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4-year-old boy with autism bound with belts, set on fire by mother, police say

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 6:20 PM

4-Year-Old Autistic Boy Bound With Belts, Set On Fire By Mother

A Wisconsin woman is accused of killing her 4-year-old son with autism, who police officials say was found burned and bound with seven belts in the bathtub of their apartment. 

Amelia Di Stasio, 23, of Milwaukee, is charged with first-degree intentional murder, according to jail records. She is being held in the Milwaukee County Jail in lieu of $350,000 bond. 

Fox 6 News in Milwaukee reported that firefighters were dispatched to Di Stasio’s home Sept. 28 after smoke was spotted coming from the apartment. The firefighters forced their way in and found smoke coming from the stove and the bathtub.

In the tub, they found the body of Antonio Di Stasio, the news station reported. The boy’s hands were bound behind his back and there was a garbage bag secured tightly over his head.

“(A) majority of his body was burned,” a criminal complaint obtained by Fox 6 News said. Antonio’s autopsy revealed “significant charring” and thermal injuries.

His death was ruled a homicide, but it was not immediately clear if he died of the burns or of asphyxiation from the plastic bag on his head. 

Antonio’s grandfather, Ralph Di Stasio, told the news station that his daughter suffers from bipolar disorder. The grieving grandfather said he is trying to understand how she could have hurt her son.

“She loved Antonio with all of her heart,” he said. “That’s why this was so hard.”

Di Stasio wrote on Facebook that his grandson was “bright and happy,” but that his autism caused him to “act out” and scream, which caused neighbors to complain about the noise. He said the apartment where the boy died was his third home in a little over a year. 

“Your (sic) all gonna be down on his mother. But she loved him,” Di Stasio wrote. “Took him everywhere with her. Tried to get him treatment. And she's now under arrest. I don't know what happened, only that I've lost both my grandson and a daughter.”

A neighbor of Amber Di Stasio’s told police that the day before Antonio’s body was found, she heard the boy crying, “Please, Mommy. Stop! I won’t do it again,” and then his mother yelling at him to “shut up,” the criminal complaint said. The witness said she heard a banging noise coming from the Di Stasio apartment the next morning. 

Antonio’s pet guinea pig was found drowned in its cage next to the bathtub, the news station reported. An open bottle of canola cooking oil was sitting on the sink and the apartment’s smoke detector had been removed and submerged in water. 

>> Read more trending news

Police officers who responded to the scene found Di Stasio’s cellphone, on which they discovered searches asking: “How do canabals (sic) die” and “how to kill a canabal (sic),” the complaint said

The search results included a link to the message board about an online game in which players fight cannibals, the news station reported. The messages detailed ways to kill a cannibal, with the first suggestion being to “kill it with fire.” 

The board also offered details of the game, in which the cannibals “like to bathe in oil,” Fox 6 News reported

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a witness told investigators she saw a woman who looked “frazzled” jump from the window of the apartment shortly before firefighters arrived. 

Di Stasio was taken into custody a few hours later after a Milwaukee police officer spotted her walking along a street several miles north of the crime scene, the Journal Sentinel said. In her purse were identification cards for both her and her son, as well as a piece of paper with a name and phone number on it.

When an officer called the number, he talked to a man who said he’d given the phone number, which belongs to his wife, to a woman he saw crying at a bus stop that morning. The man told the officer that he’d asked the woman what was wrong.

“I did something really bad (and) I need to talk to a pastor,” the woman told him, according to the criminal complaint. 

The man said he offered the woman his wife’s name and number because his wife is a Christian, the Journal Sentinel reported. Investigators showed the man a photo array, from which he identified a photo of Di Stasio as the woman he’d met. 

Antonio’s family members told Fox 6 News that they are struggling to understand his death. 

“He was a good kid. Always smiling,” his uncle, Juan Allen, said. “It’s just sad. That’s an innocent life that’s gone. I’m just trying to cope with the pain right now.”

The boy’s aunt and Amelia Di Stasio’s sister, Eva Allen, told WTMJ-TV that she is angry with her sister. 

“I love my sister regardless, you know, and I know she was sick. I want to tell her I’m angry. I’m very upset with her,” she said. “I just want to know why.”

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WATCH: 'Permit Patty' appears to call police on girl selling bottled water in viral video

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

File photo of bottled water. A white woman who appeared to call the police on a biracial San Francisco girl selling bottled water to raise money for a Disneyland trip has gone viral, sparking the hashtag #PermitPatty.
denvit / Pixabay.com
File photo of bottled water. A white woman who appeared to call the police on a biracial San Francisco girl selling bottled water to raise money for a Disneyland trip has gone viral, sparking the hashtag #PermitPatty.(denvit / Pixabay.com)

A white woman who appeared to call the police on a biracial girl selling bottled water to raise money for a Disneyland trip has gone viral, sparking the hashtag #PermitPatty.

>> Huge cookout held at Oakland park where cops called on black family's barbecue

According to USA Today, the girl's mother, Erin Austin, captured the alleged phone call on video, which has been viewed millions of times since it was posted Saturday. She said the incident occurred outside her apartment near AT&T Stadium in San Francisco.

"This woman don't want to let a little girl sell some water," Austin says in the 15-second clip, focusing the camera on a woman holding a phone. "She's calling the police on a 8-year-old little girl."

As the woman, identified by HuffPost as Alison Ettel, crouches behind a concrete wall, Austin adds: "You can hide all you want; the whole world's gonna see you, boo."

"And illegally selling water without a permit? Yeah," Ettel says, pointing to her phone.

"On my property," Austin interjects.

"It's not your property," Ettel replies.

>> Watch the video here

Austin and the girl's cousin, Raje Leeshared the footage with the hashtag #PermitPatty, USA Today reported.

"Make this [expletive] go viral like #bbqbecky," Austin captioned the video, referring to the hashtag used after a different woman was recorded calling the police on a black family for using a charcoal grill at an Oakland park. "She's #permitpatty."

>> Read more trending news 

The posts sparked a debate about whether Ettel's actions were racist.

"For all of you saying it's not about race why didn't she stop to harass the white [men] that [were] selling tickets and teeshirts but thought calling the police on a child was okay?" Lee tweeted. "Don't answer. Just ask yourself that."

>> See the tweet here

"I didn't think in San Francisco my biracial child would have to go through something like this," Austin told KNTV.

Ettel told HuffPost that race had nothing to do with it, adding that she didn't really call the police. 

"They were screaming about what they were selling," Ettel said, claiming she had no problem with the girl, only Austin. "It was literally nonstop."

She added: "I completely regret that I handled that so poorly. It was completely stress-related, and I should have never confronted her."

The drama seemed to have a happy ending for Austin's daughter, who received four free tickets to Disneyland from a Twitter user who saw the video, Lee tweeted.

>> See the tweet here

Read more here or here.

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Toddler dies after 10 hours in hot car while mother allegedly hangs out with friends

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 6:12 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

A California woman is jailed on charges related to the death of her 18-month-old toddler inside a hot car, according to Mendocino County authorities.

>> Read more trending news 

Deputies were called to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, California, Wednesday afternoon after the death of a young boy identified as Chergery Teywoh Lew Mays.

The child had been taken to the hospital by his mother, Alexandra Raven Scott, Detective Sgt. Andrew Porter with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release on Facebook.

Scott, a resident of Humboldt County, went to visit friends in Willits around 3 a.m. Wednesday, leaving the boy inside the car for hours.

“It is believed the child was left unattended in the back seat of the vehicle with the windows rolled up for about 10 hours,” Porter said.

A mug shot of Alexandra Scott, who is accused of leaving her toddler in a hot car for 10 hours while she socialized with friends. The child died from his injuries.(Mendocino County Sheriff's Office)

The temperature was about 80 degrees in Willits when the boy was found around 1 p.m., but officials told KTLA-TV it was more like 130 degrees inside the car. 

Scott is jailed without bail on suspicion of willfully causing or permitting a child to suffer great bodily injury or death.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders kicked out of Red Hen restaurant in Virginia on ‘moral’ grounds

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 12:52 PM

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that her family was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant on Friday by the owner, who cited
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that her family was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant on Friday by the owner, who cited "moral conviction."(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she and seven members of her family were kicked out of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia on Friday night.

TMZ first reported that the restaurant’s owner kicked out Sanders and her family out of “moral conviction.” 

>> Read more trending news 

A waiter posted on Facebook that Sanders was in the restaurant for “a total of two minutes” before being asked to leave.

 

Sanders confirmed the incident on Twitter.

“Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left,” Sanders tweeted Saturday. “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”

 

Sanders’ father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, tweeted his support, saying it was an act of “bigotry.”

 

The Red Hen’s Facebook and Yelp pages were bombarded with reviews from people from both sides.

While some praised the restaurant, many others said the owner was being “intolerant.”

This comes after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen bolted from a Washington, D.C. Mexican restaurant after protesters confronted her at her table -- with the blessing of the manager.

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Huge cookout held at Oakland park where cops called on black family's barbecue

Published: Monday, May 14, 2018 @ 6:36 AM

Oakland Residents Hold Peaceful Protest In Response To Viral Video

Dozens of Oakland, California, residents knew just how to react to a viral video showing a white woman calling police on a black family for using a charcoal grill at a local park: They held a huge cookout of their own at the same park.

>> Read more trending news 

This how we feel about mad ass Oakland gentrifiers

Posted by Michael Swanson Jr. on Thursday, May 10, 2018

According to HuffPost, photos and videos of Thursday's party at Lake Merritt Park show the crowd peacefully celebrating in an apparent response to an April 29 dispute that was caught on camera. During that incident, a white woman called police on black men who were using a charcoal grill in a "non-charcoal" area of the park, KRON reported

"She said that we were trespassing, we were not welcome, and then she turned back around and said, 'Y'all going to jail,'" Kenzie Smith told KRON.

>> Watch the video here (WARNING: Profanity)

In the video, recorded by Smith's wife, Michelle Snider, the woman claimed that her complaint had "nothing to do with race" and that she worried that children would burn themselves on the discarded coals. But many people weren't buying it.

"I do believe the woman unfairly targeted them," one witness, Angela Williams, told HuffPost. "Others on the lake were grilling, and it's a common occurrence."

Read more here or here.

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