Wright-Patt employees can't bring handguns to work 

Published: Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 3:00 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 7:14 PM

A man who drove onto Wright-Patterson without proper identification was stopped on base after a security agent activated an alarm that temporarily closed all gates in Area A on Thursday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman.
Staff Writer

Workers at the states’s largest single-site employer, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, won’t be allowed to bring their handguns to work even though a new state law says employees with concealed-carry permits can keep their guns in locked cars on company property.

RELATED: Guns at work: New law allows handguns on private property

“Wright-Patterson AFB is an exclusive federal jurisdiction and therefore CCW holders are not authorized to carry privately owned weapons on base,” said Daryl Mayer, media operations sections chief at the base, which employs about 27,000 people.

Other federal employers, such as the U.S. Postal Service, also are exempt from a state law that drew deep objections from business leaders.

RELATED: CCW Expansion is latest effort to broaden gun laws in Ohio

In the legislation, the Ohio General Assembly in December expanded the CCW law to overrule private employer’s “no-guns” policies. The law, which takes effect Tuesday, March 21, does not require businesses to let employees bring guns inside their buildings.

Federal employers don’t have to follow the law, however.

“This law does not apply to buildings or parking lots owned or controlled by the Postal Service, where possession or storage of firearms is not permitted,” said David Van Allen, spokesman for the Postal Service’s northern Ohio and Ohio Valley districts.

RELATED: Business groups lament Ohio expanded gun laws

“The Postal Service regulation was held to be constitutional by a federal appeals court, which found that the prohibition did not violate the Second Amendment,” Van Allen said.

In 2015 the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver overturned a lower court ruling that would have allowed guns in private cars on postal service property.

Employees and others also cannot bring their guns to the federal court building in Dayton, said U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice.

RELATED: Do concealed-carry laws make us safer?

“Federal installations are not bound by the state law except in certain situations which I don’t think are relevant,” Rice said. “My opinion is that it is not applicable to federal facilities unless the federal installation decides to adopt that portion of the law. What I said applies to the parking lot as well.”

Rice said Ohio’s expansion of open carry and concealed-carry laws concern him.

“I think open carry (and concealed-carry) laws, with all due deference to the Second Amendment, which I support…are dangerous to any community because of the epidemic of mental health issues throughout this country,” he said. “Putting guns in the hands of mentally incompetent people is a recipe for disaster.”

RELATED: Hundreds killed by guns in workplace

RELATED: 9 Workplace Shooting incidents in Ohio and the U.S.

RELATED: Tips to avoid gun violence at work

RELATED: CCW Expansion is latest effort to broaden gun laws in Ohio

Ex-officers charged in traffic stop brutality case surrender

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 9:10 AM

Now-former Gwinnett County police Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and Master Police Officer Robert McDonald.
Gwinnett County Police Department


Two former Gwinnett County, Georgia, police officers, who were fired after a traffic stop caught on camera that showed them kicking and hitting a man, have turned themselves in to police.

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Former Gwinnett County police Sgt. Mike Bongiovanni turned himself in on criminal charges just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Former officer Robert McDonald turned himself in late Tuesday evening after his legal team spent the day trying raise the money for his bond. There was some sort of paperwork issue.

Bongiovanni was silent as he walked into the Gwinnett County Jail and paid the $15,000 bond.

Both Bongiovanni and McDonald are charged with one misdemeanor charge of battery and one count each of violation of oath, which is a felony.

The Gwinnett Police Department worked with the district attorney's office during the investigation. 

"The Police Department and its employees will continue to serve the citizens while maintaining our core values and highest level of professionalism," Chief Butch Ayers said.

Videos that surfaced on social media earlier this month showed Bongiovanni hit Demetrius Hollins in the face before McDonald kicked him in the head while he was on the ground in handcuffs.

Prosecutors have since said the video shows what appears to be an object in one of the then-officer’s hands. They said they believe McDonald appeared to have his gun drawn during the incident.

Washington learned that could lead to an upgrade of his battery charge to a charge of aggravated assault.

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where both officers appeared to act without justification," Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.

Bongiovanni told Washington Thursday that his client, Bongiovanni, maintains his innocence and plans to fight the charges.

"He's prepared to defend himself on this. He stands by his actions,” Mike Puglise said.

As for the victim, Hollins said he constantly thinks about his encounter with the former officers.

“I’ve just been having nightmares and in my head and it’s just like, what could I have done that would have not let this happen to me?” he said.

There will be a grand jury hearing for both former officers in the next few weeks.

"Now he has this blemish and he's in the fight not only to protect his integrity of wearing that badge, but he's looking at prison time," Puglise said.


Bellefontaine student charged with inducing panic

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 8:19 AM

Photo by Carl Ballou/Getty Images
carlballou/Getty Images/iStockphoto

BELLEFONTAINE — A 16-year-old student was recently charged with inducting panic, according to the Bellefontaine Police Department Facebook page Friday morning. 

The social media post states the charges are related to online video threats. 

The Facebook post states:

“Both he and his family were cooperative with police investigators. No real firearms were involved in this incident. The weapon that the teen is seen holding in the online photo was found to be a plastic replica.”

Police state the department will continue working with the district to keep schools safe. 

We are working to bring you more information about this incident. 

Florida elementary school janitor accused of sexting teen

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 4:09 AM

Matthew Benedict
Lake County Jail

A Florida elementary school janitor has been suspended after allegedly exchanging explicit photos and texts with a 15-year-old boy, deputies said. 

>> Read more trending news

Matthew Benedict, 29, of Lake County reportedly gave the teen a cellphone and sexted him, WESH reported. 

Even though Benedict worked in the school district, detectives said, that’s not how they knew each other, according to WESH. 

Investigators added that there’s no evidence that Benedict was inappropriate with any school children.

Benedict was charged with possessing a sexual performance by a child and transmitting harmful material to a minor.

Arkansas executes fourth inmate in 8 days

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 2:44 AM

Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days as Kenneth Williams was put to death by lethal injection Thursday night.
Arkansas Department of Corrections

Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, as Kenneth Williams received a lethal injection Thursday night, KARK reported.

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Williams, 38, died at the Cummins Unit prison in Varner. He was convicted of killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999, The Associated Press reported. At the time of his escape, in a hog slop-filled tank in a garbage truck, Williams was serving a life term for killing a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, KTHV reported.

On December 18, 1998, Williams kidnapped Dominique Hurd and her friend at gunpoint and forced them out of their car. Williams shot Hurd in the head, KTHV reported.

On Oct. 3, 1999, Williams escaped from state prison. During his escape, he fatally shot 57-year-old Cecil Boren, who had once worked as a prison warden, KTHV reported. He stole Boren’s pickup truck and then drove to Missouri, where he was arrested after a high-speed chase, KTHV reported.

Williams was sentenced to death in 2000, KARK reported.

The state had planned to put eight men to death before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on Sunday, the AP reported. Courts issued stays for four of the men who were scheduled to die.

Witnesses in the chamber, including an Associated Press reporter, said Williams lurched 20 times on the gurney before three lethal drugs took his life. The movements were described as “lurching, convulsing, coughing and jerking.”

Shawn Nolan,  one of Williams' attorneys, said in a statement that he is requesting "a full investigation into tonight's problematic execution."

A spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told the AP that Williams’ movements were an "involuntary muscular reaction" to one of the drugs used.

Spokesman J.R. Davis said he expects Hutchinson to review the execution.