Review Category : National News

Report: Sources Say Rice Told Goodell About the Punch

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Roger Goodell’s credibility is again being called into question after four sources told ESPN’s Outside the Lines that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice made it clear to the NFL commissioner that he punched his then-fiancee inside an Atlantic City casino elevator last February.

Goodell has said repeatedly that he did not learn the exact circumstances of the incident until viewing a surveillance video last Monday that showed Rice delivering a left hook to the face of Janay Palmer, who was knocked out cold by the force of the blow.

The sources insisted that Rice told the truth about what happened in the elevator when he was interviewed by Goodell. A fifth source, however, said Rice told Goodell he slapped Palmer, who he later married.

These new revelations, if true, raise questions as to why the commissioner initially gave Rice a two-game suspension, a decision roundly criticized as being too lenient. Goodell later amended the NFL’s policy involving domestic violence, increasing penalties on future offenders who commit domestic abuse.

However, Goodell and the NFL are clearly on the hot seat as to what they exactly knew about the Feb. 15 incident at the recently-closed Revel Casino Hotel and when they learned about it.

Meanwhile, the NFL said that it has authorized an independent probe into the entire matter to be headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Rice, who was cut by the Ravens this week and suspended indefinitely by the NFL, plans to appeal the decision by the league once he receives a letter that details the reasons for his suspension.

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Notorious High School Shooter Caught Following Escape from Prison

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(LIMA, Ohio) — T.J. Lane, who was serving multiple life sentences for a notorious high school shooting spree, was caught after escaping Thursday night from an Ohio prison, officials said.

Lane, who is now 19, broke out of the Allen Correctional Facility along with two other prisoners.

Officials are warning residents of Lima, Ohio, near the prison to not open doors to strangers or pick up hitchhikers. A police dragnet was moving through the town, and police asked residents not to tweet the location of officers.

Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish said Thursday that three prisoners, including Lane, had escaped the prison, but one was apprehended. Shortly before 2 a.m. on Friday, officials said that Lane had been taken back into custody.

No further details were provided about how Lane and the other inmates escaped.

Lane shot and killed three students at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012. He was sentenced to three life sentences.

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Sam Crish, Allen county Sheriff
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Notorious High School Shooter Caught Following Escape from Prison

allanswart/iStockphoto/Thinkstock

(LIMA, Ohio) — T.J. Lane, who was serving multiple life sentences for a notorious high school shooting spree, was caught after escaping Thursday night from an Ohio prison, officials said.

Lane, who is now 19, broke out of the Allen Correctional Facility along with two other prisoners.

Officials are warning residents of Lima, Ohio, near the prison to not open doors to strangers or pick up hitchhikers. A police dragnet was moving through the town, and police asked residents not to tweet the location of officers.

Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish said Thursday that three prisoners, including Lane, had escaped the prison, but one was apprehended. Shortly before 2 a.m. on Friday, officials said that Lane had been taken back into custody.

No further details were provided about how Lane and the other inmates escaped.

Lane shot and killed three students at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012. He was sentenced to three life sentences.

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Sam Crish, Allen county Sheriff
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Students at New Jersey Day Care Sickened After Accidentally Drinking Bleach

Monkey Business Images/Thinkstock(JERSEY CITY, N.J.) — Thirty students at a day care facility in Jersey City were sickened on Thursday after they a mistake caused them to drink a small amount of bleach.

The Jersey City Fire Department told ABC’s New York affiliate WABC that a substitute teacher or aide was providing the students with water, but accidentally used water from a bottle that contained a small amount of bleach used by teachers for cleaning. The incident occurred at The Growing Tree II Learning Center.

All 30 children were conscious and alert upon their arrival at Jersey City Medical Center, and none of them were believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

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Notorious High School Shooter Escapes from Prison

allanswart/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LIMA, Ohio) — T.J. Lane, who was serving multiple life sentences for a notorious high school shooting spree, escaped Thursday night from an Ohio prison, officials said.

Lane, who is now 19, broke out of the Allen Correctional Facility along with another prisoner, Clifford Opperud, 45.

Officials are warning residents of Lima, Ohio, near the prison to not open doors to strangers or pick up hitchhikers. A police dragnet was moving through the town, and police asked residents not to tweet the location of officers.

Lane shot and killed three students at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012. He was sentenced to three life sentences.

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Secret Service Nabs White House Fence-Jumper

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A dramatic scene unfolded at the White House Thursday as Secret Service agents raced to confront and apprehend a young man who broke the security perimeter.

“Drop down! Drop down!” Secret Service officers shouted, as they rushed across the North Lawn, their guns at the ready.

A man had jumped over the North Fence, triggering an urgent security response and causing the White House to be put on lockdown.

The man, who appeared to be in his 20s, wearing a gray T-shirt, dark shorts and a yellow Pokemon hat, sat on his knees on the grass. He resisted calls for him to lie down and was forcibly pushed and held to the ground by an agent, who quickly patted him down.

As the man was held, face down on the lawn, a large canine, held on a leash by another agent, barked frantically in the man’s face.

Moments later, the man, whose name has not been released, was led off the lawn with his hands cuffed and head hanging low.

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Inside a SWAT Prank Ring Allegedly Composed of Xbox Gamers

UConn Police Department(STORRS, Conn.) — The malicious prank of “swatting” — calling in false emergencies that send swarms of heavily armed cops to a school or home — is often perpetrated by Xbox gamers who occasionally hijack people’s Twitter or Facebook accounts and refuse to release them unless the victims make a swatting call, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

The affidavit cites the case of Matthew Tollis, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, who is accused of taking part in seven swatting calls. Tollis was allegedly part of a group that threatened to bomb the University of Connecticut, attack the home of an individual in Connecticut, create false threats to schools across the country, and in one ghoulish call told police that a man with an assault rifle was headed to the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, the scene of a notorious massacre of staff and first graders.

Tollis claimed to federal investigators that he began taking part in the swatting calls after he was targeted online by hackers who “doxed” him, a tactic of posting online all of his personal information, including Social Security numbers and passwords, and “pizza bombing” him, sending large numbers of pizzas to his house which he then had to pay for, according to the federal document.

“Tollis explained that he began to look for ways to protect himself and his family from online abuse,” FBI investigators wrote in the federal affidavit obtained by ABC News. He told the FBI he joined a group of gamers who called themselves “TeAM Crucifix or Die” (TCOD) because “it would discourage others from bullying him.”

The group’s membership allegedly includes gamers who live in the United Kingdom and use names like Verified, Jordy and Declaws, the affidavit states. Tollis used the name Hxrbor, according to the document.

Tollis, 21, was arrested Sept. 3, for his alleged role in the April 3 swatting call that claimed there was a bomb at the University of Connecticut. He is charged with three counts connected to the UConn incident as well as three counts of federal conspiracy and aiding and abetting.

When he was interviewed by investigators, Tollis said he was involved in a total of seven swatting calls, including calls to a high school in Texas, two in New Jersey and one in Florida, the document states. There were also threats made against Boston University and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Tollis denied making the calls himself, “but admitted that he had laughed in the background of the calls,” the affidavit states.

He also told investigators he knew about a host of others that the group allegedly perpetrated, including the call regarding Sandy Hook Elementary School, the document states.

“I was scared of being their next target so I did not inform the Authorities of their Actions,” Tollis wrote in the statement, according to the affidavit. “I stood by and watched as resources were wasted for hoax calls. I did so out of fear and regret associating myself with these people.”

The federal affidavit, filed Sept. 9 in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Connecticut, said “the group primarily consists of Microsoft X-Box players or gamers.” It described how a victim of doxing may have their personal identity details publicized or have their Twitter account taken over with the hackers “extorting individuals seeking to regain control of their Twitter accounting by requiring the individual to, among other things, send nude photos of themselves or calling the police to report an incident that would require specialized units like SWAT or the bomb squad to respond (swatting).”

Brian Krebs is a cybersecurity expert who has been swatted several times and said swatters carry out the pranks “for fun,” but said not only do the pranks divert vital resources that may be needed elsewhere, it is very dangerous.

“The problem is these police forces when they show up, they show up heavily armed. The police force that showed up at my home wasn’t a SWAT team, but had automatic weapons,” said Krebs, who runs a cybersecurity site.

“These situations can get very intense very quickly,” he said. “These guys come in and they’re pumped. They’re ready to respond to a high-energy intense situation and their fingers are on the trigger. This is going to be a bad situation at some point when they kick in a door and somebody is defending their home.”

Tollis, who could not be reached for comment, is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday and in state court later this month.

FBI has an open ongoing investigation and additional arrests are anticipated.

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Mom Regains Custody of Kids She Left in Hot Car During Job Interview

iStock/Thinkstock(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — An Arizona mom who left her two youngest children in a hot car says she’s making up for lost time now that she has regained custody of her kids.

“It’s great — a whole lot of family time going on, a lot of activities,” Shanesha Taylor, 35, told ABC News Thursday of the happy reunion.

Taylor was arrested in March after police found her two sons, now 1 and 2, alone inside her SUV while she was on a job interview in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her oldest daughter, now 10, was at school at the time. Taylor and her attorney Benjamin Taylor (the two are not related) reached a deal with prosecutors in July that would allow her to avoid prosecution.

Two weeks ago, Child Protective Services granted her custody of the children again.

“Even though we used to watch TV in different rooms, now we’re sitting together on the couch,” said Shanesha Taylor. “The time we missed apart, we’re definitely making up for that now.”

Taylor, whose case prompted an outpouring of support and debate about the struggles single moms face, is thrilled to have her kids back but says “it’s been a very long road.”

Her daughter has been teased at school, she said, prompting teachers to block Taylor’s name on the school computers.

“She was being picked on, had students telling her they saw her mom on TV, saying, why is your mom in jail?” Taylor said. “Students asking her, put your mom’s name in the computer, let’s see what comes up. It was rough.”

And she still hasn’t found a job.

“I am still looking. It’s been a little bit difficult. My impression is that others are a little reluctant to take that chance on me simply because of the media surrounding my case,” Taylor said.

She received more than $100,000 in donations after her story went viral and her attorney is working pro bono.

Taylor’s criminal charges will be dropped, pending conditions set by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, as part of her plea negotiation. The agreement includes parenting classes that she will take through January.

“Once the classes are completed, the case is officially dismissed,” Benjamin Taylor said.

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Mom Regains Custody of Kids She Left in Hot Car During Job Interview

iStock/Thinkstock(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — An Arizona mom who left her two youngest children in a hot car says she’s making up for lost time now that she has regained custody of her kids.

“It’s great — a whole lot of family time going on, a lot of activities,” Shanesha Taylor, 35, told ABC News Thursday of the happy reunion.

Taylor was arrested in March after police found her two sons, now 1 and 2, alone inside her SUV while she was on a job interview in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her oldest daughter, now 10, was at school at the time. Taylor and her attorney Benjamin Taylor (the two are not related) reached a deal with prosecutors in July that would allow her to avoid prosecution.

Two weeks ago, Child Protective Services granted her custody of the children again.

“Even though we used to watch TV in different rooms, now we’re sitting together on the couch,” said Shanesha Taylor. “The time we missed apart, we’re definitely making up for that now.”

Taylor, whose case prompted an outpouring of support and debate about the struggles single moms face, is thrilled to have her kids back but says “it’s been a very long road.”

Her daughter has been teased at school, she said, prompting teachers to block Taylor’s name on the school computers.

“She was being picked on, had students telling her they saw her mom on TV, saying, why is your mom in jail?” Taylor said. “Students asking her, put your mom’s name in the computer, let’s see what comes up. It was rough.”

And she still hasn’t found a job.

“I am still looking. It’s been a little bit difficult. My impression is that others are a little reluctant to take that chance on me simply because of the media surrounding my case,” Taylor said.

She received more than $100,000 in donations after her story went viral and her attorney is working pro bono.

Taylor’s criminal charges will be dropped, pending conditions set by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, as part of her plea negotiation. The agreement includes parenting classes that she will take through January.

“Once the classes are completed, the case is officially dismissed,” Benjamin Taylor said.

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New Memorial Honors Women Killed in Line of Duty Since 9/11

Photodisc/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) — A new “Living Wall of Honor” at the Arlington National Cemetery women’s memorial remembers the U.S. service members who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was unveiled Thursday on the attacks’ 13th anniversary.

The unique memorial is an arrangement of over 700 indoor plants, but 160 slots were left empty, one for each death. Volunteers and families then filled those cases with saplings, each bearing a photo of the honored dead. A veteran’s glee club resonated in the chamber.

“Nothing like this has ever been done before. There’s never been an organic memorial to our post-9/11 veterans,” Kristina Kaufmann of the Code of Support Foundation told ABC News.

The charity network helped organize the tribute.

“We’re honoring the fallen with the living; honoring the dead with the living. And that’s really what this is with these plants,” Kaufmann said.

Among them is Army Spc. Toccara Green, who received a Gold Star for her sacrifice in Iraq in 2005. Her parents, Gary and Yvonne Green, reflected on what it was like looking back nearly a decade later.

“After nine years, she had passed away, people still come out and support her,” Gary Green said. “And that makes me feel that her life was not, lost in vain. It really helps me out psychologically, so I really appreciate it.”

Added Yvonne Green: “Even though her life isn’t physically here, these plants are symbolic of the life she lived. They forever grow and continue to blossom on into more life.”

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