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Sunday
Aug182019

13 arrested, 6 injured at Portland right wing rally: Police

iStock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Thirteen people were arrested and six were injured, as over 1,000 right-wing demonstrators and counter-protesters descended on downtown Portland on Saturday, police said.

There were "at least 13 arrests," in six hours, Portland Police Lieutenant Tina Jones said in a statement. "We are aware of four individuals who have been evaluated by Portland Fire medics," the statement said.

Jones also said that one person had been taken to a hospital and that "Portland Fire medics report that all known injuries are considered to be minor."

However, as the day progressed, tensions seemed to be mounting. At around 4:30 p.m. local time, and the Portland Police tweeted, that "Police are having plastic water bottles thrown at them as they are making an arrest on SW Yamhill and Park." After that, police began advising people to clear the streets or face arrest.

"Police are advising this is now a civil disturbance. Crowd needs to leave the area and go Northbound on Park or any direction eastbound. This means everyone," Portland Police tweeted.

The city has been bracing for several militant right-wing groups to arrive in the city, along with scores of counter-protesters.

Enrique Tarrio, national head of the Proud Boys, who describe themselves as an all-male "western chauvinist" group, and former InfoWars personality Joe Biggs, organized the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally on Saturday that started at 11 a.m. local time. Initially, the crowds moved in slowly, and were met by a heavy police presence, in which local police were bolstered by more than a dozen other law enforcement agencies.

Members of other far-right extremist groups, including the American Guard, the Three Percenters, and the Daily Stormers, were also expected to attend in the hopes of declaring militant leftists, or anti-fascists known as "anitfa," a domestic terrorist group.

One right-wing militia group, Oath Keepers, disavowed the rally for fears of being associated with white supremacists.

“We do not believe the organizers are taking the steps necessary to ensure that white nationalist and suspected white nationalist groups and individuals will be excluded," said Stewart Rhodes, the group's founder, in a statement on its website.

 

 

Early Saturday, Trump criticized antifa in a tweet, and said Portland is "being watched very closely."

 

 

"Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an 'ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,'" the tweet read. "Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!"

The president did not, however, criticize the right-wing organizers.

Previous rallies featuring right-wing groups and antifa have turned violent in Portland, prompting a warning from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Ahead of Saturday's rallies, Wheeler issued a video message stating, "if you're planning on coming here on August 17th with the intent to commit violence, we don't want you here."

It was unclear whether Joey Gibson, the leader of right-wing Patriot Prayer, will attend the rally. He and five other men have been arrested this month, on charges stemming from a violent outburst on May 1 at Cider Riot, a bar that is a haven for the city's leftists. Videos of the May Day incident show men associated with the group spraying pepper spray, fighting and striking people with batons.

He turned himself in to authorities and bailed out on Friday.

Local authorities have beefed up security and have been joined by an array of other law enforcement agencies "on a scale that this city hasn't seen in years," Wheeler said.

 

 

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Saturday
Aug172019

Suspected shooter in Philadelphia standoff charged with attempted murder

JANIFEST/iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The suspected gunman who unleashed a torrent of bullets at Philadelphia police while barricaded indoors was charged Saturday with attempted murder, court records show.

Maurice Hill, 34, was also charged with aggravated assault, assault of law enforcement officers, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, according to records from Philadelphia County Court.

Police identified Hill as the suspect who holed himself up in a North Philadelphia building during an hours-long shootout on Wednesday that left six officers wounded.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner will announce the charges against Hill Monday morning at a press conference. Charges against four other people related to the case will also be announced.

The shootout began during a narcotics operation around 4:30 p.m. as officers entered the home to serve a search warrant. Two officers got trapped inside, while others escaped through windows, police said.

The trapped officers were safely removed from the home as of 9:30 p.m.

The suspect eventually surrendered to police at midnight, and all six officers who were shot have since been released from area hospitals, police said.

Hill has a lengthy criminal record, which includes a federal conviction, going back to the early 2000s, authorities said. He was under federal supervision until 2016, officials said.

In the wake of the shooting, local politicians have called for greater gun control, including passage of a universal background check bill and a ban on military-style assault weapons.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney saying that police need help keeping weapons out of criminals' hands.

Hill’s lawyer, Shaka Johnson, told ABC News Thursday he didn’t believe any of the shooting was planned, but that things got out of hand.

Johnson said Hill, who just welcomed a baby, was afraid that he would be shot during the incident.

Johnson could not immediately be reached on Saturday.

Hill’s preliminary hearing will be Sept. 5.

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Saturday
Aug172019

Thousands attend service for El Paso victim Margie Reckard: 'We're all a family'

dragana991/iStock(EL PASO, Texas) -- Exactly two weeks ago, Antonio Basco lost his wife, and only family member, in the El Paso massacre.

On Saturday morning, he said his final goodbye to his beloved Margie Reckard -- but with hundreds of fellow community members standing behind him.

More than 3,000 people paid their respects Friday night at a visitation for Reckard in El Paso, according to the Perches Funeral Homes. Hundreds were expected to attend her funeral Saturday morning.

"It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," Basco said outside the cemetery early Saturday, speaking about all who have supported him.

"I love El Paso and [I'm] glad to be your family. Thank you very much," he said. "I got the world's largest family."

Basco welcomed strangers to attend the services because he didn't have any family nearby.

The response to his invitation was so overwhelming that the funeral staff relocated the service to a bigger venue.

“We didn’t know Margie, but we felt that we should be here to pay our respects to Mr. Basco. I don’t know how it feels to not have anybody,” Dolores Luna, a resident of El Paso, said at Reckard’s visitation Friday night. “We are his family here in El Paso. That’s why we’re all her to support him.”

Reckard was an employee of the Walmart, where she and 21 others were killed and more than two dozen were injured when a gunman opened fire on Aug. 3.

Basco arrived at the prayer service Friday to a standing ovation from the hundreds in attendance who had lined up outside for hours and hugs from dozens of attendees.

"Thank you for allowing us to go through this process, for inviting us in. We thank you, Tony, for inviting us. We would have never known that you needed us to be friends, but look at all these friends you have," Harrison Johnson, director of the Perches Funeral Homes, said during the service.

Jordan Ballard, who is from Los Angeles, flew to El Paso specifically to attend the memorial and funeral, despite being a total stranger.

"His story moved me," Ballard told El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA.

Daniel Ramos, an assistant special agent at the FBI El Paso Division, said he felt it was his duty to be there for Basco.

"I had to come. Most of my co-workers felt the same way: to show that we're all a family," Ramos said while waiting in line.

The service was originally scheduled to be held in a chapel that seats 250 people, but Perches had "more than 250 calls" from well-wishers all over the country so they were moved to La Paz Faith Memorial and Spiritual Center, a facility owned by Perches.

"The outpouring and amazing response from all over, not just our city, but the country is gonna be more than the capacity of the venue that we have," Johnson told ABC News early Friday.

"I’m sure it’s gonna be thousands," he added.

La Paz seats 500 people.

"I've been doing this for over 30 years and I’ve never seen this ... for, I guess so to speak, a non-high profile person," Johnson said. “I’ve never experienced such an outpouring of love and support and caring for what you would say is pretty much just an ordinary citizen, you know a loving person.”

Since Perches posted on Facebook that Basco "welcomes anyone to attend his wife’s service" because he had no nearby family, people from as far away as California have expressed interest in attending Reckard’s funeral, Johnson said.

He said Basco has been "overwhelmed" by the response. After speaking with Basco Friday morning, Johnson said he seemed to be “doing well.”

Basco could not immediately be reached.

Reckard’s two sons and her daughter arrived in El Paso Thursday to attend their mother’s funeral, Johnson added.

The FBI El Paso Division and its Victim Service Specialists will be in attendance at Reckard’s service Friday.

“As part of this community, we won’t let anyone so severely hurt by this tragedy go through this alone,” the department tweeted Thursday. “Mr. Basco, we stand with you.”

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Saturday
Aug172019

Suspect charged with placing false bombs in New York City subway pressure cooker scare: Police

NYPD(NEW YORK) -- A suspect taken into custody early Saturday in relation to the abandoned rice cookers that caused a bomb scare in New York City has been charged, police said.

Larry Griffin, of West Virginia, was apprehended by police early Saturday.

The 26-year-old has been charged with three counts of placing a false bomb for the scare that caused havoc on the New York City subway system during the Friday morning commute.

The bomb scare was set off Friday morning when a subway passenger approached two NYPD counterterrorism to alert them about suspicious packages at the Fulton Street subway station in Manhattan. The items turned out to be rice cookers.

A third suspicious package was reported near a trash can at West 16th Street and 7th Avenue, also in Manhattan, police said.

The NYPD's bomb squad responded to both locations and deemed the cookers safe. Officials investigated whether the incidents were related.

Later in the day, police identified Griffin as a person of interest and released a picture they say was him.

 



At a news conference, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said Griffin wasn't a suspect, "but certainly someone we want to interview."

Relatives of Griffin told police he contacted them and knows officers want to interview him, the source told ABC News. Griffin told them he didn't know what to do, the relatives told police, according to the source.

Griffin told family members he found the three rice cookers in front of an Asian restaurant, relatives told police, and only took them because he collects items he finds on the street, the source added.

Police found Griffin in the Bronx in the predawn hours of Saturday after responding to a 911 call about two people possibly overdosing, the source said. EMS responded, and Griffin was rushed to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

Cell phone video obtained by ABC News appears to show Griffin in a wheelchair as emergency responders transported him.

The NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tweeted that Griffin has been apprehended and that the investigation continues.

Griffin will be treated medically before authorities can interview him about the rice cookers.

Meanwhile, the Logan County's Sheriff's Office in West Virginia, where Griffin has family, posted on Facebook that officers there helped contact the relatives after the FBI Joint Task Force in New York City contacted them. They had hoped to find a location in the New York City area where police could find Griffin, but the relatives didn't know.

Griffin has told them that he lives on the streets in New York, the source told ABC News.

The Logan County Sheriff's Office posted that Griffin has been arrested there at least three times in the past eight years for charges ranging from drugs to weapons to "obscene material to seduce a minor." He was indicted by the Logan County Sheriff's Department in 2017 for the latter charge, though it was not immediately clear if it resulted in a conviction.

The sheriff's office added that there was a warrant out for Griffin's arrest, which was issued in March, stemming from his alleged failure to report for missing drug screens as part of a pre-trial bond supervision.

Since Griffin has not been arrested, it was unclear Saturday if he has legal representation.

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Saturday
Aug172019

Plains at risk for severe storms while heat returns to Northeast

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Very heavy rainfall was falling across parts of eastern Kansas and western Missouri on Saturday morning, while gusty winds up to 75 mph have been reported in Kansas as well. Some storms are also firing in parts of Illinois and Indiana, too.

Flash flooding will remain a concern through the morning hours in these regions, before the flood concern shifts slightly eastward through Missouri and parts of Illinois through the day.

The storms will eventually lose strength by mid to late morning, however, as the system moves closer to Chicago by midday storms, some severe, could fire up again. Meanwhile a frontal system approaching from the north and west will also reignite severe storms in parts of the Dakotas, and into parts of Iowa and Minnesota. A couple lines of strong to severe storms are likely there late Saturday and early Sunday.

As a result, there is an enhanced risk for severe storms in parts of the region, including Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There is a slight risk for severe weather from Nebraska to Illinois, including Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Chicago.

A stalled stationary boundary continues to interact with tropical moisture in the Southeast. There have been reports of over 11 inches of rain in parts of the swamps west of Gainesville, Florida. Some of the towns in parts of that region of Florida have reported flooding, but it appears the heaviest of the rain is falling mainly over swampland.

Unfortunately, the chance for tropical downpours will continue through the weekend as the stationary front slowly falls apart. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the entire system for possible tropical development, as a the low moves into the Atlantic Ocean over the next few days. However, chances remain relatively low that anything truly tropical develops from this.

Heat will subside slightly in the West on Saturday, but some of that heat will build into the Southern Plains with heat indices reaching over 100 degrees in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. There are some heat advisories in effect for parts of that region on Saturday.

After a relatively cool period in the Northeast, heat will return to the major Northeast cities over the next couple days, with temperatures rising close to or above 90 degrees from Washington, D.C., to Boston. On Monday, it will be 95 degrees in Philadelphia and 96 degrees in Washington, D.C.

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Saturday
Aug172019

Father charged with homicide after 12-year-old daughter kills neighbor in car crash

KTRK(HOUSTON) -- The father of a 12-year-old girl who allegedly got behind the wheel of a car and accidentally ran down her neighbor has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Tomas Mejia Tol, 42, was arrested on Friday after his daughter allegedly was driving in the parking lot outside their home and killed a man who was walking his three dogs and then crashed into a tree. Enrique Vazquez, 47, was killed in the accident.

One of the man's dogs was also killed in the crash.

"So he actually said that he was the driver, but we do have video showing that it was his 12-year-old daughter who was the driver," a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney's Office told Houston ABC station KTRK. "The 12-year-old did indicate that her dad was allowing her to drive the car to practice driving."

Mejia has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child.

Mejia's 2-year-old child was also in a car seat in the back of the vehicle at the time of the crash, prosecutors said.

The accident took place at about 4 p.m. on Thursday, authorities said.

The accident in still under investigation.

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Saturday
Aug172019

Hiker disappears in Northern California mountains on 5-day hike

Trinity County Sheriff's Office(REDDING, Calif.) -- Authorities suspended search-and-rescue operations for a missing hiker in the mountains of Northern California on Friday night, but said they planned to return to the area on Saturday.

Daniel Komins had embarked on a solo hiking trip in the Trinity Alps, about 75 miles northwest of Redding, on Aug. 10. He has not been seen since one day later when backpackers told the Trinity County Sheriff's Office they had seen him on the trail.

The 34-year-old, who is an experienced hiker, also spoke to his girlfriend on the night of Aug. 11 and "informed her that the trip was going as planned," according to the sheriff's office.

He was expected to return from the hike on Aug. 14.

Komins' empty car was found near the trailhead on the same day, officials said. He had food, water and backpacking supplies with him on the hike.

"Komins is an experienced hiker and an Emergency Medical Technician," the sheriff's office said. "He has with him a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker, which is not presently operating appropriately. Komins also has with him his cellular telephone, which has seen no activity since August 11, 2019."

The search-and-rescue efforts began at daylight on Thursday and continued throughout the day on Friday with no success.

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, Trinity County Search, Butte County Search and Rescue, Marin County Search and Rescue, Contra Costa County Search and Rescue and the California Highway Patrol have all been involved in the search, which has included ground and helicopter teams.

Forty people were involved in the ground search on Friday, the sheriff's office said.

Officials said they were widening the search area after speaking with the other hikers who had crossed paths with Komins on Aug. 11.

"Based on the information provided by these individuals, additional areas have been plotted to be searched, as it appears that Komins may have deviated from his initial itinerary," officials said.

The search was set to resume at sunrise on Saturday.

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Saturday
Aug172019

New Orleans TV reporter Nancy Parker dies in stunt plane crash during filming

iStock(NEW ORLEANS) -- A TV reporter for the local Fox affiliate in New Orleans was killed on Friday when the stunt plane she was filming a piece in crashed near Lakefront Airport.

Nancy Parker, 53, had worked for the station for 23 years, WVUE said.

Franklin J.P. Augustus, the pilot of the plane, was also killed.

"This information is preliminary and subject to change as the investigation continues: Earlier today, a Pitts A-2B aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances, approximately one-half mile south of Lakefront Airport, New Orleans," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. "The NTSB will lead the investigation, and the FAA’s investigation will become part of the NTSB’s series of reports."

Parker was filming a piece about Augustus, who was honoring the pioneering World War II-era African American pilots the Tuskegee Airmen, the station said.

"For more than two decades, Nancy Parker sat opposite John Snell as the FOX 8 co-anchor and gave us the news of the day," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement. "She told it to us straight, but with a combination of professionalism, intelligence, warmth and grace we may never experience again. New Orleans did not just lose a five-time Emmy-winning journalist, or a familiar, comforting face on our TV screens. We lost a loving mother of three, a beautiful human being, and an invaluable member of our community."

Cantrell also honored Augustus, saying, "He never forgot the magic he felt as a youth about flying. He spent countless hours introducing flying to area youth through the Young Eagles program and Civil Air Patrol."

New Orleans EMS, fire department and police department all responded to the accident at about 3 p.m. local time.

The New Orleans Police Department said, "At the NOPD we strive everyday to better the lives of our residents -- to make our home a better place to live, work and visit. Fox 8 anchor Nancy Parker shared that same mission. A true lover of New Orleans -- and New Orleans truly loved her back."

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Saturday
Aug172019

Prosecutors seek additional indictment against Harvey Weinstein

Marilyn Nieves/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has presented the criminal case against Harvey Weinstein to a grand jury for a second time to include testimony from a one-time Sopranos actress, new court filings show.

Prosecutors are hoping the grand jury returns a new indictment against the disgraced film producer based, in part, on the accounts of Annabella Sciorra, the actress who has claimed Weinstein raped her in 1993.

Sciorra made public claims against Weinstein in the media but only came forward to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in the months after the original indictment was returned, sources familiar with the case told ABC News. As a result a judge declined to allow her to testify at trial.

“We do believe that the trial jury should have the benefit of hearing the testimony of the remaining witness and therefore we will cure the deficiency by re-presenting the case to a new grand jury,” the prosecutor’s filing said.

The grand jury would indict Weinstein on the same five charges he currently faces but would take into account Sciorra’s testimony, which would allow prosecutors to call her as a witness to bolster their case at trial. Her allegation is outside the statute of limitations that was in effect at the time.

Weinstein's trial is currently scheduled to begin Sept. 9. The grand jury decision on a new indictment may not come until Aug. 26 and it’s possible there will be a delay.

Despite defense objections, Judge James Burke has allowed women like Sciorra to testify at trial even though their accounts are not part of the charges, a letter from the district attorney’s office revealed publicly for the first time. A similar decision doomed Bill Cosby.

“We also appreciate the significant Molineux decision by the Court, allowing the People to call additional witnesses,” the letter said, referring to the landmark 1901 Molineux ruling that allows prosecutors to introduce evidence of previous crimes at a defendant's trial.

The identities of the additional accusers who would be called to testify at trial have not been made public.

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Friday
Aug162019

Suspect surrenders after shooting 2 officers serving eviction notice

vmargineanu/iStock(VAN BUREN, Mo.) -- A Missouri man who shot two police officers while they were serving him an eviction notice surrendered to authorities Friday afternoon after a long standoff.

The suspect shot a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper and a deputy with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department and then barricaded himself inside his home Friday morning, officials said.

The deputy was airlifted from the scene to an area hospital and is in stable condition, Corporal Dallas Thompson, of the highway patrol, told ABC News. The trooper, who was hit in the vest, was treated at a hospital and has since been released, Thompson said.

The suspect began firing from inside the home in Van Buren just after 9:50 a.m., according to a statement from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the Missouri State Highway Patrol announced the suspect had exited the residence and has surrendered to a Highway Patrol SWAT team.

The suspect was believed to be the only person inside the home at the time of the incident.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said on Twitter that the officers were "ambushed."

"Missouri officials are devoted to making our state safer despite the risks they face every day," Parsons wrote.

 

 

The Highway Patrol was assisting the sheriff's department with the notice, according to the statement.

The incident comes two days after six Philadelphia police officers were wounded when a gunman shot at them from inside his home, before barricading himself in the building with two officers trapped inside, police said.

The suspect finally surrounded around midnight, about seven hours after the shooting began. He began firing during a narcotics operation.

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