Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bad Behavior: Stealin', Fightin' & Scammin'....And The Week's Not Over Yet

Police: Postal Worker Steals Gift Cards

A U.S. Postal Service supervisor has been charged with theft and accused of stealing hundreds of gift cards from people's mail, Baltimore TV station WBAL reported.

Andrew C. Walsh, 51, of Cockeysville, faces up to five years in prison if convicted of theft of mail by a postal employee. His arrest was announced Wednesday. U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and Joanne Yarbrough, of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Investigations, announced the arrest Wednesday.

According to an affidavit, greeting cards at a processing and distribution center had been opened, with their contents removed, numerous times since January.

"The recovered mail fluctuated between approximately 20 to 100 rifled greeting cards each night, totaling approximately 1,200 victims to date," according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Walsh was arrested Tuesday night, and authorities said about 450 stolen gift cards were recovered from his vehicle. Officials said Walsh was an acting supervisor at the processing center and worked night shifts.

Investigators worked with victims whose mail had been rifled through and identified Walsh as the suspect. Walsh made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

Boy Fractures Skull In School Bus Fight

A 7-year-old boy underwent surgery for a skull fracture after an apparent fight with another child on a school bus in the southern New Mexico city of Las Cruces, a school official and an attorney for the child's family said Wednesday.

The two boys - a first-grader and an 8-year-old in second grade - were riding home April 14 when there was an apparent shoving match and the younger boy hit his head, said Las Cruces Public Schools spokeswoman Jo Galvan.

"We do not know how he ended up falling yet. ... We just know he was crying when he got off the bus. The driver asked him what happened, and the kid said the other kid pushed him," she said.

The bus driver, following district policy, contacted school officials about a possible injury.

The boy went home after talking with the bus driver, said Joseph Holmes, an attorney for the boy's family. The child started having headaches "and getting very sick," so his parents took him to a hospital, which transferred him to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, Holmes said.

Doctors believe the boy won't have any long-term problems, but it could be six months before he can engage in normal activities because the skull fracture has to heal, Holmes said.

Only the two boys were involved in the fight, Galvan said. Their names were not released because of their age.

"We're still not sure who instigated what, or whether it started at school or just on the bus," Galvan said.

The bus was not equipped with a video camera, she said. District officials want to see whether any bullying was involved, but neither boy will be interviewed until the injured child is out of the hospital, she said.

"Even though it's only first grade, it's taken seriously," she said. "Accidents do happen, whether they're meant to or not, with little children. But they have to understand the consequences and the long-term effects bullying can have."

Galvan said she could not give further details because of the possibility of litigation. Galvan said Holmes has contacted district officials.

Holmes said he can't discuss possible litigation and that the family's concern is the child's health. The New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority, which insures the district, has taken over the investigation, Galvan said.

The Las Cruces district instituted an anti-bullying curriculum two years ago. The policy includes name-calling, pushing and similar behavior as bullying and details possible punishment, ranging from a one-day in-school suspension to a year's suspension from class.

Bottled Water Hoax Lands Washington Mom In Jail

A woman has been sentenced to jail for a hoax in which she claimed her daughter was injured by a glass shard in a bottle of water.

Kelsey Macom claimed in April 2008 that her 7-year-old daughter was cut by a piece of glass in a bottle of Dasani water, a Coca-Cola product. She then demanded $3,000 from Coke to settle the dispute.

($3,000? Yep, we did a double-take on the amount, too)

Macom said her daughter's throat had been cut so badly that she couldn't eat hard foods and was coughing up blood. The former Better Business Bureau employee was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three months of home detention.

The federal judge in the case described the crime as "despicable," and prosecutors said Macom used her job at the Better Business Bureau as a way to get Coke to give her money.

WBAL-TV, Baltimore, Las Cruces Public Schools; BBB.

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