Mother in danger reaches out to gas station clerk for help

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 5:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 5:53 AM

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Call 911.

Those are the first words Bruce Dean saw on the note handed to him by one of his customers at Washington state convenience store Saturday afternoon.

Then the woman told him her boyfriend had hurt her before and she was afraid he would hurt her again.  But she couldn't run because her baby was in the car. He had also threatened to hurt the child.

Dean looked out to the car and saw a familiar face. He didn't know the name, but he knew the man.  He says it was Mark Francis Valucus. Valucus is especially distinctive because he is small; 4 feet, 3 inches.  But, according to court records, he is also violent.  He has a criminal history that includes sexual assault, kidnapping, and weapons and drugs charges.

And according to his girlfriend, in recent days he had attacked her with a baseball bat, stabbed her with a knife, burned her with a cigarette, and threatened to kill her.

She was on edge when he reportedly suggested they go for a ride. That's when they rolled up to Dean's gas station.

Dean says the woman asked for a pen and paper, then handed him the note. Court documents say it read," Can you call 911," then gave her license plate number. The next line said "DV" for domestic violence, and the most troublesome line was the last:  "Baby in car."

As the woman headed back to the car, Dean was able to call 911 and give the plate number. Deputies caught up with them shortly afterwards. Court documents say they found a baseball bat and a knife in the car.

Now Valucus is in the Pierce County Jail on $500,000 bail. 

The baby was unharmed.

When Seattle station KIRO-TV found Dean on Tuesday, he had no idea what had happened after his call. We showed him the suspect's criminal history and the alleged attacks against his girlfriend. He shook his head at the violence.  But at least he knew his phone call had brought it to an end, "Well, that's good."

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Suspect in custody after fire truck stolen, officials say

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 11:55 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Scott Barbour/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)(Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Tulsa police said someone stole a firetruck on Saturday night.

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Dispatchers told FOX23 the truck was stolen before 8 p.m.

A police helicopter was used to locate the truck, and It was found around 8:24 p.m.

One suspect was taken into custody.

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Missing Iowa family of 4 found dead in Mexico

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 4:47 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 11:07 PM

Missing Iowa Family Found Dead In Mexico

A Creston, Iowa, family of four that was previously reported missing in Mexico has been found dead.

KCCI reported that 41-year-old Kevin Sharp, his wife, 38-year-old Amy Sharp, and their children, 12-year-old Sterling and 7-year-old Adrianna were found dead on a tourist condo complex in Tulum, Mexico, a tourist area.

The cause of death was inhalation of toxic gasses, Mexican officials said, according to CBS News.

The Associated Press reported that the developer of the complex declined to comment.

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“The Sharps have been located. They were found last night in their condo deceased,” a relative named Ashli Peterson wrote on Facebook, according to The Des Moines Register. “There was no foul play! At this time that is all the information we have. 

“Please respect the family at this time as they go through the grieving process. Thank you for all the posts, shares, and kind words,” the post said

Tulum is in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. A March 16 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State said there was a level 2 advisory in the state due to crime. There were no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in that state, which has other tourist areas, such as Cancun and Cozumel.

On Thursday, relatives filed a missing persons report through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, KCCI reportedAccording to Peterson’s original post, the family had not been in contact with relatives after letting them know they made it to their condo safely.

Related: U.S. issues level 4 ‘do not travel’ advisory for 5 states in Mexico

Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer said the family had not boarded their flight from Cancun, Mexico, back to the U.S.

“It’s a very sad day for the Sharp family and the city of Creston as a whole,” Ver Meer said. “We’ll work through this together.”

Ver Meer said there was no sign of traumatic injury and autopsies are being conducted in Mexico. Results are pending.  

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Officer used excessive force in mall incident, jury rules

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 10:57 PM

A jury found a Tacoma police officer guilty of using excessive force against a 15-year-old girl at a mall in 2014. (Photo: Screengrab via
A jury found a Tacoma police officer guilty of using excessive force against a 15-year-old girl at a mall in 2014. (Photo: Screengrab via

On Thursday, a jury in federal court unanimously decided that a Tacoma police officer used excessive force while confronting a 15-year-old girl in May 2014. 

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The City of Tacoma will now have to pay the victim and her family $550,000.

In 2014, Monique Tillman and her brother were biking through the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall when officer Jared Williams tried to stop the siblings from riding away. Williams was off duty and working as a mall security guard. 

New video released Thursday shows a bystander’s perspective of the confrontation. It shows Williams pulling the teenager off her bike before putting his arm around her neck. Then, it appears he grabs her hair before pulling her to the ground and using a Taser on her. The video captures the teenager’s scream as her brother watches. 

“I didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserves that,” Tillman told KIRO 7 in 2016 when the lawsuit was filed. 

In court, Tacoma police said Williams heard the siblings harass people driving by and attempted to stop them as they were riding through a parking lot. Tillman’s attorneys admit the teenager did not want to stop. 

“She was not polite,” said attorney Rick Friedman. “She was swearing at the officer because she felt she was being harassed.”

Friedman said it does not excuse the officer’s behavior, especially since surveillance videos show she and her brother were trying to ride away. During the six-day trial, attorneys said Tacoma police agreed with the officer’s actions. 

“Their position was that he did nothing wrong,” Friedman said. “The officer could have used even more force, he could have hit her with a baton and he could have punched her in the face.”
A jury concluded this was an example of excessive force and false imprisonment. Attorneys fear it points to a bigger problem. 

“I tend to blame the lack of training more than the officer himself,” Friedman said. “It was a sad case all around. It was something that was so avoidable.”

Tacoma police did not have a response to the verdict. It’s unclear whether they will make changes to training as a result of the lawsuit. A spokesperson told KIRO 7 Williams is still a member of the police force. 

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Rapper Killer Mike defends gun ownership in NRA video

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 7:57 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for KROQ)
Emma McIntyre
File photo. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for KROQ)(Emma McIntyre)

Killer Mike has been outspoken about several social issues, including equality, racism and police brutality. Now he’s speaking up about gun ownership.

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In a recent NRATV interview, the Atlanta rapper defended the Second Amendment and challenged anti-gun protesters amid March for Our Lives, the nationwide demonstrations for stricter gun laws.

“You’re not woke! You can’t continue to be the lackey,” he told NRATV host Colion Noir. “You’re a lackey of the progressive movement, because you’ve never disagreed with the people who tell you what to do.”

He also criticized National Walkout Day, where thousands of students across the country walked out of their classrooms as a protest against gun violence following the Parkland High shooting in Florida.

“I told my kids on the school walkout: ‘I love you. If you walk out that school, walk out my house,’” the artist said. “We are a gun-owning family. We are a family where my sister farms. We are a family where we'll fish, we'll hunt. But we are not a family that jumps on every single thing an ally of ours does because some stuff we just don't agree with.”

He also discussed what he teaches his children about gun control.

“I'm very pro-Second Amendment, this is why,” he said. “And before you say, ‘What about the children,’ my daughter goes to Savannah State University. There was also a shooting on that campus. Talked to my wife and daughter after that, the decision was we're gonna go to Savannah, she's gonna get a gun and train more.”

Take a look at the clip below.

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