By PoliceOne Staff
MIAMI — An off-duty trooper sprung into action to rescue a woman whose car was engulfed in flames following a crash.
WSVN reports that Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Yenir Dinaz Bueno was working an off-duty contraction job Nov. 29 when he witnessed the accident. The unconscious woman was trapped inside the passenger seat as her car became engulfed in flames.
The trooper desperately tried to get her out after the passenger door appeared to be jammed. After another trooper used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, the troopers were able to pull the woman out of the burning vehicle.
The woman was badly injured, but she managed to survive.
“You don’t need words. Just look at the video, you’ll see the things that the officers, all of us, we go through on a daily basis,” said FHP Trooper Alvaro Feola. “This is what we do. This is what we go through everyday. You know, we’re police officers 24/7.”
By PoliceOne Staff
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Several U.S. Marshals received tickets while parked outside a hospital where their colleague died.
PennLive reports that several U.S. Marshal vehicles were parked outside a Pennsylvania hospital’s emergency room after Deputy U.S. Marshal Deputy Christopher David Hill was shot while serving a warrant. Hill later died from his injuries at the hospital.
Mayor Eric Papenfuse said sometimes this kind of mistake happens when parking enforcement officers don’t recognize unmarked vehicles.
“It will be a straightforward process to have the tickets waived,” he said.
Several US Marshal vehicles parked outside Harrisburg Hospital ER have been ticketed. To whomever did this: they may have a good case to fight it today. @PennLive pic.twitter.com/Oil8rvU8B6— Joe Elias (@josephmelias) January 18, 2018
By PoliceOne Staff
PHOENIX — Police in Phoenix arrested a man suspected of nine killings in a three-week span, thanks in part to new technology.
CBS News reports that police arrested Cleophus Cooksey in mid-December for the murder of his mother and stepfather. While Cooksey was in jail, detectives were investigating seven other unsolved murders that occurred in the area between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
All of the victims died from gunshot wounds, and all were reportedly traced back to Cooksey thanks to new technology.
Since mid-2017, Phoenix police have been using high-powered in-house technology that allows them to compare bullet casings from multiple crime scenes, according to the Arizona Republic. The tech allows police to immediately share and process ballistics evidence from different crimes scenes within hours instead of weeks.
"It means police can make an arrest and stop a killer before he claims another life," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. "Our streets are safer today."
The tool examines the microscopic grooves left on casings by the gun that fired them and allows police to compare them with casings found at other crimes scenes. Phoenix police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said while the technology was important, eyewitnesses, cell phone-tower data and surveillance footage also pointed police to the lone suspect.
Police believe Cooksey may be eventually be linked to more crimes.
BELFAST, Maine — Police in Maine have accused a man of punching himself in the face three times to avoid a sobriety test.
Police in the town of Belfast say they found 27-year-old Brian Fogg in his car, stuck in a ditch last week.
WGME-TV reports police said when they tried to test for his blood-alcohol level, Fogg punched himself in the face, causing himself to bleed. Police tended to his injuries instead of giving him the test, but later charged him with operating under the influence, falsifying physical evidence and criminal mischief.
Fogg's been released on bail. He has an unpublished number and it wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.
By Marc Freeman Sun Sentinel
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The former police officer who shot and killed stranded motorist Corey Jones says it was “a classic case of self-defense” and he shouldn’t be prosecuted any longer.
Lawyers for Nouman Raja on Thursday filed a claim under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, arguing the charges from the shooting Oct. 18, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens should be dismissed because it “was wholly justifiable.”
“Officer Raja faced a man who pointed a gun at him, and did what any citizen is entitled to do: he defended himself,” wrote attorney Richard Lubin.
He asked Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer to hold a hearing where the defense would present evidence to show Raja deserves immunity.
Jones’ family has a pending wrongful death civil lawsuit against Raja, but it’s on hold until the criminal case is over.
Clinton Jones Sr., father of Corey Jones, said Thursday Raja “brought on the confrontation. I don’t understand how it can be self-defense.”
For now, Raja, 40, is facing a trial in April on charges of manslaughter by culpable negligence while armed, and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm. A grand jury found that his “use of force” was unjustified.
Raja remains on house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor — permitted to run some errands and work for a Boynton Beach firm that supplies gear to law enforcement agencies — under a $250,000 bond.
Jones, a 31-year-old Delray Beach housing inspector and a church drummer from west of Lake Worth, was on the way home from a gig with his reggae band when his SUV broke down. He stopped along an Interstate 95 southbound exit ramp at 1:30 a.m.
At the time, Raja was assigned to patrol parking lots in response to a string of late-night vehicle burglaries. Prosecutors say he approached Jones in an unmarked cargo van in plain clothes at about 3:15 a.m. — what they’ve called a “tactically unsound, unsafe and grossly negligent manner.”
Raja’s lawyers claim he identified himself as a cop and Jones jumped out of his SUV and “immediately drew a gun and pointed it at Officer Raja.” Raja ordered Jones to drop the weapon but he did not, wrote Lubin, with attorneys Scott Richardson and Rick King.
Raja, seeing what he thought was a “red laser” from the muzzle of Jones’ licensed .380-caliber handgun, then fired three shots because he feared for his life, the defense claims.
Jones then ran to a grassy area and Raja followed, when “Officer Raja saw a flash and Mr. Jones raise his right arm as if to point the gun again,” Lubin continued.
That prompted Raja to fire three more shots at Jones, according to the defense.
The “stand your ground law,” first enacted in 2005, says someone does not have to retreat and can legally use deadly force if the person reasonably believes doing so is necessary “to prevent imminent death.”
Of the six shots, Jones was hit three times. One of the bullets tore through Jones’ heart and both lungs, fatally wounding him, according to medical examiner findings.
Prosecutors have accused Raja of not telling the truth to investigators about identifying himself as an officer, or what followed. They are leaning on the recording of a phone call between Jones and a roadside assistance operator that captured sounds of the shooting.
Investigators said the recording proves Raja fired the second round of shots even after he had to have realized that Jones had tossed his weapon in the grass near the rear of his SUV.
At least one of the shots was fired as Jones ran, because a bullet struck the back of Jones’ upper right arm, according to a prosecutors’ report.
Raja’s legal team on Thursday contends more recent testimony from the lead investigators proves “the state has no idea how this shooting occurred.”
©2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)