New DPD SWAT robot will save lives, officials say

Published: Monday, December 01, 2014 @ 6:41 PM
Updated: Monday, December 01, 2014 @ 6:41 PM


            Dayton police use SWAT robot
Dayton police use SWAT robot

The Dayton police SWAT team recently purchased a robot that officials say will increase officers’ safety.

Dayton city commissioners approved the purchase of the new robot at a November meeting. The Avatar III tactical robot designed by California-based Robotex Inc. costs nearly $60,000 and is scheduled to be delivered later this month. A third-generation machine, the robot features a specially-outfitted arm capable of opening doors and moving objects. A sophisticated track system allows it to climb stairs and roll over obstacles. It’ll also be equipped with a two-way communication system, allowing officers to speak to suspects holed up inside a building at a safe distance, said Lt. Joe Weisman, commander of the Dayton SWAT team.

“Before the robot, maybe we’d send in a K-9 and obviously a K-9 cannot open doors,” Weisman said. “This is just another progression in technology that’s making it easier and safer for everyone.”

In the past, the SWAT team had to use Dayton police’s bomb squad robot if they didn’t want to use an officer or K-9 during standoff situations. This robot will be used exclusively by the SWAT team, and could be deployed anywhere in the Miami Valley where the SWAT team is requested, Weisman said.

While the robot is similar to a remote-control car and about as easy to use, Robotex President Eric Ivers said it’s a heavy-duty, robust machine that can endure all sorts of tactical uses. Suspects have shot at the robots in the past— another reason he said the machines are safer and far superior to sending an officer in to negotiate or apprehend a suspect.

“You can throw it through a window, you can drive it upstairs, find the bad guy in the dark and have a conversation with him without ever going inside the building,” Ivers said.

Funding for the robot was already approved as part of Dayton police’s 2014 budget. Weisman said the money could come out of the general fund, or the department could use money collected through assets seized by officers. The team will begin using the robot as soon as it is delivered.

“By the time we get it outfitted, it is a lot of money, but saving one life, which I am sure this thing will do, will make it safer over the years and that’s a small price to pay,” he said.

Neighbors of parents accused of holding 13 kids captive describe family as odd, reclusive

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:12 AM

13 Siblings Held Captive In California "House of Horrors"

Neighbors described the reportedly nightmarish situation at the Turpin home, where parents David and Louise allegedly kept their 13 children shackled to their beds and malnourished, as seeming like a “cult.”

Former neighbors said the children were made to march around for hours in the middle of the night, they told the New York Post.

A man named Mike, who did not want to give his full name and was a neighbor of the Turpins when they lived in Murrieta, California, told the Post, “I thought they were like a cult. They would march back and forth on the second story at night. The light would be on the whole time, and they would be marching the kids back and forth.”

>> Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

Mike said he would arrive home late from his job at a hospital and see the children marching through the upstairs rooms of the Turpin home between midnight and 3 a.m.

David and Louis Turpin were arrested Sunday in their Perris, California, home after one of their daughters called police for help, saying she had managed to escape the house with a cellphone. When police arrived, they reportedly found the siblings, ages 2 to 29, living in squalor and looking very thin, with several of the kids shackled to furniture.

Mike said his wife, Myrna, called the family “clones,” saying the Turpins all spoke “robotically, in a monotone and at the same” time during the few occasions on which Myrna interacted with them at a local grocer.

However, Mike told the Post that he and Myrna never called the police because they didn’t see anything that suggested they needed to. They just thought the parents were a bit odd.

Mike, as well former neighbors from when the Turpins owned a farm in Rio Vista, Texas — which the family left due to foreclosure — remarked on the amount of trash that the family accumulated.

“I ended up calling the police because of the trash and everything that was left there,” said former Texas neighbor Randy McClain. “There was a brand new pickup truck covered in [trash] — a whole truck bed full and overflowing to the ground with trash: diapers, Spam cans, potted meat cans, just overflowing.”

The Daily Mail got access to the Turpin’s Perris backyard and found a Disney-themed fountain situated in a messy yard in which “piles of metal pipes could be seen strewn around, along with a rusty set of metal garden furniture and some diaper boxes.”

>> Read more trending news 

Through the screen door, the Daily Mail spied piles of clutter, including what appear to be stacked books, within the house.

Neighbor Leticia Gomez, 45, who lives directly behind the Turpin home, told the Daily Mail that she wasn’t aware there were any kids in the house. She described the Turpins’ garden as unkempt and “scruffy.”

Another neighbor, Andria Valdez, said she did know there were children living in the home and that she had seen them before. She joked that the Turpins reminded her of the vampire family in the “Twilight” books and movies, because they were “really, really pale” and “only came out at night.”

Dogs found in perfect condition in home where 13 siblings held captive

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 1:52 AM

13 Siblings Held Captive In California "House of Horrors"

A pair of well-kept dogs were taken from the Perris, California, house where 13 children were found shackled and severely malnourished last week.

>> Watch the news report here

David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, are facing a minimum of 94 years for charges including child neglect and torture after police said their children, ranging from ages 2 to 29, were discovered in their home severely malnourished.

>> Neighbors of parents accused of holding 13 kids captive describe family as odd, reclusive

In a statement on Wednesday, city spokesman Joe Vargo said authorities recovered two Maltese terrier dogs in far better condition than the Turpins’ children. The 1-year-old female puppies were reportedly healthy and were taught skills, People reported.

“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a press release from the city of Perris said.

>> Read more trending news 

The dogs — one was named Fluffy — were featured in photos from the city appearing well-groomed and in sweaters. An adoption raffle for the pups is being held through Jan. 26 to find them new homes.

Investigators said the children were only allowed showers a few times per year and were fed only once per day. In a press conference with reporters Thursday, District Attorney Mike Hestrin alleged that the last time any of the children had seen a doctor was four years ago and they had never been to a dentist. Police said the parents allegedly kept themselves well-fed and regularly ate pies in front of their children to taunt them, ABC News reported.

>> Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

The 17-year-old who reportedly escaped the home through a bedroom window to alert authorities was initially believed to be just 10 years old due to the severity of her malnourishment, while the oldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82 pounds when the children were found. According to Hestrin, the children “lack a basic knowledge of life,” although they were allegedly homeschooled, KTLA reported.

According to the Daily Mail, the parents face a combined total of 75 charges, and each was being held on $12 million bond.

Dayton detective fires shots; no injuries in Salem Avenue incident

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 1:02 PM

Salem Ave Police Shootout

UPDATE @ 7:30 p.m.

Two people are jailed in connection with an incident late this morning outside Lev’s Pawn Shop in Harrison Twp. that led a Dayton police detective to fire his service weapon.

Joshua A. Craver and William Goodwin, both 18, were arrested at 3351 Salem Ave. by Riverside police on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

William Goodwin(MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)

They are in the Montgomery County Jail awaiting formal charges, online records show. Goodwin also was booked on numerous warrants for misdemeanor and minor misdemeanor infractions.

UPDATE @ 2:05 p.m.

Two people are in custody following an officer-involved shooting late this morning in the 3500 block of Salem Avenue.

No one was injured, and the coroner’s office did not respond to the scene, despite earlier reports.

Law enforcement responded to the area of Lev’s Pawn Shop, 3351 Salem Ave. in Harrison Twp.

Dayton police Maj. Eric Henderson said there were reports that a vehicle was spotted there that may have been involved in an aggravated burglary in Riverside, and that the suspects may have been trying to pawn weapons stolen in that incident.

“While approaching this vehicle there was immediate threat and officers discharged several rounds,” he said.

No one was injured when the Dayton detective fired his service weapon.

There are two, possibly three people in custody, Henderson said. The names and potential charges have not been released.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, Henderson said.

Riverside is investigating the aggravated burglary in its jurisdiction, and the Dayton Police Department is handling its own administrative investigation, police said.

FIRST REPORT

Yellow crime scene tape surrounded Lev’s Pawn Shop this afternoon as part of a police investigation.

Two people were seen in the back of a police cruiser.

Officers were called at 10:47 p.m. by Riverside police to the pawn shop, 3551 Salem Ave., in Harrison Twp., according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center. No information was available on what led police there.

>> 2 arrested in armed robbery at Springfield Verizon store

A witness at the scene told our crew on scene that the incident began as a robbery, but dispatch did not confirm that report.

(JEFF BROWN / STAFF)
We are on scene and will update this report as we learn details.

Suspect indicted in Coldwater stabbing death

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 2:13 PM

Grand jury indicts Francy Majo for Coldwater murder

A 19-year-old Coldwater man is charged with murder in the death of a woman in her apartment earlier this month.

>> Coldwater homicide victim stabbed multiple times, police say

A Mercer County grand jury returned the indictment Friday against Francy Majo. He is accused of killing 47-year-old Sandra Renner Jan. 3 on North Elm Street in Coldwater.

Sandra Renner(Contributed)

Majo was arrested the next morning. According to police, Majo said he stabbed Renner to death.

>> Crime scene tape surrounds Lev’s Pawn Shop

Majo remains held on $1 million cash bond and is due in court Jan. 26 for arraignment.