Saturday, August 25, 2012

Man tussles with Walmart loss prevention officers

FORT WALTON BEACH - A Shalimar man is accused of trying to defraud a local discount store of merchandise and money, then scrapping with loss prevention officers who confronted him.

On Aug. 11 the 27-year-old man came into the Beal Parkway Walmart store and went to the Sporting Goods Department, where he chose an Airsoft gun. He then went to the Hardware Department, where he removed the gun from its packaging and hid it on his person. He left the store, got into his car, parked in a different spot, then went back inside to the Customer Service desk and returned the gun for a refund.

After the return was finished, he went back to the Sporting Goods Department, chose two packages of Airsoft pellets and put them into his pants pocket. He left the store without paying for the merchandise.

He was confronted by two Walmart loss prevention officers, and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, one of the Walmart employees fell to the ground.

The man was later arrested and identified in a lineup.

He was charged with petty theft and resisting the recovery of property by a retail merchant or farmer.

His court date is Aug. 28.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bullet removed from journalist’s neck

Doctors at the Hasanuddin University Hospital in Makassar, South Sulawesi, have successfully removed a bullet lodged in the neck of Salahuddin, a local journalist from Nuansa TV, in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Thursday.

Salahuddin, who was transferred from Undata Palu hospital, underwent surgery for 1.5 hours after he was shot with an airsoft gun while covering a recent brawl between residents of Binangga village and Padende village in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi.

"The bullet, which we have removed from his neck, has splintered," said Andi Asadul Islam, a neurosurgeon at Hasanuddin University Hospital after the surgery.

Asadul explained that the splinters had found their way into the right side of the patient’s neck bone, which is connected to the spinal cord. The surgeon gave assurances that the bullet had not affected the patient’s central nervous system.

"He will be alright and will return to normal. There is nothing to worry about," Asadul said.
He added that he had no idea what type of bullet had hit the journalist. Salahuddin is currently being treated at the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Teen facing prison may testify against mother

A young man is facing up to 10 years in prison for breaking into houses, but prosecutors have agreed to recommend a lightened sentence if the suspect testifies against his mother.

Patrick John Quinata, 19, was indicted for seven burglaries in 2011, and Superior Court
of Guam documents accuse him of stealing jewelry, a collection of silver and half-dollar coins, two Airsoft Pistols and at least real four guns -- including one assault rifle.

Earlier this year, Quinata pleaded guilty to burglary and theft, both as second-degree felonies, according to Superior Court of Guam documents. Quinata faces up to five years for each crime, his plea agreement states.

However, prosecutors offered to recommend a lightened sentence for the burglar if he testifies against his mother, Nalani Cruz Quinata, who allegedly profited from his crime spree.

Nalani Quinata is facing trial for charges of conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy to commit burglary and two counts of theft by receiving stolen property -- all as second-degree felonies.

Although she has been indicted, Nalani Quinata isn't in custody, and there is an outstanding warrant for her arrest, said Josh Tenorio, a spokesman for the Judiciary.

According to court documents, Nalani Quinata allegedly admitted to police that she sold the jewelry stolen by her son at pawn shops and used the money to purchase methamphetamine, or ice.

Defense Attorney Jeff Moots, who represents Patrick Quinata, yesterday said his client's story was a tragic one.

Moots said his client "fell in with the wrong crowd," after dropping out of school, and his mother didn't steer him back to an honest path. Since being allowed pre-trial release away from his mother, the man has started going back to school, Moots said.

"I can tell you that in my experience, if the parent is involved in illegal activity either passively or even overtly with a kid, usually the kid would not have been involved if not for the parent," Moots said. "It's always possible for kids to get into trouble when their parents are trying to set the example and raise them properly, but if your parent is encouraging you to engage in ... illegal activity, you almost don't stand a chance."

Patrick Quinata was to be sentenced during a court hearing yesterday morning, but the sentencing was delayed so the suspect will have time to testify if his mother is apprehended.

Patrick Quinata is due back in court on Sept. 19.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Football: CU Buffs' Jeff Thomas to grayshirt

The Buffs are counting on a large number of freshmen to play significant roles this season.
Jeff Thomas will not be one of them.

Jon Embree said the 6-foot-3 wide receiver from Dallas has returned home to deal with personal issues. Thomas plans to "grayshirt," which means he will delay his enrollment at Colorado until January.

CU's second-year head coach had already suspended Thomas for the first two games of this season due to his involvement in an airsoft gun incident with Boulder police just before fall camp began.

"When you walk through those (practice field) gates you've got to be able to think about ball," Embree said. "And I don't think he was at that point with some of those things. It was better for him to go back home and take care of some of that stuff."

Even though Thomas did participate in practices during this camp, Embree said the football program has worked "hand in hand" with compliance and he expects Thomas' eligibility clock to begin ticking with the 2013 season.

Thomas, who Embree expects to take classes at a junior college this semester, will not be suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season.

"Now he misses the whole year," Embree said. "It kind of evens out."
Gerald Thomas, a 5-11 freshman wide receiver from New Orleans, is expected to have an immediate impact for CU.

Paul Richardson, the Buffs' top pass-catching target, has already been ruled out for the first two games as the junior continues his recovery from last spring's ACL tear.

New starting quarterback Jordan Webb said after last Saturday's scrimmage that he has a lot of confidence in sophomore Tyler McCulloch and redshirt freshman Nelson Spruce.
Showdown ticket update

CU has sold 23,000 tickets to the public for the Sept. 1 opener against Colorado State at Sports Authority Field in Denver. Sports information director Dave Plati said CU has about 5,000
Click on any photo to see full gallery tickets remaining in its allotment for this year's Rocky Mountain Showdown.

CU has also sold about 5,000 student tickets and expects that number to double before kickoff, bringing the estimated total to about 34,000 overall tickets sold on the black and gold side of the rivalry.

The CSU ticket office has dropped the price for its student tickets from $30 to $25 and extended the deadline for purchase to Aug. 29. Only about 3,000 students have bought tickets to support the Rams so far.

As far as season ticket sales go, CU has sold about 23,000 to date, which is close to last year's number at this time.

Fresher and faster
After giving the Buffs Wednesday afternoon off instead of grinding through the final scheduled two-a-day of camp, Embree said his players responded with a crisp practice on Thursday.
"We're starting to get our legs back. Sharp practice today, a lot faster," Embree said. "We're starting to lose their camp legs and getting their game-speed legs going, so to speak."
Posted: 08/23/2012 06:06:01 PM MDT
August 24, 2012 12:26 AM GMTUpdated: 08/23/2012 06:26:42 PM MDT

Man sentenced for threatening teens

A 42-year-old Holbrook Highlands man was sentenced Wednesday to 62 days in Douglas County Jail for threatening a group of teenagers with a plastic Airsoft pistol, and drunk driving.

Neil Dettorre pleaded guilty to assault and driving under the influence stemming from the June 5 incident at Topaz Lake.

Officers were called to Topaz Park Road about 9:30 p.m. for a report of an intoxicated man walking with a [airsoft] gun, later following the reporting party in his truck.

Seven teenagers ages 13-16 were camping along the beach and saw a man described as Dettorre
park above them on the roadway. Four of them drove up the road to ask if the driver needed help.
They told deputies Dettorre allegedly pointed a [airsoft] gun at them and said, "Stay in the truck."

One of the four ran back to the campsite to call 911, and went to the Topaz Lodge from the campground.

Deputies arrived in two vehicles and found the pickup with Dettorre in the driver's seat, lights on, with the engine running and the vehicle blocking the roadway.

Dettorre was handcuffed and detained in a patrol car. He denied having a gun. The plastic airsoft pistol was shoved in between the driver and the passenger seat of his truck, according to reports.
His blood-alcohol content was .138, over the legal limit of .08.

East Fork Judge Tom Perkins sentenced Dettorre on Wednesday to 62 days in custody, and suspended 60 days for two years. He fined Dettorre $897 and ordered him to complete DUI school and attend a Victim Impact Panel.

He must abstain from drugs and alcohol, and may not have any firearms including [airsoft] replicas.

Dettorre is under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing for at least one year.

"You're going to be under supervision for awhile," Perkins said. "I've got to make sure you're OK."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mooseherd owner cleared; officers reprimanded

Underage drinking charges against a local business owner and two minors have been dropped.
Also, the two citing police officers in the case have been assigned more training by the police chief after not following procedure.

"The punishment for the officers is weak and they should suffer worse consequences like suspension, classes and all information being added to their permanent files so future law agencies know that they have a flaw as an officer," Frank Mucerino Jr. released in a statement to The Herald.

Dickson police cited Mucerino, Mooseherd Airsoft owner, in July with two counts contributing to underage drinking.

"(The officers) put my personal name and character on a citation and incident report full of lies and inaccurate information to which I would have been accountable for," Mucerino stated, "yet they do not have to be accountable for their mistakes and actions."

The patrol officers also charged William Hall, 18, of Burns, and Steven C. Smith, 19, of White Bluff, with underage consumption from the same incident.

The district attorney’s office dropped all those charges, however, after Mucerino filed a complaint against the citing officers for improper procedure and lying on their reports.

The district attorney’s office did not return calls about the dropped charges by press time.
Dickson Police Chief Rick Chandler also ruled the patrol officers, Val Duran and Rob Peeler, did not "properly follow procedure" during the July 8 encounter at Mooseherd Airsoft at 281 Dickson Plaza Drive.

"In my opinion the officers involved made terrible decisions on the scene and made many mistakes, some of which were not addressed or captured on audio," Mucerino continued. "They are a liability on the streets and are incapable as officers to make the right decisions when needed.

Chandler explained the officers coerced Mucerino into granting permission to search his business; omitted information from the incident report; found no evidence of underage drinking at the business; and that Mucerino wasn’t present at Mooseherd during the underage party.
Dickson Police Detective Don Arnold investigated Mucerino’s complaint about the officers’ misconduct, which culminated in an "internal hearing" Thursday. Chandler presided over the hearing.

Chandler "ruled against" the officers’ conduct during the July 8 incident, and assigned Duran and Peeler additional training on police search and seizure guidelines and "the laws concerning what they dealt with that night."

"They did not get permission to enter the business by free will," Chandler explained. "They used more coercion than what the law requires."

Chandler noted neither officer has received a complaint of this nature before. Peeler has served and protected the city for 13 months, and Duran for 10 months.
"You get complaints all the time on officers for doing different things, but that’s one of the things we stress," he continued. "Everybody has constitutional rights, and you can’t infringe on those, and if I find out you’re doing it we’re going to re-train you, make sure you get properly trained on how to do it."

Chandler explained officers can persuade suspects into granting permission for home and/or vehicle searches, but they can’t "coerce" the suspects into conceding that permission.
"And my opinion after listening to the tape and the testimony, it got to the point where it was not free will that (Mucerino) allowed them to come in," Chandler said.

The underage consumption citation also didn’t match Peeler’s incident report.
"Sometimes officers take shortcuts on doing reports," said Chandler. "They’ll say one thing in the narrative on their affidavit or the citation, and the report doesn’t reflect it that way.

"And that was an issue on this one that I had to deal with too, about proper training," he added.
The citation for Mucerino reported: "(Mucerino) stated that he was with two underage subjects while they were consuming alcohol." The incident report, however, doesn’t mention this allegation. The citation also listed the wrong law.

"He left some things out that he should have put in the report," Chandler explained. "We got a saying in police work, ‘If you don’t put it in writing it didn’t happen,’ because what I put on the affidavit of complaint should be exactly what I put in my report and vice versa."

Chandler, however, didn’t think the report and affidavit discrepancies were intentional.
"Because a lot of time what happens, a lot of officers write out and they do the report a couple of days later and they forget to put stuff in, and then that’s the problem with that," he noted. "I think (Peeler) waited several days to do the report and left some of the stuff out of the report that was in the affidavit."

The officers didn’t find any evidence (beer cans, beer bottles, etc.) of underage drinking at Mooseherd either. Any such evidence isn’t noted in the report or affidavits.

"There was nothing in the evidence, my understanding... that indicated there was drinking going on in the business," Chandler posited.

Mucerino wasn’t at the underage party July 8, but allowed a patron "to borrow his business," Chandler reported. Mucerino told the chief he arrived five minutes before police that night.
Chandler noted two minors had drunk alcohol "somewhere else" prior to the Mooseherd party. The chief said he wasn’t sure if any law regulated whether or not a person can allow someone over 18, but under 21, to drink in his/her presence if he/she didn’t furnish the alcohol or allow the minors to drink.

"To me, I think that’s still the debate whether or not you can actually charge," said Chandler. "I think you’d have a venue issue with the two boys who had been drinking in White Bluff who came here."

Herald article
The Herald published an article July 27 about the citations for underage consumption at Mooseherd and the complaint filed by Mucerino against the officers. Mucerino stated the article was a personal attack by The Herald.

"I think the situation was not handled in a timely manner by the Dickson Police Department, which in turn led to the information of an incident under investigation being released to The Dickson Herald," Mucerino said in the release. "The article that was printed by The Herald was in my opinion a personal attack by a paper lacking real facts and real news, and used my name and my business as a means to make me and my business look like we are in the wrong and have cost us money and business."

Incident reports and affidavits are public information.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ronnie Wynn, Alleged Car Thief, Caught On Tape Shooting Guns While Driving

A 23-year-old man accused of racing through the streets of Vancouver, Wa., while shooting a stolen gun out his car window may have a hard time denying the charges.

Especially since he posted a video of himself online with his gun blazing.

Officers arrested Wynn last month after he allegedly crashed a stolen car, but when they started investigating him further they found a video on Facebook showing him shooting a .45 while driving recklessly, KPTV-TV reported.

The video, which was filmed by a teenage girl riding shotgun, shows him passing a police car, pulling out a silver handgun and firing a shot out the window, before yelling, "You heard that? That's a .45 (expletive)."

Later in the video, you can hear the car tires squealing before the suspect pulls out another gun –- an airsoft rifle.

Wynn -- who calls himself "Ron Gotti" -- was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a stolen vehicle and outstanding superior and district court warrants.
In addition, charges of second-degree possession of stolen property, driving with a suspended license, making false statements and hit-and-run were referred to prosecutors, according to the Columbian newspaper.

But the hits just keep on coming.

While in jail, Wynn was also accused of residential burglary, second-degree theft, two counts of theft of a firearm, three counts of trafficking stolen property, forgery, second-degree identity theft, financial fraud and three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with an unrelated case.

According to court documents, Wynn stole a Ruger pistol, an assault rife, an Airsoft HK assault rifle replica, a wristwatch and checks from his uncle's home when the uncle was on vacation.
He unlawfully entered his uncle's home by slipping through a doggie door, and allegedly sold the firearms for cash, drugs and other property — including a game console and 9-mm pistol.

One of the videos that Wynn posted on his Facebook page showed a man who looked like him with a handgun on the floor between his feet, explaining that he got it after selling his uncle's firearms, police told the Columbian.

Wynn is locked up in the Clark County Jail and scheduled to go on trial on September 17.
Meanwhile, his mother, Carri Wynn, told KPTV-TV that she is is heartbroken over the video and how it makes her son look.

"My son is not a bad son," she said. "Ronnie is a good kid who went the wrong way."

Wynn's mother said he has had problems with drugs, got mixed up with the wrong people, but calls her every day from jail feeling "very remorseful" and "very stupid." 

"He wishes he didn't make the choices he did, wishes he wasn't were he's at," she said. "Don't judge. People make bad mistakes. Thank god he didn't hurt anyone."

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Police arrest 78, seize 178 guns over two weeks

Jakarta Police said on Friday that they had arrested 78 suspects in various crimes across the city in the first half of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan.

Included in the list of detainees were the suspects in the recent café raid in Pesanggrahan and those of the violent bullying at Don Bosco High School in Pondok Indah, both in South Jakarta.

“Of the 78 detainees, 36 were arrested for conducting raids, 26 for street crimes, seven for the Don Bosco bullying, three for robbing minimarkets, and six for armed robbery of bank customers,” police’s chief of operations Sr. Comr. Agung Budi Maryoto said.

Of the 36 arrested for conducting raids, 23 were perpetrators of the raid on De Most café in Pesanggrahan on July 28 -— two of whom are underage boys. The remaining 13 were arrested by the West Jakarta Police for a separate raid in the municipality, Agung said. “All 36 were arrested for criminal damage and publicly brandishing bladed weapons,” he continued.

As for the 26 arrested for street crimes, 16 were detained at the city police’s general crimes directorate and the remaining 10 at the East Jakarta Police office. The police did not disclose any details regarding their crimes other than saying that they involved “assault and breaking and entering”.

During the same period, the police also confiscated 178 guns, comprising 61 firearms and 117 airsoft guns. Fifty-two of the 61 firearms were handguns and the remaining nine were rifles.

Of the 117 airsoft guns, 40 were airsoft handguns and 77 were airsoft rifles. “We have also seized 2,030 live rounds and 67,506 airsoft gun BB pellets,” Agung said, adding that 17 suspects had been arrested by various police offices across Jakarta for crimes related to the confiscated guns.

Separately, police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said that the police could provide escorts for people transporting large sums of money in the days before the holidays, including for bank customers withdrawing large amounts from their accounts.

“The service is free of charge and is accessible by all,” he said, adding that the service was offered to prevent instances of robbery.

Reports say that an AK-47 police service rifle went off accidentally duringsuch an escort service at the Kelapa Gading Mall in North Jakarta. Rikwanto confirmed the incident took place when First Brig. RG was escorting money being transferred by PT Securicor from a retail clothing outlet at the mall.

The bullet struck the floor, causing shards of floor tiles to ricochet into the legs of Aditya Pradana, 31, and Ahmad Syakiri, 26, both of whom were transferred immediately to a nearby hospital.

First Brig. RG is currently being questioned at the city police’s internalaffairs division. The rifle and bullet casing have been confiscated.

— JP/Iman Mahditama

Friday, August 03, 2012

Supreme Court overturns search of Bellevue student's backpack was illegal

Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
August 2,
2012 · 5:18 PM

The State Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a 2009 search of
a student's backpack that yielded an airsoft gun and led to the conviction of a
student was not legal, because the school officer was acting in a law
enforcement role, requiring him to first obtain a search warrant.

According to a 6-3 court margin, Officer Michael Fry's
actions did not fall under an exception that allows school officials to search
students without a warrant, therefore the evidence should have been suppressed
at trial.

"At the time of the search, Fry was seeking to obtain
evidence for criminal prosecution, not evidence for informal school
discipline," Judge Susan Owens wrote in the majority opinion.

"Further, the search was not to maintain order because (the student) was
being removed from school regardless."

Court documents say that the student was arrested in 2009 in
the bathroom of Robinswood High School, a now closed alternative school, when
the school resource officer witnessed the student handling marijuana. The
officer was contracted from the Bellevue Police Department. He placed the
student under arrest, and while waiting for backup became suspicious of the
contents of the student's backpack. He then searched it and founded a replica
Beretta airsoft gun.

The student and his legal team did not dispute what was
found, but in the manner it was pursued. After losing the case at three
different levels, the Supreme Court was the first to agree with the student.
This is because previous cases indicate the officer was in
the right, the three dissenting judges wrote. The dissenting judges argued that
the school resource officer remains a school official whether he is acting in a
law enforcement capacity or not because he is working to maintain order within
the school for an infraction committed on its ground.

Furthermore, the judges argued, the ruling will put restrict
school resources officers and put more pressure on faculty to police students.
"Schools will now be dissuaded from using school
resource officers to detect and intercept violations of school rules or the
law," Judge Debra Stevens wrote in the dissenting opinion. "Instead,
teachers and other school administrators who have reasonable suspicion but lack
probable cause, must conduct such searches themselves. The constitution does
not demand such foolhardiness, nor is it necessarily conducive to respect for
student privacy."