Review Category : National News

Driver Spray-Painted ‘Head-to-Toe’ in Gold Surprises California Officer Who Pulled Him Over

CHP – Oakland(OAKLAND, Calif.) — A state cop was “surprised” to encounter a driver “covered head-to-toe in gold spray paint” during a recent traffic stop in Oakland, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver, identified by the California Highway Patrol as 21-year-old Damaj Cook, had been driving eastbound on I-80 Wednesday evening when an off-duty CHP officer saw Cook “hit three different vehicles and continue to drive off,” public information officer Sean Wilkenfeld told ABC News today.

The off-duty officer followed Cook to a ramp where one of Cook’s wheels fell off, forcing him to stop, Wilkenfeld said.

“We did have a broadcast on the CHP radio describing the driver as ‘gold,’ but the officer had no idea that ‘gold’ meant he was covered completely in paint,” Wilkenfed said. “It was certainly a surprise.”

Cook explained that his gold look had been for a photoshoot, Wilkenfeld said.

Cook was arrested and booked that evening into Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of hit-and-run and driving under the influence of drugs, Wilkenfeld said. He added that he was unsure whether Cook was still in custody as of Friday.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the Santa Rita Jail, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for information, and a search on the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office online inmate locator did not return any records for Cook as of Friday morning.

It was not immediately clear whether Cook has obtained a lawyer or whether he has entered a plea.

The Alameda County Superior Court’s criminal records office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for information.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Infamous ‘Beer Can House’ in Texas Has Been Sold

iStock/Thinkstock(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Forget Budweiser. As far as Louis Torres is concerned, he is the king of beers. And his castle? Built of aluminum cans.

For at least two decades, something’s been brewing at his home in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I drill a hole in the bottom and then I start cutting,” Torres, 68, told ABC affiliate WFAA of his technique for cutting his beloved beer cans into aluminum adornments.

He’s proud of the thousands of beer cans that adorn his house and yard. Now retired from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Torres does all the drinking, and the decorating.

“Just something for me to do. I’m retired,” he told the station. “Sit at home, drink beer, and watch TV.”

But all of his ideas and visions have a beginning.

“I started on the tree, and then from there, I went up to those trees up there, and then after that I went up to the fence line,” he explained.

Torres’ house is the only one left on his block due to redevelopment, though. Now he says it’s time for a change.

“I was gonna have to go because they’re buying everything up around here,” said Torres.

The beer can builder will move from his aluminum creation in a few weeks, but he already has plans for his next property.

“All I got to say is the beer can house will be back,” he said with a laugh.

And obviously, so will his Milwaukee’s Best and Miller Light.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

‘The Wolfpack’ Brothers Talk Places They’ve Been, People They’ve Met and Girls

ABC News(NEW YORK) — When the Angulo brothers talk about their world travels, they describe them in the best way they know how — comparing cities like Rome and London to scenes from their favorite movies.

“We’ve traveled all over the U.K. to ten different cities,” Mukunda Angulo, now 21, said. “A lot of the spots in London reminded us of films such as ‘Oh Lucky Man,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ or even some of the ‘Batman’ films that were shot.”

“Switzerland, it reminded me of ‘Taken,’ the film Liam Neeson stars in,” he added.

A lot has changed for the brothers since they first left the New York City apartment where they had spent their entire childhoods behind locked doors.

For more than a decade, Mukunda, Govinda, his twin Narayana, who are both 23, Bhagavan, 24, Krisna, 19, (who now goes by Glenn) and Jagadesh, 17, (who now goes by Eddie) shared an apartment with their older and only sister Visnu and their parents, Oscar and Susanne, in a housing project located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Until six years ago, the six brothers were rarely let outside.

Their unusual upbringing became the subject of the documentary, “The Wolfpack,” which focused on the six brothers, then ages 11 to 18. In the film, their father Oscar explained his fear of the outside world and paranoia of other people.

Watching movies was the one privilege that their father allowed, the brothers said. It not only became an escape for them, but the brothers said it’s how they learned about the world beyond the family apartment.

The documentary, which won the Grand Jury prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and is nominated for Best Documentary at the upcoming MTV Movie Awards, showed how the brothers would copy down and memorize entire movie scripts, then act out scenes in elaborate homemade costumes.

Since ABC News’ “20/20” first aired their story and the documentary premiered last June, the brothers said they’ve had to deal with their own fame and say they often get recognized on the street.

“Everybody’s reaction has been super-positive,” Mukunda continued. “If they’ve had a hurtful past or childhood, they’ve said the film has helped them heal and grow forgiveness in their hearts to keep moving forward. So, that’s been a positive influence.”

They’ve met celebrities from actor Mark Ruffalo to directors David O. Russell and Spike Lee along the way — “20/20” introduced them to Robert De Niro, one of their idols. Govinda, Mukunda, Narayana and Eddie have been traveling the world for premieres of “The Wolfpack” documentary.

“We just traveled around Rome and so many memories were popping up from our childhood,” Giovinda said. “We were remembering being fans of neo-realism cinema from Italy when they were hiring non-professional actors there, so we were nerding out and one of the most amazing things we’ve experienced is going to the Vatican. It’s almost a whole other world.”

Back then, crisscrossing the globe seemed like a fantasy for them, but since “The Wolfpack” premiered, their lives have changed drastically.

“It’s been really fun,” Govinda said. “This movie has opened up a lot of doors for us and it’s given us so many opportunities and we’re really just so proud of how far this has come.”

Govinda is now a camera operator and freelance cinematographer, and Narayana works at the nonprofit New York Public Interest Research Group. Bhagavan is a yoga instructor and attends the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory. Mukunda is a freelance production assistant, while Glenn and Eddie are aspiring musicians who love 80’s music and culture.

“The main thing I’ve been up to is I now have a band named Autowreck and we play rock and roll,” Eddie said.

Two of the brothers moved out of that apartment and now live in Brooklyn — their other siblings still live with their parents. Their mother Susanne remains married to Oscar, but she has changed her last name back to her maiden name.

“She’s doing really well,” Govinda said.

One of their signature traits was the brothers all had long hair down to their waists because they said their father believed it gave them power. Cutting their hair, they said, is considered a big deal and some of them have cut it, but Narayana just had his cut recently.

“He cut his hair with a ‘Serpico’ look and he is now living in Brooklyn,” Mukunda said.

“He felt that it was time,” Govinda added. “Because as you move out of the house and you start pursuing other things.”

Since first leaving the apartment, the brothers have experienced many firsts. In May 2015, ABC News’ “20/20” brought their mother Susanne and the seven children to Three Oaks, Michigan, for a family reunion, where the Angulo kids met their grandmother and other relatives for the first time. Mukunda said they have gone back to visit and their mother continues to be in touch with them.

“We visited our grandmother’s house in Michigan two times, one for Christmas and one for her 90th birthday,” he said. “Those two times, I’ve been parking everybody’s cars, which feels pretty amazing. It’s tricky at first, but I’m learning to drive a car.”

Mukunda also gave a TedxTeen speech this past January, entitled “How My Imagination Set Me Free.”

“It was the first time that I ever told my story alone. And, I talk about the power of imagination, and how it was a freedom in my life to go anywhere, be anything and do anything that I wanted in my head,” he said. “It was like a release for me to go up on stage and talk in front of these people and everybody was so touched by it. It felt great coming off the stage feeling like I got my message out to people.”

But besides these new experiences, the brothers are also tackling another new territory: Girls.

“There’s been a couple of romances in our lives,” Govinda said. “We’re not going to get specific with it. Eventually when you meet people, you find someone and you just connect with them and the same goes for friendship.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Mystery Man Buys Lunch for Over 30 National Guard Troops

Courtesy John Vanaman(ROCKFORD, Mich.) — A stranger paid the lunch bill for a group of National Guard troops on Wednesday in Rockford, Michigan, but left before the troops could thank him.

“He did it in the good of his heart,” said John Vanaman, general manager of the Corner Bar restaurant where the troops ate. “He didn’t mention why or anything. He just wanted to cover everything.”

When the troops first walked in for lunch after training at the nearby Belmont Armory, Vanaman and his staff were trying to orchestrate how to seat them and what kind of discount to give them — all while taking care of the busy lunch crowd, Vanaman explained.

Then a customer requested to speak with the manager.

“The patron said he wanted to cover the entire bill for the troops,” Vanaman said. “We asked him a couple of times to make sure, and he intended to cover more than what it ended up being.”

The bill came out to $179.92. The man paid around $200 with tip, according to Vanaman.

“It’s always surprising when something nice happens like that,” Vanaman said.

The man requested that no one know of his identity and he left before the troops could say thank you.

The troops were all “gracious” and “overwhelmed by the thought of someone doing such a nice act,” Vanaman said.

Lieutenant Colonel William Humes, spokesman for the Michigan National Guard, told ABC News that it’s always very “gratifying” and “humbling” when a stranger pays the tab for servicemen and women.

“It shows that we’re still appreciated,” he said, adding, he’s “nothing but grateful.”

Vanaman and the staff at Corner Bar were also touched and are planning a catering event at the armory for all the troops who didn’t get a chance to come that day. The restaurant is covering the bill.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Missing Alaskan Seal Found in California Resident’s Front Yard

The Marine Mammal Center(FREMONT, Calif.) — One seal pup was really lost.

A 9-month-old northern fur seal was supposed to be in Alaskan waters, but was recently found in Fremont, California, according to its rescuers.

The seal was seen crossing Oswald Road in Fremont on Thursday morning, according to Fremont Police Department spokesperson Geneva Bosques.

“We got a call from a resident saying she needed assistance because there was a seal trying to cross the road,” Bosques told ABC News. “Two patrol officers and an animal service officer responded and found the little [seal] on the other side of the road in someone’s front yard near a bush.”

The officers nicknamed the pup “Ozzie” after the street she was found on, but they soon found out the pup’s real name was Kumofer, according to a responder from The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC). It turns out this isn’t the first time she’s been rescued.

“Upon closer inspection, the responder discovered that the seal had an ID tag on its flipper,” TMMC public affairs specialist Laura Sherr told ABC News in a statement.

Kumofer was originally rescued last November after she was found stranded and malnourished on a beach in Capitola, California, according to TMMC’s head veterinarian Dr. Shawn Johnson, who is currently overseeing her care.

Earlier this month, Kumofer was released in Boedga Bay, California. She was supposed to join about 100 other seals traveling north to Alaska, Johnson said.

But instead, it looks like the pup traveled over 100 miles south to the middle of Fremont, he said.

Though Kumofer appears to be “visually active and bright,” she’s “very emaciated,” Johnson said. The center will be conducting various physical exams to make sure she doesn’t have any hidden wounds or infections.

Once Kumofer puts on more weight and is deemed healthy, the center will be able to evaluate if and when she will be released back to the wild, Johnson said.

The doctor said it’s important for people not to approach animals in distress and to call for help. The Marine Mammal Center’s 24-hour hotline is 415-289-SEAL.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Rescued Lion Cannot Sleep Without His Blanket

In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center(WYLIE, Texas) — He’s more lamb than lion.

Even though he’s king of the jungle, Lambert the lion is a gentle, playful cat who can’t seem to catch some zzzs without his blanket.

“It’s pretty adorable,” Angela Culver, spokesperson for In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center in Wylie, Texas, told ABC News Friday.

Lambert, an African lion, first came to the rescue center in June 2014 when he was just a few months old. “There was a family in west Texas that purchased him privately and realized really quickly things weren’t working out and donated him to the facility,” Culver said.

He began to adjust very quickly to the new environment, according to Culver, due to his domestic upbringing. “He was happy and exploring but it seemed that something was missing,” she said.

The owner of the rescue center, Vicky Keahey, realized that when Lambert was privately owned he used to sleep in a bed, so “she went and got him a blanket and that did the trick,” Culver said.

Every night for almost two years since Lambert first got a blanket, he has slept with a blanket every night.

“It is a mandatory,” Culver. “Everybody knows he gets his blanket.”

The blankets have gotten bigger as Lambert has grown over time. The workers and volunteers at the rescue center try to keep his blanket in his den area, but he sometimes drags it out into the playground area as well, according to Culver.

Lambert gets a fresh blanket every day. “We try to spoil all of our cats,” Culver said.

And Lambert loves living in the rescue center, according to Culver. He plays with a fellow lion that lives next to him, but they do not play in the same gated area because of personality differences.

He has all day access to a giant playground area with grass and even a pool, which he likes to swim in despite the general aversion of cats to water.

Lambert has also learned how to “skateboard.”

“When he was younger, every week the cats would get enrichments to keep their brains stimulated,” Culver said. “It’s important for animals in captivity.”

One of the enrichment items he had was a plastic storage tub and he put his paws in it and “scooched it around,” Culver said. They then decided to see what would happen if they gave him a skateboard and he immediately started shredding it.

Lambert recently celebrated his second birthday on Tuesday, and was given “lots of toys and whipped cream,” according to Culver.

But his most prized possessions are still his blankets, Culver adding that “He always needs to have his blankets.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

NYPD Cop Shoots Bronx Woman’s Dog at Point-Blank Range YORK) — Newly released CCTV footage shows a deadly encounter between an armed NYPD cop and a family pit bull.

The NYPD confirmed the drama unfolded at 5:27 a.m. on Feb. 13 in an apartment building hallway in the Bronx, New York.

The NYPD said officers were responding to a call at the apartment building on East 184th Street.

The dramatic surveillance footage shows the dog wagging its tail as it approaches the officer who backs away with his handgun drawn. He then fires a single bullet at pointblank range, hitting the dog in the head.

The NYPD said the dog came out of a different apartment unit than the one the officers visited.

ABC’s New York station WABC-TV reported that the dog emerged into the hallway when its owner, Yvonne Rosado, opened her door after hearing police. Rosado has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

David Thompson of the law firm Stecklow & Thompson, who is representing Rosado, told ABC News that she has filed a notice of claim against the city.

“The police were responding to a call, not from Yvonne’s apartment, but from her next door neighbor. The call, as I understand it, was not an emergency call. It was related to a non-violent violation of an order of protection,” he told ABC News.

The NYPD released the following statement to ABC News: “The incident is being reviewed by our Force Investigation Division and the findings will be subject to a firearms discharge review board.”

Police would not release the officer’s name or comment on whether or not he is still on active duty while investigations continue.

The NYPD’s Annual Firearms report states, “Police officers shall not discharge their firearms at a dog or other animal except to protect themselves or another person from physical injury and there is no other reasonable means to eliminate the threat.”

Nine dogs were intentionally and fatally killed by NYPD officers in 2014, according to the department’s 2014 annual firearms report.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Bail Reversed for JetBlue Flight Attendant on Cocaine-Possession Charge

Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) — The JetBlue flight attendant accused of attempting to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport will remain in custody in a New York jail.

The judge overseeing the case, Viktor V. Pohorelsky, had originally granted 31-year-old Marsha Reynolds $500,000 bail during a hearing in a Brooklyn court Thursday, a decision he made in large part because she surrendered herself, he said.

But a judge in Los Angeles, from where she fled to New York, overturned the decision late Thursday. She will remain in police custody until April 7, when she will appear in front of a California court.

It is unclear when she will be transported to California by U.S. Marshals.

Reynolds was charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine after she allegedly dropped a suitcase full of the drugs at an airport security checkpoint at LAX airport on March 18, before fleeing. She turned herself into authorities in New York Wednesday.

If convicted, Reynolds could face 10 years to life in prison.

A family spokesman, Allan Jennings, said after Thursday’s bail hearing that Reynolds maintains she did not know what was inside the bag when she was at the airport.

Reynolds is a former beauty pageant contestant and has been an employee of JetBlue for six years. She is also a full-time nursing student.

JetBlue had issued a statement saying, “We are cooperating with authorities on their investigation.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

NRA Rewrites Fairy Tales, Puts Guns in the Hands of Classic Characters

Amy Huse/Studio Coronado/NRA Family(NEW YORK) — The National Rifle Association has added a new twist to classic fairy tales: arming protagonists with guns.

NRA Family, the group’s family-oriented website, has so far published updates to two classic tales, the most recent one last week: “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns).” The pro-gun group said the revised stories show what would have happened if those fairy tale characters had weapons.

But the revisionist take on some of well-known children’s favorites, which appear online, are drawing complaints from gun-control advocacy groups that call the altered tales a disturbingly depraved marketing campaign.

“The NRA continues to stoop to new lows in the hopes of shoving guns into America’s youngest hands,” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said Friday. “It must now advertise deadly weapons to kids by perverting childhood classics with no regard whatsoever for the real life carnage happening every day. To be frank, it’s pathetic.”

The NRA said the stories, written by Amelia Hamilton, whom the NRA calls a “conservative blogger” and “lifelong writer and patriot,” are part of an effort to promote responsible firearm use by children. The accident prevention program it oversees has helped teach more than 28 million kids about how to stay safe if they find a gun, according to the NRA’s website.

“Most of us probably grew up having fairy tales read to us as we drifted off to sleep,” the NRA said in an editor’s note announcing the series earlier this year. “But how many times have you thought back and realized just how, well, grim some of them are?”

The NRA released a new version of the Brothers Grimm “Hansel and Gretel” last week after publishing an update to “Little Red Riding Hood” in January.

At no point in either story do the protagonists fire their weapons at the fictional villains, but guns are portrayed as key to keeping them safe.

In the NRA’s version of “Hansel and Gretel,” the pair are shown hunting for deer and other wildlife when they discover an evil witch’s house. They then proceed to free a pair of boys held captive by her, guns at the ready.

“The hinges gave a groan and the sound of the witch’s snoring stopped,” one passage reads. “Gretel got her rifle ready, but lowered it again when the snoring resumed.”

A witch kidnaps the siblings in the original version, though they ultimately flee and live happily ever after, with no guns in sight.

An unarmed young girl and her grandmother similarly escape the belly of the Big Bad Wolf in the Brothers Grimm version of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

In the update to “Little Red Riding Hood,” however, there is a series of gun-toting events. One passage gives the showdown with the Big Bad Wolf a new twist.

“Those big ears heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun’s safety being clicked off,” the NRA version reads. “Those big eyes looked down and saw that grandma had a scattergun aimed right at him.”

Grandma is able to hold the wolf at gunpoint while Little Red Riding Hood ties up the beast before a huntsman takes away the animal.

“As they slowly began to feel calm, Red got her grandmother chicken soup and a cup of tea,” according to the NRA tale. “They sat in companionable silence, happy in the security that comes with knowing they could defend themselves.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Nearly $200M in Cocaine Found on US-Bound Semi-Sub

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Authorities in Texas say they intercepted a semi-submersible vessel attempting to bring more than $200 million worth of cocaine into the United States. The 12,800 pounds, or 5.5 tons, of cocaine was on a kind of mini-sub used by drug traffickers.

A team of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents detected the self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel earlier this month, officials said. They arrested four people operating the vessel and seized the cocaine. The sub later sank.

The Coast Guard caught a similar vessel carrying 12,000 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Central America in August and have previously intercepted almost 43,000 pounds at once. In the 2015 fiscal year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection crews seized 213,000 pounds of cocaine in the 42-million-square-mile area they patrol.

This latest incident comes a few days after a JetBlue flight attendant abandoned 70 pounds of cocaine at airport security when she was selected for a random check in the known crewmember line. She has since turned herself over to authorities.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →