Video shows good Samaritans help Michigan trooper

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 10:53 PM

Dash cam video has emerged of Michigan State Police Trooper Garry Guild who was attacked by suspects after a chase following a traffic stop. Good Samaritans stopped to help. (Joe Ross / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Joe Ross / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Feb. 20, Michigan State Police Trooper Garry Guild attempted to make a traffic stop on motorcycle driver Michael Barber, 21, when the Barber sped off, which led to a chase.

Barber crashed and began walking toward Guild and ignored his commands to stop.

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WXYZ reported that Barber’s brother, Travis Wise, 19, stopped his vehicle and began attacking Guild, 51.

Now, dashcam video shows good Samaritans helping to save Guild’s life.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Keith Pepple, 50, stepped in to help.

"I got up there, and I grabbed a hold of Barber and threw him off" the trooper, Pepple said. "Everybody went to the ground. I had Barber in a headlock. I looked back and Wise was still choking the officer. I grabbed Wise and put him in a headlock."

Jerry Burnham, 44, and his wife, also helped and were able to assist Guild in getting the men into custody, WNDU reported

"My wife's like 'There's an officer out there!' And then she started yelling that he needed help and told us to stop," Jerry Burnham told WNDU in February. "So, that's what we did."

Guild suffered a neck injury from the incident, as well as a hand injury from accidentally shocking himself with a stun gun during the struggle, but returned to work the next day.

Barber and Wise face multiple charges, including assault by strangulation and attempt to disarm a police officer.

WXYZ reported Monday that Guild is doing much better.

Watch the dashcam video below.

WATCH: Florida man goes airborne after being shot with Taser

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 4:24 PM

A Florida man’s unceremonious meeting with the ground after being shot with a stun gun was caught on camera.  

Carlos Sierra, a 26-year-old homeless man, was on the run from Surfside police in Miami-Dade County after authorities said he stole a bicycle from a condominium's parking garage, WFOR reported.

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When officers arrived to find Sierra with the bike in his hands, he dropped to the ground and allowed the officers to handcuff him and get him back on his feet.  

Sierra tried to run away, while still in handcuffs, before being stopped by a jolt from a stun gun, WFOR reported. The shock sent the man flailing into the air, which led to a forceful, and likely painful, landing in the middle of the road.   

Sierra, who is sporting bloody facial wounds in his mugshot, was charged with burglary, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.

Wrongly convicted man released after 24 years in prison for murder

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:24 AM

A Pennsylvania man was granted freedom Tuesday after spending 24 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

Shaurn Thomas, 43, beamed as he walked out of the Schuylkill County Correctional Facility in Frackville and embraced family members, including his fiancée. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Thomas’ freedom was granted Tuesday morning by a judge who threw out his conviction in the 1990 murder of a businessman in North Philadelphia. 

Prosecutors in the case agreed with Thomas’ defense team that the evidence brought forth at trial did not support his conviction, the Inquirer reported. 

“I felt the justice system was going to prevail sooner or later, and that somebody would hear my cries,” Thomas said during a news conference outside the prison. “And they heard them.”

The people Thomas referred to were lawyers from the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, who took on Thomas’ case eight years ago. His lead attorney was James Figorski, senior staff attorney at Dechert LLP and a former Philadelphia police officer.  

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Thomas was convicted of the slaying of businessman Domingo Martinez, who was shot to death in November 1990 while taking a $25,000 check to be cashed. 

Thomas, then 16, had an alibi. He told authorities from the beginning that he was at a youth study center for juvenile offenders, dealing with the aftermath of an unrelated crime. 

Both Thomas and his mother said they were in court at the time of the murder, awaiting his initial appearance on an arrest the night before for a motorcycle theft, Dechert LLP said in a statement

The sign-in logs from the youth center disappeared before Thomas’ murder trial began. His alibi did not convince the jury, who found him guilty of Martinez’s murder. 

He was sentenced to life in prison in 1993, at the age of 19. 

Figorski, who represented Thomas pro bono, told the Inquirer that he was drawn to the case because he believed Thomas’ alibi. He worked with the Innocence Project to clear his client’s name. 

“Jim has never wavered in his support of Shaurn, and is responsible for uncovering astounding evidence of his innocence,” the Innocence Project said in a news release

The defense team began working in January with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s Conviction Review Unit, which found the case file from the Martinez murder investigation. The file disappeared decades ago.

“In that file were 36 pages of witness statements taken days after the murder for which Shaurn would be arrested years later,” the Innocence Project said. “Those statements point to viable alternative perpetrators.

“Had that information been available at trial -- and had the story of Shaurn’s presence in court at the moment the murder was committed been told correctly -- prosecutors agreed the trial would likely have ended differently.”

Despite his release, prosecutors could choose to refile murder charges against Thomas, the Inquirer reported. They have until June 13 to make their decision. 

In the meantime, Thomas is adjusting to being back with his family. He told NBC10 in Philadelphia that he plans to leave the city.

“Philadelphia caused me too many heartaches,” Thomas said. 

His mother, Hazeline Thomas, said it was difficult knowing that authorities did not believe her or her son. She said her son never gave up on proving his innocence.

“I’m proud because he was innocent and he did something about it,” she told NBC10.

“Family, prayer, hope,” Shaurn Thomas said. “Keep writing. Keep fighting. Never give up.”

Customs officials capture pigeon wearing drug-filled backpack

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 2:24 PM



Andreas Koller / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

Pigeons are historically known for carrying messages. The birds are now being used to carry more dangerous items.

Customs officials in Kuwait nabbed a pigeon this week that had been fitted with a makeshift backpack filled with pills close to the Iraqi border, according to the BBC

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The bird had a total of 178 pills of ketamine, which is often used as a club drug, the BBC reported. 

Customs officials said they are aware of pigeons being used to transport drugs, but “this was the first time they had caught a bird in the act,” according to the BBC. 

1-month-old boy dies after parents didn't check on him for at least 6 hours, police say

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:43 PM

The parents of a 1-month-old Cocoa, Florida, boy were arrested Thursday after investigators claimed their child died because they allegedly failed to check on him for at least six hours.

Superiah Campbell, 19, and Cameron Dowden, 21, were each charged with a count of manslaughter of a child for the May 10th death of their son.

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Cocoa police officers were called to the couple’s apartment unit at about 12:15 p.m. on May 10.

The 911 caller told officials the child had stopped breathing and was cold to the touch, investigators said.

Emergency personnel tried to resuscitate the child when they arrived at the apartment, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

After investigating the child’s death, police said they found that evidence showed the parents had not checked on the child for at least six hours, leading to the discovery of the boy in an unresponsive state.

“By failing to check on the child for over six hours, the defendants consciously did an act, or followed a course of conduct that they must have known, or reasonably should have known, was likely to cause death or great bodily harm,” Cocoa Police Department Detective Debra Titkanich wrote in an affidavit. “Both parents showed a reckless disregard for human life.”

Investigators had not determined an official cause of death but said it appeared the child suffocated.