Posts by Jason Sickles, Yahoo

  • Dylann Roof arrest video reveals officers’ emotions after capturing Charleston murder suspect

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 13 days ago

    It wasn’t long after Shelby, N.C. patrolman Dan Bernat had slapped his handcuffs on alleged Charleston church killer Dylann Roof that officers were able to show their relief.

    The first congratulatory fist bump, in fact, came 45 seconds after Roof was in cuffs.

    Roof, a 21-year-old avowed white supremacist, had been national news and the subject of an intense manhunt since nine people were gunned down inside a Charleston, S.C. historic black church the night before.

    For Shelby, a rural town of 20,000 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hooking Roof was a big catch.

    On Tuesday the Shelby Police Department released patrol car dashcam video of the arrest. While the traffic stop and arrest of Roof are fairly uneventful, the officers’ reactions are anything but.

    They brandished big smiles after Roof was in cuffs and the threat of danger had passed.

    “You could tell they were all happy to apprehend this guy and get him off the street,” Shelby police Chief Jeff Ledford told Yahoo News. “I can understand them being excited.”

    The church’s security cameras had captured images of Roof and his black Hyundai sedan, which Charleston police relayed to news outlets in a widespread plea for help.

  • Dylann Roof’s arrest: How a small-town police foiled the accused Charleston killer’s getaway

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 14 days ago

    SHELBY, N.C. — For 13 hours and 44 minutes last week, an unemployed high school dropout just barely of legal drinking age was the most wanted man in the United States.

    Dylann Storm Roof is accused of mercilessly shooting nine African-American people with a semiautomatic handgun equipped with laser sights on Wednesday evening inside a historic church in Charleston, S.C.

    The 21-year-old avowed white supremacist allegedly told one survivor that he would let her live so she could tell the story of what he’d done. Then he fled into the night.

    After that startling scene, Roof’s getaway and the ensuing manhunt ended in an unexpectedly mundane fashion and in an unlikely place: a traffic stop in Shelby, a small town between Charlotte and Asheville in the rolling foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

    “We had no idea the guy would end up here,” said Rusty Stroupe, a local college baseball coach. “Somebody attacks somebody inside a church, we’re all affected by that. This guy deserves justice for what he has done.”

    “Why Shelby? I don’t think anybody can figure that out,” said Mike Miller, Cleveland County district attorney.

    “I was stunned at first,” Ledford said.


  • Dylann Roof and Michael Slager are cellblock neighbors in Charleston County jail

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 17 days ago

    Charleston’s hi-profile murder suspects are now neighbors: Roof is in cell 1141B, Slager 1140B in the protective unit

    SHELBY, N.C. — When church shooting suspect Dylann Roof left here on a police-escorted flight to South Carolina Thursday evening, he did so wearing a striped jail jumpsuit compliments of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department.

    Jailers booked Roof in at 7:28 p.m., less than 24 hours after the reportedly self-avowed racist allegedly massacred nine people during a Bible study session, sparking a regional manhunt.

    Roof was assigned Cell 1141B in a part of the jail where suicidal and other high-risk inmates get more oversight.

    Out of 937 males currently in the jail, Roof's cellblock neighbor is former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager, who is jailed in a high-profile, racially charged murder case.

    But Roof and Slager are alone in their individual cells without any known way to speak to one another.

  • Waco police rarely dispatched to Twin Peaks prior to biker shootout, records reveal

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 18 days ago

    Patrol officers were seldom sent to investigate trouble at Twin Peaks restaurant prior to the May deadly biker shootout in Waco, Texas, records obtained by Yahoo News reveal.

    The scarce number of calls conflicts with how law enforcement portrayed the self-described “breastaurant” immediately after the brazen lunch-hour rampage.

    “We have been made aware in the last few months of rival biker gangs — rival criminal biker gangs — being here and causing issues,” Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton told reporters outside the sports bar turned crime scene last month. “We have attempted to work with the local management of Twin Peaks to get that cut back, to no avail.”

    If Twin Peaks was a powder keg leading up the deadly brawl — there’s apparently not much of paper trail to prove it.

    A police dispatch log shows officers averaged less than one call a month to Twin Peaks between the restaurant’s opening in August and the May 17 shooting.

    Swanton said he couldn’t explain why the records released to Yahoo News didn’t reflect other previous crimes or arrests at the location.

  • Dallas suspect had talked of ‘shooting up schools and churches’

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 23 days ago

    DALLAS — The suspect who attacked Dallas police headquarters overnight with a barrage of bullets and homemade explosives had a history of mental illness and violence, according to court records.

    Police said the man identified himself as James Lance Boulware, 35. The suspect’s hours-long rampage included a sensational standoff at police headquarters in downtown Dallas where he had left two pipe bombs, rammed patrol cars with an armored van, and exchanged a hail of gunfire with officers. One of the bombs exploded when a police technician tried to remove it. Boulware eventually fled that scene and led dozens of police cruisers on a chase south of Dallas.

    “It was very helter-skelter for a while,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

    Patrol cars and buildings were left scarred by bullet holes, but police said no officers were injured.

    Picture of squad car that was shot at. No officers were injured.

    A police sniper shot and killed Boulware early Saturday as he sat barricaded in his armored van in a restaurant parking lot 10 miles south of downtown Dallas.

    (This story has been updated since it was originally published.)

  • McKinney pool party officer’s past includes allegations of racial profiling, questionable police practices

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 24 days ago

    McKinney police Cpl. Eric Casebolt, who is white, was thrust into the country’s ongoing controversy about police conduct this week after a video of him responding aggressively to a disturbance at a suburban pool party went viral on social media. On the footage shot last Friday, Casebolt is seen drawing his gun on unarmed African-American teens and throwing one of them, a 15-year-old girl wearing a bikini, to the ground.

    Casebolt resigned late Tuesday as civil rights protesters descended on McKinney, a predominately white suburb north of Dallas. At a news conference, his civil attorney Jane Bishkin said the officer left his job of 10 years “with a heavy heart,” and apologizes his actions but maintains, “He was not targeting minorities.”

    Neither of Casebolt’s attorneys responded to messages left by Yahoo News seeking comment for this story.

    “Casebolt!” Brown recalls shouting. “That’s his name! This is the guy that took me to jail. I never will forget that name.”

  • McKinney police officer apologizes, blames emotional stress for aggression at pool party

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 26 days ago

    Cpl. Eric Casebolt was captured on video Friday evening wrestling a teenage girl to the ground and pointing his gun at two other teens while answering a disturbance call at an unruly party at a neighborhood pool in suburban Dallas.

    “He never intended to mistreat anyone,” his attorney, Jane Bishkin, said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. “He apologizes to all who were offended.”

    Bishkin said Casebolt had worked one suicide and one attempted suicide in the hour prior to being dispatched to the pool party that reportedly involved teens fighting.

    “The nature of these two suicide calls took an emotional toll on Eric Casebolt,” Bishkin said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

    Cellphone video of Casebolt responding to the pool incident was published Saturday and immediately went viral. By Sunday, Casebolt, a 10-year veteran, was suspended and put under investigation. On the video, teens are seen scrambling as police arrive on the scene in the upper-middle-class neighborhood.

    Casebolt, who resigned Tuesday, did not attend the news conference.

    Related video:


  • Grand jury indicts former North Charleston officer Michael Slager for fatally shooting Walter Scott

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 28 days ago

    “Just because you have video in a case doesn’t mean it’s the be-all, end-all and the case is over,” Charleston County Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said at a press conference to reveal the indictment.

    Slager was arrested and charged with murder on April 7 after a video that gained worldwide attention surfaced showing the officer shooting Scott, who was running from him. Wilson said the case was presented to the grand jury Monday morning, which immediately returned the formal murder charge against Slager, 33.

    According to police, Slager had pulled over Scott for a faulty taillight. Scott's family has said they believe the man ran from the traffic stop because he feared going to jail for owing back child support.

    Police and Slager initially said that Scott, 50, was shot after a skirmish over the officer’s Taser stun gun. But when the bystander’s video showed Scott being shot eight times as he ran away, Slager was fired and jailed. The footage also shows Slager dropping an object — which has the appearance of a Taser — on the ground near Scott’s body.

    Andy Savage, the officer’s attorney, called Monday’s indictment “just another step in the criminal process.”

  • Waco police seeking to bar information about Texas biker shooting

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 1 mth ago

    The move comes as scrutiny intensifies over the Waco Police Department’s handling of the sensational shootout that killed nine bikers, injured 18 and saw an unprecedented 175 people arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime.

    By law, crime and arrest reports containing basic data — information such as a detailed description of the offense and the name and a description of the victim — have to be provided.

    While some details about the dead, including identities, have trickled out, officials have been slow to provide information through documented reports as required by the Texas Public Records Act.

    Documents that have been released to Yahoo News appear to be haphazardously redacted. Even though required by law, the names of arresting officers are omitted. But the identities, addresses and other contact information of suspects' next of kin are prevalent.

    The melee unfolded during the lunch hour, as hundreds of bikers descended on the Twin Peaks restaurant for a regional motorcycle club meeting.

  • 2015 hurricane season: A decade after record year that included Katrina, forecasters predict ‘below average’ storm activity

    Jason Sickles, Yahoo at Yahoo News 1 mth ago

    The scientists have spoken — let’s hope they’re right.

    Monday marks the start of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, and veteran forecasters are predicting below-normal activity.

    To the National Weather Service, that means a 70 percent likelihood of six to 11 named storms (storms with winds of 39 mph or higher), of which three to six could become hurricanes (storms with winds of 74 mph or higher), including zero to two major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

    The Tropical Meteorology Project team at Colorado State University published a similar forecast: eight named storms and three hurricanes, with one becoming a major hurricane.

    “Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions,” CSU meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said in a statement Monday.

    Ten years ago today marked the start of a hurricane season that was anything but quiet.

    Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.