Category: WTF

Uber Driver Pleads Guilty To Shooting Spree In Between Picking Up Customers

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man charged with killing six strangers between picking up rides for Uber pleaded guilty to murder on Monday, just before attorneys were set to interview jurors for his trial.

Jason Dalton’s surprise move came about three years after the shootings, which occurred over the course of a few hours in and around Kalamazoo. Dalton pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder over his attorney’s objections, triggering a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole on Feb. 5.

“Yes, I’ve wanted this for quite a while,” Dalton replied when a judge asked if the pleas were voluntary.

The 48-year-old Dalton answered “yes” to a series of questions, admitting that he shot eight people at three locations. After his arrest, police quoted Dalton as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him on the day of the shootings.

Four women were killed in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant: Barbara Hawthorne, Dorothy “Judy” Brown, Mary Lou Nye and her sister-in-law, Mary Jo Nye. Rich Smith and his 17-year-old son, Tyler Smith, were fatally shot while looking at a pickup truck in a dealer’s lot.

Abigail Kopf, who was 14 at the time, was shot in the head during the restaurant shooting and survived. Tiana Carruthers was injured in a residential area.

Dalton had been deemed competent to stand trial and last week dropped an insanity defense. In court, he didn’t explain why he randomly shot eight people.

Dalton, the father of two children, had worked as an insurance adjuster and had no previous criminal record before the February 2016 shootings.

Prosecutor Jeff Getting said the motive behind the shootings is a question that “haunts us.”

“Everybody wants to know,” he said during a news conference after the court hearing.

Defense attorney Eusebio Solis said he advised Dalton not to plead guilty.

“But in speaking to Mr. Dalton, there are reasons” for the plea, Solis told Judge Alexander Lipsey. “There are personal reasons for him. He does not want to put his family through that, or the victims’ families, through the trial. It’s his decision.”

A gun shop owner said Dalton bought a jacket with an inside pocket designed to hold a gun just hours before the rampage. Shop owner Jon Southwick recalled Dalton “laughing and joking,” and giving a “one-armed hug” to the manager before making the purchase.
Following the guilty pleas, Getting praised investigators and others who helped during the case, especially Alexis Cornish. She was dating Tyler Smith and was in a vehicle when he and his father were shot while looking at pickup trucks.

Cornish was “extraordinarily brave” to immediately get a phone from her boyfriend’s pocket and call 911, the prosecutor said.

Dalton’s relatives and former wife released a statement, expressing condolences to Kopf, Carruthers and the victims’ families for “this senseless tragedy.”

“Nothing that we can say is adequate, but please know that our hearts are broken by the suffering which has resulted from the actions of our son and former husband,” the statement said.

Iowa Middle Schools To Begin Mandatory Firearms Course

Starting in the spring, a mandatory hunter safety course taught by Butler County Conservation will be implemented into the 7th and 8th grade PE curriculum. A voluntary, closed class will be added for those in grades 9-12 who want to participate.

Superintendent Joel Foster says the course was developed to keep the safety of students and staff the top priority. “What we do best is educate our kids,” Foster says. “We feel if we educate our kids in how to use weapons responsibly, how to respect them, understand it’s not a video game and those sort of things, that maybe we’ll cut down on our chances of having a severe incident.”

Foster also added that although he understands not all students are interested in hunting, the goal is to teach students lessons they can use in unexpected situations.

“You never know what’s going to happen. If my 12-year-old girl is out babysitting a 3-year-old and the 3-year-old walks out of mom and dad’s bedroom with a handgun or a shotgun, she needs to know how to handle that,” Foster says. “That’s one of the scenarios we don’t really think about. It’s better to be proactive than reactive and this is the best way we could think of to be proactive with things.”

Parents who oppose having their child participate can sign a form opting them out of the class. No operable firearms or live ammunition will be present during the course. According to the Center for Injury and Research Prevention, the majority (89%) of unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home. Most of these deaths occur when children are playing with a loaded gun in their parent’s absence.

Alabama Police Blame Crime Rates On Satan

A rural Alabama police department that used social media to scold community members for rejecting God is coming under fire from a group that opposes mixing government and religious faith.

A statement posted on Facebook by the Opp Police Department on Tuesday blames a spike in area homicides on the idea that young people have turned away from God and “embraced Satan.” The post followed two gunshot killings in as many days in Covington County, located on the Alabama-Florida line.

But the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation says police in the town of 6,500 people are wrongly promoting religion with the social media message. The group says it’s illegal for a government entity to endorse or criticize religious belief.

Opp police didn’t immediately return a phone call Thursday seeking comment.

This was the Facebook message:

THIS PAST SUNDAY, A YOUNG MAN WAS SHOT AND KILLED IN KINSTON. MONDAY NIGHT, A MOTHER WAS SHOT AND KILLED IN NORTHERN COVINGTON COUNTY. THERE HAVE BEEN FIVE MURDERS IN COVINGTON COUNTY IN 2018. THESE MURDERS HAVE BEEN DONE BY OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. THIS IS HAPPENING BECAUSE WE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD AND EMBRACED SATAN. WE MAY HAVE NOT MEANT TO DO SO BUT, WE HAVE. IT IS TIME TO ASK FOR GOD’S HELP TO STOP THIS. IT IS TIME TO BE PARENTS AND RAISE OUR CHILDREN, NOT HAVE THEM RAISE US. IT IS TIME TO FULLY SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND STAND BY THE OFFICERS AND DEPUTIES THAT ARE FAR TOO OFTEN HAVING TO WALK INTO THESE DANGEROUS SITUATIONS AND CLEAN UP THE MESS. FRIENDS, IT IS TIME TO STAND UP AND BE RESPONSIBLE, GROWN UP LEADERS IN OUR COMMUNITY. BOTTOM LINE, THERE ARE SHEEP; THERE ARE WOLVES AND THERE ARE SHEEP DOGS. WHICH GROUP DO YOU BELONG TO ?

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Opp police appear to regularly promote Christian messages on their Facebook page.
“God bless each and all on this Monday,” one post read earlier this week, while another said: “May God bless you and protect you.”

Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Forklift In An Attempt To Assassinate Donald Trump

A North Dakota mechanic has entered a guilty plea in federal court in relation to what the government charged was a plot to kill the president.

According to federal authorities, Gregory Lee Leingang, 42, of Bismarck, stole a forklift and entered a presidential motorcade route on Sept. 6, 2017, before Donald Trump arrived to give a tax reform speech at a Mandan Refinery.

“The intent was to basically try to get to the limo, flip the limo and kill the president,” U.S. Assistant State’s Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell told a federal court on Friday, according to The Bismarck Tribune..

Prior to the president’s arrival at around 2 p.m., Leingang had stolen a forklift in Mandan and entered the motorcade route, according to Sasse Russell.

Ultimately, the forklift got stuck in a gated area, and, once that happened, Leingang fled and was apprehended by Mandan police, according to Sasse Russell. She said Leingang later admitted his plan to Mandan detectives, as well as a member of United States Secret Service.

“He was suffering a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident,” Michelle Monteiro, Leingang’s public defender, said in court.

Prior to stealing the forklift, Leingang set two fires that morning at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark maintenance shop and the state parole and probation office, Monteiro said.

Leingang pleaded guilty to setting the fires and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison. He also pleaded guilty to stealing the forklift and was sentenced to five years, and, pleaded guilty to burglary in a separate case and received another five years. Leingang’s estimated release date is 2038.

GoFundMe Gives Refunds After Viral Campaign Found To Be A Hoax

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J.  — GoFundMe says it has refunded everyone who contributed to a campaign involving a homeless veteran from Philadelphia who prosecutors allege schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam donors out of more than $400,000.

Burlington County prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Johnny Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend at the time, Mark D’Amico, to concoct a feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. They raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

McClure has alleged through her lawyer that D’Amico duped her. His lawyer has denied the allegations. Prosecutors released texts from McClure including one sent right after the GoFundMe page was set up in which they allege she told a friend that the “gas part is completely made up.”

The entire campaign was predicated on a lie,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said at a news conference in November.

McClure, D’Amico and Bobbitt were charged with second-degree felonies for allegedly fabricating the story that sparked the GoFundMe, Coffina said..

“She did not run out of gas on the I-95 off-ramp, and he did not spend his last $20 to help her,” said Coffina. “Rather, D’Amico, McClure and Bobbitt conspired to pass off a fake feel-good story that would compel donors to contribute to their cause. And it worked in a very big way. But it was fictitious and illegal, and there are consequences.”

Bobbitt himself had called attention to the deception, when he filed a civil suit against the couple this summer, claiming they mismanaged the money that was intended for him.

Bobbitt’s complaint launched a criminal investigation, which led authorities to discover text messages confirming that the initial story was a hoax.

While some of the money reached the veteran, McClure and D’Amico had spent the majority of the crowdsourced funds on luxurious vacations, handbags, casino visits and a BMW, as NPR’s Vanessa Romo reports.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said Tuesday that “all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded” and the organization is cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Whithorne said campaigns involving misuse “make up less than one tenth of one percent” of all GoFundMe campaigns, but such behavior “is unacceptable” and “has consequences.”

Man Texts D*ck Pics to 911 Dispatchers

BRYAN, TX (KBXT) – On Thursday morning, Brazos County, Texas, 911 dispatchers were inundated with pornographic images, illicit text messages and screenshots being sent through the “Text to 9-1-1” system.

Authorities say 42-year-old Roderick Walton was on the other end of those messages, disrupting the function of the dispatch workers.

The dispatch system started receiving the messages around 7:30 a.m. and when workers responded asking Walton to stop, they say that only caused Walton to send the messages more frequently.

Deputies traced the messages to Walton’s home, where officials made contact with him. Among other statements, officials say Walton stated “they wanted it”.

He was arrested for harassment and booked on a $2,000 bond. He was released later on Thursday.

Naked Man Arrested For Performing Sex Act in Walmart Parking Lot

A South Carolina man was charged with indecent exposure after he was seen naked in his car in front of a Walmart store, performing a sex act, according to police.

It happened Friday afternoon at a Walmart in Greenwood, according to a Greenwood Police Department incident report.

A woman had just returned to her car from shopping in the store, and when she got into the driver’s seat she saw a gold car next to hers, according to the report. When she looked over into the car, she saw a heavy set white man naked and performing a sex act on himself.

The man’s genitals were clearly visible, and he did not try to hide himself from her or others in the parking lot, police said.

While the woman turned around to tell her mother what happened, the man drove away, police said. She followed him for a short time and was able to take a picture of the car and license place, which she shared with police.

Officers later found and stopped the car and arrested the driver, 39-year-old Guy Shuford, of Saluda, on a charge of indecent exposure, according to the report.

Nicki Minaj Faces Backlash Over New Sex Offender Boyfriend

Nicki Minaj’s new boyfriend has quite an extensive rap sheet. Along with a conviction for attempted rape of a minor, he has also served hard time for murder.

According to the criminal complaint for Kenny “Zoo” Petty from the Queens County District Attorney, Petty pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of a man named Lamont Robinson.

The complaint claims on April 27, 2002 at 12:30 AM, Petty shot Robinson “with a loaded handgin (sic) multiple times thereby causing his death.”

A police blotter posted at the time of the shooting also describes an unknown man who was shot three times in the stomach and died at a nearby hospital.

Petty pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge in March 2006 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, for which he served 7. Court records indicate Petty was released in May 2013, and had been on supervised release for 5 years, until May of this year.

Petty remains a registered sex offender in the state of New York. Prosecutors said he used a sharp object when he tried to force the girl to have sexual intercourse. Petty served almost 4 years in NY state prison for the crime.

Minaj responded by saying “He was 15, she was 16 … in a relationship,” she replied. “But go awf, Internet. Y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you boo.”

Minaj was also recently criticized for collaborating and touring with Tekashi 6ix9ine, who was convicted of ‘using a child in a sexual performance’ when videos of him and another man groping and spanking a nude 13 year old girl surfaced.

Minaj was once again the subject of outrage after posting family pictures with her brother Jelani Miraj while he was waiting for his trial to begin. Miraj, 37, was accused of raping a 12 year old girl, who was his steppdaughter. He has since been convicted of sexual assault.

Parkland PR Consultant Apologizes After Calling Critics ‘Crazies’

A crisis public relations consultant created a crisis of her own for the Broward school district, after a video came to light in which she dismissed the district’s critics in the Parkland massacre as “crazies” and called a reporter a “skanky” “jerk” who “smells bad.”

Sara Brady, who was paid nearly $75,000 to assist the district after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told an audience of public relations professionals last July that critics of the school district’s controversial Promise program, which allowed students who commit minor crimes to avoid jail, were “crazies.” The comments came during a speech Brady gave about crisis management for schools and focusing on how to preserve the school’s reputation by using various tactics to influence public opinion.

The 90 minute video, which was taken down from a now-deleted Vimeo account hosting videos of Brady’s work, was shot in July 2018 at the 18th Annual Public Relations Executives Meeting for the Council of the Great City Schools.

She criticized South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter Scott Travis, although she didn’t name him, as “a jerk,” and then she got more personal.

“He is sloppy, he’s reckless, he’s mean, and he smells bad,” she said, laughing along with the audience.

At the point, Broward school district spokeswoman Tracy Clark can be heard calling out, “Sour milk!” That provoked more laughter.

At another point in the video Brady describes him as “that nasty, skanky reporter.”

Her statement about “crazies” concerned what happened after a state commission concluded that the Promise program had not been a factor in the shooting. The district put out a tweet about that conclusion, prompting criticism from the district’s detractors.

“And sure enough, all the crazies kind of came out,” Brady told an audience in California, in a video revealed by the South Florida Sun Sentinel in a recent story about the school district’s public relations damage control after the shooting. “The district knows who the crazies are and who the opposition is, and so certainly they seized on it and started putting stuff out there.”

The Promise program had been seized upon nationwide by conservative critics who were happy to lay part of the blame for the shooting on a program supported by President Obama. But the program had also been criticized by many family members of the victims in the massacre.

“Our leaders don’t care about Parkland families!” Hunter Pollack, whose sister Meadow was killed in the attack, said in a Twitter post that went viral. “Broward’s Superintendent and his PR person called grieving families “crazies,” “the opposition,” and call hardworking reporters “skanks” for exposing the truth. Retweet and expose them all!”

Brady, of Winter Park in suburban Orlando, apologized, saying her comments had not been aimed at the bereaved families.

“Mr. Pollack … my remarks were intended to poke at the media in general,” she wrote in response. “I offer my profound apology for my lapse in judgment and display of disrespect.”

“I probably went a little overboard in my comments about the reporter,” said Brady, a former police reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s just kind of shop talk. I acknowledge that.”

“My bigger concern is that anyone who lost a loved one thinks I was referring to them,” she said. “And I was not, in any way, shape or form.”

Broward school superintendent Robert Runcie, who watched the video the previous night, called Travis to apologize, saying said the comments were “inexcusable and don’t reflect the values of the district.”

Florida Man Arrested After Leading Police on U-Haul Chase

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL. – A Tampa man faces multiple charges after authorities say he led them on a 3-county chase in a U-Haul truck.

It began around 2:00 a.m. on Monday after 55-year-old Jeffrey Hugh Thompson allegedly took off from a traffic stop. A trooper later spotted the U-Haul Thompson was driving and started to follow him, authorities said.

About 30 minutes later, backup arrived, and a pursuit began on I-75 in Hillsborough County.

The chase eventually ended into Pinellas County where deputies threw out a spike strip on Tampa Road to slow the truck. Troopers were then able to use a Pursuit Intervention Technique, also known as a PIT maneuver, to end the pursuit in Palm Harbor at US-19 and Highlands Boulevard.

Thompson was arrested and taken to the Hillsborough County jail on charges of Reckless Driving, Fleeing and Eluding, Driving While License Suspended, and multiple felony warrant charges to include Career Offender – Failure to Register with nationwide extradition.

 

He’s being held without bond.