Ecstasy pill found in child's Sonic burger meal

In Taylor, Texas an 11-year-old girl helpfully unwrapped her four-year-old brother's Sonic fast food burger and found what she thought was a piece of candy inside. Fortunately, she asked her parents before popping into her mouth. They took the "candy" to the police who determined it was actually an Ecstasy pill. Insert your own "happy meal" joke here. From KXAN:

Officers took the restaurant's manager, Tanisha Dancer, into custody for a felony theft warrant from Guadalupe County. When she got to the Williamson County Jail, police said a female correctional officer searched Dancer and found three ecstasy pills hidden in her clothing...

Taylor police said they notified the Texas Department of Health, the restaurant's local owner and corporate Sonic. Police said the Sonic director of operations told them that they have now fired Dancer.

Two other employees were also arrested -- one for marijuana possession and the other for outstanding warrants.

Read the rest

Manafort lied about contacts with Russia and Trump, Mueller says in memo

Special counsel Robert Mueller says Paul Manafort told ‘discernible lies,’ including about contacts with his longtime translator and fixer, Konstantin Kilimnik, an employee who is believed to have Russian intelligence ties. Read the rest

Michael Cohen SDNY sentencing memo recommends 'substantial prison,' and Individual-1 is in deep trouble

Federal prosecutors in New York request a "substantial" prison sentence for Michael Cohen, who pled guilty to violating campaign finance laws. Sentencing guidelines suggest that could mean 46 to 63 months. Read the rest

Officer shot in Thousand Oaks mass shooting was killed by friendly fire

Though he was also shot by the suspect in last month's attack at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Ca., Sgt. Ron Helu was killed by friendly fire during the shootout.

"We believe that Sgt. Helus was clearly not the intended target of the CHP officer -- which further illustrates the extreme situation both men faced."

According to the county's chief medical examiner, Helus' initial wounds were survivable, but the sixth bullet proved deadly when it struck his heart.

Previously. Read the rest

Most U.S. police departments report sharp fall in applicants

Cops see themselves as a thin blue line, but the job is is turning into a scarlet letter.

Nationwide, interest in becoming a police officer is down significantly. In Nashville, job applications dropped from 4,700 in 2010 to 1,900 last year. In Seattle, applications have declined by nearly 50 percent in a department where the starting salary is $79,000. ...

Videos of police misconduct and fatal shootings have damaged the perception of American police officers but not irrevocably, said Antoinette Archer, director of human relations for the police department in Richmond Many people are “taken aback by the brutality, not by the profession,” she said. “If we can be inclusive” of women and people of color, “those individuals who can see a part of their fabric in the department will come forward. ... If the environment is not inclusive, you’re going to lose them.”

Too many cops and too little crime. The invisible fist, it turns out, prefers "less cops" to "more crime," however hard some departments try to manufacture the latter.

Archer is maybe concerned with recruitment standards falling to make up numbers, creating a vicious cycle with respect to the "white supremacists and outright psychos" policing problem. Read the rest

Verizon/Aol fined $5m for knowingly helping advertisers track children

Aol deliberately provided advertisers with the means to illegally track children and target advertising to them. It will pay a $5m fine, reports The New York Times. At Ars Technica, Jon Brodkin reports that it's the largest COPPA hit yet.

Verizon has consistently fought government regulation of privacy in broadband networks. As owner of Oath, Verizon is forcing users of Yahoo services to waive their class-action rights and agree to resolve disputes through arbitration.

The attorney general investigation "examined AOL's practices between October 2015 and February 2017," The New York Times reported. Verizon did not admit or deny the investigation's findings but told the Times, "We are pleased to see this matter resolved and remain wholly committed to protecting children's privacy online."

It's like something from a creepy fable: a drooling, dangerous dog so obviously untrustworthy that to leave the children with it is tantamout to feeding it, yet we keep doing it. But if you you chain me, how will I guard your house? Read the rest

Judge reverses guilty verdict because a cop lied

A Florida judge reversed a DUI driver's guilty verdict because a cop lied, and it's all on video.

After pulling over a woman he claims to have seen drinking beer at the wheel, Sanford, Fla., police officer Michael Wagner filed a citation saying she'd been breathalyzed over the legal alcohol limit, and her license was suspended. At trial, though, Wagner testified that no breath-alcohol test was conducted and that all he did was book her into jail.

This video shows district court judge Fred Schott yelling at the prosecutor over Wagner's shenanigans and throwing the driver's guitly verdict out.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the judge has been asked to only do civil cases for a while. He sticks by his decision but admits he shouldn't have gotten mad at the prosecutor—or granted a nonexistent motion for a new trial after apparently aquitting the driver.

"I was angry," he said. "I probably got more emotional than I should have, but I really feel this woman was treated unfairly." ... Schott accused Wagner of falsifying a sworn document by checking the box that indicated Gonzalez had failed a blood or breath test.

"I want you to take him up for perjury," the judge said. 'He lied. He lied on a sworn citation. … He broke the law.

Even if it was an honest mistake, note that it's incomprehensible to police or the presecutor that they be held responsible for the mistake. Even when the only thing at stake is one iffy DUI case. Read the rest

Cop who shot neighbor in his own apartment indicted with murder

Amber Guyger, the Dallas cop who killed an unarmed neighbor in his own apartment then claimed she had thought she was in her apartment, was charged today with murder.

Guyger, who was arrested and fired from her job as a Dallas police officer after the September shooting, initially faced a charge of manslaughter. But Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson had said a grand jury could issue a stiffer charge. Botham Jean's family has wanted Guyger to be indicted for murder, their attorney Daryl Washington told CNN. Guyger, who is white, was off-duty when she encountered Jean, an 26-year-old unarmed black man, in his apartment on September 6, police said. Still in her uniform, Guyger parked her car in the complex and walked to what she believed was her apartment, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Local authorities slow-walked both Guyger's original arrest and the investigation into her killing of Botham Shem Jean, giving her days to plan her story and months to prepare her defense. Read the rest

Watch: Woman whoops would-be purse snatcher's ass

There are few things more satisfying in life than watching someone who attempted to do something awful being handed their ass by their would-be victim. It's a good thing the scumbag was wearing a helmet. Read the rest

Houston's "inchworm bandits" create performance art while robbing restaurants on their bellies

CCTV footage from a wave of after-hours robberies in Houston has birthed a viral sensation, thanks to the robbers' tactic of commando-crawling on the floor, which has led to them being dubbed the "inchworm bandits." Read the rest

Man arrested for rape after his Playstation mic allegedly broadcast audio from the crime to other players

Last June, 18-year-old Daniel Fabian of Pasco County, Florida was playing Grand Theft Auto Online, when he informed the other players in his team chat that he was going to take a break to "smash" (have sex with) a 15-year-old girl. Read the rest

Malware vector: become an admin on dormant, widely-used open source projects

Many open source projects attain a level of "maturity" where no one really needs any new features and there aren't a lot of new bugs being found, and the contributors to these projects dwindle, often to a single maintainer who is generally grateful for developers who take an interest in these older projects and offer to share the choresome, intermittent work of keeping the projects alive. Read the rest

Easter bunny wanted for deer camera theft

Berkeley County, South Carolina police are seeking the easter bunny and an accomplice for a rash of stolen trail cameras.

"We know some-bunny knows them," say the police.

(MyFox8) Read the rest

Homeless man and couple made up story, say cops, and everyone's getting charged

A homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., was famously seen to give his last $20 to a young woman, Kate McClure, who had run out of gas. Then McClure and her husband, Mark D'Amico, raised $400,000 on GoFundMe by way of thanks, only to end up publicly shamed after only gaving a small portion of the funds to Bobbitt. Authorities now say, though, that it was all a wheeze, the three of them working together from the outset.

In the latest bombshell development, according to a new report authorities believe the entire tale was a ruse conceived by McClure, D'Amico and Bobbitt in a scheme to cash in.

All three are reportedly expected to be charged with conspiracy and theft by deception for working together to concoct the story.

The précis as alleged: they all scammed the media and the public, then the couple scammed Bobbitt, presumably believing he wouldn't go to the authorities because then everyone gets busted. But he did, and everyone got busted. Read the rest

Serial swatter off to jail for "at least 20 years"

Tyler Barriss, a serial hoaxer whose SWATting calls to 911 we've covered before, is off to jail. He'll serve at least 20 years, according to his plea deal, but won't be sentenced until January.

A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game.

Twenty-six-year-old Tyler R. Barriss pleaded guilty to making a false report resulting in a death, cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly swatting case in the Kansas. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for at least 20 years, if the judge accepts it. He had previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas.

28-year-old Wichita, Kansas father of two, Andrew Finch, was killed by local police in 2017 after Barriss apparently took a $1.50 in-game bet to call them on him.

Vile as he is, Barriss is just a trigger: the bomb is police enthusiasm for deadly violence on the slightest pretext. Prosecutors refused to charge Justin Rapp, the cop who actually killed Finch, though his department faces a lawsuit from his family. Read the rest

13 dead in California bar after gunman opens fire (Update: shooter identified)

At least 13 are dead after a gunman opened fire at a crowded bar in Thousand Oaks, California. The dead include the shooter and a Sheriff's sergeant who tried to stop him.

A man, identified by authorities as Ian David Long, 29, entered the Borderline Bar and Grill at 11.20pm, threw smoke grenades into the crowd, then fired dozens of rounds into it, eyewitnesses say. Long was reportedly dressed entirely in black and wearing a mask.

Authorities do not know what his motive was, but Ventury County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters that he has "no reason to beleive there was a link to terrorism" and that the only weapon recovered was a "modified" .45 Glock handgun. The sergeant killed in the attack was a 29-year veteran about to retire, according to wire reports.

Thousand Oaks is an upscale LA exurb listed as one of the safest places to live in America. The Borderline Bar & Grill is described by Google as "a lively spot with Western decor & dancing" hosting country and salsa theme nights.

Pepperdine University in nearby Malibu reports that some of its students were there attending a "student night" event.

Updated at 10 a.m. with the shooters' name and weapon. ABC News says Long was a USMC veteran. Read the rest

Porch thief caught on camera

You'd think that so-called "porch pirates" would have realized by now that everyone has installed cameras to catch them in the act. But this brazen thief couldn't care less.

Bill Garner writes: "My phone alerted me that my doorbell had detected a visitor. When I pulled up the clip, I saw this pair of thieves! They obviously had it planned..." Read the rest

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