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Posts Tagged ‘NY

Family held hostage – thug drank 15 cases of beer in a week

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Dude looks a natural in orange

A New York state man drank beer while holding his girlfriend and their two children captive in their home for a week…

The woman was finally able to get assistance by convincing the boyfriend, Benito Lopez, she was playing games on the computer…

Lopez…was arrested Monday after probation officers were tipped the girlfriend, their son, 11, and daughter, 12 had been hostage in their home since New Year’s Eve.

Sullivan County deputies said Lopez disconnected the phone and confiscated electronic devices and car keys to prevent anyone calling for help.

The girlfriend eventually got help through Facebook by pretending she was playing computer games, police said.

Police said they found the equivalent of 15 cases of empty beer cans, as well as some liquor bottles.

Lopez was on probation for felony drunken driving

The dude should be locked up until he dries out. Should only take 10-20 years.

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Written by Ed Campbell

January 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Arsonist/gunman demented enough to be NRA spokesman

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spengler

Two volunteer firefighters have been shot dead and two others left wounded after they were ambushed by a lone gunman at a blaze apparently set as a trap in New York state.

Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were killed when 62-year-old William Spangler opened fire at emergency responders arriving at the scene of a house fire, shortly before 6:00 am local time on Monday in the suburb of Rochester.

“This is still an active investigation, but I will say at first blush that it appears that it was a trap, that there was a car in a house that it was engulfed in flames, probably set by Mr Spangler, who later waited and shot the first responders,” said Webster police chief Gerald Pickering.

Spangler had spent 17 years in prison after killing his grandmother in 1981. He may have stolen the guns used in the shooting, said police.

“We have to keep in mind that Spangler was a convicted felon,” said Chief Pickering.

“So he is not allowed to possess weapons, so, did he legally possess these weapons? No, but we had all kinds of weapons larcenies, both in town and around the county, and in Wayne County as of late, so I don’t know where those weapons came from, but we are certainly going to find out.”

Spangler shot himself after attacking the firefighting crew, said police. He died on the scene…

The two wounded firefighters, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino, were listed in guarded condition at a local hospital…

The gunman…left behind a note outlining his “clear intent” to burn his neighborhood to the ground and “do what I like doing best, killing people,” police said on Tuesday.

OK. So, we have yet another demented killer. There isn’t any shortage of those in our land, part of our culture. Extra emphasis on the culture part – because some of these nutball killings we’ve experienced recently have an occasional copycat aspect. The commonality is that weapons like the Bushmaster are in the wild legally. Whether killers acquire them legally or illegally is only part of the question.

What is important that clowns like LaPierre, the head of the NRA gun manufacturers lobby, will offer the same tired suggestion for “curing” the problem of too many guns in the hands of too many maniacs. Obviously, we should require all first responders – including fire department personnel and EMTs – to carry firearms. Dimwit. Not the kind of hair-trigger fool I ever would invite along for a day’s hunting.

Written by Ed Campbell

December 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Man shoots girlfriend over likelihood of a zombie outbreak

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Police in New York state said a man shot his girlfriend during a fight about whether a zombie outbreak as seen on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” could actually occur.

Nassau County Detective Lt. Raymond Cote said Jared Gurman…argued via text messages with his girlfriend, Jessica Gelderman…just after 2:30 a.m. Monday about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse as depicted on the AMC series…

“He feels strongly about the possibility that some military mishap could occur. She thinks it’s ridiculous,” ABC News quoted Cote as saying. “She was not taking him seriously or taking the show as seriously as he does.”

Cote said Gelderman became worried about Gurman as the argument became heated and decided to go to his Williston Park home to calm him down, the report said.

Gelderman attempted to talk to Gurman and enter his home, but he shot her in the back with a .22-caliber rifle, police said.

Gurman drove Gelderman to the hospital, where she was treated for a shattered rib, a pierced lung and a pierced diaphragm.

Gurman was charged with attempted murder.

Ever know anyone who couldn’t see the difference between movies and TV show – and reality?

When I was still involved with competitive racquet sports back East, I used to work out with a guy who was getting ready to change his name to Conan the Barbarian. Part of his preparation for metamorphosis. Till Arnold beat him to it.

Written by Ed Campbell

December 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Brothers wait almost six years to claim $5M lottery prize

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Two brothers from central New York have claimed a $5 million lottery prize for a scratch-off ticket they bought at their parents’ Syracuse store six years ago…

Andy Ashkar, 34, of Camillus, and Nayel Ashkar, 36, of Cicero, came forward March 1, just 11 days before the top prize in the “$500,000,000 Extravaganza” scratch-off game would have expired, New York Lottery said.

Andy Ashkar said he bought the ticket at his parents’ convenience store in Syracuse in 2006 and decided to share the winnings with his brother, officials said.

The agency said the younger brother said he waited so long to claim his prize because he was concerned the windfall could “negatively influence” his life if he didn’t plan properly before being publicly introduced as the winner. Andy Ashkar also told lottery officials that he also didn’t want the windfall to influence his engagement and subsequent marriage…

Nayel Ashkar’s wife, Sara, told The Post-Standard of Syracuse on Tuesday that news of the winnings was spreading fast, with family and friends calling to express their surprise and excitement.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “Hard to believe. It’s still sinking in.”

The brothers’ mother, Wasa Ashkar, said her husband, Neyef, sold the winning ticket to Andy at the couple’s Green Ale Market, but she couldn’t remember exactly when. She said she and her husband were Palestinians from Jerusalem who immigrated to the United States nearly 40 years ago and have owned the store for 12 years.

“I’m happy. Of course I’m happy,” she told The Associated Press over the phone before ending the conversation because she was busy with customers Wednesday morning.

Cripes – I don’t think I could ever be this disciplined.

But, kudos to the brothers for thinking of family and a normal life. You have to respect that concern.

Written by Ed Campbell

October 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The hidden cost of a fake ID

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How about a driver’s license including your girlfriend

SARATOGA SPRINGS — It seemed like a harmless way to score some beer. But prosecutors say city teens who handed over their names, birth dates, pictures and signatures to a China-based company in exchange for sophisticated fake IDs are in for a lifetime of debt.

City police announced Tuesday the arrests of 14 teenagers, most of them Saratoga Springs High School students, who purchased phony IDs through the now-defunct website ID Chief.

Along with a money order for $75, police said, the teens wired personal information overseas to people in the business of stealing identities. In return, the kids got a driver’s license that officials say can fool border patrol and airport security, let alone Caroline Street bouncers.

ID Chief got a cache of personal info they immediately auctioned off to the highest bidder.

“As these kids get older and try to get jobs, try to be stockbrokers, or get a mortgage, or credit cards, they will find in 90 percent of the cases that they have thousands in credit card debt, that they will have several mortgages they have yet to pay, holds on their licenses to states they’ve never been to, Interpol holds, because they gave their information to a foreign Web-based company,” Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said. “All just to get a beer on Caroline Street…”

Catone said none of the students had any idea of the potentially devastating long-term ramifications of their purchases.

“They’re teenagers,” he said. “Mortgages and loans 10, 20 years from now are not what they’re thinking about.”

ID Chief was an international operation. The orders were placed through an address in China, and the money was wired to Indonesia. The IDs themselves were crafted in England.

There is no patch for stupid.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Written by Ed Campbell

May 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Routine traffic stop nets one of Ten Most Wanted in USA

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A Peabody patrolman on an early morning routine traffic stop netted a federal fugitive on the U.S. Secret Service’s Top 10 wanted list — the department’s highest-profile collar in decades.

Sgt. Vincent Patermo, a 20-year Peabody police veteran, yesterday arrested Miguel Jesurum, 30, of Bronx, N.Y., one of the accused masterminds behind a $250 million cellphone cloning scheme that was used to set up a black market for international phone calls.

“I think it was his only arrest of the night, and he was pretty surprised by it,” said Peabody Police Lt. Bill Cook. “There haven’t been any big Top 10 wanted-list arrests here that I can remember for at least the past 20 years. It was a great pinch.”

The fleeing fugitive originally told Patermo his name was Pedro Berroa after the officer pulled him over about 2:45 a.m. on Route 1 northbound near Interstate 95, Cook said. Jesurum was charged with unlicensed driving and the department’s fingerprinting machine, which connects to an FBI database, revealed Jesurum’s true identity back at the station, Cook said…

Federal prosecutors in New York announced the Secret Service’s investigation into the sophisticated theft network last month. The Secret Service is charged with safeguarding the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems in addition to protecting top political leaders…

Jesurum is being held at Essex County House of Corrections. Prosecutors have said Jesurum could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in the black-market scheme.

They take the sidewalks in at 10PM in Peabody. We are all fortunate there was a conscientious copper on duty in the middle of the night. Glad to see the local PD is up-to-speed on digital information management.

I know more than a few places in this timorous nation where Jeserum would have been turned loose with a slap on the wrist. Because it would have been too much work to check him out.

Written by Ed Campbell

March 12, 2012 at 2:00 am

Fossil forest dating back 380 million years unearthed in upstate NY

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One of the earliest forests in the world was home to towering palmlike trees and woody plants that crept along the ground like vines, a new fossil find reveals. The forest, which stood in what is now Gilboa, N.Y., was first unearthed in a quarry in the 1920s. But now, a new construction project has revealed for the first time the forest floor as it stood 380 million years ago in the Devonian period.

“For the first time, we actually have a map of about 1,200 square meters of a Devonian forest,” said study researcher Chris Berry, a scientist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. “We know which plants were growing where in this forest, and how they were interacting.”

The fossilized forest floor contained three types of enormous plants. The first, known as the Gilboa tree or Eospermatopteris, was once thought to be the only type of tree in the forest; quarry workers have been carting specimens out of the area since the fossil plants were first discovered. This tree was tall and looked like today’s palm trees, with a crown of branches at the very top.

But an even stranger specimen lurked in this ancient forest. Amid the towering Gilboa trees were woody creeping plants with branches about 15 centimeters in diameter. These giant plants, known as progymnosperms, seemed to lean against the Gilboa trees for support, perhaps even climbing into them occasionally, Berry said…

The researchers also found a fragment of a third type of tree, lycopsids, which would later dominate the Carboniferous period from about 360 million to about 300 million years ago…

The new view of the ancient forest is changing paleontologists’ understanding of what the landscape looked like. The earliest researchers thought the forest was in a swamp, but Berry and his colleagues, including study leader William Stein of Binghamton University in New York, now believe the forest stood in a flat coastal plain near an ancient shoreline. It was probably buried and preserved when a river channel shifted, bringing in loads of sand to cover the forest floor…

“I’ve spent 20 years trying to imagine what these plants were like as individuals, and yet I really had no conception of them as an ecosystem,” Berry said. “Going to Gilboa and sitting in the middle of the forest floor, you could almost see them growing out of the ground. … The fossil forest came to life in front of my eyes in a way that has never happened before.”

More broadly, a deeper understanding of the forest helps paleontologists piece together the ecology of the very earliest forests on Earth. The Devonian period marks a time when plant life began to shift from small, scattered vegetation to large-scale forests, Berry said. Plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and during the Devonian forest boom, carbon dioxide levels may have dropped from 15 times that of today to modern levels…

We’ve gone from knowing about plants to knowing about a forest,” Berry said. “That’s really been the breakthrough for me.”

Bravo! I know the area fairly well. Hiked the region a lot – seems like a few centuries ago. :)

Written by Ed Campbell

March 1, 2012 at 2:00 am

Drunk – wearing “I’m a drunk” t-shirt – arrested for driving drunk!

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A New York man wearing a T-shirt declaring “I’m a drunk” is facing DWI charges after a collision with a police car.

Suffolk County police arrested 23-year-old Kevin Daly of Coram. They say he crashed into an officer’s vehicle at about 1:45 a.m. Thursday. The officer was treated for minor injuries.

Daly, who is unemployed, was wearing the T-shirt in a mug shot provided by police. It reads: “I’m not an alcoholic / I’m a drunk / Alcoholics go to meetings.”

He was ordered held on $10,000 bail at his arraignment and was issued several traffic summonses. He was represented by an attorney from Legal Aid, which has a policy of not commenting on pending cases.

Throw away the key. He’s a drunk and an idiot. Double the menace to the public.

Written by Ed Campbell

November 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Will that be vanilla or chocolate with your OC’s?

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An ice cream vendor who peddled prescription painkillers from the same truck he sold frozen treats to kids, was sentenced on Tuesday to three and a half years in prison.

The sentence was part of a plea deal struck by Louis Scala, 30, the head of a $1 million drug-trafficking ring run out of his Lickety Split truck, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Scala, 30, obtained the drugs with a prescription pad stolen by an accomplice from a Manhattan doctor’s office. Through a network of more than two dozen runners, he was able to get nearly 43,000 oxycodone pills between July 2009 and June 2010, with a street value of $20 apiece…

Scala drove his Lickety Split truck through neighborhoods in Staten Island, selling ice cream to children while inviting adults into the back to buy pills.

American entrepreneurs are truly special.

Written by Ed Campbell

October 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Deadly fire started by Voodoo sex ceremony

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Candles used in voodoo sex ceremony caused a fatal five alarm fire after they tipped over and ignited bed sheets in a Brooklyn, New York, apartment…

The fire left an elderly woman dead and injured 20 firefighters and three Brooklyn residents, according to a New York Fire Department statement.

A voodoo priest allegedly placed the candles on the floor around the bed on Saturday after a woman paid him $300 to perform a ceremony with a sexual component, that was meant to bring her good luck, fire department officials said.

The candles were accidentally knocked over during the ceremony prompting the man to douse the flames with water and open a window in an effort to clear smoke from the room, the statement said.

Forty mile-per-hour wind gusts instead shot the flames back inside the room, it said, creating a “blowtorch effect” that whipped through the open window and pushed the fire into the building’s fourth floor hallway.

“Time and time again we respond to tragedies that could have been so easily prevented,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said in the statement. “This fire had so many of those elements … hopefully others will learn from this tragedy.” The occupants fled the apartment, leaving the door open, the statement said.

Nearly 200 firefighters from 44 companies took seven hours to bring the fire under control.

So, uh, could this be the one true religion?

And aren’t they all?

Written by Ed Campbell

February 27, 2011 at 10:00 am

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