Entries in Grandmother (10)


Robber Shot in the Eye After Tussle with Feisty Grandma

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) – A robber was shot in the eye by his own gun during a struggle with a feisty Florida grandmother.

Teresa Martin, 50, said she was alarmed by a “loud, crashing” noise early Saturday morning at her Tampa home.

“I thought my roommate had gotten up and stumbled into something,” she told ABC News. "I got off my bed and the next thing I knew, my bedroom door flew open and there was a man standing there with a gun pointed directly at my face.”

That man was identified by police as Leonard Porter, 34.

“He said, ‘ I know you have money.’  He kept insisting, ‘I know there’s money,’” Martin said.
When she told him she had none,  she said the suspect grabbed her by the hair, threw her on the bed and said, “[Y]ou’re fixin’ to die!”

“The next thing I know, I heard him cock the gun and I saw his hand on the trigger. I started thinking about my granddaughter and my son,” Martin said. "I decided I was going to go to town and not go out without a fight.”

Martin started kicking and punching. A few seconds later, the suspect was on the floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the eye.

After she woke up her roommate Jerry, who called authorities, Martin had a few words with her attacker.

“I smiled as big as I could and said, ‘Karma’s a mother, ain’t it?’” she said.

Martin said she believes Porter was sent by Johnny Acevedo, her daughter-in-law’s sister’s husband, because he knew she had received two recent checks.

Acevedo and a woman named Audra Steadman have been arrested in connection with the botched robbery, Tampa police said.

Porter, who was wanted by police for a previous home invasion, is in critical condition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michigan Grandmother to Be Tried for Shooting Grandson

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich.) -- A 74-year-old Michigan grandmother has been ordered to stand trial for murdering her 17-year-old grandson at her home in West Bloomfield this past May.  Prosecutors say Sandra Layne shot Jonathan Hoffman five times.

Layne’s neighbors say Hoffman lived with his grandparents, and she had feared for her life because he was allegedly using the synthetic drug K2.

Recordings of the teen’s 911 call were played in court on Monday.  

“I’ve just been shot.  My grandma shot me.  I’m going to do die.  Help,” Hoffman is heard yelling.

Layne’s defense attorney, Jerome Sabotta, indicated after the hearing that his client acted in self-defense, saying the 911 tape indicates Hoffman grabbed his grandmother and held her.  

Sabatta says Layne “is in her own hell,” adding, she “killed the person that she loved, that she tried to save.”

Several police officers testified during the hearing, including one officer who said Layne walked out of her home with her hands up and yelled, “I murdered my grandson.”

Most of the family members in court Monday are supportive of Layne, who is being held without bond.  She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


FAA Investigating 80 Year Old's Skydive Mishap

iStockPhoto/ThinkStock(WASHINGTON) -- One 80 year old grandmother’s terrifying skydive is being investigated by the FAA after it went viral.

The video was created by The Parachute Center, a skydiving company in Acampo, Calif., as a memento for jumpers to take home after their airborne adventures.

It shows a woman named Laverne having second thoughts right before her jump, but the instructor scoops her up and they fall out of the plane. At one point in the video, it appears that Laverne has slipped out of her harness, and the instructor grabs on to her.

In a statement to ABC News, Parachute Center owner Bill Dause said, “This happened a long time ago and everything worked as advertised. No one got hurt or injured.”

An FAA safety inspector visited The Parachute Center on Saturday, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. The inspector spoke with the company owner and employees about the incident and plans to do additional interviews and examine records next week.

Skydiving fatalities are on the decline these days, with some 21 deaths out of 3 million jumpers in 2010, a 0.007 chance of death, according to the association.

Nancy Koreen, a spokesperson for the association, said it looked as if Laverne’s harness wasn’t adjusted properly, and that she wasn’t positioned properly before the jump. “But that’s not at all a common occurrence,” she said. “It’s extremely, extremely rare.”

Even so, Laverne will probably celebrate her next birthday on solid ground.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio Online


Grandmother Mourns Loss of Entire Family in Indiana Tornado

ABC News(NEW PEKIN, Ind.) -- The death toll from dozens of tornadoes that ravaged parts of the Midwest and South last week has reached 39 with the death of 15-month-old Angel Babcock, the toddler found next to the bodies of her family members in a field near their Indiana home.

She died Sunday from traumatic brain injury after her family removed her from life support.

Angel was taken by helicopter to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday and placed in critical condition.  She died Sunday at 4:10 p.m. after her grandmother, Kathy Babcock, made the decision with other family members to take her off life support.

"I had my arm around her when she took her last breath," Kathy Babcock said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.  "I sang to her itsy-bitsy spider."

Angel's mother, Moriah Babcock, 20; father, Joseph Babcock, 21; and two siblings Jayden and Kendall were found dead in the same field as the toddler Friday afternoon.  Kathy Babcock told ABC News that when she let her granddaughter go Sunday afternoon, she knew the baby girl was going in the arms of her father.

"We were all around the bed, I had my hand on the side of her, and I reached for her hand, and was holding her hand," the grandmother said.  "I don't know what made me let go, but she put her arms straight up, she was daddy's little girl.  So daddy picked her up and took her.  The whole room seen that.  He was just like, standing in front of her.  She wanted to go with daddy."

Now, the family and friends of the Babcocks are faced with the task of burying five of their loved ones.

"They need to have a proper burial," family friend Sherry Young said.  "That's my dream, that's my prayer.  I've been praying and praying that this can happen for them."

The Babcock family has turned to their community for help in burying their loved ones.  Bank of America has set up a Babcock Family Fund to help pay for the family's funeral expenses.

"I know it's tragic we lost all five of them and it's hard that we did," Young said.  "The one thing I can say, they're all together and that is comforting.  Knowing they are together because they were together day in and day out and they'll always be together."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arkansas Grandmother Bomb Plot: Suspect Knew Victims

ABC News(FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.) -- Investigators have learned that the Arkansas man being held on suspicion of strapping what he called a bomb to a 73-year-old grandmother and forcing take money from her account is a longtime acquaintance of the woman's husband.

Betty Davis, 73, walked into the local Arvest Bank in Fayetteville, Ark., around 10:30 a.m. Monday while her husband was tied up and held captive at their home.  She told employees she had an explosive device strapped around her ankle.

Employees at the bank called 911 and police were soon able to remove the device from Davis without incident.

Paul Bradley was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the incident, according to Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor.  Police say Bradley, 60, is a longtime casual acquaintance of Dean Davis; the two met at a local restaurant, Rick's Iron Skillet.

According to investigators, Bradley waited for Dean Davis to leave his home for his morning coffee -- part of the man's daily routine -- before approaching the couple's home.

"The suspect who we know as Mr. Bradley feigned injury to get Mrs. Davis to open her door, and that's how this all begun," Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said.

Bradley was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery, two counts of kidnapping and aggravated burglary, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Fayetteville police.

"I was thinking it was someone I know from the way he talked.  He'd have to know some things about me that I used to raise cattle, and to know when I left the café," Dean Davis said as the couple appeared on ABC's Good Morning America Friday.

Bradley tied up Dean Davis after he returned to the home, according to police.  He then took a weapon from the home and strapped a fake bomb to Betty Davis' leg, drove her to the Arvest bank and demanded she take $10,000 from her account.

Bradley allegedly told Davis that the device was a bomb, and even showed her a detonator.  The bomb squad later determined the device was not an explosive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Strip-Searched Grandma Says TSA Removed Her Underwear

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An 84-year-old New York grandmother says she was “mortified” after being strip-searched by TSA agents at John F. Kennedy International Airport last week.

Lenore Zimmerman of Long Island said she was on her way to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when security whisked her away to a private room without explanation after she asked to forgo the full-body scan, fearing it might interfere with her defibrillator.

“They took me into a private room and pulled down my slacks and pulled down my underwear” without explanation or apology, Zimmerman told ABC News.

“I said, you know, I’ve been coming down for Florida for 10 years and I’ve always been patted down but I’ve never been strip-searched, why I am being strip-searched now? … They had no answer,” Zimmerman said.

When she tried to lift a lightweight walker off her lap, the metal bars banged against her leg, cutting her.

“I’m on a blood thinner and I bled like a pig so they called an ambulance and I said, ‘please don’t take me to the hospital, just bandage me up,’” she said.

The TSA called a medic, but the process took so long that Zimmerman missed her 1 p.m. flight and had to wait more than two hours to catch the next one, she said.

But the TSA said no strip search was conducted and proper procedures were followed.

“While we regret that the passenger feels she had an unpleasant screening experience, TSA does not include strip searches as part of our security protocols and one was not conducted in this case,” the TSA said in a statement about the incident.

A review of closed circuit TV found that Zimmerman arrived at the ticket counter at 12:19 p.m. for her flight, which was scheduled for a 1 p.m. departure, but that actually left early 12:50 p.m.

The video showed her entering the checkpoint line in a wheelchair with her walker in her hand, according to the TSA. When she got to the screening equipment, she had a conversation with the TSA officer, and after a conversation she appeared to opt out of the advanced image technology screening equipment in favor of a pat-down, the TSA said.

When Zimmerman and two female officers left the private screening room, it appeared from the video that nothing unusual had happened, according to the TSA. The wheelchair attendant assisted her in leaving the checkpoint area for the gate.

But Zimmerman wants an apology.

“It’s humiliating, and it was ridiculous. I mean, I’m telling you I weigh 103 pounds, I was in a walker, I’m going to be 85 in February, only me this could happen to,” Zimmerman said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Grandmother, Sex Offender Fight for Custody of Child in Florida

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- A judge's ruling giving custody of a 3-year-old girl to a registered sex offender over her grandmother has created confusion and outrage in Jacksonville, Florida.

"I was absolutely appalled.  Very concerned for the well-being of this little girl," State Rep. Janet Adkins told ABC News affiliate WJXX-TV in Jacksonville.

Trista Crews, the mother of the girl, died a month after her daughter, Miranda Wilkerson, was born.  At the time, she was married to registered sex offender Donald Coleman, though Coleman, whose offense was impregnating Crews when she was 14 and he was 38, had filed for divorce.

In his divorce petition, Coleman claimed that Crews was pregnant with another man's baby.  Despite the claim in his divorce filing, Coleman is still Miranda's legal father because he was married to Miranda's mother at the time she was born, which apparently played into the judge's ruling.

Reporters were not allowed in the courtroom when the decision was reached last week, and lawyers and family members were barred from speaking about the ruling to the media.

Adkins told WJXX-TV that she and the Florida Department of Children and Families are trying to determine whether anything can be done to return Miranda to her grandparents, with whom she grew up.

"I find it absolutely incredible that the law would say you are going to take a child out of a family, the only family this child has ever known, and to put this person with a complete stranger who is not any relation, I find that just appalling," she said.  "My biggest concern is for that child's safety."

According to court documents acquired by WJXX-TV two days after the ruling, Coleman's motion for custody claimed that the girl's maternal grandmother, Rita Manning, was not allowing him to see Miranda.

The motion also detailed Manning's arrest record, which included a 1995 case that was eventually dropped in which she was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Manning was also charged with child neglect in 1997, when her daughter got pregnant by Coleman.  Manning was eventually sentenced to probation, according to the documents obtained by WJXX-TV.

Coleman was sentenced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, but Manning agreed to her daughter's marrying him that same year because the 14-year-old was expecting a baby, she said.  Since then, the Colemans had two more children together.

The custody transfer of Miranda occurred last Wednesday, after Manning petitioned to adopt the child.  Outrage over the case has grown since the judge's decision, which forced Miranda to leave her grandmother and move to Georgia, where Coleman lives.

Miranda's grandmother will have the opportunity to appeal the judge's decision.  She could also report the case to the Department of Child and Family Services.  But for now, when Miranda turns 4 in a couple days, Manning said she doesn't know if she will be able to wish her a happy birthday in person.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama's Grandmother Threatened By Al Qaeda

SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- Security has been increased around the home of President Barack Obama's step-grandmother in Kenya after an African al Qaeda branch issued a personal threat against her, police said Thursday.

Kenyan police told ABC News they are patrolling round the clock after Al Shabaab, the Somalia-based branch of al Qaeda, threatened the life of Sarah Obama.

Though security had been added to the elder Obama's house the day after bin Laden was killed in fear of reprisals, the number of patrolling officers has ballooned since Al Shabaab's threat was issued.  One police chief told ABC News he now had enough officers "to patrol the entire village."

Al Shabaab, which has been involved in fierce fighting in Somalia for years against the Western-backed government, counts among its members Alabama-raised Omar Hammami, also known as Abu Mansur al-Amriki or The American.  Hammami, who is known to produce pro-jihadist hip hop songs, was thought to have been killed in fighting earlier this year, but reappeared by releasing a new rap song in April.

Al Shabaab's threat is just one of many issued by radical organizations loyal to the late bin Laden, including one by what several U.S. officials believe to be the greatest threat to the U.S., al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  That group, based in Yemen and led by possible bin Laden successor Anwar al-Awlaki, said Wednesday America would now "wish for the days of Osama."

"Do not dismiss this battle so easily, and give your people false hope that if you kill Osama that it is over," promised Nasir al-Wahishi, a leader of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  "What is waiting for you is far greater and more dangerous, and you will then count your regrets, wishing for the days of Osama."

Earlier this year, National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter called AQAP "the most significant risk to the U.S. homeland."  In March, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said AQAP was al Qaeda's most dangerous branch.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Grandma Caught Trying to Sell Baby Grandson

Photo Courtesy - WFTV 9 Orlando(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- A Florida grandmother is under arrest for allegedly trying to sell her grandson.

Patty Bigbee, 45, and her boyfriend, 42-year-old Lawrence Works, were taken into custody Friday after police say the pair was ready to hand over the 8-month-old child to a police informant.

The couple last month offered to sell the boy for $75,000 before allegedly agreeing to sell the infant for $30,000.

At court appearances Saturday, Bigbee’s bond was set at $100,000, while Works’ bond was set at $50,000.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Chicago Grandmother Shoots Troublesome 12-Year-Old

Photo Courtesy - WLS/ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Is the gun-wielding widow who wounded a menacing 12-year-old boy a hero or a dangerous granny with a gun who over-reacted? That's the debate stirred by the actions of an elderly woman on Chicago's South Side.

On Tuesday, Margaret Matthews, 68, decided she'd had enough of two young boys, ages 12 and 13, who she said had been harassing her in her home for more than a year. When she returned to her home from grocery shopping that day, she noticed broken windows and the two boys running away.

When they returned, the widowed grandmother stood on her porch and confronted them. Allegedly, they replied by hurling bricks and rocks at her. She said one hit her in the chest.

She called police, but worried they might come too late, so she said she went back outside and fired at the boys, wounding the 12-year-old in the shoulder.

"I was either going to be a victim or a villain," Matthews told ABC News. "I did what I had to do to protect myself."

Police agreed and decided not to charge Matthews. The boys face charges of aggravated assault. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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