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  • Los Angeles County Sheriff(LOS ANGELES) -- A taco helped saved a family of six and put a man behind bars on Sunday in Industry, California, authorities said.The family was heading back from a day at a waterpark when they pulled over to get carne asada tacos before the ride home, a statement on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page said.Juan Rodriguez, rding a bike, approached the family while they were eating their tacos and “began to intimidate and terrorize both parents and their four children,” the statement read. "He began flashing a gun, that was concealed in his waist band, showed them a badge and told them he was an undercover cop," the statement continued.The mother knew something wasn’t right. So what did she do? She offered him a taco. She offered to get him napkins from the taco truck. As she walked away, the man kept showing his gun and went through the mother’s purse.Once at the taco truck, the mother saw the line of people waiting to order and told them what was going on.“She asked them not look back towards her family’s van and asked them to please call 911 or help her,” the statement read.As police responded, Rodriguez allegedly threw his gun into the family's van and tried to climb inside, the sheriff's department said.Rodriguez faces several felony charges, including child endangerment, impersonating a peace officer, and outstanding warrants, according to the statement.None of the family members were injured.
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  • Courtesy of Piazza Family(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- A former Penn State fraternity brother has entered the first guilty plea in connection with the death of pledge Tim Piazza, who died after falling down fraternity house stairs during an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual, prosecutors said.Ryan Burke, who was accused of forcing Piazza to drink from a bottle of vodka the night of his fall, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of hazing and five counts relating to unlawful acts involving liquor, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office said.Burke, now 21, admitted to his role in the hazing and will be sentenced on July 31, according to prosecutors."This is a tragedy and he is anxious to make amends," Burke's attorney Philip Masorti said Wednesday, according to the Bridgewater Courier News. "There are too few words to describe a loss so great. This young man understands that."Piazza family attorney Tom Kline told ABC News, "We are pleased to see one individual accept responsibility and encourage others to follow in his steps."Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro added that his "office is committed to seeking justice on behalf of Tim Piazza and his family and holding every responsible individual accountable for their actions, consistent with the law and the evidence in this case.”Twenty-five others face charges in the case which stemmed from Piazza's February 2017 death.On the night of Feb. 2, 2017, after taking part in a hazing ritual known as the “Gauntlet,” a heavily intoxicated Piazza was heard falling down the stairs at the Beta Theta Pi house, and later found lying face down at the bottom.Fraternity members carried him upstairs and put him on a couch, where they dumped water on his face and slapped him in an apparent attempt to wake him, to no avail, according to a grand jury report which cited evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records. When one pledge tried to intervene, insisting they get Piazza some help, the pledge was shoved into a wall and was told that the brothers had it under control, according to the grand jury report.As the night went on, Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore, tried over and over to stand on his own, falling each time and eventually going still, according to the grand jury report.No one called 911 until the next morning, when his breathing was labored and his skin had turned gray.Prosecutors have claimed the brothers waited to get Piazza help in an attempt to cover up their drinking and "coordinate a story."Piazza died on Feb. 4 of traumatic brain injuries.Beta Theta Pi has since been barred from Penn State.Since Piazza's death, his parents Jim and Evelyn Piazza have channeled their grief into fighting for the safety of future college students."We believe that there needs to be stiffer criminal penalties against hazing,” Jim Piazza told ABC News last year. "Nobody is trying to kill Greek life -- we’re just trying to make it safer.""We're both of the mindset -- Tim would not want us to fade away and just continually grieve," he added. "Trying to make a difference for others, I think, is somewhat therapeutic."
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  • Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office via KOCO-TV(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- An Oklahoma sheriff's deputy helped save a 3-year-old boy who was choking on a quarter he swallowed, an ABC affiliate reported.Pottawatomie County Deputy William Wheeler noticed a woman asking for help at a local car wash on June 8, according to the Shawnee News-Star.The woman, later identified as Victoria Terrill, noticed her son, Chaz, was choking while they drove back from dinner, ABC Oklahoma City station KOCO-TV said. She pulled over into the car wash parking lot to try to find help.Terrill reportedly told the deputy she thought Chaz was choking on a sucker, so Wheeler tried to hit Chaz on the back to hopefully get the sucker out.However, after Wheeler gave Chaz some swift swats to the back, a quarter popped out onto the ground.Wheeler's efforts were captured on his body camera.
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  • Volusia County Jail(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- During the 21-hour hostage standoff at an Orlando apartment that left four young children shot dead, there was never any indication of an imminent threat to the kids, police said Tuesday.It's not clear when the children died during the standoff, which lasted from Sunday night to Monday night, City of Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a news conference Tuesday.The standoff began after the girlfriend of suspect Gary Lindsey Jr. contacted police to report that he'd battered her, police said. She met officers outside and directed them toward the apartment.Lindsey, armed with two rifles, two shotguns and a handgun, shot a police officer, critically injuring him, police said.Lindsey then took four children -- ages 1, 6, 10 and 11 -- hostage, police said.As the standoff got underway, negotiators communicated with Lindsey through social media, friends, relatives and over the phone, police said.Lindsey eventually shot all of the children before turning a gun on himself, police said.The standoff came to an end Monday night when officers breached several windows and saw what appeared to be a dead child, Mina said. That's when the police decided to do an explosive breach on the apartment, Mina said.Officers deployed gas and started clearing the apartment room by room, Mina said. They found two children dead together in one bedroom and two more children dead in another room, and "based on everything I have seen" it was not police bullets that killed the children.The injured police officer, Kevin Valencia, remained in critical condition Tuesday evening, Mina said.Two of the children were the suspect's and two of the children were the girlfriend's.Family members of the four children are "in shock," family friend Walter Benenati told ABC News. "I can’t imagine what they are going through.""They are just in utter disbelief of what has occurred. I'm trying to do what I can to help out," he continued. "I'm doing what I can as a family friend [to raise] money for funeral expenses for the four children ... people in this whole community here in Orlando have been touched by this."The coroner's office has not released the children's identities.
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  • Monroe County Sheriff's Office(MARATHON, Fla.) -- Six people were rescued Monday morning after the family's pontoon boat got caught in a storm and began sinking off the coast of Florida.They were approximately three miles south of the Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon, Florida, when waves from a strong storm began slamming the boat.One of the passengers called the Monroe County Sheriff's Office at 11:08 a.m., saying the boat had lost power and the motor wouldn't run, but that the family was close enough to the bridge to see cars.Dana Thomas, the woman heard for the majority of the call, sounds more and more distressed as the 13-minute call progresses."Our boat is sinking. Please send someone," Thomas pleads, as the dispatcher passes the information on to responding officers and Coast Guard officials.The family, from Jacksonville, was unfamiliar with the area and unable to provide an exact location to the dispatcher.Adam Lindhardt of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office told ABC News that the passengers were unable to find their flares, but that everyone was wearing a life jacket."Please help us! We're going over," Thomas told the dispatcher, who was trying to calm her down, saying that help was on the way. "Please help us! Please help us!"At one point, the passengers spotted a boat moving toward them, which eventually made contact. While the passengers attempted to move onto the new boat, they appeared to be struggling, saying that the boat had floated away after only one passenger made it on.Eventually Thomas drops off the call, but, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office, "a good Samaritan boater and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted in the response" and rescued the family. The passengers were taken to a nearby restaurant.None of the four adults or two children on board reported serious injuries.The pontoon boat was recovered by TowBoatUS Marathon owner, Capt. Jared Frank, who told ABC News that it was halfway submerged when he got there and could have sunk if it stayed out there any longer.Frank also told ABC News that the boat belonged to the family, and that he was able to return it after towing it out of the water.The family declined to comment to ABC News.
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