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Special education teacher in Georgia arrested on drug charges

A special education teacher in Georgia was arrested in Henry County on drug trafficking charges, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Alma Nichole Jones, 33, teaches pre-kindergarten at Livingston Elementary in Newton County. She is on administrative leave pending a Newton County Schools investigation, a school spokeswoman said.

On May 10, Jones was arrested along with Adrian Vernay Barlow, 35, at a home in McDonough. Drug Task Force officers said they confiscated about two pounds of powder and suspected crack cocaine, a felony amount of suspected marijuana and a rifle.

Drug Task Force commander Maj. Chad Rosborough said his team executed a search warrant after a month-long investigation into activities at the home.

The powder and suspected cocaine was packaged for resale, Rosborough said in a news release.

Jones and Barlow were arrested on felony charges of trafficking cocaine and possession of marijuana. Barlow also faces a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Neither Jones nor Barlow were granted bond. Both are being held in the Henry County Jail.

Superintendent: Impaired bus driver was 15 times over limit with students on board

An Alabama school bus driver was arrested Friday after a student who suspected the woman was drunk forced her to stop driving and alerted authorities.

Vicki Lynn Patrick, 57, of Robertsdale, is charged with driving under the influence and reckless endangerment, according to Baldwin County Jail records. She remained in jail Tuesday morning in lieu of $35,000 bond. 

Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler told local media that Patrick’s blood-alcohol level was 15 times over the .02 legal limit for CDL licensed drivers following her arrest. 

WKRG in Mobile reported that Patrick’s $10,000 bail amount for the DUI charge is about 10 times the typical bond issued for those suspected of impaired driving. 

“She was entrusted with the care of our children and grossly violated that trust,” a prosecutor told the court during Patrick’s bond hearing, the news station reported. 

The $25,000 bail for the reckless endangerment charge represents $1,000 for each child that was on the bus when Patrick was arrested, WKRG reported

>> Read more trending news

Fox 10 in Mobile reported that Patrick was driving a mix of 25 elementary, middle and high school students home Friday afternoon when it became apparent to the students that something was wrong. 

“She was swerving on the road and she was going really fast, and then she was going really slow,” Cody Butler, a 16-year-old sophomore at Robertsdale High School, told the news station.

Butler said he went to the front of the bus to see if the longtime bus driver was all right. 

“When I smelled alcohol and she was slurring, that’s when I walked back to my seat and called my mom and told her what was going on,” the teen said. 

Butler’s mother called 911.

Witnesses told WKRG that a student pulled the emergency exit door, which forced Patrick to pull over. It was not clear if Butler was the student who pulled the door.

Another student passenger told the news station that Patrick could barely speak. 

“We started going, she tried talking on the intercom (and) couldn’t really talk that well, and then she started swerving,” Hunter Roberts, 13, said

Butler told Fox 10 that Patrick pulled the bus over once an alarm sounded. She tried to call another bus to pick up the children, but couldn’t form a complete sentence, the teen said. 

“I didn’t let her turn on the bus,” Butler said. “I just kept saying, ‘Just stay where you are,’ and people were coming.”

A Baldwin County Schools employee driving by noticed the bus and stopped to see what was going on. 

“He was asking what was wrong, and she said everything was fine and we were getting a new bus,” Butler said. “I made hand motions for him to come help. I mouthed that she was drunk.”

Sheriff’s deputies soon arrived at the scene. 

WKRG reported that Patrick, who deputies said “reeked of the smell of a fermented beverage,” refused to take a field sobriety test. She was disoriented and could hardly stand or answer the deputies’ questions, authorities said. 

After being medically evaluated, she was placed under arrest. 

The judge who set Patrick’s bail suspended her driving privileges and forbade her from drinking alcohol, the news station reported. She was also ordered to not have contact with the children who were on the bus Friday or their families. 

Florida man running from police finally stopped by fallen pants, officers say

What started as a traffic stop quickly turned into a high-speed chase, back-to-back crashes and an arrest that happened thanks, in part, to the suspect’s pants falling down.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

Tobias Smith, 24, faces a long list of charges stemming from the chaotic chase and crashes.

Daytona Beach, Florida, police say they tried to pull Smith over Tuesday for trying to cut through a parking lot along West International Speedway Boulevard to avoid a traffic light. Documents say Smith took off on North Nova Road.

>> On WFTV.com: Watch: Disney parking lot fire could have been doused faster if hydrants weren't moved

Smith made a hard right from the center lane onto Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard, police say, and at one point drove 60 mph in an area with a 25 mph speed limit.

Police say Smith ran a red light at the intersection with North Keech Street, and hit a car, a light pole and then the front of Nu-Looks Barber Shop, which had customers in it at the time.

>> On WFTV.com: Read: Florida's 10 safest cities in a hurricane

After the crash, police say Smith got out of the car and started running. Two officers caught up to him as his pants fell to his ankles, knocking him down.

The driver of the car that Smith hit went to the hospital after complaining of chest pains. No one in the barber shop was hurt, though police say the front of the business has $3,000 worth of damage.

>> Read more trending news 

Upon closer inspection, Daytona Beach police say they learned Smith was driving on a suspended license, and that the license plate on his vehicle actually belonged to another car.

Smith faces several charges, including fleeing police and leaving the scene of an accident.

Ex-student injured by school officer in shooting at Illinois high school, officials say

A school resource officer is being hailed as a hero after he exchanged gunshots Wednesday morning with a 19-year-old former student who fired several shots at Dixon High School in Illinois.

>> Read more trending news

“From the angle I’m looking at right now, a lot of things went right when a great many of them could have gone wrong,” Dixon Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said at a news conference Wednesday.

Authorities first got reports of an armed man on campus just after 8 a.m., police Chief Steve Howell said. The gunman, whose name was not released, was confronted by a school resource officer after he fired several shots near the west gym, Howell said.

The gunman ran when he saw the officer, who chased after him.

Howell said the suspect fired several shots at the officer as he tried to get away, but the officer was not injured. The officer returned fire, striking the gunman, according to authorities.

The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment of his wound, which did not appear to be life-threatening, Howell said. The officer, who was not identified, was placed on paid administrative leave as is standard in similar cases, according to the chief.

No other injuries were reported.

“I cannot be more proud of the police officer and the way he responded to the situation,” Howell said. “With shots ringing out through the hallways of the school, he charged toward the suspect and confronted him, head-on. Because of his heroic actions, countless lives were saved.”

Dixon High School and nearby campuses were placed under lockdown as authorities searched the school for any signs of another shooter. Investigators believe the unidentified suspect acted alone.

Howell said officers found students and staff members behind doors barricaded with desks and bookshelves while they were clearing the school.

“The students and staff responded to this situation extremely well,” he said.

All students have since been reunited with their families.

The circumstances leading to the shooting were not immediately clear. Authorities did not say what motivated the attack.

Police continue to investigate.

Police, school officials praise high school seniors’ prank as ‘one of best’ ever

The seniors at a Wisconsin high school showed their smarts, and their senses of humor, this week with a prank that even had the local police force praising their cunning. 

At first glance, it appeared that a car had crashed into the side of Cumberland High School, leaving a gaping hole in the brick façade near the principal’s office. Bricks were strewn everywhere as the back half of the car jutted out of the building.

It was all a sham.

“Nice work, seniors,” Cumberland School District officials said Monday on the district’s Facebook page. “You had everyone a little nervous this morning!”

>> Read more trending news

The students placed the back half of a junk car up against the building and used tape and a black tarp to create the illusion of a hole in the building, district officials explained. 

“The best part? This prank included absolutely no damage at all to school property, which is why police singled it out,” the district’s Facebook post read. 

Police officials called the prank “one of the best senior pranks that Cumberland High School has seen.”

The department’s Facebook followers agreed, sharing the post thousands of times. Several people commended the teens on their “good, clean fun,” while others lamented that their own senior class hadn’t thought of the prank themselves. 

One man puzzled over how the students pulled it off unnoticed.

“I’m curious as to how they got the car into position without someone stopping them?” the man wrote

A police official responded that the prank was done around midnight, but that it did get noticed afterward. 

“It was called in as a crash by a subject that works across from the school,” the response stated. “When (the) officer arrived, he realized it was the prank and laughed at the kids.”

Florida teacher accused of drowning 2 raccoons during science class

A Florida teacher accused of drowning at least two raccoons during a science class at Marion County's Forest High School on Monday has been placed on paid administrative leave.

>> Watch the news report here (WARNING: GRAPHIC. Viewer discretion advised.)

A student, who provided WFTV with graphic video of the incident, said some students were left with nightmares after the sixth period agricultural science class.

>> Florida woman fights off home invaders armed with AK-47, police say

"My friend said that the class before that, they were (putting) the water in the buckets," said the freshman student, who asked to not be identified.

The raccoons killed several chickens, the student said.

>> On WFTV.com: Ocala school shooter says he just wanted to go to jail

Students and staff members raise chickens and other livestock, which are housed in a shed behind the school.

The student said it took the raccoons several minutes to drown.

"They finally took the cage out of the water, and they trapped it into another smaller cage, where the top of the cage would go down into the water," the student said. "And that's how they killed the second one."

The student was crying, yelling and angry when he returned home from school. His parents weren't happy either.

"We want people to know he had them in cages; he had them trapped," the boy's mother said. "He could have had somebody come and relocate the animals."

>> Read more trending news 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said they're investigating the legality of the issue.

"While law enforcement tells us the teacher may not have done anything illegal, his actions before students are certainly questionable," the Marion County School District said in a statement.

The student said the teacher asked students to not record the drownings, but many of them did.

The teacher's name hasn't been released.

Mom accused of stabbing 11-year-old daughter, abducting 8-year-old in custody, police say

Police have located a child who was the center of an Amber Alert on Tuesday. The child’s mother, a suspect in the stabbing of another child, is in custody.

>> Read more trending news

Someone located the mother and child were in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

They said the arrest comes after neighbors  called about a stabbing Monday evening.

Police found an 11-year-old girl stabbed multiple times in an area home. The kitchen was also burning when officers arrived, according to officials.

Officers said the mother, Taheerah Ahmad, is suspected of committing the stabbing and starting a fire in the home.

A 9-year-old child said Ahmad duct-taped the hands of the children, put socks in their mouths and stabbed the 11-year-old, according to police. She then reportedly burned her phone, setting the kitchen on fire, and left the scene. Officers said the 9-year-old was able to flee to a relative's home.

After police took Ahmad into custody, they said she claimed she stabbed the 11-year-old victim in self-defense. She reportedly told officers she bound the 9-year-old and 11-year-old earlier in the evening for "reading their books," and police said she claimed the older child broke away and attacked her, prompting her to stab the child at least 50 times.

Police said they recovered two knives and a gardening tool from the scene. They reportedly believe she set the house on fire to make sure the child died.

Police initially said that Ahmad had taken her 7-year-old daughter with her when she fled, but they later clarified that the child was eight years old.

Tulsa police issued an Amber Alert.

Officers brought Ahmad into custody after someone spotted her in a downtown Tulsa parking lot. They said they believe she had been sitting in the parking lot for some time before she was spotted.

The victim is in critical condition after undergoing surgery.

Police said the father of the children is in Tennessee and did not know where the suspect was during the investigation.

Ahmad faces charges related to assault and battery with the intent to kill, arson and child neglect.

Police to start monitoring area highways from the air to stop speeders 

Instead of using radar guns from their cars to catch speeders, area law enforcement officers will soon start monitoring  several highways in Southwest Ohio, including a stretch of U.S. 42, from the air.

The aim is to reduce the high number of fatal accidents in the region. In Spring Valley Twp. alone, there were  22 or so crashes that have occurred on the highway, between Clear Springs and Spring Valley-Paintersville roads, in the past four years, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Tuesday. 

Ohio Department of Transportation crews on Tuesday started preparing the roadways to be monitored from the air by using a propane fueled torch to to apply white air strips to the roads. 

OSP to cite driver who reached for cell phone, caused crashes on I-75 in Tipp City 

The strips are being placed on either side of the yellow lines in the middle of the road, and they’ll act as targets for the pilots from the air. 

“So we have a pilot that flies overhead and when a vehicle passes the first white line they start a stopwatch,” said Lt. Matt Schmeak of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “And when the vehicle passes the second line they'll stop (the watch), and with our stop watch has a speed built into (it) and it'll tell exactly how fast the speed of the vehicle is.”

The technology is more accurate than radar guns that officers use from their cars to catch speeders, he said. 

Troopers are going to extreme measures to prevent fatal crashes, including one in which two people died on U.S. 42 and Spring Valley-Paintersville Road when they crashed their motorcycle into a car in October, Schmeak said. As a result of such accident, OSHP has been working since February to get the air strips installed, he said.

Victims in Greene County double fatal motorcycle crash identified

In addition to watching for speeders from the sky, Troopers and sheriff’s deputies will be posted along the side of the road to pull over speeding and aggressive drivers, Schmeak said. 

“And then when we stop them, just take that extra step to go above and beyond, and talk to them and educate them about the issues we've been having in this area,” he said. 

In addition to monitoring portions of U.S. 42 from the sky, law enforcement officials will monitor several other highways in Southwest Ohio. Below is a list of the counties and the highways:

  • Greene IR-675 north at milepost 8. 
  • Miami IR-75 at milepost 84 
  • Clark IR 70 at milepost 47 & MP 68 
  • Preble IR-70 east of US-127 
  • Warren IR-71 at milepost 31 
  • Butler IR-75 at milepost 20 
  • Shelby IR-75 at milepost 84 
  • Champaign US-68 north of Urbana 
  • Mercer SR-29 east of SR-703 
  • Darke no update 
  • Logan US 33 near Valley Hi and US-33 west of SR-287 
  • Auglaize IR-75 south of US-33

Coroner says Louisiana man was asphyxiated during arrest, rules death a homicide

The death of a 22-year-old Louisiana man in police custody last week has been ruled a homicide and the four narcotics detectives involved in his apprehension are under investigation. 

Keeven Robinson, who was black, died Thursday of compression asphyxia, Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich announced Monday. The findings were consistent with someone squeezing, grabbing or leaning on Robinson’s neck. 

“Our initial autopsy findings reveal significant traumatic injuries to the neck,” Cvitanovich said during a news conference, which was streamed live by NOLA.com. “Regarding manner of death, at this point manner of death is homicide.”

The coroner said he is confident that the final autopsy results will match his staff’s preliminary findings, though it will take weeks for the forensic investigation to be finished. 

“Our examination and our investigation at this point are not complete,” Cvitanovich said. “We still have a lot of work to do, investigative work. We still have microscopic examination of slides that need to be prepared and examined. We also have toxicology.”

Hester Hilliard, an attorney for Robinson’s family, told NBC News that the preliminary autopsy results exacerbated the family’s already deep grief. 

“They had to find out Keeven lost his life at the hands of another, and that's very, very hard for them,” Hilliard said. “And now they have to move on to making funeral arrangements for this 22-year-old, who should not have died.”

Jefferson County Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, who initially cited Robinson’s history of asthma as a potential factor in his death, said during the news conference that he immediately initiated a homicide investigation when he learned the preliminary autopsy findings on Saturday. 

His agency’s homicide squad was called in to begin a criminal investigation into the actions of the detectives, who were read their Miranda rights and questioned. All four cooperated and gave statements, the sheriff said. 

The detectives, who are all white, have been reassigned to administrative duty for the remainder of the probe. Lopinto declined to name the detectives, but said they may be publicly identified later in the week.  

“I understand that this investigation will be under a microscope,” Lopinto said. “I understand it fully.”

Lopinto said he also called in Louisiana State Police investigators to assist in the investigation, as well as federal officials. 

“You can never have too many sets of eyes to make sure we’re doing it properly,” the sheriff said. 

NOLA.com reported that Robinson, who was suspected of dealing drugs, was the subject of an undercover “sting” operation Thursday. Lopinto said last week that the detectives were waiting at a gas station when Robinson pulled into the parking lot and got out of his vehicle. When he spotted the detectives approaching him, he jumped back into his SUV and drove away. 

He allegedly struck two police vehicles as he fled. 

After hitting the second patrol car, Robinson exited his vehicle and ran away on foot, Lopinto said. The foot chase went through several yards, with both Robinson and the detectives scaling fences until the investigators cornered Robinson in a backyard, NOLA.com reported

The detectives got into a struggle with Robinson, who stopped breathing once he was in handcuffs, Lopinto said. The sheriff said the detectives began CPR and paramedics rushed him to Ochsner Medical Center, but he could not be saved. 

Robinson was not armed when he was taken into custody, but the detectives said they found a small amount of drugs on him. 

Lopinto conceded that the officers “were in a fight” with Robinson and used force to arrest him.

“Our police officers have to use force and are justified in using force on many occasions,” Lopinto said. “But it depends on their use of force compared to what was being done on the scene and what the findings of the science says.”

>> Read more trending news

A reporter asked the sheriff if the department has a policy on the use of chokeholds. He used an analogy when answering the question. 

“From a policy standpoint, we don’t train somebody to hit someone with a brick,” he said. “But if you’re fighting for your life and a brick’s there, you hit someone with a brick.

“The reality of it is, those determinations will have to be made, but I’m not coming to the conclusion that this was a chokehold.”

Deputies are not forbidden to use a chokehold, but they are not trained to use them, the sheriff said. 

None of the detectives were wearing body cameras and their vehicles were not equipped with dashboard cameras, NOLA.com reported. 

Robinson’s family confirmed last week that he suffered from asthma, the news site reported. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality had also issued an air quality alert Thursday for the New Orleans area, which meant that the air had levels of ozone that could be problematic for children, the elderly and people with asthma. 

His family puzzled over how the young man with the “cheerful spirit” ended up dead.

“He wasn’t a bad person at all,” Robinson’s cousin, Demone Robinson, told NOLA.com. “I don’t know why this would happen.”

“No one deserves to lose their life in the streets,” Glenda Moran, Robinson’s aunt, said. “It does not matter what you have done.”

Community activists at Monday’s news conference asked Lopinto to suspend narcotics sting operations after what happened. Lopinto declined to do so, citing the department’s responsibility to Jefferson Parish citizens who have complained about drug activity in the area. 

One incident’s tragic ending did not negate that responsibility, the sheriff indicated. 

“Somebody's family actually lost a life, and I'm very cognizant of that today,” Lopinto said. “That doesn't mean our officers did anything wrong, or it may mean that they did something wrong. 

“We have to have the ability to get to that conclusion and put that to the district attorney, let the district attorney make that decision.”

Family of Waffle House shooting victim sues accused shooter's father

The family of one of the four people killed last month at a Waffle House in Tennessee is suing the father of the man accused of carrying out the shooting attack, The Tennessean reported.

>> Read more trending news

Joe Perez, 20, was one of the four people killed at the Waffle House in Antioch on April 22. His family filed a civil lawsuit Monday against Jeffrey L. Reinking in Tazewell County, Illinois. According to the lawsuit, Reinking, the father of accused shooter Travis Reinking, is responsible in part for the attack. The 12-page lawsuit contends that Jeffrey Reinking gave his son several weapons even after the state of Illinois revoked Travis Reinking’s authorization to own weapons in Illinois. 

The suit said that Jeffrey Reinking “knew or reasonably should have known his son’s mental status was such that it could deteriorate at any time in the future,” The Peoria Journal-Star reported.

Travis Reinking is accused of using an AR-15 assault-style weapon to kill four people and injure others in the early morning attack.

The lawsuit seeks "an amount more than $50,000" in damages, the Tennessean reported.

Jeffrey Renking’s attorney, Joel Brown of Peoria, did not immediately respond to a request to comment, the Journal-Star reported.

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