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Texas parents charged after leaving infant in parking lot

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By Carmen Cox

KTRK(KATY, Texas) — A couple was arrested on Tuesday after their eight-week-old baby boy was left in his car seat on the ground of a busy parking lot in Katy, Texas.

Sarah Shibley, 33, and Gary Collins, 39, were charged with endangering a child, ABC News affiliate KTRK reported Tuesday.

A man found the infant and handed him over to Dee Griffin-Stevens, a mother of three who said she cared for the baby until authorities arrived, the report said.

“I was crying. I was crying because I couldn’t believe it was happening,” Griffin-Stevens told KTRK. “I’m holding him and I’m thinking, ‘Where’s your mom?'”

She said the child was alone in the car seat without a bottle or a blanket.

Griffin-Stevens’ friend captured the emotional moment on video.

Authorities estimate the baby had been alone for about 45 minutes before the man found him.

Shibley, the baby’s mother, was crying when she was arrested after returning to the scene, according to the KTRK report.

During the couple’s first court appearance on Wednesday, a prosecutor said the couple had left the child there by mistake.

“Mrs. Shibley advised she walked out of work with the child in her hand and placed him on the ground. She says she thought Mr. Collins grabbed the child and put him in the vehicle. Apparently, nobody did,” the prosecutor said.

The baby is currently in Child Protective Services’ custody until workers can find relatives to care for him.

A CPS spokeswoman described him as a “happy, healthy, chunky baby who looks as if he has been cared for.”

Both Shibley and Collins have requested court-appointed attorneys. They are scheduled to appear back in court on Thursday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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Israeli-American arrested in connection to bomb threats against Jewish centers

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By Jeanette Torres

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A dual Israeli-American citizen has been arrested in Israel in connection to the series of bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the United States and other countries, a source with knowledge of the case told ABC News.

It is unclear if the suspect is Arab or Jewish.

Across the U.S. this year there have been five waves of bomb threats at Jewish community centers and Jewish schools. The JCC Association of North America reported 100 incidents this year alone. No bombs were found at any of the locations. The FBI and Justice Department’s civil rights division were investigating the incidents.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Woman describes how she survived being stranded in Grand Canyon

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By Jeanette Torres

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A woman who spent five days stranded in the Grand Canyon described the “true panic” of her harrowing experience in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

“I was panicking and crying and sobbing — I was a mess,” said Amber Vanhecke, 24, about the moment she first realized she was lost without GPS or cell reception.

Originally from Denton, Texas, Vanhecke was sight-seeing by herself near the Southern rim of the Grand Canyon when her GPS instructed her to make a wrong turn, and lead her through increasingly tough terrain.

An experienced Girl Scout and outdoor adventurer, Vanhecke had traveled by herself numerous times before and visited other national parks including Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoias and Redwoods.

“I planned out my itinerary, had it posted on Facebook and stuff and off I went with some non-perishables and water,” Vanhecke, a college student, said of the spring break trip she’d been planning since January. She left Denton and spent a day in Carlsbad, New Mexico, before driving the rest of the night to the Grand Canyon.

During her drive, she followed her GPS from a highway to a dirt road. But she eventually came across a more primitive road with grass and cacti.

“The problem was, the road wasn’t there,” she recalled. Vanhecke said that eventually her GPS stopped working entirely and her car ran out of gas.

As it started to get dark and she knew she was lost, Vanhecke started to worry about her spotty cellphone signal and GPS, which eventually stopped working. She was able to briefly get through to a 911 dispatcher in a moment of desperation.

“He said ‘what’s the nature of your emergency?’ and I said ‘please help me’ because I was panicking and crying and sobbing.” But then the call dropped.

“And that was the first moment I felt true panic,” she said.

Using her outdoors knowledge, she slept until daylight and re-assessed her situation, but she said that day “no one drove by” past the road she was on.

The second day she made an SOS sign as well as a signal fire hoping that a helicopter or small plane would see her distress signal, both survival skills she said she learned as a girl scout and from movies and television shows.

“I felt very disconnected from just everything and everyone,” Vanhecke said.

She initially thought a search party would be sent after her, but it soon became apparent that she might be on her own.

“[A]pparently there was a miscommunication somewhere and no one was looking for me at all,” she said.

It dawned on Vanhecke that she would have to take her rescue into her own hands.

“I knew I wouldn’t be found unless I did something to signal A, I was in distress, or B, rescue myself,” she said.

On her fourth day she hiked toward a road to search for a cell signal and was passed by a large red truck. “I chased them as far as I could,” but she said “they didn’t hear me and they didn’t see me.”

“I woke up on the fifth day feeling pretty hopeful,” Vanhecke said. Trekking a tiring 11 miles from her car and calling 911 every few minutes, she finally got through to help.

“I immediately stopped where I was because I didn’t want to lose it,” she said as she attempted to calmly explain her situation and location to authorities. The call cut out and she could not get a signal back out, so she walked back to her car hoping her brief call had this time done enough.

After 119 excruciating hours, a helicopter rescue crew spotted her car and the SOS sign, but Vanhecke was about 20 miles east of it. Fortunately, she had left a note explaining that she was out searching for help and to look for her or wait.

Authorities applauded Vanhecke’s ingenuity and her ability to properly implement survival training skills.

“She did a lot of things that helped her survive,” said Jonah Nieves, a member of the Air Rescue team with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “Those notes were clues and those clues led us to where she was.”

When the crew eventually found Vanhecke, she was treated for exposure and dehydration, and then transported via helicopter to a trauma center in Flagstaff, Arizona, authorities said.

One day after being rescued, Vanhecke resumed her sightseeing.

“There’s this word that really suits me — it’s called Fernweh,” Vanhecke said. “It means a longing for places you’ve never been and that’s basically me. It’s like wanderlust, but sounds fancier.”

When asked how she kept it together, Vanhecke said, “I had stuff to do.”

“Besides, I couldn’t do that to my sister or my mom or my dad,” she said. “I just felt like I had a lot unfinished, but I just wasn’t going to give up.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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Police officer, three other people killed in Wisconsin shooting rampage

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By Carmen Cox

iStock/Thinkstock(ROTHSCHILD, Wis.) — Four people including a police officer were killed in Wisconsin Wednesday after a domestic dispute escalated into shootings at three different locations — a bank, a law firm and an apartment complex — and a dramatic standoff between police and the suspect, officials said.

The suspect is in custody, police said.

Around 12:30 p.m., police responded to a “domestic situation” at Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild. When they arrived, police discovered two people had been shot. The suspect was not there.

Police then received a call about 10 minutes later from the law firm Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks in nearby Schofield, where the suspect killed one person.

Then at 1:30, another person was killed at an apartment complex in Weston, where the suspect had barricaded himself in an apartment.

After a few hours of negotiations, there was an exchange of gunfire. The suspect was injured and transported to local hospital in an unknown condition.

Nearby schools and a hospital went on lockdown. The lockdowns were later lifted.

At some point during the events, an officer with the Everest Metro Police Department was fatally shot. Everest Metro is a small, 27-officer force that serves Schofield and Weston.

Police did not provide any further details about the office, nor the other victims or suspect.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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Stabbing suspect came to New York to 'target black males,' say police

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By Jeanette Torres

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old man in New York City Monday night is being investigated as a bias crime, according to police.

Authorities said they have a 28-year-old suspect from Maryland in custody. They said they believed that the man had traveled to New York City to attack and kill black people.

According to police, the suspect has a deep-seated hatred against black people.

“He came here to target male blacks,” Assistant Chief Bill Aubrey said Wednesday during a news conference. “[He] picked New York because it’s the media capital of the world. … He knew what he was doing coming up here.”

Police identified the suspect as James Harris Jackson. Aubrey said he came from Maryland on Friday via a BoltBus.

Police said he assaulted Timothy Kaufman, 66, a black man. Jackson is white.

Police said the suspect walked into a police substation in Times Square a little after midnight. Two knives were found in his possession, police said. Authorities said he was being questioned.

The victim was stabbed in the chest and back at Ninth Avenue and West 36th Street just before 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Police said that the victim walked more than a block to a police precinct before collapsing. He was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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