Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Woman sold daughter for car

A woman was arrested for allegedly forcing her 12-year-old daughter into prostitution and trading a 14-year-old daughter for a car.

The 39-year-old woman was charged with aggravated child abuse and sexual performance by a child. Both girls have been turned over to the Department of Children & Families.

The youngest girl and her mother were living out of their car, and would sell sex for food and an occasional shower at the men's homes, according to a report by Okeechobee County Sheriff's Detective K.J. Ammons.

The youngest daughter is three months pregnant, the report said; she was 11 when her mother first forced her to have sex with a man. The older daughter refused to be a prostitute and was allegedly sold for a car.

"She was sold to a man for a Mercury Cougar," Ammons said. "But he never gave the mother the vehicle." He was arrested in the case.

The youngest girl told detectives her mother took them out of school. "She said she was a good student and made A's and B's, and all she wants to do is go back to school," he said.


This poor excuse of a mother should be shot, there is no reason to even have a trial.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Family feud erupts after teens date; 6 wounded

Members of neighboring families shot at each other, wounding six people, as part of a long-running feud that victims said peaked when a girl from one family began dating a boy from the other one.

Six people ages 14 to 22 were taken to hospitals Sunday for treatment of gunshot wounds. Two remained hospitalized Monday, one in serious condition.

Baldemar Riojas, 46, was charged with six counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. He was freed on $15,000 bail.

Members of the Soliz and Ortiz families say their feud with the neighboring Riojas family has simmered for more than a year and became more heated when Riojas' teenage daughter started dating Miguel Soliz, 15, who was among the wounded.

"All this started because they were dating," said Melva Ortiz, Miguel's mother. "I tried to tell him to leave the girl, but you know how kids are."

Maj. Rick Ryan of the Putnam County sheriff's office said members of both families had guns and fired across a street at each other.

However, he said investigators had been stymied by the families' reluctance to talk to authorities. "We get out there and nobody knows anything," Ryan said.

Angelica Soliz, a cousin of the victims, said she hid under a bed during the gunfire early Sunday.

"We just threw ourselves to the floor, and the people who got shot, they didn't have a chance," said another family member, Maria Ortiz, 22.

The violence had been building for hours. A fight broke out Saturday night among dozens of opposing family members, but the sheriff's office said there was not enough information for an arrest.

Riojas' 20-year-old son, Baldomero Riojas, was questioned and released, but Putnam County sheriff's deputies plan to pursue a charge of reckless display of a firearm against him for allegedly firing into the air. A third man was being sought.

Riojas' wife said her husband was not responsible.

"My husband's not a violent person. He's been in the United States for 24 years and he's never been in trouble," Lisa Riojas told WJXT-TV of Jacksonville.

Ana Diaz, 14, who was wounded in the back, was in serious but stable condition Monday at Hallifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The only other person hospitalized, Miguel Ortiz, 22, was in good condition at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.


Vacuuming man shoots himself

A St. Cloud man received injuries to his wrist, ear and cheek after a gun he kept under his pillow discharged while he was vacuuming.

Damian Dunphy, 57, was treated at St. Cloud Hospital for the injuries, which happened about 10:15 a.m. Friday at 1621 Eighth St. S, police Sgt. Perry Beise said.

The injuries weren't believed to be life-threatening.

Dunphy normally kept the gun with the safety on and in a case halfway open under his pillow, Beise said.

Dunphy was moving the bed to clean the floors when the gun slipped out of the case and landed on the floor. The gun then discharged, hitting Dunphy in the head and wrist.

Police provided first aid to Dunphy outside his home. He was taken to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment.

Police also took guns from Dunphy for safekeeping, Beise said.


Teen Driver Accused Of Crashing Into Ambulance While Drunk

An 18-year-old Monona man faces several charges after a crash with an ambulance Friday.

Matthew A. Clark is charged with failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, causing injury while under the influence of an intoxicant or controlled substance and under-aged drinking, Madison police said.

Clark hit a City of Madison Fire Department ambulance, which had its lights flashing and sirens on, shortly before 3 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Gorham and Broom streets.

The ambulance was going through the intersection on a yellow flashing light, and Clark's vehicle went through a red flashing light striking the ambulance, police said.

A passenger in Clark's vehicle was injured.


Mom accused of letting her daughter, 5, smoke pot

A 22-year-old Angleton mother of three was charged Friday with endangering a child, accused of allowing her 5-year-old daughter to smoke marijuana.

Amanda Suzanne Williams, who is free on a $7,500 bond, faces up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted of the felony charge.

"The accusation is that she was negligent in smoking marijuana where the child could get access to it," said Angleton police Detective David Steves. "A witness said the mother handed the joint to the child and allowed her to do it. The mother said that wasn't true. There are conflicting statements, but it is still the same offense."

Williams is accused of smoking pot at her trailer home in the 2100 block of East Mulberry in December and either giving the joint to the child or failing to stop her from grabbing it and taking a puff, Steves said.

Child Protective Services contacted Angleton police in late March after hearing the allegation from someone in the community, Steves said.

The girl and Williams' two other children, ages 1 and 2, are staying with relatives, said Gwen Carter, CPS spokeswoman.

Williams was charged in February with public intoxication. In 2001, she was given two years deferred adjudication stemming from a marijuana possession charge in October 2002.


Patient who gouged out eyes sues hospital

A psychiatric patient who gouged out both of his eyes while in a state of religious delirium is suing two Montreal hospitals, claiming they are responsible for failing to prevent his gruesome self-inflicted injuries.

Now blind, disfigured, jobless and socially isolated, the 47-year-old man is suing the McGill University Health Centre and the Douglas Hospital.

According to a statement of claim filed Friday in Quebec Superior Court, Maurice Arseneault is a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from bipolar disorder. He has been in and out of the Douglas since age 19.

In August 1998, he was being treated as an outpatient when he began hallucinating about God and demons.

The court documents say Arseneault told his case worker and doctor at least twice that he wanted to be hospitalized but they changed his medication and increased the dosage.

Things soon spiralled out of control.

"On Aug. 30, the plaintiff went to Dorval airport on a mission to find God, reasoning (that) to reach heaven, he needed to take an airplane," the documents say.

Then he returned home and cut the telephone and cable-TV wires to his home and cut up all his credit cards.

Later that day he returned to the airport to ask travellers for help finding God.

When the RCMP approached Arseneault, he told them he wanted to be sent to the Douglas.

"The plaintiff remembers asking the ambulance attendants (who escorted him) to restrain him because he was afraid of himself," the lawsuit states.

Fifteen minutes after he was brought to the Douglas, Arseneault was put in an isolation room. He looked out the window, asked God to forgive his sins and recalled the Bible passage "eye for eye" before extracting his left eye and throwing it on the ground, the suit says.

Medical personnel rushed in and put the eye in a glass of water.

Arseneault was transported to the Montreal General Hospital, a branch of the university hospital centre.

Days later, he asked a nurse at the Montreal General to undo his restraints. She complied. Arseneault immediately tore out his right eye, the court papers claim.

The nurse began crying.

Arseneault's lawyer, Martin Larocque, said: "Both hospitals had an obligation ... to protect Mr. Arseneault from himself."

The McGill University Hospital Centre did not comment Friday.

Arseneault's eyes could not be saved.

He said he launched his suit because as a longtime patient with a history of suicide attempts, the Douglas should have hospitalized him much sooner.

"They need to keep their eyes open, to use a pun," Arseneault said.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Drunk Uncle Hands Keys To 12-Year-Old

Police said a 29-year-old Eastpointe man handed over his car keys Sunday afternoon to his 12-year-old nephew because the man was drunk.

The boy -- after driving for a few miles -- pulled into a back driveway leading to his home on Frazho Road in Roseville and struck a trash bin and a parked car, police said.

The impact sent the parked car into the boy's 2-year-old brother.

The 2-year-old was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries, Local 4 reported.

No other injuries were reported.

Prosecutors said they will press charges against the Eastpointe man but have to review the laws to determine what punishment to pursue.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Man admits growing pot on retired cop's property

An Upper Makefield man who accidentally chose a retired police chief's property to sow a secret marijuana garden faces at least a year behind bars.

Ryan M. Steel, 27, of Windy Bush Road pleaded guilty in Bucks County court in Doylestown on Thursday to possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, criminal trespass and agricultural vandalism.

He admitted planting more than 29 marijuana plants last summer on the Springfield Township, Upper Bucks County, property of Robert Bell, the township's former chief of police.

Bell's son, Hilltown Township narcotics officer Louis Bell, found the illicit garden of 6- to 10-foot plants while hunting for small game on his dad's rural 10-acre property in September.

Police cut down the plants, then set up a surveillance camera that recorded Steel's reaction when he returned a few days later and found his crop destroyed.

"He was basically throwing a temper tantrum," the officer said.

Police also tracked Steel through credit card purchases of garden supplies at a nearby store. Confronted at his home, Steel "immediately lost his breath and broke out in beads of sweat," Louis Bell said.

According to police reports, Steel told officers that he chose the plot because he thought the area was deserted.

Steel's attorney, John Kerrigan, said his client was growing the plants for his own use and did not plan to sell the marijuana.

In court Thursday, Steel answered "yes" when county Judge Rea Boylan asked him if he understood the charges against him but did not testify. He will be sentenced in June and remains free on bail.

Steel could have faced a mandatory minimum three-year sentence, but prosecutors sought only a one-year minimum - based on the weight of the drugs - in exchange for his guilty plea. The penalty for growing 29 marijuana plants is three years.

Prosecutor Dan Keane said it was impossible to say how much the marijuana was worth on the street because it was uncultivated when police seized it and the amount weighed included the plants' stalks.

Steel is a graduate of George School and Temple University. Before his hearing began, he assisted Kerrigan by acting as interpreter for a Spanish-speaking drunken driving defendant.

Boylan said she will speak with prison officials to see if Steel's bilingual talents can be of use at the jail during his sentence.

After the hearing, Robert Bell said Steel's crime, while somewhat funny, still caused people pain.

"It's the typical heartbreak that goes with drugs. The real victim is that lady who's crying in there," he said of Steel's mother.

Louis Bell said he didn't know what to think at first when he came upon the drug garden near his dad's home.

"My first thought was that he was trying to supplement his retirement," he said, laughing.

Somewhere a village is missing its idiot.

A man walks in and goes to the electronics section of a Johnson Ferry Road store, steals a CD player and puts it in the store bag that he brought in. He walks over to the customer service section and asks to return the CD player. The employee asks for the receipt. He says he doesn’t have one. The customer service employee tells the suspect that a receipt is mandatory for returns. The suspect says, “OK, thanks.” He walks out of the store. This trick works unless the store security people see you steal the CD player in the first place. The suspect was arrested and given a copy of charges pending a May 23 court date.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

W.Va. man accused in microwave arson

A man was charged with arson on Friday after he allegedly heated a can containing gasoline in a microwave oven following a domestic dispute.

Vereen Taylor, 32, is accused of setting the fire at about 2 a.m. Friday after arguing with the mother of one of his children, Charleston police Sgt. Aaron James said.

Taylor and an unidentified friend got out of the house without injury. The friend ran back inside and attempted to put out the fire but was overpowered by flames and escaped a second time without injury, James said.

The two-story wood frame house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

Taylor was being held at South Central Regional Jail awaiting arraignment.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Crack pipe sets off Brevard courthouse alarms

A 40-year-old man remained jailed today after investigators said his crack pipe set off a courthouse metal detector, prompting a fight with a security guard.

The incident happened about 8:50 a.m. Wednesday at the Brevard County branch courthouse at 51 S. Nieman Ave. in Melbourne.

Brevard County sheriff's deputies said Cecil McKay was headed to an unrelated misdemeanor hearing when something on his body set off the metal detector.

One of the private security guards at the checkpoint tried to find what set off the alarm but McKay grabbed the guard's hand and twisted it back. He then tried to get past the security checkpoint, said Sgt. Randy Davis.

Courthouse deputies located along the complex, which hears mostly misdemeanor and traffic cases, rushed to the front entrance after hearing an alarm. Corrections officers bringing in inmates from the county jail also responded along with a man standing in the checkpoint line, he said.

"McKay was trying to fight to get away from them. We got there pretty quick, from the time the alarm went down, we were there in no more than a minute. My guys did a fantastic job," Davis said.

The crackpipe, still dusted with rock cocaine residue, was found in a front pocket and had a metal piece, officials said. The guard, identified as Carmen Reyes, suffered a sprain, officials said.

McKay was charged with battery on a person 65 years or older, possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.

He was taken to the Brevard County Detention Center where he was being held on a $2,000 bond. He is expected to have a first appearance in the jail's courtroom later today.