Florida jail hangs neon vacancy sign out front

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 11:23 AM

VIDEO: Florida Jail Hangs Neon Vacancy Sign Out Front

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly has referred to the county jail as the “Green Roof Inn” for more than a year. 

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A neon sign paid for with drug-seized assets, flashing “vacancy,” was unveiled Thursday and further emphasizes that rooms are available for criminals at the Flagler County Detention Facility.

“The purpose of the signs is crime prevention,” Staly said. “When you are arrested, we provide the minimum accommodations as required by law. Once an offender ‘checks-in,’ they lose their basic freedoms. They don’t decide what to eat, wear, or do with their day.”

What “guests” will get is free transportation to court and state prison, designer jewelry -- handcuffs and leg irons -- as well as free designer clothing -- in the form of a color-coordinated jumpsuit and shoes.

sign at the facility’s exit reminds guests checking out that beds are always available and “the light is always on.”

The sign at the exit of the Flagler County Detention Facility. (Photo: Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

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Parents locked 4 adopted children in separate bedrooms, restricted food, bathroom use, police say

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 2:28 AM

Benito and Carol Gutierrez. (Photo via Pima County Sheriff's Department)
Pima County Sheriff's Department
Benito and Carol Gutierrez. (Photo via Pima County Sheriff's Department)(Pima County Sheriff's Department)

An Arizona couple is facing child abuse charges after police say they locked their four adopted children in separate bedrooms, restricting access to food and bathrooms.

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Alabama Sen. Doug Jones calls arming teachers 'the dumbest idea I've ever heard'

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 2:04 AM

What You Need To Know: Doug Jones

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) called an Alabama push to arm teachers “the dumbest idea [he had] ever heard” and “crazy.”

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Alabama’s state House is considering a bill that would allow teachers to carry firearms. State Rep. Will Ainsworth – who is sponsoring the bill – introduced it during a press conference at an Alabama elementary school. Ainsworth, a Republican, said teachers carrying guns would be required to undergo 40 hours of training before being certified to carry a gun in the classroom, AL.com reports. The state won’t pay for a teacher’s gun.

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Ainsworth said the law was about giving kids “a fighting chance.”

“The only way we can do that is to have people armed in the schools to fight back,” he said.

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But to Jones, the new law doesn’t make any sense. He told WKRG: “I think that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I think it’s crazy. You don’t need 40 to 50 guns in there, and it’s a cost issue. You’re going to have to train those teachers. You don’t need to arm America in order to stop this; you just need to be smart about it.”

Jones was elected to the upper chamber in December after a heated race with Republican candidate Roy Moore. The former U.S. attorney has advocated for gun control in the past while simultaneously being a Second Amendment supporter. During the Senate race, the National Rifle Association spent almost $55,000 on mailers against him. He was the first Democrat elected to a Senate seat from Alabama in over two decades.

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This isn’t the first time that pro-gun politicians have suggested arming educators, but the notion is getting another push in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 dead. A sheriff in one of Florida’s biggest counties said his department is putting together a program to train and arm teachers. Even Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been asked about the idea, although she declined to take a stand on the issue, instead saying: “I think this is an important issue for all states to grapple with and to tackle. They clearly have the opportunity and the option to do that and there are differences in how states approach this.”

Rare reached out to Sen. Doug Jones’ office but received no comment.

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Child psychologist molests pre-teen girl, posts assault online, police say

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 10:59 PM

Mugshot of Jonathan Gersh.
Cobb County Sheriff’s Office
Mugshot of Jonathan Gersh.(Cobb County Sheriff’s Office)

An adolescent psychologist who was the head of a mental health and therapy firm in downtown Atlanta allegedly molested at least one girl and posted recordings of it online.

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Jonathan Gersh, 37, has been in Cobb County jail since Valentine’s Day without bond on several felony charges of child molestation and child pornography, jail records showed Tuesday afternoon.

Because of his job, police said they believe there might be more victims.

Homeland Security agents contacted Cobb detectives on Feb. 6 about a possible incident in the county, cops said.

A police warrant indicated that federal law enforcement authorities became aware of Gersh because of a photo he posted of himself molesting a nine-year-old girl.

The girl was identified by her mother, the warrant said.

Gersh has been licensed to practice psychology in Georgia since April 2011, according to the secretary of state’s website.

Georgia business records show that Gersh became involved with Intown Psychological Associates about that time. The medical practice offered psychological testing, counseling and therapy.

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The business submitted its annual registration as recently as Jan. 27, 2018, records show. But its website is down.

A cached version of the now-defunct website shows Gersh as the clinical director, listed at the top of the staff page.

His bio said he received his training in the San Francisco area before relocating “back to his hometown, Atlanta, and has been practicing in the downtown area since 2007.”

It goes on to describe his focus: “Gersh works with adolescents, adults, and families with a focus on depression, anxiety, and various other psychological phenomenon that prevent individuals from maximizing their potential. Working on transitional issues with young adult and professionals are also strong areas of interest.”

No one was immediately available at the office and, as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, no one had responded to a request for comment. The medical practice’s Facebook page is also down.

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Its main office is listed as being in an office building at 501 Pulliam St. SW near the former Turner Field.

The year-old version of the website also lists offices in Marietta on Roswell Road and Conyers on Commercial Street. 

The alleged crimes happened in an unincorporated part of Cobb sometime between January and October of 2017, the warrant said.

“Parents of potential victims are encouraged to contact the agency with jurisdiction in which any crime may have occurred,” Cobb police said.

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Video shows man kidnapping bikini barista at knifepoint before attempted rape

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 10:48 PM

(Security Footage via Kent Police Department )
(Security Footage via Kent Police Department )

A man assaulted a bikini barista in Kent, Washington, and attempted to rape her after buying a drink early Tuesday morning, according to police. 

At 4:45 a.m., police responded to the Hottie Shots Espresso stand after a 30-year-old barista reported the incident. 

The barista, a Bonney Lake, Washington resident, told police that the assailant came to the coffee stand window on foot and ordered a drink. While the barista was making the drink, investigators say the assailant climbed through the window and held her at knifepoint.

Police say that during the assailant's attempt to sexually assault the barista, he noticed vehicle headlights of a customer pulling into the drive-thru and fled the area. 

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Investigators describe the assailant as a white male in his 30s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with darker hair and lightly colored facial hair. Police also say he may have fled in a dark sedan with black rims. 

Police also say the assailant was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black pants and a black baseball hat with a brown bill. The suspect is also described by police as appearing "to have an earring in his left ear, and possibly a Bluetooth device in his right ear."

“I know that the public can help us identify this guy. It is a priority for us to get him off the streets as soon as possible before he terrorizes someone else,” Detective Melanie Robinson said in a statement. 

Any witnesses or anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or the Kent police tip line at 253-856-5808.

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