Review Category : National News

Individual Jumps Bike Rack in Front of White House

Joe Ravi/iStock/ThinkStock(WASHINGTON) — An individual jumped the bike rack on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House but not the actual fence, the Secret Service said Friday.

A statement from Brian Leary, spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said, “At approximately 7pm tonight, an individual jumped the bike rack on Pennsylvania Avenue. The individual was immediately arrested by USS Uniformed Division Officers The individual is currently charged with “Unlawful Entry” and was transported to the Metropolitan Police Department 2nd District.”

The incident prompted a temporary lockdown of the White House but the lockdown has since been lifted.

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Close Call: Delta Pilot Spots Drone Just Before Landing

Boarding1Now/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — A Delta pilot flying into JFK airport in New York spotted a drone off its right wing as it approached the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.

The plane, an MD88 with five crew members and 154 customers on board, did not take evasive action and landed without incident, according to the FAA.

“About a mile back, there was a drone flying just on the southwest side,” the pilot tells Air Traffic Control, according to audio provided by LiveATC.net.

“At what altitude?” the controller asks.

“I’d say 100 feet below us, just off the right wing,” the pilot responds.

“JetBlue, use caution,” the controller then warns another plane. “The one that’s ahead of you reported a drone.”

Friday’s incident comes on the heels of another close encounter in New York earlier this year, which forced a plane flying near LaGuardia Airport to climb 200 feet to “avoid” an unmanned aircraft hovering 2,700 feet over Brooklyn.

Amid an alarming number of drone incidents, the FAA has launched a campaign warning hobbyists and other unmanned aerial vehicle operators to stay away from airports.

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Close Call: Delta Pilot Spots Drone Just Before Landing

Boarding1Now/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — A Delta pilot flying into JFK airport in New York spotted a drone off its right wing as it approached the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.

The plane, an MD88 with five crew members and 154 customers on board, did not take evasive action and landed without incident, according to the FAA.

“About a mile back, there was a drone flying just on the southwest side,” the pilot tells Air Traffic Control, according to audio provided by LiveATC.net.

“At what altitude?” the controller asks.

“I’d say 100 feet below us, just off the right wing,” the pilot responds.

“JetBlue, use caution,” the controller then warns another plane. “The one that’s ahead of you reported a drone.”

Friday’s incident comes on the heels of another close encounter in New York earlier this year, which forced a plane flying near LaGuardia Airport to climb 200 feet to “avoid” an unmanned aircraft hovering 2,700 feet over Brooklyn.

Amid an alarming number of drone incidents, the FAA has launched a campaign warning hobbyists and other unmanned aerial vehicle operators to stay away from airports.

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From Wild Drinking, Drugs Scandal to Cyber Security Savior?

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A U.S. government contractor, several of whose employees were caught on video drunk and drugged on a sensitive security mission in Afghanistan, is now being used to help fix the massive security breach at the Office of Personnel Management.

“What are they thinking?” asked Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, who is now demanding to know how the company got its contract from the OPM despite the previous outrageous behavior and with no competitive bidding.

“This is a company that has demonstrated irresponsibility,” McCaskill told ABC News for a report to broadcast Friday on “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir”. “What in this company’s background gave them assurances that they are the company that can handle this incredibly sensitive matter at a time that Americans are really worried about the federal government’s ability to protect personal data?”

The company, formerly known as Jorge Scientific, was awarded the “sole source” contract to overhaul OPM’s computer network last year after hackers believed to be from China stole the personal records of more than 22 million U.S. government employees.

Just three years ago, Jorge Scientific was the subject of an ABC News investigation that featured video from whistleblowers showing employees staggeringly drunk while working as security personnel for the US government in Afghanistan.

In one video sequence, the company medical director was seen semi-conscious, with an syringe next to him.

The company changed its name after the ABC News report, said it fired all the employees involved and hired a new president.

Under its new corporate name, Imperatis, and with a new board of directors featuring high-ranking former military officials, the company has continued to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. contracts, including the contract with OPM.

”This is a company with a bad record that has engaged in gross improprieties in the workplace,” said Sen. McCaskill. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, brought up Imperatis’ checkered past in a Congressional hearing last month, saying the sole-source contract “does beg a lot of questions.”

And now other questions are now being raised about $135 million in what Sen. McCaskill calls “improper payments” involving another government contract.

In an audit report published in April, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found the company could not provide documentation for the $135 million it collected for expenses.

“And when you can’t provide documentation for $135 million worth of work, that raises some red flags and it should have raised red flags,” said John Sopko, the inspector general, in an interview with ABC News. “So we’ve been questioning that and it’s raised a lot of suspicions for us.”

In a statement provided to ABC News, the company disputed the inspector general’s findings, and said it is confident that a review by the Army Contracting Command “will substantiate the costs in question by year’s end.”

The firm also said it has worked with OPM since 2014 after a system there was breached and “Imperatis proudly stands behind the work we are doing for OPM.”

The company added that it agreed the behavior of its employees on the video seen on ABC News was “inappropriate.”

“Imperatis was launched in early 2013 after problems arose at our predecessor company, Jorge Scientific,” the statement said, before describing the leadership shakeup. “We did this with the express intent of inspiring new values, ethics and culture into our company, and to restore the highest possible standard of integrity and professionalism.”

OPM spokesperson told ABC News they were still investigating the facts behind the selection of Imperatis, and added the Department of Homeland Security “officially owned the contract,” although OPM officials had recommended the choice of Imperatis.

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Watch Another Heated Traffic Stop Made by Cop Accused of Killing Samuel DuBose

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office(CINCINNATI) — The police officer charged with murdering Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop earlier this month reportedly had another controversial run-in with motorists last year that was caught on video.

The revelation comes as union officials fought to get Ray Tensing’s job back. Tensing was fired immediately after he was indicted on murder.

It also came as prosecutors announced that two other officers who responded to DuBose’s stop won’t face charges after a grand jury declined to indict them. Prosecutors said they were cooperative and their statements matched footage on Tensing’s body camera.

In May 2014 — less than a month after Tensing joined the University of Cincinnati Police Department — Tensing was engaged in a heated exchange with two men after pulling their car over because he said their bumper was dragging, according to ABC affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

In the encounter, Tensing asks the passenger, Demetrius Pace, for his name and birthday. When Pace provided his name, but refused to give his birthday, Tensing said he’d charge him with refusing to identify, WCPO-TV said.

Tensing tells Pace to get out of the car, according to the video, and Pace says, “What’s the charge?”
“Step out of the car,” Tensing says. Pace asks, “What am I stepping out of the car for?” and Tensing replies, “Because I asked you to.”

Later in the video, Pace and the driver, Sexton Henley, request a supervisor. They claimed they were being harassed, detained without being told why and not being let go, according to the video.
Pace asks Tensing, “Are we free to go? Can you write the ticket so we can go?”

Tensing responds, “You’re not free to go right now.”

“What are we doing then?” Pace asks, and Tensing says, “You’re being detained right now.”

Tensing tells them, “You guys wanted a supervisor?” and Pace said, “It don’t matter.”

Pace and Henley also ask Tensing for his name and tell him they are recording the incident, according to the video that WCPO-TV broadcast.

When the shift supervisor arrived, the driver, Henley, was given an equipment violation ticket for the bumper, according to WCPO-TV.

The passenger, Pace, later told WCPO-TV, “I shouldn’t have even been questioned.”

“He [Tensing] should have dealt specifically with the driver,” Pace said.

According to WCPO-TV, the Cincinnati Police Department is investigating whether a complaint was filed from Pace and Henley’s incident or any other traffic stops made by Tensing.

On Wednesday, Tensing, 25, was indicted on one count of murder and one count of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of the unarmed DuBose at a traffic stop July 19.

DuBose apparently refused to provide a driver’s license, produced an open alcohol bottle and a struggle ensued, police said. According to the police report, “Officer Tensing said he was being dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon.”

A video released by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office shows the shooting from Tensing’s body camera. A second video released by the Prosecutor’s Office — from the body camera of an arriving officer — shows Tensing lying in the road before he gets up to run toward DuBose’s crashed car. Neither video appears to show Tensing being dragged as he has told investigators, according to a police report and his radio call.

In the official interviews from the other two officers — who aren’t facing charges — “neither officer said that they had seen Tensing being dragged,” according to Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Deters.

On Thursday Tensing pleaded not guilty to murder and involuntary manslaughter.

He posted $100,000 cash bond. If Tensing is convicted on all charges, he faces life in prison.

ABC US News | World News

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Escaped Inmate Captured in Pa., Suspected of Murdering Woman

iStock/Thinkstock(KITTANNING, Pa.) — An escaped inmate has been captured in western Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State Police said on Friday that Robert Crissman was caught a little more than 24 hours after he walked away from the Armstrong County Jail, where he was serving time for a probation violation. He is suspected of killing a woman during his brief freedom.

Crissman had trustee status at the jail, meaning he was allowed to do certain jobs, and on Thursday, he had access to a door so he could take meals from a truck to the inmates.

There’s no violent crime in Crissman’s past but authorities suspect the murder may have ties to drug use.

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Deliberations Begin in James Holmes Murder Trial

Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — The jury in the James Holmes murder trial went home Friday now without reaching a decision with plans to continue deliberation on Monday.

Jurors were told to arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse prepared for a marathon afternoon. On Thursday, the jury received instructions and heard closing arguments from both the defense and the prosecution. The jury is supposed to deliberate on phase two — whether the defense outweighed how Holmes committed the crime.

If jurors believe the defense has outweighed the manner of the crime, Holmes would receive life in prison. If they do not, a penalty phase would continue with jurors hearing from family and friends of victims and then choosing between life in prison or the death penalty.

The jury made no decision on Thursday, though.

The day in court was briefly interrupted when a woman who told officers she was homeless reportedly yelled out “don’t kill him.”

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18-Foot-Long Burmese Python Weighing 133 Pounds Caught in Florida Everglades

U.S. Geological Survey(EVERGLADES CITY, Fla.) — A massive female Burmese python — 18 feet 3 inches long and 133 pounds heavy — was recently discovered and caught in the Everglades National Park in Florida, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) officials.

The “big gal” is not a record-breaker, though she’s only three inches shy of the longest python documented in Florida, USGS deputy public affairs officer Catherine Puckett told ABC News today.

The giant snake, which is an invasive species, was found along Shark Valley, a tram road in the Everglades, by a permitted python researcher who regularly works in the national park, USGS Chief of Biological Services Tylan Dean told ABC News.

“It was humanely euthanized in accordance with our standard protocol,” he said. “Prior to euthanasia, we conducted training with some of the NPS (National Park Service) and USGS interns who work on invasive species control projects, including python removal, to help them gain confidence and experience handling large snakes, and the photo was taken during that training.”

He added that the “best news about this event is that this snake has been removed from the wild, which helps protect the diverse wildlife we have in Everglades National Park.”

A necropsy of the python confirmed the snake was a female that had not reproduced this season and that its stomach was empty, Dead said, explaining that there were no unusual findings.

“We expect to occasionally encounter large pythons in this size range as we continue python removal efforts, though most pythons that we encounter are smaller,” he said.

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18-Foot-Long Burmese Python Weighing 133 Pounds Caught in Florida Everglades

U.S. Geological Survey(EVERGLADES CITY, Fla.) — A massive female Burmese python — 18 feet 3 inches long and 133 pounds heavy — was recently discovered and caught in the Everglades National Park in Florida, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) officials.

The “big gal” is not a record-breaker, though she’s only three inches shy of the longest python documented in Florida, USGS deputy public affairs officer Catherine Puckett told ABC News today.

The giant snake, which is an invasive species, was found along Shark Valley, a tram road in the Everglades, by a permitted python researcher who regularly works in the national park, USGS Chief of Biological Services Tylan Dean told ABC News.

“It was humanely euthanized in accordance with our standard protocol,” he said. “Prior to euthanasia, we conducted training with some of the NPS (National Park Service) and USGS interns who work on invasive species control projects, including python removal, to help them gain confidence and experience handling large snakes, and the photo was taken during that training.”

He added that the “best news about this event is that this snake has been removed from the wild, which helps protect the diverse wildlife we have in Everglades National Park.”

A necropsy of the python confirmed the snake was a female that had not reproduced this season and that its stomach was empty, Dead said, explaining that there were no unusual findings.

“We expect to occasionally encounter large pythons in this size range as we continue python removal efforts, though most pythons that we encounter are smaller,” he said.

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Theater Shooting Survivor Describes Taking Bullet to Protect Friend

YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images(LAFAYETTE, La.) — A teacher who survived a shooting at a movie theater in Louisiana last week described taking a bullet to protect her friend as she feared the gunman would kill her.

Jena Meaux shed tears at times as she spoke to thousands gathered for a prayer service Wednesday night. She was among nine people wounded when John Houser opened fire at a showing of Trainwreck at the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana, last week, killing two women before he killed himself.

“We instantly got down on the ground, and that’s when I felt a bullet go through the side of my leg and exit the other side of my leg,” she told the crowd.

Meaux said she immediately began crawling for the exit.

“As I crawled I was praying, because I really thought he was going to shoot me in the back of the head,” she said.

Meaux said she eventually reached the exit, stood up and ran off.

“So many people are looking at the evil that was in the theater that night, but I saw so many instances of God’s presence,” she said. “He protected and spared my life, and that just tells me that he’s not finished with me yet.”

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