By Brent Swails and Jack Guy, CNN
Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN)
South African authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe, wife of deposed Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, over the alleged assault of a South African model in August 2017.The arrest warrant was issued last Thursday, South African Police Services spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told CNN on Wednesday.”
I can confirm that a warrant for the arrest of Grace Mugabe was issued last Thursday,” Naidoo said, adding that police were seeking Interpol’s help to enforce it. However there are doubts over whether Zimbabwean police would arrest Grace Mugabe, even if Interpol did issue a red notice.”We are not yet aware of the warrant,” Zimbabwean police spokesperson Paul Nyathi told CNN. “We will see when we cross that bridge.”
Model Gabriella Engels, seen here shortly after the alleged attack. South African model Gabriella Engels accused Grace Mugabe of attacking her in August 2017. Engels said on Twitter that the former Zimbabwe first lady “split my head open in 3 places. With an extension cord and plug to hit me.”
Latest blow for former first lady
Grace Mugabe was granted diplomatic immunity over the incident by South Africa’s former Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, allowing her to leave the country. However in July 2018 a South African High Court overturned the decision, paving the way for prosecution and possible extradition.The latest developments are another blow to Grace Mugabe, who was reportedly being lined up to replace her husband Robert as Zimbabwean leader before he was forced to resign in November 2017.
The former revolutionary leader ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years before leaving office after an apparent coup staged by the country’s military.At the time an army spokesman denied a military takeover was underway but the situation bore all the hallmarks of a coup: The military was in control of state TV in Harare, a significant army presence was at the city’s international airport, and Mugabe was not seen in public.President Emmerson Mnangagwa now rules Zimbabwe following disputed elections on July 30.
Brent Swails reported from Johannesburg. Jack Guy wrote in London.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo slammed elected officials for inaction on the state and federal level in response to repeated shootings at schools across the country. His comments come in the wake of the latest school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas which left 10 people dead.
Appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Acevedo said that political leaders are failing to heed the will of the voters when it comes to gun regulations and reforms.
“Let me tell you, people at the state level and the federal level in too many places in our country are not doing anything other than offering prayers,” Acevedo said. “We need to start using the ballot box and ballot initiatives to take the matters out of the hands of people that are doing nothing that are elected into the hands of the people to see that the will of the people in this country is actually carried out.”
Acevedo added that “local governments are starting to make a difference” by enacting their own reforms.
“I think that the American people, gun owners — the vast majority of which are pragmatic and actually support gun sense and gun reform in terms of keeping guns in the right hands,” Acevedo said.
Acevedo posted on Facebook that he had “hit rock bottom” and “shed tears of sadness, pain and anger” over the Texas killings. The post went viral in the days after the shooting.
On Sunday, he said that one policy to consider would be stronger laws mandating proper security of guns in private homes. According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the suspect used a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver which his father owned legally. Abbott told reporters that he didn’t know whether the father was aware his son had obtained the weapons.
“If you have firearms in your home and you do not secure them and you don’t secure them in a manner that can preclude someone from grabbing them and taking them and carrying out this carnage, [there] is a criminal liability that attaches,” Acevedo suggested.
He added, “I believe that anyone that owns a firearm that doesn’t secure it properly [and it] ends up in the wrong hands and used to kill innocent people, that that should carry some significant consequences. We need to think about that on the national level across this country.”
(ROHNERT PARK, Calif.) — Police say a man was stabbed to death inside a college dorm Sunday night in Northern California. Another man has been arrested.
The Press Democrat reports that Sonoma State University officials wouldn’t say if the victim or the suspect was enrolled at the university. Sonoma State is about 45 miles north of San Francisco.
Campus police were called to Sauvignon Village residential community Sunday evening and found the man’s remains.
Both the university and police declined to identify either the victim or suspect or provide any detailed information about the incident.
The Sauvignon Village community is described on the university’s website as a housing option for first-time freshmen at the 9,400-student university.
A university spokesman says there is no further risk to students and finals will begin Monday as scheduled.
Lucknow, May 14 (IANS) Robbers claiming to be Uttar Pradesh Police personnel attacked two Buddhist monks and injured them early on Monday at a library Farrukhabad district, police said. Six gun-wielding robbers, who were yet to be identified, barged into the Buddha Vihar library in Sankisa area and attacked the monks before decamping with five…
Lucknow, May 14 (IANS) Robbers claiming to be Uttar Pradesh Police personnel attacked two Buddhist monks and injured them early on Monday at a library Farrukhabad district, police said.
Six gun-wielding robbers, who were yet to be identified, barged into the Buddha Vihar library in Sankisa area and attacked the monks before decamping with five mobile phones, one bike and Rs 40,000 in cash.
Monk Bhatte Chaitsik said, on being asked the robbers told them they were from the Uttar Pradesh Police. Later, they thrashed the monks and robbed them off their belongings, police said.
The monks managed to reach the roof somehow and dialled UP 100 service with the help of a neighbour. A First Information Report has been registered.
Farrukhabad Superintendent of Police Mrigank Singh told IANS that the monks were injured and added that the police were trying to crack the case at the earliest.
Sankisa is a major tourist and spiritual draw for Buddhists who come here from across the world, round the year.
The police authorities have resolved to drag the senate to the court to challenge the untoward action and resolution against the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.
The plan by the police to approach the courts came barely 48 hours after the angry senators declared Idris as unfit to hold public office
The Commissioner of Police (Legal), Force Headquarters, Mr. David Igbodo, stated this on Thursday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“That declaration, we are going to challenge it (in court),” he said.
“We want the court to interpret whether each time the IGP is invited to appear before the National Assembly (NASS), whether he must, as a matter of fact, appear in person.”
The police boss and the National Assembly have not been on the same page since the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye over offences bordering on alleged murder and unlawful possession of firearms among several others.
Idris was first summoned on April 25, but he failed to appear, rather sent a DIG to represent him at the Senate, noting that he was on an official assignment to Bauchi with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was summoned for the second time to appear on May 2, but he again failed to honour it, delegating Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Joshak Habila, whom the Senate refused to entertain.
Igbodo explained that the IGP acted in accordance with the law by delegating the DIG to represent him in an official capacity.
“Official functions of the IGP can be performed by the DIG or the Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs). So why are they insisting that it must be the IGP to appear in person?
“What is personal about it? The facts are known to the DIG (Operations). The facts are known to all the DIGs. They are expected to brief the NASS, why are they making it personal?”
Igbodo further accused the Senators of making the issue personal, wondering why the police chief cannot assign another senior officer on official assignments.
The police had earlier absolved the IGP of blames, stressing that he is not an enemy of democracy as declared by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.
Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, had in a statement on Wednesday said the police is rather the first defender of democracy in Nigeria.
He said, “It is important to correct the impression created in the minds of the people from the Senate’s resolution that the IGP is not and will not be an enemy to democracy.”
According to Moshood, the Senate’s declaration of the Police boss as an enemy of democracy is a deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting, and mischief aimed at casting aspersions on the integrity of the IGP.
The post We are going to challenge Senate’s resolution in court – Police appeared first onAdeLove.com|Best Nigerian Blog.
Police in Cape Breton say they have found the body of a 48-year-old woman believed to have fallen through the ice while cross-country skiing.
They say a Cape Breton Regional Police dive team found the woman’s remains in Waterford Lake at 10:40 a.m.
They say her identification will be confirmed through the medical examiner’s office, and that foul play is not suspected.
Several agencies were involved in the search for the woman from New Victoria, including the local volunteer fire department, a hazmat team and Cape Breton Ground Search and Rescue.
Police were initially called at 9 p.m. Saturday when the woman did not return home, prompting a late-night search by patrol and K-9 officers.
Abdul stated this during an investigative hearing into the incident by joint ad hoc committee investigating the incident.
According to him, what happened at the National Assembly was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers.
“There should be cooperation between security agencies and the lawmakers but in this case, the attack came from the roof as the senators are not helping security matters.”
“On April 16, there was an earlier hint that a group planned to invade the National Assembly and disrupt activities, which called for a build-up of security with two units of mobile police mobilized to the complex.”
“However, on April 18, at about 11 a.m., my attention was drawn to a group protesting at the gate, and while I moved to address the group, I was informed that some people were running away with the mace.”
“I signaled all the entry points that nobody drives in or out but three men approached me identifying themselves as security operatives and requested to be allowed to go.
“The strain of blood on their clothes made me suspicious and I ordered their arrest.”
“In addition, an unmarked Prado jeep and a Toyota Hilux were impounded and they are with the police.”
“It was later that I observed that the protest was a diversionary attention to move me out and that the protesters were the same group with those that attacked”, Abdul said.
He said that there was no communication from the Sergeant-at-Arms to the National Assembly during the invasion by the thugs.
Earlier, the Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Brighton Danwalex, had said that report from the investigation after the incident revealed that Senator Ali Ndume instructed the men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it during the invasion.
According to him, it was wrong for them to take orders from Ndume.
“Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks,’’ he added.
Danwalex said that security men were overpowered due to lack of non-functional security gadgets to enhance operational capacity.
“There is no functional walkie-talkie; we would have alerted all the exit points.”
“The CCTV is not functioning and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors,’’ he said.
Chairman of the committee, Sen. Bala N’allah, requested the Police to furnish it with copies of station diary where entry of the crime was made.
He also directed that the committee should be given copies of the crime routine diary, pictures of those arrested and the transfer register explaining where the invaders were transferred to.
On her part, the Co-Chairman of the committee, Rep. Betty Apiafi, blamed the invasion on negligence on the part of the Sergeant-at-Arms.
She accused them of failing to raise alarm having observed something unusual.
Similarly, Sen. Shehu Sani accused the security operatives in the complex of regularly collecting money to allow unauthorized persons into the premises.
“How could five thugs succeed if there was no collusion?”, Sani said.
Jose Arreola walked into a Southern California gas station to buy Mentos on a Friday night in March and still can’t shake off what happened next. After he paid for the mints and placed them in his left jacket pocket, an off-duty police officer behind him pulled out his handgun, pointed it at his feet and accused him of stealing them.
“It made me angry,” Mr. Arreola, 49, said on Monday. “I felt this fear and thought of my wife. My wife might become a widow tonight.”
The night started when Mr. Arreola, who was on his way to a club with his wife, pulled into a Chevron station in Buena Park in Orange County, Calif. He got $60 out of an A.T.M., then remembered that his wife had asked for mints.
Standing in front of the cashier, Mr. Arreola scanned a row of candy bars, sweets and gum before reaching for a roll of Mentos. “How much are these?” Mr. Arreola asked the man behind the counter. The cashier told him they were $1.19.
The transaction on March 16, which was recorded by the gas station’s security camera, was entirely uneventful until the off-duty officer, who works for the Buena Park Police Department, entered the store. He missed the part when Mr. Arreola handed over $20 for the Mentos.
“Hey, put that back,” the officer said as he lifted his sweatshirt and pulled a handgun from his waistband. “Put it back. Police officer.”
“I just paid for this,” Mr. Arreola responded.
The misunderstanding was resolved in about 35 seconds — the officer put away his gun and apologized — but it was long enough to taint Mr. Arreola’s perception of the police and to land the officer in an internal investigation.
“You can’t help but look at all these Facebook videos of cops doing bad things,” said Mr. Arreola, who went public with his story on Friday in an interview with The Orange County Register. “The way he cocked his gun, I thought he was going to shoot me if I did any wrong move.”
Mr. Arreola said that after the encounter, he filed a complaint with the Police Department against the officer, who has not been identified. The department offered last week to settle the dispute, Mr. Arreola said, but he declined the deal because the amount would have only covered his legal fees.
Across the United States, police departments have come under intense scrutiny in recent years over the use of force and treatment of minorities. The worst actions by police officers are sometimes captured on cellphone video and quickly shared on social media, fueling a distrust toward law enforcement.
John DeCarlo, a former police chief and an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven, said that he reminds police officers to treat everyone they encounter with respect, from mundane interactions to very intense ones.
Everyday encounters, like seeing an officer in a gas station, shape people’s overall perceptions of the police, he said. “We have an innate fear of police to begin with,” Mr. DeCarlo said. “It’s about treating people how you want to be treated.”
Mr. DeCarlo was startled as he watched the security footage of the off-duty Buena Park police officer. “Oh my goodness,” he said as he watched the officer retrieve his gun. “Holy mackerel.”
He said that the officer violated the most basic rules governing the use of force by the police. No matter the situation, officers should issue verbal commands first. Pulling out a gun should be a last resort.
“What the officer did was incredibly inappropriate,” he said.
Corey S. Sianez, the Buena Park police chief, said that he was also troubled by the officer’s actions. “I want you to know that after I watched the video I found it to be disturbing, as I’m sure it was to you,” he saidFriday on Facebook.
Chief Sianez said that the actions by the officer were under review. He did not respond to an email on Monday asking whether the officer was still on active duty or if he had been placed on leave during the investigation.
“I can definitely assure you that our investigation will be thorough,” he said. “If the officer is found to be in violation of any policies and procedures, he will be held accountable.”
Michael Scott, a former police officer who teaches criminal justice at Arizona State University, said the encounter was troubling on many levels.
The officer, who was wearing athletic clothes, was not easily identifiable as the police, and he pulled out his gun and accused Mr. Arreola of stealing before he knew whether a crime had been committed.
“I can sympathize with a young officer’s instincts to want to intervene off duty in what he perceives to be a crime,” Mr. Scott said. “But good judgment, combined with restrictive policies and training in those policies, are needed precisely to prevent the problems depicted in this incident.”
Durham regional police say the man used the site Plenty of Fish, with the profile name “VINCY1969,” to meet and befriend at least two women between September and November 2017. Continue reading →
PICKERING, Ont. – Police say a 48-year-old man from Pickering is facing charges after he allegedly defrauded people he befriended through an online dating site.
Durham regional police say the man used the site Plenty of Fish, with the profile name “VINCY1969,” to meet and befriend at least two women between September and November 2017.
Police allege the man would promise the women discount prices for merchandise and would request an email money transfer, but his alleged victims didn’t receive the products as promised.
A 48-year-old Pickering man is facing charges for defrauding his victims of cash after meeting them through an online dating site. https://t.co/jGgxQIhnGJ pic.twitter.com/GJICI1Uco5
— DurhamRegionalPolice (@DRPS) April 5, 2018
Investigators say two women have contacted police to report the alleged fraud.
Police say 48-year-old Hugh Odel Brian Gilbert has been charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000.
They say the investigation is ongoing and police want to ensure there are no further victims.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia police are still searching for those responsible in the fatal shooting of a Temple University student on Saturday night. Officers found Daniel Duignam, a 21-year-old student at Temple’s Fox School of Business, shot multiple times shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Temple University Confirms 21-Year-Old Student,…
PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia police are still searching for those responsible in the fatal shooting of a Temple University student on Saturday night.
Officers found Daniel Duignam, a 21-year-old student at Temple’s Fox School of Business, shot multiple times shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. John Ryan said during a press conference on Monday that Duignam called 911, telling the dispatcher he couldn’t breathe.
When police arrived on the scene, they found the apartment ransacked and no forced entry. Ryan says they believe Duignam knew who was inside the apartment with him at the time and that money was taken from his apartment.
“We’re looking for anyone who might have information,” said Ryan.
Police say there are currently no suspects.
“On behalf of everyone at Temple, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Daniel’s family and friends at this tragic time. They are in the thoughts and prayers of us all. The death of a member of Temple University’s community takes an enormous emotional toll on all of us,” Temple University President Richard Englert said in a statement.
Those that knew Duignam have taken to social media to send condolences.
The 21-year-old student was from Tatamy, Pennsylvania, about 55 miles north of Philadelphia.
Duignam’s grandfather was the former mayor of Tatamy.
In a post on the Tatamy Borough’s Facebook page, current Mayor Christopher Moren called his death a “senseless tragedy.”
“I am beyond heartbroken to let you know that one of our own has fallen to a senseless tragedy. Dan was the grandson of former Mayor Luke Duignam. I cannot imagine their pain and sadness,” said Moren.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
A policeman who killed his ex-girlfriend when she yelled at him for cheating and making “the other woman” pregnant, will be sentenced next week.
State advocate Gugu Shange on Thursday argued in the Pietermaritzburg high court that Constable Vuyani Brian Welcome should be given a higher sentence than the prescribed minimum of 15 years, which is applicable in the matter as the murder was not planned or premeditated. She said that as a policeman, his job was to protect, not kill.
Welcome has explained in a guilty plea how he killed Zanele Sibiya, who was also a police officer, on August 19 last year in Estcourt.
He said he was involved with two women, neither of whom knew he was cheating on them. In February 2017, Sibiya fell pregnant, but later had a miscarriage.
The next month, his other girlfriend fell pregnant. In August Sibiya found out about the other woman. She was furious, so he dumped her.
The fatal confrontation happened when she came to meet him at a bar. He got into her car.
“The conversation between us started off politely but soon became very uncomfortable. She brought up the fact that she had lost our baby and now another woman was pregnant with my child. She was very angry and began screaming at me, indicating that I am a terrible person who used her. I tried defending my actions but she was not prepared to listen. She continued shouting until I reached a point when I could no longer take it.”
Welcome drew his firearm and shot Sibiya once in the head. He said when he realised she was dead, he began to panic. He drove the vehicle to a nearby embankment where he abandoned it. He then got a lift to the bar and picked up his car. He was arrested later that day.
His attorney, Lauren Marais, said his sentence should be less than 15 years because he had a clean record, admitted guilt and the murder happened on the spur of the moment.
The parents of education expert Professor Graeme Bloch have been found tied up and murdered in their Cape Town home on Saturday.
Rosalie Bloch, 84 and Aubrey Jackson, 94, were discovered at about 09:00 by a relative who went to fetch them.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the provincial detectives were investigating a case of murder and house robbery following the incident.
No arrests have been made.
The ANC expressed its shock and sadness at the “brutal, callous and cold-blooded killing” of Bloch’s parents. Bloch is married to former politician Cheryl Carolus.
“We strongly condemn the cowardly act visited on the defenceless and elderly. It is disheartening to note that we still have amongst us, those who are determined to trample on other people’s right to live driven by selfish and cruel intentions,” ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement.
He urged law enforcement agencies to work hard in their quest to ensure that the couple’s murderers were caught and that they face the full might of the law.
Mabe also called on all South Africans to act in concert to ensure that criminals had nowhere to hide.
“We express our sincere condolences to comrades Graeme Bloch, his wife and fellow activist comrade Cheryl Carolus and the Bloch family on their untimely loss.
“The ANC wishes Rosalie Bloch and Aubrey Jackson eternal peace,” he said.
- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for failing to curb the violence, which is becoming a key election issue ahead of presidential polls in 2019.
- The military and police are fighting Boko Haram jihadists in the north, militants and pirates in the oil-rich south, a simmering separatist movement in the east as well as the bloody conflict between herdsmen and farmers spanning the vast central region.
Fighting between armed bandits and militiamen left 45 dead in northern Nigeria, police and a local militia said Sunday, amid escalating rural violence often involving cattle rustling, robbery and kidnappings.
“The 45 bodies were found scattered in the bush. The bandits pursued residents who mobilised to defend the village after overpowering them,” said a vigilante who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.
“The dead included children abandoned by their parents during the attack” in the village of Gwaska, in Kaduna state.
“The attackers were obviously armed bandits from neighbouring Zamfara state who have been terrorising Birnin Gwari area,” he added.
The Kaduna state police chief, Austin Iwar, confirmed the attack, saying: “There was violence between the militias, who are very powerful, and bandits.”
He could not break down the casualties, saying only: “For now all we know is that 12 people were buried yesterday and 33 today.”
The vigilante said the bandits struck at about 2:30 pm (1330 GMT) Saturday and stayed for three hours before retreating to their base in the forest in Zamfara.
“They burnt down many homes,” he said.
The killings follow the death of 13 people in prolonged clashes between cattle thieves and local civilian militia in Zamfara last week.
The attacks underlined the diversity of Nigeria’s security threats that persist because of an overstretched army and security forces.
Rural communities in Zamfara have been under siege for several years from cattle rustlers and kidnapping gangs, who have raided herding communities, killing, looting and burning homes.
To defend themselves, villages and herdsmen form vigilante groups, but they too are often accused of extra-judicial killings, provoking a bloody cycle of retaliatory attacks.
Adding to the proliferation of violence due to these criminal groups, Nigeria is in the grip of a security crisis as nomadic herders and sedentary farmers fight over land in an increasingly bloody battle for resources.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for failing to curb the violence, which is becoming a key election issue ahead of presidential polls in 2019.
The military and police are fighting Boko Haram Jihadists in the north, militants and pirates in the oil-rich south, a simmering separatist movement in the east as well as the bloody conflict between herdsmen and farmers spanning the vast central region.
Homicides in Fresno have dropped by half compared to a year ago due to a crackdown on gangs. LEWIS GRISWOLD – THE FRESNO BEE
FRESNO, California — Homicides in Fresno have dropped by half compared to a year ago due to a crackdown on gangs, Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer said Tuesday.
There have been 12 homicides this year in Fresno compared to 24 last year to date, Dyer said.
But Fresno would be a safer place to live if the state would stop reducing the number of people in prisons, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said at a joint news conference in Fresno with Dyer and Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.
“There’s a great big 800-pound gorilla in the room,” Scott said.
A federal agent was shot in the face early Friday while working undercover in a joint mission with Chicago police officers on the South Side. BY MADELINE BUCKLEY AND JEREMY GORNER CHICAGO TRIBUNE
CHICAGO — A federal agent was shot in the face early Friday while working undercover in a joint mission with Chicago police officers on the South Side, authorities said.
The agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was wounded around 3:15 a.m. near 44th Street and Hermitage Avenue in the Back of the Yards, not far from Davis Square Park, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, but officials said his injury was not considered life-threatening.
A second officer was taken by ambulance to a hospital for observation, but was not injured.
No one was in custody.
The agent was part of a strike force formed last June to cut the flow of illegal guns into Chicago and crack down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges, officials said. Twenty ATF agents were assigned to the task force, along with 20 officers from the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois state police.
In Back of the Yards, the ATF agents have teamed with Chicago police to investigate gang-related rifle shootings that have become more common in that area over the last two years. The Tribune has reported that more than 140 people have been shot — 50 of them fatally — from the fall of 2016 to the end of 2017 by gang members wielding rifles as their use spread across the South and Southwest sides.
Officials said the agent was shot during an investigation of illegal guns, but no details were available.
Luz Campos, who lives several houses down from the shooting, was in her kitchen tending to a toddler when she heard someone say, “Open the door. Open the door.”
She then heard what she thought were fireworks. “Then the cops were coming,” Campos said.
She stepped outside with the young boy and saw a rush of police cars. The boy stood behind her and waved to an officer who was walking toward the shooting scene. The officer waved back.
Other neighbors said they heard a barrage of gunshots. One woman said they were too numerous to count.
Another woman, who was asleep on a couch in her front room, said she awoke to continued gunfire. “We just heard a lot of shots,” she said.
By sunrise, groups of ATF agents and Chicago police officers — at least two of them high-ranking department officials—walked up and down 44th Street near the shooting. Gusts of wind shook yellow crime tape as children with backpacks headed to school.
©2018 Chicago Tribune
TORONTO — The distressing scope of criminal allegations against Alek Minassian were revealed in a packed Toronto courtroom — 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder — as glimpses of the man and a possible motive emerged after a rental van mowed through pedestrians along Toronto’s Yonge Street.
Just “minutes before” the van started its awful rampage along the sidewalks of one of Canada’s best known streets, deliberately striking pedestrians, Minassian posted a “cryptic message” on Facebook, said Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Graham Gibson.
The message says: “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
Decoding the post suggests a spark for the deadly trek may have been frustration over an inability to attract female companionship. The majority of the victims struck by the van were women, adding to the potential importance of the post.
Toronto police are investigating whether Minassian’s mental health or an interest in the incel movement are related to the van attack.
At 25, Minassian, who lived with his parents and his brother in a detached two-storey home in suburban Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto, is variously described as a failed solider who dropped out of basic training, a socially awkward student in a special needs class in high school where he was known for acting like a cat, a long-standing college student, a computer whiz and app developer, video game enthusiast and a self-declared “incel.”
It is his apparent embrace of the incel movement that helps decipher his odd Facebook post, which Facebook has confirmed as a legitimate post from Minassian’s account that has since been taken down by the company.
An “incel” is a portmanteau of “involuntary celibate” and came into wide recognition in 2014 after Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six and injured 14 in Isla Vista, California, before killing himself. In a manifesto, he said he needed to punish women for rejecting him and sexually active men for their success where he failed.
Within the incel subculture, which typically veers towards deep misogyny, “Chads” refer to the sexually successful men and “Stacys” to unattainable women.
As news of Minassian’s connection spread, some self-professed incels embraced it as a call to arms.
Some members of an incel-dedicated forum branded him “Saint Alek” and “St. Minassian.” Some suggested other ways to continue the attacks so the world of the sexually active would fear them.
“It is a good time to be an incel. Our brothers are launching their counter-attack, getting their revenge. Thank you,” one post reads. “They should be scared, this is what happens when you deny so many men love and affection for their entire lives,” said another.
“Well, he certainly got us noticed,” one member wrote. “It will be interesting to read about Alek’s story as more details about his life unfold. I’d love to know what exactly made him think he was an incel.”
That story may one day become known, but for now, Minassian’s story comes fragmented from a cluster of people who knew him, but none who appear to have known him well.
Despite the violent language of some incels online, those who knew Minassian personally did not pin him as a violent character. Oddball, challenged, awkward, weird, infantilized, but not violent.
When Minassian was a student at Thornlea Secondary School in nearby Thornhill, Ont., he stood out for his unorthodox behaviour.
“I had classes with him. He was mentally unstable back then. He was known to meow like a cat and try to bite people; this is one sad and confusing story,” Alexander Alexandrovitch said of his former classmate in a Facebook post.
Minassian was “never intentionally violent” in school, he added.
Reza Fakhteh said he overlapped with Minassian for two years at Thornlea. He described Minassian as a special education student who rarely socialized and had no obvious friends.
“I never heard him speak beyond meowing at people,” Fakhteh wrote in a Facebook message. “His movements were erratic and just strange overall. He acted like a cat in every way.”
Fakhteh said he was shocked to hear that Minassian was named as a suspect in this kind of attack.
“The guy I remember from high school definitely wouldn’t be driving,” he said.
Ari Blaff, another former classmate said he was “an odd guy.”
“He had several tics and would sometimes grab the top of his shirt and spit on it, meow in the hallways and say, ‘I am afraid of girls.’ It was like a mantra.” While Minassian did not express strong ideological views or harass women, he was isolated and others privately made fun of him, Blaff said.
While in high school, he was an avid videogamer. A defunct Steam account, a video game software platform, that appears to be Minassian’s says he is better at shooting games than strategy games. It says he loves the Halo series — a franchise of science fiction-based first-person shooter games — and adds the gamer names of three players who he says are his “real life friends.”
Provincial records show the house, now guarded by police, belongs to Vahe and Sona Minassian. They bought the property in 1998 for $330,000.
In a story published in the Richmond Hill Liberal in 2009, a woman named Sona Minassian praised a local program for special needs children. The story said her son, who isn’t named, lived “with a form of autism known as Asperger’s syndrome.” He used the program, called Helpmate, to earn experience in an office setting.
In 2011, after high school graduation, Minassian enrolled at Seneca College in Toronto. His computer skills were put to use.
He worked as a paid research assistant, roughly four years ago, on a joint project with the college and an external business partner to develop an application to deal with data produced by health and wellness devices similar to Fitbits.
A staff member at Seneca who had a few encounters with Minassian several years ago said he seemed to struggle with social interaction.
“He could have sort of normal conversation, but you could tell it wasn’t his strength,” said the staff member, who did not wish to be named. “It’s completely surreal to realize you know someone who (allegedly) killed 10 people.”
Seneca President David Agnew acknowledged his school’s connection Minassian in an email to students and staff Tuesday afternoon, obtained by the National Post.
“The reports associating the driver with Seneca are extremely troubling,” Agnew wrote. “Yet it is vital that we do not let this terrible act undermine our determination to be the peaceful, tolerant and inclusive society that is admired around the globe. We must grieve, and we must heal, but we must also resolve to carry on.”
One of the victims was a student at Seneca. “Our thoughts are with all those affected, including the family and friends of one of our students who died as a result of the tragic incident. Along with the rest of the city, and world, we are extremely troubled by yesterday’s events,” a statement for the college says.
Minassian’s LinkedIn page lists him as enrolled at Seneca from 2011 to 2018. Asked whether seven years was a peculiar length of study, Seneca spokeswoman Kayla Lewis said she couldn’t confirm any student’s enrolment due to privacy concerns, but did offer that “there’s no one-size-fits-all with students and their educational journeys.”
Minassian also appears to have been an aspiring software developer. Someone with that name registered an online Toronto parking app on Google Play.
Recently, Minassian joined the Canadian Armed Forces. A Department of National Defence spokesperson said he joined the army on Aug. 23, 2017, started his basic training at the military facility at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., that September and left the military on Oct. 25.
He had not progressed to weapons training by the time he was released.
“He did not complete his recruit training and requested to be voluntarily released from the CAF after 16 days of recruit training,” a DND spokesperson said.
His brief stint in the military also may shed light on his cryptic Facebook post. He identified himself as “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010” — that would have been his rank as a newly recruited soldier and 00010 is the military’s designation for an infantryman.
The military’s job description for a 00010 Infantryman states: “Must close with and destroy the enemy. They come into direct contact with the enemy and hand-to-hand combat is likely.”
Neighbours said they did not know the family well but often saw them while out and about.
Elaha Jamal, who lives nearby, said it was as if the parents had to supervise Minassian and his brother constantly, and would not let them roam free, sometimes even holding his brother by the shirt at the scruff of the neck.
“They were not OK,” she said. “They were an older couple but they took care of these boys like they were babies.”
— With files from Richard Warnica, Joseph Brean and David Pugliese
The police say they arrested Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, after he was granted bail in court as a result of pending charges against him. Melaye was arrested on Wednesday after he was granted bail in a magistrate court in Abuja where he was charged with attempted suicide, criminal conspiracy and causing […]. More at:
The Kaduca state Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai reportedly had a close door meeting with Police and Army security chiefs in a move many observers speculated have to do with maintenance of peace in the troubled state and to subdue the pressure from the ‘Shiites free El-Zakzaki’ campaign arising from the Zaria impasse and continual detention of the Shiite Leader in Nigeria.
Kaduna state governor, Nasiru El-rufai yesterday met with some security chiefs.
Governor El-rufai of Kaduna state poses with security chiefs
Two suspected drug users were killed and the other was wounded amidst the ‘shootout’ at Barangay Duljo Fatima, Sitio Panaghiusa St. Cebu City.
Joseph 44, and Romeo Oralde were killed and wounded Israel Patunob, 37 was rushed to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG), Regional Intelligence Division (RID), Police Regional Drug Enforcement (PDEU)-7 conducted a drug bust operation and confiscated 5.9 million of shabu, scientifically known as methamphetamine hydrochloride and 2 pistols were recovered.
Read More: In SunStar
Many erupted in laughter at a high court in Abuja on Thursday when Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, displayed a bottle of coke, tissue paper, toothbrush and toothpaste to journalists after he was arraigned.
The federal government arraigned Melaye on a two-count charge.
The senator was accused of deliberately giving false information to the police to frame Edward David, chief of staff of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, for an attempted murder on his life.
Melaye was also accused of making a false statement of facts in a phone conversation with Mohammed Abubakar, son of the late Abubakar Audu, former governor of Kogi, with the intention of harming the reputation of Bello’s chief of staff.
Melaye was granted bail in the sum of N100,000 by Olasumbo Goodluck, the judge handling the matter.
But speaking with journalists after the bail, Melaye said he came prepared in case he was not granted bail.
“I came prepared… just in case the judge didn’t grant me bail, I am ready to go to prison,” Melaye said.
His trial will commence on May 16.
In a comical twist, Melaye got his dream fulfilled as the Police later arrested him and put him in custody immediately he left the court halls.
The police say they arrested Dino Melaye, after he was granted bail in court as a result of pending charges against him. Melaye was arrested on Wednesday after he was granted bail in a magistrate court in Abuja where he was charged with attempted suicide, and criminal conspiracy.
Indian police are investigating a potential major cryptocurrency fraud that includes criminals duping a Chennai woman out of nearly $26 000 by convincing her to invest in abandoned cryptocurrency Wowcoin. The victim is identified as pharmacist Indrani Maruthamuthu from West Mambalam. She met the suspects through Facebook and identified them as Padmaj Bommi Shetty Srinivasalu, […]
An 18-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and dangerous driving after a car ploughed into crowds outside a nightclub in Newport, south Wales.
A second man, 19, has… Read the full story
An 18-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and dangerous driving after a car ploughed into crowds outside a nightclub in Newport, south Wales.
A second man, 19, has… Read the full story