A protester facing class D felony charges for assaulting a police officer claims that she was, in fact, the one assaulted – and she’s got pictures to prove it.
The protester is Cecily McMillan. The altercation between her and New York Police Department Officer Grantley Bovell took place on March 18, 2012. On that night, protesters gathered in a New York park.
As the park grew crowded, NYPD officers were told to clear the group out. Officer Bovell and other NYPD officers began rounding up protesters and forcibly removing them from the park.
During the clearing, McMillan felt a hand grab her breast from behind. She instinctively threw an elbow at the groper, hitting him under the eye. The man she hit turned out to be Officer Bovell.
McMillan was immediately detained and put in handcuffs. In the days following her arrest, she told media outlets that police used excessive force against her during her detainment. After being released, McMillan went to The Institute of Family Health in Manhattan and had pictures taken of her body. The pictures validate her claim that someone did indeed grab her breast and use excessive force when handling her.
Here they are:
On the night she was arrested, McMillan suffered an epileptic seizure after being handcuffed. A witness video shows NYPD officers standing over McMillan and watching as she convulses on the ground. The officers never undid her handcuffs during the seizure.
McMillan was on the ground for roughly 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Here is the witness video:
McMillan’s trial was set to begin on February 6, but got pushed back because a judge hadn’t yet been selected.
In a March 2012 statement McMillan said she is confident the trial will clear her of any wrongdoing.
“I am innocent of any wrongdoing, and confident I will be vindicated,” she said, adding that she has a “long-standing personal commitment to non-violence.”
Police discovered 10 pit bulls at the home of Javier Ruperto, 35, after an anonymous caller claimed that dog fights were being held there, Dorchester District Court records show. The caller also said several injured dogs were living in the basement of the Massachusetts house.
Rupert, known as “Dr. Dog” in dog-fighting circles, was banned by the city from keeping dogs in the 1990’s. He is now facing a new charge of keeping animals for fighting, according to the Boston Globe.
Officers found two pit bulls chained to the Toledo Terrace house in Dorchester at about 10:00 p.m. The temperature was 16 degrees, the report said. (Dorchester is a historic neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts.)
Ruperto first told them he had two dogs and then changed his story several times, according to the Globe. At one point, he said he had eight dogs. He refused to let officers into his home, the report says.
Ruperto was arrested after he allegedly approached Officer Luis Lopez, pushed him away from the front door, and tried to lock it, saying, “You can’t come into my house.”
When police and an animal control officer went to the basement, they found seven pit bulls in cages, one chained to the stairs, and two treadmills—the kind used to train dogs for fighting, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Brian Brodigan told reporters. The dogs in Ruperto’s basement did not appear to be injured, he said.
The pit bulls were not seized from Ruperto’s home as of Tuesday night; while animal control officers waited for a court order to remove them, said police Sergeant Mike McCarthy. That decision was made because there were no signs the dogs were abused. and officials were able to check on them on Tuesday.
“They are well aware of who this guy is and his history with animals. They’re trying to do everything they can,” Sgt. McCarthy told the Boston Globe.
JAVIER “DR. DOG” RUPERTO’s HISTORY
Ruperto was banned by the city in 1997 from keeping dogs after he was charged with keeping an illegal kennel of sickly, scarred dogs, including some so sick that they had to be euthanized, according to a Boston Globe report.
In 1998, Ruperto was sentenced to eight months in prison on charges of animal cruelty and obstructing an animal inspection, Assistant District Attorney Brodigan said.
In the recent case, Ruperto is charged with keeping animals for fighting, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on a police officer, court records show. Not-guilty pleas were entered on Ruperto’s behalf. He was released on $300 bail.
Ruperto, because of his previous dog-fighting record, was also ordered to stay away from animals and surrender his dogs, FOX25 reports.
Ruperto’s defense attorney Paul Carrigan described his client as “a kennel worker who loves animals," according to the Globe. “He didn’t do anything wrong,” Carrigan said.
Carrigan insists that Ruperto merely trains pit bulls to participate in weight-pulling competitions. He told reporters that the dogs found outside in the 16-degree weather had not been in the cold for long, and were being rotated in and out.
Runaway mortgage kingpin Ronnie Duke was finally detained by police on Monday. Duke was convicted eight months ago for his role in a scheme that used fake documents to secure hundreds of loans on homes in the greater Detroit area from 2003-2007. He fled in June after being sentenced to 13 months in prison.
Yesterday, the law caught up with Duke in Saline, Michigan. At about 2:30 pm, Duke appeared in court for his arraignment. It was there he put forth one last act of defiance to the criminal justice system. According to court officials, Duke assaulted a federal prosecutor during his arraignment.
After consenting to detention, Duke filled out some paper work. As the paper work was handed to the presiding magistrate, Duke allegedly lunged at a prosecuting attorney.
“He just suddenly bolted and assaulted her. It was only a matter of seconds before the marshals subdued him,” U.S. District Court spokesman Rod Hansen said. “It was clearly more than a shove.”
The prosecutor briefly checked into a local hospital and is now in good health.
It is not known how much longer Duke’s prison sentence will be after both his eight month run from the law and Monday’s assault. After his June sentencing, federal prosecutors feared he would flee in the time between his sentencing and his prison report date. U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook trusted Duke to self-report, but his trust was not rewarded. His attorney saw no reason to believe Duke would run, either.
“He had been completely cooperative on all occasions before. I didn’t think there were any obvious signs that he wouldn’t show,” Defense attorney Harold Gurewitz said.
Duke and his colleagues are convicted of creating a loan-scheme that cost lenders more than $100 million in losses. Duke deceived his lenders with counterfeit purchase agreements, fake closing documents, and phony title companies that were actually owned by Duke and is co-workers. The scammers used the loan proceeds to buy vacations, boats, cars, and a nightclub.
In addition to his prison sentence, Duke was ordered to pay a $1 million fine and $94 million in restitution for his crime. He has previous criminal convictions for embezzlement, credit card fraud, receiving and concealing stolen property, escape, aggravated stalking, and disturbing the peace.
A woman says she was beaten unconscious by a New York City cab driver because she wanted to pay for her ride with a credit card, CBS 2 reported.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was assaulted by the cab driver shortly after midnight on Saturday.
She and her fiancé hailed the cab at the corner of Broome and Mulberry streets, but the driver suddenly stopped after “two or three blocks.”
The driver told her the credit card machine in the cab was broken, and he wanted them to pay in cash.
She told the driver they had no cash and would have to go to an ATM.
“He just went ballistic. He just lost it,” the woman said.
Suddenly he got out of the cab and grabbed her fiancé by the tie, leaving red marks on his neck.
“He’s screaming he doesn’t trust anyone, he doesn’t trust anyone,” she said.
He then yanked her out of the cab and punched her.
“He punched me in the face. Square in the face with a fist,” she said. “Knocked me off my feet and knocked me out.”
Witnesses and her fiancé turned on the cabbie, and he quickly got back into his cab and drove away.
“They were all yelling, ‘you can’t hit a woman,’ ‘you just hit a woman,’” she said.
“My jaw is swollen up," she explained. "I can’t open it. There’s a ringing in my ear. My eye muscles are swollen and throbbing."
“He hit my fiancee. I would like to crack his head open,” said her fiancé, who did not want to be identified, “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
The woman told CBS she remembers what the driver looks like and will be working with the NYPD to identify the man.
“It’s just insane. It could happen to anyone and that’s what’s so scary,” she added.
It’s common knowledge that yellow cabs aren’t allowed to refuse credit as payment, but the Taxi and Limousine Commission told CBS that drivera are allowed to operate cabs with broken machines for up to 48 hours before they must be repaired.
Attacks by New York City cab drivers are a rare occurence. In October 2012, a cab driver was stripped of his license after he was caught on camera throwing a drunk and disorderly passenger out of his taxi and into a busy Midtown street. Sidikiba Diallo said he did it because the man was vomiting and cursing.
Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana say they’ve arrested two teens that are accused of killing a 55-year-old man earlier this month in a random.
The two teens, 19-year-old Windall Lavel Herring and an unidentified 15-year-old assailant, attacked the victim, John Bannon, as part of what police think was an attempted robbery. Police say that the two teens decided to see which one of them could hit harder, and when Bannon fell to the ground after being hit, he hit his head on the concrete and suffered a brain hemorrhage. The attack happened on February 1, and Bannon died of his injuries last Friday.
“You just want to know why, why him,” said Bannon’s sister Susan Smith. “Why him, of all people, (who) didn’t bother anybody.”
Both teens were originally wanted for second-degree battery, but since Bannon died and they’ve been arrested, their charges were changed to second-degree murder.
Despite speculation for the teen’s motives, police say they have not officially determined a reason why the teens would attack Bannon.
Two men were sentenced to jail after brutally beating and severely injuring a San Francisco Giants fan outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium nearly three years ago.
45-year-old Giants fan Bryan Stow was left with devastating, lifelong injuries that will require him round-the-clock care for the rest of his life. Stow, a paramedic and father of two, was attending a game at the Dodgers stadium when Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, both Dodgers fans, chased Stow down, sucker punched him, and brutally beat him until he was unconscious.
"The sport of baseball pales compared to this action," said Stow’s father David during court proceedings. “What you both did in the evening in the dark at Dodger Stadium was cowardly. We hold no hate against you, but we despise you. Bryan has a lifetime of pain, therapy and hard work daily that he must endure. He will strive to persevere.”
Sanchez, 31, has been sentenced to eight years in prison while Norwood, 33, has been sentenced to four. Superior Court Judge George Lomeli scolded the two men, who were seemingly unremorseful for their actions.
"You are the biggest nightmare for individuals who attend public events,” said Judge Lomeli.
Shortly after their arrest in 2011, Sanchez and Norwood were secretly recorded having a conversation about the incident in a cell at prison.
"It's all my fault," said Sanchez.
"I'm gonna fry regardless, bro," Norwood responded. "They pretty much got it. They got it, bro. I don't get how...we are the bad guys because something misfortunate happened to, you know, their side."
The Stow family says they are currently pursuing a civil suit against the Los Angeles Dodgers for provided little security at the stadium.
A deaf California man is suing police in Hawthorne after he was tasered while attempting to tell them that he couldn’t hear by using sign language.
According to reports, Jonathan Meister was retrieving boxes he left at a friend’s house when a suspicious neighbor thought he was breaking in and called the police.
When officers arrived, they found Meister with the boxes and ordered him to stop loading them into his car. Obviously, Meister was unable to hear what the officers were telling him to do, so when one of them grabbed his hand, he tried to sign to them that he was deaf.
The officers took Meister’s signing as resistance, so they hit him with their fists and kicked him until they were able to force him to the ground. Once they had him on the ground, one of the officers reportedly shot Meister with the taser twice before shooting him with it again in the stomach.
“Because he is deaf, Mr. Meister depends on using his hands while facing a person to communicate,” describes the lawsuit. "The officers’ sudden aggression, which both caused pain and interfered with his ability to communicate, caused Mr. Meister reflexively to pull his hands away, hop back over the fence and step toward the gate to create some space so that he could communicate.”
The officers continued to beat Meister until he was knocked unconscious, and only then was he brought to the hospital. Meister was shockingly charged with assaulting the officers, but after the truth came out later, those charges were dropped.
Now, the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness has filed the lawsuit on behalf of Meister in the wake of the ordeal.
“We’re really concerned about the problem of law enforcement and people who are deaf,” said Paula Pearlman, Meister’s lawyer. “He wasn’t doing anything other than trying to get away from people who were hurting him.”
The charges filed are specifically against the four officers who were involved in the assault. Hawthorne police have not yet commented on the case.
A sheriff’s deputy in Denver, Colorado is attempting to appeal a decision to suspend him for 30 days after he randomly assaulted an inmate during a court appearance in 2012.
The unprovoked attack, which happened in September of 2012, was caught on the courtroom’s cameras. The court proceeding, known as a first advisement, took place so that the judge could explain to inmate Anthony Waller why he was being held and give him an outline of his legal schedule. It’s clear in the video that Waller, who was handcuffed and shackled by the surrounding officers prior to entering the courtroom, was respectfully listening to the judge’s comments for a brief period of time and wasn’t causing any issues.
As soon as the judge was finished speaking, Waller began to ask a question.
“Ah, yes, ma’am, I’d like to object first,” said Waller to Judge Doris Burd. “If I’m under investigation, I thought the investigation came first and then the arrest came.”
Just as Judge Burd started answering Waller’s question, Sheriff’s Deputy Brady Lovingier suddenly grabbed Waller by the chain around his waist and violently slammed him against a glass window. Waller fell to the ground as Lovingier screamed at him.
“Get on your feet,” Lovingier yelled. “Don’t turn on me. Get on your feet. Get on your feet.”
A year after the incident, Lovingier was finally disciplined by Denver’s safety department, but he was only given 30 days suspension for the attack that they deemed he had “no legitimate reason” to perpetrate.
“If he had killed me, would he have gotten 30 days?” said Waller to The Independent. “I was defenseless. I was addressing the judge, exercising my constitutional rights, and this is what I get? A savage beating?”
Lovingier says he used force against Waller to control him and stop him from being aggressive, but as anybody can see from the video, Waller was behaving normally. According to reports, Lovingier is planning to appeal his suspension next week.
A dentist who claims a sheriff assaulted her during a traffic stop last year has filed a plea to have the sheriff charged.
The alleged victim is Simona Tibu. Tibu was driving to work on August 3, 2013, when she was stopped by an Alberta sheriff for speeding. Tibu says that as the officer approached her car, he pounded on her window.
Tibu told the sheriff that she wouldn’t hand over her license and registration if he didn’t stop pounding on her window. She added that she would start filming him if he didn’t calm down. The sheriff then allegedly became violent and made Tibu get out of her car.
Once outside, the sheriff told Tibu to place her hands on the trunk of her car. Tibu claims the deputy proceeded to hit her breasts while pushing his groin into her backside.
At this point, Tibu began to scream. Her screams apparently provoked more aggression from the sheriff. She was hit on the back of the head and knocked to the ground.
“I felt a hit in my head then he smashed my head on the pavement on the road until I was full of blood,” she said. “Then he told me, ‘Now I’m going to walk all over you.’”
Despite leaving the scene with deep cuts and bruises all over her body, Tibu was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a law enforcement officer.
But Tibu isn’t accepting the charges. She’s firing back with allegations of her own.
Tibu appeared in court on January 30 to present her case against the sheriff. The presiding judge told her she has reasonable grounds on which to charge the sheriff, but an official decision would not be made for several weeks. Officials will review Tibu’s claim and all available evidence – including her medical records and the sheriff’s dashcam footage – and determine if there are legitimate grounds on which to charge the sheriff.
“They determine if the case moves forward, if there will be charges, if they’ll be dismissed or stayed,” Alberta Justice spokesperson Michelle Davio said.
Tibu is also filing to have all available evidence from her case made available to the public and media.
“I have big medical records, lots of pictures and three witnesses that came forward to help me, therefore I am confident I will get justice,” she said.
Here are two pictures Tibu took of herself after the alleged assault:
Another Miami resident has come forward accusing private security firm 50 State Security of unprovoked assault.
The victim is Michael Valencia. Valencia first reported his story to Photography is not a Crime (PNAC).
50 State Security is a private organization contracted by the City of Miami to provide security at many city locations. Valencia’s encounter with 50 State started on Thursday night as he and friend Cole Nichols were entering a train station in Miami.
Valencia tried to pay for both his and Nichols' train fare using his traveler's card. Valencia says the card had $20 on it at the time of the incident. Valencia first used the card to pay for Nichols. As he went to swipe the card a second time for himself, the gates locked. The guards suspected Valencia was trying to sneak through the turnstile.
“Hey f-----, we see what you’re doing, go get your ass another ticket,” Valencia recalls the guard saying.
Valencia went back and bought himself a ticket. As he and Nichols re-entered the station and walked to the platform, they discussed how rude the guard had been. The guard confronted the men.
“He comes after us with a brisk face and says, ‘If you want to say s---, say it to my face,’” Valencia said. “I was like, ‘I’m not really here to start problems.’”
Valencia says the guard then threw them out of the station.
The two men walked up the road to a nearby station. The same guard allegedly met them at the next station.
Valencia says the guard confronted them and said “I told you guys to stay off the f------ rail.”
The guard then pulled out his handcuffs and started wrestling Valencia. Nichols recounted to PNAC what he witnessed.
“He slammed Mike’s head into a trashcan,” Nichols said. “He reached back and started punching him in the face.”
Nichols shoved the guard off Valencia and the two started running. The guard pulled a gun on the men and said he would shoot if they didn’t stop running. Valencia stopped, but Nichols kept running. He saw another guard at the bottom of the stairs and pleaded with him for help. Rather than help, the guard moved in to detain him. Nichols started running again and didn’t stop until he reached his home.
Valencia, meanwhile, was detained by the original security guard. Valencia claims the guard punched and kicked him repeatedly long after he surrendered himself. He suffered multiple broken teeth and a black eye from the incident.
“I was screaming hysterically, yelling that he beat me, asking someone to please help me,” Valencia recalled.
Paramedics arrived at the scene shortly after Valencia was detained. When he told them what had happened, a medic allegedly said, “I don’t f------ care,” and treated the guard instead.
No charges were filed against Valencia. A Miami-Dade police officer drove Valencia away from the scene to a nearby location where Valencia’s father picked him up.
His father, a former Cuban refugee, couldn’t believe the way his son had been treated.
“He was very nervous, almost in shock,” the father said. “This is what I saw in Cuba when I left in 1969. It’s not supposed to happen in this country.”
50 State Security has had a number of lawsuits filed against it in recent months. In April, the company was in the news after a security officer forcibly dragged an 82-year-old woman off of a train because she was singing gospel songs.