Now Playing Loading...
Subscribe To This Feed

Butler County Sheriffs Office(BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio) -- An Ohio toddler who was allegedly beaten and left brain dead by her babysitter was pronounced dead on Sunday, according to her family.

Hannah Wesche, 3, died at 12:15 a.m. Sunday, her father, Jason Wesche, said in a statement.

“She was a big part of our family. She meant everything to everybody. This is just an extremely difficult time. We just hope to god she is in heaven with him and ask for continued prayers,” Wesche told Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO on Sunday.

Police said her babysitter, Lindsay Partin, 35, admitted to striking the child earlier this month “and stated she had fallen and struck her head on the concrete garage floor the previous day,” according to a statement last week.

Partin pleaded not guilty to charges of felonious assault and child endangerment in connection with the incident.

Police in Butler County, Ohio, about 35 miles north of Cincinnati, said they arrived at Partin’s home on March 8 and found the girl unresponsive, with labored breathing and "obvious bruises about her head and face."

Wesche declined WCPO’s request for an on-camera interview, but he told the station last week that his daughter was unlikely to survive.

"I mean, it's unimaginable. I can't begin to explain the feeling of losing a child at the hands of this ... of just a violent act. Hannah was great," Wesche said last week. "We just want to stress that this situation is devastating. She is not expected to survive. Within the next couple of days, we are told that it's going to come to an end."

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said the case is still under investigation.

“Cases like this rip your heart out. I don't understand why or how anyone harms a child," Jones said in a statement. "Parents, please know who is watching your children.

"Get background checks, talk to neighbors, friends and family members before letting anyone watch your children. Know who you are leaving your babies with,” he added.

Partin posted a $30,000 cash bond and was released from jail last Monday, according to WXIX. It's not clear when she's expected back in court.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Riverside County Sheriffs Department(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) -- After what is described as a lifetime of imprisonment in a cramped, squalid home near Riverside, California, seven of the 13 siblings who were allegedly held captive by their parents got their first taste of freedom last week, ABC News has exclusively learned.

The newly freed siblings -- who are now adults -- were discretely whisked away Thursday from the Corona Regional Medical Center, where they had been nursed back to health after police rescued them in January. After being described as on the brink of starvation, the survivors were taught the basics about a world police say they never quite experienced.

But now, the young adults, ages 18 to 29, were taken by their attorney and public guardian from the carefully controlled ward of the hospital to an undisclosed rural house they now call home.

ABC News has interviewed several people who’ve spent time with the siblings -- whose lives until recently had been lived in near-complete isolation. Their native intelligence, coupled with their naiveté and complete lack of guile, makes them utterly charming, say those who’ve interacted with them.

Their lawyer, Jack Osborn, who specializes in clients with special needs, described it as their birth into the real world.

“The adult siblings want to be known as survivors, not victims,” said Osborn.

It’s the reason he said they don’t dwell on their anger, but on the long process of recovery ahead.

“They're joyful, warm, considerate. It's not all about them. They want to hear what's going on with you and me and my family," he said. "It's just really fun. It's fun to be around them. Of course, they're really full of joy about their life and the things they get to experience right now."

David and Louise Turpin, the parents of the children, are accused of abusing them, including shackling and starving them routinely, authorities said. The victims weren't released from their chains even to go to the bathroom, prosecutors have charged.

All the children except for the youngest, a toddler, were severely malnourished, prosecutors said. The eldest victim -- a 29-year-old woman -- weighed only 82 pounds when rescued, according to authorities.

ABC News has learned through several sources with access to the siblings and interviews with police and social services that what little food the siblings ate was predominately frozen food at home.

The parents were arrested in January after the couple's 17-year-old daughter scrambled out of their home's front window, called 911, and showed police pictures of her siblings in shackles, said the District Attorney Mike Hestrin. That 17-year-old had somehow accessed the internet in the weeks before her harrowing escape. ABC News has discovered that she had accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube -- where she performed what she called original songs with titles like “Where is the Key?”

David and Louise Turpin each face dozens of counts of torture, false imprisonment and child endangerment. Prosecutors say they would punish infractions like washing above the wrist with punishments like being hogtied or being shackled to a bed, sometimes for months at a time.

Now, the seven siblings who are free have enjoyed getting relative privacy for the first time in their lives -– including receiving their own bedding and having their own closet space, Osborn said.

In their first 24 hours since their release from the hospital, the older siblings picked citrus for the first time. They also made their first ice cream sundaes and prepared Mexican food, apparently all firsts, Osborn added.

“They pretty much love any food that is fresh. They love fruit, pasta and soup,” said Osborn.

Mark Uffer, the chief executive officer of the Corona Regional Medical Center, where some of the siblings were being treated, confirmed to ABC News in a statement that the Turpin siblings had been discharged from their facilities.

Uffer added that they "wish these brave siblings continued strength as they take the next steps in their journey."

Beyond tasting new food, the siblings spend their time doing various kinds of occupational, physical and psychological therapy. They also watch movies. A lot of them.

Osborn believes they didn’t have much access to movies despite their parents’ trove of thousands of DVDs. The siblings' favorite movies so far have been anything associated with the "Star Wars" series.

While several of them have been of driving age for about a decade, their lawyer says none has ever driven a car. Trips in a vehicle at all seemed to be a rarity, Osborn said.

The prospect of driving a car one day was, in fact, so novel that the boys joked that they’d need to wear football helmets for safety.

Meanwhile, the siblings are aware of their parents’ legal jeopardy, but have no idea how much interest their story has drawn, Osborn said.

He added that they all hope to lead normal lives, with spouses and careers, including being nurses and doctors.

“Some asked whether they could be nurses without having to give injections or seeing much blood,” he said, smiling.

His clients, he said, “want to be independent."

"They want to do things for themselves and they want to start having independent lives where they're responsible for themselves," he added. "That's the goal and that's what everyone is working toward.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A Cirque du Soleil performer has died after he fell onto the stage during a performance in Florida, the company announced Sunday.

"It is with immense sadness that Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group reports that a tragic accident occurred last night, March 17, during a performance of its show 'Volta,' in Tampa, Florida," the statement posted to its social media accounts began. "While he was performing the aerial straps number, long-time aerialist, Yann Arnaud, fell onto the stage."

Arnaud, 38, had his hand slip from a ring and he fell about 20 feet, according to Tampa police.

The statement explained that after "Yann was transported to the nearest hospital ... he later passed away from his injuries."

Cirque du Soleil describes its newest show, "Volta," as "adventurous," according to its website. It "weaves acrobatics" and "action sports" into a "melodic score."

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy," a statement from Cirque's president and CEO Daniel Lamarre read. "Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him. Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the 'Volta' team, as we go through these difficult times together."

The company said in a statement that it is "currently gathering more information about this tragic event" and "offering our full and transparent collaboration to the authorities as they look into the circumstances of this accident."

Subsequently, Cirque du Soleil canceled two shows Sunday in Tampa.

This isn't the first time a cast member of Cirque du Soleil has died while on tour.

In 2016, technician Olivier Rochette, who was also the co-founder's son, was preparing the set for a performance of "Luzia" in San Francisco when he was struck by a lift and later died.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Hours after Austin's police chief urged the suspect in recent bombings to turn themselves in, local and federal emergency units responded to another explosion in which two more people were injured, authorities and sources said.

The Austin-Travis Country EMS tweeted Sunday night that there was a "critical incident" at Dawn Song Drive in Austin and medics were on their way to treat two males in their 20s with serious injuries.

"We do believe, based on what we've seen, that this was a bomb," Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a 1:30 a.m. local time press conference.

According to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, the two victims were taken there for treatment and are in good condition.

"We are working on the belief that this is related to the other bomb incidents that have happened in our community," Manley said.

A law enforcement source tells ABC News it will take some time to determine whether the explosion -- at about 8:30 p.m. local time Sunday night -- is linked to the earlier bombings. Officials will have to wait until morning to see if the devices were similarly built.

The three bombings this month, over an 11-day period, killed two people and injured two others.

Those three bombs were left as packages on peoples' doorsteps, while Manley said early Monday that this device was different. It was placed on the side of the road. The victims were injured either while riding their bikes, or pushing them, Manley said.

"It is very possible that this device was activated by someone handling or triggering a trip wire," Manley said, though he call that "unconfirmed" as the site would not be processed until daylight hours.

The Austin Police Department responded to a so-called "Bomb Hotshot," according to a tweet. It urged anyone in the "4800 block of Dawn Song Dr." to avoid the area. It said the victims had "unknown injuries."

Manley issued a “safety alert” in the wake of the bombing, urging people located within a half-mile radius of where the incident occurred to stay indoors. He said the issue to stay indoors would be lifted at 10 a.m.

“Stay inside your home until we have had a chance to deem this neighborhood safe,” Manley said at a press briefing late Sunday. “That will not be, at a minimum until daylight, given the darkness and the size of the area that we want to go in and check to make sure again that this neighborhood is safe.”

Police also said school buses would not be able to access the Travis Country neighborhood where the explosion took place and said "any tardies or absences due to this situation will be excused."

Sources told ABC News that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding, too.

“We want to put out the message that we’ve been putting out and that is, not only do not touch any packages or anything that looks like a package, do not even go near it at this time,” Manley said. “Given the darkness, we have not really had an opportunity to really look at this blast site to determine what has happened.”

Earlier Sunday, the FBI's San Antonio office announced a reward for information had increased to $100,000.

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Austin's police chief pleaded with the bomber or bombers to surrender.

"We hope this person or persons is watching," Brian Manley said, staring at the camera. "We hope you will reach out to us before anyone else is injured or anyone else is killed out of this event."

Manley said the three package bombings, which killed two people and injured two others earlier this month, "were meant to send a message."

He then assured that the bloodshed -- in which all of the victims were black or Hispanic -- had garnered "worldwide attention." Law enforcement members from all over have taken notice, Manley added.

Manley then said he wanted to tap into the psyche of the bomber or bombers.

"We want to understand what brought you to this point," he said. "And we want to listen to you."

The victims of the earlier bombings include Draylen Mason, 17, an orchestral musician and notable essay winner, and Anthony Stephan House, a 39-year-old father.

Authorities were investigating the bombings as a possible hate crime because all of the victims were either black or Hispanic.

"[We're] not ruling hate out at this time," Manley said.

Since the explosions occurred, Manley said the Austin Police Department has received help from an estimated 500 federal agents from various departments, 735 suspicious packages had been reported, 236 interviews have been logged, and 435 leads have been checked out.

Manley emphasized that he wants more tips to come in and that to solve this case it will take "the public's assistance."

And no tip or potential clue is too small or inconsequential, he added.

"You may have the one piece of information that puts us ahead," Manley said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Six months after Puerto Rico was devastated by a hurricane that knocked out power to almost the entire island, tens of thousands remain without electricity and the U.S. territory is struggling to recover.

Hurricane Maria severely damaged Puerto Rico's electrical grid and caused an estimated $100 billion in property damages when it made landfall on Sept. 20. Most of the territory's three million residents were left in darkness and cut them off from basic supplies.

Six months later, the island is still trying to return to normal, including with tens of thousands of people still lacking power.

Many relief efforts for Puerto Rico that began soon after the hurricane continue. Here are some ways you can help:

American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities are still accepting both relief donations funds and volunteers to help areas affected by the hurricane.

United for Puerto Rico, a fund set up by Puerto Rico’s first lady Beatriz Rossello, wife of Gov. Ricardo Rossello, collects donations and distributes them to non-profits helping people affected by the disaster.

AmeriCares said that for every $1 donated it provides $20 worth of medical aid and disaster support.

Among others helping are New York governor Andrew Cuomo who recently announced that a team of experts will go to Puerto Rico to help local officials with rebuilding plans and, over the summer, students from from both the State University of New York and the City University of New York will go to the island to assist.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, is still working with communities on the island that are in desperate need of food and water, and is helping local non-profits that need supplies.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

@GabrielaRose12/Twitter(MIAMI) -- Authorities released the names of five of the six people who died from the collapse of a newly installed pedestrian bridge in Miami.

Three victims -- Rolando Fraga Hernandez, Oswald Gonzalez and Alberto Arias -- were found Saturday morning after crews removed two cars from the rubble left at the scene, Miami-Dade police said today.

The fourth identified victim, Navarro Brown, died at a hospital, police said.

The fifth victim, Alexa Duran, 18, a student at Florida International University, was identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department early Sunday. Her family had already confirmed to reporters on Friday that Duran was among those killed, when the bridge 950-ton bridge collapsed on Thursday afternoon on top of at least eight cars stopped under the span waiting for a red traffic light to change.

Alexa's body was recovered about 5:12 p.m. Saturday when firefighters recovered her gray Toyota 4Runner from the rubble and found her body inside.

"Rest In Peace my sweet little sister. Words cannot describe how heavy my heart is," Alexa's sister, Dina Duran, wrote in a Instagram police on Saturday. "I would give anything to take your place and all of your pain. I will cherish every memory we've made and will miss you every day for the rest of my life. A piece of my heart is with you. Heaven is a better and funnier place with you in it. May your beautiful soul rest with the Angels my love. I will see you again soon."

Rolando Fraga Hernandez's nephew, Jorge Fraga, had told ABC News on Saturday that he was holding out hope. Before police officially identified Hernandez as being among the dead, Fraga said he called hospitals in the area Saturday searching for his loved one.

"I’m trying not to think he isn’t there," Fraga said.

Police said Hernandez's body was found about 5:40 a.m. Saturday when his gold Jeep Cherokee was removed from the debris.

Authorities said at a press conference late Saturday the six people who died from Thursday's bridge collapse near Florida International University were recovered and they did not expect to find any other victims. Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez said the final two victims were recovered Saturday afternoon.

Authorities had previously said the death toll might increase as crews worked to remove more cars trapped under the rubble.

"The biggest tonnage carried today was of the families who lost someone," Perez said.

A total of eight cars were trapped under the bridge after it crumbled, including six that were "significantly entangled," authorities said. Two of those heavily trapped cars were removed Saturday morning and two more were removed later in the day, officials said.

Maurice Kemp, deputy mayor of Miami-Dade County, said the primary goal was to remove all victims and cars in a "dignified and respectful manner."

He said crews worked through the night to remove the two cars this morning and will continue the effort until all victims and cars are recovered.

FIU had touted the pedestrian bridge as one of the first of its kind, tweeting that it swung into place March 10.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Courtesy Miu Luu(CANCUN, Mexico) -- The 16-year-old teen who vanished more than two weeks ago after taking a one-way flight to Cancun, Mexico, with a 45-year-old married man has been found, according to authorities and her family.

Amy Yu was located in Mexico on Saturday night, ABC News confirmed after speaking briefly with Yu's mom.

"I'm really happy. Please let everyone know," she told ABC News.

Just a day ago, Luu made a public plea to her daughter to return to her in an interview with ABC News.

"Amy, I love you. Can you come back?" Luu of Allentown, Pennsylvania, said Friday, addressing her daughter.

Yu, along with Kevin Esterly, 45, have been missing since March 5. When the girl did not return home from school that night, her mother reported her missing, the Allentown Police Department said.

Amy was believed to have willingly accompanied Kevin Esterly, 45, out of the country on a one-way flight by way of Dallas, Texas.

Authorities said he withdrew $4,000 from his wife's bank account and signed the youth out of the school, claiming to be her stepfather.

Esterly is facing a felony charge of custodial interference.

The Mexican government on March 15 issued an Amber Alert for the pair.

There's no word yet from authorities on when the pair will be returned to the U.S.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back with updates.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Wet and chilly winter weather is expected to strike the eastern U.S. early this week.

That's actually a reprieve for the mid-Atlantic region, which will likely be spared a fourth nor'easter storm, according to ABC News meteorologist Dan Peck.

Heavy rain in southern states such as North Carolina and a blast of snow up along the northeast states such as New York will begin overnight on Monday and into Tuesday -- officially the first day of spring.

Weather forecasts appeared to show that another nor'easter storm was building strength. Those predictions, Peck added, have pulled back on Friday, with the bulk of the storm expected to drift out to sea.

Temperatures are still expected to remain "below average," with cold conditions on both the east and west coasts.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- A 10-month-old girl was found safe Saturday morning after she was left in a car believed to have been stolen in Memphis Friday night, authorities said Saturday morning.

A statewide Amber Alert had been issued for Zoe Jordan after she was left in a running and unattended Honda Civic Friday, the Memphis Police Department said. Police said a suspect fled with her inside.

Zoe has since been found safe in that car in Memphis after a citizen spotted the Honda Civic and called in a tip, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Saturday.

Memphis Police tweeted a photo of Zoe safe in the arms of an officer.

"This is why the AMBER Alert program is so successful in Tennessee," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation wrote on Twitter. "People like you: who follow, who care, who pay attention, who share, and who do the right thing when it matters most. Thank you!"

Memphis police say the suspect is described as a man in his early 20's who was wearing dark jeans and a red hoodie with a Nike swoosh on the front.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Miu Luu(NEW YORK) -- The mother of a missing 16-year-old Pennsylvania girl who is believed to have run away with a 45-year-old man sent a message to her daughter in an interview with ABC News.

"Amy, I love you, can you come back?" Miu Luu of Allentown, Pennsylvania, said Friday, addressing her daughter, Amy Yu.

Yu along with Kevin Esterly, 45, have been missing since March 5, and police believe the teen left with the man willingly.

When the girl did not return home from school that night, her mother reported her missing, the Allentown Police Department said.

Two days later, police received information indicating that on the night of March 5, Yu and Esterly took a one-way flight from Philadelphia to Cancun, police said.

Luu reported to police after her daughter's disappearance that money, jewelry and Yu's personal documents were also missing, according to a police report.

The mother told ABC News she doesn't care if her daughter has spent her money, she just wants her to come home to her and her brother.

The girl's brother, 15-year-old John Yu, added, "I hope you come home safely. Please don't get into any trouble, and just get home safely."

An Amber Alert has been issued in Mexico for Amy Yu.

"Prior to the Amber Alert in Mexico, the information that Amy Yu and Kevin Esterly were likely in Mexico was not released as it is believed that Kevin Esterly and/or Amy Yu are monitoring media reports," police said in a news release Friday.

Allentown police issued a message to the teen Friday, "Amy, if you are uncertain how to come home or who to contact for help, you may simply reach out to a law enforcement official, a resort staff member, or contact your mom via text message, email or social media, and we will work to reunite you with your family right away."

Esterly, who is married, met the teen at church, and Amy Yu appears to have been friends with one of Esterly's daughters, said Gary Hammer of the Colonial Regional Police, which has jurisdiction over Amy Yu's school, Lehigh Valley Academy.

When Amy Yu was asked by members of the Leigh Country Child Advocacy Center whether she was having a relationship with Esterly, she denied it, Hammer said.

However, Amy Yu altered her school records and listed Esterly as her stepfather, Hammer added. At least 10 times between December and Feb. 9, Esterly signed her out of school early, he said.

Feb. 9 was the day when Luu came to the school to pick up her daughter, "and the school said her stepfather already signed her out of school," Hammer told ABC News last week.

"The mom explained she is a single mother," Hammer said. "There is no stepfather."

Lehigh Valley Academy confirmed that Esterly has been on school grounds before and was last there on Feb. 9.

"After that date, due to circumstances we cannot disclose pursuant to student privacy constraints, he was prohibited from entering school grounds, and the police were to be notified if he returned," the school said in a statement last week.

The school said in its statement, "Due to federal and state privacy constraints, the school is prohibited from releasing any additional information about the student or the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation unless the parent provides express consent for the school to do so.

"We are, however, working closely with the Colonial Regional Police and the Allentown Police and are providing whatever information and assistance we can to assist them and Amy’s family during this difficult time," the school added.

The school called the Colonial Regional Police immediately and it started investigating. The department found video of Esterly signing the teen out and leaving with her, Hammer said.

On March 7, a family member of Esterly reported him as missing or endangered, and that same day, an arrest warrant for Esterly was issued, charging him with interference with the custody of children, the police said.

Amy Yu is about 4 feet 11 inches tall and 90 pounds, and Esterly is 5 feet 9 inches tall and 185 pounds, according to police.

Authorities believe they may be in a 1999 red, two-door Honda Accord with the Pennsylvania plate KLT 0529.

Anyone who sees either of them is asked to call 911, local police or the Allentown Police at 610-437-7751.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two storms are moving across the United States on Saturday, bringing rain and sleet to the Midwest and snow to the Mountain West.

The first storm is bringing rain, sleet and freezing rain from Iowa into northern Illinois Saturday morning and will extend southeast through West Virginia. Total ice accumulations of one-tenth of an inch or more are possible in some spots.

Meanwhile, the second storm continues to bring snow to the Mountain West.

Moderate to locally heavy rain that triggered flooding in Mississippi on Friday is expected to wind down as a cold front moves into the Gulf Coast states Saturday.

There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms across parts of central and northern Texas on Saturday afternoon and a marginal risk exists across eastern parts of Kentucky and Tennessee this afternoon into southern Virginia and part of North Carolina this evening.

The main threats include damaging winds and large hail, and an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

As one of the storms approaches from the west on Sunday, there is a slight risk of strong to severe weather for Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley in the morning. Parts of Kansas and Oklahoma are susceptible during Sunday afternoon.

Challenging forecast for Northeast storm
As an area of low pressure moves across the country it is forecast to develop into a coastal storm on Tuesday. The latest computer models have the track shifted further to the east at the moment.

Yesterday’s information implied a wide precipitation shield beginning Wednesday from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast as the storm tracked offshore.

The American model (GFS) from Friday morning showed a direct hit for the Northeast, including the major I-95 coastal cities.

The European model has a similar solution, keeping the bulk of the precipitation further south on Tuesday and Wednesday, then quickly sweeping the system offshore by Wednesday evening -- completely missing the Northeast.

Both models for now have that first round of snow, early Wednesday in the Appalachians, producing some accumulating snowfall.

But there are several moving parts that have to come together over the next 48 hours or so to give the models a better handle on what’s happening in the atmosphere.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- A Walmart employee's tip has led to a large weapons bust near a college campus in upstate New York.

Federal authorities filed charges against Maximilien Reynolds, 19, on Friday for two counts of possession of an unregistered destructive device and a silencer, false statement in acquisition of a firearm and a false statement in required firearm record.

According to the criminal complaint, a Walmart employee in Ithaca, New York, called police after Reynolds allegedly purchased ammunition, camping gear, drill bits, tools, hacksaw blades and knives with a gift card.

Ithaca police and two FBI agents responded to Reynolds' apartment, where they encountered his girlfriend, who allowed them inside. The complaint alleges the small apartment was "in severe disarray" with random piles of clothes, food, laboratory glassware and math formulas written on the windows. The authorities also found a bulletproof vest, gas mask and saw knives lying out in the open before the woman alleged to be Reynolds' girlfriend ushered them out.

Authorities later returned, voluntarily spoke to investigators and allowed his apartment to be searched, the complaint states.

The FBI found a bullet-resistant vest, military-style clothing, knives, military-style gas mask, MSR-15 Patrol rifle, ammunition, a homemade silencer and bomb-making materials, including fireworks rigged with shrapnel.

The suspect was previously known to authorities, as Reynolds had previously been detained by Ithaca police in June 2016 under Section 941 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law, the complaint shows. The law allows police officers to take a person into custody and take them to a hospital if they appear mentally ill.

Reynolds used to be a student at Cornell University, but was currently taking classes at nearby Tomkins-Cortland Community College.

"On Thursday, FBI agents arrested Maximilien R. Reynolds following the reported seizure by the City of Ithaca Police Department earlier this month of a number of weapons in his possession at his residence in the city’s Collegetown neighborhood," Cornell University Police Chief Kathy Zoner said in a statement. "Cornell University Police is cooperating with IPD and the FBI in this investigation, and all agencies continue to work together to promote the safety of Cornell University’s campus and the surrounding community.

"Neither Cornell University Police nor the lead law enforcement agencies in this case believe there is a threat to the campus or Collegetown."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(WHEATON, Ill.) --The Wheaton College transfer student who accused members of that Christian school’s football team of a brutal assault during a hazing incident has filed a lawsuit against the college and members of the team.

Charles Nagy, who was new to the football team, alleged that in March 2016, he was forcibly taken from his room by other players who put a pillowcase over his head and "secured it with duct tape," then “violently” pulled his arms behind him with his wrists and ankles duct-taped. He also claimed that the players threatened him with sexual assault and left him partially naked on a baseball field with two dislocated shoulders.

The incident attracted widespread attention because of the viciousness of the alleged assault and the fact that the school’s investigation led to what some perceived as minimal punishment. Local authorities charged the five football players with felonies including aggravated battery and unlawful restraint in September 2017.

All five pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

Now, in the lawsuit filed Saturday against Wheaton and members of the football team, Nagy’s lawyer claims that hazing, including the practice of “kidnapping,” was an “open secret” at the school and among its football coaches.

The suit alleges the practice was “well established in the culture and norms of the football program.”

To protect that culture, the suit alleges that the head football coach, Mike Swider, tried to “control” Nagy after the incident “to conceal the fact that the hazing occurred.”

It claims that Wheaton and its employees were “deliberately indifferent to the risks” of hazing, that the school turned “a blind eye” to the practice and deliberately failed “to meaningfully investigate and discipline students” engaged in this ritual. For example, the suit claims that school security personnel “observed and were aware of” Nagy being forcibly removed from his dorm but did nothing.

Pat Provencale, an attorney for Nagy, told ABC News: “There are two very disturbing things here. There’s the one thing that the kids thought this was OK to do. And then there’s the reason they thought it was OK. ... These young men would never have thought something like this was OK unless it was well-established and accepted within the program.”

Wheaton’s “negligence” and “willful and wanton conduct” the suit claims, has caused Nagy “to suffer ... permanent and severe injuries.”

Wheaton released a statement acknowledging it is a defendant in the lawsuit and saying: “We strongly deny that the College has allowed a permissive environment of hazing or violence, and are confident that it will not be found to have legal responsibility. Wheaton College is committed to providing Christ-centered education in a positive environment for every student.”

Nagy is suing the school for “a sum in excess of $50,000” as well as each of seven players who he claims were involved. But Provencale said “that is the amount required by Illinois law” in an initial filing of this type. Later in the legal process, he said they will amend the complaint “to include compensatory and punitive damages."

"I would not be surprised if it isn’t north of $1 million where the school is concerned," he added.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- An engineer at the firm that designed the ill-fated Florida International University pedestrian bridge left a message for a state transportation official days before the deadly collapse, saying that he had observed a crack in the bridge -- but the message wasn’t heard until after the span fell, officials said.

The worker at FIGG Bridge Engineers left a landline voicemail for an employee of the Florida Department of Transportation on Tuesday, saying he saw some cracking on the bridge but was not concerned from a safety perspective, according to FDOT.

The employee for whom the message was intended was out of the office on assignment and didn’t retrieve the message until he returned to the office on Friday, said FDOT officials who released the recorded message and a transcript.

“Calling to, uh, share with you some information about the FIU pedestrian bridge and some cracking that’s been observed on the north end of the span, the pylon end of that span we moved this weekend,” the FIGG engineer said in the message.

“Um, so, uh, we’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that.”

FDOT said the FIU design-build team has solely responsible to identify and address life-safety issues and to notify DOT.

“At no point during any of the communications above did FIGG or any member of the FIU design build team ever communicate a life-safety issue,” FDOT said in an email Friday.

Despite the unheard voicemail, FIU released a statement after midnight on Saturday saying they held a meeting Thursday morning about the cracking in which FIGG engineers, FIU and FDOT representatives were present.

"On Thursday morning (March 15, 2018), at 9:00 a.m., theDesign Build Team of MCM and FIGG, convened a meeting at the MCM trailer, located on the construction site, to discuss a crack that appeared on the structure," FIU said in its statement. "The FIGG engineer of record delivered a technical presentation regarding the crack and concluded that there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge. This meeting lasted approximately two hours and included FIU and FDOT representatives."

The bridge collapsed just hours later.

FIGG issued a statement Friday evening saying it was “heartbroken by the loss of life and injuries.”
“[We] are carefully examining the steps that our team has taken in the interest of our overarching concern for public safety. The evaluation was based on the best available information at that time and indicated that there were no safety issues,” FIGG said in its statement. "We will pursue answers to find out what factors led to this tragic situation, but it is important that the agencies responsible for investigating this devastating situation are given the appropriate time in order to accurately identify what factors led to the accident during construction."

At a Friday evening press conference, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said his agency was not aware of the crack and its existence had yet to be confirmed.

“I don’t think we know at this point if there was a crack in the bridge,” he said, adding that a crack doesn’t necessarily mean the bridge was unsafe. “That’s still too early in the investigation for us to determine.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- A 37-year-old construction worker and a Florida International University student are among the victims of the Florida bridge collapse that killed at least six people on Thursday.

Navaro Brown was one of three workers from VSL Structural Technologies working at the bridge when the massive structure crumbled to the busy Miami street below, spokesman Mike Biesiada told ABC News.

Brown was killed, and his two colleagues are in the hospital, Biesiada said.

VSL Structural Technologies is a concrete support supplier and installer whose product was used during construction, Biesiada said.

In addition to Brown, 18-year-old Alexa Duran was also killed in the collapse. Duran was driving her SUV under the bridge when the collapse occurred, her sister Dina told ABC News.

The bridge was erected last weekend and was touted by Florida International University as the first of its kind. It stretched over Southwest 8th Street on the campus at 109th Street, a busy intersection where a student was killed last year while crossing the street.

Two members of the Sweetwater Police Department who were among the first to arrive at the scene said they found four unconscious construction workers in the rubble and attempted to revive them, they told ABC News.

Sgt. Adrian Mesa and Sgt. Jenna Mendez said they used backboards to pull the workers off the bridge.

It is unclear if the VSL employees were among those workers.

The death toll may rise as responders work to sift through the wreckage and potentially find more victims inside crushed vehicles, officials said on Friday.

"The engineers are working at it in a very tactical way," Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, said in a press conference. "The structure is fragile and could be dangerous to rescue personnel."

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Closings and Delays

On Facebook
Recent Tracks
Loading ...
Lost & Found Pets
Community Involvement
  • ReMax Ribbon Cutting Ceremony ReMax Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • Kroger is ready! Kroger is ready!
Tune In Deals