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Ohio man charged in crash into Charlottesville crowd; 3 dead, 35 hurt

Published: Saturday, August 12, 2017 @ 5:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017 @ 12:30 AM

Ohio man charged with plowing car into Virginia rally crowd

An Ohio man is accused of driving into a crowd of people, killing a 32-year-old Virginia woman and injuring 35 others.

  • Suspect identified as James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee
  • Fields faces second-degree murder, other charges
  • Woman killed is Heather Heyer of Virginia
  • 2 troopers die in helicopter crash linked to incident

UPDATE @ 12:30 a.m. (Aug. 13)

A woman who identified herself as the mother of James Alex Fields Jr. said she was aware her son was headed to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Samantha Bloom said her son sent a text message last week that he had time off work and was going to the rally. Bloom told her son “to be careful” and peaceful, she said.

She and Fields had just moved to the Toledo area from Florence, Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati, she said.

RELATED: Wright State University men’s soccer team returns from Charlottesville, takes to the field

Fields is charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury, the Charlottesville Police Department announced Saturday. He is being held in the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail for the deadly crash at Fourth and Water streets in the city that claimed the life of 32-year-old Heather Hayer and injured 35 others.

RELATED: 3 dead, 35 injured after ‘Unite the Right’ rally sparks violence in Charlottesville

On Saturday, Virginia State Police also connected the deaths of two troopers who died in a helicopter crash to the rally. Police said Lt. Jay Cullen and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates were killed in the crash that happened outside Charlottesville a few hours after the car plowed into the group of people.

The organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville told the Associated Press that the man who drove into the group of counter-protesters “did the wrong thing.” He also criticized law enforcement’s response to the event and its ability to control chaos to allow free speech.

UPDATE @ 9:10 p.m.

A 20-year-old Ohio man is identified as the suspect who rammed a car into a crowd of people Saturday afternoon as they dispersed in Charlottesville.

The suspect is James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, according to Superintendent Martin Kumer with the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail, CNN reported. Fields is held on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death, CNN reported.

A 32-year-old woman who was crossing the street was killed and 19 people were injured, the Associated Press confirmed with hospital officials.

The car allegedly driven by Fields around 2 p.m. plowed into the crowd of counter-protesters of the “Unite the Right” rally, which opposed the state’s decision to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Ohio plates on car that plowed Virginia crowd

FIRST REPORT

A car that plowed into a group of people Saturday afternoon after crowds dispersed in Charlottesville has Ohio plates.

One person was killed and 19 injured when the car that appears to be a gray Dodge Challenger with Ohio plates crashed into a crowd of protesters leaving a “Unite the Right” rally. Officials declared the rally an “unlawful assembly” and shut it down before it began because of clashes between protesters and counter-protesters.

Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The rally was to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(AP)

The driver, whose name has not been released, is in custody, according to state officials.

The Ohio license plate shows a county code of 48 in the bottom left; this corresponds to Lucas County in northwest Ohio, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Toledo is the largest city in the county, which has a border with Lake Erie.

The protest was sparked by the state’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Police: Mom tried to breast-feed after being pulled over on suspicion of DWI

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Mother Tried to Breast-Feed After Pulled Over On Suspicion of DWI

A woman pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated attempted to breast-feed her child while an officer spoke to her, police said.

Natasha Abrams, 27, was pulled over Thursday night in Albuquerque after police observed her driving erratically, KOB reported. As an officer tried to speak to Abrams, he witnessed Abrams attempting to feed her baby, according to the police report. The officer noted Abrams had watery, bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcohol was present.

>> Read more trending news

Abrams told police that she had been looking at her phone when the dog jumped on her, causing her to swerve. She said she had a glass of wine earlier in the day. Abrams failed sobriety tests and blew at or above the legal limit during a breath test, police said.

Abrams was arrested and charged with child endangerment in addition to DWI. The baby was placed in the temporary custody of the grandparents, police said.

Police investigating after ATM stolen by forklift driver

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 1:17 PM

VIDEO: ATM Stolen With Forklift

Authorities in Arkansas are investigating the robbery of an ATM by a forklift driver. 

The incident happened Wednesday at a First Service Bank in Conway. 

The driver of the forklift removed the entire ATM and took an undisclosed amount of money. 

>> Read more trending news

A worker at the First Service Bank told police she noticed damage to the bank when she first arrived to work Wednesday morning. 

Police believe whoever is responsible works at a nearby construction site. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Conway Police Department at 501-450-6130. 

Related

Woman who poured Windex into office coffee maker sentenced to prison

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 1:59 PM

Woman Poured Cleaning Products into Office Coffee Maker

A Virginia woman who admitted putting cleaning products in the coffee maker at her workplace for months was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Mayda E. Rivera-Juarez, 33, who was charged with one count of adulteration of food with intent to injure or kill for the 2016 incident, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison, the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in Leesburg said in a news release.

>> Read more trending news

Rivera-Juarez admitted to pouring Windex and Ajax dish soap into the coffee maker's water reservoir at Jas Forwarding Worldwide Inc., where she worked, WUSA reported. She tampered with the coffeemaker from January 2016 through October 2016, when she was caught in the act on surveillance video after employees suspected the office coffee was making them sick. She was immediately fired.

Authorities said Rivera-Juarez admitted to tampering with the coffee maker in order to make her supervisor ill. She admitted to pouring Ajax dish soap directly into her supervisor's coffee cup, authorities said.

Rivera-Juarez will serve her sentence in the Virginia Department of Corrections, and will then be placed on three years of post-release supervision.

Man who rescued newborn baby abandoned in bushes hailed as hero

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 7:13 AM

Albert Peterson
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez / Harris County Sheriff's Office
Albert Peterson(Sheriff Ed Gonzalez / Harris County Sheriff's Office)

If it weren’t for Albert Peterson, an abandoned newborn baby girl might not be alive today.

>> Mom charged with child abandonment after newborn baby found outside, covered in ants

Peterson is the man who, as he was rushing to work in the early morning hours, took the extra time to check on the muffled noise he heard coming from the bushes along the sidewalk of his Harris County, Texas, apartment complex.

The Houston area was quickly captivated by the story of the baby that Peterson found; CPS even received calls requesting to adopt her, according to KHOU.

>> On Rare.us: Newborn baby girl found in bushes outside apartment complex

After lying outside naked for almost six hours, the baby was near death when Peterson found her covered in ants, authorities said.

Because he saved her life, he’s now been named a hero by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday night, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez gave Peterson a life-saving award to honor his actions.

“It feels good man,” Peterson said in an interview with KHOU. “There ain’t no feeling like it. I wasn’t even expecting this.”

The baby girl is still recovering in the hospital, where she is being treated for a bacterial infection.

>> Read more trending news

Her mother, Sidney Woytasczyk, was charged with child abandonment on Monday.

She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Mom Charged With Child Abandonment After Newborn Found Outside, Covered In Ants