- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2009

CALIFORNIA

3 killed at fundraiser for motorcycle club

PICO RIVERA | A gunman fired into a group of people outside a pizza restaurant where a motorcycle club was holding a fundraising event, killing three people and wounding seven.

Police said Sunday that they were still seeking the gunman. Investigators were trying to determine whether the shooting was gang-related, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Keith Ho.

The shooting occurred Saturday evening during a fundraiser held by a motorcycle group called the “Old School Riders.” People gathered in the parking lot of Falcone’s Pizza were fired upon by a gunman who then jumped into a dark-colored vehicle, Deputy Ho said.

“The suspect started firing into the crowd without provocation,” the deputy said.

Three men, two of them brothers, died at the scene. Seven others were hospitalized in conditions ranging from moderate to serious, Deputy Ho said. Nobody inside the restaurant was injured.

COLORADO

JBS Swift Beef Co. expands beef recall

GREELEY | JBS Swift Beef Co. of Greeley, Colo., is voluntarily expanding its beef recall to include about 380,000 pounds of products because of possible E. coli contamination.

A recall earlier this week involved about 41,000 pounds of products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Sunday that all the beef products in the expanded recall were produced April 21 and are in boxes bearing “EST. 969,” a package date of “042109” and a time stamp ranging from “0618” to “1130.”

The USDA said an investigation by its Food Safety and Inspection Service of 24 illnesses in multiple states prompted the company to re-examine its food safety system. The department said 18 of the illnesses appear to have the same cause, and the company is conducting the recall “out of an abundance of caution.”

CONNECTICUT

Attack victim feared chimp, brothers say

NEW HAVEN | A Connecticut woman mauled and blinded by a chimpanzee in February had feared that the animal might hurt someone and described him as mean and so strong that she had to repair his cage several times, her brothers said.

Michael and Stephen Nash’s comments provide the first public look at Charla Nash’s dealings with Travis, a 200-pound chimpanzee that went berserk when his owner asked Ms. Nash to help lure him back into his house. The chimp ripped off Ms. Nash’s hands, nose, lips and eyelids, and she has been hospitalized for months at the Cleveland Clinic, where she is in stable condition.

Ms. Nash was a friend and employee of the chimp’s owner, Sandra Herold of Stamford, Conn. Ms. Nash’s family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Ms. Herold, saying she was negligent and reckless for lacking the ability to control “a wild animal with violent propensities.”

Ms. Nash’s brother, Stephen, said his sister mentioned problems people had with Travis, but he declined to elaborate. “She even said she thought Travis might hurt somebody, but she didn’t think it would be her,” Stephen Nash said.

Ms. Herold’s attorney, Robert Golger, has said there was no way to predict that Travis would attack Ms. Nash. He questioned why Ms. Nash would voluntarily go to Ms. Herold’s house if she was afraid of the chimpanzee.

MASSACHUSETTS

Shackled six-year-old escapes would-be rapist

HANOVER | A 6-year-old Massachusetts girl riding her bicycle was kidnapped by a neighbor who tried to rape her, but she managed to escape from his apartment despite being in leg shackles, a state prosecutor said.

The girl was found Saturday afternoon as police searched the apartment complex in Hanover, about 20 miles southeast of Boston, where she and the suspect live, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz said.

The girl’s mother reported her missing at about 1:30 p.m., about a half-hour after she had left her home to ride her bike, authorities said. Officers found the girl outside during a door-to-door search, and she led them to the apartment where she was taken, Mr. Cruz said.

Police arrested Justin Shine, 26, Mr. Cruz said. He was charged with kidnapping, attempted rape, assault and resisting arrest. Mr. Cruz said Mr. Shine was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries that he suffered in a struggle with police and what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds.

NEW YORK

Madoff sentencing set for Monday

NEW YORK | Bernard Madoff will get one last creature comfort before he is sentenced Monday, probably to serve out the rest of his days in prison. The judge has given him permission to don his own clothes for the hearing, rather than a jail uniform.

Jack Cutter is wearing something special, too, these days: a butcher’s smock.

The 80-year-old from Longmont, Colo., had to go back to work after he lost his retirement savings in Madoff’s massive swindle. He used to be a petroleum engineer; now he spends his weekdays in the meat department at a Safeway supermarket. The gig pays $8.64 per hour.

Madoff’s fraud, maybe the biggest in Wall Street history, wiped out the savings of thousands of people around the globe. Not all of them were Palm Beach millionaires.

A sizable roster of public school teachers, farmers, mechanics and other middle-class folk are among the victims.

Prosecutors have asked a federal judge in Manhattan to sentence Madoff to 150 years and have promised to seize his assets and force him to pay restitution. On Friday, a judge ruled Madoff must forfeit $171 billion in assets.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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