Entries in Assault (21)


Ariz. Cardinals Cheerleader Arrested for Allegedly Attacking Boyfriend

Arizona Cardinals | Scottsdale Police Department - Obtained by ABC News(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- An Iraq War veteran turned NFL cheerleader was arrested for aggravated assault and disorderly conduct after she allegedly attacked her boyfriend, who captured the incident on his cell phone.

Megan Welter, 29, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is seen on cell phone video obtained by ABC News angrily questioning her boyfriend about text messages between him and a female friend.

"Who is she!" Welter is heard screaming in the footage as her boyfriend, who has not been identified, tries to calm her down.

Police were called to the couple's home after Welter placed a 911 call and accused her boyfriend of attacking her.

"He smashed my head into tile," she is heard saying on the recording.

Video footage released by the Scottsdale Police Department that was shot at the scene of the alleged domestic dispute shows Welter pleading with officers to get her boyfriend out of the home.

But it was Welter who ended up being taken into custody on July 20 after her boyfriend countered with his side of the story. "I was asking her to stop, I was trying to leave, she was pulling out my hair, she was scratching me, she was punching me in my face and I have everything on tape," her boyfriend said.

Authorities said both parties admit to drinking heavily on the night of the argument. Welter was reportedly so drunk she could not say what had happened.

Welter has cheered for the Arizona Cardinals for two years, according to the team's website. But she's recently made headlines for her service in the Iraq War, where she spent 16 months.

"Our country has given us so many freedoms and to be a part of fighting for that and maintaining that, it means a lot," she told ABC's Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV.

Welter's boyfriend told ABC's Good Morning America that he hopes the incident "doesn't take away from the good things she's done for the NFL and for her country."

"I want people to know that she's a wonderful, beautiful woman who had a momentary lapse of judgment," he said.

A representative for the Arizona Cardinals did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Texas Police Search for Woman Who Allegedly Set Sister on Fire

Temple Police Department(TEMPLE, Texas) -- Police are searching across two states for a woman who allegedly set her sister on fire in Temple, Texas, and fled the scene.

When responding to a report of a domestic disturbance and a burn victim Saturday afternoon, Temple police found a woman whose body was covered in life-threatening burns.  She was rushed to the hospital.

The woman had been involved in a dispute with a family member, according to police.  The dispute became violent and the victim’s sister doused her with gasoline and lit her on fire, police said.

The suspect was identified as 31-year-old Iaisha White, who fled the scene in a gray or silver Dodge Stratus four-door, police said.  Officers searched the area, but could not locate her.  White is wanted on a charge of aggravated assault.

Police say White was spotted at a 7-Eleven store in Moore, Okla., on Saturday evening.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Acquitted of Beating of Priest He Said Sexually Abused Him

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- William Lynch, the California man who admitted he pummeled a priest who he said abused him as a boy, has been found not guilty of felony assault and elder abuse charges.

The jury of nine men and three women could not reach a verdict on a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault for the 2010 attack at a retirement home.

The jury began deliberations late Monday after hearing impassioned closing arguments from both sides.

The defense's strategy had long been to prove to the jury that the wrong man was on trial. However, prosecutor Vicki Gemetti urged jurors to focus on the assault.

"Two wrongs don't make a right," she said in her closing arguments on Monday.

Lynch's crusade for his own form of personal justice against the priest, Jerry Lindner, drew supporters to the courthouse in San Jose, Calif., during his nearly three-week trial. They carried signs that read "stop clergy sex abuse" and condemned the "pedophile playground" retirement community that is home to Lindner, who has had previous allegations against him.

Lynch testified last Friday that he visited Lindner with the intention of having the aging Jesuit sign a confession, but when the priest "looked up and leered" at Lynch in the same manner he did more than 35 years ago when he sexually abused him, Lynch said he ordered the priest to take off his glasses and hit him.

Lynch passed up a plea deal of one year in jail and instead chose to go to trial to publicly shame the man who he said haunted his memories for 35 years.

On a family camping trip 35 years ago, Lynch said he was brutally raped at age 7 by Lindner and was then forced to perform sex acts on his 4-year-old brother.

The boys kept their painful secret for years, long past the six-year statute of limitations California had in place at the time of the alleged crimes.

Lynch got his wish to see the priest in court, even if the tables were turned. Lindner was forced to testify, but a short time later the Jesuit invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The judge struck his testimony from the record.

During his short time on the stand, Lindner, now 67, told the court he remembered Lynch, but only as the man who attacked him at a Los Gatos, Calif., Jesuit retirement community where the priest has resided since 2001.

Lindner denied molesting Lynch and his younger brother on a camping trip to the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1974.

Lynch's attorney declared the priest had perjured himself and even prosecutor Vicki Gemetti said in her opening statement that she expected Lindner to lie on the stand or say he didn't remember certain events.

"The evidence will show [Lindner] molested the defendant all those years ago," she said, but urged the jury to focus on Lynch's attack.

Lynch's case of alleged vigilante justice has attracted support from around the world and has shed light on a justice system many view as flawed.

Lynch and his brother were awarded $625,000 after filing a civil suit against Lindner in 1997. The priest was removed from active ministry and was moved to the Jesuit retirement community in 2001.

Lindner was named in two other abuse lawsuits, according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Shopping Cart Injures Two in Taxi Driver Dispute

Comstock/T​hinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A shopping cart that critically injured two men might have been used as a weapon in a dispute between taxi drivers competing for fares outside a New York City shopping center, according to a taxi driver representative.

Louncey Camara, 52, and Ibrahima Sagne, 30, were hit after the cart plummeted three stories at Mott Haven Mall in the Bronx.

“It’s about who took whose passenger, and who was waiting for who, and whether you can really pick them up or not pick them up,” Fernando Mateo, president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, told WABC of the brewing battle between licensed and unlicensed cabbies.

The New York Police Department said it is reviewing surveillance video of the incident in order to determine what happened.

Camara suffered lacerations and a puncture to his forehead and Sagne had lacerations to an eye and the back of his head.

This is the second time in three months that a shopping cart has been pushed from a higher floor and landed on a shopper.

Marion Hedges, 47, went into a coma after two boys pushed a shopping cart from a fourth-floor parking garage in New York City Oct. 30, 2011. Hedges had been shopping for Halloween candy to donate to charity at the time she was hit.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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Cellphone Captures Boy Beating Gay Student

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(CHILLICOTHE, Ohio) -- An Ohio high school student waited in a classroom to attack a 15-year-old gay classmate, beating him repeatedly in a vicious assault captured by a bystander on a cellphone.

"I covered myself and shielded my body, and he kept hitting," the gay student, who did not want to be identified, told ABC's affiliate WSYX in Ohio. "Nobody did anything."

Now the boy's mother, Rebecca Collins of Chillicothe, has said she would seek justice for the Oct. 17 beating.

The Ross County Sheriff's office said it is investigating the attack but so far has not made any arrests.

James Osborne, principal at Union-Scioto High School, located about 50 miles south of Columbus, confirmed the "unfortunate" attack, and said "charges have been filed."

"It turns my stomach," Collins told ABC's affiliate station. "It's my son. I don't care, and they did it just because he's a homosexual."

Other students watched as the attacker waited for his victim to arrive in the classroom. He then shoved his prey to the ground, and repeatedly punched him in the face.

Collins said her son broke two teeth, and may have suffered a concussion.

The recording of the attack has been posted on Facebook and YouTube.

The student who initiated the attack was suspended for three days.

According to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which helps gay students and works with schools to set up support programs, one in four LGBT students have experienced some form of assault in Ohio each year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Alleged Basement Dungeon Ringleader Linked to 50 People in Three States

Philadelphia Police Dept(PHILADELPHIA) -- The woman accused of keeping four handicapped adults chained in a Philadelphia basement and stealing their Social Security checks may have done the same thing to victims in Florida, Virginia and Texas, Philadelphia police said Monday.

Lt. Roy Evers says a search of suspect Linda Ann Weston's personal belongings turned up documents belonging to 50 persons. The documents included driver's licenses, Social Security cards and even power of attorney forms filled out to allow Weston access to the victims' money.

Evers says police believe that Weston, 51, and her alleged co-conspirators, Eddie Wright, 49, and Thomas Gregory, 47, were carrying out a "widespread fraud scheme," and that police are now trying to contact the persons who gave up those IDs. When asked if there was evidence that anyone else was currently being held captive, Evers said, "We don't think so, but we have to make sure everyone is safe."

Police are also checking McLean, Texas, because some of the documents they found indicated that previous victims came from that area. Texas is also Wright's home state. Other addresses were being checked in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Norfolk, Va.

In 1981, Weston was convicted of starving a man to death in a closet of her Philadelphia home.
She was charged with beating the man with a hammer, tying him up in a closet with only three meals over the course of two months, and beating him with broomsticks, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. When he died, his body was stuffed into a plastic bag and dumped in an abandoned house, according to the newspaper. Weston served eight years in prison.

Weston, her boyfriend Wright, and Gregory are now charged with locking up four mentally handicapped individuals in the basement of an apartment building in Philadelphia. Police allege that the three trafficked the victims from Texas to Florida to Philadelphia, where they held them in Weston's daughter's apartment building.

The victims were discovered by the building's owner, who noticed an unusual amount of trash on the property and the locked basement door. He heard dogs barking behind the door, and when he opened it, discovered the chained individuals looking distressed, according to the Philadelphia police.
The victims are believed to have been in the 6-by-10-foot boiler room for about 10 days. The female captive had been reported missing since 2005.

Weston, Wright and Gregory are charged with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, trespassing, kidnapping, simple assault, reckless endangerment of persons, unlawful restraint, and false imprisonment.

Police are still deciding whether the case will be turned over to federal authorities because of the multi-state criminal charges, according to a spokeswoman.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Judge to CIA Contractor: No Gunslinging in Colorado

Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who sparked a months-long international drama when he shot and killed two men in broad daylight on the streets of Pakistan in January, appeared in a Denver court Tuesday after being charged with a felony for his part in a skirmish in a bagel shop parking lot.

Rob McCallum, a spokesman for the court who attended the hearing, told ABC News Davis was calm as he was read the charges against him, including second degree assault -- a felony that carries a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison.  He was taken into custody after the hearing and a Colorado judge set bond at $10,000.

During a discussion of one provision of the assault charge -- specifically one that would at least temporarily strip Davis of his personal firearm -- an attorney for Davis revealed that after his troubled experience working for the CIA in Pakistan, Davis has become a firearms instructor often working in the Washington, D.C., area.  The judge ruled that Davis would be allowed to use his firearm, but not in Colorado and only under supervision in the D.C. area, McCallum said.

Davis has not pleaded in the case and is not expected back in court until a preliminary hearing in December.  An attorney for Davis, William Frankfurt, did not respond to requests for comment for this report.

Davis has already been the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for the deadly Pakistan shooting -- part of a promise Sen. John Kerry made to Pakistani officials in an effort to secure Davis' release from Pakistani prison in February.  But a spokesperson for the DOJ refused to answer any of ABC News' questions Monday on the status of that investigation, seven months after Davis came home.

According to police, Davis, 37, and another man who identified himself as Jeff Maes, got into a verbal then physical altercation over a parking spot in front of a Denver bagel shop over the weekend.

"He literally parked his car behind me and started shouting at me and I said, 'You need to relax.'  And he got out of the car," Maes told ABC News' Denver affiliate 7News.  "When I got hit, I went back, I hit my back straight on the concrete and then, I don't know, I must've got up.  I looked, he's standing there and I got up to defend myself and started again."

Maes said his two daughters, six and eight years old, cried after witnessing the fight.

Police arrested Davis and initially charged him with a pair of misdemeanors, noting that he was "the aggressor" in the fight.  He was released on $1,750 bond, but Monday a Colorado district attorney announced Davis was to be charged with second degree assault.  He is also charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, the DA's office said.

For a man whose job was to stay in the shadows, Davis found himself at the center of international spotlight for weeks after he was arrested in Pakistan Jan. 27 following the fatal shooting of two men on the streets of Lahore, Pakistan.

Davis was charged with the double murder and quickly questions emerged about who he was and for whom he worked.  The official U.S. government line -- even reaching as high as President Obama -- was that Davis was just a "diplomat" who believed he was being robbed and should have been released due to diplomatic immunity.

But nearly a month after his arrest, U.S. officials told ABC News Davis was actually an independent contractor working for the CIA in Pakistan.

As high-level negotiations strained and the already rocky relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan worsened, the U.S. found an unusual way out of the diplomatic rift in March: the payment of "blood money" to the victims of the crime in exchange for Davis' release -- a somewhat common practice sanctioned by Pakistani law.

Both the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, whose officers arrested Davis, and the district attorney's office, which charged him with the felony, told ABC News that Davis' notoriety or government connections would not impact the proceedings against him.

"It doesn't matter who you are, you're all treated the same," Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Ron Hanavan said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


CIA Contractor Charged with Felony in Colorado Parking Lot Fight

Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images(HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo.) -- Many in Pakistan feel that Raymond Davis got away with murder last January when the CIA contractor shot dead two men in Lahore he claimed were trying to rob him.

Davis, who was freed last March after $2.3 million in compensation was made to the victims' families, is now facing a felony assault charge in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

The 37-year-old was formally charged Monday with getting into a fight with another man over a parking space at a local bagel shop last Saturday.

Jeffrey Maes claims that Davis hauled off on him and kept punching him after he got off the pavement.  Police said that other people in the parking lot broke up the fight.

Davis initially faced misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct before posting $1,750.  The charge was then upgraded to second-degree assault.

If found guilty, Davis could be sentenced to five years in prison.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Woman Accused of Assaulting Son for Having Facebook Page

Florida police say Althea Ricketts, 62, beat her son with a computer cable for being on Facebook. (Orange County Jail)(APOPKA, Fla.) -- A Florida woman, told that her teenage son had posted a message on Facebook suggesting he might harm himself, allegedly beat him with a computer cable because he wasn't supposed to be on Facebook in the first place, police said.

The woman, 62-year-old Althea Ricketts of Apopka, Fla., was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse. The name and age of her son were not made public.

Officer Josean Velez, who handled the case, said Ricketts volunteered that she had hit her son.

"Althea stated to me that hitting a child with a cable is a common way of disciplining kids where she comes from," Velez said.

According to police, an acquaintance called Ricketts Friday night to tell her about an upsetting post on her son's Facebook page. Police say Ricketts called back, said she had hit her son and that he had run off.

The police report, provided to ABC News, said the boy had updated his Facebook status Friday night to say, "I broke a glass on purpose and kept a piece to play with it later." A neighbor said the boy had a history of cutting himself, and called his mother after receiving a text message from a church friend about his Facebook status.

The neighbor said Ricketts hit her son with a computer cable, raising red welts on his arms, according to the police report. Police were called after the boy ran to a friend's house and said he was afraid he would be hit again if he went home.

Another neighbor, according to police, quoted Ricketts as saying the boy "deserved everything he got for lying to her." The neighbor answered, "There are ways to discipline a child without bruising them up," according to the police report.

A call to the Ricketts' home was not answered. Ricketts was released without bond Sunday from the Orange County Jail. Pending trial, she was ordered not to have contact with her son.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Woman Charged for Cutting Off Husband's Penis Could Face Life in Jail

ABC News(GARDEN GROVE, Calif.) -- The California woman accused of cutting off her husband's penis now faces formal charges that could land her in jail for life.

The Orange County District Attorney's office on Wednesday charged Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, with two felony counts -- torture and aggravated mayhem -- with sentence enhancement for causing great bodily injury, said Susan Schroeder, the D.A.'s chief of staff.

Becker received a court-appointed attorney, police said. Her arraignment was postponed until July 22, and she will also have a bail hearing at her next court appearance.

She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with parole, and is currently being held in the Orange County Jail without bail.

After Becker, a real estate broker, laced her 60-year-old husband's dinner with an unknown drug, he lay down believing something was wrong with the food, said Lt. Jeff Nightengale of Garden Grove, Calif. police.

Her husband then woke up tied to the bed as Becker cut off his penis with a knife, Nightengale told ABC News on Tuesday. She threw the genitalia in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on.

Her husband filed for divorce in May, citing "irreconcilable differences." Nightengale said Becker was "upset" about the divorce, but could not confirm why she wanted to cut off her husband's manhood. The couple has no children.

After cutting off his penis, Becker eventually called 911 to ask for medical assistance. When firefighters and police arrived on scene, Becker told officials that her husband "deserved it," said Nightengale.

Police found the man, who remains unidentified, tied to the bed and "bleeding profusely."

Her husband was rushed to University of California at Irvine Medical Center for treatment.

"He is in amazingly good spirits considering what happened," said Nightengale on Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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