<![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 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:29:54 -0400 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:29:54 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Fox Attacks 2nd-Grader at School]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:24:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/broad+brook+evan+witzke.jpg

A fox is being tested for rabies after biting a second-grade boy on the playground Monday morning, then attacking the teacher and school psychologist who rushed to his aid outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor, Connecticut.

The fox, which authorities shot and killed, is also believed to have bitten a woman at a home behind the school earlier in the morning.

All four victims, including second-grade student Evan Witzke, have been hospitalized. The adults were brought to Hartford Hospital, where they will likely undergo rabies treatment, hospital officials said.

Evan was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, according to his mother, who said he is doing well.

"I'm feeling really good because I took medicine and I got shots," Evan said after the attack. He was in high spirits Monday night after leaving the hospital.

But earlier today he was scared. Police said the fox emerged from the woods on the north side of the school around 11:30 a.m. and attacked Evan while he was playing outside.

"I didn't see it come out of the woods. It just came and it bit my ankle, and then it tackled me and then I think it went for my wrist," Evan recalled. "My teacher got it off me and then I got up and ran away."

"[The fox] went for his ankle, he fell, tackled him and went for his wrist, and that's when the gym teacher – she was hitting the panic button on the walkie talkie, and then went after the fox, grabbed the fox by the neck and held it down," explained Evan's father, Craig Witzke.

The gym teacher and a school psychologist were also bitten before trapping the fox under a plastic recycling container and holding it until police arrived.

"[She] grabbed the fox by the neck so that all the children could get away," said Det. Matthew Carl of the East Windsor Police Department. "She held the fox on the ground while it was biting and scratching her."

Now the teacher and psychologist are being hailed as heroes.

"She was being attacked as she was trying to get the fox off my son, and I'm very grateful to her and what they did to keep the other kids safe," Witzke said, adding that the teacher went "above and beyond" to protect the children.

"I thanked them because they saved me from getting more attacked," Evan said.

Police believe the same fox also bit a woman and her dog earlier this morning at her parents' house on Mill Street/Route 191, less than a mile from the school. According to police, the animal wandered onto the porch around 10 a.m. and attacked the victim, who is in her 30s, when she opened the door.

"The family dog had wrestled with the fox, and the fox had fled into the woods, so we weren't able to locate it," Carl said.

East Windsor police and Animal Control responded to both scenes. Police believe that the same fox was involved in both incidents, and said the animal was aggressive toward officers who arrived to capture it.

"It charged one of the police officers, and ultimately, we shot and killed it," Carl said.

The fox was taken to the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory to be tested for rabies.

East Windsor police caution residents against approach animals "acting strange or appearing sick" and advise people to instead call the police department at 860-292-8240.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Ninita Witzke]]>
<![CDATA[Afghan Soldiers Found at Niagara]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:27:27 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tlmd_cape_cod_soldados_afganos_desaparecidos.jpg

The three missing Afghanistan National Army soldiers who went missing on Cape Cod have been found trying to cross into Canada at the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, a top Massachusetts law enforcement source tells NBC News.

Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar had managed to slip away unnoticed while on a "cultural exercise" to the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis on Saturday night. 

The three soldiers were trying to enter Canada when they were stopped by border officials.

Massachusetts State Police released a statement Monday afternoon, reminding the public that they had been assisting authorities with the investigation as a "missing persons case."

"MSP has no information that suggests the three men committed any crimes, and thus we would not have had any cause to detain them ourselves," explained spokesperson Dave Procopio in a statement.

Procopio added that the investigation is primarily under federal jurisdiction.

According to officials, the soldiers had been at Joint Base Cape Cod since Sept. 11. They were unarmed and were not considered a threat. It's not clear yet whether they will be returned to Cape Cod.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday that there was speculation that the soldiers may have been trying to defect.

U.S. military officials said the three officers were "thoroughly vetted" by the State Department, the American embassy in Kabul and U.S. military forces.

The soldiers were in Massachusetts for Regional Cooperation, a training exercise designed to promote cooperation between regional and foreign forces around the world. Training exercises like this have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation among forces. Eleven other Afghan soldiers were among the 200 participants from six nations including the U.S. The session wraps up Wednesday.

U.S. military officials told NBC News the training was a "command post exercise" that did not involve any weapons or actual maneuvers. The three soldiers were not armed with weapons at the time they disappeared.

Military officials said there have been numerous similar incidents over the years involving Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis and other foreign military who came to the U.S. for training and slipped away in an effort to remain in the country.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Customers Brawl at Apple Store]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:42:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/92214+Apple+Store+Edited.jpg

A fight among customers over their place in line at a busy Apple store in New Haven boiled over into a brawl involving more than a dozen people Monday, three days after the iPhone 6's much-anticipated release.

Three people were arrested at the store at 65 Broadway in New Haven, and one of those three was briefly hospitalized for a small cut on his forehead, police said. Other people suffered bumps and bruises.

Police have been called to the same store repeatedly over complaints from store managers of unruly behavior since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit stores Friday.

"There seem to be two groups, rival groups, mainly of Chinese people who are coming in from New York on a daily basis and trying to buy as many of the phones as the store will allow to sell toany one person," explained New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman.

Police said the buyers aim to resell the new iPhones in China at a huge mark-up from their retail price — often for $3,000 to $4,000.

"These rival groups have been challenging each other over their places in line. At times, these challenges have resulted in violence," Hartman said.

The New Haven store is selling the phones without contracts for $1,000, according to police.

The phones are in high demand and scarce in China right now, where the phones have not gone on sale yet due to regulatory issues, Dow Jones reported, citing Chinese state media.

That has prompted phone smuggling attempts in the country, including some tussles in Hong Kong near stores selling the iPhone 6. Scalpers have been able to resell the phones for as much as double the retail price, according to Dow Jones.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Confesses in Bali Killing: PD]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 03:40:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/schaefer_mack_instagram.jpg

The lawyer for an Oak Park man accused of killing his girlfriend's mother in Bali last month denies his client has confessed to the crime, according to the Wednesday Journal.

Indonesian police said last week that Tommy Schaefer, 21, confessed during an interrogation to killing Sheila von Wiese-Mack, and that his girlfriend, 19-year-old Heather Mack, acknowledged helping him stuff her mother's dead body into a suitcase.

Attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin told the publication that he has been in contact with Schaefer over the last few weeks, and that his client "has not confessed, pure and simple," although he was unsure how the information about the confession surfaced. Durkin has not traveled to Bali, but says he's considering making the trip.

The Associated Press reported last week that Indonesian police chief Col. Djoko Heru Utomo said Schaefer confessed that he killed von Wiese-Mack after an argument.

An autopsy found that von Wiese-Mack, 62, died of asphyxiation from a broken nose bone resulting from a blunt blow, said Ida Bagus Putu Alit, head of forensics at Sanglah Hospital in Bali's provincial capital of Denpasar. She also suffered from a broken neck, Alit said.

If found guilty, both suspects could be sentenced to death under Article 340 of Indonesia's Criminal Code.

Photo Credit: instagram.com]]>
<![CDATA[Wesleyan: Residential Fraternities Must Be Co-Ed]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:03:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/wesleyan+delta+kappa+epsilon.jpg

All-male residential fraternities at Wesleyan University in Middletown must now open their doors to female members, according to a recent decision by the college administration.

The change is intended to make Wesleyan all-inclusive, a university spokesperson said Monday. The decision will affect Delta Kappa Epsilon and Psi Upsilon, the two all-male fraternities at Wesleyan.

"With equity and inclusion in mind, we have decided that residential fraternities must become fully co-educational over the next three years," Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth and Board of Trustees Chairman Joshua Boger, both university alumni, wrote in an email notifying the school community Monday morning.

"If the organizations are to continue to be recognized as offering housing and social spaces for Wesleyan students, women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization," the email continues.

Just weeks ago, Wesleyan closed the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house after a sophomore fell from a third-story window during a party at the Middletown fraternity. She was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition and was most recently upgraded to stable condition. The fraternity's status was already listed as suspended prior to the incident.

But the administration's overhaul of Greek Life on campus has been a ongoing conversation for several years, according to Wesleyan leadership.

"The trustees and administration recognize that residential fraternities have contributed greatly to Wesleyan over a long period of time, but we also believe they must change to continue to benefit their members and the larger campus community," Roth and Boger wrote in the email.

The university "looks forward to receiving plans" on transitioning the all-male residential fraternities to a co-ed model and said school officials will collaborate with the fraternities to provide assistance with the changes.

The mandate will not apply to non-residential fraternities.

"Although this change does not effect nonresidential organizations, we are hopeful that groups across the University will continue to work together to create a more inclusive, equitable and safer campus," Roth and Boger wrote.

Fraternity members are concerned about the restructuring. Terence Durkin, president of the Gamma Phi chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon at Wesleyan, said it's unclear how the fraternity's national organization will respond.

"It's somewhat of an oxymoron to have women living in a fraternity. Our national organization doesn't allow women in our fraternity," Durkin explained. "If we're forced to have women in our organization, our chapter will lose its legitimacy."

Although Greek organizations were notified of the policy change yesterday, Durkin said it was a long time coming.

"We've known this was a possibility since last spring, so we've been thinking about it. We knew it was a possibility, so we're just going to go forward an work with the administration as best we can to try to come up with a good solution," he said.

A spokesperson for Phi Upsilon's national organization said Monday that, although the fraternity is historically all-male, female members are permitted at the discretion of the university.

"We have no problem if the Xi Chapter at Wesleyan chooses to initiate women, we would work with the chapter they decide to do so" Phi Upsilon Executive Director Thomas Fox said in an email Monday night.

Other students are cautiously optimistic about the shift.

"I think gender integrating fraternities and sororities into social houses is theoretically a great thing," said Kyle Foley, a freshman. "But these are young people that are away from home for the first time. As long as you also have a culture of going out and experimenting, possibly with some alcohol and going to parties, there's still an element of danger no matter what the make-up of those social clubs is."

Foley said the university stands to gain a lot from the new policy, but cautioned that "fraternities are a symptom of a larger issue among young people."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Gunman Opens Fire at Hospital]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:01:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Einstein-Hospital-Shooting.jpg

A gunman opened fire near Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia, killing a 15-year-old girl and critically injuring a 19-year-old man.

Police say the two victims were with a large crowd of teens near the hospital's main entrance on Old York and Tabor Roads around 4:15 p.m. Monday when a fight broke out.

During the fight, a gunman described as a "teenager, possibly 17 years old," fired several shots. The 15-year-old girl was struck in the torso.

The girl ran about half a block and then collapsed on the curb outside the hospital's main entrance, investigators say. She was taken inside the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

The 19-year-old man was also struck three times. He was also taken inside Einstein, where he is currently in critical condition but expected to survive.

Officials say both victims were innocent bystanders and not involved in the initial fight. They also say the girl attended Delaware Valley Charter High School which is located near where the shooting took place.

Investigators have taken into custody five teenagers who they suspect were with the gunman. Those teens are currently being interviewed.

Police have not released a detailed description of the suspected gunman but say he was wearing a black tank top and may have tattoos on his neck. The suspect was last seen running north on Old York Road.

Police are also analyzing surveillance video of the incident taken at a nearby Chinese restaurant.

Einstein Emergency Room was placed on lockdown due to the shooting. The lockdown was lifted around 6 p.m.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[5 Kids Stuck With Needle: NYPD]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:23:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kids+poked+needle+ps+121.JPG

Five third-grade students at a Bronx elementary school were allegedly stuck with a hypodermic needle by another student last week, parents and police say. 

According to a report filed with police by school officials Friday, a girl brought a hypodermic needle to PS 121 on Sept. 15, and another child, a boy, took the needle and stuck five other students. 

But one of the boys who was poked with the needle said it was the girl who wielded the needle.

"She said, 'Do you want to get poked?' I said 'no,' and she poked me anyway," said the 9-year-old boy, who initially thought it was just a game.

The boy's mother, Curtisha Davis, said she took her son to the emergency room as a precaution. So did Evette Rivera, the mother of another boy who was pricked with the needle. The boys were put on anti-viral medication as a precaution.

"They don't know if it was clean, unclean. They don't know what type of needle it was. I don't know what type of needle it was," said Rivera.

The parents said the district did not immediately send the five children to the hospital to be checked out. They are also questioning the delay in reporting the incident to police.

A spokeswoman for the school district said the Office of School Health and the principal at PS 121 are investigating, including how the girl got the needle and why she brought it to school. 

Davis is not satisfied.

"I keep going in every day," she said. "I'm gonna continue until somebody gives me a report or tells me where the needle came from."

Follow Checkey Beckford on Twitter @Checkey4NY

<![CDATA[Jealousy Eyed in Deadly Gym Attack]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:12:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/osaka-front.jpg

A fatal attack at a Bally's Total Fitness last week may have been motivated by a boyfriend's jealousy, prosecutors said Monday, as a 46-year-old plumber was charged with murder and possessing metal knuckles.

Kenneth Osako is accused of killing Diego Galindo, 43, of San Bruno with an 18-inch steel bar from the gym around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, two nights after Galindo asked Osako's girlfriend if she wanted a ride on his motorcycle, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told NBC Bay Area on Monday.

The girlfriend, who was not named, said she declined Galindo's offer, and the next evening, she told Osako about the invitation, according to investigators.

"That is being investigated as a potential motive," Wagstaffe said.

And the following evening Galindo was attacked at the gym, located at 180 El Camino Real in South San Francisco. Galindo died Thursday morning at San Francisco General Hospital.

In court Monday, Osako told the judge he'll be hiring his own lawyer to defend his case. He is still being held without bail.

Galindo's co-workers at Carneceria Tepa meat market have started collecting money for his funeral, and several described him as a friendly guy who liked cars and motorcycles.

Wagstaffe said it is unclear at this point if Galindo knew that the woman had been dating Osako when he asked her out.

Osako has no criminal history in San Mateo County, records show.

Osako's father, Kenneth Osako Sr., told NBC Bay Area in an interview Friday that he hoped his son "gives us a call and let us know what happened."

Kenneth Osako Sr. said he would not necessarily support his son either way. "No. If he's guilty, he's guilty. I don't support anybody that's wrong," he said.

Osako turned himself in on Thursday at a plumbing job site in San Francisco on Kansas Street. When he surrendered, Wagstaffe said they found metal knuckles in his car, which are illegal to possess.

NBC Bay Area's Derek Shore and Christie Smith contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

Photo Credit: South San Francisco Police Department]]>
<![CDATA["Wanted" Poster Issued for Person of Interest in Graham Case]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:16:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0917-hannah-graham-.jpg

There are now two searches underway in Charlottesville: one for Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old University of Virginia student missing for more than a week -- and one for the last person known to have seen her, 32-year-old Jesse Matthew.

On Monday, Charlottesville Police released a Wanted poster in their efforts to locate Matthew, whom they call a "person of interest" in the disappearance of Hannah Graham.

Matthew sped away from a police station in neighboring Albemarle County Saturday and is now wanted for two counts of reckless driving, authorities said.

On Monday, Charlottesville detectives again searched Matthew's apartment, bringing out three more bags of evidence. They first searched there Friday, before Matthew had been named as a person of interest.

Police have not charged Matthew in Graham's disappearance, but Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said he believes Matthew was the last person to see Graham.

"We're taking every effort that we know of to try and determine his location today. We'll continue to pursue him until such time as he is located," Longo said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show Monday morning.

Security video shows Matthew at the downtown mall in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 13. Soon after, the two were seen entering the Tempo Restaurant, and they also left the restaurant together.

"We are not excluding anyone in this," said Capt. Gary Pleasants of the Charlottesville Police Department. "As far as we can find right now, he is the last person that was with Hannah, so certianly he is the focus of our investigation."

Police especially want to know if anyone saw the two enter Matthew's banged up, burnt orange car.

"I believe Jesse Matthew is the last person she was seen with before she vanished off the face off the earth," Longo said at a media briefing on Sunday. "But somebody knows where she is. And we want to know who that person or persons are."

It's been three days since Matthew's landlord, Frances Lee-Vandell, has heard from him.

While she said Matthew is far from an ideal tenant, she's surprised to hear him called a person of interest in Hannah Graham's disappearance.

"I'm horrified... I'm in shock..." she said. "He seems a mild man... not violent, but I don't know."

Longo said Matthew and two of his family members arrived at police headquarters Saturday and asked for a lawyer. After speaking to the lawyer, Matthew left the station without talking to detectives.

"To be clear, this high speed exit that he took was somewhat after he left the station. He went to a location in Albemarle County," Longo said. "He was surveilled at that time, not covertly but overtly. He got into a car and he sped off."

Longo said Matthew's speed was so high that police disengaged from the pursuit.

Hannah’s father, John Graham, spoke publicly for the first time Sunday, appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

"Who saw Hannah?" he asked during the press conference, as his wife, Sue, stood next to him. "Somebody knows what happened to Hannah."

John Graham expressed gratitude to more than 1,000 volunteers who combed Charlottesville, where Graham was last seen, on Saturday and Sunday.

"We have been utterly overwhelmed by the generosity of the spirit of all the people we’ve met," he said. "This is every parent’s worst nightmare. We need to find out what happened to her so it doesn’t happen to anyone else."

Graham expressed hope that his daughter would be found alive.

"Hannah is brilliant, resilient, determined and loves life more than anybody else I know," he said.

He read an email from Hannah's former teacher, who wrote: “If anybody could get through this, it is Hannah."

The chief, in an emotional statement, said Sunday that Matthew was the person seen in surveillance video walking with Graham before she disappeared more than a week ago.

He wants anyone who saw Graham or Matthew that evening to contact police as soon as possible.

 Longo thanked people who were involved in the search this weekend as well as those who emailed him from all over the country, saying “you rose to the occasion, you stepped up to the plate.”

Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Mark Eggeman said nearly 2,000 people searched for clues into Graham’s disappearance. Eggeman said he spent his daughter’s birthday with searchers, saying, “No place I’d rather be.”

Hannah Graham has been missing since early on September 13. She was seen in surveillance video along the city's Downtown Mall.

A man, who police believe is Matthew, is later seen on the video wrapping his arm around Graham's waist. Police say the two then entered a Charlottesville restaurant during the early morning hours of Sept. 13, where the man bought alcohol and later left in a burnt-orange car.

"We have every reason to believe Ms. Graham was in that vehicle," said Detective Sgt. Jim Mooney of Charlottesville police.

Police searched the man's apartment and car and even talked to him — but stopped short at calling him a suspect. When asked if the man had a criminal history, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said he has "had contact with police."

<![CDATA[SoCal Student Missing After Craigslist Car Deal]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:43:14 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Abdullah+Abdullatif+Alkadi+blue+bg.jpg

The family of a 23-year-old Southern California college student continued to search for him Monday, days after he made a deal to sell his car on Craigslist, family members and police said.

Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, a student at California State University, Northridge, was last seen Sept. 17 at his home in the 9900 block of Reseda Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Alkadi was planning to sell his Audi to a man he met through Craigslist, LAPD Detective Merrill and family members said.

The man agreed to come to Alkadi's apartment last week to buy the car, Alkadi's cousin Allison Alomair said. The family has since not heard from Alkadi, whose parents live in Saudi Arabia.

Alkadi had another car, which is still at his apartment, Alomair said.

Akadi's brother, Ahmed, who lives in Southern California, said the family has no information about where his brother could be but is hopeful he will return home.

"We haven't received any tips about him. What can we do?" Ahmed Alkadi said. "I have full faith on the legal system here that they will bring my brother back safe."

He begged for the public to be on the lookout and spread the word about their missing loved one.

"Please people, I am sure he is somewhere in the LA area. Give information around you on the street or bus, gas stations, wherever, give us a tip," Ahmed Alkadi said. "It is a great help for us."

A Twitter account with Alkadi's name lists him as an electrical engineering major at CSUN. The most recent tweet is dated Sept. 14.

Members of the university's engineering department declined to comment out of respect for his family.

Alkadi is described as a Middle Eastern man with black hair and brown eyes, 5 feet 3 inches tall and about 110 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans or beige shorts, Los Angeles police said.

The CSUN Police Department is working on the case with the LAPD.

"Anyone who saw him or knows anything that can be helpful, we are all interested in any information," CSUN Police Chief Anne Glavin said.

Police said they could not comment on the investigation any further and could not immediately confirm whether detectives had contacted the buyer of Alkadi's car.

Anyone with information should call LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. Anonymous tips can be reported to Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting CRIMES (274637).

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Raped Teacher at School: Cops]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:57:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092214+victor+marshall+nash.jpg

A South Dade Senior High School student who police say sexually assaulted a teacher at the school after hours is now facing several charges.

Victor Marshall Nash, 18, was arrested Friday on charges of attempted felony murder, sexual battery, robbery and grand theft of a vehicle.

Nash was arrested by Miami-Dade Schools Police, officials said. He was being held on $62,500 bond Monday, and it's unknown if he has an attorney.

According to an arrest affidavit, two hours after school let out, Nash grabbed the victim, putting his arms around her as she started to cry and tried to push him away.

That affadavit says that Nash body-slammed the victim to the ground, choked her until she lost consciousness and then raped her. He then allegedly put the condom he had used in her personal bag.

Police say Nash then stole the victim's car, which they say he was found driving five hours later in Homestead.

Parents of students at school were informed about the rape over the weekend in a message from the school's principal.

Counselors were at the school Monday as classes were held as usual. Students who spoke to NBC 6 said there were more worried about their own safety than their school work.

"Today, I started hearing kids talk about the buddy system when going to the bathroom," one student said. "We shouldn't have to feel that way in school."

Nash's mother, who did not want to be identified, released a statement asking for privacy.

"Our thoughts and prayers goes out to the victim and her family," she said. "Although the road to resolution is uncertain at this time, we ask that the media respect our privacy and allow our families to get through and heal in this difficult period in our lives."

Victor Nash's father, Victor Nash Sr., is a registered sex offender. He has been charged in the past with crimes ranging from sexual battery to aggravated child abuse.

Teachers' union United Teachers of Dade said in a statement that it was "shocked and dismayed" at the attack. "Our schools should be a place of safety and serenity, not only for students, but the adults who work there as well," it said.

Miami-Dade Schools Police are working with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office in the investigation.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Convicted Killer Faces Sentencing]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:43:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092214+james+herard.jpg

The sentencing phase of a South Florida man convicted of murdering two people during a string of Dunkin’ Donuts robberies in 2008 continued Monday, with James Herard again daring a judge to give him the death penalty.

“As far as being this killer and this murderer and all, that’s not who I am,” Herard said. “I honestly don’t feel like you are going to give me the death penalty anyway. I don’t see it happening. I don’t think it’s in you. I don’t feel like you have it in you.”

Herard, 25, was convicted on 18 of 19 counts related to the robberies and murders. The same jury that convicted him recommended the death penalty for Herard.

Herard dared the judge to sentence him to death during the first part of the sentencing hearing on Sept. 12.

“Honestly and truly, I’m not asking you to spare me," Herard said. "Go ahead and do what you gonna do. I pretty much dare you to give me the death sentence, because I’m innocent."

Prosecutors said Herard didn’t pull the trigger in the 2008 murder of 39-year-old Eric Jean-Pierre. But, they say he, along with other members of a gang, were part of a “body count competition” and Herard pushed Tharod Bell to murder Jean-Pierre.

“He’s had every opportunity to present the evidence he presented today to all three juries and chose not to,” prosecutor Stephen Zaccor said. “Quite frankly, I think you are looking at the desperate attempts by a desperate man to save his own life.”

Herard was previously convicted of the murder of 58-year-old Kiem Huynh in 2008. He received sentences of life imprisonment for Huynh’s death. Herard made national news when he barked like a dog during an appearance before Broward Circuit Judge John Hurley after his initial arrest.

The judge in the case set a final sentencing date for October 20th when Herard will learn whether he lives or dies.

“I’m actually not scared because I didn’t do these things,” Herard said in court Monday. “So, I’m not going to sit her and put on this sad face and like because I shouldn’t have to.”

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Teacher Accused of Biting Toddler at Goddard School]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:18:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/goddard+school+arrests1.jpg

A teacher at a Goddard School location in Prince William County, Virginia, was arrested along with the center's owner following allegations that the teacher bit a toddler in her care.

Prince William County police say 24-year-old Theresa Elaine Brown bit a 13-month-old boy at the Woodbridge school after the boy bit another teacher on Sept. 11. The bite left a mark on the boy's shoulder.

A witness reported the incident to management, but the owner of the school, identified by police as Nadia Maqsood Choudhry, also 24, failed to report it to Child Protective Services. According to police, Choudhry went on to tell the staff member who reported the incident not to report it to authorities.

Employees at childcare facilities, schools and healthcare centers are required by state law to report allegations of child abuse and neglect to Child Protective Services. 

The battery was reported the next day anonymously.

Both women were charged in connection with the event Friday.

Police say Brown was charged with assault and battery, while Choudhry was charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect.

Brown told News4's Kristin Wright she didn't bite the student and she believes another child did it.

Brown -- arrested in the past on assault, forgery and stealing charges -- signed a sworn affidavit saying she did not have a criminal record, according to Goddard. Her background check was still being processed more than six weeks after she began working at the school, but she worked under the condition she couldn't be alone with the children.

The school's director fired Brown upon learning of the accusation, according to a statement from the school. Choudhry is no longer at the school either.

"We are reviewing all of our new-hire documentation and background checks to ensure we are fully compliant with Virginia law and to verify we are implementing best hiring practices," the statement said. "Additionally, we will, very soon, be conducting mandatory reporting protocol training for our entire management team and faculty."

Goddard Schools are individually owned-and-operated early childhood education franchises of Goddard Systems, Inc.

<![CDATA[49er Ray McDonald's San Jose Home Burglarized: Source]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:23:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP13080214223.jpg

The home of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was burglarized over the weekend, a police source told NBC Bay Area on Monday.

San Jose police would not confirm the name of the homeowner who was burglarized, as is standard protocol for victims of a crime.

But police did send out a news release over the weekend stating that officers responded to a report of a residential burglary on Saturday at 10:47 p.m. in the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive. Public records show McDonald lives on that street, in that same block.

In the statement, Officer Albert Morales said the person who called police reported "someone forced entry into the home and stole personal items." Those personal items were not disclosed.

At the time of the burglary, McDonald was in Arizona ahead of Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

The unidentified suspect or suspects remain at large, Morales said, and the investigation is ongoing.

McDonald made headlines recently over an August arrest in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident. The player, who has not been charged by the Santa Clara County district attorney and was released on $25,000 bail, called the arrest a "crazy situation" in a brief interview with NBC Bay Area. He has maintained his innocence.

The 49ers have said McDonald will remain active while he goes through the legal process.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2 Dead, Nearly 48 Hurt in Bus Crash]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:30:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Delaware-Bus-Crash-Twitter.jpg

A tour bus overturned in Delaware late Sunday afternoon leaving two women dead and nearly 50 people hurt.

The first woman, 54-year-old Hua'y Chen of New York City, died at the scene of the crash. The second woman, 30-year-old Idil Bahsi of Istanbul, Turkey, died Sunday night at the hospital.

The 1996 Setra Touring Coach bus, which had a driver and 49 passengers on board, was traveling southbound on state Route 1 and exiting onto the off-ramp to US-13 northbound in New Castle around 4:20 p.m.

As the driver, identified as 56-year-old Jinli Zhao of Flushing, New York, tried to turn on the ramp, the vehicle went off the roadway and overturned onto its roof, according to investigators.

The bus slid on its roof and traveled down a grassy embankment and rotated on its left side until it came to a final rest, according to police.

Chen, who was a passenger on the bus, was ejected from the vehicle and then pinned underneath it. Medics pronounced her dead at the scene.

"I guess she was trapped underneath the bus," said Elvis D'cruz, a 19-year-old college student from New Castle, Delaware. "One man was saying, 'my wife, my wife, my life.' That keeps replaying in my mind."

D'cruz tells NBC10 he was driving home with a friend when he spotted the overturned bus. The two quickly got out of their vehicle to help the victims.

"It must've been within five minutes of the crash," D'cruz said. "There were about two to three other civilians there helping out. The bus had flipped over onto its side and some people were still underneath it. The bus was completely in a ditch. We tried to help them get out, as much as we could. We went to the car, got first aid equipment and passed out gauze and bandages, whatever we could to comfort people." 

D'cruz described the crash scene as total chaos.

"It just made me feel how fragile life is at times," D'cruz said while in tears. "It was hard seeing that little boy in the middle of the crash scene. What I really can't forget is all of the screaming and the smell of blood in the air. People didn't know what to do. There was no one else at the scene. Within 15 minutes, State Police arrived."

Zhao and the 48 other passengers -- some children -- were all injured in the crash. They were transported by a Delaware State Police helicopter to several local hospitals, including the Christiana Hospital Trauma Center, Wilmington Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital, Middletown Emergency Department and the Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children.

Of the dozens of people who were hurt, at least three of them were critically injured, including Bahsi. She died from her injuries at Christiana Hospital around 10:45 p.m. Sunday. As of Monday night, one patient remains in critical condition, seven are in serious condition, ten are in fair condition and two are in good condition. Three children were also released from Alfred I DuPont.

"The injuries vary widely," said Dr. Rob Rosenbaum, an Emergency Room physician at Christiana Care. "Some patients have head injuries. Some have injuries to their torso, ribs, abdomen and fractures."

Zhao, who was properly restrained, suffered minor injuries.

Officials say the bus is owned by Am USA Express Incorporated, a regional bus transportation company based in Chinatown, New York. According to records, the company has been cited for 18 safety violations since 2012. The violations include equipment issues and drivers going over their hours. One of the company's buses was also involved in a minor crash last June.

The passengers in Sunday's accident were part of a sightseeing group sponsored by E World Travel and Tours based in New York City, according to police. Investigators say their three-day trip began Friday when they traveled from New York to Washington, DC. The group was traveling from DC back to New York at the time of the crash.

D'cruz says the passengers appeared to be foreigners.

"They were mixed in race," he said. "There were a few people speaking Mandarin and a few people speaking Hindi, Portuguese and Spanish."

According to D'cruz, the Route 13 off-ramp has a history of accidents.

"They're used to be a guard rail," he said. "People would go highway speeds on it even though you're supposed to slow down. People kept on slamming into the guard rail but it would stop them from flipping. They later on removed the guard rail and put flags up." 

The ramp from Route 1 southbound to US-13 northbound was closed for approximately six hours before it was finally reopened.

The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit continues to investigate the accident.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

Photo Credit: Elvis D'cruz]]>
<![CDATA[Seahawks Player Proposes to Girlfriend After Victory]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:33:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DeShawnShead.jpg

Seattle Seahawks defensive back DeShawn Shead walked off the field with not one, but two wins Sunday night when he proposed to his girlfriend following an overtime victory against the Denver Broncos.

About 30 minutes after the winning game 26-20, Shead changed into a dress shirt and slacks, and asked his girlfriend, Jessica Martinez, and some family members to join him on the CenturyLink field, ESPN reported.

Shead then popped the question on the 50-yard line, with Bruno Mars’ “Marry Me” playing on the stadium’s speakers.

When Martinez said yes, a dozen of Shead’s teammates, including cornerback Richard Sherman and linebacker Mike Morgan, ran out on the field to congratulate the couple.

Both Shead and Martinez took to social media to spread news of the engagement.

"She said yes!" Shead tweeted along with a link to a picture of the couple.

"Best day of my life," Martinez added on her own Instagram account.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[3 Afghan Soldiers Missing in Mass.]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:58:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2014-09-22-05h18m32s47.jpg

Police are looking for three Afghanistan National Army soldiers who went missing on Cape Cod, Massachusetts National Guard confirms.

Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar were last seen Saturday night. They were last seen at Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis. State police and local officials are searching.

According to officials, the soldiers have been at Joint Base Cape Cod since Sept. 11. They are not considered a threat.

Gov. Deval Patrick told NECN on Monday that he learned of the situation about an hour after the military authorities were notified.

"There's been a lot of speculation... including that they may be trying to defect," Patrick said.

Col. Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told NBC News there is "no reason to think they have nefarious intent." 

U.S. military officials said the three officers were "thoroughly vetted" by the State Department, the American embassy in Kabul and U.S. military forces.

The soldiers are in Massachusetts for Regional Cooperation, a training exercise designed to promote cooperation between regional and foreign forces around the world. Training exercises like this have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation among forces. 

Eleven other Afghan soldiers were among the 200 participants from six nations including the U.S. The session wraps up Wednesday.

U.S. military officials told NBC News the training was a "command post exercise" that did not involve any weapons or actual maneuvers. The three soldiers were not armed with weapons at the time they disappeared.

Military escorts reportedly accompanied the 14 Afghan soldiers on a "cultural exercise" to the Cape Cod shopping mall on Saturday night when three of the soldiers managed to slip away unnoticed.

Pentagon officials said local and state law enforcement have taken the lead in the search for the missing soldiers.

Officials also pointed out that there have been numerous similar incidents over the years involving Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis and other foreign military who came to the U.S. for training and slipped away in an effort to remain in the country.

<![CDATA[Dead Dogs Found at Animal Hospital]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:20:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dolton+animal+hospital.jpg

The Cook County Sheriff's office is investigating after "multiple dead animals" were found inside the Dolton Animal Hospital in conditions investigators called "deplorable."

Officials said a Dolton police officer brought a stray dog to the suburban Chicago hospital Sunday afternoon and found several dead dogs inside.

"It was a lot of feces, urine, there were dead animals," Deputy Chief Michael Anton with the Cook County Sheriff's office said. "Not a pleasant smell or sight for that matter because the animals were in various stages of decay."

Anton said four deceased dogs were discovered along with 10 other animals in "various stages of emaciation," including nine dogs and one cat.

The Cook County Animal Control was at the facility,  located at 15022 Lincoln Ave., Sunday evening removing deceased and living animals.

The hospital provides medical and grooming services and the sheriff's office said the village contracts the facility to house stray animals.

"There was a fair amount of neglect going on here, no question about that," Anton said.

Several ill animals were being transported to other animal hospitals for treatment, officials said.

"I was kind of alarmed," said Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers, who said he asked inspectors to visit the building last week after noticing exterior violations. "The grass had grown high, there were some conditions that were not that great so I asked the inspector to come by and issue some citations."

An employee at the scene declined to comment on the investigation.

No charges had been filed as of Monday morning, but officials say the priority was making sure the animals received the care they needed.

 "Our main concerns were the animals. Some of them were in pretty bad shape," Anton said. "Right now we just have to figure out what was going on in there."

<![CDATA[Woman Hit by Cyclist in Central Park Dies: Officials]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:57:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/central+park+bicyclist+hits+pedestrian.jpg

The 59-year-old Connecticut woman who was critically injured after she was hit by a bicyclist in Central Park last week has died, officials say.

Jill Tarlov, of Fairfield, died some time after she was hit by a bicyclist on West Drive and 63rd Street inside the park Thursday afternoon, according to a statement for CBS Television Stations, where her husband is a senior vice president.

Tarlov, who previously worked at CBS-owned radio station 1010 WINS, fell to the ground after being hit and suffered head trauma, police said. She was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she died.

"We are heartsick over the passing of our dear friend and former 1010 WINS Radio colleague Jill Tarlov," CBS said.

Police say the 31-year-old cyclist, who stayed at the scene, had minor shoulder and hand injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the cyclist was riding in the park's bike lane and hit the woman while swerving to avoid other pedestrians, according to the NYPD.

"We are committed to doing what we can to bring greater public awareness of the perils of unsafe and distracted driving by motorists and cyclists that endangers pedestrians," the company said. "Far too many people have been killed or seriously injured on our streets."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

<![CDATA[70-Pound Turtle Found Wandering Near SoCal Country Club]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:38:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/140921-la-canada-turtle.jpg

A turtle weighing a whopping 70 pounds was found wandering streets near a Southern California country club, officials said Sunday.

Sheriff’s deputies found the common snapping turtle Thursday on the corner of Angeles Crest Highway and Starlight Crest Drive near the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club (map), where it had apparently stopped to rest several feet from a pond.

It was taken to Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Phelan.

“The turtle appears healthy – maybe too healthy, quite obese, and it’s probably eaten everything that’s been in the pond with it,” said Joel Almquist of Forever Wild.

The turtle’s appetite can be a danger, as common snapping turtles are known to eat anything and everything in sight.

“They’re very detrimental to the native wildlife here,” Almquist said. “They eat everything that they can fit in their mouths, and apparently by the size of this one, it has.”

“If he grabbed onto a finger, you would be one digit less,” he added.

It is unclear where the turtle came from, since it is not native to the area. Almquist said it may be someone’s lost pet.

Forever Wild will likely build a special pond where the hulking turtle will be housed, Almquist said.

<![CDATA[WWII-Era Ship Spills Oil]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:26:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/0921141059.jpg

A cleanup effort by multiple agencies is underway for an oil spill from a World War II-era ship that now serves as a tourist attraction in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

The United States Coast Guard and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are investigating the fuel spill that occurred Saturday near Pier 45.

Coast Guard personnel received a report at 10:56 a.m. that an undetermined amount of oil spilled into the bay from the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, a fully functional World War II Liberty Ship. The Coast Guard said that it immediately dispatched a pollution response crew to assess the spill and recover the discharged fuel.

The Coast Guard told NBC Bay Area that a barrel of crude oil ruptured causing the fuel to go overboard. No more than 50 gallons made it into the bay, officials said. The ship is currently closed to tourists. There is currently 6,000 feet of boom around the ship, the Coast Guard said.

According to the Coast Guard, the fuel spill's source has been secured. A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter and a small boat investigating the spill found a 100-by-150-yard sheen in the area of the spill. Vaccum trucks and skimming vessels carried out recovery operations Sunday, officials said.

"On-scene coordinators are working diligently with Wish and Wildlife to ensure the SS Jeremiah O'Brien is taking every action necessary to achieve a prompt and satisfactory cleanup effort," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The cause of the fuel spill remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Norbert Lee]]>
<![CDATA[LL Coach Killed by Baseball]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:58:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/richard+becher.jpeg

A 50-year-old Little League coach died after he was hit in the head with a baseball during warm-ups before a game on Long Island over the weekend, authorities said.

Richard Becher, of Holbrook, was hit with the baseball while pitching batting practice to his 12-year-old son's team before a game Saturday afternoon at Baseball Heaven, a baseball facility in Yaphank, Newsday reports.

According to police, bystanders were performing CPR on an unconscious Becher when officers and paramedics arrived.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Drops 50 Ft. off Freeway]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:37:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dave+and+busters.jpeg

A truck drove off the freeway and landed in a restaurant parking lot Sunday afternoon, a drop of at least 50 feet.

The crash happened around 3 p.m. on northbound Interstate 805 in Mission Valley.

A tan vehicle tapped the back of a yellow Ford pickup truck, forcing the truck to spin out and flip over the guardrail, according to the California Highway Patrol. The truck fell at least 50 feet into the parking lot of Dave and Buster's at 2931 Camino Del Rio North.

Emergency crews pulled a man from the wreckage and rushed him to Sharp Memorial Hospital with major traumatic injuries, according to CHP. However, officials said he was alert and talking to firefighters.

“He’s lucky he landed the way he did, and he’s fortunate to be alive,” said Capt. Chad Willenberg with the San Diego Fire Department.

Officials did not release the victim’s name, but said he is in his mid-30s. He was the only person inside the truck.

The truck hit Dave and Buster's on the way down, leaving a gaping hole in the building. It did not cause any structural damage, according to the fire department. Broken glass and debris filled the back parking lot.

Julie Melia was inside the restaurant-arcade at the time of the accident. She said she didn’t know anything had happened until she saw the mangled truck.

“It looked very bad. You don’t know how somebody could survive that,” Melia said.

No one at Dave and Buster’s was injured.

Witnesses told CHP the tan vehicle was driving erratically before forcing the truck off the road.

“The SUV continued northbound on the 805. We don’t have a license plate or description of the driver,” said CHP Officer Jose Meza.

CHP is now looking for a tan SUV or truck with a camper shell and damage to the left side. The driver could face felony hit and run charges.

CHP issued a Sig Alert for the area. The transition ramp from westbound Interstate 8 to I-805 was closed for hours.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Limbo Party During Traffic]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:11:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/200*120/steel_drum_interstate_party.JPG

A group of motorists stranded on I-76 in Pennsylvania turned the headache of the standstill traffic into a communal steel drum and limbo party on the highway. A car flipped over in the I-76 eastbound lanes about a mile from the King of Prussia exit Saturday afternoon.

Motorists emerged from their bumper-to-bumper parked vehicles and gave new meaning to a traffic jam.

"It was better than being stuck in a snowstorm," said Justin Berk of Baltimore, who was en route to the Philadelphia Half Marathon. "I've been stuck in a lot of traffic jams and got out and people started talking to each other."

The result was a chance meeting of Berk and David Gettes of Trinidad North Steel Drum Band & Company. Gettes and percussionist Paul Downie were traveling from the Muhlenberg International Festival in Reading to Media when they got stuck.

Just after 2 p.m., Gettes pulled out his steel drum and played a pop-up set of island sounds for 15 minutes as motorists danced in a limbo line.

"We were struck in the traffic. We saw people around us frustrated. I know the magic of the (steel drum) instrument. It was not taking any toll on me to do that so why not," said Gettes.

Berk pulled out his camera to record the fun. He said the stranded motorists worked together to make the best of a bad situation.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

<![CDATA[Take the Phone Quiz: iPhone 6 or Android? ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:46:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pile+of+phones1.jpg

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hit the shelves at Apple Stores on Friday morning, ending weeks of anticipation by Apple fans.

At some Apple stores, lines have stretched around the corner for days or even weeks. Apple sold more than 4 million phones in online preorders on the very first day they were available. And this weekend, the company is expected to make billions. According to Bloomberg Business Week, the phone line accounts for more than half of Apple's $171 billion annual revenue.

But is the phone for everyone? More importantly, is it for you?

We put together this Phone Wizard to help you find out. We examined the key features of eight state-of-the-art phones, looking at things like battery life, size, operating system and camera quality. After you answer a handful of questions about your personality, preferences and habits, we identify the phone that we think is right for you.

Now, don't get carried away: Just because we tell you the Samsung Galaxy S5 is better for you than the iPhone 6 Plus (that 4K HD is just so important to you, right?) doesn't mean you should go and buy one today. At least visit your local retailer to see how it feels in your hand before plopping down a few hundred dollars. But consider this a starting point. 

Photo Credit: Photograph: Alamy]]>
<![CDATA[Bike Gang Shooting Stops Freeway]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:00:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/140920-15-freeway-shooting-traffic.jpg

A fatal shooting on the 15 Freeway in the Corona area reportedly involving two rival motorcycle gangs prompted an hours-long shut down of the roadway near El Cerrito Road.

Gunfire broke out on the freeway at Cajalco Road just south of the 91 Freeway, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said. The incident was reported about 6:30 p.m. on the CHP's traffic incident information website.

Responding officers found two males suffering from gunshot wounds. Both were taken to a hospital where one was pronounced dead and another was admitted for his injuries, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

A third person was treated for similar injuries and released.

According to the CHP traffic incident information website, the shooting involved two rival motorcycle gangs. Those reports have not been confirmed by authorities.

Traffic was backed up for miles on the freeway and surrounding streets as drivers were diverted at Ontario Avenue. Southbound lanes of the freeway were reopened before 7 a.m. Sunday. The El Cerrito onramp and offramp were still closed Sunday morning.

Refresh this page for updates on this developing story.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

Photo Credit: Kate Larsen (@KateNBCLA via Twitter)]]>
<![CDATA[Racist Messages Spray Painted]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:19:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/morgan+park+vandal.jpg

Police are searching for suspects in connection with a series of vandalism incidents involving racially charged messages spray-painted on cars and garages in a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.

The first incident was reported Friday morning in the Morgan Park neighborhood after a 54-year-old woman told police she woke up and found her car, her daughter’s car and their garage spray painted with offensive and hateful messages.

The woman said both cars were parked in an alley behind their home near 108th and Hermosa Streets, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic.

Marsha Eaglin said two of her cars were tagged with similar racial slurs.

“We’re really shocked,” she said. “N-word, F-U, N-word misspelled, we don’t know what was going on in their heads.”

Eaglin said her daughter made the discovery as she walked out of their home on Hermosa Street.

“My daughter kept saying ‘Is this 2014 or are we in 1950 or 60?’” Eaglin said.

On Saturday, a similar incident was reported when a 54-year-old woman told police her garage and car had been vandalized with spray paint and that the messages were offensive and hateful, police said.

Cheryl James was still scrubbing the graffiti, which included the “N-word” and other racially charged messages, off her car Sunday morning.

“I was hurt, really hurt,” she said. “I really didn’t know what to think.”

Eaglin and James said other neighbors in the area were tagged with the same messages.

“They hit my car, our two cars, and two other cars down the street from me on my block,” Eaglin said.

Chicago police said Area South detectives are investigating the vandalism.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington