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Monday
Jul272015

Woman Narrowly Escapes After Tree Crashes Through Bedroom

The Vigilant Fire Company(GREAT NECK, N.Y.) — A 20-year-old woman got an early wake-up call when a massive tree crashed into her bedroom Monday morning - trapping her for hours until rescuers could unpin her from its limbs.

The 5,000-pound tree fell onto the woman's bedroom just after midnight in Great Neck, New York, a spokesperson for the Nassau County Police Department told ABC News Monday. The woman, who was in bed at the time, was trapped by the tree and debris for more than two hours, the spokesperson said.

Firefighters told WABC that they had to take down power lines and created a hole through the roof before cutting the woman free.

“They stabilized the tree as best they could ... and notched the tree out to lift the limb around eight inches off of her and were able to slide her out,” said Joshua Forst, chief of the Vigilant Fire Company in Great Neck.

Steven Blocker, a paramedic firefighter with the Vigilant Fire Company, lives across the street and responded to the scene.

“I hear this whooshing sound," he said, "It turns out it was the tree falling."

He added, "I thought this was a tree falling on the house and hit a window, but it was a one in a million chance for it to fall directly on someone."

Multiple fire departments worked with the Nassau County Police Department to free the victim, according to the press release from the Nassau County Police Department.

The victim is being treated for multiple trauma injuries and is in serious but stable condition, according to the press release.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Man in Trouble for Climbing over Ohio Zoo's Fence, Petting Cougars

Fuse/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- A visitor at Ohio’s Columbus Zoo is in hot water with zoo personnel for getting a bit too friendly with some cougars.

With his camera rolling, Joshua Newell dropped his bag to the ground, climbed over a 4-foot fence, and petted two adult cougars through the final barrier on July 20. Zoo officials found out about Newell's antics after he later posted the video on YouTube.

“It was very spontaneous,” Newell said. “I jumped the barrier and showed them some love.”

Now, the 35-year-old has with a legal cat fight on his hands.

“This is very alarming,” Tom Stalf, the president and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, said on Sunday. “We will take action.”

The zoo is ready to pounce, pressing charges against Newell with a misdemeanor count of trespassing and citing public safety and animal welfare as its top priorities.

“They're a large carnivore,” Stalf said. “They have the potential of doing serious harm.”

But Newell said he never felt threatened.

“Why would I be afraid?” he asked. “They wanted me to pet them.”

Overnight, Newell admitted he regretted his actions.

“I do want to apologize to the Columbus Zoo,” he said. “I am concerned that other people will try it and that's why I'm on camera to persuade them to not do it.”

Newell is set to appear in court on Wednesday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Man Charged in TV Star Girlfriend's Murder Acted in Self-Defense: Attorney

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A lawyer for a man accused of killing his reality TV star girlfriend said his client acted in self-defense.

Robert Reagan, 51, was charged with murdering Loredana Nesci, the star of the Sundance TV reality show Loredana, Esq., with a knife. Nescei's body was discovered on Wednesday after Reagan called police, authorities said.

But Reagan's attorney said the woman, known as "the legal diva," attacked Reagan first with the knife.

"Robert tried to disarm her,” Reagan’s attorney, Shepard Kopp, said in a statement, “and in the intense struggle that ensued she tragically suffered a fatal wound."

The couple's troubles were played out on the TV program that centered around the tough-talking attorney, who is a former Los Angeles Police Department officer and body builder.

Friends said Nesci, 47, was tough but not violent.

"Loredana was just the nicest person you have ever met,” said friend Tori Moorhead. “She helped so many people. You'd come in and ask her for help and she would never tell you no and it was never about money with her clients.”

But Nesci was known for her sharp tongue, and neighbors say the couple fought often.

“They were always kind of yelling back and forth at each other,” said Nesci’s neighbor Adam Gorelick. “It was more often than not but nothing to where you would think someone would kill someone."

The fighting was something even Nesci's family admits.

"I've heard plenty of arguments between the two of them,” said Robert Nesci, Loredana’s brother. “But I've never seen either one of them lay a hand on each other."

Loredana Nesci’s brothers sat down with ABC News and said they're now caring for the couple's 5-year old son.

"We're just very, very distraught over the whole thing,” said Sal Nesci. “And we got a lot of healing ahead of us."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Shots Fired on University of Florida Campus, One Person in Custody

iStock/Thinkstock(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- One person with a firearm was taken into custody early Monday morning after shots were fired at a dormitory on University of Florida’s campus.

"Suspect with firearm in custody. Poss witnesses in blue Mazda truck location unknown," the Gainesville, Florida university tweeted Monday.

Earlier, the university said two white males in a blue Mazda truck were seen heading away from campus.

"Shots fired at Murphree Hall lot poss suspects 2 white males in a blue Mazda truck last seen heading north away from campus," the school tweeted.

Anyone with information is asked to call the University of Florida Police Department at 352-392-1111.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul262015

Las Vegas Hotel Fire Believed to Be Accidental

@ccyr17 posted this photo to Twitter on July 25, 2015: "Those in Vegas wondering what the smoke is... Fire at the Cosmopolitan pool." @ccyr17(LAS VEGAS) -- Saturday's fire at the Bamboo Pool of The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas is believed to have been accidental, officials say.

Fire investigators know where the fire started, they say, but they continue working Sunday to determine what sparked it. Clark County Assistant Fire Chief Sandra Baker said the blaze is believed to be accidental, and that the investigation could take about one week.

The pool was reopened on Sunday, but an area of the rooftop pool deck was walled off. Guest rooms on the 14th floor, the same floor as the pool deck, were closed Sunday.

No one was burned in Saturday's fire, though two people were treated for smoke inhalation.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul262015

Two Dead, Six Injured in Boat Crash Near Baltimore

Minertree/iStock/ThinkStock(BALTIMORE) --  Eight people were on board a recreational boat when it crashed near a Baltimore, Maryland, bridge early Sunday morning, leaving two women dead and six people injured.

The 40-foot boat collided with a concrete pillar that was about 50 yards away from the Francis Scott Key Bridge, according to Candy Thompson of Maryland Natural Resources.

The two victims were identified as Wendy Lawson, 41, and Kimberly Ervin, 45, both from Baltimore, according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

At least one of the victims was not wearing a life jacket, according to Thompson.

Six people were hospitalized, Thompson said.

The pillar, approximately 10 to 15 feet in height and width, acts to protect the bridge from wayward incoming vessels, Thompson said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, and it was unclear whether alcohol was involved, Thompson said.

There were 130 boating accidents in Maryland last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources, that left 12 people dead and 96 injured.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul262015

Officer Involved Shooting Near San Francisco Airport

JaysonPhotography/iStock/ThinkStock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Police in San Francisco police are looking into an officer-involved shooting near the San Francisco International Airport.

Authorities say a man crashed a vehicle then ran from police.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr says the suspect later confronted an officer then was shot by the officer. "The suspect continues to come at the officer. One of the other officers can hear the suspect saying, 'Shoot me, shoot me, shoot me.' A second round is fired; it strikes the off -- the suspect in what apepars to be the abdomen. He goes down."

The suspect is said to be in serious but stable condition.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul262015

Louisiana Theater Gunman's Journal Found in Motel Room

John Roman/iStock/ThinkStock(LAFAYETTE, La.) -- The theater, time and date of a screening of the film "Trainwreck" was written down inside a journal found in the motel room of the gunman who killed two women and wounded nine other people at the theater earlier this week, state police said Sunday.

Along with the journal, police found wigs and glasses inside John Houser's room, said Louisiana State Police Colonel Michael Edmonson. He added that writing the time and date of the film added to the belief that the shooting was premeditated.

"That means something to us," Edmonson said.

Wigs and glasses were also found in Houser's car. Edmonson added that it was still unclear why Houser, who police have described as a drifter, chose the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette.

Investigators believe Houser, 59, planned to escape after the shooting Thursday night. He died from a self-inflicted gun wound after authorities quickly responded to the theater.

Houser had likely been staying in Lafayette since earlier this month, according to police.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jul252015

Eight Injured in Kentucky Amusement Ride Accident

Tracy Fox/iStock/Thinkstock(BOWLING GREEN, Ky.) -- Eight people were injured on Saturday night when a children's ride at Beech Bend Amusement Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky fell on its side.

 "We have seen eight patients that have come through the emergency department at The Medical Center," said Sandy Faria, a spokesperson for The Medical Center, Bowling Green. "Those patients are still there. They have not been treated or released, and at this time none are in critical condition."

According to Stephen Harmon, of the Warren County Sheriff's office, EMS, fire and emergency management personnel responded to the incident. The ride involved was a swing ride, and Harmon said it tipped over. He also confirmed that children were involved in the accident, but did not say how many of the injured were children and how many were adults.

Beech Bend Amusement Park, according to Harmon, contains camping grounds, a raceway, the amusement park and a water park. Those features, he notes, make it popular with residents of the area.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jul252015

Fire Rages at The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas

@ccyr17 posted this photo to Twitter on July 25, 2015: "Those in Vegas wondering what the smoke is... Fire at the Cosmopolitan pool." @ccyr17(LAS VEGAS) -- Firefighters battled a blaze at The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas on Saturday.

The Clark County Fire Department said at about 3:40 p.m. Saturday it was responding to the two-alarm fire. Photos posted to social media showed plumes of black smoke rising from the rooftop.

The fire was on the 14th floor pool deck, Clark County Assistant Fire Chief Sandra Baker told ABC News. Many artificial plants and trees and cabanas on the deck fueled the fire.

No one suffered burns and one person was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation. Several floors were briefly evacuated due to smoke migration into the building, but all floors should be livable Saturday night.

The fire was put out in short order, and a statement from the hotel noted "no serious injuries." The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The CCFD said one person was transported from the scene.

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