Tag Archives: Man

Suburban Wheaton Man Grows Illinois’ Largest Pumpkin For the Fourth Year in a Row

Suburban Wheaton Man Grows Illinois' Largest Pumpkin For the Fourth Year in a Row

For the fourth year in a row, a suburban Wheaton man has taken home the prize for Illinois’ largest pumpkin.

Joe Adkins’ gigantic gourd, which stands at more than 5 feet tall and weighs an impressive 1,258 pounds, received its coveted title from the Illinois Giant Pumpkin Grower’s Association.

Year after year, Adkins has grown the pumpkins right in his own yard. The secret to success, he said, is in the soil.

“It’s more of balancing your soil than it is fertilizing it heavily, you know all the time,” he said.

If there was one downside of growing a huge pumpkin, it would be that they’re not really made for flavor and taste.

Adkins’ said he has a difficult goal for next year; the ambitious grower hopes his next pumpkin will top the scales at more than 2,000 pounds.

But in the coming weeks, the suburban Wheaton grower mentioned he has other important plans, passing out full-size candy bars and pumpkin seeds on Halloween.


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Man Charged With Attacking Real Estate Agents and Other Women

Man Charged With Attacking Real Estate Agents and Other Women

A 45-year-old with an intellectual disability was charged Friday with felony assault with intent to commit rape in the Encino attack on a real estate agent that was recorded by a home security camera.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s five count complaint against Alen Karaboghosian also alleges he sexually battered four other women in separate incidents dating to February. Those were charged as misdemeanors.

Brought to court in Van Nuys Friday afternoon, he pleaded not guilty. 

During the brief arraignment, Public Defender Meredith Schensol made no mention of his receiving services from a regional center for developmental disabilities, but said afterward it could be addressed before or at his next scheduled court appearance Oct. 16.

Members of his family have told NBC4 his intellectual disability at times affects his social interactions, and insisted that he did not intend to harm the woman they acknowledged he pushed to the ground last Sunday. 

Karaboghosian lives with his parents and was riding with them in a family car when it was pulled over and he was arrested Tuesday night, a day after the video was released. Police said they were led to Karaboghosian by tips from people who recognized him in the video. 

The incident sent shock waves through the local real estate community, and one brokerage quickly arranged self-defense guidance for its agents.

The victim in the Sunday incident, who asks not to be identified, told NBC4 she believes that after he arrived at the open house, he tried to get her to go into a backroom. Leery, she went outside in view of the security camera, pointed it out to him, and told him to leave.

He can be seen shaking her hand, then stepping forward and extending both his arms to push the much smaller woman backward. As she fell, screaming, he ran around, leaned over her, and briefly put his hands on her upper body. With her continuing to yell, he ran off.

After the video was broadcast, other women came forward, alleging they recognized Karaboghosian as the man who had groped them.

The district attorney’s office said the four other incidents date back to February, when another real estate agent alleges she was groped during an open house. The alleged unwelcome touching of three other women occurred on public streets.

If convicted on all counts, Karaboghosian could face a maximum sentence of eight years, or he could be committed to a facility for treatment.

The judge denied a defense request for Karaboghosian’s release, and set bail level at $180,000. His family says they have secured the bail, and expect to bring him home Saturday. 

“We are not condoning or denying him having pushed the Realtor, but the rest of the allegations being made against him are irrational and exaggerated,” reads a statement read Thursday to NBCLA by a family member. “He did not do so with an intent to harm.”

However, two of his accusers said the way Karaboghosian ran off after groping indicates to them he understands right from wrong.

Karaboghosian’s arraignment was originally listed as scheduled for a downtown courthouse, where his brother and other family members gathered Friday morning to wait, along with his case worker from the North Los Angeles County Regional Center.

Not informed of the new location until after the noon hour, they were exasperated to arrive in Van Nuys after the arraignment’s conclusion. They said they had wanted to be in the courtroom to support him.

Karaboghosian spends time in his brother’s cabinet making shop, and likes to visit open houses, a family member said. He does not drive, but walks or rides a bike. All of the alleged counts occurred within a few blocks of the family home. 

Intellectual disability can, but does not necessarily, render a criminal defendant not competent to stand trial, and can also become the basis for a defense of diminished capacity, also called diminished actuality. In some cases, a convict with an intellectual disability may be remanded to a conventional prison. If determined to pose a danger to self or others, there can also be placement for treatment in the secure portion of California’s Porterville Developmental Center.

The following is a complete statement released Thursday by the Karaboghosian family:

“I am speaking on behalf of Alen’s family. Alen’s mind does not function at the level of an adult’s, and it is important to understand the symptoms and implications of mental health before being so quick as to judging a man’s character and intentions. We are not condoning or denying him having pushed the Realtor, but the rest of the allegations being made against him are irrational and exaggerated. Even if he touched one’s shoulder or grabbed an arm or even hugged, he did not do so with an intent to harm and certainly did not sexually assault. We are aware of the fine line between socializing, being friendly, and harassing, however Alen has a mental disability, which hinders his judgment. He lacks the mental capacity to differentiate right from wrong and cannot communicate his wants and needs appropriately. Alen is unaware of how to appropriately act in a given social situation, at times being overly friendly and lacking the ability to distinguish between friend and stranger. As previously mentioned, Alen has the kindest heart and will jump at any occasion to help someone in need. Unfortunately, his mental disability has impaired his ability to stay calm in an emergency, causing him to become confused and not know how to act appropriately.”


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‘I Could Have Been Shot.” Man Mistaken for Police Sketch of Predator Gets Beaten Up

'I Could Have Been Shot." Man Mistaken for Police Sketch of Predator Gets Beaten Up

A man was left beaten in the middle of the road after an attacker mistook him for police sketch of a child predator, the man said Friday.

Kevin Martin pleaded for help on social media after people have mistaken him — more than once — for the person drawn in a sketch released by Corona police.

“It could have been worse. I could have been shot,” Martin said.

Martin said the brutal attack happened around 11:15 p.m. Thursday near a Norco In N Out on Hamner Avenue.

Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

He was inside a bar when he said a man approached him and asked him to have a chat outside.

When they got outside, another man pulled out a cellphone and showed him a composite sketch from Corona police of a child annoyance suspect.

“And he said.. That’s you isn’t it? And I go no that’s not me,” Martin said.

He said he had a feeling something bad was about to happen so he quickly grabbed his phone.

“I called 911, I put the phone in my pocket, and they heard everything,” he said.

He said one of the men got aggressive.

“He says he has a daughter of his own and he would kill people like me that do that. I knew right there I’m in trouble,” he said.

Martin alleged the man grabbed him by the neck, so he ran down Hamner Avenue to get away. But the attacker caught up to him at the center divider and started punching him, he said.

“And I said, you’re going to kill me if you hit me one more time the way you’re doing, you’re going to kill me,” Martin said.

Fortunately two witnesses scared the attacker off. Chris Ralph Arispe, 44, was arrested on suspicion of battery, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

Corona police detectives confirmed Martin was ruled out as a suspect related to the sketch.

Martin posted a heartfelt message to his 70,000 followers on his Facebook page, pleading for help so he isn’t attacked again.

He also has this advice for others.

“Don’t be a vigilante,” he said.

NBCLA reached out to Arispe for comment, but he has not responded.


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‘Brian Banks’ Movie Tells Story of San Diego Nonprofit’s Fight to Exonerate Wrongfully Convicted Man

'Brian Banks' Movie Tells Story of San Diego Nonprofit's Fight to Exonerate Wrongfully Convicted Man

A new movie that just debuted in theaters is highlighting the extraordinary story of Brian Banks and the San Diego attorneys who helped exonerate him.

In 2002, at just 17 years old, Banks was sentenced to six years in prison and forced to register as a sex offender for life for a rape he didn’t commit.

His accuser later reached out to him on Facebook and admitted to him on camera that she fabricated the story.

That’s when the California Innocence Project got involved.

Brian Banks’ Inspiring Life Story

[LA] Brian Banks' Inspiring Life Story

Banks had reached out to the San Diego-based nonprofit before, but with no indication that the victim was going to recant her story, they had to reject his case.

“In our system, the presumption of innocence goes away once you’re convicted. So now, we are starting with the presumption of guilt, and that’s very, very hard to undo,” said Alissa Bjerkhoel, litigation coordinator for the California Innocence Project.

Bjerkhoel said in order to reverse a conviction in California you must have “new evidence that completely undermines the prosecution’s case and points unerringly to innocence.”

The video with Banks’ accuser’s confession was just what they needed to prove his innocence.

“It was the type of evidence that is so compelling that you don’t get that very often, and as soon as I saw that video, I knew there was no way we were gonna turn this guy down,” Bjerkhoel said.

Bjerkhoel and the rest of the team at CIP, made up of mostly student volunteers from California Western School of Law, got to work.

Man With Guns, Body Armor Sparks Panic at Missouri Walmart

[NATL] Man With Guns and Body Armor Sparks Panic at Missouri Walmart

On May 24, 2012, with Bjerkhoel and CIP founder Justin Brooks by his side, the judge reversed Banks’ conviction.

“It’s so crazy how a decade of just a horrible life and all of the things that Brian had to go through literally just got undone in like one second, with just a few words — the judge just saying ‘petition granted,’” Bjerkhoel said. “It was overwhelming and I cried, Brian cried, and it was a very powerful moment.”

Bjerkhoel said seeing that powerful moment played out on the big screen still brings her to tears.

“Because it’s not just Brian’s case, but I have flashbacks of every single one of our clients where we’ve sat in that room and the judge says ‘petition granted,’and it is a flood of emotions, and it’s what we live for,” Bjerkhoel said.

The California Innocence Project gets about 1,500 new requests for assistance each year. To date, the nonprofit has helped to exonerate 27 people and have never charged for their services.

To learn more about the California Innocence Project and how you can help, visit www.californiainnocenceproject.org.


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Slam Dunk Sensation: Man Born Without Legs Doesn’t Dwell on What He Doesn’t Have

Slam Dunk Sensation: Man Born Without Legs Doesn't Dwell on What He Doesn't Have

Zion Clark was born without legs. He moves around with the help of a wheelchair. But, at 21, he’s not one to dwell on what he doesn’t have.

Clark weighs 97 pounds and is 3 feet 2 inches tall but his physical feats would be remarkable for someone with legs. He back flips, wrestles and wins Paralympic track championships, all of it documented on social media. 

A video of Clark slam dunking has over 134,000 views and 34,000 likes on Instagram. But his trainer, Mada Abelhamid, said the biggest feats Clark has overcome are in his personal life.

Clark was in and out of foster homes throughout his childhood and bullied by others. 

MLB Photos via Getty Images

“I wasn’t the greatest kid, I was really down on myself,” said Clark. “Growing up, it was really tough, I got ridiculed a lot.” 

Clark said his life turned around when a woman named Kim adopted him. She taught him to excel with what he does have and ignore what he doesn’t — something Abelhamid said he sees on a daily basis. 

“That mental aspect is what separates the good from the great, and he has it,” said Abelhamid. “No matter what challenge I throw in front of him, he will find a way.” 


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Homeless Man Tosses Rock Onto Car Windshield in Pomona

Homeless Man Tosses Rock Onto Car Windshield in Pomona

A homeless man allegedly illegally living on private property in Pomona damaged a man’s car with a rock Friday, police said.

The incident occurred after the victim saw three homeless men dumping items on a private property north of the 60 Freeway on Towne Avenue, Sgt. Brian Hagerty of the Pomona Police Department said.

The victim began recording the men dumping items on the property, with police saying that multiple homeless encampments were located on the private property.

One of the men got upset and responded by kicking the victim’s car and windows, which was caught on video, Hagerty said.

Homeless Man Throws Rock Onto Windshield of Car in Pomona

[LA] Homeless Man Throws Rock Onto Windshield of Car in Pomona

When the victim attempted to get closer to record the licence plate of a vehicle that had pulled up, the homeless man threw a rock onto the vehicle and damaged the hood and windshield, said Hagerty.

The victim filed a felony vandalism report, police confirmed.

Police said they have cleaned up the encampments on the private property and believed they have identified the suspect.

However, the suspect has not been arrested, and police believe the suspected vandal knows that the police are searching for him.


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Man Arrested After Stabbing Spree Kills 4 in Orange County

Man Arrested After Stabbing Spree Kills 4 in Orange County

A 33-year-old man from Garden Grove who allegedly went on a deadly stabbing spree and killed at least four people in Orange County Wednesday was arrested, Santa Ana police said.

Two men were stabbed repeatedly in the 12100 block Jentges Avenue, with one man pronounced dead at the apartment and the other dying later, police said. 

The suspected stabber went onto a Subway restaurant in the 3800 block of West First Street and stabbed a person to death before going to a nearby 7-Eleven on the intersection of West First Street and Harbor Boulevard and attacking a security guard there, the Santa Ana Police Department said.

The man at the 7-Eleven died at the hospital, police said.

Police said they arrived at the 7-Eleven and encountered the suspected attacker armed with a knife and handgun. The 33-year-old man from Garden Grove was taken into custody at that location.

Police said they believe the motive for the violence was robbery and that the attacks were random.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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Man Who Caught Chicago Alligator ‘Chance the Snapper’ Immortalized as Bobblehead

Man Who Caught Chicago Alligator 'Chance the Snapper' Immortalized as Bobblehead

Not only will “Chance the Snapper” soon be a bobblehead — the man who captured him in Chicago’s Humboldt Park Lagoon will be too.

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a Frank “Alligator” Robb bobblehead on Thursday, featuring Robb — who was brought in from Florida to trap the creature who had roamed the lagoon for a week — and the infamous reptile itself.

The bobblehead company had already announced plans for a standalone “Chance the Snapper” figurine with both bobbling head and tail, partially submerged in water and a sign reading “Danger” on its base. 

The newest bobblehead will feature Robb holding the gator, with both heads capable of bobbling, according to a mock-up of the design. The figurine will be about 7 inches tall, the company said, and is available for pre-sale for $25 plus an $8 shipping fee. One dollar from every bobblehead sold will be donated to the Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control, the company said. 

Photo credit: The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum

The famed alligator was caught last Tuesday, one week after it was first seen the morning of July 9. Illinois Conservation Police and Chicago Animal Care and Control responded to the scene, bringing in a reptile specialist dubbed “Gator Bob” who placed live humane traps that night. That effort proved unsuccessful for days, at which point city officials decided to take a new approach.

The east side of the lagoon was fenced off from the public entirely on Sunday night and an expert from Florida was brought in to try his hand at the hunt.

The CACC hired Robb, an alligator expert who owns Crocodilian Specialist Services in Florida. Robb was recommended by local experts in Florida, and arrived in Chicago Sunday for an examination of the area surrounding the lagoon. 

Robb said those involved in the capture — which happened at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday — had taken about eight laps around the lagoon and the surrounding area on foot overnight before he spotted the creature in the water. The alligator was about 25 feet from the shore on the north side of one of the lagoon’s islands, Robb said.

After they initially spotted it, the gator went underwater for a minute and then “vocalized,” according to Robb, who then snared the gator with a fishing rod that had a large hook attached to the line. He then reeled the reptile in and grabbed it at the base of its tail with his hands. 

“Chance the Snapper” made his public debut wearing a bow tie at a news conference hours later and was moved to a permanent, more suitable home in Florida later in the week.

“The response for the Chance the Snapper bobblehead was tremendous, but we received so many requests for a bobblehead of Frank, who became an instant celebrity in Chicago after capturing Chance the Snapper so quickly,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum cofounder and CEO Phil Sklar said in a statement.

“We were thrilled that Frank was as excited about his bobblehead as we were, and we can’t wait for fans to see the newest bobblehead featuring Chance the Snapper and the alligator hunter that took Chicago by storm!” 

“The Lord blessed me with the gift of working with Crocodilians, and the blessings he and the City of Chicago have provided me are beyond my comprehension,” Robb said in a statement. “I am proud to say that a Dollar from each Bobble Head sold goes to help animals in need in the city of Chicago, through the Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control. God Bless and Thank you!”

The Wisconsin-based company said it expected the bobbleheads to be ready to ship in October.


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Florida Man Allegedly Tries to Carjack Elderly Man, Realizes He Can’t Drive Stick Shift Vehicle: Deputies

Florida Man Allegedly Tries to Carjack Elderly Man, Realizes He Can't Drive Stick Shift Vehicle: Deputies

A Central Florida man found himself behind bars after police say he tried to steal a car from an elderly man – only to realize he didn’t know how to drive the stick shift vehicle.

News outlets say 25-year-old Jaelyn Alexander attempted to carjack the victim on Tuesday in Orlando before he realized that he couldn’t drive the manual transmission car and stealing another vehicle and fleeing the scene.

Alexander was spotted a short distance later and placed under arrest.

Orange County Sheriff’s officials say he will be charged with carjacking, battery on a person over the age of 65 and grand theft.


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Man Removes Boa Constrictor From Under Car With Bare Hands

Man Removes Boa Constrictor From Under Car With Bare Hands

An Enfield, Connecticut, man got quite the surprise Thursday when a boa constrictor curled up under his car engine. The East Windsor Police Department posted the gripping video on its Facebook page.

In an exclusive interview, Maurice LaRosa said he was visiting his aunt on Winton Road in East Windsor when 7-year-old Ela Ortak spotted the 6-foot long reptile feasting on a rabbit.

“I was just looking out the window and then I saw a snake…and I didn’t know a boa constrictor lived out here,” said Ortak.

LaRosa said they called East Windsor Police and with the help of two officers, he was able to wrestle the snake out with his bare hands.

“Towards the end of it, you could tell he was getting a little aggravated and he did try to strike once,” LaRosa said.

While the plan was to take the snake to a wildlife center, a neighbor, who has two ball pythons, volunteered to care for it.

“You would never really think that something like that would be running around East Windsor. They didn’t really know what to do with them, so yeah I’ll take him,” said Vincent Braxton.

Braxton said while the snake was a bit aggressive at first, it has since calmed down. He said he hopes the owner comes forward.

“I have no problem holding onto it for the rest of its life. That’s fine. If someone is looking for it, and it did get out by accident, I’d be happy to return him.”

Meanwhile, LaRosa said besides the adrenaline rush, he is relieved they all made it through the heart-racing ordeal OK.

Ridgecrest Rocked by Another Quake – Preliminary Reports 7.1 Magnitude

[NATL] Ridgecrest Rocked by Another Quake - Preliminary Reports 7.1 Magnitude

“I was glad we were able to remove him without hurting him,” LaRosa said. “That was the last thing I wanted to do.”


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