Did Bank Hostage-Taker Teen Commit Suicide by Cop?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CARY, N.C.) -- A North Carolina teen who was killed by police when he came out of a bank where he had held seven people hostage was holding something to the head of one of those hostages, but it was not a gun, officials said Sunday.

The revelation added to the mystery about what was going through the 19-year-old Cary, N.C., man's mind when he went to the bank Thursday, setting off a two-hour standoff with police.

Devon Mitchell had told hostages inside the bank and a police hostage negotiator that he had a gun during the standoff at a Wachovia branch in the town, Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said at a news conference Sunday. But Mitchell had also told a teller to call 911 when he went into the bank, and he apparently did not demand any money.

Police shot Mitchell when he came out of the bank holding something concealed in a red hat to the head of a hostage, Bazemore said.

"We were left with no other choice than to do exactly what we did," she said.

The police chief said Sunday she did not know what the young man was actually holding when a police sniper shot and killed him.

"Despite what the original 911 call reported, despite what he said to the hostages, despite what he told our hostage negotiator, despite what we all thought we saw when he came out of the bank with something pointing at one of the hostages heads, we now know there was not a gun," Bazemore said.

The police chief said their investigation indicated that Mitchell wanted police to kill him, so-called "suicide by cop."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Concerns Arise Over US Relations with New Egypt

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- While crowds from around the globe have been celebrating the end to Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule as leader of Egypt, questions have arisen about Egypt's uncertain future, its relationship to the U.S. and the political stability of the Middle East.

The major issue: U.S. national security and whether Egypt's role in counterterrorism has been compromised.

"Whether it's our security here, their security, Saudi Arabia's security, Gulf Oil production -- all of these things are at potentially greater risk if al Qaeda can now start infiltrating into Egypt," Michael O'Hanlon of the nonprofit public policy organization the Brookings Institution said.

The second major concern is the future of the Arab world, now that movements of the people -- so well-connected and organized in relatively peaceful protests -- in Tunisia and Egypt have led to historical regime change.

Egypt, with 80 million citizens, is the largest Arab nation, and is viewed globally as the gateway to the Arab world. If notions of revolution spread east to the oil producing nations -- or to Jordan, Syria, or Yemen -- the new Egypt could define a new Middle East.

A third concern is long-term peace with Israel. Today the Jewish state is more isolated and vulnerable, feeling that if the peace is broken, the stakes could be very high if war returns to the Middle East region.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wildfire Destroys 20 Homes in Southern Washington

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/KOMO-TV Seattle(WHITE SWAN, Wash.) -- A wildfire that raged through a southern Washington Indian reservation on Saturday destroying 20 homes was declared under control by fire fighters on Sunday.

Officials believe the fire started in the chimney of one of the homes on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Although no official cause has been announced, they believe the fire was accidental.

Although strong winds threatened to push the fire toward more homes, a solid firefighting effort limited the damage to just 20 homes.

At the moment, the reservation's ceremonial longhouse and high school are being used as housing for those displaced by the fire.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sickness Reported After Playboy Mansion Fundraiser

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and his fiance, Crystal Harris. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The chance to party it up at the Playboy Mansion is one of the most coveted invitations in the world, but this ticket to paradise may have come with a painful parting gift.

The Los Angeles Department of Public Health is investigating a suspected respiratory infection outbreak among attendees of the DOMAINfest Global Conference, which drew more than 700 people from around the world.

The main activities of the conference on Internet business, which ran Feb. 1-3, were held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., but many participants also attended events at other locations, including the famed Playboy Mansion, which is in Holmby Hills.

The health department issued a statement saying it is investigating the cause and source of the illness, and said that nothing indicated the suspected outbreak extended beyond the attendees of the conference.

Eighty conference guests were reported sick, and at least four participants were reportedly diagnosed with a mild form of Legionnaires disease, an illness characterized by fever, headaches and aches all over the body.

A Playboy spokesperson told ABC News they're cooperating with the Department of Public Health investigation.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Westminster Dog Show Kicks Off Monday In New York

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thousands of dog lovers, handlers, trainers and owners from around the world -- along with thousands of purebred pooches -- will descend on Madison Square Garden on Monday as the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicks off in New York.

From hounds to toys, terriers to sporting breeds, approximately 2,500 dogs from 179 breeds will compete at the annual event, which is the second longest-running sports event in the country, having been launched just one year after the Kentucky Derby.

With no clear favorite this year, the Best in Show title -- currently held by 2010's champion, Sadie the Scottie -- seems to be an open race.

Each of the competing canines have won some sort of smaller champion title -- to be invited to Westminster, a dog must be rated as top five in its breed category. This year 46 of the top 50 champions from last year will again be competing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Alleged Stabber Kills Four Before Police End New York City Spree

Photo Courtesy - New York Police Dept./WABC-TV New York(NEW YORK) -- A gruesome string of killings in New York City was put to an end Saturday, when police corralled a man they allege stabbed at least six people, killing four of them.

Maksim Gelman, 23, is the man police have arrested for allegedly going on an unmatched spree of stabbings and carjackings, all in just 28 hours.

"It's so horrendous and bizarre. We have no reason we can give you as to why he did this," said New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The police have created a timeline of events, which they believe shows where Gelman went and what he did.

At 5:09 a.m. on Friday, Gelman got into an argument with his mother over whether or not he could drive her Lexus. He then stabbed his stepfather 11 times, police said.

Later that day, at 10:20 a.m., he went to his ex-girlfriend's house and stabbed her mother 11 times. He then staked out the apartment, police allege, until his ex-girlfriend returned home, and stabbed her around 4:15 p.m.

Just five minutes later as he was driving away, he rear-ended a car and then went up to it and stabbed the driver three times in the chest, police say. Gelman then stole the car, and while driving it at 4:25 p.m, he hit and killed a 60-year-old man.

Police said at 12:55 a.m. Saturday, he stabbed a taxi driver. Then at 1 a.m., he stabbed and killed another driver, stealing his car in the process.

Gelman was finally tracked down on a subway car by riders who recognized his picture from the newspaper. They alerted police, who got to him, but not before Gelman was able to stab a subway passenger in the neck, with what police have said was a kitchen knife.

While police have no motive, they know Gelman has a long history with law enforcement. He has been arrested ten other times, mostly for graffiti-related offenses. Authorities said his most recent arrest was on Jan. 26 for charges relating to crack cocaine.

Charges against Gelman are pending, police said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Thousands March in NAACP Rally Against 'Neighborhood Schools'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/WTVD Raleigh(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- Thousands of demonstrators hit the streets of Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday in a march for student diversity.

Activists from the NAACP, along with members from over 90 other organizations joined in the march to the North Carolina State Legislature Building as part of the annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) event.

The NAACP says the demonstration serves as a protest against a decision by the Wake County School Board to implement 'neighborhood schools.' Those against the idea say such a move will create resegregation in schools.

“People here want one county, they want one state, they want one country,” said NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. “We intend to fight with them until we get that.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cab Plows Into Crowd Outside San Diego Nightclub, Injures 25

Photo Courtesy - Maurice Luque, SDFRD/KGTV-TV San Diego(SAN DIEGO) -- A cab drove into a crowd of people leaving a popular San Diego nightclub Saturday morning, leaving 25 injured, six of them critically. Part of a woman’s leg was severed in the crash.

Investigators are trying to determine why the driver plowed into the group. Police say alcohol was not a factor.

“He told officers that he passed out briefly and drove onto the sidewalk,” Sgt. Ray Battrick, San Diego Police Department watch commander, told ABC News.

Following the crash, some attacked the cab driver. He was transported to a local hospital and treated for a broken nose and other injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Would-Be Rapist Caught On Tape, Suspected of Other Attacks

Photo Courtesy - WFTS-TV Tampa(MANATEE COUNTY, Fla.) -- A quick-thinking 12-year-old Florida girl was able to escape a man who grabbed her near a church and tried to rape her, and with the assault captured on video police said they may now have an image of the suspect in two other similar attacks.

The Gold Star Club of Manatee County announced Saturday it is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the unidentified suspect was caught on surveillance video Thursday following the girl home from school.

In the tape, a man is seen following the girl, then grabbing her from behind and carrying her to a tree, where police said he tried to rape her. But police said the girl was able to escape, when she told her would-be assailant that there were people nearby watching him. The man ran off, leaving the girl there, police said.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the attempted sexual assault is similar to two other recent cases in the area.

The suspect is described as a black male, 30-40 years old, approximately 6 feet tall, with a thin build. He was wearing a dark hoodie with black basketball shorts.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Recall Issued for 1.7 Million Baby Monitors

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a voluntary recall of about 1.7 million video baby monitors with electrical cords.

The recall, issued by the CPSC in cooperation with Summer Infant Inc., cites the need to provide new on-product labeling and instructions for Summer Infant video baby monitors. According to a release by the CPSC, the cords can present a strangulation hazard to infants and toddlers when placed too close to cribs. The commission advises that parents and caregivers refrain from placing the corded cameras within three feet of a crib.

The recall comes after two reports of infants dying from strangulation by electrical cords from Summer Infant video baby monitors in 2010.

The first death occurred in March, where a 10-month-old girl was strangled by a Summer Infant video monitor cord in her crib in Washington D.C. In that incident officials say the monitor camera was placed on top of the crib rail. The second reported death occurred in November in Conway, S.C., where a six-month-old boy was strangled. In that incident the camera was reportedly placed on a changing table attached to a crib.

Summer Infant monitors are made in China, and have been selling nationwide for between $60 and $300. Summer Infant Inc. has launched a campaign to provide new on-product labels for monitors distributed between January 2003 and February 2011, according to the CPSC release.

The commission says that a total of seven strangulation deaths caused by monitor cords have been reported since 2004.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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