- The Washington Times - Monday, March 19, 2007

CALIFORNIA

Police impersonation suspected at airport

LOS ANGELES — Two persons who claimed to be taking a handcuffed prisoner to Hawaii for a court hearing were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after one was found to be carrying a gun without a permit, authorities said.

A man and woman were arrested for investigation of impersonating peace officers after they entered a security screening area on Friday morning, Los Angeles Airport Police spokeswoman Belinda Nettles said Saturday.

Airport police ran a check and found that neither was a police officer, and the woman did not have a permit to carry a gun, Miss Nettles said. Officials did not release their names.

FLORIDA

Jet lands safely after engine mishap

WEST PALM BEACH — A plane returned safely to Palm Beach International Airport shortly after takeoff yesterday after losing a piece of its engine cover.

JetBlue Flight 830 took off about 6 a.m., but returned to the airport after the pilot reported feeling a vibration, an airport spokeswoman said.

The Airbus A320 was headed for New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and was carrying 150 passengers and six crew members, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

INDIANA

Teen speeds home to catch school bus

VALPARAISO — A teenager clocked driving at 93 mph in a 45 mph zone told police he had to get home in time to catch the school bus.

A judge had sentenced Ryan Henry, 18, to ride the bus to school after an earlier speeding conviction, and Mr. Henry said he was rushing home after going to a gas station to buy an energy drink, said Porter County Sheriff’s Deputy Roger Bowles, who ticketed Mr. Henry.

Mr. Henry appeared to accelerate after passing a marked squad car, then turned into a driveway and shut off the lights to his 2001 Mustang, Deputy Bowles said.

Mr. Henry was given a ticket for misdemeanor reckless driving and ordered to appear in court April 16.

MASSACHUSETTS

Woman dies after being restrained

BOSTON — State and local officials are investigating the death of a developmentally disabled woman who was restrained by police officers at the group home where she lived, authorities said yesterday.

Brenda Ellison, 42, appeared to go into cardiac arrest as she was restrained, police said. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Officers went to the home Friday night after receiving a report of a “woman out of control,” police said. Health care providers told police they had unsuccessfully attempted to restrain Miss Ellison after she become violent. When she became increasingly hostile, officers restrained her, police said.

Police spokeswoman Sharon Dottin did not identify the officers involved or the restraint technique used. The medical examiner’s office has not released a cause of death, she said yesterday.

MONTANA

Police kill man during standoff

BILLINGS — A man fired shots at police during a six-hour standoff and was killed when officers returned fire, the police department said yesterday.

Officers went to the man’s home after he reported late Saturday that he was suicidal, according to a department statement. When they arrived, the man turned off all his lights and shot at the officers, forcing them to retreat.

Negotiations spanning about six hours failed and authorities used tear gas in an unsuccessful attempt to force the man from the house, according to the statement.

The man fired again at officers, who responded with two shots, killing him, the department said. No one else was hurt.

NEBRASKA

Bully ruled liable under stalking law

LINCOLN — A teenager who called a schoolmate “fat penguin” and other derogatory names in front of other students for months committed misdemeanor stalking, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The ruling overturned an appeals court finding that the 16-year-old’s actions were intended only for his “own juvenile amusement.”

According to court documents, the teen identified only as Jeffrey K. yelled at the girl nearly 200 times over two months in 2004 at Omaha Westside High School. He shoved a chair directly into her path, causing her to stumble, repeatedly called her names and threw food at her.

The state’s stalking statute targets conduct that “seriously terrifies, threatens, or intimidates.”

The high court found that the boy committed stalking because a reasonable person would have felt intimidated by his actions, whether or not the girl was.

NEVADA

Wildfire burns homes, shuts down highway

RENO — An early season wildfire in Reno burned several homes and temporarily shut down Interstate 80’s westbound lanes, officials said.

An undetermined number of people were evacuated from homes and businesses after the brush fire broke out Saturday afternoon.

The fast-moving fire burned near a shopping center, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

No injuries were reported.

Reno Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Knoll said the fire was contained Saturday night and evacuated residents had been allowed to return home.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

NORTH CAROLINA

Boy Scout missing in rugged country

TRAPHILL — Search teams combed mountain terrain yesterday for a 12-year-old Boy Scout who disappeared during an outing.

About 10 scouts and the adult leaders of Troop 230, from Greensboro, noticed that Michael Auberry was missing between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Saturday in Stone Mountain State Park, officials said.

The troop had gone on a hike earlier Saturday, and the boy and an adult stayed behind, said David Bauer, a ranger with the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was not clear why they stayed behind.

WISCONSIN

Exonerated prisoner convicted of murder

CHILTON — A man who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit was convicted yesterday of murdering a photographer whose charred bones were found in a burn pit outside his home.

Steven Avery, 44, faces a mandatory life prison term for killing Teresa Halbach, 25, near his family’s salvage yard.

Miss Halbach disappeared Oct. 31, 2005, after going to the yard in rural Manitowoc County to photograph a minivan that Avery’s sister had for sale through Auto Trader magazine.

In 2003, Avery was released from prison after serving 18 years for a Manitowoc County rape that DNA analysis showed he did not commit. He later settled a wrongful-conviction lawsuit against the county for $400,000 and used it for his defense.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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