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Keep it in your pants, trooper

Police Who says South Florida gets all the weird crime news?

A former Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper may face charges for some, uh, inappropriate activity with a porn star after he pulled her over on May 7.

The lady behind the wheel was 21-year-old Justis Richert, better known by her name in the adult-film world: Barbie Cummings.

Cummings Richert bragged on her blog (It's too graphic to link to here, but Google and ye shall find) that she performed oral sex on the trooper AFTER he wrote her a speeding ticket. A tall tale, indeed, but Richert had pics to back it up: The trooper videotaped the encounter and e-mailed it to her a few days later, police said.

The trooper, James Randy Moss, resigned. But now prosecutors are about to slap him with charges of official misconduct and evidence tampering (Richert also says Moss tossed a handful of "happy pills" from her car into the highway brush).

Knoxville District Attorney Tommy Thompson has the money quote: "If he wasn't such an idiot, this case would be his word against hers. It blows my mind."

Posted by Evan Benn at 11:06 PM on May 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

more crime

Crime_writing_2 At its best, crime writing is some of the best storytelling on the planet.

Check out these 16 tales about bar brawlers a churchgoing suburbanite burglar and a few other victims and villains.

The stories are interesting and entertaining. Culled from publications around the country, at the very least they'll reassure you thats its not just South Floridians up to no good.

Posted by Erika Beras at 04:40 PM on May 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

condo celebrities

Based on scientific research (also known as talking to the neighbors), Crime Scene realized people really can't get enough of this condo corruption story in Hallandale Beach.

So much so, people are calling the folks who tracked down the wrongdoing and asking for advice. Need we say more?

Also know that the fourth  person is no longer a mystery. Angel Ramos, a 77 year old maintenance supervisor turned himself in at Broward County's main jail on Sunday.

But perhaps state Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami, put it best. Robaina has pushed for changes to state condo law. He told Crime Scene, "It got a bunch of people excited. They saw it was just a group of owners that were frustrated and decided to take it on."

Posted by Diana Moskovitz at 10:56 PM on May 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

It's a bird, hits a plane

Bird American Airlines Flight 954 gave emergency crews at Miami International Airport a minor scare this afternoon.

The plane struck a bird during its takeoff from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at 2:18 p.m., causing pilots to worry that the impact may have broken the 757's windshield.

The flight, carrying 118 people, was able to continue its 924-mile journey while firefighters and other emergency responders prepared for its arrival at MIA.

The plane landed safely at 5:38 p.m., according to the free, chock-full-o'-information website flightstats.com

Posted by Evan Benn at 06:11 PM on May 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Condo crime

Judging by the flood of e-mails to my Inbox, I'm guessing a lot of folks are following the ongoing condo-corruption probe in Hallandale Beach. It's a story that a lot of people can relate to, even if they haven't been bilked for millions, at least in the sense of "what the heck is my condo board doing?"

Here is how it worked: a condo board president, a condo manager, a contractor and a fourth person purposely brought inflated bids to a board, got them approved, then had the contractor kick back some of the money. The contractor gave back at least $1.4 million, Hallandale Beach police Detective Eric Williams said.

But this board was messing with the wrong residents. Curious and concerned, they threw out the board in an election, cracked open the books and brought a lawsuit. They also went to the police, where the city's economic crimes unit (all of one detective -- Williams) spent 17 months putting the case together.

Now we have three arrests and one more expected. But how could this happen? Staff writer Donna Gehrke-White explains how in this great (if unsettling) explanation of the state's condo laws.

The former board president, 83-year-old Joseph Greenberg, has been charged in connection with the scheme. The two other men arrested so far -- property manager Robert Hittner, 59, and contractor Ira Silver, 62 -- are each charged with one count of organized fraud. A fourth arrest is expected, but police have not named that person yet.

Greenberg's girlfriend says he is innocent.

Posted by Diana Moskovitz at 06:07 PM on May 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Senior prank arrests, nastiness in Illinois

Crime Scene's own Kat McGrory updates us on the Piper High superglue story from earlier this week. Police arrested two teens -- both students at the school -- and charged 'em with criminal mischief and trespassing.

Although we like a good prank as much as the next blog, Crime Scene frowns on shenanigans where the main victims are the hapless janitors who have to clean the mess.

That said, let's hope next year's class of senior pranksters won't get any ideas from this doofus in Illinois. Step away from the ranch, young man...   

Posted by Evan Benn at 10:47 PM on May 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Fishermen find dead body

Boats Two fisherman thought it was odd when they saw a boat floating in a West Miami-Dade canal with no one aboard.

They moved in closer and made a gruesome discovery this afternoon: A dead body in the water nearby. It was in a canal near Southwest 8th Street about 17 miles west of Krome Avenue.

Miami-Dade police are trying to identify the body, described as that of a black man in his 60s, and notify the victim's family. No major wounds or other trauma was visible on the man's body, but an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Posted by Evan Benn at 09:34 PM on May 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Decent pay, and you get a gun

Miamishield360x3602 Want to get behind the crime scene tape for good? The city of Miami is looking to hire new police officers.

Starting salary is about $45,000, plus benefits, a pension plan and a chance to move up the ranks.

Applicants must be at least 19 by Aug. 10, have at least a high school diploma or GED and must pass a police examination. The application window is May 30 through June 15.

The Miami PD website has more info, including the application forms. Also check out more about how to apply at the city's website or by calling 305-416-2050.

Posted by Evan Benn at 10:59 AM on May 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A costly senior prank?

DoornewSomeone superglued about 50 doors at Piper High so they wouldn't open this morning, the Herald's Nirvi Shah reports.

Sure sounds like a senior prank. And a bad one at that: Janitors jumped into action early, replacing all the doors so kids were sitting in classes by 8:30 a.m. 

Broward school officials and Sunrise police are investigating. It may turn out ugly for the pranksters. Last time this happened, at McArthur High, it cost about $30,000 to repair the doors, and two students were arrested.

Posted by Evan Benn at 04:33 PM on May 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Seriously, watch your kids

Pool South Florida's pediatric near-drowning epidemic has grown worse: Three babies are grasping at life after almost dying at their homes this week.

First happened on Thursday night, when a woman found her 1-year-old granddaughter floating unconcious in the family's backyard koi pond. Rescuers were able to restart the baby's heart and rush her to the hospital.

Similar story Saturday night, when a 2-year-old girl went wandering off while adults were having a party at the home. She was floating in an inflatable pool when someone found her. 

Then tonight, a similar scenario happened in Southwest Miami-Dade when two parents lost track of their 2-year-old boy for a minute, only to find him floating in their backyard swimming pool. A 911 dispatcher helped the parents perform CPR until paramedics arrived.

Thankfully, these three kids lived and may have a fighting chance at recovering from these traumas. But for the rescuers who see this all too often in South Florida, it's incomprehensible that parents and guardians haven't learned the lesson yet.

"There is no substitute for supervision," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Eddy Ballester says.

He says it a lot. And it frustrates him that some parents still aren't listening.

With summer approaching and schools about to let out, heed his warning: Keep an eye on your kids.

Posted by Evan Benn at 09:19 PM on May 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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