Apr 18, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Charges

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11High School Student Threatened By School Officials And Charged With Crime After Recording Evidence Of Classmates Bullying Him

A Pennsylvania high school sophomore took a recording device to school so that he could capture audio of some fellow students bullying him, but when he brought it to school officials, instead of questioning the alleged bullies, administrators reportedly tried to get the student charged with felony wiretapping. Just last month, the student was found guilty of disorderly conduct.

According to BenSwann.com, the boy and his mother, Shea Love, testified that the boy had been shoved, mocked, and almost burned with a cigarette lighter on numerous occasions. The student tried to explain why he recorded the incident in the first place.

“I wanted her [his mother] to understand what I went through,” said the boy. “Like, it wasn’t like I was over exaggerating it. I wasn’t lying. It was really happening. I was really having things like books slammed upside my head. I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.”

The student and his mother claim that when they brought the recording to school officials, it was destroyed, and Principal Scott Milburn called in a police officer to proceed with charging the student with felony wiretapping.

(Photo credit: Photography Is Not A Crime)

Despite what seemed to be a valid reason for recording the bullying, a judge still found the sophomore guilty of disorderly conduct.

“Normally, if there is — I certainly have a big problem with any kind of bullying at school,” said District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet during the hearing. “But normally, you know, I would expect a parent would let the school know about it, because it’s not tolerated. I know that, and that you guys [school administrators] would handle that, you know. To go to this extreme, you know, it was the only alternative or something like that, but you weren’t made aware of that and that was kind of what I was curious about. Because it’s not tolerated, but you need to go through — let the school handle it. And I know from experience with South Fayette School that, you know, it always is. And if there is a problem and it continues, then it is usually brought in front of me.”

According to reports, none of the bullies were reprimanded for their actions, despite evidence proving that they were harassing the student, and those kids still remain enrolled at the school.

“I refuse to be threatened,” said Love, the boy’s mother. “I just want my son to have a chance to bloom and not fall so far behind in a totally disruptive environment.”

Love says they plan to appeal the conviction.


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11Nine-Month-Old Boy Arrested For Attempting To Murder Police Still Expected To Appear In Court (Video)

An outrageous story out of Pakistan that went viral last week left many people wondering why a nine-month-old boy would be charged with attempted murder. Now, a judge has officially granted bail for the infant, but the legal troubles are far from over.

Opposing Views first reported last week on the incident that led to the toddler’s arrest. A riot broke out in the eastern city of Lahore, and Khan was arrested after being accused of throwing stones at police officers.

“A nine month old can never commit such a crime,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police Jabbar when the baby was booked. “This incident took place due to sheer misunderstanding on the police's part and was not done on purpose."

Despite Jabbar’s claims that the incident was a misunderstanding, the baby still has legal troubles ahead. A judge officially granted the child bail, noting the absurdity of the situation, but said the child is required by law to return to court on April 12 for a hearing.

“He was booked under Section 326 and was presented before a court,” said the boy’s grandfather Mohammad Yaseen to Reuters. “He doesn't even know how to pick up his milk bottle properly. How can he stone the police?”

The arresting officer was reportedly suspended following the incident.


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11Mentally Disabled Man Beaten By Police On Camera (Video)

A new video has been released online showing a mentally disabled man being beaten by St. Louis police officers.

The man, Mario Crumps, was reportedly acting erratically prior to the incident, and his behavior forced his family to call the police. The video doesn’t show the entire incident, but it does show police brutally beating the man while he fought back against them.

Crumps is reportedly a client of Independence Center, an organization that provides mentally disabled people with opportunities to live and work in the St. Louis community, and Mike Keller, executive director, hopes that the video will bring about a change in training protocol within the police department.

"I want to give the police whom I have an affinity for the benefit of the doubt, but that video was soul-scarring," said Keller.

Police, however, say that even though many are outraged by the video, they feel it does not properly show what went on in its entirety and believe that the officers’ actions were justified.

"Certainly I want to make this a teachable moment," said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. "But we also have to understand that society, with cutbacks in the mental health field, have really left individuals kind of in an area of limbo."

Dotson also says that both officers were treated for injuries.

The man’s condition following the beating is not clear, but one can assume that after multiple strikes from a baton and numerous punches to the face, he likely sustained some injuries. Crumps faces charges of assaulting an officer as well as resisting arrest.


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1125-Year-Old High School Teacher Arrested For Having Sex With Student

A 25-year-old high school teacher was arrested after a police investigation uncovered that she had been having sex with an underage student.

Brittany Marie Phillips, a teacher at Lexington Senior High School in North Carolina, faces felony sex offense charges after the unnamed student admitted to another teacher that he was having a relationship with Phillips.

The victim told police that he had multiple sexual encounters with Phillips between December 2013 and February 2014, and to prove his claims, he brought them a video recording of Phillips performing a sex act on him.

"The juvenile corroborated this statement by explaining that he had a video of Phillips performing [a sex act] on him," wrote Detective Benjamin Clayton of Lexington Police Department in his report. "The juvenile showed me the video, and the video does appear to show Phillips' face."

Following her arrest, Phillips was immediately suspended from the school and her name was taken off the teacher list on the school’s website.

“Right now, the situation is under investigation, and Miss Phillips has been suspended and is not in contact with any students,” said Lexington City Schools Superintendent Rick Kriesky.

Phillips, a first-year teacher, was released on a $50,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court on April 7.


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11Man Charged With Animal Cruelty After Dragging His Dog Around With His Car

A New Jersey man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after tying his dog to his car and dragging him through the streets last week.

49-year-old Keith Guastamacchia of Middletown claims he stopped to let his dog use the bathroom and tied the animal to the side of his car. During the stop, he got into an argument with a friend who called his cellphone, and in the midst of the upsetting call, he forgot that the dog was still tied to his car. Guastamacchia drove away, completely unaware that the dog was still attached to his vehicle.

A police officer pulled Guastamacchia over after noticing the dog being dragged by the vehicle. The Chihuahua was taken to an animal hospital to be treated for serious injuries, and Guastamacchia was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. After being arrested, Guastamacchia was later released with a summons.

Roxy, the 1-year-old Chihuahua, is said to be recovering from the injuries she sustained in the incident.


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11Dashboard Camera Proves Horrific Abuse Against Man By Police And Now Man Is $1.1M Richer (Video)

A Dallas man was awarded $1.1 million after settling with police in a huge lawsuit stemming from a 2009 incident that wrongly landed the man in jail for 15 months.

Ronald Bernard Jones was arrested and charged with two felonies that were later dismissed and spent 15 months in prison insisting that he was innocent. The horrific incident occurred in December 2009 when police were out responding to a call involving two white males. Jones, who is black and was walking alone the night of the incident, was approached by the officers.

In the police report, officers claimed that Jones threw an open beer can at one of the officers, choked another one out, and resisted arrest. Dashcam video, however, doesn’t show any of this, and toxicology showed that Jones had no alcohol or drugs in his system.

The officers continued in the police report that Jones kept resisting arrest and, at one point, one of the officers saw him pull out a knife. After the investigation into the incident, however, it was discovered that Jones was not armed with any weapon. Another officer claimed that a drug pipe was found underneath a squad car, but the angle that the vehicle was pointing did not show that.  At the end of the video, one officer orders another to turn off the dashboard camera, and at that point, the video ends.

Jones was arrested and charged with aggravated assault of a public servant and cocaine possession. Nothing in the police report accurately proves those charges, however, and it appears that most of the details were fabricated.

Jones spent 15 months in prison during the trial until the charges were dismissed by a judge. The entire time, Jones was offered multiple plea deals, but he stuck to his guns and turned each one down. One of the arresting cops, Officer Matthew Antkowiak, resigned from the department in January 2012.

Now, Dallas police have settled the case with Jones for $1.1 million, and the lawyer that represented him in the lawsuit against the department says that justice was served.

“When the city pays more than $1 million to settle a civil rights case, there should be a serious investigation,” said attorney Don Tittle. “You can count the number of settlements of that magnitude on one hand. It involved multiple officers, it involved turning off videos, it involved fabricating arrest reports and testimony. To me, that’s as serious as it gets.”

Dallas Police Chief David Brown continued to defend the officers, despite evidence against him, but did admit that if the lawsuit went before a jury, the city wouldn’t “get much sympathy.”


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11High School Student Brutally Punched In The Face By Classmate (Video)

Shocking video shows a Georgia high school sophomore being repeatedly punched in the face by a classmate in a locker room, and now, the victim’s father is calling for more serious charges against the perpetrator.

High school student David Egan was forced to undergo facial reconstruction surgery after being assaulted by his unnamed fellow student. According to reports, the other boy accused Egan of stealing his tennis shoes, and even though Egan denied it, the student got so angry that he punched him hard in the face. Egan appears to stumble following the first punch, and after he is shoved into a locker, the student throws a second punch that brought the victim to the ground.

Egan’s father Daniel says that the school called him to come pick up his son, but wonders why an ambulance was never called.

"This is my child," said Daniel Egan. "How would you feel if you saw a person fracturing his face, smashing him up against a locker, punching him so hard that it breaks his nose off his skull?"

The student that punched Egan was charged with misdemeanor battery, and the school took disciplinary action. Still, Daniel Egan says he wants more to be done.

“When they treat it like a schoolyard shuffle, you are thinking these are just kids,” said Daniel. “He didn't throw sand in his eyes, he didn't stab him in the arm with a pencil, he broke his skull.”

School district spokesperson Jorge Quintana released a statement saying that he believes the school acted appropriately and that although the crime was heinous, the student may only be able to be charged as a juvenile because of his age.

“The student is a juvenile. I understand that this offense does not qualify to charge a juvenile as an adult in the state of Georgia. The seven offenses under which a juvenile can be charged as an adult are listed under OCGA 15-11-560,” said Quintana. “Typically when there is a fight, 911 is not called as adults intervene. Injured students are typically taken to the clinic to receive immediate care from the clinic worker. Parents are then called. The school handled this case well, acting immediately to care for the injured student and to investigate so that appropriate disciplinary and criminal charges could be made.”

The incident is still under investigation, and David Egan is currently recovering from reconstructive surgery.


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11Muslim Sex Offender Won't Be Convicted of Kidnapping As Judge Cites "Cultural Differences"

An Afghan refugee living in Australia had all charges against him dropped after a Geelong judge said that “cultural differences” made it difficult to find the registered sex offender guilty of attempted kidnapping.

Ali Jaffari, 35, faced a judge in Australian court on charges of child stealing, attempted child-stealing, and unlawful assault. The Muslim man stated during the proceedings that his attempt to kidnap a 4-year-old girl would have been acceptable in his native Afghanistan, so he wasn’t aware he was doing anything wrong. Jaffari was already found guilty of two separate indecent assault charges this past August, stemming from a November 2012 incident, and had to register as a sex offender.

This attempted kidnapping happened in January 2013 when Jaffari tried to steal a four-year-old girl at a park in front of her father and brother. According to reports, Jaffari approached the young girl, took a cricket bat out of her hand, and started to drag her away from where she was playing.

“He then grabbed the child’s hand and began to lead her away before she looked up, saw it wasn’t her father, started crying and pulled her hand away,” said Sergeant Brooke Shears. “The victim’s father turned, saw what was happening and yelled at Jaffari, “What do you think you’re doing? The victim ran crying to her father and he comforted her while Jaffari walked off around the oval.”

Shears said that despite Jaffari’s claims that cultural differences were the reason behind the attempted kidnapping, it’s clear that he knew exactly what he was doing.

“He took the child by the hand and led her four or five steps away from her father before the child realized [sic] and started crying,” said Shears.

The judge said that there was reasonable doubt in this case, and even though Jaffari is already a convicted sex offender, anyone would have a hard time proving that he was guilty.


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11Man Who Ran Over Wife's Dog In Alley Pleads Not Guilty To Charges (Video)

Back in January, Opposing Views told you about Michael David Parker, the Los Angeles man who intentionally stole and ran over his estranged wife’s Chihuahua in a Hawthorne alley. The heinous act was caught on surveillance camera, and not long after, Parker was arrested.

Now, Parker, 45, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which include felony counts of animal cruelty and neglect, as well as a misdemeanor charge of petty theft of a dog. The animal cruelty charge alleges that Parker used his car as a deadly weapon.

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The disturbing video shows Parker drive his car into the alley, put it in park, get the dog out of the trunk and into the alley behind the vehicle, get back into his car, reverse over the dog, and then speed away. Later on, police say the dog was placed in a plastic bag by somebody and moved over to the side of the alleyway before being discovered by a passerby days later.

"Someone was walking by and smelled it; it had been out for a while," said Hawthorne Police Lt. Scott Swain. “It's just shocking to see a little animal like that and to see this guy — you can actually see him drive toward the dog. We come across weird things, strange things, gruesome things, but even to us, to see something like this is shocking."

The five-year-old Chihuahua, named Cow Cow, belonged to Parker’s estranged wife, and although his motive isn’t clear, Parker initially said that it was an accident. After reviewing the video, however, it’s plain to see that the man had every intention of hurting Cow Cow.

“Cow Cow is run completely over,” said Swain. “It’s gruesome. It starts bleeding, his little back leg twitching. There’s no indication that’s it, ‘I’m angry at you. That’s why I’m doing that.’ It is both of their dogs. So we don’t have a motive. He was arrested and he didn’t want to go into details. He didn’t indicate why he did it.”

Parker’s estranged wife said she couldn’t believe that he killed the helpless dog and fears what else he is capable of doing.

“If someone would do that to a dog, what would he do to my kids?” asked Olga Parker.

Parker is set to appear back in court next month, and if convicted, he faces a maximum of five years and two months in prison.


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11Man Suing Walmart For $5 Million After Being Wrongly Arrested And Tased

Harold Burrowes was tased and wrongly arrested after purchasing thousands of dollars worth of Walmart gift cards, and now, he’s suing the company for $5 million.

Back in September of 2011, Burrowes, the owner of a wrecker service, purchased over $3,000 in Walmart gift cards to be used to buy diesel fuel. Burrowes says that he had been doing that instead of issuing company credit cards so his tow truck drivers could purchase fuel.

When Burrowes went to purchase the gift cards, the cashier informed him that he wasn’t allowed to buy them using another gift card.

"I explained to her, ‘I'm not using a gift card to purchase gift cards; I have my American Express,'" said Burrowes to Fox 4 News.

Eventually, a supervisor came over and told Burrowes the same thing as the cashier. It then became obvious to him that they believed he was using a stolen credit card.

"I believe they thought all of the evidence points to the fact he was, they thought that Harold was using a stolen credit card," said Ben Martin, Burrowes' attorney.

Burrowes kept trying to explain to the supervisor his reason for buying the gift cards, but at a certain point, as shown in the surveillance video, a police officer was called over. That’s when things got out of hand.

Burrowes finally purchased the gift cards using his personal credit card, and as he attempted to walk away, the officer grabbed him.

"He grabbed me on my shoulder," explained Burrowes. "I said, ‘What is this for?' He said, ‘You're going to jail.' I say, ‘For what?' ‘For trespassing.' I said, ‘How am I going to be trespassing? I know I don't commit any crime,' and he walk in front of me, use a four-letter word and pulled his taser and hit me in my chest."

Burrowes was then arrested and charged with both disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Off-Duty Services, the company that the officer worked for, said in a statement they believe that the officer did the right thing.

"Off-Duty believes that this incident occurred because of Mr. Burrowes' conduct,” said a company attorney in the statement. “After he made the decision to arrest, Mr. Burrowes became aggressive toward the officer, resulting in the officer having to tase Mr. Burrowes to control the situation.”

After the district attorney determined there was a lack of evidence to prove that Burrowes should have been arrested in the first place, the resisting arrest charge was dropped.

Walmart released a statement, saying, “The safety and well-being of our customers and associates is always a top priority. Officer Sciculuna was employed by an independent contractor, Off-Duty Services. We expect our independent contractors to remain professional in dealing with customers at all times, and we regret that the situation with Mr. Burrowes escalated."

Now, Burrowes is seeking $5 million from the company for being tasered and wrongly arrested.


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