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Prius car chase ends in terrifying crash

Published: Friday, September 27, 2013 @ 8:35 AM
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 @ 8:35 AM

Dash cam video reveals new details in a Central Florida road crash caused by a driver who fled from officers during a traffic stop Wednesday morning, officials said.

Authorities said the driver, James Maddux, was fleeing officers in his Toyota Prius when he drove across the median and over a signpost before crashing into another car that was driving in the other direction on Orange Blossom Trail near Orlando.

Florida Highway Patrol said Maddux had given the trooper a bogus identification during the traffic stop. They said the trooper suspected a possible DUI situation and asked Maddux to get out of the car, but the man drove off and crashed before the trooper could get back to his vehicle.

"He stopped the vehicle, the driver stopped right in the middle of the road," said FHP's Sgt. Kim Montes. "(The) trooper obtained his ID (and) learned that it was a fake ID card. The trooper went up to the car to initiate a DUI investigation, and that's when the driver took off in the Prius, southbound on OBT (Orange Blossom Trail)."

Investigators said Maddux ran a red light and was struck by the other car, causing his vehicle to burst into flames. The suspect was hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Maddux can be seen weaving through traffic, blowing through a red light and T-boning another vehicle from the dash cam footage.

The Prius Maddux drove blew past another trooper backwards before it finally stopped.

"Yeah, it was on fire for about two minutes before the ambulance got here. It looked very severe, I'd say from 1 to 10 it's a 20," said witness Calvin Perez.

A passenger in the vehicle, Zachary Poirrier, 18, was hospitalized in serious condition, authorities said.

Investigators said the driver and the passenger of the other car were also hospitalized; one in serious condition and the other with minor injuries, FHP said.

Some of the victims had to be cut out of their cars.

Maddux is a registered sex offender and has had a similar crash in the past.

Authorities said the scene was similar to when a dash cam caught Maddux fleeing another trooper and crashing into a retention pond, nearly killing a 15-year-old passenger.

That passenger ended up being the victim in a sex abuse case that landed Maddux on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender list.

75 percent of workplace harassment victims who complain face retaliation, study finds

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 6:05 PM

altrendo images/Getty Images/Altrendo
(altrendo images/Getty Images/Altrendo)

comprehensive study conducted in 2016  by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission uncovered some troubling truths about harassment in the workplace.

» RELATED: Sexual harassment in the workplace: What is it, how to report it and more you should know

In a preface to the report, EEOC co-chairs wrote the number of harassment complaints the team receives every year is still striking 30 years after the U.S. Supreme Court recognized sexual harassment as a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

>> Read more trending news

“We present this report with a firm, and confirmed, belief that too many people in too many workplaces find themselves in unacceptably harassing situations when they are simply trying to do their jobs,” the co-chairs wrote.

» RELATED: #MeToo: Women share harrowing accounts of sexual assault, harassment

The EEOC selected a 16-member team from a variety of disciplines and regions to be part of the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, to conduct an 18-month study in which they heard from more than 30 witnesses and received numerous public comments.

Here are some of the report’s key findings about workplace harassment: 

It’s still a problem.

Nearly one-third of the 90,000 charges EEOC received in 2015 included an allegation of workplace harassment, according to the report.

» RELATED: After defending Harvey Weinstein, director Oliver Stone accused of sexual assault by Playboy model

It too often goes unreported.

Roughly three out of four victims of harassment spoke to a supervisor or representative about the harassment.

It’s also common, the report found, for those who experience harassment to either ignore and avoid the harasser, downplay the situation, try to forget the harassment or endure it.

“Employees who experience harassment fail to report the harassing behavior or to file a complaint because they fear disbelief of their claim, inaction on their claim, blame, or social or professional retaliation,” report authors wrote.

» RELATED: Jane Fonda on Harvey Weinstein: ‘I’m ashamed I didn’t say anything’

Anywhere between 25-85 percent of women reported sex-based harassment.

Using testimonies and academic articles, analysts dug deeper into the widely divergent numbers.

They found that when asked if they experienced “sexual harassment” without defining the term, 25 percent of women reported they had.

The rate grew to 40 percent when employees were asked about specific unwanted sex-based behaviors.

And when respondents were asked similar questions in surveys using convenience samples, or people who are easy to reach, such as student volunteers, the incidence rate rose to 75 percent, researchers found.

» RELATED: Harvey Weinstein booted from film academy

“Based on this consistent result, researchers have concluded that many individuals do not label certain forms of unwelcome sexually based behaviors – even if they view them as problematic or offensive – as ‘sexual harassment,’” authors wrote.

More men are reporting workplace sexual assault.

According to the EEOC, reports of men experiencing workplace sexual assault have nearly doubled between 1990 and 2009 and now account for 8 to 16 percent of all claims.

» RELATED: Sexual harassment in the workplace: What is it, how to report it and more you should know

Seventy-five percent of harassment victims faced retaliation when they came forward.

The EEOC report noted the results of a 2003 study, which found “75 percent of employees who spoke out against workplace mistreatment faced some form of retaliation.”

Victims often avoid reporting the harassment, because they feel it’s the most “reasonable” course of action, another researcher found.

Indifference or trivialization in the organization, according to the report, can harm the victim “in terms of adverse job repercussions and psychological distress.”

These are just some of the risk factors associated with workplace harassment:

  • Workplaces with lack of diversity in terms of gender, race or ethnicity, age
  • Workplaces with extreme diversity
  • Workplaces with many young workers
  • Workplaces with significant power disparities, such as companies with executives, military member, plant managers
  • Service industries that rely on customer service or client satisfaction
  • Workplaces with monotonous or low-intensity tasks

In addition to being plain wrong, there’s a business case for stopping and preventing harassment.

The EEOC report found there are a multitude of financial costs associated with harassment complaints, such as time and resources dealing with litigation, settlements and damages.

Harassment can also lead to decreased workplace performance and productivity, reputational harm and increased turnover rates.

But the bottom line, according to the report, is: “Employers should care about preventing harassment because it is the right thing to do, and because stopping illegal harassment is required of them.”

You can read the full report at

Harvey Weinstein Accused of Sexual Harassment

Monument battle raging in Texas, threatening to reshape how people remember the Alamo

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:55 PM

The Alamo (Photo by Jill Torrance/Getty Images)
Jill Torrance/Getty Images
The Alamo (Photo by Jill Torrance/Getty Images)(Jill Torrance/Getty Images)

A new battle is raging at the Alamo — between protesters and a master plan committee that is determined to reshape the battleground to fit their vision.

>> Read more trending news

Outside the Alamo gates, a 60-foot monument called a cenotaph memorializes those who fought in Texas’ most notable battle. The monument includes individual carvings of those who fought in the battle for the Alamo, along with a list of names.

The popular attraction, situated near the Alamo itself, goes a long way in fulfilling Texans’ promise to “Remember the Alamo!”

However, a committee plans to remove the cenotaph to make the area surrounding the battleground look more “historic” as it would have appeared at the time of the battle.

Protesters descended on the monument this past Saturday to fight its removal, carrying signs that said “Save the Alamo” and “Don’t move the cenotaph!”

“I’m a Texan at heart and I think it’s important that it remains where it’s at,” said protester Jaime Mendez.

The committee, made up largely of city leaders, say they would move the monument to a nearby location.

>> RELATED: Dive into Texas tales with these stories from the Lone Star State

“The Cenotaph is always going to remain,” Assistant City Manager Lori Houston told My San Antonio. “But no final decision on its location has been made.”

While the master plan committee says they are returning the site to its historic look, they also plan to turn part of the Alamo into a park and museum.

‘Call 911, I done messed up’: Man charged with fatally stabbing 11-month-old son

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 2:47 PM

Man Charged With Fatally Stabbing 11-Month-Old Son

A Louisiana man has been charged with first-degree murder after his infant son was found dead with multiple stab wounds over the weekend.

Fabian Miguel Smith, 33, of Zachary, is also charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Smith remained in the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail Monday morning, accused of killing Jericho Smith, 11 months old, Saturday afternoon.

Zachary police Chief David McDavid said during a Sunday news conference that the baby suffered stab wounds across his forehead and had signs of blunt force trauma to the back of his head, the Advocate reported. Jericho was pronounced dead at the scene. 

WAFB in Baton Rouge reported that police were called to the scene around 1:45 p.m. Saturday after two older children sought help from a neighbor. McDavid said that Smith, who was the only adult in the home at the time of the slaying, had locked the other children out of the house.

When they were allowed back inside, they found their brother. The children, ages 9 and 5, ran next door for help, McDavid said. 

One of the neighbors went to the family’s home, where he found Jericho lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

“Call 911. I done messed up,” the neighbor quoted Smith as saying, according to McDavid. 

The police chief said that Smith would not speak to officers who responded to the neighbor’s 911 call, but one of the children, still next door, screamed, “The baby is dead.”

>> Read more trending news

The motive for the slaying has not been determined, McDavid said. The knife believed to be used in the crime, as well as a gun, were recovered from the scene.

An autopsy was anticipated to shed light on whether the gun was also used in the homicide, McDavid said.   

Neighbor Brent Waldon told the newspaper it was his nephew who the 9-year-old boy approached for help. Waldon’s wife, Robyn Waldon, said Smith seemed unaffected in the aftermath of the stabbing, sitting outside the house smoking a cigarette as investigators searched the property.

His 5-year-old daughter screamed and cried for about an hour, Robyn Waldon said.

“This is just a nightmare,” Robyn Waldon told the newspaper. “I’ve held that baby before, and our 7-year-old would go over and play there a lot. I just can’t believe something like this would happen so close.”

McDavid said that the case was an especially tough one for his investigators.

“This is the senseless killing of a little child of God,” McDavid said during the news conference

The chief said the slaying greatly affected the officers, firefighters and other first responders who went to the scene. 

“To see this, it just broke their hearts. All of them have small children,” McDavid said. “I have grandchildren and children myself. To see this, it’s just senseless to see this happen in Zachary.”

Jimmicka Bouie, who identified herself as Jericho’s maternal aunt, set up a GoFundMe page to help her sister, Ieshae Tolbert, pay for the baby’s funeral. The page does not address how the baby died, but calls the incident a “tragic accident” that ended in his death. 

As of Monday, the page had raised about $1,150 of its $5,000 goal.

Guy Fieri cooks meals for victims of California wildfires

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:02 PM

Guy Fieri cooked meals for first responders, firefighters and others affected by Northern California wildfires last week.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Churchill Downs/Getty Images for Churchill Downs
Guy Fieri cooked meals for first responders, firefighters and others affected by Northern California wildfires last week.(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Churchill Downs/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri used his talents to help firefighters and first responders as wildfires devastated thousands in Northern California.

KTVU reported that Fieri teamed up with the Salvation Army and created a temporary kitchen in a parking lot of the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building Thursday in his hometown of Santa Rosa, California.

>> Read more trending news

“Firefighters have been eating out of their big lunch packs; they get these big package meals, which are awesome. But nothing beats a hot meal,” Fieri said.

Fieri told KRON that he and other volunteers cooked thousands of meals with barbecue favorites including roasted chicken, pulled pork and mac and cheese.

“This is the least we can do,” Fieri told KTVU. “We’re so happy to do it. We’re so sorry for friends who have lost homes. There’s a lot of really good people coming together.”

Fieri told KRON that people from all backgrounds came to help. He also praised Operation BBQ Relief, a nonprofit that works to bring comfort food to displaced people.

“It’s terrible in so many ways, but it’s wonderful to see great people coming together,” Fieri said to KRON.

“We fed 1,200 just for lunch, we just did 1,500 for dinner, we’re getting ready to send 250 out on the fire line,” Fieri said. He expected to make about 5,000 meals each for lunch and dinner the next day.

“We’re going to be here as long as it takes to make sure that everybody’s taken care of,” he said.

More than 2,800 residences in Santa Rosa have been destroyed by the fire.

Images of the Northern California Wildfires