Review Category : Top Stories

11 Kayakers Hit by Ferry in NYC

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — Eleven kayakers were hit by a ferry in the Hudson River Tuesday evening, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The ferry departed from Pier 79 in New York City and hit the kayakers at just before 6 p.m. Officers from the NYPD Special Operations Division pulled several people from the water, the NYPD confirmed.

Five kayakers were taken to area hospitals, according to the Coast Guard. Two people were in critical condition.

We believe as many as ten kayakers may have been hit by a departing ferry from Pier 79. Additional updates to follow from the scene.

— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) August 30, 2016

All 451 people on board the ferry were accounted for, according to an NYPD dispatch call. One of the injured had a “severe laceration” to his left arm, while another suffered an injury to his head, according to the call.

The cause of the collision is currently under investigation.

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Side-by-Side Hurricanes Heading Toward Hawaiian Islands

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Two hurricanes are heading side-by-side toward the Hawaiian islands, and they are expected to cause severe weather in the area late this week, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center told ABC News.

The first, Hurricane Madeline, is moving west with maximum sustained winds at 120 mph, making it a Category 3 storm. The forecast track takes the hurricane just south of the Big Island around Thursday morning. A hurricane watch has been issued for Maui and waters around the Big Island, and a tropical storm warning has been issued for the Big Island.

The main impact for Madeline will be heavy rain, dangerous waves, rip currents and damaging winds.

Right behind Madeline is fellow Category 3 storm, Hurricane Lester, with winds up to 120 mph. It is currently heading west and could move just north of Hawaii on Saturday morning.

If both hurricanes make landfall, they will be the first back-to-back hurricanes to ever hit the Hawaiian islands, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center told ABC News.

On the East Coast of the U.S., tropical depressions continue to churn in the Atlantic Ocean, bringing with them fears of hurricanes along the coast.

So far, the depressions do not pose an urgent threat to any land mass, but Hurricane Gaston, a storm likely to finish its course in the Atlantic, has created rip currents apparently strong enough to drown a 26-year-old swimmer Monday evening in Long Beach, New York.

New Yorker Ed Fayans and his son, Maxwell, helped rescue another swimmer off Long Beach.

“If you don’t know how to swim, and you’re not on your game, those waves will pull you,” Fayans, a surfer who witnessed the ordeal, told ABC’s New York station WABC-TV.

A tropical depression that formed Sunday off the coast of North Carolina appears sluggish and disorganized this morning, and is likely struggling to survive.

A chance exists that it could become a weak tropical storm later Tuesday, hitting the outer banks of North Carolina. Because of the threat, the National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for the Outer Banks of the state.

Another tropical depression is further away, located north of Cuba and in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but is considered to be a more organized storm that could strike landfall north of Tampa on Thursday morning.

As for the Long Island drowning, it was the first such incident this summer, according to WABC-TV.

Another swimmer that lifeguards pulled out of the Atlantic survived, the station reported.

“Somebody came running up to tell us that there’s two guys in the surf need help, and I only saw one,” Fayans told WABC-TV. “And then when I started running down, I saw a limp body in the surf, and I took that one and my son went out and got the guy who was way out that was losing it.”

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Massachusetts Man Wanted to Attack Mosque and Kill Obama, FBI Says

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — A Massachusetts man, already under FBI investigation, was arrested over the weekend and charged with weapons possession after allegedly telling a childhood friend that he wanted to attack a mosque or kill President Obama, or do both, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Joseph Garguilo, 40, was arrested early Saturday morning in connection with the possession of a “trove of weapons” in violation of a restraining order, ammunition and incendiary material, as well as his threats to use them, according to the U.S. Attorney.

He allegedly told the friend he wanted to “chain a mosque closed and burn it down. Burn every [person] down in there,” according to court records.

Another person also reported him to the FBI on July 27, the charging documents allege. That person feared he was using drugs, acquiring parts to make an AR-15 and stockpiling other weapons, food and water because “Garguilo believes that the structure of America will collapse and that America is going to enter a state of martial law,” the court records state.

When martial law is declared, Garguilo told his children, he hopes to build thermite grenades to kill police officers, according to the documents.

That person also told the FBI that “he will plant bombs in police stations … and kill as many homeland security officers as he can before they kill him,” according to court documents.

The childhood friend also called the FBI to say he saw in Garguilo’s basement a partially assembled AR-15, crossbow and knives, according to the court records.

The friend told the FBI Garguilo said he wanted to “attack a mosque and/or kill President Obama,” according to the court records. He also said Garguilo’s “mental state had gone downhill,” the documents state.

The friend also reported that Garguilo made a comment to the effect that when Obama was on the golf course in Martha’s Vineyard, Garguilo should have taken the opportunity to kill him, according to court documents.

The United States Secret Service is aware of the arrest and referred questions to the FBI.

When agents searched Garguilo’s residence last Friday they found ammunition, magazines, parts to assemble AR-15 rifles and chemicals that could be combined to create explosive material, according to the criminal complaint.

Agents also recovered handwritten notes allegedly threatening violence against Muslims.

Garguilo was taken into custody Saturday and had an initial court appearance Monday. He was charged with possessing ammunition in violation of the restraining order. He did not enter a plea, but plans to plead not guilty, according to his attorney, Mark Meehan.

Meehan said Gargiulo is, “first and foremost, a loving and dedicated father to his two boys.”

“[T]he character the media is portraying Mr. Gargiulo as being is not accurate,” the lawyer told ABC News in a statement. “Mr. Gargiulo, from what I am aware of, has never entertained any plots against any individual or group. Mr. Gargiulo may not possess mainstream political beliefs, but what beliefs he does hold is no threat. He is a collector of self-defense tools and can be categorized as what is called a ‘prepper,’ that is, preparing for difficult times.”

The FBI discovered that Garguilo has a criminal history with a number of “sealed adult appearances,” according to the court records. The status of an earlier conviction was unclear, according to the FBI.

As a result of the information the FBI received, it contacted the Holliston Police Department in Massachusetts. Detectives there were familiar with Garguilo and said they believed he had been involved in some kind of hit-and-run incident, according to court records.

Detectives also said that Garguilo had metal bars on his doors and windows, wears a handcuff key on his neck and is believed to abuse prescription medication, the documents state.

The restraining order required that he surrender all firearms and ammunition to police based on the finding that there “there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse…”

A detention hearing is scheduled for Garguilo on Sept. 7. He is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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Police Reviewing Videos of Deadly Cornell Campus Stabbing

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) — Police in Ithaca, New York, are reviewing videos as they work to determine what led to the stabbing death of an Ithaca College sophomore on Cornell University’s campus early Sunday.

Nineteen-year-old Anthony Nazaire, who had just begun his sophomore year studying business administration at Ithaca College, was stabbed along with another Ithaca student during a “large fight” on the Cornell campus after a student-organized event, Ithaca College said in a statement.

The stabbing happened when “several fights broke out” shortly before 2 a.m., Cornell University said in a statement Monday.

“These events occurred after a party at Willard Straight Hall sponsored by a Cornell fraternity, Omega Psi Phi,” the statement said. “For several years the fraternity has hosted such an event during the first week of classes.”

Nazaire, of Brooklyn, New York, died from the stabbing, Ithaca College said. The other victim, whose name was not released, was treated and released from the hospital, Ithaca College and Cornell said.

No perpetrators have been apprehended or identified yet, Ithaca College said Sunday.

The Ithaca Police Department is investigating. Public Information Officer Jamie Williamson of the Ithaca police told ABC News that the department has received multiple videos that show several fights, but described the scene as chaotic and said it’s difficult to discern what was happening.

Williamson said police are still working to identify people seen in the videos and hope they can improve the quality of the images to get a better look at the scene.

The police are requesting more people step forward to submit videos from the incident.

Williamson told ABC affiliate WSYR-TV in Syracuse Monday that “video has helped us to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together, but not everything quite yet.”

Nazaire’s sister Kiara Nazaire told ABC station WABC-TV in New York that she heard from another student that a “bump” started the fight.

Anthony “was with his friend, his friend bumped the girl by accident and he apologized,” Kiara Nazaire said. “Both of them apologized, even my brother apologized and didn’t bump the girl.”

But the situation seemed to escalate. In an attempt to avoid further conflict, Anthony and his friend “walked away,” she said.

“These cowards followed them and hit his friend,” Kiara Nazaire added. “Anthony tried to help his friend but he was hit, too.”

Ithaca police told ABC News they have heard about the potential reason for the altercation and are looking into it.

“My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Anthony Nazaire,” Ithaca College President Tom Rochon said. “He graduated from Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, and at IC he was a member of the executive board of Brothers4Brothers, a student organization dedicated to empowering men of color on our campus.”

“I don’t understand how someone could just take someone’s life away like that,” Kiara Nazaire told WABC. “I would see killings all over the news … I never knew that it would have to be me crying over someone so close.”

“I just hope my brother finds justice,” she added.

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911 Calls from Pulse Nightclub Shooting Released

Loren Elliott/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Officials released 911 calls from the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, for the first time Tuesday.

Forty-nine people were killed in the June 12 massacre and dozens of others were injured.

In one call, a female dispatcher says, “You say you heard gunshots?”

A male caller replies, “As soon as I heard … we ran. … Gunshots were going like crazy.”

In another 911 call, a man says his girlfriend is at Pulse, where she is hiding in a bathroom.

“There’s like 18 people, two are dead, they’re in the bathroom,” the man says. “They’re all scared to death, they all think they’re gonna die.”

He says his girlfriend is texting him because she’s afraid the shooter will hear.

“She saying the shooters are here. So I don’t know if they’re in the bathroom with her now or just in the club,” the man tells 911.

At one point, he tells the dispatcher his girlfriend is not responding.

“It’s OK, she might be with the deputies or she might be just trying not to let the light come out,” the dispatcher replies. “I’m gonna stay on the phone with you.”

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Harrowing Dashcam Footage of 10-Car Crash Shows People Rescuing Woman from Burning Car

Courtesy City of Binghamton(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — The mayor of Binghamton, New York, has released dashcam footage of a 10-car pileup on Highway 17 last week in an attempt to find and honor the bystanders who can be seen on camera rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle.

Good Samaritan Jay Zemotel said he was among those at the scene of the crash, which he said, “words can’t describe,” and helped rescue a paralyzed woman and others who were trapped in their vehicles.

“It was just amazing; a big cloud of dust. And when it settled it was just car parts and shrapnel everywhere. It was unexplainable,” Zemotel told ABC News Tuesday.

“It was a pretty traumatic event. I haven’t really slept well since. You just replay the accident in your head,” Zemotel said of the accident. “It was just kind of strange because I totally missed the accident. It was literally like feet in front of me.”

Zemotel said he was pulling a man from his vehicle when he noticed a woman calling for help in her vehicle behind them. “Then I saw she was in a wheelchair, and then I saw the other car on fire, and I was like, ‘OK, we have got to get you out of here.'”

“It was like I was trapped in a movie. You see a car on fire you think it’s going to blow up. I was kind of fearing for my life, but I wasn’t going to leave her there. There’s just no way,” Zemotel said.

He added that he was just happy that no one died in the crash.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David said in a Facebook post that “miraculously,” there were no fatalities, and praised the “brave individuals” who stepped up to help.

“Dramatic dash camera video of last week’s 10-vehicle pileup on Route 17 in the City of Binghamton. It captures the chilling first moments of the crash and the actions of bystanders who pulled a woman from a burning vehicle. In a time of crisis, these brave individuals navigated through flames and broken glass to save a stranger’s life,” the mayor wrote in a Facebook post.

“The woman suffered only minor cuts and bruises. Miraculously, the crash resulted in no fatalities. We’re still attempting to identify those seen on video so they can be recognized for their efforts. On behalf of our entire community, I commend these unsung heroes as well as our local police, fire and EMS first responders. Binghamton is safer because of you.”

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Tropical Depressions Churn as Hurricane Season Peaks, and a Swimmer Drowns

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Tropical depressions continue to churn in the Atlantic Ocean, bringing with them fears of hurricanes along the coast.

So far, the depressions do not pose an urgent threat to any land mass, but Hurricane Gaston, a storm likely to finish its course in the Atlantic, has created rip currents apparently strong enough to drown a 26-year-old swimmer Monday evening in Long Beach, New York.

A tropical depression that formed Sunday off the coast of North Carolina appears sluggish and disorganized Tuesday morning, and is likely struggling to survive.

A chance exists that it could become a weak tropical storm later Tuesday, hitting the outer banks of North Carolina. Because of the threat, the National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Warning for the outer banks of the state.

Another tropical depression is further away, located north of Cuba and in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but is considered to be a more organized storm that could strike landfall north of Tampa Thursday morning.

As for the Long Island drowning, it was the first such incident this summer, according to ABC New York station WABC-TV.

Another swimmer that lifeguards pulled out of the Atlantic survived, the station reported.

“Yeah, somebody came running up to tell us that there’s two guys in the surf need help, and I only saw one,” Ed Fayans, a surfer who witnessed the ordeal, told WABC-TV. “And then when I started running down, I saw a limp body in the surf, and I took that one and my son went out and got the guy who was way out that was losing it.”

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

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Active Tropics in the Atlantic as Peak Hurricane Season Begins

ABC News(NEW YORK) — There are currently two tropical depressions churning in the Atlantic Basin. Tropical Depression 8 is near the Outer Banks and Tropical Depression 9 is entering the Gulf of Mexico. Both are expected to become tropical storms by Tuesday. In addition, there is also Atlantic’s first major hurricane of the season, Gaston, which is no threat to land.

These tropical systems are creating rough surf and dangerous rip currents for the next several days up and down the East Coast; alerts are up from Florida to Long Island!

ABC NewsTropical Depression 8 formed on Sunday off the coast of North Carolina and currently has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It is trying to organize and could strengthen into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours. The current forecast track brings the potential topical storm near North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Tuesday. By Wednesday, it is racing back out to sea away from the coast.

ABC NewsTuesday is the primary day for impacts to be felt in coastal North Carolina from this system, and a tropical storm warning is in effect from Cape Overlook to Oregon Inlet. The main hazards are gusty winds, rip currents, high waves, and heavy rain accumulations locally up to 5 inches for the Outer Banks.

ABC NewsTropical Depression 9 also formed on Sunday and is currently over Northern Cuba, bringing torrential rain there with some of that moisture making its way into the Florida Keys. Right now, it has max sustained winds at 35 mph and is moving west-northwest at 5 mph. Cuba may see up to a foot of rain through Wednesday, which could cause flash flooding and mudslides. Also, because of its close vicinity to Florida, Tampa to Miami could also see up to a half-foot of rain (locally 6 inches or more) through Wednesday.

Here’s the current forecast track; you can see that Tropical Depression 9 is also expected to become a tropical storm by Tuesday, and will continue a strengthening trend in the Gulf of Mexico before turning around and heading toward the Gulf Coast of Florida.

ABC NewsAs of right now, there are no tropical storm watches or warnings anywhere in the state of Florida. Tropical storm conditions are possible there by Thursday, so Florida residents along the Gulf Coast need to continue to monitor this system.

ABC NewsHurricane Gaston has become the first major hurricane in the Atlantic Basin this season. It is still considered a “fish storm” and is no threat to any landmasses. At the time, there are no hurricane threats anywhere in the U.S. Gaston has weakened from a Category 3 to a Category 2 hurricane and will continue to weaken as it moves out to sea over the next few days.

ABC NewsAnother area of tropical interest this week is Hawaii. Currently TWO hurricanes, named Madeline and Lester, are threatening the islands one after another later this week into the weekend. The first hurricane we will be tracking is Madeline, which is moving west-northwest with maximum sustained winds at 115 mph. The forecast track takes the Hurricane Madeline just south of Hilo during the Wednesday-Thursday time frame as a Category 1. After Madeline has passed, Hurricane Lester is lurking not too far behind, and could also threaten Hawaii this weekend.

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Man Arrested After Trying to Open Alaska Airlines Door Mid-Flight

Alaska Airlines(SEATTLE) — Authorities led a man off an Alaska Airlines flight in handcuffs after he attempted to open the aircraft’s door mid-flight on Monday, reports KOMO, an ABC affiliate in Seattle.

The Seattle-bound flight took off from JFK International Airport in New York, but was diverted to Minneapolis so the man could be removed and taken into custody.

The passenger became unruly, then tried to open a door at the rear of the 737, Alaska spokeswoman Halley Knigge told KOMO.

She said it would not be possible for a passenger to open the door in flight because of air pressure differences inside and outside the plane.

The crew initially tried to calm the man, then decided to divert to Minneapolis. Police arrested the man after the 737 landed in Minneapolis about 9:45 a.m. local time, KOMO reported.

The plane finally landed in Seattle just before 1 p.m. local time.

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How Violence in Chicago Compares to Other Cities

amana images/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — The killing of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin Nykea Aldridge, who was caught in crossfire as she walked her newborn on Chicago’s South Side, has brought more attention to the widespread violence in the Midwest’s largest city.

The statistics on such slayings in Chicago are staggering. There were 316 homicides from Jan. 1 to June 30 of this year. No other city cracked the 300s.

The nation’s largest city, New York – which has a population about three times Chicago’s – had 161 homicides in the first half of this year.

There were 244 homicides in Los Angeles area, according to numbers from the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Here’s how the number of homicides in Chicago compares to the other U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates:

Major Cities Chiefs Association

And how the number of non-deadly shootings in Chicago compare to those same cities:

Major Cities Chiefs Association

“An increasing numbers of major cities across the country are experiencing increases in violent crime – in particular gun-related crime,” and much of this crime is occurring within minority communities, said John Cohen, an ABC News contributor who is a former U.S. counterterrorism official.

Cohen attributed the violence in Chicago and other cities to three trends: 1. An increased level of confrontational gang interactions; 2. more guns being carried; 3. and local police pulling back in proactive stops.

“It’s primarily being driven by gang-related activity, and the fact that criminals in these communities believe they are less likely to be stopped by police so they are choosing to carry guns,” Cohen said. “So when a confrontation occurs it’s more likely going to turn into a shooting.”

“People are scared of being involved in a confrontation where another person has a gun and they don’t. So people in these communities are carrying guns, because their perceiving the police being less proactive in trying to find people carrying guns, Cohen said. “It’s a whole different risk question for them. … They would rather take the risk of being caught with a gun illegally than not having a gun if they’re involved in a confrontation with another gang member.”

And “part of the reason they feel more emboldened to carry… they are seeing they are being stopped less frequently by police.” Cohen said. “Criminals ware much more willing to carry guns because they believe they can get away with carrying those guns, because they are also seeing a decrease in police going out in the communities to contact people and get guns off the street.”

Cohen said proactive stops by police “is the primary way you deal with this type of violence.”

Police usually “deal with gang-related violence through a variety of focused, proactive enforcement activities targeting repeat offenders and violent gang members,” Cohen said

But those efforts are difficult in Monday’s highly charged, polarized environment, Cohen said, where “attitudes towards police – particularly in communities of color – are negative” and police departments “need to work to regain trust with those community members.”

Cohen says decreasing gang-related crime is going to take police officers’ going into those communities and aggressively targeting repeat offenders, people on parole and probation, and gang members — “those individuals who we know are involved in violent activity.”

As Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson this weekend announced the arrests of two convicted felons in connection with Aldridge’s killing, he said, “This reprehensible act of violence is an example of why we need to change the way we treat habitual offenders in the city of Chicago. When will enough be enough?”

“She was just another mother who wanted her children to get an education just like any good parent would,” Johnson said of Aldridge. “Instead her life was cut short by gunfire from two convicted felons who were both out on parole. One of whom was on his daily break from an electronic monitoring bracelet.”

Johnson said Chicago must “take action when it comes to how we sentence our repeat gun offenders. I’m frustrated, you should be frustrated, all Chicagoans should be frustrated.”

“This tragedy isn’t just noteworthy because Ms. Aldridge has famous family member,” he said. “It’s noteworthy because these two offenders are the prime example of the challenge we face here in Chicago with repeat gun offenders that don’t care who they shoot, don’t care whose life they take and clearly, clearly, don’t fear the consequences of their actions.”

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