- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

ARIZONA

Fake cop rapes 11 in Indian town

FORT APACHE INDIAN RESERVATION — A man in a dark shirt and hat emblazoned with the word “police” has raped 10 girls and a young woman after “arresting” them — a string of attacks that has made people on the reservation suspicious of even the real officers investigating the case.

The phony police officer has been attacking victims since March on a dusty trail that winds behind more than 100 homes in the tribal capital, Whiteriver. He tells his victims that they are under arrest, then handcuffs and rapes them. At first, nine of the 11 victims did not report that they had been attacked because they thought a police officer raped them.

“It has created an atmosphere of fear,” said Warren Youngman, assistant agent in charge at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. “When we did our neighborhood canvassing, we had people afraid of our officers.”

CALIFORNIA

Most lettuce found in E. coli recall

SAN FRANCISCO — The company that recalled its lettuce after irrigation water tested positive for E. coli scrambled yesterday to locate 250 remaining cartons of the greens, which could be scattered across seven Western states: Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Nunes Co. President Tom Nunes said that by yesterday morning, all but 250 of the more than 8,500 cartons of green-leaf lettuce grown on one farm in the Salinas Valley and distributed under the Foxy brand from Tuesday to Friday had been located and was being destroyed.

Although the lettuce came from the agricultural region at the center of the deadly contaminated-spinach outbreak, Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer in the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told reporters yesterday that the lettuce recall does not appear to be related.

Dr. Acheson commended the company for “taking the proper approach in not putting the public at risk and initiating a voluntary recall.” No illnesses have been reported from the Nunes lettuce.

FLORIDA

Mistrial declared in hazing case

TALLAHASSEE — A judge declared a mistrial yesterday in the hazing trial of five Florida A&M; University fraternity members after the jury said it was perplexed by an undefined legal term and unable to reach a verdict.

The trial would have been the first to test a new state law that makes hazing a felony if it results in death or “serious bodily injury,” but the law does not define the latter term.

“That is a very serious legal term, and it has been defined in other statutes and yet for whatever reason it’s not defined in this one,” said defense lawyer Chuck Hobbs.

Four Kappa Alpha Psi brothers were charged with using canes, boxing gloves and bare fists to beat aspiring fraternity member Marcus Jones, 20.

INDIANA

Arson destroys public library

WILLIAMSPORT — A fire destroyed the four-year-old public library in this northwestern Indiana town, investigators said yesterday.

The fire was set Sunday night near the library’s outdoor trash-collection area and spread to the roof, state Fire Marshal Roger Johnson said. He would not discuss what investigators found at the fire’s starting point but said there was nothing that would have started the blaze on its own.

The 6,000-square-foot library opened in 2002 in the town of about 2,000 people, about 20 miles west of Lafayette. No injuries were reported, and Mr. Johnson said no other buildings were damaged. Library director Chris Brown said the library likely would be rebuilt.

KENTUCKY

Dog honored as hero for thwarting robber

BENTON — A tiny pooch that fended off an intruder to defend his owner has earned a spot in the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame.

Teddy Bear, a 4-year-old Pomeranian owned by Leslie Ferguson, 24, bit an armed robber in April and created enough of a distraction that Mrs. Ferguson could escape to a neighbor’s house. The dog was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame on Saturday.

“My husband was out of town,” Mrs. Ferguson said. “He was on active duty in the military, and I had a guy break into my house with a gun. He tried to force me into another room. We ended up wrestling for the gun, and Teddy bit him and latched on to his hand. I was able to get the gun from the guy. He ended up getting the gun back, but Teddy distracted him long enough where I could get out of the house.”

Mrs. Ferguson said Teddy Bear never hesitated, even though he had never been vicious toward anyone.

“I guess he realized that I was in danger, and he just took action,” Mrs. Ferguson said. “He did great.”

MASSACHUSETTS

Diabetic survives 4 days stuck in SUV

MONSON — A diabetic driver survived for four days on crackers and dew after crashing his sport utility vehicle into thick brush on his way home from work.

Raymond A. Vachon’s wife reported the 59-year-old missing on Oct. 3 when he didn’t return from his overnight security job in Springfield. He spent four days in and out of consciousness before a dog walker heard him yelling for help Saturday morning.

Mr. Vachon later told police that he had lost control of his SUV at about 5 a.m. and crashed about 30 feet into the brush along Route 32. His leg was fractured, and Mr. Vachon, who is dependent on insulin, was unconscious.

When he came to, he was able to reach his insulin and the crackers that he kept in the vehicle, but he didn’t have a cell phone to call for help and he was weak and dehydrated, said his wife, Linda. He drank dew off leaves and the windshield, she said.

“Oh, my God, I love that guy,” Mr. Vachon said of Roger Pikul, who heard him yelling while walking his dog and called 911. “He’s my new best friend.”

NEW MEXICO

Sisters charged with beating girl

BLOOMFIELD — Two teenage sisters were charged with battery and disorderly conduct after a videotaped attack on a fellow student on a school bus, police said yesterday.

The video from the school-bus camera shows Mistee Neff, 14, being punched repeatedly. The bus driver yelled at her attackers to stop and called police.

Lucricia Gonzales, 13, and Dezarae Gonzales, 15, were charged with aggravated battery and disorderly conduct in the Oct. 3 attack, Police Chief Drew Standley said. The sisters also were suspended from Mesa Alta Junior High School for 10 days, school officials said.

Chief Standley said the three girls had an ongoing dispute. The day before the attack, the Gonzales sisters accused Mistee of making racial remarks about them, he said.

PENNSYLVANIA

Authorities say mom used baby as weapon

ERIE — A woman used her 4-week-old baby as a weapon in a domestic dispute, swinging the infant through the air and striking her boyfriend with the child, authorities said.

The infant boy was in serious but stable condition yesterday at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, police said.

Chytoria Graham, 27, of Erie, was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault. She was held yesterday in the Erie County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

The infant, whose name was not released, suffered a fractured skull and some bleeding in the brain, authorities said. His head hit Miss Graham’s boyfriend, the baby’s father, police Lt. Dan Spizarny said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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