Timelines 7/4/13

LaDuca the Wild Man
Joseph LaDuca, of Suffern, promised to “unleash Armageddon on the village” if he did not receive his personal property from the police. On May 30, LaDuca was arrested for public lewdness. Early in June, a private company towed his car, which had a suspended registration. LaDuca made his apocalyptic threats in a note that also demanded the return of his personal property by 3 p.m., Monday. The note was left in a police officer’s residential mailbox on Sunday morning. LaDuca was charged with the felony of making threats of terrorism, aggravated harassment in the second-degree, and trespass misdemeanors. He was arraigned on the charges in Suffern village court and held in the county jail on $50,000 bail.

Low-flying Plane in Ramapo
At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Ramapo Police Officers spotted a medium-sized twin engine jet flying extremely close to the ground. The plane appeared to be in landing mode and it’s estimated that it flew between 200 and 500 feet from the ground. The jet appeared to be attempting land–or crash–on the New York State Throughway. Several residents noticed the jet as well and telephoned the Ramapo Police Department. The FAA was unable to identify the jet, reporting that they were unaware of any jets with concerns or malfunctions. The police department requested of the FAA a formal investigation of this incident. The RPD has also alerted RC Intel and the New York State Office of Homeland Security of this matter. The RPD requests that any photographs or videos of the jet, by any individual or business, be shared with them.

United Water Rate Hike Requested
United Water New York has requested of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) an increase of $12 on the average customer’s bill per month. The purpose of this, they say, is to recover increased operating costs and investments including for the controversial Haverstraw desalination project, since the PSC last approved a rate increase to United Water NY, which was 2010. United Water has also proposed monthly billing, rather than quarterly billing, which the company said will aid in identifying leaks and increase convenience. It may take up to 11 months for the PSC to process this request.

Drowning at Bear Mountain
Jean Fritz Pierre, a 16-year-old student from Brooklyn, accidentally drowned in Bear Mountain’s Hessian Lake. A member of Thiells Fire Department found the teen about 8 feet into the lake. Pierre was pronounced dead shortly after. He had left his classmates during a field trip, though witnesses say he was diving into the lake from a rock. Surrounding signs prohibit swimming. And autopsy revealed that Pierre had “no significant medical conditions and suffered no bodily injuries.” More time is required for toxicology tests. Pierre’s ability to swim is not known. Grief counselors visited Pierre’s school, International High School at Prospect Heights, to speak with its near-400 students. On the same day, the high school celebrated graduation.

Al-Awlaki Used Hookers
Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Al Qaeda associate, seems to have had a taste for prostitutes. He is reported to have spent $2,320 on “escorts” on seven occasions between Nov. 5, 2001 and Feb. 4, 2002 – a three-month period. His ties with Al Qaeda, as well as his fondness for prostitutes, have brought him under investigation by different governmental sectors. However, just months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Awlaki was invited to the Pentagon for an outreach targeting “moderate Muslims.” Later, Awlaki became an important spokesperson for Al Qaeda, and was connected to attacks including the Ford Hood shooting and the Christmas Day bombing attempt. In September 2011, Awlaki was killed in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike. On the U.S. government’s kill-or-capture list, he was the first known American.

Australian Couple in L.A. Uses ‘Adopted’ Child for Porn
An Australian couple living in Los Angeles has been accused of creating hardcore child pornography with a young Russian boy for the international porn syndicate Boy Lovers network. Mark J. Newton, 42, was sentenced on Friday to 40 years in prison and must pay $400,000 in restitution to the child. His boyfriend, Peter Truong, 36, pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Newton and Truong did not adopt the child, but bought him from his Russian mother for $8,000 in 2005. They then flew him to the United States, Australia, France, and Germany to film at least eight other pedophiles performing sexual acts on the boy. The network they were filming for reportedly features victims between 6 and 8 years old. There is video evidence of Newton abusing the boy when he was less than two weeks old. The investigation of Newton and Truong was a joint operation between the U.S. and Australia. The men were arrested by U.S. police after their L.A. home was raided in October 2011, and the boy was placed in the care of an American family.

New Penalties Put in Place for Texting While Driving
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on new legislation that increases the penalties for young or new drivers who are caught texting while driving. Prior to the legislation being passed, the laws in place suspended probationary and junior licenses for 60 days following violations such as speeding, reckless driving, or following too closely behind another vehicle. If another violation occurred within 6 months of the restoration of the license, it would then be revoked for 6 months (probationary licenses) or 60 days (junior licenses). The new law, passed on July 1, places these same penalties on drivers with probationary or junior licenses who are caught texting or using a hand-held cell phone while driving. This legislation follows the DMV’s increase of the number of points earned against a person’s driving record from three points to five for texting while driving, which they implemented on June 1, 2013.