<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:51:49 -0400 Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:51:49 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cop Driving in Deadly Crash Had .24 BAC: Sources]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:13:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Pedro-Abad-Wreck-Inset.jpg

The New Jersey police officer who hit a tractor-trailer head-on on a Staten Island highway last month, killing a fellow officer and a friend and critically injuring a third cop, had a blood alcohol content of .24 percent, three times the legal limit, law enforcement sources say. 

Authorities had obtained a warrant to test Pedro Abad Jr.'s blood-alcohol content following the March 20 wrong-way crash on the West Shore Expressway. 

The NYPD, who's investigating the crash, had no comment on the toxicology results. A message was left with the Linden police officers' union, and Abad's lawyer had no comment, saying only his client was in the process of hiring a new attorney. 

Abad, 27, was driving his fellow officers and friend on the wrong side of the expressway on the way back from a strip club when his vehicle slammed into the tractor-trailer, authorities said. 

Hours before the crash, Abad had posted a photo on his Instagram page of three shot glasses filled with what he identified as "Jack Daniels Fire on the house." Authorities said at the time it was "too premature" to speculate on what caused the accident. 

Public records show Abad has been involved in eight accidents since 2005 and has two arrests for drunken driving in the last four years.

Abad was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash, which killed fellow Linden officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joseph Rodriguez.

Patrik Kudlac, another Linden cop riding in Abad's Honda, was also hospitalized in critical condition after the crash. 

The Union County prosecutor's office has said it would hand off the probe into the driving record and employment history of Abad to avoid the perception of any conflicts of interest. The state attorney general's office said the investigation will be handled by the Middlesex County prosecutor's office.

<![CDATA[Chilly Start to Mild Weekend, Sunny Saturday]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 09:33:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Cold-Weather-NYC-Generic-213.jpg

The weekend got off to a chilly start with freeze warnings throught the New York City suburbs, but the brisk weather was expected to give way to a mild and sunny afternoon with temperatures reaching as high as 60 degrees. 

Track freeze warnings and other severe weather alerts here

Sunday is expected to be less pleasant, with more clouds than sun taking over the sky for much of the day along with light showers that are expected to extend into Monday.

But waiting through the rain and chill should be worth it, Storm Team 4 says: some superb spring weather is in store beginning Tuesday, with temperatures throughout the week in the 60s and plenty of sunshine. Wednesday is expected to reach 69 degrees, and Thursday is expected to be nearly as nice. 

Long-term computer models are hinting that this persistent chilly pattern will finally break by mid-May, according to Storm Team 4. 

Photo Credit: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA]]>
<![CDATA[2 Charged With DWI in Long Island Crash: Police]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:36:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/42515drunck.jpg

Two drivers were charged with driving while intoxicated early Saturday after their cars collided in Long Island, authorities said.

A passenger in one vehicle was seriously injured, Suffolk County police said.

Police charged Miguel Almonte, 22, and Leslie Rizos, 49, both of West Babylon, with DWI after responding to the 3 a.m. crash at the intersection of Livingston and Park avenues in Babylon.

Xavier Gonzalez, 21, a passenger in Almonte's car was seriously injured and taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, police said. Almonte and another passenger, Joseph Adams, 22, were treated for injuries at the same hospital and released. Rizos was also treated at the hospital and released.

Almonte's southbound car passed through a stop sign on Livingston Avenue and struck Rizos' westbound car on Park Avenue, investigators said. Almonte's car then struck a telephone pole.

It was unclear whether Almonte or Rizos had obtained a lawyer to comment on the charges. 

<![CDATA[Robbery Suspect Fatally Shot by Detective: NYPD]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:46:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/42515cops.jpg

A 24-year-old robbery suspect was fatally shot Saturday during a "violent physical struggle" with two detectives in a Manhattan apartment building, police said.

Authorities withheld the name of the suspect pending notification of his family.

As two detectives approached the sixth-floor apartment in the East Village, where the suspect was believed to be, the suspect bolted out a window and down a fire escape, said New York City Police Department Chief Jim O'Neill. The detectives caught up with him in a hallway and a "violent physical struggle" ensued, the chief said during a news conference.

During the struggle, the suspect grabbed a hand-held radio from one detective and struck him in the head with it, O'Neill said. The fight continued for about five minutes before one detective drew his weapon and fired a single shot, hitting the suspect in the torso, he said.

The suspect, who was wanted in connection with the robbery of a woman on Thursday, died at Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital, O'Neill said.

The incident occurred at 1:45 p.m. at 538 E. Sixth St.

The two detectives, who were not identified, were taken to a hospital, where one was treated for injuries to the head and shoulder.

<![CDATA[Police Search for Suspect in Brooklyn Groping]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:43:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/coyote+lower+manhattan.jpg

Police are searching for a man who they say groped a woman outside of her Brooklyn home.

The man allegedly followed the woman into the lobby of her Williamsburg building on the afternoon of April 18.

While the woman checked her mail, police say the suspect pressed the elevator button and waited for her to get inside.

The woman, who was suspicious of the man, didn't get on the elevator. He then attempted to strike up a conversation with her and she left the building, police said.

The man continued to follow her outside, where he allegedly grabbed her rear end and ran away, according to police.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Allegedly Punches, Pushes Officers: NYPD]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:43:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/coyote+lower+manhattan.jpg

Two NYPD officers were taken to the hospital after a teen allegedly punched one in the face and pushed the other as they responded to a call in the Bronx, police said.

The alleged assault happened Friday afternoon while the officers were responding to a family dispute at an apartment on the Grand Concourse, according to police. 

A mother in the apartment had an order of protection against her 16-year-old son and wanted him removed from the home, police said.

When the two officers told the teen he couldn't leave until they finished their investigation, he allegedly hit one of them in the face and pushed the other out of the way, causing an injury to her hand.

The 16-year-old then ran from the apartment, police said.

Police searched the area and located him.

He was arrested on a number of charges, including assault on a police officer, felony assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said.

The two officers were taken to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

The officer who was punched was in stable condition. The second officer suffered a fracture to her left hand.

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Carnegie Deli Closes Doors After Possible Gas Tampering]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:47:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/205*120/020609+Carnegie+Deli.jpg

Carnegie Deli has closed its doors to customers after Con Edison discovered what the utility is calling "theft of service conditions" at the iconic eatery.

A voice recording at the deli informed callers on Saturday that the locale was closed for "Con Edison repairs."

The utility discovered a gas leak at the midtown site earlier this week, said Bob McGee, a spokesman for Con Edison. When crews returned to the scene on Thursday, they discovered “theft of service conditions” due to a diverted service line, McGee said.

Authorities believe the explosion in the East Village on March 26 that killed two may have been caused by someone improperly tapping a gas line.

The city Department of Buildings didn't immediately return a call about the matter. There was no immediate response to an email to Carnegie Deli's press representative.

The deli is a popular tourist destination known for its massive pastrami sandwiches and pop culture cameos. Scenes from Woody Allen's "Broadway Danny Rose" were shot there.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Coyote Captured in Lower Manhattan After Chase]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:01:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/coyote+lower+manhattan.jpg

Police tranquilized and captured a coyote that was spotted wandering through lower Manhattan on Saturday morning, according to the NYPD.

An NBC 4 New York crew caught the animal on video as it trotted down Battery Park Place near Battery Park early Saturday.

"1 coyote in custody," the 1st Precinct said on Twitter, adding that the coyote was awake and unharmed.

The coyote was tranquilized at 375 S. End Ave. near the World Trade Center. The canine will be transported to the ASPCA for care.

First responders and other emergency personnel were in lower Manhattan earlier on Saturday trying to track the coyote down.

Saturday's incident was the latest in a string of coyote sightings this week. Police spent hours chasing a coyote in the Upper West Side on Wednesday. Then on Thursday night a coyote was pursued by police in Morningside Heights.

At least four different coyotes have been spotted in Manhattan so far this year, including in Chelsea, the Upper West Side and Stuyvesant Town, according to Sarah Aucoin, the director of the city's Urban Park Rangers program.

In March a coyote was spotted wandering on top of a bar in Queens.

Rabid coyotes have been turning up in New Jersey as well. A man walking his dog was attacked earlier this month in Bergen County by one of the canines. The man later tested positive for rabies.

Photo Credit: NYPD
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<![CDATA[Thousands Lose Power in Tex. Storms]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 03:49:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/CDZ79QAUMAABKza.jpg

Strong thunderstorms packing powerful winds carved a trail of damage across North Texas Friday evening, causing widespread power outages and downing numerous trees down in southern Tarrant County.

Wind gusts of 70 to 90 mph were reported in the storms, with the most wind damage reported in Comanche, Erath, Johnson and Tarrant counties.

Oncor reported more than 25,000 customers without electricity early Saturday morning, down from their initial report of 52,000. Power companies across Texas reported that over 48,00 people across the state were without power.

Travelers huddled in a storm shelter at Dallas Love Field as severe storms flights grounded. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport also reported hundreds of flights delayed or canceled by the storms.

No tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service, but straight-line winds toppled trees and power lines in several communities.

A large, mature tree was no match for the winds that hit Lipscomb Street in Fort Worth.

Haven Zametz said she was inside her house when the storm's winds began to howl, and she said her house began to shake as if it was in an earthquake.

She didn't realize it was because the tree fell on top of her home until her neighbor called.

"My neighbor called and said, 'Are you OK?' And I said, 'Yeah, I'm fine.' And he said, 'No, a tree has fallen on your house!' So I walked out onto the porch and this is what I saw," said Zametz.

The tree smashed the roof of the front porch, but did not damage the home. No one was hurt.

Areas of flash flooding were also reported, with at least one water rescue from a vehicle in Irving.

The American Red Cross said the damage in the Metroplex appeared to be minor, and no shelters would be needed. Still, teams would remain on call to assist families in need.

The NBC 5 Weather Experts say Saturday will be sunny and warm, and a chance of thunderstorms returns to the forecast for Sunday afternoon and evening.

NBC 5's Bianca Castro contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[NJ Jewelry Store Owner Fights Violent Robber]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 12:23:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/jewelry+store+owner+fights+back.jpg

A New Jersey jewelry store owner didn't back down when a robber brutally punched and beat him Tuesday night, instead fighting back in a fierce showdown captured on surveillance video.

Police said the suspect, Edgardo Cuevas, walked into Tony's Jewelers in Clifton pretending to be a customer and then when the 65-year-old owner, Tony Markar, turned his back, pounced. 

Cuevas is seen on surveillance video lunging over the counter to snatch expensive jewelry, and then repeatedly punching Markar. 

"He was intent on getting that jewelry one way or another at any expense," said Clifton Police Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken. 

"Obviously from the video, it's very graphic, violent, startling," he said. 

But Markar didn't back down, and he gave back as good as he got, the video shows.

"I think it was just a reaction," said Bracken. "He wasn't about to let anybody take anything from his store." 

The face-off was so violent the two shattered the counter's glass. As a last-ditch effort, the alleged robber jumped on top of the counter and appeared to put the owner into a headlock as he grabbed for more jewelry. 

The owner's wife, who had been Skyping with him, watched the terrifying scene play out from a computer screen in the back. 

"He was in the middle of speaking with her, she was in another store in another town and she watched the whole incident occur," said Bracken. 

The ordeal finally ended when the suspect ran from the store. Police were able to get a good enough look at the suspect and recognized an old mugshot of Cuevas from 2009. Cuevas was arrested in Clifton Thursday night. 

Attorney information for Cuevas wasn't immediately available. 

<![CDATA[Teen Arrested After Putting Officer in Choke Hold]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:08:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/officer+headlock+video.jpg

A 17-year-old high school student is facing a string of charges after a confrontation during which he put a police officer in a choke hold that, according to police, nearly caused the officer to lose consciousness.

The struggle, recorded on video by several witnesses, occurred Tuesday night at a Burger King on Main Street, which police say is a known hangout – and trouble spot – for teens who have brawled there before. The incident began inside the restaurant and moved outside.

A video of the incident obtained by NBC Connecticut begins with the altercation between Officer Roberto Maldonado and the teen. It's unclear what happened in advance, but the officer can be seen yanking the teen out of the restaurant. Then, when the two are next visible, the teen appears to have the officer in a headlock.

Once Maldonado is free of the choke hold, he orders the teen to the ground, hits him with a baton and further subdues him with pepper spray, according to the video.

Police said the teen has been charged with assaulting an officer and inciting a riot.

Maldonado, a 16-year veteran of the police force, has not returned to work as a result of his injuries, according to Hartford police.

Although police said no complaints have been filed against Maldonado, the department has launched an internal investigation into the incident and are asking witnesses to come forward.

Both the suspect and the officer are Hispanic.

Burger King declined to comment Thursday evening.

Photo Credit: Submitted]]>
<![CDATA[Statue of Liberty Reopens After Bomb Scare]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:59:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Suspicious-Package-Liberty-Island-Statue.jpg

The Statue of Liberty reopened Saturday after a security scare forced thousands of tourists off Liberty Island on Friday.

The island was deemed safe Friday afternoon, about 90 minutes after the attraction was evacuated over a phoned-in bomb threat and reports of a suspicious package, authorities said.

The popular tourist attraction remained closed the rest of Friday.

Tourists were ferried off of the island after parks police patrolling with dogs near a locker area picked up the scent of a suspicious package shortly before 1 p.m., sources say. Around that same time, sources say, someone phoned in a bomb threat to the statue. 

The NYPD's bomb squad was called to the scene and authorities conducted a security sweep of the area. An all-clear was issued at about 2:30 p.m.

The scare set off a massive evacuation effort, and Statue Cruises said it transported 2,700 people from the island. Some had to leave behind their belongings during the evacuation; Statue Cruises said it will work with the National Park Service to return them to their owners. 

Several passengers who were ferried to Battery Park told NBC 4 New York they weren't told why they had to leave. Others had to stay on ferries during the investigation.

"We were all sitting in the boat, no one would tell us anything," one passenger said.

Visitors tweeted photos of long lines at a pier on Liberty Island. Many said the evacuation from Liberty Island was orderly but nerve-racking.

"It was past frustration -- it was nerve-wracking because you never know," said one visitor. "Did somebody decide to do something to the Statue of Liberty?" 

Liberty Island will reopen to the public Saturday. Ferry ticket holders who were held back can contact Statue Cruises to rebook or receive a refund. 

Photo Credit: @flyingtigers/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Life Sentence for Men in Thrill Killing]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:34:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Galvez-Gomez-0424.jpg

Two men found guilty in the random 2011 thrill killing of a developmentally disabled man were sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday in a San Diego courtroom.

Humberto Galvez, 22, and Juan Ignacio Gomez, 24, were each convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of Jordan Hickey, 21.

At their sentencing, one defense attorney asked the judge for a new trial and to consider second-degree murder convictions for the defendants instead of first-degree. The judge denied both requests.

With Galvez and Gomez both in shackles facing toward the judge, Hickey’s family members spoke in court asking that the men be put behind bars forever.

A video was played in court before family members spoke. It was a photo montage of Hickey’s life set to the song “I’ll Be Missing You.”

The video included quotes of what Hickey may have been thinking in the moments leading up to his fatal shooting.

Those quotes read, in part: “Why me? I just want to go home! What do you want? Take my bike. Take my backpack. Take my necklace. Please don’t shoot!”

Hickey's cousin, Taylor, spoke first. At one point, she held an urn containing Hickey's ashes.

"This is what my cousin is. He is not a body. He is in an urn, burnt," said Taylor, overwhelmed with emotion.

Another cousin, Stephanie, then stepped forward, saying the decision Galvez and Gomez made was senseless.

“Both Gomez and Galvez went hunting for the thrill almost four years ago to the date – wanting to know how it felt to kill someone, to watch someone die. Jordan’s last moment on Earth was lying on cold concrete, in his blood, trying to stay alive until help could arrive,” she said.

She too held Hickey's ashes as she spoke.

"Did you get the thrill?" Stephanie asked, looking straight at Galvez and Gomez.

On April 29, 2011, the men fatally shot Hickey as he rode his bike home along Grove Street in the Lincoln Acres area near National City. Prosecutors argued the pair were driving around looking for someone to shoot and called the murder a thrill killing.

For nearly a year, no suspects were arrested in the murder as Hickey’s family members and detectives asked for the public’s help in solving the cold case. In March 2012, both Gomez and Galvez were arrested in Chula Vista in connection with the deadly shooting.

Galvez changed his plea to guilty on April 2. Gomez was found guilty of the murder on March 25. Their fates were decided almost exactly four years after the murder.

Hickey’s mother, Jeannine Hickey, spoke with NBC 7 after Gomez was convicted in March.

"They knew what the consequences were when they went out hunting, and that's what they did," said Jeannine. "They hunted and massacred my son for nothing. So yes, they deserve to stay where they are for the rest of their lives."

Jeannine said though he was 21 years old, Hickey – who was diagnosed with a developmental disability – could not handle the 4th of July because of the loud noises.

The mother said it pains her to think of how scared her son must have been during the shooting.

"He would scream if a balloon popped, so I can't even imagine the screams that came from my son when the gun was going off," she said.

Hickey's uncle, James, also made a statement in court Friday saying his family is constantly in pain knowing Hickey will never get to live out his life or his dreams.

“Jordan’s life was prematurely robbed from him. At the hands of two complete strangers for a reason I cannot and will never comprehend,” he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Register Outage at Starbucks ]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 00:53:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP584464016824.jpg

A nationwide outage of Starbucks' point-of-sale system got some customers a free jolt of espresso.

The coffee chain confirmed the outage to store staff around 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday via a tweet on the company's Twitter account for employees. Starbucks later said in a statement, "the outage was caused by a failure during a daily system refresh."

"We are aware of the point of sale register outage at company-operated Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada," the company said in the statement. "We are actively working to resolve the outage and our stores will remain open and continue to serve our customers."

News of the outage lit up social networks as some stores offered customers free drinks of their choosing.

 But not all locations were being as generous, customers shared.

Starbucks said in the statement the outage was also affecting their Evolution Fresh and Teavana stores.

UPDATE: Starbucks said it had resolved the outage in all U.S. and Canadian stores, according to press release posted on their website early Saturday morning. The company apologized to customers for the inconvenience and said it expected to open for business as usual on Saturday, April 25.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Senate Staffer Arrested]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 00:09:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Generic+DC+Police+Lights+Close+Up+Generic.jpg

An aide to Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi has been charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine after federal agents raided his home.

An office administrator for Cochran, Fred W. Pagan, 49, was arrested Thursday. Court documents say that Pagan allegedly said he planned to distribute the drugs "in exchange for sexual favors."

On April 9, a package from China addressed to Pagan's home in the 5700 block of Colorado Avenue NW was intercepted in Cincinnati with the controlled substance GBL, according to court documents.

GBL has similar effects to alcohol, but also can used in a compound commonly known as a date rape drug.

D.C. police and Homeland Security raided the home Thursday and found more than 180 grams of methamphetamine, according to police.

Pagan told authorities he ordered the GBL from China and knew it was illegal, according to court documents. He also said he received three prior shipments of GBL.

Pagan said he received the methamphetamine from California, according to court documents. He said he intended to exchange the GBL and methamphetamine for sexual favors.

Pagan was released on his own recognizance after an initial court appearance Friday.

“Senator Cochran is disturbed and deeply saddened by the arrest of his long-time aide Fred Pagan and is suspending him of all duties pending the outcome of this case,” a statement from the senator's office read.

The office is contacting Senate legal counsel.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Armenian Genocide March]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 15:51:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/armenian+genocide+america+los+angeles+march+justice.jpg

Tens of thousands of people attended Friday's "March for Justice" through Los Angeles on the anniversary of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915.

The six-mile march was set to travel to the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard from Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue, in Little Armenia. Los Angeles has America's largest Armenian population and the city's march was expected to be the largest in the western U.S.

Marchers hoped to bring awareness of the Armenian genocide, a term that's rejected by the Turkish government despite evidence of mass killings, which began with 300 Armenian leaders who were rounded up and deported or killed on April 24, 1915. About 5,000 poor Armenians were killed in and around Istanbul that day as well.

On the eve of the centennial, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that his nation's ancestors never committed genocide, and the U.S. government has never recognized the massacres as a genocide.

But Los Angeles leaders spoke in support of referring to the massacres as a genocide.

"The mass extermination of Armenians was a genocide. We need to call it what it was," City Attorney Mike Feuer said Friday.

"Turkey is the only country where its own state-sponsored historians try to fight the truth, try to revise history, but there's no revising this dark chapter in the history of the world," U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff said.

Before the march stepped off, LA City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, joined by Feuer and other politicians, unveiled the Armenian Genocide Memorial Square, meant to "show that the city of Los Angeles recognizes the history of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the impact the event had on the Armenian community," O'Farrell said.

The Turkish Consulate in LA said in a statement that it commemorates and grieves the Armenians who died in the massacres but said using the term "genocide" is "historically wrong and politically misused."

Firing back at the call for recognition of a genocide by the Armenians, Dr. Metin Mangir, from the Committee of Turkish Americans, said, "That's a very big tragedy but Armenians also killed half a million non-Armenians prior to 1915, they never mention this.'

City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Khallid Shabazz]]>
<![CDATA[Trial in Decade-Long Abduction Case]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:17:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/186*120/garcia+abduction+kidnap+belll+gardens.jpg

A California man accused of kidnapping and raping a girl he later lived with for years was ordered Friday to stand trial.

An Orange County Superior Court judge made the decision Friday after hearing preliminary evidence against 41-year-old Isidro Garcia, who has pleaded not guilty.

Garcia allegedly drugged a then 15-year-old girl in 2004 and initially took her from her home in Santa Ana to a home in Compton, where he held her captive, according to authorities. Garcia was the boyfriend of the girl's mother at the time.

The girl arrived in the United States from Mexico in February 2004 to be with her mother and sister in Santa Ana, according to the Santa Ana Police Department's investigation. The abduction occurred in August of that year, according to police.

The suspect then convinced her that her family no longer wanted her and threatened her with deportation, according to prosecutors. She was later forced to marry Garcia, police said.

Authorities said Garcia fathered a daughter with her.

The two most recently lived in a Bell Gardens apartment, but police said they moved several times during the decade-long disappearance. The woman tried to escape twice, but was beaten after being caught, according to police.

The case came to light last year when the woman went to a police station to report a domestic violence incident and was connected to a missing-persons report filed by her mother in 2004.

Garcia was dating the victim's mother and all three of them shared this Santa Ana apartment when garcia allegedly started sexually assaulting the victim when she was only 14 years old. Investigators say Garcia drugged the teenager, moved her to different locations and used fake documents to change both of their identities.

Garcia's lawyer has said the allegations were lies and were fabricated because the couple were separating.

He is scheduled to be arraigned May 5.

<![CDATA[Man Kills Self Outside Courthouse]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:24:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/162*120/DSC_01692.JPG

A man awaiting a verdict in his sexual assault trial shot and killed himself outside the courthouse on Friday.

John Goodwin, 75, a longtime piano teacher from Atkinson, New Hampshire, went on trial this week for allegedly sexually assaulting a former student between 2002 and 2005. Prosecutors said the abuse began when the boy was 11 years old.

While jurors were deliberating around 11 a.m. in the Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, Goodwin went outside and shot himself in the chest with a handgun.

Goodwin was critically injured and transported to a Massachusetts hospital. The sheriff's office was later notified that he had died.

"I felt bad for him, I felt bad for his wife," said Chris Neville, who works at the courthouse.

The jury in the case reached a mistrial later Friday afternoon, and did not know about the shooting.

Photo Credit: James A. Kimble]]>
<![CDATA[Frozen Veggies, Smoothie Kits Recalled Over Listeria Concerns]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:30:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/veg-169160883.jpg

Inventure Foods, Inc. is recalling certain varieties of its Fresh Frozen line of vegetables and select varieties of its Jamba “At Home” line of smoothie kits, after finding listeria in its Jefferson, Georgia, facility.

The Phoenix-based company said there have been no reported illnesses linked to the products included in the voluntary recall.

Listeria is an organism that can cause infections mostly in young children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems, causing symptoms ranging from nausea and high fevers, to abdominal pain and miscarriages among pregnant women.

The Jamba “At Home” smoothies’ products being recalled are distributed to retail outlets, including mass merchandise stores and supermarkets east of the Mississippi River. Only specific Jamba “At Home” branded products are involved in this recalled. Click here for a full list of the products.

The Fresh Frozen products being recalled are distributed in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Inventure Foods, Inc. is urging customers who bought one of the affected products not to consume it and return it for a full refund. Customers can call 866-890-1004 or email the company at info@inventurefoods.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images-Media for Medical University Images Group]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Driver Charged in NJ Crash That Killed Passenger]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:32:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/emerson+crash+nj.jpg

The 17-year-old driver whose SUV crashed and flipped over multiple times into a yard in New Jersey, killing a passenger, has been charged in the deadly crash, prosecutors announced Friday. 

The driver, who prosecutors are not naming because the driver is being charged as a juvenile, was going at a "reckless" high rate of speed on Hasbrouck Avenue in Emerson late Wednesday night when the driver lost control at Chestnut Street, Bergen County prosecutors say. 

The 2008 Nissan Pathfinder flipped several times, leaving the street and coming to a rest on the driver's side in someone's yard, prosecutors said. As the vehicle was flipping, front seat passenger Stephanie Morgan, 18, was ejected from the vehicle. 

Morgan was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The driver and a 15-year-old back seat passenger were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries, prosecutors said. 

The driver is being charged with a complaint of juvenile delinquency that, if committed by an adult, would constitute second-degree vehicular homicide, prosecutors said. 

The driver also faces various traffic violations. 

Morgan, of Emerson, was just about to graduate from Emerson Junior Senior High School.

Photo Credit: Marko Georgiev/NorthJersey.com]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Terrorized by "Wolf Man" Robber at Hair Salon]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:54:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/wolf+mask+robbery.jpg

A robber wearing a wolf mask pulled a knife on a woman and her child inside a Rockland County hair salon, and the mother says she's been so terrorized by the incident that she still has nightmares about the "wolf man." 

Emilia Moncayo and her 4-year-old daughter were inside the Kelly's Unisex Salon in Spring Valley last Tuesday when a man walked in wearing a wolf mask and gloves. Moncayo at first thought it was a prank but quickly realized the man was serious when he pulled out a knife and demanded money. 

Surveillance video shows the suspect pulling out a large kitchen knife from the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt as he hands Moncayo a backpack. Moncayo said she put $200 from her cash register inside the bag, and he left the store. 

Since the robbery, coming to work hasn't been easy for Moncayo.

"I'm scared that maybe he'll come back," she said, adding that she wakes up in the middle of the night because of "nightmares with the wolf man."

Anyone with information is asked to call Spring Valley Police at 845-356-7400. 

<![CDATA[Bison Herd Shot After Stampeding Through Upstate NY Towns]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:29:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/buffalobuffalobuffalo.jpg

A herd of bison that stampeded through a string of upstate New York towns on Friday after it somehow got loose from a farm near Albany, has been shot.

The 15 creatures, two calves among them, traipsed through several backyards, trampled a fence and even crossed the New York State Thruway as they headed south, local NBC affiliate WNYT reported.

The animals had escaped from Gem Farms in Schodack, and authorities said all had been shot at Schodock Island State Park — a last resort, authorities told WNYT, since they would rather corral the beasts.

The bison were shot by people working for the family that owns the herd, according to WNYT. The son of the bison's owner told the station his family has been trying to corral loose bison for years, with little success.

Authorities were warning locals not to approach the animals, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

"Stay away. Just stay away from them," Bethlehem Police Lt. Thomas Heffernan said. "They’re large, unpredictable animals."

<![CDATA[Fetus at NJ Recycling Center Not Able to Breathe: ME]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:36:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/ReCommunity+Recycling+Center+Camden+Fetus+Found.JPG

A female fetus found at a South Jersey recycling center was too immature to breathe.

On Friday, the Camden County Medical Examiner's office released its autopsy findings on the fetus found the previous afternoon at ReCommunity Camden on Mt. Ephraim Avenue in Camden.

"A medical examiner determined the fetus was not capable of breathing and died to extreme immaturity," said a release from the Camden County Prosecutors Office. "The age was determined to be approximately 19 weeks and the gender was female."

An employee found the fetus on a conveyor belt around 3 p.m. Thursday.

It wasn't clear where the fetus came from but the plant said that the truck that dropped it off likely did so earlier Thursday afternoon.

The fetus was mixed in with standard curbside recyclables including plastic bottles, cardboard and paper, said ReCommunity.

The recycling facility processes waste from across the region but most of the waste -- likely including the load where the fetus was found -- comes from South Jersey.

Anyone with information on the fetus should call Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Det. Edwin Berwick at (856) 225-8694 or Camden County Police Det. Randy Smith at (856) 757-7420.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Statue of Liberty Evacuated After Report of Suspicious Package]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:41:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fitch94.jpg The Statue of Liberty was evacuated Friday afternoon after someone called in a bomb threat and parks police reported a suspicious package, law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York.

Photo Credit: @fitch94/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[25 Years of Stunning Hubble Space Photos]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:03:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP159893123088_2_Hubble.jpg

In the 25 years since NASA scientists sent the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit, the telescope has delivered a peek into the workings of the universe, with images of galaxies and stellar nurseries sparkling in the light of massive stars. 

To celebrate the anniversary, which takes place April 24, 2015, NASA released a Hubble photograph of Constellation Carina that shows purple, orange and red swirling light. 

"Hubble has fundamentally changed our human understanding of our universe and our place in it," NASA's science mission chief John Grunsfeld told a crowd at the photos' release at the Newseum in Washington. "Hubble inspires the world.”

Over 25 years, the 350-mile high telescope captured over 38,000 celestial objects, The Associated Press reported. Who knew gas and dust could be so awe-inspiring? 

Photo Credit: AP
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