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Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 11:43 AM
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Roberto Augustin had just finished making a food delivery for Uber on Saturday night when he became lost inside a neighborhood in unincorporated Delray Beach, Florida.
As Augustin tried to find his way out, he was approached by two armed men riding in a golf cart.
“Get out of the car, or we’re going to kill you,” Augustin heard as his body froze in fear.
The men, pointing handguns at his head, ordered Augustin to get on his knees and put his hands in the air. One of the men then fired a warning shot into the air that Augustin said whizzed past his head.
“I thought it was my last day,” said Augustin, 32.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the gunmen weren’t robbers but a pair of community watch members on patrol. The incident took place just before midnight.
Dustyn Brandon Jenkins, 36, and Micah Paul Mercer, 41, told deputies they saw Augustin driving around the Country Club Acres neighborhood — just west of Military Trail and south of Atlantic Avenue — in a “suspicious manner” and that when they approached him, Augustin became aggressive and charged at them. That caused them to draw their weapons and point them at Augustin, they said.
Jenkins admitted firing a warning shot to keep Augustin from fleeing, the report said.
Augustin told deputies he thought Jenkins and Mercer were out to rob him because neither man was wearing any identification and both were in plain clothes.
Augustin said he has been working as an Uber driver for less than six months and was not familiar with the area. Augustin said he was struggling to find a way out when Jenkins and Mercer came at him.
The arrest report shows the incident took place in front of Mercer’s home in the 15100 block of Hayes Road. Country Club Acres’ Facebook page describes it as a community of more than 500 single-family homes established in 1958.
“I was so scared,” said Augustin, who is originally from Haiti. “I didn’t know what they were after. I thought I was going to die.”
Jenkins and Mercer are each facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Jenkins is also facing a charge of firing a weapon in public.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:33 AM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 1:04 PM
LAKE WALES, Fla. —
Lake Wales police are searching for those responsible for igniting two marine flares Sunday evening near the entrance of the JC Penney at the Eagle Ridge Mall Sunday evening.
Firefighters responded to reports of an explosion at the mall on 451 Eagle Ridge Drive around 5:20 p.m.
Firefighters initially said that an improvised explosive device had been detonated in a corridor located next to the mall entrance of JC Penney.
Improvised explosive device detonated near JC Penney at Lake Wales mall https://t.co/4lXFZKQkr6— WFTV Eyewitness News (@WFTV) January 22, 2018
The FBI later determined that there was no explosion and no pipe bombs were discovered. Officials also said that the incident didn’t appear to be terrorism-related.
"It appears two items, believed to be marine flares, were ignited in a mall hallway, creating a large amount of smoke, and a backpack was located at the scene," said Andrea Aprea, an FBI spokeswoman. "Bomb technicians examined the contents of the backpack and determined it did not contain any incendiary or explosive devices."
A witness who called 911 told WFTV that she heard a fire alarm sound and saw orange smoke billowing from an object.
The mall was evacuated. No one was injured, but a ceiling and a wall were damaged by the flares, officials said.
After speaking with witnesses, police said they are looking for a person of interest described as a stocky, middle-aged white man wearing a gray shirt and a hat.
Detectives said they will review surveillance footage recorded at a jewelry store in the mall.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 1:45 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. — Four children were shot Sunday at Willows Park near Evans High School, the Orlando Police Department said.
Someone called 911 to report that three gunmen shot at a crowd at 3101 Willow Bend Blvd. around 6:15 p.m., police said.
Three teenage girls who were shot in the leg were taken to a hospital.
Police said a fourth victim went to a hospital later and investigators linked the child's injuries to the shooting.
Keniesha Hunt, a nurse who lives nearby, said she ran to the park after hearing gunfire to help the victims.
Hunt said the girls begged her to save them, saying that they didn't want to die. She assured them they wouldn't.
"My hope ... is that they find them," Hunt said. "It can't keep happening. ... You have to be mindful of other people."
Officials did not say how serious the children's injuries were.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 8:39 AM
HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Police in Henry County searched a hotel in McDonough on Monday morning after getting reports of an armed man at the hotel.
Video: HUGE police, deputy presence at Home 2 Suites on Mill Rd. in McDonough. Officers say man entered business w/ guns, said concerning things to employees. pic.twitter.com/YbhhVoabTG— Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) January 22, 2018
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 6:30 AM
Although the children in the home, ages 2 to 29, were only allowed to bathe twice a year and eat once a day, they were allowed to write in journals, authorities said. District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a press conference that the children kept hundreds of journals, and he believes they will be “very significant” in the upcoming court case, the Desert Sun reports. Hestrin added that he thinks the journals will provide “strong evidence of what occurred in that home.”
Researchers are also interested in the journals as they detail the firsthand accounts of the alleged abuse. One academic told the Desert Sun: “There is a good chance that being able to write may have kept them sane. In an interesting way, this may have helped them come to terms with the bizarre world they lived in.” He even compared them to the journals kept by Anne Frank.
The journals could prove valuable for prosecutors as they might provide evidence that could be used to cross-examine the parents, David and Louise Turpin. The Turpins are facing life in prison for a series of charges, including torture.
The journals have not been made public, and law enforcement officials are currently in the process of reviewing them.
The conditions in the home were unimaginable, authorities said. The children reportedly were beaten and chained to furniture. Neighbors recalled seeing them marching during the night. They were discovered when one girl escaped and managed to find a police officer, authorities said.