Review Category : National News

Ohio Woman Fatally Stabbed by Man Who Lured Grandchildren Into Alley

iStock/Thinsktock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — An Ohio woman who was stabbed while protecting her grandchildren from a man who lured the youngsters into an alley, died Wednesday from injuries sustained during the June 23 attack, Columbus Police said.

The children, a boy and a girl, were lured by Kristopher T. Amos, 29, into an alley under the guise of searching for his lost drone, police said.

The children’s grandmother, Candy Arthurs, 45, confronted Amos in the alley. He then pulled a large knife and stabbed her in the chest, and stabbed her grandson Jeremy Mullins, 7, in the shoulder. Her 8-year-old granddaughter was not hurt.

Arthurs was rushed to Mount Carmel West Hospital, but she never recovered from her injuries, and she died more than a month later, on Wednesday, police said. Mullins was treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and recovered.

Amos already been charged with two counts of felonious assault, but an additional charge of murder was added once Arthurs died.

He was arrested without incident Wednesday morning.

According to court documents, Amos is being represented by Thomas J. Port with the Franklin County Public Defender Office. ABC News has reached out for comment.

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Americans to Drink More Bottled Water Than Soda This Year

Danilin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Perhaps it’s a sign of Americans’ increasing concern with health, a growing laziness about filling a water bottle at the tap, or even a fear of tap water contamination.

But Americans are this year for the first time expected to purchase more bottled water than traditional carbonated sodas.

Projections from market research firm Euromonitor show that this year each American will on average purchase 27.4 gallons of bottled water, more than the 26.2 gallons of carbonated sodas.

The gap has been closing for some time. Last year, Americans bought just 0.3 gallons more soda than water per person, down from a 1.9 gallon difference in 2014.

Euromonitor expects the gap to grow in favor of bottled water going into the future, with each American projected to buy 29.8 gallons of the healthy stuff in 2020 compared to 24.1 gallons of soda.

What’s driving this trend isn’t totally clear.

Bloomberg News, who first reported the trend, suggests that recent incidents of tap water contamination — most notably in Flint, Michigan, where people were sickened by lead in the municipal water supply — may be driving people towards bottled water.

However, industry leaders who spoke to ABC News thought that it was more about consumers seeking a healthy lifestyle and greater convenience.

Chris Hogan, a vice president at the International Bottled Water Association, told ABC News that fears of tap water contamination “may play a role in some people’s concerns more recently, but this is an ongoing shift that’s been in the works for several years.”

He added: “More than anything it’s a consumer shift from less healthy food choices to more healthy food choices.”

Additionally, he said, “A lot of what we’re eating now is while we’re on the move or food that we take with us.”

Gary Hemphill of the Beverage Marketing Corporation agreed.

“If you look at the U.S. beverage market, and I suppose it’s true globally as well, people are moving towards healthier options,” he said.

The trend of increased bottled water consumption goes back to the early 1990s, he said, when beverage companies began selling single-serving bottles of water for mass consumption.

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George Zimmerman Says He Was Punched in FL Restaurant After Talking About Trayvon Martin

Gary W. Green-Pool/Getty Images(SANFORD, Fla.) — George Zimmerman told police he was punched in the face Sunday night at a restaurant in Sanford, Florida, while explaining to fellow diners that he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, according to a police report released by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Martin on February 26, 2012, while on neighborhood watch duty. He was charged with second-degree murder but was acquitted after he was found not guilty by a jury on July 13, 2013.

Zimmerman arrived at Gators Riverside Grill Sunday night to place a takeout order when he complimented a patron’s tattoos, he told police. When the man, identified by police as 44-year-old Joseph Whitmer, asked Zimmerman to “prove” that he was “the one” who short Martin, Zimmerman pulled out his driver’s license and began to explain that he shot Martin in self defense.

As Zimmerman spoke to Whitmer, another man, identified by police as Eddie, asked Zimmerman if he was “bragging” about shooting Martin. Zimmerman replied no, police said. Eddie later punched Zimmerman in the face after telling him to “get the f*** out” of the restaurant twice, despite Zimmerman stating that he wasn’t looking for trouble, according to the police report.

Restaurant staff then deescalated the situation, police said. Based on the statements given by Zimmerman, Whitmer and other witnesses, police determined that Eddie was the aggressor. He is described as a white male with a blonde beard and was wearing an orange shirt. He fled the scene on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, police said.

In a seven-minute 911 call placed by Zimmerman, he said the man “punched him in the face” and “said he was going to kill” him, the audio from the call indicates. The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman could “get away” from the aggressor, and Zimmerman replied that he could, but that his friends were “all around.” When asked if anyone had been drinking, Zimmerman replied, “They have, obviously.”

When asked for his name, Zimmerman responded that he would “rather give it to the officers when they” got there. He later said about four or five friends of Eddie’s were getting in their cars and leaving.

“Y’all better hurry up,” Zimmerman said, as he described the motorcycle the man who punched him was leaving in, repeatedly expressing concern that officers would not arrive in time. When asked what started the argument, Zimmerman told the dispatcher, “He recognized me.”

Zimmerman then requested to be treated by paramedics because he didn’t “know where” he was “bleeding from.”

The restaurant also called 911, but when they were called back, an employee told the dispatcher that they “almost” had a fight, but it was broken up.

The offense was listed on the police report as battery, but no one was arrested, as the suspect left before police got to the restaurant.

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Citizen Photographer ‘Pulls Over’ Texas State Trooper for Allegedly Speeding, Gets Apology

ABC News(BELTON, Texas) — A correspondent for a website that photographs police activity recently taped himself “pulling over” a Texas Highway Patrol trooper who, the civilian said, was speeding.

The incident happened this past Monday evening on Interstate 35 between the cities of Jarrell and Belton in central Texas, according to 26-year-old Phillip Turner from Austin.

“I was driving along when this state trooper just flew right by me,” Turner told ABC News today. “He was fast enough that he caused my car to shake a little bit when he passed me.”

Turner said he wasn’t sure if the trooper was responding to an emergency, so he decided to observe the trooper’s car for a bit. He added that he “had a little trouble keeping up” since Turner claims the trooper seemed to be going nearly 90 mph.

“I thought he might’ve been trying to pull over the car in front of him, but he didn’t have his emergency lights or siren on,” Turner said. “Then, he just kept speeding and even went around the guy in front of him. I followed and eventually caught up after there were three cars in front of each lane, and he had nowhere to go.”

Once Turner was behind the trooper’s car and close enough, Turner said he flashed his lights and honked his horn at the trooper.

Video from Turner’s dashboard camera, which he uploaded to YouTube and which also appears on the Photography Is Not A Crime website seems to show the trooper turning on the lights on top of his car before pulling over to the side of the highway. Turner then appears to pull over and park his car behind the trooper’s.

Turner told ABC News that’s when he got out his cell phone to start recording his exchange with the officer.

“What happened? Why’d you flash me?” the trooper can be heard asking on the video Turner shared with ABC News.

“The reason I was trying to pull you over is you flew right by me,” Turner tells the trooper in the video. “You were going pretty fast back there.”

A few seconds later, Turner asks Trooper Granado, “Are you in an emergency or something?”

The trooper replies, “I apologize, sir. I didn’t mean to.”

Turner then tells the trooper, “I feel like people get tickets for that [speeding] all the time,” before asking the trooper again if he was “in an emergency or something.”

The trooper says, “I apologize, sir,” again, and Turner proceeds to ask the trooper for his name and badge number.

“I don’t have it on me,” the trooper replies.

After asking again, the trooper tells Turner what is apparently his badge number.

Turner then asks the trooper for his last name, and the trooper says it’s Granado.

A few seconds later, Turner asks Granado if he can take a picture of his license plate. The video then appears to show the side of Granado’s car, which appears to have a Texas Highway Patrol logo.

Granado can then be heard saying, “I apologize, I know I was speeding,” before telling Turner, “Alright, we got to get going.”

Turner then asks if the trooper has a business card, and the trooper replies, “I don’t have a business card on me, sir. I don’t have one on me. If I had one on me I’d give it to you.”

Before leaving, Turner asks Granado if he’s “a sergeant, corporal, deputy,” and Granado tells Turner he’s a trooper. He also spells his last name out for Turner.

Turner then says, “Mind slowing down for me?” before the two appear to part ways, and the video ends.

Turner told ABC News that he has no intention of filing a complaint over the incident and that he was “happily surprised that the officer was very polite, professional and honest about his mistake.”

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, of which the Highway Patrol is a part, told ABC News in a statement that the trooper in the video is David Granado. Spokesman Tom Vinger said Granado “notified his chain of command of the incident, and it is currently under review.”

Texas’ administrative code says the state’s public safety department “complies with Texas Transportation Code.” The state’s codes list rules for the public safety department’s law enforcement officers.

According to the state’s transportation code, law enforcement officers may only exceed the maximum speed limit when responding to an emergency call, pursuing on actual or suspected violator of the law, responding to but not returning from a fire alarm, directing or diverting traffic for public safety purposes or conducting a police escort.

The Texas administrative code adds that “in deciding not to operate the emergency lights or siren in compliance with the provisions of Texas Transportation Code, §546.004, the driver of the emergency vehicle should give consideration to the safety of others.”

Granado did not appear to have his emergency lights or siren on at the time Turner said he was speeding, according to Turner’s video. It was also not immediately clear if Granado was doing any of the actions listed above that permit Texas law enforcement officers to exceed the maximum speed limit.

Vinger, the public safety department spokesman, did not immediately return ABC News’ requests for additional comment and information, including if Granado was doing any of the above-listed actions that permit law enforcement officers to speed.

ABC News was not immediately successful in reaching Granado for comment.

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Phoenix Police Say Deadly Serial Shooter Now Linked to 9 Cases

ABC News(PHOENIX) — The Phoenix Police Department said it had linked a ninth incident to a deadly serial shooter they say is responsible for killing least seven people from March to June in the Arizona city.

The newest incident came on July 11, when the suspect shot at a vehicle in a residential area.

“The victim’s vehicle was occupied by two people at the time of the shooting, a 21 year old man and a 4 year old boy. Neither victim was injured during the assault,” said an Aug. 3 release posted on the department’s website.

Authorities said they believed the shooter had access to multiple vehicles, including but not limited to a white Cadillac or Lincoln type vehicle and a black late 1990s or early 2000s 5 Series BMW.

At least nine people have been shot in the incidents, which have occurred mostly in the city’s Maryvale area and terrified residents.

Seven were fatally wounded, including a mother and her young daughter. It remained unclear whether the victims were targeted or selected at random.

“These incidents involve somebody intent on doing harm,” Sgt. Jonathan Howard told ABC News in an earlier interview. “In all of these instances, or in the vast majority of the instances, witnesses are reporting that the man was out of his car. This isn’t an opportunity where he’s driving down the road, at a distance without personal interaction, shooting a gun. This is a guy who’s getting out of his car and walking over, getting close.”

Phoenix police said they were searching for the person responsible for these incidents:

March 17: A 16-year-old was shot while walking near 1100 E. Moreland St. at 11:30 p.m. His injuries were not life-threatening.

March 18: A 21-year-old man was shot while standing in the street outside his car at 4300 N. 73rd Ave. around 11:30 p.m. His injuries were not life-threatening.

April 1: A 21-year-old man, Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in his car at 5500 W. Turney Ave. around 9 p.m.

April 19: A 55-year-old woman, Krystal Annette White, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound at 500 N. 32nd St. around 4:30 a.m.

June 3: A 32-year-old man, Horacio De Jesus Peña, was found dead in front of a home at 6700 W. Flower St. around 9:50 p.m.

June 10: A 19-year-old man, Manuel Castro-Garcia, was fatally shot in front of a friend’s home on the 6500 block of W. Coronado Road.

June 12: An unoccupied car was shot at 62000 W. Mariposa Drive around 2:35 a.m. The car was damaged, but no one was hurt.

June 12:
Three people were shot and killed in front of a home at 6300 W. Berkeley Road. Stefanie Ellis, 33, was arriving home with her daughter Maleah Ellis, 12, and friend Angela Linner, 31, when they were shot.

Authorities released a composite sketch of the suspect with the help of a witness.

The Phoenix Police Department is reaching out to the community for tips regarding the shootings and raised the reward to $50,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

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Customers Rescue Employees Burned by Frying Grease After Restaurant Floor Collapse

ABC News(LIVINGSTON, Texas) — After the kitchen floor suddenly collapsed in a Church’s Chicken restaurant in Livingston, Texas — causing deep fryers to topple over and splash hot cooking oil on employees — two customers came to the rescue, according to the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD).

“When the floor collapsed, the deep fryers tilted forward in the direction of three staff members, immersing them in hot grease,” LVFD Chief Corky Cochran told ABC News. The harrowing incident happened early this past Monday evening at the fast food restaurant.

Two customers, who had been placing orders when the incident happened, managed to get two workers out. But one employee got “stuck in crevice in the floor” and trapped between appliances, he added.

“That girl in there was literally cooking,” Margaret Henderson, one of the customers, told ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston.

“Her body was cooking in the grease,” she said.

Henderson’s friend, Gary Bryant, immediately jumped over the counter and “put himself in harm’s way to pull out the girl out from the rubble,” Cochran told ABC News.

“He did the best thing someone could do,” Cochran said. “He’s a hero — and not just a good Samaritan, but a great Samaritan.”

But Bryant told KTRK that he was “no hero” and that he just “couldn’t stand” to see the “girl begging.”

“Every time I think about this — I mean, I’m a grown man, 65 years old — and I feel like breaking down and crying,” Bryant said.

After emergency personnel responded to the scene, the three severely burned employees were transported to the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston, according to Cochran.

The employees were listed in critical, but stable condition as of Thrusday morning, KTRK reported.

Cochran told ABC News that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was investigating the floor collapse.

A public affairs officer for OSHA’s Dallas office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

Church’s Chicken corporate management sent the following statement to ABC News:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the employees and their families who were impacted by an unfortunate incident in a franchise location in Livingston, Texas. The Church’s Partners Foundation will provide some immediate support to the families. We are working closely with the franchisee who is working with the authorities to determine the cause of the accident. At this time, we do not know when the restaurant will reopen.”

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Family of Bears Enjoys Outing at California Lake

ABC News(LAKE TAHOE, Calif.) — A family of three bears was spotted recently bathing in the waters of Lake Tahoe, California.

Video uploaded by a beachgoer showed what appears to be a mama bear with her two cubs splashing around in the lake while onlookers on the shoreline and kayakers observed from a distance.

The bear family then wandered onto the beach and sniffed around for a bit before heading back into the woods.

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Suspected Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof Assaulted in Jail

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Dylann Roof, the alleged gunman authorities say is responsible for killing nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year, was assaulted in jail by another inmate, a jail spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said Roof was out of his cell, heading to or from either recreation or the showers when another inmate physically assaulted him. There did not appear to be weapons involved, the spokesperson said.

Roof was not hospitalized.

Officials did not immediately provide more information about his injuries. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is expected to provide more information at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

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Cops Hunt for Killer of 30-Year-Old Woman Slain While Jogging

NYPD(NEW YORK) — Police in New York City are on the hunt for a killer after a 30-year-old Queens woman went for a jog Tuesday and never came home.

Karina Vetrano often ran on the same jogging path by Howard Beach with her father, Phil, a retired firefighter. But he was having back pain Tuesday and didn’t accompany her on the evening jog. He said he asked her not to go alone, according to local ABC-owned station WABC-TV.

When she didn’t return, Vetrano’s concerned father went out looking for her.

“You can imagine his angst at that point,” New York Police Department’s Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told WABC.

Vetrano’s father was with police when his daughter was found unresponsive in the Queens marshland, a police source said. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

“She was a sweetheart,” neighbor Joseph Dipierro told WABC. “She lit up the room when she walked in. She was a beautiful girl.”

Now, police are searching for answers. Vetrano was strangled to death, the medical examiner said, according to WABC. Police said there was also evidence she was possibly sexually assaulted, WABC reported.

Police have not made any arrests and a police source said the NYPD hasn’t ruled anything out, including the possibility that this could have been a crime of opportunity by a vagrant.

Vetrano’s cellphone was found 50 to 60 feet from where her body was discovered, a police source said, leading detectives to wonder if Vetrano was dragged from the jogging path and strangled before the suspect took her phone and tossed it.

Retired NYPD Detective Sgt. Joseph Giacalone told WABC that detectives are combing through Vetrano’s social media profiles for any clues. Camera footage in the neighborhood will also be reviewed.

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Feds Arrest NC Man for Allegedly Trying to Organize ISIS-Inspired Attacks in US

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — A North Carolina man has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly trying to recruit people to train and launch ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks inside the U.S. homeland.

Erick Jamal Hendricks, 35, of Charlotte was arrested this morning after allegedly contacting several people over social media online, including an undercover FBI agent, one the attackers in Garland, Texas, last year, and an ISIS sympathizer in Ohio who attempted to purchase an AK-47 from an undercover law enforcement officer, according to the Justice Department’s announcement Thursday.

Hendricks allegedly told one person he wanted to create a sleeper cell inside the United States and mentioned military members as potential targets. He claimed to have had 10 people already signed up for the group, the Justice Department alleges.

He allegedly told one undercover agent online, “It’s hard to sift through brothers,” but, “everyday I do this day in and day out.”

According to charging documents filed in the case, in the spring of 2015, Hendricks contacted the Ohio man online, telling him he “needed people” and wanted “to get brothers to train together.” At the time, Hendricks allegedly tested the man’s religious knowledge and his willingness to commit “jihad.” In June 2015, 38-year-old Amir Said Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazi of was arrested after allegedly urging others to join ISIS, expressing his own desire to launch an attack in the United States, and then purchasing an AK-47 from an undercover FBI agent on June 19, 2015.

Hendricks had also allegedly been in touch with Elton Simpson, one of the two men who conducted the failed May 2015 attack on the “Draw Prophet Muhammad contest” in Garland, Texas. Two weeks before the attack, Hendricks allegedly told Simpson that if he sees the woman who organized the event, “[M]ake your ‘voice’ heard against her.” And, according to prosecutors, he asked an undercover agent about the event, wondering, “How big is the gathering?”, “Do you see feds there?” and “Do you see snipers?”

Hendricks has been charged with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. He has not yet entered a plea.

The arrest comes one day after the FBI arrested a transit police officer in Washington, D.C., for allegedly trying to support ISIS. That case marks the first time a law enforcement officer has been arrested on federal charges related to ISIS.

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