Posts Tagged ‘crime’
With great costumes comes great responsibility.
“Kick-Ass,” an action movie opening this week, spins a tale of average Joes becoming masked crime fighters, but New York has been home to real-life caped crusaders for years.
Gotham’s legion of real-life superheroes includes a leather-clad martial-arts expert who battles drug dealers, a masked religious hipster who feeds the homeless and an engaged pair of relationship counselors, Arjuna Ladino, 42, and Shanti Owen, 50, who don star-spangled spandex as the “Transformational Warriors” to spread the power of love.
“We are just people who really care and try to go out and make a difference,” says Chris Pollak, 25, whose alter ego, “Dark Guardian,” strikes fear in the hearts of drug peddlers in Washington Square Park. “The idea is to be this drastic example of making change in your community.”
The Staten Islander has been patrolling city streets for the last seven years, frequently putting himself in harm’s way. A drug dealer flashed a gun at Pollak once, and he has almost come to blows with thugs.
“My fiancée is very supportive, but she gets worried if I’m doing anything that involves danger,” Dark Guardian said. “When I met my fiancée, I told her I liked to do this thing where I go out and help the homeless and patrol the streets. I didn’t get into the whole costume thing — I waited until a little bit into the relationship.”
Occasionally, Dark Guardian gets an assist from two fellow superheroes, Chaim “Life” Lazaros, 25, and Ben Goldman, 23, a k a “Cameraman,” who has videotaped the Washington Square showdowns. The plucky pair also hands out food to the city’s homeless at least once a week.
Lazaros, who shares a Harlem hideout with Cameraman, said it takes a certain type to don a mask and do good. “They all have extremely strong personalities and a desire to change the world,” he said.
That’s not to say all real-life superheroes seek change through crime-fighting.
“The Phantom Zero,” a 33-year northern New Jersey-based superhero, raises money for charities and donates to the homeless. He has also accompanied Dark Guardian on some of his patrols. “I was scared out of my gourd,” The Phantom Zero said, declining to give his real name.
But his 20-year-old masked sweetheart, “Nyx,” has shown some gumption. Before moving to New Jersey to be with her super man, she lived in Kansas, where she would secretly snap shots of meth labs and send them to the authorities.
“I used to carry weaponry with me. But seeing as how I’m in New York . . . I don’t,” Nyx said.
SOURCE: NYC’s own superheroes
A bag-snatcher on a bicycle pinched a bag of poo from an elderly dog-walker in Worthing.
The thief rode past the pensioner near the Post Office in High Street, Tarring, and grabbed a bag she had been using to clean up after her dog.
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “A male on his pushbike came past her and snatched the bag, perhaps thinking that there was something of value inside.
“The lady was not harmed and clearly the thief stole nothing of value.”
SOURCE: Hunt for Worthing “poo thief”
A HAPLESS would-be burglar has been been charged after he became stuck on a Sydney factory roof and had to be rescued by police and fire crews in a three-hour operation.
Police were called to a three-storey factory in Leichhardt, in Sydney’s inner-west, to find the 53-year-old on the roof.
Officers believe the man was trying to break into the joinery factory on Moore Street, but wet weather and the steep roof caused him to get stuck.
Numerous rescue attempts were made, with emergency crews eventually using a fire truck with a large ladder and a Polair helicopter to illuminate the rooftop to retrieve him.
He had numerous items on him, including a helmet with a light, bolt cutters, tin snips, a small ladder, backpack, tarpaulin, ropes and harnesses.
Read more and see more pictures: Help me! Burglar stuck on roof
Here is great one sent to us from a reader!
Cincinnati police have a new ally in their fight against crime, whether they want it or not.
He calls himself Shadow Hare, and he wears a mask and a cape to conceal his true identity. He’s Cincinnati’s own version of a superhero fighting crime and injustice where he finds it.
“We help enforce the law by doing what we can in legal standards, so we carry handcuffs, pepper spray … all the legal weapons,” said Shadow Hare. “We will do citizen’s arrests. We will intervene on crimes if there is one happening in front of us.”
The man behind Shadow Hare’s mask is 21 years old and from Milford. Those are the only clues to his true identity that he will reveal. Shadow Hare said he was abused as a child and grew up in foster homes, perhaps leading him to a life helping others.
“My message to Cincinnati is that there is still hope and all we have to do is stand together,” he said.
Shadow Hare is not alone in his quest to fight crime. He heads up a group of men — and one woman — called the “Allegiance of Heroes.” The members communicate with each other in online forums. Among the members are Aclyptico in Pennsylvania, Wall Creeper in Colorado and Master Legend in Florida.
“I’ve even teamed up with Mr. Extreme in California — San Diego — and we were trying to track down a rapist,” said Shadow Hare.
The crime fighters will often pair up to patrol the streets. Even so, fighting crime comes with its share of hardship.
Shadow Hare said he suffered a dislocated shoulder two years ago while trying to help a woman who was being attacked.
And the authorities don’t always take him seriously. In one encounter with a Hamilton County corrections officer, Shadow Hare was greeted with a chuckle and a look of disbelief.
But Shadow Hare said he and his team are not deterred by the criticism. He remains focused on trying to make Cincinnati a better place, whether it’s fighting crime or feeding the homeless.
For now, the law is on Shadow Hare’s side.
It is legal in Ohio and Kentucky to make a citizens arrest, however, the arrester does face possible civil litigation if the person arrested turns out to be innocent.
After their car was stolen, a Joliet couple reportedly used their cell phone to get it back the next day.
Lindsey Ryan said the theft occurred as her husband, Mike, was returning a table and chairs that had been rented for Easter dinner.
Crest Hill Police Chief Dwayne Wilkerson said Ryan pulled off into the 1200 block of Rock Run Drive to close the tailgate.
“He leaves the vehicle running and approached the door. He noticed someone near the vehicle out of the corner of his eye and watched someone drive off with the car,” Wilkerson said.
Police reports indicate Ryan’s cell phone was inside the Pathfinder.
He ran to a nearby relative’s house and called Crest Hill police to report the stolen vehicle.
“When he told me, the first thing out of my mouth was ‘Oh, my God. It won’t be around to bring home the new baby.’”
Lindsey Ryan is six-months pregnant with the couple’s third child, a boy. They have 8-year-old and 2-year-old daughters.
“It was the first new car we bought as a couple,” Ryan said. “It’s a sentimental thing. It’s what we brought our new puppy in. That Pathfinder took us to Florida and it’s the vehicle we’ve used to bring each of our children home from the hospital.”
“On the way home [Mike] was saying we have to report that cell stolen so he can’t use it and run up a big bill,” Ryan said. “I said “No way. Let him use it [so] we can track him via phone records.’”
The victims checked their wireless account online and allegedly noticed the phone had been used recently.
“I clicked on call details and there it was! He was calling all his friends and family members,” Lindsey Ryan said.
Wilkerson said the victims called police around 8:45 p.m. to report the phone was being used.
Ryan said she began a reverse search of those numbers online, obtaining addresses for landlines and began calling those numbers.
“I called [what turned out to be the suspect's] godmother asking if she had seen a man with a green Nissan Pathfinder today,” she said. “I learned the [suspect] was no man but a 14-year-old boy [who] told his godmother his aunt let him borrow her SUV. She gave me his name.”
Early Tuesday morning, the Ryans spent several hours going to the addresses they had identified before returning home to get some sleep. After taking their daughter to school, Lindsey Ryan decided to call the cell phone numbers that had been dialed on her husband’s phone.
“There was one number that I didn’t have an address to that was plaguing me because I knew in my heart that whoever owned that cell knew where that 14-year-old boy was and knew where my Pathfinder was,” she said.
Over the next three hours, she allegedly called that cell phone number 38 times until a man answered with an angry “Hello.” Ryan identified herself and said she was looking for the boy who had stolen her car.
“I said ‘Your number is on my husband’s cell records 18 times. I know you know where my Pathfinder is and where the boy who stole it is,’” she told him. “If you don’t tell me you will be charged as a accomplice in this auto theft.”
The 20-year-old man reportedly said, “Miss, I’ll call you back in five minutes.”
Instead, the suspect himself called a few minutes later.
“I asked him where my Pathfinder was. He said “You’re a crazy [expletive] for calling us 38 times [and] keeping us up all night. You can have your car back,’” Ryan said.
A Brazilian woman who was shot in the chest by robbers on a bus survived the attack because she had stuffed money into her bra.
The woman was travelling on the bus in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia when it was held up by two armed men.
The incident took place in Bahia’s capital, Salvador, where 58-year-old Ivonete Pereira travelling to her summer home in the nearby town of Lauro de Freitas.
Because of frequent bus attacks in the region, she hid 150 reals (£45) in 20 and 10-real notes coiled inside the left cup of her bra.
When the bus passed through the Boca do Rio neighborhood, the robbers suddenly announced their intention. A shoot out ensued with a police officer on the scene and a stray bullet hit Pereira.
Her bra was stuffed with just enough cash to absorb most of the impact, although she still had to be taken to hospital to have the bullet removed.
Read more: Bra saves woman’s life in robbery shooting
A baby is safe after a car with the child inside was stolen on Detroit’s northwest side Wednesday morning.
“When I seen my little boy, I was just so happy,” said the 5-month-old’s mother, Bianca Bell.
Bell’s son, Joshua, was in the backseat of a vehicle at a gas station on Fenkell and Strathmoor roads when his father went into the gas station for a moment. Police said that’s when a thief jumped in the running vehicle and drove away with the child.
Students who were waiting for a bus nearby saw the car pull in and park and the driver walk away.
Bianca Bell, crying tears of joy, said she thought for a moment that she was never going to see her son again.
Read more: Baby Inside Of Stolen Car Found Safe
Watch that story: Baby Boy Found Safe in Stolen Car
Here is one from a reader. These stories are popular with readers… and I love them too. Another would-be victim comes out on top! This lady is a firecracker!
A 65-year-old Texas grandmother says she chased down a man who had just snatched her purse, hit him with her car and held him until police arrived.
“I was madder than hell is what I was,” Val Renfro said. “I didn’t think about anything else except, ‘He’s not going to get away with this.’”
Renfro had just finished shopping at Office Depot in East Fort Worth on Sunday afternoon and was getting in her car when Ricky Lee Sample stole her purse.
“The next thing I know, somebody just blindsided me,” Renfro said. She grabbed her cell phone, which she carries in her bra, and called 911 as he fled. “Someone just grabbed my purse out of the car,” she told the operator. “I’m going to chase him down.”
Renfro said she got in her car and screeched out of the parking lot. She spotted the man in front of a nearby movie theater. Her confrontation with the man was recorded in her 911 call.
“Where’s my purse?” she yelled. “You give it to me now. I got the police on the phone right now. You give me my purse.”
Sample tried to walk away.
“And I thought, ‘I’m going to lose this man, and the police aren’t here,’” Renfro said. “So he got right in front of my right fender, and I just pushed on the gas.”
She said he flipped up in the air. “I hit him,” she told the 911 operator. Sample kept running, she said. Like a scene out of a movie, customers leaving the theater joined in the chase. “Now there’s others chasing him,” Renfro told the 911 operator.
Later, when she saw the man again outside the police station on his way to jail, he apologized, Renfro said.
“Apology accepted,” she replied. “God bless you.”
Read more and watch that story: Grandmother runs down purse snatcher with her car
Here is an update to a story we brought you earlier this week. “70-year-old woman fights off 4 robbers with saucepan [Video]“
Chef Emeril Lagasse says he felt so bad when he heard a woman lost one of his trademark pans warding off home intruders that he’s replacing the item.
Lagasse is sending a set of his signature cookware to Ellen Basinski, who fought off the young attackers at her home in Elyria, west of Cleveland, on Tuesday.
Lagasse says he feels terrible for Basinksi because of the attack and because she lost the pan.
Basinski was on the phone with her husband when four boys pushed their way into her home.
Her husband, Lorain County Judge David Basinski, overheard the scuffle and raced home while his wife grabbed her favorite pan to defend herself.
The judge says his wife is upset that police took the pan as evidence.
You can probably tell by now that I love stories where would-be victims get the upper hand. This is a great one!
The 70-year-old wife of a Lorain County Family Court judge meted out a little domestic justice of her own Tuesday afternoon when she fought off four robbers with her favorite saucepan.
Ellen Basinski refused to be intimidated by a man and three boys who forced their way into her house on Columbus Street and demanded money.
“One of them picked up my purse and just dumped it out,” she said Wednesday. “Now, my purse is like Fibber McGee’s closet, it’s got everything in there. I got very angry.”
Before she even gave much thought about what she should do, she grabbed an Emeril Lagasse 5-quart sauce pan.
“I picked up the saucepan and smacked him right on the head,” she said. “He looked at me and said, ‘Lady, why did you do that?’ And I hit him again.”
The robber’s friend threw a bottle of Jack Daniels at the woman, striking her on the foot. He told police he was trying to distract the woman so his friend could get away from her.
The intruders realized Basinski was no easy prey and ran. They didn’t get far. The four were quickly caught by police with the help of neighbors who told police where they ran.
Read more and watch her interview (good stuff): 70-year-old Elyria woman fights off 4 robbers with saucepan
Updated information: 70-year-old woman fights off 4 robbers with saucepan [Update]