iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The two-star general in charge of the Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missile fleet was repeatedly drunk and exhibited boorish behavior during an official visit to Russia this past summer, an Air Force investigation has concluded.
Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was relieved of his command of the 20th Air Force this past October for a “loss of confidence” while the Air Force’s Inspector General investigated allegations of unspecified personal misconduct during the trip.
According to a redacted copy of the investigation’s final report released Thursday, the inspector general concluded that his behavior during the trip to Russia, “exceeded the limits of accepted standards of good conduct and behavior.”
Because of the report’s conclusions, Carey received a “letter of counseling” and is currently serving as a special assistant to the commander of the Air Force’s Space Command, Gen. William Shelton.
In a statement, Shelton said Carey’s behavior during the trip “was an unfortunate incident” and that “Major General Carey has otherwise served the nation extremely well.” However, he determined that “further command action” was needed in addition to Carey’s removal from command of the 20th Air Force. That unit oversees the three Air Force wings that control the nation’s 450 ICBM’s that are scattered in missile silos across the northern plain states.
In mid-July, Carey headed an official delegation to Moscow as part of a nuclear security training exercise with Russian military counterparts.
The other members of the delegation interviewed for the Air Force investigation said that throughout the four-day exercise Carey consumed alcohol regularly. They said Carey slurred his speech during meetings and at one point “needed assistance standing.”
Carey was also late for meetings and investigators concluded that Carey was, “frequently rude to both his fellow delegates and to his Russian hosts during the exercise and briefings.” During one meeting he made comments about Syria and Edward Snowden that seemed to bother the Russians, witnesses said.
During one luncheon a witness described Carey as having become inebriated during a round of successive toasts. At one point Carey “announced that the reason he had been late [that] morning was that he had met two hot women at the bar the night before.”
Other members of the delegation raised questions about Carey’s interactions with two “foreign national women” over several nights at various Moscow night spots. The women -- one Russian, another British -- said they worked for a British executive travel agency, according to the report.
Carey told investigators he was suspicious as to why the women hung out with him during the trip and upon his return he turned their business cards over to the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations.
The inspector general concluded that Carey, “engaged in inappropriate or improper behavior when he chose to meet up with and continued to associate with the foreign national women...given his own acknowledgement that the women were suspect.”
Carey told investigators that no one on his delegation had raised questions about his behavior during the trip. Yet, quotes from the other members of the delegation given to investigators show how aghast they were at his behavior.
One said, “I wanted to crawl under the table.” Another recalled, “The Russians were looking at him like, 'Are you crazy?'"
One of the witnessed said of Carey’s behavior, “I’ve never been more embarrassed professionally in my life with a senior member.” Still another recalled thinking “when the conference was done and we were in the airplane I didn’t want to have anything to do with him.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama Thursday commuted the sentences of eight men and women convicted of crack cocaine offenses, each of whom has served more than 15 years in prison.
“Commuting the sentences of these eight Americans is an important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice and fairness,” the president said in a written statement.
The Obama administration has long pushed to change what it considers to be unduly harsh sentences issued under an outdated sentencing regime. In 2010, the president signed the bipartisan Fair Sentencing Act, which narrowed the disparity between penalties for crack and powder cocaine offenses.
“This law began to right a decades-old injustice, but for thousands of inmates, it came too late. If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” Obama said Thursday.
The president also called on lawmakers to act on sentencing reform measures. “Together, we must ensure that our taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, and that our justice system keeps its basic promise of equal treatment for all,” he said.
Obama also granted pardons to 13 others for a range of crimes, including mail fraud, money laundering and bank robbery.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
U.S. Department of Justice(NEW YORK) -- U.S. officials warned Thursday of an "urgent" need to stop the increasing "slaughter of magnificent creatures" around the world, as they announced a "significant" step toward fighting animal poaching.
Earlier Thursday, a Chinese businessman pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to leading a ring that smuggled horns, tusks, and ornamental cups and figurines made from endangered rhinos or elephants to China.
"We really do face an urgent challenge in trying to stem the ongoing slaughter of rhinos and elephants and other wildlife," Dan Ashe, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in announcing the plea.
So far this year, 940 rhinos have been killed in South Africa alone and "that slaughter continues to escalate," Ashe said.
It's part of a multibillion-dollar black market, funded by "the brutality of animal poaching," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. And while such poaching used to be the work of small-scale opportunists, it is now a "coordinated slaughter commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates," according to Robert Dreher, the acting head of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Citing "a mounting crisis," Dreher called Thursday's announcement "one of the most significant prosecutions that we have ever engaged in."
Thursday Zhifei Li, 28, admitted that he directed Chinese antique dealers inside the United States to find auction houses and brokers – as far away as Israel – who were selling rhino horns and items made from such horns. Those dealers, being paid by Li, would then ship the animal parts and artifacts overseas from a U.S. post office in New Jersey, where the items would be hidden in porcelain vases, according to court documents previously filed in the case.
Over the past two years, Li conspired to smuggle more than 30 horns and artifacts to China, with buyers there paying more than $17,000 a pound, Li told a federal judge in New Jersey as he pleaded guilty to 11 charges against him.
Earlier this year, Li flew to Florida for the Original Miami Beach Antique Show where he allegedly agreed to buy two endangered black rhinoceros horns for $59,000 from a supposed dealer. The two met in a Miami Beach hotel room, and Li allegedly asked if even more horns could be mailed to him overseas. However, Li was actually meeting with an undercover agent from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, according to court documents previously filed in the case.
Fourteen others have been arrested in connection with the smuggling ring.
As part his plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Li has agreed to forfeit $3.5 million and now faces decades in prison.
"Regardless of whether the horns that Li smuggled were sawed off the carcass of a rhino last year or yesterday or a decade ago, they're the product of a senseless and terrible slaughter," Ashe said in a conference call with reporters. "It's our hope that this conviction will serve as a warning to other traffickers that they will be tracked down and they will be held accountable for their crime."
The case against Li was the result of "Operation Crash," a nationwide effort led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Justice Department to prosecute those involved in the trade of endangered rhino horns. Due to an international agreement signed in 1973, certain wildlife, fish and plants can't be shipped from the United States without prior approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In July, President Obama signed an executive order establishing a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, charged with developing a national strategy for combating the black-market trade of endangered animals.
"The survival of protected wildlife species such as elephants, rhinos, great apes, tigers, sharks, tuna, and turtles has beneficial economic, social, and environmental impacts that are important to all nations," the executive order reads. "Wildlife trafficking reduces those benefits while generating billions of dollars in illicit revenues each year, contributing to the illegal economy, fueling instability, and undermining security."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStock/Thinkstock(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) -- About a dozen students at a California high school may face disciplinary action for allegedly hacking into the school computer system to change their grades, a school official said Thursday.
School district officials are currently working with the Newport Beach Police Department to investigate the incident at Corona del Mar High School, according to district spokeswoman Laura Boss.
“On Tuesday, December 17, 2013, Corona del Mar High School administration became aware of an issue regarding student misconduct with grades,” Boss said in a statement. “It appears some students hacked into school computers to change grades and access tests.”
A preliminary investigation suggests the students received a hacking device known as a “keystroke logger” from a private tutor, who instructed them how to use it to record passwords and other confidential information from teachers, Boss told ABC News today.
“We do not believe Corona del Mar high school staff were involved in this incident,” she said. The teachers “are extremely disheartened that students would take advantage of them like this and violate their trust.”
The Newport Beach Police Department identified the tutor Thursday as Timothy Lance Lai of Irvine, Calif. His current whereabouts are unknown and authorities are seeking to question him, police said.
While teachers and district officials have expressed outrage about the incident, some students had a slightly different take.
Student Mitch Evans told ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC that he admires the ingenuity of the students who did this.
“I think it’s pretty cool. I know Bill Gates, I believe, used to hack into classes and put himself in the class with the most women in it when he was in high school. So I think it takes a lot of aptitude to be able to get into the system,” Evans said.
School officials begged to differ.
Boss noted that the activity was illegal, so if the students are found to have perpetrated the hacking, then in addition to disciplinary action from the school district, they may face criminal charges.
The students also violated ethical standards as well, she said.
“Honesty and integrity are cornerstones of the quality educational program at CdM. The students engaging in this unlawful conduct have failed to meet those standards and should be ashamed of their behavior,” she said in the statement.
The district is expected to decide on the fate of the students once the investigation concludes, which Boss says will likely be after the school’s winter holiday.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The "diplomatic nightmare" touched off by the arrest in New York of an Indian consular official is all a big mistake, a defense attorney told ABC News even as the prosecutor issued a strongly-worded defense of the arrest.
Devyani Khobragade, her attorney Dan Arshack said, did nothing wrong, is entitled to immunity from prosecution and believes the State Department will make her case disappear before her next court appearance in January.
"From the beginning this was a diplomatic nightmare," Arshack said.
Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Khobragade "clearly tried to evade U.S. law designed to protect from exploitation the domestic employees of diplomats and consular officers."
Khobragade, 39, was accused of submitting falsified documents to obtain a work visa for a nanny, promising to pay $4,500 per month but in reality paying just $573 per month, little more than three dollars an hour.
Arshack said the Diplomatic Security Service agent who reviewed the visa application misread it. He said the monthly $4,500 is Khobragade's salary. According to the attorney the nanny was to be paid $9.75 per hour. She was paid $3.31 per hour because she had asked the balance be sent directly to relatives in India.
Khobragade was arrested outside her daughter's Manhattan school after she dropped off her daughter for class. Indian officials have complained she was strip-searched and held in a cell with common criminals, procedures in line with the policies of the United States Marshals Service.
The crisis has reached the highest levels of American government. Secretary of State John Kerry has tried to smooth things over by "expressing regret."
"As a father of two daughters about the same age as Devyani Khobragade, the secretary empathizes with the sensitivities were are hearing from India," the State Department said in a statement.
But Bharara gave no indication he would back down.
"One wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse," he said.
According to sources familiar with the case, the nanny disappeared from the Khobragade home back in June. Khobragade contacted the State Department because the terms of the nanny's visa required her to work as a domestic employee or return to India. In July the nanny showed up at Safe Horizons and asked Khobragade to pay her money, let her out of her job and arrange a new visa that would allow her to stay in the country on her own, requests the diplomat refused.
Khobragade was released last week on $250,000 bail. Defense attorney Arshack said she is immune from prosecution.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
ABC News(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) -- The family of a medical resident now missing for two weeks holds out hope that police will find her in time for Christmas.
Dr. Teleka Patrick, 30, a first-year medical resident at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., received a suspicious call the day before she vanished, her loved ones told ABC News. Family members said Patrick's demeanor changed after she received the call, but they didn't know who it was from.
"The police are working and putting together the pieces for me," Patrick's mother, Irene, said.
Patrick was last seen Dec. 5 around 8 p.m. on surveillance footage as she returned from an evening out and tried to get a room at a Kalamazoo Radisson hotel. Her parents, who say they do not know why she was at the hotel, said she was turned away because she didn't have enough money for the room.
Patrick took a hotel shuttle to her car, a gold Lexus, which was found two hours and 20 minutes later in a ditch more than 100 miles away in Portage, Ind. Patrick was reported missing when she didn't show up for work the next day.
"The Indiana State Police, they have gone out in the area looking all over, looking for any clue related to this case," Kalamazoo Sheriff Richard Fuller said.
Investigators found Patrick's purse and cellphone at the medical center, only adding to the mystery and leaving her family desperate for answers.
"We keep getting closer to Christmas, and it keeps getting further and further away," Patrick's sister, Tenesha, said.
There's a $10,000 reward for information leading to Patrick's whereabouts. Those with any information are urged to call the Indiana State Police at 219-696-6242 or the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department at 269-383-8748.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hackers gained access to the Washington Post's servers, obtaining employee usernames and passwords, company officials said Wednesday.
Newspaper officials believe the encroachment may have lasted "a few days at most," the Post reported.
The instance marks the third time in three years that hackers have gained access to company information. Mandiant, a cybersecuity contractor, monitor's the Post's networks.
Though company passwords are encrypted, all employees were asked to change their usernames and passwords in the event hackers were able to decipher the information. Officials did not see any evidence that more personal data, such as credit card or Social Security numbers, were obtained.
The company suspected that Chinese hackers may be to blame for the latest hack, based on a similiar instance in 2011 where the newspaper, along with the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, was a target. A server used by the Post's foreign staff was compromised in the recent incident, which eventually spread to other servers.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images(WEXFORD, Penn.) -- One Pennsylvania resident received a bargain when a $140 ticket won him a million dollar Picasso piece at an international raffle Wednesday.
Jeffrey Gonano, 25, from Wexford, won Pablo Picasso's 1914 "L'Homme au Gibus," or "Man With Opera Hat" after buying one of 50,000 tickets sold online in a fundraiser, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
"I never thought I would win, I just saw a news article on Yahoo and bought a ticket," he told the Tribune-Review. "I don't even know why."
Gonano was on the hunt for a new art piece for his home. He has no plans to showcase the work on his wall and said he may lend it to a museum for display.
A computer in Paris' Sotheyby's picked the winning ticket, which was up for sale by an association working to preserve the city of Tyre in Lebanon.
Participants from across the globe took part in the raffle, with buyers from France and Kyrgyzstan.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Scott Olson/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Georgia lottery officials said a Mega Millions winner came forward Wednesday to claim her share of the $636 million jackpot.
Ira Curry, of Stone Mountain, Ga., is $318 million richer and is one of two lucky ticket holders who will split the second-largest jackpot in the game's history.
Lottery officials said Curry purchased the ticket in Atlanta at Gateway Newstand and chose the numbers herself by picking family birthdays and throwing in the lucky number seven.
Georgia Lottery chief executive Debbie Alford said Curry, who has so far stayed out of the spotlight, plans to take the lump sum payout, a cool $123 million after taxes.
A second winning ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif., at Jenny's Gift Shop, California lottery officials said. That person has not yet come forward.
The winning numbers from Tuesday night's drawing were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7.
The $636 million jackpot grew from a modest $12 million prize in October. Twenty-one winless drawings later, it became the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, according to lottery officials. The record jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions prize in March 2012.
Last October, Mega Millions changed its rules to increase the jackpot by lowering the odds of winning. The chance of winning the jackpot is now about 1 in 259 million. Before the rules changed, the odds were 1 in 176 million.
Mega Millions revamped its game after Powerball ticket prices doubled from $1 to $2 in January 2012, accounting for the swelling jackpots and tons of media attention.
Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eldo Kim/Google (BOSTON) -- A Harvard University student accused of sending emails warning of hidden "shrapnel bombs" on campus to get out of taking his final exams was granted bail Wednesday after agreeing to renounce his dual citizenship with South Korean and surrender his passport so he couldn't flee the country.
Sophomore Eldo Kim was also banned from Harvard's campus without specific permission and an escort.
Kim, 20, pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bond. The government was initially concerned about granting him bail because he had dual citizenship with the U.S. and South Korea, and feared that he could flee the country. Kim agreed to renounce his South Korean citizenship and surrender his South Korean passport.
Kim allegedly wrote that two shrapnel bombs had been hidden in several buildings on the campus. No bombs were found on the campus, but the threat created exam-day chaos that led to the postponement of final exams.
"According to Kim, he was motivated by a desire to avoid a final exam," FBI special agent Thomas Dalton wrote in the affidavit.
When Kim heard a fire alarm just before he was slated to take an exam at Emerson Hall, "he knew that his plan had worked,'' the affidavit states.
The four buildings Kim mentioned by name were evacuated as Cambridge and Boston police along with Massachusetts State Police bomb squad technicians swept the campus and examined any unattended bags and backpacks. Kim's alleged threat warned first responders to "be quick for they will go off soon," according to the affidavit.
"guess [sic] correctly," Kim allegedly wrote via Guerilla Mail, which he used to create an anonymous email address, according to a FBI affidavit. The subject line was "bombs placed around campus." Kim then used an internet service called TOR to disguise his computer's IP address in an effort to thwart law enforcement, the affidavit states. But because it was sent using Harvard's server the FBI was at his door within hours of the bomb scare.
No explosive devices were located and students were allowed to return to campus just after 3 p.m.
Kim was brought into federal court Wednesday handcuffed and shackled. He was wearing Harvard University sweatpants, dock shoes and a T-shirt with the letters KHS, which was the initials of his high school in Washington state.
Roughly eight months ago on April 15, two shrapnel bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and wounding more than 260 others.
One accused bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He is currently being held without bail in connection with a sweeping federal indictment charging him with murder and terrorism. He could face the death penalty. He has pleaded not guilty.
His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was also accused in the attack but was killed in a gun battle with police in Watertown days later. The Tsarnaev brothers also lived in Cambridge.
Copyright 2013 ABC ABC News Radio
WFAA(TARRANT COUNTY, Texas) -- The Texas teenager who was spared a prison sentence after a psychologist called him a product of "affluenza" could still serve time in jail if prosecutors have their way.
The Tarrant County District Attorney's office has asked a juvenile judge to incarcerate Ethan Couch, 16, on two counts of intoxication assault for which there has been no verdict.
"The 16-year-old admitted his guilt in four cases of intoxication manslaughter and two cases of intoxication assault. There has been no verdict formally entered. Every case deserves a verdict," District Attorney Joe Shannon said in a statement.
Couch was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation after he caused a fatal accident that left four people dead and two others severely injured. Couch was driving 70 mph in a 40-mph zone when the accident occurred. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentence of 20 years in juvenile hall with parole available after two years.
Afterwards police found he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24, three times the legal adult limit, and had valium in his system.
Psychologist G. Dick Miller argued during Couch's trial that the teen was a product of too much privilege and had never been reprimanded for his actions and therefore was not responsible for his actions, calling him a product of "affluenza."
In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper after the sentencing, Miller said he regrets that assessment.
ABC News has learned from county court records that both of Couch's parents had a number of previous charges from alleged misdemeanors, most of them traffic-related.
Couch's mother, Tonya, had five charges while his father, Fred, had 22 incidents, dating as far back as 1989. The charges against the couple were sometimes dismissed or paid with fines.
The parents face civil lawsuits from the families of the victims -- Brian Jennings, 43, Breanna Mitchell, 24, Shelby Boyles, 21, and her mother, Hollie Boyles, 52.
Authorities said Couch and friends were seen on surveillance video June 15 stealing two cases of beer from a store. While driving his Ford F-350, Couch slammed into Mitchell, whose car had broken down, and Jennings and the two Boyles, who had all come to Mitchell's aid.
Eric Boyles, the wife of Hollie Boyles and father to Shelby Boyles, told ABC News on Saturday that he never believed that Couch could receive just probation for his sentence.
"At some point there should be some level of accountability for their actions," Boyles said. "I'm not sure how our justice system has gotten to this."
Before the final sentencing, Boyles and other families of the victims were able to directly address Couch and the judge, but Couch never spoke to the families.
"Nowhere in this process did Ethan ever say to the families, to the court, 'I'm so sorry for what happened,'" said Boyles. "Nowhere did Ethan express any remorse or anything."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Courtesy Craig Rubin(LOS ANGELES) -- Amid the floral floats, spirited marching bands, and high-stepping equestrian units at next year’s Tournament of Roses Parade, a gay couple is set to marry.
On New Year’s Day, with tens of millions watching, the two grooms – Aubrey Loots, 42, and Danny Leclair, 45, of Los Angeles, -- will profess their love on a giant wedding cake-shaped float, a first in the parade’s 125-year history.
“No sense of doing it small,” said Danny Leclair on the phone from his office in Los Angeles.
A play on the parade’s 2014 theme “Dreams Come True,” and sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the float will celebrate same-sex marriage and the role it can play in helping to reduce new HIV infections among gay men.
The Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to strike down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act is what many gay couples like Leclair and Loot have been waiting for.
The two – together for 12 years – celebrated a commitment ceremony five years ago. The two hoped for something more.
The opportunity to get hitched presented itself in October when Leclair attended a same-sex wedding expo and applied for a chance of a lifetime – the chance to marry on top of the 2014 Roses Parade.
Leclair submitted an application and quickly fired off a text to his boyfriend with the picture of two grooms accompanied with the phrase “will you marry me.” Five weeks later the two were selected.
For a couple accustomed to living a spontaneous life, the unorthodox wedding announcement “didn’t surprise a lot of friends,” said Leclair laughing.
Shortly afterwards, the two were peppered with warm thoughts and well wishes from around the world on their Facebook page.
Leclair and Loots will be married by a minister as they pass down Colorado Avenue in Pasadena.
Leclair said he’s unsure what the two will wear, but promised their outfits will incorporate their own personal style.
And to make the ceremony more personal, Leclair said that he will read one of his favorite Nelson Mandela quotes in homage to the South African civil rights leader and Leclair's boyfriend, who both are from South Africa.
Although California permits same-sex marriage, there is no same-sex marriage in 34 states and the rights of gay couples are restricted in many part of the country.
“We are standing up to all that,” said Leclair, who hoped the opportunity of tying the knot in front of a worldwide audience of about 80 million will expand the conversation on gay and lesbian rights. "We are standing up on that cake so that we hope it will expand the conversation.”
Leclair added, “We’re responsible for changing people’s minds. We need to say whom we love without shame.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
(File Photo) Tyler Finck/Flickr/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- A blind man who was expecting to soon have to part with the guide dog that saved him and stayed by his side after the man fell onto New York City subway tracks gets to keep his loyal dog after all, thanks to several anonymous donors.
"Orlando is my best buddy, he's my pal," Cecil Williams said at an emotional news conference Wednesday. "He's always with me. When I travel on a train or bus, he's next to me. He's always watching out for me. He's always looking for me. That's his job."
Williams, 61, and his black lab Orlando were on a subway platform Tuesday morning when Williams lost consciousness and fell in front of an oncoming train. Orlando jumped onto the tracks to help his master and Williams credits the dog with saving him.
It soon came out that the man and his beloved dog could soon be separated. Orlando will be 11 years old in January, and that means he'll be retiring soon. Williams' medical benefits will cover the cost of a new dog, but not a non-working dog, so he said he would be looking for a good home for his lifesaving companion.
Supporters quickly rallied to help the man keep his dog. Several anonymous donations have been made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the guide dog school that trained Orlando, Williams said at the press conference at St. Luke's Hospital, where he is being treated for minor injuries.
"The spirit of giving, Christmas and all that there -- it exists here and it's in New York. It's a time to rejoice," Williams said. "I appreciate that people got together and helped me to keep Orlando. It is going to cover him for the rest of his life."
Williams and Orlando's frightening fall happened on Tuesday morning.
"The A train was coming real slowly, and he got too close to the edge," witness Matthew Martin told ABC's New York station WABC. "All of a sudden, he just fell on the tracks."
The man and dog lay down in the space between the tracks as the train approached. The engineer was able to stop the train but not before it traveled over Williams and Orlando.
Members of the Fire Department of New York safely removed them from the tracks. Williams was taken to a hospital, with Orlando in tow.
"We asked him what his name was. He was able to give us his name, but he was semi-coherent," FDNY Capt. Daniel O'Sullivan told reporters. "He asked us how his dog was doing, and we told him that his dog was fine."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- For people who find their faces splashed across mug shot websites, even if they were later found innocent of the crimes, it can haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Now, lawmakers and even credit card companies are stepping in to help protect people from further humiliation.
Owners of mug shot websites will post the photos released by police departments with the person's name and information. Many then make money by charging people, sometimes hundreds of dollars, to have a mug shot removed. Dozens of these sites exist and can rack up clicks -- BustedMugshots.com alone boasts nearly three million viewers per month.
Michael Needham said the mugshot from his DUI arrest in Georgia ended up on one of these websites and now pops up with every Internet search of his name.
"Stuff follows you forever and it feels like I'm a little fish in a big pond," he said. "It's hard to fight these mug shot companies. It's hard, I don't even know who to turn to, to try to make these things go away."
The former ROTC cadet now runs a moving business and hires college students, but fears he will never escape his past.
"It's ridiculous to have one small chapter of your life affect a big portion of your life," he said.
What these websites are doing is considered legal. They stand behind "sunshine" laws that allow them to legally download booking photos and other open records from police websites, sometimes the very second those files are released. In some cases, the websites won't remove the mug shots even if the person was cleared of all charges.
And it can be hard to track down the site owners to ask to have the mug shot taken down. Often the contact information listed on these websites leads to dead ends.
Sophia Andrade said she felt violated by mug shot websites that legally published the booking photos from what she said was a false arrest from a domestic dispute. She said she was innocent, and the charge was later cleared from her record, but her mugshot remains online.
"It's like you can't move on with your life," she said. "I mean everybody goes to Google now to see who you are....I'm not a criminal. I'm not charged with anything."
When Andrade asked one of the mug shot websites to keep her photos private, she said they would do it if she paid them $399. She refused and while she was negotiating with one website, her mug shot showed up on others.
"Just to have that online, it's just a constant reminder of my nightmare," Andrade said. "It's not just that I take my photograph down on this site, it comes down on this site and it pops up somewhere else. Over and over again, so when does it stop? What am I paying for?"
When Nightline first told this story earlier this year, Georgia lawmaker Roger Bruce was pushing a bill that would make it a crime for a website to charge someone in Georgia to remove a mug shot photo. After ABC's report, nearly every state lawmaker supported his bill and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed it into law. Georgia joins a handful of states now trying to protect residents who have booking photos.
"Well, you can file a lawsuit now," Bruce said. "Basically what happens now is if your mug shot is out there and you call them, they have 30 days to remove it. If they don't remove it now they are in violation of the law."
Credit card companies are now also pitching in by refusing to process transactions for mug shot website operators. American Express said in a statement to Nightline that it "maintains the right to terminate any relationship that is harmful to our brand. When the sites were brought to our attention, we conducted a detailed review and canceled as appropriate."
PayPal said it now has a new policy, saying there will be an "account suspension of any mug shot site that requires payment for removal."
Even search engine giant Google made headlines when it released a new search algorithm targeting the mug shot website industry. Now mug shot websites are pushed far down the list of average search results.
The owners of BustedMugshots.com are now facing a lawsuit from more than 250,000 people in Ohio accusing the company of "exploiting" their photos for "commercial gain." In an email to Nightline, company CEO Kyle Prall said he is providing a public service, saying, "We feel that public's right to know about local arrests and crime outweighs this concern, which is one of the main reasons the public records laws have determined these records must be disclosed to the public."
Prall told Nightline in March that his company removes photos for free when the person shows they have been exonerated, but now BustedMugshots.com no longer accepts payment for any photo removal.
"We are in the process of altering our arrest record removal policy and are unable to remove this record at this time. Effective immediately, we will no longer be accepting payment for any record removal," Prall said in an email.
Other mug shot website owners did not return Nightline's request for comment.
Bruce said the next step is to force the websites to display real contact information so people can call to get their photos removed.
"I'm convinced that they know what they are doing is wrong and their time is running out," he said, adding that he hoped they would "all be gone" in a few years.
Sophia Andrade has become the face and emotional fire in the fight against the mug shot website industry. She was in Georgia when the governor signed the new law, and she has started a nonprofit group to help other families fighting the websites.
"You are defending yourself as long as the picture is out there," she said.
Michael Needham said getting his life back on track would be a lot easier if his mug shot wasn't chasing him online.
"People make mistakes," he said. "Those mistakes shouldn't hold a person back for the rest of their life."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A California medical consultant says he's lucky to be alive after he passed out on a cross-country flight, turned blue and had no sign of a pulse.
A doctor who was sitting behind Thomas Lecoq did chest compressions to revive him and was about to treat him with a defibrillator when Lecoq suddenly began breathing again.
The last thing Lecoq, 70, remembers before he lost consciousness on the flight from Phoenix to Charlotte last Friday was chatting with a fellow passenger who bought him a drink.
Lecoq, who was going to Charlotte for business, said the 7-Up and whiskey he had on the flight was his only alcoholic beverage and that his body gave him no sign something was about to go terribly wrong.
"I just fell over I guess. I don't have any memory until I was coming to," he told ABC News.
Lucky for Lecoq, Dr. Maeve O'Connor, an allergist from Charlotte who is trained in advanced cardiac life support, was seated in the row behind him.
"He was just a really lovely man, joking and laughing with the passenger next to him," O'Connor said. "All of a sudden his co-passenger turned around and looked at me. I looked at Tom and his head slumped back in the seat."
As O'Connor exited her row and went to help Lecoq, she said his face had turned pale while his lips were blue.
"He had no pulse. I checked multiple times," she said. "I tried to wake him up and when I realized that wasn't going to happen, I asked for help to get him down on the ground."
Along with three other passengers, O'Connor said she laid Lecoq in the emergency exit row and began performing chest compressions.
Just as O'Connor was about to give Lecoq's heart a jump start with a defibrillator, the doctor said she felt Lecoq's heart start beating again.
"He started doing this breathing, grunt sort of thing," O'Connor said. "He had a beautiful bounding pulse. It was nothing and there it was."
O'Connor, who said she was still perplexed by what caused Lecoq to lose consciousness, said she advised the flight crew that they should continue with a planned emergency landing in Nashville.
"We didn't know if he had a seizure or a stroke or possibly a heart attack," O'Connor said.
Lecoq remembers coming back into consciousness on the airplane and the sensation that he didn't have control over his arms and legs.
"It was like I had zero strength and almost no communication with them," he said.
When they landed, Lecoq was transferred from the care of O'Connor and taken to a hospital in Nashville where doctors ran a battery of tests on him to find out what went wrong.
Lecoq said doctors determined he was severely dehydrated. He remained hospitalized overnight while his daughter, Amee, who also works with him, traveled to be by her father's side.
The duo then continued on to Charlotte where Lecoq said he was able to accomplish everything he wanted to on his business trip, only just a day later.
Now back in California for the holidays, Lecoq said he's feeling great and just has some soreness from the chest compressions. He plans to even resume his business trips in the new year.
"Amee is prepared to take the business over, but I don't think we'll need that anytime soon," Lecoq said, laughing. "I'm very, very happy to be here."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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