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29Jun/12Off

LAPD Plan To Fire Cops Believed To Have Leaked Rihanna Photo To TMZ

The Los Angeles Police Department is preparing to fire two officers they believe leaked a picture of Rihanna and her battered face to TMZ.

The officers are set to appear before the LAPD’s disciplinary panels in August. Their continued employment with the LAPD is in doubt. The officers suspected in the leak will probably lose their jobs, but they will probably not face any criminal charges.

English: Rihanna's signature

English: Rihanna’s signature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following an investigation that spanned three years, numerous search warrants and forensic examinations of computer hard drives, e-mail accounts and phones, Los Angeles County prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to prove that TMZ paid them off. Prosecutors also said that investigators could not rule out that payments to the officers were funneled through others.

An attorney for 28-year-old Blanca Lopez, an officer whose phone records linker her to TMZ, declined to comment. The second officer, 39-year-old Rebecca Reyes, denied selling the photo. Both of the officers, who are roommates and share a home in East L.A., were placed on paid leave for more than two years and eventually relieved of their duties without pay as the investigation continued.

Chris Brown (Look at him now!) was arrested on suspicion of beating Rihanna (She can take care of Drake!) in February of 2009. The beating occurred at about 12:40 a.m. Less than an hour later, Reyes called Lopez, who was assigned to another precinct. Lopez then called directory assistance twice and then called Fox. After making three calls to Fox, Lopez eventually called TMZ directly at 2:15 a.m. and then called back three more times. The final call to TMZ was at 2:35 a.m.

Word got out that Reyes had the photo on her phone. Reyes also told a niece and at least four other colleagues. She forwarded the photo to two officers and her personal e-mail account a few days later.

The image eventually surfaced on TMZ. Investigators obtained warrants to review the women’s phone and financial records. Authorities searched their home, computers and even Lopez’s locker at work. They didn’t find any conclusive evidence to prove their claims. What’s more, there is no money trail and there were other officers who had access to the photo. Do they really have a case?

If you or a loved one were somehow harmed by the LAPD, it is important that you contact a personal injury lawyer to determine if you can file a lawsuit to collect damages. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

29Jun/12Off

San Francisco Lawyer Charged in Hit-and-Run Accident

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco.

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lawyers aren’t shady, but there are a selected few who give them a bad name. Since lawyers are supposed to be well-versed in law terms, you would think that they would know how to conduct themselves in trying situations. Spencer Freeman Smith, an attorney for a San Francisco law firm, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, June 27 to a felony of a fatal hit-and-run accident.

Smith, a 33-year old man from San Ramon, was arrested in May for hitting Bo Hu and driving away at the scene of the crime. Bo Hu, a man from China, was either walking or riding his bike when Smith struck him. Hu was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident had taken place on Dougherty Road at around 11:30 p.m.

The 57-year old victim had suffered from a wrongful death. His family must be morning their loss. Families of wrongful death victims sometimes have a hard time understanding why these types of unnecessary accidents happen. If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, know that you have some legal options you can take. A preventable accident should have never happened to you and you must allow for justice to come through.

Shaft-driven bicycle Photo © by Jeff Dean

Shaft-driven bicycle Photo © by Jeff Dean (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unluckily for Smith, he did not specialize in car accidents and personal injury. Spencer Freeman Smith was an employment litigator and handled cases involving wage disputes, sexual harassment, whistle-blowers, wrongful termination, and discrimination. He worked for Financial District law firm, Smith Patten.

Not being careful and hitting a pedestrian is already bad enough, but to fatally hit them and then run away is even worse. Any good Samaritan would have at least stopped and stayed at the scene of the crime. Instead, Smith ran and left fallen car parts on the road. These forgotten car parts helped investigators link the crime to the person.

Records showed that Smith had recently bought a black 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550—the same car that matched the parts left on the road. And when officials searched Smith’s home, they found a Mercedes-Benz in his garage. There were major damages on the car which indicated that Smith had been involved in some kind of accident. The damages were on the windshield and front end of his car. The missing car parts on his car matched the car parts found on the road.

There were video surveillance recordings and cell phone records that indicated Smith was present at the scene of the crash. It was also confirmed that he was the one driving. Smith was also contacted two days after the crash by police officers, prompting Smith to immediately state that he was involved in a car accident.

Currently, Smith is free on a $60,000 bail. He is due back in court on August 8.

Since Smith was a lawyer, you would automatically assume that he would do the right thing when the accident occurred. However, he did not and is now facing the consequences of his actions. If you have lost somebody to a wrongful death accident, do not hesitate to speak with a San Francisco car accident lawyer and start fighting for your rights today.

28Jun/12Off

Teardrop Rapist Strikes Again

The infamous Teardrop Rapist may have struck again this month when a woman in South Los Angeles was accosted by an armed man who tried to sexually assault her in an alley before he was scared off.

The 29-year-old woman was alone at about 5:30 a.m. on June 15 when she was approached by a man near 25thStreet and Naomi Avenue.

English: Sureños gang member's tattoos.

English: Sureños gang member’s tattoos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The assailant tried to talk with her and then put a gun in her face. He forced her into an alley where he attempted to sexually assault her. The man ran off when a vehicle pulled into the alley. The attack resembled those of the Teardrop Rapist.

The Teardrop Rapist is believed to be responsible for as many as 35 attacks since 1996. In the last decade and a half, the serial rapist has been linked through DNA samples and other collected evidence.

His last attack occurred in November when he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in the southwest Los Angeles area. The incident also occurred in the early morning hours.

The Los Angeles Police Department released several sketches of the suspect drawn over the years and noted that there are unexplained gaps in the attacks.

When Los Angeles police asked the public for help in identifying the suspect during a news conference in 2003, the Teardrop Rapist didn’t strike again for three years. After a 2006 attack in the Century City area, another six years passed before he struck again on November 10 of last year.

In the 2003 incident, the Teardrop Rapist attacked a 15-year-old girl who was walking in the area of Gage and Hoover avenues. He asked her for directions and then pulled out a gun. He took her to an alley and tried to sexually assault her before running away.

The Teardrop Rapist is described as Latino (Whatever that means!) with brown hair and brown eyes. He is not very tall and stands between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 6 inches. He weighs between 130 and 170 pounds. He has a teardrop tattoo below one of his eyes.

If you or a loved one was attacked, the owner of the property where the crime took place may be legally responsible for your injuries. It is important that you contact a personal injury lawyer to determine if you can file a lawsuit to collect damages. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

28Jun/12Off

Cyber Stalker Arrested After Threatening Model

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Our personal safety is something that is of vital importance to us. Depending on where we live, we may take our security for granted or maybe as a blessing. In either case, safety from personal injury and wrongful death is something we seek and expect in our everyday lives. For Los Angeles model Kourtney Reppert, her feeling of security was threatened by cyber stalker Luis F. Plascencia.

Over a period of time, 26-year old Reppert increasingly got more threats from a man who anonymously looked through all her Facebook modeling photos. From emails sent from a multitude of different addresses, Plascencia terrorized the model. Some of the emails used profanity and all caps letters. Other emails told her that he know everything about her—from her parents’ addresses to where she was most of the time.

This threat of her private life being invaded must have been tough for the Los Angeles resident. The suspect had even told her that he demands she stop modeling, return to college, and change who she was. Receiving these commands from a complete, and seemingly crazy, individual must have been terrorizing to Reppert. After receiving threats, Reppert decided to hire a private detective and to get the FBI involved.

Luckily for Kourtney Reppert, she took legal action and made sure Plascencia would bully her no more. As of this Thursday morning, June 28, 47-year old Plascencia has been arrested and charged with cyber-stalking the model. The sentencing is not yet determined.

When Reppert’s life was in danger, she did not hesitate to take action. In cases like these, make sure you do not allow your personal safety to be compromised. When officers had searched Plascencia’s home in Chicago, they found CDs and a DVD containing photos of Reppert. There was even one slideshow which Plascencia had supposedly made of Reppert’s photos that was set to music. Before being arrested, the suspect had mailed the model one of the CDs, and then asked one of his neighbors to erase his hard drive. During the investigation, detectives also found out that Plascencia had made multiple emails and sent some of his emails through the Chicago Public Library.

Plascencia had been bullying and terrorizing Reppert since the beginning of this year. Reppert has many modeling photos on Facebook, some with very revealing clothing. Plascencia had started threatening Reppert, telling her to stop modeling or else he was going to kill her family. Among these messages were threats of wishing that she caught AIDs or got hit in a car accident.

Not many people have the courage to stand up for their rights when their personal safety is endangered. Don’t let this happen to you. If someone is making you uncomfortable and threatening your feeling of security, do not be afraid to stand up and take legal action. Also, if you have received personal injury or harm because of another individual, call a Los Angeles attorney today and put a stop to the bullying and threats.

27Jun/12Off

Zoloft Insanity Defense Rejected By Jury

An Iraq war veteran and former Westminster police detective may face life in prison after a San Bernardino County jury rejected his claim that Zoloft made him kidnap and rape a waitress.

In 2010, Anthony Orban kidnapped a waitress, who worked in a restaurant at Ontario Mills, as she walked to her car. He forced her to drive to Fontana where they stopped at a self-storage lot. While they were parked, Orban brutally raped and tormented her with his service weapon. When Orban was distracted by an incoming call on his mobile phone, she jumped out of her car and ran to a nearby liquor store. The gun, which had his name on it, was left in the victim’s car.

English: frhde hdres

English: frhde hdres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orban claimed on the witness stand that he had no memory of the attack and blamed his psychotic break on Zoloft. Orban also testified that the popular antidepressant caused him to hallucinate. He even had suicidal thoughts and fantasies about killing his wife and dog.

Composed of four men and eight women, the jury deliberated for two days before reaching their verdict. Two weeks ago, the same jury found Orban guilty of kidnapping, rape and several counts of sexual assault. They dismissed his claim that Zoloft had rendered him mentally unconscious and not responsible for his actions.

Zoloft was central to the defense in both the criminal trial and the sanity phase of the trial. Orban’s defense attorney tried to persuade the jury that his client couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong because of Zoloft. The defense argued that Orban should be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment instead of prison.

Orban, who will be formally sentenced in August, could face a stiff prison sentence of more than 200 years because he used a firearm during the kidnapping.

Experts on both sides of the case believe that Orban suffered some form of blackout during the incident, but they disagree on what triggered it.

The defense claims that the blackout was triggered by Zoloft. The prosecution argues that the blackout was more attributable to alcohol.

The day of the attack, Orban and one of his loser friends went barhopping at Ontario Mills. The pair ordered two pitchers of beer and eight margaritas between them. Didn’t they know that mixing alcohol types is a recipe for disaster?

Under California law, a blackout caused by alcohol does not meet the criterion for legal insanity because it is considered voluntary intoxication.

Manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Zoloft has been prescribed for depression since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1991. Millions of people take Zoloft every day. It’s a relatively safe drug.

There is no way that Zoloft caused Orban to kidnap and rape his victim. Drugs like Zoloft, however, can cause serious birth defects. If you were taking Zoloft while you were pregnant and the child was born with a birth defect, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

27Jun/12Off

Fallen Table from Pickup Truck Causes 19 Car Pileup

Wypadek na autostradzie A4.

Wypadek na autostradzie A4. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two parties being involved in a car accident is devastating enough…but what happens if there are 19 parties involved?  On Tuesday, June 26, a 19 car pileup occurred in Agua Dulce on the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway. The crash was caused when a table that was not properly secured on a pickup truck bed, fell onto the road. Afterwards, a big truck that was rounding a corner came by and saw the table on the road but couldn’t stop in time. A chain reaction was sparked as cars began to pile up behind the semi.

When driving on the freeways, we constantly see big rigs. While they are one of the vehicles least involved in crashes, when they do cause an accident, it can result in very misfortunate events. As evident in the highway pileup, many cars became involved in the accident and many victims received personal injury. This incident which happened just north of Los Angeles in the mountains had caused injury to at least 17 people, two of which were critically wounded.

The driver of the pickup truck who had lost the table did not stop. Investigators are not sure whether the driver was aware of the accident he had caused. Officials also stated that there was no detailed description of the truck.

The pileup had started at around 9:45 a.m. A variety of vehicles were involved—family cars, SUVs, pickups, and big rigs. At least two cars ha ended up piled on top of the wreck and at least one individual had to be rescued from underneath. One truck was carrying dirt or sand that had spilled onto the roadway. Also, fuel had been spilled onto the roadways but did not cause further hazards to the accident.

Traffic was backed up for two to three miles, causing hours of delay. Much of the freeway lanes were closed because of the incident. Seven ambulances arrived at the scene of the accident along with 50 firefighters. This horrific scene is something that only can be witnessed in movies. The people involved must have to deal with the aftermath of the accident plus their automobile, medical, and legal bills. Contacting a Los Angeles attorney to help them with legal matters may prove to be beneficial for them.

After the pileup, all southbound lanes were closed as well as two northbound lanes. The accident had taken up a huge chunk of the 14 Freeway and damages had to be assessed. By Tuesday afternoon at 2:15 p.m., all the freeway lanes were reopened.

While these types of large-scale accidents are fairly uncommon, they prove to be dangerous. The trauma the drivers and passengers must have faced could be severe. Injuries, pain and suffering must have been abundant on that Tuesday morning. When a car accident situation happens to you, don’t hesitate to file a claim and seek compensation. The responsible parties of an accident must be held accountable for the mess and harm they have inflicted among their victims.

26Jun/12Off

50 Cent Doing Fine After Car Accident

New York rapper 50 Cent is invincible, immortal and will probably outlive legendary West Coast rapper 2Pac.

That’s good news considering that 50 Cent almost died Tuesday morning when a big rig rear-ended his bulletproof SUV.

G Unit in Bangkok (from left to right Olivia, ...

G Unit in Bangkok (from left to right Olivia, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck & 50 Cent). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 36-year-old MC was driving along the Long Island Expressway in New York City when the collision occurred. The driver of the other vehicle apparently lost control of the truck and hit 50 Cent’s SUV, nearly flipping it over.

Luckily, 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, survived the collision. He sustained minor neck and back injuries and was transported to New York Hospital Queens. He was released following observation and is reportedly doing fine.

After a troubled youth in South Jamaica Queens where he made his living selling crack, 50 Cent rose to fame in the early 2000s. In 2003, 50 Cent released “Get Rich Or Die Tryin,’” his first album on a major label. Two years later, he released “The Massacre,” which catapulted him to hip hop superstardom.

Not only is he an actor, entrepreneur, investor, producer and rapper, but he founded hip hop label G-Unit Records in 2003. More recently, 50 Cent founded G-Note Records in late 2010 to represent artists from other genres of music.

Life is good for 50 Cent, but it could have turned out differently for him. Back in May of 2000, he was shot nine times while he was sitting in his car outside of his grandmother’s former home in Queens. The gunman fired several rounds and hit 50 Cent on his arm, hand, hip chest, both of his legs and even his left cheek. The gunshot wound to the left side of his face caused some damage to his mouth. The bullet shaved off part of his gums and left a hole between the top and bottom rows of his teeth, causing him to have slurred speech. Not one of those nine gunshot wounds, however, succeeded in bringing him down. The indestructible rapper lived to tell about it.

He spent 13 days in the hospital and endured five months of physical therapy after he was shot in 2000. Early this morning, he spent a few hours in the hospital after his accident before he was discharged. Now 50 Cent can concentrate on what’s really important:  making money and beefing with other rappers.

If you or someone you love was the victim of an auto accident involving a negligent driver or a senseless act of violence, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to determine if you have a case. A committed and dedicated injury lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

26Jun/12Off

Man High Off Bath Salts Hits Elderly Woman with Shovel

Basin bath salts

Basin bath salts (Photo credit: Theme Park Mom)

On Thursday, June 21, a 20-year old man was arrested for hitting a woman with a shovel while high off bath salts in the city of Glendale. He had barricaded himself in his apartment before police officers entered and subdued him with a rubber bullet and a Taser.

Robert Williams White had been swinging a shovel at birds when an elderly woman asked him to stop. A witness reported that after the female asked him to stop, White looked at her, said “I hate you and I want to kill you today,” and then swung the shovel at her. The elderly lady, whose name has not been released, was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries.

It was after hitting the 77-year old lady over the head with the shovel that White went to his apartment and locked himself in. The suspect stayed inside his home for about one hour before the police used a key and entered his flat. Refusing to cooperate and throwing a couple punches at an officer, White was subdued with a 40mm rubber bullet and the Taser gun.

The man was taken to a nearby hospital where White admitted that he had been drinking soda spiked with bath salts. In recent U.S. criminal activities, many have been associated with using bath salts to receive an initial high. Since it can be easily bought in supermarkets and stores, bath salts are becoming a popular product used as drugs. Though not highly addictive, bath salts still are highly toxic and have outcomes that can include paranoia, hallucinations, and even suicidal tendencies. The episode with Robert White is just one incident among a string of bath salts-related activity across the U.S. Many states are outlawing certain chemicals used to produce bath salts because of the side effects it produces.

White claims he was an alien who had been talking to Jesus before the police had entered into his home. One police officer present at his arrest says that White had not been acting normally. When taken outside to the police cars, White kept yelling “God loves all of you!” at nearby pedestrians. He is currently in Twin Towers jail where prisoners with medical need are held.

On Monday, June 25 following his arrest, White had been charged with burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. He could be facing six years in jail. He is held on $75,000 bail in the Twin Towers jail.

Luckily for the elderly women, she had not sustained any serious brain injuries or personal injuries. People who are intoxicated or high of drugs can cause serious harm to innocent bystanders. Whether serious or minor, if you have been hurt in a confrontation or victim to personal injuries, you should file a claim and seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact a Glendale personal injury lawyer today and looking into the next steps you can take.

25Jun/12Off

Del Taco Worker Out On Bail After Stabbing Customer

The next time you go for fast food and the employee gets your order wrong, you may want to think twice about complaining.

Last week, a Riverside County man learned the hard way that he should have kept his mouth shut when 28-year-old Gabriel Villalba, a gang member and Del Taco employee, got his order wrong.

Del Taco in Denton, TX

Del Taco in Denton, TX (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It happened just before 2 a.m. last Thursday at a Del Taco in Hemet on East Florida Avenue. That’s when an unidentified customer got mad because Villalba got his order wrong.

Both the customer and Villalba got into an argument. During the argument, Villalba grabbed a knife and stabbed the customer in the abdomen. The customer’s friends transported him to a local hospital. The wounds are described as serious, but not life threatening. The customer is expected to survive. No one knows if he will ever visit a Del Taco again.

Villalba, who made the unwise decision to stab a paying customer in front of eye witnesses, was arrested and booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was taken to the Larry Smith Correctional Facility in Banning where he was held on $25,000 bail. He was released on Friday.

Sheriff’s deputies aren’t sure if Villalba hired an attorney to represent him or even if Del Taco fired him for stabbing a customer. If Villalba got fired, it may be difficult for him to hire an attorney. If he didn’t get fired, he could use his vacation time – if he has benefits – to meet with his lawyer and make his court appearances.

All joking aside, this is a serious matter. Some thug who obviously can’t handle an irate Del Taco customer went beyond the bounds of societal decency and morality and stabbed a man. There is no excuse for this type of behavior.

If you or someone you love was the victim of a senseless act of violence, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to see if you’re able to file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. They can even help you collect compensation to pay off all your medical expenses.

25Jun/12Off

Hazing Goes Too Far, Teacher and Students Arrested

Teacher in primary school in northern Laos

Teacher in primary school in northern Laos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hazing seems to be a taboo when it comes to schools, social clubs, and sporting events. While hazing rituals can be a bonding quality to help initiate new comers into a club, many times it can get out of hand. Many schools and clubs ban any kind of hazing, refusing to get involved in any probable damages or personal injury accusations. For a school in Southern California, however, a teacher is getting accused of initiating hazing rituals on students.

These types of behaviors and carelessness carried out by adults can cause serious pain and suffering as well as personal injuries to innocent victims. To make matters worse, the victims of the teacher were still in high school, possibly minors. He had also encouraged other minors to participate in acts involving endangering and injuring other minors. Such ignorance and negligence is troubling.

On Saturday, June 23, a high school teacher and four other students were arrested for assaulting another high school student. The 27-year old teacher, Emmanuel Del Rose, was booked under the suspicion of encouraging other students to victimize a fellow classmate. Police investigators have claimed that Del Rosa had facilitated some of his students to begin hazing activities in order to limit and eliminate any misbehaving in the classroom.

At least one student victim had suffered minor injuries. The students arrested had been booked with suspicion of assault and child endangerment. There are no specifics yet as to what occurred during hazing rituals but it is possible personal injuries may have taken place.

The four students who were also arrested on Saturday took part of the assault Del Rosa had initiated. One 18-year old student, Fernando Salgado, is accused of child cruelty against a person under 18 years of age, attempted sodomy, rape, and mayhem. He will be appearing in a Fontana courtroom on Tuesday. The other three students arrested were juveniles.

More details have not been release as police officials are still performing an investigation. There is no word yet whether Del Rosa had facilitated similar activities in previous classroom sessions.

The Fontana Unifies School District officials had reported to police officers that at least one of their students had been assaulted. The report was put in on Friday, June 22. Del Rosa was arrested for suspicion of child cruelty with a $100,000 bail. He was released on Sunday, June 24.

Del Rosa was a summer school teacher at A.B. Miller High School. Several students from the high school have been interviewed by investigators.

Being involved in unacceptable hazing rituals can prove to be harmful—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Someone else’s careless behavior should not go by unnoticed. If you have been the victim of personal injury, call a San Bernardino personal injury attorney today. These types of acts are unacceptable and unfair to you as the victim. File a claim and start fighting for your rights today.