Review Category : National News

South Carolina Boy Dies After Suffering Heat Stroke in Car

iStock/Thinkstock(LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C.) — A 3-year-old South Carolina boy died Sunday after he was trapped inside his family’s hot car.

Officials in Lancaster County say Logan Cox suffered severe heat stroke after climbing into the car last Wednesday.

Logan was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in North Carolina.

His mother, Amber Bender, says she’d been asleep when her son wandered out of the house with their pet dog. Bender reportedly woke up and saw the blinkers on her car flashing, and then found her son inside the car, passed out. The dog was already dead.

It is not yet known if charges will be filed.

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Chicago’s Holiday Toll Was 82 Shootings, 14 Deaths

Fuse/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — The spree of shootings in Chicago during the long holiday weekend reached 82 incidents and included 14 deaths, according to a tabulation of police reports.

That number marks a significant jump from the same period last year, despite an increase of “hundreds” of officers on the street to prevent violence.

“It’s groundhog day here in Chicago again,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday morning, in an apparent reference to repeated spasms of violence in the city.

Of the 14 fatalities, two were shot dead by police.

The Chicago police department released different statistics claiming the weekend saw 50 shootings that included nine fatalities.

The difference in the statistics is the difference in the time frame. Chicago police figures spanned a period from 6 p.m. Thursday as the long holiday weekend began to midnight Sunday. Figures calculated by ABC News’ affiliate WLS began at 4 p.m. Thursday to 3:30 a.m. Monday and totaled 82 shootings.

The violent weekend ended with a barrage of 21 shootings on Sunday, McCarthy said.

McCarthy said in a press conference Monday that the department had deployed “hundreds” more officers over the weekend in anticipation of holiday violence.

“The results were a lot of shootings and a lot of murders unfortunately,” he said. “Yesterday was the day that really blew it up for us in our strategy.”

“It all comes down to these guns: there’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out,” McCarthy said.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel put out a statement Monday afternoon calling the violence “simply unacceptable” and said that it “points out that we still have work to do”.

“This violence is unacceptable wherever it occurs in our city and all of us need to take a stand. The only way we will meet this challenge to our future is to join with one another and create a partnership for peace,” he said.

McCarthy, who served as a deputy commissioner for the New York police department and then headed the Newark, New Jersey police department before taking over Chicago’s squad, placed much of the blame on lax gun laws, citing unenforced punishments for illegal gun possession.

“Everyone asks me what the difference is between New York and Chicago and I can tell you quite simply: proliferation of firearms,” he said on Monday.

“There’s a greater sanction for the gang members to lose that firearm from their gang than there is to go to jail,” he said.

He said that during a chase, suspects in New York and Newark would throw away their weapons, but in Chicago they keep them and sometimes fire at police.

McCarthy said that gang members may face “severe beatings” and financial punishment from their gangs if they lose a weapon.

“Possession of a loaded firearm is not even considered a violent felony in state of Illinois,” he added.

McCarthy said that the police department’s records show 185 people have been murdered in Chicago this year, as compared to 196 who had been killed by this point last year — which marks a 6 percent drop.

A spike in homicides came in 2012 when the city’s murder rate jumped from 431 in 2011 to 500, according to Uniform Crime Reports. Emanuel has made combating gun violence one of his top priorities since being elected in 2011, and the murder rate dropped again in 2013 to 440 deaths.

Fourth of July weekend has been particularly violent in the past as well. WLS reported that 12 people were killed and 75 were injured during the same weekend last year, though that spanned more time since the national holiday fell on a Thursday in 2013 as opposed to a Friday this year.

At Monday’s press conference, McCarthy said that “we had the same level of shootings as we did last year, which is unacceptable.”

McCarthy said that there were eight instances where police officers either discharged their weapons or had shots fired at them.

He also noted that the police department has collected 3,400 guns in the city this year.

This weekend’s rash of shootings came just a week after the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance to put further limits on gun sales in the area.

The ordinance, which was backed by Emanuel and passed unanimously on June 26, would require gun stores to have video surveillance equipment to record the sales and try to stop “straw” sales, where individuals buy guns for friends or relatives who are banned from buying their own.

“Something has to happen to slow down the straw purchasing that happens in this state,” McCarthy said Monday morning.

Outrage was sparked just months ago when 45 people were shot over Easter weekend, a shooting barrage that left nine people dead.

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Calif. Lifeguard Drowns While Rescuing Swimmer

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — A beach lifeguard in Southern California drowned on Sunday while rescuing a struggling swimmer.

Ben Carlson, 32, went underwater when the two were hit by a huge wave.

The swimmer made it to shore safely while Carlson did not.

Twelve-foot swells hampered search efforts, and Carlson’s body was found three hours later.

Tom Gill, spokesperson for the United States Lifesaving Association, said, “For a professional lifesaver to lose their life in the line of duty like that is as rare as we could ever imagine.”

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Elderly Woman Fights Off Burglar with a Stick, Pot of Boiling Water

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — An 83-year-old Houston woman fought off an intruder this weekend with a stick and a pot full of boiling water after giving him a piece of her mind.

“I told him, I said, ‘What kind of momma you got that raised you up like this? You ought to be ashamed of yourself,’” Lillie McClendon, who celebrated her 83rd birthday two days before on Independence Day, told ABC station KTRK-TV.

McClendon had just come out of the shower and put a load of laundry in Sunday when she noticed a wide-open window and some things out of place, according KTRK in Houston.

“I couldn’t see his face, just his eyes like that. All he was asking about was, ‘Where’s the money at? Where’s the money at?’” McClendon said.

The intruder proceeded to choke her while demanding to know where she kept her money, she added.

That’s when McClendon says she fought back.

“Oh, shoot yeah. I got a stick and tried to hit him,” she said. “I had sausage on the stove. I put hot water on him.”

The intruder left without getting what he had come for, but not before receiving some minor injuries from McClendon, she said. McClendon’s family is relieved that the woman was able to emerge from the situation with only a few scrapes herself.

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Search Underway for Woman Who Leapt from Moving Vehicle

iStock/Thinkstock(BROOKVILLE, Pa.) — An intense search is underway for an emotionally disturbed Pennsylvania woman who leapt from a fast-moving car and vanished into the woods, family members said on Monday.

Susan Bachman, 37, whose family says she suffers from depression and anxiety, was being driven by her parents to a psychiatric center in Clarion, Pennsylvania, the morning of July 4 to be voluntarily committed when she unlocked the car door and jumped out of the moving vehicle.

The car was estimated to be traveling at 50 mph when Bachman made the jump as the vehicle moved west along Maplevale Road in Brookville, near I-80. She was able to roll when she hit the ground and fled into nearby woods. There have been no reports of Bachman’s whereabouts since.

Bachman’s parents called police immediately after their daughter jumped from the car, and the Pennsylvania state police search and rescue team scoured the area with a helicopter and search dogs for several hours. They located her cellphone and wallet, which contained her driver’s license, in an abandoned barn, Bachman’s brother William told ABC News on Monday.

“We are obviously incredibly concerned about my sister, we miss her and we are incredibly concerned about her and we are deeply hopeful that she has found shelter somewhere,” Will Bachman said. “My sister may be using an assumed name, she may be making up a story about her identity, she is potentially a risk to herself.”

Bachman believes it’s possible his sister may have gotten a ride in a car along the highway near the barn where her belongings were discovered. The family is concerned she may have suffered internal injuries when she exited the car.

Susan Bachman’s parents have created a website “findsusanbachman.com” with updates on the search and a link to a missing persons poster for their daughter. The Bachman family is encouraging visitors to the site to download the flyer and post it at gas stations throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

“We really want our daughter back,” Bachman’s mother Nancy said in a video statement.

“If you know where she is and you have contact with her please tell her that we love her and want her back very much,” Bachman’s father William added.

Anyone with information on Susan Bachman’s whereabouts is urged to email FindSusanBachman@gmail.com or call the Pennsylvania state police at 814-371-4652.

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Search Underway for Woman Who Leapt from Moving Vehicle

iStock/Thinkstock(BROOKVILLE, Pa.) — An intense search is underway for an emotionally disturbed Pennsylvania woman who leapt from a fast-moving car and vanished into the woods, family members said on Monday.

Susan Bachman, 37, whose family says she suffers from depression and anxiety, was being driven by her parents to a psychiatric center in Clarion, Pennsylvania, the morning of July 4 to be voluntarily committed when she unlocked the car door and jumped out of the moving vehicle.

The car was estimated to be traveling at 50 mph when Bachman made the jump as the vehicle moved west along Maplevale Road in Brookville, near I-80. She was able to roll when she hit the ground and fled into nearby woods. There have been no reports of Bachman’s whereabouts since.

Bachman’s parents called police immediately after their daughter jumped from the car, and the Pennsylvania state police search and rescue team scoured the area with a helicopter and search dogs for several hours. They located her cellphone and wallet, which contained her driver’s license, in an abandoned barn, Bachman’s brother William told ABC News on Monday.

“We are obviously incredibly concerned about my sister, we miss her and we are incredibly concerned about her and we are deeply hopeful that she has found shelter somewhere,” Will Bachman said. “My sister may be using an assumed name, she may be making up a story about her identity, she is potentially a risk to herself.”

Bachman believes it’s possible his sister may have gotten a ride in a car along the highway near the barn where her belongings were discovered. The family is concerned she may have suffered internal injuries when she exited the car.

Susan Bachman’s parents have created a website “findsusanbachman.com” with updates on the search and a link to a missing persons poster for their daughter. The Bachman family is encouraging visitors to the site to download the flyer and post it at gas stations throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

“We really want our daughter back,” Bachman’s mother Nancy said in a video statement.

“If you know where she is and you have contact with her please tell her that we love her and want her back very much,” Bachman’s father William added.

Anyone with information on Susan Bachman’s whereabouts is urged to email FindSusanBachman@gmail.com or call the Pennsylvania state police at 814-371-4652.

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Baby Dolphin Rescued After Washing Up on Florida Beach

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(CLEARWATER, Fla.) — An exhausted baby dolphin that washed up along a Florida coast is now recovering, officials said on Monday.

“The water was pretty choppy and the dolphin was very lethargic, very thin,” Kelly Richmond of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Swimmers at Redington Beach on the Gulf coast spotted the animal on July 4 and alerted authorities.

Some people tried to push the dolphin back to sea — a bad idea, Richmond said.

“That’s what we don’t want people to do,” she said. “Usually if they’re this close, it’s for a reason. When they’re sick, they strand themselves.”

The dolphin — a female about a couple months old — is being treated at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

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Chicago’s Violent Weekend Ends with 21 Sunday Shootings

Fuse/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Chicago’s holiday weekend ended with a crescendo of violence, with 21 shootings on Sunday alone, police said Monday.

Police did not release a total number of shootings for the three-day holiday weekend, but before Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy gave his figures for Sunday, Chicago had already counted more than 60 shootings and 11 fatalities.

“It’s groundhog day here in Chicago again,” McCarthy said, an apparent reference to repeated spasms of violence in the city.

McCarthy said in a press conference Monday that the department had deployed “hundreds” more officers over the weekend in anticipation of holiday violence.

“The results were a lot of shootings and a lot of murders unfortunately,” he said.

A spike in homicides came in 2012 when the city’s murder rate jumped from 431 in 2011 to 500, according to Uniform Crime Reports. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made combating gun violence one of his top priorities since being elected in 2011, and the murder rate dropped again in 2013 to 440 deaths.

McCarthy said that the police department’s records show 185 people have been murdered in Chicago this year, as compared to 196 who had been killed by this point last year — which marks a 6 percent drop.

Fourth of July weekend has been particularly violent in the past as well. ABC News affiliate WLS reported that 12 people were killed and 75 were injured during the same weekend last year, though that spanned more time since the national holiday fell on a Thursday in 2013 as opposed to a Friday this year.

At Monday’s press conference, McCarthy said that “we had the same level of shootings as we did last year, which is unacceptable.”

McCarthy said that there were eight instances where police officers either discharged their weapons or had shots fired at them.

He also noted that the police department has collected 3,400 guns in the city this year.

“It all comes down to these guns: there’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out,” McCarthy said.

This weekend’s rash of shootings came just a week after the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance to put further limits on gun sales in the area.

The ordinance, which was backed by Emanuel and passed unanimously on June 26, would require gun stores to have video surveillance equipment to record the sales and try to stop “straw” sales, where individuals buy guns for friends or relatives who are banned from buying their own.

“Something has to happen to slow down the straw purchasing that happens in this state,” McCarthy said Monday morning.

Outrage was sparked just months ago when 45 people were shot over Easter weekend, a shooting barrage that left nine people dead.

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Cops Searched Hot Car Dad’s Medical Records, Electronics

iStock/Thinkstock(MARIETTA, Ga.) — Police investigating the Georgia dad accused of leaving his son to die in a scorching SUV while he sexted women searched his medical records, electronics and family’s home for evidence in the case.

They seized and searched an iPhone 5, computer hard drive, thumb drive, memory card and DVD-R belonging to Justin Ross Harris for anything that shed light on his “finances, credit card debt, business information, life insurance,” family issues and more, according to search warrants released on Monday.

Authorities in Cobb County also had access to Harris’ and his son Cooper’s medical records, the documents show.

The warrants, dated June 27, reveal how police determined that Harris, 33, and his wife, Leanna Harris, had conducted Internet searches on animal and child heatstroke inside cars.

Prosecutors say that proves Justin Ross Harris, who faces felony murder charges for the June 18 incident, purposely left his 22-month-old son Cooper in the SUV to die of hyperthermia while he was at work at Home Depot.

His wife has not been charged with a crime.

Police also focused on the fact that Harris returned to his car during the day to drop off a box of light bulbs he bought during his lunch break, while his son boiled in the backseat.

A warrant to search the home shows police were looking to see if there were already enough light bulbs in storage at his home to “determine if there was a need to purchase light bulbs the afternoon of the incident.”

A judge denied Harris bond during a court hearing on Thursday on the basis that he could face the death penalty in the boy’s death.

Harris sat quietly in an orange jumpsuit during the three-hour hearing as a prosecutor portrayed him as a straying husband who wanted to live a “child-free life.”

Harris had exchanged explicit photos and messages with “multiple women,” including a 17-year-old girl, and was even sexting women on the day his son died, the prosecutor said.

A detective who testified also raised questions about Harris’ and his wife’s behavior on that day.

Cobb County Police Department Detective Phil Stoddard said the couple appeared unemotional and that Justin Ross Harris never shed a tear. When Leanna Harris went to pick up Cooper from the day care center, she was quick to say, “Ross must have left him in the car,” Stoddard said.

Witnesses who testified on Justin Ross Harris’ behalf said he was always gushing about his son, and that his hysterics upon finding the boy dead were “definitely genuine.”

Harris’ attorney, Maddox Kilgore, maintains that his client is a loving father who forgot to drop his son off at day care.

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Prosecutors: Minutes After Blast, Accused Boston Bomber Denied Role

FBI(BOSTON) — Minutes after twin explosions ripped through the Boston Marathon finish line killing three people, one of the accused bombers allegedly told a friend that he wasn’t to blame.

“Don’t go thinking it’s me you cooked bastard,” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev texted to college friend Azmat Tazhayakov an hour and a half after the April 15, 2013 bombings in what is the earliest known denial by Tsarnaev, according to prosecutors.

It would take three days for the FBI to release surveillance photos of Tsarnaev and his older brother — both then unidentified — as suspects in the bombing. A wounded Tsarnaev wasn’t captured by police until April 19, hours after his brother, Tamerlan, was killed in a police shootout in a sleepy Boston suburb.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly wrote an anti-American screed on the wall of a boat in which he was hiding in the last hours until he was captured, and in a partially redacted court filing, prosecutors said he “readily admitted” to his involvement in the blasts once in custody. However, Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges relating to the marathon attack, including the alleged use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Prosecutors made the new claim about the text message Monday in opening arguments for the trial of Tazhayakov, who, along with two other of Tsarnaev’s friends, has been charged with obstruction for allegedly removing evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the bombing.

Tazhayakov has pleaded not guilty and his defense attorney told jurors his client had nothing to do with tossing a backpack with fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev’s apartment into a dumpster as the government claims.

Prosecutors said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tazhayakov spent “every day” after the bombing together before Tsarnaev was arrested.

They also said Tsarnaev had bragged to Tazhayakov a month before that he knew how to build a bomb. But Tazhayakov’s defense attorney said that Tsarnaev “never told my client ‘I’m going to bomb the Boston Marathon.’”

Prior to the bombing, prosecutors said Tsarnaev and Tazhayakov ate together in a restaurant not far from their college campus when the subject of martyrdom came up.

“It was good to die with a smile on your face and go straight to heaven,” Tsarnaev allegedly said then.

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