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Man upset over 97-cent coffee throws it at McDonald’s manager, police say

Police in Lacey, Washington, are asking the public to help identify a man who they say threw hot coffee at a McDonald’s manager Friday morning. 

Investigators with the Lacey Police Department said a man walked into the restaurant and ordered a cup of coffee, but was upset over the 97-cent price.

>> Read more trending news 

After he received his coffee, the man poured it into his to-go mug and then demanded a refill from the manager. 

Investigators said the manager asked the man to leave after he got verbally abusive about the price of the coffee.

The man then got upset and threw the cup of hot coffee into the manager’s face and fled. 

Police said the manager had burns on her neck. KIRO reported that the manager was being treated for third-degree burns.

The man is being sought for simple assault, according to Lacey Police.

Rachel Dolezal, white woman who posed as black, charged with welfare fraud

A former NAACP official who made international headlines in 2015 when it was discovered she had posed for years as a black woman has been charged with fraud, accused of cheating the government out of $8,847 in public assistance. 

Rachel Dolezal, who in 2016 changed her name to Nkechi A. Diallo, was charged Tuesday with first-degree theft by welfare fraud, second-degree perjury and false verification for public assistance, according to court documents obtained by KHQ-TV in Spokane, Washington. The victim in the case is listed as Washington state’s Department of Social and Health Services. 

Dolezal resigned from her post as head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP in June 2015 after her white parents came forward and revealed her true lineage. She first applied for public assistance for her and her teenage son two months later, claiming that she no longer was able to find work, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported

Dolezal, who also worked as a professor of African-American studies, was first questioned about her ethnicity during an interview with KXLY in Spokane. Dolezal in that interview talked about alleged hate crimes she’d reported to police over the years, including nooses she said were hung at homes where she and her two sons lived. 

About eight minutes into the raw interview footage, the reporter showed Dolezal a photo of a black man she said was her father, asking if the man was really her father. 

“I don’t know what you’re implying,” Dolezal said. 

“Are you African-American?” the interviewer asked. 

“I don’t understand the question of -- I did tell you that yes, that’s my dad.”

“Are your parents, are they white?” the reporter asked.

Dolezal walked away from the interview. 

Dolezal said in later interviews that she identifies as black, a claim that has brought the term “transracial” into the national conversation about race. She is the subject of a Netflix documentary, called “The Rachel Divide,” that premiered in April. 

The court documents outlining the charges against Dolezal, who is now legally known as Diallo, allege that the DSHS’s Office of Fraud and Accountability learned in March 2017 from one of its criminal investigators that she had written and published a book. The investigator, Brad Borden, knew from previous news articles that Diallo had admitted to going on public assistance since her lies about her background had been uncovered. 

Diallo told The Guardian for one of those news stories, published on Feb. 25, 2017, that she was jobless and had to resort to feeding her children through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. 

“A friend helped her pay this month’s rent; next month she expects to be homeless,” the newspaper reported. “She has applied for more than 100 jobs, but no one will hire her, not even to stack supermarket shelves.”

Borden found ample reason to doubt those claims, according to authorities. 

“(Borden) conducted a review of Diallo’s DSHS records and found she had been reporting her only source of income was $300 per month in gifts from friends,” the DSHS’s investigative report stated. “He researched the publisher of Diallo’s book and found a typical contract would include payments of $10,000 to $20,000 as advances against later royalties.”

Borden learned about the published book, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” from Diallo’s LinkedIn profile, the investigative report said. 

DSHS fraud investigators subpoenaed Diallo’s self-employment records in September, as well as her bank statements from 2015 to the present. The records showed that Diallo had failed to report all her income to the department, the report said.

Investigators said her bank statements showed she deposited just under $84,000 into her account in the two years subpoenaed. Investigators found during their probe that aside from the income from her book, Diallo also failed to report her income from speaking engagements, soap making, doll making and the sale of artwork she created, the report said. 

Diallo’s business license indicated she had registered businesses under the trade names Melanin Spectrum, Gimme Some Sugar, Living Spectrum Studios, Rachel Dolezal, Royal Soaps and Shine On, the investigative report said

Read the entire report from DSHS investigators here.

When Diallo was called in for an interview last month, she invoked her rights and refused to speak with investigators. The investigators ended the interview.

The investigative report said that Diallo was informed multiple times of the reporting requirements to receive assistance, as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution if she “willfully provided false information or failed to accurately report her circumstances.”

Further details of the investigation indicate that, when applying online for assistance in August 2015, Diallo, who then still went by Rachel Dolezal, reported zero expected monthly income and said she and her son were living off $480 in child support. She also stated she had just $54 in her bank account at the time. 

Her bank records show she actually had nearly $2,000 in her account on the day she signed the application, the report said. 

A few days later, in a telephone interview with a welfare worker, Diallo claimed she was behind on her rent because of her lack of income, the report said. In that call, she was told to report by Sept. 10 if her gross monthly income exceeded the threshold of $1,726. 

Bank statements show that, while Diallo was claiming little to no income, she deposited nearly $3,000 per month that September and October, the investigators said. In November, they said, she deposited more than $11,000. 

In January 2016, she reported no income changes on her mid-certification review, the investigative report stated

>> Read more trending news

Diallo is accused of continuing the deception throughout 2016, bringing in up to $6,600 each month despite requesting food assistance for herself and her two sons, the report said. She reported no cash or money in her bank accounts on her June 2016 eligibility review, despite having more than $3,000 in her checking account at the time, investigators said. 

According to the report, she also failed to report receiving unemployment benefits, citing child support as her sole source of income. 

In January 2017, around the time of her name change, Diallo’s mid-certification review indicated no change in her income level, the investigative report said. At that time, she was asked about her rent and utility costs, which the report said she listed as $1,094. 

She was asked how she paid those expenses with just $480 in child support each month. 

“Barely! With help from friends and gifts,” Diallo responded, according to the report

She told The Guardian the following month that she and her children were near homelessness, though her bank records showed that she deposited about $3,000 in January and February. 

Investigators allege that Diallo continued the deception about her income through March 2017, when Borden requested the investigation, and beyond. She reported a change of circumstance in November but claimed it was for a one-time job for which she earned $20,000 for speaking and voice-overs, investigators said. 

Diallo was largely criticized on social media following the news of the pending charges. Twitter was also abuzz with jokes.

 

If convicted, Diallo faces 15 years in prison on the charges, KHQ-TV reported. She will be arraigned June 6 in Spokane County Superior Court.  

Nearly 30 cars broken into at Atlanta apartment complex in one night

Residents at Aspire Lenox Park Apartments in Atlanta are wondering what it will take to stop the recent spike in car break-ins at their complex.

Nearly 30 cars were broken into overnight Saturday. In many cases, the doors were locked and nothing of value was visible. Victims still ended up with shattered windows. 

“It’s not like they’re breaking into unlocked cars. They’re all locked cars, and it’s just -- there’s no rhyme or reason,” resident Bailey Beckham said. 

>> Read more trending news 

Atlanta police told WSB 28 cars were targeted, mostly in the parking deck.

“I hadn’t heard that number. I know there were eight the other weekend, but 28 is a lot,” resident Alex King said.

"It's kind of scary because we don’t know why or what's going on or how we're going to stop it. It’s just nerve-racking,” Beckham said.

The break-ins have been especially frustrating for victims like Ryan Colley, who had nothing visible in his car and nothing taken. 

“It’s devastating and it hurts because we had to pay out of pocket. Our deductible, of course, and the insurance is $500, and anything below that you have to pay out of pocket,” Colley said. 

Residents said they received emails about increased patrols and security, but there are mixed opinions on the results so far.

“They say they’re going to hire some security. I haven’t seen anything yet,” Colley said.

“I guess that's helpful, but I just don’t know how we’re going to stop it if we don't know how many people or where or when,” Beckham said.

“Maybe setting up cameras in the area, so if they don’t catch the people and this continues to happen, at least they have cameras and can find them a little easier,” King said. 

Residents told WSB they are clearing out their cars but are still on edge because it has not stopped the break-ins.

Rottweiler dies in hot car at county jail, woman visitor arrested on the spot 

A Georgia woman left her Rottweiler in her car for five hours while she was in court at the Gwinnett County Jail, causing the dog’s death, sheriff officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

Connie Wright Gomez, 46, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Gomez went to the jail as a “court visitor” around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, leaving her dog, Rambo, in her car, she told deputies. She left the windows open about an inch.

Around 6:30 p.m., deputies heard Gomez mention she had left her dog in the car. One of the deputies went with Gomez to the car to check on the dog because the weather had been warm all day, with a high temperature of 82 degrees. When they arrived at the car, Rambo was dead.

Related: Dog dies after being left in Animal Control officer’s truck

When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gomez was arrested and booked into jail. She is being held on a $16,700 bond.

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway expressed dismay at the case.

Conway started the Operation Second Chance “jail dogs” program, which matches jail inmates with adoptable dogs and cats. The inmates train and socialize the animals. 

“I hope this poor dog’s horrific death reminds pet owners to make responsible choices for their pets,” Conway said. 

Family: 15-year-old’s skull fractured in ‘body slam’ by school security officer

An Alabama teenager is recovering from a fractured skull that his family says he suffered Monday when a school resource officer at his high school “body-slammed” him headfirst onto concrete. 

Steven Franklin, 15, of Huntsville, was left in the intensive care unit following the incident, which took place at Jemison High School, WHNT News 19 in Huntsville reported. Along with the cracked skull, Franklin suffered internal bleeding and required emergency surgery, according to family friend Zach Finey. 

“There’s swelling on the right side of his head that’s about the size of a cantaloupe,” said Finey, a volunteer with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program who is Franklin’s “big brother.”

“He body-slammed Steven on the side of his temple, onto the concrete, and at that time Steve had a seizure that we’ve been told lasted about 30 seconds,” Finey told the news station

WAAY-TV obtained photos of the teen in the hospital that show the swelling to his head and what appears to be about 60 staples closing his scalp following surgery.  

>> Read more trending news

Finey said the teen does not remember the incident, but that the boy’s friends told his family the school resource officer was attempting to break up a fight and stepped in after another student threw punches at Franklin. 

AL.com reported that cellphone camera footage shows a portion of the fight, as well as the aftermath of Franklin being injured. The teen could be seen lying on the ground with the security guard standing over him. 

The alleged actions of the guard were not caught on camera, the news site reported

Police investigators are looking into the incident, a Huntsville Police Department spokesman confirmed to AL.com. Huntsville City Schools is also investigating what happened.

Keith Ward, a school district spokesman, said that the security officer, who is a contract employee, would remain off-campus through the end of the school year. According to the school calendar, Thursday was the last day of classes. 

Finey on Wednesday afternoon credited the media with putting pressure on the school district to answer questions about what happened to Franklin. 

“We are still a long way away from getting answers, and Steven has a long road of recovery, but the first steps have now been taken, thanks to you all,” Finey wrote on Facebook

He told AL.com and WHNT that the teen’s condition had begun to improve. 

“He’s actually being moved from ICU to a regular room,” Finey told AL.com. "He’s walked for the first time. He's started to ask questions about what happened. He doesn’t remember what happened, just waking up after his surgery.”

Finey told WHNT that Franklin has been distraught since finding out what happened. He and his family are also worried about the long-term effects of his injury. 

“It’s sad when you see how sad and depressed he’s getting when he’s realizing, ‘What has happened to me? And why did it happen?’” Finey said. “And he wants to know just as much as his mother and his family, his friends.”

2 police officers fired amid accusations they beat, kicked black man in face

Two Mississippi police officers have been fired -- and could face criminal charges -- following an investigation into claims that they beat a black man, kicking him in the face several times, after he turned around from a police checkpoint earlier this month and led them on a high-speed chase. 

James Barnett, 36, of Laurel, told WDAM in Moselle that he was injured so badly he cannot currently work and will require surgery to his eye. His nose was also broken. 

Photos taken by the news station show Barnett’s face bruised and battered, his right eye bloodshot. Click here to see the photos. Warning: The images may be too graphic for some readers. 

Barnett said he was driving early the morning of May 16 when he came upon a driver’s license checkpoint being conducted by the Laurel Police Department. He said he turned around because he was driving without a license. 

Two of the officers at the checkpoint followed him.  

Barnett admitted to leading the officers on a high-speed chase for about 20 miles before stopping. 

“As I was getting out, they had their guns drawn on me, telling me to get out with my hands out and get on the ground,” Barnett told the news station. “So, I laid flat on the ground, face-down (and) they came up continuously kicking me in my face.”

Barnett said the officers, both of whom are white, stopped kicking him only when a Jasper County sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene. He said the officers took him to a hospital, where they continued to taunt and harass him. 

At that point, four additional officers were there as well. All six stood around his bed, he said. 

“I (was) nervous because I’m thinking it’s going to be the end of my life in there,” Barnett said. “So, I played like I was asleep -- my eyes closed.”

Laurel police Capt. Tommy Cox, who held a brief news conference Monday with Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee, said supervisors realized quickly something about Barnett’s arrest was not right. 

“It became apparent to the supervisors on duty that there was a problem with the manner in which the arrest occurred,” Cox said at the news conference, streamed on Facebook by WDAM. “It has always been the policy of LPD that all use-of-force events are reviewed by several levels of supervisors and administration.”

An internal investigation began the morning of Barnett’s arrest and was completed the following day, Cox said. The findings of the investigation resulted in the firing of the two officers, whose names were not released. 

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is conducing an outside review of the case to determine if criminal charges are warranted, Cox said. Body camera and dashboard camera footage are being withheld until the investigation is complete. 

“The officers and administration of LPD take these kinds of allegations very seriously,” Cox said. “It should be noted that the internal investigation was initiated only hours after the incident, before any media attention, social media posts or even a formal complaint from the other individual involved.”

Barnett took to Facebook the day after his arrest, posting graphic photos of his injuries and demanding justice. He called the officers “low-life, sorry excuses for human beings” and said he was thankful God let him survive the beating. 

“I wouldn’t wish this on NOBODY,” Barnett wrote. “One even had the nerve to ask me, ‘How did those steel toes feel, boy,’ trying to get a rise out of me, but I just laid there and prayed.”

He wrote that he had never been so afraid in his life.

“I will not let this go. I don’t (want) this to happen to anyone else,” Barnett wrote

>> Read more trending news

Cox declined to say Monday if the department had received previous complaints about either officer. He also declined to speculate on why they decided to follow Barnett, whose name was not made public at the news conference, when he turned around at the checkpoint.  

Magee praised the department’s handling of the incident. 

“We have handled the situation as we do. It’s said that police can’t police themselves, but in certain instances, they can, and this is evidence of that,” the mayor said

Barnett pleaded guilty to resisting arrest in his first court appearance, WDAM reported. He is still scheduled to appear in court next month, at which time he said he plans to fight the charge. 

“I just want justice,” Barnett told the news station. “I want what’s right, done. They (did) me wrong, so something has to be done about that. 

“If you’re working for the law, do right by the law. Don’t uphold the law by trying to take the law into your own hands.”

Sandy Hook families sue Infowars' Alex Jones over hoax claims

Family members of six victims of the deadly 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and an FBI agent have filed a defamation lawsuit against Infowars' Alex Jones over his claims that the massacre was a hoax.

>> Sandy Hook parents accuse Alex Jones, Infowars of defamation, seek damages

According to The Associated Press, the suit, filed Wednesday in Bridgeport Superior Court, says the plaintiffs were harassed and threatened because of his claims. They seek "monetary and punitive damages, attorney fees and other costs," the AP reported.

This is just the latest legal action against the conspiracy theorist over his Sandy Hook statements. He is facing two similar lawsuits filed last month in Texas.

>> Read more trending news 

Jones has not publicly commented on the most recent lawsuit, but said last month that even though he initially "questioned the PR and the talking points that surrounded the Sandy Hook massacre," he soon "began to believe that the massacre happened, despite the fact that the public doubted it."

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rape victim wins $1 billion verdict in civil suit against security company

A Georgia rape victim was awarded a $1 billion settlement verdict Tuesday by a Clayton County jury in a civil lawsuit, according to court documents.

Hope Cheston, who is now 20 years old, sued a security company whose employee, Brandon Lamar Zachary, was convicted of rape and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The rape occurred in October 2012 when Cheston was 14. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s policy is to not name rape victims, but Cheston has chosen to speak out after the verdict. 

“Sexual assault is sexual assault,” Cheston said at a news conference Wednesday. “It’s not right, and it needs to be punished.”

She said the verdict was a pleasant surprise that validates her struggles and emotional pain.

>> Read more trending news 

“For the longest (time), I thought it would be pushed under the rug and no longer mattered ... but come to find out 12 strangers feel like what I went through and my story and how I feel six years later is worth a billion dollars,” Cheston said.

She originally filed the civil suit against the apartment complex, HACC Pointe South Inc., the property management company, Hammond Residential Group, Inc., and the security company, Crime Prevention Agency Inc.

HACC Pointe South Inc. and Hammond Residential Group Inc. were eventually dismissed from the suit.

The State Court of Clayton County ruled in Cheston’s favor against the security company, handing her the huge settlement, according to a statement from her attorney. 

“This is a huge victory for women,” Cheston’s attorney, Chris Stewart, said at the news conference.

Stewart said Crime Prevention Agency Inc. has since changed its name to International Security Agency Inc., which he said has prompted a subsequent lawsuit.

“You can’t change names or try to hide from your responsibility,” Stewart said.

Zachary, who is now 28, was arrested on charges of rape, statutory rape and child molestation, according to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. 

What is an ‘incel?’ A look at the anti-women movement behind multiple terror attacks

A terrorist attack a month ago in Toronto, in which 10 people were struck down by a man in a rental van, has brought the term “incel” -- short for “involuntarily celibate” -- to the global stage, but what is an incel and how did the misogynistic, sometimes violent movement begin?

Canadian authorities allege that Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, drove a Ryder rental van up onto a Toronto sidewalk April 23 and plowed into a group of pedestrians. According to additional charges filed against Minassian earlier this month, a total of 10 people died and another 16 were injured. 

Most of the dead were women. 

What is an incel?

The term “incel” began with a Toronto woman in 1993. The woman, identified only as Alana, told Elle in March 2016 that as a sexually inexperienced college student at Carleton University in Ottawa, she was trying to create a “movement that was open to anybody and everybody.” 

She created a website, Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project, as a way for single people who were lonely to come together. Eventually, she turned the site over to someone she did not know and abandoned the project.

The movement was ultimately co-opted by what The Washington Post described as an “online misogynistic subculture of men who blame women for their sexual frustration.”

Alana learned that in February 2015, when she read about Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old self-described “incel” who stabbed and shot to death six people and injured 14 others May 23, 2014, near the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus before taking his own life. 

In a video he shot in his BMW shortly before shooting himself, Rodger complained about his social life, saying that he was still a virgin and had “never even kissed a girl.”

A 141-page manifesto Rodger sent to about two dozen friends and acquaintances before he killed himself further detailed his deep hatred of women, whose rejection he blamed for his predicament, the BBC reported. In the document, he called himself an “ideal magnificent gentleman” and said he could not understand why women did not want him. 

Men who subscribe to the incel movement have taken Rodger as a sort of folk hero. Alexandre Bissonnette, who killed six people and wounded 19 more at a Quebec City mosque on Jan. 29, 2017, searched the web for information about Rodger less than 24 hours before opening fire, The Globe and Mail reported

Toronto police officials also confirmed that Minassian posted a message on Facebook in which he praised Rodger just minutes before he is accused of driving his rented van into the crowd of pedestrians in Toronto. 

“As has been reported in the media, the accused is believed to have posted a cryptic public message on Facebook minutes before he began driving the rented van southbound on Yonge Street and onto the crowded sidewalks,” Toronto police Detective Sgt. Graham Gibson said shortly after the tragedy. “He drove, deliberately striking pedestrians on the sidewalk and roadway with his vehicle.”

Minassian, a failed Canadian military recruit who called himself “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010” in the Facebook post, wrote that he wished to speak to “Sgt. 4chan.” The website 4chan, which has been linked to a variety of internet subcultures, is believed to be where Minassian became radicalized, New York magazine reported

He also stated in the post that ‘the Incel Rebellion has already begun.”

“We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!” the post stated, according to the BBC. “All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

According to the Institute for Family Studies, incels refer to attractive, sexually available women as “Stacys.” The small number of alpha males they believe dominate the dating field, they call “Chads.”

David Futrelle, a writer and blogger who explores misogyny on the internet, described incels as seeing “Chads” as stereotypically attractive man, or Ken dolls, and “Stacys” as the Barbies to those Kens. 

“This all may seem a bit ridiculous, but it's no exaggeration,” Futrelle told Glamour magazine in April. “This is how they think. I'm convinced that they literally visualize Chads as characters in ‘80s teen flicks.”

Futrelle said a lot of the incels he’s run across are young and that he believes their belief system stems from adolescent insecurities and anger over being rejected by girls in their youth. 

“Instead of growing out of this, they turn it into a lifestyle,” Futrelle said. 

Facebook removed Minassian’s account within minutes of the attack, The Globe and Mail reported

Minassian, who was arrested near the scene of the mass homicide seven minutes after the initial 911 call was placed, has been charged with 10 counts of murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. 

The Institute for Family Studies reported that incels tend to believe that women have become more sexually promiscuous, but only date “Chads,” which leaves them, the incels, out. 

The rate of men who are unmarried and have reported not having sex in the past year has increased over the past several years -- but it is not because the self-titled incels are being shunned, the institute reported. Instead, it is driven by the declining marriage rate, which for men between ages 22 and 35 is at its lowest rate since at least 1880, the year for which data first became available. 

Incel movement’s basis in history

The acts of violence allegedly perpetrated by Minassian and Rodger are not the first linked to the misogynistic ideals behind the incel movement. In 1989, 14 female students were shot to death and another 13 injured at École Polytechnique, an engineering school in Montreal. 

The killer, Marc Lépine, blamed feminism for the ills of his life, including his rejection from the school where he found his victims, The Guardian reported. Lépine, who armed himself with a rifle and a knife, previously told a shop owner he was hunting “small game,” the newspaper said. 

Like Rodger, Lépine turned his gun on himself when he was through. 

>> Read more trending news

Melissa J. Gismondi wrote for the Post that the incel movement is fairly new, but is based in the ancient history of patriarchal societies that have long given men free reign over women’s bodies. Gismondi, a historian in North American history, explained that women, for the majority of American history, were bound in more than name to their husbands. 

Crimes against a woman, including rape, were seen as crimes against the husband. If a slave-owner raped a slave and got her pregnant, that child also became his property. 

It was 1979 before marital rape became a crime in the United States, the Post reported. It was not until 1993 that it became a crime in all 50 states.

President Donald Trump’s embattled personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, tried as recently as 2015 to deflect old rape accusations against Trump by saying husbands could not rape their wives. Cohen’s remarks were in response to the then-presidential candidate’s sexual misconduct controversy, during which there was a resurfacing of allegations made by Ivana Trump in the 1990s, in which she said that Trump raped her while they were married.  

Cohen later apologized. 

The belief that men are owed sex from women helped form the basis of today’s incel movement, experts say. 

A Reddit incel subgroup that boasted 40,000 members was shut down in November after several posts promoted rape and other violence against women, USA Today reported. Keegan Kankes, a senior intelligence analyst with hate group watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center, told the newspaper in April that misogyny is often a precursor to other, more radical extremism.

“There is a willingness in these communities to say horrible things -- women should be raped, women should be killed,” Hankes said. “In these communities, the rhetoric is among the worst that I see online.”

Man charged with murder in chase, crash that killed North Carolina trooper

A man wanted following a fatal crash involving a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper has been captured.

>> Shooter dead in Panama City, Florida standoff, reports say

Authorities had been looking for 22-year-old Dakota Kape Whitt after Trooper Samuel N. Bullard, 24, of Wilkes County, died late Monday in a crash along Interstate 77 in Yadkin County during a chase.

WGHP-TV reports that during the chase, one trooper noticed he did not see a second patrol car behind him. When his attempt at contacting the other trooper failed, he turned around and found the patrol car engulfed in flames.

>> Read more trending news 

“Our SHP family is devastated by the loss of Trooper Bullard. We are struggling to find words that describe the hurting we feel right now,” said Col. Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “Trooper Bullard died as he was fulfilling his promise to the people of North Carolina, protecting and serving his community.” 

It happened around 11:30 p.m. on I-77 southbound near NC-67. The area is about 70 miles north of Charlotte and due west of Winston-Salem.

>> No leads in fatal drive-by shooting of grandmother; police asking for public’s help

Chris Knox with the NCSHP said Bullard was a three-year veteran assigned to Surry County.

Troopers said the incident started with a license check. A black BMW did not stop and troopers went after it. Trooper Bullard was involved in a collision at Mile Marker 80.

Whitt was taken into custody without incident around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. He's charged with murder, felony fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle and driving with a revoked license. 

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