<![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 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:18:46 -0400 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:18:46 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[FedEx Sued Over Deadly California Bus Crash]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:03:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/198*120/AP437289118866.jpg

The mother of a 17-year-old honors student who was among 10 people killed in a fiery Northern California bus crash sued FedEx on Tuesday, alleging that its trucks have a history of catching fire.

The negligence suit that seeks $100 million in damages is the first filed in connection with the April 10 freeway crash in Orland, said A. King Aminpour, the attorney for the plaintiffs.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Rosa Rivera, mother of Jennifer Bonilla of Los Angeles.

The Dorsey High School student had earned a college scholarship. She and other teens were heading north for a free tour of Humboldt State University when the bus was struck head-on by a FedEx truck.

Dozens escaped through windows before the bus exploded into towering flames, but five students, three adult chaperones and both drivers died.

"She had her whole future before her," Aminpour said of Bonilla. "She was the first in her family to ever go to college."

The California Highway Patrol has not determined the cause of the crash 100 miles north of Sacramento.

Some witnesses reported that the FedEx truck was on fire before the crash, and the lawsuit alleges that FedEx trucks have a history of catching fire from mechanical problems, driver error or improper cargo loading.

"Our heartfelt condolences remain with everyone affected by this tragic accident," Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp. said in a statement. "We remain focused on providing support to those affected and cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation. This is not the time for us to discuss potential litigation."

The suit also names the estate of the FedEx driver and the bus owner, Silverado Stages, as defendants. The bus lacked adequate exit doors that would have allowed passengers to escape after the crash, the lawsuit contends.

A message seeking comment from a Silverado Stages executive after hours Tuesday was not immediately returned.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Beach Police May Have New Chief Soon]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:30:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/danoateschief.jpg

Miami Beach Police may be on the verge of hiring a new police chief.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine confirmed to the Denver NBC affiliate 9News that Aurora, Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates is the finalist to take over the Miami Beach Police Department.

The last step for Oates will be a confirmation vote by the Miami Beach Commission. Mayor Oates said he believes the vote will happen sometime next week.

News9 said Aurora Police said they could not confirm the reports and referred questions to City of Miami Beach.

Oates was appointed Chief of Police in Aurora in 2005 and oversees 670 officers and 794 employees and a total budget of $94 million. Oates also worked for 21 years in the New York Police Department.

Chief Oates was in charge of Aurora Police during the theater massacre when James Holmes opened fire during a late night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."

Photo Credit: Aurora, Colorado Police]]>
<![CDATA[9 Facts About YouTube on Its 9th Anniversary]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/screenshotofyoutubecofounder.png

YouTube and its bottomless supply of videos are turning nine.

The first video ever uploaded to YouTube went up on April 23, 2005, nine years ago Tuesday. To commemorate YouTube's ninth anniversary, we've put together nine fun facts about the video sharing site we all know and love.

1. Paypal brought founders together

YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. The trio met at PayPal, where they were all former employees. YouTube's first headquarters sat above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, Calif. 

2. It was originally a dating site

An earlier version of YouTube was a dating site called "Tune In Hook Up," influenced by the site "Hot or Not," which let users rate the attractiveness of potential partners. But the idea of a video version of Hot or Not failed to catch on after a couple of months.

3. What inspired YouTube as we know it

YouTube's founders say two key experiences inspired them to turn what had been a dating site into the video sharing site we all know. Karim had had trouble finding footage online of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction and, later, of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. And Hurley and Chen had difficulty sharing a video shot at a dinner party in San Francisco in 2005.

4. YouTube? Or Utube

The domain name YouTube.com was activated on Valentine's Day in 2005 and the site was developed months after. But the domain name didn't sit well with an Ohio-based industrial equipment supplier called Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment, with the domain "utube.com." Utube.com was flooded with traffic from people trying to spell the video site, and its owners sued YouTube saying its business was hurt. Claims were dismissed, though, and Utube has changed its site to utubeonline.com.

5. And the first-ever YouTube video upload was...

The first video uploaded to YouTube, titled "Me at the zoo," made its online debut on April 23, 2005. The 19-second video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky and shows YouTube co-founder Karim at the San Diego Zoo. It has racked up 14 million views in its nine years online.

6. April Fools!

Since 2008, YouTube has featured an April Fools' Day prank on April 1 of every year. The first prank, known as "rickrolling," remains a classic: The featured videos on YouTube's main page linked to the music video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." From turning the site upside-down in 2009 to allowing users to submit ideas for memes in 2014, YouTube knows how to pull a great prank.

7. Surprising stats

YouTube says users worldwide upload 100 hours of video each minute, and more than 6 billion hours of video are watched each month. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, and 80 percent of traffic comes from outside the U.S.

8. Most Viewed Music Video of All Time

According to Videotrine, the nod for the most viewed video of all time goes to the music video for PSY's "Gangnam Style," with 1.9 billion views:

9. Most Viewed Viral Video of All Time

Not counting music videos, the most viewed viral video is the classic "Charlie Bit My Finger," which clocks in at 6.9 million views, according to Videotrine:

<![CDATA[Was Stowaway Headed to Africa?]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:21:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/219*120/plane36.jpg

A teen stowaway from California who flew to Hawaii tucked into a plane's wheel well may have been trying to reach family in Africa, where his biological mother lives, an NBC affiliate in Hawaii reported.

A teacher and classmate described the 15-year-old to NBC Bay Area on Tuesday as a quiet boy who, despite some troubles in his English class, mostly keeps to himself.

The boy, who attends high school in the Santa Clara Unified School District, lives with his biological father and a stepmother in Santa Clara, police told Hawaii News Now. But the station reported that the teen was not happy living with so many siblings and step-siblings, and wanted to reunite with his mother.

The teen's former English teacher at Oak Grove High, Keith Chung, told NBC Bay Area he did not know much about the teen, other than that he had moved to the U.S. from Africa three years ago and that his father was a cab driver.

Chung said the boy had some recent run-ins in his English-learning class. Those issues, on which Chung did not elaborate, had culminated in a transfer to Santa Clara High.

"I'm totally shocked," Chung said. "I had this random thought that when I heard the news, that wouldn't it be funny if he went to Oak Grove? No, I wouldn't think he would do anything that this. He's very quiet."

Student Emanuael Golla, 18, told NBC Bay Area that the teen had just transferred to Santa Clara High about five weeks ago. Golla described him as very quiet, someone who kept to himself.

And Santa Clara High Principal Greg Shelby said that when the teen returns to school, he will be able to receive psychological services if he wants.

What prompted the teen to hitch a hazardous ride inside the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines plane Sunday at San Jose International Airport remains unclear.

Hawaii News Now reporter Lynn Kawano spoke to a source in the Maui police department who told her that the teen had run away after getting into an argument with his father. The teen then either misunderstood or couldn't read the information on the plane he jumped into, before making the 5 1/2-hour journey to Hawaii. He told the FBI when he landed and was found walking around on the tarmac that he had had a fight with his family, according to Kawano.

But the teen's family told NBC Bay Area in a brief interview Monday that the reports of an argument were untrue.

Both FBI Special Agent Tom Simon and Maui Police Lt. William Juan declined to confirm or deny to NBC Bay Area the report that the boy was trying to head to Africa.

The Department of Human Services in Hawaii said the teen was in the care of Child Welfare Services, and the agency is doing what needs to be done to "ensure the child's safe return to his home in California." While the teen was said to have miraculously survived, Hawaii News Now said he was taken from a hospital in Maui to a hospital in Oahu.

The teen's journey has raised questions about airport security, with many wondering how anyone — especially a high schooler — could scale the barbed wire fence at the airport and escape scrutiny before hiding in the wheel well of a Boeing 767.

Many have also questioned how a person could actually survive a flight in 80-below temperatures with little oxygen flying at 38,000 feet.

The FBI said the teen was was unconscious for most of the flight, and that it was "clearly amazing" that the boy exited the wheel well unscathed.

According to the FAA, the last known survivor of a stowaway incident was in August 2013 on a domestic flight within Nigeria. Since 1947, the FAA has recorded 94 stowaway incidents involving 105 people. Of those, only 25 survived.

The Hawaiian Airlines plane the Santa Clara stowaway hid on returned to San Jose International Airport, April 21, 2014.


 NBC Bay Area's Chase Cain and Dan Pyryt contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fernandez Matches Career High With 14 Strikeouts in Win]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:24:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/486148109.jpg

Jose Fernandez was at his best Tuesday striking out 14 in eight innings in a 1-0 Miami Marlins win over the Atlanta Braves.

Fernandez matched a career high with the 14 strikeouts and fell only two short of the franchise record held by Ricky Nolasco. In that record setting game in 2009, Nolasco was also pitching at Turner Field. The Marlins' ace allowed no runs on three hits and walked none but was lifted due to his pitch count which ballooned to 109 in the eighth. Fernandez threw 77 of his pitches for strikes showing exceptional control once again.

Fernandez was visibly upset when he returned to the dugout after the eighth and was greeted by manager Mike Redmond with a handshake. That gesture signified the end of his night and prompted Fernandez to walk to the other end of the dugout and throw a baseball to the ground. Steve Cishek entered in the ninth inning and earned his fourth save of the year along with his 33rd consecutive conversion overall.

Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single to lead off the game. The lone run for Miami came in the fourth inning on a Casey McGehee RBI single which followed a double by GIancarlo Stanton. The double was the sixth of the year for Stanton and was one of only four hits for Miami in the game. The Marlins were 1-1 with runners in scoring position cashing in when they had their only chance of the game. The team struck out a combined 11 times against Alex Wood who was nearly as dominant as Fernandez. 

The Marlins will look to win the series on Wednesday when Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound for a noon start.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lawmakers Take on Photoshopped Ads]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:13:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ilean+ros+lehtinen.jpg

A South Florida lawmaker is taking on Photoshopped ads, saying the enhanced images send the wrong message.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has introduced a bill called the "Truth in Advertising Act of 2014" which would study the effects of pictures in ads that are Photoshopped to perfection.

Ros Lehtinen says these images are not giving young women the right idea of what beauty is.

"Especially young girls who think 'That's what I should look like, I need to get thinner, thinner, thinner,'" Ros-Lehtinen said. "And anorexia is a real eating disorder that can have serious health implications."

Kathleen McDonald, with the Eating Disorder Coalition, supports the bill and speaks from experience.

"I know from myself when I suffered and I look at the pictures, I thought that's what I needed to look like and that in turn propelled me to behaviors that caused an eating disorder that took up over half my life and almost killed me," McDonald said.

Ros-Lehtinen's bill reads in part that evidence links exposure to altered images to "emotional, mental and physical health issues, including eating disorders, especially among children and teenagers."

"Having a disclaimer on an ad that [says] 'This model is not what a real person looks like,' I think that could have a huge impact, especially on a teen who is starting to form their own body image," McDonald said.

But is disclosing a beautified picture in an ad the role of government?

"The reality is that we do regulate the kind of images that we show on advertisements for cigarettes and for alcohol," Ros-Lehtinen said. "It's not 'anything goes.' Advertising is a regulated industry."

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[City to Pay for Razing Wrong House]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:53:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/demolish-wrong-071613.jpg

The Fort Worth City Council has agreed to pay more than $62,000 to a homeowner whose house was mistakenly demolished last summer.

A city crew marked the wrong house for demolition last July. A contractor destroyed 9716 Watercress Drive -- when the crew should have demolished the house next door, 9708 Watercress Drive.

That vacant home was owned by David Underwood. Underwood and his attorney met with city attorneys last month in mediation and agreed to a $102,500 settlement.

On Tuesday, Fort Worth agreed to pay $62,500 to Underwood for the mistake. The remaining $40,000 will be paid by the contractor and the insurance company.

Underwood was not at Tuesday's council meeting.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Penguin Chicks Take 1st Swim]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:11:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/MysrticPenguinsSwim1.jpg

Penguin chicks are cute — and penguin chicks swimming are even cuter.

Three African penguin chicks that hatched in January took their first swim at Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium on Tuesday.

They spent the first 13 weeks of life huddled under their parents to stay warm. 

Now that the penguins are almost fully grown, trainers have worked to introduce each chick to a small spray of water to prepare them for their first swim.

Mystic Aquarium is part of the African penguin Species Survival Plan, a breeding program that ensures the long term survival of African penguins in zoos and aquariums. 

Since 1997, the aquarium has reared 19 penguin chicks as part of the program. 

Later this month, a blood sample will be taken to determine the gender of the chicks, which will each receive wing identification beads to show the order in which they joined the Mystic Aquarium’s African penguin colony. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Consumer Reports: Good Food Gone Bad]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:16:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/consumer+reports+food.jpg

There’s a growing problem in our supermarkets — good food gone bad. We’re not talking about wilted vegetables and rotten meat. These are once healthful foods that have been turned into something that’s no longer so good for you.

For example, air-popped popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks around, full of fiber and low in calories. But the minute you soup it up, with sugar, with salt, with cheese, that’s when you run into a problem. You take a healthy snack and you render it unhealthy.

Peanut butter is good-for-you food. It’s mostly peanuts and it’s loaded with protein. But Jif has come out with Hazelnut Chocolate to spread on your bread. Check the label! The leading ingredients are sugar and vegetable oil and it provides far less protein than peanut butter.

White turkey and chicken meat are some of the best sources of low-fat protein. But if you buy it packaged, like this Oscar Mayer Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, watch for added sodium. Just two ounces has 510 milligrams, that’s 21 percent of the daily limit.

Lowfat yogurt is another healthful food. But watch out if it’s topped with chocolate balls or cookie crumbles. And beware of packaged smoothies, even if they make lots of healthy claims. They can contain lots of sugar. You’re better off making your own smoothies, or topping your yogurt with fresh fruit. You can control the sugar and keep those foods that are good for you … good for you!

Consumer Reports says something else to be wary of at the supermarket are veggie chips. They are often made of potato flour and can have as much fat and sodium as potato chips.

<![CDATA[3 Crashes Into SoCal Home in 6 Mos.]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:49:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/car+into+highland+home.JPG

After a car smashed through a Southern California home in the third such incident in six months, city officials are doing a traffic study to determine what improvements can be made.

The study of the sweeping downgrade on Tuolumne Lane in Highland will take a couple of weeks and could result in the posting of new signs or cutting the speed limit.

The study is usually done once a year, but officials are making an exception.

Highland is nestled near the San Bernardino Mountains in the Inland Empire.

The news comes after a crash into a home and the arrest of a suspected drunken driver of a Lincoln Towncar who tried to run away.

The car slammed into the family's garage -- with their infant daughter sleeping in a crib 5 feet above. The family moved out of their house and into a hotel temorarily while their home is repaired.

The family whose house was hit said they have been looking for a solution after three vehicles smashed onto their property in six months.

"My first thought is, it’s a huge earthquake," Kristina Sauerwein said.

The impact sheared a gas line and a water line that flooded the home's first floor. The crash also damaged the family's new car that was parked in the garage.

"I opened up the door, and there's just a cloud of debris," Jeff Sauerwein said.

"I actually thought the whole entire car was going to explode," said the couple's son Tristan.

The family rushed to get out of the house.

As they did, the driver of the car ran, too. At one point the family and the driver exchanged words. While running after the driver, the husband dialed 911 from his cellphone, summoning deputies.

The driver was booked into jail on charges of driving under the influence and hit and run, deputies said.

A truck crashed into the family’s front yard in January. Last fall, another car crashed into their gate. The family said they have made calls and written letters to the city asking for help, but said those pleas have gone unanswered.

"Put some speed bumps, some kind of signage up there, to help with this problem, because someone's going to die," Jeff Sauerwein said.

Neighbors told NBC4 that more than a dozen cars had gone into that property in a decade.

<![CDATA[NYC Mom Gives Autistic Son Friends]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:25:25 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/autistic-boy-birthday-facebook.JPG

A Queens woman who says her autistic son doesn't have any friends started a Facebook page for him so he could receive happy birthday wishes.

Brenda Figueroa said her son, Joshua, turned 12 years old Tuesday.

She said on Facebook that her son, who loves comic books, science-fiction stories and drawing, didn't have any friends, and she was sad about that.

Joshua told NBC 4 New York that he gets nervous when trying to talk to new people.

"When I'm trying to make friends, sometimes the kids ignore me," he said.

His father said other kids often just don't understand how to connect with Joshua.

"They see him one way, but they don't understand his behavior or attitude sometimes in certain situations," he said.

His mother said on Facebook that her role is to see that he is loved "by precious people." So she started the page on Monday.

By Tuesday afternoon, he had dozens of friends and many birthday greetings.

"Happy birthday Joshua and many more," said one.

"Hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!!" said another.


<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Sex Trafficking of High School Girls]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:02:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/david+llama+lopez.jpg

A North Miami Beach man has been arrested in connection with a human trafficking operation in which  girls from a nearby high school were allegedly being sold for sex.

David Llama Lopez, 46, was arrested after a search warrant involving a SWAT team was executed at a home just off Biscayne Boulevard and 125th Street, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

Multiple agencies, including investigators from the SAO Human Trafficking Unit and Miami-Dade Schools Police, conducted the search. Authorities said a SWAT team also responded due to concerns of possible firearms on the premises.

Building manager David Clattenburg said Lopez was staying as a guest at his brother's apartment.

Lopez has not yet been formally charged, but the SAO said in a press release that he is likely to be charged with a variety of crimes including human trafficking, procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and interference with child custody.

Sources have told NBC 6 that Lopez had allegedly made contact with students at North Miami High School and planned to have them participate in an illegal human trafficking operation where they would be required to have sex.

Parents from the high school said they were worried once they heard about the investigation.

"I was concerned, so I come to pick up my son," said father Dinesh Palinal. "I think they should apprehend him and put him away. That's for sure. These kids go to school, not to do something like that."

Other parents said they had gotten a warning about the suspected activity.

"I heard about it," father Odlet Desrseos said. "I heard about it last week."

Sources say police are investigating what contact Lopez may have had with high school students by going over materials gathered in the search. The school's administration has been informed of the investigation and says it is taking the necessary steps to protect students.

In 2006, Lopez pleaded guilty to grand theft charges.

It is unclear if Lopez has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Guilty Verdict in Newlywed Murder Case]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:01:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+michel+escoto+guilty.jpg

A jury returned a guilty verdict Tuesday for a South Florida man accused of murdering his newlywed wife to collect a $1 million insurance policy.

Michel Escoto, 42, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of wife Wendy Trapaga in October 2002 to collect the policy. The couple had returned from their honeymoon just days earlier.

The body of Trapaga, 21, was found next to a trash bin at a warehouse parking lot between the Palmetto Expressway and Miami Springs.

Escoto showed little emotion as the verdict was read. Trapaga's family cried.

Both sides presented closing arguments Monday. Escoto faces life in prison at sentencing, which was scheduled for May 7.

The trial, which began last month, has provided for some dramatic and awkward moments as Escoto, who is not an attorney, represented himself. Escoto had pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors had repeatedly objected to Escoto, who was also held in contempt at one point after he allegedly threatened a witness on the stand.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Who Got Out of Car on I-595 Struck and Killed: FHP]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:46:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+595+fatal+crash.jpg

A driver was struck and killed while getting out of a car after a crash on Interstate 595 in Tuesday morning, officials said.

The incident happened when the driver of a BMW sedan, 45-year-old Gregory Carl Gardner, was involved in a crash on westbound I-595 at the ramp to the Florida Turnpike, Florida Highway Patrol officials said.

Gardner got out of the car and was struck by a Lexus driven by 33-year-old Michel Ramon Rondon, officials said. Gardner was killed, while Rondon stayed at the scene.

The FHP is investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed in Crash Honored in Coral Gables]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:08:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+eduardo+hernandez+family.jpg

It certainly was a bittersweet day Tuesday for the family of Eduardo "Eddy" Hernandez, whose wife and three children were presented with the key to the City of Coral Gables in his honor.

The Hernandez family was given two plaques and the key to the city in front of a standing room only audience while wiping away tears.

After the ceremony, for the first time his wife Fatima, with the couple’s three children next to her, spoke on what the honor means to her family.

"He was our rock and we are very proud of what he did and he is our hero," she said. "He will always be our hero."

It’s Coral Gables city officials' way of honoring Hernandez, a city employee for 20 years in the parking department, who was killed in a tragic accident early in the morning of April 13th.

Hernandez had stopped to help Miami Sunset High Seniors Caroline Agreda and Anapaula Saldana, after a crash near the intersection of Miller Drive and Southwest 157th Avenue. While they were out of their cars a man named Christopher Masferrer slammed into them.

As a result, all three died.

The pain the family faces was still evident at the ceremony Tuesday. In trying to offer some kind of comfort, co-workers of Hernandez spoke to the family about how much of a joy he was to work with.

"You would come into work and it didn’t matter even in stressful situations he would be able to smile," Kevin Kinney said.

"We are very proud of him and that’s just the way he is. He’s like that with anybody," Fatima Hernandez said.

As of now, both car crashes are still being investigated and no charges have been brought against anyone.

On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Coral Gables Emergency Responders are organizing a car wash to benefit the Hernandez Memorial Family account. Car washes will be $5.  It will be located at 525 South Dixie Highway.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Free Microchips Offered for Cooper City Pet Owners]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:48:34 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Microchipped+Dog.jpg

Officials are helping pet owners keep track of their dog or cat by offering free microchips for Cooper City residents.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office and VCA Rock Creek Animal Hospital are hosting a free “Chip-A-Pet" event on Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the BSO Cooper City Disctrict Office located at 10580 Stirling Road.

Microchip’s help identify lost pets to their owners. The information is held in a registered database.

Officials say all participants must register in advance by calling (954) 432-9000 ext. 249. Only dogs and cats will be chipped with a limit of two pets per household.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Went Missing in Miami Beach Spotted in Jacksonville]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:03:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+jorge+david+reyes.jpg

A 24-year-old man who went missing after a night at a Miami Beach bar was spotted in Jacksonville days after he was last seen in South Florida, police said Tuesday.

Jorge David Reyes attended the Spark event in downtown Jacksonville and was last seen riding the Jacksonville automated people mover at 2:30 a.m., Miami Beach Police said.

Reyes was captured in video and photos on the train, police said.

Reyes was last seen in South Florida on April 7 at the club Lost Weekend with friend Estuardo Secaida. He was reported missing by his sister on April 17, Miami Beach Police said.

Police said Reyes had lost his job and had broken up with his girlfriend shortly before he disappeared and that his behavior had recently been spiraling out of control.

"According to his sister, because of everything that has been going on in his life, recently he has started using alcohol and drugs," Det. Vivian Thayer said Monday.

Secaida said his friend had been acting out of character before the disappearance. Reyes' father said his son, a budding musician, always stays in contact with family and friends.

Police said there has also been no movement in Reyes' bank account or on his Facebook or Twitter profiles.

As of now Miami Beach Police are treating this as a missing persons case. Anyone with information can call Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305–471–TIPS.

<![CDATA[Massive Fire Rips Through Miami Gardens Public Storage]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:03:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+public+storage+fire+miami+gardens.jpg

Authorities said an accidental and electrical fire ripped through a Miami Gardens Public Storage business Monday night.

The fire broke out at the building at 3505 Northwest 167th Street and took some two hours to bring under control as several Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units responded.

Dozens of storage units were destroyed but no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical and accidental, officials said.

Storage units renters will be allowed back into the facility Tuesday morning to see what's left of their property.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Campus on Edge After MDC Professor Attacked]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:58:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mdc+professor+attacked.jpg

A Miami-Dade College professor said he was left bruised and beaten after being attacked last week in broad daylight.

The alleged attack on Professor Marc Magellan happened April 15 in the south parking lot of the school’s Kendall campus on SW 104th Street.

According to the professor, he was walking to his car around 6 p.m. when a stranger yelled out “Professor Marc” and when he acknowledged the person; he said he was hit in the face and beaten.

Professor Magellan said in a statement to NBC6 that the “altercation happened in about 3 waves which consisted of me absorbing blows to the head and face while attempting to get away and block said blows.”

Magellan said he escaped the attack once, but when he was escaping a second time the criminal managed to get on top of him and hit the professor seven or eight times before stopping and running off.

The professor said he chased the attacker and yelling out for assistance, but the man got into a blue sports car and sped off before anyone could get a license tag.

"Someone must have had a grudge," Magellan said. "There was no attempted robbery, so it wasn't like someone wanted to take my car or my wallet or anything like that."

Miami-Dade Police said Magellan was taken to Baptist Hospital and the professor told NBC6 that he has wounds to his head, face, arms, knees, and feet. He also said he has a broken nose, broken hand, and still is waiting for a diagnosis on his jaw.

If you have any information about the crime should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: Courtesy Marc Magellan]]>
<![CDATA[Going Green: 4 Questions on Sustainable Shopping]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:58:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/green-shopping-182865996.jpg

From toothpaste to wedding dresses, shoppers across the U.S. now have no trouble finding products that claim to be good for the environment.

But the popularity of buying with the environment in mind — and lack of clear marketing guidelines — has made it "much harder for a consumer to figure out which of these green products is really green," according to Northwestern University associate professor Brayden King, an expert on corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

As Earth Day kicks off, here's a look at the latest trends in the "green industry" and how consumers can make the most out of their environmentally-conscious purchases.

What kind of "green" products are available?

A better question might be what products aren't. It's rare to find a product or industry that doesn't offer a "green" option. Seventh Generation, an early leader in green cleaning products and baby items, reported more than $200 million in retail sales in 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Household brands are embracing the trend, too. Nike recently unveiled a new facility featuring technology aimed at cutting back at water use in the textile dying process, while Proctor & Gamble Company began in recent years to incorporate plastic made from sugarcane into packaging for some beauty products.

"Environmental sustainability" ranked third among culinary trends for 2014 identified in a survey of chefs by the National Restaurant Association. And it's not just farm-to-table bistros greening menus. McDonald's recently vowed to source its Big Macs from "sustainable beef" by 2016, though it's not yet clear how the company will achieve that goal.

How "green" are green products?

It varies. Upwards of 400 separate "eco-label" systems or ratings now exist, according to King, the associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. But a rise in "sustainable" products doesn't necessarily mean more items that are good for the environment.

“Putting labels on things that say this is organic or this is environmental friendly has given consumers options," King said. "The downside of this is it has become very easy for companies to put those labels on and consumers are not always savvy enough to know if they’re buying something that is really good at the environment or buying something that just has the label." The Federal Trade Commission also urges caution, saying that many green marketing claims "sound great, but are too vague to be meaningful."

So what's a consumer to do? The FTC recommends looking for specific labels or certifications "that tell you what makes the product environmentally friendly," such as disclosures saying the product is "free of" a certain substance or chemical. The agency has posted a consumer guide to shopping green that includes definitions of commonly used promotions.

Who buys "green?"

Most of us, it seems. More than 80 percent of respondents to a 2011 Gallup survey said they make an effort to adopt environmentally friendly behaviors, with 60 percent saying they either bought a product because it was environmentally friendly or plan to do so in the next year.

The segment of consumers interested in stocking their shelves and pantries with "green" products extends beyond "the granola type," as one report commissioned by the Grocery Manufacturers' Association put it. The 2009 analysis by Deloitte found that people buying green "are diversely spread along all income ranges, age brackets, education levels and various household sizes."

What incentives do companies have to go green? 

Green ones — in more than one sense. Coming off as environmentally conscious can be a good sell with consumers. Research by Deloitte found that "green shoppers" represent a "high value segment who buy more products on each trip, visit the store more regularly, and demonstrate more brand and retailer loyalty in their purchasing behavior."

Major corporations like Wal-Mart have also instituted "green" measures such as recycling programs and energy conservation policies at corporate headquarters that shave operating costs while boosting the corporation's image with consumers, according to King. Being perceived as anti-environment has costs as well.

"If a company is continually being boycotted by activist groups or you see these protests outside company headquarters or you have shareholder activists who are submitting proposals every year to require the company to be more environmentally friendly, this kind of continual pressure can start to influence a company and damage its reputation," King said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[South Dade High School Theatre Students Win State Championship]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:20:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+south+dade+theatre.jpg

South Dade High School in Homestead is rapidly building a reputation for winning state championships. The football team just did it, and now the school’s theatre students have followed that up in dramatic fashion by winning the state championship in theatrical performance.

Yes, they have such a competition, and the kids from South Dade have been judged best in show business, selected to represent Florida at the national competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. 
"It’s a beautiful thing," said student actor Nicole Garcia.
Garcia’s colleague and star of the show, Marco Guerra, puts the honor in perspective.
"This is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to us, to our troupe,” Guerra said.
Another student said winning the state title was "amazing." What’s really amazing is the kids didn’t perform Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams or Oscar Wilde. The winning play is an original, "Amygdala," by a previously unknown playwright named Juan Espinosa, who just happens to be the theatre teacher at South Dade High.
"Amazing to see something I wrote get this far, it’s just incredible,” Espinosa said, explaining that his students fleshed out his play, making it come to life on the stage.
It’s a compelling drama, but the drama off stage may prevent the kids from staging their play at the national competition. They have plenty of talent, but a shortage of money. The school is trying to raise $30,000 to raise the curtain in Lincoln.
"These kids deserve it, they're the best of the best, they deserve this opportunity, some of them have never even gotten on a plane," Espinosa said. "This is an opportunity to experience new things, a whole other world they’re not used to.”
They’re asking, pleading, begging for help from the public. You can donate by going to www.gofundme.com, search South Dade High Theatre.
The students are already winners, but what a shame it would be if "Amygdala's" run ends before it gets to the biggest stage.

<![CDATA[Miami Seaquarium Wants Public to Name Baby Dolphin]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:54:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+baby+dolphin+miami+seaquarium+panama.jpg

The Miami Seaquarium is asking for the public's help in naming the newest addition to their dolphin family.

The female dolphin calf was born on April 11 to mom Panama, a 20-year-old dolphin and member of the Top Deck Dolphin exhibit. On average, a dolphin calf weighs between 35-45 pounds and are 3 1/2 to 4 feet long.

It's the fourth calf for Panama, but so far the baby dolphin doesn't have a name. The park has narrowed it down to four options: Fiji, Bali, Sanibel or Calypso.

A Facebook contest has been launched to allow fans to pick the newborn's name. Click here to vote. Voting ends May 7 and the winner will be announced on May 8.

The dolphin is part of several new additions to the Seaquarium, including six baby cow nose sting rays, 50 baby octopi and an orphaned baby manatee named Cadbury that arrived at the park on April 9 for rehabilitation.

Photo Credit: Miami Seaquarium]]>
<![CDATA[Stowaway's Sister Denies Fight ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:53:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP737537110995.jpg

A woman who said she is the older sister of the 15-year-old boy who hid in the wheel well of a plane and flew from San Jose to Hawaii unharmed denied reports that he had an argument with his family before he decided to become an overseas stowaway.

In a short interview from her Santa Clara home on Monday, the woman spoke off camera with NBC Bay Area in halting English, and in a calm tone that didn't reveal her brother's harrowing tale: That the teenager scaled a fence at San Jose International Airport on Sunday morning, hid in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines flight, and survived the flight across the Pacific Ocean, despite being unconscious for the 5 1/2-hour trip. All the while, authorities said the temperature sank to below minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Department of Human Services in Hawaii said on Monday that the teen was in the care of Child Welfare Services, and the agency is doing what needs to be done to "ensure the child's safe return to his home in California."

The sister also denied reports that her brother got in a fight with family at home before he took off on his journey, which has raised questions about airport security. She spoke only briefly, and answered with a simple "no," when asked whether her brother ran away because of an argument. The sister also said her brother was "OK" physically after the trip. She declined to say any more.

Outside the family's home, family members arrived - without the teen - in a taxi, which pulled into the garage. Relatives did not want to speak and they closed the door. A neighbor called them "perfectly nice."

The sister's response seems to be in stark opposition to the story that emerged on Sunday, which was  investigated by the FBI.

In a phone interview on Monday from Hawaii, FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said that agents interviewed the boy, corroborated his story, and turned the teen over to child services in Hawaii until he could be reunited with his family.

"We're done," he told NBC Bay Area. "There's no case here."

Simon added that the boy did not commit any crimes in Hawaii and will not be charged by the FBI there. Simon said it is not his agency's jurisdiction to determine whether the teen committed any other crimes by allegedly hopping the fence in San Jose.

Back in California, San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol said the "event was documented" and was "will be reviewed" by the District Attorney for any pending charges.

As for the teen's journey -  flying at an altitude of 38,000 feet with no oxygen and coming out unscathed - Simon said: "Clearly, it's amazing."

The Associated Press reported that security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the Santa Clara teen hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday at 7:55 a.m.

Simon said when the flight landed in Maui at 10:25 a.m. Hawaii time, the boy hopped down from the wheel well and started wandering around the airport grounds.

"He was unconscious for the lion's share of the flight," Simon said. 

According to the FAA, the last known survivor of a stowaway incident was in August 2013 on a domestic flight within Nigeria, Africa. Since 1947, the FAA has recorded 94 stowaway incidents involving 105 people. Of those, only 25 survived.

The Hawaiian Airlines plane the Santa Clara stowaway hid on returned to San Jose International Airport, April 21, 2014.

The teen's misadventure -- including scaling a six-foot high barbed wire fence at the airport -- immediately raised security questions. A Congressman who serves on the Homeland Security committee wondered how the teen could have snuck onto the airfield at San Jose unnoticed.

"I have long been concerned about security at our airport perimeters. #Stowaway teen demonstrates vulnerabilities that need to be addressed," tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat who represents the San Francisco Bay Area's eastern cities and suburbs.

Rosemary Barnes, a spokeswoman for Mineta San Jose International Airport, said airport police were working with the FBI, San Jose police, and the Transportation Security Agency to review security at the facility as part of an investigation. A TSA spokeswoman on Monday, however, said the breach is not a TSA matter.

San Jose's airport issued a statement saying "SJC's security program meets and exceeds all federal requirements and we have an excellent track record...Despite this, no system is 100 percent and it is possible to scale an airport fenceline, especially under cover of darkness and remain undetected."


 NBC Bay Area's Chase Cain and Oskar Garcia from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hollywood Man Accidentally Shoots Himself in Buttocks: Police]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:55:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/generic-gun-091613.jpg

A man who was cleaning his gun ended up accidentally shooting himself in the buttocks in Hollywood, police said.

The incident happened Sunday as the man, who is in his 20s, was cleaning the .38 caliber handgun at his home in the 3300 block of Forrest Drive, Hollywood Police Lt. Derik Alexander told the Sun Sentinel.

Alexander said the firearm dropped to the floor and discharged, hitting the man in the backside.

The man was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital as a trauma alert patient but his condition was unknown Monday, Alexander said.

Alexander said police were alerted after the man went to a neighbor for help. The man, whose name wasn't released, won't face charges.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire Burns More Than 800 Acres]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:55:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042114+miami-dade+brush+fire.jpg

Less than 50 percent of a brush fire that bruned near Florida City in south Miami-Dade had been contained as of 5:15 p.m. Monday, according to the Florida Forest Service.

More than 800 acres had burned as of Monday evening, according to the Florida Forest Service, which is the lead agency on the fire. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Police are assisting.

The fire was crossing Card Sound Road, which has been shut down on and off due to visibility issues since the fire broke out Saturday afternoon. Residents in the area were forced to leave their neighborhoods through a 45-minute detour.

While there has been no structural damage and no injuries, officials said hot embers from the fire were being blown away by the wind and causing the fire to grow.

At one point, a fire was put out near a cell phone tower, Forest Service Supervisor Gary Lewis said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Lewis said.

Efforts to put out the fire have been slowed due to marshy terrain in the area.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA['Hero' Dies Trying to Save Dogs From Fire]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:55:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042114+jerry+bone+chapman.jpg

Family members and friends are mourning a man who died after trying to save his two pet dogs from a fire at his mobile home in Dania Beach over the weekend.

Jerry "Bone" Chapman passed away on Saturday from injuries he sustained in the fire that broke out at his home at 5299 Southwest 22nd Terrace Friday night, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.

Relatives said when Chapman realized the house was on fire, he threw 10-year-old Princess out the window. He then ran out of the home, but noticed 4-year-old Peanut was still inside, so he went back to try and save her.

"He wouldn't come back out and a neighbor that lives behind him pulled him out, made him come out and they sat him down, and all he did the whole time was scream for his babies," relative Jackie Cardenas said.

Officials said Chapman was badly burned and suffered smoke inhalation and was air lifted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and then Ryder Trauma Center, where he later died.

Princess did not survive either.

"He was a hero," Cardenas said. "He went back in for something he loved."

The fire completely destroyed the home, BSO officials said. Chapman is survived by his wife, Doris "Dorito" Chapman, who he was married to for 19 years. Family members said she feels like she's lost everything.

"She couldn't have children," Cardenas said. "And of course people don't understand. They think he was foolish, he was dumb, but he lost his life for what he loved. Those were their babies."

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe.com account to help pay for funeral expenses. They are also asking anyone who may have seen Princess to contact the family through this website.

"In honor of Jerry's bravery to save his dogs that he loved so much, any remaining funds will be used for a memorial at the doggie park they went to... His loving heart and love of his family is beyond measure," a post on the site read. "He was always a dedicated man in every aspect of his life, even in his decision to risk his life for what he loved. He gave all for what he believed in !!!"

Photo Credit: Chapman Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Juanes, Marc Anthony Talk Music at Latin Billboard in Miami]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:58:48 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042114+juanes+today+show.jpg

Juanes, Marc Anthony and Enrique Iglesias are among the pop stars divulging the secrets of how they make and market their music at this year's Billboard Latin Music Conferences.
The four-day event began Monday and runs through Thursday, culminating that night in the annual award show. Hosting the event is Leila Cobo, Billboard's executive director of content and programming for Latin music.
Also sharing inside stories are the execs behind the films "Chavez," "Instructions Not Included" and the upcoming "La Vida Robot." They are discussing the music that made their films.
The conference takes places at the JW Marriot Marquis in downtown Miami. The award show will be the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Weather Forecast: Warm and Mostly Dry Tuesday]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:40:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042214+ryan+phillips+weather.jpg

Expect a mostly dry and sunny Tuesday in South Florida as the gorgeous weather continues.

Temperatures will start out in the upper 60s and will reach the low to mid 80s with low humidity. Conditions will be mostly sunny , dry and warm.

We'll continue to warm up through the work week, with humidity increasing into the weekend.

<![CDATA[Interrogation in Kidnapping, Rape Released]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:03:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/willard+rape+tapes.jpg

NBC 6 has exclusively obtained interrogation tapes in a North Miami Beach kidnapping and rape.

While the confession has been redacted from the video, North Miami Beach Police have said then 16-year-old Antonio Hodgson admitted to the January crime.

Police said the victim was picking up food from a restaurant at 1026 North Miami Beach Blvd. close to midnight when she was approached by two men wearing black gloves and wielding handguns. The men allegedly forced her into the back of her white car and drove to the Oak Grove Area in North Miami-Dade where she was sexually assaulted by Hodgson, 17-year-old Terry Petitfrere and 18-year-old Steve Pryce. They then drove her around various locations in North Miami-Dade and North Miami Beach including fast food restaurants and gas stations before dropping the victim off by her home, police said.

Officials released surveillance video which shows the men coming out of shrubs on the night of the incident, with one suspect pointing a gun at the woman, who is off-screen. Officers said they were able to quickly catch the three suspects due to the surveillance video.

Police can't release the exact moment of the video where Hodgson confesses to the crime as they wait for the case to go to trial, but according to police documents, he was the first of the three to admit to the crime. Petitfrere allegedly confessed to the crime as well, but Pryce has not issued a confession, according to police.

The three suspects have pleaded "not guilty."

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Fight Back But Fall to Braves]]> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:09:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485955929.jpg

The Miami Marlins came back to tie Monday’s game in the ninth inning only to fall in the tenth by a final score of 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves.

Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a two-hit day which continues to pace the big leagues. Yelich also stole his fourth base of the season and remains perfect in his career in stolen base attempts. Garrett Jones smashed his third home run of the year in the second inning for the first Miami run of the day. In the top of the ninth, the Marlins mounted a rally against All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and tied the game via a pinch-hit RBI double courtesy of Derek Dietrich. With men on second and third with one out, Miami was unable to take the lead however.
Tom Koehler continued his terrific start to the season with 6.1 innings of work in which he allowed two runs on five hits. Koehler struck out eight and walked two before being lifted with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh inning. Mike Dunn entered and allowed one of the runs to score before A.J. Ramos ended the rally with a strikeout. Due to Dunn’s ineffective outing, Koehler was charged with the second run on his line despite only allowing one while on the mound. Ramos stayed in for the eighth and provided a perfect inning of relief to keep the deficit at one.
Carlos Marmol worked the bottom of the ninth inning following the rally by Miami in the top half. Due to two walks and a double, the erratic reliever loaded the bases but escaped and eventually sent the game to extra innings. Arquimedes Caminero took the mound for the bottom of the tenth and gave up the game winning home run to Evan Gattis.
Miami continued their success with replay challenges by winning one in the eighth but could not take advantage of the opportunity. Under the transfer rule, an out call originally made at second base was changed and created a bases loaded situation with one out. The Braves would go on to retire the next two batters however.
The Marlins will try and even the series on Tuesday with Jose Fernandez scheduled to start.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Convicted Killer's Son Conflicted]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:50:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Mohammed-AlHimidi.jpg

The son of an Iraqi immigrant convicted of killing his wife said he remains conflicted on the high-profile case that ended in San Diego earlier this week with a guilty verdict, adding that he still loves his father.

“It’s not that I disagree with what the decision was, it’s just I hate what the decision was itself. I hate the verdict,” Mohammed Al-Himidi told NBC 7 San Diego Friday in an exclusive interview.

Mohammed is the oldest son of Kassim Al-Himidi, 49. On Thursday, Al-Himidi was found guilty of the 2012 murder of his wife, Shaima Alawadi, 32.

The verdict sparked several outbursts in the courtroom, including Mohammed screaming, “This is bulls---! This is f---ing bulls---! My dad is innocent. He was tried unfairly.”

Mohammed said his post-verdict outburst was a mix of every emotion he’s ever had about the case involving his parents, finally reaching a boiling point.

“I had an emotional breakdown, really,” he told NBC 7. “A million thoughts were going through my head. Basically, the judge [had] just said, ‘Your dad is going to be locked up for life.’ My dad has been there throughout my whole life.”

On Mar. 21, 2012, Mohammed’s mother was brutally beaten in a bloody attack at their family’s home in El Cajon. She suffered critical brain injuries and died three days later. At the time, Mohammed was only 15 years old.

At first, the case was investigated as a hate crime due to a handwritten note found at the crime scene, which read: “This is my country, go back to yours, terrorist.”

Ultimately, El Cajon police determined it wasn’t a hate crime but rather a crime of domestic violence. Investigators arrested Al-Himidi in connection with the killing in November 2012.

Mohammed said he’s been conflicted with the case from the beginning. Now, with the guilty verdict, it’s even harder. He said he still feels like he’s stuck in the middle when it comes to what he believes.

“My dad, I personally thought, was innocent coming into the trial. I didn’t know what to believe, honestly. It’s the law versus your loyalty for your dad,” he explained. “It’s kind of like [being] in the middle. When I say I love my dad still, I’m just thinking, ‘Damn, I don’t know if my mom is going to be cool with that.’ It’s hard. It’s in the middle. I love my mom, but I also love my dad.”

While Mohammed said he loved his mother deeply, he worries that he’s now lost his father, too.

The teen said he still doesn’t know if he believes his dad is really guilty.

“I wasn’t actually there to see what happened. That’s between God and my mom. My mom was there – she knows who did it. Maybe my dad did it, maybe he didn’t,” he said. “Even [if] my dad did that, I still have love for him. It’s still my dad.”

Mohammed said the verdict is especially difficult to swallow because his father never had a history of violence in the family.

“My dad was never like that, never ever like that. My dad was never aggressive, never physical, never any of that stuff. I mean, it’s so confusing,” he said.

The teenager said he and his younger brother, Ali, have differing opinions when it comes to whether or not their father committed the crime. Still, those opinions won’t pit the brothers against one another.

“My brother and I are best friends. We’re really close. We don’t agree with each other, but that’s not going to ruin our brotherhood,” said Mohammed, adding that he respects the opinions of all of his siblings on this case, but stands by his own as well.

“I lost my parents, but I still have my siblings. I’ve trying to hold it together. There’s a lot going on,” he added.

Despite a verdict in place and Al-Himidi awaiting his sentencing on May 15, Mohammed said closure for the family still seems elusive at this point.

“Right now, to be honest with you, I don’t really feel a sense of closure. I just feel a sense of the family being even more separated,” he said.

Mohammed currently lives with relatives in Texas. He’s graduating from high school in May and said he plans to pursue a career in counseling, focusing on children and teens who have experienced this same type of trauma.

<![CDATA[Texas Dad Shot Son, 10: Police]]> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:47:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Forest-Hill-Nesbitt.jpg

A 10-year-old boy remains hospitalized at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth after police in Forest Hill say he was shot by his own father.

Byron Nesbitt, 32, was arrested and charged with shooting his son in the course of an argument with his wife.

Investigators said Nesbitt's wife called 911 shortly after midnight early Sunday morning, when he arrived home intoxicated.

There was an argument and according to police, Nesbitt's wife piled their kids and others into a van, about six of them in all, and tried to drive away.

"As she was fleeing, the husband attacked, beating on the windshield with a handgun, and as she was leaving, he fired several shots at the van," said Forest Hill Police Capt. Jerry Cosby. "At least one of the bullets had penetrated the van and came through and struck the 10-year-old in the hip."

Nesbitt already faces some serious charges and possibly more after the case is filed with the district attorney's office.

Forest Hill police said the boy is expected to make a full recovery. Nesbitt posted $75,000 bond and was released from jail at 6 p.m. Monday.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Forest Hill Police]]>