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Man tries to hijack Houston TV news van, then steals patrol car

A vehicle crashed into a Houston television station’s news van Monday morning, and the driver attempted to hijack the crew before he stole a police cruiser, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

The incident involved a KPRC news van at 4:40 a.m. Police said the driver hit the van and unsuccessfully attempted to pull the driver out of the vehicle, KHOU reported.

According to KPRC, reporter Sofia Ojeda and photographer Damon Sales, who was driving the van, were on their way to cover a story. They were stopped at a red light at an intersection when a vehicle sideswiped the van, the television station reported.

"He said, 'I'm stealing your vehicle. I'm stealing your vehicle,'" Sales told KPRC. "He tried to pull me out. We're buckled in, and he's like, 'Get out! Get out! Get out!'"

Two Houston officers stopped to help, the television station reported. The man pushed one officer down and dragged the other one out of the cruiser before stealing the vehicle.

The patrol car was found two hours later, KHOU reported. The suspect is still at large, the television station reported.

Both journalists were taken to a hospital for evaluation, KPRC reported. One officer suffered minor injuries.

Fugitive's own dog leads deputies to him after chase, officials say

An Oklahoma man is behind bars after his own dog led deputies to him during a search, officials said.

>> Read a Facebook post about the incident here

James L. Ayer's arrest came Saturday, three days after sheriff's deputies served a search warrant for methamphetamine and firearms at a Wagoner County barn that was turned into a house.

When deputies entered the house Wednesday, they said they found Carrie Metcalf hiding inside and arrested her on other warrants.

Drugs and firearms were found during the search, deputies said.

Investigators later identified Ayer as another suspect. He had been on the run from police until his arrest this weekend, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

Deputies said they spotted Ayer's car Saturday and pulled him over. Ayer got out of the car, ran from deputies and hid in a nearby field, officials said.

Searchlights were put up in the area while officials looked for Ayer. Deputies were able to see a dog's eyes glowing and looking at them, according to the incident report. When deputies went toward the dog, they found Ayer hiding, the report said.

Deputies said they later found out that the dog that helped them was Ayer's personal pet.

Robber forces McDonald's employees into fridge at gunpoint, police say

Police have arrested a man who is accused of robbing a McDonald's and locking employees into a freezer at gunpoint early Saturday morning in Cumming, Georgia.

Kaleem Tariq-Madyun, 35, is charged with one count of armed robbery and seven counts of aggravated assault. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Employees reported being forced into a refrigerated area by an armed suspect who took an undisclosed amount of money,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said in a Facebook post Sunday. “The employees fled out of the back of the building and contacted deputies.”

Forsyth County News reported that a joint effort by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Gwinnett County Police Department led to Tariq-Madyun’s arrest after a search warrant was obtained and officials went to the suspect’s home.

Tariq-Madyun remains in the Forsyth County Jail without bond and has a pending court hearing.

Florida man accused of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars after hurricanes, tropical storm

As people in Florida are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, a Jacksonville man is wanted on allegations of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars.

>> Watch the news report here

Lepoleon Spikes is accused of claiming damage to different homes in Jacksonville for three separate storms.

>> Visit ActionNewsJax.com for the latest on recovery efforts in Hurricane Michael’s aftermath

A grand jury indictment claims he provided FEMA with fraudulent lease agreements as proof of damage.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: 17 Florida DCF workers fired over emergency food stamp applications

Documents say Spikes was awarded thousands of dollars after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, as well as Tropical Storm Debby.

“You’re taking from people and families that really need the money,” said Scherlinda Bennett, who says her home was flooded during both Matthew and Irma.

>> Read more trending news 

ActionNewsJax went to one of the homes where Spikes supposedly lived, but learned that was years ago. The home’s current owner claims it never had storm damage.

Savannah unamused by googly eyes placed on historic statue: 'It's a crime'

The Nathanael Greene Monument in Savannah, Georgia, was defaced with googly eyes this week, the city posted on its official Facebook page.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia town among America’s top 3 small cities, according to Condè Nast

“It may look funny but harming our historic monuments and public property is no laughing matter, in fact, it's a crime,” officials wrote.

>> See the post here

According to the Savannah Morning News, police are investigating the incident and searching for the vandal responsible.

Defacing, defiling or mutilating a grave marker, monument or memorial devoted to a deceased individual who served in the military is considered criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor offense. But if the damage is upwards of $500, it’s a felony crime: criminal damage to property.

>> On AJC.com: Wilderness, wildlife, bamboo and fossils: The Savannah you don't know

Greene, who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War is buried in Johnson Square. Though he never fought in Georgia, his military strategy and leadership helped free Georgia from British forces.

The soldier moved to Savannah with his family after the war, but died of heat stroke shortly after in 1786.

From the monument’s historical marker in Johnson Square:

The 50-foot, white marble obelisk, designed by the well-known architect, William Strickland, was completed in 1830. The original cornerstone was laid here on March 21, 1825, by Greene's old friend, the Marquis de LaFayette. At the dedicatory ceremony General LaFayette said:

>> Read more trending news 

"The great and good man to whose memory we are paying a tribute of respect, affection, and regret, has acted in our revolutionary contest a part so glorious and so important that in the very name of Greene are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader ..."

Man charged with murder in deadly attack on girlfriend kills himself in jail, police say

A Tennessee man was behind bars for just a few days after police say he killed his girlfriend.

>> Watch the news report here

Santrez Traylor, 34, was accused of hitting the 31-year-old woman with his car about 9 p.m. Oct. 7, according to the Memphis Police Department. He killed himself inside his jail about 3 p.m. Saturday, police said.

He was transported by ambulance to Regional One Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Officers originally responded to a home in the 3200 block of Carnes Avenue for someone who was armed last Sunday, but witnesses told WHBQ that they saw the whole incident unfold before their eyes in front of the victim’s home.

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Man repeatedly ran over girlfriend with car, hit her with brick outside Memphis home, witnesses say

“I witnessed a murder,” said neighbor Jay Smoot. “It’s pretty, pretty overwhelming.”

Witnesses said shortly after 9 p.m., they heard what turned out to be the deadly confrontation between the victim and her boyfriend, Traylor – who is her child’s father. 

They said they also saw Traylor using a brick to hit the woman in the head. 

“She was standing when he first hit her and then she fell down and he repeatedly was hitting her with the brick, hitting her with the brick,” one neighbor said. “Kicking, punching her he was trying to make sure she was dead.”

Moments later, witnesses told WHBQ that Traylor went into the home and got keys to a car in the driveway.

>> Read more trending news 

That’s when they said he repeatedly “ran her over.”

Traylor was charged with criminal trespassing and domestic assault almost a month ago when he came to the victim’s home threatening to hurt their children, according to a police affidavit. 

The document also detailed several other reports of domestic violence involving the suspect and victim. 

Authorities said Traylor ran away from the scene before officers arrived, but he was later arrested and charged with second degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. 

On Wednesday, WHBQ had a chance to speak with Traylor's sister, Sentriace Smith. Smith told WHBQ that she was sticking by her brother's side no matter what. The sister said this situation has been going on for at least eight years.

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Family of man charged in brutal murder of girlfriend speaks out

“I’ve been called to their home and I witnessed some of the arguments going on,” Smith said.

North Carolina man charged with over 50 counts of child sex crimes

A North Carolina man was arrested Thursday after being accused of taking indecent liberties with a child over a span of five years.

>> Read more trending news 

>> On WSOCTV.com: 2 more students accuse former teacher charged with indecent liberties

The arrest came after an extensive investigation into allegations that Clinton Weber, 52, of Statesville, sexually assaulted the victim from 2012 until 2017.

According to investigators, Weber is related to the victim through marriage, and the incidents started when the child was 6 years old. 

>> On WSOCTV.com: Superintendent makes safety changes amid children's program owner facing sex charges

Weber was charged with 35 counts of first-degree statutory sex offense, 20 counts of first-degree attempted statutory sex offense and one count of rape of a child. 

Officials said Weber was transported to Iredell County Jail and is being held under a $1 million bond.

Man accused of raping 6-year-old girl in Tennessee

Police in Memphis, Tennessee, are asking for the public’s help to find a man accused of raping a 6-year-old girl.

Artemio Molina-Villalobos is wanted on allegations of rape of a child. The charge stems from a report that was filed Oct. 4.

>> Read more news stories 

The child’s mother believed her daughter was being sexually abused, authorities said. Police said her suspicions were confirmed by video surveillance.

Molina-Villalobos was identified as the suspect, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. You can see a description of him below.

>> See the post here

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

Credit card skimmers caught by Florida police at gas pump

Two South Florida men were caught attempting to install a credit card reader inside a gasoline pump at a convenience store by police, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

>> Read more trending news 

According to arrest reports, a policeman spotted Raul Jose Hernandez Beltran, 30, of Hialeah, and Rafael Alejandro Mirabal Bonora, 28, of Miami, acting suspiciously at a gas station in Davie.

The report stated that Beltran wore a blue baseball cap to hide his face, and he went inside to distract the clerk, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Meanwhile, Bonora opened the gas pump’s cover and installed the skimming device, the newspaper reported.

The officer watched as Bonora worked on the pump, according to the arrest report. The officer confronted Bonora and called for backup. When police arrived, both men were arrested, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

They were charged with using a scanning device to commit fraud, the newspaper reported.

FBI foils man’s plot to blow himself up on National Mall on Election Day

A New York state man was arrested by federal agents Tuesday, accused of plotting to blow himself up on the National Mall on Election Day. 

Paul M. Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, is charged with unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive, according to the FBI. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. 

A search of Rosenfeld’s home following his arrest turned up a 200-pound bomb that had to be removed by bomb technicians, authorities said. Agents also found a fusing system and empty canisters that once held black powder. 

“As alleged, Paul M. Rosenfeld concocted a twisted plan to draw attention to his political ideology by killing himself on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. -- risking harm to many others in the process,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a news release. “Rosenfeld’s alleged plan for an Election Day detonation cut against our democratic principles. Thanks to outstanding coordination between local and federal law enforcement, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot was thwarted, and he is now in federal custody.”

Assistant FBI Director-In-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. credited “the quick action of a concerned citizen and the diligent work of a host of … law enforcement partners and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force” with thwarting Rosenfeld’s plans.

“I’d like to extend particular thanks to our partners with the Orangetown Police Department, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, the Rockland County District Attorney, the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department and the Stony Point Police Department for their respective roles in bring this investigation to a safe conclusion,” Sweeney said

>> Read more trending news

The criminal complaint against Rosenfeld accuses him of sending letters and text messages to an unnamed person in Pennsylvania in August and September, in which he said he planned to build a bomb he would detonate on Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C. NBC News reported that the person Rosenfeld contacted was a reporter. 

Rosenfeld said he wanted the bomb to draw attention to his political belief in sortition, the complaint said. 

According to the Sortition Foundation, sortition is the use of a random selection of people to fill political positions or make up assemblies. The practice has its roots in ancient Greece. 

“An assembly that uses sortition would be composed of people just like you and me: it would be a representative random sample of people, making decisions in an informed, fair and deliberative setting,” the foundation’s website said

The reporter contacted law enforcement authorities and reported what Rosenfeld told him, NBC News said

Read the entire federal criminal complaint against Paul Rosenfeld below. 

The subsequent probe into Rosenfeld’s actions led agents to conduct a traffic stop on Rosenfeld Tuesday, at which time he agreed to an interview with investigators. In that interview, Rosenfeld admitted that he’d ordered a large amount of black powder over the internet and transported the explosive substance from New Jersey to his home in New York, the criminal complaint said. 

He admitted using about 8 pounds of the black powder to build the Election Day bomb and said he “installed certain components in the explosive device to ensure that he was killed in the blast,” the court document said. 

Agents found the bomb intended for the National Mall in the basement of Rosenfeld’s Tappan home. 

“The explosive device is a plywood box that contained what appeared to the agents, based on their training and experience, to be black powder,” the complaint said. 

FBI experts X-rayed the device and determined that engaging the bomb’s firing switch would generate the necessary electrical charge to ignite the black powder inside the box, the document said. 

Rosenfeld said he’d built smaller bombs in the past and conducted test detonations to ensure that the bigger bomb would explode as planned, investigators said. 

Rosenfeld’s family has expressed relief that the alleged plot was uncovered in time, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News

“We’re grateful to the FBI for managing to find out about this so no one is harmed,” Rosenfeld’s father, Peter Rosenfeld, told the newspaper

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