Review Category : National News

Army Sergeant Held in Killing of Virginia Police Officer

Prince William County Police Department(WOODBRIDGE, Va) — An Army staff sergeant was held on murder charges Sunday, accused of fatally shooting a Virginia police officer who was killed only a day after she was sworn in.

Prince William County Police Department Officer Ashley Guindon, who was on her first day on patrol, was killed when she and two other officers responded to a domestic-related incident shortly after 5:30 p.m. Saturday, at a home in Woodbridge, about 20 miles south of Washington, D.C., according to police.

The suspect’s wife, Crystal Sheree Hamilton, 29, was the one who placed the 911 call, but was shot and killed before police arrived on scene, officials said.

The three officers — Guindon along with field officer David McKeown, 33, and Jessie Hempen, 31, — were shot almost immediately upon arrival, allegedly by Ronald Hamilton, an Army staff sergeant, Prince William County Chief Stephan M. Hudson said at a news conference Sunday.

A second team of officers arrived shortly thereafter and began administering first aid to the injured officers. At some point Hamilton surrendered, Hudson said, coming out the front door.

Hamilton, 32, was taken into custody and the three officers were taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Police found an 11-year-old boy, believed to be Hamilton’s son, at the home. He did not have any physical injury and was taken into safe custody of family and friends, Hudson said.

Guindon died a few hours later from her injuries. She had previously served in the Marine Corps Reserve and had family in law enforcement, according to the department.

Guindon had a long history with the Prince William County force, having interned in the forensics unit in 2011 before attending training in January 2015, Hudson said. She graduated from the police academy in June, but resigned soon after for personal reasons, he said.

She came back to the force a few months later and was sworn in Friday, Hudson said.

Hudson said Guindon had a “passion to do this job,” and a “passion to serve others that went beyond herself.”

“We ask for everyone’s thoughts and prayers as our department deals with this tragic loss,” said the Prince William County Police in a statement posted on Facebook.

McKeown and Hempen are believed to make a full recovery but it is a “long road,” according to Hudson.

Hamilton, is an active duty staff sergeant assigned to the Joint Staff Support Center at the Pentagon, an Army spokesman said. He faces several charges, including first-degree murder and murder of a law enforcement officer.

Hamilton was scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Kansas Shooting Victim Says Coworker Hesitated Before Firing

Broward Sheriff’s Office(NEW YORK) — A man shot four times by his coworker at a manufacturing plant in Kansas recalled how the gunman hesitated before firing.

Adam Miller spoke to ABC affiliate KAKE-TV from his hospital bed after Thursday’s shooting at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas. He said he heard someone yell about a shooter and then encountered Cedric Ford, who appeared confused when Miller told him to run.

“I told him again and he said, ‘I know,’ and then he shot me,” Miller said. “He did hesitate before he shot me. It’s like he recognized me.”

Three people were killed and Miller was among 14 injured in the shooting. Police officers fatally shot Ford.

“I don’t know what he was going through,” Miller said of Ford. “Obviously, he felt this was the way out and so my heart just aches for him.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

One Officer Killed, 2 Others Injured in VA Domestic Incident

iStock/Thinkstock(WOODBRIDGE, Va.) — A police officer from Prince William County, Virginia was shot and killed after responding to a domestic-related incident Saturday evening in Woodbridge.

The department identified her as Officer Ashley Guindon and according to a tweet from the Prince William County Police Office, Guindon was sworn in on Friday and began her shift this weekend.

Welcome Officers Steven Kendall & Ashley Guindon who were sworn in today & begin their shifts this weekend.Be safe! pic.twitter.com/92c2YLjcQx

— Prince William Co PD (@PWCPoliceDept) February 26, 2016

A department spokesman confirmed the female officer pictured in the tweet is Officer Guindon.

Two other officers were also shot but their conditions were unknown as of Saturday night.

Department spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Perok told ABC News affiliate WJLA-TV that the officers initially responded to a home in Woodbridge just after 5:30 p.m. for a verbal altercation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The department spokesman confirmed that the female officer pictured in the tweet is Officer Guindon.
Read More →

Three Stabbed, 13 Arrested After Ku Klux Klan Rally in Anaheim Turns Violent

iStock/Thinkstock(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — At least three people were stabbed, including one critically, after violence erupted at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim, California.

According to ABC News affiliate KABC-TV, police said Klan members were attacked by counter-protesters at Pearson Park on Saturday where the rally was set to be held.

One witness told KABC-TV they saw a counter-protester get stabbed with the pole of a KKK member’s Confederate flag.

Witnesses say counter-protester stabbed with pole of Confederate flag by KKK member https://t.co/u4sNkV2BHHhttps://t.co/cIOPhozj6E

— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) February 28, 2016

“If we’re attacked we will attack back,” Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK told KABC-TV on the phone from North Carolina.

Thirteen people have been detained in connection with the brawl, according to KABC-TV, including six Klansmen who were tied to the three stabbings and seven counter-protesters who were suspected of attacking Klan members.

Police said officers were on the scene when the violence began, but eyewitnesses told KABC-TV they did not see any uniformed officers when the attacks started.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Three Killed in Fiery, Multi-Car Crash in East Los Angeles

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Three people died and two were seriously injured from a fiery, multi-car crash on Interstate 5 in east Los Angeles early Saturday morning.

It began just after midnight when Dealio Lockhart, of Whittier, California, was driving south on I-5 while racing another car in the next lane, the California Highway Patrol said.

Lockhart saw a slower-moving car ahead and tried to go around but at the same time the slower-moving car was trying to move to the right, the CHP said.

Lockhart then lost control and collided with a UPS tractor trailer, causing the tractor trailer to crash into the center median.

The tractor trailer flew into the air and hit a gray Nissan, shearing the top of the Nissan off. The tractor trailer continued out of control and crashed onto a red Ford Explorer that was traveling northbound, and the tractor trailer immediately became engulfed in flames, the CHP said.

Debris from the crash also hit two other cars on the northbound side, the CHP said.

Three people died from the crash and two others were transported to LAC-USC Medical Center with major injuries, the CHP reported.

Lockhart was arrested and is facing vehicular manslaughter charges, according to the CHP. Alcohol or drugs are not suspected to be factors, the CHP said.

The northbound and southbound sides of I-5 are closed from Washington Boulevard to the 710 Freeway until this afternoon, California Highway Patrol officer Tony Polizi said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Man Posing as High School Student Accused of Sexual Relations with Teen

Harrisburg Bureau of Police(HARRISBURG, Pa.) — A 23-year-old man in custody accused of posing as a teenager and attending a Pennsylvania high school is now facing more charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old while he was 22.

Artur Samarin, who went by the name “Asher Potts,” was charged Friday with statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors for his alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student in 2014, the Harrisburg Police said. Police say Samarin was 22 at the time.

Samarin had not yet been arraigned on these charges as of Friday, the police said.

Samarin was first identified by police on Dec. 11 when the Harrisburg Police received a complaint alleging that a student attending John Harris High School named “Asher Potts” was Samarin, an adult in the U.S. illegally, who was having sexual relationships with female students, according to police.

An investigation “determined that Samarin arrived in the U.S. on a 3 month J1 Exchange Visitor Visa from June to September,” said the Harrisburg police. “He was working for a local company during that time. After the Visa expired, he applied and was granted B2 Tourist Visa. The B2 Visa expired on 3/1/2013.”

Police say Samarin graduated high school and attended two years of college in the Ukraine, but then in the fall of 2012, he enrolled as a freshman at John Harris High School with “falsified documents,” including a social security card “that was ultimately approved after multiple attempts at several Social Security Administration offices.”

Samarin attended John Harris High School “until recently,” police said, adding that he also attended Harrisburg University.

Steven Infanti, Associate Vice President of Communications at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, told ABC News Saturday that Samarin was enrolled in a dual enrollment program through the high school, which lets high school students attend classes at the university. He was enrolled in Spring 2015, Fall 2015 and was attending classes this semester, although he’s not anymore, Infanti said. Infanti said he could not provide further comment due to the ongoing investigation.

John Harris High School and the Harrisburg School District could not be immediately reached for comment.

On Tuesday, Samarin was arrested for identity theft, theft by unlawful taking and tampering with public records and placed at the Dauphin County Prison in Harrisburg on $20,000 bail, police said.

In response to those three charges, Samarin told ABC affiliate WHTM, “I am guilty.”

“I did abuse the system. Yes I did. I did use this identity,” he said in a phone interview with WHTM from the Dauphin County Prison. “I’m here in this prison because I’ve done a crime. I’m a criminal, unfortunately, but it is true.”

The statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors charges were added Friday.

WHTM said that it “was not aware of the additional charges when Samarin called from prison so he was not given an opportunity to respond.”

Samarin told WHTM he came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2012 for a better life. He claimed when his visa expired, Michael and Stephayne Potts offered to adopt him.

“Stephayne came up with the idea that ‘we are going to adopt you,'” he told WHTM. “‘We are going to bump five years of age.’ … I said, ‘OK, looks like I have no choice.'”

“Asher is 18 years of age and Artur is 23,” he said. “It was not my idea.”

Samarin told WHTM the Potts’ helped him get a birth certificate with the name “Asher Potts” and a birth date in 1997, as well as a social security card.

Numbers listed for Michael and Stephayne Potts could not be immediately reached by ABC News Friday.

Samarin, who told WHTM he was a straight “A” student at John Harris High School, said he does’t regret enrolling.

“I have spent all of my free time on education. It’s all about education. I tried to do better for the society,” he said.

“I love the United States,” he said. “It’s a land of opportunity for all of us immigrants and this land provided me with opportunities.”

Police say additional arrests are expected. The U.S. Department of State, FBI, the Ukrainian Embassy and Immigration and customs are involved in the ongoing investigation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Man Poses as High School Student Accused of Sexual Relations with Teen

Harrisburg Bureau of Police(HARRISBURG, Pa.) — A 23-year-old man in custody accused of posing as a teenager and attending a Pennsylvania high school is now facing more charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old while he was 22.

Artur Samarin, who went by the name “Asher Potts,” was charged Friday with statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors for his alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student in 2014, the Harrisburg Police said. Police say Samarin was 22 at the time.

Samarin had not yet been arraigned on these charges as of Friday, the police said.

Samarin was first identified by police on Dec. 11 when the Harrisburg Police received a complaint alleging that a student attending John Harris High School named “Asher Potts” was Samarin, an adult in the U.S. illegally, who was having sexual relationships with female students, according to police.

An investigation “determined that Samarin arrived in the U.S. on a 3 month J1 Exchange Visitor Visa from June to September,” said the Harrisburg police. “He was working for a local company during that time. After the Visa expired, he applied and was granted B2 Tourist Visa. The B2 Visa expired on 3/1/2013.”

Police say Samarin graduated high school and attended two years of college in the Ukraine, but then in the fall of 2012, he enrolled as a freshman at John Harris High School with “falsified documents,” including a social security card “that was ultimately approved after multiple attempts at several Social Security Administration offices.”

Samarin attended John Harris High School “until recently,” police said, adding that he also attended Harrisburg University.

Steven Infanti, Associate Vice President of Communications at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, told ABC News Saturday that Samarin was enrolled in a dual enrollment program through the high school, which lets high school students attend classes at the university. He was enrolled in Spring 2015, Fall 2015 and was attending classes this semester, although he’s not anymore, Infanti said. Infanti said he could not provide further comment due to the ongoing investigation.

John Harris High School and the Harrisburg School District could not be immediately reached for comment.

On Tuesday, Samarin was arrested for identity theft, theft by unlawful taking and tampering with public records and placed at the Dauphin County Prison in Harrisburg on $20,000 bail, police said.

In response to those three charges, Samarin told ABC affiliate WHTM, “I am guilty.”

“I did abuse the system. Yes I did. I did use this identity,” he said in a phone interview with WHTM from the Dauphin County Prison. “I’m here in this prison because I’ve done a crime. I’m a criminal, unfortunately, but it is true.”

The statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors charges were added Friday.

WHTM said that it “was not aware of the additional charges when Samarin called from prison so he was not given an opportunity to respond.”

Samarin told WHTM he came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2012 for a better life. He claimed when his visa expired, Michael and Stephayne Potts offered to adopt him.

“Stephayne came up with the idea that ‘we are going to adopt you,'” he told WHTM. “‘We are going to bump five years of age.’ … I said, ‘OK, looks like I have no choice.'”

“Asher is 18 years of age and Artur is 23,” he said. “It was not my idea.”

Samarin told WHTM the Potts’ helped him get a birth certificate with the name “Asher Potts” and a birth date in 1997, as well as a social security card.

Numbers listed for Michael and Stephayne Potts could not be immediately reached by ABC News Friday.

Samarin, who told WHTM he was a straight “A” student at John Harris High School, said he does’t regret enrolling.

“I have spent all of my free time on education. It’s all about education. I tried to do better for the society,” he said.

“I love the United States,” he said. “It’s a land of opportunity for all of us immigrants and this land provided me with opportunities.”

Police say additional arrests are expected. The U.S. Department of State, FBI, the Ukrainian Embassy and Immigration and customs are involved in the ongoing investigation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Volunteer Charged With Stealing Money From Girl Who Lost Family in Fire

Rotterdam Police Department(NEW YORK) — A volunteer has been arrested and charged with stealing more than $1,300 in cash and gift cards from Safyre Terry, a young New York fire survivor whose wish for Christmas cards went viral.

Terry, 8, lost her father and three younger siblings in a 2013 arson fire that left 75 percent of her body covered with burns. She made headlines last December when her simple holiday request for Christmas cards went viral. Safyre received more than one million letters from around the world—including ones from singers Katy Perry and Beyonce as well as the Obamas.

The suspect, 41-year-old Kimberly Bradford, volunteered with the Safyre’s Angels organization to send out responses to the cards. According to the Rotterdam Police Department, the organization contacted them about suspicions of volunteer theft last month. Despite being told not to take mail home, the police say Bradford was found with several bins of mail at her residence, along with $800 in cash and $550 in gift cards. Lt. Michael Brown told ABC News there was “no way for [them] to track” if Bradford took more money.

Bradford was arrested Thursday on charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and released on $5,000 bail. Her next court appearance is March 10. The Rotterdam Police told ABC News the investigation into the Safyre’s Angels thefts were ongoing and additional arrests were possible.

A spokesperson for Safyre’s Angels was not immediately available for comment. Police had no information on whether Bradford had a lawyer to comment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Husband of Slain Florida Doctor Charged in Her Murder

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The husband of a Florida doctor murdered inside the couple’s home last year was arrested in connection with her slaying.

A shackled Mark Sievers was emotionless Friday as he was taken to the Lee County jail for allegedly planning the murder of his wife Teresa last June. He was charged with second-degree murder.

“No emotion there,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said of Sievers. “I’m not 100 percent sure he’s got blood in his veins. I think it might be ice.”

In court documents, investigators said Sievers hired two men to break into the couple’s home and kill his wife.

“We were after Mark Sievers,” said Scott. “We got our man and we’re happy for that.”

One of the men arrested for the murder, Curtis Wright, cooperated with investigators, police said. He accepted a shorter sentence of 25 years days before Sievers was arrested.

According to police, investigators have been looking for months through conversations between Sievers and Wright, who often used codes and disposable cell phones.

“These folks went to great lengths to cover their tracks,” Scott said. “We had investigators in multiple states.”

Sievers’ attorney declined to comment on his arrest. Attorneys for Wright said he “is deeply sorry for the pain and lifetime of suffering that he has caused” and his decision to plead guilty “will hopefully begin to answer many questions and bring closure to the family of Teresa Sievers.”

Investigators said the couple may have had money problems and Sievers had five different insurance policies under his wife’s name totaling more than $4 million.

If convicted, Sievers could get the death penalty.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Boy Gets Emotional When Navy Dad Returns From Deployment

iStock/Thinkstock(CHESAPEAKE, Va.) — A Virginia boy couldn’t hold back his tears Monday night after his Navy dad surprised him, following a 99-day deployment.

“It was almost every day when I said ‘I talked to Daddy,’ or ‘I emailed daddy,’ and he’d be excited, but this time his emotion was much more heightened,” mom Jennifer Cullen of Chesapeake, Virginia, said of her son. “I’m sure he could sense it with me because I wasn’t [myself] either. I had just welcomed home my husband. … It’s been so refreshing having him home. I feel like this is a dream.”

Jennifer Cullen told ABC News that she and her husband, Chief Petty Officer Sean Cullen, had been planning to surprise their son Alex, 7, when they learned he would be coming home from his deployment in the Middle East.

On Feb. 22, Jennifer had a friend bring Alex home from school while his dad hid in another room.

As Jennifer recorded the moment on video, Sean stuck up behind his son.

To Jennifer’s surprise, Alex was completely overcome by emotion.

“Alex just would not let him go,” Jennifer said. “Sean had to get on his knees and hug him because he was just sobbing.”

Jennifer shared her YouTube video with another news organization that published it on their Facebook page, where it racked up over 4 million views.

“[Alex] didn’t understand the response,” Jennifer said. “He asks me every morning what the count is. … I just tell him, ‘There’s a lot of people who love that you welcomed your daddy home.'”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →