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Crime & Law

    A Florida man is facing a charge of reckless driving after plowing through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Johnny Woodberry, 44, was driving a 2005 Cadillac in Cocoa around 2 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and drove into the house, troopers told WFTV. >> Read more trending news  The three children were asleep inside the bedroom when the car drove through it, but troopers said they only sustained minor injuries.Troopers said the children were transported to Wuestoff Hospital and later released, WFTV reported. 
  • A man opened fire on two police officers who were 15 feet away from him on Thursday morning, striking them with bullets that would have hit their chests if not for their bulletproof vests, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news The vests might have saved the officers’ lives, KTVI reported. The pair was conscious and speaking Thursday after the shooting in Bellefontaine Neighbors, according to the news station. They were released from a hospital on Thursday afternoon after getting treatment for their injuries, St. Louis County police said. Bellefontaine Neighbors Mayor Bob Doerr told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the injured officers were a 44-year-old male sergeant who has worked in law enforcement for “half his life” and a 25-year-old female police officer who was hired in 2014. 'They were wearing their bulletproof vests, so thank God,' Doerr old the Post-Dispatch The officers were injured around 7:30 a.m. after being called Thursday morning to a home in north St. Louis County where a man was suspected of having fired multiple shots on Wednesday night, KTVI reported. Police left the home Wednesday after finding no evidence to continue an investigation, St. Louis County police Sgt. Shawn McGuire told KMOV. He told the news station that a neighbor called authorities Thursday morning after spotting the man who was suspected of firing the shots. Officers said they found the person walking in the area and tried to talk to him, but St. Louis County police said they were unsuccessful. “Officers tried to take the suspect into custody, at which time the suspect resisted arrest,” police said. “One of the officers attempted to use a Taser to control the suspect, but was unsuccessful.” Authorities said the man then pulled out a gun and fired shots at the officers’ chests. One of the officers returned fire, but it was not immediately clear if the man was hit. He ran into a home, where he barricaded himself for hours before police officers were able to take him into custody Thursday afternoon. Witness Steve Jones told KMOV he spotted police officers Thursday morning in the front yard of a home on Bellefontaine Road. “All of a sudden, I (see) ... Bellefontaine officers trying to take this man to the ground, and the next thing I know, this man jumps up off the ground and I see pepper spray being deployed from the officers,” Jones told KMOV. “This man backs up about 15 feet and starts shooting.” He said he heard several gunshots and saw the officers fall to the ground. He told KMOV he called 911. Police did not immediately identify the man accused of firing shots at police or either of the injured officers.
  • A man opened fire on two police officers who were 15 feet away from him on Thursday morning, striking them with bullets that would have hit their chests if not for their bulletproof vests, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news The vests might have saved the officers’ lives, KTVI reported. The pair was conscious and speaking Thursday after the shooting in Bellefontaine Neighbors, according to the news station. They were released from a hospital on Thursday afternoon after getting treatment for their injuries, St. Louis County police said. Bellefontaine Neighbors Mayor Bob Doerr told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the injured officers were a 44-year-old male sergeant who has worked in law enforcement for “half his life” and a 25-year-old female police officer who was hired in 2014. 'They were wearing their bulletproof vests, so thank God,' Doerr old the Post-Dispatch The officers were injured around 7:30 a.m. after being called Thursday morning to a home in north St. Louis County where a man was suspected of having fired multiple shots on Wednesday night, KTVI reported. Police left the home Wednesday after finding no evidence to continue an investigation, St. Louis County police Sgt. Shawn McGuire told KMOV. He told the news station that a neighbor called authorities Thursday morning after spotting the man who was suspected of firing the shots. Officers said they found the person walking in the area and tried to talk to him, but St. Louis County police said they were unsuccessful. “Officers tried to take the suspect into custody, at which time the suspect resisted arrest,” police said. “One of the officers attempted to use a Taser to control the suspect, but was unsuccessful.” Authorities said the man then pulled out a gun and fired shots at the officers’ chests. One of the officers returned fire, but it was not immediately clear if the man was hit. He ran into a home, where he barricaded himself for hours before police officers were able to take him into custody Thursday afternoon. Witness Steve Jones told KMOV he spotted police officers Thursday morning in the front yard of a home on Bellefontaine Road. “All of a sudden, I (see) ... Bellefontaine officers trying to take this man to the ground, and the next thing I know, this man jumps up off the ground and I see pepper spray being deployed from the officers,” Jones told KMOV. “This man backs up about 15 feet and starts shooting.” He said he heard several gunshots and saw the officers fall to the ground. He told KMOV he called 911. Police did not immediately identify the man accused of firing shots at police or either of the injured officers.
  • Police in Alpharetta, Georgia, have arrested a restaurant employee accused of using Snapchat to stalk two teenage girls. >> Read more trending news Jason Porras, 23, is charged with enticing a minor for indecent purposes. “Someone had been randomly reaching out to her on social media and over time had sent her inappropriate messages,” the father of one of the girls told WSBTV’s Mike Petchenik. The man is not being identified to protect the identity of his daughter. Police believe Porras, a prep cook at Marlow's Tavern, spotted the girls while they ate lunch at Marlow’s Tavern at Avalon last August, and then used Snapchat’s location application to find them and send them messages. “As they leave, the guy sends them a message, ‘How did you like your food?’” said Officer Jason Muenzer. Muenzer and the father said, over time, Porras continued speaking to the girls via Snapchat and tracking their locations. “Initially started making comments asking where she was, those types of things, which led to him actually soliciting my daughter and one of her friends for sex,” the father said. “More specifically, offering her things like an Apple watch or money if she would do things with him.” Police said Porras also sent the girls explicit pictures. The girls eventually told their parents who, in turn, brought Alpharetta police into it. They tell Petchenik they were able to identify Porras as the messenger. “This 23-year-old did admit he asked the girls for sex for money, and at that point, warrants were taken,” Muenzer said. A spokeswoman for Marlow’s Tavern sent Petchenik a statement about the incident. “The employee was terminated immediately upon our learning of his arrest and the charges against him,” said Melissa Libby. The father said what happened should be a warning to all parents. “If he’d be willing to do this to our daughter and her friend, we were quite confident there was a potential that he’d do this to other kids,” he told Petchenik. “We talk to our kids a lot about social media and the risks and consequences that they don’t think about.” Police echoed that sentiment. “The girls did exactly what we’d hope they would have done. They contacted the parents and the parents eventually contacted us,” said Muenzer. “With Snapchat, you can receive them and then they disappear so you’ve got to stay on top of what’s going on with social activity on the phones. It’s just not safe.”
  • Two people died Wednesday afternoon in a shooting at Penn State’s Beaver campus in what police described as a domestic situation, WPXI confirmed. >> Read more trending news
  • A Decatur municipal court judge has resigned after jailing a woman for perjury, saying she’d lied about a traffic ticket. >> Read more trending news Judge Lindsay Jones offered his resignation to Decatur Chief Municipal Judge Rhathelia Stroud on Wednesday, Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Jones had earlier told The AJC he was not stepping down. The controversy began when Shari Hurston Tatum appeared in court Nov. 8 for a traffic ticket. She waived her right to an attorney and jury trial, but demanded a bench hearing, Jones said. When Tatum reappeared in court Wednesday for that hearing, Jones played video of the traffic incident and decided Tatum was guilty of blocking the intersection and further that Tatum was guilty of perjury. He sentenced her to two days in jail. >> Related: Woman spends 20th anniversary in jail for minor traffic violation “Tatum’s perjury was characterized as misbehavior before the court, and treated as a contempt of court process, for which she was sentenced to two days in jail,” Jones said. Tatum said she was embarrassed and ended up spending her 20th wedding anniversary in jail. After The AJC on Thursday published an article about the incident, Jones sent a letter refuting the idea that he had resigned.  “I have not offered my resignation to Ms. Merris or the City Commission, nor have I spoken with Ms. Merris or the Commissioners as of this date relating to my judgeship,” Jones wrote on Thursday. But Decatur officials say Jones had resigned verbally in conversation the day before with Stroud. “After listening to his report and sharing my concerns and subsequent expectations for what had gone forth in the Court earlier, Judge Jones tendered his verbal resignation to me last night,” Stroud said in an email to Merriss. Stroud further said she accepted the resignation immediately on behalf of the city. Jones said on Sunday he meant only to maintain that he would not change his order in Tatum’s case and that he intended to seek further clarification from Stroud. “I had no intent to offer the resignation of my position to Judge Stroud, I was merely expressing my intent do so in the future if the political pressures being exerting upon me to change my order were to persist,” Jones wrote. Based on his resignation, Jones is no longer a member of the City of Decatur Municipal Court, Merriss said.
  • A woman was arrested after she was accused of smoking on a plane and threatening to kill passengers on the flight. KOIN reported that the woman was on a Southwest Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon to Sacramento, California,  Saturday. Passenger-recorded video appears to show a woman yelling at crew. >> Read more trending news “I swear if you don’t (expletive) land I will (expletive) kill everyone on this (expletive) plane,” the woman says in the video. KOVR reported that the witness who recorded the video said the woman, Valerie Curbelo, 24, was caught smoking in the bathroom of the plane and attempted to interfere with the smoke detector. She was told to go back to her seat when she began yelling and making threats. According to the witness, Curbelo had to be restrained by crew members for the last 30 minutes flight, which lasted about an hour and 20 minutes. Curbelo was arrested by law enforcement at the gate. She was booked into the Saramento County Jail and making criminal threats. Curbelo spoke to KOVR from her jail cell. She said she smoked because she was anxious, but she did not provides and explanation for the threat she is accused of making, or what she was anxious about.  “I don’t know,” Curbelo, who is from Sandy, Oregon, said. “It was not me. It was not me.” Curbelo wouldn’t say why she was flying to Sacramento. Southwest airlines provided a statement to KOIN on the incident: “Our Crew in command of Flight 2943 traveling from Portland on Saturday afternoon safely landed on-time in Sacramento following an inflight disturbance. Our reports from Flight Attendants indicate a Customer violated federal laws by both smoking onboard an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom. Our Crew enforced the regulation and that was followed by the passenger outburst. The safety of our Crew and Passengers is our top priority and we take all threats seriously. The Pilots declared an emergency to receive priority handling from air traffic controllers, and our Crew handled the situation onboard until the plane landed and local authorities stepped in. The flight carried 136 Customers and a Crew of five.” The Sacramento Bee reported that Curbelo has an arraignment Tuesday afternoon.
  • Four people were injured Monday morning when an explosive device went off in an underground passageway near Times Square, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. Among those injured was a man suspected of strapping the device to himself and carrying it toward Times Square. >> Read more trending news >> Related: New York explosion: Suspect, 3 others injured in 'terror-related' attack New York Police Commissioner James O’Neil identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah, 27.
  • A Texas neighborhood is shaken by the deaths of two young children, which authorities believe came at the hand of their father. According to the Star-Telegram, police responded to a North Richland Hills home over the weekend after a mother called 911. The mother was uninjured, but two children and an adult man, later found to be their father, were found dead at the residence. >> Read more trending news  “Upon arrival, officers found a 5-year-old female, 9-year-old male and adult male all deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. Initial investigation revealed the father shot the children and then shot himself,” North Richland Hills police said in a statement. The department went on to explain a search into the home’s records “revealed no prior history between [the] department and the family or address.” The names of those involved have not yet been released. “There’s no history here,” said police spokesperson Carissa Katekaru. “We’re still trying to figure out why. I grew up in North Richland Hills, and I would call this a pretty quiet neighborhood.” Neighbor Denise Albino, 57, has lived in the area for about 20 years. “Oh my God, those poor babies,” she said. “I just can’t understand why people do this kind of thing.” Albino said her son told her about the news. “I didn’t know them,” she added. “I would see the kids playing basketball all the time, but I never really got a chance to speak with them.” Another neighbor, Rosa Nichols, told KTVT: “You can drive by, and they can have a perfect house, but you don’t know what’s going on inside the house. It’s so sad.” “We lived there for several years and had some happy memories and sure hate to have sad memories made there for these families. For this family, we don’t know you, but we sure feel for you,” said Mike Bentley, who once lived in the home.
  • Three people were hospitalized and 10 are homeless after a Cincinnati woman attempted to douse a bedbug infestation in her home with rubbing alcohol and started a house fire instead, authorities said. >> Teen trying to kill bedbug starts fire, causes $300,000 in damage, firefighters say The rubbing alcohol — which is extremely flammable — ignited because of a nearby open flame, according to authorities cited by the New York Post. The ensuing fire caused $250,000 in damage to the five-unit multi-family Ohio home. Three people had to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation, according to CBS News. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening. For now, the American Red Cross is assisting and providing housing for those displaced by the inferno, WXIX reported. >> Read more trending news This is the second time that a rubbing-alcohol-fueled fire has burned down a Cincinnati house in as many months. Just after Thanksgiving, a 19-year-old lit a match after dousing a bedbug in rubbing alcohol, causing a fire that did $300,000 in damage to six apartments and left eight people homeless. Cincinnati District 3 Fire Chief Randy Freel told WXIX that people should stay away from any home remedies for bedbugs, especially the more flammable kinds. “Get a professional,” he said. Read more here.