Review Category : National News

Missing College Student Shane Montgomery’s Keys Found in Schuylkill River

Courtesy Montgomery Family(PHILADELPHIA) — Keys belonging to a missing college student in Pennsylvania were discovered in the Schuylkill River, his uncle said Sunday.

The family of Shane Montgomery, 21, confirmed to ABC station WPVI-TV that divers found the keys near the river bank — the first physical clue to emerge in Montgomery’s Nov. 27 disappearance.

“They discovered a set of keys in the water. They brought them to the surface and brought them to us. I identified them as Shane’s,” his uncle Kevin Verbrugghe told WPVI-TV.

The keys were recovered in the river — not in a nearby canal where earlier searches were concentrated, Verbrugghe said.

The keys were attached to an Eagles lanyard.

“It’s just a piece to the puzzle. The puzzle is definitely not done,” Verbrugghe told WPVI-TV.

Montgomery, a student at West Chester University, hasn’t been seen since leaving a bar in Philadelphia’s Manayunk section early Thanksgiving morning after a night out with friends. The reward in Montgomery’s disappearance is now $65,000.

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Suspect Accused of Fatally Shooting Florida Police Officer, Then Running Him Over

iStock/Thinkstock(TARPON SPRINGS, Fla.) — Residents of Tarpon Springs, Florida, dropped off bouquets of flowers at their local police station Sunday to memorialize an officer who was shot and killed earlier in the day.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says veteran Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek, a father of five, was shot around 2 a.m. while responding to a noise complaint about a man banging on doors at an apartment building complex.

According to investigators, when Kondek arrived and exited his vehicle, the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Marco Antonio Parilla, walked towards the officer and opened fire.

Sheriff Gualtieri said Officer Kondek was wearing a bullet-resistant vest but “the round went in high above the bullet-resistant vest in his neck area, hit his spine and that was it.”

Police say Parilla got behind the wheel of a car and ran over Kondek as he fled the scene. Officer Kondek, 45, died from his injuries at a local hospital.

Parilla, who has a lengthy criminal record, was caught after a brief police chase and charged with first-degree murder.

The Tarpon Springs Police Department said Kondek was a 17-year veteran of law enforcement who had previously served five years with the New York Police Department before moving to Florida.

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Lightning Strike Injures 11 at NFL Game

Cliff McBride/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — Eleven people were hurt Sunday afternoon by a lightning strike in the parking lot of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at the conclusion of an NFL game between the Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers.

Authorities say it wasn’t a direct hit but was close enough to people leaving the stadium to knock several down.

A spokesman for Tampa Fire-Rescue said four of the injured drove themselves to the hospital while the other seven were transported by ambulance.

The injured ranged in age from 20 to 70.

Green Bay won the game.

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Surge in Cop Killings in 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The killing of two NYPD officers and a Florida police officer this past weekend appears to be part of a grim increase of officers killed in the line of duty.

Craig Floyd, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, says there’s been a 23-percent increase in officers killed in the line of duty compared to last year.

Floyd says 123 officers have been killed nationwide as of Sunday, compared to 100 at the same time last year.

Floyd says the number of officers killed by gunfire has increased by 58-percent over last year’s figure. Forty-nine officers have been killed by gunfire in 2014.

The NYPD says the two officers killed in Brooklyn were ambushed as they sat in their parked patrol car. Floyd says 12 police officers have been killed this year in ambush-style attacks.

The 2014 surge in cop killings comes after two years of decline in the number of deaths. Last year’s total of 100 officers killed nationwide was the lowest fatality figure since 1944.

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Supreme Court Denies Stay in Florida Same-Sex Marriage Case

Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Same-sex couples in Florida could get married as soon as next month after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to issue a stay.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi had filed for a stay while awaiting an appeal hearing before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court, however, decided by a 7-2 margin not to grant the stay. Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented, saying that they would have granted the application for a stay.

In a statement on Friday night, Bondi said that “regardless of the ruling it has always been our goal to have uniformity throughout Florida until the final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage.”

Despite her application for a stay being denied, Bondi said that “the Supreme Court has now spoken, and the stay will end on January 5.”

It’s not clear whether Florida clerks will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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UVA Holds Board of Visitors Meeting Regarding “Rolling Stone” Article

Alessandro Drago/iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors on Friday held a meeting to discuss the school’s reaction to the Rolling Stone article, which has come under criticism, describing a sexual assault case on campus.

The school’s President Teresa Sullivan said on Friday that the concerns about sexual assault didn’t start because of the article, noting the 2010 death of women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love at the hands of men’s lacrosse player George Huguely. The school also held a public forum on sexual violence in February 2013.

Sullivan also detailed the changes that the university plans to take by January 15 — the day fraternity rush begins. The changes fall into three categories — culture changes, prevention and response.

In terms of the school’s culture, Sullivan stated her continued frequent meetings with faculty and student groups, a recent Town Hall meeting on sexual assault, and continued review and revision of agreements involving fraternities and organizations.

In order to prevent sexual assaults, the school will upgrade the campus’ camera system, enhance lighting and crosswalks near campus, hire ambassadors to provide extra security, intensify University Police Department patrols and implement a “Buddies on Call” program to walk with students at night. Additionally, the school will make their safety app available for personal phones and evaluate and recommend improvements for after-hours student transportation.

Finally, Sullivan said, UVa plans to ask the Charlottesville Police Department to investigate the case described in the Rolling Stone article, hire additional counselors to help students who have been the victims of sexual assault and engage national experts to review their internal response process. Sullivan also mentioned that the school will consider a 24-hour call system to aid in ensuring protecting survivors is a priority.

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Staples Says Over One Million Payment Cards Affected by September Data Breach

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Staples says that more than one million customers’ credit and debit cards may have been affected by a September data breach at a number of its stores.

In a press release, the company provided an update on the breach, saying that malware had been deployed to point-of-sale systems at 115 of Staples’ 1,400-plus U.S. stores. Two stores were impacted between July 20 and Sept. 16, while 113 were believed to be affected from Aug. 10 through Sept. 16.

In total, the company believes that 1.16 million payment cards may have been affected.

Staples has offered free identity protection services and a free credit report to customers who used a credit or debit card at one of the affected stores during those time periods.

The company also said that its investigation remained ongoing, and that it has retained outside data security experts to investigate.

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Exclusive: Newly Released Ray Rice Video Shows Aftermath of Elevator Incident

Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Turns out there’s even more surveillance video Ray Rice doesn’t want you to see.

ABC News on Friday exclusively obtained a copy of the security-camera video that shows the ugly aftermath of the assault earlier this year when Ray Rice punched his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino and knocked her unconscious.

The nearly 45 minutes of never-before-seen footage shows a clearly distraught Janay Palmer, Rice’s then-fiancée and now wife, unwilling to talk to him after the NFL star had punched her inside an elevator on Feb. 15 at the now-closed Revel casino.

Palmer is seen physically pushing Rice away from her when he approached her immediately after the incident. Palmer was then protected by hotel security guards as Rice attempted to move closer.

The video then shows Palmer going through something of an emotional evolution in the middle of the night. Almost immediately after the assault, she appears angry. Soon after, Palmer begins to cry. And by the time she and Rice are both escorted into an elevator — handcuffed — she appears to kiss and nuzzle the one-time NFL star.

Both Rice and Palmer were arrested that night and charged with one count of assault each. The charge against Palmer was later dropped for “insufficient evidence,” while the charge against Rice was upgraded to aggravated assault.

The former Baltimore Ravens running back is a sports celebrity in New Jersey because of his college career at Rutgers. He was admitted to a probationary program that would allow the criminal charge to be dismissed next year. Once a video of the assault appeared online, the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The league’s penalty was later overturned.

Rice went to court to stop ABC News from obtaining the recording, but lost. Rice’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, was disappointed that the new video was made public.

“This is a time of healing and he, quite naturally, doesn’t want another media showing of what must have been the worst event of his life,” Ginsberg said in an interview Friday. “What the media ought to be focusing on is the issue of domestic violence and why the NFL never did anything to construct a personal conduct program that works and why the NFL ignored the issue of domestic violence. Showing yet another Ray Rice video is simply a distraction.”

During a two-hour hearing in Trenton, N.J., on Wednesday, Ginsberg said that Rice “literally does not talk to me about the events [at the casino] without crying — to this day.”

The new video shows hotel staffers concerned with Palmer’s condition, bringing a wheelchair to her in case she had trouble walking and then giving her first aid. It shows Rice agitated at times, being kept at a distance from Palmer and talking on the phone at one point.

By the time cops and hotel security are prepared to move the player out of the lobby area, Rice is handcuffed and led away by the arm. A cop can be seen pulling the hood of his sweatshirt over Rice’s head.

The startling moment comes in the elevator – the same or similar elevator as the one where the assault occurred – when Palmer stretches her neck so she can kiss and nuzzle Rice. The two are then walked separately to waiting police cars.

The new video was turned over to ABC News in response to a public-records request filed with the N.J. Gaming Enforcement Division.

Since winning his appeal of the NFL’s indefinite suspension, Rice has started re-emerging into public life. He appeared on NBC last month. On Thursday night, aware that the new video would be released, Rice appeared at a charity event in Baltimore and talked about the incident.

“I made a horrible mistake in my life, but if you truly believe in second chances, they will forgive me,” Rice said at the event. “I think all the fans have looked deep into who I am.”

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Exclusive: Newly Released Ray Rice Video Shows Aftermath of Elevator Incident

Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Turns out there’s even more surveillance video Ray Rice doesn’t want you to see.

ABC News on Friday exclusively obtained a copy of the security-camera video that shows the ugly aftermath of the assault earlier this year when Ray Rice punched his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino and knocked her unconscious.

The nearly 45 minutes of never-before-seen footage shows a clearly distraught Janay Palmer, Rice’s then-fiancée and now wife, unwilling to talk to him after the NFL star had punched her inside an elevator on Feb. 15 at the now-closed Revel casino.

Palmer is seen physically pushing Rice away from her when he approached her immediately after the incident. Palmer was then protected by hotel security guards as Rice attempted to move closer.

The video then shows Palmer going through something of an emotional evolution in the middle of the night. Almost immediately after the assault, she appears angry. Soon after, Palmer begins to cry. And by the time she and Rice are both escorted into an elevator — handcuffed — she appears to kiss and nuzzle the one-time NFL star.

Both Rice and Palmer were arrested that night and charged with one count of assault each. The charge against Palmer was later dropped for “insufficient evidence,” while the charge against Rice was upgraded to aggravated assault.

The former Baltimore Ravens running back is a sports celebrity in New Jersey because of his college career at Rutgers. He was admitted to a probationary program that would allow the criminal charge to be dismissed next year. Once a video of the assault appeared online, the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The league’s penalty was later overturned.

Rice went to court to stop ABC News from obtaining the recording, but lost. Rice’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, was disappointed that the new video was made public.

“This is a time of healing and he, quite naturally, doesn’t want another media showing of what must have been the worst event of his life,” Ginsberg said in an interview Friday. “What the media ought to be focusing on is the issue of domestic violence and why the NFL never did anything to construct a personal conduct program that works and why the NFL ignored the issue of domestic violence. Showing yet another Ray Rice video is simply a distraction.”

During a two-hour hearing in Trenton, N.J., on Wednesday, Ginsberg said that Rice “literally does not talk to me about the events [at the casino] without crying — to this day.”

The new video shows hotel staffers concerned with Palmer’s condition, bringing a wheelchair to her in case she had trouble walking and then giving her first aid. It shows Rice agitated at times, being kept at a distance from Palmer and talking on the phone at one point.

By the time cops and hotel security are prepared to move the player out of the lobby area, Rice is handcuffed and led away by the arm. A cop can be seen pulling the hood of his sweatshirt over Rice’s head.

The startling moment comes in the elevator – the same or similar elevator as the one where the assault occurred – when Palmer stretches her neck so she can kiss and nuzzle Rice. The two are then walked separately to waiting police cars.

The new video was turned over to ABC News in response to a public-records request filed with the N.J. Gaming Enforcement Division.

Since winning his appeal of the NFL’s indefinite suspension, Rice has started re-emerging into public life. He appeared on NBC last month. On Thursday night, aware that the new video would be released, Rice appeared at a charity event in Baltimore and talked about the incident.

“I made a horrible mistake in my life, but if you truly believe in second chances, they will forgive me,” Rice said at the event. “I think all the fans have looked deep into who I am.”

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LAFD Says Apartment Complex Fire Was Arson

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Fire Department determined on Thursday that the Dec. 8 apartment complex fire was an act of arson.

The fire destroyed a seven-story apartment complex that had been under construction, and also damaged at least one nearby structure and the 110 Freeway.

Investigators from the LAFD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Response Team say they have sufficient evidence to determine that the blaze was set on purpose.

The fire caused between $20 and $30 million in damages, just to the destroyed apartment complex.

Investigators are seeking information on two potential witnesses who were spotted in video footage taken the morning of the fire. Those two people are not considered suspects or persons of interest, the LAFD says.

“The work at the crime scene is finished, however our investigation is not over,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Carlos Canino said. “ATF will continue to work together with our state and local partners to investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice.”

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