Review Category : National News

Florida Teen Shocked By What She Saw in Her Yearbook

Courtesy of Jessica Morales (NAPLES, Fla.) — Jessica Morales, 18, said she was shocked to open her high school yearbook last week to see what she felt is a racially offensive photo depicting the “border patrol” interacting with students in stereotypical costumes.

“It was just really offensive because it kind of belittles the whole issue,” Morales told ABC affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa Bay, Florida, referring to the immigration process that both of her parents are still enduring.

The photo, which was printed on page 96 of the $90 Naples High School yearbook in Naples, Florida, pictured six students dressed in ponchos and sombreros and wearing mustaches, and one student in a shirt labeled “border patrol.”

Morales’ father, Miguel Morales, told WFTS-TV the image struck him as “really racist,” adding, “I’ve never seen anything like that, I thought it was 2015 and people don’t act like that.”

However, a senior who said she participated in the initial staged snapshots, but was not involved with the “border patrol” part of the photo presented there, told ABC News that she and her friends were just fooling around and no offense was intended. She said they were dressed in the themed attire in order to represent a Mariachi band for “Twin Day” during their high school’s spirit week in October 2014.

“I am Cuban and I don’t find this offensive,” said Sophie Wasmer, 18. “Without a doubt, people wouldn’t even making these comments if it wasn’t because of social media. … Even girls I sit at lunch with are antagonizing us. If she [Morales] knew that six out of the seven of us were Latino, I don’t think she would’ve done that [complained].”

The Collier County Public School District expressed regret that the photo got through its yearbook vetting process.

“The picture in question is from Naples High School’s Spirit week,” the district said in a statement. “The Naples High yearbook staff has a vetting process for which all content is reviewed. If anyone on the yearbook team finds a picture questionable, the yearbook sponsor brings it forward to Naples High Principal Kevin Saba. That regrettably did not happen in this case.”

In the statement, Saba added, “We regret if any Golden Eagle student, parent, or community member found it offensive. It was certainly not our intent.”

Wasmer said she was surprised to learn via Twitter that the photo was causing so much controversy.

“It looks like we were ‘Crossing the border, being Mexican,’ and that’s not how we wanted it interpreted,” Wasmer said. “Our intention was never to offend anyone. … I’m not really angered by it, but I just want to get over it, pretty much. It was just blown out of proportion.”

Morales said she hoped to enter into a career that combats what she feels is offensive behavior, such as the yearbook image.

“It would be amazing to do that,” Morales told WFTS-TV. “To … make an impact on the world because there is so much inequality in it. It would be awesome to make a change.”

Morales did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for additional comment.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Sea Lion Pup Wanders Into a Bar, Gets Carded

Courtesy Michael Armstrong(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — A sea lion walks into a bar.

This isn’t the set-up to a joke, it happened in real life in Newport Beach, California, last week when a pup waddled in to “grab a beverage,” according to manager Sonia Warner.

But the Beach Ball Bar on Balboa Peninsula refused service to the little guy on May 12.

“We’re very careful not to serve alcohol to minors and he clearly wasn’t above the drinking age,” Warner joked.

The bartender and two customers tried to use bar stools to keep the sea lion outside the bar, but Warner said he wandered in and out for almost two hours. “He had a gash on his back and a little eye problem but he was happy doing his own thing,” Warner told ABC News.

The Newport Beach Animal Control workers took the pup to the vet and he was cleared to be released about 35 miles south, in San Clemente.

That didn’t stop him from making it back to Newport Beach the next day.

This time, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center took him in and appropriately named him Beach Ball, Warner said, noting that the center is treating him for an eye infection and “fattening him up.”

Warner went to visit Beach Ball last week and said the center has about 125 sea lion pups they’re taking care of.

“They told me Beach Ball isn’t alone in being a starving pup,” said Warner. “Apparently the water is so warm it’s making the food deeper. The moms are abandoning their pups.”

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center plans to release Beach Ball back to the wild when he’s healthier.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

DC Mansion Murders: Inside the Search and Arrest of Suspect Daron Wint

WJLA(WASHINGTON) — The man accused of murdering a family and their housekeeper inside their D.C. mansion — before setting it on fire was caught late Thursday night following a multi-state manhunt that stretched from Maryland to New York City.

“It’s been a very active and busy over 48 hours for us,” U.S. Marshal’s Commander Robert Fernandez told ABC News.

Daron Wint was named a suspect in the murder of Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their son Phillip and their housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, whose bodies were found in the Savopoulos home after it was set on fire May 14.

Here is how it went down:

Pizza Crust

Police did not publicly release Wint’s name until a week later, after they were able to positively match trace DNA they found on an uneaten pizza crust left inside the mansion. In the hours before and after the public announcement, the manhunt was on.

Fernandez said that investigators were able to trace the Prince George’s County, Maryland, resident to Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday night, but they were too late.

U.S. Marshal’s and New York Police Department officers “went to the location, but he had just fled so they barely missed him,” Fernandez said.

New York City

NYPD sources told ABC News that they still are not certain that Wint was ever actually in Brooklyn. While police said they did trace his phone to the borough, they have no other evidence except his girlfriend’s testimony placing him physically in New York.

While D.C. Police Commissioner Cathy Lanier said she believed he was in Brooklyn at around noon on Thursday, New York investigators later clarified that they were “not confident” with the testimony that initially led them to believe he was there.

Fernandez said the U.S. Marshals moved on and used additional information, though he did not specify what that intelligence was. It ultimately tracked Wint to College Park, Maryland.

“We were able to marry up the information that we were getting from both locations and determined that he was en route back to the D.C. area. We just had to figure out where he was heading,” Fernandez said.

Back in Maryland

Authorities placed Wint at a Howard Johnson’s and planned to arrest him inside, but Fernandez said plans changed.

“Things are always fluid when you’re trying to find a human body and they’re mobile and before we could get to the hotel, two vehicles left and he was in one of the vehicles,” Fernandez said.

The 20 vehicles that law enforcement had near the hotel then began following the two cars as they were driving north along Route 1. Officers were waiting to “take down” the car because they wanted to be certain he was in the vehicle. Right then the cars made “a wacky U-turn” and the Marshals thought they had been “made,” Fernandez said.

Apparently they hadn’t because the car trail carried on into Washington D.C. until just after 11 p.m. when the arrest was finally made.

“We reached the point where we knew we could take tactically take them down safely so we did without a vehicle pin maneuver on both vehicles and were able to stop them and arrest everybody with not a shot fired,” Fernandez said.

Wint was in a car with another man and two women, and two other men were in the second car, authorities said.

None of the others have been publicly identified and it is unknown whether or not they are still in police custody or if they have been arrested.

Wint is due in D.C. Superior Court Friday afternoon for an initial hearing.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Two California Men Arrested on Terrorism Charges

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Two men from Anaheim, California were arrested Thursday night on terrorism charges, law enforcement sources confirm to ABC News.

The arrests — one at Los Angeles International Airport and the other in Orange County, California — were carried out by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and are said to be a part of a wide-ranging investigation into men suspected of planning travel abroad to join ISIS. They come at a time when the FBI has warned of an ISIS social media campaign to recruit followers.

“There are people in the U.S. who go onto these websites and without ever having talked to anybody or met anybody in ISIS, they get converted,” says ABC News’ counterterrorism consultant Richard Clarke.

Clarke says those American converts are urged to join the fight in Iraq or Syria or kill at home.

In this latest case, there was no known public threat to Southern California.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Marco Rubio and the Pitbull Factor

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — It’s the Florida endorsement Marco Rubio may secretly be vying for — that of hugely popular Cuban rapper Pitbull.

In a BuzzFeed profile of Rubio, an unnamed aide, trying to tout the senator’s cool factor, alluded to Rubio’s hip hop fluency, and citing that he’s on a first name basis with Pitbull.

Rubio has made mention of his favor for Pitbull, whose real is Armando Perez, in the past.

“Pitbull has become a friend and someone from Miami we’re very proud of,” Rubio said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in April.

But Rubio may not have the market cornered on cool. Pitbull has said that his mother and grandmother told him that “politics and religion” are the two things you don’t speak about, according to The Hill.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Atlanta Man Turns the Tables on an Attempted Carjacker

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — “You went to bed and woke up stupid this morning, huh?”

That’s what Hashim Fannin said as a would-be carjacker lay flat on the ground with his hands up, a gun pointed squarely to his back.

Fannin said he was pulling into a parking spot at the Family Dollar in northwest Atlanta earlier this month when Edgar Horn, 61, slid into his passenger seat and allegedly said, “You know what this is.”

That’s when Fannin pulled out a small handgun and “asked him to get out of the car, probably not in those exact words,” Fannin recounted.

When police arrived, cell phone video showed Fannin waving police over, then calmly dropping his weapon. One officer even extends a hand in gratitude before tending to the hapless criminal.

“Honestly, I look at it like this. That is one less guy I got to worry about bothering my mom when she’s out grocery shopping,” Fannin told ABC affiliate WSB.

Horn was arrested for attempted robbery and entering an automobile, according to a police report.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Atlanta Man Turns the Tables on an Attempted Carjacker

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — “You went to bed and woke up stupid this morning, huh?”

That’s what Hashim Fannin said as a would-be carjacker lay flat on the ground with his hands up, a gun pointed squarely to his back.

Fannin said he was pulling into a parking spot at the Family Dollar in northwest Atlanta earlier this month when Edgar Horn, 61, slid into his passenger seat and allegedly said, “You know what this is.”

That’s when Fannin pulled out a small handgun and “asked him to get out of the car, probably not in those exact words,” Fannin recounted.

When police arrived, cell phone video showed Fannin waving police over, then calmly dropping his weapon. One officer even extends a hand in gratitude before tending to the hapless criminal.

“Honestly, I look at it like this. That is one less guy I got to worry about bothering my mom when she’s out grocery shopping,” Fannin told ABC affiliate WSB.

Horn was arrested for attempted robbery and entering an automobile, according to a police report.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

DC Mansion Murder Suspect Taken Into Custody

Metropolitan Police Department(NEW YORK) — Daron Dylon Wint, the man suspected in a quadruple murder at a Washington, D.C. mansion, was taken into custody Thursday night, police sources said.

Wint, 34, was named by Metropolitan Police as the suspect in the murders after his DNA was found on the crust of a Domino’s pizza that had been delivered to the house, authorities said.

Savvas Savopoulos and his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Phillip, and longtime housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa were found dead May 14.

Authorities have not ruled out more than one person being involved in the crime.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

DC Mansion Fire Suspect: ‘No Reason to Believe’ He Is in New York City, Police Say

Metropolitan Police Department(NEW YORK) — New York City police told ABC News that they have “no reason to believe” that quadruple murder suspect Daron Wint is in New York Thursday evening, even though that was widely believed to be the case earlier in the day.

Police have not been able to confirm that Wint, who was named as the suspect in the attack on a family in their Washington, D.C., mansion last week, was ever in New York City despite his girlfriend’s claims that he stayed at her apartment Wednesday night.

The girlfriend, whose name has not been publicly released, said that he might have come up to New York via bus after last Thursday’s murders but police sources told ABC News that they are “not confident” that’s accurate.

The girlfriend met with investigators on Thursday and told them that she was under the impression that Wint would be turning himself in, but police have no indication that will be happening. She is not a suspect in the case and does not face any charges, police said.

Wint was named by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police as the suspect in the yet-unsolved murders after they discovered his DNA at the scene, left on an uneaten pizza crust, authorities said.

D.C. Police Commissioner Cathy Lanier said Thursday morning that Wint was in Brooklyn at that time and law enforcement officials confirmed to ABC News that the U.S. Marshals are working the case in New York and in D.C. through fugitive task forces that include investigators from dozens of law enforcement agencies.

Wint grew up in Guyana and moved to the United States in 2000. A Marine Corps source told ABC News that Wint went through their boot camp on a South Carolina base for two months in 2001 but he never graduated from the program, meaning that he was never a Marine and is qualified as a Marine recruit. The reason why he did not graduate was not released.

Lanier said that the investigation has determined that the attack which left four dead including a 10-year-old boy does not appear to be random.

“We do believe there is a connection between the suspect in this case through the business” of the male victim, Savvas Savopoulos, Lanier said.

Wint is believed to have previously worked at American Ironworks, the company which Savopoulos was CEO, she said.

Wint has previously been charged with second degree assault four times and one fourth degree sexual offense, all in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Three of the assault charges and the sexual offense charge were dropped but he was found guilty of second degree assault in March 2009.

NYPD detective bureaus in each precinct have been alerted to the possibility the suspect may be in New York or the surrounding areas.

Police do not know about any car that Wint may be using, but Lanier suggested that Wint may have traveled from the D.C. area to New York via bus.

Police urged anyone who sees Wint to call police and to treat him as armed and dangerous.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Baltimore Grand Jury Indicts Officers in Freddie Gray’s Death

Courtesy Murphy, Falcon & Murphy(BALTIMORE) — Three weeks after Baltimore’s top prosecutor announced initial charges against the six police officers involved in the controversial arrest of Freddie Gray, a grand jury has now indicted all six officers.

“As our investigation has continued, additional information has been discovered, and as is often the case during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence,” state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby, the chief prosecutor for Baltimore, announced Thursday afternoon.

The grand jury returned the indictments earlier in the day after hearing evidence from prosecutors for two weeks, Mosby said.

The charges outlined in the indictment are nearly identical to charges announced earlier this month — though the grand jury added “reckless endangerment” charges and dropped false imprisonment charges against some of the officers.

Gray, 25, died last month after suffering a spinal injury during an arrest and subsequent van transport, during which he was handcuffed but unsecured. The incident sparked violent protests and a federal civil rights probe into the entire Baltimore Police Department over whether officers engage in a “pattern or practice” of discriminatory policing.

According to Mosby, the specific charges in the indictments are:

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. (van driver)

Second-degree depraved heart murder; involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; manslaughter by vehicle and gross negligence; manslaughter by vehicle, criminal negligence; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.

Officer William Porter

Involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.

Lt. Brian Rice

Involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner and an illegal arrest; reckless endangerment.

Officer Edward Nero

Second-degree intentional assault; misconduct in office for an illegal arrest; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.

Officer Garrett Miller

Second-degree intentional assault; misconduct in office for an illegal arrest; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.

Sgt. Alicia White

Involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →