Home

TTR News Center

Driver jailed on suspicion of being intoxicated in crash that killed 3 Wisconsin Girl Scouts and an adult picking up highway trash

No Comments

By TJH

WAOW(CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis.) — As a community mourned three Girl Scouts and an adult supervisor who were killed when a pickup truck struck them as they were picking up trash alongside a Wisconsin highway, the suspected driver was in custody Sunday on suspicion of being intoxicated when he allegedly ran them over, officials said.

The suspect, Colten Treu, 21, is expected to appear in court on Monday, officials said.

He was being held in jail on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and homicide by negligent use of a vehicle, an official at the Chippewa County Jail in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, told ABC News on Sunday.

The names of those killed Saturday morning have not been released. Local residents were planning to hold a candlelight vigil for them Sunday night at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, where the three girls were all in the fourth grade.

A fourth Girl Scout struck by the truck remained in the hospital Sunday in critical condition, officials said.

“Our hearts are broken for the girls and families of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes,” Sylvia Acevedo, the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA, said in a statement Sunday to ABC News. “The Girl Scout movement everywhere stands with our sister Girl Scouts in Wisconsin to grieve and comfort one another in the wake of this terrible tragedy.”

The girls were picking up garbage at 11:41 a.m. on Saturday near the village of Lake Hallie, about 95 miles east of Minneapolis, Minnesota, when a Ford F150 pickup truck allegedly driven by Treu veered off a roadway and into the ditch striking the four girls and an adult who was overseeing their volunteer work, said Sgt. Daniel Sokup of the Lake Hallie Police Department.

Treu allegedly left the scene after hitting the group, Sokup said. Treu surrendered to police Saturday night and was placed under arrest, Skoup said.

It was not immediately clear whether Treu had retained an attorney.

The incident came at the end of a particularly deadly week for children hit by cars throughout the U.S.

In another deadly crash, three siblings died when they were hit by a pickup truck while boarding a bus in Rochester, Indiana, on Tuesday.

A 9-year-old boy was struck and killed while crossing the street to board a bus in northern Mississippi on Wednesday, and a second-grader in Pennsylvania was killed when struck by a vehicle at a bus stop on Thursday.

Five children and two adults were struck by a car at a bus stop in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday as well, though none of the injuries were considering life-threatening.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

…read more

Source:: National News

      

Police officer plays piano during call to assist elderly couple

No Comments

By Leighton Schneider

Pembroke Pines Police Department(MIAMI) — A South Florida police officer recently displayed his musical prowess while responding to a 911 call of an elderly man who had suffered from a bad fall.

The Pembroke Pines Police officer of six years, who requested to be identified as only Officer Hernandez, told ABC News he sat down at the piano for the man’s overwhelmed daughter.

Hernandez, 30, was participating in a community patrol in Spring Valley last month when he heard a 911 call come in over the radio. Once he got to the home, he discovered that not only had the man in his 90s fallen, but his health was “doing really bad” in general, he said.

“I guess that’s why I did the whole piano thing,” Hernandez said, adding that he could tell the man’s daughter, who is in her 60s, was “struggling with her elderly parents.”

Hernandez then pointed to the white baby grand piano in the family’s home, asking if they would mind if he played.

“And we started jamming out” to songs like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” as well as some classical and jazz music for about 10 minutes, Hernandez said. A firefighter on the scene recorded a video as others in the room sang along.

And it turns out, Hernandez’s method to calm the situation worked. Shortly after he started playing, the couple’s daughter, who the piano belongs to, then stood to Hernandez’s right and accompanied him with some duet work, he said.

Hernandez, who is the lead pianist at his church, began playing around the age of 6, he said. The Miami Lakes resident is self-taught and also plays the guitar and drums.

Depending on the type of call, he’ll often ask permission to play when spotting musical instruments around a home, he said.

“It usually makes people feel better,” Hernandez said. “They see a police officer in uniform perform something cool, they get all excited.”

At home, Hernandez plays a 7-foot black grand Kimball piano, a present he bought himself after working 72 hours straight during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

“As soon as the whole relief effort ended, I went ahead and purchased that piano,” he said.

While Hernandez has not paid much attention to the praise he’s getting on social media after the police department posted the video to its Facebook page, he said he’s happy the video is promoting law enforcement in a positive light.

“It definitely helps that people have a better view of our purpose,” he said. “…We’re human. We have talents. We have family. We’re just like everyone else, but doing a job that no one likes to do.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

…read more

Source:: National News

      

Three Girl Scouts and adult picking up highway trash killed in alleged hit-and-run

No Comments

By TJH

WAOW(CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis.) — Three Girl Scouts and an adult supervisor who were picking up trash along a Wisconsin highway were killed on Saturday afternoon in what authorities said was a hit-and-run, according to Wausau ABC affiliate WAOW.

A fourth Girl Scout was hospitalized in critical condition.

Colton Treu, 21, of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, allegedly left the scene, but later surrendered to authorities and was arrested, WAOW reported.

The crash occurred late Saturday morning as the scouts were picking up trash in a highway ditch in the village of Lake Hallie, about 95 miles east of Minneapolis.

The victims were not immediately identified, and it was not immediately clear whether Treu had retained an attorney.

The incident comes at the end of a particularly deadly week for children hit by cars.

In the deadliest crash, three siblings died when they were hit by a pickup truck while boarding a bus in Rochester, Indiana, on Tuesday. A 9-year-old was struck and killed while crossing the street to board a bus in northern Mississippi on Wednesday, and a second-grader in Pennsylvania was killed when struck by a vehicle at a bus stop on Thursday.

Five children and two adults were struck by a car at a bus stop in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday as well, though none of the injuries were considering life-threatening.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

…read more

Source:: National News

      

Teen accused of killing mom and burying her in a fire pit after an argument over his D grade

No Comments

By TJH

WFTV(VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla.) — A Florida boy is expected to be charged with the murder of his mother after he allegedly strangled her to death and buried her in a church fire pit after an argument about his D grade, according to police.

The boy, 15, confessed to the killing of his mother, Gail Cleavenger, 46, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

The teen has not yet been formally charged or arraigned. Chitwood said he anticipated that the state attorney’s office would soon file a murder charge. The suspect, who remains in police custody, is expected to appear in court Sunday morning.

It remains unclear whether the teen will be charged as an adult. ABC News is withholding the suspect’s name because he is a minor and has not yet been formally charged with a crime.

The attack took place early Friday morning after Cleavenger called her husband — the boy’s stepfather — who was on a business trip in Washington State, and informed him about her son’s D grade and the subsequent argument, according to police.

Asked at a previous press conference on Friday what motive would have prompted a matricide, Chitwood responded, “Rage.”

“Apparently there was a dispute about [grading] marks with his mother, and after an argument that occurred around 11 o’clock, around 12:30 he went into her room and woke her up and began to strangle her until he killed her,” Chitwood told reporters at a press conference.

After strangling her with a rope, according to police, the son used wheelbarrow to move his mother’s body to her truck and then drove it to River City Church and buried it in a fire pit.

The teen allegedly implicated two other friends whom he said helped him bury his mother and stage a burglary scene at his home. Then, police said, the teen returned home from school Friday and placed a call to 911 at 3:52 p.m., reporting a break-in.

Police also arrested his two friends, both 17. Both alleged accomplices remain in custody. While they have, too, have yet to be formally, charged, police said they are likely facing multiple criminal charges.

“These guys helped him bury his mother back here,” Chitwood said. “They helped him stage a burglary, and they helped hide all the electronics that w[ere] stolen from the house.”

When police arrived at his home they found the front door kicked in, the house ransacked and Cleavenger’s truck in the driveway with the engine running, according to a police statement posted on the department’s Facebook page.

Investigators spent hours talking with the son, Chitwood said at the Saturday press conference.

“He believed he was the smartest person in the room and he continued to tell us his theories of what he believed and why: what happened to his mom and where we should be focusing our attention,” Chitwood said.

Eventually, officials said, the teen changed course, admitted to the murder, and walked investigators through his plot and its execution.

“She was a mom. She was a wife. She was a sister. By all accounts she was an amazing human being,” Chitwood said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

…read more

Source:: National News

      

Murder trial for suspect in Karina Vetrano killing set to begin 2 years after jogger's brutal killing

No Comments

By TJH

karinavetrano/Instagram(NEW YORK) — Two years after jogger Karina Vetrano was strangled and sexually assaulted along a running path in Queens, New York, the high-profile murder case is headed to trial.

The slaying was a mystery for six months, until Chanel Lewis, then 20, was arrested on what police described as a lieutenant’s hunch.

Lewis, facing charges including murder and sexual abuse, has pleaded not guilty.

As opening statements begin Monday, here’s a look back at the shocking crime:

A mysterious murder

On Aug. 2, 2016, Vetrano, 30, went out for an uneventful jog in Howard Beach, Queens. Her father, Phil Vetrano, usually went with her, but he had an injury at the time, so that day, she ran alone.

When she didn’t come home that night, her worried father called police.

While searching with the authorities that night, Phil Vetrano made a gruesome discovery, finding his own daughter dead.

Vetrano was severely beaten, lying face-down in 8-foot reeds, with her front tooth knocked out, her pants pulled down and her socks wet, said Robert Boyce, who was the NYPD chief of detectives at the time.

Boyce called the brutal killing one of the most notable cases of his career.

“My thoughts were … she was dragged through [a puddle of] water and then dragged off the path into the high reeds,” said Boyce, who has since retired and become an ABC News contributor.

Her phone was found thrown in the reeds about 15 to 20 feet from her body, Boyce said.

Police recovered DNA from one unknown person on her cell phone, the back of her neck and her fingernails, he said.

No evidence was recovered from the sexual assault, he said.

Investigators put the DNA into the Combined DNA Index System — or CODIS, which allows federal, state, and local labs to compare DNA profiles electronically — but there was no hit.

The killing made headlines across the country as her grieving family pleaded with the public for help to solve the case.

“She lived more in her short 30 years than most people do in 10 lifetimes,” Phil Vetrano told ABC News last year of his daughter.

“She had a bucket list at 26 years old and she actually accomplished and did most of those things on the list,” he said, citing trips to Europe, a camel ride by the Great Pyramids and a trip to the Grand Canyon.

“She went everywhere … nothing stopped her,” he said. “She was extraordinary.”

A young man arrested

Despite the recovered DNA, months ticked by without an arrest.

Then in Feb. 2017, after police had received more than 250 leads and taken 600 DNA samples, a suspect was identified, after what authorities say was a lieutenant following up a lead.

Lewis, then 20, was taken into custody, one week after he was first approached by police about Karina Vetrano’s killing.

Lewis lived with his mother in East New York, Brooklyn, which borders Howard Beach, where Karina Vetrano was killed.

NYPD Lt. John Russo first saw Lewis on the Brooklyn-Queens border three months before Vetrano was killed, police sources told ABC News at the time of the arrest.

Russo thought he seemed suspicious and called it in, but Lewis left before a patrol car could respond, police sources said. The next day, a 911 caller mentioned Lewis by name and said he looked as if he was breaking into a Howard Beach property with a crowbar, police sources said.

While working on the Vetrano case, Russo suggested taking a look at Lewis. Police tracked him down and say he gave a voluntary DNA sample, which matched DNA recovered from where Vetrano was found, police said.

Lewis had no prior arrests so his DNA wasn’t in CODIS, said Boyce.

Lewis, who didn’t appear to know Karina Vetrano, allegedly told detectives he “just lost it” and strangled Vetrano after spotting her on the jogging path, according to a statement that prosecutors read aloud during his arraignment.

Vetrano “didn’t do anything,” Lewis allegedly told police. “I was just mad at the time. I beat her to let my emotions out. I never really meant to hurt her. It just happened.”

According to Lewis’ statement to detectives read by prosecutors at his arraignment, Lewis fought with Vetrano for about five minutes. He allegedly said he hit her repeatedly, knocking her out, prosecutors said.

The case heads to trial

Lewis, now 22, is awaiting trial at New York City’s Rikers Island jail.

“Mr. Lewis is very optimistic,” Rev. Kevin McCall of the National Action Network, a Lewis family spokesman, told ABC News. “He pleaded not guilty because he believes and knows that he did not commit this crime.”

The Legal Aid Society, which is representing Lewis, said in a statement, “We have serious doubts about the collection of evidence and tactics employed by the NYPD leading to the arrest of our client. We’re confident that the jury will critically examine the evidence and find that the government will not prove their case.”

Chris Banks, Lewis’ family spokesman, told ABC News they believe Lewis’ confession was coerced.

Lewis’ mother, Vita, said her son was religious and non-violent.

“I love my son,” she told reporters last year. “My son is friendly, God-fearing and would not hurt anybody.”

McCall added that Lewis was quiet and a “bright young man.” He vowed to “fight till the end” for him.

Meanwhile, Phil Vetrano, who told ABC News last year that he’d attend court each day, said his family “will never let this go.”

“We are there to stand for my daughter, who cannot stand for herself,” he said.

When she was alive, Phil Vetrano said his daughter lived her life to the fullest.

“She always …read more

Source:: National News

      

%d bloggers like this: