Review Category : National News

Student Stuck in Mexico After Seeing Dying Mom Granted Visa to Return to US

alexskopje/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — A junior at Harvard University who is an undocumented immigrant has been granted a visa to return to the United States after he was stranded in Mexico while trying to save his mother with an experimental cancer treatment.

Dario Guerrero knew that he needed permission from U.S. Customs and Immigration to leave the country, but because of his mother’s deteriorating kidney cancer, he felt he couldn’t wait for an official response any longer, his lawyer said.

“The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service did a great thing just a few minutes ago and they granted and approved Dario’s humanitarian parole visa request so he can return to America. He should be back in America in a few days,” Guerrero’s lawyer, Alan Klein, told ABC News Tuesday.

Guerrero, 21, said he drove down through Tijuana because he wanted to see his dying mother.

“I thought immigration was being so obtuse about my case. And I decided to take my risk and deal with the consequences later,” Guerrero told ABC News earlier Tuesday, before he learned that he had been granted a humanitarian parole visa.

Guerrero’s mother died in August and he was trying to get back to the United States for another major family event: the birth of his first child.

“He acted impulsively,” Klein said, also noting that his client’s baby’s due date is Monday.

“I didn’t think it would take this long,” Guerrero told ABC News. “I thought I’d be back in time for fall semester. I’ve learned a lot –- but I’m glad I made this decision.”

Guerrero’s parents brought him to California when he was 2 years old, becoming undocumented residents when they overstayed their tourist visas, his lawyer said.

He didn’t learn of his immigration status until he was 16, when the community college where he was taking courses flagged up that there was a problem with the Social Security number that he submitted. Guerrero detailed how he navigated the stressful application process and eventually got a full scholarship to Harvard in an article for The Washington Post.

When his mother’s health deteriorated dramatically this summer, his attention turned from his film studies major at Harvard to his family in California.

His mother returned to Mexico in July “to receive treatment that she wasn’t able to get or afford in America because she was undocumented,” Klein said, and though Guerrero stayed at home in California with his father and two younger siblings, her condition began to deteriorate.

Guerrero applied for a parole exception, but did not want to wait any longer for a response.

“His father told him, ‘Go be with your mother on her dying day,'” Klein told ABC News.

Colin Manning, a spokesman for Harvard, confirmed that Guerrero is a student at the school, “but federal student privacy laws prohibit me from commenting further.”

“While I cannot comment on any specific student, generally speaking, Harvard works to ensure it is doing what it can to support its students both on and off campus since it is our goal that all students complete their undergraduate education,” Manning said in a statement to ABC News.

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St. Louis Police Say Gunshot Residue Found on Teen Shot by Police Officer

Rex_Wholster/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — The Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced on Tuesday that lab results indicate that Vonderrit Myers, the 18-year-old shot and killed by a police officer in south Saint Louis on Oct. 8, had fired at the officer.

Police had initially claimed that Myers had been armed and had fired at the officer first, while friends and family had disputed that claim. Tuesday’s lab results indicated that gunshot residue was found on Myers’ hand, on his shirt and inside the waistband and pockets of his jeans.

Protesters have continued to gather in nearby Ferguson after the shooting deaths of Myers and Michael Brown, 18, by police officers have stoked racial tensions in the region. At least 19 people were arrested on Monday during ongoing protests.

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Cellphone Video Captures Aftermath of Chicago-Bound Bus Crash

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) — Traffic was snarled for hours Tuesday on a busy Indiana highway after a double-decker bus traveling from Atlanta to Chicago flipped on its side, injuring dozens.

Authorities said that a little before 5 a.m. near Indianapolis, the bus — operated by Megabus — had attempted to avoid a stopped vehicle that had been in a previous crash on Interstate 65.

As the bus swerved, it overturned. Authorities said the bus was carrying about 60 people.

One passenger was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition but no life-threatening injuries were reported.

Bus passenger Craig Steichen of St. Charles, Illinois, said he was sleeping when the crash occurred. Steichen took cellphone video of emergency responders treating passengers.

“The scariest moment was…I guess when I was rolling around not knowing what was going to happen. …I don’t know how many times it (the bus) rolled over but I know I moved about three or four different times,” he told ABC News station WLS-TV in Chicago.

Steichen suffered a skin burn on his forehead.

He said that it had rained the entire bus ride. State Police said weather likely played a role in the accident.

A second Megabus was sent from Louisville, Kentucky, to transport passengers to their final destination.

Megabus “will be providing assistance and support for all of our customers involved in this incident,” said spokesman Sean Hughes. “Safety is our absolute priority and we are assisting the authorities with their investigation into the circumstances of the incident.”

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Sightings of Armed Clowns Continue to Spook California Residents

iStock/Thinkstock(BAKERSVILLE, Calif.) — Sightings of scary clowns armed with machetes or baseball bats continue, putting some California residents on edge.

But police said they hope the pranksters, or whoever is behind the scary phenomenon, are ready to retire their spooky costumes.

Bakersville resident Erica Kern told ABC News she drove past a clown in the passenger seat of another car on Monday after seeing reports of the masked jokesters terrorizing residents in her city and nearby Wasco.

“It didn’t scare me but it made me do a double take,” she said. “I saw a flash of bright red and orange out of the peripheral and saw this frightening clown mask. It didn’t scare me but it certainly could send someone to swerve.”

“It doesn’t help that Halloween is right around the corner, so there are clown masks readily available,” she added.

Social media accounts using the name “Wasco Clown” claim to be linked to the pranks, but police said they were unaware of any connection. Instagram photos show scary clowns posing in different landmarks in Wasco, Delano and Bakersfield, and the snapshots include taunting captions like “come out and play” and “It’s funny you guys think I got arrested.”

Another Bakersfield resident, Cory Ferrier, told ABC News his mom sent him a text message to warn him about the clowns after seeing the Instagram photos on the news.

“I didn’t really hear about it until my mom texted me to make sure I was OK,” he said. “From what I saw, it just seems to be kids running around in clown costumes.”

Bakersfield police told ABC News there have been 20 reports of scary clowns, including some who reported the clown was armed with a machete or baseball bat, but the last sighting was on Saturday. Sgt. Joe Grubbs said he hopes the hoax is over.

Sgt. Ian Chandler of the nearby Kern County Sheriff’s Department in Wasco said his department had also received several phone calls about clowns, but the last report was also on Saturday.

Despite the 911 calls, police say the clowns weren’t generally engaging in criminal activity. There was only one arrest, of a juvenile, last week in Bakersfield. He was allegedly chasing other juveniles while dressed as a clown, and told police he was doing it because of a hoax he had seen online.

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Man Won’t Take Down Obama Tombstone, Despite Anger

iStock/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY) — An Oklahoma man doesn’t think he’ll remove a mock-bloody gravestone for President Obama from his Halloween lawn exhibit despite an offended neighbor and online anger.

The uproar over Dwayne Dockens’ Obama tombstone went public after Jamilla Phillips, a neighbor who moved to Edmond, Oklahoma, less than a year ago, complained to a local TV station, ABC News affiliate KOCO in Oklahoma City.

“Regardless of your political views, Democrat or Republican, he is the president of the United States,” Phillips told ABC News, while declining to provide her political affiliation. “I just think it was disrespectful not just to me, but [Obama].”

The coverage of Phillips’ complaint prompted a reaction from local Democrats.

“It’s disrespectful and completely unpatriotic in a time of worldwide conflict,” Dana Orwig, vice-chairwoman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said in a prepared statement. “We need to stand behind our country and president. But it’s also typical of the intolerant and the hypocrisy that we see so often.”

Dockens told ABC News that he apologizes if anyone was upset, but that he now is less inclined to take down the front-lawn exhibit because Phillips did not confront him directly about it. He said he learned about the complaint when KOCO News asked to interview him.

“This could have been settled over an afternoon talk,” Dockens said. “It’s ridiculous what this has evolved into.”

Dockens said he set out his tombstone decorations, featuring silly phrases such as “Ima Gonner,” on his front lawn as he has for the past three years without receiving any complaints. The Obama stone features Obama’s name with lines of painted blood dripping over it and a question mark where his birth date should be, referencing a past controversy surrounding the president’s date and origin of birth.

Dockens said the signs were meant as a joke, not to disrespect anyone.

“Just kind of something we thought was humorous for the time,” he said.

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Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Cabin Walls Buckle

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) — A Dallas-bound passenger plane made an emergency landing Monday after the walls inside the cabin began to buckle and crack shortly after takeoff from San Francisco.

“There was really loud popping and banging coming from the outside of the plane in quick succession and working its way in, so it was bang, bang, bang, bang, bang and then the interior panels started buckling in,” passenger James Wilson, 32, told ABC News station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

Wilson was one of 184 American Airlines passengers aboard who watched in fear as the walls buckled midair. Fellow passenger Yvonda Little said she was praying for her life.

“I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it, but a little prayer [and] we made it,” Little told KGO.

Passengers reported the incident to the crew, after which the pilot turned the flight around.

“It took a lot of convincing. These passengers basically said, ‘No, you need to come over and take a look at this,’” Wilson recounted. “We were very thankful when they changed their mind to turn around and actually make an emergency landing.”

The Boeing 757 departed San Francisco Monday afternoon headed for the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, but an hour into the flight, the pilot reported a “pressurization problem.”

American Airlines said the incident had nothing to do with pressurization, but instead was a cosmetic problem caused by a possible blown air duct along the wall that pushed the cabin panels apart.

The structure of the jet remained solid. No injuries were reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident to understand what caused the walls of the plane to buckle and correct any underlying issue.

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Dallas Nurse Battling Ebola Says She’s ‘Doing Well’

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) — Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola while treating a Liberian patient who died of the disease, issued an upbeat statement Tuesday saying that she is “doing well.”

Pham has received a potentially life-saving transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, the missionary doctor who beat the virus two months ago, ABC News has learned.

Brantly flew to Dallas on Sunday, one day after Pham tested positive for the virus, sources said. He donated his blood, packed with antibodies that should fight the disease.

Pham, 26, expressed her gratitude Tuesday in a statement issued by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where she worked and is now a patient.

“I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers. I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world here at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas,” she said in her statement.

Hospital CEO Barclay Berdan said the hospital staff “are working tirelessly to help her in this courageous fight.”

Members of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Fort Worth, Texas — the church that Pham’s family attends — held a special mass on Monday. Rev. Jim Khoi said the family remains hopeful.

“She’s doing well, she’s being treated very well, and she feels comfortable,” Khoi said.

Brantly’s blood donation was welcome information for Pham’s family and friends, Khoi said. “I think that is very good news right there,” he said.

As the 26-year-old remains in isolation, health officials still aren’t sure how she contracted Ebola.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doubling its manpower at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, and Director Dr. Thomas Frieden says the agency is reconsidering its approach to Ebola.

Pham may not be the only person that became infected while treating Duncan, Frieden said.

“It is possible that other individuals could have been infected,” Frieden said.

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Polo Mogul Was Disoriented, Not Drunk, in Fatal Crash, Girlfriend Testifies

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — The girlfriend of a multimillionaire polo mogul accused of manslaughter took the stand in her boyfriend’s defense Monday, claiming he was disoriented, not drunk, after a deadly 2010 crash.

John Goodman crashed his Bentley into a Hyundai driven by Scott Wilson, 23, sending the Hyundai into a canal in Wellington, Florida. Wilson, a recent college grad, died in the accident.

Heather Hutchins, whom Goodman tried, unsuccessfully, to adopt in 2011 to purportedly protect his wealth, claimed she took Goodman to the hospital the night after the accident.

“That night before, he could barely move,” she said.

Palm Beach County prosecutors pressed Hutchins on the name of the hospital.

“I’m not positive,” she said.

The prosecution also asked why Hutchins failed to mention the hospitalization in three previous sworn statements. “That’s what I remember. That’s what I remember today,” she said.

Three hours after the crash, Goodman’s blood alcohol level was 0.177, or more than twice the legal limit, according to prosecutors. But he only began drinking after the accident, not before, Hutchins argued.

Candice Freel, a bystander who arrived at the accident scene after Goodman fled, also testified Monday, tearing up as she recalled being unable to save Wilson, who drowned after the crash.

“I wanted to go in,” she said, “because someone was in there.”

Goodman was convicted of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in 2012 and sentenced to 16 years in prison, but the conviction was thrown out because of juror misconduct. The retrial began Saturday, and continues today.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said the jurors will have to decide whether he was drunk.

“The most important question is, was Goodman drunk when he crashed into that car?” Abrams said. “If the jury believes he was drunk when he got behind the wheel, it has to convict.”

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Dramatic Ocean Rescue Captured on Camera

iStock/Thinkstock(DEPOE BAY, Ore.) — A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter came to the rescue of a group of hikers in Oregon who became stranded on an island of rocks with 15-foot waves crashing around them.

The hikers were climbing the rocks in Fogarty Creek near Depoe Bay, Oregon, Saturday when the incoming tide left them stranded.

“It’s very common for people to walk out at low tide,” Coast Guard Capt. Todd Trimpert said. “When tide comes in, it comes in very rapidly.”

Three of the eight hikers managed to swim to shore on their own, aided by bystanders who formed a human chain to help pull them out of the water.

Video captured by eyewitness Ray Felle shows a line of people with their arms linked trying to reach people in the water.

One of the bystanders reportedly used CPR to revive one of the female hikers.

“If it wasn’t for those two guys going out to help and those other three extending their arms, that girl would have surely died,” Felle told ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland.

Once the Coast Guard helicopter arrived, the remaining five stranded hikers were pulled up from the rocks and flown to the beach.

One person was taken to a local hospital for treatment, rescue officials told KATU.

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Nineteen More Arrested During Protests in Ferguson, Mo., on Monday

digicomphoto/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Police announced the arrest of 19 people on Monday afternoon in connection with protests related to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9.

According to the Saint Louis County Police Department, six people were arrested near the site of the August shooting for refusal to disperse. Those people, police say, were “related to the Ferguson protests,” and were arrested due to concern for the safety of protesters and vehicular traffic.

An additional 13 people were arrested at the Ferguson Police Department for disturbance of the peace. Police say those 13 people told officers that they wanted to get arrested. They were only arrested after “bumping police officer’s shields and eventually forcing through the police skirmish line,” a media advisory said.

The identities of those arrested were not immediately released. About 800 to 900 demonstrators marched through Saint Louis overnight Sunday into Monday.

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