- The Washington Times - Friday, January 2, 2009

CALIFORNIA

Three arrested in gang rape case

RICHMOND | One man and two teens have been arrested on suspicion of gang-raping a woman last month in the San Francisco Bay Area while reportedly taunting her for being a lesbian, police said Thursday as they searched for a fourth suspect.

Officers arrested 31-year-old Humberto Hernandez Salvador at his Richmond home Wednesday night, Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said. The suspect is being held without bail on gang rape, kidnapping and carjacking charges.

Police also arrested a 15-year-old Richmond boy and a 16-year-old Hercules boy Wednesday. Their names were not released.

Investigators are still seeking 21-year-old Josue Gonzalez, who had prior addresses in San Rafael and Richmond, on a $1 million warrant for gang rape, kidnapping and carjacking, police said. Mr. Gonzalez was called by the nickname “Pato” during the attack and is considered armed and dangerous, Lt. Gagan said.

Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The attackers made comments indicating that they knew she was a lesbian, police said.

Authorities have characterized the case as a hate crime. Police said the victim lives openly with a female partner.

MASSACHUSETTS

Baby born in flight across Atlantic

BOSTON | There were 124 passengers on Northwest Airlines Flight 59 when it left the Netherlands. There were 125 when it landed in Boston.

Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for Logan International Airport, said a woman went into labor and gave birth to an apparently healthy baby girl over the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday during the eight-hour flight from Amsterdam.

Mr. Orlandella said a doctor and a paramedic who were on the flight assisted in the birth. He said the plane landed without incident about 10:30 a.m., and the mother and baby were immediately taken to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Mr. Orlandella said he did not know the nationality of the mother, but said that for customs’ purposes, the baby was considered a Canadian citizen because she was born over Canada’s airspace.

MONTANA

Kennel raid finds dead dogs

BILLINGS | A raid that resulted in the seizure of 189 English shepherds from a crowded kennel also turned up 10 frozen dog carcasses and a dead dog found beside the breeder’s bed, authorities said Wednesday.

Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Mark Murphy said a decision on whether to file charges against breeder Linda Kapsa will be made sometime next week.

The dogs - many of them covered with fleas and feces and at least six that appeared gravely ill - were being held as evidence at the county fairgrounds in Billings. Ms. Kapsa did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

“The law of the West is you don’t abuse your animals,” said County Commissioner Jim Reno. “Leaving little puppies out in below-zero weather, outside, without obvious food or shelter - that doesn’t make it here.”

Ms. Kapsa’s Shady Lane Kennels sold dogs over the Internet and had been raided at least twice before, including in early December when 10 dogs were seized and 13 dead dogs were found.

PENNSYLVANIA

Cold, money woes don’t stop parade

PHILADELPHIA | Comics dressed as bullfighters, knights and Mexican wrestlers strutted in the annual Mummers Parade, celebrating New Year’s Day and the holiday tradition’s escape from the city’s budget ax.

Thousands of people endured temperatures in the low 20s - with a wind chill of 11 - to celebrate 2009 Philadelphia-style, watching the participants in elaborate costumes of satin, sequins and feathers.

“Philadelphia is one of the few cities where New Year’s Day is bigger than New Year’s Eve,” said resident Brian Castello, 48, who turned out early Thursday to watch the parade.

The parade features about 15,000 people dancing 2 1/2 miles through the heart of the city.

The Mardi Gras-like festivities almost didn’t happen this year after the cash-strapped city withdrew more than $400,000 in support. It was saved through last-minute private fundraising and an agreement to shorten the hours-long pageant.

The comics are one of four divisions of Mummers, which also includes Fancies, with the flashiest outfits; Fancy Brigades, with choreographed theatrical works and massive props; and String Bands, the dancing musicians. Many clubs work on the elaborate costumes all year and spend upward of $100,000.

“It’s colorful. That’s what I love about it. It’s very colorful,” said parade watcher Cassie Prichard, 56, who dressed for the cold in a fur coat and fur hat and had a blanket wrapped around her legs.

WISCONSIN

Shoplift suspect hit high-price foods

RACINE | A man accused of shoplifting still has a taste for finer cuisine, even in the struggling economy.

Police in Racine, Wis., say 43-year-old Brian A. Rubenstein tried to steal $625 in groceries. The total included $365 in lobster and $213 in ribeye and beef roasts.

Workers told police that they saw Mr. Rubenstein fill his cart with lobster tails and beef cuts, as well as a smoked ham, apple pie and fruit platter. He was arrested Dec. 23.

Police say he told investigators that times are tough.

Mr. Rubenstein was charged with misdemeanor retail theft, which carries a maximum penalty of nine months in prison and a $10,000 fine. He didn’t immediately return a message left Wednesday evening.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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