May 31, 2012
A Maricopa County medical examiner’s report said a jail inmate who was left on life support last December after being subdued by officers and tasered, had died of complications from cardiac arrest.
Except the long-awaited report on the death of Ernest Atencio does not answer the question of exactly how he died. Was it homicide, an accident or was it due to natural causes? The medical examiner’s report concluded the cause of death was “undetermined.”
Atencio, who was a 44-year-old veteran, was arrested by Phoenix police the night of Dec. 16 after behaving erratically. Surveillance video from the Fourth Avenue Jail showed an argument with several Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detention officers and Phoenix police officers that began about 90 minutes after two officers brought Atencio to the jail. The video shows one Phoenix officer putting Atencio in a chokehold and wrestling him to the ground. About 10 officers then pile on Atencio; an MCSO detention officer is seen holding a taser against Atencio’s body to impose pain.
Approximately 45 minutes later the video shows jail employees dragging Atencio’s limp, naked body out of a jail cell. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he died Dec. 20 after his family had him removed from life support.
The medical examiner’s report cited “acute psychosis, law enforcement subdual and … multiple medical problems” as contributing to Atencio’s death. But the report concluded the cause of death could not be determined. The autopsy done by the medical examiner is not the full report. The full report has not been released yet.
Attorney Michael Manning, who deals with inmate death lawsuits, has said the Atencio family intends to file a notice of claim, the precursor to a lawsuit, over Atencio’s death.
May 29, 2012
On Saturday a horrendous zombie like attack occurred and was stopped after a police officer shot the attacker several times. Witness Larry Vega noticed the attack and flagged down a passing police officer. A naked man eating another naked mans face. When the police officer told the attacker to stop, the attacker acknowledged him and just continued. The attacker was identified as Rudy Eugene.
Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar said he suspects Eugene was under the influence of “bath salts.” Four other drug use instances in Miami-Dade bear resemblances to Saturday’s attack. “It causes them to go completely insane and become very violent,” said Augilar. Emergency room physician at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Dr. Paul Adams, said the drug makes users delirious. They exhibit elevated temperatures and extreme physical strength. Also, users have been known to use their jaws as weapons.
“Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting or snorting ‘bath salts’ containing synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions,” according to the NIDA report.
Drug Enforcement Administration in October made possession of the stimulants in bath salts, Mephedrone, 3, 4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone, illegal under an emergency order. The order lasts for a year.
The victim from the Saturday’s attack, whom police have not identified yet, was in critical condition at Jackson Memorial on Monday. Augilar said that 75% to 80% of his face was missing.
What are your thoughts?
May 24, 2012
A UPS van full of illegal immigrants was stopped in Niland, California on Tuesday. U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped the driver as he tried to evade a highway checkpoint near the Mexican border. The UPS van looked like a valid deliver vehicle except for the company decal on the back door, it was slightly crooked. The driver was a U.S. citizen, Daniel Lopez and he is now being charged for illegal transportation of aliens in the federal court.
The illegal immigrants told authorities that they had agreed to pay 5-8K each to be smuggled into the United States. Last year, a white van with 13 illegal immigrants dressed as Marines were stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint near San Diego, CA. The Border Patrol agent had previously served as a Marine and he was not fooled by these imposters.
In the last couple of years, smugglers have used fake vehicles like the UPS van to transport illegal immigrants. Signs that can give these vehicles away are misspellings on company logos and crooked decals.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever seen a deliver vehicle of any sort that just didn’t look right?
What are your thoughts? Have you ever seen a deliver vehicle of any sort that just didn’t look right?
May 23, 2012
An 81-year-old Lucienne Touboul again faces a dilemma for animal hoarding. Deputies went to the home about 6 a.m. on Wednesday because Touboul had an outstanding warrant related to an incident two years ago. She was arrested Wednesday on suspicion for 26 counts of animal neglect and cruelty after it was discovered she was hoarding 64 cats. The cats were evaluated by a veterinarian and are being transferred to the Sheriff’s Office Animal Safe House in the old First Avenue Jail.
The arrest was made almost two years after police found Touboul with more than 104 cats in her residence. At the time, most of the cats had to be euthanized. Three years before that, a judge had ordered Touboul to give up almost all of her cats except a handful. In the 2010 case, the cats showed signs of severe respiratory disease, were severely underweight, and had ruptured eyes due to ulcers. Nine dead cats were found in freezers. There was evidence that some of the cats were used for human consumption.
Touboul admitted to police at the time that she would use the dead cats to make soup. Touboul in 2010 had told The Republic that she froze the deceased cats until a friend visited to help her properly bury them.
Gary Patronek, who founded a research group in Boston to study animal hoarders, previously told The Republic that hoarding can be a coping mechanism. He said animal hoarders often lack insight. They don’t see the filth, dead animals and unlivable conditions obvious to everyone else.
In the past, Touboul told The Republic she was born in North Africa and that her husband and five sons were beheaded in Morocco. Morocco went through a violent nationalist movement in the 1970s but Touboul’s claim is unconfirmed. Touboul moved eventually to Arizona where she worked as a nurse. She has lived in her Wittmann home for 13 years. Touboul is in custody in the Fourth Avenue Jail.
What are your thoughts on hoarding?
May 18, 2012
In Boca Raton, Florida 13 year old named Nickolaus Dent is a caregiver. His mother Janine Helms has been battling HIV for as long as Nickolaus can remember and her health has been getting worse in the last couple of years. He makes sure his mother takes her medication. He often helps her get dressed and at times he has helped her bathe. He is in charge of grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning of the house. Nickolaus’s father died two years ago and since then he has been his mother’s full time caregiver.
Caring for his parent leaves Nickolaus with a small amount of energy to socialize and study for school. “It does make it hard to pay attention in class. Helping her out is a bigger priority than going to school and getting (an) education, because I feel if I don’t have her, I don’t want to go to school. Whatever happens to her happens to me,” he said.
Nickolaus is just one of an estimated 10,000 young children that care for their loved ones in Palm Beach County, Florida, according to American Association of Care giving Youth. The nonprofit organization was founded by county resident Connie Siskowski in 1998. The project is the first of its kind in the nation and its purpose is to intervene early on in the academic lives of youth caregivers.
A report released in 2005 by the National Alliance for Care giving and the United Hospital Fund said there were at least 1.3 million care giving youths between ages 8 to 18 countrywide. It’s a population that has been nearly hidden for several reasons, including the refusal of many sick parents to go public with their medical condition.
Special classes that are led by a mental-health professional or social worker cover topics such as coping with stress, coping with anger, managing finances and setting goals. Periodic field trips and overnight camps offer recreational, social and educational activities. The program also helps the children’s teachers and school administrators become more aware of the circumstances and how it can lead the student to truancy, absenteeism and dips in academic performance. The hope is to lessen the negative effects such as anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation that care giving responsibilities can have on a child.
“No child in the United States should have to drop out of school because of care giving. These children suffer silently behind closed doors. … They don’t have the help and the support and the recognition that they need,” said Siskowski.
Nickolaus joined the program last year and the group provided him with a computer, a bed, clothing and tutoring to better help him. He has now raised his grades and aims to make the honor roll in his school. He was also able to attend the group’s overnight camp while a nurse’s aide stayed with his mom. “I found out there are more people that do the things I do and some do more,” he said. “Now I’m getting A’s and B’s, and I feel more confident in school.”
What are your thoughts? How can the community better help children like Nickolaus?Newer Posts »
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