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Sword-wielding man arrested after throwing weed wacker, other items at officers

Philadelphia police say they arrested a man who barricaded himself in his home and threw several items at them, including a weed wacker, after a four-hour standoff.

>> Read more trending news 

Police responded Monday evening to a report of a man high on narcotics and in possession of a sword. Officers arrived to find a 42-year-old man holding a 2-foot-long sword sitting on the front steps of a house. The man started swinging the sword at the officers and ignored orders to drop it, Philadelphia police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WCAU-TV.

The officers used a stun gun on the man, but it had little effect.

Police said the man threatened to slice the officers' heads off. He told police he wanted to go to the hospital but refused to drop the sword, Small said.

The man went inside the home and threw several items out a window at officers, including furniture, weights, speakers, a knife, a door, a large piece of glass, a weed wacker, water and a pillow he had set on fire, Small said.

Police were eventually able to take the man into custody around midnight. The man was taken to a mental health facility for an evaluation, Small said.

The man suffered minor cuts from holding the sword up to his own neck. No officers were hurt in the incident.

Trump administration moves to officially ban bump stocks

The Trump administration moved Tuesday to ban bump stocks -- devices that can make semi-automatic firearms fire at a rate similar to automatic weapons -- under a federal law that also bans machine guns, Justice Department officials said in a news release.

>> Read more trending news

Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said authorities amended a regulation on Tuesday to include bump stocks in the definition of “machinegun” under federal law. The regulation will go into effect 90 days after it’s formally published in the Federal Register, a move expected to come Friday, according to The Associated Press.

>> Read the final rule

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a news briefing Tuesday that people who have bump stocks will be required to turn the devices over to officials at field offices for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or destroy them by March 21.

>> What is a bump stock, how does it work and is it legal?

Hours after Whitaker announced the move, opponents of the decision said they planned to fight the change.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump ban on ‘bump stocks’ to face immediate legal challenge

The ban was expected after the Justice Department earlier this year proposed a rule to classify bump stocks and similar devices as prohibited under federal law.

>> Trump administration expected to announce gun bump stock ban

Trump issued a memorandum in the wake of February’s deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, ordering the attorney general to “propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns,” according to Justice Department officials. Authorities reviewed more than 186,000 public comments as part of the review process.

The Justice Department opened a review of the devices in the wake of the 2017 shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas that left nearly 60 people dead. Authorities said a gunman had bump stocks equipped to several weapons on Oct. 1, 2017, when he fired on festivalgoers.

Father shoots older son to save younger son after argument between brothers over pool game

Law enforcement officials in Florida said a father shot and killed one son to save the other after the two brothers started fighting over a pool game.

Police said they were called to a home in Martin County around 6 a.m. Sunday. The woman who called them said her older son was being “irrational,” Sheriff William Snyder told the Miami Herald during a news conference later that afternoon.

Witnesses said the man, Joseph Maloney, 30, had been acting “irrational” for eight hours. He and his brother, James Maloney, 26, had been drinking throughout the night. 

They started fighting over a game of pool, and the fight became violent, the Herald reported

>> Read more trending news 

Both sons lived with their parents, WPBF reported.

John Maloney, the men’s father, said he tried to “verbally intervene” and at one point tried to physically get Joseph off of his brother, but wasn’t able to do so, the sheriff said.

John Maloney and his wife, Marie Maloney, said at one point they heard their younger son asking their older one to stop choking him. They said the older brother was also holding a knife over his brother’s head, according to the Herald.

John Maloney said after he was unable to stop his sons, he fired his revolver at Joseph Maloney, hitting him several times. Joseph Maloney died at the house. 

Police said the scene showed signs of a struggle happened with broken pool sticks and an open butterfly knife laying on the room, according to the Herald

“The physical evidence and the witness statements indicate that at the time of the incident, Mr. Maloney believed that the deadly use of force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to his younger son,” Snyder said.

No charges are expected in Joseph Maloney’s death, WPBF reported.

Family members said Joseph Maloney was under stress and that could have caused the fight, WPBF reported.

Police told the news station Joseph Maloney was part of a case of driving under the influence that could have resulted in a manslaughter charge.

19-year-old drunken driver charged in crash that killed young Texas mother, injured 2

A Texas 19-year-old has been charged with killing a young mother in a violent crash Sunday night as she drove with her toddler son and her mother. 

Erick Raphael Hernandez, of Pearland, was charged Monday with intoxication manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Taylor Phillips, court records show. As of Tuesday morning, he had been released from the Harris County Jail on $30,000 bond. 

>> Read more trending news

ABC 13 in Houston reported that Phillips was driving an SUV with her mother and 1-year-old son inside when Hernandez crossed three lanes of traffic on a South Houston street and slammed into Phillips’ vehicle with his truck.  

The entire crash was caught on a security camera outside a nearby auto repair shop, the news station said. The grainy footage, seen below, appears to show Hernandez’s truck smash into the front driver’s side of Phillips’ SUV. The impact flings debris across the roadway. 

Phillips died at the scene. 

Her son and 48-year-old mother were hospitalized with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The victims’ family told ABC 13 both have since been released to recover at home. 

Phillips’ social media profile is filled with photos of her son, who celebrated his first birthday in August.  

“Sometimes when I need a miracle, I look into my son’s eyes and realize I’ve already created one,” Phillips wrote on Facebook alongside a photo of her son in October. In another post, she wrote that she had waited for the love of her son her entire life and would “cherish it forever.”

Phillips also often mentioned a sister, Tyré Rai Sai Phillips, on her Facebook page. According to the Houston Police Department, Tyré Phillips was an innocent bystander at a party on April 14, 2013, when multiple fights broke out, during which shots were fired. 

Tyré Phillips, who was killed as she sought safety, died a week after her 19th birthday. It was not immediately clear if an arrest has ever been made in her slaying. 

Court records obtained by ABC 13 indicated that Hernandez was drinking at a bar with a cousin before Sunday’s deadly crash. The legal drinking age in Texas is 21. 

Hernandez, whose appears intoxicated in his mugshot, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was off-balance after the crash, the news station said. When questioned at the scene, Hernandez admitted he drank a few beers. 

“Based on his field sobriety tests, it was a lot more than a few,” Sean Teare, a member of the Harris County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit, told The Houston Chronicle.

Teare told the Chronicle that investigators had learned where Hernandez had been drinking prior to the crash. ABC 13 identified the bar as Frontera Events Venue, which is located about a mile from the crash site. 

“Obviously, at 19 he shouldn’t be drinking anywhere,” Teare told the newspaper

ABC 13 reported that the court records indicate Hernandez had been drinking since 6 p.m. Sunday but could not remember when he’d had his last drink. A fake ID and bar receipt were found in his car after the crash. 

“We believe that he spent well over $100 at the bar drinking alcohol that day,” Teare told the news station

The district attorney’s office is now investigating the bar to determine if workers there overserved Hernandez. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission records indicate Frontera, which obtained its license in October 2017, has had six complaints filed against it this year involving alcohol being in the hands of underage individuals.

One of those complaints, in which a violation was not found, involved employing someone under the age of 18 to sell or handle alcohol. The remaining five complaints dealt with selling or serving alcohol to minors and serving alcohol to someone already intoxicated.

Three of the five complaints were substantiated, the records show. One of the three substantiated claims also included the sale of drugs by the licensee. 

Teare told ABC 13 that Frontera’s owner and employees could face charges related to the fatal crash. 

“If an establishment, if a server sees somebody who is intoxicated, they’ve got to stop serving,” Teare said. “They’ve got to take steps to ensure that person doesn’t leave their establishment and kill people.”

The district attorney’s office is also considering action to shut the bar’s doors for good. 

“I just know that a 19-year-old individual came out of that establishment highly intoxicated and moments later took a 23-year-old's life,” Teare told ABC 13. “That shouldn’t happen. Someone in addition to that 19-year-old is going to have to answer for that.”

Family offers reward after burglar steals dog from home

Members of a Dallas family are offering a reward in hopes of being reunited with their dog after a burglar broke into their home and stole him.

>> Read more trending news 

The unknown thief broke into the Alvarado family’s home sometime Friday and stole Smokey, its American pocket bully, Diana Alvarado told local media. While other items, like jewelry, cash and Christmas gifts were also taken, Alvarado said the family wants Smokey back the most.

"Presents can be replaced, material things can be replaced," Alvarado told WBAP-TV. "They also stole our piggy bank that we'd been saving for a long time. It was a water jug filled with coins and dollar bills, but we want our dog back. That's the most important thing for us, is our dog."

A $1,500 reward is now being offered for Smokey's safe return. The Alvarado family put up $500, and neighbors and friends contributed the rest.

Alvarado returned home from work Friday evening to find it unusually quiet, she said. She and her daughters found the house had been ransacked and Smokey was gone. They checked the backyard, but Smokey was nowhere to be found.

Alvarado found that a window in her bedroom had been forced open. She said she believes the thief or thieves parked in the alley behind the home.

A neighbor's surveillance camera captured an unknown, maroon Chevy Equinox parked outside the home and an unknown man approaching their door Friday afternoon, but it's unclear if the man is also the burglar.

"I just hope that they (burglar) can find it in their heart to return Smokey,” Alvarado told WFAA-TV.

Mueller investigation: Michael Flynn sentencing delayed

A federal judge agreed to delay sentencing for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI.

>> Read more trending news

Flynn resigned from his post in the Trump administration in February 2017 after serving just 24 days in office. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and agreed to fully cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. 

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: FBI 302 shows Flynn misled FBI agents about 2016 Russian contacts

Update 2:20 EST Dec. 18: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon that Flynn’s criminal case had nothing to do with Trump.

“The activities that he is said to ... have engaged in don’t have anything to do with the president,” Huckabee Sanders said. “We wish Gen. Flynn well and we'll continue to focus on doing what we do here everyday.”

Update 1 p.m. EST Dec. 18: Attorneys for Flynn asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to delay his sentencing Tuesday after the judge asked whether Flynn wanted to wait until after his cooperation with Mueller’s team was completed before being handed his sentence, CNN reported.

Authorities said in court records filed earlier this month that Flynn has met with investigators 19 times since pleading guilty in December 2017. He’s provided information in three separate investigations, including the probe into Russian election meddling, officials said.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: After stern criticism, federal judge delays Flynn sentencing

Sullivan paused court proceedings for about half an hour Tuesday to allow Flynn time to confer with his attorneys about whether to postpone the sentencing hearing until after he’s completed his cooperation with authorities, Vox.com reported.

Flynn’s attorney suggested in court that most of Flynn’s cooperation with Mueller had been completed, the news site reported, although the attorney added that it was possible Flynn could cooperate further in a case brought against his former business associates in a federal court in Virginia. 

>> Michael Flynn's former business associates accused of illegally lobbying for Turkey

An indictment unsealed Monday showed authorities charged Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Kian, 66, and Turkish businessman Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 41, with conspiracy, acting in the U.S. as illegal agents of the government of Turkey and making false statements to the FBI.

Update 12:50 p.m. EST Dec. 18: Court proceedings resumed just after 12:40 p.m. Tuesday after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan called a recess to the proceedings.

Sullivan cautioned people not to "read too much into the questions" asked before the break, including a question about whether Flynn could have been charged with treason, The Huffington Post reported.

"I wasn't suggesting he had committed treason," Sullivan said, according to Vox.com. "I was just curious."

Update 12:05 p.m. EST Dec. 18: Court proceedings were paused Tuesday morning for a recess to allow Flynn time to confer with his attorneys after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan asked whether Flynn could have been charged with treason, The Huffington Post reported.

Court is expected resume at 12:30 p.m.

Sullivan asked Flynn several questions earlier Tuesday to make sure he wanted to proceed with his sentencing hearing. Sullivan asked Flynn to consider whether to push the hearing back until after he’s completed his cooperation with Mueller’s team, Vox.com reported.

Update 11:40 a.m. EST Dec. 18: Flynn told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday that he knew it was a crime to lie to the FBI, CNN reported.

Sullivan asked Flynn a series of questions Tuesday to make sure he wanted to move forward with his sentencing hearing after Flynn said in a defense memo that the FBI never warned him that it was against the law to lie to federal agents.

Update 10 a.m. EST Dec. 18: Flynn has arrived at the courthouse ahead of his scheduled sentencing hearing.

Original report: President Donald Trump on Tuesday wished Flynn luck ahead of his scheduled sentencing for lying to FBI investigators probing Russian election meddling and its possible ties to Trump and his presidential campaign.

“Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn,” Trump wrote Tuesday morning in a tweet. “Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!”

>> Michael Flynn's former business associates accused of illegally lobbying for Turkey

Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced at an 11 a.m. hearing before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, according to court records.

Prosecutors asked a judge earlier this month to sentence Flynn to little or no jail time in connection to the case, citing his cooperation with investigators.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation 

In a memo filed last week, Flynn’s attorneys asked he be spared jail time and suggested that FBI agents played to his desire to keep the situation quiet and, as a result, kept him from involving a lawyer when investigators approached him just days after Trump’s inauguration.

Mueller’s team has sharply pushed back at any suggestion that Flynn was duped, with prosecutors responding that as a high-ranking military officer steeped in national security issues, Flynn “knows he should not lie to federal agents.”

>> Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison, Trump responds on Twitter

Flynn is, so far, the only member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to charges in the Mueller investigation, according to Reuters. Last week, a federal judge in New York sentenced Trump’s former long-time attorney Michael Cohen to 36 months in prison for charges that included one count of lying to Congress that had been levied against Trump’s former fixer by Mueller’s office.

Trump has frequently railed against the investigation, which he has called a witch hunt, and denied any collusion with Russia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Who is Mathew Golsteyn and why is Trump tweeting about him?

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he would be looking into the case of a former Green Beret officer who is facing a murder charge in the death of suspected bomb maker in Afghanistan in 2010.

>> Read more trending news

Trump said he would review the case of Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn who, during his service in Afghanistan, was awarded the Silver Star for valor.

“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder,” Trump tweeted. “He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas.”

Who is Golsteyn and what are the charges he is facing? Here’s a look at the case:

Who is Golsteyn?

Golsteyn graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2002. After serving in other posts, he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and commanded a team from the 3rd Special Forces Group in the Battle of Marja in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

Golsteyn was awarded the Silver Star Medal for his actions during the battle. A Silver Star is two steps down from a Congressional Medal of Honor.

What is he alleged to have done?

On Feb. 20, 2010, a roadside bomb exploded in the Helmond Province killing two Marines — Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary and Lance Cpl. Larry M. Johnson — who were on patrol. The two had been working with Golsteyn’s Green Beret team.

According to Army documents, he and his team began searching homes near the site of the explosion, looking for the person who planted the bomb.

Golsteyn eventually found explosive materials that were thought to be those used to make the bomb, and he arrested the suspected bomb maker and took him back to his base

While the suspected bomb maker, "a male of apparent Afghan descent known as Rasoul," was at the base, he saw a Taliban tribal leader who was working with the American forces there. 

The Army document said Golsteyn claimed the tribal leader became frightened that if the suspected bomb maker was released, he would report him to the Taliban and the Taliban would kill him.

Golsteyn believed likewise, the Army documents indicated, saying he had repeatedly said that others who had been arrested and sent to a detention center had been released and were again “shooting at my unit weeks later.”

It was decided later that day, however, that Rasoul would be released.  

Golsteyn and another soldier escorted the man to his home, the document says, and instead of releasing him, Golsteyn shot and killed Rasoul and buried his body.  

Hours later, Golsteyn returned to the man’s home and dug up the remains then burned them in a pit used to dispose of trash and classified documents.

How did this become public?

A military investigation was launched in 2011 when Golsteyn confessed to the killing during a polygraph test as part of a CIA job interview. The CIA informed the Army of what Golsteyn had said, and an investigation was launched.

What was the result of that investigation?

Golsteyn was stripped of his Silver Star and a Special Forces tab in April 2014. He was not charged because of a lack of physical evidence, military officials said. He was also issued a letter of reprimand.

What happened to reopen the investigation?

The Army opened a second investigation in late 2016 after Golsteyn appeared on Fox News Special Report titled, "How We Fight," and said in the interview that he did shoot and kill the suspected bomb maker. 

What happens next?

As a result of the second investigation, Golsteyn was notified on Friday that he was being charged with murder. He will face an Article 32 hearing, likely in early 2019. 

An Article 32 hearing is a U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice proceeding that is similar a preliminary hearing in civilian law where it is determined whether the crime was committed and that the person accused of the crime committed the crime.

What does Trump have to do with it?

It is unclear what part Trump would play in the case. If Golsteyn is convicted of murder, he could face sentences up to the death penalty. Trump could pardon Golsteyn if he is convicted of a crime.

Some have argued that Trump’s tweet will hurt the prosecution’s efforts to try Golsteyn.

Women slashed on New York City bus after trying to pet dog

All they apparently wanted to do was pet a dog. But police said two women were left wounded after being slashed with a knife when they reached out to touch a dog.

Police in the Melrose neighborhood in the Bronx said the women were cut on their faces, heads and arms, News12 the Bronx reported

It happened Monday afternoon, WABC reported.

Police said the dog may have been a service animal, according to WABC.

>> Read more trending news 

When the bus stopped, the woman who slashed the two women, ran from the bus carrying the dog, police said. Other riders also left the bus. 

The injured women were treated at an area hospital and released.

Police are looking for the woman who was holding the dog, WABC reported.

Man hacks into baby monitor, threatens to kidnap couple's son

A Houston-area family said someone hacked into their baby monitor, shouted expletives and threatened to kidnap their 4-month-old child.

>> Read more trending news 

Nathan and Ellen Rigney were asleep Monday when a beeping sound woke them up just before midnight, the couple told KPRC-TV. The Rigneys' infant son, Topper, was asleep upstairs.

The noise was coming from the Nest baby monitor next to the couple's bed. Ellen Rigney said she thought it was a CO2 alert, but she then heard someone yelling "sexual expletives."

“Immediate reaction was that there’s somebody in here, somebody’s in my son’s room! How did they get in there?!” Ellen Rigney said.

The Rigneys jumped out of bed and turned on the light when a man's voice ordered them to turn the light off.

“Then [he] said 'I’m going to kidnap your baby. I’m in your baby’s room,'” Ellen Rigney said.

The parents rushed to Topper's room and found him safe. It was then that the Rigneys realized they had been hacked and needed to disconnect the Wi-Fi as soon as possible.

The couple said they called police, filed a report and notified the camera manufacturer. The Harris County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the incident. The Rigneys no longer use the Nest baby monitor.

Nest said in a statement to NBC News that the company is aware of incidents of customers' accounts being hacked, reported WBAP-TV.

"We are proactively alerting affected customers to reset their passwords and set up two-factor authentication, which adds another layer of account security. Customers can reach out to Nest customer support with questions or report anything suspicious to security@nest.com," the statement said.

School police officer accused of hitting 50-year-old woman with patrol car, leaving scene

A school police officer in Texas is facing charges after he appeared to hit a pedestrian and leave the scene.

KPRC reported that surveillance video shows off-duty Aldine Independent School District police Officer Omario Gatheright hit a 50-year-old woman with his patrol car. The incident happened Sunday night in Houston.

>> Read more trending news 

The Houston Chronicle reported that the woman was hit when she was crossing the street as Gatheright pulled out of a Panda Express restaurant parking lot, according to Houston Police Department spokeswoman Jodi Silva.

“I tried to get up and he came around and said, ‘I'll be back for you.’ I thought he would help me up, but he left and never came back for me,” the woman told KTRK. She was treated at a hospital and released, according to KPRC.

Gatheright was arrested for failure to stop and render aid and was taken to jail. He had been with Aldine ISD for three years, but has since been on administrative leave.

“Aldine ISD was made aware that an employee has been arrested in connection with an automobile accident that occurred while he was off-duty Sunday night,” the district said in a statement to KPRC. “The AISD police officer has been removed from duty and placed on administrative leave while an investigation is underway.”

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