Officers shoot at actor portraying robber in movie scene, police say

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 10:29 AM

Police: Officers Shoot at Actor Playing Robber in Movie Scene

An Indiana movie scene got a little too real Tuesday for an actor portraying a robber, as officers opened fire on him. 

A production company was shooting the scene just before 7 p.m. at the Back Step Brewing Company in Crawfordsville, according to officials with the Indiana State Police. A concerned citizen, unaware of the movie shoot, called 911 when he saw a man walk into the bar wearing a ski mask and wielding a gun.

“Police arrived shortly after receiving the call and saw a subject backing out of the door with the mask on and still holding the gun,” police officials said in a statement

The Crawfordsville officers told the man to drop the gun, and he turned toward them, the weapon still in hand. 

“The officers felt their lives were in danger and fired at the suspect,” according to the statement. “The subject dropped the gun and pulled off the mask while telling the officers, ‘This is a movie set.’”

No one was hurt in the shooting. The actor, identified as Jim Duff, was taken into custody briefly until the officers could confirm that the robbery was fake. 

State police investigators were called to investigate the shooting.

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Sgt. Kim Riley, a spokesperson for the state police, told WXIN in Indianapolis that members of the public should do what officers instruct them to do, and should never turn toward an officer while holding a gun. 

“He was the only person that backed out, the only one that came out, and he was in a ski mask and holding a weapon,” Riley told the news station. “Whether it’s real or not, you don’t know that at the time.”

The gun was a movie prop, police said. 

Philip Demoret, owner of the production company, Montgomery County Movies, said he was grateful no one was injured. The crew and other actors were inside the bar at the time of Duff’s encounter with police. 

“We could not see the police, so when the actor left the building, we had no knowledge any police had even arrived at the scene,” Demoret told WXIN. “The bad part is all the cameras and everything were inside the bar. So, there was nothing outside telling people that this was a film set.”

Neither Demoret’s production company nor the bar owners warned local law enforcement or area businesses about the film shoot, state police officials said

In a statement on Montgomery County Movies’ Facebook page, Demoret thanked the Crawfordsville Police Department for its prompt response to what officers thought was a crime being committed. 

“Had it been a real robbery, the police were quick to the scene, and the situation would have been diffused promptly,” the statement read

He also said that the company is working with police to put in place a plan so no similar incidents occur in the future. 

Teacher duct tapes 5th graders mouths shut to keep them quiet

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 11:08 AM

An elementary school student raises a hand in class. A substitute teacher in Texas was banned from a school in Killeen after she allegedly duct-taped students’ mouths shut.
Ulrich Baumgarten/U. Baumgarten via Getty Images
An elementary school student raises a hand in class. A substitute teacher in Texas was banned from a school in Killeen after she allegedly duct-taped students’ mouths shut.(Ulrich Baumgarten/U. Baumgarten via Getty Images)

A substitute teacher at an elementary school in Killeen, Texas, has lost her job after allegedly duct-taping fifth-graders mouths shut to keep them quiet, according to news outlets.

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The incident, which lasted for several minutes, involved 10 students at Maxdale Elementary SchoolABC News reported. Three additional students also placed duct tape over their own mouths after their classmates mouth were duct-taped.

“She had an idea where some kids would line up in a line and she would duct tape their mouths,” fifth-grader Andy Hernandez told KRON.

The students were checked out by a school nurse and school officials later called child protective services.

The students were not injured by the tape, but the Killeen Independent School District launched an investigation and later banned the teacher from campus.

“The substitute teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and barred from the campus as a result of this outrageous and unconscionable behavior,” the district said in a statement, KRON reported.

“The school leadership notified child protective services of the event, and we will work closely in support of any additional investigation by law enforcement as needed,” district officials said.

>> Related: Teacher strapped special needs child to chair with masking tape

The school’s principal called the parents of the children involved to inform them of the incident, KRON reported.

Pizza shop owners remove bathroom signs after protests

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 1:45 PM

Restaurant Owners Remove Controversial Bathroom Signs

The owners of a Colorado pizza shop are reluctantly removing the controversial bathroom signs at their restaurant after receiving backlash.

The signs depict a man trying to lift up a woman's skirt, The Durango Herald reported. While the restroom signs have been up since HomeSlice Pizza opened four years ago, the complaints skyrocketed after images of the signs were shared on social media. Some found the signs to be in poor taste and making light of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

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Lynn Kitch and her husband own the restaurant. Kitch submitted a statement to the Herald, in which she said that she was removing the signs not because they are offensive, but because she didn't want her employees subjected to "adverse working conditions." Kitch said in the statement that she is a sexual assault survivor and would have welcomed a meaningful conversation about the signs, but instead, protesters were making harassing calls to the restaurant and cyberbullying the business by leaving bad reviews online.

Some HomeSlice Pizza customers supported the owners, saying the sign was meant to be humorous.

Kitch said at least one of the signs will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to a local organization who supports sexual assault victims.

Embracing bodies found in national park died in ‘sympathetic murder-suicide’

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 10:03 PM

Embracing Bodies Identified As Missing Hikers

The bodies of a couple embracing each other discovered at Joshua Tree National Park likely died in a “sympathetic murder-suicide” while they were lost amid the desert’s boiling heat. 

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Rachel Nguyen, 20, and Joseph Orbeso, 22, had been missing for nearly three months after going for a hike in late July. 

Crews spent more than 2,100 hours scouring the rugged terrain before finding their bodies in a canyon Oct. 15.

This combo made from undated photos provided by the National Park Service show Rachel Nguyen, left, and Joseph Orbeso, as they seek the public's help in locating them. The father of Orbeso, a missing California man, says he believes the bodies of his son and his son's girlfriend, Nguyen, have been found in Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., near the area where the couple vanished while hiking nearly three months ago. Officials have not yet confirmed the identities of the bodies discovered Sunday in the desert park. (National Park Service via AP)(AP)

Autopsies found both had gunshot wounds and evidence at the scene led detectives to believe Orbeso shot Nguyen and then himself, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Friday.

The bodies were under a tree, with clothing covering their legs to protect them from the sun. They appeared to have been rationing food and had no water.

"We hold no grudges against Joseph or the Orbeso family," Nguyen’s family members said in a statement. "We thank God that we'll be able to give Rachel a proper burial and lay her to rest."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pastor runs past firefighters to be with woman who fell down 50 foot cliff

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 11:01 PM

A woman in her 70s fell from a 50 foot cliff. (Photo: Fox23.com)
A woman in her 70s fell from a 50 foot cliff. (Photo: Fox23.com)

An older woman is recovering after falling about 50 feet off a cliff in rural Claremore, firefighters said.

A family friend said the woman, who is in her 70s, was dumping out some leaves when she slipped and fell behind her home.

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Multiple agencies spent about 90 minutes rescuing her while a medical helicopter waited nearby.

Firefighters said the woman was alert and talking when she was rescued. She was taken to a Tulsa hospital where she is recovering from bruises, a broken arm and a couple of broken ribs.

Pastor David Mewbourne of Claremore Assembly of God, the woman's pastor of 14 years, said he ran past firefighters and climbed down the cliff to keep her company while they worked on a way to rescue her safely.

Mewbourne said a tree was the only thing that kept her from going into the Verdigris River.