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Crime & Law

    A man impersonating a law enforcement officer pulled over a woman in Arkansas, according to the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office. The incident happened Saturday on Highway 38 near Hughes. >> Read more trending news Investigators said a man impersonating a game and fish officer stopped a woman and asked to check her vehicle for guns. He had a blue light on his dash and was in a dark-colored pickup truck. The man did not show the woman a badge or a weapon. The incident happened during the daytime hours and appears to have been an isolated occurrence. Investigators said they believe they know who the man is, but no arrests were immediately made. Officials said the impersonator is not the same one who stopped people earlier this year.
  • Police in Austin, Texas, are looking for a woman who they say stole merchandise from a Macy’s department store with the help of another woman and four children no older than 10 years old. >> Read more trending news Investigators are looking for 27-year-old Martha Monique Lopez, who is charged with robbery by assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed this week. On Nov. 12, police received a call around 2 p.m. from a store employee who watches for shoplifters at the Macy’s in the Domain shopping center. She told police she was watching the children, who were between 7 and 10 years old, through a security camera. According to the affidavit, they re-entered the store and met two women near the hotel bedding and pillow area. The store worker told police that she saw the women point to some pillows, which the children then picked up before they “exited the store past the last point of purchase without attempting to pay for the items,” the affidavit said. The worker said in the affidavit that she confronted the children and identified herself as a Macy’s employee, after which point she said the children complied and started to come back with her to a store office. The employee told police that as they were going back to the office, the two women approached her and one of them told her to let the children go and then pushed her, according to the affidavit. The other woman and the children began running away, the employee told police. She tried to grab the children, but the “female who told her to let her children go began to punch (her) on the left side of her face, chest and left arm with a closed fist causing (her) pain and redness,” the affidavit said. The employee told police that she “tried to grab the female to detain her but the female took off running and (she) ripped (the woman’s) shirt off of her and the female ran out of the store wearing just a black bra,” the affidavit said. A customer saw the woman running from the store and saw her and the children get into a white 2009 Chevy Malibu with a Texas license plate that matched a car registered to Lopez, according to the affidavit. Lopez was also identified by the store worker from a photo taken during a previous arrest, police said.
  • A Tennessee State University football player who was kicked off the team and expelled after he was caught on video punching his assistant coach earlier this month has been arrested in connection with the attack, according to police. >> Read more trending news Jail records show Latrelle Lee, 22, was arrested Monday night. He was charged with one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and released on a $7,500 bond later Monday, according to The Tennessean. Police told told WKRN that Lee hit a coach in the face multiple times during a game against Southeast Missouri State University at Hale Stadium. Video of the Nov. 11 incident appeared to show Lee punching Tigers strength coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head and knocking him to the ground on the sideline. 'Once struck about the face by the defendant, the victim fell to the ground and was dazed and somewhat unconscious from the punches,' officers said in an arrest affidavit obtained by The Tennessean. 'The victim has subsequently been having medical difficulties as a result from the altercation.' >> Related: Tennessee State player expelled after punching coach on sideline The attack happened as Greenstone was walking down the sideline to ensure players who weren’t on the field were far enough away to avoid a penalty, The Tennessean reported. In a statement released to WKRN after the incident, Tennessee State athletics director Teresa Phillps condemned the attack. “We are committed to supporting the coach who was personally affected and our concern is now with him,” she said.
  • A business owner was helping a customer when a man grabbed his keys and stole his car and guns Thursday.  The alleged thief also got away with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, the manager told Fox13Memphis.com. Superior’s store manager, T. Ginem, was helping a customer when the crime took place. 'While our attention was towards the other customers, [the man] reached over the counter and took the keys,' Ginem said. The incident was caught on a security camera.  On the surveillance video, one of Ginem’s employees is seen walking into the store and setting the car keys on the counter. Minutes later, a man snags them from the counter and takes off.  >> Read more trending news 'He power walked out of here. We didn't realize the vehicle was gone until half an hour later,” Ginem said.  The man can be seen on outdoor surveillance camera video hopping into the car and speeding off. The manager was not just upset with the car being stolen, he also had thousands of dollars in merchandise taken along with multiple guns. 'I had an AK-47, a 9 mm, and a 40 mm,” Ginem said. This year, more guns have been stolen from cars than any other location. According to Memphis Police Department numbers obtained by Fox13Memphis.com, in June and July alone, there were more than 100 guns stolen each month in the city. '[I’m] extremely worried about the guns, man, because you don't want them in the wrong hands,” Ginem said. A quick crime map of the area surrounding the store revealed eight carjackings and roughly 100 auto thefts in the last two months. Ginem said multiple people have already told him who committed the theft. 'He just recently got out of jail. He has nothing to lose,” he said. Memphis police are now trying to make an arrest. Ginem said he is going to be thinking about the whole ordeal for a while. 'We are looking at least $12,000 [lost], so it is going to hurt my pocket, but it's a lesson learned,” he said. Fox13Memphis.com was unable to confirm the suspect’s identity with police but authorities are asking for the public's assistance. Anyone with information about where the man is, or where the stolen items are located, is asked to call police. Ginem said he is offering a $1,000 reward to the person who leads police to an arrest.
  • A food server at a Pittsburgh hospital is accused of exposing himself in front of a patient.  Police said Michael Booker, 37, a dietary server at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, approached the female patient at the walking bridge that joins the parking garage and the hospital.  >> Read more trending news WPXI reported that the woman told investigators Booker approached her, said something vulgar and started fondling himself.  Booker is facing charges that include open lewdness. Officials said he has since been terminated from his position as a server.  Booker faces a preliminary hearing next month.
  • ­­On Thursday morning, Monique Burston sat in court, bracing herself on the shoulder of a man at her side, and listened to how her daughter died, how a 9mm bullet tore through the 21-year-old’s back in a car on Interstate 20 in DeKalb County, Georgia. Burston thought of her grandson. Demarko Cade Jr., 2, used to go to the window and wait for his mom to get home from work every day, Burston said. The young mom would load him into the car and they’d just drive, to nowhere in particular. 'He's still sitting by the window,” Burston said.  >> Read more trending news The child’s mother, Airiyuanna Burston, died Oct. 26. She’d been riding in her boyfriend’s Jeep on the interstate in DeKalb County when a gunshot flashed from the back seat, traveling through her seat into her. When police arrived, they found that the boyfriend’s cousin, Gregory Neal, 22, had been seated behind the victim.  The cousins made up a story about another driver firing into the car in a fit of road rage. But Neal admitted he’d done the shooting after Detective Krischan Payton told him cops found a shell casing in the floorboard where he’d been sitting, Payton testified Thursday. After “numerous” interviews, Neal offered to take police back to the scene and show them where he’d hidden the 9mm pistol up an embankment. Payton said Neal told him the pistol had been laying on the back seat under his backpack. Neal said he moved the backpack and somehow accidentally fired the gun, which police believe. “It was not an intentional shooting,” the detective said. Payton said he knew of no animosity between the victim and the shooter. Monique Burston isn’t convinced it was an accident and said she wants police to investigate further and hear out her theories. Neal is already facing a felony murder charge.  Under Georgia law, the crime doesn’t require intent to kill; it only requires that a death occurred while someone committed a felony. In Neal’s case, it was a felony for him to have the gun at all because he has felony convictions from a burglary case, police said. Before the gun fired, Airiyuanna Burston had been working in a warehouse, was about to start a second job and planned to attend Emory University. She wanted to be a lawyer. Monique Burston hurts for the lost potential and the loss. She worries about her grandson as he waits by the window in the dark.  “You can see he's empty,” she said.
  • A man in Aurora, Illinois, was arrested and charged with driving a John Deere lawn tractor in the street while drunk, WGN reports. Ruben Garza, 50, faces several charges, including two counts of driving under the influence, after driving the lawn tractor in the street near Fifth and Ashland around 3:40 p.m Friday, police said. Police said a witness said the man appeared drunk, seemed to be falling asleep and stopped to urinate in a yard in the 400 block of Ashland. Once he got back on his tractor, he almost hit a parked vehicle and began yelling at people as he drove the tractor, police said. >> Read more trending news  Police said an officer caught up to Garza in the 1100 block of Lebanon and ordered him to turn off the tractor. While he was being questioned, the officer said he smelled alcohol on Garza's breath and said he was slurring his speech. The officer said Garza became belligerent and did not believe could be charged with a DUI because he was riding a lawn tractor. Garza then began to swear at the officer and threatened him, police said. Garza was then taken into custody and the tractor was impounded. Garza also was charged with having no registration and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. He is due in court Dec. 5. >> See the Facebook post here
  • The death of a Texas State fraternity pledge after an off-campus social event will likely result in criminal charges based on a preliminary review of evidence, San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV Tuesday. >> Read more trending news “I think it is pretty likely we are going to have some kind of criminal case,” Stapp said. “Once we know the complete picture, we will have to have discussions with the district attorney on the most appropriate course of actions. It’s not going to be overnight by any means.” The death comes about a week after the national chapter of Phi Kappa Psi ordered the Texas State chapter to cease its social activities because of an on-going investigation, university officials confirmed Tuesday. Texas State had launched an investigation Oct. 4 based on a complaint it had received in late September. The university would not disclose the nature of those allegations. >> Related: Texas State suspends all fraternity, sorority activities after death of Phi Kappa Psi pledge Stapp said it likely will take a month to six weeks before a decision is made because officials will want to wait for a full autopsy, which he said will be a critical piece of evidence in the case and would show the blood alcohol level for 20-year-old Matthew McKinley Ellis, who was pledging Texas State’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. San Marcos police say Ellis was dead when friends found him around 11 a.m. Monday. The university said he had attended a fraternity event off campus. The university on Tuesday suspended all Greek activity. “Any death in our community we take seriously and especially the death of a young person like this who had so much ahead of him,” Stapp said. “In any case like this, if there are appropriate charges that can be proven, the intent is to file them,” Stapp said. Under Texas law, hazing is a Class A misdemeanor unless it results in a death, in which case the charge can be elevated to a felony.
  • When a man’s ad to sell his $1,300 iPhone X attracted a prospective buyer, he thought he took every precaution to protect himself in the handoff. David Stowers picked a Publix grocery store on Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw, Georgia, to meet Kevin McGhee just before 8 p.m. Saturday, according to WSBTV. “It was well lit,” Stowers said. “It had closed-circuit television. It had a lot of traffic.” >> Read more trending news But the safety measures didn’t stop McGhee from snatching the phone, trying to make a run for it and wrestling Stowers to the ground, he told Kennesaw police. Stowers, 28, ended up with a broken collarbone, WSBTV reported. McGhee and alleged getaway driver Michael Rogers were arrested in the incident. It started when Stowers decided to meet McGhee, who responded to his ad on the LetGo app, in the dining area of the grocery store, WSBTV reported. “We sit down. I take the phone out of the bag. He takes it. He’s looking at it,” Stowers told the news station. “I thought something was wrong, and I got a weird feeling like it’s not going to end well.” Soon after, McGhee snatched the phone and ran until he was stopped by automatic doors that failed to open, Stowers said.  That’s when the two started wrestling over the phone, WSBTV reported. At one point, McGhee slammed Stowers to the ground and a store manager and customer jumped in. Rogers got out of the car and jumped in, too, WSBTV reported. “I thought someone might lose their life,” Stowers told the news station.
  • A man's body was found early Tuesday in the historic Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, blocks away from where three people were recently slain, the Tampa Police Department said. Police said the body was found shortly before 5 a.m. near North Nebraska Avenue and East McBerry Street. >> On WFTV.com: Community in fear of possible serial killer after Tampa slayings Investigators said Ronald Felton, 60, appears to have died from a gunshot wound. Investigators said he was walking across the street to a food bank at the church. 'We will hunt this person down until we find him,' Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said during a news conference. Investigators said they're looking for an African-American man with a light complexion. Investigators believe he's 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a thin build. He was last seen wearing an all black with a baseball cap and was armed with a large black pistol. The shooting death comes weeks after three people were fatally shot in 10 days within a 1-mile radius. >> Read more trending news  Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was killed Oct. 9; Monica Hoffa, 32, was killed in a vacant lot Oct. 11; and Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed Oct. 19. Police said they believe October's shootings are linked by proximity and time frame, but they don't have a motive or a suspect. The three victims didn't know one another, but each person rode the bus and were alone when they were shot on the street. None was robbed. >> On WFTV.com: Watch: Surveillance footage of possible suspect in Tampa homicides Until they can rule it out, police said they're investigating Tuesday's shooting death as one connected with the neighborhood's previous killings. Nearby residents were asked to remain in their homes, and bus service was suspended in the area. Residents have also been asked to make sure their guns are secure. 'If you own a gun and it's in your home, I want you to go to your home right now and find out if your gun is still there,' Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. No other details were given.