Review Category : National News

Surveillance Video Captures Violent Carjacking at Miami Hotel

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — New surveillance video shows the moment a carjacking suspect got behind the wheel of a car and crashed through vehicles and people at a Miami hotel before racing away.

Police allege that Alberto Ruiz, 50, calmly slid into the driver’s seat of a brand-new Lexus sport utility vehicle around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the luxury JW Marriott Marquis hotel as the car’s owner got out.

He then allegedly backed into two valets who were unloading the vehicle’s trunk.

After plowing forward and getting stuck between two vehicles, police said, Ruiz again backed up into several valets and pedestrians as they tried to talk to him and remove him from the car.

Several valets were sandwiched between the SUV and another parked car, police said.

He eventually was able to speed off, police said, leaving seven people injured and four vehicles damaged. One valet suffered serious injuries and needed to be hospitalized.

Police later located Ruiz, whom they called a career criminal, at a motel and he was arrested.

He is charged with carjacking and attempted murder in addition to other charges.

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Chicago Flight Cancellations Overwhelm Airports

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Nearly 10 hours after firefighters extinguished the blaze at a Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control Center in Aurora, Illinois, at least 1,669 flights have been canceled on Friday in and out of the two Chicago airports, one of which is the world’s busiest.

As of 3:25 p.m. ET, there were 1,669 canceled flights that were to go in and out of O’Hare and Midway Airports Friday and 353 delayed flights.

The fire, thought to be started by a contract employee, started a day after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proudly proclaimed O’Hare as the world’s busiest airport for the first time since 2004, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. More than 580,000 flights departed or landed at the airport from January to August.

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Serial Arsonist At-Large in Washington State

iStock/Thinkstock(SPOKANE, Wash.) — Firefighters in Spokane, Washington are searching for a serial arsonist they believe may have intentionally set up to 17 fires in the past week.

Spokane County Fire District Chief Tony Neilson says there have been two fires per day, all set in rural areas along roads.

“Somebody is going to be injured. Either a member of the public or one of our firefighters,” Neilson said. “Or somebody is going to lose a home.”

Arson investigators are also looking for the suspect.

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UVA Abduction Suspect Jesse Matthew Handed Over to Virginia Authorities

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The suspect in the case of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham has been transferred from the custody of a Texas jail to Virginia law enforcement officers, authorities told ABC News.

Jesse Matthew, 32, was arrested in Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday and has been held by Texas authorities for the past two days. He has waived extradition hearings.

Investigators from Charlottesville, Virginia, arrived in Texas Thursday to meet with Matthew, who is charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. He reportedly refused to speak during that meeting, but officials said investigators were able to speak with Matthew later Thursday and again on Friday.

Matthew was spotted camping out on the beach in Galveston by a woman who called police who took him into custody.

Matthew was the last person seen on surveillance video on the night Graham vanished two weeks ago.

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Trooper Tells Accused Cop Killer Eric Frein: ‘We Will Find You’

Courtesy Roman Kamensky(CRESCO, Pa.) — The state trooper leading the manhunt for accused cop killer Eric Frein had a message for the suspect on Friday, calling him a “coward” and telling him, “We are not intimidated. We will not leave.”

Lt. Col. George Bivens, who is leading the manhunt, sent that message to Frein as the dragnet was almost two weeks old.

Bivens had earlier said there were indications that Frein had access to the media, and on Friday he said, “I have reason to believe he may have a radio with him.”

Bivens delivered a taunting message to Frein.

“You are a coward,” the officer said. “We are not intimidated. We will not leave… We will find you and we will bring you to justice.”

The posse hunting Frein zeroed in on a section of Pennsylvania wilderness because the suspect turned on his cellphone in an attempt to call his parents, sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to ABC News Friday.

Frein’s phone was only on for a few seconds, but it was long enough for investigators to track the signal to an area near the border of Monroe and Pike counties in the Pocono Mountains, the source said.

Bivens declined to discuss the cellphone call, saying, “I’m not going to comment on anything that may have been done with cellphones.”

The break in the manhunt, first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, came six days after Frein, 31, allegedly ambushed Pennsylvania state troopers at their barracks, killing one officer and critically wounding another.

As many as 1,000 officers have been scouring the woods and surrounding areas for Frein. Bivens said Friday that searchers have “found evidence there has been tampering with some structures in the area,” and the officer suspects it was the work of Frein.

The mountain dragnet sent officers to a sprawling abandoned hotel called the Buck Hill Inn near the town of Cresco. The search failed to locate Frein.

“We do know he has an interest in that location and do know he has spent some time there,” the lieutenant colonel said.

Bivens said that Frein has “experimented with explosives,” and “We are taking that into consideration,” alert for “booby traps” while checking cabins and caves where Frein might have been hiding.

The manhunt has included the use of helicopters and dogs and the combination appears to have flushed Frein out of a hiding spot earlier in the week, but he escaped into woods as it got dark, Bivens said.

“On at least one occasion…. (a tracking dog) caused him to jump out at quite some distance from us and escape,” Bivens said. He said the incident occurred a few days ago “just as darkness was falling,” which made it difficult for the helicopter above to spot him.

He said the last sighting of Frein was on Wednesday.

The investigators said they have recovered a hard drive from a computer that Frein had access to that included Internet searches and research on how to evade a police manhunt and survivalist techniques.

Investigators are also looking for anyone who may have seen Frein’s Jeep Cherokee Sport before Monday, Sept. 15 in and around the Blooming Grove station where the ambush occurred.

The vehicle was found partially submerged in a pond and inside the car were shell casings that matched the bullets fired at the troopers along with face camouflage and two empty rifle cases.

An AK-47 rifle and ammunition was later found in the woods that police believe Frein either abandoned or had stashed.

Frein is believed to be armed with a .308 rifle with a scope, police have said, and is considered to be extremely dangerous.

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LISTEN: The Frantic 911 Call Following NJ Bear Attack

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A frantic 911 call captured the moments after a New Jersey man escaped from a bear that had fatally attacked his friend.

Darsh Patel, 22, a senior at Rutgers University studying technology and informatics, was hiking in the Apshawa Preserve this past Sunday with four friends when the attack happened.

A male member of the group, who was not identified, made a chilling call for help after he managed to escape from the bear.

“We were hiking and we saw a bear and we all started running and it started chasing us,” the caller told the dispatcher.

He then proceeds to say that two of his friends were “really close” to the animal.

“I’m scared out of my mind for them. I want to go back but I’m hurt and I don’t know what to do,” he said.

“You’re hurt, you said?” the dispatcher asked.

“Not badly,” the caller replied. “I just scraped my leg. It’s nothing major, but I’m more worried about them. Can anybody get here anytime really soon please?”

Patel, from Edison, N.J., was found dead by police two hours later.

The bear, which wasn’t tagged, is being examined at a state lab for clues as to why it went after the hikers.

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Fired Okla. Food Plant Employee Beheads Woman, Attacks Another

iStock/Thinkstock(MOORE, Okla.) — A man beheaded one woman and stabbed another Thursday at an Oklahoma food processing plant from which he had just been fired, authorities said.

Alton Nolen was reportedly fired from Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, Thursday morning and drove directly from the human resources office to another building in the facility and attacked two women in the front office, police said.

Nolen “became angry” after being fired, the Moore Police Department said in a statement.

There are no apparent ties to terrorism but police confirmed that his co-workers have told them that Nolen had allegedly been trying to convert colleagues to Islam recently.

“After conducting interviews with Nolen’s co-workers, information was obtained that he recently started trying to convert several employees to the Muslim religion,” police said in a statement.

Nolen, 30, attacked his first alleged victim, 54-year-old Colleen Hufford, with a knife that is regularly used by employees at the plant, police said.

Nolen severed Hufford’s head and then began stabbing Traci Johnson, 43, multiple times, police said.

Nolen was then shot by the company’s chief operating officer, Mark Vaughan, who is also a reserve sheriff’s deputy, according to the Moore Police Department.

Both Nolen and Johnson have been hospitalized, police said.

The FBI is now involved in the case and were called in by the local police “due to the manner of death and the initial statements of co-workers,” according to the Moore Police Department.

The police department responded with a tactical team and treated it as an active shooter incident because the person who called police was unsure where the gunshots came from, police said.

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Texas Doctor Accused of Poisoning Lover Found Guilty

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — The Texas doctor accused of poisoning her lover has been found guilty of aggravated assault.

Dr. Ana Gonzalez-Angulo was charged after prosecutors say she spiked Dr. George Blumenschein’s coffee in 2013 with ethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting chemical found in antifreeze.

Gonzalez-Angulo and Blumenschein both worked as oncologists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Blumenschein’s girlfriend had testified in court this week that he suspected his mistress, Gonzalez-Angulo, was responsible but was afraid to contact authorities.

Evette Toney told a Houston courtroom about how she found out her boyfriend Blumenschein was having an affair with a fellow cancer researcher Gonzalez-Angulo at the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Gonzalez-Angulo was charged with aggravated assault after prosecutors say she spiked Blumenschein’s coffee in 2013 with ethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting chemical found in antifreeze. Prosecutors allege that Gonzalez-Angulo poisoned the coffee after Blumenschein picked Toney over her.

The poisoning left Blumenschein with permanent kidney damage, according to testimony from doctors who treated him. Gonzalez-Angulo had pleaded not guilty, but could now face up to life in prison.

The jury is hearing witnesses for the sentencing phase.

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Contract Employee Eyed in Fire That Grounded Chicago Flights

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — A contract employee apparently started the fire at a Federal Aviation Administration facility outside Chicago that has grounded hundreds of flights, according to the Aurora, Illinois, chief of police.

“It appears to be a fire set by a contract employee,” chief Greg Thomas told reporters Friday morning. “There was no terrorist act.”

Aurora firefighters responding to the fire before 6 a.m. at the Air Traffic Control System Command Center discovered a man in the “basement suffering from apparent self-inflicted (non-gunshot) wounds,” officials said.

“The male was transported to an Aurora hospital where he is undergoing treatment,” city of Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli said in a statement. “The fire has been extinguished.”

A federal law enforcement official told ABC News “It sounds like it [the fire] was intentionally set,” though adding “it does not sound like it was an attack on the facility.”

The FAA has halted flights to and around Chicago.

City of Aurora spokesman Ferrelli said, “At 5:42 a.m. Aurora Fire and Police responded to the FAA Air Traffic Control Center, 619 W. Indian Trail, for a report of a fire in the basement of the facility.”

He added: “Approximately 15 to 30 employees at the center were evacuated. One other employee, and adult male, approximately 50 years old, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.”

Chief Thomas said the 50-year-old man was released and is not the contract employee.

The fire occurred in the facilities main telecommunications area, which is an important location for handling communications with aircraft.

A senior government official told ABC News the FBI is on scene at the fire at the FAA facility. At this point it is being treated as a crime scene, which is standard practice until wrongdoing is ruled out. The FAA has not yet been able to access the site of the fire, according to this source.

Officials from the Chicago Department of Aviation said, “Both O’Hare and Midway International Airports are in a ground stop, meaning no arrivals or departures, until at least 8 a.m. due to the fire.”

“At Midway, Southwest Airlines has suspended flights until noon,” the department said in a statement.

Flightaware.com reported Friday morning that as of 9:05 a.m. ET, it had seen 446 cancellations to and from O’Hare and Midway airports, “which is about 13 percent of their daily schedule. Additionally, we have seen 107 delays. We expect the number of cancellations and delays to rise considerably over the next few hours.”

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Woman Helped Police Catch UVA Abduction Suspect in Texas

Galveston County Sheriff’s Office(HOUSTON) — A woman who went to a beach in Galveston, Texas, to relax instead helped police catch the suspect charged in the disappearance of a University of Virginia student.

The woman, who identified herself to ABC News station KTRK in Houston as Karen, said she recognized Jesse Matthew from wanted posters related to the Hannah Graham case.

“I instantly knew it was him,” she said. “It was frightening.”

Karen called police and said she directed an arriving deputy to Matthew. He was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged in Texas with failure to identify fugitive intent to give false information.

Matthew, 32, appeared in court the following day. He waived extradition to Virginia, refused a court-appointed attorney and complained about the hard bed in his cell.

“They took all my clothes and had me sleeping on this hard thing,” he said.

Matthew didn’t enter a plea as his attorney, Jim Camblos, waits for his client’s return to Virginia, where he’s expected to arrive in a few days.

“I’m very hopeful I’ll be able to talk to him next week,” Camblos said.

Investigators from Charlottesville, Virginia, tried interviewing Matthew late Thursday but he wouldn’t talk, according to the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.

Police in Charlottesville say Matthew was the last person seen with Graham, 18, who vanished nearly two weeks ago. He has been charged in Virginia with abduction with intent to defile.

Brice Cunningham, the owner of Tempo Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, told ABC News affiliate WJLA in Washington that an employee thought Graham seemed incapacitated when she left with Matthew. Police say it’s the last place they were seen together, though Cunningham said he and his staff never saw Graham inside.

“As far as we know and the staff knows, nobody saw her,” he said.

Cunningham said an employee later saw the two outside together. “She said he was holding her with his arm around her and she did look drunk,” he said.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo stressed during a news conference Thursday that they are still looking for the missing college student.

“We have an obligation to bring her home one way or the other,” he said.

A reward for information on her whereabouts is up to $100,000.

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