Entries in Car (20)


California Mom Charged with Leaving Baby in Hot Car

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- A San Diego mother, arrested for leaving her 4-month-old daughter in a car while shopping, was released from custody this week after posting bail.

On Tuesday at 3:10 p.m., police said a maintenance worker noticed a child locked in a sedan with the windows rolled up and called 911.  The National City police and fire departments immediately arrived at the scene -- a parking lot in front of a clothing store in a strip mall on East Plaza Boulevard.

A police officer and a witness forced open a rear window to retrieve the child, who was unresponsive and covered in sweat, National City Police Sgt. Julian Villagomez said.

According to Villagomez, the 25-year-old mother, Starley Geart, left the store moments later.  She appeared to be confused.  Although Geart claimed to have been in the store for a minute, surveillance tapes show Geart in the store for approximately nine minutes.

Firefighters subsequently locked the car for 10 minutes and measured the temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, Villagomez said.

"We all need to be very careful," he said.  "Here in California we have beautiful weather… it was 75 degrees but that temperature can nearly double in a locked car in minutes.  We need to be very careful and not leave kids or pets unattended."

According to Villagomez, Geart was arrested for felony child endangerment and booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility, while her daughter was taken to Rady Children's Hospital.  The child was released and placed in protective custody.  Since the victim is a minor, neither Rady Children's Hospital nor San Diego County Child Welfare Services could comment on the specifics of the case.

Geart was released Wednesday after posting bail.  Her arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 1.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Car Linked to Sierra LaMar Disappearance Found

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- A red Volkswagen Jetta connected to the disappearance of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar is now in custody of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities found the mid-'90s four-door red sedan with a black hood after releasing pictures of a similar vehicle on Monday, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza.  However, investigators are not disclosing specifics of how they identified the car and its connection to the case.

The vehicle came to the attention of authorities after it was captured on multiple surveillance videos in the area of the missing cheerleader’s Morgan Hill, Calif., home and the area where authorities recovered the teen’s belongings. Sgt. Cardoza said investigators have been unable to recognize specific person(s) in the vehicle from the videos.

With the vehicle in custody, authorities are asking the public to report any sightings of the vehicle and/or possible occupants at the time of the girl’s disappearance. They are interested in speaking to anyone who may have come in contact with the car or occupants in the month of March.

The cheerleader was last seen on March 16 as she left to catch the school bus.  The girl’s parents contacted authorities later that day after receiving an email from her high school informing them the teen did not show up for class.

Days later, Sierra’s cellphone and her Juicy brand bag containing a pair of folded jeans and a T-shirt were recovered on the side of the road in the opposite direction of her bus stop. Investigators searched her phone and computer, but did not find clues to her disappearance.

Divers began searching reservoirs near her home last month, but have yet to come up with a trace of the teen.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Car Blows Up After Border Patrol Chase

File photo. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)(SAN DIEGO) -- The driver has died and a Border Patrol agent has been airlifted to the hospital after a car that was being chased by the Border Patrol near the Mexican border exploded when it was forced to stop.

At about 3 a.m. Thursday morning in eastern San Diego County, Customs and Border Patrol spotted a car with Texas plates driving the wrong way down the highway, according to initial reports. Police sources said that the vehicle blew through a CBP checkpoint and agents chased after it.

Agents used a spike strip to deflate the vehicle's tires, and the driver came to a stop on Old Highway 80, just off Interstate 8 about 10 miles north of the border and 40 miles east of San Diego. When one of the agents approached the car, the driver refused to open the door or the driver's side window.

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The agent then attempted to break the window, at which point the vehicle exploded and was engulfed in flames. The agent was knocked to the ground and received lacerations and burns to the face and body. The sole occupant of the vehicle died in the fire.

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the fire, and whether explosives were involved. The San Diego Sheriff's Department bomb and arson team is investigating.

In a statement, a Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson confirmed that a Border Patrol agent stationed in San Diego was recovering from injuries sustained after a vehicle stop and explosion.

"After agents had stopped a car that was reported to have been driving on the wrong side of Interstate 8 the vehicle ignited while the agent was standing near the driver side door," Jenny Burke said. "The driver of the car died at the scene. The agent was transported to the hospital and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The San Diego Sheriff's Department is currently investigating the incident, along with support from CBP."

The Border Patrol has not released the name of the injured agent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Caught on Tape: NJ Police Officers Pull Man from Burning Car

Thinkstock/Getty Images(BARNEGAT, N.J.) -- Two New Jersey police officers pulled a man from his burning car in a dramatic rescue that was caught on tape by a dashboard camera in the officers’ cruiser.

Barnegat, N.J., police officers Lauren Keilitz and Michael Diblasi responded to reports of a fire in a residential neighborhood around 8 p.m. Monday, authorities from the Barnegat Police Department said.

When they arrived, they discovered a car parked in the driveway of one of the neighborhood’s two-story homes fully enveloped in flames.

“Fully involved,” one of the officers can be heard saying in the video, right before both officers rushed to the burning car, a 2005 BMW 745.

Police say Keilitz and Diblasi found a man, described as “incapacitated,” sitting in the car’s driver seat, but were unable to reach him because the driver’s door was stuck.

Diblasi, a nine-year veteran of the police force, ran back to the patrol car to retrieve a window punch, which he then used to smash through the window, department spokesman Lt. Keith Germain told the Asbury Park Press.

Keilitz, on the force for eight years, was then able to open the driver’s door and pull the man, identified as Mario Dischiavi, from the burning vehicle.

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Dischiavi, 57, who lives at the home where the car was parked, was seen by neighbors listening to music inside the vehicle before it caught fire, Germain said.

He was treated for smoke inhalation at a nearby hospital and is now recovering at home.

Neither Keilitz nor Diblasi suffered any injuries in the rescue.

The cause of the vehicle fire remains under investigation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Police Name Person of Interest in Colorado Bomb That Injured Two

Comstock/Thinkstock(LAFAYETTE, Colo.) -- The ex-husband of a Colorado woman severely injured on Saturday when a package exploded inside a car she was riding in has officially been named a person of interest in the crime, Lafayette Police Commander Gene McCausey told ABC News.

Police and agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) executed a search warrant Saturday night at the Denver home of Michael Anthony Brittain, carting away several bags of evidence.  Brittain has not been arrested.

The search took place just hours after Brittain’s ex-wife Allyson Stone and her current husband Christopher were injured after the explosive detonated in the couple’s Volvo station wagon.

Police say the couple had just left their Lafayette, Colo., home on Saturday when they spotted a package in the driveway next to their car.  It was a brown paper bag with their names written on it, according to police.  Allyson picked it up and was in the passenger seat opening the bag when it blew up.

Investigators say Allyson sustained serious burn injuries.  A member of Allyson’s family told ABC News that doctors don’t know the full extent of her injuries, but she is expected to survive.  She is conscious and in a lot of pain.  Her husband Christopher, who sustained minor injuries, is at her side in the hospital.

Colorado court records obtained by ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV reveal ongoing tension between Allyson and her former husband.  In 2003, Brittain was arrested on domestic violence, harassment and child abuse charges. Three days later, Allyson filed for divorce.  

Three of the charges against Brittian were later dismissed and he was found not guilty on the remaining assault charge, documents show.

In February 2011, the judge in the divorce case ruled that Allyson owed her ex-husband $121,520.

“He’s so nice,” one of Brittian’s neighbors told ABC News on Sunday.  “You would never assume him out of all people.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mom Who Put Gifts in Wrong Car Says Someone Tried to Cash In

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(YPSILANTI, Mich.) -- A Michigan mom who was hoping for a Christmas miracle after she placed $700 worth of gifts in the wrong car was heartbroken when a store informed her that someone had tried to cash in on her mistake.

Linda Gipson, of Ypsilanti, accidentally placed boxes and bags of gifts in the wrong Ford Focus parked at a mall on Dec. 15.

The mom of five said she'd put the presents in the car and then returned to shop for another hour, only to emerge and realize she had made a terrible mistake.

"I parked in aisle 10, and the car wasn't there, so I turned around and saw a similar silver Ford Focus and realized that I must have used my key to open the trunk of the wrong car, because the car I put the gifts in was gone and my car was still in the lot," Gipson said. She was shocked to realize that her car key could work on the trunk of another car.

Now Gipson said she has little hope of recovering the gifts, especially after a store called her to report that a young woman had tried to exchange two of Gipson's gifts for cash. Gipson, who'd immediately notified all the stores of the mix-up, said the store manager at Arden B recognized the items and put a stop on the return. Gipson said the manager even noticed that the items were linked to the name of Gipson's daughter, who has a frequent shopper card at Arden B.

Gipson and police were stunned to realize that her car key had successfully worked to open the trunk of an identical car, which Gipson said led to the mix-up in the first place.

"I'm not an expert on keys and how many different combinations they have but -- it's a one in a million chance that this could happen. It's possible the trunk she went up to wasn't closed all the way. There are so many different possibilities but all of them remote," said Novi Assistant Police Chief Tom Lindberg.

ABC News checked with a variety of Ford dealers and locksmiths across the country, all of who said the same thing: Car keys are unique -- one of a kind -- and it would be virtually impossible for one car key to open a different car's door or trunk, even a car of the same year and model.

Gipson said she still had some presents for her children, ages 11 through 24, tucked away for Christmas morning, and had received donations from people who heard her story, although she insisted to the donors she was not asking for help.

"I don't know what else to say. It's sad," Gipson said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


5-Year-Old Gets Behind the Wheel To Search for Mom

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(MANSFIELD, Ohio) -- When Ameleah Kegly got off the school bus Monday afternoon, her mother was not there to pick her up.  The 5-year-old walked herself to the family’s home in Mansfield, Ohio, but mom Christina Hunter, 31, was not there either.

So the girl waited at home, alone.  Three hours later, when her mom had still not arrived, Ameleah took matters into her own hands. She grabbed the keys at about 7 p.m. and got behind the wheel of the family’s black SUV to search for her mom.

She turned the headlights on and put the key in the ignition but, failing to turn the ignition completely on, she rolled the car backward down the driveway and right into the neighbor’s yard.

Realizing the trouble she was in, Ameleah got out of the car and called 911.

“Um, my mom’s car backed out on accident and I need the police to pull my mom’s car back in,” she told the dispatcher.  “The car is staying on running now you got to get here quick, my mom is going to be pissed at me.”

Mansfield police officer Ryan Grimshaw arrived at the family’s home to find Ameleah unharmed, but scared.

“I just found a little girl standing in the doorway by herself on the phone,” he told the Mansfield News Journal.  “She was scared, but she opened up pretty quickly. She said she came home from school and no one was there. She said she had been playing with her two cats and that she was hungry, so I made her some pizza rolls and gave her a juice box. She was pretty happy about that.”

What Ameleah and Grimshaw didn’t know at the time was that the girl’s mother, Hunter, had been taken by ambulance to a local hospital earlier in the day for an undisclosed ailment.

Released from the hospital late Monday, Hunter told officials she had asked Ameleah’s father, Aaron Kegley, 26, to take care of their daughter after school. Kegley says he never received that message.

Mansfield police did not file charges against Hunter or Kegley, but the county’s Department of Children Services is looking into the incident.

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


4-Year-Old Joyrides Mom’s Car

Photodisc/Thinkstock(FULLERTON, Calif.) -- A 4-year-old California boy got behind the wheel of his mom’s SUV and went on a wild ride after she left him unattended in the car.

The boy, whose name has been withheld by police, was traveling with his mom around 4 p.m. Thursday when she pulled over to the Summit House restaurant in Fullerton, Calif.

While his 27-year-old mom got out of the car to use a pay phone, the nimble toddler unbuckled his car seat, jumped behind the wheel, put the vehicle in gear and sped away, police said.

He managed to sideswipe another vehicle, cross into oncoming traffic, roll the car over, see it land back on its tires and just keep driving. The boy drove about a third of a mile in all before the car hit trees and came to a stop.

“We’re still investigating how all this happened,” Sgt. Andrew Goodrich of the Fullerton Police Department said.

No bystanders or fellow drivers were hurt, and police said the child sustained minor to moderate injuries. The SUV was badly damaged.

“He was very fortunate,” said Goodrich.

The Fullerton Police Department’s traffic unit and family crimes detectives are investigating the accident, the Orange County Register reports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Florida Family of Five Found Living in 'Filthy' Car Outside Walmart

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MOUNT DORA, Fla.) -- Three children -- one suffering from second-degree burns -- were taken into protective custody Monday after they were discovered living with their parents in a "filthy" car in a Walmart parking lot.

Police were called to the parking lot Monday morning in Mount Dora, Fla., where they found the family of five living in a 1987 Cadillac Coupe de Ville full of clothes and garbage. Police told the Orlando Sentinel that days-old chicken bones were strewn about the car, along with a spoiled carton of milk and a bottle of tequila.

The illegal prescription drug clonazepam was also found in the car, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The parents, Justin Hamilton, 31, and Kristin Harris, 26, were booked into Lake County Jail on charges of child neglect and possession of an illegal prescription drug.

The oldest child, a 7-year-old girl, was treated at the hospital for blistering second-degree burns covering her entire back, said Carrie Hoeppner, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The two boys, ages 4 and 1, were initially released to relatives before they were taken into protective custody. The 7-year-old was released from the hospital and into custody with her brothers.

"We hate to break families up, but there is a difference between living in poverty and squalor and filth," Hoeppner said. "And if you look at the pictures, that is obviously the case."

Hamilton, who, along with Harris, denied ABC News' request for a jailhouse interview, did tell the Sentinel from behind bars that it was all a misunderstanding.

He said the family had been evicted from their apartment and, after a dispute with relatives, had been forced to stay the night in their car. The father of three said the family had simply fallen on hard times.

He said his business had slowed down, he was behind on medical bills from a motorcycle accident earlier this year and that he was trying to make ends meet by doing odd jobs and day labor.

"I didn't know where else to go," Hamilton told the Sentinel. "I'm trying."

He said his daughter's severe second-degree burns were sustained during a day of paddle boating on a local lake and added that the family's physician had examined the burns and provided the girl with aloe lotions.

Hamilton has a previous conviction for cocaine and marijuana possession in 2010, according to court records, which also show Harris has a previous conviction for shoplifting groceries and marijuana possession.

Hamilton is being held on a $10,250 bond, while Harris' bail was set at $10,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mother of 3 Girls Killed in Taconic Crash Sues Brother-in-Law

Jackie Hance, whose daughters are seen in this undated file photo, were killed in the Taconic Park crash in 2009. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- Jackie Hance, who lost all three of her daughters in the wrong-way DUI crash on the Taconic Parkway just two years ago, is suing the husband of the drunk driver, her brother-in-law Daniel Schuler.

News of Hance's suit comes just a day after Schuler himself filed suit against New York State and Hance's husband Warren Hance, alleging that the Chevy Trailblazer the family had borrowed from his brother-in-law was faulty.

Jackie Hance alleges that her girls, Emma, 8; Alyson, 7; and Katie, 5, knew they were going to die and "suffered...terror, fear of impending death, extreme horror, fright, [and] mental anguish," according to The New York Post.

Schuler's wife Diane entered the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in 2009 and drove for nearly two miles in the wrong direction, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic at speeds up to 70 mph before slamming head-on into another vehicle. Eight were killed in all: Guy Bastardi, 43; his father Michael Bastardi, 81; and a family friend, Daniel Longo, 72; as well as the Hance girls, Schuler, and her 2-year-old daughter Erin. Schuler was driving the girls home from a camping trip in upstate New York in a minivan the Schulers had borrowed from their in-laws, the Hances.

The only survivor was Schuler's son Bryan, then 5, who now lives with an ocular nerve impairment.

Toxicology reports later revealed that Diane Schuler, 36, had a blood alcohol level of .19 -- the equivalent of 10 shots of vodka -- and a high level of THC from smoking marijuana.

Daniel Schuler, who has tried to exhume his wife's body to prove her innocence in the crash, has also sued New York State, alleging the sign posting on the parkway was inadequate. He has steadfastly said his wife was "not a drunk driver," in spite of the medical examiner's findings.

Just minutes before the deadly crash, Hance's 9-year-old daughter, Emma, had called her father to say, "Something's wrong with Aunt Diane." Her haunting last words that became the title of a documentary on the deadly crash that recently aired on HBO.

Hance's lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in Suffolk where lower courts limit awards to $25,000, according to the Post.

Just a week ago, Jackie Hance, 40, of Floral Park, N.Y., announced that she was pregnant through in vitro fertilization and expecting in September.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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