Friday, October 28, 2005
Road Rage: Car v. MTA Orange Line bus
Two days before the Orange Line's opening, a car ran a red light Thursday and crashed into a bus making a test run on the San Fernando Valley transitway, authorities said.
No one was injured, but the accident stoked fears that more crashes could occur along the Orange Line, an express bus-only corridor that intersects with 36 streets.
The collision occurred about 3:40 p.m. at Vesper Avenue in Van Nuys. The driver of the car did not have a valid license and his vehicle was impounded, said Marc Littman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. There was minor damage to the bus. "It just underscores the need for drivers to pay attention," Littman said.
But critics and some nearby residents say the busway is dangerous because of its unusual intersections, some of which resemble rail crossings. Though the MTA and the city have added traffic lights and warning signs along the corridor, some motorists say the intersections are still confusing.
I believe this case does a great job of revealing LA's ongoing traffic and road-rage problem, both of which I believe are one in the same.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Anyone Want To Buy Me Out?
Holly Ashcraft / Official Charges from LA County DA
A 21-year-old USC student suspected of giving birth and then dumping her newborn boy near a dumpster in an alley was charged today with murder, the District Attorney’s office announced.
Holly Ashcraft, (dob 10-2-84), is scheduled to be arraigned today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Division 30. She is charged in case No. BA291641 with one count of murder and one count of child abuse, said Deputy District Attorney Efrain Aceves with the Family Violence Division. The D.A.’s office is requesting $2 million bail.
LAPD detectives developed the case after releasing a tape of a 911 call in which a man reported finding a baby’s body about 12:30 a.m. Monday behind a restaurant-bar in the 2800 block of South Hoover Street. The bar-restaurant was closed at the time. A woman who heard the tape recognized the caller's voice, contacted him and got him to cooperate with police. Ashcraft was arrested Tuesday by LAPD detectives. If convicted, she faces 25 years to life in prison.
Officials said a coroner’s preliminary finding determined the child was born alive.
Under the state’s Safe Haven law, an unwanted newborn can be turned over to someone in authority at a hospital emergency room or a firestation within 72 hours of delivery with no questions asked.
It's pretty much the same thing that I covered before, only it's good to hear it in official terms versus the less-the-reliable MSM.
Trespassing: General Zod
When I first came to your planet and demanded your homes, property and very lives, I didn't know you were already doing so, willingly, with your own government. I can win no tribute from a bankrupted nation populated by feeble flag-waving plebians. In 2008 I shall restore your dignity and make you servants worthy of my rule. This new government shall become a tool of my oppression. Instead of hidden agendas and waffling policies, I offer you direct candor and brutal certainty. I only ask for your tribute, your lives, and your vote.
I'll discuss this with Kevin Roderick and see if there's a possible "liveblogging" arrest of an illegal alien to be had here so you can read a play-by-play.
Don't get your hopes up.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Hey, Chicken Little
16,137 Is the number of murders in the United States in 2004. The Murder rate-5.5 per 100,000 people is at its lowest in 40 years.
I bet you wouldn’t know that by watching the scare you all the time media. Yes, I know that is still a lot of deaths; but hell we aren’t Canadians.
Hide and Seek
I have no idea if this is true or not. The date is July 5th 2001, but I have never seen these pictures and decided to post them for your enjoyment.
Update: I did a little checking on Snopes it seems that this story is True.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Concealed and carrying
I wanted to know why the laws weren’t working, so I asked the experts. “I’m not going in the store to buy no gun,” said one maximum-security inmate in New Jersey. “So, I could care less if they had a background check or not.”
“There’s guns everywhere,” said another inmate. “If you got money, you can get a gun.”
Talking to prisoners about guns emphasizes a few key lessons. First, criminals don’t obey the law. (That’s why we call them “criminals.") Second, no law can repeal the law of supply and demand. If there’s money to be made selling something, someone will sell it.
A study funded by the Department of Justice confirmed what the prisoners said. Criminals buy their guns illegally and easily. The study found that what felons fear most is not the police or the prison system, but their fellow citizens, who might be armed. One inmate told me, “When you gonna rob somebody you don’t know, it makes it harder because you don’t know what to expect out of them."
The process of gun ownership, not to mention the ability to carry a gun, is one messy glob of bureaucratic nonsense. I believe that one of the only ways to feel safe while walking in the vast majority of Los Angeles County is to have a gun on your hip. While I do believe that a certain amount of training is needed before you can sling a six-shooter into a holster and take a walk down Hill Street, there is no doubt in my mind that California is far behind the times in terms of the everyday citizen being able to legally purchase a firearm and become licensed to carry one if they feel the need.
As you can see in the excerpt above, the fact that background checks are needed combined with a rather tedious process to purchase a firearm might be part of the solution in preventing criminals from legally acquiring a weapon. Please take note of the fact that I said legally. A criminal is a criminal, and even they are smart enough to know that if they want to carry a firearm, and most likely use it, the lack of a papertrail leading back to them is probably the best way to go. Therefore, sliding $800 bucks to their local arms dealer for a Tech-Nine from who knows where is undoubtely the way they will go.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Sunday Morning Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Holly Ashcraft / USC dead baby case - Arrested and charged
The 21-year-old USC student who allegedly abandoned her newborn child in a dumpster was charged this morning with murder and child abuse.
Coroner investigators also reported that preliminary findings indicate the child was born alive.
The alleged mother, Holly Ashcraft, was arrested Tuesday night and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
The infant's body was found Tuesday next to a trash bin behind a popular student bar, authorities said.
Proseuctors will seek to double Ashcraft's $1 million bail to $2 million, Deputy Dist. Atty. Efrain Aceves said this morning. Ashcraft reportedly had been suspended from USC because of academic problems, LAPD Capt. Anita Ortega said.
The baby, with his umbilical cord still attached, was uncovered in a cardboard box behind a bar called The 29 at 29th and South Hoover streets just after midnight Monday. Paramedics pronounced the infant dead at the scene.
Police were alerted to the discovery when an anonymous caller dialed 911 from a nearby Ralphs grocery store and reported what he had found.
On Wednesday, authorities said it was the 911 call that led to a break in the case. A woman who heard the 911 tape played on television recognized the caller's voice and persuaded him to cooperate with police, Ortega said. That cooperation led to Ashcraft's arrest.
Ortega thanked the caller for coming forward to police and assisting them with their investigation. "Had it not been for him, I believe the case would have gone unsolved," she said.
An autopsy was performed on the infant's body Tuesday, but the official cause of death will not be determined until toxicology tests are completed.
The infant did not appear to be injured or abused and was thought to be full term.
The bar was closed at the time the body was discovered.
Under state law, a mother who does want to keep her baby can relinquish a newborn to any hospital or fire station with no questions asked.
I emphasized that final line to demonstrate how easy it is to give a baby a chance to live if you believe you cannot take care of it. Dumping it and hoping it dies is not an option.
UPDATE: For those who used a search engine to find this post, please visit this post regarding the charges filed by the LA County DA, as well as the post about the reduction in bail that has everyone bewildered. This portion will be updated as information is made available.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
October 12th, 2000
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Mississippi FUBAR Part I
What I should have said is that I will write up something later this week. The wife and I are expecting our second child around the fourth of November, and I have procrastinated for way to long. I will be blogging very little until the child is born and things have settled down a bit.
Now on to the Great state of Mississippi. I will be typing Mississippi a lot in because Mississippi has become my new favorite word to type. Mississippi has quite a flow on the keyboard.
Our group left for Mississippi on the evening of September 18th. In all we had 65 officers that were assigned to assist local Harrison County, Mississippi, law enforcement. We drove down in a caravan of 40 police cruisers. It was like a parade heading to Mississippi – we had several looks from passing motorist. The parade arrived in Mississippi on the 19th of September, where we were briefed about what or tasks were and then received our shots. I decided I would go with the Hepatitis A and the Tetanus shots only, since I have already been through the Hepatitis B shot series.
I was impressed with the briefing of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. He told it like it was, the brief started of with: “We have failed the citizens of the gulf coast region.” The meeting consisted of mainly biohazard warnings – “do not touch anything” was the jest of the briefing. As we drove from the briefing to the elementary school where we would be staying for a few days, it was obvious why they harped on the biohazards. The area looked like the Gulf of Mexico had thrown up on everything. There was raw sewage bubbling up from the storm drain and forming into huge pools on the road. There were craters where trees once stood. There was the smell of rot from all the animals and people that had yet to be uncovered. At the time of my visit, approximately eight hundred people were missing or unaccounted for in the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi. Most were swept out into the gulf as the storm surge receded. Over two hundred bodies had been found by the time we arrived in Mississippi.
On my first day of work, I was assigned to assist Harrison County Sheriff’s office in the northern portions of the county. Mainly, I drove around assisting Harrison County with day-to-day law enforcement calls. I did a lot of community policing, meaning… if I saw someone I would stop and talk with them. People would tell their stories. For instance, there was the grizzled former-Marine who did Island hopping in World War II, and as he told me the story I could see him holding back tears. He told me he had never been through anything like this, and that he road-out Hurricane Camille in 69’ but that storm was a pussy compared to Hurricane Katrina. He told me that with the next hurricane he is going to head North – no more riding out hurricanes. I also spoke with another grizzled Mississippian who told me his home made noise that no home should. And that if the storm had lasted another half hour his house would have been gone. He said the rattling doors really got to him, because he never knew if the next gust of wind would tear his house up and end it all. He was sheltering fourteen people in his house – neighbors and friends. During the storm he tied them all together with a rope and said that if the house blew apart he was going to tie them to his well and hope for the best.
After a few days, I was assigned to Henderson Point, which is the county land off the Bay of St. Louis. This is the area where the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over.
More to come later. (Hey I have to keep you coming back)
Cutting trees down to crane out 40ft Bay Liner at Henderson Point.
40ft Bay Liner sitting on Ponce De Leon St.
Some More Boat Pictures
Monday, October 10, 2005
Bow and Arrow
Police shot and wounded a man who took over a freight train with a bow and arrow in Montclair.
Police say Juventino Vallejo-Camerena boarded the Union Pacific train last night as it was stopped for a signal and threatened the only people on board, the engineer and conductor. They escaped and called police.
Officers arrived to find the suspect on board. He cocked the bow and pointed the arrow at officers, who opened fire.
I'd say this guy was attempting a suicide-by-cop, but something tells me he wasn't smart enough to think that one through.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Where I Spent My Summer Vacation
Some More Mississippi Photos
Some of My Mississippi Photos
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Long Beach PD: Officer shot
Los Angeles police allegedly shot and killed a gang member after he killed a police dog that had been ordered to subdue him, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Ranger, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois was attempting to subdue the suspected gang member who had allegedly fired on Long Beach officers hours earlier, the report said.
The report said Officer Mike Parcells, ordered the dog to subdue the man who was hiding underneath a porch. Ranger died from a gunshot to the chest.
The suspect, Agustin Murguia Jr., had allegedly fired a single shot, and SWAT officers responded with a volley. The 22-year-old parolee was dead when officers reached him, the report said.
"The last thing you tell your dog is to go do its job, and he gets killed for doing it," said a former K-9 officer. Parcells had purchased Ranger with his own money from a breeder in Holland two years ago.
Ask anyone who has worked a K-9 unit, and they'll tell you the best partner they ever had was their police dog. Not only are they a part of the force, but they're like a member of the family as well.