NYPD(ROCKAWAY, N.Y.) — New York City police have released a sketch of a witness they are looking to identify and speak to as they investigate the unsolved murder of a Queens jogger.

On Aug. 2, 30-year-old Karina Vetrano was strangled to death while jogging along a path she and her father often ran together in the Howard Beach, New York, community.

Nearly one month later, about 85 tips have come in, but the case remains unsolved. The New York Police Department still has no hits from DNA recovered from the scene. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Tuesday the killing is still believed to be a random attack. Police have talked to known shoplifters and panhandlers in the area and have traced all possible escape routes, but no suspect appears on any surveillance camera.

As police released the witness sketch Wednesday, Boyce emphasized the witness is not a suspect or a person of interest but that he was allegedly in the area at the time of the murder and police want to speak to him.

The witness is described as a black man between the age of 35 and 45 who was wearing a wool cap. He stands at about 5’10” and has a medium build.

The sketch was prepared by utility worker who was working in the area at the time.

Because nothing came of surveillance video, police are relying on witness recollection; they’ve been interviewing joggers and bicycle riders every day.

Vetrano’s devastated parents addressed the media on Aug. 18, pleading with their daughter’s killer to “own up” to the crime.

“I know that you’re tormented,” her father, Phil Vetrano, said. “I know that you’re being driven crazy. I know that you want to do the right thing.”

“My little baby was brutalized by this person, by this evil coward,” his wife, Cathy Vetrano, said. “Her last moments were horrible.”

She then spoke directly to the killer: “Show someone that you care about that you’re not as evil as the whole world thinks that you are. You can’t run. It’s just a matter of time.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — A Florida State University football player who spotted a middle school student eating alone in a lunchroom and chose to sit at his table received a very public and heartfelt thank you from the boy’s mother.

FSU wide receiver Travis Rudolph was visiting Montford Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida, Tuesday when he saw the student, Bo Paske, eating alone and joined him at his table.

Bo’s mom, Leah Paske, wrote on Facebook that she was sent a photo of Rudolph eating with her son with the caption, “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son.”

Paske wrote that the photo brought her to tears. She explained her son has autism and when she asks him every day who he ate lunch with, the answer is often “nobody.”

“I had tears streaming down my face,” Paske wrote on Facebook of the photo. “I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten.

“This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes,” she wrote. “Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life!”

Paske’s Facebook post has been shared nearly 8,000 times since she posted it Tuesday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

lzf/iStock/Thinkstock(ROCKAWAY, N.Y.) — Police are expected to release a witness sketch in the unsolved case of a Queens woman who was murdered while on a jog in her neighborhood nearly one month ago.

On Aug. 2, 30-year-old Karina Vetrano was strangled to death while jogging along a path she and her father often ran together in the Howard Beach, New York, community.

Nearly one month later, the case remains unsolved. The New York Police Department still has no hits from DNA recovered from the scene. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Tuesday the killing is still believed to be a random attack. Police have talked to known shoplifters and panhandlers in the area and have traced all possible escape routes, but no suspect appears on any surveillance camera.

It’s not clear when the sketch will be released.

Vetrano’s devastated parents addressed the media on Aug. 18, pleading with their daughter’s killer to “own up” to the crime.

“I know that you’re tormented,” her father, Phil Vetrano, said. “I know that you’re being driven crazy. I know that you want to do the right thing.”

“My little baby was brutalized by this person, by this evil coward,” his wife, Cathy Vetrano, said. “Her last moments were horrible.”

She then spoke directly to the killer: “Show someone that you care about that you’re not as evil as the whole world thinks that you are. You can’t run. It’s just a matter of time.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Jean Vaillancourt/iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Former Stanford University student Brock Turner, who was sentenced to six months in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting a woman, is slated to be released from prison on Friday, after serving just about three months of his sentence.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2014 that more than 13,500 inmates per month were released early in an effort to relieve crowding.

Turner faced up to 14 years in prison, and prosecutors sought a six-year term, but Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky — who is now facing a recall campaign over his handling of the case — opted for the lighter jail term and three years probation. At the time, Persky said that a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner.

Last week, Persky moved to civil court, officials said.

Turner’s case hit the national spotlight in June, when Buzzfeed published the 23-year-old victim’s impact statement, which she read in court.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — Minnesota Vikings practice was ended abruptly on Tuesday after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a serious knee injury.

ESPN reports that Bridgewater suffered a torn ACL and a dislocated knee when he crumpled to the ground during a non-contact drill. The team released a statement which said that Bridgewater does not have nerve or arterial damage. Still, Bridgewater is unlikely to play this season.

Bridgewater’s leg gave out when he planted to throw a pass during a drill. Players reportedly threw their helmets and shouted, with many dropping to a knee in prayer. An ambulance took Bridgewater from the team’s headdquarters moments after the injury.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told ESPN that his message to Bridgewater was to “hang in there” and that the team is “with him.”

“We’re gonna grieve today and be upset about it,” Zimmer told reporters later on. “It’s more about our feelings for Teddy and for him as a person and getting better than it is about anything else. Teddy’s a great kid, and he’ll be back as soon as he possy can, if it is real bad. But we’re going to keep fighting.”

The team had hoped Bridgewater was prepared to take a major step forward in his third year in the NFL. Now, they will turn to backup quarterback Shaun Hill. Hill, 36, has played just 16 games over the past five seasons.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow showed off his skills in a different sport Tuesday, as he worked out for 28 Major League Baseball teams in his attempt to break into baseball.

Tebow got mixed reviews after the more than two hour workout. He showed power at the plate and impressive speed, but struggled with his throwing arm and his footwork.

Every MLB team except the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics sent representation to Tebow’s workout.

Tebow struggled against off-speed pitches from former major leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith, who threw to the University of Florida alum.

Tebow has not played competitive baseball since his junior year of high school in Jacksonville, Florida in 2005. He told reporters that he felt the pressure of the tryout. Still, he said, “this isn’t about publicity. It’s definitely not about money. I took a pay cut to do this. For me, you pursue what you love regardless of what else happens.”

“If you fail or fall flat on your face, and that’s the worse thing that can happen, it’s okay.”

Aardsma told the Los Angeles Times that Tuesday’s workout was the worst he had seen Tebow look. Aardsma had previously pitched to Tebow in a private workout last week. “It looked like he was trying really hard, overswinging a bit,” Aardsma said.

ESPN reports that Tebow hopes to play in the instructional league in Arizona next month, and perhaps play winter league ball in Latin America after the season.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
L.A. Angels 4, Cincinnati 2

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 5, Toronto 3
Cleveland 5, Minnesota 4
Detroit 8, Chi White Sox 4
Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3
Texas 8, Seattle 7
Houston 3, Oakland 1
N-Y Yankees 5, Kansas City 4 (10 Innings)

NATIONAL LEAGUE
L.A. Dodgers at Colorado POSTPONED
Washington 3, Philadelphia 2
Atlanta 7, San Diego 3
N-Y Mets 7, Miami 4
Chi Cubs 3, Pittsburgh 0
St. Louis 2, Milwaukee 1 (10 Innings)
Arizona 4, San Francisco 3

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Courtesy City of Binghamton(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Bystanders who jumped into action to save a woman’s life described the “surreal” scene after a multiple-vehicle accident trapped a motorist inside her car as it burst into flames.

The mayor of Binghamton, New York, released dashcam footage of the 10-car pileup in the hopes of finding and honoring the people who can be seen on camera rescuing the woman.

ABC News spoke exclusively with four of the men who helped save the woman’s life.

The good Samaritans behind the daring rescue during the Aug. 25 accident recalled the moments when they decided to rush to an elderly woman’s aide rather than stand by and watch.

Ed Staff, seen in the video wearing neon green shorts and a baseball hat, told Good Morning America, “It was like a demolition derby. It really was.”

“It was miraculous that nobody got killed in this accident, said Chris White. “It’s tough.” White is pictured in the video wearing jeans and a white shirt while helping carry the woman away from the fiery scene.

“It’s hard to watch,” Doug Kumpon, added.

Albert Fior, in black shorts and a blue shirt told ABC, “I looked inside the car and I noticed that there was a female trying to get our attention, waving her hands frantically.”

While the group of strangers worked together, struggling to get the car doors open, Kumpon said, “flames shot out from that rear quarter of the car. That was pretty scary.”

With the vehicle up in flames and the woman still trapped inside, Staff jumped into action, “I run to the tractor trailer there and the driver was just getting out and he’s got a fire extinguisher in his hand. So I grabbed that fire extinguisher and I run back to the car that’s burning.”

White said that in the heat of the moment, he knew he had to do whatever he could, “I couldn’t live just watching somebody burn to death without me putting up a fight.”

“It was a very surreal few minutes in our lives,” said Kumpon, who said he doesn’t believe they’re heroes. He said the group “did what we had to do at the end of the day and got the job done.”

But the mayor of Binghamton, Richard C. David, begs to differ saying, “You wanna know what a hero looks like? Take a look at this video and you’ll see several of them in action.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Tarrant County Sheriff(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Lawyers for “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch filed a motion Tuesday asking for Couch’s release from jail, claiming that Tarrant County Criminal Court Judge Wayne Salvant never had jurisdiction to incarcerate him or rule on his case.

Couch was 16 years old when he killed four people and injured 11 more in a drunk driving accident. Nearly six month later, on December 10, 2013, he was sentenced by a Texas juvenile court judge to ten years probation and ordered to spend time in a rehabilitation center.

His case became infamous after a defense psychologist claimed he suffered from “affluenza” because of his privileged upbringing.

Couch, now 19 years old, landed back in court in May of this year after he missed a check-in with his probation officer and fled to Mexico with his mother.

But this time, Couch appeared before an adult criminal court judge who ordered him to serve two years in jail, where he currently spends 23 hours a day in isolation.

In Tuesday’s filing, Couch’s lawyers argued that he was improperly sent to adult criminal court, even though he is now of legal age.

Juvenile proceedings are “civil actions, not criminal cases,” according to the motion. The defense lawyers claim that Couch’s case should be handled in civil court because it originated in juvenile court, according to their reading of Texas laws and the state’s Constitution. They argue that the narrow exceptions that allow a transfer from juvenile court to criminal court do not apply.

Couch asks that all orders by Judge Salvant, including his jail term, be thrown out, explaining in the motion, “Because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter, this Court has no authority to act whatsoever, and any orders -– including the imposition of any and all conditions of probation – previously entered by this Court in this matter are null and void.”

Meanwhile, Couch’s mother Tonya — who was charged with hindering apprehension of a felon and money laundering — was released from home confinement earlier this month. A judge said she no longer needed to be under house arrest, but must wear an electronic monitor and not consume alcohol or drugs while awaiting trial. She currently tends bar in suburban Fort Worth, Texas.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of America’s treatment of “black people and people of color,” has drawn considerable attention for his remarks but questions remain over how the public will perceive his recent actions over time.

Jeremy Schaap — an ESPN writer and the author of “Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics” — and Dave Zirin — the sports editor for The Nation and the author of “What’s My Name, Fool!,” a book about sports and political resistance in America — told ABC News that several factors will determine the legacy of Kaepernick’s recent actions.

Schaap noted that history has warmed to protests of athletes like Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who competed when the Civil Rights Movement was at its peak, and said that “the world has adjusted to their viewpoints.”

“We’ve had a chance to step away with the benefit of hindsight after a cooling down period, and now people judge their actions in a completely different way,” Schaap said.

Zirin, for his part, noted that Smith and Carlos, who raised their fists in a Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, did so in October of 1968, after a storm of highly charged political events, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War.

He described their actions as being “in the context of a movement,” something he said was also true of Kaepernick, pointing to the recent Black Lives Matter protests that have occurred throughout the country.

“He’s elevated the discussion with the actions he’s taken,” Zirin said. “That’s why this story has been so electric. It feels very similar to 1968.”

Ali, of course, drew considerable criticism at the time of his protest but was lionized as an American hero by everyone from President Obama to Donald Trump when he died this year. Smith and Carlos, who were ostracized and received death threats in 1968, later went on to win an Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2008 ESPYs. Nowadays, imagery of their protest has become ubiquitous, and has even been featured in corporate advertising.

Other protests, however, seem to have only been remembered in the context of Kaepernick’s recent actions, like NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s sit-out of the national anthem in 1996 and MLB first baseman Carlos Delgado’s protest of “God Bless America” in 2004.

Zirin differentiated the actions of Abdul-Rauf and Delgado from those of Ali, Smith and Carlos by describing them as “isolated” and not really part of any specific movement.

He said that the isolation of Abdul-Rauf, for example, made him more vulnerable to punishment than Kaepernick. “He was fined, and I don’t think that would happen now,” Zirin said.

Schaap said that Delgado’s actions aren’t really remembered because he never received much in the way of punishment for his protest, which was conducted in response for America’s invasion of Iraq and made in solidarity with a political movement happening in his native home of Puerto Rico over U.S. weapons testing on the island of Vieques.

“He didn’t lose millions of dollars and wasn’t banished from his sport,” Schaap said. “To create a lasting impression [like the protests of Ali, Smith and Carlos], there has to be a sense that these guys are sacrificing something.”

Zirin also noted that Abdul-Rauf and Delgado conducted their protests in an age before social media and that that the public interpretations of their actions were left almost exclusively to sports writers. Nowadays, however, the public at large has a louder voice thanks to social media. He called this change a “bottom up” interpretation of events, rather than “top down,” opening up a broader potential for support of Kaepernick’s actions.

On Tuesday, NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar voiced support for Kaepernick’s protest, driving the discussion on social media even further.

Zirin agreed with Schaap that the degree of sacrifice displayed by an athlete plays an important role in how a protest is viewed by the culture at large, suggesting that Kaepernick was indeed taking a big risk with his career.

“He’s really risking something by doing this,” Zirin said. “It’s all the more admirable that he could be cut by the 49ers.”

Kaepernick electrified fans early in his career. In his first career postseason start in 2012, he helped defeat the Green Bay Packers and set an NFL single-game record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback with 181.

Since that time, however, his performance on the field has been mixed. Last year, he struggled through injury and inconsistency, having the worst year of his career as a pro.

“Even the best athletes have a short time in the spotlight,” Zirin said, noting the difference between Kaepernick taking a political stance versus an established movie star with longevity like George Clooney.

Kaepernick can next be seen on Thursday night, when the San Francisco 49ers play a preseason game in San Diego against the Chargers, who are set to host their “28th Annual Salute to the Military” celebration, recognizing the city’s robust military population with pregame and halftime events.

Kaepernick has said that he will not stand for the national anthem at that game.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →