A Columbus, Ohio school bus driver who caused a boy to suffer whiplash and a concussion after driving drunk has been sentenced to five days in jail for the November incident.
Tia Denton was driving her normal school bus on November 25 of last year when she was pulled over for driving erratically. Denton blew into a Breathalyzer and her blood alcohol level was measured at 0.216 percent, well above the legal limit in Ohio.
Denton was initially convicted to 180 days in jail, but a judge reduced her sentence to only five days. The parents of the child who suffered the injuries said that while they respected the judge’s decision, they didn’t exactly understand it.
“I respect the judge’s decision,” said the boy’s mother Angela Williams “As far as satisfaction, I don’t know yet. We’re still trying to process everything.” Her husband Dion added that they would be happy, “if this never happens again to another Columbus school student.”
The students on the bus at the time of the incident reportedly yelled out the windows, ““She’s going to kill us! She’s going to kill us,” as the Denton sped through the streets.
“I cannot express my regret and my remorse for what I have cost you and your children and families who are not represented here in court,” said Denton during the sentencing. ““They [Columbus schools] gave me a position of trust and I betrayed it.”
In addition to her five-day prison sentence, Denton is also required to complete two years of probation as well as six months in an in-patient program for alcoholism.
On Monday, Opposing Views reported on the tragic wrong-way car crash that killed six people in Diamond Bar, California. Authorities initially determined that the driver, Olivia Carolee Culbreath, might have been drunk when she sped down California’s 60 Freeway in the wrong direction.
Now, police say that 21-year-old Culbreath had a history of driving offenses, including a DUI conviction at the young age of 16. According to reports, Culbreath had a slew of other offenses that earned her restrictions on her license, but just last week, all of those restrictions were supposedly lifted.
Police have now been able to identify the six victims who died in the crash. The two passengers in Culbreath’s car, 21-year-old Kristin Young and 24-year-old Maya Louise Culbreath, Olivia’s sister, were both killed in the accident. The car that was hit head on had four passengers inside, and all unfortunately died. That family of four included Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47, Ester Delgado, Leticia Ibarra, 42, and Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20. Jessica Mejia was the daughter of Gregorio Mejia-Martinez and Leticia Ibarra, and Ester Delgado was Jessica’s grandmother.
“We are just in a lot of pain right now,” said an unknown member of Culbreath’s family. “We are just devastated for everyone else involved.”
Culbreath herself survived the accident and was taken to the hospital in stable condition after suffering a broken femur and a ruptured bladder. The 21-year-old is facing serious charges for her drunk driving wreck that killed six others.
Reports note that Maya Culbreath, Olivia’s sister who perished in the crash, also had a string of DUI convictions and had her license taken away last year. An investigation is still ongoing.
Two very similar car wrecks happened over the weekend, and both sadly resulted in multiple fatalities.
The first happened in California when 21-year-old Olivia Carolee Culbreath crashed head on into another vehicle while driving the wrong way down the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar, California. Police say they found evidence of alcohol in the vehicle after responding to the crash.
Culbreath was injured in the crash but did make it out alive. Six people died from the wreck, including two of Culbreath’s passengers as well as the family of four that they collided with.
“The officers had sufficient evidence and believe that she was impaired at the time,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez.
“Not only are the parties who are involved affected by this, but the family members of the parties,” continued Jimenez. “As an emergency personnel, this is something that we never want to see. We train for this but never actually have to want to use that training.”
Four people died on the scene, and two others died later on at the hospital. Culbreath suffered a broken femur and a ruptured bladder and was listed in stable condition. She already faces criminal charges for the fatal crash.
Around the same time, another wrong way crash happened in Florida that left the driver and four promising college students dead. The driver was speeding the wrong way down the center lane of Interstate 275 in Tampa around 2 a.m. Sunday morning when he collided head-on with a car full of young students. All four students were between 20 and 22 years old and were killed instantly. The driver who caused the crash was also killed.
The Florida crash was caught on camera by someone on the other side of the highway. It is deeply disturbing and clearly shows the cars collide and burst into flames. Watch that video below.
WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT
Sammy Ford, 48, of Tulsa, Okla., was a helicopter pilot for the National Guard and LifeFlight. As a pedestrian, last September, he was struck by two cars while crossing the street and killed.
Neither driver has been charged with Ford’s death. Prosecutors, though, are charging the two women who were tending bar that night where Ford was drinking. They are charged with serving alcohol to an intoxicated person, a felony in Oklahoma.
The women, Cheryl Wright and Lindsay Lockhart, knew Ford. He was a regular at their bar and they knew he always walked home. Neither of the women has a criminal record.
The receipts from that evening show that Ford bought six beers and three other alcoholic drinks.
Police allege Ford was so drunk when he left the bar at 1 a.m. that he actually fell while crossing the street and was crawling when the cars struck him.
One driver was an 18-year old girl who was so scared she left the scene, drove home and told her parents who then called police. The second driver stayed on the scene where Ford died.
Erik Smoot, of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement, asserts Ford was most certainly drunk.
“When we got the toxicology report back from the ME's office, it was .30, four times the legal limit,” he said.
Lockhart’s attorney, Rob Nigh, said sometimes terrible tragedies just happen and that no one should be charged. He also said that when it is obvious a person is drunk, servers do have a responsibility to stop serving them, but the person drinking also has the responsibility to know what effect the alcohol has on him or her.
"We can't place that responsibility on someone who may not know our characteristics or doesn't know what our tolerance level might be," Nigh said.
Police in Oklahoma say alcohol related deaths are too numerous and that laws like this send a message to servers.
Nearby Texas took a similar approach in 2012 and enacted a special task force dubbed “Bars and Cars” that sought to catch intoxicated people in a drinking establishment before they got behind the wheel. That task force also was charging bartenders for serving intoxicated individuals.
A young Missouri couple was fast asleep in their home around 3 a.m. when they were suddenly woken up by the sound of an intruder in their home. The wife, Vanessa Williams, decided to go see what was happening, and that’s when she discovered 26-year-old Joseph Stein stumbling through their home seemingly unaware of what he was doing.
“He just walked through the hallway,” described Williams to KY3 News. “My son's bedroom was right on the left, he passed it and, as he flipped on my daughter's light, I came around the corner of the door, came face to face with him and I said, 'What are you doing in here?'”
"My husband jumped out of bed and was hitting the guy and he knocked him out in the first punch," continued Williams. “Typically we do have a firearm by the bedside but since gun season finished up it wasn't there so luckily for the gentleman who broke in that saved his life.”
Police were called to the home and once they arrived, the immediately arrested Stein.
“Once the police arrived, the suspect was arrested,” explained Lebanon Police Detective Tim Early. “He was later charged through the Laclede County prosecutor's office and is currently in the Laclede County Jail.”
Police say it appears that Stein was drunk and thought he was in his own home. Williams says that moving forward, her family will make sure their home is more secure.
"I don't feel unsafe in my home and I'm not going to let some creep make me feel that way,” said Williams, “but I am going to be more attentive to making sure doors are locked when we go to bed or when we're going to be away.”
Detective Early says that although state laws protect people who use a firearm to stop intruders in their home, it may have been a much worse situation if this family had done so.
"There are laws out there that would protect you and protect your property but I also think that sometimes there's some thin lines that you probably need to watch yourself," said Early.
Stein walked away with a few cuts and cruises, but he is facing a second-degree trespassing charge.
Police Release Dashcam Footage After North Carolina Mayor Daune Gardner Pleads Guilty to DUI (Video)
The mayor of Waxham, a small town in North Carolina that lies right near the South Carolina border, below Charlotte, is shown on newly released police dashboard camera footage laughing and dancing during a sobriety test back in June. Now, the disgraced mayor has pleaded guilty to drunk driving, and this isn’t her first offense.
Police say that when they pulled over Mayor Daune Gardner in June, her blood alcohol level was 0.18 percent. She will not, however, face any jail time for her crime. She’s pleaded guilty to level 5 DUI and has been placed on one year of probation, stripped of her driving privileges, and given 24 hours of community service.
Police say that on the night of the incident back in June, it was 12:30 in the morning and Mayor Gardner was speeding, driving, erratically, smelled of alcohol, and was slurring her words.
"She has become a liability to the town of Waxhaw in my opinion and we can't tolerate it anymore," said Waxhaw Commissioner Joyce Blythe. “This has happened before, and she was warned before, and she hasn’t heeded those warnings.”
Last month, town commissioners voted to make Gardner pay back the money that she spent on alcohol after deeming that what she initially used was from the taxpayers. She is not allowed to go out of town until all of the money is repaid.
A 25-year-old man was sentenced to community service and 100 hours of unpaid work after he attempted to have sex with a drink cart on a train in Scotland.
According to reports, Andrew Davidson was drunk and on a legal high when he approached a crewmember to purchase a beer.
"The accused had previously asked to purchase a can of beer from her but had been told she had run out,” described prosecutor Jim Eodanable. “He approached again and tried to engage her in conversation. Just prior to arriving in Dundee station he asked if he could kiss her and she said no. This was heard by passengers who were concerned for her safety. One passenger, who had her daughter with her, decided to keep an eye on the situation. The train stopped and the accused was seen placing his hands on a female passenger leaving the train. He was rubbing his chest, sticking his tongue out and shouting about what he wanted to do to his boyfriend. He got back to his feet. He then approached the unattended trolley and started rubbing himself against the trolley."
Davidson was allegedly humping the cart, announcing to the people onboard that he wanted to have sex with it.
When the train stopped in Perth, officers were outside waiting for Davidson and say they found him face down, unable to remember anything that happened.
Davidson will now have to complete his sentence of community service and 100 hours of unpaid work. He will not, however, be placed on the sex offenders list because the court determined that the sexual aspect of the situation was not significant.
"I really can't remember anything that happened,” said Davidson in a letter to the court. “I am disgusted with my behaviour. I'm very sorry. “
Georgia Police Launch Investigation After Twitter Users Post Pictures of Passed Out Woman, Joke About Raping Her
Police are investigating the case of a Twitter user posting a picture of a woman passed out on the floor with the caption, “Somebody put something in her drink, anyways, me and my brother bout to rape this b**ch.”
The tweet was posted just after 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and it quickly spread all over the Internet. The user, @RichloneyJuan, continued to tweet about the passed out girl all night, and even after he insisted it was a joke, police are not taking the situation lightly.
In the tweets that followed the initial posting, the user continued to make light of the incident, even tweeting that the woman had stopped breathing and didn’t have a pulse.
At one point, another Twitter user, TaBarius, posted a picture that appeared to be the same girl, but in this picture, she was dressed and cleaned up, although still passed out on the floor. The user went on to keep tweeting, saying that he had the girl locked up in the trunk of his car and asked his followers whether or not he should kill her.
People all over social media were outraged that the users would make jokes about rape and murder, and now, the police are involved. Dana Pierce, an officer in Cobb County, Georgia, said that they don’t have the names of the two men yet, but plan to begin a thorough investigation.
“How are we going to find them?” asked Pierce in a statement to Buzzfeed. “We could find their IP addresses, but we’re not going to do that on New Years Day… They [detectives] will probably really sink their teeth into the case tomorrow. “
Police say that someone claiming that none of what was posted was truthful contacted them, but the investigation will still go on despite the claims.
“The alleged incident that has gone viral is not a crime,” said Pierce. “We need a lot more evidence to prove that this happened.”
Both Twitter users are from the same area in Georgia, according to their accounts, which is why Cobb County police are heading the investigation.
A Chicago police department announced this week that anyone arrested for DUI will be subject to having their name publicly tweeted for the entire world to see.
Riverside Police Department decided to start doing this after they say more incidences of driving under the influence of a substance have occurred recently.
“I’m hoping that seeing these names, and seeing the amount of arrests that Riverside makes, will send a message,” said Police Chief Tom Weitzel.
The department hopes that by tweeting the names of impaired drivers, more people, specifically those under the age of 30, will see the real results of drinking and/or using and driving.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “Officers will tweet the names, ages and the towns of residence for offenders after they either post bond or make a court appearance.” They will also tweet the “names of drivers who are charged with illegal drug use,” as well as “the names of anyone arrested for driving with a license that was suspended or revoked because of drunk driving.”
The department has made it clear that they will not be releasing any information that they wouldn’t normally release under public information laws. The Riverside Police Department’s twitter handle is @PDRiverside.
Florida Man Calls 911 Twice Within An Hour To Complain That His Neighbors Were Mean and Wouldn't Drink With Him
A man in Florida got so upset with his neighbors for not wanting to drink with him that he did the only logical thing there is to do in a situation like that: he called 911. Twice.
Both times, he let officers know that the neighbors weren’t being cool because, you know, the police don’t have anything better to do.
It’s safe to say this wasn’t a smart move on the part of James Collins.
Police in Fort Pierce, Florida, got a call around 8:35 p.m. about a domestic disturbance. Officers arrived on the scene and Collins explained to them why he was so upset.
"The complainant, James Collins, stated that his neighbors were being mean and would not drink with him," notes the police report. “Officer Rahn explained to James about misusing 911."
Apparently, Collins did not understand what the officers told him, because just 30 minutes after his initial encounter with police, the man called 911 once more to, again, complain that his neighbors wouldn’t drink with him.
This time, police were not so nice about it. The fact that he reeked of alcohol and had a container of “Blue Ice” in his front pocket were enough to arrest him for disorderly intoxication to go along with the misuse of 911 charge he was facing already.