Man who allegedly killed Maine sheriff’s office corporal captured after four-day manhunt

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine) — The 29-year-old man accused of gunning down a sheriff’s office corporal in Maine and who evaded authorities for four days has been captured, authorities said on Saturday.John Daniel Williams had been on the run since Wednesday morning when he allegedly shot and killed Cpl. Eugene Cole of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office in Norridgewock.Williams was apprehended at 12:43 p.m. on Saturday outside a small, remote camp in Norridgewock, officials said. Authorities had found tracks this week that confirmed the area he was in, officials said.Cole’s handcuffs were used in the arrest, authorities said.More than 200 law enforcement officers had been involved in the manhunt.Now that the search is done, officers can begin to grieve Cole’s loss, authorities said, and local residents “can sleep well.”The Cole family is relieved, thankful and grateful, authorities added.Less than an hour before Williams was caught, authorities read a statement from Cole’s widow, pleading with him to surrender.“I urge Mr. Williams to turn himself in or at least reach out to law enforcement,” she said in the statement. “Mr. Williams, be assured you’ll be treated the same way Corporal Cole would have treated you if you had given him the opportunity — with dignity and respect.”“We just want you to talk to someone,” she added. “Please, please talk to us.”After the killing, Williams allegedly stole the corporal’s cruiser, drove to a local convenience store and committed a robbery, authorities said. The cruiser was later found abandoned in Norridgewock.Williams had been considered armed and dangerous.A $20,000 reward was being offered for information leading to his arrest.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Questions still unanswered after fatal shooting of Virginia man by US Park Police

first_imgCraig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty ImagesBy LUKE BARR, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The United States Park Police have come under fire for their handling of protesters outside the White House, but a case in Northern Virginia could provide insight into the organization’s lack of transparency in controversial incidents, lawmakers say.Bijan Ghaisar was driving home on the George Washington Parkway just outside of Washington, D.C., to have dinner with his father in November 2017. That’s when, according to a family attorney, Ghaisar’s car was struck from behind by another car.Ghaisar had no damage to his car, so he kept driving. But the driver of the other car called police, and that is when the U.S. Park Police “aggressively” pursued Ghaisar, the family lawyer said.Video released by the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department shows Ghaisar driving slowly, stopping twice. On the third stop, Ghaisar attempted to go around the Park Police, and officers barricaded him in and opened fire.“At no point did Bijan Ghaisar do anything to cause these officers to believe that their lives or the lives of anybody else was in danger,” family attorney and former Department of Justice official Roy Austin told ABC News.Ghaisar was in a coma and died days later.Austin said that after the incident, “U.S. Park Police provided security to his [hospital] room and told his family and parents that he was a criminal.”In a statement to ABC News, the National Parks Service said that they have “communicated with Congress to provide updates and information as it is able without interfering in the ongoing investigations and litigation. We have no further comment.”‘Terrible treatment’Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., told ABC News that during the first few days after the shooting there was “silence.”“There was the terrible treatment of the family when they came to see their brother and their son, who was there on life support,” Beyer said. “And they wouldn’t let them visit because somehow they were going to help him escape with three bullets in his head.”Three days after the shooting, the FBI took over the investigation — but to this day, questions about Ghaisar’s death remain.“For the last now, two and a half going on three years, the U.S. Park Police has told us very little; they told the family very little about what happened here,” Austin said. “They have largely defended these officers.”Rep. Beyer said that there was incredible frustration among the families in the Northern Virginia community.“We had a year and a half, almost two years of complete silence, and then another many, many months of silence from the Department of Justice and finally their decision that nothing could be done. So, just an incredible frustration that justice was not served and that everything was opaque the entire time,” Beyer said.Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, reiterated that the response from Park Police has been completely “opaque.”He is holding up an Interior Department nomination until he gets questions answered about the shooting.“We gave them and the Department of Interior warning that if I wasn’t going to get answers, I had to use this tool because Bijan’s family, who have just been crushed by the response of our government, deserve a better answer,” he explained to ABC News by phone.Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler told ABC News that he released his department’s dash-cam footage for the sake of transparency, and he encouraged the Park Police to do the same.He said he told the Park Police at the time that “as professional colleagues … they need to release that video when it’s no longer going to erode the integrity of the investigation.”“That in-car video is my property, although it was evidence,” Roessler said of the footage he released. “So the discussion then allowed communication back to me that they were not going to release the video.”At a community meeting, Acting Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan addressed the incident in December of 2019.“It’s important to note that there are additional aspects to this investigation that still need to be addressed,” Monahan said according to local reports. “There’s the potential for criminal prosecution at the county level or the state level, and there’s also — and will happen — an administrative investigation. Given that there is no determination on the criminal aspect of this incident, I have to respect the process, and I can’t comment any further at this time.”The federal investigation was closed last year and no criminal charges were brought against the officers.Fairfax County District Attorney Steve T. Descano recently requested 260 documents from the FBI pertaining to the case, but so far he has not received any of them.Descano did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.According to the Washington Post, the Justice Department declined to allow the FBI agents involved in the case testify.Earlier this year, Ghaisar’s family sued the government and the officers involved, and the judge demanded that the government turn over the FBI file in the case.The government has asked for an extension to provide the FBI file in the civil suit, but at a hearing in March, the judge was unmoved by the government’s efforts to delay the file’s release.“I don’t recall that being the discovery process agreed to in the joint discovery plan,” Judge Ivan Davis said.According to Beyer, the Park Police didn’t release the names of the officers involved until their names came out in the discovery phase of the lawsuit.A court date is set for July to provide an update to the discovery process.Austin told ABC News that the federal government has been particularly “cruel” to Ghaisar’s family, and stressed that the government was not transparent with them.“The federal government has been embarrassing, unprofessional and truly just cruel to this family for the last two and a half years,” he said. “At no point when they were announcing their decision not to prosecute did they sit down with the family before announcing making their announcement in public.”Another incident ‘on the same track’?If the Park Police’s response to the Ghaisar case is any indication, it may be difficult to get to the bottom of what happened in Lafayette Park last week when Park Police cleared the park of protesters prior to President Donald Trump’s arrival.In an interview over the weekend, Attorney General William Barr said that the protesters in the park were not peaceful.“They were not peaceful protesters. And that’s one of the big lies that the media seems to be perpetuating at this point,” Barr said in an interview with Face the Nation.The National Parks Service, on behalf of the Park Police, referred ABC News to their statement on June 2.“The United States Park Police (USPP) is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights. However, this past weekend’s demonstrations at Lafayette Park and across the National Mall included activities that were not part of a peaceful protest, which resulted in injuries to USPP officers in the line of duty, the destruction of public property and the defacing of memorials and monuments,” Monahan said. “During four days of demonstrations, 51 members of the USPP were injured; of those, 11 were transported to the hospital and released and three were admitted.”In the statement, Park Police said that “violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.”Beyer said that the lack of transparency by the Park Police in both incidents is “symptomatic of an overall disrespect for transparency.”“Somehow, the Park Police don’t feel that they are responsible to the community as a whole,” Beyer said.Roessler said that all law enforcement agencies need to come into the 21st century.A Park Police spokesman told multiple news outlets that it was a “mistake” to say that Park Police didn’t use tear gas to clear the park, only to release a statement hours later that walked it back.“United States Park Police officers and other assisting law enforcement partners did not use tear gas or OC Skat Shells to close the area at Lafayette Park in response to violent protesters,” the statement said.Warner said that the two incidents parallel one another.“It’s very troubling that this incident happens. And then you have the incident that happened last week, and there seems to be the same ‘hide the ball.’ Was there tear gas? Was there not tear gas? I don’t know,” Warner said.“It’s arrogant, over the top. But also still — the ‘hide the ball’ approach seems to be the same pattern in terms of what happened at Lafayette Park,” he added.Austin said he sees similarities in how the situations were handled.“They are a law enforcement agency that appears to operate without normal rules of engagement, without proper training and with almost zero transparency, and that’s a problem,” he said.Beyer said that the two incidents are “very much on the same track of just disrespect for public participation, public opinion.”“Other people have a right to know in a democracy what’s going on,” he said. “And we’ve never found out in the Bijan Ghaisar case and now we don’t know what led to the chain of events in Lafayette Square.”Beyer said that perhaps if there isn’t more transparency, it might be time to rethink the Park Police.“This may be the time when we think about folding the Park Police into a police department with a better reputation,” he said. “That would be an idea that still has to be vetted, but Park Service has had its own problems with misogyny and the like.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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The Great Race: A History (part 2 of two-part series)

first_imgPart 2 of two-part Garrett Wilson, Sumner Newscow —  One thing that makes growing up in Wellington so unique is the events that take place every year. The town cannot wait for them to be here and each year is special.Some of these events include the annual Wheat Festival, Crusader football, and The Great Race.Most people in Wellington have heard of the Great Race but how many know of the history of the event?The first race took place in 1977 and started at the old Depot Restaurant located alongside Highway 160. Jack Potucek who operated The Depot came up with the idea of an event to kick off July 4 and allow Depot employees to enjoy the evening with their families.“It was originally on July 4 and we would shut down the Depot and really start off the holiday around town,” Potucek said.The race was run back then for The Watson Cup instead of the Depot Cup that is used today. Potucek remembers the first race being done in a hurry.“I told a bartender to grab a notepad and we went around and mapped out the course in about an hour the night before the race,” Potucek said.The race was run with this course for five years until 1982. The main reason for the change being that a fire destroyed the Depot and left the starting point bare.“It was really like a cemetery,” Potucek said.So the years passed and no race was held. It continued this way until the Wellington Chamber of Commerce came to Potucek with the idea of starting the race again.“They decided to start it at South Woods Park and maintain most of the original route,” Potucek said.One thing that Potucek was most proud of was what the race had done for Woods Park itself.“It was really rundown and now it is just a beautiful spot to hold the event,” Potucek said.The only reference to the Depot today is the Depot Cup that is awarded to the victors of the race. However, the race still has some remnants of the beginning.Two of the teams from the 1977 race still compete every year. The Greeno Flameouts and The Black Oak Striders have been in every race since 1977.So come one out July 27 and see one of Wellington’s great traditions. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (3) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +2 Vote up Vote down Ted Logan · 368 weeks ago So, I read both articles and I have questions. How far do they run? Why are there 15 members on a team? Is it like a relay or best total time of all runners? When is/was the sign-up? Can we enter the day of the race? Are there parameters for the makeup of your team? Report Reply 0 replies · active 368 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Garrett Wilson · 368 weeks ago There are 15 members because there are 13 legs. With the 2 canoe legs requiring 2 members each. As for signing up. I know entries are closed for this year. Each teams age had to average out to 26 or 28. Jack Potucek can answer your questions more thoroughly. Report Reply 0 replies · active 368 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Just Wondering · 368 weeks ago You can get a race pamphlet at several buisinesses around town. This has more details about the race. I watched my first race last year and thought it was really fun. Good luck to all contestants. Report Reply 0 replies · active 368 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

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