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Entries in Portland (11)

Monday
Oct012012

Child Dies in Party Bus Accident

Comstock/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- An 11-year-old girl was killed after she fell out the emergency window of a party bus during a birthday celebration in downtown Portland, Ore.

The child, who was identified as Angie Hernandez, was leaning against the emergency exit.  When the bus turned, the window opened and Angie fell into the road, family members told ABC News’ Portland affiliate KATU-TV.

Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene. Portland police spokesperson Robert King said the death was a tragic accident.

“Those emergency exits are designed to be secured and closed and locked,” King told KATU. “One of the questions I know investigators will be asking is how it came to be open, whether it was faulty.”

The party bus was full of 20 to 30 people, the majority of them children, who were en route to a quinceanera party, a Latino celebration marking a girl’s 15th birthday.

Another birthday celebration aboard a party bus ended in tragedy last month. Daniel Fernandez, 16, of Queens, New York, was on a double-decker party bus carrying 65 teens to a birthday party in New Jersey when he stuck his head out of the emergency hatch, struck his head on an overpass and died.

In July, a 25-year-old California woman died after she fell out of a party bus on her way home from a concert. A second woman fell out of the bus and sustained moderate injuries.

In 2010, a 19-year-old died in a car crash after drinking aboard a party bus. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new last week requiring chaperones and ID checks on all party buses carrying underage passengers.

 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul152012

Lesbian Shooting: Survivor Recuperating From Brain Injury, Working With Police To ID Shooter

Portland Texas Police Department(NEW YORK) -- Mary Kristene Chapa is intent on helping police catch the man who shot her in the head and murdered her girlfriend at a Texas park last month, even from her hospital bed as she recuperates from brain injuries.

"She wants very badly to help us identify Mollie's murderer," Portland, Texas, Police Department Chief Randy Wright said.

Police released a second sketch of the suspect today, which was refined from the first version Chapa worked with a forensic artist to create.

"It is unusual to go back and refine a suspect drawing," Wright said. "But in this case, our eyewitness sustained a brain injury that initially affected her ability to communicate effectively. The good news is she has made exceptional progress. Her sight and speech have improved and she can now interact with the artist much better."

Wright said Chapa had requested a second meeting with the sketch artist to refine the image.

The physical description of the suspect did not change from the first version Chapa provided, Wright said.

The assailant is described as a white male in his 20s, 5 foot 8 inches tall, thin build, 140 pounds, with brown hair and a scruffy beard.

Chapa and her girlfriend, Mollie Olgin, were both shot in the head at Violet Andrews Park in Portland on June 22.

Olgin was found dead next to her girlfriend by a couple the next morning. Police believe the women were shot sometime around midnight.

The shooting is not being investigated as a hate crime.

A close friend of Olgin remembered the last time she saw her "bubbly" friend and how happy she was. She said Olgin proudly showed off a ring that said "Mollie Loves Mary," which is Chapa's first name, though she goes by her middle name, Kristene.

"If you were her friend or [she] barely met you, she'd give you the world and then some," said the friend, who did not want to be identified.

The Portland Police Department is being assisted by federal law enforcement agencies, the Texas Rangers and Texas Department of Public Safety.

Several vehicles were at Violet Andrews Park the night of the shooting, according to witnesses. Officers are appealing to anyone who was in the area that night to come forward with any information they may have, no matter how inconsequential it may seem.

Mario Olgin, Mollie's father, told ABC News' Corpus Christi affiliate that he is hopeful the person who did this to his daughter would be apprehended.

"She was happy," Mario Olgin said. "Justice will be served."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul012012

Texas Lesbian Couple: Survivor Remembers Night of Shooting

(Handout) (PORTLAND, Texas) -- The survivor of the Texas shooting of a lesbian couple remembers the night, a friend told ABC News.

Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, and her girlfriend, Mollie Olgin, 19, were both shot in the head at Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, on June 22.

Chapa is recovering in the hospital and has regained consciousness, although it was unclear whether she had been interviewed by police.

Olgin was found dead next to her girlfriend by a couple the next morning. Police believe the women were shot sometime around midnight.

Olgin's friends and family honored her in a memorial service on Friday, followed by a candlelight vigil in support of both women.

A close friend of Olgin remembered the last time she saw her "bubbly" friend and how happy she was. She said Olgin proudly showed off a ring that said "Mollie Loves Mary," which is Chapa's first name, though she goes by her middle name, Kristene.

"If you were her friend or [she] barely met you, she'd give you the world and then some," said the friend, who did not want to be identified.

Police announced Thursday that a witness had come forward and described the suspect as a white male in his 20s with dark hair. The suspect is estimated to be 5-foot-8 and weighs approximately 140 pounds, police said in a statement.

"There continues to be no evidence that the attack was motivated by the victims' sexual orientation," Portland Police Chief Randy Wright said.

The Portland Police Department is being assisted by federal law enforcement agencies, the Texas Rangers and Texas Department of Public Safety.

Several vehicles were at Violet Andrews Park the night of the shooting, according to witnesses. Officers are appealing to anyone who was in the area that night to come forward with any information they may have, no matter how inconsequential it may be seem.

Mario Olgin, Mollie's father, told ABC News' Corpus Christi affiliate that he is hopeful the person who did this to his daughter would be apprehended.

"She was happy," Mario Olgin said. "Justice will be served."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan192012

Washington State Walloped by Rare Snow Storm

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Schools were closed across Washington state Wednesday as a freak snowstorm knocked out power and blocked major roads.

The state capital of Olympia got 12 inches of snow in a matter of hours Wednesday morning, according to Accuweather meteorologist Dave Samuhel, while Seattle got five inches.

To illustrate what a wallop this is for the region, Seattle typically sees about 5.9 inches of snow for the entire year.

The five inches Seattle got Wednesday was a bit of relief since much more was predicted for the city, but it still presented major challenges for a city with plenty of steep hills and few snow plows.

“This is a city with a limited number of plows and a population that is not used to driving in the snow,” Scott Sistek, a meteorologist for KOMONews.com, said.

The worst snowstorm Seattle has seen was in 1974 when 9.8 inches of snow fell.

KOMO-TV, the ABC News affiliate in Seattle, reported major road closures and power outages in the Washington area.  Schools were closed across the state.

Elsewhere, in Portland, Ore., the snow quickly turned to rain, but it came with a warning of hurricane force winds for the coast, with winds forecast to gust close to 100 mph and seas to build to 35 feet.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

Oregon Mailman Busted for Making Not So Special Delivery

Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- A Portland, Oregon postal worker has been placed on leave after he was caught defecating in a yard on his mail route.

Resident Don Derfler explained to local ABC News affiliate KATU that he noticed the mail carrier "acting odd" in his neighbor's yard across the street, and when the postman pulled down his pants, Derfler pulled out his camera, just in time to catch the man squatting behind some bushes.

Derfler not only caught the mailman in the act on camera, he also snapped a pic of the "delivery," which the resident shared with the news station.

A Postal Service spokesperson told KATU-TV that the mailman in question was placed on unpaid leave while an investigation is completed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar082011

Burglar Calls 911 on Homeowner, Locks Himself in Bathroom 

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- A man called 911 to say there was a burglary in progress and he wanted police to come protect him. The caller, however, was the alleged burglar.

Timothy James Chapek, 24, had allegedly broken into a home in Portland, Ore., and was taking a shower in the burgled house when the homeowner returned and caught him at 7:07 p.m. Monday, according to police.

The homeowner, accompanied by his two German Shepherds, asked Chapek why he was in the home, police said. Chapek quickly locked himself in the bathroom and called 911.

The homeowner, who police are not identifying, also called 911 to report the intruder.

It's unclear if Chapek was intoxicated at the time.

Chapek, who has an extensive criminal record for non-violent crimes, was booked into the Multnomah County Jail Monday night and was released Tuesday. He will be charged with a misdemeanor for criminal trespassing, police said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan302011

Closure in Case of Missing Oregon Boy Kyron Horman?

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Oregon police were searching two spots in Portland's West Hills on Sunday at the request of the Kyron Horman Task Force, in an effort officials and family say may bring "closure" to the case of the 8-year-old who has been missing for more than eight months.

Speaking with ABC News Portland affiliate KATU, Desiree Young, Kyron's biological mother, said she has been anticipating the search and the closure that it could bring to the case of her son, who went missing from a school science fair he attended with his stepmother, Terri Horman.

"I have been waiting for this search to happen for some time now," Young told KATU. "The Kyron Horman Task Force has shared the intelligence information with me, but unfortunately I can't share that information with the media. I'm excited that today's search will hopefully bring some closure to this case."

Roughly 50 search-and-rescue workers, along with up to seven cadaver-detecting dogs were searching the dense forests and gated logging roads around the West Hills. The search group also notably includes a member of Multnomah County coroner's office, a new addition to the search, KATU reported.

The decision to search the two locations Sunday was reportedly based on investigative leads developed by the Kyron Horman Task Force.

Kyron disappeared on the morning of June 4, after he and his stepmother, Terri Horman, attended a school science fair where Kyron had displayed a project on red tree frogs. Terri Horman said she last saw Kyron walking down a hallway toward his classroom.

Kyron's father, birth mother and the police have all pointed fingers at the boy's stepmother, Terri Horman, but she has not been charged or even named a person of interest. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec042010

Police Search Home of Suspect in Portland Mosque Arson

File photo. Photo Courtesy - Washington County Sheriff’s Office(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Portland officials investigating the Corvallis, Ore., mosque arson have searched the home of a suspect, the Willamette Week reported Friday. The arson is believed to have been retaliation after 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested for attempting to set off explosives at the local Christmas tree-lighting ceremony last week. Mohamud occasionally worshiped at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center.

On Nov. 28, someone broke an office window at the mosque, and threw a flammable liquid into the building. In investigating the crime, police searched the nearby home of 24-year-old Cody S. Crawford on Tuesday, according to the Willamette Week. Police seized computers, cameras, a Bic lighter, and empty propane bottles, among other items. They also took DNA swabs from Crawford's hands and mouth.

On the day of the arson, Crawford apparently told police that his flashlight had been stolen. His description of the blue Maglite pen light was identical to the one police found on the scene. Another clue that led police back to Crawford, according to the Willamette Week's reporting on the affidavit, was a red brick thrown into the Islamic Center that matched red bricks at Crawford's home.

Police did not arrest Crawford.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov302010

'Christmas Tree Bomber' Was In Touch With Al Qaeda Mouthpiece

Photo Courtesy - Multnomah County Jail(WASHINGTON) -- Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the Somali-American college student charged with plotting an attack on a Christmas tree lighting event in Portland, Oregon, was in contact with, and wrote articles for, another prominent American al Qaeda propagandist for nearly two years, authorities say.

Mohamud, who was arrested in an FBI sting, is accused of attempting to detonate what he believed to be a car bomb in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square via cellphone during the annual lighting of the Christmas tree last Friday, which had drawn a crowd of thousands. The supposed explosive device was non-functional. Mohamud, 19, pled not guilty in federal court Monday to one count of an attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

The FBI affidavit alleges that Mohamud stated to undercover agents that he had wanted to take part in violent jihad since he was 15, and that he told FBI agents that he had written four articles since 2009 for two different online jihadist magazines edited and distributed by Samir Khan.

Khan, 24, is the Saudi-born, New York-raised editor behind Inspire magazine, the English language online publication of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Khan, who has said he is currently hiding in Yemen, has become a rising figure in jihadist propaganda and an "aspiring" Anwar Awlaqi, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Under the pen name "Ibn al-Mubarak," alleges the FBI, Mohamud wrote three articles "discussing violent jihad" that appeared in 2009 in Jihad Recollections, the web magazine edited that Khan edited from his parents' North Carolina basement before relocating to Yemen.

One of the articles published under the name Ibn al-Mubarak was titled, "Getting in shape without weights," which appeared in the first issue of Jihad Recollections, urged aspiring jihadists to stay fit for God.

American forces, said the article, "cannot go to any battlefront without carrying along with them their bench, squat sets and sometimes even their machines," proof that jihadists should avoid costly devices to get strong.

In a 2009 article that praised al Qaeda's media wing, As-Sahab, Ibn al-Mubarak wrote that the organization has a "great influence on the hearts and minds of many Muslims because they help everyone realize the reality of the situation and not losing focus of the real issues at hand."

Mohamud allegedly told agents that he had written another article for Khan's new, Yemen-based web magazine, Inspire, but that it had not yet been published.

In its affidavit, the FBI says it became aware of Mohamud after he exchanged emails with a jihadist in Pakistan in 2009. Mohamud was attempting to travel to Pakistan for weapons and explosives training, but failed to follow the instructions of his contact to reach someone who could facilitate his travel.

The FBI then contacted Mohamud through an email with an undercover agent posing as the foreign facilitator, according to the complaint.

Soon after the email exchanges, the affidavit alleges, Mohamud told the FBI undercover agent that he wanted to go "operational" but needed training. The first undercover agent allegedly introduced Mohamud to a second undercover agent.

Mohamud then suggested to the two undercover agents that he detonate a bomb during the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, according to the affidavit. When the FBI agents suggested that Mohamud would have to use a car bomb, and might also have to die during the operation, Mohamud said he was willing, alleges the affidavit. Mohamud also allegedly determined where to park a van filled with explosives in the city square.

Mohamud told the agent that he sought a "huge mass that will...be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays."

On Friday, when the FBI loaded a van with a fake device, they asked Mohamud to detonate the fake bomb by dialing a number on a cellphone. After he failed to explode the device with his first call, alleges the affidavit, he dialed the number a second time and FBI agents swooped in to arrest him.

On Monday, Mohamud's attorney said he planned to use an entrapment defense.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov282010

Arson at Mosque Linked to Suspect in Foiled Portland Car Bombing

The Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center. Photo Courtesy - KATU Portland, Ore.(CORVALLIS, Ore.) -- Fire at a Mosque near the university attended by the suspect in the Portland Christmas Tree car bombing attempt was set on purpose.  The Corvallis, Ore., fire department responded to the fire at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center early Sunday. 

The fire was limited to one room and firefighters put it out quickly.  A cause and origination investigation led fire officials to determine the fire was arson.  The Corvallis Police Department is treating it as a criminal matter.

The Center is near the University of Oregon campus, where 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud attended classes until recently.  He reportedly went to services at the mosque.

Mohamud was caught in an FBI sting operation in which authorities say he tried to detonate a bomb that he didn't know was fake during Portland's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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