National Roundup

Woman tries to run over ex hanging up lights

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — State police say holiday music was blaring from a Pennsylvania woman’s car as she tore up the yard of her ex-boyfriend’s home, nearly running the man and his family over.

Forty-seven-year-old Mary Jo Smith was charged Tuesday with multiple offenses stemming from Monday’s incident.

Alan McCutcheon says he was setting up a Christmas light display outside of his Fayette County home when Smith yelled “Merry Christmas” and made several passes through his yard.

State police say Smith attempted to hit the 64-year-old along with his wife and adult daughter. No one was injured.

The joyride caused more than $500 in damage, leaving behind tire tracks and a trail of broken lights and decorations.

It’s unclear if Smith has an attorney who could comment.

Man falsely linked to bombing to stand trial in assault case

FITCHBURG, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man falsely portrayed by a newspaper as a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing will stand trial on a sex assault charge.

The Sentinel & Enterprise reports a Fitchburg judge on Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss an indecent assault and battery charge in 20-year-old Salaheddin Barhoum’s case. The trial is set for Feb. 2.

Prosecutors say Barhoum assaulted a woman last year in his dorm room when he was a student at Fitchburg State University.

Barhoum’s attorney filed for a dismissal in August, claiming evidence had been destroyed.

Barhoum was 16 when he was pictured with a friend on the front page of the New York Post three days after the 2013 bombing. He sued the newspaper for defamation and reached an undisclosed settlement.

New York
100 snakes, lots of rats, 2 pigs seized from home

WILSON, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities have seized 100 snakes, lots of rats, two miniature pigs and a few dozen birds from a New York home where dozens of creatures were found dead.

Officials with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Niagara County say they obtained a warrant Tuesday after getting a tip that animals were living in deplorable conditions at a home in Wilson, north of Buffalo.

SPCA investigators say snakes, birds, rats and mini pigs were found inside the home, plus 15 cats kept in an enclosure in the back. The snakes were kept in small boxes.

Officials say dozens of other snakes and birds had died inside the home.

The homeowners face animal cruelty charges and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

New York
Man says cop kept him from seeing dying mom

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) — A Long Island man says a Nassau County police officer beat and restrained him over a parking dispute that prevented him from seeing his dying mother one last time.

Sixty-year-old Gary Leife, of Merrick, says the confrontation began early Saturday when the unidentified officer told him to move the car he had just parked near the ambulance that brought his 84-year-old mother to Nassau University Medical Center.

When he refused, Leifer says the officer body-slammed him and kept his knee on the side of his head for 20 minutes, ignoring his pleas to go see his mother.

Leifer’s mother died soon afterward.

Detective Lt. Richard LeBrun confirmed Tuesday that Internal Affairs is investigating Leifer’s complaint. The department said it cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

New York
Mugging suspect foiled by survivor of Holocaust, 90

NEW YORK (AP) — Police in New York City say they’ve arrested a would-be mugger whose attempt to steal a Holocaust survivor’s purse was thwarted when the then-90-year-old woman fought back.

Forty-nine-year-old Lillian Maduro was arrested Monday and charged with robbery and assault in connection with the Sept. 27 incident in Greenwich Village.

Authorities say Maduro sneaked up behind Gina Zuckerman and tried to grab her bag from her utility cart. Zuckerman was knocked down during the assault, but wouldn’t let go of her bag.

Police say Maduro fled and remained on the loose until a DNA sample helped link her to the crime.

Zuckerman, who needed five stitches on her right arm, says her “inner lioness” came out when she was attacked.

It’s unclear if Maduro has an attorney who could comment.

Controversial ‘Zombie Nativity’ scene vandalized

CINCINNATI (AP) — A suburban Cincinnati man says someone vandalized the “Zombie Nativity” scene he puts up annually, beheading the ghoulish-looking Mary figure and flipping the greenish baby Jesus into the yard.

Jasen Dixon says someone damaged the handmade scene early Tuesday at his home in Sycamore Township, northeast of Cincinnati. He has since repaired the scene and says he’ll keep rebuilding it if necessary.
Dixon tells WCPO-TV it’s the first time someone has intentionally damaged the structure since he started the holiday display in 2014.

But it’s been a topic of controversy previously. The township took Dixon to court last year for alleged zoning violations because of the structure over the nontraditional nativity scene, but it eventually dropped the case.

Dixon’s attorney argued the township was trying to suppress his freedoms.

‘Mannequin  challenge’ leads to arrests of men

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A “mannequin challenge” video of people staging a shootout has led to the arrests of two men in Alabama and the seizure of several guns and marijuana.

Madison County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mike Salomonsky tells local news outlets the video led investigators to serve a search warrant Tuesday morning at a Huntsville home.

The search turned up two handguns, a shotgun, a rifle and marijuana that appeared to be packaged for sale.

Officers arrested 23-year-old Terry Martez Brown and charged him with drug paraphernalia possession, loitering and promoting prison contraband.

The video has been shared 86,000 times since it was posted to Facebook on Nov. 9.