- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2005


Lawsuit dropped in salad bar blunder

AURORA — A man who was hit with a stun gun after police accused him of stealing a salad from Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant has reached a deal with the city.

Danon Gale, 29, agreed to drop his $500,000 civil rights lawsuit in exchange for the dismissal of five of six charges filed against him. He pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace. The city will pay his legal and medical bills, but Mr. Gale still has to pay a fine.

Police used a stun gun on Mr. Gale in front of his children in February after employees accused him of trying to eat at the salad bar without paying.

The investigation concluded that Mr. Gale did pay for the salad, and the city apologized for what happened.


Ex-Marine faces desertion charges

TARPON SPRINGS — A man serving probation in a fraud case has been charged with deserting the Marine Corps 40 years ago to avoid being sent to Vietnam, police said.

Jerry Texiero left his unit in California in 1965 at age 24, police said. He was arrested Tuesday in Pinellas County and charged with desertion.

Texiero, now 64, had been living under an assumed name, Gerome Conti, since at least the mid-1980s, Sgt. Jeff Young said.

The Marine Corps contacted his probation officer Tuesday and said Conti’s fingerprints matched those of a deserter who fled Camp Pendleton 40 years ago, Sgt. Young said.


Mail to resume as wildfire tamed

BOISE — Firefighters had made enough progress against a north-central Idaho wildfire by yesterday that mail delivery could resume to some homes in the area for the first time in more than a week.

About 20 homes still were considered threatened, and none of the 80 houses originally in the path of the fire had been damaged.

A voluntary evacuation order remained in effect, but many residents had started returning home.

The fire charred 4,800 acres of state forestland near Grangeville, about 40 miles from the Oregon state line. It was 60 percent contained yesterday.


Bank robbed by Dillinger razed

EAST CHICAGO — A bank that was robbed by gangster John Dillinger in 1934 has been demolished to make way for a Walgreens drugstore.

Paul Myers, the city’s historic preservation officer, said he was upset but powerless to stop the demolition of the First National Bank building.

Walgreens spokeswoman Tiffani Bruce said that although she was not familiar with the details of the building, not all of the chain’s drugstores are “cookie cutter” and the company does try to use older buildings.

Dillinger was in the midst of a spree of bank robberies when he walked into the First National Bank of East Chicago in January 1934. A police officer was killed in the robbery.


Judge fines Jackson over missed hearing

NEW ORLEANS — A judge miffed by Michael Jackson’s failure to have his attorney show up for a hearing in a civil case fined the singer $10,000 yesterday.

Mr. Jackson was a no-show and had no attorney present at a July hearing in the case accusing him of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man during the 1984 World’s Fair. Mr. Jackson denies the accusations.

Mr. Jackson’s attorney, Charles F. Gay Jr., told U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon yesterday that the summons for the court date was lost in the confusion of Mr. Jackson’s child molestation trial in California. The summons for the New Orleans court appearance arrived June 13, the day Mr. Jackson was acquitted.


Convicted rapist faces new charges

JACKSONVILLE — A convicted rapist has been charged in a rape case that resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of another man who spent 21 years behind bars for the crime, prosecutors announced yesterday.

Joel Bill Caulk, 58, who is imprisoned in Massachusetts, was indicted Tuesday in North Carolina on charges of rape, sexual offense and robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the March 31, 1981, attack, prosecutors said.

Leo Waters was cleared of the same crime by a DNA test conducted in 2003. Charges against him were dismissed more than a year ago after he had served 21 years in prison.


9/11 families sue to move rubble

NEW YORK — Millions of tons of rubble from the World Trade Center attack on September 11 and human remains that cannot be recovered should not have their final resting place among New York’s garbage, families of the victims said yesterday.

A lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York on Monday, seeks to have the estimated 1.2 million to 1.8 million tons of rubble from the World Trade Center site transferred out of the Fresh Kills garbage dump in the New York borough of Staten Island.


Private convicted in fatal beating

FORT BLISS — A military jury convicted Army Reserve Pfc. Willie Brand yesterday in the fatal 2002 beating of a detainee at Bagram air base in Afghanistan.

Brand’s sentencing hearing on convictions for assault, maltreatment, false official swearing and maiming begins today. He faces up to 16 years in military prison. He was acquitted of charges involving a second man, who also died.

As the verdict was read, Brand, a 26-year-old Ohio reservist with the 337th Military Police Company, wiped tears from his face. His attorney, John P. Galligan, said the conviction will be appealed.

“When you send a man who has been to war back with a conviction, that’s punishment enough,” Mr. Galligan said.

The conviction was for abuse of a prisoner known as Dilawar. An Air Force medical examiner had testified that the man was injured so severely that his leg muscles were split apart. Homicide charges were dropped earlier this year.


Homeless woman found with $60,000

JANESVILLE — She had $60,000 in cash, but no roof over her head.

Janesville police say an 87-year-old woman found snoozing in a discount store over the weekend had the money in her purse.

The woman was examined at Mercy Hospital and released, said Nancy White, property manager of the Golden Acres Apartments for the elderly across the street.

Police said they took the money for safekeeping while the woman’s status was clarified, but they returned it Monday.

Lt. Keith Lawver told the Janesville Gazette that the woman does not have a fixed address and has been staying at various locations for the past year, while under the care of a Rock County social-services caseworker.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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