<![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 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:10:22 -0500 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:10:22 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cop Shoots, Kills Unarmed Man in Stairwell: NYPD]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:06:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Pink-Houses-Accidental-Shooting-NY-Gurley-Inset.jpg

A probationary NYPD officer is being placed on modified duty after he apparently accidentally shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old man in a dimly lit stairwell while on foot patrol at a Brooklyn housing project late Thursday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Friday.

The officer, Peter Liang, and another officer, both with less than 18 months on the force, were part of a violence reduction overtime detail on vertical patrol, which is when police conduct floor-by-floor sweeps of a building, at the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York around 11 p.m.

They had gone to the eighth floor, the top floor, via elevator to check the roof when they noticed that there were no lights in the stairwell leading to the roof, Bratton said. Given the location and lack of light, Liang drew his weapon and a flashlight for safety reasons, Bratton said. The other officer kept his service weapon holstered.

As the officers were entering the eighth-floor landing, Akai Gurley emerged on the seventh-floor landing. He heard a noise, turned and was shot once in the chest, a law enforcement source said. Bratton said it appears Liang's gun accidentally discharged. He said no words were exchanged.

"All indications are this was an accidental discharge," Bratton said, calling the shooting "an unfortunate tragedy."

Bratton said Gurley and his girlfriend apparently had opted to take the stairs because they didn't want to wait for the elevator, and law enforcement officials say the girlfriend was a flight of stairs or so ahead of him at the time of the shooting. She didn't see the officer's gun fire.

The officers headed down the stairs after the weapon went off, Bratton said, and found the girlfriend on the fifth floor trying to administer first aid to Gurley, who apparently had stumbled down to her after being shot. A 911 call had already been made.

Gurley was pronounced dead at a hospital. Gurley, who has multiple previous arrests on robbery and other charges, was not armed when he was shot, authorities said. He lives in Red Hook and has a 2-year-old daughter, though it's not clear where the child lives. Gurley's mother lives in Florida.

Mayor de Blasio called his death a "tragic mistake."

Both officers were taken to the hospital for ringing in their ears, according to the NYPD. The housing project they were assigned to patrol has seen several serious crimes over the last month, including two robberies and two assaults. Two people were killed there this year, Bratton said.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the Pink Houses are among the city's most dangerous projects.

"Dimly lit stairways and dilapidated conditions create fertile ground for violent crime while the constant presence of illegal firearms creates a dangerous and highly volatile environment for police officers and residents alike," Lynch said. "Only time and a thorough investigation will tell us what transpired in this case."

The Brooklyn district attorney's office and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating.

Bratton is implementing a program that pairs less experienced officers with veteran officers on vertical and other patrol, but the program has had to be a roll-out process rather than an immediate overhaul due to staffing constraints, law enforcement officials said.

Lori Bordonaro contributed to this report.  

]]>
<![CDATA[FSU Students Return to Classes After Shooting]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:04:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/112114+florida+state+fsu+shooting+john+thrasher.jpg

Students returned to classes at Florida State University Friday a day after a gunman opened fire at a campus library, wounding three students before he was shot and killed by police.

FSU President John Thrasher greeted students as they were allowed back inside Strozier Library, the scene of Thursday morning's shooting.

"There's a lot of unity, our students feel that love and support, that's why they're back on campus this morning," Thrasher said.

Senior Andrew Kitterman said his legs were shaking as he walked the steps up to the library Friday morning.

"I thought it was important to be here when it reopened," Kitterman said. "I've been to Strozier everyday for the last three weeks, you have to come back, you have to move on."

The library was closed Thursday and classes canceled after police say 31-year-old Myron May, a 2005 graduate of FSU, shot three victims in the library that was packed with students studying for exams.

Two victims were taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare hospital. One was in critical condition and the other was in stable condition, officials said Thursday. One of the victims was identified as Nathan Scott, who was shot in the leg, according to a statement released by the hospital.

The third victim was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene, police said.

FSU Police and Tallahassee Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Strozier said Thursday that there would be increased security measures at the school and that counseling would be provided for students, faculty and staff.



Photo Credit: Marissa Bagg/NBC6.com]]>
<![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[FSU Gunman Was in "State of Crisis:" Police]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:30:14 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fsupresser13pm.jpg

Police said the gunman who opened fire inside a library at Florida State University early Thursday was in a "state of crisis" at the time of the shooting.

The gunman who was shot dead by police was identified by law enforcement officials as Myron May, a lawyer who graduated from the school.

Police said May injured three students before being shot dead at the Strozier Library. Two of the wounded students were admitted to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare hospital and the third was treated and released at the scene, police and a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, police said May was struggling psychologically and emotionally. May feared government targeting and expressed these concerns in his journal, police said. Yet, police said it was unknown why May attacked or why he targeted Strozier library.

May, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, moved to Florida as a teenager, police said. He graduated from FSU in 2005 and later from Texas Tech Law School in 2009, police said. After practicing law in Texas and New Mexico, May moved back to Florida just three weeks ago, police said.

Police said May had two previous encounters with law enforcement. In 2002, he was suspected of using marijuana, and in 2003 he was the victim of a vehicle burglary, police said.

At a news conference Thursday morning, police called the shooting an "isolated incident" and said May had acted alone.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he hoped to visit the victims at the hospital later Thursday and said authorities were still investigating the shooting.

"We still have a lot of questions that are unanswered," Scott told reporters at a news conference.

Amid the chaos, students immediately took to social media with messages of concern and prayers.

“Please say a prayer for us. We’re stuck in a library with a shooter in the building,” tweeted a person whose profile says he’s a student at FSU.

Another tweet came from the father of a FSU student who took a screen shot of her text message to him, stating, “There’s a man with a gun in the library. I love you.”

Jason Derfuss, a 21-year-old humanities student at FSU told NBC News  his backpack full of books stopped a bullet from hitting him during the rampage. Derfuss only realized hours later the gunman had tried to shoot him after he discovered a bullet lodged in "The Oxford Context of Wyclif’s Thought."

"There is no way I should be alive," Derfuss told NBC News. "Literally, those books saved my life."

The campus scare began when police at Florida State University responded to a "dangerous situation" at the library around 12:30 a.m. ET Thursday, as a witness reported gunshots. A campus telephone alert urged people to take shelter in a nearby building and stay away from "doors and windows."

When officers arrived, they commanded May to drop his weapon, Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway said. Police said May was using a .380 semi-automatic handgun and had additional ammunition in his pockets. May fired a round at police, who responded with shots, killing the suspect, police said.

Officers searched the area and found three victims suffering from gunshot wounds, police said.

According to officials, May never made it past library security and only shot from the library lobby. One victim was shot in the library lobby and the two others were shot outside the lobby area, police said.

All three victims were immediately given treatment, police said. Two victims were taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare hospital. One was in critical condition and the other was in stable condition, officials said.

One of the victims was identified as Nathan Scott, according to a statement released by the hospital. Scott was shot in the leg and is recovering with the support of his family who has asked for privacy at this time, the hospital said.

Police said the library was packed with between 300 and 400 students at the time of the shooting.

Steven Dawson, 19, a freshman biology major said he was studying on the library's third floor at the time of the incident. Dawson told NBC News that shortly after 12:30 a.m. ET someone started shouting about a gunmen in the building. "Everyone just dropped everything and started running," Dawson said.

The university announced on Twitter early Thursday that the lockdown had been lifted and the area was secured. 

FSU President John Thrasher said there will be increased security measures and a greater law enforcement presence on campus Thursday.

"The Florida State University community is extremely saddened by the shootings that took place early this morning at Strozier Library, in the very heart of campus, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who have been affected," Thrasher said in a statement.

Classes were canceled for Thursday but the campus will be open, the university announced. Strozier Library will be closed until further notice. Meanwhile, students were gathering for prayer vigils on campus throughout the day.

Thrasher said counseling would be provided for students, faculty and staff.

"The three students who have been injured are our highest priority followed by the needs of our greater university community," Thrasher said. "We will do everything possible to assist with their recovery."




Photo Credit: NBC 6
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Weather: Breezy With Isolated Showers Friday]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 05:48:56 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000015661675_1200x675_361695811519.jpg Weather Forecast -- 5 AM -- November 21, 2014]]> <![CDATA[Woman With Gun Arrested Near W.H.]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:53:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/183*120/8_207_whitehouse.jpg

A 23-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly carrying an unregistered 9 mm handgun near the White House late Thursday evening. 

April Debois of Mount Morris, Michigan, was participating in a demonstration along the north fence line of the White House when a plainclothes Secret Service officer observed the firearm holstered on the front of her hip and informed another Secret Service officer, who was monitoring the demonstration.

A U.S. Park Police officer searched Debois and found several rounds of ammunition in her jacket, according to charging documents.

Debois was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition and carrying a pistol without a license.

Debois was in the company of another person who was not arrested, according to a Secret Service official.

Debois has not been cooperative in interviews, that official said.

Her arrest came less than two days after an Iowa man was arrested. R.J. Kapheim, 43, had weapons in his car and claimed that President Obama called him directly and asked him to go to the White House, authorities said. Kapheim has pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a rifle.

The Secret Service has been under scrutiny since a Texas Army veteran, Omar Gonzalez, leapt over a White House fence on Sept. 19 and charged into the White House. Gonzalez made it all the way into the East Room before he was tackled, thanks to a string of Secret Service failures detailed in an internal review released last week.

]]>
<![CDATA[4 Killed in Maine Mobile Home Fire]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:32:45 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/202*120/caribou1.jpg

A mother and her three young children were killed in a mobile home fire in Caribou, Maine on Thursday morning.

The Maine State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported around 7 a.m. at the Westgate Mobile Home Park. A team of fire marshal investigators and inspectors have begun working to determine the cause of the blaze.

Caribou firefighters entered the burning mobile home and removed the victims from a back bedroom. The three children - 3-year-old Trenton Delisle and 2-year-old twins Mason and Madison Delisle - were taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou, where they were later pronounced dead. Their mother, 28-year-old Norma Skidgel, died at the scene.

Their bodies will be transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta for autopsies, which are expected to be performed on Friday.

Skidgel's sister Amy Bouchard and her two sons also lived in the mobile home. Bouchard and one of her sons left the home a short time before the fire to go to a bus stop, and the dwelling was on fire when she returned. Her other son had spent the night elsewhere. Bouchard is being treated for smoke inhalation, as she attempted to gain entry to to home.

Inspectors found a smoke detector inside the mobile home, but the batteries had been removed. It isn't clear yet if there were other smoke detectors that were working.

Officials said the mobile home park is located on the city's outskirts, about four miles from Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge. The small park consists of three rows of trailers in a sparsely populated, rural area.

Public safety officials said this is the deadliest fire in modern times in Caribou. It also comes only a few weeks after six people died at a fire in an apartment building in Portland.

Twenty-five people have died in fires this year in the state, the most in 21 years. Fires killed 27 in 1993.

In light of the recent fire deaths, State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said Maine residents need to make sure their homes have working smoke detectors, and that families review and practice fire escape plans.



Photo Credit: Maine Department of Public Safety]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Rally for Missing Students]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:26:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/209*120/11-20-14-Downtown+LA+Protest+Mexican+Students.JPG

Crowds of protesters swarmed the streets of downtown Los Angeles Thursday night as they marched to the Mexican Consulate-General to call for the removal of Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto and demand justice for a group of missing college students.

Hundreds of marchers could be heard chanting and counting to 43 — the number of Mexican students who were last seen alive Sept. 26 in the city of Iguala, when police reportedly attacked a group of student protesters, killing six people and taking away dozens of students.

One protester on a loudspeaker announced that the Los Angeles Police Department would give the crowds one hour to protest in front of MacArthur Park.

The protest comes after Mexico's Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam recently offered evidence of hundreds of charred fragments of bone and teeth fished from a river but admitted it would be difficult to extract DNA to confirm identities of the victims.

Mass protests were also expected in parts of Mexico Thursday in response to alleged political corruption in the disappearances.



Photo Credit: Gadi Schwartz]]>
<![CDATA[FSU Shooter Said He Heard Voices]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 02:51:30 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/myronmay112014.jpg

Police have described, Myron May, the gunman who opened fire inside a library at Florida State University Thursday morning as in a “state of crisis.”

Team 6 Investigator Dan Krauth has obtained reports from New Mexico, where May lived, that paint a picture of delusional man on prescription medications and who had been admitted to the hospital a short time ago for a full mental health evaluation.

May, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, moved to Florida as a teenager, police said. He graduated from FSU in 2005 and later from Texas Tech Law School in 2009, police said. He only recently moved back to Florida from New Mexico.

According to Dona Ana County's District Attorney Mark D'Antonio, May was briefly employed at his office as an Associate Trial Attorney after having worked in Las Cruces as an Assistant Public defender. May resigned his position abruptly on October 6, 2014.

"[May] was an effective Prosecutor who was deeply commited to his work and serving the public while employed at our office," D'Antonio said in a statement.

While he worked there, two police reports from the past two months showed that he thought he was being watched.

On October 7, reports showed he went to his ex-girlfriend’s house and told her police placed cameras in his home and car. Police said he handed a piece of his car to her because he thought there was a camera inside.

In a separate report from September 7, May told police he could hear voices “coming through the wall” of his home. Police described May as “in a state of crisis.”

May’s ex-girlfriend told police that his mental condition was getting worse and that he was staying up for four to five days at a time without sleeping.

Police are currently searching for May’s car and cell phone trying to determine what happened in the three weeks since he moved to Florida that led up to the Florida State library shooting.

On his Facebook page, which has since come down, May frequently posted biblical verses and said that he feared the government was watching him. His last post on Tuesday was quoting Matthew 5:3 and read, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Security Cameras Not So Secure]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:45:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/securitycamera112014.jpg

You might call it “creepy-cam.”

A foreign website is offering one-stop access to anyone wanting to peer inside dozens of South Florida homes and businesses, whether bedrooms, driveways, retail counters or anywhere else in the range of security cameras attached to the Internet.

In all, tens of thousands of cameras worldwide are aggregated on the site – which Team 6 Investigators is not going to identify – providing web camera owners with what the site administrator says is a lesson: change your password.

A recent visit to the site turned up images of a doll in a Miami bedroom, a crib cam in Miramar and a woman sitting at her desk in a South Florida office – a veritable World Wide Window into people’s private domains.

While the images vary, they share one bond: a weak password, often the same one that came with the device.

In an email to our sister station, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth, a man answering an email addressed to the website administrator wrote he was doing research “and was shocked by results.” He said his site is designed to “point users into a large security problem: … millions of insecure cameras.”

The security hole is ironic for consumers seeking to enhance their security with cameras, said Alex Rincon, a video surveillance expert with the Zehirut Group. “People want a security system in order to increase their security, but what this is doing is basically the opposite,” Rincon said.

He said owners of surveillance cameras and other devices on wireless networks need to change the default user names and passwords – those that come with the device – to more secure versions.

For instance, many camera systems come with the user name “admin” and password “123456”.

“This is usually what people don’t change,” Rincon said. “They don’t know they have to change it (to a) password that will prevent people from getting inside” their security system.

The Federal Trade Commission gives this advice for choosing a password:

 

  • The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack. Use at least 10 characters; 12 is ideal for most home users.
  • Mix letters, numbers, and special characters. Try to be unpredictable – don’t use your name, birthdate, or common words.
  • Don’t use the same password for many accounts. If it’s stolen from you – or from one of the companies with which you do business – it can be used to take over all your accounts.
  • Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts or by email. Legitimate companies will not send you messages asking for your password. If you get such a message, it’s probably a scam.
  • Keep your passwords in a secure place, out of plain sight.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stabbed After Answering Online Ad for Sex]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:31:51 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/brandonhinckmugad.jpg

A 19-year-old Kansas man was arrested by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida after allegedly stabbing a man who answered a Craigslist ad for a tryst.

According to the police, Brandon Hinck, 19, posted a shirtless photo of himself on Craigslist seeking a sexual encounter. Dave Sero, 46, was vacationing in South Florida from Washington and answered the ad and the two agreed to meet at a gas station in Boca Raton.

The two had lunch and then went to a hotel in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the BSO said. They went to the suspect’s room and agreed to have sex. At some point, while the victim was nude on the bed, Hinck started stabbing him.

Police say, the two men began fighting and the weapon was dropped in the room. The victim ran to an elevator where he collapsed and was found by hotel employees who called for help. The suspect ran into the lobby and told the front desk employee that he had just stabbed a man.

Sero was taken to Broward Health North suffering from multiple stab wounds. BSO said Hinck is believed to have arrived in South Florida a few weeks ago and stayed briefly in a halfway home and at a local rehab.

BSO said anyone else who had a violent encounter with Hinck should call their office or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).



Photo Credit: BSO]]>
<![CDATA[Supreme Court Asked to Block Document Release]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:19:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/174197278.jpg

Attorneys for a Republican political consultant have turned to the U.S. Supreme Court in their effort to block the release of emails and documents from Florida's redistricting process.

Lawyers for Pat Bainter and his Gainesville-based firm Data Targeting filed an emergency petition on Thursday to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asking that the documents remain sealed until at least February.

The documents were cited by a circuit judge as a reason why he ruled this summer the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature violated a state law that says congressional districts cannot be drawn to favor any political party or incumbent. State legislators were forced to hold a special session in August to redraw the districts although the changes won't take effect until the 2016 elections.

But the emails and documents have remained sealed as lawyers paid by the Republican Party of Florida have asserted that disclosing them would violate First Amendment rights and trade secrets.

The state Supreme Court earlier this month ruled that the documents should be released to the public and chastised the consultants for not raising First Amendment questions until six months after the documents were first requested.

Justices on Thursday reaffirmed that decision, although they said they would agree to keep the 538 pages of documents sealed until Dec. 1 in order for an appeal to be filed.

Justice Barbara Pariente said that time had come to release the information.

"This court has unanimously concluded that the documents and testimony must be unsealed, and the public's right to view these materials that the trial court relied on in rendering its final judgment has been delayed long enough," Pariente said in a concurring opinion.

However, in their petition to Thomas asking for an emergency stay, Bainter's lawyers contended they would be harmed if that happened.

"Absent a stay, documents and testimony that contain the names, contact information and internal deliberations of people with whom the applicants associated to advance shared political values would suddenly be revealed," states the filing. "Fear of being caught in a litigious dragnet would stifle speech. Loss of anonymity would do the same."

The filing asks Thomas to keep the documents secret until at least February when an appeal must be filed, or until the legal dispute is finally resolved by the federal courts.

Media organizations, including The Associated Press, had asked in a friend of the court brief to the state Supreme Court for the documents to be released.

Lawyers who represented the groups challenging the districts said the records will reveal the "shadow process" they said existed between the consultants and the Legislature.

Voters in 2010 passed the "Fair Districts" amendment. The League of Women Voters of Florida and other groups that sued contended that the congressional map adopted in 2012 violated these new standards.

Judge Terry Lewis in July agreed there was enough evidence to show that consultants helped manipulate the process and ruled that two districts were invalid. Legislators in August adopted a new map that alters seven of the state's existing 27 districts and shifts nearly 400,000 voters in central and north Florida.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Vetta]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested Outside WH Claimed Appointment With Obama]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:46:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/RJ+Kapheim+Sketch.jpg

A man arrested with weapons in his car outside the White House Wednesday afternoon told the Secret Service the president called him directly and asked him to go to the White House, according to the police report.

R.J. Kapheim, 43, pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to one count of unlawful possession of a rifle. The judge ordered him held until a hearing at 9 a.m. Friday.

Kapheim approached a Secret Service officer just before 1 p.m. Wednesday and said he had an appointment with President Barack Obama, authorities said. The officer checked his ID and determined he did not have an appointment.

Kapheim insisted President Obama had called him and began shaking his head, according to the police report. The officer called for backup to check on Kapheim's welfare. They asked him if they could check his car and he agreed.

As Secret Service walked Kapheim to his car at 16th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, he told them he had a weapon in the car, authorities said. The barrel could be seen sticking up from the backseat, a position from which it could be reached from the front seat.

Officers found the .30-30 rifle was loaded with six rounds of ammunition. Another 36 rounds and a 6-inch fixed blade also were found in the car, according to the police report.

There's no indication Kapheim made any threats.

Kapheim told police he drove to D.C. from Davenport, Iowa, where he reportedly works as an inventor.

Court records from Iowa show Kapheim was charged with several traffic violations over the years, and in 2012, he changed his name from "Rachael" to "R.J." to make it easier to get a job.

The arrest came just as Secret Service Acting Director Joseph Clancy was testifying in Congress about low morale he said has contributed to high-profile oversights by agents recently.

The agency has been under scrutiny since a Texas Army veteran, Omar Gonzalez, leapt over a White House fence on Sept. 19 and charged into the White House. Gonzalez made it way all the way into the East Room before he was tackled, thanks to a string of Secret Service failures detailed in an internal review out last week.



Photo Credit: Bill Hennessy]]>
<![CDATA[Apologetic Thief Steals Cash From Publix: BSO]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:06:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/111914+apologetic+publix+thief.jpg

Authorities are searching for a thief who apologized as he stole cash from a Pompano Beach grocery store in an incident caught on camera.

The theft happened back on Nov. 9 at the Publix at 411 S. Cypress Road, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The suspect approached a cashier with some items and inched close to the register as the cashier rang up his purchase.

When the cashier opened the register, the thief said "I'm sorry I have to do this," and grabbed some cash, the BSO said. He fled out the front door.

Authorities describe the suspect as a white male in his 40s. Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

A reward of up to $3,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Governors Discuss Next Move on Immigration Fight]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:54:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/rgameeting102014.jpg

As President Barack Obama made final preparations to his announcement on deferred action on immigration, GOP governors were in Boca Raton registering in vivid language their protest.

The GOP governors were in Boca for a Republican Governor’s Association meeting. The governors, many of which are looking at running for president in 2016, wasted no time in issuing strong condemnations of President Obama.

“The president is violating the U.S. Constitution,” said Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott, who is considering suing the president over the planned executive action.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Obama had the opportunity to do something with Congress when he was first elected, but squandered that opportunity.

“He had enormous majorities in Congress and campaigned in 2008 to the Hispanic community all across this country that he was going to deal with this issue and he refused to deal with it and instead decided that he wanted to do Obamacare.

The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill last year dealing with many of the issues both sides champion. However, the House of Representatives never allowed the bill to come to a vote, even though whip counts from both sides of the political aisle predicted it would have passed.

With no bipartisan Congressional action coming, Obama is expected to issue executive orders Thursday night that will protect up to 5 million more undocumented immigrants from deportation. The executive actions will benefit multiple groups and expand visas for high-skilled workers, while also reorienting resources to help secure the border.

The Justice Department released a memo for the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Counsel to the President which said that all of the expected Presidential actions Thursday are permissible under the current laws.

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey also said Thursday that despite the calls by some governor’s to sue the president over the executive action, the lawsuits would likely not succeed.

“I don’t think any lawsuit to stop what the president seems inclined to propose would be successful,” Mukasey told Fox News. “There is something called the political question doctrine, that basically courts apply when they want to stay out of a controversy between the other two branches of government, and they would apply it here.”



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Comes Early for Some in Miami]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:59:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dayofgiving112014.jpg

Thanksgiving may still be a week away, but for hundreds of families across Miami, Thursday was a day that they were thankful for the people in their community.

Nearly 500 families carried, wheeled out, or hauled away their thanksgiving turkeys at the Miami-Dade County auditorium. Commissioner Francis Suarez and dozens of other city employees took part in a the big turkey giveaway that for many families came just at the right time.

“We have a city that has a tremendously high level of poverty,” Suarez said. “Every time we do a food giveaway, we are bursting at the seams with people.”

Across town, Miami Marlins front office employees spent the day giving to nine community as part of the Miami Foundation’s day of giving.

“We have different groups out at Camillus House; we have a river cleanup, we have a beach cleanup, we have care packages that are getting sent out to the troops,” said Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill. “It’s Thanksgiving and we all have so much to be thankful for.”

The Miami Foundation said it’s also accepting donations for local nonprofits as part of “Give Miami Day.” For more information on donating to the Miami Foundation, click here.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Former Cop in False Imprisonment Case Going to Jail]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:25:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/061714+german+bosque.jpg

A former Opa-locka Police officer convicted of false imprisonment and tampering with a witness was sentenced Thursday to 364 days in jail, according to the Miami Herald.

However, German Bosque won't be heading to jail just yet. Bosque will remain on bond as he appeals his conviction.

German Bosque learned his fate following his conviction in June for illegally handcuffing and detaining a man at the Opa-locka Police station after the man tried to file a complaint. He was found not guilty on a battery charge.

The man attempted to file the complaint on Aug. 3, 2011, after Bosque allegedly punched him while responding to a domestic call, authorities said. The man was held against his will and not allowed to file the complaint, authorities said.

Bosque was later fired by Opa-locka Police in October 2012.



Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Traveling Nurse Accused of Abuse]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:55:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/kline+mugshot.jpg

A Falls Church, Virginia, man is accused of sexually abusing female patients at D.C.-area hospitals while providing care for them as a nurse.

According to court documents obtained by News4, 37-year-old Jared Nathan Kline, a traveling nurse, is facing three sexual abuse charges stemming from incidents at D.C. hospitals, and is also accused of similar behavior at a Prince George’s County, Maryland, hospital.

All four victims reported they were disoriented from severe pain or semi-conscious when the abuse allegedly occurred.

A woman receiving treatment for asthma at United Medical Center in late August 2014 reported her nurse, later identified as Kline, intentionally rubbed her hands against his erect penis while he checked her vitals.

She says that later that day, the same nurse began massaging her underneath her hospital gown. She told police she was scared and pretended to be asleep during the incident. She told police the nurse went on to kiss her and touch her face until someone else entered the room.

When she was discharged from the hospital, she got a text message from the nurse saying she had left behind a makeup bag. She met the nurse outside the hospital for the bag, and he later texted her, "Anytime [sic] love, get better."

She told police she hadn't given her phone number to Kline, and was "upset" he had contacted her in the first place.

After the woman came forward, police realized Kline was a suspect in two other D.C. sex assaults -- one in May 2013, and another in December 2013.

In the May 2013 incident, a woman reported she was sexually assaulted by an emergency room nurse named Jared at the George Washington University Hospital when she was treated for a migraine headache. While receiving treatment, the woman said her nurse gave her a blanket, then "proceeded to pat and grope [her] buttocks."

She said he returned to her room several times later that evening, and rubbed the back of her hand against his erect penis as he was checking her IV.

When interviewed by police, he said her hand touched him "in places that it should not have," that he’s a "pretty lucky white guy," and that because he’s "well-endowed, it is possible her hand could have touched his penis and may have mistakenly believed he was aroused."

The woman texted her boyfriend about the incident, saying she wanted to leave the exam room, calling her nurse's behavior "creepy."

Seven months later, another woman accused Kline of rubbing his penis against her hand at least three times while she was receiving treatment for intoxication at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

In addition to the three incidents at D.C. hospitals, Kline is also accused conducting an inappropriate chest examination of a 22-year-old patient at Bowie Health Center in Maryland last January. 

D.C. police said Kline likely had more victims.

"We do believe that it's possible he had sexually abused other patients," George Kucik with D.C. police said. "They may not have been aware of it or understood what was going on."

Kline was released on bond Wednesday, and is required to stay away from his alleged victims. His lawyer hasn't released a statement, but told News4 several times he has no comment.

Kline's neighbor Karen Parelhoff told News4, "I'm a nurse myself. It's a huge breach of the trust that people place in your hands when you take care of them."

GW Hospital officials said they're committed to the well-being of their patients.

"In matters such as this, our practice is to act swiftly and responsibly in collaboration with law enforcement and regulatory agencies," Lyndsay Meyer with GW Hospital said Wednesday.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center officials said they're aware of Kline's arrest but unable to comment at this time, though they said they're fully cooperating with local police.

]]>
<![CDATA[FSU Student Says Books Saved Him From Bullet]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:03:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/112014+jason+derfuss+fsu+shooting.jpg

A Florida State University student said he survived a bullet from a gunman during Thursday's shooting thanks to some books he had just checked out from the library.

Jason Derfuss said he was about five feet from the gunman when he heard a shot behind him at the Strozier Library on FSU's campus.

"There is no way I should be alive," the 21-year-old humanities student told NBC News. "Literally, those books saved my life."

Derfuss said he didn't feel the bullet hit the books but looked and saw the shredded books a few hours after the shooting.

"I never thought to check my bag. I assumed I wasn't a target, I assumed I was fine," Derfuss wrote on his Facebook page. "The truth is I was almost killed tonight and God intervened."

Police said between 300-400 people were in the library when the gunman opened fire around 12:30 a.m. Two students were shot and taken to a nearby hospital, where one remained in critical condition Thursday. A third student was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene.

Officers shot and killed the gunman at the scene.



Photo Credit: Jason Derfuss]]>
<![CDATA[FSU Student Says He Was 1st Target in Shooting]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:42:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/derfuss1.jpg Three people were injured and a gunman was dead after a shooting at Florida State University. Student Jason Derfuss was in the library at the time the shooting happened and said he was the gunman's first target.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Jason Derfuss]]>
<![CDATA[More Dramatic Photos Emerge From Deadly NY Snowstorm]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:05:39 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/459243082.jpg

The Buffalo area in Western New York was bracing for 3 more feet of snow after being pounded by a severe weather system for a third day that may leave some areas with nearly 8 feet on the ground when it's all done.

The storm has been blamed for at least ten deaths, NBC News reported.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday morning that no more motorists were stranded on streets, but described a "massive problem" of hundreds of abandoned cars still on the roads.

The Buffalo Bills were scheduled to host an NFL game Sunday against the New York Jets, however 4 feet of snow fell on the team's stadium in Orchard Park. It was announced Thursday that the game would be held Monday night in Detroit.

Cuomo had said it would be "impractical" to hold the game at the Bills' stadium.

More dramatic photos from the snowstorm have emerged:



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Wrong Dog Impounded for Mauling Kid]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:06:24 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/202*120/11-19-14-Dexter+the+Dog+Riverside+County.JPG

A 6-year-old dog named Dexter thought to have mauled a toddler in Southern California was returned to his owners on Wednesday after an investigation revealed Dexter was not responsible for the attack, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

Kaidyn Sutton, a 1-year-old boy, suffered a large gash over his eyes when a dog bit him while he was playing at a park Nov. 14 in the Inland Empire's French Valley, near Murrieta.

The dog that attacked Kaidyn was initially described as a large dog, possibly a Rottweiler. But an investigator spoke with the boy's family and a friend, who identified a Labrador mix as the dog that attacked Kaidyn, officials said in a statement.

The boy's grandfather led authorities to the Labrador owner's home, where they found Dexter.

But after a second interview with a witness, the investigator said the woman "could not say with certainty that Dexter was, indeed, the dog."

Based on that interview and an "assessment of Dexter's behavior," Dexter was released to his owners Wednesday.

Now, county animal officials are asking for the public's help to find the correct dog.

"A large dog caused severe injuries to this little boy and someone might have valuable information to share," Animal Services Director Robert Miller said in a statement. "It’s important that we receive that information as soon as possible. We do not want anyone else to be injured if this dog is still in that community."

The boy's mother, Michaela Sutton, said her son may have long-term damage due to the attack. She said the child was at home playing while recovering days later.

"He did great, he looks great. There may be some nerve damage in his forehead and they fixed one tendon that works one eyebrow but couldn't exactly pinpoint the other but (because) he's so little they hope it will grow back," Sutton said in a Facebook update.

]]>
<![CDATA[Graco Recalls Strollers]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:48:17 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/graco+stroller.jpg

Graco has recalled about 4.7 million strollers in the United States due to a fingertip amputation risk, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday.

Graco has received 11 reports of finger injuries, including fingertip and partial-fingertip amputations. The recalled also affects over 212,000 strollers in Canada and Mexico.

Eleven models of Graco and Century-branded strollers are being recalled. The models named in the recall are: Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate.

The affected models were sold at Target, Toys 'R' Us, Walmart and other retailers nationwide from August 2000 through November 2014 for about $40 to $70 for the stroller and about $140 to $170 for the travel system. The strollers were also sold online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and other online retailers during that time period.

All of the models are single-occupant strollers with an external sliding fold-lock hinge on each side and a one-hand fold release on the handle.

Model numbers and the date of manufacture are printed on a white label on the bottom of the stroller's rear leg.

Click here to see a list of affected model numbers.

If you have one of the recalled strollers, contact Graco at 800-345-4109 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. to receive a free repair kit.



Photo Credit: U.S. CPSC]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Struck By Car in Lauderhill]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:11:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/450148534.jpg

A 13-year-old boy was hospitalized after he was struck by a car in Lauderhill Thursday morning.

The incident happened shortly before 7 a.m. in the area of 56th Avenue and Northwest 19th Street, Lauderhill Fire Department officials said.

The teen was taken to a nearby hospital with a serious leg injury, officials said. The incident happened across the street from the fire house and rescue workers were able to quickly respond.

The driver of the car stayed at the scene. Officials said the boy wasn't using the crosswalk when he was struck.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pair Tried to Cover Up Murder With Fire: BSO]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:52:18 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/111914+gerardo+lemus+staling+zabala.jpg

Two men have been arrested after authorities say they killed a man and tried to disguise his murder as a house fire in Fort Lauderdale.

Gerardo Lemus, 23, and Staling Davis Zabala, 28, are both facing murder charges in the death of 38-year-old Eber Dagherto Lucero, Broward Sheriff's Office Officials said.

Lemus and Zabala were being held without bond early Wednesday. It was unknown if they have attorneys.

Detectives say Lemus and Zabala broke into Lucero's home in the 4100 block of Southwest 18th Court on Aug. 2. Once inside, they stabbed Lucero to death with a knife and a machete then started setting fire, officials said.

"Then they tried to cover it up by lighting fires throughout the home. They didn't stop there, they took the victim's money, $10,000 that they divided up amongst themselves," BSO spokeswoman Gina Carter said.

Investigators said the incident started with a fight at a night club earlier in the night.

"He was a quiet person, lonely person, would drink by himself," friend Eduardo Argueta said.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Weather: Breezy With Some Showers Thursday]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:39:23 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/112014+weather+miami.jpg Weather Forecast -- 5 AM -- November 20, 2014]]> <![CDATA[Mom Rescues 2 From Fiery Crash]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:41:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/durham+car+fire+rescue.JPG

A Wallingford, Connecticut, mom sprang into action after watching a fiery crash play out in front of her on Route 68 in Durham, pulling the two drivers from their cars before one burst into flames.

Police said Louise Gasparini, 43, of Middletown, was driving eastbound on Route 68 near the intersection of Route 157 when she collided with a car turning left in front of her Wednesday afternoon.

Wallingford mother and business owner Christine Mansfield said she watched the whole thing unfold.

"I was driving down the street and heard a crash and saw two cars going out of control," she explained. "When I stopped the car, there was smoke coming out, one was resting against a light pole and the other against each other."

Mansfield said she threw her car into park and instinctively ran to the scene.

"My heart was pounding. I could see smoke coming out from both cars, so immediately, I was frightened," she recalled. "I was surprised to see the women were not getting out of their cars quickly."

She said one driver "started half-stumbling out of her car" and the other one was motionless in shock, the engine still running.

"I asked one woman, 'Are you OK?' And she said she was in shock, crying and clearly out of her element," Mansfield said. "I sad, 'Can you walk?' and she said yes."

After helping the first driver to safety, Mansfield turned her attention to the other woman, who Mansfield said was dazed and screaming in pain.

"Oil was dripping and the oil was catching fire, dripping out of that car. Again, heart pounding, I started screaming, 'We have to move these people! We have to get them out! The cars are going to blow up!'" she said.

Heart pounding and adrenaline pumping, Mansfield said she pulled out the second driver and led her away from the sedan, which was beginning to ignite.

"I don't think she understood what was going on. I said, 'The cars are on fire; you have to move,'" Mansfield explained.

Gasparini's car, which was totaled, burst into flames.

"To smell fire that close, the acrid smell, I've never been so close to something like that," Mansfield said.

Although both drivers were hospitalized, without Mansfield's help, the outcome could have been much worse.

"I would like to say thank you to that woman," said Gasparini's husband, Marc. "There are a lot of people who figure it's not their problem, but I really appreciate what she did and if she's out there, thank you very much."

Gasparini was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of neck, back and shoulder pain, police said. The other driver, Maryann Booss, 69, of Bethany, was also hospitalized for treatment of neck and back pain, according to police.

Gasparini was cited for driving too fast, and Booss was cited for failure to grant the right of way.



Photo Credit: Christine Mansfield
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[4 in Critical From CO Poisoning]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 07:03:02 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Roseland-CO-poisoning.jpg

Four people were in critical condition Wednesdsay night after they were exposed to what officials say was a "lethal level" of carbon monoxide.

Fire officials responded to the scene in the 300 block of West 107th Street on Chicago’s South Side where they say carbon monoxide levels were at readings of 1,000 parts per million.

"The furnace was malfunctioning and they had all burner of the stove on for heat," said Battalion Chief Tom Sutkus.

Fire Media Affairs said the home was a single family home.

Officials said three people were visiting the elderly homeowner who had just returned from the hospital.

Sutkus said the victims were in "various stages of consciousness."

The victims were taken to an area hospital in critical condition.

"[The homeowner] just came home today and then the next thing you know they was laying on the ground and they was all passed out," said neighbor Greg Collins.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is known as a silent killer: an odorless, colorless gas that can be generated by any appliance that burns fossil fuel, including any appliance in your house that burns coal, wood, charcoal, gasoline, or propane, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness.

At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 parts per million, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.

]]>
<![CDATA[Blind Woman Says Uber Stranded Her]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:39:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/uber+blind+woman.jpg

A blind Connecticut woman says an Uber taxi driver refused to pick her up because of her seeing-eye dog, leaving her stranded. 

Amy Dixon said she called up an Uber car on her app in Darien Tuesday night, and a driver confirmed the pickup. 

"I can see a little bit out of my right eye, I've got 1 percent left of my vision. So I'm standing there with my guide dog on the curb and a car pulls up, and it's him," she said. 

As she put her hand on the door, the driver suddenly revved the engine and took off, stranding her, she said. 

"I couldn't believe it. I was flabbergasted," said Dixon. "He took off, and I'm screaming at him, waving at him, waving my arms like crazy thinking maybe he made a mistake, because I was hoping it wasn't what I thought it was."

It wasn't a mistake, it turned out, because within about 10 seconds, Dixon said she received a message on her phone from the driver saying the driver had canceled the pickup. 

Dixon was able to get another Uber car to take her home, but she believes the first driver wouldn't pick her up because of her service dog Elvis. 

Since Dixon lost her vision seven years ago, she's relied on two things to get around: her service dog Elvis and taxis, including recently, Uber cars. 

"My dog is how I get from point A to point B, and a car is what enables us to get where we need to go," she said. 

Uber said in a statement it had fired the driver, adding, "The Uber app is built to expand access to transportation options for all, including users with visual impairments and other disabilities. It is Uber's policy that any driver partner that refuses to transport a service animal will be deactivated from the Uber platform, which has been done in this case." 

Dixon said she's glad Uber took her complaint seriously, but she thinks the company needs to do more to educate drivers about service dogs. 

"It breaks my heart that people aren't educated on the ADA law," she said.

"As soon as they sign a contract to be an Uber driver, they have to obey the law, plain and simple," she said.

Uber said its drivers are informed of ADA regulations, and added that drivers who cannot accommodate animals due to issues like allergies, safety or religious beliefs are advised to wait with the rider until another Uber arrives. 

]]>