Family attorney disputes reports in Beavercreek Walmart shooting

Published: Friday, September 26, 2014 @ 11:50 AM
Updated: Saturday, September 27, 2014 @ 10:11 PM


            WHIO receives stack of witness statements about Walmart shooting
WHIO receives stack of witness statements about Walmart shooting

Sept. 27, 2014

Attorney Michael Wright - who represents the family of John Crawford III - issued a statement Saturday evening about documents released Friday in the fatal shooting inside a Walmart store.

Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams stated he shot the 22-year-old Fairfield man twice after he failed to comply with repeated commands to drop his weapon and get on the ground. Instead, Crawford reportedly turned toward police in an "aggressive manner," according to official statements made by Williams after the fatal Aug. 5 shooting at the Beavercreek store.

Wright disputes Williams' statement, specifically that Crawford acted aggressively toard police. The attorney said surveillance video contradicts Williams' account, as well as the officer's statements that he felt his life, the life of another officer and the lives of others in the store were in immediate danger.

"It is difficult to understand how Officer Williams believed anyone was in immediate danger as Mr. Crawford was standing in the aisle alone and talking on his cellphone. ... (Crawford) is dead and no one is being held accountable, this is not just!" Wright stated.

"Again, the Crawford family is very disappointed that Officer Sean Williams was not indicted for the unlawful killing of John Crawford III."

Sept. 26, 2014

Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams shot John Crawford III twice after he failed to comply with repeated commands to drop his weapon and get on the ground, and instead turned toward police in an "aggressive manner," according to official statements made by Williams after the fatal Aug. 5 Walmart shooting, which our newsroom obtained Friday from a public records request.

Sgt. David M. Darkow, in his official account of the shooting, said he and Williams yelled for Crawford to drop the weapon and get on the ground, but Crawford just "looked in our direction" while holding the rifle and then made a quick movement, at which time Williams shot him.

Williams was not one of the officers dispatched to the store, Crawford's friend said he smelled like marijuana that day, a witness heard police tell Crawford to drop the gun and police detectives contend they could not tell from a visual inspection of the air rifle Crawford was carrying that it was not a real firearm.

However, a Walmart employee said he saw Crawford carrying the air rifle, and though it looked like a fake assault weapon, and he tried to report this to another department, fearing panic could ensure, a witness statement shows. The employee said about 10 minutes later he heard the gunshots.

Williams wrote that Darkow "repeatedly yelled, 'Drop the weapon!'" but Crawford "turned towards us in an aggressive manner with the rifle in hand."

Another shopper, Angela Williams, suffered a fatal heart attack while running from the commotion once officers opened fire.

Walmart surveillance video of the shooting was released Wednesday at a news conference by special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier. A special grand jury decided not to hand up indictments in the case.

Videos released

Walmart surveillance video of the actual shooting was released Wednesday at a news conference by special prosecuter Mark Piepmeier. A special grand jury's decided not to hand down indictments in the case.

WATCH THE VIDEO (Warning: this video contains content that some may find graphic and not appropriate for all ages.)

Texas bakery deletes Facebook page after bad reviews over gun stance

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 10:20 PM



Google Maps screenshot.
(Google Maps screenshot.)

French bakery located in the Austin area appears to have deleted its business Facebook page after a note posted earlier stated it intended to do so when a barrage of negative, 1-star reviews popped up on the page following an incident where they say they turned away a customer who was carrying a gun.

>> Read more trending news

Baguette et Chocolat posted their reasoning for the change Monday on Facebook.

Here is the full text:

VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE PLEASE READ

Dear patrons,

Due to a recent gun incident with one fellow at our store, we’re extremely sad and shocked to announce you that we will shut down our Facebook page in the next days.

This fellow, who is a pro gun, wrote an article on Saturday 16th of September, on a pro gun social network, relating his version about what happened in our store.

Here is our version : 
This fellow was upset, a year and a half ago, when we put on the doors the LAW sign prohibiting carrying gun in our establishment. He talked to my wife and said that if we didn’t put those signs down, he would not come back. We didn’t take those signs out.

Recently, he chose to come back. We saw his gun underneath is t shirt. My employees and myself didn’t know what to do so, we decided to call 311. We were trying to know what can we tell this fellow, who knows that we don’t legally allow guns in our bakery, but still comes inside with his gun. 311 decided to send police officers. We were not aware of it until the police officers showed up.

Those police officers dealt with him telling him that regarding the LAW, we don’t allow guns in our store. He pretended he didn’t see the signs on the door. Apparently, he just had a warning and left the store.

On Saturday 16th of September, we started receiving a couple of 1 star review without comment. I started to see with my employees to know if something went wrong that day because we’re not used to bad review much. If we can fix a mistake, we will.

Later this day we received much more 1 star reviews, some with comments regarding guns and insulting emails. Everything went clear. This article was spreading.

All Baguette et Chocolate’s team is shocked and very sad. Like April, my head baker who has been working very hard with us for more than 6 years and told us “you don’t deserve this !”. We’ve been building very hard this true Authentic French family business for almost 8 years now.  
In just a couple of days, those people who most of them never came to our store, try, as they say, to destroy our business. Telling us that as “migrant” we have to go back to our country. That we don’t have our place here in the USA or in Texas. That we don’t respect people. That we treat them like criminals (but we just talk about the gun not the person who carry it). That they expect us to be robbed at our house or at our business. And much worse even threats…….

Yes, we’re migrant Alien who left our country for America to live our dream of sharing our passion for French food. We wanted to live our American dream. We’re known for respecting our savoir faire, authenticity and quality. Yes, our down side is the customer service sometimes, we know it and we do our best to fix it but we’re just a tiny bakery NOT a formal restaurant, very popular with only 30 people allowance (employees included) so it’s hard sometimes to handle everything. Our team does his best and works hard to satisfy your needs. 
We’re working very hard to make it right, to make our patrons happy to stop by and have a piece of France right around the corner, trying to make you having a good time.

Yes, we put those LAW signs on the doors. Yes, we don’t want guns inside the bakery as we’re small place and can be packed with children around as they have their own spot. We WELCOME EVERYONE and always do, but just unarmed. Our concern is NOT the person but the gun.

I thought we had the freedom in our own building, like HEB or WHOLE FOOD, to legally do what we think is best. Apparently not. 
Our time is precious, we don’t have much time to spend on the social network as we focus on our job to satisfy our patrons who really believe in what we’re here for. We can not deal with those fellows. We let them express their anger on the other reviews network.  
Our Facebook page was supposed to be our own….not anymore. The rating we’ve been working on has been declining drastically by those bad reviews and it will keep going. 
We don’t have any hands on it. Facebook can not help us.

WE WANT TO THANK VERY TRULY FROM THE DEEP OF OUR HEART ALL THE LIKERS, LOVERS WHO HAS BEEN FOLLOWING OUR BUSINESS FOR ALMOST 8 YEARS NOW ON FACEBOOK. 
WE ARE VERY SORRY ABOUT IT AND ASK YOU TO EXCUSE US FOR ALL THE INCONVENIENCE IT MAY OCCUR. 
WE ARE AND WE WILL BE STILL DOING OUR JOB WE’RE KNOWN FOR TO SATISFY OUR PATRONS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING. 
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORT. 
MERCI !

Anne-lise & Chi minh PHAM DINH  
Baguette et Chocolat’s owners”

The pro-gun article mentioned in the post’s early paragraphs comes from a post on Robert Farago’s “The Truth About Guns” blog. The blog is dedicated to “exploring the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.”

Farago wrote “Austin’s Baguette et Chocolat calls the cops on RF’s concealed carry,” where he offers his side of the story related in the restaurant’s Facebook post.

“Prior to that fateful afternoon, I stashed my gat in the car before entering the patisserie. That day, though, I forgot. I was wearing my Wilson Combat EDC X-9 in a Kydex holster under a T shirt. I was barely printing. But apparently enough to trigger the owner’s PC hoplophobia.”

Farago said he thought the bakery’s sign banning open carry only applied to 30.06 caliber guns and not his handgun.

“‘I’m sorry officer,’ I said after pretending to read the signs and re-entering the cafe. “I thought it was no open carry.”

“I...put on my hat, made another apology and exited B&C stage right.

“And that was that.

“My bad, right? But I’m still annoyed that the owner called the cops.”

Farago also mentioned that he thought an apology to the officers called to the scene would be enough.

“I was a regular customer. I’d just bought $30 worth of food. I was with an attractive young lady. I was dressed well. I was calm and polite to his staff. All the owner had to do: ask me to leave and/or disarm.”

Farago updated his post in the wake of Baguette et Chocolat’s Facebook post, saying that he wants his supporters and readers to refrain from contacting the bakery.

“We’ve received a number of reports of readers threatening the business in question on their Facebook page and web site. This is probably a tiny minority of readers, but actions like that don’t help the gun rights cause at all. Please refrain from contacting the business.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Baguette et Chocolat had 20 1-star reviews on its Facebook page before it was shut down, compared to more than 1,000 5-star reviews. 

Six of those 1-star reviews mentioned the bakery’s gun policy, and nearly all of them were written after the Sept. 16 date in question. 

However, many of the bakery’s 5-star reviews praised the food and the gun policy.

Baguette et Chocolat is still open for business. On Monday, Sheri Soltes, a candidate for Texas House District 47, organized an “eat-in” for the bakery on Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

“Texas business owners have the right to prohibit customers from bringing guns into their business,” Soltes wrote in a news release. “Baguette et Chocolat took a stand against gun carry in their bakery. For that, they are being attacked by an ex- customer. Now it's our turn to stand up for them! Austinites will be supporting these brave bakers with an Eat-In. We’ll be bringing signs, streaming on social media and showing everyone that we support local business, immigrants and gun-free zones.”

'Revenge of the Nerds' actor,  NFL star Bernie Casey dies at 78

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 10:14 PM

FILE - In this May 23, 2014 file photo, Bernie Casey appears after a performance of
FILE - In this May 23, 2014 file photo, Bernie Casey appears after a performance of "The Tallest Tree in the Forest" in in Los Angeles. Casey, the professional football player turned actor known for parts in "Revenge of the Nerds" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," died Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles after a brief illness. He was 78. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP, File)(Ryan Miller/Ryan Miller/Invision/AP)

Iconic star of “Revenge of the Nerds” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” Bernie Casey died Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to reports.

>> Read more trending news 

Having spent the last few days in the hospital, the beloved actor and former NFL star died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by loved ones after recently falling ill.

In 1969, Casey made his acting debut in “Guns of the Magnificent Seven,” and he went on to co-star in over 80 films. His most recent roles include “When I Find the Ocean” (2006), “Babylon 5” (1995) and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1994). 

Before turning to acting, he was a standout NFL star, spending six years playing for the San Francisco 49ers and another two years with the Los Angeles Rams.

Casey also had a strong passion for the arts, being especially fond of painting and poetry.

He was 78.

2-motorcycle accident in Fairborn sends 3 to area hospitals

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 9:52 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 10:21 PM

Multi-vehicle Greene Co. crash

UPDATE @ 10:12 p.m.: Speeding has been determined as the cause of a two-motorcycle accident on Bath Road in Fairborn that sent three people to area hospitals, a trooper with the Ohio Highway Patrol said. 

Two of the injured aboard one of the bikes have been taken to Miami Valley Hospital. The lone motorcyclist on the second bike has been taken to Grandview Medical Center. 

None of the injuries was considered life threatening. 

The trooper from the Xenia post said the motorcycles, which ended up in a ditch or yard off Bath Road between Adams and Kitridge roads, were being driven too fast. The at-fault motorcyclist will be cited for failure to control. 

An earlier report that a small car may have been involved in the accident was incorrect.

INITIAL REPORT

Crews have been dispatched to a multiple-vehicle accident, involving as many as three motorcycles, in the 4600 block of Bath Road, near Adams Road in Fairborn.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Hurricane Maria -- another task force deploys

The incident, which also reportedly involves a small car, was dispatched just after 9:30 p.m. 

We're hearing from arriving fire/rescue crews that the motorcycles are in a ditch. 

We have a crew on the way to check it out. Stay with whio.com for breaking news. 

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Texas judge nominee equated transgender children, Satan

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 9:19 PM

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Jeff Mateer, President Donald Trump’s nominee for federal judge and a top official in the Texas attorney general’s office, has come under fire after CNN reported Wednesday that he called transgender children evidence of Satan’s plan and argued that gay marriage would lead to bestiality and multiple-partner weddings.

>> Read more trending news

The quotes from Mateer were taken from two 2015 speeches given while he was general counsel for Liberty Institute, a legal advocacy group that operates from a conservative Christian perspective and is now known as First Liberty Institute.

In a May 2015 speech on “The Church and Homosexuality,” Mateer said acceptance of same-sex marriage could lead to disturbing changes in accepted matrimonial practices, CNN said.

“Why couldn’t four people want to get married? Why not one man and three women? Or three women and one man?” he asked. “I mean, it’s disgusting.”

“There are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets. It’s just like — you know, you read the New Testament and you read about all the things and you think, ‘Oh, that’s not going on in our community.’ Oh yes it is. We’re back to that time where debauchery rules,” CNN quoted Mateer as saying.

He also criticized Colorado parents who sued a school for refusing to let their transgender daughter use the girl’s bathroom.

“Now, I submit to you, a parent of three children who are now young adults — a first-grader really knows what their sexual identity? I mean, it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on,” Mateer said.

In a separate speech in November 2015, CNN reported that Mateer expressed support for conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation, often through religious means – a practice that leading psychiatric, medical and pediatric organizations have criticized as harmful.

Mateer criticized California and New Jersey for banning conversion therapy, which he described as “Biblical counseling” at a conference hosted by Pastor Kevin Swanson, who preaches that the Biblical punishment for homosexuality is death, CNN said.

“And if you’re giving conversion therapy, that’s been outlawed in at least two states and then in some local areas, so they’re invading that area,” Mateer said.

On Sept. 7, Trump nominated Mateer, the top executive in Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, to be a U.S. district judge in Plano.

Senate confirmation is needed before Mateer can take a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet acted on his nomination.