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Video captures motorcycle rider launched into SUV, walk away unharmed

first_imgWFAA/ABC News(PLANO, Texas) — Malik Elizee is just your average motorcycle rider, and a fairly new one at that. But the Texas man made like a Hollywood stuntman this weekend when his helmet camera captured him getting caught up in a car accident, flying off his bike, clinging to an overturned SUV — and walking away with little more than a few scratches.Elizee was waiting at a stoplight in Plano, Texas, on Saturday when the light turned green and the SUV in front and to the left of him started to accelerate. The GoPro camera on his helmet captured a car driving through the red light from left to right in the intersection and slamming into the SUV. Elizee’s motorcycle plowed into the back of the SUV, which was turned onto its side by the impact from the car. But somehow he managed to cling to the bottom of the overturned SUV after being launched off his bike and then jump to his feet. He walked, or ran, away without injury.Elizee isn’t entirely sure himself how he managed to pull off the death-defying move.“I grabbed [the undercarriage of the SUV] so it helped me have better forward momentum. As soon as the Camaro hit us, you see my bike fly off so I’m basically in the air,” he told Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA.“I don’t know how to describe what I did, it was almost like I was flailing my legs to kind of run forward to avoid being crushed.” Elizee has only been driving a motorcycle for two years, though he’s been in two previous accidents. No one was seriously injured in the accident in any of the vehicles, police said.Elizee actually rode his bike home, he said.“I was definitely lucky to get out without having to go to the hospital, getting crushed between the two cars, or run over by the Camaro,” Elizee told WFAA.He posted video of the crash on YouTube Saturday and it had already racked up over 489,000 views by Sunday night.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Grandmother accused of killing husband, look-alike held without bond in Florida

first_imgWZVN(FORT MYERS, Fla.) — The Minnesota woman accused in an alleged multistate crime spree will continue to be held without bond in Florida, where she was extradited last week after being captured in Texas.Lois Riess waived her right to appear for her pretrial detention hearing today in Lee County in southwest Florida. A public defender, who was appointed to represent her, did not challenge a request by the Florida State Attorney’s Office that she be held on no bond.During her initial court appearance Sunday, a judge had ordered Riess remain jailed without bond before today’s hearing. An arraignment hearing is slated for May 29.The 56-year-old mother and grandmother had been the focus of a weekslong, nationwide hunt after she allegedly shot and killed her husband in their home state, before killing and stealing the identity of a woman who looked like her in another state and then fleeing across the country to a third state.The case began in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, where, authorities said, 54-year-old David Riess hadn’t been seen in more than two weeks as of March 23, and his business partner requested that law enforcement go to his home.There, authorities found Riess’ body. He had been shot multiple times, according to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.It was unclear how long he had been dead, and his wife was missing, the sheriff’s office said.After Lois Riess allegedly killed her husband in Minnesota, she allegedly stole his money and then drove to Fort Myers Beach, Florida. There, she met Pamela Hutchinson, 59, and then killed her and stole her ID, credit cards and car, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.Investigators said Riess targeted Hutchinson because of similarities in their appearances, and they feared she would target other women who looked like her.On the night of April 19, U.S. Marshals deputies and local police arrested Riess on South Padre Island, Texas, according to U.S. Marshals Service spokesman John Kinsey. The South Padre Island Police Department had received a tip from a resident who recognized Riess.She was sitting alone at a restaurant having a drink when authorities approached her and didn’t appear to be surprised, Kinsey said. She was taken into custody without incident.Investigators said there’s no indication she was trying to cross into Mexico, despite being so close to the border. Authorities found two pistols in the motel room where she was allegedly staying in South Padre Island.“This case from the very beginning struck at me as odd,” Florida’s Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno told reporters during a joint news conference with the U.S. Marshals Service. “We look at her appearance — she looks like anybody’s mother or grandmother, yet she’s an absolute cold-blooded murderer.”The former fugitive was arraigned in South Padre Island April 21 and taken to a local county jail. The following week, after waiving her right to an extradition hearing, Riess was extradited to southwest Florida where she remains for the time being.“Lois Riess will be going to Florida first while we continue to build the strongest case possible against her here in Minnesota,” Minnesota’s Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said in a statement April 25. “We will bring her back to Minnesota to stand trial when Florida is done.”The Riess family is well-known in the small community of Dodge County, the sheriff has said. Lois Riess, who has three adult children, was known to have a “gambling problem” and “financial problems,” the sheriff told reporters last month, though there was previously no record of her ever being charged with a crime.Investigators believe Riess, while on the run, was living off money she had won at a Louisiana casino, according to a source with the U.S. Marshals Service. She used her real name to claim $2,500 in winnings at the casino sometime last month before heading to southern Texas.But the casino only noticed her name several days later while processing receipts, the source told ABC News.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Trump administration may house up to 20K migrant children at US military bases

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Trump administration is considering housing up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on U.S. military bases, according to a U.S. official.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made the request to the Department of Defense (DOD), and Congress has been notified, the official said.The story was first reported by The Washington Post.Last month, ABC News reported that HHS officials were touring four U.S. military bases to see if they could be used to house migrants in the event that other facilities reached capacity. Those bases were Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Ark.While officials have completed their tours of those installations, no final determination has been made as to where the unaccompanied migrant children would be located.On Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters that DOD would support the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if requested.“We have housed refugees, we have housed people thrown out of their homes by earthquakes and hurricanes. We do whatever is in the best interest of the country,” Mattis said.HHS has used facilities on U.S. military bases to house migrants in the past.In 2014, the department used bases in Texas, Oklahoma, and California to house 7,000 unaccompanied migrant children after HHS facilities reached capacity.Mattis has already signed a memo allowing up to 4,000 National Guard troops to assist DHS with the security of the U.S./Mexico border. About 2,000 troops, mostly from the National Guards of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, are serving there now — but as support services to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, not in a law enforcement capacity.Several governors have pulled their small contingencies of Guard troops from participating in the southern border security mission in protest over the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” on immigration that forcibly separated migrant children from their families.On Wednesday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, ending the forced separation of children, so that families who cross the border illegally will now be detained together.Mattis told reporters on Wednesday that the withdrawal of Guard troops was not having an immediate impact on the border security mission.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Tropical Storm Gordon bears down on Gulf Coast; may be hurricane when it slams into Louisiana, Mississippi

first_imgABC News(MOBILE, Ala.) — Tropical Storm Gordon is bearing down on the Gulf Coast, prompting states of emergency in Mississippi, Louisiana and parts of Alabama.The storm, bringing gusty winds, heavy rain and potential flooding, may strengthen into a hurricane by the time it makes landfall near the Mississippi and Alabama border Tuesday night.Hurricane Warnings remain in effect for coastal Mississippi and Alabama.Heavy rain and inland flooding are major concerns for Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas as the storm moves north over the next two days.Some areas may see up to a foot of rain — especially near the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as well as inland parts of Mississippi.Storm surge is also a concern, potentially reaching as high as 5 feet.“Nobody should panic but everybody should take this seriously,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Monday.The Louisiana National Guard has activated approximately 200 soldiers and airmen, with an additional 150 guardsmen authorized to assist. The Alabama National Guard also has guardsmen on standby and ready to respond if needed.“Approximately 50 Mississippi National Guardsmen are along the Gulf Coast in preparation for possible support in response to Tropical Storm Gordon,” the Mississippi National Guard said.Once her Mississippi home was secure, Lisa Taranto-Merten brought her children to help fill sandbags for others in the community on Tuesday.“We all kind of jumped in and helped each other,” she told ABC News.The storm has prompted casinos to close in Mississippi.“Gordon is a tight, fast-moving tropical storm,” Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings said in a statement Tuesday. “If you live in the coastal counties, especially in surge and flood prone areas, it is imperative that you get to a safe place by early afternoon and stay there through Wednesday morning.”Later this week, the remnants of Gordon is forecast merge with a cold front in the Midwest, bringing more rain and potentially more flooding to Arkansas and Missouri.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Alleged Charlottesville car attacker may claim self-defense, lawyer suggests

first_imgAlbemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail(CHARLOTESVILLE, Va.) — The man who faces charges for ramming his car into a crowd during the infamous white nationalist rally that rocked Charlottesville in 2017 may claim that he did so in self-defense.Attorney John Hill told the jury pool that evidence will show James Alex Fields “thought he was acting in self-defense.”The revelation came as lawyers in Virginia are working to pick the jury that will hear the case against Fields, who faces a first-degree murder charge for killing counter-protester Heather Heyer in the incident. He also faces eight other charges relating to injuries and one relating to fleeing the scene of an accident.The 10 charges he is facing in this upcoming trial in the Charlottesville City Circuit Court are separate from the 30 federal charges he faces that relate to hate crimes. One of those federal charges is eligible for the death penalty.Fields, 21, entered a not guilty plea to the federal charges in August. Attempts by ABC News to reach Fields’ attorney were not immediately successful.The Charlottesville City Circuit Court has blocked off until Wednesday to complete jury selection and the trial can begin as soon as the jury is picked, according to Brian Wheeler, a spokesperson for the City of Charlottesville.Local newspaper The Daily Progress reports that there are 360 people in the pool of potential jurors — which it describes as the largest in recent memory.When the charges were announced, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the federal indictments “should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hate that threaten the core principles of our nation.”In the case description by the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Western District of Virginia, Fields is described as having social media accounts in which he “expressed and promoted his belief that white people are superior to other races and peoples; expressed support of the social and racial policies of Adolf Hitler and Nazi-era Germany, including the Holocaust, and espoused violence against African Americans, Jewish people and members of other racial, ethnic and Religious groups he perceived to be non-white.”According to the federal indictment unsealed in late June, Fields drove from his home in Ohio to attend the “Unite the Right” rally at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, which featured white supremacist leaders, and that he joined in “chants promoting or expressing white supremacist and other anti-Semitic and racist views.”After local authorities declared the rally an “unlawful assembly” and dispersed participants, Fields, according to the indictment, returned to his car and drove to where the counter-demonstration was occurring on Fourth Street in downtown Charlottesville. Protesters were chanting and carrying signs promoting equality and denouncing racial and other forms of discrimination. With no vehicle behind him, Fields slowly reversed his vehicle to the top of a hill, according to the indictment.“Fields then rapidly accelerated, ran through a stop sign and across a raised pedestrian mall, and drove directly into the crowd, striking numerous individuals, killing Heather Heyer, and injuring many others,” the indictment alleges. “Field’s vehicle stopped only when it struck another vehicle … He then rapidly reversed his vehicle and fled the scene.” Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Georgia mom arrested in $200,000 trust fund scam; disabled son goes missing

first_imghynci/iStock(LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.) — A Georgia mother was arrested for trying to scam her disabled son out of $200,000 in trust fund money, police said Tuesday.Yvonne Longmire, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was arrested last week on charges of false swearing, forgery and identity theft for allegedly lying in court to gain control of her missing son’s trust fund, according to police.Longmire, 58, appeared in court in December along with 23-year-old Maurice Ford, who she asked to pose as her mentally disabled son, Lee Earnest Longmire, police said.“They convinced the probate court and the physician that Lee no longer had as severe a case of mental disability and no longer needed a conservator over his trust fund,” the Gwinnett County Police Department said in a statement. “Maurice pretended to be Lee and presented false testimony and fraudulently obtained documents to support their scam.”The court relinquished $200,000 to Yvonne Longmire and Ford, but before the money could be withdrawn, the former conservator attorney and his paralegal became suspicious of Lee’s identity, according to the statement.“They realize that no one had physically seen Lee in several years,” the department said. “An investigation was launched and Lee ultimately became a ward of the state and was provided a guardian through the Division of Family and Children Services.”Lee Earnest Longmire, 20, hasn’t been seen publicly in several years, but his mother told authorities that he was “OK.” She was ordered to turn him over to authorities, but she refused to tell police where he is located.“The exact whereabouts or condition of Lee Longmire is still unknown,” the Gwinnett County Police Department said in a statement Tuesday. “Several attempts have been made to have in person contact with Lee but they have been to no avail.”Yvonne Longmire turned herself in to police on March 1. She was booked into a detention center in Gwinnett County, Georgia, located a few miles northeast of Atlanta, where she was being held without bond.Ford, who police say posed as the woman’s son in court, was arrested in Arizona and is currently awaiting extradition to Georgia. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Feds target ex-con ‘attorney imposter’ for allegedly preying on undocumented immigrants

first_imgAudtakorn Sutarmjam/EyeEm(PHILADELPHIA) — Federal authorities in Pennsylvania are investigating an ex-con who they say preyed on undocumented immigrants by posing as a lawyer and offering thousands of dollars’ worth of “legal services” she was not licensed to provide.At times, 55-year-old Ana Molina of Philadelphia would even use the personal information of past clients to fraudulently bolster immigration cases for her newer clients, a Homeland Security Investigations agent alleged in court documents.“Molina is an attorney imposter,” the agent said in the documents. “Molina accepts money for filing applications for legal status adjustments the client may not even qualify for.”The case shows that even as the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants inside the United States, the Justice Department is still trying to root out criminals who would target vulnerable immigrants, as recently described by the department.But an attorney representing Molina said the case only shows a “not-so-subtle attempt to bully Ms. Molina into ending the immigration assistance she provides to immigrants who come to this country in search of a better life.”“It should not surprise anyone that in this current political climate, [the federal government] is targeting an immigrant who makes a living helping other immigrants get their affairs in order,” the attorney said in a statement to ABC News.A decade ago, Molina served more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to money-laundering charges connected to a drug trafficking case. After her release, a federal judge allowed her to operate an immigration services business in Philadelphia.But in court documents filed Tuesday, federal investigators alleged Molina used that business, “Molina Multilegal Services,” to dupe undocumented immigrants and their families or friends out of thousands of dollars. She even threatened clients who sought to get their money back, the court documents alleged.Although Molina has yet to be charged, the court documents said there is “probable cause to believe” Molina committed mail fraud and identity theft, citing several cases of Molina’s “fraudulent legal representation” in recent years.In some cases, Molina stole “identity documents from unwitting individuals and used their information” to “defraud” U.S. agencies into believing applicants for immigration status were financially secure and wouldn’t need government assistance, according to the court documents.Several years ago, a Dominican woman allegedly paid Molina $1,800 to resolve her husband’s immigration case. To prove the couple’s financial security, the woman provided Molina with her tax returns.But when the couple grew dissatisfied with Molina’s assistance and asked for their money back, Molina allegedly refused, instead telling the husband he was “illegal and couldn’t do anything,” the husband later recalled to federal authorities, according to the court records.Then, after being hired by a man from Jamaica, Molina used the Dominican woman’s tax forms to file documents on behalf of the Jamaican client, federal authorities alleged.Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents executed a search warrant at Molina’s office on Wednesday.Molina previously earned a degree in “paralegal studies,” according to an online profile of Molina, which was taken down after Wednesday’s raid.Her company’s website, however, describes her as a “renowned lawyer,” and — according to court documents — she repeatedly claimed to prospective clients that she is a practicing attorney, including during a recorded phone call two weeks ago.In his statement to ABC News, the attorney representing Molina said she “will defend herself and the work she does.”But when asked whether he or Molina denies the specific allegations against her, the attorney declined to comment further.Molina’s case is one of many such cases around the country. In 2016 alone, federal authorities received more than 1,100 complaints related to immigration services.But “quantifying the scope of immigration services fraud is difficult because scams are underreported,” according to the Washington, D.C.-based organization Ayuda, which provides legal assistance to immigrants and whose name means “help” in Spanish.Last year, a federal jury in Philadelphia convicted a 65-year-old New Jersey man on several fraud charges for what prosecutors described as his “brazen behavior in posing, for decades, as a licensed attorney.”Leaford Cameron took more than $200,000 from at least 100 victims, many of whom were immigrants and low-income people, according to a Justice Department press release on the case. He was sentenced to 12 years behind bars.“Far from a guardian of the law, Cameron is a crook whose fraud caused serious harm to his victims and the public’s trust in our legal institutions,” the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, William McSwain, said at the time.Cameron has appealed his conviction, and that appeal is still pending.McSwain’s office is now overseeing the investigation targeting Molina, who was born in Peru and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1987.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

4-year-old California boy talking a month after accidentally shooting himself in head

first_imgRamon Price/Facebook(OAKLAND, Calif.) —  After 4-year-old Na’Vaun Price Jackson accidentally shot himself in the head last month, doctors told his family that he showed no brain activity. But now, the California youngster is awake and talking again.The boy’s remarkable improvement comes after police say he found a gun on a bed while visiting the east Oakland home of his mother’s boyfriend. Authorities say Na’Vaun pulled the gun out from under a pillow and accidentally shot himself in the head.Doctors initially prepared Na’Vaun’s family for the worst after they found no brain activity following the accident. But in videos shared online this week by his grandfather, Ramon Price, Na’Vaun can he heard in his hospital room saying, “Hello world” and “Thank you.”Na’Vaun’s family says his recovery is a miracle.Although he still can’t walk, Navaun is now able to leave his bed and sit in a wheelchair.In the new videos he can also be heard repeating the words “sister” and “grandma” with the help of his grandfather, followed by “amen” and “thank you, Jesus.”Terrence Wilson, the boyfriend of Na’Vaun’s mother, was arrested following the accident and charged with multiple felonies, including child abuse, possession of a firearm by a felon and first degree criminal firearm storage.Asked if she had any idea that there was a gun in her boyfriend’s bed, Na’Vaun’s mother, Brijjanna Price, told San Francisco ABC7 News, “Not at all. If I knew, my son wouldn’t have been in that house.”“Every day he’s doing something different, so my son’s going to be back soon,” Price said of her son’s surprising recovery. “He may not be back to the way he was, but he’ll be back.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Police exhaust all leads, ask for new tips in unsolved Chicago neighborhood murders

first_imgChicago Police Department(CHICAGO) — One year after two “senseless” killings took place in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, police say they’ve exhausted all leads and are turning to the public to help generate more tips. In the first attack, on Sept. 30, 2018, a gunman shot and killed 72-year-old Douglass Watts, according to ABC Chicago station WLS-TV. The next day, just blocks away, Eliyahu Moscowitz, was shot and killed. The “brazenness of this case galvanized our community,” Robert Cesario, commander of Chicago police area north detectives, said at a news conference on Tuesday.No motive has been established, Cesario said. The suspect was caught on camera, believed to be wearing a mask during the first shooting.Hundreds of leads have come in, Cesario said, but all active leads have been “exhausted.” “Someone has information,” Cesario said. “We need you to do the right thing and call police.” A $150,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible, Cesario said. Anyone with information is asked to call 312-744-8261.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

St. Louis police sergeant told to ‘tone down your gayness’ awarded $20 million by jury

first_imgMarilyn Nieves/iStock(ST. LOUIS) — A police sergeant was awarded nearly $20 million by a Missouri jury in a sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit he filed after allegedly being told to “tone down your gayness” by a police commission board member. The jury sided with Sgt. Keith Wildhaber in the suit he filed against St. Louis County, claiming he was passed over for promotions, and discriminated against and retaliated against because of his sexual orientation.Wildhaber’s attorneys called the jury verdict “historic.”“His bravery and courage in standing up for what is right should be an inspiration for employees everywhere,” Wildhaber’s lawyers, Russ Riggan and Sam Moore, said in a joint statement to ABC News. “Justice was served in this trial, and no client could be more deserving than Keith. The jury acted as the conscience of the community and spoke loud and clear in its verdict.”The St. Louis County Circuit Court jury, which reached its verdict on Friday following a week-long trial, awarded Wildhaber a $19.9 million judgment, including $17 million in punitive damages.Wildhaber claimed in his suit that while conducting a security check on a restaurant owned by John Saracino, a member of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners, he was allegedly told by Saracino that the police command staff “has a problem with your sexuality.” Wildhaber claims Saracino went on to offer him advice on how to achieve his goal.Wildhaber claimed that Saracino allegedly told him that if he wanted to get promoted, “you should tone down your gayness,” the lawsuit stated.Saracino denied ever saying such a thing to Wildhaber.Wildhaber claimed he was passed over multiple times for promotion despite having “a clean disciplinary history, excellent performance reviews, and a strong resume for being promoted to Lieutenant,” according to the suit.The suit alleged that Wildhaber’s superiors, namely St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, refused to promote him “because he does not conform to the County’s gender-based norms, expectations, and/or preferences.”Wildhaber complained to management numerous times, and in April 2016 he filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Missouri Commission on Human Rights alleging “unlawful employment discrimination due to the County’s failure to promote him based on his sex/gender.”A month later, Wildhaber claims his superiors retaliated by was reassigning him from a day shift to a midnight shift and by transferring him to a precinct that was 27 miles from his home.He filed a total of five complaints with the EEOC and Commission on Human Rights, alleging discrimination and unlawful retaliation.The Missouri Commission on Human Rights eventually issued Wildhaber a notice granting him the right to sue the county.Following the verdict, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page recommended that members of the Board of Police Commissioners and Belmar be replaced, saying, “The time for leadership changes has come and change must start at the top.”“Our police department must be a place where every community member and every officer is respected and treated with dignity,” Page said in a statement he posted on Twitter. “Employment decisions in the department must be made on merit and who is best for the job.”Belmar has not commented on the jury verdict or on calls for him to be replaced, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police told ABC News on Tuesday. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more