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/52274427.jpg

BMW has agreed to demands from the government to replace driver's-side air bags across the entire U.S.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pushing companies to recall older cars with air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. They can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least five deaths have been blamed on Takata inflators.

The decision affects 140,000 BMW 3 Series cars made between January 2004 and August 2006. It says no problems with BMW vehicles have been reported. Earlier this year the company took about 574,000 cars off the market in the U.S.

To find out if your car is part of the recall, click here.

Several automakers have been slow to expand the recall. Ford Motor Co. joined the list last week, and was quickly followed by Chrysler.

BMW is the last automaker to agree to replace air bags in all affected cars nationwide. About 15 million cars have been recalled in the U.S. in total. Initial recalls were limited to states with high levels of humidity, as the NHTSA says the air bag inflator propellant, ammonium nitrate, can burn faster than designed if exposed to prolonged airborne moisture. When that happens, the propellant can blow apart a metal canister meant to contain the explosion.

Takata has refused the agency's request for a nationwide recall of driver's side inflators, about 8 million in total, and it says it has tested more than 1,000 air bag inflators from other regions without a single failure. But the company will still make replacement parts for the automakers that are expanding their recalls. It hasn't been decided whether Takata or the automakers will pay the extra costs involved.

In total, 10 automakers have models with Takata driver and passenger air bags. There could be as many as 30 million with the air bags nationwide.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Arizona to Change Execution Drugs]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:28:59 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Arizona-Execution.jpg

Arizona officials said Monday they are changing the drugs they use in executions after an inmate in July gasped repeatedly over the course of nearly two hours while being put to death.

According to a letter from Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan to Gov. Jan Brewer, the department no longer will use the combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a pain killer.

Instead, the agency will try to obtain pentobarbital and sodium pentothal, the powerful but obsolete sedative that was used in most lethal injections in Arizona until it became difficult to obtain. If the state cannot obtain those drugs, it will use a three-drug combination that includes midazolam and potassium chloride, among others.

The July 23 execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood, convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her father, called into question the efficacy of the drugs used after it took nearly two hours for Wood to die. He gasped over and over before taking his final breath and was given 15 doses of the drugs.

Wood's attorney, Dale Baich, says the execution was botched.

But results from an independent investigation conducted by a group of former corrections directors and experts found no protocols were broken, that the state properly trained its execution team, and that Wood was injected properly but did not react to the drugs as expected.

The three-member team recommended the changes to the drugs used. The results were released Monday.

"The report is clear that the execution of inmate Wood was handled in accordance with all department procedures, which, as the report states, either meet or exceed national standards," Ryan said in a statement. "It was done appropriately and with the utmost professionalism."

Baich says he has not received a copy of the report but would review it as soon as it became available.

The state has put on hold all executions pending the outcome of a lawsuit stemming from Wood's execution.

The lawsuit was filed in June on behalf of Wood and other death-row inmates. It claims the inmates have a First Amendment right to know about specific execution protocols such as the types of drugs used in lethal injections and the companies that supply them.

The independent investigation reviewed drug combinations and other execution protocols of several other states, including Ohio, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

The investigators compared Wood's execution with that of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma on April 29. The same sedative was used in both, but Oklahoma officials have said the catheters were improperly placed on Lockett, restricting the drugs' flow.

Lockett writhed, mumbled and lifted his head on the gurney during the 43 minutes it took him to die.

A federal judge is expected to rule Monday on whether that drug combination is constitutional.

Wood did not feel pain, the investigation found. The lead doctor said he performed seven consciousness tests and found Wood was unresponsive. The doctor said he used a pin to prick Wood but got no response.

"The process and the implementation of the protocol was not 'botched' as has been described in the Lockett execution," the investigators wrote.

Pima County Medical Examiner Gregory Hess told investigators it's possible Wood was brain dead long before he died, and that gasps and snorting are "normal bodily responses to dying," according to the report. The autopsy findings in Wood's death have not been publicly released.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[College to Pay Tuition for Son of Slain NYPD Officer]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:31:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP216453913023.jpg

Bowdoin College says it will pick up the tuition for a student whose father was killed in Saturday's shooting of two NYPD officers.

College President Barry Mills sent an email to the college community on Sunday saying that the school learned on Saturday night that Rafael Ramos, one of the two officers killed in Brooklyn, is the father of Bowdoin sophomore Justin Ramos, who is now with his family in New York. Rafael Ramos and his partner Wenjian Liu were shot at point blank range as they sat in their squad car. The gunman, who investigators say had posted threatening messages to social media ahead of the attack, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"This is an unspeakable tragedy, and our hearts go out to Justin and his family," Mills wrote. "We are a close community, and we share in Justin's pain and anguish. I know you join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Justin and the entire Ramos family, and I am sure you will respect their privacy as they and we support one another in the days and weeks ahead."

The college posted a statement on its website Monday saying that it is eager to welcome Justin back to campus for the start of the second semester in January, "or whenever he is ready to return."

At Mills' direction, the college informed Justin on Sunday that it will provide full financial aid to enable him to complete his Bowdoin education.

The New York Yankees, through their Silver Shield Foundation, had offered to cover college education costs for both of Rafael Ramos' children. Ramos also had a 13-year-old son.

"We are grateful for the Yankee Silver Shield Foundation's offer to assist, but Bowdoin has it covered," the college said in its statement, saying it keeps with the school's practice of meeting the full financial need of each of its students for all four years.

Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine, has about 1,800 students.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Family: NYPD, City Must Mend Ties]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:24:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/jaden+ramos+inset.jpg

Family and friends of officer Rafael Ramos, fatally shot with his partner in Brooklyn, thanked the public for its prayers and asked City Hall to mend its relationship with the NYPD as the officer's 13-year-old son decried the killer's apparent hatred for police.

"He was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer," Ramos' son, Jaden, posted on Facebook. "Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad."

Moments earlier, Jaden Ramos posted, "This is the worst day of My life." 

Ramos' aunt, Lucy Ramos, thanked all who shared their sympathies "for our beloved member" and called for reflection "on this tragic loss."

John Rodriguez, president of the 75th Precinct Community Council, said that reflection should include how to repair relations between the city's administration and its police force.

"My mayor, you need to sit down, you need to get everything corrected," he said.

Rodriguez added that he felt the local Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president "was very upset at that moment" when he insinuated that the killings of Ramos and officer Wenjian Liu could be tied to the mayor's lack of support for the department.

PBA President Patrick Lynch said Saturday night that there was "blood on many hands," including those of the mayor. De Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks were "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric."

Photo Credit: AP/Facebook
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<![CDATA[Timeline: NYPD Ambush]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:46:19 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/460750486.jpg

An approximate timeline of the events surrounding the deaths of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, as detailed by law enforcement and government officials:

5:50 a.m. - Shaneka Nicole Thompson, 29, is shot in the stomach by her ex-boyfriend in Owings Mills, Maryland, leaving her in critical but stable condition. She is expected to survive.

6:05 a.m. - Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, calls Thompson's mother and tells her he shot her daughter by accident and he hopes she lives.

10:50 a.m. - Brinsley arrives at Manhattan's Port Authority after a lengthy bus ride. He carries with him the cellphone he stole from Thompson and the 9mm handgun he used to shoot her.

12:20 p.m. - Brinsley uses Thompson's phone to post an ominous message on Instagram, saying "I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours....... Let's Take 2 of Theirs."

12:50 p.m. - After traveling to Brooklyn by subway, Brinsley ditches Thompson's cell phone near the Atlantic Yards complex.

1:30 p.m. - Thompson's mother calls Baltimore police to warn them about the Instagram posting. She says she believes Brinsley has ties to a church on Church Avenue in Brooklyn.

1:45 p.m. -- Baltimore police prepare a "wanted" flyer to distribute to law enforcement agencies, including the NYPD. 

2:10 p.m. - Baltimore police call the 70th precinct, near the Brooklyn church, to warn them. A Baltimore detective speaks with an NYPD officer for about half an hour to review the details. Police said the NYPD officer reviewed the Instagram posts and photos of Brinsley during the call and asked for the "wanted" flyer to be faxed to the 70th precinct.. 

2:46 p.m. - Baltimore police fax the "wanted" flyer, which contained the same photos seen in the Instagram posts, to the 70th precinct. The precinct receives it a short time later. 

2:48 p.m. - Brinsley approaches Ramos' and Liu's patrol car, takes a shooter's stance, and shoots four bullets through the passenger-side front window, striking both officers in the head. Under pursuit by police, he runs into a nearby subway station and fatally shoots himself in front of at least 10 witnesses.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Pa. Student's Keys in River]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:54:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/237*120/Shane+Montgomery+Missing+College+Student.JPG

UPDATE: Police crews continued their search on the Schuylkill River Monday.

More than three weeks after his disappearance, officials found the keys of missing college student Shane Montgomery.

The Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit, a volunteer diving recovery team, discovered the 21-year-old West Chester University student's personal keys in the Schuylkill River after searching for four and a half hours Sunday. No further evidence has been found however.

The Roxborough native was last seen early Thanksgiving morning as he left Kildare's Irish Pub along Main Street in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk.

Pings from his cellphone put him within a mile of the bar within an hour of his disappearance and surveillance video shows the West Chester University student walking toward the Manayunk Canal and Schuylkill River. Despite many searches on land, in the water and from the air, there have been no strong leads as to where Montgomery went.

Each day without Shane has been wearing on his family, said Kevin Verbrugghe, Shane's uncle.

"We’re not holding up well," Verbrugghe said.

Ongoing search efforts, including the use of sonar and underwriter cameras in a search of the Schuylkill River, have brought about few clues for Shane, who was last seen walking toward the Manayunk Canal.

"The prevailing theory is that he went into the river and where is he now? Tides change and there’s all kinds of debris under there," FBI Supervisory Special agent J.J. Klaver said Thursday.

Debris could have trapped the missing college student's body underwater, he explained.

A reward for information that leads investigators and the family to Montgomery still stands at $65,000. Friends and family continue to support the search efforts on their own as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia police at 215.686.TIPS.

Photo Credit: Family Photo
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<![CDATA[4 Shot Dead in Illinois Home]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:20:11 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/rockford+shooting.jpg

Four people, including two children, were shot dead inside of a residence in Rockford, Illinois, on Saturday night, Rockford police said.

A neighbor said she heard pounding on the door of the residence and then the sound of the door being forced open. The sound of gunshots immediately followed.

Police responded to the call of shots fired in the 3200 block of Montrose Avenue at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived, they found four victims with gunshot wounds. All of them were pronounced dead on the scene by Rockford Fire Department paramedics, police said.

The victims were Martia Flint, 24; Demontae Rhodes, 24; Tyrone Smith III, 6; and Tobias K. Smith, 4. The two children belonged to Flint.

An autopsy is scheduled for the victims on Monday.

Rockford detectives are continuing the investigation in the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Rockford police shift commander at (815) 987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at (815) 963-7867.

<![CDATA[US Diplomat Urges Caution on Cuba]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:01:47 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TLANCXTRACUBA122114_1200x675_375323715586.jpg

A former American diplomat who for years worked for the U.S. government while in Cuba issued a strong word of caution regarding the move toward normalization of relations between the two countries.

"This is not a good group of people," former State Department official Charles Barclay said of the Castro regime. "It is not a benign government. Will they crack heads down the line? Almost certainly. It is a government that will accept a certain amount of change but under very strict circumstances."

Barclay served as the deputy head of mission for the U.S. Department of State in Havana for three years starting in 2009.

The diplomatic mission, called an "interests section," has been operating in Cuba since the mid 1970s. He made the comments Sunday on NBC4 Los Angeles.

While expressing caution, Barclay nevertheless endorsed President Barack Obama's decision to restore full diplomatic relations with the Castro regime.

"The embargo and the effort to isolate the Cuban government and squeeze the economy to seek some political change simply hasn't worked in 50 years." said Barclay, who recently retired from the State Department after 28 years of service. "It's time we had some new tools to work with."

While in Cuba, Barclay routinely met with American prisoner Alan Gross, who was arrested for pro-democracy activities and accused by the Cuban government of "crimes against the state." Barclay called Gross "courageous" and said he felt deep satisfaction upon his release.

"The goal is to promote the development of a small but growing private sector in Cuba and help pragmatists within the Cuban government isolate the hard liners," he said. "But things move glacially in Cuba, and these changes are going to come very slowly."

<![CDATA[Police: Man Killed Woman, 2 Kids]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 05:17:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/keith+coleman+maine.jpg

Police investigating the deaths of a woman and her two children in Garland, Maine, have charged the woman's boyfriend with their murders.

The bodies of 36-year-old Christina Sargent, her 10-year-old son, Duwayne Coke, and her 8-year-old daughter, Destiny Sargent, were discovered inside a mobile home around 9:50 p.m. Saturday at 12 Paul Road.

Police announced after 9 p.m. that they had arrested 27-year-old Keith Coleman, who had initially been named a person of interest. He will be charged with three counts of murder.

A tip led investigators to find Coleman at a Buckport home after a search for him and his van.

Coleman had been living at the home where the bodies of the mother, her 10-year-old son and her 8-year-old daughter were found Saturday night with a relative.

"He's the only one living inside that home who's still alive and we need to hear his side of the story," Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland said before Coleman was arrested.

Authorities have not said how they believe the killings were carried out, saying they will wait for the results of the autopsy.

Police will continue to investigate the mobile home Monday. Coleman is expected to be arraigned Monday or Tuesday.

NECN will have more as this story develops.

Photo Credit: Maine State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Protest in Downtown Philly]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 01:09:32 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Center-City-March1.jpg

Nearly 1,000 people marched through Center City during a protest for Mike Brown and Eric Garner Sunday night.

The Philadelphia “Blackout” march began at 7 p.m. on 1500 Arch Street. Hundreds of protesters marched around City Hall through Dilworth Plaza and eventually stopped at the statue of former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo. Raheem Harvey, one of the event organizers, told NBC10 the goal of the demonstration was to “unify the people and give them an opportunity to speak.”

“As a human being we have a right to humanity,” Harvey said. “Everyone is entitled to first class citizenship regardless of the color of their skin.”

Some of the protesters gathered at the AT&T station on the Broad Street Line around 5:45 p.m. They took the subway into Center City while singing the words, “I can’t breathe,” the last words of Eric Garner before his death.

Harvey also said the protesters specifically chose to end their demonstration at the Frank Rizzo statue based on what they believe the former Philadelphia mayor stood for.

“He is an individual who was responsible for police brutality, especially towards the African American community,” Harvey said. “Here we have an individual who has his hands raised, waiving out to the people. No one thinks something is wrong with that. We definitely plan to make a statement there. We plan on working with the city to have it removed."

The protesters repeatedly chanted "black lives matter," and carried a banner which read, "fight hate with love." They also held a "die-in" demonstration on the Parkway.

The rally shut down several streets in Center City for a few hours. No arrests were reported however.

Harvey told NBC10 the ultimate goal of the demonstrators is to spark change within the Philadelphia Police Department.

“We want to be able to have a voice when it comes to the concerns of the community,” he said. “A police officer’s job is to provide customer service and to also establish the law. With that in mind we need to make sure that when investigations happen within the police department, the public is fully aware. There should not be any close door investigation.”

The protest was one of many that have occurred nationwide in response to two separate grand jury decisions not to indict the officers involved in the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The protest also took place a day after two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot and killed by a gunman in Brooklyn during an ambush attack. The suspect in the shooting, who ultimately took his own life, posted on social media that he intended to “take 2 of theirs” prior to the incident, according to investigators. Investigators also believe the suspect shot and injured his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore before coming to New York.

The fatal shooting of the two officers sparked claims from some that the nationwide protests and anti-police rhetoric inspired the shooter. In New York City, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch also linked the killings to violence against police during recent protest demonstrations and even claimed that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had “blood on his hands” for his apparent lack of support for law enforcement.

Harvey expressed his condolences for the NYC officers and their families while also stating the suspect in their deaths was not associated with his movement.

“My heart is with the family and also my prayers,” Harvey said. “We are not against police. We are against police brutality. No one deserves to have their lives taken. It should have never happened. The person is isolated from the movement but he’s using the movement to get his message across. But that’s a totally isolated incident.”

Members of the Philadelphia Police Civil Affairs Unit were on hand to monitor the protest.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com
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<![CDATA[Girl, 3, Left With Valets: Police]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 02:41:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Audrey-missing.jpg

The father of a toddler abandoned at one of Los Angeles's premier shopping centers came forward nearly a day later Sunday and was interviewed by police and child protective services, officials said. 

The girl remained in the custody of child protective services. Los Angeles Police Department officials said she and her father had not been reunited.

The father told officers at the Wilshire Division station that he didn't initially know the 3-year-old was missing, but had been actively trying to get in contact with her.

A female relative who’d been watching the girl dropped her off at the Grove about 6 p.m. Saturday, according to police, who are treating the case as a misunderstanding.

When she was put in police custody, the girl gave her name simply as Audrey, a stumbling block in trying to find her family, police said.

Audrey was happy and talkative, when she was first turned over to the LAPD, according to Lt. Lonnie Tiano, who said she was in "good shape."

A woman dropped Audrey off at The Grove's valet area along with a car seat, but never returned to pick her up, Tiano said.

After a search of the mall, parking attendants called police, who took Audrey into their custody and brought her to the Department of Children and Family Services, Tiano said.

Children and Family Services still had to verify that the man picking her up was Audrey's father, and had yet to decide whether to turn Audrey over to him.

Aubrey's story had touched many people who called police offering gifts or a home to Audrey after her picture was released to news media, police said.

"Hopefully they'll be watching the news and see their child on TV and call us," Tiano said Sunday morning.

In fact, Audrey's San Diegan grandfather who spotted her picture on a news report Sunday. He told his son Audrey was missing; police said the father told them he was already actively searching for Audrey by then.

The father told authorities that he was looking for his daughter at The Grove until 11 p.m., police said, but assumed that the person she was with had taken her home. They were supposed to meet at The Grove earlier that day.

Correction: This article misspelled one instance of Audrey's name.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Gun Range Billboard Sparks Debate]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:27:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/santa_holding_gun_chico.jpg

A holiday billboard has fired up a debate in a Northern California city.

The owners of Down Range shooting range put up a sign outside their business in Chico, depicting Santa Claus holding a gun. The sign reads "We build AR's for Santa."

The owners of the gun range told NBC affiliate KNVN-TV in Chico that they are Santa's little helpers, and they can fill his orders for AR rifles.

Down Range co-owner Steve Dyke said in an interview that some people get toys, some get guns.

"Some people get firearms," Dyke said. "So and when Santa needs help putting together an AR rifle, we can definitely help him out with that."

While one Chico resident said people need to "see the humor in it" others said the sign is in poor taste.

"I just don't think I would like my son see Santa holding a gun, having to explain to him that's usually not what Santa's holding," one parent said.

"The idea of this symbol of joy and giving and holding an assault rifle, it's just so contradictory," Chico resident Tom Imhoff told KNVN.

But the owners of the gun range disagree.

"Santa has got his eye protection on, his fingers off the trigger, the gun's pointed in a safe direction, so those are the things we want to promote is the safety when people are doing the shooting sports industry," Dyke's partner Will Clark said.

"This is not meant to be offensive in any way. If you need help, if Santa needs help, we're here to help," Dyke said.

The owners said the sign is temporary, but it will not be their last. A sign featuring the Easter bunny or Cupid may be next.

Photo Credit: KNVN]]>
<![CDATA[Officers Turn Backs on NYC Mayor ]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:39:43 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/460732874.jpg

In the wake of tensions between City Hall and the NYPD, some officers turned their backs on the mayor as he walked through the halls of Woodhull Medical Center following the ambush killing of two officers.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch mourned the slain officers outside the hospital and linked the killings to violence against the NYPD during recent protest demonstrations and to what he said was the mayor's lack of support for the department.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said. He added: "That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."

Mayor de Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks amounted to "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people."

"This is a nightmare of the highest magnitude for everyone," Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, said in a statement. "The elected leaders, on both sides of City Hall, need to dig down deep in their souls and understand that campaigning to be a leader is easier than being a leader."

Palladino warned detectives to remain vigilant, wear bullet-resistant vests and work in teams of three when possible "until we better assess the threat that exists against us."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Leaders Across U.S. Mourn Officers Killed in Brooklyn]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 03:51:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP854506726768.jpg

Police departments and civic leaders across the United States mourned publicly on Saturday and Sunday, condemning violence and calling for calm after two police officers were shot dead in their squad car in what New York City's commissioner called an "assassination."

President Barack Obama was among those who expressed support for the police. "Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification," the president said Saturday night in a statement. "Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen."

Obama called New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Sunday and said Americans must reject violence and instead turn to prayer and sympathy for the victims' relatives, the White House said. The president said his administration will work with leaders across the country to echo that message.

Police departments around the country expressed solidarity with the NYPD, adorning their badges with black bands in honor of the slain officers.

In Philadelphia, where anti-police graffiti appeared this week, a police spokeswoman called the shootings a "horrible act of terror."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with New York Police Department and the families of these officers," the spokeswoman said.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter took to Twitter to condemn the shooting.

Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were sitting in a squad car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon when the shooter, identified as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, approached the car and fatally shot both officers in the head, police said. Brinsley then ran into a nearby subway station and killed himself, according to police.

"They were, quite simply, assassinated — targeted for their uniform," said Bratton. "Both officers paid the ultimate sacrifice today while protecting the communities they serve."

In California, San Jose Police Sgt. Paul Kelly said the shooting is a sobering reminder of the dangers officers face every day on the job. "San Jose police officers are sick about the tragedy that happened to New York's finest,"  said Kelly.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge released a statement Sunday morning, saying the police officers' "tragic deaths are a great loss for the NYPD, their families, and our nation. This is not about race or affiliation, and it isn't about black versus blue. All lives matter."

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shootings a "particularly despicable act," and called on New Yorkers to pray for the families of Ramos and Liu. He ordered that flags in the city be lowered to half-staff from sunrise Sunday until the officers' burial.

But New York Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch was critical of the mayor's office. Lynch tied the shootings to violence against the NYPD during recent protests in the city and blamed the mayor directly for a perceived lack of support as the department has come under scrutiny.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said, and "starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."

In response, the mayor's office said, "it's unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people."

Loretta E. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, pledged that her office would assist with the investigation of the shooting.

"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of this afternoon's brutal and senseless attack on two NYPD Officers, and I join Attorney General Holder in expressing my deepest condolences to the families of these fallen heroes," she said. "Today's assailant struck at the heart of our city — the dedicated officers who pledge their lives to safeguard us all."

The killings on Saturday come amid tensions over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Bratton said Saturday that the suspect had a history of making anti-police comments. It remained unclear whether he had any involvement in the protest movement.

The family of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after he was put in a chokehold by police denounced on Sunday the killing of two police officers.

"Anyone who's standing with us, we want you to not use Eric Garner's name for violence because we are not about that," Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, told reporters on Sunday. "I'm standing here in sorrow about losing those two police officers."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Real-Life "Sopranos" Club Robbed]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:01:11 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tlmd_fotoactorjamesgandolfini.jpg

Authorities say the northern New Jersey strip club that was used for filming of "The Sopranos" has been robbed of $30,000.

Lodi, New Jersey, police say that two men with shotguns robbed Satin Dolls early Sunday. The men fled after the robbery.

The club stood in as Bada Bing on the HBO show.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police department's detective division at 973-473-7600.

<![CDATA[1 Dead in House Party Shooting]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 19:09:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dewayne+purnell.jpg

A 19-year-old man was killed and eight others injured in a shooting during a house party in a south suburb of Chicago early Sunday morning.

Police received a call about shots fired at a residence in the 600 block of Escanaba Avenue in Calumet City at approximately 1:50 a.m. When police arrived, they say a large number of adults were fleeing from the house.

The shooting took place during a party in the basement of the residence with at least 150 young adults in attendance, according to police.

Dewayne Purnell, 19, died from gunshot wounds, and eight other victims were taken to area hospitals, two in critical condition, police said. The youngest victim is 15 years old.

Purnell's father said his son, who just turned 19 on Dec. 15, was supposed to leave for the Army in nine days. Purnell recently graduated from high school, and his father said he didn't go out to parties very often.

"He was in the house all the time," Donald Purnell, the victim's father, said. "He was putting up the Christmas tree yesterday with his sister."

Police said they had been called to the residence before but never for anything as serious as this incident.

Police are still searching for the gunman.

Calumet City detectives and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are continuing the investigation.

<![CDATA[Teen Saves Sister From Kidnapping]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 03:39:57 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/210*120/siren3.jpg

A 13-year-old boy rescued his little sister from an attempted kidnapping in Lancaster, sheriff’s deputies said Saturday.

A man allegedly walked into the fenced yard of the family’s home in the 300 block of West Kildare Street just before noon and asked the 4-year-old girl for her name. He then reached down, grabbed her and tried to leave the yard.

But her older brother grabbed the man’s arm and called for help, asking for someone to call 911.

The little girl was not injured.

Neighbors flagged down a passing sheriff’s patrol car and were able to direct them to a man believed to be the one who tried to take the little girl.

The man had been seen pacing in front of the home where the little girl lives just prior to the attempted kidnapping, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect has been detained until deputies complete an investigation. His identitiy has not been released.

<![CDATA[8-Year-Old Thanks Firefighters]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 04:18:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hartford+firefighter+surprise.JPG

Firefighters pulled an 8-year-old girl from a burning building in Hartford last month, and today she got to thank them in person.

Shantell King was sleeping when flames ravaged her home on Hamilton Street in Hartford on Nov. 14. Her mom, Michelle Peterson, ran to wake her up, but both mother and daughter were knocked to the ground in their effort to escape. They were separated, and flames forced Peterson from the house without Shantell.

"I thought she was gone," Peterson recalled. "It was pretty much the worst day of my life."

One month after emergency responders stepped in and saved Shantell’s life, members of Hartford’s Engine 15 surprised Peterson and her daughter at the Hartford Hilton, where the family of two has been staying.

"This is something that we train for and prepare for our entire careers, and to be able to finally do something like that, especially around the holidays, it means a lot," said Lt. Russell Cook.

Peterson was reduced to tears when firefighters showed up with Christmas presents early Saturday afternoon, hugging the man credited with saving her daughter’s life. Shantell, in turn, gave them a handmade Christmas card as a token of gratitude.

"For the past couple of weeks, this has been the only thing we wanted to do, is meet the guy who saved my daughter, because without him we wouldn't be having Christmas right now," Peterson said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Killed in San Diego Fire]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 07:56:00 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/fido+mask.jpg

Fire tore through a Clairemont home Saturday, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and killing one of the family’s beloved dogs.

“It’s just really sad this time of year for this to happen,” said Sherrie Dubreuil, whose elderly parents and brother live at the home in the 3600 block of Mount Acadia Boulevard.

The two-alarm fire sparked just before noon. Firefighters initially treated it as a rescue operation.

“The son who was living here didn’t realize his parents weren’t home, which is fortunate because they actually weren’t here and weren’t lost as was expected,” said Battalion Chief Matt Nilsen with San Diego Fire-Rescue.

A firefighter fell partially through the roof, but other crew members pulled him out before falling any further, Nilsen said. He was taken to the UCSD Burn Center with second-degree burns to his hip, according to fire officials.

Firefighters saved one of the family’s two dogs with the help of a “Fido” oxygen mask. The other dog did not make it.

“We lost our pit bull in the backyard. The fire caught him on fire, and they euthanized him,” Dubreuil said.

Dubreuil says she was grocery shopping with her 90-year-old mother at the time and returned home to the devastation. The fire caused an estimated $300,000 in damage to the home and $100,000 to its contents, according to the fire department.

Investigators say the fire was caused by an accidental electrical problem.

Flames spread to the neighbor’s bushes, but firefighters stopped the fire before spreading to the house.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Gets New Heart for Holidays]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 07:43:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/121914+kristen+bracken+kaiden.jpg

A baby is going home from a South Florida hospital with a new heart just in time for the holidays.

Kaiden, who is just 11 months old, underwent the procedure at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.

Around Easter, he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and doctors gave him a mechanical heart while they waited for a biological one.

Doctors were able to transplant the new heart last week.

"You think you have a healthy son, there's nothing wrong with him and you're told by doctors who grab your hand and say 'We'll do everything we can but we can't guarantee his life,'" mother Kristen Bracken said.

Kaiden will have to take medications so his body doesn't reject the new heart, but otherwise, he's doing great.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>