News by Professionals 4 Professionals

DC

Reference Library – USA – DC

Rage against a machine: Man arrested for ‘assaulting’ 21-stone ROBOT security guard while drunk

Police have arrested a man after he drunkenly attacked a robot security guard in Silicon Valley. The 5-foot Knightscope K5 security robot, which bears a striking resemblance to a Dalek, was on patrol at the company’s offices in Mountain View, California, on Thursday night. It was “assaulted” by 41-year-old Jason Sylvain, who managed to knock it over – despite the droid weighing 300lbs, (over 21 stone).

The robot, which is equipped with a 360-degree camera and autonomous presence detection software, responded by sounding the alarm.

Rage Against A Machine: Man Arrested For 'assaulting' 21-stone ROBOT Security Guard While Drunk

Sylvain attempted to flee the scene, but was detained by one of Knightscope’s employees until the police arrived.

“The robot did exactly as it was supposed to do – the ‘assault’ was detected and immediately reported,” Knightscope’s VP of marketing and sales, Stacy Dean Stephens, told CNET[1]. According to a police spokeswoman, Sylvain “appeared confused, had red, glassy eyes and a strong odour of alcohol emitted from him”. He claimed to be an engineer, and that he wanted to “test” the security robot. He was arrested for prowling and public intoxication.

Rage Against A Machine: Man Arrested For 'assaulting' 21-stone ROBOT Security Guard While Drunk

The robot reportedly suffered some scratches, but is already back on the street.

“The robot has recuperated from his injuries and is back on patrol keeping our office and employees safe again,” said Stephens.

Mountain View resident Eamonn Callon described the attack as “pathetic”.

“It shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn’t even have any arms,” he told ABC News[2].

References

  1. ^ CNET (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ ABC News (abc7news.com)

Vireo Health legal fight key to New York, Minnesota marijuana industry

CLOSEVireo Health Legal Fight Key To New York, Minnesota Marijuana Industry Vireo Health Legal Fight Key To New York, Minnesota Marijuana Industry

New York’s medical marijuana program was a boom for lobbyists firms. Yet 17,000 patients out of 200,000 that are eligible have been certified for the program, lohud’s David Robinson reports. Ricky Flores/lohud

Vireo Health Legal Fight Key To New York, Minnesota Marijuana Industry

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)(Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

Desperate criminals made a daring smuggling run from Minnesota to New York in an armored SUV packed with $500,000 of marijuana oil. Or

Highly respected corporate officers quietly transported state-licensed medical marijuana from a Minnesota-based company to its affiliate in New York. These are the drastically different stories behind a high-profile Minnesota legal battle involving Vireo Health, the parent company of the medical marijuana dispensary in downtown White Plains.

Prosecutors have accused Dr. Laura Bultman and Ronald Owens, the company s former chief medical officer and security officer, of smuggling the drugs 1,200 miles to rescue Vireo from missing a deadline to open up shop in New York in 2016. On the other side, Paul Engh, the attorney for Bultman, has disputed that Minnesota s marijuana law bans shipping the drug across state borders, The Journal News/lohud has learned from court documents, and shifted focus onto why medical marijuana remains illegal under federal law despite being allowed in 28 states.

VIREO HEALTH: Marijuana smuggling scandal[1]

MONEY TRAIL: New York’s marijuana lobbying dollars top $2 million by applicants[2]

LIST: What lobbying firms got from New York’s medical marijuana applicants[3]

Engh s stance is detailed in a 12-page report urging a court to toss the felony drug charges against Bultman. It boils down to one question: How is it illegal for a licensed company’s officer to provide a drug to patients as defined by state law?

We believe the law is with us and are hopeful that the court agrees, Engh said, addressing the court documents in response to an inquiry by The Journal News/lohud. Other defense arguments in Engh’s filing touch on everything from a company’s definition as a person under Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that gave corporations protected rights, to a lack of clarity in Minnesota’s marijuana law.

“Any ambiguity as to the law s language and its application is to be resolved in Dr. Bultman s favor,” Engh wrote in court documents.

Still, the Vireo case has underscored why federal lawmakers idleness and a patchwork approach to state marijuana laws have muddled efforts to treat thousands of patients with serious illnesses, such as cancer and epilepsy. Nick Zerwas, a state representative in Minnesota, described the Vireo scandal as a flaw in that state s law.

When this (law) was moved through several years ago, there was a lot of discussion about the methods of delivery and how many dispensaries, he said, but not nearly enough discussion on insufficient legal leverages necessary to regulate and investigate and hold accountable this industry. Zerwas, who voted to legalize marijuana sales in 2014, has pushed new legislation seeking to tighten the law in the wake of the Vireo case.

The looming threat of the U.S. Justice Department closing down Minnesota s marijuana program also influenced Zerwas reform push.

It s incumbent upon us to act swiftly and signify that the state of Minnesota can handle this, Zerwas said. Vireo Health executives have said little about the situation. Andrew Mangini, a company spokesman, noted medical marijuana sales continue in New York, including a recent launch of a home delivery service to eligible patients in New York City.

We take our legal obligations and regulatory responsibilities in this area very seriously, he said. And will cooperate with the relevant agencies while maintaining our focus on patients who suffer from life-threatening and debilitating diseases like cancer and ALS, and who deserve best-in-class medical cannabis products and compassionate care.”

While federal authorities at the Justice Department would not say if they are investigating the Vireo case, a Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Barbara Carreno spoke to its prior hands-off approach as state marijuana laws piled up since 2013.

The Cole Memo

Traditionally, the DEA has targeted eight criminal activities by marijuana businesses under a policy that says no to drugged driving, sales to minors, interstate smuggling, and using cannabis-based profits in connection to other crimes.

You have seen over the last few years there have continued to be raids on dispensaries in California and Colorado because they had to do with these eight things, said Carreno. It all stemmed from a 2013 policy, commonly called the Cole memo, and named after a former Justice Department lawyer, James Cole, who established federal law enforcement s approach to the states that legalized marijuana, for medical and/or recreational use.

Cole s memo remains in place as feds await the newly appointed attorney general s marching orders for an apparent federal crackdown on marijuana. At a law enforcement gathering in February, Sessions cited the increased legalization of marijuana, an issue he long railed against while an Alabama senator, as contributing to a culture of acceptance, USA Today reported.[4]

“I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if (marijuana) is being sold from every corner grocery store,” he said. Some medical marijuana advocates have voiced concerns about Sessions apparent attempt to lump together medicinal and recreational uses of the drug, despite his lack of policy details and Congress effectively banning raids on state-approved medical marijuana in 2014.

Sessions general tougher-on-crime stance, however, suggests a drastic turnaround from recent efforts to remove marijuana from the discussion of more dangerous narcotics.

“We don’t need to be legalizing marijuana, and we need to be cracking down on heroin,’ Sessions said.

Read or Share this story: http://lohud.us/2q4mFh1

References

  1. ^ VIREO HEALTH: Marijuana smuggling scandal (www.lohud.com)
  2. ^ MONEY TRAIL: New York’s marijuana lobbying dollars top $2 million by applicants (www.lohud.com)
  3. ^ LIST: What lobbying firms got from New York’s medical marijuana applicants (www.lohud.com)
  4. ^ USA Today reported. (www.lohud.com)

Why are bomb threats made? A look at 5 cases in Halifax

A schizophrenic man wanting mental-health treatment; a young woman evading her stalker: these are just some of the reasons people made bomb threats in the Halifax area, a CBC News investigation has found. From Jan. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2016, Halifax Regional Police investigated 71 bomb threats, but only laid charges in five cases, or seven per cent. That only five cases resulted in charges doesn’t surprise Halifax Regional Police Insp. Reid McCoombs.

“These types of investigations in general tend to have a fairly low solvability rate just due to the nature of how they come in,” he said.

Even with tracing technology for threats made via phone, email or social media, it can be difficult to finger who did it, McCoombs said. In the cases that resulted in charges, the accused individuals generally had a connection to the institutions for which bomb threats were made toward.

Many officers respond

For police, responding to bomb threats is “fairly resource-heavy,” said McCoombs. The response could include patrol officers, a canine unit, an explosives demolition team, forensics people and traffic officers.

“It takes them away from other places, but it certainly wouldn’t inhibit us in responding to an emergency call somewhere else,” said McCoombs.

“Does it mean that some of the lower-priority calls may wait a little longer for a response? Absolutely.”

5 cases result in charges

Using court recordings and information from police files and the Crown, CBC News pieced together the stories behind the five cases that led to charges:

Aug. 10, 2010

On Aug. 10, 2010, Eastern College in downtown Halifax received a bomb threat from a female at 8:30 a.m. Police arrived minutes later and the school was evacuated. The culprit was determined to be A.M., 20, a student at the school. A.M. saw her ex-boyfriend who had been stalking her outside of the school that day. She panicked and went to Park Lane Mall and made a bomb threat by using a pay phone. A.M. was given a conditional discharge, which included one year of probation and 10 hours of community service.

Aug. 12, 2010

On Aug. 12, 2010, 911 received a call at around 7 p.m. reporting a bomb in a briefcase at the Wedgewood Motel in Bedford was going to blow up. Police allege A.D., 52, was the culprit and he was arrested just after 7:30 p.m. on Robie Street in Halifax. Earlier that evening, at around 5:30 p.m., the motel had placed an unwanted-person call involving A.D. At trial, a 12-month peace bond was agreed to, which is essentially an agreement to keep the peace and remain on good behaviour, follow the law and abide by any terms or conditions. It is not an admission of guilt. A.D. was fined $100 and was ordered to stay away from the Wedgewood Motel.

April 12, 2012

On April 12, 2012, a staffer set off a panic alarm at Capital Health’s community mental-health clinic at 7071 Bayers Rd. in Halifax because J.A., 37, was in his office and said he had a knife. J.A. locked the door and stood in front of it, which prevented the worker from leaving although J.A. never told him he wasn’t allowed to leave. J.A. told the worker he was doing it because he wanted treatment for his schizophrenia. Police took J.A. to the hospital. He was later found to be criminally responsible and was charged with having a knife and with unlawful confinement.

Four days later, J.A. was at home and phoned in a bomb threat to 911 stating that he had a bomb in his residence. Police went there and J.A. was taken to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax for treatment. While there, he placed a call to 911 from a telephone for patients in the waiting room and said there was a bomb in the parkade. J.A. was charged with public mischief and false messages. For the four offences, J.A. was given a suspended sentence and 18 months of probation. Conditions included to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, report to mental health authorities and follow assessments or treatments recommended by them, abstain from possessing or consuming alcohol and illegal drugs, and to live with his mother at her Halifax-area home.

Oct. 9, 2014

The Crown alleged that on Oct. 9, 2014, while riding on the route 60 bus in Dartmouth, 37-year-old T.N. warned two security guards on the bus that he was going to blow up the nearby Nova Scotia Hospital.

“You need to warn your friends, I’m going to blow up the hospital at nine o’clock. My message is going to be heard and they’re going to comply with my requests,” he allegedly said. At trial, T.N. said the guards misheard him. He said he told them he was planning a peaceful protest. The defence rested its case on May 5, 2016, with a decision to be released by the judge on July 28, 2016. T.N. died on June 23 due to complications from kidney disease. The charges were stayed.

Sept. 10, 2015

Between Aug. 16 and Sept. 11, 2015, K.P., 58, made multiple threats, including death threats, toward security personnel who worked at the Dartmouth Shopping Centre at 118 Wyse Road. Police allege that on Sept. 10 K.P. phoned in a bomb threat to the business that provided security services for the mall, Atlantic Private Protection Service. In the agreed statement of facts read aloud at trial, no bomb threat was mentioned. K.P. was given five months of house arrest, followed by 18 months of probation.

Real bombs are rare

Security expert Dr. Steve Albrecht told CBC News last September that there’s a critical difference in the intentions of people who make bomb threats and actual bombers.[1]

“The bomb-threat maker doesn’t typically have any desire to blow up the building: the bomber does. In fact, the bomber does not want warning and does not want his device to be found, whereas the bomb-threat maker knows there isn’t a device. They just like being disruptive,” said the San Diego-based school and workplace violence expert. McCoombs said he couldn’t recall any instances where bomb threats investigated by Halifax police turned out to be real. There’s at least one instance in Canada where a bomb was found after a person made a threat. Roger Charles Bell, a P.E.I. man known as the Loki 7 bomber[2], carried out a string of bombings. In 1995, he phoned police with a tip about one he placed at a Charlottetown propane station, which they found and removed.

References

  1. ^ critical difference in the intentions of people who make bomb threats and actual bombers. (www.cbc.ca)
  2. ^ P.E.I. man known as the Loki 7 bomber (www.cbc.ca)