<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:22:58 -0700 Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:22:58 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Gov. Brown Orders Mandatory Water Restrictions]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:54:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/03-26-2015-sierra-snowpack-drought-467199106_master-%287%29.jpg

For the first time in state history, cities and towns across California must implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water use during the fourth consecutive year of drought under an executive order announced Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The unprecedented move follows the lowest snowpack ever recorded. Snowpack in the Sierra mountain range melts during spring and provides water for an estimated 25 million Californians.

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Brown said Wednesday. "Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."

Mandatory water reductions will be put in place by the State Water Resources Control Board across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent -- a saving that will amount to about 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, according to Brown's office.

The drought's effects are rippling across the state, hurting wildlife and forcing farmers to leave fields unplanted. So far this winter, wildfires are burning through nearly four times as many acres as usual.

Brown's order announced Wednesday will:

  • Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments;
  • Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models;
  • Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and
  • Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Water restrictions approved earlier this month banned restaurants from offering water unless customers ask and forced hotels and motels to offer guests a chance to deline fresh towels and sheets.

Those restrictions will require local water departments to cut back the number of days residents can water their lawns. If they don't, residents must follow a state rule limiting their sprinkling to twice a week. Homeowners are also barred from using sprinklers on days when it rains and for the next two days after.

Agricultural water users will now be required to report more water use information to state regulations.

Additional actions required by the order announced Wednesday include:

  • Taking action against water agencies in depleted groundwater basins that have not shared data on their groundwater supplies with the state;
  • Updating standards for toilets and faucets and outdoor landscaping in residential communities and taking action against communities that ignore these standards; and
  • Making permanent monthly reporting of water usage, conservation and enforcement actions by local water suppliers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Arrested After SJC Security Breach]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 05:47:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjairportinvestigation.jpg

A woman was arrested after she allegedly trespassed on airport property on Tuesday at Mineta San Jose International Airport - the fifth security breach in less than a year at this airport.

Airport Public Information Officer Vicki Day said at about 5:15 p.m. a UPS airline employee spotted the woman at the southeast corner of the airport and alerted San Jose Airport police.

Police said the woman resisted arrest, but was eventually detained by officers. The woman did not have identification and refused to identify herself to officers, San Jose Police Officer Albert Morales said.

A preliminary investigation shows the woman possibly jumped the fence near the southwest corner of the airport near Gate 168.

"The suspect continued to walk eastbound across the airfield until she was contacted by San Jose Airport Police and taken into custody," Morales said in a statement.

Day said the security breach did not interrupt the airport's schedule.

No other details were immediately available.

Tuesday's security breach is the fifth in the past year.

Airport officials recently released video of a security breach at the airport that took place on Jan. 29.

The most notable security breach at the airport happened last April. A teenager scaled the fence and hid in the wheel well of a plane heading to Hawaii. The 16-year-old survived freezing temperatures during the five-hour flight. He was not charged.

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<![CDATA[Ind. Pizzeria Faces RFRA Backlash]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:03:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/f_bts_memories_pizzareax_150401_45af2a07732909de2740954a56c1d630.jpg

The tables have turned on an Indiana pizzeria after the business owners said they will be exercising their rights of denying service to same-sex couples in light of the new “Religious Freedom” bill.

Crystal O'Connor of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, about 20 miles southwest of South Bend, told a local TV station Tuesday that their restaurant would say no if a gay couple asked them to cater their wedding – because they flat out don’t agree with same-sex marriage.

“We are a Christian establishment,” O’Connor told WBND-TV. “We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.”

She says her family “definitely” agrees with Indiana's new widely-protested "Religious Freedom" law which allows business owners the right to refuse service to those they believe to be a "burden" to his or her religious beliefs.

“That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?” Crystal’s father Kevin O'Connor told the outlet.

After their comments went public, hundreds of potential patrons flocked to the pizzeria’s Yelp page and poured it with negative reviews and poor ratings – ruining the reputation the family had worked for in the nine years since its opening.

Kevin O’Connor told NBC News the backlash has been a surprise to him “to say the least.”

"I really don't want to push it any further,” he said, mentioning he was considering closing the business.

But some of their customers stand behind them, and are refusing to let Memories go down without a fight.

Lawrence Billy Jones III, who works as a contributor for conservative radio station The Blaze, created an online fundraising campaign for the restaurant.

“It’s about supporting this family, it’s about supporting freedom,” Jones told NBC News.

"We had no idea that in two hours we were going to be able to raise $20,000 but, lo and behold, it's happening," he said. "It gives me hope when I see people outpouring their support."

As of Wednesday evening nearly 900 contributors had donated to support Memories Pizza, raising more than $33,000.



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Thousands Expected for Slain Officer's Funeral]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:13:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/johnson71.jpg

Police from across the state and the county will remember fallen San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson Thursday during a memorial ceremony at the SAP Center.

Johnson was gunned down on March 24 when 57-year-old Scott Dunham, who was suicidal, fired a rifle from his balcony on Senter Road.

The funeral service will start with a huge procession from Los Gatos and through the South Bay before arriving in San Jose.

San Jose police said standard security procedures will be in place at the SAP Center. Arena staff will be checking bags and purses as people enter, officials said.

Friends and co-workers, including those who were part of a special response team at San Jose Regional Medical Center, are bracing for the service. They hope the service will remind people Johnson was more than a uniform.

"He was a person -- he had a family, he had a background," said Kevin Greer, an EMS liaison. "His job is what he loved to do, but he was a person."

The California Highway Patrol will use 45 motorcycle officers to guide the procession from Los Gatos through Campbell and San Jose -- as well as afterwards from SAP Center to Oak Hill Cemetery in South San Jose.

CHP Spokesman Ross Lee said motorists and residents in the area should expect "rolling" street closures during the ceremony.

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese spent Wednesday with the Johnson family and said they are satisfied and grateful.

"There are officers that are on duty 24-7 at the funeral home and they expressed a great deal of gratitude for this public outpouring of support," Cortese said.

The funeral will also bring in top state officials, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Law enforcement agencies from around the country will also be in attendance.

In addition to Thursday's funeral, there are several other smaller tributes including at San Jose Regional Medical Center, where all the emergency room lights are blue.

San Jose police said every single law enforcement agency is offering to help staff city streets on Thursday.

The memorial service for Johnson at the SAP Center is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

In addition, Owen Nolan, a former San Jose Shark who is a part owner of the Brittania Arms, is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday at the restaurant, located at 5027 Almaden Expressway.

The San Jose Police Officers’ Association is helping raise fund to provide financial assistance to Johnson's family. Checks can be mailed payable to the SJPOACF at: 1151 N. 4th St., San Jose, CA 95112 or online.



Photo Credit: San Jose police
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<![CDATA[Student Suicides Prompt Schools to Hire More Counselors]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:40:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0401-2015-PaloAltoHS.jpg

The Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education will allocate funds to hire more therapists, a decision prompted after seven students have taken their own lives this year.

Trustees on Tuesday voted to allocate $250,000 for mental health services, which will bring in a pair of full-time counselors to help students dealing with depression.

"We need to really get a handle on this," said Chandrama Anderson, a mother of a senior at Palo Alto High School.

Anderson said her son and his friends all feel pressure to succeed and be liked.

"I talk to him about it," Anderson said. "I ask him a lot of questions -- how he's doing, how he's feeling."

And that's exactly what mental health experts said parents should be doing. Dr. Philippe Rey with Adolescent Counseling Services, or ACS, said students often feel the same pressures as their parents, with many not having the tools to cope with the stress.

"The pressure to be better to succeed more, be innovated and so forth -- we all feel it," Rey said. "Our students are feeling it too."

The district said the new therapists will start as early as next month and will be added to the counseling staff at its high schools. The additions will bring the total number of counselors in the district to five.

"We just make sure that when they need to turn to someone, someone is there," Superintendent Max McGee said.

McGee noted there is a public health crisis at Gunn and Palo Alto high schools.

In addition to the seven student who have taken their own lives this year, 58 teens have been hospitalized this year for suicidal thoughts, McGee said.

"The best prevention strategy for depression, mental health issues is peer vigilance," McGee said. "So the students are supporting one another."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Diplomat's Son Threatened Cop: MPD]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:43:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dube-screenshot-police-shooting-miami.jpg

A Canadian diplomat's 15-year-old son -- already charged with murder in a deadly shootout with drug dealers police say he and his brother were trying to rob -- now faces new charges, after police say he threatened to shoot a detective in the head while in custody.

But the boy's father has said his younger son didn't kill anyone and was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, looking out for his older brother.

The younger teen is in custody and his 17-year-old brother was killed in a shootout when police say the pair -- both sons of Roxanne Dube, a prominent Canadian diplomat working in Miami -- tried to rob the drug dealers in a deal gone wrong. Another man is also charged.

The brothers' father, Germano Wabafiyebazu, told Canada's Global News that he was stunned by his older son's death and defended his younger son, who he said fired shots only to alert police.

"You can’t believe. You can’t believe. Terrible. You can’t believe that happened, but what can I do?" Wabafiyebazu said in an interview that aired Wednesday on NBC 6.

The older son was killed in the Monday shootout following a drug deal gone wrong, police say. Another 17-year-old named Joshua Wright was also killed, that teen's family confirmed. The Canadian government is working with Miami police to investigate.

Police believe Dube's and Wabafiyebazu's sons had been planning to rob the drug dealers, as NBC 6 first reported. The pair showed up to the drug deal in a Canadian government vehicle with official consular plates, multiple law enforcement sources told NBC 6.

The shooting began after the older Dube son went into Wright's apartment, one law enforcement source said. The younger brother had stayed in the car outside to act as a lookout, sources said.

Wabafiyebazu told Global News that after his younger son heard the gunshots, he rushed into the house to find his older brother dead, then began shooting in the air, drawing police to the scene and leading to his own arrest.

The older teen had been getting into trouble recently, Wabafiyebazu said, and appeared to have developed a problem with marijuana.

He said he had worried about what might happen when his children moved with his ex-wife to Miami, and about what kinds of friends his older son might make there.

"I would lie to you if I didn’t notice or expect it, that something like that would happen to him," the teens' father said, adding that he had not had any such worries about his younger son.

One of the accused drug dealers in Monday's shootout was also arrested and charged with felony murder.

Anthony Rodriguez, 19, who had been wounded and driven away, was caught and charged with felony murder and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

Rodriguez had been arrested back in February on gun and drug charges, after police said they found a loaded stolen gun, drugs and $4,000 in cash in his car at a gas station. The charges against him were dropped.



Photo Credit: NBC Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Andrew Getty Found Dead at Home: Family]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 05:41:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/150331-andrew-getty-death-hollywood-hills-home.jpg

Andrew Getty, the grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, died at his Hollywood Hills home Tuesday, a spokesman for his parents confirmed in a written statement.

Police are investigating his death. Getty was 47.

The short statement, issued through PR Newswire, on behalf of Ann and Gordon Getty asked for privacy and said additional statements will be made as more information is available.

LAPD officers were dispatched after 2 p.m. to Getty's longtime home in the 2900 block of Montcalm Avenue after a call came in from an unidentified woman who reported someone dead in the bathroom.

Tuesday night, LA County Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said the cause of death appeared initially to be "natural or an accident" and not criminal. Winter said prescription bottles were collected at the home.

"He was not feeling good for the last couple of months and he supposedly had an appointment scheduled for tomorrow with a personal physician," Winter said.

Sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News that there was trauma to Getty's body but that its cause wasn't immediately unidentifiable.

Getty was found lying on his side between a bathroom and hallway.

Earlier in the day, LAPD spokesman Andrew Smith said the cause of death was "undetermined" and the case will be investigated by the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division, which handles high profile and complicated investigations.

Sources said it was not immediately clear if they were dealing with a homicide or a death by other means. The sources confirmed there was trauma to the body but details about the cause of death were not immediately available.

The Los Angeles County Coroner typically takes the lead in a death investigation. But if there is a crime, the LAPD will take the lead for the duration of the investigation.

Andrew Getty is a son of Gordon P. Getty, who was reported by Forbes in 2011 to have a net worth of $2 billion. Forbes last year listed the Getty family as No. 54 on a list of America's Richest Families.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Getty filed court papers two weeks ago seeking a restraining order against a woman.

The Getty family has had a colorful history. J. Paul Getty had five children over the course of five marriages. One of his daughters-in-law died of a heroin overdose. J. Paul Getty III was kidnapped in the 1970s and had one of his ears cut off before his grandfather agreed to pay the ransom.

About a decade after J. Paul Getty died in 1976, Gordon Getty arranged the sale of Getty Oil to Texaco.

NBC News' Andrew Blankstein and City News Service contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: KNBC/Robert Kovacik]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Killed in Murder-Suicide by Chainsaw: ME]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:02:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/Lower+Moreland+Home.JPG

A Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, man choked his estranged wife and used a chainsaw to kill her before ending his own life with the machine, the county coroner ruled Wednesday.

Nicole Peppelman, 43, was murdered in the basement of the family's home along the 1100 block of Country Lane in Lower Moreland just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Walter Hofman said the mother of three suffered gaping cutting wounds to her abdomen from a chainsaw. She also was stabbed in the neck and choked, an autopsy revealed.

Her husband, 48-year-old Christopher Peppelman, then took the chainsaw to his right thigh and abdomen, according to the coroner's report. His death was ruled a suicide.

The couple's 14-year-old son discovered the bloody scene, officials said. The chainsaw was laying next to them. Their other two children were not home.

Friends told NBC10 that the couple had been separated and police said they had been to the home for domestic issues in the past.

Police and prosecutors continue to investigate the case.

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<![CDATA[Officer Johnson 12th to Be Killed In Line of Duty]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:54:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-michael-johnson-funeral.jpg

San Jose police officer Michael Johnson was the 12th officer to be killed in the department's 166th year history. He was gunned down on March 24 when 57-year-old Scott Dunham, who was suicidal, fired a rifle from his balcony on Senter Road.

Here is a look at all 12.

Police Officer Michael Johnson
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Sunday, October 28, 2001
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Police Officer Desmond J. Casey

San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Monday, October 25, 1999
Cause of Death: Aircraft accident

Officer Gordon A. Silva
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Friday, January 20, 1989
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Officer Gene Ronald Simpson

San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Friday, January 20, 1989
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Officer Robert Lee Wirht

San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Thursday, September 8, 1988
Cause of Death: Vehicle pursuit

Police Officer Henry I. Bunch
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Monday, July 29, 1985
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Officer Robert A. "Bob" White
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Sunday, January 27, 1985
Cause of Death: Electrocuted

Officer Richard E. Huerta
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Thursday, August 6, 1970
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Officer John J. Covalesk
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Wednesday, November 15, 1950
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Officer John Buck
San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Wednesday, April 5, 1933
Cause of Death: Gunfire
 

Sgt. Morris Vandyck Hubbard

San Jose Police Department, CA
EOW: Saturday, July 12, 1924
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Source: Officer Down Memorial Page odmp.org



Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO 48]]>
<![CDATA[Bratton Blasts Cop in Tirade Video]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:07:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/uber+rant.jpg

The police officer seen on video apparently verbally abusing an Uber driver in an at-times xenophobic roadside tirade in the West Village earlier this week has been placed on modified duty and transferred, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday.

"That officer's behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears our uniform," Bratton said at a news conference before apologizing to the driver and the two passengers. 

Officials with the NYPD's detective union said earlier the officer seen in the now viral video is a member of the NYPD's Joint Terrorism Task Force, an elite group that handles counterterrorism cases in the city alongside FBI agents. The union said in a statement that the officer was leaving the hospital, where he was visiting a injured fellow officer, at the time of the rant.

"He really should not be judged by one isolated incident," said Michael Palladino, the president of the union.

Bratton disagreed, saying, "In that kind of encounter, anger like that is unacceptable. In any kind of encounter, discourtesy like that and language like that is unacceptable."

"No good cop can watch that without a wince," he said. "All good cops know that the officer just made their jobs a little bit harder." 

The altercation, which was captured on video by one of the Uber driver's passengers and has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube, is being investigated by the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The passenger who captured the video, Sanjay Seth, tweeted on Wednesday that he had been interviewed by the body.

According to Seth's YouTube post, his Uber driver honked his car horn at the officer later seen screaming in the video because the officer was trying to park on a Sixth Precinct street in the middle of the afternoon without using any blinkers or hazard lights, and the Uber driver's path to a green light was blocked.

The officer, seen wearing a green tie and blue shirt at points in the passenger video, got out of his unmarked car, which had flashing blue and red lights on the dashboard, and flagged down the Uber driver.

The three-minute video begins as the officer approaches the Uber driver's window and starts yelling at the driver, raising his voice over the Uber driver's muted apologies and efforts to interject.

"Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, 'For what, sir,'" the officer is heard saying in the video as he curses. "Stop it with that ... and realize the three vehicle and traffic law violations you committed."

"You understand me? I don't know what [epithet] planet you think you're on right now," the officer yells, making fun of the Uber driver's accent.

The officer then slams the hood of the Uber car and walks away; the Uber driver tries to apologize to his passengers, who tell him it was not his fault and inform him a video of the exchange was recorded. One of the passengers said it appeared the officer was on a "power trip"; the other called the man's behavior "really inappropriate."

The officer returns to the Uber car about 90 seconds after slamming the hood and storming off, the video shows, and continues to curse at and belittle the driver. The driver keeps trying to defuse the situation with respectful apologies. Then the officer goes off on him. 

"I don't know where you're coming from or where you think you're appropriate in doing that," the man yells, apparently in reference to the car honk from earlier. "That's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?"

"Almost how long? Two years?" the officer yells after the driver whispers a response. "I got news for you, and use this lesson: Don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do.

"That's the only reason that's not happening, because this isn't important enough to me, you're not important enough," he says.

The officer turns toward the passengers in the back seat, asks if they are fares and says something about the Uber driver wasting their days, too. The officer hands the driver some kind of piece of paper that looks like a ticket and leaves as the passenger cellphone video pans to the flashing lights on the dashboard of his vehicle, parked behind the Uber car. 

Seth posted video of the exchange on multiple social media accounts. On his Facebook page, he wrote, "Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York. The rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough -- but the officer's remarks at the end really took it to another level."

Seth wrote on Facebook that he reported the exchange to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. According to his profile, Seth works at a nonprofit in the city and used to work for the parks department.

Asked about the exchange by NBC 4 New York, Seth wrote, "This very unfortunate incident is between the driver, Uber, the officer, and the relevant authorities."

Uber called the behavior in the video "wrong" and "unacceptable," and said it appreciated the NYPD investigating.

"We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs," Matthew Wing, a spokesman for the ride share company, said. 

Bratton said Wednesday: "I want to extend an apology to the driver of that vehicle and the two passengers in that vehicle for the behavior of that officer." 

The CCRB handles complaints about four kinds of alleged police misconduct: force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language. Bratton said "the actions engaged by the officer based on the video alone would indicate that those fall under the jurisdiction of the CCRB and their particular areas of jurisdiction." 



Photo Credit: Sanjay Seth]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Must Get Chemo at Hospital]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:19:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cassandra+c.jpg

A teenager taken into Connecticut state custody and forced to undergo chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma against her wishes hoped of leaving the hospital to finish her treatments, but that will not happen.

The motion her attorneys filed was denied on Wednesday and Cassandra C., a 17-year-old Windsor Locks teen, will have to remain in the hospital until she finishes treatments later this month.

The teen, who has been away from home and under the care of the state since the second week of December, never wanted chemotherapy. She pushed back, missing doctor's appointments, and ran away from home, but lost in court and was forced to continue treatment.

Cassandra, who has since gone into remission, says she was willing to go along with chemotherapy but wanted to be reunited with her mother and finish the treatment plan at home.

According to doctors at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where Cassandra is staying, the teen has an 85 percent chance of survival with chemotherapy.

DCF officials said in a statement in January that they were exploring options for Cassandra to live in a specialized group home when she was released from the hospital.

The state's highest court reviewed the case under an emergency appeal filed by attorneys representing Cassandra and her mother, taking up an issue previously decided by several other states – whether some minors are mature enough to make decisions about their own bodies.

The judges ultimately decided that Cassandra is not mature and needed to continue to receive chemotherapy. She turns 18 in September, a year after her cancer diagnosis.

Earlier this month, Cassandra testified in court through video conference from the hospital in hopes that she would be able to leave the hospital to finish her treatments. On Wednesday, the court denied the motion.

Joette Katz, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families released a statement in response to the decision.

"The Department is looking forward to the day later this month when Cassandra can happily return home after her treatment is completed and the doctors are confident that she has beaten the cancer. We know how difficult this has been for Cassandra and her family, and while we are very pleased with her response to the treatment, we also know this has been a traumatic and scary thing through which she has suffered. We want her to complete her treatment so that she can return home knowing she has put this completely behind her," Katz said in the statement.



Photo Credit: Cassandra C.]]>
<![CDATA[El Cerrito BART Station Reopens]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:18:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bart-generic.jpg

 The El Cerrito Plaza BART station has reopened roughly three hours after a person under a train there died Wednesday morning, BART officials said.

BART officials received a report at 9:30 a.m. of a person under a train at the station at 6699 Fairmount Ave.

At 10:30 a.m., BART officials announced the person had died. The Contra Costa County coroner's office arrived to the scene shortly before 11:30 a.m., according to BART officials.

BART officials said the incident caused delays for trains on the Richmond, Fremont and Millbrae lines.

Trains on the Richmond line were initially turning around at the North Berkeley station but eventually began running again to the end of the line, although they did not stop at El Cerrito Plaza during the station's closure, BART officials said.

Trains began making all stops on the Richmond line early Wednesday afternoon, though passengers were advised to expect 10- to 15-minute delays, BART officials said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2015 April Fools' Day Pranks: Selfie Car, Twelfie Stick and More]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 10:51:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/selfie+car.JPG

Celebrities and companies did not disappoint this April Fools’ Day. Some unique pranks surfaced this year that you may not have noticed. Here's a look at some of the most creative.

The Honda Selfie Car

Honda says it prides itself for being on the forefront of the latest automobile technologies. The company "rolled out" its 10 camera-equipped HR-V that is equipped to take selfies. They said the technology uploads photos hands-free to social media sites via HondaLink.

'Twelfie Stick'

Twitter unveiled its "Twelfie Stick" Wednesday, a "highly sophisticated and first-of-its-kind device" that the company says would allow users to tweet out "selfie" pictures directly. Twitter said the device will be available in time for the holiday shopping season for $39.99.

Army Drones to Deliver Pizzas

The U.S. Army proposed using drones to deliver 3-D printed pizzas to men and women on the front lines across the world. Calling this "an expected breakthrough," the Army said the first drone pizza deliveries are to be made by April Fools' Day 2016.

Sam Smith is Straight

The "Stay with Me" singer tweeted that he is straight, which had a female fan asking, "Can you date me now?" One hour later, he posted that is was all a joke.

A Samsung Smart Knife?

Samsung presented its Galaxy BLADE edge, "the world's first smart knife with smart phone capabilities." The phone features a "razor-sharp diamond edge that is tough enough to cut through a lobster tail and sharp enough to slice through tender heirloom tomatoes."

Selfie Shoes

Are selfie sticks too much to handle? Why not get Selfie Shoes from Miz Mooz? The company said the tool adds functionality without sacrificing "comfort our women on-the-go have come to love about our footwear." How does it work? Just insert your phone into the port at the front of any shoe, raise your photo to the perfect angle and click the internal button with a tap of your toe to take a selfie.

Pac-Man Returns?

Google announced in celebration of April Fools' Day that you can now play Pac-Man on Google Maps. How does it work? Open maps in your browser, scroll to the bottom left and click on Pac-Man. Before you know it, you'll have something to eat.


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<![CDATA[Wildlife Hospital Rescues Rare Golden Eagle]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:00:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/golden+eagle+lindsay+wildlife.JPG

A rare raptor has been rescued and is currently being nursed back to health by a Walnut Creek wildlife hospital after suffering a head injury and possible poisoning.

A young female golden eagle, weighing in at approximately 11 pounds, was brought to the Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital on Friday after San Ramon firefighters found her on a sidewalk, unable to fly farther than 50 feet.

Veterinarians say the eagle is recovering from a head injury as well as possible poisoning from eating a small mammal that may have consumed rodent poison.

Golden eagles are a rare find for the wildlife hospital – they typically see less than ten in a year.

But that’s not the only thing that makes this particular bird unique. The raptor was discovered with an East Bay Regional Park District GPS monitor on her back, indicating that she is part of a study that tracks the flight paths of local birds. Researchers are hoping to use that data to avoid building wind-energy turbines in places that might harm the birds.

According to the wildlife hospital, this young bird is about a month away from being back on the East Bay Regional Park District’s radar. After its healed, the eagle will have to pass flight tests and live prey tests before being released.

“Our goal now is to rehabilitate the bird back to her usual feisty self,” associate veterinarian Lana Krol said.

Veterinarians at the wildlife hospital say the eagle has improved over the past few days and they are optimistic about her chances for release.



Photo Credit: Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hosptial]]>
<![CDATA[5th San Jose Airport Security Breach in Less Than a Year]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:25:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/deanna-mug-sjc.jpg

San Jose police on Wednesday identified the woman they arrested in connection with scaling a fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport , a young woman who turned 20 last week and who her uncle said had just broken up with her boyfriend.

Deanna Predoehl of Sunnyvale was taken into custody after a UPS airline employee spotted her Tuesday about 5:15 p.m. at the southeast corner of the airport and alerted San Jose Airport police.

A preliminary investigation shows she possibly jumped the fence near the southwest corner of the airport near Gate 168, according to airport spokeswoman Vicki Day. Day added the security breach did not interrupt the airport's schedule, and passengers didn't know what was going on. She added the Transportation Security Administration and the police department are investigating.

San Jose police said Predoehl resisted arrest, but was eventually detained and "subdued" by officers. She had no identification and refused to identify herself to officers, Officer Albert Morales said. The Santa Clara District Attorney's Office did not have her case by Wednesday at noon.

Her uncle, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke to Telemundo on Wednesday, saying he had "no idea what was going on, she just moved to the house a couple of days ago. She had just broken up with a boyfriend." He did add the last time he saw her was last week, and he received a text from her a few nights ago, but he hadn't seen her in person. Other than that, the uncle said:  "I really have no comment."

Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes on Wednesday insisted the airport and its 9.4 million customers was safe despite Predoehl being the fifth security breach at the San Jose airport in less than 12 months. She credited the UPS employee for saying something and stopping the woman before she went too far. "They did their work well," she said of the employee and police. "We are continued to be motivated to enhance our security and safety. That's our top priority here."

Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Pleasanton), who previously at on the House Homeland Security Committee, told NBC Bay Area that San Jose's airport has had the most breaches in the last year out of any other airport in the country that he is aware of. But he did not provide specifics or evidence. The TSA on Wednesday also did not provide an immediate list of similar breaches when asked.

Oakland International Airport officials said there have been two "perimeter incursions" over the past two years. Officials said both incidents involved someone breaking into a remote construction site on the outer edge of the airport's 2,600-acre property and stealing copper and other construction items.

The Oakland incidents also were not near aircraft or operations areas, according to airport officials.

Two of those San Jose airport breaches include the high-profile cases of the 15-year-old boy stowed away in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines jet to get to his mother in Africa in April, and 62-year-old serial stowaway Marilyn Hartman, who bypassed security in August, hopping on a flight to Los Angeles. NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit was the first to report Hartman's story.

On Nov. 23, Miguel Zaragoza was arrested after he was caught trespassing on the Atlantic Aviation ramp at the airport alone Coleman Avenue. When airport employees took him to a lobby to wait for police, Zaragoza fled, allegedly stole a city maintenance truck and drove through the airport before he was taken into custody at Terminal B. He never made it to the runway.

Finally, on Jan. 29, Jose Mendoza was arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge after he was spotted by a security guard around 11:50 p.m. walking on a vehicle road on the tarmac-side of the airport inside the security fence, according to police.

A few airport passengers were surprised to learn the news. Traveler Lisa Mednick said she's "always kind of amazed that security doesn't drive by" the outside airport gate more often. "I see people lined all along the sides," she said. "I don't know if they're taking pictures or what they're doing."

Passenger Tom DeSchryver didn't know about the arrest and wasn't too concerned. "A woman?" he said. "Wow. No, I'm not worried."

NBC Bay Area's Shawn Murphy, Marianne Favro, Cheryl Hurd, Kristofer Noceda, Alan Waples and Lauren Inderhees contributed to this report. Telemundo's Andres Bender also contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Mayor Bans City Travel to Indiana]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:04:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/libby-schaaf.jpg

Following in San Francisco's footsteps, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced on Tuesday that the city won't spend its public dollars for business travel to Indiana in protest of the state's controversial "religious freedom" law that  many construe as anti-gay.

Schaaf's action, reported by the East Bay Express, comes as cities and companies across the country have announced formal boycotts and protests of Indiana in response to the state's recently enacted "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which says the state cannot "substantially burden a person's exercise of religion."

Oakland joins San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Portland, Oregon, in announcing travel bans after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill on Thursday, Huffington Post noted. Connecticut, Washington state and New York also have banned publicly funded travel by government workers to Indiana. Individuals are protesting, too. USC athletic director Pat Haden said he won't head to Indianapolis this week for the College Football Playoff selection committee meeting, saying he is the "proud father of a gay son."

San Francisco-based Salesforce canceled the companies' events in the state.

Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush all have voiced some support of the law.

Opponents say this measure would clearly make it easier for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people — though Pence, in the wake of national backlash, has pushed for a new law clarifying that the law does not permit discrimination.
 

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<![CDATA[Jeb Bush to Fundraise Amidst Controversy in San Francisco]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:46:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP19940449792.jpg

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush arrives in the Bay Area on Wednesday to fundraise for a likely White House bid, as he faces likely criticism on the Left Coast for defending controversial “religious freedom” laws in Indiana.

Bush will be in East Palo Alto at the Four Seasons on Wednesday and San Francisco on Thursday to raise money for his Right to Rise Super PAC, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bush arrives to criticism for defending Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican who set off a firestorm last week when he signed a bill giving businesses the right to refuse services on religious grounds. Bay Area businesses, including Twitter, Yelp, Square and Levi Strauss & Co., along with CEOs Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com and Tim Cook of Apple, have come out against the law or pulled business from Indiana.

Critics said the law opens the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians, but Bush argued this week that Pence did “the right thing,” insisting that “once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.”

The trip, his second to the Bay Area this year, also showcases his stylistic differences with his brother by holding a fundraiser in San Francisco, noted the San Francisco Chronicle. After a visit to the city in 1999, George W. Bush never set foot in the city during eight years in office.
 

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<![CDATA[Hold the Ice: SF Bars Offer Discounted Drinks to Fight Drought]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 23:28:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/cocktail_party_generic.jpg

Two San Francisco bars are trying to conserve water, and making drinks stronger, to help fight California’s historic drought.

At Wish Bar you can order a drink any way you'd like, but now, if you order that drink with no ice you'll get a dollar off.

"It's our only thing we could cut back on,” said bar owner Andrea Minoo.

Minoo likes to conserve. She proudly composts and recycles, and now hopes customers will share in her enthusiasm of conserving water.

"All those measures the restaurants were taking, we're thinking how can we help? How do we contribute, even though we don't have to," Minoo said.

A conservation special -- it doesn’t matter if it’s a hard liquor, wine, or beer. If it’s a libation lacking ice it’s less.

An idea beer drinkers like Matthew Lynn appreciate.

"You come here to get beer anyway and the fact that someone's offering you a dollar off just to help with water conservation? I think it's a great thing,” Lynn said.

Minoo said many cocktails call for at least a full cup of ice, which can add up. The offer will go through next week, and is also available at her other bar Bond.

Minoo knows it's a drop in the bucket to a massive problem, but hopes the conversations that follow will flood the city.

"It's marginal gains. If you can get a lot of people to do just a little bit, then maybe it'll do something," Minoo said.



Photo Credit: clipart.com
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Player's Girlfriend to Donate A's Pride Night Tickets]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:34:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0331-2015-Dolan.jpg

The girlfriend of an Oakland Athletics player is raising donations for tickets to the team's first Pride Night.

Eireann Dolan, girlfriend for A's pitcher Sean Doolittle, plans to donate the tickets to LGBTQ youth living in a shelter.

"I hope to see every seat full," Dolan said.

There have been mixed reactions to the A's announcing Pride Night in June. Some fans have made homophobic comments on social media.

For Dolan, who has two moms and a dad, the negative reaction is personal.

"When I saw the negative comments I thought of how nervous my mom was to tell me," she said. "I thought 'I hope people going there are not as nervous as she was for not being accepted for who they are.'"

Dolan and other fans have countered the negative comments by showing their support for the LGBTQ community online. Dolan is also taking it a step further by offering to buy the tickets from fans who said they do not want to attend Pride Night.

Rebecca Rolfe, executive director for the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, said homophobia in the Bay Area is disheartening and not surprising.

"We sometimes believe here in San Francisco we don't have a problem with homophobia and transphobia," Rolfe said. "But in fact we do. We have the same problems here as anywhere else in the country."

In a statement Tuesday night, the team said it hopes the event is a successful night that shows fans the organization welcomes all fans.

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<![CDATA[SF Takes Stand Against "Religious Freedom" Law]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 22:14:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/scottwiener.jpg The backlash continues to grow, and now Indiana's governor is taking a step back from his new "Religious Freedom" law. Meanwhile, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener has put forward a resolution condemning the Indiana law. Scott Budman reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Dog Owners Fight Impending Off-Leash Laws]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:41:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Little+Italy+dog+park+0113.jpg

Bay Area dog owners are concerned about an impending rule prohibiting off-leash activity in U.S. parklands.

In the coming months, the National Park Service is set to issue a draft rule that will not allow dogs to be off-leash on all but seven areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area land. A local group called Save Our Recreation traveled to the nation's capitol to speak up for dog owners who find it unfair.

“It’s not Yellowstone. It’s not Yosemite. It is an urban area," Representative Jackie Speier, who met with Save Our Recreation in Washington, told SFGate. "We superimposed a national recreation area on it and then started to slowly but surely exclude areas for people to recreate in it. That’s just un-American.” 

Save Our Recreation encouraged supporters to call in to KQED Forum on March 27, when National Parks Service director Jonathan Jarvis was a guest.

According to KQED News, Jarvis said the agency is considering how to "recognize and honor" the pattern of use in GGNRA land while keeping an eye out for protection and conservation concerns. 

"There are other people here that want to come visit, whether they are local or from Europe or Japan or China, that don’t necessarily want to have that experience with a dog off leash," he reasoned. "So what the park is doing is going through a dog management plan and a draft rule to establish specific areas within Golden Gate National Recreation Area where some off-leash dog use will be allowed."

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<![CDATA[Man Dies in Police Custody]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:28:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Phillip-White.jpg

UPDATE: Officials have revealed new details on White's death. CLICK HERE for the latest developments


Officials are investigating the death of a New Jersey man who died while in police custody Tuesday.

"As many of you have already heard, earlier today a tragedy occurred involving Officers and a citizen," said Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti. "Sadly, this call for service resulted in an “in–custody, non-shooting death” which is being investigated by the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s office"

The man, identified as Phillip White, was arrested at a home on the 100 block of Grape Street in Vineland, New Jersey around 11 a.m. Tuesday. He died shortly after while in custody.

Witnesses told NBC10 officers were extremely physical with White after he was already restrained and unconscious on the street.

"They punched him, stomped him, kicked him and then they let the dog out of the car," said Ricardo Garcia. "The dog bit him on his face and around his body. There's no call for that. Once a man is handcuffed and unconscious, you should have stuck him in the patrol car and take him to the police station. Instead they decided to beat him right here." 

A dog is heard barking on a police dispatch recording of the incident.

"118 West Grape," the dispatcher says in the recording. "Subject...hyperventilating. Officers out."

An officer is also heard on the recording.

"Slow all units down," the officer says. "Subject under...tried disarming me." 

The Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office is currently investigating the incident. A spokesperson for the office told NBC10 White was being arrested but they haven't revealed why.

White's aunt, Valerie White, told NBC10 she is desperate for answers.

"Why, what he was doing, I don't know," she said. "I'm trying to get answers and closure now. He lived a street life but he was a human being. Bottom line." 

While police have not yet released information regarding what led to the arrest or how White died,  Chief Codispoti expressed his condolences for his family.

"Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and with the Officers involved," he said. " I ask that everyone allow time for our justice system to now investigate this matter to its truthful conclusion. The Vineland Police Department is cooperating with the prosecutor’s office and I urge anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the prosecutor’s office with your information. At this time updates regarding the progress of this investigation are being released through the prosecutor’s office."

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<![CDATA[For Now, Wilhoite is Back in 49ers' Plans]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:16:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/175*120/whillhoyte.jpg

The past month has been interesting for Michael Wilhoite.

Less than a month ago, in early March, several reports surfaced that the 49ers’ inside linebacker was being offered in trade.

Matt Barrows, who covers the 49ers for the Sacramento Bee, tweeted on March 4 that, according to sources, the team was trying to trade Wilhoite, who started all 16 games in 2014. The reasons were obvious.

Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, two All-Pro inside linebackers, were expected to return from injury, while 2014 rookie sensation Chris Borland was also in the mix.

That left Wilhoite – who filled in for Bowman in 2014 – as the odd man out.

As Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle noted at the time, the 49ers were hopeful that Wilhoite, 28, might produce a late-round draft pick in return.

But with the retirements of Willis and Borland, the reports of Wilhoite’s trade died quickly.

Now the former undrafted free agent is expected to start alongside Bowman in 2015.

Wilhoite, who’d been a capable fill-in for Willis and Bowman in 2013, played well in a starting role, and it’s likely he’ll be better this coming season with a full season of experience as a starter.

In 2014, Wilhoite had 87 tackles, the second highest total on the team, had two interceptions and was solid against both the run and pass.

Late in the season, when Wilhoite and Borland were both in the lineup, former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was enthusiastic about their play.

“They are playing great with a capital G, and rising to that level (of Willis and Bowman),” he told reporters. “It is great to see.”

The 49ers are much too thin at inside linebacker now, however, and are looking for more help at the position. They likely will take an inside linebacker in the draft, and they reportedly have been talking with veteran free agents Lance Briggs, Erin Henderson and Philip Wheeler. Also, on Tuesday, they signed veteran free agent Desmond Bishop, who finished last season on the 49ers roster.

But for now, at least, it appears Wilhoite is back in the 49ers' plans for 2015.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Antonio Smith Became Expendable for Raiders]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:13:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/204*120/antsmythgone.jpg

When the Raiders released veteran defensive tackle Antonio Smith Tuesday, it was a bit surprising.

Smith, after all, had started every game in 2014 and, as ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson noted, “was considered a leader on the team.” Even though the Raiders signed free agent Dan Williams and have young Justin Ellis at the tackles, Smith was considered a candidate to be a third tackle for 2015.

But with a price tag of $4 million (against the cap) in 2015 – and with unimpressive numbers of 20 tackles and three sacks – GM Reggie McKenzie decided to cut the 33-year-old Smith loose Tuesday.

For some Raiders observers, it was yet another sign that McKenzie’s free-agent class of a year ago was a disaster. Though McKenzie has stocked the roster this off season with young veterans in their 20s, last year’s crop was filled with 30somethings with recognizable names – but on the downhill side of their careers.

Smith joins defensive end LaMarr Woodley, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback Matt Schaub (acquired in a trade, not free agency) as high-priced, too-old players acquired last season that have now been released or have retired.

Wrote Marc Sessler of NFL.com: “It’s another reminder of McKenzie’s gaffe-prone movements during a 2014 off season that saw him overpay for a rash of over-the-hill veterans.”

The Raiders still have plenty of money to spend on free agents – or by taking on expensive talent in a trade – with the draft still coming up on April 30, so the extra salary-cap space earned by releasing Smith will give McKenzie even further spending room. It seems certain that at some point McKenzie will acquire another defensive tackle – probably much younger – to fill Smith’s role.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Found With Chainsaw Wounds]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 10:09:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/Lower+Moreland+Home.JPG

A community is in mourning after a teen boy discovered his parents dead with wounds from a chainsaw inside a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, home Tuesday.

"It strikes home," said Eric Shallcross, a family friend. "It's unbelievable."

The 14-year-old boy told police he found his parents unresponsive inside their home on the 1100 block of Country Lane in Lower Moreland around 12:50 p.m. Investigators said the victims, a 48-year-old man and his 43-year-old wife, had lacerations from a chainsaw that was found lying nearby. 

Prosecutors confirmed one of the deaths was a homicide while the other is under investigation. Officials also say they are not searching for any suspects in the case.

Police are not identifying the couple pending the notification of all family members.

Aside from their 14-year-old son, the couple had two other boys who were not in the home when they were found dead. Eric Carswell, the pastor of Bryn Athyn Church, was teaching religion class to one of the children when the school learned about the incident.

"This is not what we would wish for anybody," Carswell said. "I'm very grateful for a sense that the boys have an extended family that is really taking good care of them."

Friends of the victims gathered at Bryn Athyn Cathedral Tuesday night for a prayer vigil.

Friends also told NBC10 there were problems in the couple's marriage.

"I knew they had some complications with their marriage," Shallcross said. "But a lot of marriages do. Most marriages do, I'm sure."

An autopsy on the couple is scheduled for Wednesday, said prosecutors.

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<![CDATA[Landlord Says A's Pitcher's Dog Needs Resume for Apartment]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:12:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/175*120/176420838.jpg

Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan were asked to write a resume for their dog in order to rent a San Francisco apartment. 

The prospective landlord told the couple, "Think about it a little more in depth than what you would do for yourself," Dolan told SFGate. She had fun with the assignment, giving their Rhodesian Ridgeback Stella an imaginary degree from "DePaw University" and fictional awards like "Oakland's Hella Well-Behaved."

Ultimately, Doolittle and Dolan did not get that apartment, but they were told it was because their car is too big for the garage.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donations for Nonprofit Stolen in San Jose]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:52:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0331-2015-StolenDonations.jpg

Donations meant for the non-profit organization Hope Services were reportedly stolen from a San Jose neighborhood.

Video from a surveillance camera show a man hopping out of a black van picking up the donations last week. A neighbor noticed the black van picking up the bags, which prompted resident Aaron Carr to check his surveillance video.

Carr said he had scheduled a pick up for last Monday morning, and when the bag was gone he figured the donation was picked up. It was not until Carr received an alert form his neighbor on the online community Next Door that he realized his donations may have been stolen.

Hope Services, an organizations that supports people with disabilities, said donations are always picked up in a marked van. Carr said his surveillance video shows a black Dodge Caravan taking people's donations and speeding off.

"It's like a reverse Robin Hood situation," Carr said. "They are stealing from the poor to make themselves rich. It's sad."

Hope Services calls the theft disheartening and said the organization depends on generosity from the community. Carr said he will continue to support the nonprofit's cause, but said next time he will drop off the donations in person.

"I was really disappointed," he said. "Unfortunately, that's the society we live in."

Police said they have not received any reports of similar crimes.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Drought Prompts Early Training for Firefighters]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:00:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0331-2015-CalFire2.jpg

As the state enters its fourth year of drought and fire concerns are raging ahead of the summer, Cal Fire's academy for seasonal firefighters began outdoor training Tuesday two months ahead of schedule.

The department's hiring, training and staffing for the fire season has been accelerated due to California's severe drought.

"The fuel is already starting to dry out and so we need that response capability right now -- 60 days earlier than we normally would," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Ciardella said.

For seasonal firefighters, the early start makes sense but is still hard to get used to.

"It's really strange," said Grant Bell, a Cal Fire seasonal firefighter. "I've never experienced this early of a fire season in my entire career."

The drought is also impacting the training since it is difficult to practice fire fighting without using water. Drills, for example, are set up so the well water goes back into the ground.

Officials said another advantage from early training is that staffing at Bay Area fire stations will start Monday.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Millions of Americans Victims of Medical Identity Theft]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 23:51:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RONNIE-AND-VICKY.jpg

Last year, millions of Americans were charged a total of $20 billion for medical services they never received. It’s because of “medical identity theft”—a crime that’s up to 20 times more lucrative than credit card theft.

San Jose resident Ronnie Bogle had no idea his medical ID was stolen until he was rejected in a new credit card application.

“I was really surprised,” he said. “I only have one other credit card and all my payments are on time.”

When the automatic credit report showed up in the mail, he discovered a long trail of unpaid medical bills.

“I was horrified,” said Bogle. “It was literally pages and pages and pages upon pages and more pages of unpaid medical treatments, hospital visits, emergency care that I knew were not mine.”

The treatments were all over the country from Florida and Tennessee to Colorado and Washington. Bogle shared his records with the Investigative Unit, including a $728 charge for an ER treatment at St. Joseph’s in Washington.

Bogle said he had never even set foot in some of those states.

“There are unpaid bills in the thousands of dollars,” said Bogle. “I knew something was very, very wrong.”

Medical identity theft is much harder to recover from than credit card theft. It’s been five years since Ronnie first discovered the trail of medical bills and he is still battling hospitals over the bills.

Unlike with financial ID theft, where you can shut down a bank account or get a new credit card, it’s much tougher to regain control of your medical identity.

“Your medical identity includes things like your date of birth, your social security number, your health insurance,” said Ann Patterson from the Medical ID Fraud Alliance. “Those are things you cannot just shut down and [get] a new one.”

In a new study, Patterson and the Medical ID Fraud Alliance found that medical identity theft was up 21.7% in 2014, affecting 2.3 million Americans. In the majority of cases (65%), victims had to pay an average of $13,500 to resolve the crime. The total damages added up to $20 billion in 2014 alone.

The threat also poses serious health risks, Patterson said.

“If your medical identity is corrupted by the thief’s medical information – so their blood type, their allergies, their diseases, their health conditions are reflected in your health, when you go to get medical goods or services, you can be misdiagnosed or mistreated.”

If a fraudster registers a medical allergy you don’t have, for instance, that allergy will go on your medical record. The next time you’re in a hospital, you might be prevented from getting medicine you need.

Tom Flattery, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney, said the best defense against medical identity theft is a good offense. He recommends that when people get an explanation of benefits in the mail, they read it carefully to make sure it describes only the treatment they actually received. If something doesn’t look right, Flattery said, you have the right to request your medical records at any time, for any reason.

“You have to protect your medical information from friends and family just like you would with your credit information,” said Flattery.

Medical identity theft by family members is actually extremely common. About a quarter of the people in Patterson’s study had their medical identities stolen by family members. In fact, Ronnie Bogle believes his identity was stolen by his long-lost brother, Gary Bogle.

“We used to look a lot alike,” said Bogle.

And now the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office is investigating Gary Bogle for identity theft, based on what the Investigative unit has uncovered.”

Ronnie’s brother Gary worked for a carnival company, which would help to explain the nomadic medical treatments all over the country. The Investigative Unit tracked Gary Bogle to Washington state where he was arrested or cited eight times since last November, mostly for nuisance issues and drunken conduct. Each violation was recorded in the name of Ronnie Bogle.

“It’s terrifying,” said Bogle about the criminal record that has accumulated in his name.

The Investigative Unit obtained footage from a patrol car that arrested Gary for public urination and disturbing the peace. In the footage, the police can be clearly heard calling Gary Bogle, “Ronnie” to get his attention

“Yes. My name,” said Ronnie Bogle, watching the footage the Investigative Unit obtained. “And I’m seeing some disgusting person handcuffed.”

The real Ronnie Bogle has reported the theft of his identity to the police. Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery said that’s the first thing a victim should do, even if it seems like its just paperwork.

“We’ve got to start somewhere. We’ve got to start with the report,” said Flattery.

Another good defense tactic is to obtain an “identity theft file.” It puts an alert on your name so that any time police run your name, they also have to ask for a password. If the person stealing that identity doesn’t have that password, police know they’re dealing with an imposter. This identity theft file is from Everett police department in Washington, but you can print it out and ask your local police department if they have a similar program. The FBI has more information here.


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<![CDATA[SF Group Highlights Nonprofits for Super Bowl 50]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:30:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0331-2015-Baycat.jpg

The din of the Third Street corridor in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point roared like a generic soundtrack as Jose Alfaro and his team walked past a storefront mannequin, darting into the tiny Community Youth Center.

Black bags scattered across the floor, the team began rigging up light stands, cameras and a boom microphone. Soon, the four-member team was interviewing the center’s program director about his incarceration as a teen, and his resurrection as a mentor to young Asian people in the Bayview.

It was a scene the production team will repeat more than 50 times over the next 50 weeks — rolling up video stories of 50 notable non-profit organizations chosen for grants by the Bay Area’s Super Bowl Committee as the NFL begins to carve its path toward Super Bowl 50, which will be played in Santa Clara's Levi’s Stadium next year.

“So for us it’s been great for us to tell stories of different organizations,” said Alfaro, “different non-profits and the great work they’re doing out there.”

It’s worth noting, the non-profit that employs Alfaro is doing some notable work of its own. Reborn corporate stalwart Villy Wang founded BAYCAT over ten years ago to help young people growing-up in challenged neighborhoods learn the ins and outs of video production. The organization puts video cameras, high-powered computers and knowledge into the hands of students who've grew-up on the wrong end of the digital divide.

“The kids we are working with are coming from low income,” said Wang, “and they are not growing with the same kind of access — or these computers at home.”

Wang herself experienced that childhood divide — working in New York sweatshops with her mother, who eventually started her own business and plucked her family from the grip of poverty.

“I know what it’s like to grow up without the same kind of access,” said Wang, standing in the light-filled main room of BAYCAT's studios in San Francisco’s Dogpatch Neighborhood.

Children as young as 11 years old from nearby Bayview-Hunters Point have gone through BAYCAT’s free training, which includes every aspect of video production training; from videography, to editing to soundtrack composition. Among its work is a recent music video for San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to promote its sewer system. Alfaro started as an intern, working his way up to a staff job.

“We’re teaching those kids that they can be part of the tech world,” said Alfaro. “They can be creative and tell their own stories through media.”

BAYCAT has turned-out films, promotional videos and documentaries. Which made it a good fit when the Super Bowl Committee began looking for a video production company to document what it calls its “50 Fund.” The BAYCAT team handles everything from pre-interviews, video shoots, editing and graphics for each video piece -- churning out a video a week.

“Fifty videos, 50 weeks,” pondered Wang, as her crew prepared to head out to its next shoot. “That is a lot, we’re super excited.”



Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Mandatory Water Restrictions]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:04:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/03-26-2015-sierra-snowpack-drought-467199106_master-%287%29.jpg

For the first time in state history, cities and towns across California must implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water use during the fourth consecutive year of drought under an executive order announced Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The unprecedented move follows the lowest snowpack ever recorded. Snowpack in the Sierra mountain range melts during spring and provides water for an estimated 25 million Californians.

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Brown said Wednesday. "Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."

Mandatory water reductions will be put in place by the State Water Resources Control Board across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent -- a saving that will amount to about 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, according to Brown's office.

The drought's effects are rippling across the state, hurting wildlife and forcing farmers to leave fields unplanted. So far this winter, wildfires are burning through nearly four times as many acres as usual.

Brown's order announced Wednesday will:

  • Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments;
  • Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models;
  • Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and
  • Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Water restrictions approved earlier this month banned restaurants from offering water unless customers ask and forced hotels and motels to offer guests a chance to deline fresh towels and sheets.

Those restrictions will require local water departments to cut back the number of days residents can water their lawns. If they don't, residents must follow a state rule limiting their sprinkling to twice a week. Homeowners are also barred from using sprinklers on days when it rains and for the next two days after.

Agricultural water users will now be required to report more water use information to state regulations.

Additional actions required by the order announced Wednesday include:

  • Taking action against water agencies in depleted groundwater basins that have not shared data on their groundwater supplies with the state;
  • Updating standards for toilets and faucets and outdoor landscaping in residential communities and taking action against communities that ignore these standards; and
  • Making permanent monthly reporting of water usage, conservation and enforcement actions by local water suppliers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pat Haden Refuses to Head to Indy]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:28:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/134210519.jpg

USC athletic director Pat Haden says he won’t be heading to Indianapolis this week for the College Football Playoff selection committee meeting in response to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s decision to sign the widely-protested “Religious Freedom” bill.

“I am the proud father of a gay son,” Haden wrote to his 17,000 followers on Twitter Tuesday. “In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity”

The law sparked outrage from many in Indiana's business community and others with ties -- established and planned -- to the Hoosier state.

The public-employee union known as AFSCME announced Monday it was canceling a planned women's conference in Indianapolis this year because of the law. The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an open letter to Indiana corporations saying Virginia is a business-friendly state that does "not discriminate against our friends and neighbors," while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to more than a dozen Indiana businesses, urging them to relocate to a "welcoming place to people of all races, faiths and countries of origin."

Pence, on the other hand, says the bill he signed into law week has been "grossly mischaracterized" and subjected to "shoddy reporting," but on Tuesday announced that he and legislators have been working around the clock to draft new legislation to clarify its intent.

"We've got a perception problem here ... and we intend to correct that," Pence told reporters.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[3-Alarm Fire Extinguished in South SF Warehouse]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:19:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fire_generic_fire_truck.jpg

Firefighters extinguished a three-alarm blaze Tuesday afternoon in an industrial building in South San Francisco.

The fire was reported  at 360 Swift Ave. in a warehouse full of holiday decorations, officials said.

No injuries were reported.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Crashes Into Store; 1 Dead]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:22:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/starmart-zazueta-adams.jpg

One person was killed and seven others were injured Tuesday after a driver crashed a truck into a store in Fort Worth while fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run crash, police say.

Officials investigating the crash said the driver, identified as 19-year-old Isaac Adams, was first involved in a minor crash at Riverside Drive and U.S. Highway 287.

“Yeah, he did stop,” said Bobby Washington, the driver into whom Adams reportedly first crashed. “At the time it seemed like they were on something, you know? It seemed they wasn’t in their right mind.”

After informing Adams he intended to call police, Washington said Adams and his passenger ran back to their truck and sped away.

As Washington called 911 and followed in an attempt to track the man down, Adams raced away on Riverside Drive at speeds of up to 100 mph, officials said.

Adams then lost control of his truck and crashed into the Star Food Mart near the intersection of Riverside Drive and East Lancaster Avenue, trapping several people.

Fort Worth firefighters arrived and began working to free the trapped victims while also stabilizing the building. At one point, firefighters used a fire truck to pull the pickup from the building, freeing a woman who was trapped.

Employees at neighboring businesses rushed to the scene to help the victims and worked to remove some of the debris. Nearby construction workers were able to quickly shut off the electricity to the building since electrical wires were exposed.

One of the eight injured was 24-year-old Sylvia Zazueta, who was trapped by the truck and had to be extricated by firefighters. She was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth in critical condition, but did not survive her injuries.

Zazueta was married with three children.

Don Jones, a cook who was working in the back of the store preparing hot food, walked away with barely a scratch.

“Just a big boom and glass shattering,” Jones said. “Then all I saw was dust and a truck sitting in the store. I thought, ‘My God, what happened?’”

Seven other patients were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries; three were transported to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth and four to JPS. One of the injured was a passenger in the truck, the other was the driver who was transported to JPS for treatment.

Fort Worth police confirmed to NBC 5 they believe Adams was under the influence of a narcotic. He now faces several charges, including intoxication manslaughter.

Family of Victim Pulls Together

The mother of Sylvia Zazueta said Tuesday she’s devastated by the loss and what it means to her grandchildren.

Laticia Galdiano said she was with her daughter and two of her grandchildren inside the family’s car at the Star Food Mart, while Zazueta went inside to buy a drink for her son and pay for gas.

Galdiano said her daughter stayed home with the children — ages 8, 4 and 8 months — while her husband worked two jobs. Zazueta’s 8-year-old daughter, Analisa, asked to speak to NBC 5 about her mother.

“She didn't leave us. Where ever she would go, she would take us,” said Analisa.

Zazueta’s grandfather, Elizardo Quinones, said she brought joy to the world. With time, he said he may forgive the driver responsible for the crash.

“We are all human beings. We make mistakes, and with time, I might forgive him," Quinones said. "But now, I can't.”

An account has been set up to help Zazueta's family pay for her funeral expenses. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo bank under the name Sylvia Zazueta to account number 2207967502.

NBC 5's Holley Ford, Chris Van Horne, Jocelyn Lockwood, Ben Russell and Bianca Castro contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Cop's Degrading Tirade Against Uber Driver Probed]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:46:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/uber+rant.jpg

The NYPD says the Civilian Complaint Review Board has taken over the investigation into a video that appears to show a police officer verbally abusing an Uber driver in an at-times xenophobic roadside tirade in the West Village Monday.

UPDATE: Cop in Uber Tirade Video Placed on Modified Duty, Blasted by Bratton

Police confirmed late Tuesday afternoon that the plain-clothed man seen screaming in the now viral video is a member of the NYPD, but they did not identify him. A spokesman said the department is "aware of the incident and video and it is under review."

The NYPD later said that the CCRB, an independent city agency with subpoena power, has taken over the investigation. 

The video was posted to YouTube by Sanjay Seth, one of the passengers in the Uber car. Seth tweeted that he testified Wednesday before the CCRB and "They are taking this complaint seriously."

According to Seth's YouTube post, his Uber driver honked his car horn at the officer later seen screaming in the video because the officer was trying to park on a Sixth Precinct street in the middle of the afternoon without using any blinkers or hazard lights, and the Uber driver's path to a green light was blocked.

The officer, seen wearing a green tie and blue shirt at points in the passenger video, got out of his unmarked car, which had flashing blue and red lights on the dashboard, and flagged down the Uber driver.

The three-minute video begins as the officer approaches the Uber driver's window and starts yelling at the driver, raising his voice over the Uber driver's muted apologies and efforts to interject.

"Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, 'For what, sir,'" the officer is heard saying in the video as he curses. "Stop it with that ... and realize the three vehicle and traffic law violations you committed."

"You understand me? I don't know what [epithet] planet you think you're on right now," the officer yells, making fun of the Uber driver's accent.

The officer then slams the hood of the Uber car and walks away; the Uber driver tries to apologize to his passengers, who tell him it was not his fault and inform him a video of the exchange was recorded. One of the passengers said it appeared the officer was on a "power trip"; the other called the man's behavior "really inappropriate."

The officer returns to the Uber car about 90 seconds after slamming the hood and storming off, the video shows, and continues to curse at and belittle the driver. The driver keeps trying to defuse the situation with respectful apologies. Then the officer goes off on him. 

"I don't know where you're coming from or where you think you're appropriate in doing that," the man yells, apparently in reference to the car honk from earlier. "That's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?"

"Almost how long? Two years?" the officer yells after the driver whispers a response. "I got news for you, and use this lesson: Don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do.

"That's the only reason that's not happening, because this isn't important enough to me, you're not important enough," he says.

The officer turns toward the passengers in the back seat, asks if they are fares and says something about the Uber driver wasting their days, too. The officer hands the driver some kind of piece of paper that looks like a ticket and leaves as the passenger cellphone video pans to the flashing lights on the dashboard of his vehicle, parked behind the Uber car. 

Seth posted video of the exchange on multiple social media accounts. On his Facebook page, he wrote, "Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York. The rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough -- but the officer's remarks at the end really took it to another level."

Seth wrote on Facebook that he reported the exchange to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. According to his profile, Seth works at a nonprofit in the city and used to work for the parks department.

Asked about the exchange by NBC 4 New York, Seth wrote, "This very unfortunate incident is between the driver, Uber, the officer, and the relevant authorities."

Uber called the behavior in the video "wrong" and "unacceptable," and said it appreciated the NYPD investigating.

"We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs," Matthew Wing, a spokesman for the ride share company, said. 

Michael Palladino, the president of NYPD detective's union, defended the officer portayed in the video, saying that "cops are just like everyone else." He said that the cop "is a person of good character and an excellent detective."

"He really should not be judged by one isolated incident," Palladino said. 

The CCRB handles complaints about four kinds of alleged police misconduct: force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language. 



Photo Credit: Sanjay Seth
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<![CDATA[Escaped Prisoner Captured After 9-Hour Manhunt: Source ]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:19:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/2015-03-31_1209.jpg

A prisoner who escaped from a Northern Virginia hospital — and evaded capture for most of Tuesday morning — is back in the custody of U.S. marshals.

Wossen Assaye was found near Minnesota Avenue SE in Washington, D.C., following a massive manhunt that lasted about eight hours. He was taken into custody without incident about 11:15 a.m. after someone who saw Assaye's picture on social media spotted him getting off a Metrobus. The gun he was carrying was recovered.

Assaye appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon and was ordered held without bond. He is charged with one count of escaping from federal custody and with one count of bank robbery.

Assaye was wearing a white plastic protective suit, which was open to his navel. He was not wearing socks or shoes, and he was surrounded by law enforcement in the courtroom.

He is in the custody of U.S. marshals, who are not commenting on his location. In a statement Tuesday night, the U.S. Marshals Service said, "Events such as today's escape will be investigated and reviewed. If changes are needed, they will be made."

"I'm thanking each and every community member in this region for apprehending a violent felon,'' Fairfax County Police Chief Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said at a news conference.

Assaye, 42, was arrested by federal authorities last week in connection with a series of bank robberies in Northern Virginia. Assaye allegedly committed the robberies while on a bike, and is known to the FBI as the bicycle bandit.

While being held at the Alexandria City Jail, Assaye attempted to hang himself with a bedsheet and was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for medical treatment Friday. Deputies with the Alexandria Sheriff's Office guarded Assaye for the first 24 hours of his hospital stay before he was turned over to two Allied Protective Service guards, who were contracted by the U.S. Marshals Service.

At about 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, Assaye overpowered one of the guards while her partner used the restroom, taking her weapon. Assaye used the female contract guard as a shield as he fled down the hall and then released her and fled down a stairwell, U.S. Marshal Bobby Matheson said.

Police say one shot was fired, but no one was injured. It's not clear who fired the shot.

Assaye fled with the weapon and wearing only a hospital gown into a nearby neighborhood, where he broke into the truck of a resident's 2002 Toyota Camry. The driver got into the car to go to work, and during the commute, police say Assaye began to kick out the back seat from inside the truck. The driver crashed the car, and Assaye carjacked the vehicle. Police say they later found the Camry near Monterey Drive in Annandale.

At one point in the chase, Assaye drove into the garage of a home on Oak Court in Annandale owned by Lorraine Giovinazzo. Then he entered the almost-empty house, apparently by jimmying the handles on a set of glass doors.

Assaye left behind the hospital gown he had been wearing and took some of Giovinazzo's old clothes, Giovinazzo said.

"I'm just so grateful that we had just moved, because otherwise my mother would have been in there by herself, and that would have been terrifying," Giovinazzo said.

Assaye was on foot for a short time before stealing a 2008 gray Hyundai Elantra in the same area.

Police say they've also located the Hyundai Elantra.

Police searched neighborhoods in Annandale with helicopter and heavily armed officers for a portion of Tuesday morning. In one neighborhood, Spence Limbocker said he heard a helicopter, went outside and saw a massive police presence.

"They told me to get back in the house and lock all my doors ... It was a little scary,'' Limbocker said.

Assaye was arrested March 20 and charged with a robbery at Apple Federal Credit Union in Alexandria. In a court document, an FBI agent suggests that Assaye, of Arlington, is responsible for a string of 12 bank robberies in northern Virginia over the last year and a half.

In court documents about the robberies, the FBI agent said the robber seen in surveillance photographs and video recordings is "physically similar'' in the dozen robberies that end with the robbery of the Apple Federal Credit Union.

In all, the banks were robbed of about $32,000. In most cases, the agent said the robber entered the bank with a cellphone to his ear, demanded money and fled with cash on a bicycle.

According to a 2012 Virginia Parole Board document, Assaye has an "extensive criminal record" and "history of violence," indicating a "serious risk to the community," NBC News reports.

He has been charged with a variety of felonies — including breaking and entering in 1998 — with at least one conviction, for purse snatching in 1994, for which he was given a recommended maximum 12-month jail sentence.

The lockdown at the hospital, located in suburb just outside of Washington, D.C., lasted from 3:30 a.m. to 7:50 a.m., hospital officials confirmed.

During that time, no one could enter or leave the hospital. Emergencies were diverted to other emergency rooms. Patient care continued, though some elective surgeries had to be delayed.

Staff members inside the hospital told News4's David Culver that during the lockdown, some employees hid in backrooms and hallways for safety. 

Stay with News4 on-air and online for more on this developing story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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