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Man falls off ladder, impaled by pool cue in Pompano Beach

<p> A 22-year-old man fell off a ladder in a Pompano Beach warehouse Tuesday and was impaled by a pool cue, a city spokeswoman told</p><p> The man was working at the warehouse on Southwest Eighth Street when he fell off the ladder and landed on the pool cue, city spokeswoman Sandra King said.</p><p> She said the pool cue entered the front of the man's body by his arm pit and exited through his back.</p><p> Pompano Beach Fire Rescue crews arrived and trimmed a few feet off the stick. The man was then taken to Broward Health North to undergo surgery to remove the pool cue.</p><p> The man's name and condition weren't immediately known.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:04:52 GMT

Derek Medina chooses not to testify in Facebook murder trial

<p> A South Florida man who claims that he fatally shot his wife in self-defense and then posted a picture of her body on Facebook won't testify in his murder trial.</p><p> Derek Medina told Miami-Dade County Judge Yvonne Colodny that he didn't wish to testify Tuesday.</p><p> Colodny reminded Medina that the jury wouldn't be able to hear in his own words about what happened when he shot Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in their South Miami townhouse in August 2013. Police said Medina uploaded a photo of her body to Facebook after the shooting.</p><p> Closing arguments began later in the afternoon after the defense rested its case.</p><p> Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh argued during the trial that Medina shot Alfonso in self-defense after she charged at him with a knife. Zangeneh pointed to Facebook messages between Alfonso and friend Kelly Harwood that he argued spoke to Alfonso's mental state at the time of the shooting.</p><p> Assistant state attorney Leah Klein reminded jurors that Medina "emptied the clip" when he shot Alfonso.</p><p> "Every single shot hit her, because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," Klein said.</p><p> Klein told jurors that the evidence during the trial shows that the shooting was premeditated.</p><p> "So he's come up the stairs. He's gone through the bedroom. He's gone into the closet," Klein said. "He goes into the closet. He goes into his pants. He gets the holster. He takes the gun out of the holster, takes it with him."</p><p> Klein said Medina had plenty of time for reflection after the shooting.</p><p> "She's lying on the kitchen floor, soaked in her blooded clothing, and he puts on fresh clothes before he leaves," Klein said. "He doesn't drop to his knees and say, 'Oh, my God. I killed the love of my life even though I had to. I need to get help.' Nope. Watch the video. He leaves calmly."</p><p> Medina faces life in prison if convicted of killing Alfonso.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p><p> Many faces of Derek Medina</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:03:04 GMT

North Miami Beach police officer injured in crash released from hospital

<p> A North Miami Beach police officer injured in a crash will spend Thanksgiving at home.</p><p> North Miami Beach police said Officer Nicole Mood was released from Aventura Hospital on Tuesday.</p><p> Mood was driving her police cruiser at Northeast 163rd Street and Northeast 19th Avenue early on the morning of Nov. 15 when another car slammed into the cruiser. The impact sent Mood's car into a light pole.</p><p> Police said the driver of the car at fault tried to run away but was immediately taken into custody.</p><p> Mood had to be extricated from the car and had been in the hospital ever since.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:13:00 GMT

Thief has second thoughts, returns little boy's stolen iPad

<p> Perhaps the Grinch isn't the only one whose heart grows three sizes on the holidays.</p><p> A day after video was released showing a man stealing a little boy's iPad from a Tamarac McDonald's, the suspect returned the swiped tablet to the restaurant.</p><p> Video captured the moment on Nov. 6 when the thief took the tablet after the 7-year-old boy left it unattended while walking around a McDonald's at 7600 N.W. 57 Street.</p><p> New surveillance video taken on Tuesday showed the same man walking into the McDonald's and handing over the iPad to an employee.</p><p> In the original video, the boy can be seen placing the iPad on a table near the playground. The unidentified male seated nearby gets up, walks towards the tablet and removes it from the table.</p><p> Surveillance video then shows the suspect walking around the restaurant with the tablet under his arm.</p><p> The suspect is described as a tall, heavy-set adult male, possibly in his 50's with short hair.</p><p> The incident is similar to when a 4-year-old had his iPad stolen while sitting inside a Tamarac hair salon in August. Aaron Sapp was arrested and charged with armed robbery and probation violations for that crime. The iPad was replaced with a donation from Olympic gold medal boxer Harold Davis, Jr.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:54:24 GMT

Man wanted for questioning in fatal hit-and-run crash

<p> Police have identified a man wanted for questioning in a hit-and-run crash that killed a man who was walking his dog in Miami.</p><p> Miami police said Tuesday that they are looking for Bayron Villalobos in connection with the crash, which killed Pedro Gonzalez. The announcement came hours after police found the car involved in Saturday's crash.</p><p> Gonzalez, 33, was struck and killed by a speeding car as he attempted to cross Northwest 12th Avenue. The impact was so great that his body became wedged underneath a parked car.</p><p> Witnesses told police that the driver of the car got out, looked at the victim, got back into the car and drove off.</p><p> Gonzalez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he died.</p><p> Police said the green Chrysler 300 with front-end damage was found Monday parked outside Villalobos' home.</p><p> "I'm scared because I'm pretty sure I know this guy from the area," Gonzalez's mother, Carmen Montoya, told Local 10 News. "I'm pretty sure I have seen him around here eating in restaurants."</p><p> Montoya went around the neighborhood Tuesday asking residents if they know Villalobos or where he could be.</p><p> Police said Villalobos has a history of leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.</p><p> "Every day is harder," Montoya said.</p><p> Follow Erica Rakow on Twitter @EricaRakow</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p><p> Broward, Miami-Dade hit-and-run crashes of 2015</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:12:14 GMT

Former postal employee arrested in alleged investment scam

<p> A former postal employee was arrested Monday after he solicited potential investors for a fake gold and diamond investment opportunity in Africa, police said.</p><p> Lawyer Stanley Jr. is charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud, one count of first-degree grand theft and one count of third-degree grand theft.</p><p> The Florida Office of Financial Regulation said Stanley, who worked as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, solicited investments primarily from resident on his mail route, co-workers and acquaintances.</p><p> Investigators said Stanley promised some investors that he would double their investments and guaranteed certain investors millions of dollars in returns. Instead, investigators said Stanley bilked at least $2.1 million from the victims.</p><p> In addition to the gold and diamond ventures, investigators said Stanley also persuaded victims to invest in a large-scale infrastructure project for which he claimed to have exclusive contracts with governments in Africa.</p><p> Authorities said Stanley spent the majority of the funds on personal living expenses or cash withdrawals.</p><p> Stanley was arrested in Hallandale Beach. He was being held at the main Broward County jail on $50,000 bond.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:19:00 GMT

Community leaders, educators call for end to gun violence

<p> Standing in front of Miami Northwestern Senior High School, community leaders and educators vowed Tuesday to take a stand against the gun violence that has plagued their neighborhood.</p><p> "Which leaves me to ask you, do we really, really care about our children?" Miami-Dade County school board member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall said.</p><p> In the past six months, violence in the community has reached a fever pitch. Seven Northwestern students have been shot, four of them fatally.</p><p> Two other teenagers were shot last week as they standing in front of a home near Northwest 57th Street and Northwest 24th Avenue.</p><p> Shots were also fired Friday night near Traz Powell Stadium during a football game between Miami Carol City and Miami Central Senior high schools.</p><p> "Mothers and fathers and relatives cannot come to a football game and enjoy Friday night lights without some idiots shooting in a stadium full of crowded people," educator Dr. Steve Gallon said.</p><p> Community leaders are asking for more after-school programs designed to teach children about gang violence and added extracurricular activities to keep students at school longer.</p><p> "Some of our children are gravitating to gangs, and this is because they're not getting the proper love and attention at home," community leader William DC Clark said. "Ironically, the gang members give them the love and the respect that they seek."</p><p> They are also asking the community to break away from the "code of silence" that Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho spoke about after the shooting that claimed the life of Johnny Lubin.</p><p> Follow Jenise Fernandez on Twitter @JeniseFernandez</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:28:00 GMT

Travel alert has some Miami International Airport travelers on edge

<p> A worldwide travel alert for Americans has some people at Miami International Airport thinking twice about flying this Thanksgiving.</p><p> "My mom, she was very nervous when we were booking the trip to Miami," Jamie Song told Local 10 News. "She was thinking maybe we shouldn't go (and) we should just stay in New York."</p><p> Authorities believe the likelihood of terrorist attacks will continue as members of ISIS return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations, but conducted on an individual basis.</p><p> About 25 million people are expected to travel this holiday season. That's an increase of 3 percent from last year.</p><p> "You're going to see a lot of increased security here today, and you're going to not see a lot of increased security here today," Miami-Dade Aviation Department director Emilio T. Gonzalez told Local 10. "Because the plan is to make it as transparent as possible."</p><p> Transportation Security Administration full-time airport security staffing levels continue to decrease due to a shrinking budget. That means travelers can expect a longer-than-normal wait in security lines.</p><p> "Hopefully we got here in time," Evan Martin told Local 10. "And you'll see me looking around the corner to see how long those lines are."</p><p> Follow Ben Kennedy on Twitter @BenKennedyTV</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:49:00 GMT

Estefans to receive Medal of Freedom from Obama

<p> President Obama will honor Gloria and Emilio Estefan with the Medal of Freedom.</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:40:50 GMT

Large python removed from Matheson Hammock Park

<p> A South Florida park lived up to its promise of giving visitors an up-close look at nature.</p><p> On Wednesday, officers from the Miami-Dade police marine unit and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue were called to Matheson Hammock Park in Miami, when a large python was seen nestling in a tree.</p><p> The python was measured to be between 8 and 9 feet.</p><p> Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Erika Benitez said a pole was used to encourage the snake out of the tree. Lt. Lisa Wood was ready and captured the python before the snake could slither away.</p><p> Programs designed to eradicate the non-native pythons from South Florida have been ongoing for over a decade.</p><p> Benitez said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would decide whether the snake could be used for educational purposes.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 17:22:00 GMT

Former porn actor-turned-tutor loses free speech battle with Palm Beach County school board

<p> A federal appeals court has ruled against a former porn star turned math tutor, saying he doesn't have a free speech right to hang a sign advertising his tutoring business at three Boca Raton schools.</p><p> Boca Raton resident David Mech paid $1,750 to advertise his "Happy/Fun Math Tutor" business in 2010, but the School District of Palm Beach County removed the signs in 2013 after learning that Mech was a porn star who acted under the name Dave Pounder.</p><p> The signs were hung at Omni Middle School, Spanish River Community High School and Boca Raton Community Middle School.</p><p> A decision Monday by the 11th U.S. District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision that the signs are not considered free speech, but "government speech."</p><p> "If the banners are government speech, Mech loses," the court said in its decision, noting that that the free speech clause of the First Amendment "restricts government regulation of private speech; it does not regulate government speech."</p><p> Since the banners were hung on school fences, the court opined that government property is "often closely identified in the public mind with the government unit that owns the land."</p><p> Mech, who also operates Dave Pounder Productions at the same mailing address as his tutoring business, sought a school board seat last year but was defeated by incumbent Karen Brill.</p><p> In an August 2014 interview with Local 10 News, Mech said he sought a seat on the school board because of its lack of equality.</p><p> "If we were following peer-reviewed public health data and putting condoms in the schools, where they should be, and not trying to deny the science, you know, and all these things were happening, then I wouldn't need to run," Mech said.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:39:00 GMT

Carpet cleaner accused of selling cocaine from work van in Florida Keys

<p> Police have arrested a Florida Keys carpet cleaner accused of selling cocaine from his work van.</p><p> Rug Busters owner Jerry Phelps, 54, of Key Haven, was arrested on multiple felony counts, including trafficking cocaine and intent to sell cocaine.</p><p> Key West police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said authorities conducted an undercover operation last week. Crean said detectives discovered during the operation that Phelps was using his van to make cocaine deliveries.</p><p> Police said they obtained warrants for his arrest and found nine bags containing more than 26 grams of cocaine and more than $2,000 in cash on him. Police also discovered an additional 15 bags of cocaine, 21 grams of marijuana and more than $9,600 at his home.</p><p> Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10</p>

Published: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:06:01 GMT