<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Mon, 22 Dec 2014 04:57:14 -0500 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 04:57:14 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Life Sentence for Man in Killing of Politician Dad]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:47:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/121914+jason+beckman.jpg

Jason Beckman was sentenced to life behind bars Friday for the 2009 shooting death of his father, South Miami Commissioner Jay Beckman.

Judge Rodney Smith said Beckman will serve a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison before he can ask for parole.

"This is who you are, you're very vengeful, your personality is a ticking time bomb," Smith told Beckman as he handed down the sentence.

Beckman, clad in orange prison clothing, expressed some remorse to Smith over the shooting.

"My father shouldn't be dead, I wish he was here and not because I'm here but because I loved him and I really feel like I could have improved my relationship with him just by doing a few things differently," Beckman said.

Sentencing in the case had been delayed several times in the past year. Beckman was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting in November 2013.

Beckman was originally charged with manslaughter with a firearm after he told police that he had just wanted to show the gun to his father, but he slipped and fell causing the gun to fire. The charges were upgraded to first-degree murder after friends and family came forward saying the then-17-year-old had talked of killing his father.

A search of the son's belongings showed the former South Miami High junior had compiled a hit list of enemies, with his dad's name on the top, authorities said. Defense attorneys had argued that Jason Beckman didn't shoot the gun intentionally.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Family: NYPD, City Must Mend Ties]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 23:32:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/122014copshot.jpg

Family and friends of Officer Rafael Ramos, fatally shot with his partner in Brooklyn, thanked the public for its prayers and asked City Hall to mend its relationship with the city's police department.

"I would like to thank all those who have shared their sympathy for our beloved family member," said Lucy Ramos, the officer's aunt. "I hope and pray that we can reflect on this tragic loss."


John Rodriguez, president of the 75th Precinct Community Council, was among those who urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to repair relations with the police force.

"My mayor, you need to sit down, you need to get everything corrected," he said.

Rodriguez added that he felt the local Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president "was very upset at that moment" when he insinuated that the killings of Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu could be tied to the mayor's lack of support for the department.

PBA President Patrick Lynch said Saturday night that there was "blood on many hands," including that of the mayor. De Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks were "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed his sympathy for the families of both officers in an appearance outside the Ramos residence.

"The two police officers, its just unimaginable, there were no words," Cuomo said. "I was sitting with the family. His son said to me, 'why, why is my dad gone, what did my dad do wrong,' and the truth is his father did nothing wrong."

<![CDATA[Hundreds Protest in Downtown Philly]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 01:09:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Center-City-March1.jpg

Nearly 1,000 people marched through Center City during a protest for Mike Brown and Eric Garner Sunday night.

The Philadelphia “Blackout” march began at 7 p.m. on 1500 Arch Street. Hundreds of protesters marched around City Hall through Dilworth Plaza and eventually stopped at the statue of former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo. Raheem Harvey, one of the event organizers, told NBC10 the goal of the demonstration was to “unify the people and give them an opportunity to speak.”

“As a human being we have a right to humanity,” Harvey said. “Everyone is entitled to first class citizenship regardless of the color of their skin.”

Some of the protesters gathered at the AT&T station on the Broad Street Line around 5:45 p.m. They took the subway into Center City while singing the words, “I can’t breathe,” the last words of Eric Garner before his death.

Harvey also said the protesters specifically chose to end their demonstration at the Frank Rizzo statue based on what they believe the former Philadelphia mayor stood for.

“He is an individual who was responsible for police brutality, especially towards the African American community,” Harvey said. “Here we have an individual who has his hands raised, waiving out to the people. No one thinks something is wrong with that. We definitely plan to make a statement there. We plan on working with the city to have it removed."

The protesters repeatedly chanted "black lives matter," and carried a banner which read, "fight hate with love." They also held a "die-in" demonstration on the Parkway.

The rally shut down several streets in Center City for a few hours. No arrests were reported however.

Harvey told NBC10 the ultimate goal of the demonstrators is to spark change within the Philadelphia Police Department.

“We want to be able to have a voice when it comes to the concerns of the community,” he said. “A police officer’s job is to provide customer service and to also establish the law. With that in mind we need to make sure that when investigations happen within the police department, the public is fully aware. There should not be any close door investigation.”

The protest was one of many that have occurred nationwide in response to two separate grand jury decisions not to indict the officers involved in the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The protest also took place a day after two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot and killed by a gunman in Brooklyn during an ambush attack. The suspect in the shooting, who ultimately took his own life, posted on social media that he intended to “take 2 of theirs” prior to the incident, according to investigators. Investigators also believe the suspect shot and injured his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore before coming to New York.

The fatal shooting of the two officers sparked claims from some that the nationwide protests and anti-police rhetoric inspired the shooter. In New York City, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch also linked the killings to violence against police during recent protest demonstrations and even claimed that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had “blood on his hands” for his apparent lack of support for law enforcement.

Harvey expressed his condolences for the NYC officers and their families while also stating the suspect in their deaths was not associated with his movement.

“My heart is with the family and also my prayers,” Harvey said. “We are not against police. We are against police brutality. No one deserves to have their lives taken. It should have never happened. The person is isolated from the movement but he’s using the movement to get his message across. But that’s a totally isolated incident.”

Members of the Philadelphia Police Civil Affairs Unit were on hand to monitor the protest.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com
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<![CDATA[Missing Pa. Student's Keys in River]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 21:11:37 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/237*120/Shane+Montgomery+Missing+College+Student.JPG

Over three weeks after his disappearance, officials found the keys of missing college student Shane Montgomery.

The Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit, a volunteer diving recovery team, discovered the 21-year-old West Chester University student's personal keys in the Schuylkill River after searching for four and a half hours Sunday. No further evidence has been found however.

The Roxborough native was last seen early Thanksgiving morning as he left Kildare's Irish Pub along Main Street in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk.

Pings from his cellphone put him within a mile of the bar within an hour of his disappearance and surveillance video shows the West Chester University student walking toward the Manayunk Canal and Schuylkill River. Despite many searches on land, in the water and from the air, there have been no strong leads as to where Montgomery went.

Each day without Shane has been wearing on his family, said Kevin Verbrugghe, Shane's uncle.

"We’re not holding up well," Verbrugghe said.

Ongoing search efforts, including the use of sonar and underwriter cameras in a search of the Schuylkill River, have brought about few clues for Shane, who was last seen walking toward the Manayunk Canal.

"The prevailing theory is that he went into the river and where is he now? Tides change and there’s all kinds of debris under there," FBI Supervisory Special agent J.J. Klaver said Thursday.

Debris could have trapped the missing college student's body underwater, he explained.

A reward for information that leads investigators and the family to Montgomery still stands at $65,000. Friends and family continue to support the search efforts on their own as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia police at 215.686.TIPS.

Photo Credit: Family Photo
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<![CDATA[4 Shot Dead in Illinois Home]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:20:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/rockford+shooting.jpg

Four people, including two children, were shot dead inside of a residence in Rockford, Ill., on Saturday night, Rockford police said.

A neighbor said she heard pounding on the door of the residence and then the sound of the door being forced open. The sound of gunshots immediately followed.

Police responded to the call of shots fired in the 3200 block of Montrose Avenue at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived, they found four victims with gunshot wounds. All of them were pronounced dead on the scene by Rockford Fire Department paramedics, police said.

The victims were Martia Flint, 24; Demontae Rhodes, 24; Tyrone Smith III, 6; and Tobias K. Smith, 4. The two children belonged to Flint.

An autopsy is scheduled for the victims on Monday.

Rockford detectives are continuing the investigation in the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Rockford police shift commander at (815) 987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at (815) 963-7867.

<![CDATA[1 Dead, 22 Injured in Hayride Flip]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 21:42:42 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/pumpkinland+maine.jpg

A hayride flipped over at a Halloween attraction in Mechanic Falls, Maine, on Saturday, killing one teen and injuring 22 others.

The Maine Sate Fire Marshal's office confirms one person, a 17-year-old girl, died as a result of her injuries.

They say that two others, including the driver and a teenage boy, were seriously injured; however, they are expected to survive.

In addition, 15 people were taken to Central Maine Medical Center, seven were taken to St. Mary's in Lewiston, and one person was taken to Maine Medical Center, according to the State Fire Marshal. One child was later sent to a Boston hospital for treatment, according to WCSH.

Scott Lansley, a Harvest Hill spokesperson, says the two most serious injuries were sustained by employees. 

Authorities say a small jeep pulling a flatbed trailer missed a turn on a steep dirt road and jack-knifed. The jeep went off the road and the trailer hit a tree, sending riders tumbling to the ground. 

Investigators say a mechanical problem with the jeep may have caused the driver to lose control. State Police will inspect the vehicle.

The Maine State Fire Marshal is required to inspect and license mechanical amusement rides in the state, but hayrides do not require such licensing.

Lansley said Sunday morning that the operator is an experienced truck driver.

Harvest Hill Farms/Pumpkin Land posted the following message on its Facebook page around 10 p.m. Saturday night:

"Emergency crews are on-site now at our Gauntlet Night Ride as there was an accident with one of the wagons. We will keep you posted."

Around 11 p.m., the farm posted the following update:

"Emergency crews are on site and Life Flight was called in to transport those needing urgent care. The accident occurred at the Gauntlet Haunted Night ride, a separate venue from Pumpkin Land, our daytime Family Fall venue. However Pumpkin Land will be closed Sunday while authorities investigate the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured."

Several people who were at the Halloween attraction or had loved ones there on Saturday night posted messages as well. 

"My bestie and our lil girls were a few rides before this tractor. So sad," said Alexis Caron.

"My family was minutes away from this...a couple tractors ahead," said Patty Ann Keene. Thinking of everyone involved."

"My son and his pregnant girlfriend and a bunch of their friends were on that ride," said Penny Peare. "Thank God they are okay."

The Portland Fire Department posted the following message on Twitter on Saturday night:

"Thoughts and prayers with the victims, their families, and the emergency crews operating at a MCI in Mechanic Falls, ME"

Mechanic Falls is about 30 miles north of Portland. 

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 1 Injured After Scooter Crashes Into Car]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:27:17 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/scooter+ax+122114+miami.PNG

One man is dead and a woman is injured after their scooter crashed into a car in Miami.

Police said it appears the male driver of the scooter may have lost control and crashed into a car on the 79th Street Causeway around 5 p.m.

According to Miami Fire Rescue, the man died at the scene. His female passenger was transported to Ryder Trauma Center with unspecified injuries.

A woman and two-year-old child in the vehicle were not injured in the crash.

<![CDATA[Hit and Run Driver Kills Teen in Boynton Beach]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:04:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/surveillance122014-3_1419193889509_11537377_ver1.0_640_480.JPG

Police in Boynton Beach are searching for a hit and run driver who killed a teenager Saturday night.

Boynton Beach Police told NBC affiliate WPTV that 15-year-old Khiar Raymond was walking home from an event at Boynton Beach High School with his older brother and a friend. They were heading north on the side of High Ridge Road when the car Raymond and kept going. The teen was rushed to Delray Beach Medical Center, where he died.

Police believe the car is a red or maroon Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with damage to the passenger side front bumper and mirror. They say it is possible the car was exiting the area of Quantum Lake Villas just before the crash.

Surveillance cameras at Boynton Beach Fire Rescue Station No. 5 captured the suspect vehicle shortly after the teen was hit. Police said a white female is seen driving to the rear of the fire station. She then got out of her car, walked toward the crash scene, then got back into her car and fled.

Witnesses or anyone with information are urged to contact traffic homicide investigators at (561) 742-6114 or (561) 742-6111. Anonymous tips can also be submitted on the Boynton Beach Police Department's website here. www.bbpd.org

Photo Credit: WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Snoopy]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:46:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/snoopy+featured+pet+122114.PNG

Our pet of the week is Snoopy, an 8-year-old Chihuahua mix.

Snoopy is an incredibly sweet and friendly dog. He loves to play, but when he's done, he wants nothing more than to snuggle.

Pooches in Pines is helping Snoopy find his forever home. His adoption includes vaccinations, spay and microchipping.

For more information on how to adopt Snoopy or any other animal, visit the Pooches in Pines website here or on their Facebook page.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page. 

<![CDATA[Leaders Across U.S. Mourn Officers Killed in Brooklyn]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 03:51:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP854506726768.jpg

Police departments and civic leaders across the United States mourned publicly on Saturday and Sunday, condemning violence and calling for calm after two police officers were shot dead in their squad car in what New York City's commissioner called an "assassination."

President Barack Obama was among those who expressed support for the police. "Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification," the president said Saturday night in a statement. "Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen."

Obama called New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Sunday and said Americans must reject violence and instead turn to prayer and sympathy for the victims' relatives, the White House said. The president said his administration will work with leaders across the country to echo that message.

Police departments around the country expressed solidarity with the NYPD, adorning their badges with black bands in honor of the slain officers.

In Philadelphia, where anti-police graffiti appeared this week, a police spokeswoman called the shootings a "horrible act of terror."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with New York Police Department and the families of these officers," the spokeswoman said.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter took to Twitter to condemn the shooting.

Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were sitting in a squad car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon when the shooter, identified as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, approached the car and fatally shot both officers in the head, police said. Brinsley then ran into a nearby subway station and killed himself, according to police.

"They were, quite simply, assassinated — targeted for their uniform," said Bratton. "Both officers paid the ultimate sacrifice today while protecting the communities they serve."

In California, San Jose Police Sgt. Paul Kelly said the shooting is a sobering reminder of the dangers officers face every day on the job. "San Jose police officers are sick about the tragedy that happened to New York's finest,"  said Kelly.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge released a statement Sunday morning, saying the police officers' "tragic deaths are a great loss for the NYPD, their families, and our nation. This is not about race or affiliation, and it isn't about black versus blue. All lives matter."

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shootings a "particularly despicable act," and called on New Yorkers to pray for the families of Ramos and Liu. He ordered that flags in the city be lowered to half-staff from sunrise Sunday until the officers' burial.

But New York Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch was critical of the mayor's office. Lynch tied the shootings to violence against the NYPD during recent protests in the city and blamed the mayor directly for a perceived lack of support as the department has come under scrutiny.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said, and "starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."

In response, the mayor's office said, "it's unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people."

Loretta E. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, pledged that her office would assist with the investigation of the shooting.

"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of this afternoon's brutal and senseless attack on two NYPD Officers, and I join Attorney General Holder in expressing my deepest condolences to the families of these fallen heroes," she said. "Today's assailant struck at the heart of our city — the dedicated officers who pledge their lives to safeguard us all."

The killings on Saturday come amid tensions over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Bratton said Saturday that the suspect had a history of making anti-police comments. It remained unclear whether he had any involvement in the protest movement.

The family of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after he was put in a chokehold by police denounced on Sunday the killing of two police officers.

"Anyone who's standing with us, we want you to not use Eric Garner's name for violence because we are not about that," Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, told reporters on Sunday. "I'm standing here in sorrow about losing those two police officers."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Officers Turn Backs on NYC Mayor ]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:20:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/460732874.jpg

In the wake of tensions between City Hall and the NYPD, some officers turned their backs on the mayor as he walked through the halls of Woodhull Medical Center following the ambush killing of two officers.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch mourned the slain officers outside the hospital and linked the killings to violence against the NYPD during recent protest demonstrations and to what he said was the mayor's lack of support for the department.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said. He added: "That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."

Mayor de Blasio responded that Lynch's remarks amounted to "irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people."

"This is a nightmare of the highest magnitude for everyone," Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, said in a statement. "The elected leaders, on both sides of City Hall, need to dig down deep in their souls and understand that campaigning to be a leader is easier than being a leader."

Palladino warned detectives to remain vigilant, wear bullet-resistant vests and work in teams of three when possible "until we better assess the threat that exists against us."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gun Range Billboard Sparks Debate]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:16:15 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/santa_holding_gun_chico.jpg

A holiday billboard has fired up a debate in a Northern California city.

The owners of Down Range shooting range put up a sign outside their business in Chico, depicting Santa Claus holding a gun. The sign reads "We build AR's for Santa."

The owners of the gun range told NBC affiliate KNVN-TV in Chico that they are Santa's little helpers, and they can fill his orders for AR rifles.

Down Range co-owner Steve Dyke said in an interview that some people get toys, some get guns.

"Some people get firearms," Dyke said. "So and when Santa needs help putting together an AR rifle, we can definitely help him out with that."

While one Chico resident said people need to "see the humor in it" others said the sign is in poor taste.

"I just don't think I would like my son see Santa holding a gun, having to explain to him that's usually not what Santa's holding," one parent said.

"The idea of this symbol of joy and giving and holding an assault rifle, it's just so contradictory," Chico resident Tom Imhoff told KNVN.

But the owners of the gun range disagree.

"Santa has got his eye protection on, his fingers off the trigger, the gun's pointed in a safe direction, so those are the things we want to promote is the safety when people are doing the shooting sports industry," Dyke's partner Will Clark said.

"This is not meant to be offensive in any way. If you need help, if Santa needs help, we're here to help," Dyke said.

The owners said the sign is temporary, but it will not be their last. A sign featuring the Easter bunny or Cupid may be next.

Photo Credit: KNVN]]>
<![CDATA[Girl, 3, Left With Valets: Police]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 02:41:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Audrey-missing.jpg

The father of a toddler abandoned at one of Los Angeles's premier shopping centers came forward nearly a day later Sunday and was interviewed by police and child protective services, officials said. 

The girl remained in the custody of child protective services. Los Angeles Police Department officials said she and her father had not been reunited.

The father told officers at the Wilshire Division station that he didn't initially know the 3-year-old was missing, but had been actively trying to get in contact with her.

A female relative who’d been watching the girl dropped her off at the Grove about 6 p.m. Saturday, according to police, who are treating the case as a misunderstanding.

When she was put in police custody, the girl gave her name simply as Audrey, a stumbling block in trying to find her family, police said.

Audrey was happy and talkative, when she was first turned over to the LAPD, according to Lt. Lonnie Tiano, who said she was in "good shape."

A woman dropped Audrey off at The Grove's valet area along with a car seat, but never returned to pick her up, Tiano said.

After a search of the mall, parking attendants called police, who took Audrey into their custody and brought her to the Department of Children and Family Services, Tiano said.

Children and Family Services still had to verify that the man picking her up was Audrey's father, and had yet to decide whether to turn Audrey over to him.

Aubrey's story had touched many people who called police offering gifts or a home to Audrey after her picture was released to news media, police said.

"Hopefully they'll be watching the news and see their child on TV and call us," Tiano said Sunday morning.

In fact, Audrey's San Diegan grandfather who spotted her picture on a news report Sunday. He told his son Audrey was missing; police said the father told them he was already actively searching for Audrey by then.

The father told authorities that he was looking for his daughter at The Grove until 11 p.m., police said, but assumed that the person she was with had taken her home. They were supposed to meet at The Grove earlier that day.

Correction: This article misspelled one instance of Audrey's name.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Raising Money to Help Dog Hit by Car]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:10:47 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+hwd+animal+hospital+122114.jpg

A South Florida woman is asking for the public's help to help save a dog that was hit by a car on Saturday.

Cheryl Linton-Robinson said she found the black lab mix on the side of the road. She drove the dog to St. Francis Animal Hospital in Hollywood, where X-rays revealed a badly-crushed pelvis. The dog has no microchip and Robinson has been unable to locate the dog's owners. The hospital confirmed the dog is currently in their care.

Robinson said the dog requires emergency surgery by a bone specialist and costs are estimated to be around $4,000. Thanks to our NBC 6 viewers, donations have now reached $3,200 as of this writing.

In her original post on the donation page, Robinson wrote, "They can only keep him 24 hours so time is of the essence... Please help us get the word out, or this dog will be put to sleep by 8 p.m. tonight."

Since NBC 6 posted the story, Robinson said the hospital retracted their earlier statement and said the dog will not be put to sleep.

On the donation page, Robinson wrote, "Thank you everyone! Just received a call from St. Francis Emergency Animal Hospital. They will not euthanize this dog."

She continued, defending the hospital: "St. Francis Emergency Animal Hospital is a 24 hour pet hospital. I've taken my own pets there on occasion. They have a dedicated staff of animal lovers. When I pulled up yesterday, they gingerly lifted this dog out of my back seat and took such good care of him."

The dog is currently in critical condition and they expect the surgery to be performed tomorrow.

To donate to the dog's gofundme page, click here.

<![CDATA[Forecast: Dry, Warm Sunday]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 09:50:26 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/B5YPpNJCIAAtT-X.png

Today marks the official first day of winter, but in South Florida, we are continuing a warming trend. Highs today will be in the low 80s, with more humidity and a light southeast wind. It will be mostly to partly sunny with a low risk of rip currents.

Download the NBC 6 Weather App

Showers will slowly return to forecast for the start of the work week ahead of a cold front that will leave us a cool down for Christmas day. We should see low to mid 80s each afternoon ahead of the cold front. But be hind the front, highs will be in the mid to low 70s.

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<![CDATA[Dramatic Photos: 2 NYPD Officers Killed in Ambush]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 19:09:57 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP184925414257.jpg A gunman ambushed and fatally shot two NYPD officers in their squad car Saturday, an act that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton condemned as an "assassination."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[4 Arrested in Mall Brawl]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 01:40:14 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/westfield+mall.jpg

Four people – three adults and one minor – are facing charges after police used pepper spray to break up a brawl at the Westfield Shopping Center in Meriden on Saturday.

According to Meriden police, two underage girls approached an officer working at the mall to help with holiday crowd control around 6:20 p.m. and told him they were afraid a mother and daughter were going to attack them.

While the officer was talking to them, the mother and daughter rushed over and started screaming and making a scene, police said. The officer held them back but the daughter was able to break away and began assaulting one of the other girls.

It spread from there, with more than half a dozen people joining in as a crowd of 100 shoppers gathered around the group. Police said the officer was alone and afraid for his own safety so he used his pepper spray to fend off the instigators.

The crowd then dispersed and other officers arrived to help. The fire department was also called in to help treat other people who were inadvertently sprayed, and brought in fans to disperse the fumes.

Police said no one was seriously hurt and "the disruption to holiday shoppers was minimal."

Three adults were arrested, along with the daughter who police say started the fight, but authorities have not released their names or any information on the charges they face.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Mike Mozart]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Cleared of Killing Dog]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:52:43 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/cleburne-cop-dog.jpg

A two-month long independent investigation found that a Cleburne Police officer was justified when he shot and killed a pit bull named Maximus earlier this year.

The incident sparked outrage after video from Officer Kevin Dupre’s body camera surfaced online showing him firing at the dog. Though the shooting occurred on August 10, it wasn’t until October that someone filed an open records request for the video and it was widely distributed.

After the video was released, Dupre was placed on paid administrative leave and leaders in Cleburne asked for an independent investigation into the matter. They hired Alan Patton, a retired police sergeant with no previous ties to Cleburne. On October 31, Cleburne Police turned over all reports, copies of video, and statements to him for review.

“We wanted to be extremely thorough to ensure the public had confidence in the results,” said Scott Cain, Mayor of the City of Cleburne.

Saturday, the city released Patton’s final report on the investigation, in which he states, “due to the actions of an aggressive animal, Officer Dupre reasonably believed he needed to use lethal, deadly force in defense of his own life.”

In his 28 page report, Patton details the encounter Dupre had with a group of dogs that were on the loose and explains how video evidence backs up claims that Maximus was showing signs of aggression. He consulted with experts from the Fort Worth Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department and reviewed articles written by animal behaviorists during his investigation.

“I know some people are not going to be satisfied with the investigation’s results,” said Cain. “We agreed to let the chips fall where they may and we gave up control of the investigation.  And the chips have now fallen.”

Maximus’ owners, Amanda Henderson and Quinton Tatum, said while they wish their dog was still alive, they accept the report’s findings.

“We lost a very precious fur baby of ours and all we wanted to know from the beginning is why,” said Henderson. “And they explained to us why and I respect that.”

The city also announced immediate changes to its canine encounter policies, which include new processes for reporting and investigating these kinds of incidents, as well as mandatory training for all police officers.

“For them to already be taking steps in the right direction to not let this happen again, it’s justice I believe,” said Tatum.

“I know a lot of people may not understand that,” said Henderson. “There are going to be people that are angry and that’s okay. But we also ask that no one does anything just because you’re angry. Please, let’s keep it at peace.”

During the height of the firestorm surrounding the case, Dupre received multiple death threats and the city’s website was hacked in possible retaliation. There were also several protests.

Dupre has now been fully reinstated to the Cleburne Police Department. 

Cain echoed Henderson’s and Tatum’s calls for peace.

“Let me make this extremely clear,” said Cain. “If you think you’re going to come into our community and threaten an officer who’s been exonerated or anyone else in our community, we will use the full extent of the law to prosecute you and we will not tolerate it. So we are going to make certain that he and his family are safe, just as we would any other person in our community.”

Cain said the city is also looking into increasing penalties for dog owners whose pets frequently get loose.

Photo Credit: Cleburne Police Department
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<![CDATA[Chicago Mayor's Son Robbed]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 01:10:59 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mayor%27s+son+robbed.jpg

Police are investigating the robbery of Mayor Rahm Emaneul's son, which occurred near the family's home in the Ravenswood neighborhood Friday night, according to a spokesperson for the mayor.

The incident happened in the 4200 block of North Hermitage at about 10:05 p.m. The mayor's son, 17-year-old Zach Emanuel, was walking in the block when he was approached by two unknown male offenders who grabbed him and went through his pockets. The offenders took his phone and then fled the scene, according to police news affairs.

Zach Emanuel sustained injuries that required medical treatment, according to Kelley Quinn, a spokesperson for the mayor.

The police cameras on the corner of the block were reportedly not working during the incident, according to a City of Chicago source.

Neighbors said they were surprised the incident occurred on their block because they say there is always security in front of the mayor's home and in the alley. Police sources are saying the security detail did not see the reported robbery.

Several police officers were seen on the mayor's front porch late Friday night and Saturday morning.

Area North detectives are investigating.

<![CDATA[Santa Claus Scuba Dives in the Florida Keys]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 15:44:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*132/scuba+santa+122014.jpg

A scuba diving Santa Claus submerged 30 feet below the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to deliver a bit of holiday cheer to marine inhabitants and to raise funds for a children's charity.

It's an annual Keys tradition for Santa Claus, played by Florida Keys dive shop operator Spencer Slate, who wears the jolly man's attire each year.

But beyond the fun and entertainment for people and marine life, Slate's dives have a serious purpose. He offers up underwater holiday photo opportunities with his dive shop customers to raise funds for a local children's charity to purchase gifts during the holiday season.

Santa's dive Friday afternoon took place on Davis Reef, situated in the sanctuary about five miles off Islamorada.

Photo Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[BSO Holds Bike Giveaway for Kids]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:33:27 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/bso+bike+giveaway+122014.PNG

Hundreds of children rode off with a smile after receiving brand new bikes thanks to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Deputies hand picked the perfect wheels for each child.

"It's pink it has butterflies and also it has shimmer!" gushed Endia Sparks. "I feel amazed!"

Sheriff Scott Israel hosted the bicycle giveaway where 300 bikes were donated by Wings of Gold and Walmart. Children also sat for photo-ops with Santa and the Sheriff.

"We just want to make sure that kids who might not have had a chance to have a Christmas, will have a Christmas," said Sheriff Israel.

All of the bicycle recipients were selected by BSO deputies out in the community who identified families in need.

"I think it's a nice thing that they're doing for the parents especially being a single mom," said Monica Giraldo, a parent of one of the lucky recipients. "It's awesome."

Another parent was happy to see her child's wish finally coming true.

"She's been complaining for months and months, saying, 'I want a bike,' but we weren't able to get one," said parent Andrea Mendoza. "So now she has one to ride."

Christopher Morales was thrilled to hop on his first-ever bicycle. He stopped the NBC6 crew just to tell us how grateful he was this Christmas.

"I just want to say thank you to all the police men that made a big difference to the families and us!" Morales exclaimed.

Parent Leslie Sparks agreed, saying, "It's awesome, I think that's what Christmas is all about!"

<![CDATA[Child Injured in Dania Beach Hit & Run Crash Dies]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:39:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/apollobrownjr.jpg

The younger of two brothers injured in a hit-and-run crash has died.

Eight-year-old Apollo "AJ" Brown, Jr. passed away at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood Friday night. He had been on life support for twelve days.

His father, Apollo Brown, Sr., said he is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his son.

"It's heartbreaking, he's just eight years old," Brown said. "I never thought I'd have to bury my son."

AJ's brother, 14-year-old Kelv'ron Florence, remains hospitalized after the crash in Dania Beach earlier this month. Brown said the teenager is showing signs of improvement.

"He's coming along, his eyes are open and step by step he's coming along good," Brown said. "He knows we're there, he smiles at me."

The boys had been hit on Bryan Road while walking home from a basketball game. The driver that hit them has not been found.

The Broward Sheriff's Office is looking for a metallic grey Toyota Tacoma with damage to the passenger-side headlight. The truck is also missing the Toyota emblem from its grille.

The family is holding out hope that someone will come forward.

Speaking directly to the driver who left the scene, Brown said, "I don't hate you because God won't let me hate you. I just want you to have a heart and say you'll turn yourself in because the family is going through so much."

Benita McKnight, the boys' godmother, said family members are leaning on each other for support.

"We won't stop as a family, we will stand strong together," McKnight said. "We won't stop because the pain we are enduring, I don't wish it on an enemy. It's hard."

Anyone with information is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477). A $5,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the driver.

The family has set up a fund for help with funeral costs. To donate, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Cross-Dressing Robber Holds Up Deerfield Beach Store]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:20:26 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/cross+dressing+robber+deerfield+121914.PNG

A cross-dressing robber targeted a Deerfield Beach store Monday, donning a disguise in an effort to obscure his identity.

A man dressed as a woman held up the Dollar General store at 1377 S Dixie Hwy around 8 p.m., according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. The man wore a curly wig, hat, and scarf covering his face. Employees said he pulled a gun from a bronze purse and told them to "stay calm."

BSO said the man demanded cash from the safe and cartons of cigarettes, telling them, "Do as I say and get the money."

The clerks began filling up the shopping bags as the robber insisted they move more quickly, saying, "Sweet girl, if you want to go home, do what I say; hurry up."

Detectives said the man was about 6 feet tall with a thin build. Anyone with information is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).

<![CDATA[Calif. Mayor's Autopsy Released]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 12:55:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/file-bell-gardens-mayor-daniel-crespo.jpg

The wife of then-Bell Gardens, California, Mayor Daniel Crespo fatally shot him three times in the chest while the two fought more than two months ago, according to the autopsy report released Friday.

Daniel Crespo, 45, was shot by his wife, Lyvette, Sept. 30 in their home, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies said Crespo and his wife were arguing, and their 19-year-old son intervened, leading to a struggle between the mayor and his son that ended when Lyvette Crespo opened fire.

She admitted she shot her husband but that it was in self-defense during a fight in which he punched their 19-year-old son in the face, deputies said.

Lyvette Crespo was questioned by deputies, but released after claiming self-defense.

Her attorney, who declined to comment Friday, has contended that she was a longtime victim of domestic violence and shot Daniel Crespo in defense of herself and her son.

Daniel Crespo's daughter told investigators that he was verbally and physically abusive to her mother for over 20 years, according to the autopsy by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

The abuse had become more physical in the last two years.

Crespo and his wife were not sleeping in the same bedroom and he "was known to drag her by the hair to force her to do so," the autopsy report said.

The injuries were not enough to require medical attention and the incidents were not reported, the autopsy said.

He had threatened to kill her and the children if she tried to report the abuse, according to the daughter.

Crespo's mistress had been reportedly making annoying phone calls to the wife at home and her parents had been arguing over his infidelity.

The report also said that Crespo owned handguns and had kept them locked in the home until recent years, when he began leaving them unlocked, his daughter told detectives.

A 9 mm handgun and three expended cartridges were recovered at the shooting scene.

At a news conference, Crespo's brother, William, denied the abuse claim, calling the killing a murder. He has filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Lyvette Crespo.

"I just want to curl up in a ball every morning," William Crespo said at a news conference Friday. "I just think I'm going to wake up and my brother is going to be here."

He said the autopsy report does not support the notion that Crespo's wife shot him in self-defense.

He also said he was disappointed that Lyvette Crespo has not been arrested or charged.

"It's sad," he said. "It's wrong because it is just showing that you know you can get away with murder. Killing your husband is wrong. There was a lot of other ways, she could have called 911."

William Crespo has said that Lyvette was trained with firearms.

His attorney, James Devitt, said he received a copy of the autopsy report about a week ago, and he claims it does not support Lyvette's claim of self-defense.

He said he is hopeful that District Attorney Jackie Lacey, whose office is reviewing the case, will charge Lyvette Crespo.

Lacey has "assigned a very tough prosecutor to this case and I have a feeling we're going to have an indictment or an arrest by Christmas, is my hope," Devitt said.

Asher Klein and City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: BellGardens.org]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: PeeWee]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 12:11:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/pet+of+the+week+peewee+122014.PNG

Our pet of the week is PeeWee, an 8-month-old Boston Terrier/Jack Russell Terrier mix from the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

PeeWee is an active, friendly dog. He gets along well with people as well as other dogs at the shelter.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt PeeWee or any other animal, call 305-696-0800 or visit the Humane Society's website here

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Run Raises Funds for Shane Search]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 11:25:12 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/237*120/Shane+Montgomery+Missing+College+Student.JPG

Dozens of runners participated in a 5K run in Philadelphia's Manayunk neighborhood Saturday morning to help return attention to Shane Montgomery, who went missing early Thanksgiving morning after a night out with friends.

The event kicked off at 9 a.m. outside the Goals Fit location at 4450 Main St. in Philly's Manayunk neighborhood.

Donations were accepted for the Help Find Shane Montgomery fund and participants were  encouraged to wear green in honor of the missing 21-year-old West Chester University student.

The Roxborough native was last seen leaving Kildare's Irish Pub --  only a short walk from the race start -- more than three weeks ago.

Each day without Shane has been wearing on his family, who are working to hire the Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit, a volunteer diving recovery team, to aid with the underwater search, said Kevin Verbrugghe, Shane's uncle.

"We’re not holding up well," Verbrugghe said.

Ongoing search efforts, including the use of sonar and underwriter cameras in a search of the Schuylkill River, have brought about few clues for Shane, who was last seen walking toward the Manayunk Canal.

"The prevailing theory is that he went into the river and where is he now? Tides change and there’s all kinds of debris under there," FBI Supervisory Special agent J.J. Klaver said Thursday.

Debris could have trapped the missing college student's body underwater, he explained.

A reward for information that leads investigators and the family to Montgomery still stands at $65,000. Friends and family continue to support the search efforts on their own as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia police at 215.686.TIPS.

Photo Credit: Family Photo
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<![CDATA[Forecast: Sunny, Warmer Saturday]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 10:36:27 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/B5S6pUFCUAAGrhL.png

A dry trend continues into the weekend, with slightly warmer temperatures and higher humidity. It will be mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 70s. There will be a low risk of rip currents.

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Sunday should bring similar conditions, with more great weekend weather. Highs will again be in the upper 70s.

The start of the work week will have a higher risk of showers to start, as a cold front comes through mid-week. Temperatures will drop just in time for Christmas Day.

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