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Stairway collapse injures 21 children, 2 adults at parkour gym in San Diego

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By Anthony Pucik

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — A stairway collapse at a crowded San Diego parkour facility injured 21 children and two adults on Saturday evening.

According to the San Diego Fire Department, the injuries were considered minor to moderate.

The collapse happened just after 8 p.m. PT at Vault PK when a large group of kids climbed up on a platform and the whole structure collapsed, injuring those on the platform and underneath it, according to San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV.

Cory Brizendine, a parent, told KGTV there were about 50 kids there at the time, and they were called up to the platform for pizza.

“Once the majority of kids got up there the whole platform collapsed,” he said.

One of the injured adults was a 72-year-old woman and the other was 46 years old. Neither were employees, according to authorities.

One child possibly suffered a moderate spinal cord injury due to the way he fell and a second child suffered a possible moderate head injury, the San Diego Fire Department said.

The parkour facility is located in a large warehouse in the Barrio Logan section of the city.

Parkour is a physical discipline in which participants attempt to get from one point to another, often involving jumping from one structure to another at obstacle course-like facilities. Developed in France, the discipline has gained popularity in the U.S. through media such as the “Assassin’s Creed” video game series and TV show “American Ninja Warrior.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Rhode Island police defend use of force in deadly shooting of pickup truck driver

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Providence Police Department (PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — Rhode Island authorities on Friday released police body camera and traffic surveillance footage as they defended the actions of officers who, a day earlier, had shot and killed a pickup truck driver and wounded his passenger after a high speed chase.

The incident began Thursday morning when a state trooper was transporting a handcuffed prisoner to court. The trooper stopped to investigate a car crash on Route 146 in Providence at approximately 9 a.m. ET. When the trooper got out of his marked cruiser, the prisoner took control of the vehicle and drove off without him, according to Rhode Island State Police.

The stolen cruiser was found about 30 minutes later abandoned on a street in the capital city. State and local authorities launched an intensive manhunt for the escaped prisoner, identified as 35-year-old Donald Morgan.

In the search for Morgan, authorities received a tip that the man was seen trying to get into a white pickup truck in the area, prompting investigating officers to pull over white pickup trucks in the city, according to Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr.

At about 10:35 a.m., a white pickup truck sped off as a Cranston police officer attempted to pull over the vehicle, leading authorities on an intense pursuit.

The Providence Police Department released video from Rhode Island’s Department of Transportation, which shows a large white pickup truck speeding up a highway, weaving through traffic and driving in a shoulder lane as police follow closely behind.

The truck darts up a ramp onto Route 95, but a police officer had stopped his vehicle ahead to block traffic and prevent the truck from escaping. Numerous police cruisers pull up behind the truck and officers with guns drawn converge on the vehicle. But the truck tries to drive forward anyway, hitting a small car stopped on the ramp and ramming it aside. An officer helped the female driver out of that car, according to the Providence police chief.

Officers jump out of the way as the truck smashes back and forth into vehicles, the driver apparently trying to force a way out.

The Providence Police Department also released footage from an officer wearing a body camera who arrives on scene as authorities begin firing shots at the truck, which has tinted windows. Thick plumes of white smoke billow into the air from the truck’s spinning tires. More than 40 shots were fired by multiple officers and troopers in two separate volleys of gunfire, the police chief said.

“We believe that video shows the acts of the officers as doing exactly what we would want them to do in stopping an imminent and significant threat,” Clements said Friday at a press conference to release the footage.

The video shows authorities swarming over the truck when it becomes clear it’s no longer moving. One officer shouts, “Watch the passenger! Watch the passenger!”

The driver of the truck, identified as Joseph Santos, 32, was shot and killed. He was shot multiple times, according to the Providence police chief.

A female passenger in the truck, identified as Christine Demers, was hospitalized for injuries, the police chief said.

The man who stole the marked cruiser, whom authorities were initially searching for, was arrested Friday night at a residence in Cumberland, according to Rhode Island State Police. Morgan was charged with escape from custody, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, obstructing an officer in execution of duty, larceny of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and resisting arrest.

Two other people, identified as Daniel Medeiros, 54, and Rachael Read, 47, both of Cumberland, were also arrested and charged with harboring a criminal, state police said.

The Providence Police Department and Rhode Island State Police have launched a joint investigation overseen by the attorney general into Thursday’s officer-involved shooting, according to Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. The case will be presented to a grand jury, which will determine whether the use of force was justified.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Marine drill instructor gets 10 years in prison for hazing recruits, especially Muslims

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A military jury has sentenced a Marine Corps drill instructor to 10 years behind bars for tormenting and physically abusing young recruits, especially Muslims, including one who later killed himself.

Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix on Thursday was found guilty of hazing and maltreatment of over a dozen recruits at the Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. The 34-year-old Iraq War veteran was convicted of dozens of criminal counts as the eight-member jury determined he kicked, punched and choked trainees including targeting three Muslim-Americans whom he allegedly taunted as “terrorist” and “ISIS.” He also pressured at least of the Muslim recruits to get into an industrial clothes dryer.

The jury at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on Friday sentenced Felix to military prison, reduced his rank to private and also ordered that he forfeit all pay and receive a dishonorable discharge.

“He wasn’t making Marines. He was breaking Marines,” prosecutor Lt. Col. John Norman told jurors Wednesday, adding that Felix was a “bully” who particularly “picked out three Muslim recruits for special abuse because of their Muslim faith.”

A hazing investigation at the Parris Island boot camp led to charges against Felix after the March 2016 suicide of one of the Muslim-American military hopefuls Felix was accused of maltreating.

Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old from Taylor, Michigan, jumped to his death on March 18, 2016, after having been “forcefully slapped” in the face between “one and three times” by his drill instructor, according to a report obtained by ABC News from Marine Corps officials in September 2016.

He then “stood, ran through the back hatch (exit) of the squad bay, and vaulted the railing of the stairwell, causing him to fall from the third deck of the barracks to the access stairs below,” the report said.

At the time Siddiqui had been complaining that his throat hurt and he “would not speak or answer when prompted.” He had fallen to the floor grabbing his neck “in apparent pain and failing to comply with orders to respond.” The report said Siddiqui’s drill sergeant insisted on an “an acceptable response” that precipitated his slapping the trainee.

The 2016 report also found that Siddiqui’s drill instructor was alleged “to have engaged in serious misconduct with a previous platoon, including hazing and verbal and physical abuse of a Muslim recruit.” Substantiation of those allegations should have led to his suspension as a drill instructor, according to the report.

Five days prior to his death, Siddiqui was found to have made a suicidal threat that led to his being placed on watch and scheduled for a mental health evaluation the next day. He recanted his threat but his unit’s leadership “failed to report an allegation he made of physical abuse by his drill instructors,” the report said. The next day he was cleared for duty.

A Marine Corps statement in September 2016 said, “Findings from the Siddiqui investigation conclude that Siddiqui’s death was the result of suicide.”

In another case, Felix was accused of ordering former recruit Lance Cpl. Ameer Bourmeche into an industrial-size clothes dryer and turning it on as he demanded Bourmeche renounce his Muslim faith. Bourmeche, now a 23-year-old lance corporal at Camp Pendleton in California, testified during the trial that he twice affirmed his faith and twice Felix and another drill instructor order him to climb inside the dryer.

Bourmeche alleged they turned on the dryer with him inside three separate times while asking whether he renounced Islam. Fearing for his life after a third bruising spin, Bourmeche said, he told them he was no longer Muslim. He was then allowed to get out of the dryer, he said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


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