<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:52:18 -0500 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:52:18 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Slain Officer's Son, 13, Decries Hate]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:40:16 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/jaden+ramos+inset.jpg

"My husband was not a violent man so we don't want any violence connected to his name," said Garner's widow, Esaw.f officer Rafael Ramos, fatally shot with his partner in Brooklyn, thanked the public for its prayers and asked City Hall to mend its relationship with the NYPD as the officer's 13-year-old son decried the killer's apparent hatred for police.

"He was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer," Ramos' son, Jaden, posted on Facebook. "Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad."

Moments earlier, Jaden Ramos posted, "This is the worst day of My life." 

Ramos' aunt, Lucy Ramos, thanked all who shared their sympathies "for our beloved member" and called for reflection "on this tragic loss."

John Rodriguez, president of the 75th Precinct Community Council, said that reflection should include how to repair relations between the city's administration and its police force.

"My mayor, you need to sit down, you need to get everything corrected," he said.

Rodriguez added that he felt the local Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president "was very upset at that moment" when he insinuated that the killings of Ramos and officer Wenjian Liu could be tied to the mayor's lack of support for the department.

PBA President Patrick Lynch said Saturday night that there was "blood on many hands," including those of the mayor. De Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks were "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric."

Meanwhile, the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the unarmed Missouri teen who was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, decried the violence against NYPD officers.

"My husband was not a violent man so we don't want any violence connected to his name,"said Garner's widow, Esaw.

Brown's family echoed the sentiment, saying in a statement they reject "any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated."




Photo Credit: AP/Facebook
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<![CDATA[New Subway Ads Ask Commuters to Stop "Manspreading"]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:04:07 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/223*120/manspreading.png

The MTA is taking a stand against manspreading.

The subject of angry blog posts and tweets, "manspreading" is just what it sounds like: The act of a man spreading his legs wide on the subway, often taking up more than one prized seat in the process.

The MTA will release new public service ads asking men to keep their legs in a more modest position on crowded subway cars.  

The PSA will go up in subways next month.

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<![CDATA[Man Stabbed at Union Square Subway Station: NYPD]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:51:54 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nyc-subway-generic.jpg

A man was stabbed Sunday on a Manhattan subway platform after getting into an argument with a suspect on a train, police say.

The man was stabbed at the Union Square station after a fight that began aboard a lower Manhattan-bound No. 6 train, according to the NYPD.

Police say that when the train arrived in the station, both the man and suspect got off the train. The man was stabbed on the platform.

The man was taken to the hospital, where his condition was unknown Sunday afternoon.

No arrests have been made.

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<![CDATA[College to Pay Tuition for Son of Slain NYPD Officer]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:31:39 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP216453913023.jpg

Bowdoin College says it will pick up the tuition for a student whose father was killed in Saturday's shooting of two NYPD officers.

College President Barry Mills sent an email to the college community on Sunday saying that the school learned on Saturday night that Rafael Ramos, one of the two officers killed in Brooklyn, is the father of Bowdoin sophomore Justin Ramos, who is now with his family in New York. Rafael Ramos and his partner Wenjian Liu were shot at point blank range as they sat in their squad car. The gunman, who investigators say had posted threatening messages to social media ahead of the attack, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"This is an unspeakable tragedy, and our hearts go out to Justin and his family," Mills wrote. "We are a close community, and we share in Justin's pain and anguish. I know you join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Justin and the entire Ramos family, and I am sure you will respect their privacy as they and we support one another in the days and weeks ahead."

The college posted a statement on its website Monday saying that it is eager to welcome Justin back to campus for the start of the second semester in January, "or whenever he is ready to return."

At Mills' direction, the college informed Justin on Sunday that it will provide full financial aid to enable him to complete his Bowdoin education.

The New York Yankees, through their Silver Shield Foundation, had offered to cover college education costs for both of Rafael Ramos' children. Ramos also had a 13-year-old son.

"We are grateful for the Yankee Silver Shield Foundation's offer to assist, but Bowdoin has it covered," the college said in its statement, saying it keeps with the school's practice of meeting the full financial need of each of its students for all four years.

Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine, has about 1,800 students.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Killed 2 NYPD Officers Had Violent Past: Report]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:12:25 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Brinsley-Mental-Health-History.jpg

Court records show that the gunman who killed two NYPD officers sitting in their patrol car Saturday in Brooklyn had a history of violence and that he at least once referenced receiving mental health treatment, the Baltimore Sun reports.

As NYPD investigators assembled a timeline for the fatal shooting of the officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the Maryland newspaper reported that Brinsley left high school in the 10th grade and exhibited a history of odd behavior and violent threats. 

Brinsley shot and injured a former girlfriend in Baltimore early Saturday before fleeing to New York on a bus, but he had no criminal record in Maryland, authorities said. He posted anti-police messages on social media, then told bystanders in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood "watch what I'm going to do" before fatally shooting officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos as they sat in their squad car in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He then ran into a subway station and took his own life.

Brinsley allegedly wrote that he was "putting wings on pigs today" in an Instagram post shortly before killing Ramos and Liu, officials said. Then, moments before the shootings, investigators say he told bystanders "watch what I'm about to do."

Brinsley had been arrested nine times since 2004 in Atlanta, according to court records cited by the Baltimore Sun. The charges ranged from carrying a concealed weapon to trespassing. He was convicted of disorderly conduct and shoplifting, according to records at the Fulton County, Georgia, Sheriff's Office.

In a pleaded questionnaire, the 28-year-old answered "yes" to a question that asked "Have you ever been a patient in a mental institution or under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist?", the newspaper reports. No other information was provided on the care he received.

Brinsley violated probation for several years by failing to check in with his parole officer and failing to complete court-ordered screenings for drug and alcohol abuse, the Sun reported. 

Brinsley is described as a nomad, given history in Georgia, Ohio and Baltimore. Law enforcement sources say his 11-month-old child lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant with the child's mother. Brinsley's mother is also thought to live in Crown Heights.

Brinsley's mother and sister both told investigators they were afraid of the man.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Real-Life "Sopranos" Club Robbed]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:01:11 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_fotoactorjamesgandolfini.jpg

Authorities say the northern New Jersey strip club that was used for filming of "The Sopranos" has been robbed of $30,000.

Lodi, New Jersey, police say that two men with shotguns robbed Satin Dolls early Sunday. The men fled after the robbery.

The club stood in as Bada Bing on the HBO show.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police department's detective division at 973-473-7600.

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<![CDATA[Arrest Made in Staten Island Stabbing Death: Police]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:29:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_generic_police.jpg

A 26-year-old Staten Island man was charged Sunday with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a man in Port Richmond, police said.

Sergio Carreto faces the murder charge and a charge of criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

Police responded to a 911 call just after 5 a.m. Sunday and found an unconscious Durrell Finley, 26, of Staten Island, at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Faber Street, investigators said.

Finley had stab wounds in his torso and was taken to Richmond University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

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<![CDATA[Hundreds Protest in Downtown Philly]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 01:09:32 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Center-City-March1.jpg

Nearly 1,000 people marched through Center City during a protest for Mike Brown and Eric Garner Sunday night.

The Philadelphia “Blackout” march began at 7 p.m. on 1500 Arch Street. Hundreds of protesters marched around City Hall through Dilworth Plaza and eventually stopped at the statue of former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo. Raheem Harvey, one of the event organizers, told NBC10 the goal of the demonstration was to “unify the people and give them an opportunity to speak.”

“As a human being we have a right to humanity,” Harvey said. “Everyone is entitled to first class citizenship regardless of the color of their skin.”

Some of the protesters gathered at the AT&T station on the Broad Street Line around 5:45 p.m. They took the subway into Center City while singing the words, “I can’t breathe,” the last words of Eric Garner before his death.

Harvey also said the protesters specifically chose to end their demonstration at the Frank Rizzo statue based on what they believe the former Philadelphia mayor stood for.

“He is an individual who was responsible for police brutality, especially towards the African American community,” Harvey said. “Here we have an individual who has his hands raised, waiving out to the people. No one thinks something is wrong with that. We definitely plan to make a statement there. We plan on working with the city to have it removed."

The protesters repeatedly chanted "black lives matter," and carried a banner which read, "fight hate with love." They also held a "die-in" demonstration on the Parkway.

The rally shut down several streets in Center City for a few hours. No arrests were reported however.

Harvey told NBC10 the ultimate goal of the demonstrators is to spark change within the Philadelphia Police Department.

“We want to be able to have a voice when it comes to the concerns of the community,” he said. “A police officer’s job is to provide customer service and to also establish the law. With that in mind we need to make sure that when investigations happen within the police department, the public is fully aware. There should not be any close door investigation.”

The protest was one of many that have occurred nationwide in response to two separate grand jury decisions not to indict the officers involved in the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The protest also took place a day after two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot and killed by a gunman in Brooklyn during an ambush attack. The suspect in the shooting, who ultimately took his own life, posted on social media that he intended to “take 2 of theirs” prior to the incident, according to investigators. Investigators also believe the suspect shot and injured his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore before coming to New York.

The fatal shooting of the two officers sparked claims from some that the nationwide protests and anti-police rhetoric inspired the shooter. In New York City, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch also linked the killings to violence against police during recent protest demonstrations and even claimed that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had “blood on his hands” for his apparent lack of support for law enforcement.

Harvey expressed his condolences for the NYC officers and their families while also stating the suspect in their deaths was not associated with his movement.

“My heart is with the family and also my prayers,” Harvey said. “We are not against police. We are against police brutality. No one deserves to have their lives taken. It should have never happened. The person is isolated from the movement but he’s using the movement to get his message across. But that’s a totally isolated incident.”

Members of the Philadelphia Police Civil Affairs Unit were on hand to monitor the protest.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com
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<![CDATA[Missing Pa. Student's Keys in River]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:54:21 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/237*120/Shane+Montgomery+Missing+College+Student.JPG

UPDATE: Police crews continued their search on the Schuylkill River Monday.


More than three weeks after his disappearance, officials found the keys of missing college student Shane Montgomery.

The Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit, a volunteer diving recovery team, discovered the 21-year-old West Chester University student's personal keys in the Schuylkill River after searching for four and a half hours Sunday. No further evidence has been found however.

The Roxborough native was last seen early Thanksgiving morning as he left Kildare's Irish Pub along Main Street in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk.

Pings from his cellphone put him within a mile of the bar within an hour of his disappearance and surveillance video shows the West Chester University student walking toward the Manayunk Canal and Schuylkill River. Despite many searches on land, in the water and from the air, there have been no strong leads as to where Montgomery went.

Each day without Shane has been wearing on his family, said Kevin Verbrugghe, Shane's uncle.

"We’re not holding up well," Verbrugghe said.

Ongoing search efforts, including the use of sonar and underwriter cameras in a search of the Schuylkill River, have brought about few clues for Shane, who was last seen walking toward the Manayunk Canal.

"The prevailing theory is that he went into the river and where is he now? Tides change and there’s all kinds of debris under there," FBI Supervisory Special agent J.J. Klaver said Thursday.

Debris could have trapped the missing college student's body underwater, he explained.

A reward for information that leads investigators and the family to Montgomery still stands at $65,000. Friends and family continue to support the search efforts on their own as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia police at 215.686.TIPS.



Photo Credit: Family Photo
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<![CDATA[4 Shot Dead in Illinois Home]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:20:11 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/rockford+shooting.jpg

Four people, including two children, were shot dead inside of a residence in Rockford, Illinois, on Saturday night, Rockford police said.

A neighbor said she heard pounding on the door of the residence and then the sound of the door being forced open. The sound of gunshots immediately followed.

Police responded to the call of shots fired in the 3200 block of Montrose Avenue at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived, they found four victims with gunshot wounds. All of them were pronounced dead on the scene by Rockford Fire Department paramedics, police said.

The victims were Martia Flint, 24; Demontae Rhodes, 24; Tyrone Smith III, 6; and Tobias K. Smith, 4. The two children belonged to Flint.

An autopsy is scheduled for the victims on Monday.

Rockford detectives are continuing the investigation in the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Rockford police shift commander at (815) 987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at (815) 963-7867.

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<![CDATA[Timeline: Officer Ambush Unfolds Over 9 Hours]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:22:24 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/460750486.jpg

An approximate timeline of the events surrounding the deaths of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, as detailed by law enforcement and government officials:

5:50 a.m. - Shaneka Nicole Thompson, 29, is shot in the stomach by her ex-boyfriend in Owings Mills, Maryland, leaving her in critical but stable condition. She is expected to survive.

6:05 a.m. - Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, calls Thompson's mother and tells her he shot her daughter by accident and he hopes she lives.

10:50 a.m. - Brinsley arrives at Manhattan's Port Authority after a lengthy bus ride. He carries with him the cellphone he stole from Thompson and the 9mm handgun he used to shoot her.

12:20 p.m. - Brinsley uses Thompson's phone to post an ominous message on Instagram, saying "I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours....... Let's Take 2 of Theirs."

12:50 p.m. - After traveling to Brooklyn by subway, Brinsley ditches Thompson's cell phone near the Atlantic Yards complex.

1:30 p.m. - Thompson's mother calls Baltimore police to warn them about the Instagram posting. She says she believes Brinsley has ties to a church on Church Avenue in Brooklyn.

2:10 p.m. - Baltimore police call the 70th precinct, near the church, to warn them. At this time, they also fax a wanted poster to the NYPD, according to Baltimore police.

2:45 p.m. - The NYPD receives the fax, according to New York police officials.

2:47 p.m. - Brinsley approaches Ramos' and Liu's patrol car, takes a shooter's stance, and shoots four bullets through the passenger-side front window, striking both officers in the head. Under pursuit by police, he runs into a nearby subway station and fatally shoots himself in front of at least 10 witnesses.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Leaders Across U.S. Mourn Officers Killed in Brooklyn]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 03:51:49 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP854506726768.jpg

Police departments and civic leaders across the United States mourned publicly on Saturday and Sunday, condemning violence and calling for calm after two police officers were shot dead in their squad car in what New York City's commissioner called an "assassination."

President Barack Obama was among those who expressed support for the police. "Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification," the president said Saturday night in a statement. "Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen."

Obama called New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Sunday and said Americans must reject violence and instead turn to prayer and sympathy for the victims' relatives, the White House said. The president said his administration will work with leaders across the country to echo that message.

Police departments around the country expressed solidarity with the NYPD, adorning their badges with black bands in honor of the slain officers.

In Philadelphia, where anti-police graffiti appeared this week, a police spokeswoman called the shootings a "horrible act of terror."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with New York Police Department and the families of these officers," the spokeswoman said.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter took to Twitter to condemn the shooting.

Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were sitting in a squad car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon when the shooter, identified as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, approached the car and fatally shot both officers in the head, police said. Brinsley then ran into a nearby subway station and killed himself, according to police.

"They were, quite simply, assassinated — targeted for their uniform," said Bratton. "Both officers paid the ultimate sacrifice today while protecting the communities they serve."

In California, San Jose Police Sgt. Paul Kelly said the shooting is a sobering reminder of the dangers officers face every day on the job. "San Jose police officers are sick about the tragedy that happened to New York's finest,"  said Kelly.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge released a statement Sunday morning, saying the police officers' "tragic deaths are a great loss for the NYPD, their families, and our nation. This is not about race or affiliation, and it isn't about black versus blue. All lives matter."

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shootings a "particularly despicable act," and called on New Yorkers to pray for the families of Ramos and Liu. He ordered that flags in the city be lowered to half-staff from sunrise Sunday until the officers' burial.

But New York Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch was critical of the mayor's office. Lynch tied the shootings to violence against the NYPD during recent protests in the city and blamed the mayor directly for a perceived lack of support as the department has come under scrutiny.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said, and "starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."

In response, the mayor's office said, "it's unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people."

Loretta E. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, pledged that her office would assist with the investigation of the shooting.

"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of this afternoon's brutal and senseless attack on two NYPD Officers, and I join Attorney General Holder in expressing my deepest condolences to the families of these fallen heroes," she said. "Today's assailant struck at the heart of our city — the dedicated officers who pledge their lives to safeguard us all."

The killings on Saturday come amid tensions over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Bratton said Saturday that the suspect had a history of making anti-police comments. It remained unclear whether he had any involvement in the protest movement.

The family of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after he was put in a chokehold by police denounced on Sunday the killing of two police officers.

"Anyone who's standing with us, we want you to not use Eric Garner's name for violence because we are not about that," Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, told reporters on Sunday. "I'm standing here in sorrow about losing those two police officers."



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Some Officers Turn Their Backs to Mayor at Hospital]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:39:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/460732874.jpg

In the wake of tensions between City Hall and the NYPD, some officers turned their backs on the mayor as he walked through the halls of Woodhull Medical Center following the ambush killing of two officers.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch mourned the slain officers outside the hospital and linked the killings to violence against the NYPD during recent protest demonstrations and to what he said was the mayor's lack of support for the department.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said. He added: "That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."

Mayor de Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks amounted to "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people."

"This is a nightmare of the highest magnitude for everyone," Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, said in a statement. "The elected leaders, on both sides of City Hall, need to dig down deep in their souls and understand that campaigning to be a leader is easier than being a leader."

Palladino warned detectives to remain vigilant, wear bullet-resistant vests and work in teams of three when possible "until we better assess the threat that exists against us."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gun Range Billboard Sparks Debate]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:27:21 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/santa_holding_gun_chico.jpg

A holiday billboard has fired up a debate in a Northern California city.

The owners of Down Range shooting range put up a sign outside their business in Chico, depicting Santa Claus holding a gun. The sign reads "We build AR's for Santa."

The owners of the gun range told NBC affiliate KNVN-TV in Chico that they are Santa's little helpers, and they can fill his orders for AR rifles.

Down Range co-owner Steve Dyke said in an interview that some people get toys, some get guns.

"Some people get firearms," Dyke said. "So and when Santa needs help putting together an AR rifle, we can definitely help him out with that."

While one Chico resident said people need to "see the humor in it" others said the sign is in poor taste.

"I just don't think I would like my son see Santa holding a gun, having to explain to him that's usually not what Santa's holding," one parent said.

"The idea of this symbol of joy and giving and holding an assault rifle, it's just so contradictory," Chico resident Tom Imhoff told KNVN.

But the owners of the gun range disagree.

"Santa has got his eye protection on, his fingers off the trigger, the gun's pointed in a safe direction, so those are the things we want to promote is the safety when people are doing the shooting sports industry," Dyke's partner Will Clark said.

"This is not meant to be offensive in any way. If you need help, if Santa needs help, we're here to help," Dyke said.

The owners said the sign is temporary, but it will not be their last. A sign featuring the Easter bunny or Cupid may be next.



Photo Credit: KNVN]]>
<![CDATA[Girl, 3, Left With Valets: Police]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 02:41:41 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Audrey-missing.jpg

The father of a toddler abandoned at one of Los Angeles's premier shopping centers came forward nearly a day later Sunday and was interviewed by police and child protective services, officials said. 

The girl remained in the custody of child protective services. Los Angeles Police Department officials said she and her father had not been reunited.

The father told officers at the Wilshire Division station that he didn't initially know the 3-year-old was missing, but had been actively trying to get in contact with her.

A female relative who’d been watching the girl dropped her off at the Grove about 6 p.m. Saturday, according to police, who are treating the case as a misunderstanding.

When she was put in police custody, the girl gave her name simply as Audrey, a stumbling block in trying to find her family, police said.

Audrey was happy and talkative, when she was first turned over to the LAPD, according to Lt. Lonnie Tiano, who said she was in "good shape."

A woman dropped Audrey off at The Grove's valet area along with a car seat, but never returned to pick her up, Tiano said.

After a search of the mall, parking attendants called police, who took Audrey into their custody and brought her to the Department of Children and Family Services, Tiano said.

Children and Family Services still had to verify that the man picking her up was Audrey's father, and had yet to decide whether to turn Audrey over to him.

Aubrey's story had touched many people who called police offering gifts or a home to Audrey after her picture was released to news media, police said.

"Hopefully they'll be watching the news and see their child on TV and call us," Tiano said Sunday morning.

In fact, Audrey's San Diegan grandfather who spotted her picture on a news report Sunday. He told his son Audrey was missing; police said the father told them he was already actively searching for Audrey by then.

The father told authorities that he was looking for his daughter at The Grove until 11 p.m., police said, but assumed that the person she was with had taken her home. They were supposed to meet at The Grove earlier that day.

Correction: This article misspelled one instance of Audrey's name.



Photo Credit: Courtesy Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[School Bus Carrying Children Crashes into Building: FDNY]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 10:57:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bus+building+queens.jpg

Fifteen children were on a New York City school bus when it collided with a yellow cab and a livery cab in Queens, sending it crashing into a building, police said. 

The bus struck the building on 59th Street in Woodside just before 5 p.m. It appears the bus just missed striking the entrance to a pizzeria on the building's ground floor.

The children on the bus refused medical attention on the scene and were released to their parents, the FDNY said. 

Four adults were hurt in the crash: the school bus driver, both taxi drivers and a pizzeria worker who was injured by a buckling wall were all taken to Elmhurst Hospital, according to the FDNY.

Video of the scene just moments after the crash shows the firefighters helping the children to safety,

"The cops and firemen did a great job, pushed everyone away until all the kids were accounted for, off the bus and OK," said witness Kenneth Coyne, who was just seconds from getting into his parked car at Roosevelt Avenue when the bus plowed into it. 

Coyne said he wasn't worried about his car and is just glad the children were safe. 

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<![CDATA[Dramatic Photos: 2 NYPD Officers Killed in Ambush]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:05:49 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/shot+cop+scene.jpg A gunman ambushed and fatally shot two NYPD officers in their squad car Saturday, an act that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton condemned as an "assassination."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[4 Arrested in Mall Brawl]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 01:40:14 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/westfield+mall.jpg

Four people – three adults and one minor – are facing charges after police used pepper spray to break up a brawl at the Westfield Shopping Center in Meriden on Saturday.

According to Meriden police, two underage girls approached an officer working at the mall to help with holiday crowd control around 6:20 p.m. and told him they were afraid a mother and daughter were going to attack them.

While the officer was talking to them, the mother and daughter rushed over and started screaming and making a scene, police said. The officer held them back but the daughter was able to break away and began assaulting one of the other girls.

It spread from there, with more than half a dozen people joining in as a crowd of 100 shoppers gathered around the group. Police said the officer was alone and afraid for his own safety so he used his pepper spray to fend off the instigators.

The crowd then dispersed and other officers arrived to help. The fire department was also called in to help treat other people who were inadvertently sprayed, and brought in fans to disperse the fumes.

Police said no one was seriously hurt and "the disruption to holiday shoppers was minimal."

Three adults were arrested, along with the daughter who police say started the fight, but authorities have not released their names or any information on the charges they face.



Photo Credit: Flickr/Mike Mozart]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Cleared of Killing Dog]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:52:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cleburne-cop-dog.jpg

A two-month long independent investigation found that a Cleburne Police officer was justified when he shot and killed a pit bull named Maximus earlier this year.

The incident sparked outrage after video from Officer Kevin Dupre’s body camera surfaced online showing him firing at the dog. Though the shooting occurred on August 10, it wasn’t until October that someone filed an open records request for the video and it was widely distributed.

After the video was released, Dupre was placed on paid administrative leave and leaders in Cleburne asked for an independent investigation into the matter. They hired Alan Patton, a retired police sergeant with no previous ties to Cleburne. On October 31, Cleburne Police turned over all reports, copies of video, and statements to him for review.

“We wanted to be extremely thorough to ensure the public had confidence in the results,” said Scott Cain, Mayor of the City of Cleburne.

Saturday, the city released Patton’s final report on the investigation, in which he states, “due to the actions of an aggressive animal, Officer Dupre reasonably believed he needed to use lethal, deadly force in defense of his own life.”

In his 28 page report, Patton details the encounter Dupre had with a group of dogs that were on the loose and explains how video evidence backs up claims that Maximus was showing signs of aggression. He consulted with experts from the Fort Worth Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department and reviewed articles written by animal behaviorists during his investigation.

“I know some people are not going to be satisfied with the investigation’s results,” said Cain. “We agreed to let the chips fall where they may and we gave up control of the investigation.  And the chips have now fallen.”

Maximus’ owners, Amanda Henderson and Quinton Tatum, said while they wish their dog was still alive, they accept the report’s findings.

“We lost a very precious fur baby of ours and all we wanted to know from the beginning is why,” said Henderson. “And they explained to us why and I respect that.”

The city also announced immediate changes to its canine encounter policies, which include new processes for reporting and investigating these kinds of incidents, as well as mandatory training for all police officers.

“For them to already be taking steps in the right direction to not let this happen again, it’s justice I believe,” said Tatum.

“I know a lot of people may not understand that,” said Henderson. “There are going to be people that are angry and that’s okay. But we also ask that no one does anything just because you’re angry. Please, let’s keep it at peace.”

During the height of the firestorm surrounding the case, Dupre received multiple death threats and the city’s website was hacked in possible retaliation. There were also several protests.

Dupre has now been fully reinstated to the Cleburne Police Department. 

Cain echoed Henderson’s and Tatum’s calls for peace.

“Let me make this extremely clear,” said Cain. “If you think you’re going to come into our community and threaten an officer who’s been exonerated or anyone else in our community, we will use the full extent of the law to prosecute you and we will not tolerate it. So we are going to make certain that he and his family are safe, just as we would any other person in our community.”

Cain said the city is also looking into increasing penalties for dog owners whose pets frequently get loose.



Photo Credit: Cleburne Police Department
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<![CDATA[Chicago Mayor's Son Robbed]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 01:10:59 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/mayor%27s+son+robbed.jpg

Police are investigating the robbery of Mayor Rahm Emaneul's son, which occurred near the family's home in the Ravenswood neighborhood Friday night, according to a spokesperson for the mayor.

The incident happened in the 4200 block of North Hermitage at about 10:05 p.m. The mayor's son, 17-year-old Zach Emanuel, was walking in the block when he was approached by two unknown male offenders who grabbed him and went through his pockets. The offenders took his phone and then fled the scene, according to police news affairs.

Zach Emanuel sustained injuries that required medical treatment, according to Kelley Quinn, a spokesperson for the mayor.

The police cameras on the corner of the block were reportedly not working during the incident, according to a City of Chicago source.

Neighbors said they were surprised the incident occurred on their block because they say there is always security in front of the mayor's home and in the alley. Police sources are saying the security detail did not see the reported robbery.

Several police officers were seen on the mayor's front porch late Friday night and Saturday morning.

Area North detectives are investigating.

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<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Choking, Attempted Rape of Teen: NYPD]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:23:12 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg

A man has been arrested in connection with the choking and attempted rape of a 15-year-old girl earlier this year in Queens, police said Saturday.

A 35-year-old Queens resident was arrested on charges of attempted rape, assault and strangulation, according to the NYPD. The development came days after investigators released surveillance footage of a suspect making a purchase at a bodega.

According to police, the teenager was talking with her attacker on July 12 near 109th Road and Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans when the man began choking her. The girl passed out, and the man tried to rape her before running away, police said.

It's not clear if the girl was seriously injured.

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