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Tennessee Tornado Helps Bust Neighborly Thief, Police Charge


iStock/Thinkstock(KINSPORT, Tenn.) -- A tornado that swept through a Tennessee town damaged homes and threw Jerrod Christian's belongings onto lawns - many of which had been reported stolen by his neighbors, police told ABC News.

Since the tornado hit the town of Kingsport on Sunday, Christian has been charged with two burglaries and two thefts.

Christian, 26, was in jail on unrelated charges when the twister hit. Neighbors emerging from their homes to survey the damage were surprised to see what was on Christian's yard, police and neighbors said.

"My house was torn up pretty badly, so I was checking things up," Ed Cleek told ABC News. "Then someone called me and said: 'Hey, I think that's your air compressor. You want to take a look?'"

Cleek walked outside, and immediately spotted his bright red air compressor lying in his neighbor's yard.

"I called the police right away," Cleek said.

Officer Thomas Patton of Kingsport Police Department soon arrived at the scene.

"We also discovered a Lincoln welder which belonged to Mr. Cleek as well. There were a ratchet, an air hose and a weed trimmer that were stolen from other neighbors," Patton told ABC News.

Cleek said it was no accident that his air compressor was in Christian's yard after missing for a while.

"My air compressor was locked up in a barn... I kind of had suspicions, but you can't just accuse people without proof," Cleek said.

At the time of the discovery, Christian was incarcerated in the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville, Tennessee, on charges of disorderly conduct and retaliation for past action.

"In that incident, his girlfriend called the police and said that he had taken her van without permission," Patton told ABC News.

Patton said as officers spoke with Christian, he became “extremely belligerent and disruptive, shouting and cursing the officers with profane expletives."

The officers arrested Christian for disorderly conduct and took him to the Kinsport City Jail. While en route to the jail, Christian allegedly threatened to assault the officer and sexually assault the officer’s children, resulting in the charge of retaliation for past action.

"We don't know if he will post bail yet," Patton said.

The officer said Christian had not yet entered a plea.

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Bail for Abigail Hernandez's Alleged Kidnapper Set at $1 Million


Conway Police Dept.(CONWAY, N.H.) -- The man charged with kidnapping a New Hampshire teenager Abigail Hernandez was arrested twice during the nine months that she was missing, court records indicate.

Nathaniel Kibby, 34, was ordered held Tuesday on $1 million bail after being arraigned on a charge of kidnapping Hernandez last year. The charging document says Kibby "confined (Hernandez) with a purpose to commit an offense against her." His lawyer declined to enter a plea.

The affidavit detailing the case was sealed, but the prosecutor told the judge it was a "unique case and this bail is more than warranted."

Hernandez, who was 14 at the time, disappeared as she was walking home from Kennett High School in Conway on Oct. 9, 2013. She returned home on July 20 after nine months. She is now 15.

While Kibby sat at the defense table in an orange jail jumpsuit, his alleged victim sat with her mother, Zenya Hernandez, in the front row of the courtroom. This marked the first time that the teenager has been seen in public since she arrived home on July 20.

Kibby has a lengthy criminal history, the majority of which took place when he was 17-years-old and charged in five criminal trespassing cases, two counts of receiving stolen property, providing false information to purchase a firearm and theft, all of which were misdemeanors, court documents state. During that time his address was a post office box in North Conway, which is adjacent to Hernandez’s hometown.

Records show that Kibby two run-ins with police during the nine months that Hernandez was missing.

He was charged with marijuana possession on Oct. 22. That arrest took place in North Conway, which is 34 miles away from Kibby's current home in a trailer park in Gorham, N.H. Kibby was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 3, 2013 in connection to the marijuana charge and documents state that he entered a guilty plea and paid $434 to cover his fine and fees.

On March 3, 2014, he faced criminal charges for simple assault and criminal trespass. Kibby later wrote a letter to the sheriff's office explaining that it was in connection to an automobile accident with a man identified as Eric Ray. The charging documents accused Kibby of "shoving" Ray's wife, Tammy Shackford, to the ground and he subsequently accepted a negotiated plea deal where he paid a $1,000 fine and agreed not to contact Ray or his wife.

In the letter that he sent to the sheriff's office, Kibby insisted he remained calm throughout the aftermath of the March 3 accident and claimed Ray was trumping up the charges.

"I considered informing (Eric Ray) I was armed with a carry pistol, but decided against it. I tried to sympathize with his anger and felt it was best to turn the cheek," Kibby wrote in the letter.

In the letter, Kibby wrote, "This is not a joke. It is not frivolous. This is not filed in spite, but out of a genuine concern for my safety and for my property."

The case was settled on July 23, 2014, just three days after Hernandez arrived home to her mother's house.

The Hernandez family put out a statement after her return saying that she is safe though she has lost a lot of weight and is unable to eat solid food.

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Two Women Survive After Being Run Down by Freight Train


iStock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Two women trespassing on railroad tracks in southern Indiana narrowly missed a fatal encounter with a freight train when they were caught in the middle of a bridge as the train approached, authorities said.

The action, which unfolded on the morning of July 10, was captured on a camera mounted on the train, and authorities released the video Tuesday.

When the train engineer spotted the women in the middle of a 500-foot-long bridge known as Shuffle Creek Trestle, the engineer immediately applied an emergency brake and repeatedly sounded the horn. At first, the two women try to outrun the 14,000-ton freight train but when they realize it is catching up too fast, one woman lies down in the middle of the tracks.

The other woman runs off to the edge of the 80-foot-tall bridge as if to contemplate jumping off, then runs back into the middle of the tracks just as the train catches up with them.

By the time the train came to a stop it was past the bridge, running over the women in the process, authorities said.

Assuming the incident had been fatal for the two women, the engineer notified the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, only to realize that the women had survived and escaped to a nearby vehicle, fleeing the scene, authorities said.

The women have been identified by law enforcement, and the incident is now considered a criminal matter.

A representative from the Indiana Rail Road Company could not immediately be reached for comment by ABC News.


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California Teen Calls 911 from Closet as Burglars Break Into Home


iStock/Thinkstock(ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.) -- Police in California have released the audio recording between a quick-thinking 14-year-old girl hiding in a closet inside her Orange County home and a 911 dispatcher as burglars made their way inside the house.

After hearing a suspicious knock on the door followed by noises, the teen — whose parents were not home at the time — ran into a bedroom closet and called police.

Orange County dispatcher Candace Moran took the scared teen’s call.

"She was a very easy informant," Moran told ABC News. "Sometimes you get adults who can't even remain that calm, we were trying to figure out where she was, and she was very descriptive."

The teen, who was not identified, told Moran of her exact location in the house.

"I'm just kind of scared to be honest," the brave teen whispered, according to the recording.

She never broke down — even as she hears the burglars enter the house.

"They're inside. Should I go out?" she asked the dispatcher.

Instead, Moran told the teen to remain in the closet. At the same time, police can be heard entering the home.

The call doesn't not end there. The frightened teen even thanked Moran before hanging up.

"She acted bravely and courageously," Lt. Jeff Hallock told ABC News. "The only other thing that we would recommend if someone suspicious knocks on your door is to somehow make sure they know you're home without having to open your door."

The burglars, two boys who have not been identified, were only able to break a rear window before hearing sirens and fleeing on foot. They were arrested soon after.

The suspects are currently being held in the Orange County Juvenile Hall while police investigate whether they might be linked to other recent break-ins in the neighborhood.


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Another Plane Lands on a Florida Beach


Miami Beach Police Department(MIAMI BEACH, Fla.) -- A small airplane made an emergency landing on a Miami beach Tuesday just days after a similar incident on the Gulf Coast claimed the lives of two beachgoers.

Miami Beach police tweeted photos of the plane Tuesday, noting that the pilot said he was having engine trouble and landed on the beach before a storm hit.

No one was injured.

 

#Plane makes emergency landing on beach right before storm.Pilot & 3 passengers safe. No injuries mechanical failure pic.twitter.com/dB4DzdOu8Q

— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) July 29, 2014

 

On Sunday, a plane making an emergency landing on a beach in Venice, Fla., struck a man and his daughter who were walking along the shore. The father, 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry, was killed on impact. Oceana Irizarry, 9, died later from her injuries.

The pilot of that plane made a distress call to Venice's airport to announce his emergency landing on the beach, and just seconds later made impact on the sand.

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NBA Player Uses Twitter to Track Down Aunt's Suspected Killer


Jason Merritt/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Authorities in Sacramento said a suspect has been taken into police custody after he allegedly murdered the aunt of NBA player Matt Barnes.

Over the past few days, Barnes had used his celebrity status to launch a social media manhunt. The Los Angeles Clippers small forward pleaded with his hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Instagram followers to keep an eye out for Michael Williams, the prime suspect in the murder of Barnes’ aunt Tanganyika Hoover.

In a tweet, Sacramento Police said Williams is "in police custody thanks to a citizen tip. He was located in the Sacramento area."

Authorities did not provide any further details.

Hoover was estranged from Williams, but the two were staying at a friend’s house on the morning of July 8, when the friend said he found Hoover outside, her neck slashed, struggling for life.

Williams was nowhere to be found, police said.

Following his aunt’s death, Barnes felt compelled to act. So he posted images of Williams, along with a plea: “This dude stabbed my auntie in the neck last week & left her for dead on the sidewalk, she ended up dying on the way to the hospital in the ambulance.”

The post quickly spread from Barnes’ friends to his fans to strangers.

“Having the platform that I have, I wanted to speak out on social media,” Barnes said before Tuesday’s arrest.

Williams was considered the only suspect, Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers said.

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Atlanta Mom Charged with Leaving Kids in Hot Car


Charnae Mosley, 27, faces four counts of reckless conduct. (ABC News)(ATLANTA) -- A mother of four in Atlanta is facing charges of reckless endangerment after she left her children in a car while shopping at a grocery store for 16 minutes.

Charnae Mosley, 27, became the latest parent to face charges and criticism in what has become a summer full of reports of children being left in hot vehicles.

Police in Atlanta say that Mosley left four children, ages 1 through 6, in the car, with windows rolled down, in 90 degree heat for about 16 minutes Monday afternoon while shopping in the grocery store Kroeger.

A witness called 911 and reported that there were children who had been abandoned in a vehicle, prompting a nearby officer to come check on the children, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.

When the officer arrived, Mosley was unloading groceries into her car. The officer warned her of the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars and then proceeded to watch surveillance video in Kroeger to determine that Mosley had been in the store for 16 minutes, according to the report.

The officer was then instructed by the Atlanta Police Department's Youth Squad Investigator to arrest Mosley on charges of reckless conduct.

She will appear in front of a judge on four counts of reckless conduct.

The children were given water and evaluated, but determined to be fine.

Mosley is being held on $8,000 bail. Her family did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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What George Zimmerman Was Doing Outside Florida Gun Shop


File photo. (Seminole County Sheriff's Office)(DELAND, Fla.) -- Former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman is back on patrol -- and this time it's at a gun store.

Police found Zimmerman sitting in his dark colored truck outside of Pompano Pat's, a store that sells firearms and motorcycles, just after midnight on Sunday, according to a DeLand, Florida police report.

Zimmerman, who police said was "very cooperative," explained to the responding officer that he had the owner's permission to be on the property and was patrolling it since there had been a recent burglary.

He provided officers with a phone number for Pat Johnson, the owner of the business who is also running for mayor in DeLand. Officers were unable to make contact with Johnson.

According to the report, Zimmerman told officers that Johnson had asked him to leave his dog inside the business, however Zimmerman decided he and his dog would wait in the parking lot.

He also told officers that "he was going to be around the business at night for an indeterminate amount of time," the report said.

Sam Porter, an employee of Pompano Pat's, told ABC News that Zimmerman is not an employee and is not being paid to patrol the business.

“George is a really nice guy and really tries to help folks out," Porter said. "I felt he was trying to do something nice."

Pompano Pat's had offered Zimmerman a free gun after he was acquitted of murder last year.

Zimmerman maintained self-defense when he shot and killed an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26, 2012.

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Three-Hour Tour Turns into Night at Sea for Stranded Whale-Watchers


iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A whale-watching boat was stranded 13 miles off the coast of northern Massachusetts overnight after the boat’s propeller got tangled in a tagline.

More than 160 people were aboard the boat, part of a three-hour whale-watching trip with Boston Harbor Cruises.

The group was supposed to return at about 4:30 p.m. Monday -- but the vessel, named the Cetacea, never made it back to shore. About 10 minutes into the return trip, the Cetacea got stuck.

Coast Guard crews responded as the passengers were forced to spend a long night at sea.

Divers cut the boat free Tuesday morning, allowing the boat to move again. It was expected that the boat would arrive at about 7:30 a.m.

All of the passengers are all right, a Boston Harbor Cruises spokesperson said.

The company is compensating passengers for their troubles. Each passenger will receive $500 in cash, a $100 gift card for another trip, and a full refund, about $50. The company will also pay to re-book any passengers who missed flights Tuesday morning.


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Legal Pot Adds to Denver's Homeless Problem


iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- They're going to Colorado to get high but instead, the lure of legal marijuana is leaving many young people high and dry.

Since the use of up to one ounce of pot became legal in December 2012, Denver, Colorado, has seen as influx of visitors who have come to stay. When sales of marijuana were allowed last January, even more people from out of state have shown up.

And therein lies the problem, one that supporters of legal pot probably didn't anticipate.  Denver says that its homeless population has grown in the past year-and-a-half and the majority of the newcomers are teens and people in their 20s.

Not everyone who comes to the city is necessarily a slacker. Some have said that they want to find work in Colorado's booming marijuana industry.

However, there seems to be more stoners than there are jobs for them. One worker at a Denver shelter says that about one in three of their new residents acknowledge that their main reason for being in Denver is to smoke grass.

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Judge Sides with Shelly Sterling in Sale of LA Clippers


iStock Editorial(LOS ANGELES) -- A Los Angeles judge is siding with Shelly Sterling in her fight against Donald Sterling to sell the LA Clippers.

The judge says she acted properly in her actions to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.  

In a statement to ABC News, the NBA said, "We are pleased the court has affirmed Shelly Sterling's right to sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer. We look forward to the transaction closing as soon as possible."

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Two US Marshals, Detective Shot in New York City


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective were shot Monday while serving a warrant in New York City, authorities said.

The suspect, identified as Charles Mozdir, was a violent sex offender. He was killed in the shooting, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

The incident happened in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

The law enforcement officers have non-life threatening injuries and were taken to Bellevue Hospital, authorities said.


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Homes, Campgrounds Evacuated Near Yosemite Wildfire


iStock/Thinkstock(EL PORTAL, Calif.) -- Firefighters in northern California are battling large wildfires, attempting to extinguish a blaze near Yosemite National Park that quadrupled in size over the weekend.

The fire entered park grounds on Monday, according to park spokesperson Scott Gediman, though it represents a small percentage of the fire and flames don't yet pose a threat to any of the major tourist areas.

At least 100 homes and two campgrounds were evacuated over the weekend, and more than 700 firefighters are working to suppress the flames. Crews face difficult challenges in rough terrain, steep cliff sides, and extreme heat.

2014 marks the driest year on record for Yosemite, following three back-to-back years of extreme drought. The conditions bring up to triple-digit temperatures with the wildfire, and experts forecast similar conditions throughout the week.

Officials are also implementing helicopter water drops to pinpoint locations in steep terrain.

The fire began in the community of El Portal around 3 p.m. Saturday, according to park representatives. As of 9:45 p.m. Sunday, the fire had burned 2,100 acres. Since July 14, Yosemite Park has experienced more than 3,000 lightning strikes and at least 21 fire starts.

Still, the park remains open, including Yosemite Valley and Half Dome. While tourists are frequenting the area, they face possible road closures that could lead to delays.

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Girl Who Vanished for Nine Months Is Weak, Malnourished


Police are seeking information regarding the identity of the man depicted in this sketch, as described by Abigail Hernandez. (New Hampshire Department of Justice)(CONWAY, N.H.) -- The family of a teenage girl who disappeared nine months ago before reappearing at her New Hampshire home last week is severely malnourished and not eating solid foods.

"Right now, Abby is resting, extremely tired and in deteriorated health, and has lost a lot of weight. She is working to build her strength back and we hope soon she will be back on solid foods," the family said in a statement.

Fifteen-year-old Abigail Hernandez has reportedly met with investigators every day since she walked back into her Conway, New Hampshire, home on July 20.

Police have released a sketch of the suspect who they believe drove away with her when she was walking home from school on Oct. 9.

"Abigail described the man as having darkish skin, dark brown eyes, black stubble facial hair, and a large build, who was slightly overweight and slightly taller than she was (5-foot-4")," the New Hampshire Attorney General's office said last week.

She reportedly told investigators that the man was driving a navy blue pickup truck.

They have refrained from releasing any further details about the case because the investigation is ongoing, but they have maintained throughout that they believe one or more individuals were responsible for kidnapping and detaining her for nearly a year.

"We have said from the beginning and we continue to believe that this was a 14-year-old girl who went missing in October," Associate Attorney General Jane Young told ABC News. "She was gone for nine months. She didn't have the means to orchestrate and facilitate this on her own."

Abby has been visited by friends since returning home, some of whom have spoken out about her progress.

"Abby is very thin and weak. We continue to work towards getting her to eat," her friend Amanda Smith said on the family's website. "Abby has shown incredible courage thru [sic] this. She is beyond grateful to be home and is just relaxing, resting, trying to get her health back."

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One Dead, 13 Injured in Rare Southern California Lightning Storm


iStock/Thinkstock(VENICE BEACH, Calif.) -- A rare lightning storm struck packed Venice Beach, Calif., Sunday, killing a 20-year-old man and injuring up to 12 others, one critically, after the same storm had struck a person on Catalina Island.

Firefighters said a bolt of lightning hit the water and the electrical current then traveled, hitting swimmers and surfers.

"The fire department assessed a total of 13 patients, and transported a total of eight patients," Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said.

Five others were injured, but did not require hospitalization, she said.

Main said it appears to have been just one powerful lightning strike that hit the shoreline.

"Everyone that had a medical complaint was either in or near the water," Main said.

The man who died was swimming and went missing in the water after the lightning strike, according to ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles. After lifeguards found him in full cardiac arrest, emergency personnel performed CPR and transported him in critical condition to Marina Del Rey Hospital, where he died.

The other person who was critically injured was a surfer, officials said.

Thunderstorms are very uncommon in the Los Angeles area, and people on the beach were shocked by what they experienced. Some said it felt like they got hit over the head with a board and then they were tingling all over.

"It sounded like a sonic boom. It literally shook the buildings," Stuart Archer, who was playing volleyball on the beach, told ABC News. "Shook us on the courts."

He said it was like somebody punched him in the head, his muscles locked up, and he fell. "I looked up and everybody else was falling over," he added.

Many people who were on the beach said they were knocked down, and lifeguards ran to get victims out of the water.

"Out of nowhere, we heard like a thunderstorm," witness Jason Alas told KABC-TV. "It was like really, really loud."

Before hitting Venice Beach, the thunderstorm moved over Catalina Island where a golfer was injured by lightning.

According to the National Weather Service, before Sunday there had already been 15 lightning strike deaths nationwide this year, including six in Florida.

This was the first death attributed to lightning in California this year.


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