Review Category : National News

Olympian’s Relatives Safe After Getting Lost in the Wilderness

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The brother of a U.S. winter Olympian — along with his three young children — are safe Monday morning after 24 hours lost in the wilderness.

Jared Pikus, brother of skeleton athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace, is thankful to be home after spending the night lost in the Idaho wilderness. The group got lost Saturday after leaving a campsite to hike to a nearby lake.

The group couldn’t find its way back.

“I came to a point where I didn’t know where I was,” Pikus said later. “At that time, I had to think about the kids and survival.”

The area was so isolated that there was no cell phone service. The family had only a few bagels to eat and spent the night outdoors, sleeping huddled together under a raft.

While rescue crews combed the area, Pikus-Pace — who lives in Utah — pleaded for support on social media, sharing photos of her family cheering at the Sochi Olympics, when she won a silver medal.

This time, Pikus-Pace said, she felt helpless.

“You want to do something, and there is nothing you can do,” she said.

By Sunday afternoon, Pikus and his children found their way to a road, meeting people who brought them to rescue crews. Despite some mosquito bites and poison ivy rashes, they were otherwise OK, something that left Pikus-Pace relieved.

“We were left to imagine life without them and it was an awful feeling,” she wrote. “We are so incredibly blessed to have them back safe and sound!”

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Olympian’s Relatives Safe After Getting Lost in the Wilderness

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The brother of a U.S. winter Olympian — along with his three young children — are safe Monday morning after 24 hours lost in the wilderness.

Jared Pikus, brother of skeleton athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace, is thankful to be home after spending the night lost in the Idaho wilderness. The group got lost Saturday after leaving a campsite to hike to a nearby lake.

The group couldn’t find its way back.

“I came to a point where I didn’t know where I was,” Pikus said later. “At that time, I had to think about the kids and survival.”

The area was so isolated that there was no cell phone service. The family had only a few bagels to eat and spent the night outdoors, sleeping huddled together under a raft.

While rescue crews combed the area, Pikus-Pace — who lives in Utah — pleaded for support on social media, sharing photos of her family cheering at the Sochi Olympics, when she won a silver medal.

This time, Pikus-Pace said, she felt helpless.

“You want to do something, and there is nothing you can do,” she said.

By Sunday afternoon, Pikus and his children found their way to a road, meeting people who brought them to rescue crews. Despite some mosquito bites and poison ivy rashes, they were otherwise OK, something that left Pikus-Pace relieved.

“We were left to imagine life without them and it was an awful feeling,” she wrote. “We are so incredibly blessed to have them back safe and sound!”

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Diaper-Clad Boy, 3, Crashes Aunt’s Jeep, Runs Home to Watch Cartoons

iStock/Thinkstock(MYRTLE CREEK, Ore.) — The mother of a diaper-clad, 3-year-old boy who got behind the wheel of his aunt’s Jeep Wrangler and accidentally put it into gear, sending it crashing into the side of a neighbor’s house, has been cited for failing to properly supervise her child.

The woman, identified by police as Brennan Pennington, of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, was issued the citation after the Tuesday evening incident, which was the second involving the boy and police that day.

At about 9 a.m. the same day, a Myrtle Creek Police office had spotted the boy by himself in the Jeep Wrangler outside his Northwest Second Avenue home. He was in the vehicle by himself for about five minutes, according to police logs.

The officer asked the boy about his parents’ whereabouts, and the boy said they weren’t home but that a relative was asleep inside. According to the log, the officer woke the relative and turned the boy over to him, warning the relative — who was not named in the log — that the boy had the keys to the car and it was not secure.

At about 7:30 p.m., police were called to the same scene. They said the boy got into the car again and knocked it out of gear, and it traveled down the street, up over a curb and through the neighbor’s yard, hitting the neighbor’s home. The homeowner was not home, and no one was hurt.

The police log said a 911 caller witnessed the crash and “saw the boy run from the Jeep wearing only a diaper.”

Right afterward the boy “bailed out and ran back home, and when the officer arrived at the house [the boy] was sprawled out on the couch watching cartoons like it was just another day,” Myrtle Creek Police Officer Kevin Taggart told ABC News on Sunday.

ABC News was unable to reach Pennington Sunday evening on a cell phone that was registered to her, according to public records.

The ticket issued to Pennington was a violation and carried a fine.

The home sustained minor damage and the boy’s mother came to “a civil compromise” with the neighbor, police said.

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FSU Professor Was Talking on Cell Phone When Shooting Happened

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — A Florida State University criminal law professor was pulling into his driveway and talking on his cell phone when he was fatally shot, ABC News has learned exclusively.

Professor Dan Markel, 41, was shot July 18, dying hours later.

The killer was waiting for Markel outside his home in Tallahassee’s Betton Hills section, a source told ABC News, and followed Markel into the garage, shooting him in the side of the head through the window of his car.

The bullet entered just beneath Markel’s jawline.

Markel was alive when cops arrived, with the keys in the ignition of his car, before being pronounced dead at the hospital hours later, police said. Markel was apparently on the phone at the time of the shooting, remarking to the person on the phone that someone was in the driveway, ABC News has learned.

A police report has revealed more information about the shooting, specifying that a neighbor, apparently different from the person on the phone, heard a single gunshot. That neighbor called 911 and reported seeing a silver Toyota Prius drive away from the scene. Police later released a grainy surveillance image of that car.

Tamara Demko, a longtime friend of Markel’s, was stunned by the shooting.

“I cannot imagine a person wanting to hurt him. I don’t think any of his friends can,” Demko said.

Two days before he died, Markel posted a blog to his website, PrawfsBlawg.blogs.com, about the death penalty, the same website on which he received threatening comments in 2012 after a writer alleged he had censored anonymous comments.

Reggie Garcia, a friend of Markel’s, wondered whether Markel’s blog and other law endeavors could have motivated the attack.

“Is it possible his scholarship and literature created some enemies? It’s as possible as any of the other scenarios,” Garcia said.

Markel left behind two young sons and an ex-wife, Wendi Jill Adelson, also an FSU professor. Their divorce was acrimonious, punctuated by dozens of court dockets, hearings and a protracted custody battle over their two boys. Markel described the day Adelson left him as his “Pearl Harbor,” friends told ABC News. Markel told friends that, without warning, Adelson had packed up the house and the children and left while he was away on a business trip.

Police spent hours questioning Adelson, and questioned many others who knew him well, but have named no suspects.

The new details reveal why police have classified Markel as the shooter’s intended target, ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said.

“Now we know why the authorities were so quick to say they believed this was a targeted killing and the neighbors don’t need to worry,” Abrams said.

The fact that a Prius was possibly being driven by the shooter was also notable, Abrams said.

“A Prius isn’t a typical hit-man vehicle,” he said. “[Was it] the person who wants to protect the environment and kill someone?”

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One Dead, 13 Injured in Rare Southern California Lightning Storm

iStock/Thinkstock(VENICE BEACH, Calif.) — A rare lightning storm struck packed Venice Beach, Calif., Sunday, killing a 20-year-old man and injuring up to 12 others, one critically, after the same storm had struck a person on Catalina Island.

Firefighters said a bolt of lightning hit the water and the electrical current then traveled, hitting swimmers and surfers.

“The fire department assessed a total of 13 patients, and transported a total of eight patients,” Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said.

Five others were injured, but did not require hospitalization, she said.

Main said it appears to have been just one powerful lightning strike that hit the shoreline.

“Everyone that had a medical complaint was either in or near the water,” Main said.

The man who died was swimming and went missing in the water after the lightning strike, according to ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles. After lifeguards found him in full cardiac arrest, emergency personnel performed CPR and transported him in critical condition to Marina Del Rey Hospital, where he died.

The other person who was critically injured was a surfer, officials said.

Thunderstorms are very uncommon in the Los Angeles area, and people on the beach were shocked by what they experienced. Some said it felt like they got hit over the head with a board and then they were tingling all over.

“It sounded like a sonic boom. It literally shook the buildings,” Stuart Archer, who was playing volleyball on the beach, told ABC News. “Shook us on the courts.”

He said it was like somebody punched him in the head, his muscles locked up, and he fell. “I looked up and everybody else was falling over,” he added.

Many people who were on the beach said they were knocked down, and lifeguards ran to get victims out of the water.

“Out of nowhere, we heard like a thunderstorm,” witness Jason Alas told KABC-TV. “It was like really, really loud.”

Before hitting Venice Beach, the thunderstorm moved over Catalina Island where a golfer was injured by lightning.

According to the National Weather Service, before Sunday there had already been 15 lightning strike deaths nationwide this year, including six in Florida.

This was the first death attributed to lightning in California this year.

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Judge Lifts DC Ban on Guns in Public

Image Source/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A ruling that would allow registered gun owners to carry firearms in public has thrown Washington, D.C. for a loop.

On Saturday, Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. ruled that a “total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is unconstitutional.”

The judge said he would stop enforcement of the ban until D.C. came up with a “constitutionally valid licensing.”

However, ABC News legal analyst Royal Oakes explains, “This won’t be the last word on the subject. The District of Columbia will likely appeal the order, and ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court may be called on to clarify when and how lawmakers are allowed to impose restrictions on the right of citizens guaranteed by the Second Amendment to carry guns.”

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the group challenging the ban, says the ruling should be in effect immediately and will lead to less crime on the streets as people will be able to defend themselves.

However, Ted Gest, a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, says the AG is asking Judge Scullin to stay his ruling pending appeal.

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Judge Lifts DC Ban on Guns in Public

Image Source/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A ruling that would allow registered gun owners to carry firearms in public has thrown Washington, D.C. for a loop.

On Saturday, Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. ruled that a “total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is unconstitutional.”

The judge said he would stop enforcement of the ban until D.C. came up with a “constitutionally valid licensing.”

However, ABC News legal analyst Royal Oakes explains, “This won’t be the last word on the subject. The District of Columbia will likely appeal the order, and ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court may be called on to clarify when and how lawmakers are allowed to impose restrictions on the right of citizens guaranteed by the Second Amendment to carry guns.”

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the group challenging the ban, says the ruling should be in effect immediately and will lead to less crime on the streets as people will be able to defend themselves.

However, Ted Gest, a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, says the AG is asking Judge Scullin to stay his ruling pending appeal.

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Small Plane Lands on Florida Beach, One Dead

Photo Credit: Zack Arceneaux(VENICE, Fla.) — A small plane in distress landed on a Florida beach on Sunday afternoon, killing one man and injuring one of his children.

According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the plane had contacted the Venice Airport noting that it was in distress and would not be able to return to the airport. The pilot is believed to have made an attempt to land on the beach.

Preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that the man and his daughter were struck by the plane as the pilot attempted to land.

The man was pronounced dead and his daughter was taken to All Children’s Hospital. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said that she was believed to be in critical condition.

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Former WWE Champion Thwarts Home Invader with Wrestling Move

Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — A former WWE champion used his ring skills to foil an attempted robbery in his Arizona home.

Bryan Danielson, better known by his stage known Daniel Bryan, and his wife, fellow-wrestler Brie Bella, were pulling up to their home early this week when they saw two burglars try to escape their home with stolen items.

Danielson, a four-time world champion, chased the two burglars and managed to use his signature wrestling move to catch one, according to ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

“I took him down and put him in a rear naked choke,” Danielson said. “I didn’t want to hurt him, I just wanted to make sure he was subdued.”

Danielson caught Cesar Sosa, 22, who was booked and charged with burglary, allegedly trying to steal from the couple’s home with an unidentified accomplice, according to police.

Danielson, his wife, and their dog, a bulldog named Josie, are doing just fine, the former wrestler said.

“I was very angry, Brie was very angry,” Danielson said. “They’re actually lucky I got them instead of Brie, because she probably would have been a little more violent.”

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Former WWE Champion Thwarts Home Invader with Wrestling Move

Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — A former WWE champion used his ring skills to foil an attempted robbery in his Arizona home.

Bryan Danielson, better known by his stage known Daniel Bryan, and his wife, fellow-wrestler Brie Bella, were pulling up to their home early this week when they saw two burglars try to escape their home with stolen items.

Danielson, a four-time world champion, chased the two burglars and managed to use his signature wrestling move to catch one, according to ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

“I took him down and put him in a rear naked choke,” Danielson said. “I didn’t want to hurt him, I just wanted to make sure he was subdued.”

Danielson caught Cesar Sosa, 22, who was booked and charged with burglary, allegedly trying to steal from the couple’s home with an unidentified accomplice, according to police.

Danielson, his wife, and their dog, a bulldog named Josie, are doing just fine, the former wrestler said.

“I was very angry, Brie was very angry,” Danielson said. “They’re actually lucky I got them instead of Brie, because she probably would have been a little more violent.”

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