• Rochester Police Department(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) -- Police bodycam footage from upstate New York appears to show an officer instructing a man to break into his ex-girlfriend's home, according to the woman's lawyer.On Nov. 13, the man had requested assistance from the Rochester Police Department to aid in retrieving some of his belongings from the home of his ex-girlfriend, Catherine Bonner, her attorney, David Pilato, told ABC News. The man had told authorities that he lived at the home, which Bonner shares with her mother, Pilato said.The day before, an incident occurred between the former couple that caused Bonner to accidentally break her foot, and she feared for her safety, Pilato said.In the footage, which Pilato provided to ABC Rochester affiliate WHAM-TV, an officer instructs the man to "just go into the house" as he stands outside the front door.The man then tells the officer that his former girlfriend has a gun. After the officer asks him if his ex is in the house, he says, "You have the right to kick the door in, if you want, to gain access," the video shows."You will not be held responsible, criminally, but ... you may have to pay the damage to break the door," the officer says.The officer then tells the man that he has a "right to be here," suggests that the man break a pane of glass and stick his hand through to "unlock the door."The man then shouts into the front door, "If you don't open the door, they gave me permission to break it."Another officer off camera then says, "Ma'am, can you just open up the door, please?""You gotta open the door," the man says to his ex. "The cops are telling you to open the door."The man then goes to a side window and breaks the pane of glass using his fist, and uses his shoe to clear out the rest of the glass. As he does this, the barrel of a gun becomes visible through the window's blinds.All three men then scatter from the immediate vicinity of the window, and the man tells her, "Now, you're in trouble.""I'm protecting my home," the woman is heard saying.The officers then approach the window with their weapons drawn, instructing the woman to show them her hands, and the video then shows an officer kicking in the door to gain entry to the home.Bonner was then arrested and charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, menacing a police officer and a misdemeanor count of menacing her boyfriend, according to an indictment filed in Monroe County on Dec. 1.The man had told the officer that he lived at the home for five months -- the amount of time they'd been dating -- and that Bonner had changed the locks, Pilato said. Had the officers checked the man's driver's license, they would have seen that his address was outside of the county, Pilato said. The two had a "typical" relationship, in which the man would stay at the home often, Pilato said.Pilato said the man initially didn't want to break into the home but eventually gave in to the officer's instructions."For 12 minutes, they tell him over and over, 'You have a right to do this,'" Pilato said.At one point, the man asked the officers to put together a report so he could just go to small claims court, Pilato said. A neighbor who confirmed to police on video that the man had lived at the home for more than 10 days later told the officers that she was concerned for Bonner's safety due to the incident that occurred the day before, Pilato said.Bonner's ex-boyfriend, whom Pilato declined to identify, was not charged in the incident on Nov. 13 or the incident the day before in which Bonner broke her foot, the attorney said.A spokeswoman for the Rochester Police Department declined to comment on the pending litigation, emphasizing that the police department did not release the bodycam video and pointing ABC News to a training bulletin that was posted by the department on March 8.The bulletin states that "employees shall not use the powers of their office to render assistance in the pursuit of matters which are strictly private or
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  • Darrah Bull Bully Rescue(PHOENIX) -- One lucky dog who wound up on the other side of the country was returned to his rightful home thanks to a group of 20 volunteers.Jake, a 7-year-old Coonhound, first went missing from his home in Phoenix, Arizona, last year. In April Jake was found wandering the streets of Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania, by Adam Herbaugh, who was out walking his own two dogs. Herbaugh took Jake to Companion Animal Hospital where the veterinarian scanned for a microchip and called the registered owners more than 2,000 miles away. Jake appeared to be in good health when the vet examined him and it is unclear how the dog got from Arizona to Pennsylvania.The dog's owner, who asked to remain anonymous, was shocked and delighted to receive the good news, but could not make the cross-country trip to bring Jake home. So a local dog rescue group decided to help.Ranae Metz, president of A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue, told ABC News that the owners reached out via Facebook to explain the situation, asking for assistance in getting the hound home safe and sound."My sister, Heather Shaw, is a transport coordinator [for Darrah Bull Bully Rescue]. She used Facebook groups which consist of transport volunteers to coordinate Jake's trip home," Metz said.The group wrote posts on Facebook and requested "qualified volunteers" who could each tackle a different leg of the journey from Pennsylvania to Arizona. Once the eager volunteers were in place, the three-day trip kicked off on May 18 and ended on May 21."Transports are generally done on Saturdays or Sundays when volunteers are more readily available," Metz explained, adding that his team facilitates moves of animals from high-kill shelters up and down the East Coast on a weekly basis.The entire transport took 20 volunteers, 30 stops in nine states and three volunteers who were willing to keep Jake overnight during the trip, according to Metz.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images, FILE(LOS ANGELES) -- Hundreds of faculty members at the University of Southern California have backed a motion for the school's president to resign over how he handled sexual-abuse allegations levied against a former campus doctor.The letter, obtained by ABC Los Angeles station KABC on Tuesday, said USC President C.L. Max Nikias should step down because he mishandled complaints against a former campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.Two-hundred faculty members across 14 USC schools had signed the letter as of Tuesday evening, claiming Nikias lacked the "moral authority" to lead the university's investigation into the matter, according to KABC."President Nikias' actions and omissions amount to a breach of trust," the letter said. "He has lost all moral authority to lead the university, and in addition, to lead the investigation of institutional failures that allowed this misconduct to persist over several decades."The letter came in the wake of lawsuits filed against the school and Tyndall by current and former students who've accused the doctor of molesting patients for several decades. At least six women have sued the university alleging misconduct.One civil lawsuit claimed USC ignored complaints that Tyndall allegedly made crude remarks, took inappropriate photographs and groped patients to "satisfy his own prurient desires."Tyndall, who worked at a USC student health clinic for 30 years, denied wrongdoing in interviews with the Los Angeles Times.USC Board of trustees Chairman John Mork said the university's executive committee planned to support Nikias."We strongly support President Nikias’ implementation of a thorough and comprehensive action plan that addresses these issues and enables USC to continue exemplifying our Trojan Family values as we move forward," Mork said in a statement Tuesday. "We have zero tolerance for this conduct and will ensure that people are held accountable for actions that threaten the university student body and that do not reflect our culture of respect, care, and ethic."Nikias also issued a lengthy statement on the school's website laying out its action plan at the board’s request.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman in outer space, fell in love with science at an early age. Decades later, she's encouraging girls of all ages and backgrounds to engage in STEM education and is shedding insight on how to overcome obstacles.Her path to making history wasn't an easy one, but her love of science helped fuel her success.As a young girl in Chicago, she knew two things for sure: that she wanted to be an astronaut and that there were no black female astronauts."I grew up in the 1960s, and the United States didn’t have women astronauts," Jemison told ABC News. "There were no women of color in the astronaut program."She remembers looking up at the stars in wonder, which pushed her unwavering interest in science.She also said she remembers feeling privileged to have teachers and family members who believed in her dreams.As the youngest child, her days were filled by spending time in libraries studying science and astronomy."I was lucky enough to have teachers who taught me about Daniel Hale Williams and that Elijah McCoy built the cotton gin -- a black person -- I remember reading in books about the woman who did the original work on DNA, crystallography," she said.She would carry her childhood dream of being an astronaut with her as she pursued higher education, earning a bachelor's from Stanford University in 1977 and a doctorate in medicine from Cornell University in 1981.After serving as a Peace Corps medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia, she made the decision to apply for the opportunity she'd always dreamed of: a spot in the astronaut program.Not much had changed in regards to the program's diversity. There were still no black woman.In 1987, Jemison was one of 15 selected for the prestigious NASA program. And the first black woman chosen, five years later, became the first to reach outer space.Jemison encountered resistance and obstacles along the way but said she always remained true to her dreams and remained confident"Even though folks might doubt me, I didn't doubt myself," she explained.Her advice to younger girls today? Don't be fazed by those who try to limit your dreams."People can put obstacles in front of you, and you have a choice," she said. "You can sit there and try to make them change or you can go around it."After leaving the astronaut corps in 1993, she used her dynamic background and experience as an engineer, physician and astronaut to help educate, inspire and reach back into the community. Jemison is now collaborating with Bayer Crop Science on "Science Matters," a campaign aimed at encouraging kids of different ages and backgrounds to learn about agricultural science.There have been significant challenges in bringing STEM education to underserved communities and communities of color, Jemison said."The obstacles to achievements are usually not the kids -- it's the parents, it's the adults, it's the society around them,” she added.Jemison said she believes it's important for others to know minorities have always been woven into the fabric of the science community, even if their accomplishments aren’t widely noted, adding that exposure, expectation and experience are key to changing the narrative."We have been in science all along, even when people didn't want us involved," she said. "I want folks to understand that they have the right to be involved. They don't have to ask."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Mario Tama/Getty Images(PUNA, Hawaii) -- The Puna Geothermal Venture in Hawaii is secure, and if lava did encroach on it the danger of a toxic gas release is "very low," authorities said.Hawaii Electric Light officials also confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday that even if lava destroyed the power plant, there's no danger of a blackout because it was taken offline after Kilauea began erupting on May 3.Older, diesel-powered plants have been brought online to provide electricity, Jim Kelly, a spokesman for HEL, told ABC News.Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis said "the well field is as safe as we can get the well field.""The probability of anything happening if the lava enters the well field is very, very low," he added. The public "should feel pretty comfortable that there should be no untoward events from Puna Geothermal Venture. Assuming that the lava doesn't change its pattern or its flow. Each time it changes we have to re-evaluate and look at other issues."This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • WSYR(CAMILLUS, N.Y.) -- A 30-year-old man court-ordered to vacate his parents' home on Tuesday said he should be given more time to leave because of how much his parents "harassed" him about moving out.Michael Rotondo, of Camillus, New York, had been living rent-free in his parents' Syracuse-area home for eight years when a State Supreme Court judge ruled on Tuesday in his parents’ favor, ordering him to move out.Rotondo, who plans to appeal the decision, said he stopped speaking to his parents when they "alluded" to wanting him to leave the house in October, just one month after he lost custody and visitation rights of his son."I'm not bothering them by living here," Michael Rotondo said in an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America." "It's little to no cost to them, and considering how that they've harassed me, I think it's the least that they should be required to do, which is just let me hang here a bit longer and use their hot water and electricity."By the end of October, Michael Rotondo said his parents were demanding he get a full-time job, health insurance and sessions with a therapist, but he said he "didn't need any of those things.""My parents alluded to the fact that they no longer wanted me living in the house, and I was devastated from the loss, and not seeing my son anymore," Rotondo said. "After that, I was like, 'I’m done with you guys.'"Mark and Christina Rotondo said they gave their son multiple notices to vacate and even offered him money to help him find a place of his own.Michael Rotondo admitted that he accepted the money, but used it for "other things.""I took it but with consideration for my plans, and how my finances interacted with those plans, I did use the money for other things, but I don’t regret that," he said. "I would have preferred to have kept the money and given it back to them ... but I had to use it, and that's just how it is."He also accused his parents of trying to "stir something up" to support their court case against him."Me and my father recently tried to occupy the same space at the same time ... so I said 'excuse me,' and he said, 'I will not excuse you, Michael,’” he said "He's just trying to stir something up so that he could get me to say something. It's my overwhelming belief that he’s trying to make it so that he could try and call the police or something to support his case."Michael Rotondo had asked for six months to vacate, but the judge disagreed.He said he was shocked by the ruling and that he couldn't believe the judge would "make it so that these people can just throw me out instead of letting me stay here."Michael Rotondo also addressed critics, including some in his own neighborhood, who claim he wants to live rent-free forever."I don't like living here at all," he said. "My parents and myself are like two parties that don’t speak the same language.""It's a very serious thing to me to get out, but I have rights, and that's really what it boils down to. I just want a little more time to get out of here."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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