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Entries in Woman (34)

Friday
Dec282012

Woman Tied to New York Firefighter Ambush Gun

ABC News/WHAM(NEW YORK) -- Authorities have charged a woman for allegedly providing a convicted killer with the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle he used when he ambushed four volunteer firefighters and an off-duty cop at a fire scene in upstate New York on Christmas Eve, federal prosecutors said.

Dawn Nguyen, 24, was arrested Friday after allegedly making an illegal purchase of the weapon used by William Spengler, 62, who set a house and car on fire in Webster, N.Y., the morning of Dec. 24, then shot dead two firemen and himself.

Nguyen is facing federal and state charges for acting as a "straw purchaser," buying the Bushmaster assault weapon as well as a shotgun with the intention of giving it to someone who cannot legally purchase it himself, said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul.

Authorities accuse Nguyen of lying about being the sole owner of the weapons when making the purchase, a violation of federal law.

As an ex-convict, Spengler could not have legally owned or purchased the weapons himself.

"Dawn Nguyen told the seller of these weapons that she was to be true owner and buyer of these guns," said Hochul. "It is absolutely against federal law to provide any materially false information" on a firearms application.

As Hochul announced the charges, Nguyen was in a nearby court. It was unknown whether she entered a plea, and her lawyer could not be immediately contacted.

In addition to the rifle and shotgun, Spengler was found with a pistol, which authorities believe he used to kill himself by shooting himself in the head.

After apparently setting the fires, Spengler began shooting at emergency responders, officials have said. The attack left two firefighters and the gunman dead, and two other firefighters hospitalized.

In a typewritten note found at the scene, Spengler revealed that he obtained the weapons from Nguyen, who for a time lived next door to him in Webster, Hochul said.

In that same note, Spengler pledged to see "how much of the neighborhood I can burn down." He said he wanted to "do what I like doing best, killing people."

Police said Spengler set a "trap" in order to ambush the first responders.

Firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were gunned down. Two other firefighters, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino, remained in guarded condition at a Rochester, N.Y. hospital.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct032012

Philadelphia Officer Who Punched Woman to Be Fired

WPVI/ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia cop caught on video punching a woman in the face will be fired, according to ABC News' Philadelphia station, WPVI.

A video posted on YouTube shows Lt. Jonathan Josey punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground before she is led off bloodied and handcuffed.

Earlier Wednesday, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said it intends to drop the disorderly conduct charge against the woman who was hit.

The woman was identified as Aida Gusman, 39, a mother of three and domestic worker, according to WPVI. She denied throwing anything at police and said she did not know why she was punched.

"I'm 40 years old. I don't have time to play games like that," Gusman told WPVI earlier in the week. In addition to her facial injury, she has cuts and bruises on her arm and hand.

The video was taken at Sunday's Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The video shows a crowd of blue-shirted police officers standing in the middle of a street, around a car. Someone on the left appears to throw something resembling silly string or a liquid on the cops. An officer in a white shirt rushes out of the crowd and goes after a woman with long, dark hair and a black T-shirt.

Her back is to the camera so it is unclear if she was saying anything to him. The officer appears to punch her in the face and then hit her in the back of the head. She falls to the ground where two officers apprehend her and lead her off. As she passes the camera, blood can be seen streaming down her face.

A fellow officer had called Josey, a 19-year veteran of the force, a "good cop."

"If I was in a jam, I'd want him backing me up," Lt. Ray Evers told ABCNews.com. "He's a good cop, but the video speaks for itself and the investigation will reveal whatever it reveals."

Josey, 39, has had 13 complaints made against him over his career, but Evers said that it is hard to qualify whether that is a lot, a little or average. He said it is not entirely unusual for officers who have frequent contact with people in rougher neighborhoods to have complaints made against them.

He said the 13 complaints against Josey range from verbal abuse to physical abuse.

"It's hard to decide if that's a lot or a little," Evers said. "Most were unfounded or not sustained."

The YouTube video, titled "Philadelphia Police Brutality," was posted on Sept. 30 and has been viewed over one million times.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct022012

Philadelphia Officer Who Punched Woman 'a Good Cop,' Police Say

WPVI/ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia cop under investigation for punching a woman in the face has had 13 previous complaints against him over his 19 years on the force, but co-workers insist he is "a good cop."

A video posted on YouTube shows the officer punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground before she is led off bloodied and handcuffed.

The officer has been identified as Lt. Jonathan Josey.

"If I was in a jam, I'd want him backing me up," Lt. Ray Evers told ABC News. "He's a good cop, but the video speaks for itself and the investigation will reveal whatever it reveals."

Josey, 39, has had 13 complaints made against him over his career, but Evers said that it is hard to qualify whether that is a lot, a little or average. He said it is not entirely unusual for officers who have frequent contact with people in rougher neighborhoods to have complaints made against them.

He said the 13 complaints against Josey range from verbal abuse to physical abuse.

"It's hard to decide if that's a lot or a little," Evers said. "Most were unfounded or not sustained."

Evers said documentation regarding whether Josey was ever disciplined was not immediately available to him. Josey could not be reached for comment.

Investigators are looking for more information on the circumstances surrounding the incident. They are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the incident call Internal Affairs.

"We don't see exactly what happened before," Evers said, referring to the video. "It doesn't look good and the naked eye sees that."

The woman was identified as Aida Gusman, 39, a mother of three and domestic worker, according to ABC News Philadelphia station WPVI. She denied throwing anything at police and said she did not know why she was punched.

"I'm 40 years old. I don't have time to play games like that," Gusman told WPVI. In addition to her facial injury, she has cuts and bruises on her arm and hand.

Josey was placed on "restricted status" on Monday, meaning that he is relegated to "administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation," Evers said.

The video was taken at Sunday's Puerto Rican Day Parade, an event that Evers said "usually goes off without a hitch."

"Internal Affairs opened up an investigation in reference to the incident and the actions of that officer," Evers said. "The incident is being fully investigated."

The video shows a crowd of blue-shirted police officers standing in the middle of a street, around a car. Someone on the left appears to throw something resembling silly string or a liquid on the cops. An officer in a white shirt rushes out of the crowd and goes after a woman with long, dark hair and a black T-shirt.

Her back is to the camera so it is unclear if she was saying anything to him. The officer appears to punch her in the face and then hit her in the back of the head. She falls to the ground where two officers apprehend her and lead her off. As she passes the camera, blood can be seen streaming down her face.

"There were people in the crowd throwing items at the officer, water and other things," Evers said.

The woman was taken into custody on a disorderly conduct charge and was later released. Evers said he believed she had a cut lip, but was not seriously injured.

The YouTube video, titled "Philadelphia Police Brutality," was posted on Sept. 30 and has been viewed nearly 840,000 times. Viewers have left thousands of comments.

Some of the comments were in support of the officer, but the majority denounced his behavior.

"Regardless of what was done or provoked, the use of excessive force is apparent in this case. She was pursued and smacked, not restrained," one commenter wrote.

"She is obviously not [sic] threat and can easily be subdued by a man of his size versus her small frame plus there was plenty of back up," another wrote. "His position and authority contradict his actions, I would hope his rank was earned off of better judgement [sic] in the past because this was just shameful."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Aug282012

Ohio Woman Found Burned With Rope Around Her Neck in Road

Comstock/Thinkstock(ZANESVILLE, Ohio) -- An Ohio woman is fighting for her life after being tortured in a wooded area and left to die near a remote road, officials said.

The 29-year-old woman from Canton was discovered naked Sunday morning by a passing motorist on a Zanesville, Ohio, road with a rope around her neck and severe burns.

"I have a woman right here. She's burned severely, she's been raped and she's been beat up," the distressed man told police in his 911 call. "She's got a rope around her neck, she's totally without clothes and she's severely burned."

The motorist told dispatchers that he had the woman lying in the grass and pleaded for them to send medics right away.

The woman can be heard in the background moaning in pain. She is not being identified by name because she is a rape victim.

Despite the excruciating pain, authorities say, she was still able to talk to the motorist, medics and police about what happened.

"Obviously, when you put assault, rape and burn in the same sentence, it's very brutal," Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said at a news conference Monday, according to ABC News Columbus affiliate WSYX-TV.

The woman was transported by air to the burn unit at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in Columbus where she is being treated for fourth-degree burns, as deep as the muscle and bone.

"This is one of the most gruesome things I've ever seen in 23 and a half years in law enforcement, as well as some of our detectives," Lutz said. "I can't imagine the pain this lady went through."

She is in critical condition at the hospital, according to Capt. Jeff LeCocq of the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office.

Officers discovered a crime scene in the wooded area near the road, but would not discuss what they found.

"This was not a random act," Lutz said. "There was a vehicle that we were looking for that interested us. We found that last night in the Canton area. There are some people of interest to us that we are currently looking for."

Although police say they have multiple persons of interest, no arrests have been made.

"Our investigators are still working heavily in the northeast part of the state with the authorities up here on running down leads," LeCocq said Tuesday, "and the investigation is ongoing."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul102012

Missing Ohio Mom Never Returned from Vacation

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NAGS HEAD, N.C.) -- Police in North Carolina are searching for the body of an Ohio mom after her ex-boyfriend confessed to his brother that he strangled her during a vacation trip.

So far police have been unable to find any sign of Lynn Jackenheimer, 33, or her ex-boyfriend Nathan Summerfield.

Summerfield, 27, has been called a "person of interest" in Jackenheimer's disappearance.

The former couple spent the week vacationing in Nags Head, N.C., with their 3-year-old son and Jackenheimer's 13-year-old daughter.

On Sunday, Summerfield returned to Ohio and dropped the two children off with family, when he reportedly confessed to his brother that he killed his ex-girlfriend.

Police in Ohio, along with the Dare County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina, began coordinating an investigation and a search of the Nags Head area.

"I don't believe she is in Ashland County. I don't believe she ever came back from Nags Head," Carl Richert, a captain with the Ashland County Sheriff's Department, told ABC News' affiliate WVEC.

Summerfield was last seen on Sunday driving a silver Honda Civic. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ashland County Sheriff's Department at 419- 289-3911.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

Pregnant Michigan Woman Accused of Driving Drunk with Baby in Car

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- A pregnant Michigan woman was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of drunk driving with her 10-month-old baby in the car.

Rania Hijazi, who is eight months pregnant, was arrested by Southfield police after she crashed her vehicle into a street sign around 3:30 a.m. Memorial Day, ABC News station WXYZ-TV reported.  There were no reports of injuries to Hijazi or her baby.

Police say Hijazi, 37, failed field sobriety tests and registered a 0.14 blood-alcohol level with preliminary breath tests. She was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired and child endangerment.

In court Tuesday, Hijazi asked for a court-appointed attorney even though her husband is employed.  Her bond has been set at $25,000 and a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May292012

Pregnant Woman Who Was Kidnapped, Set on Fire and Shot Gives Birth

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- A pregnant woman who was kidnapped, set on fire and shot in the back, in what police say was a horrific attempt to kill her unborn baby, gave birth to a boy Tuesday, hours before her ex-boyfriend and another man were charged in the attack.

Latonya Bowman, 22, was only eight months pregnant, but doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section Tuesday morning.

Jamal Rogers, the child’s father, and his roommate Antonio Mathis, both 22, were arraigned Tuesday on kidnapping, attempted murder and conspiracy charges and could face life in prison. Both requested court-appointed lawyers. They were denied bail.

Rogers allegedly began planning the attack in March, when he found out Bowman was pregnant with his third child. He enlisted Mathis, who did not even want money to participate, according to police.

The attack occurred early Saturday morning when Bowman was dropping her ex-boyfriend at his new girlfriend’s Warren, Mich., home after seeing a drive-in movie, the woman told police. After they pulled into the garage and got out of the car, the garage door closed unexpectedly, she said.

“She was grabbed by the throat and a gun was put to her head. She was ordered to the ground, duct taped, her feet, her hands and her mouth, ordered into the backseat of the car,” Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green said.

She was blindfolded before being put back into her car and driven to an alley in Detroit, Green said.

The man who kidnapped her indicated that it was because of her pregnancy.

“[The suspect] said, ‘You know why this is happening,’ and then he asked her about how far along she was,” Green said.

The woman told police she felt liquid being poured on her, heard a match strike and then was set on fire.

“She was able to get out of the car and start rolling on the ground, trying to put the fire out,” Green said. “And when that happened, two shots were fired and she was struck once in the back.”

After being shot, the woman played dead, and the man left, police said. She was able to free herself and drove to her mother’s house in Detroit. Her mother took her to the hospital.

Police took Rogers into custody on Saturday and named him a person of interest in the case. He had not called 911 when she was kidnapped, police said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar222012

California Woman Challenges Order to Pay Alimony to Attacker

Courtesy Crystal Harris(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- A woman who was sexually assaulted by her husband and then ordered by the court to pay alimony and legal fees to her ex once he is released from prison, may get relief from California lawmakers.

Crystal Harris, 39, told the judicial committee of the Calif. State Assembly Wednesday that the judgment, which was handed down in 2010, "amounted to making a rape victim write a check to her own rapist every month."

She described to lawmakers how her husband would choke her and sexually assault her while the couple's two children were upstairs.  One of the attacks was caught on tape.

"It is extremely traumatizing to have to go through that process.  If I could only describe what my life was like when I was living it," Harris told ABC News.  "Once it happened to me I couldn't let it stand."

After Harris' story was brought to the attention of Assemblywoman Toni Atkins by the San Diego County district attorney, the lawmaker was compelled to introduce a bill that would keep any victim of violent sexual crime perpetrated by a spouse from eventually having to pay alimony to the abusive former spouse.

"Most logical people hear this and think you've got to be kidding," Atkins said of Harris' case.  "That seems to make a mockery behind the intent of laws that govern a fair division of assets."

The seven person bipartisan judiciary committee passed the bill with just one dissenting vote.  The bill will now head to the Assembly floor for discussion.  If passed, it will be forwarded to the state senate.

Shawn Harris, 40, was convicted of forced oral copulation and will be released from Donovan State Prison in 2014.  The other two charges he faced -- spousal rape by force and sodomy -- resulted in a hung jury.

Crystal Harris, who earns between $110,000 and $120,000 a year as a financial analyst, said she had been supporting her husband, who worked as a car salesman, ever since their first son was born in 2002.

Under normal circumstances, Crystal Harris would have been required to pay $3,000 a month in spousal support after the divorce, but because of the domestic violence she endured, the judge said he would lower that amount to $1,000.

She was also ordered to pay her now ex-husband's $47,000 legal bill. Even if the new law passes in the legislature, Harris will still be on the hook for her husband's legal fees.

She tried appealing the judge's ruling last year, pointing out that her ex-husband will have no expenses while he's in jail.  The judge agreed, but pointed out that California law entitles Shawn Harris to alimony.

California family code currently states "the criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award" and it's that language that gives the judge discretion when making a spousal support ruling.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar192012

Pregnant Woman Killed After Car Crashes Into Florida Hotel

Comstock/Thinkstock(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- A pregnant woman from Boston was killed when a car veered off the road and crashed into the pool cabana at a Florida hotel.

The accident occurred Sunday afternoon at the Riverside Hotel near Las Olas Boulevard, a busy road in Fort Lauderdale, according to fire rescue spokesman Matt Little.

The seven-month pregnant woman was identified as Alanna Demella, 27, of Medford, Mass., by ABC News affiliate WCBTV.

Demella, who was with her husband at the time of the accident, had gotten up to use the restroom inside the cabana when the vehicle struck.  Her body was extracted by a fire department unit.

According to The Miami Herald, the fetus also died.

The driver of the vehicle, who has not been identified, was taken to the Broward General Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the Herald reported.

Police in Fort Lauderdale are investigating the incident as a traffic homicide, Little told the paper.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan272012

Woman Wants to Marry Seattle Building

KOMO News/ABC News(SEATTLE) -- A Seattle community rights activist is going to the extreme to try and save a building in her neighborhood: she’s marrying it.

Babylonia Aivaz has invited the Seattle public to attend what she calls the “gay wedding” to the building on Sunday. The building is an abandoned warehouse that is in the process of being demolished, according to ABC affiliate KOMO. Aivaz hopes to save the space for a community center.

“Yes, I’m in love with a 107 year old building! Yes, ITS A GAY MARRIAGE! How is that possible? Well there must obviously be a deeper story,” Aivaz wrote on her Facebook invitation to the wedding.

In December, Avaiz and 16 others held a protest at the building, circling around the property and linking arms to fight for dedicated community space, according to the report. The warehouse is slated to be demolished and turned into a mixed-use apartment building.

But Aivaz wanted to go further.

“If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings,” Aivaz told KOMO. “I’m doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification.”

When demolition work began on the building this week, days ahead of the planned wedding, Aivaz went to the site of the work and changed into her wedding dress, climbing on equipment to draw attention to the cause.

She said the wedding would go on as planned Sunday.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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