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Surveillance video captures child being dragged down stairs in violent robbery

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San Jose Police Department(SAN JOSE, Calif.) — A man who was seen on surveillance video violently snatching a purse from a woman holding hands with her child on a stairwell has been arrested.

The incident occurred on May 6 at an outdoor office building in San Jose, California, police said.

Surveillance footage from the scene showed the victim walking up a flight of stairs with her young daughter in tow, according to police. The suspect is seen approaching from behind while talking on his cellphone. Moments later, he violently grabs the woman’s purse and subsequently drags her and the child down the stairs.

Detectives were able to identify the suspect as 26-year-old Pablo Cabrera Jr. based upon the detailed description they were given, police said. Cabrera Jr. was later linked to other purse snatching robberies, according to police.

Further investigation revealed all of his victims were Asian females who carried expensive purses, authorities said. In each case, Cabrera Jr. would approach them from behind, grab the purse and flee to his vehicle.

Cabrera Jr. was taken into custody on Saturday at his home in San Jose, police said. At the time of his arrest, he was on parole for burglary, according to authorities.

“We are fortunate this predator was caught before any more members of the public were victimized,” San Jose Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia wrote in a news release.

Authorities did not reveal if the victims sustained serious injuries as a result of the robberies.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man arrested in his underwear with wife's dead body in passenger seat, police say

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Pinal County Sheriffs office(ELOY, Ariz.) — Arizona police arrested an Oklahoma man this week after discovering his wife’s naked dead body in his vehicle.

Rodney Puckett, 70, was arrested during a traffic stop in Eloy, Arizona, on Monday when an officer discovered his 74-year-old wife, Linda Puckett, dead in the passenger seat of his SUV, Eloy police said.

Rodney Puckett was reportedly wearing only a pair of underwear and his wife was laying upside down with her head on the floorboard and her legs on the headrest.

Rodney Puckett told police his wife had died in Texas while they were making their way to California on a road trip. The woman’s death is being investigated as suspicious, but it’s unclear if Rodney Puckett may have played a role, according to police.

“Rodney told detectives Linda died at a hotel in Texas during their trip. He moved her body into their vehicle, continuing towards their destination,” the Eloy Police Department said in a statement. “Linda was turned over to Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office who will be working to determine her cause of death.”

The Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office told ABC affiliate KNXV-TV that the woman’s body had some signs of blunt force trauma, but it had not determined her exact cause of death as of Tuesday evening.

The couple, who married in 2011, were in the process of divorcing, court records show. Linda Puckett was issued a protective order from her husband on Feb. 6 and it was continued Monday, records show. She filed for divorce earlier this year.

Authorities said they became aware of the case when a fast food worker told police that she saw a naked man and woman in a vehicle, according to KNXV.

“I so happened to look on the passenger side and that’s when I seen he had the lady in there, she was like completely naked,” Maria Davis, the fast food worker who reported the incident, told KNXV. “The way she was face down, like laying down, and then I seen the color of her feet were like purple.”

“He was like normal, like really normal about it,” Davis added. “He was calm, he ordered his food.”

Rodney Puckett was booked into Pinal County Jail on charges of abandonment or concealment of a body.

He was being held on a $100,000 bond as of Tuesday evening. It’s unclear if he has obtained an attorney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man allegedly kills mother with baseball bat, mistaking her for intruder

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SusanneSchulz/iStock(CHICAGO) — A man who allegedly beat his mother with a baseball bat after mistaking her for an intruder in his Illinois home is now facing murder charges.

Thomas Summerwill surrendered to police and on Tuesday appeared in court, where he was charged with two felony counts of second-degree murder, according to the Office of the Kane County State’s Attorney.

On the morning of March 24, Summerwill awoke to find a person presumed to be a stranger in his bedroom, prosecutors allege. The 21-year-old grabbed a baseball bat in self defense and struck the person, who turned out to be his 53-year-old mother, Mary Summerwill, multiple times in the head.

She died as a result of blunt force trauma, authorities said. Several homes in the Summerwills’ neighborhood have since displayed green ribbons in honor of her life, ABC News station WLS-TV reported.

Prosecutors, however, said Summerwill was not responsible for his actions due to the fact that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the beating, according to the Office of the Kane County State’s Attorney.

Summerwill, who is being held in lieu of a $300,000 bond, is expected to attend his next court hearing on May 23.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alabama Senate approves country’s most restrictive abortion ban

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DJMcCoy/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Alabama’s state Senate voted and approved one of the most controversial and restrictive abortion laws in the country.

The ban prevents women from seeking abortions by making any abortions a felony for the doctor who performs them, making this different than the so-called “heartbeat” bills that have passed in other states recently, like Georgia. Those bills point to the detection of a fetal heartbeat as the point at which an abortion is banned, but the Alabama ban goes further.

The Alabama measure does not provide any exemptions for cases of rape or incest, meaning that the women or children who are victims in those cases would have to carry a pregnancy to term. The only exception allows for abortions in cases where the woman’s health is at risk.

After the vote passed 25-6, the ACLU of Alabama announced on Twitter that they would file a lawsuit to stop the abortion ban.

Like many of the abortion bans that have been passed on the state level, the Alabama law is expected to face an almost immediate legal challenge and even if it is signed into law by the governor, it is unlikely to go into immediate effect.

Another similarity seen in Alabama as in other states is the hope that the inevitable legal challenges could lead to the bill being debated by the Supreme Court, which opponents of abortion hope could lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and therefore a federal ban on abortion.

Much like an earlier iteration of the debate, the Tuesday discussion of the bill turned deeply personal, touching on different views of God and an individual experience of one of the lawmakers.

State Sen. Rodger Smitherman, a Democrat opposed to the bill, spoke about how he and his wife faced the choice of whether or not to abort one of their children.

“There was a problem with this child. The 23rd chromosome did not split,” Smitherman said on the senate floor.

Smitherman said that he and his wife decided to keep the child, and struggled but adapted during the few months that the child was alive.

“I learned and became a perfectionist in resuscitation because I brought him back to life three times,” he said of his son, detailing how they “made him a part of my family for those brief months.”

“The significance is that I had the choice. The choice was my wife’s and I. The legislature did not make the choice for me,” Smitherman said.

Smitherman posed questions to Republican State Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who supports the bill. He was repeatedly asked about the fact that the bill does not provide exemptions from the ban on abortions in cases of rape and incest.

Chambliss said that abortions could only be provided “until the woman is known to be pregnant,” which points to the small window that would be available.

Smitherman asked Chambliss about the 15 week abortion bill that was deemed unconstitutional in neighboring Mississippi, but Chambliss said that he is “not familiar with that case.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nebraska farmer recounts sawing off his leg with a pocket knife to save his own life

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vzwer/iStock(PENDER, Neb.) — A Nebraska farmer says he’s fortunate to be alive after his leg got stuck in a grain auger dealing him a life or death decision: Cut off his limb or die.

“I didn’t have no other choice,” Kurt Kaser, a 63-year-old grain and hog farmer in Pender, Nebraska, told ABC News on Tuesday.

Kaser said he’s had other close calls on the farm, but nothing like what happened to him in April.

He said he was working alone, transferring a load of grain into a bin with a mobile grain auger, when he was suddenly forced to think fast on how to save his own life.

He said back in the winter the ground had frozen on his farm and he had to jury-rig the auger to make it fit under a bin by cutting away part of a safety screen covering the auger’s hopper.

“I’m kind of disappointed in myself that I didn’t think of fixing that thing, or whatever. But that’s why they call it accidents I guess,” Kaser told ABC News.

On April 26, he was using the same auger to fill a bin with grain and forgot that part of the screen covering the hopper was still missing.

“I stepped right in the damn thing. It grabbed ahold of me,” he said. “I can remember seeing it start and I go, ‘This ain’t good,'” Kaser said. “And then when my foot was in there banging around, I was trying to hold my leg, pulling it out, and I said, ‘This is not good.'”

There was no one around to hear him yell for help, and making matters worse, he couldn’t find his cell phone.

“I don’t know if I had it with me, if it fell in the auger and went in the bin. I don’t know. But nobody has been able to find it,” Kaser said of the phone.

He said the auger, which resembles a large drill bit, kept pulling on his leg and tearing away the skin, tissue and muscle until he could see the bone protruding from his lower left leg.

“I felt it try to grab me again,” he said. “I about gave up and said, ‘Whatever happens happens. If it sucks me in all the way, it’s over with.’ But then, all at once, I thought of my pocket knife.”

Not knowing when someone would arrive to help, and fearing he would pass out, a desperate Kaser did the unthinkable. He managed to retrieve his pocket knife, which he described as having a 3-to-4-inch blade.

“I dang near dropped it in the auger,” he said.

But when he got a good grip on the knife, he said he started sawing his leg about eight inches below his knee.

“Finally it let go and I got out,” he said.

He said he doesn’t remember experiencing much pain and didn’t notice a lot of blood.

“Adrenaline kicked in so much that I don’t know if it hurt or not,” he said.

But once freed from the piece of farm equipment, Kaser said he was confronted with a new problem: How to get to the nearest working phone, which was in a nearby shed he uses as an office.

“I had to Army crawl on my hands and knee and elbows, and kind of drug my back,” he said. “It was about 150 to 200 feet on rock and gravel and stuff and [I] got to a phone to call.”

He said he contacted one of his sons who relayed the emergency to 911. A medical helicopter flew Kaser to a trauma center in Lincoln, about 90 miles away, where he underwent surgery on his leg.

“I never lost consciousness until they put me out in Lincoln when they started operating on me. I sat up in the chopper and watched all the way to Lincoln,” Kaser said.

He said it’s not the first time he’s gotten his leg stuck in an auger, explaining that a few years ago one injured his right leg.

“It never broke my leg or took my leg, but it chewed a bunch of muscle and stuff out of it. I had that redone,” he said.

Following his latest mishap, Kaser spent three weeks undergoing rehabilitation at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital-Lincoln Campus. He finally went home on Friday and is waiting to be fitted with a prosthetic limb, he said.

He said that while undergoing rehab, he saw other patients in much worse shape than him.

“I mean, they’re in wheelchairs. They’re not getting out of them. It could always be worse,” he said. “I get a chance to be pretty close to normal. They don’t and I feel sorry for them.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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