November 2007

Janitors, Mall Security Scuffle During Protest by;Rick McCann www.privateofficer.com


HAYWARD Ca. Nov. 3 2007 — Shoppers at Southland Mall witnessed a rowdy skirmish Thursday in an ongoing national battle between the Service Employees International Union and General Growth Properties.
Shortly before noon, about 20 to 25 chanting janitorial workers and union organizers tried to gain access to the mall's business offices near the food court. A scuffle broke out between the demonstrators and five security guards who were blocking access to the offices.
"It just got out of hand," said Blanca Perez, 72, a former janitor at the food court. "The security guards were pushing people out, manhandling women, pepper-spraying people. It was like a heat-of-the-moment thing."
Hayward police officers arrived on the scene shortly after the scuffle.
"The demonstrators left peaceably," Lt. Reid Lindblom said. "No arrests were made. There were no reports of physical injuries other than irritation to the eyes from the pepper spray. Everyone left under their own power, as we understood it."
The union organized the demonstration against General Growth Properties, which owns Southland Mall. SEIU has been attempting to unionize janitors nationwide at malls owned by General Growth Properties, the second-largest owner, developer and manager of shopping centers in the country.
Kevin O'Donnell, a spokesman for the union, said the demonstrators at the mall were there to voice grievances regarding alleged civil rights abuses committed by General Growth Properties against employees.


In the course of forming their union, they've been met with interrogation, intimidation, discrimination, censorship. You've had mall janitors who have been prohibited from talking to union organizers."
O'Donnell said that as a result of the scuffle with the security guards, janitors Maricela Flores and Sonia Sharwood and union organizer Raul Cardenas were taken to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hayward to be treated for impaired vision, pain in the limbs and difficulty breathing.
General Growth Properties spokesman David Keating said that the demonstration at the mall was over the top.
"They basically stormed the shopping center, chanting and yelling and frightening a lot of parents and children. They tried to storm the management's office. This is all part of a national smear campaign against General Growth. Frankly, what they did at Southland was unacceptable."
Keating said janitors at malls owned by General Growth Properties work for third-party contractors. He said his company hires contractors that compensate janitors fairly, provide health insurance and provide workers with a complaint resolution process.
Perez said she started working at the Southland Mall food court 10 years ago as a janitor for the Millard Co. The 51-year San Leandro resident said she worked four days a week "to keep her mind busy" after her husband died. She said she started out at $7.50 an hour and was making $11 an hour without benefits when she was terminated on Oct. 19.
She said she participated in the demonstration on Thursday because she did not accept the reason her supervisor gave her for her termination, which was an unspecified discrepancy on her timecard.
Perez was not injured in the scuffle. "I don't know what to think. Something like this has never happened to me before. People need someone to fight for them when they're up against big corporations like this. I would like to see people protected and happy with their jobs."

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School Security Officer Assaulted by; Rick McCann www.privateofficer.com


Mobile Al. Nov. 3, 2007


An eighth-grade girl at Pillans Middle School was arrested today on charges she hit a school security officer several times, according to police.
The 16-year-old girl was charged with harassment and disorderly conduct, said Mobile Police spokesman Officer Eric Gallichant. The incident happened about 11 a.m.

The school security officer was in the girl's classroom "working on another matter" that had occurred earlier in the day at the school off Dauphin Island Parkway, Gallichant said.
"According to the resource officer, he was going to take her to the office. She didn't want to go, evidently, so she assaulted him," said Mobile County Public School System spokeswoman Nancy Pierce. "He was hit several times," Pierce added.
The girl was taken to Strickland Youth Center, Gallichant said. Her name was not released because she is a minor.

The security officer assigned to the school is a sworn police officer and could face more serious charges of assaulting law enforcement.
Pierce said classes at Pillans continued as scheduled throughout the day.



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Romanian Boxers Caught Shoplifting; Sent Packing www.privateofficer.com


Chicago Il. Nov. 2 2007 Three Romanian boxers and their team manager, in town for the AIBA World Boxing Championships, have been sent home and banned for life from the AIBA after the boxers were allegedly caught shoplifting at a Michigan Avenue department store Friday night.
A police report indicates Marius Bogdan Dinu, 21, Ronald Gavril, 21, and Gabriel Julian Stan, 20, were caught shoplifting in the Nordstrom Department Store on Friday evening, according to a release Monday from the AIBA. Police News Affairs was unable to confirm the report as of 1:30 p.m. Monday.
AIBA considers such conduct "completely unacceptable" and sent all three athletes and the Romanian team manager home on Sunday, the release said. All four will receive a lifetime ban from AIBA. The boxers had already been knocked out of the tournament.
"This misbehaviour tarnishes the image and reputation of AIBA and the sport of boxing, all other federations and the other athletes competing," AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said in the release. "The measures AIBA has taken are a strong illustration of the new AIBA and its zero tolerance for misbehaviour inside or outside of the ring."
The President of the Romania Boxing Federation Rudel Obreja issued a public apology to AIBA, the Local Organizing Committee and the athletes participating, the release said. AIBA also urged all team managers to sign a commitment to the AIBA Code of Ethics.



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Officer Down.....Philadelphia www.privateofficer.com


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania Nov. 1, 2007-- A police officer shot in the head during a robbery in a doughnut shop died Thursday morning, the police commissioner said, and his killer remained at large. He was the third city officer shot in the span of four days.
Charles Cassidy, 54, was shot in the forehead Wednesday at a Dunkin' Donuts when a hooded robber spun from the counter and fired at him as he walked in the door, according to an employee.
The 25-year police veteran died at 9:40 a.m. Thursday at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.
"This is a sad day for the city of Philadelphia," Johnson said.
The gunman went into the shop and demanded money just before Cassidy opened the door, according to witnesses.
Police released portions of a chilling videotape that shows the hooded robber pushing aside two customers and waving a gun as he approaches the counter.
It also shows him grabbing Cassidy's pistol as he fled.
The suspect hadn't been found Thursday. Johnson said video showed the gunman running through the shop's parking lot with a distinctive gait, almost as if he had a limp.
"We still have an armed and dangerous man out there in the streets of Philadelphia," Johnson said
In a statement Thursday, Cassidy's family said they were "deeply appreciative of all the support and prayers from the police, the clergy, the community and many folks we don't even know."
The officer came in twice a day for a large coffee with cream and sugar, shop employee Sandra Kim said. "He's always nice to all the employees," she said. "The officer was just coming in for a cup of coffee like normal."
Johnson said the officer was doing a routine check on the shop, which had been robbed September 18. He said he didn't think the robber got away with any money.
The shooting came about 12 hours after a masked gunman shot traffic Officer Mario Santiago in the shoulder during a chase downtown.
Santiago was responding to a report of a gunman in a sport utility vehicle shooting at another car, injuring two men and a woman, police said.
He was chasing the SUV when the gunman eventually got out of his vehicle and approached the squad car, firing twice through the window. Santiago was hit once in the right shoulder, police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.
Santiago was in fair condition Wednesday.
The gunman in that shooting apparently jumped into the Schuylkill River, where searchers later recovered a body. Police said Wednesday morning that they had not determined whether it was the suspect's body.
Early Sunday, an officer responding to a melee at a West Philadelphia nightclub was shot in the ankle. More than two dozen bullets were fired, police said. One suspect was fatally shot and another was arrested.
A prayer service for Cassidy was scheduled for Friday morning at City Hall.


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Shoplifting Escalates, 1 Stabbed, Officer Injured by; Rick McCann www.privateofficer.com


Wilmington N.C. Nov. 1, 2007


What started as a petty shoplifting at Wal-Mart ended with the stabbing of an assistant manager, an injured police officer and the theft of a police vehicle on Tuesday, police said.

Shawn Lacy Thompson, 47, is charged with two charges of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle.Thompson has previous convictions for crimes that include larceny, speeding to elude arrest, receiving a stolen vehicle, assault on a female, breaking and entering and burglary.

About 11:17 a.m., a man shoplifted three DVDs from Wal-Mart at 5226 Sigmon Road, police said.Wal-Mart employees tried to apprehend the man in the parking lot, but it wasn't until the man cut himself trying to scale a barbed-wire fence on the edge of the property that two assistant managers caught up with him, said Wilmington police spokeswoman Lucy Crockett.While a 30-year-old assistant manager restrained the suspect, the other one called 911.In the process, the suspect stabbed the 30-year-old assistant manager in the arm and leg, Crockett said. The assistant manager was taken to the hospital with puncture wounds, she said.Calls began to flood the 911 center as witnesses reported the incident. One witness briefly followed the suspect, providing a description to dispatchers, Crockett said.

The suspect ran away and was later spotted by a plainclothes officer near Miller-Motte College. The police officer, Christopher Mayo, 31, a five-year member of the police department, jumped out of his unmarked vehicle and tried to stop the suspect. The suspect overpowered the officer, hopped into the car and started to drive away. The vehicle contained a weapon and ammunition that were not easily accessible to the suspect, Crockett said.The police officer tried to prevent him from driving away, injuring his wrist, Crockett said.She said most marked squad cars are equipped with an anti-theft device, but that his vehicle was not."Officers are frequently in situations where they jump out of the vehicle," she said. "In patrol, they leave the car running but they have anti-theft devices."The suspect drove the police vehicle to Princess Place Drive and Manly Avenue where he hit a fire hydrant, ditching the vehicle in a wooded area.In this case, Mayo had a "description of a violent person and he spotted the person," she said. "His first concern was to try to get the guy, and it's unfortunate that it got so dangerous."

The suspect then ran into a nearby apartment in the 400 block of Henry Street where he was staying. Neighbors notified police where to find him and officers finally were able to subdue him and transport him to the city jail where he is being currently being held.



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Guard Weaves Story Of Being Shot www.privateofficer.com


MESA, Ariz. Nov. 1 2007 -- A security guard who initially claimed he was shot at a Mesa apartment complex admits he made the whole story up, police said.
Detectives said Andrew Grossman, 24, of Scottsdale, revealed he put his protective vest against a wall and then fired two shots into it in a hoax perpetrated to make it look like he was shot.
Grossman was working as a guard on Sept. 23 when he summoned officers and told them that two masked men shot him while he was on patrol.
Grossman claimed he exchanged gunfire and told police be thought he might have struck one of them.

On Tuesday, Mesa police detectives said they interviewed Grossman again and administered a voice stress test.
A detective then interviewed him again and afterwards said Grossman confessed the story was a fabrication.
Investigators said he also admitted to opening a police radio channel and firing three more shots into the ground.
Police reports don't explain why Grossman made the story up.


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