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Robber forces McDonald's employees into fridge at gunpoint, police say

Police have arrested a man who is accused of robbing a McDonald's and locking employees into a freezer at gunpoint early Saturday morning in Cumming, Georgia.

Kaleem Tariq-Madyun, 35, is charged with one count of armed robbery and seven counts of aggravated assault. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Employees reported being forced into a refrigerated area by an armed suspect who took an undisclosed amount of money,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said in a Facebook post Sunday. “The employees fled out of the back of the building and contacted deputies.”

Forsyth County News reported that a joint effort by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Gwinnett County Police Department led to Tariq-Madyun’s arrest after a search warrant was obtained and officials went to the suspect’s home.

Tariq-Madyun remains in the Forsyth County Jail without bond and has a pending court hearing.

Florida man accused of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars after hurricanes, tropical storm

As people in Florida are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, a Jacksonville man is wanted on allegations of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars.

>> Watch the news report here

Lepoleon Spikes is accused of claiming damage to different homes in Jacksonville for three separate storms.

>> Visit ActionNewsJax.com for the latest on recovery efforts in Hurricane Michael’s aftermath

A grand jury indictment claims he provided FEMA with fraudulent lease agreements as proof of damage.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: 17 Florida DCF workers fired over emergency food stamp applications

Documents say Spikes was awarded thousands of dollars after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, as well as Tropical Storm Debby.

“You’re taking from people and families that really need the money,” said Scherlinda Bennett, who says her home was flooded during both Matthew and Irma.

>> Read more trending news 

ActionNewsJax went to one of the homes where Spikes supposedly lived, but learned that was years ago. The home’s current owner claims it never had storm damage.

Savannah unamused by googly eyes placed on historic statue: 'It's a crime'

The Nathanael Greene Monument in Savannah, Georgia, was defaced with googly eyes this week, the city posted on its official Facebook page.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia town among America’s top 3 small cities, according to Condè Nast

“It may look funny but harming our historic monuments and public property is no laughing matter, in fact, it's a crime,” officials wrote.

>> See the post here

According to the Savannah Morning News, police are investigating the incident and searching for the vandal responsible.

Defacing, defiling or mutilating a grave marker, monument or memorial devoted to a deceased individual who served in the military is considered criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor offense. But if the damage is upwards of $500, it’s a felony crime: criminal damage to property.

>> On AJC.com: Wilderness, wildlife, bamboo and fossils: The Savannah you don't know

Greene, who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War is buried in Johnson Square. Though he never fought in Georgia, his military strategy and leadership helped free Georgia from British forces.

The soldier moved to Savannah with his family after the war, but died of heat stroke shortly after in 1786.

From the monument’s historical marker in Johnson Square:

The 50-foot, white marble obelisk, designed by the well-known architect, William Strickland, was completed in 1830. The original cornerstone was laid here on March 21, 1825, by Greene's old friend, the Marquis de LaFayette. At the dedicatory ceremony General LaFayette said:

>> Read more trending news 

"The great and good man to whose memory we are paying a tribute of respect, affection, and regret, has acted in our revolutionary contest a part so glorious and so important that in the very name of Greene are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader ..."

Man charged with murder in deadly attack on girlfriend kills himself in jail, police say

A Tennessee man was behind bars for just a few days after police say he killed his girlfriend.

>> Watch the news report here

Santrez Traylor, 34, was accused of hitting the 31-year-old woman with his car about 9 p.m. Oct. 7, according to the Memphis Police Department. He killed himself inside his jail about 3 p.m. Saturday, police said.

He was transported by ambulance to Regional One Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Officers originally responded to a home in the 3200 block of Carnes Avenue for someone who was armed last Sunday, but witnesses told WHBQ that they saw the whole incident unfold before their eyes in front of the victim’s home.

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Man repeatedly ran over girlfriend with car, hit her with brick outside Memphis home, witnesses say

“I witnessed a murder,” said neighbor Jay Smoot. “It’s pretty, pretty overwhelming.”

Witnesses said shortly after 9 p.m., they heard what turned out to be the deadly confrontation between the victim and her boyfriend, Traylor – who is her child’s father. 

They said they also saw Traylor using a brick to hit the woman in the head. 

“She was standing when he first hit her and then she fell down and he repeatedly was hitting her with the brick, hitting her with the brick,” one neighbor said. “Kicking, punching her he was trying to make sure she was dead.”

Moments later, witnesses told WHBQ that Traylor went into the home and got keys to a car in the driveway.

>> Read more trending news 

That’s when they said he repeatedly “ran her over.”

Traylor was charged with criminal trespassing and domestic assault almost a month ago when he came to the victim’s home threatening to hurt their children, according to a police affidavit. 

The document also detailed several other reports of domestic violence involving the suspect and victim. 

Authorities said Traylor ran away from the scene before officers arrived, but he was later arrested and charged with second degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. 

On Wednesday, WHBQ had a chance to speak with Traylor's sister, Sentriace Smith. Smith told WHBQ that she was sticking by her brother's side no matter what. The sister said this situation has been going on for at least eight years.

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Family of man charged in brutal murder of girlfriend speaks out

“I’ve been called to their home and I witnessed some of the arguments going on,” Smith said.

North Carolina man charged with over 50 counts of child sex crimes

A North Carolina man was arrested Thursday after being accused of taking indecent liberties with a child over a span of five years.

>> Read more trending news 

>> On WSOCTV.com: 2 more students accuse former teacher charged with indecent liberties

The arrest came after an extensive investigation into allegations that Clinton Weber, 52, of Statesville, sexually assaulted the victim from 2012 until 2017.

According to investigators, Weber is related to the victim through marriage, and the incidents started when the child was 6 years old. 

>> On WSOCTV.com: Superintendent makes safety changes amid children's program owner facing sex charges

Weber was charged with 35 counts of first-degree statutory sex offense, 20 counts of first-degree attempted statutory sex offense and one count of rape of a child. 

Officials said Weber was transported to Iredell County Jail and is being held under a $1 million bond.

Man accused of raping 6-year-old girl in Tennessee

Police in Memphis, Tennessee, are asking for the public’s help to find a man accused of raping a 6-year-old girl.

Artemio Molina-Villalobos is wanted on allegations of rape of a child. The charge stems from a report that was filed Oct. 4.

>> Read more news stories 

The child’s mother believed her daughter was being sexually abused, authorities said. Police said her suspicions were confirmed by video surveillance.

Molina-Villalobos was identified as the suspect, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. You can see a description of him below.

>> See the post here

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

Credit card skimmers caught by Florida police at gas pump

Two South Florida men were caught attempting to install a credit card reader inside a gasoline pump at a convenience store by police, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

>> Read more trending news 

According to arrest reports, a policeman spotted Raul Jose Hernandez Beltran, 30, of Hialeah, and Rafael Alejandro Mirabal Bonora, 28, of Miami, acting suspiciously at a gas station in Davie.

The report stated that Beltran wore a blue baseball cap to hide his face, and he went inside to distract the clerk, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Meanwhile, Bonora opened the gas pump’s cover and installed the skimming device, the newspaper reported.

The officer watched as Bonora worked on the pump, according to the arrest report. The officer confronted Bonora and called for backup. When police arrived, both men were arrested, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

They were charged with using a scanning device to commit fraud, the newspaper reported.

FBI foils man’s plot to blow himself up on National Mall on Election Day

A New York state man was arrested by federal agents Tuesday, accused of plotting to blow himself up on the National Mall on Election Day. 

Paul M. Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, is charged with unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive, according to the FBI. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. 

A search of Rosenfeld’s home following his arrest turned up a 200-pound bomb that had to be removed by bomb technicians, authorities said. Agents also found a fusing system and empty canisters that once held black powder. 

“As alleged, Paul M. Rosenfeld concocted a twisted plan to draw attention to his political ideology by killing himself on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. -- risking harm to many others in the process,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a news release. “Rosenfeld’s alleged plan for an Election Day detonation cut against our democratic principles. Thanks to outstanding coordination between local and federal law enforcement, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot was thwarted, and he is now in federal custody.”

Assistant FBI Director-In-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. credited “the quick action of a concerned citizen and the diligent work of a host of … law enforcement partners and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force” with thwarting Rosenfeld’s plans.

“I’d like to extend particular thanks to our partners with the Orangetown Police Department, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, the Rockland County District Attorney, the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department and the Stony Point Police Department for their respective roles in bring this investigation to a safe conclusion,” Sweeney said

>> Read more trending news

The criminal complaint against Rosenfeld accuses him of sending letters and text messages to an unnamed person in Pennsylvania in August and September, in which he said he planned to build a bomb he would detonate on Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C. NBC News reported that the person Rosenfeld contacted was a reporter. 

Rosenfeld said he wanted the bomb to draw attention to his political belief in sortition, the complaint said. 

According to the Sortition Foundation, sortition is the use of a random selection of people to fill political positions or make up assemblies. The practice has its roots in ancient Greece. 

“An assembly that uses sortition would be composed of people just like you and me: it would be a representative random sample of people, making decisions in an informed, fair and deliberative setting,” the foundation’s website said

The reporter contacted law enforcement authorities and reported what Rosenfeld told him, NBC News said

Read the entire federal criminal complaint against Paul Rosenfeld below. 

The subsequent probe into Rosenfeld’s actions led agents to conduct a traffic stop on Rosenfeld Tuesday, at which time he agreed to an interview with investigators. In that interview, Rosenfeld admitted that he’d ordered a large amount of black powder over the internet and transported the explosive substance from New Jersey to his home in New York, the criminal complaint said. 

He admitted using about 8 pounds of the black powder to build the Election Day bomb and said he “installed certain components in the explosive device to ensure that he was killed in the blast,” the court document said. 

Agents found the bomb intended for the National Mall in the basement of Rosenfeld’s Tappan home. 

“The explosive device is a plywood box that contained what appeared to the agents, based on their training and experience, to be black powder,” the complaint said. 

FBI experts X-rayed the device and determined that engaging the bomb’s firing switch would generate the necessary electrical charge to ignite the black powder inside the box, the document said. 

Rosenfeld said he’d built smaller bombs in the past and conducted test detonations to ensure that the bigger bomb would explode as planned, investigators said. 

Rosenfeld’s family has expressed relief that the alleged plot was uncovered in time, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News

“We’re grateful to the FBI for managing to find out about this so no one is harmed,” Rosenfeld’s father, Peter Rosenfeld, told the newspaper

Dad accused of starving infant daughter told 911 dispatcher baby was ‘dead as a doornail’ 

A Michigan man accused along with his wife of starving their 10-month-old daughter to death over the summer told a 911 dispatcher that the baby was “dead as a doornail” when he and his wife found her.

When the dispatcher asked Seth Welch how he was holding up, he replied, “You know, just another day. It is what it is,” MLive.com reported

The shocking 911 recording was played for the judge Wednesday at a preliminary hearing for Welch and his wife, Tatiana Fusari, both 27, the news site reported. Welch and Fusari are charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the death of Mary Anne Welch. 

The baby was found dead Aug. 2 in her crib at her family’s Cedar Springs farm. The forensic pathologist who conducted Mary’s autopsy told District Judge Sara Smolenski Wednesday that the infant -- who weighed just 8 pounds at the time of her death -- died of “malnutrition associated with dehydration due to neglect of adult caregivers,” according to MLive

>> Related story: Couple charged after starved infant found with eyes, cheeks ‘sunken into her head’

Smolenski said she was stunned by Welch’s “callousness” regarding his daughter’s death, as well as by the condition in which Mary was found, MLive said. The girl’s autopsy determined that she was starved over the span of weeks or months and had become so weak, she could not crawl or lift her head.

“It is as horrific as it gets,” the judge said, according to the news site. “The skeletal-like posture of the child, in my opinion, speaks volumes, for how long the baby was not cared for properly.”

In the 911 recording, a portion of which was obtained by MLive, Welch tells a Kent County dispatcher that one of his children is dead. The couple also has two older children, ages 4 and 2, and Fusari is pregnant with their fourth child. 

The dispatcher asks Welch why he thinks his daughter has died, Fox 17 News in Grand Rapids reported

“I have no idea,” Welch responds. “We just woke up and she’s dead.”

Welch says that his wife tried CPR on Mary, but it didn’t work. 

The dispatcher asks Welch how long ago he found his daughter dead. Welch tells the man it had been about 90 minutes because he called his lawyer first. 

“I called my lawyer first thing to ask, you know, what’s the next thing I should do and they said wait until they’re here to call, you know, the police and get that going,” Welch says. “Basically, it got to the point where I was waiting so long, I just kind of went ahead and did it anyway. I was waiting on legal counsel.”

“So you found the child an hour and a half ago, and called your lawyer first, correct?” the dispatcher asks

“Yes,” Welch says, telling the dispatcher that he didn’t know if he should call the police or not. “I had no idea what to do.” 

Welch, who appeared to weep in court as he listened to his matter-of-fact conversation with the dispatcher, said that he put his daughter to bed around 3 p.m. the day before “and that was that.” He said he found her dead around 10 a.m. -- 19 hours later. 

“We finally went in to check on her, going, ‘OK, it’s been way too long.’ You know?” he says

Welch tells the dispatcher that it was normal for Mary to sleep long hours. 

“So you’re saying it’s normal for your children to sleep from around 3 p.m. to 10 a.m.?” the dispatcher says

“Yeah, usually about 9, 9:30, yeah,” Welch says. 

The dispatcher asks what time the couple’s children usually have dinner, and Welch tells him the children don’t have a set schedule. 

As the dispatcher continues to question Welch about the delay, he confirms that Welch believed Mary to already be dead when he found her. 

“And that’s when you consulted with a lawyer?” the dispatcher asks.

“Yep,” Welch says.

“Do you believe she was beyond help already?” the dispatcher asks. 

“Oh, yeah,” Welch responds. “She was dead as a doornail.”

Listen to the portion of Seth Welch’s 911 call obtained by MLive below. 

A Kent County crime scene investigator testified Wednesday that she found food in the couple’s home, but little baby food. The house was filthy, with flies buzzing around and mice droppings in drawers, MLive reported

Mary’s mattress was dirty and moldy, the investigator said. 

Detective Jason Russo, an investigator with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, testified that Fusari told investigators she was still breastfeeding Mary, but that the infant had started eating some solid food. She said she last fed her daughter around 2:30 p.m. Aug. 1, before leaving for her evening shift at McDonald’s, according to MLive.

It was not immediately clear if she thought her husband had fed the baby while she was at work, the news site reported. Neither she nor Welch went into the baby’s bedroom until the next morning, when she was found dead. 

Russo testified that Welch showed no emotion in his police interview. The father told investigators that he thought Mary was just skinny like her older sister was at her age. 

He and Fusari thought the baby was going through a “growth spurt,” he told investigators. In a jailhouse interview with WOOD-TV the week after he and his wife were arrested, Welch said it was not unusual for their children to sleep for up to 18 hours at a time during one of those spurts. 

>> Read more trending news

MLive reported that Russo also testified that Welch did not regret not seeking medical care for the infant. 

“To my recollection, during the interviews I conducted ... he has never expressed or shown any emotion regarding Mary’s care or ultimate demise,” Russo said on the stand

Neither Mary nor her brother had ever been to see a doctor, the couple told investigators. They did not trust doctors or Child Protective Services after they were reported to the child welfare agency, allegedly for disagreeing with a doctor’s recommendation for their older daughter. 

The couple’s feelings about doctors and CPS, as well as their religious beliefs, were topics Welch often discussed in videos he posted on his Facebook page, which is adorned with photos of homemade religious signs posted around their farm. One such sign, painted onto a fence, reads, “Repent. Believe. Obey.”

In his frequent videos, Welch read passages from the Bible and gave his interpretation of them. In one video, he called doctors “priesthoods of the medical cult,” WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reported

Welch also said that God is “sovereign over disease and those sorts of things” and admitted that none of the couple’s three children, including Mary, had been vaccinated. 

See Seth Welch’s Aug. 9 jailhouse interview with WOOD-TV below.

“It didn’t seem smart that you would be saving people who weren’t the fittest,” Welch said about vaccines in one video. “If evolution believes in survival of the fittest, why are we vaccinating everybody? Shouldn’t we just let the weak die off and let the strong survive?”

Welch proclaimed his innocence in his jailhouse interview with WOOD-TV

“I believe I am being unfairly charged, being made an example of for my very strong faith,” Welch told the news station

He said he was stunned to learn that he and his wife face life in prison if convicted of the charges against them. 

“I was very shocked,” Welch said. “I went to my cell and I cried. I laid down flat on my face and I just cried out in prayer.”

He also criticized media coverage of the case, telling the reporter he would “answer to the Lord for everything that is said against (him).”

Welch told WOOD-TV that he and his wife saw no signs that their daughter was in danger. He said his wife’s routine was to breastfeed Mary before going to work. 

The couple also fed the baby food from their farm, Welch said. 

“In the Bible, it says that good food is our medicine,” he said. “We fed her. We were feeding her chicken, potatoes, apples, cheese. We were giving her the good stuff.”

He said that he checked on his daughter repeatedly the night of Aug. 1 and into the following morning, but did so without going into her room so he wouldn’t wake her. He said all of the couple’s children would typically cry if they got hungry or needed a diaper change in the middle of the night. When Mary did not wake up crying, he thought she was OK. 

Welch said Fusari checked on Mary when she came home from work around 11:30 p.m., and Mary seemed fine. She was the one who found Mary unresponsive and not breathing the following morning, he said.  

Fusari began trying to revive her, but he could tell the baby was dead, Welch said. 

“She died. It’s a tragedy,” Welch said. “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh.”

Smolenski on Wednesday ordered Welch and Fusari bound over for trial. Both are being held in the Kent County Jail. 

Their two surviving children were placed in CPS custody following their arrests, but Welch wrote in an Aug. 2 Facebook post that the children had been placed with their grandparents.  

WOOD-TV reported in August that the state was seeking to have the couple’s parental rights terminated. 

Photo: Stolen car drives onto Topgolf course, gets stuck on target

A suspect is facing several charges after police say they drove a stolen vehicle onto the course at Topgolf, a multi-level entertainment venue with interactive golf games.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety, officers were called to the Topgolf in Alpharetta, Georgia, around 7 a.m. after an employee reported a vehicle had been driven onto the course and was teetering over one of the targets.

Alpharetta police spokesman Officer Howard Miller told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the driver appeared to use a path for maintenance vehicles to get onto the course.

Police responded, rescued the driver and arrested them on several charges.

“While investigating the incident, we also found out the car was reported stolen out of Cobb County,” the department said in a Facebook post.

The driver's name hasn't been released.

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