<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:59:40 -0400 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:59:40 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[WATCH: Explosive Detonates in Take Out Shop, Teen Wanted]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:53:53 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Oriental+Kitchen+Explosion.jpg

A 14-year-old boy is being sought after by police for planting an explosive device inside a Philadelphia Chinese restaurant.

The explosive detonated at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday in the waiting area of the Oriental Kitchen Take-Out restaurant at 919 N. 18th Street in the Francisville section of the city, police said.

Surveillance video captured the boy walking into the restaurant and placing the device in a small access panel. He then runs outside as the device begins to flare.

Moments later, the device explodes filling the lobby with sparks, smoke and destroying part of the wall.

Luckily, no one was hurt. The take-out spot's waiting area is separated by a large Plexiglas wall and counter.

Detectives with the department's Central Detective Division describe the boy as 14-years-old and wearing a blue T-shirt and black jeans. Other kids, caught on camera outside the restaurant were seen riding bicycles.

Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia Police at 215.686.TIPS.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Police Shoot Dog During Pursuit]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:25:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/192*120/Diamond+street+shooting.JPG

Philadelphia Police opened fire on a pit bull while pursuing a shooting suspect Thursday morning.

The incident played out around 11:15 a.m. near the corner of 4th and Diamond Streets in North Philly.

Philadelphia Police said that someone shot a 27-year-old man and ran off. Officers gave pursuit on foot.

While chasing the suspects, police say that a pit bull lunged at an officer. The officer opened fire on the dog leaving the pet badly hurt.

The shooting suspect got away. The victim was rushed to Temple University Hospital in stable condition.

Police didn't say who owns the animal and didn't know the exact condition of the dog.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA["Ninja" Tries to Kill Uncle With Hammer: Police]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:09:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Michael-Norley-Jr-Lead.jpg

A Montgomery County man is behind bars accused of attacking his uncle while dressed up as a ninja.

Michael Norley Jr., 29, was arrested Tuesday at his home on E. Lemon Street in Upper Providence, Pa. and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Investigators say Norley’s 57-year-old uncle and former boss was taking out the trash at his home on the 800 block of Sycamore Mills Road Tuesday around 8 a.m. when the incident occurred. Suddenly a man dressed in all black and wearing a helmet and face shield jumped from an area near the trash cans. The “ninja” took out a ball-peen hammer and struck the man in the head, according to investigators.

Officials say the victim fell backwards as the “ninja” continued to strike him with the hammer. The victim ran toward the front of his home but tripped and fell on the steps as the suspect chased after him. Officials say the victim then fought back and kicked the suspect’s helmet, causing it to fall off.

The victim told police he then realized his attacker was Norley, his nephew. Officials say the victim began to scream Norley’s name causing him to run into a wooded area near the home. The screams awoke the victim’s family who ran out of the home and found him bleeding heavily. They then called 911.

The victim was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he was treated for severe head trauma.
Norley was arrested at his home on Tuesday and arraigned on Wednesday. He was remanded to Delaware County prison in lieu of $500,000 cash bail.

Investigators have not yet revealed the motive behind the alleged attacks.

Photo Credit: Upper Providence Police]]>
<![CDATA[Police Shoot Man After Hit-&-Run]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:31:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Camden+County+Police.JPG

Police opened fire on a hit-and-run suspect overnight in South Jersey.

Camden County Police-Metro Division say that they shot an unidentified suspect after he tried to ram officers at the intersection of N 35th Street and Pierce Avenue in Camden around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

According to police, officers were investigating a nearby crash where two pedestrians were struck. During the crash, the vehicle's license plate fell off.

Police used that plate to track the driver to a home. As they tried to pull him over the suspect took off -- trying to mow down officers, according to investigators.

Officers opened fire on the car -- striking the suspect inside.

The suspect was rushed to Cooper University Hospital in stable condition.

Police planned to charge the man once he is released.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Sacramento Patient Tests Negative for Ebola]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:04:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ebola.jpg

Health officials said Thursday a patient who was being tested for Ebola in Sacramento has tested negative for the virus.

There are currently no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in California.

"We are pleased with the negative outcome of the Ebola test and wish the patient a speedy recovery," Dr. Ron Chapman, California Department of Public Health Director and state health officer, said in a statement. "The case in Sacramento County demonstrates that the system is working. This patient was quickly identified, appropriate infection control procedures were implemented, and public health authorities were notified."

State and federal officials earlier in the week said they will not divulge which West African country the patient traveled to or from in order to protect the individual's privacy.

Officials also said they will not be releasing the patient's identity, gender or whether the patient is an adult or minor.

On Tuesday, health officials announced that the patient who was admitted to a South Sacramento hospital may have been exposed to the Ebola virus. The Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center worked with the Sacramento County Division of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test blood samples from the patient.

For more information about Ebola, please visit the CDPH home page's "Other Hot Topics" and the CDC's page on information and updates.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Saves Dog in SoCal Traffic]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:39:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/08-21-14_Dog-Freeway-Rescue.JPG

A woman who braved getting out of her car during rush-hour traffic on Thursday rescued a pooch wandering a Southern California freeway.

Just after 6 p.m. a black dog could be seen zigging and zagging into lanes of the Long Beach (710) Freeway near Atlantic Avenue, causing motorists to slow down and try to corral the pooch.

At one point, a motorcyclist rode next to the dog, ushering it to the shoulder of the freeway.

The dog was in the far left lane of the freeway, dodging vehicles as it crossed to the shoulder.

Motorists turned on their emergency lights, working like a mobile fence, to keep the pooch coralled on the side of the freeway.

Andie Valerio pulled her car over and was able to rescue the dog, who had climbed an embankment.

"I turned my hazards on and I made sure she was kind of going towards the shoulder," Valerio said.

The female dog was scooped up by Valerio. The dog was wearing a collar, but did not have any tags.

"She's super sweet," Valerio said. "I was sittin gwith her the whole time and she just licked me and she was just sitting there on the floor, calm."

After Valerio coaxed the dog into her arms and got her off the freeway, she was turned over to the local animal shelter, which will assist in locating the owner or someone to adopt the dog.

<![CDATA[Police Open Fire on Suspect in North Philly]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:22:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-0311.jpg

At least one shot was fired by police as they tried to apprehend a suspect in North Philadelphia late Thursday.

Authorities captured the armed suspect moments on the 2200 block of North 9th Street around 10:45 p.m. -- moments after the gunfire rang out, according to police.

No word yet on whether the suspect was injured.

No officers were injured in the incident, according to officials.

Stay with NBC10 for more on this developing story.

<![CDATA[Man Shot, Killed in Truck in Frankford]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:11:28 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Carlsbad-Police-Car-generic.jpg

A gunman opened fire on a man sitting in a vehicle in the Frankford section of Philadelphia Thursday night.

A bullet struck a 30-year-old man in the head while he was inside a truck on the 4500 block of Torresdale Avenue around 10:30 p.m., according to police.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 56-year-old shooter remained on the scene and, when police arrived, he admitted to firing the shots, according to officials.

Authorities took the 56-year-old man into custody, but they have yet to release a motive in the case.

Stay with NBC10 for more on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Liquor Store Clerk Shot in Armed Robbery]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:41:26 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Generic+Police+Tape+Generic.JPG

One person was shot and another hurt during an armed robbery at a liquor store in Wilmington, Del.

A group of four young men ran into the Cutrona Liquors on the 4600 block of North Market Street around 9:45 p.m.. Thursday and at least one suspect brandished a gun, according to the store's owner.

The clerk suffered a gunshot wound and was transported to Christiana Hospital, according to authorities.

Another person was beaten outside the store. That victim was transported to another local hospital for treatment, police said.

The shop owner said his store has been targeted by robbers several times over the past few months.

Stay with NBC10 for more on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Drops Pants, Fondles Himself in Front of Girls: Police]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:31:42 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philadelphia+Police+Generic.jpg

Police are searching for a man who allegedly dropped his pants and began fondling himself while two girls were standing nearby. 

The girls, aged 12- and 13-years-old, were fishing in the Delaware River near East Ferry and River roads in Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County Thursday evening when they noticed a black pick-up truck driving up and down East Ferry Road, according to officials.

Moments later, the driver exited his stopped vehicle and cleared his throat loudly -- likely an attempt to draw the girls' attention, according to authorities.

When the girls turned towards the man, his pants had dropped to the ground, his genitalia were exposed and he was fondling himself, police said.

The girls immediately left the area and contacted Lower Makefield Township Police around 7:30 p.m. to report the incident.

The man, who was in his late 30s or early 40s, was driving a black pick-up truck with silver side rails, according to reports.

Anyone with information about the incident or suspect is urged to contact police at 215-493-4055.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Demand "Drone-Free LAPD"]]> Sun, 01 Jun 2014 19:58:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/drone+free+lapd+4.JPG

Protesters gathered outside LA's city hall Thursday morning, chanting "drone-free LAPD" to demand a halt to what they called an LAPD plan to use drones to spy on citizens.

Demonstrators from the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition pushed up against the City Hall entrance, trying to get a meeting with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti over two silent, camera-equipped drones the police department has recently acquired.

"What's going to happen when they have a drone that you can't ever hear is around, that can come into close radius?" protester Jamie Garcia said. "What are they going to do with this data? They haven't told us."

LAPD got the state-of-the-art Draganflyer X-6 drones for free from the Seattle Police Department in May. Civil rights activists on Thursday said Seattle residents' protests over drone testing in their city got their mayor involved to stop the drone use. They hope they can get Garcetti to do the same.

LAPD spokesman Bruce Borihahn said a federal agency is storing the drones. He said he doesn't know the drones' capabilities.

"We're not even in possession of these things," Borihahn said.

Police will not use the drones in LA before a "lengthy approval process" by the civilian police commission, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and civil rights groups, Borihahn said.

Protesters said the Draganflyer website and videos posted by other police departments using the drones around the country show the devices are small, indetectable and much less expensive than the manned helicopters currently used by the LAPD.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California applauded the department's transparency about receiving the tool, but questioned whether its use outweighs the potential for invasion of privacy, Hector Villagra, the executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, said in a statement in June.

Beck has promised the public the drones would only be used in tactical situations such as manhunts and standoffs.

"The Los Angeles Police Department will never, ever give up public confidence for a piece of police equipment," he said in June.

<![CDATA[Woman, 92, Tricks Scam Suspects]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:18:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/elderly+woman+bellport+violet.jpg

A pair of alleged scam artists pretending to be chimney workers had the tables turned on them when the elderly Long Island woman they tried to burglarize figured out their scheme and had them arrested when they returned to her home, police say. 

The 92-year-old woman, who is being identified only as Violet, said the two men came to her Bellport home last Saturday claiming to be from a company called New York's Finest Home Improvements. 

They told her they'd made an appointment with her regarding chimney work, and while she was distracted outside with one of the men, the second stole prescription drugs and $165 in cash from inside the home, she said. But the alleged thieves didn't stop there: they told her they'd come back and fix her chimney for $3,000. 

Violet decided to do some investigating, and when she looked through her phone book, could not find a listing for New York's Finest Home Improvements. She called police. 

"It's kind of funny to us. We would use Google, or we would use the Internet," said Suffolk Det. William Madigan. "A 92-year-old woman is going to use the phone book to see if she can find the company name." 

When the two suspects returned, police were waiting for them and made the arrests. The convicted felons were charged with burglary. 

Violet said she's learned her lesson and told reporters Thursday: "You folks tell your folks to be careful. They might not realize, but they could be a victim next." 

<![CDATA[I-95 Philadelphia Overnight Closures]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:08:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Red-Road-construction.jpg

Expect commuting delays next week due to overnight lane closures on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia.

The closures are for roadwork and engineering activities according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Northbound and southbound I-95 will be reduced to three lanes north of the Bridge Street Interchange from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Friday.

The northbound right lane on I-95 between the Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue interchanges will be closed from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.

The closure are part of long-term construction projects on I-95 and the interchanges.

PennDOT advises motorists to allow additional time for travel delays through work zones.

Photo Credit: Diana Gonzalez/NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Police Believe Missing 2-Year-Old With Father]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:04:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/missing+boy+and+dad+pele+watkins.jpg

Authorities in Pennsylania and Nevada are working together to locate a missing 2-year-old boy, who they say is with his father.

Pele Watkins III was reported missing by the Las Vegas Police Department June 30. The child lives in the Nevada city with his mother, but his father, 39-year-old Pele Watkins, is a Philadelphia resident, according to authorities.

The city's Department of Human Services learned that the child may have been staying at a home on the 2200 block of West Huntingdon Street in North Philly. 

DHS officials went to the residence on Aug. 20, but the child and his father were no longer there, according to police.

Officials say the pair may be traveling in a 2003 silver Mercedes SL500 with a Nevada vanity plate reading PEMP.

Anyone with information on the pair's whereabouts is urged to contact police at 215-686-3093.

<![CDATA[SoCal Man Shares ALS Reality]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:46:57 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/ALSchallenge.JPG

It starts off hilarious: A jocular guy in a bikini challenging Ellen DeGeneres and Miley Cyrus to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Then, it gets personal, real and heartbreaking.

Anthony Carbajal, a Murrieta native and owner of a Temecula wedding photography business, shares in a new YouTube video about a family history of ALS and how he was diagnosed with the debilitating disease earlier this year at age 26.

“I hate talking about it. That’s probably why no one talks it. Because it’s so challenging to watch,” Carbajal says in the video. “No one wants to talk about it. They don’t want it to ruin their day.”

His YouTube video has reached more than 4 million views in just three days and has been spotlighted by Time, BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, among other media outlets.

The video is a challenge to naysayers of the ubiquitous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — those who express annoyance that the craze is filling up their Facebook newsfeeds.

“I promise your newsfeed will go back to cat videos and ‘Let It Go’ covers,” he says. “But now, for once, the ALS community has the main spotlight. And for once in my entire life, I’ve seen it in the forefront.”

“Eventually I won’t be able to walk, talk and breathe on my own,” he says. “And that’s the real truth of what ALS is.”

Since the Ice Bucket Challenge took over the Internet, the ALS Association has received $41.8 million in donations from July 29 to Thursday. That's compared to $2.1 million in the same time period last year.

You can watch the video here. (Warning: It contains some profanity.)

His YouTube video also drew the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who accepted his challenged and tweeted this morning:

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Video Clue in Gay Activist's Death]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 08:19:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/08212014-castro-suspect-top.jpg

San Francisco police have released taxi dashcam video of a person of interest in the case of the gay activist who was found brutally beaten and left for dead in San Francisco’s Castro District.

Police are actively searching for the person responsible for fatally beating Bryan Higgins, whom passers-by found seriously injured around 7 a.m. on Aug. 10 at the corner of Church and Duboce streets, SFPD spokesperson Albie Esparza said Thursday.

Higgins was taken to San Francisco General Hospital but was taken off life support three days later.

The video footage from a passing taxi shows a man in a dark gray hooded sweatshirt with a red shirt underneath and a baseball cap. Police also released a still photo showing the person of interest wearing a red shirt.

Police are investigating Higgins' death as a homicide and have not yet made any arrests.

Higgins, 31, also used the name "Feather Lynn" and was a member of the Radical Faeries, a movement of gay and queer-identified men searching for a spiritual dimension to their sexuality.

Police had originally not known his identity, but a photo released to the public helped to identify him.

Higgins described himself as a "starving artist" who worked at Rosenburg's Delicatessan at 276 Noe Street on his Facebook page. He is originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan.

At a prayer circle held at Duboce Park on the day his family removed him from life support, friends described Higgins as having a big impact on the local LGBT community.

Anyone with information on the case should contact SFPD at 415-575-4444.

Photo Credit: SFPD]]>
<![CDATA[Man's Fire Rescue Is Doubly Heroic]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:27:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/New+Milford+fire+1200.jpg

As flames tore through a condo complex in New Milford on Thursday morning, a North Haven dad who was delivering school supplies to children of soldiers injured in war became a hero for residents and saved lives.

A fire broke out in a ground-floor apartment at 466 Danbury Road in New Milford this morning, damaging eight condos. Everyone made it out safely, but a dog was lost.

Angelo Appi, who had just delivered 110 boxes of school supplies to Operation Homefront, a program to support children of wounded veterans, was driving by on Route 7 and stopped when he saw smoke pouring from the building.

Appi said he spotted an elderly woman trying to get back into her burning condo in search of her dog, so he stopped her from going inside and went after the pooch himself.

"The woman that was living downstairs just fell into my arms and she couldn't breathe. I was holding her," said Nicole Whitaker, who lives nearby. "I had soot all over me. She would not leave her house because of her dog."

Try as he might, Appi couldn't find the woman's pet.

"I went inside as far as I could to try and help the dog," he explained. "Unfortunately, I got overcome by smoke and flames."

Other residents told Appi a woman who lives above the apartment where the fire broke out was still unaccounted for. He and another man went up after her.

"We banged on the door numerous times to the point that we were going to break the door down. But then she opened the door," Appi explained. "She actually answered the door and we got her out safely. Not even one minute after we got her off the second floor, it went up in flames."

The three rushed downstairs just in time.

"He's a hero," said Nicole Whitaker, who lives in nearby in a building firefighters managed to shield from the flames.

Photos from the scene this morning show flames shooting through the roof. The fire spread and caused heavy damage, and firefighters had to lay their hoses along Route 7 to connecto to a hydrant.

One person was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation but no other injuries were reported, according to the deputy fire chief.

Part of Route 7 North in Danbury was closed as a result, according to state police.

Firefighters are investigating to determine the cause of the fire. The American Red Cross is helping 11 residents affected by the blaze, including a family of three in need of emergency housing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[New Philly Restaurant Ranks Top 10 in Nation]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:30:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*206/highstreetonmarket4.jpg

A new Philadelphia restaurant has been ranked in the top 10 “Best New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit magazine.  Owned by Ellen Yin of High Street Hospitality Group, High Street on Market was ranked at #2 on “The Hot Ten 2014” list.

The restaurant, located at 308 Market St. in Philly's Old City neighborhood and took the prize based on its bread program.

Executive Chef Eli Kulp, who recently was named a "Best New Chef 2014" by Food & Wine Magazine, says High Street on Market is first and foremost a bakery.

“We are geared towards pushing the envelope of what bread can be without losing focus of what makes bread great,” Kulp says. “Bread influences the entire operation [of the restaurant].”

High Street on Market transitions throughout the day, shifting from a bakery at breakfast to a café at lunch to a sophisticated, yet casual dining environment at dinner, Kulp explained. The constant thread in this ever-changing restaurant is the bread created by Head Baker Alex Bois.

Traditional breakfast items, like pancakes and waffles, are nowhere to be seen, while sandwiches featuring local farm ingredients are High Street's morning headliner. The classic Danish is transformed into the “Red Eye Danish," a smokey ham-and-cheese-style Danish featuring smoked country ham, shaved cheese, and a “red eye” coffee gravy.

The lunch menu includes twists on classic Philadelphia favorites, such as a roast pork sandwich with fermented broccoli rabe.

“We do things a step or two left of mainstream,” Kulp says. “Our food is unique and slightly different than you’d anticipate.”

Charred bread scraps are collected throughout the day and then ground to form the base of the pasta, a technique originating from regions in Italy.

The evaluation of the restaurants on the lists is done anonymously by a team of food critics, according to Kulp. The restaurants are not aware that they are being judged until after the critics have already finished dining.

“It’s scary sometimes that they eat anonymously,” Kulp says. “But the fact that they do makes the ranking very special. The hard work of the entire staff every day is recognized.”

When the rankings were listed today, Kulp was so busy at the restaurant that he did not realize they had been announced.

“I was caught off guard…floored,” Kulp says. “After I calmed down a bit, I was thrilled. I am so thankful to the dedicated group of people working at High Street on Market.”

In addition to High Street on Market, another new Philly restaurant, Serpico, was among the 50 nominees in the running for the final top 10 list.

The fully "Hot Ten 2014" list can be found at BonAppétit.com.

Photo Credit: @HighStPhilly]]>
<![CDATA[Man Trapped Under SEPTA Train]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:51:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/chopperseptafrankfortamb.JPG

A man was rescued after he became trapped under a train along SEPTA's Market-Franford Line Thursday

Fire fighters responded to reports that a 36-year-old man was caught under the train near the Somerset stop in the city's Kensington neighborhood just before 5 p.m.

The victim was transported to a local hospital with injuries, according to a SEPTA spokesman. No word yet on his condition.

Shuttle buses operated in both directions between the Erie and Berks stations while medics attended to the man.

Trains resumed service around 5:20 p.m. Passengers should expect residual delays.

Stay with NBC10 for more on this developing story.

<![CDATA[South Jersey Priest Sexually Abused Teen Boy: Police]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:50:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/nilo+apura+priest+sex+abuse+for+web.jpg

A South Jersey priest is accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy on more than one occasion.

Police arrested 67-year-old Reverend Romannilo Apura Thursday and charged him with aggravated criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses.

Apura sexually abused the teen in a Trenton home sometime in late spring of this year, according to police. The suspect then attempted to remove the same victim's pants in a separate incident in June 2014, according to authorities.

Officials with the Diocese of Trenton learned of the allegations against Apura Monday and immediately turned the complaint, the first against the suspect, over to authorities, according to a Diocese spokeswoman.

The suspect had served as the pastor of St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, Ocean County since July 2012, a Diocese spokeswoman said.

Prior to St. Martha Parish, Apura served in six other parishes across South Jersey including St. Joachim in Trenton; St. Agnes in Atlantic Highlands; St. Maximilian Kolbe in Toms River; Our Lady of Good Counsel in Moorestown; St. Ann Parish in Keansburg; and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton.

Both police and the Diocese urge anyone who may have information about Apura's case to contact the Mercer County prosecutor's special victims unit at 609-989-6568 and the Diocese of Trenton Abuse Hotline at 1-888-296-2965.

The Diocese suspended Apura, meaning he is prohibited from celebrating Mass publicly, wearing clothes that would indicate he is a priest and presenting himself as a priest.

Apura is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center on $100,000 bail.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez Jr. ordered Apura surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim or any other children as conditions of his bail. 

<![CDATA[Methaction School District Sells School Equipment]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:56:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/school_generic.jpg

The Methacton School District is holding an auction of surplus items at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The auction, which is occurring at the Methacton School District maintenance facility at 4001 Eagleville Road, Eagleville, Montgomery County includes shop and maintenance equipment, food services equipment, classroom and office furnishing, trucks and vans.

Some of the items include candy and beverage vending machines, a Powermatic Band Saw, pianos, projection screens, and a snow plow.

There will be a preview one hour prior to the sale. Payment is required in full, and all sales are final. A photo ID is required to obtain a bidding number.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF]]>
<![CDATA[7-Year-Old Girl to Take Stand in Abduction, Rape Case]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:35:41 -0400 Christina Regusters was arrested. and charged with the abduction and rape of the 5-year-old. ]]> Christina Regusters was arrested. and charged with the abduction and rape of the 5-year-old. ]]> http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Christina_Regusters-MUG1.jpg

A 7-year-old girl will testify in court against the woman accused of abducting her from a Philadelphia school and brutally raping her last year, prosecutors say.

The trial of Christina Regusters, 21, was set to begin inside a city courtroom on Thursday, but was delayed after two jurors were dropped from the case.

In January 2013, the former daycare worker dressed in a burqa, or traditional Muslim face covering, and signed the girl, then 5 years old, out of Bryant Elementary School in the Cobbs Creek section of the city, according to police and a grand jury. Surveillance video captured the woman leaving the school.

Then, officials say Regusters took the girl to a nearby home where she blindfolded and then assaulted her. The girl was found early the next morning, in the freezing cold, on a Delaware County, Pennsylvania, playground. She had been dumped there wearing only a T-shirt.

Criminal prosecutors say they were planning to interview the victim via video, but withdrew that request on Thursday. They instead confirmed that the girl, who still must undergo reconstructive surgery because of the severity of her injuries, would come into the courtroom and testify in person. She is set to take the stand on the second or third day of trial.

During pre-trial arguments on Thursday, prosecutors fought to include evidence they allegedly found on Regusters’ bedroom computer. The district attorney said they uncovered graphic cartoons depicting sexual humiliation were often watched. But Common Pleas Judge Jeffery Minehart ruled the the drawings were inadmissible because it’s not a crime to possess such images in Pennsylvania.

However, prosecutors will be allowed to introduce other evidence that they say points to Regusters' guilt. They say Regusters' internet history showed the woman searched for Muslim clothing and how to get rid of rape DNA.

Investigators said they were able to pull DNA from the shirt the girl was wearing to link the case to Regusters.

W. Fred Harrison, Jr., the defendant's attorney, argued anyone could have used the woman's computer to watch the videos and search the internet.

Prosecutors will also highlight allegations from Regusters’ past. The woman was accused of touching the 7-year-old daughter of a cousin, prosecutors said. They say there was also another incident at a daycare, but did not expand on those allegations.

There is a gag order in effect with the case, but in the past Regusters and her attorney have denied the rape claims. She had to be moved to a Lehigh Valley prison to await trial after being assaulted in a city prison.

The case has rocked the city, resulted in criminal and civil lawsuits and inquiries about school security. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said the case gave him nightmares. The girl's family filed civil lawsuits against Regusters and the School District of Philadelphia.

There have been allegations that other people were involved in the girl's kidnapping and assault, but Regusters stands as the only one charged.

The trial is now set to begin on Monday at 9 a.m.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Ryan Howard Meets Little League Stars, Talks Taney]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:36:00 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/205*120/Ryan+Howard+Little+League.JPG Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was in Williamsport, Pennsylvnaia Thursday to say hello to some of the players in the Little League World Series including Philly's own Taney Dragons.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Death of Connecticut Baby Left in Hot Car Ruled a Homicide]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:48:28 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/ben+seitz+ridgefield.jpg

The death of a 15-month-old boy who was left in a hot car in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on July 7 has been ruled a homicide.

Benjamin Seitz died of hyperthermia due to environmental exposure, the medical examiner has determined. Detectives are in the process of meeting with officials from the state's attorney's office.

"The criminal investigation is ongoing and as such this office will have no comment on the status or details of the investigation including the autopsy report," said State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III, of the Judicial District of Danbury, in a statement.

Police said the child's father, Kyle Seitz, was supposed to drop the little boy off at daycare but instead drove to his workplace, Owl Computing Technologies, at 38A Grove Street in Ridgefield, with the baby still in the car.

According to investigators, Kyle Seitz parked his vehicle at work with Benjamin still inside and left him there for "an extended period of time," on a day when temperatures in the area reached 88 degrees.

Lindsay Rogers-Seitz, Benjamin's mother, said her husband went to the daycare to pick up Ben. When he learned his son wasn't there, he asked the staff if his wife had picked him up earlier in the day.

He was told she had not, and so he went back to his car, found Ben and rushed him to Danbury Hospital, according to Rogers-Seitz.

William Dunlap, associate dean of Quinnipiac School of Law, said "the essence of homicide is that it was caused by another person" but emphasized that Ben's death has not been ruled a murder or criminal homicide.

"Prosecutors could decide to go with a murder charge if they think there's evidence of intent to kill, they could go with recklessness if they think he was aware there was a risk that this could happen but he consciously disregarded it, or they could charge him with criminally negligent homicide if they think he acted negligently, irresponsibly," Dunlap explained.

As she deals with the grief of losing her son, Lindsay Rogers-Seitz said she forgives her husband for leaving their son in the car and has decided to channel her grief into activism.

The couple is spreading the word about hyperthermia in children and Rogers-Seitz started a blog, The Gift of Ben, to raise awareness of heatstroke in children and help others avoid the tragedy she suffered.

According to the NHTSA, hyperthermia is the leading cause of non-crash-related death in children under the age of 15. 

<![CDATA[This Week's Wednesday's Child]]> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 18:34:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/meaganvai.jpg NBC10's Vai Sikahema introduces you to some of the area's amazing young people who dream of being connect to a loving forever family. Visit the Wednesday's Child Home Page on NBC10.com

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[In Case You Missed It: Yesterday's Top Stories]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:03:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Car-Into-Restaurant-Steve-S.jpg

Didn't have a chance to catch the news yesterday? Here are some of the top local stories you might have missed.

Elderly Driver Hurt After Car Slams Into Restaurant
An elderly man is in the hospital after his car slammed into a Northeast Philly deli and restaurant, barely missing a woman who was sitting inside.

Philly Will Not Be "Purged" on Friday
Rumors swirling on social networks about a real-life purge -- where a band of psychopaths go around and commit mass murder -- coming to Philadelphia are as fake as the film on which they’re based.

Award-Winning Restaurateur Dies After Motorcycle Crash While Visiting India
Delaware restaurateur Matt Haley died after being critically injured in a motorcycle accident in India.

51 UPS Stores Breached by Malware
Some customers of The UPS Store may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores in 24 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Expectant Couple Seeks Prayers and Support on Facebook
The couple's first child has a rare condition and is not expected to survive.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Steve-O Behind SeaWorld Sign Prank]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:01:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sea-World-Sign-Steveo.jpg

A well-known reality television trickster is claiming responsibility for a prank that included changing the words on a SeaWorld exit sign along a San Diego freeway.

Back in late May, “Jackass” star Steve-O took it upon himself to scale a highway sign on southbound Interstate 5 and express his strong dislike for SeaWorld.

Using tape, white letters and some “Jackass” determination, he plastered the word “SUCKS” over the highway sign, which includes the SeaWorld Drive exit information. In the end, the sign read “SeaWorld SUCKS.”

Steve-O released a video of the prank on his YouTube channel Wednesday. As of 6 p.m., the clip had been viewed nearly 200,000 times.

The clips starts with Steve-O stating, "I'm putting my foot down for Shamu."

According to the video, Steve-O says it took him five attempts over a span of two days to pull the prank. He can be seen falling several times as he tries to get himself to the top of the sign. He’s accompanied by a group of friends, but seems to accomplish the final task on his own -- with the help of a ladder.

“If doing that was wrong, I don’t want to be right. Screw you, SeaWorld!” he says to the camera after completing his mission.

“SeaWorld sucks terribly,” he adds, asking fans to share the video on social media using the hashtag #SeaWorldSucks.

Steve-O’s stunt came just days after People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) unveiled an anti-SeaWorld sign that caused controversy at the San Diego International Airport.

Steve-O is a known animal rights activist who has posed for PETA public service campaigns in the past. Still, there was never any evidence to link PETA to the roadside prank.

It is unknown, at this time, if Steve-O will face any charges for the stunt. NBC 7 reached out to both the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans for comment on the matter.

Chief Steve Saville of the Caltrans District 11 Public Information Office had this to say Wednesday night:

“We consider defacing public property at a cost to state taxpayers an unlawful act and a dangerous distraction for motorists. We will refer all information to the California Highway Patrol.”

Meanwhile, CHP officials told NBC 7 investigators were reviewing the incident and Steve-O's video to determine whether or not charges will be filed.

NBC 7 also reached out to SeaWorld Wednesday, but the a spokesperson said the park would not be releasing a statement.

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[OC May Keep New Pools Empty]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:09:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/swimming+pool+-+orange+county.PNG

Some Orange County pool owners may not be able to fill their pools if a strict water-saving ordinance goes into effect in response to California's drought concerns.

Officials estimate it takes 20,000 gallons of water to reach the top of most swimming pools. The ban would prevent new pools from being filled, refilled or even topped off if they drop a foot of water.

"The major concern is that we don’t know if we’re in the third year of a drought, or we’re in the third year of a 10-year drought,” Santa Margarita Water District official Daniel Ferons said. “And so we do have to really plan ahead what is efficient use of water.”

The ban on water for new pools applies to the city of Rancho Santa Margarita and other cities served by that water district. The new ordinance is considered one of the strictest in the state.

Pool builder Cecil Fraser builds about 100 pools a year. In some ways, pools are no more of a water guzzler than a backyard sprinkler, he said, adding that if pools are covered most of the surface evaporation is eliminated.

"I'm saying that the water loss is half what it was with grass and that half, we can solve that problem…by covering," Fraser said.

The district has 56,000 water connections in Orange County, including community pools. District officials said that about four feet of water disappears annually from both pools and lawns.

Some pool builders are concerned that the cost on conservation could run into the millions if jobs are lost and supplies aren’t needed.

"I think it’s responsible for us to look at all these issues and figure out a smart solution," John Shippy of Geoscape Landscape said.

Pool builders and homeowners who hope to change the ordinance are expected to be in attendance at a district meeting Friday morning.

<![CDATA["We Believe We Can Police Ourselves": Armed Group Kicks Off Dallas Patrols]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:49:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/self+defense.jpg

A new group calling itself the Huey P. Newton Gun Club launched armed self-defense patrols Wednesday with one stated purpose: to protect Dallas neighbors from police.

Group leader Charles Goodson said recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of an unarmed black teen named Michael Brown by a white police officer is only part of the reason for the new Dallas patrols.

The group is named after Huey P. Newton, a founder of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s who was killed by a rival militant in 1989.

"We don't think that what happened to Michael Brown in St. Louis is an isolated incident. We have so many Michael Browns here in the city of Dallas," Goodson said.

Another leader, Huby Freeman, said the group wants to educate neighbors about the right to bear arms and the need for it.

"We believe we can police ourselves and bring security to our community, ridding our community of black-on-black crime, violence, police terror, etc., etc.," Freeman said.

Freeman and more than two dozen other people, many carrying rifles, marched Wednesday afternoon along Martin Luther King Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard, streets named for civil rights leaders.

David Harrison, whose mentally disabled brother was killed by Dallas police two months ago, attended the march in support. Harrison said an autopsy showed his brother was shot six times, twice in the back.

"When you have to plant your loved ones, it's rough. And it's forever," Harrison said.

At one point, the march went to Elaine's Restaurant on Martin Luther King Boulevard, where demonstrators piled rifles on tables as they ordered cold drinks and food.

A Dallas police lieutenant and deputy chief were eating lunch in the restaurant at the time. They politely spoke to the demonstrators as they paid their bills.

Owner Elaine Campbell said police officers look out for her and she is not worried about them.

"No, I'm here over 25 years and I'm not afraid of them," she said.

Campbell also welcomed the extra business from the armed demonstrators.

"I just happen to go with the flow and don't let them bother me," she said.

Watching the march go by on Malcolm X Boulevard, tire store owner George Rogers said he was not ready to join.

"If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have to worry about the police," he said. "As long as you're abiding by the law, I think you're all right."

Huey P. Newton Gun Club organizers hope neighbors will take up arms and join future patrols.

"We think we can lead by example, so hopefully they will see that they have the ability to do this and they will exercise this pertaining to the issues that we're dealing with in this city," Goodson said.

In response to a request to Dallas police for comment about the Huey P. Newton Gun Club patrols, Chief David Brown issued a statement saying, "the Dallas Police Department supports the constitutional rights of all."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Temple Student Assaulted After Argument at Fair]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:25:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/temple+university+flags1.jpg

A Temple University student was assaulted at a student activities fair during an apparent heated exchange with members of a pro-Palestine group. University officials say the attack reportedly included the hurling of anti-Semitic remarks.

The North Philadelphia university said on Thursday that they were investigating the incident, which took place on Wednesday during Temple Fest -- an activities fair welcoming incoming freshmen.

Daniel Vessal, a junior Management Information Systems student who is Jewish, approached the table for Temple Students for Justice in Palestine and started to engage with them over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But what happened next differs wildly depending on who recounts what happened.

In an interview with the online publication TruthRevolt, Vessal said he was trying to gauge the group's point-of-view and that they should protest the terrorists.

“I go up to them and I really just wanted to see what angle they were coming from. I went up to the table and started talking to them. I said, ‘listen, you shouldn’t be protesting Israel- if anything protest the terrorists,’” he told TruthRevolt.

Vessal told the site he went back to the table and was called a "baby killer" before being punched in the face.

He said his alleged assaulter was not detained by campus police and told to go home. The site also quoted witnesses who say the group made anti-Semitic remarks towards the man.

But the group said Vessal was the instigator and made racist remarks towards them. In a statement, group members said he called them terrorists and asked him to leave several times. They say a nearby student, who is not a member of the group, stepped in and began arguing with him.

That argument culminated with Vessal being slapped in the face, the group said.

Members deny making anti-Semitic remarks and say they plan to reach out to Temple Police to talk about what happened.

Vessal's attorney, Michael Widles, confirmed the assault and said Vessal had to be hospitalized. He said the student suffers from other medical conditions that could have been exacerbated by the attack.

A former federal prosecutor, Wildes denied claims that Vessal was the instigator and called police's dismissal of the alleged perpetrator "completely unacceptable."

"Our legal team is being assembled. We expect to be in multiple theaters to respond to the poor judgment by campus security, to the students," he said. "Our justice system needs to send out a very strong message that criminal acts like this hate crime not be allowed."

Aron Hier, Director of Campus Outreach for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a major Jewish human rights organization, said he's reached out to Temple's president demanding that a full investigation be launched into the assault and the student group. But he says he's yet to hear back.

"We believe this is a serious crime and needs to be investigated by the city and the university," he told NBC10.com. "If this occurred to a member of the LGBTQ community or the Black community, there would be outrage. It’s wrong."

Hier says he believes more incidents like these will take place on college campuses as the conflict between Israel and Palestine continues.

Temple University says it is investigating the alleged attack and that it condemns any type of disparagement against members of the community.

School officials say they have also reached out to leaders of the school's Jewish and Palestinian communities to discuss the issue.

<![CDATA[Manhattan Hair Stylist Gives Homeless Free Cuts]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:36:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Haircut-Generic.jpg

A stylist at a high-end West Village salon is taking his skills to New York City’s streets every weekend, offering free haircuts to the city’s homeless.

Mark Bustos spends his days off from Three Squares Studio roaming the city with his scissors and battery-powered clippers and giving out haircuts, reports TODAY.com. He said he’s been doing it since 2012, but recently started posting photos of the cuts to Instagram to inspire others to do good as well.

“There is so much negativity in this world today,” Bustos told TODAY.com. “And I just simply wanted to bring some positive energy and hope into this world.”

Bustos, who has been cutting hair since he was 14, told TODAY.com that he started giving out free cuts during a trip to his family’s native country, the Philippines. While there, he said he rented a chair at the same barber shop where his grandfather once worked and styled underprivileged children’s hair.

He decided to continue helping people in need after coming back, and made a habit of giving out free cuts every Sunday.

He said he finds potential clients by walking around the city’s neighborhoods, but he usually has better luck asking his clients at Three Squares Studio if they’ve seen any homeless people that they think could use a clip.

“(Asking clients) helps save me time,” he told TODAY.com. “Sometimes I can walk around for hours looking for a haircut recipient on the streets.”

Bustos said he hopes the haircuts will help boost recipients' confidence.

“I do believe people with a proper, professional haircut receive more respect than those who do not have a proper haircut,” he said. “Having a proper haircut also gives the recipient much more confidence.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>