Teen accused of urinating on Ore.-to-NY passenger

Posted Aug. 11, 2011, at 10:09 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 12, 2011, at 9:42 a.m.

NEW YORK — An 18-year-old accused of urinating on the leg of another passenger during an Oregon-to-New York City flight will not face charges, prosecutors said.

Robert Vietze, of Warren, Vt., was detained by police and then given a federal summons charging him with indecent exposure on the red-eye flight. The JetBlue plane left Portland late Tuesday and arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday morning.

Vietze was intoxicated and got up from his seat during the flight and relieved himself in the cabin on another passenger, said Sara Beth Joren, a spokeswoman with the police department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the airport.

Police officers met the plane at the gate. Vietze was questioned, given the summons and released.

Federal prosecutors ultimately decided not to pursue the matter and dropped the case, Joren said. Robert Nardoza, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, said he had no information about the case.

The phone rang unanswered Thursday at the only listed phone number for a Vietze family in Warren.

A spokeswoman for JetBlue Airways Corp., based in Forest Hills, N.Y., confirmed that an “incident” had taken place aboard the flight and that police had been called, but she declined to discuss it further.

Mexico arrests trafficker accused of 600 killings

TOLUCA, Mexico — Mexican police arrested the suspected leader of a brutal drug gang called “The Hand with Eyes” and he has confessed to helping carry out or ordering more than 600 murders, authorities said Thursday.

Oscar Osvaldo Garcia Montoya, 36, was arrested in an overnight raid on a presumed safe house on the outskirts of Mexico City, State of Mexico Attorney General Alfredo Castillo said at a news conference.

“The Hand with Eyes” is one of the groups blamed for bringing the drug violence typical of northern Mexico to Mexico City and its surrounding areas.

The organization is known for extreme violence, including decapitations. Many of its victims have been drug dealers and rivals killed as the group fought for control of drug sales in Mexico state, an area that includes many of the poor suburbs ringing the capital.

Castillo said Garcia is a deserter from the Mexican marines who worked as a bodyguard for major cartel figures including Edgar Valdez, aka “La Barbie,” a top assassin for the Beltran Leyva cartel until he was arrested in 2010.

With the capture or death of Valdez and most of the leaders of the Beltran Leyva cartel, Garcia split off and formed his own group.

Garcia is known as “El Compayito” after a popular Mexican talking hand-puppet character created by an entertainer who dresses up his hand and puts eyes on it. The crime gang apparently took its name from Garcia’s puppet nickname.

Israel prepares for Palestinian statehood rallies

JERUSALEM — Israeli security forces are importing horses, water cannons, tear-gas launchers and a nauseating noise machine to control crowds if they become violent at Palestinian protests planned next month to support their bid for U.N. endorsement of statehood. Israel hopes the measures will avoid casualties among demonstrators.

Palestinian authorities have made plans that aim to keep the protests peaceful and avoid confrontations with Israelis. Israel fears that a single incident — a Palestinian killing an Israeli with a firebomb or gunshot, or an Israeli soldier killing a Palestinian during a riot — could trigger a flood of violence when large crowds are already out protesting.

Palestinians are planning mass demonstrations across the West Bank and abroad to coincide with the September U.N. General Assembly session, which the Palestinians hope will give official endorsement for their state. The statehood initiative reflects frustration with long stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Police have doubled the size of their riot control forces to more than 2,000, according to an internal police newsletter obtained by The Associated Press.

“The police hope to avoid casualties in the event of (U.N. endorsement of) Palestinian independence,” Nissim Mor, commander of the police operations branch, wrote in the newsletter.

The police newsletter spelled out the equipment police are planning to use, including a machine that generates sound waves that cause nausea.

Police have ordered such a machine, called “the scream,” the newsletter said, adding that they are also acquiring “the skunk” — a device that sprays a foul-smelling fluid to subdue unruly crowds.

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